Lena Tam

Candidates for an array of local races are beginning to stake their claims for a place on the November ballot.

A state appeals court has thrown out most of former Alameda Fire Chief David Kapler’s wrongful termination suit against the city but will allow Kapler’s claim that the city owes him post-employment benefits to proceed.

In an unpublished opinion issued Thursday, a three-judge First District Court of Appeal panel ruled that city officials’ investigation into Kapler’s gasoline use and their decision to terminate him were protected public participation efforts and that Kapler, an at-will employee, had not demonstrated a likelihood that he would prevail in his case, save his claim that the city owes him benefits.

When city leaders announced plans to contract Alameda’s animal shelter services out to another city to save money, animal lovers here quickly mobilized to stop them. But instead of fighting opponents of the outsourcing plan, the city decided to hand them the Alameda Animal Shelter’s keys.

Sixty-five days later the shelter’s new director, Mim Carlson, said she’s busy managing a staff of nine and training what she hopes will ultimately be more than a hundred volunteers – and finding ways to raise the nonprofit that now runs the shelter’s half of its $600,000 annual budget.