Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus Updates

Pandemic sweeping nation, world

I received the following notices related to the coronavirus pandemic this week.

Ceremony Canceled
Joe LoParo, a former marine and a leader in the veteran community, wrote the Alameda Sun with the following message.

“It is with great sadness as chairman of the Alameda Memorial Day ceremony that I must announce, as many expected, the cancellation of this year’s event. The event would have been held on Monday, May 25, at Alameda Veterans Memorial Park, sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 400, American Legion Posts 647 and 9 and Alameda Elks Lodge No. 1015.

“This year is especially hard on us as just in the last month we have lost some true heroes of the past. In April we lost: Floyd Hunter, a decorated Marine survivor of the Battle of Iwo Jima; Ralph Burtelsen, who served aboard the USS Moore during the Battle of Iwo Jima, and Doug Dressler, a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 400. 

We also lost Gene Maurice, who served aboard the USS Saginaw Bay during the Battle of Iwo Jima. I met Gene, like many others, at the Memorial Day Ceremony. He   was the World War II veteran who every year showed up to play Taps at the event. Prior to the Navy, Gene was a trumpet player in the band at Alameda High School. 

“As chair of this ceremony I have been honored to make friends with so many. Gene, Paul Jones (another World War II vet) and I would enjoy lunch on Wednesdays and Fridays at the Elks. They were regulars and invited me to join them. I am glad I did, the last couple years sharing memories and time with these gentlemen have been an honor.

“I hope we all remember that Memorial Day is a time to honor those that gave all for this great nation. When I personally am thanked for my service, my comment is, ‘thank you, but if you truly want to thank a veteran, be the kind of American that is worth dying for.’”

Parade Canceled
Alameda City Council decided last week to cancel the Alameda Fourth of July Parade. As the city expected to host tens of thousands of spectators and many clusters of people marching or riding together, the parade proved impossible to manage during a shelter-in-place order.

While Gov. Gavin Newsom has relaxed some restrictions in California, Alameda County’s order remains unchanged. In places where orders overlap, the stricter order applies. In related news, the county announced last week the Alameda County Fair also will not be held this year.

Stay Home for FAAS Pajama Ball 
Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) invites everyone to relax safely at home in their jammies to raise money for Alameda’s homeless pets. For the Saturday, May 30, Pajama Ball, local restaurants will deliver a gourmet meal to “Negligee,” “Silk Pajamas” and “Forever Plaid PJs” attendees, including dessert and wine. Others will receive a restaurant gift certificate.

The fundraiser also supports Angela’s Kitchen, C’era Una Volta, Donut Petit, Pappo, The Park Street Tavern, Speisekammer Restaurant, Tomatina and Tucker’s Ice Cream. Everyone is invited to participate in the Pajama Ball online auction, May 23 to 30, and FAAS Facebook photo contest for Best Pajamas on May 30.

For tickets and full details, visit

Remember the caterer
Local entreprenuer David Molenberg wrote in with a unique perspective on the impact of the coronavirus. His Alameda-based business,, until recently had solid business coordinating jobs for caterers. 

Molenberg is now working with some of the hardest-hit businesses in the nation: catering kitchens. 
“The catering industry is likely the worst hit by COVID-19,” stated Molenberg. “While restaurants can still do to-go orders, most catering kitchens are in warehouses, don’t have a store front and don’t have any business. While restaurants may be able to open soon, catering kitchens will still suffer for a long time to come.”

Business with a coronavirus- testing company is helping keep Molenberg afloat during these times but he is not able to spread that out to all his kitchen partners. 

Essential businesses, senior homes or other organizations can place meal orders, minimum $250 at least 72 hours in advance through The company vets catering kitchens from all over the Bay Area. Drivers pick up, deliver and do a full setup. Staff can also stay on-site, manage meals and clean up.


Photos top to bottom: FAAS Pajama Ball mascot; deer on Crown Beach by Irene Dieter; advice against home solutions, before and after, courtesy Jackson Quinn