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The mural gracing Island Auto Sales. Photo by Janice Worthen.

November 29 is national Small Business Saturday, a day to shop local and express gratitude for the small businesses that add character and variety to our lives. Almost every person I have interviewed has told me Alameda is charming, and I think the businesses one finds here are a large contributor to that charm. What better way to give thanks for this beautiful Island life than to keep one’s money in Alameda, not only for the holidays but year round?

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The City Council voted Wednesday to approve an exclusive agreement with Alameda Point Partners to negotiate a deal to develop a 68-acre waterfront town center at the former Naval Air Station, despite opposition from residents who think the lame duck council should wait and let the new council decide.

Alameda’s Board of Education said goodbye to a pair of exiting trustees Tuesday – and got the rundown on the big business the new board will embark on next year.

For most of the last seven years I’ve covered Alameda’s news, most recently as the editor of The Alamedan. But this fall, I went back to school to pursue a new career. This means I need to significantly dial back my commitment to the site, which has to date been a full-time, volunteer gig.

The Alameda Food Bank needs your help putting holiday meals on the tables of 1,000 Alameda families.

The food bank kicked off a turkey drive on October 27, with a goal of collecting 1,000 turkeys for needy Alameda families. But as of Friday, the food bank had collected just 50 frozen turkeys. They’ve got just one more week to meet their goal.

Video courtesy of the Alameda Education Foundation.

On November 4, almost two in three Alameda voters passed Measure I, a facilities bond that will provide $179.5 million for our community’s schools. This result means the economic health of our school district’s facilities, and our entire community will be greatly improved.

The Board of Education meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 18 in the Alameda High School cafeteria, 2201 Encinal Avenue (enter on Central Avenue side).

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your 60-second news review. Here’s what happened this week.

What better way to celebrate the change in seasons than with a tequila/margarita tasting? My companion for this agave-filled adventure was Kimberly Skuta, a friend and certified tequila expert who earned her master’s degree from a program run by the venerable Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco.

One of the great running-related features of "The 'Meda" is that we have a terrific collection of teenage runners here. Right now is a tense time for these high schoolers because the section meet (the "North Coast Section/Les Schwab Tires Championships presented by Farmers") is coming up on November 22 at Hayward High School.