The Alamedan

Over these past few months, we’ve reported on a series of hot-button local issues that have included an election, rising rents and the selection of a new school board member. The stories have generated a lot of reader interest – and a growing number of anonymous personal attacks have been posted into our comments queue.

As someone who has edited local news websites for nearly seven years, I can tell you that there are few parts of the job that are more challenging than managing reader comments in a way that is respectful of both the commenter’s thoughts on a public figure or issue and the writers, staffers and policymakers who are on the receiving end.

The Alamedan will be mounting a stronger fundraising push this year to support our work, which will include some events (like our upcoming Tomatina Dine & Donate fundraiser next Wednesday, January 21), an advertising program and more reminders from us about the importance of supporting local news.

Support local news and enjoy a delicious meal on Park Street at the same time! Alameda’s Tomatina is supporting The Alamedan by sponsoring a Dine & Donate event on Wednesday, January 21.

Just present a copy of the flyer attached at the bottom of this post and Tomatina will donate 15 percent of your lunch, dinner or takeout food and beverage check to support the local news and views The Alamedan provides.

The holidays are upon us, and with them comes the end of The Alamedan’s publishing year. This is also the time of year that we reach out to you, our readers, to ask you to consider supporting us with a contribution that will help us continue to provide you the local news you need.

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.

We’re opening this week’s (slightly late) Campaign Column with some exciting news: We’re partnering with the Alameda Sun on a pair of candidate debates in September.

Candidates for City Council and mayor will go head to head from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, September 18, while those running for the school board will meet from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, September 20. Admission to these forums is free, and open to the public.

We’re racing to finalize locations for the forums but wanted to let you know right away that we’ve got all the candidates signed up for these dates and that the forums are happening. Stay tuned here for an update next week!

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.

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

In a surprise award ceremony Friday at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, Benjamin Jenkins was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor in the United States, for his service. In addition to seeing combat during World War II, Jenkins battled segregation as one of the first black Marines in American history.

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.