Editor's Note

On Tuesday morning, I woke to one of an editor’s worst nightmares: The Alamedan couldn’t be accessed by our readers, and in fact had already been unavailable for several hours.

All told, the site was down for about 11 hours as our web hosting company, Liquid Web, scrambled to figure out what was blocking access to the scores of websites its servers host all over the country and to restore it.

Now that (almost) all of your local candidates have declared, election season is in full swing. And we here at The Alamedan are ready to tell you what you need to know about all the local races to be an informed voter.

Today we're introducing our new Development Alerts - e-mailed updates intended to let you know about new development proposals as soon as we do and to provide you with the information you need to have your say.

UPDATE: We've passed our $1,000 fundraising goal! Thanks to Aidan Barry, Karen Butter, Vicki Sedlack and Chuck Kapelke for pushing us over the line!

Today, we’re kicking off our Election 2014 fundraising drive. Our goal is to raise $1,000 to make sure you know who’s running, how they’d vote on the issues they’ll confront if elected, what their track record has been on major local issues and who’s paying for their campaigns.

The past week alone brought queries about the apparent return of anchor-outs to the Alameda/Oakland Estuary, the dismantling of a dock that doubles as a home for a family of seals, the grand opening of Alameda’s first affordable housing complex for developmentally disabled people, some upcoming car wash fundraisers that will showcase water-saving efforts in the face of California’s drought and the overhaul of the city’s Mif Albright golf course. All of these stories are worthy of exploration. And with a little help from you, we may be able to cover more of them.

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.

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.

This is an exciting week for us here at The Alamedan: On Friday, we turn the corner on two years of providing you high-quality local news coverage and a voice in local affairs. I’d like to thank you for reading, and for your story ideas and support of our work.

To provide more of the news, explanatory reports and accountability journalism you want, we are going to need your help.