The 16th Annual Chili Cook-Off held by the Kiwanis Club of Alameda was a big success.

February is historically designated as American Heart Month. More than just a time to “wear red,” many health professionals consider this an opportunity to promote cardiovascular wellness and encourage patients to learn more about the risks for heart disease and stroke. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it has never been a better time to be “heart healthy" for yourself and your loved ones.

Have California’s chronic school funding problems, at long last, been fixed? If you’ve been listening to the governor’s political cheerleaders in Sacramento this winter, you might start to think so.

For the first time in its 50-year history, the Peralta Colleges, which includes College of Alameda, will have its own FM radio station to provide educational programming to the community and hands-on broadcast experience to its students.

All Alameda Education Foundation Adopt A Classroom presentations are special, but some really stand out. Sixteen year-old Josh Johnson won $1,000 to donate to a charity of his choice, and who did he choose to support? His teachers.

We have been proud to operate at Alameda Point and can only continue if significant upgrades come to this part of the Island.

Every December for the past 40-plus years, members of the Alameda Family Services League have put on the Holiday Home Tour, the major fundraiser for Alameda Family Services. Since the home tour involves so many moving parts (five homes, the gourmet shop, boutique, tea, raffle, van transportation, volunteers, selling tickets, docents, musicians, Santas, publishing the home tour booklet, soliciting advertisers and sponsors …), one might expect that many people are involved.

I am proud to call Alameda my new home. However, when attending the January 6 Alameda City Council meeting, I watched in shock as our newly sworn council, led by a mayor who promised “openness” and “transparency,” saw no issue with holding a three-hour discussion on the already approved Del Monte project with no new information available in print, by staff, or by the requestor of the item, Mayor Trish Spencer.

Boy Scouts from Alameda Troop 3 were excited to volunteer at the Alameda Food Bank over the holidays.

With the transition in city administration, there have been letters regarding the legacy of outgoing Mayor Marie Gilmore. In the recent letter to the editor titled “How I’ll Remember Mayor Gilmore,” Rion Cassidy describes a City Council meeting in early December when the development of Site A at Alameda Point was considered and the process by which the meeting took place. There were more than 50 citizens who asked to give their opinion to the council that evening, and Mayor Gilmore chose to give everyone the chance to share their views in turn, with the session running well past midnight.