Photo courtesy of Alameda Municipal Power.

Alameda Municipal Power wants its two dollars (and 25 cents).

The Public Utilities Board voted Monday to raise electric rates effective July 1 as the final part of a five-year program of rate increases designed to cover rising power and transmission costs. Most residents will pay an additional $2.25 a month, which equals a 4.5 percent increase for the average household, while commercial rates will go up 0.125 percent, the utility announced this week.


Alameda Education Association president Audrey Hyman (left) and International Association of Fire Fighters Local 689 president Jeff Del Bono (right) presented Alameda Point Collaborative executive director Doug Biggs (center) with a check for $8,300 raised during a crab fe

Updated at 4:16 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, with new information in bold

Dozens of Nea Community Learning Center students walked out of classes Tuesday to protest the removal of the school’s leader Friday, eight weeks before the end of the school year.

A few weeks ago the head of Digital First Media – the private equity-backed company that owns the Oakland Tribune, San Jose Mercury News and most of the other daily papers in the Bay Area – announced the company was shuttering Project Thunderdome, a 50-person outfit that provided business, technology, health and other news to dozens of the company’s papers across the country.

The closure was reportedly part of Digital First’s plan to cut $100 million in expenses, and it prompted media analyst Ken Doctor to speculate that the sale of the company’s media properties may not be too far behind.

Thunderdome’s short life and the planned cuts at newspapers that have already endured more than a decade of them exemplify the challenges of providing the news that people want and need at a time when revenues aren’t rising fast enough to cover the cost of providing it. Digital First has scored some noteworthy successes in attracting digital ad revenue. But those have clearly not been enough to meet the needs of the company’s owners.

The Alamedan’s primary mission is to fill the ever-larger gaps in local Alameda news coverage, and we’re slowly expanding what we offer to accomplish it. For two years I have volunteered basically full-time to run this site and write much of the news that’s provided here, because I believe that our community needs to be informed to be engaged, and to thrive.

Being local means we can be responsive to readers’ needs, and this month we’ve begun following up on story suggestions readers made during our inaugural office hours sessions (stay tuned for this month’s hours and location). We’re also offering more breaking news – something readers have been asking us to do – and are launching some new blogs in the coming weeks on health, family and relationships and Alameda’s storied Little League. And the November elections – for which we’re preparing expanded coverage – are closer than you think.

Dozens of Alamedans have shown their support for our mission by contributing to our work, and with their generous support we have been able to expand our coverage beyond the daily posts we offered when we launched the site in 2012. For us to continue – and hopefully, continue to expand – we’re going to need the support of many more.

You can show your support for locally produced, local news by making a one-time or monthly contribution online or by sending a check to our fiscal sponsor, Community Initiatives (with Alameda Community News Project in the register) at 354 Pine Street Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104.

If you’re a business owner and would like to demonstrate your commitment to an informed and engaged community, you can sponsor The Alamedan.

This month, we’d like to offer our thanks to Tom Charron, Frank Martin and Dick Rudloff for their support. We hope you’ll join them on our supporters list.

Questions or suggestions can always be e-mailed to me at michele@thealamedan.org. Thank you for reading.

A few dozen parents, preservationists and school staffers turned out Monday to offer their thoughts on proposed upgrades that could once again put students into Historic Alameda High School and replace dozens of portable classrooms, improve drop-off areas and boost security at schools across the Island.

Got questions about the city's plans for Alameda Point? City Manager John Russo says he'll answer them, here on The Alamedan. You can e-mail your question to me at michele@thealamedan.org this week or just post it in a comment on the site, and I will pass it all along. In the meantime, you can scan all of our Alameda Point coverage here.

A local book publisher has been acquired by a bigger East Coast house. Turner Publishing Company of Nashville, Tennessee, has bought the assets of Park Street-based Hunter House Publishers.

The Planning Board and Historical Advisory Board are conducting a joint special meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 23 at the Del Monte Warehouse, 1501 Buena Vista Avenue.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly, two-sentence news review. Here are your headlines for the week.

Once upon a time - in 2004 - three friends decided to open a restaurant in Alameda. Since they were all Italian (two natives and an Italian-American), they figured it would be a good idea to feature Italian food and wine.

Last week at the school board meeting, the high school physical education (P.E.) requirement was discussed. Much of the discussion about broadening students' ability to gain an exemption from taking a second year of P.E.