Get checklist to help cut global warming

The climate change issue can seem so overwhelming that it is at times easy to feel powerless to have a meaningful positive impact. However, Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda believes part of the solution starts with each of us right here in our special city.

By individuals changing our habits one by one and working on energy saving projects at home, we can reduce Alameda's contribution to creation of greenhouse gas emissions. Like-minded organizations are working in cities like ours all around the world, even in China. Together, change is possible.

To help residents, CASA has created a one-page green checklist with climate protection tips, along with local resources available to assist on the checklist. We recognize people have busy lives with other priorities, such as maintaining the family budget. The good news is that many of the items on the checklist are easy and not time-consuming. Since a lot of climate protection initiatives revolve around reducing consumption of resources, many of the items start saving the family money immediately or in the long run.

Look for this green CASA checklist at High Street Station, Alameda Municipal Power Office, Rythmix Cultural Works, The Marketplace (community bulletin board), Tucker's or online by Googleing: Global Warming Checklist.

If anyone would like to stock our checklists for the public, please email us at info@casa-alameda.org. CASA also has climate protection checklists tailored for nonprofit groups as well as climate protection starter kits for faith- based community organizations in town.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" said Lao-tzu. Join us on this crucial and increasingly urgent journey to protect our planet's climate by taking one small step today. Please pick up a CASA checklist and choose one habit to change.

Joyce Mercado

Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda Steering Committee

South Shore ice rink was ill-conceived idea

I will address the decision to place an ice rink at a South Shore parking lot at Christmas time the way one would small town thinking.

The late Fred Allen would quip something appropriate, but I don't have enough time to find out that, once more, our main library has gotten rid of an old title. It is apparent the South Shore marketers are math-challenged. More than a decade ago they proved that by sizing down parking spaces to accommodate the new Alamedans who favor Chevy Corvair-size cars, because, as most know, Alamedans favored behemoth vehicles so those downsizing souls in smaller cars don't impinge upon their large accomplishments.

Which brings up that math question again: if you create more lined spaces in the same area of space, have you, in fact, created more space (for shoppers)? The answer is no.

How do I know that? Because all of us must drive down numerous rows past many cattle-rustling vehicles before we can safely park our car a half-mile away from our destination. To this scenario, I will address the question of whether it was fitting and proper to place an improvised ice skating rink in a rainy December season at South Shore, never mind imposing upon several popular eateries and our only sporting goods store: No.

That is, unless you like the small-town thinking idea that a ballet studio should be placed on the Nimitz Freeway during Yuletide, just to break the monotony of driving.

Pit O'Maley

Island's Relay for Life thanks Otis students

The American Cancer Society's Relay For Life of Alameda would like to thank the students and faculty of Otis Elementary School for their heartfelt support of those battling cancer. Otis students created handmade Valentine cards for cancer survivors who participated in Relay For Life in 2011 or 2012, or have registered to participate this year.

Their generosity and creativity will be appreciated by all who receive their messages of encouragement. Cancer survivors, their caregivers, and anyone who wants to join the fight against cancer are invited to join Relay For Life on June 22 and June 23 to celebrate survivors, remember those we've lost, and fight back through education and research.

For information, visit www.RelayForLife.org/AlamedaCA or phone Anne Marie at 510-995-9409.

Joan Jessen

Survivorship Chair Relay For Life of Alameda

Thanks for helping Saint Joe's crab feed

A big thank you to the parents, volunteers, faculty, students, sponsors and guests who made Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School's 32nd Annual Crab Feed and Auction a success. The Feb. 2 fundraiser raised $79,000 for tuition assistance and athletics.

The generosity of all SJND's supporters and donors will ensure that students at SJND receive a quality education, college prep courses and the opportunity to participate in co-curricular activities, a place where students can build upon their character and leadership skills. More than 60 percent of our students play sports, and more than 40 percent of our students receive tuition assistance. As a result of the hard work by all of the volunteers, the Kelly Gym was transformed into an enchanted "Black and White Night" adorned with balloons and twinkling lights. The guests contributed to the magic, dining on delectable Dungeness crab, pasta, bread, desserts and enjoying the signature drink, Black and White Russians. On behalf of the auction committee, we would like to thank the committee chairs --

Kitchen: Tomas Pineda, Dave Chapman and Don Ratto; Donations: Faye Clements Caruso and Sabrina Knuckles; Data Entry: Liz Rochlin; Silent Auction: Amada Robles; Live Auction: Julie Pond; Decorations and Setup: Tim Degrano, Andre Cinco, Dede Cunningham, Andy Cunningham; Student Coordinator: Suzanne Edinger; Desserts: Maria Morales; Bar: Jan and Rex Meins; Check In and Check Out: Sue Retta and George Marinos; Clean-Up: Silvia Gonzalez.

Thanks, too, to our sponsors: Perforce of Alameda, BayRisk Insurance of Alameda, Oliver and Company Construction Management, Beacon Pointe Advisors and Armanino LLP.

Emma Cinco and Gia Degrano

SJND Crab Feed/ Auction Executive Committee