I have been visiting a patient in the critical unit at Alameda Hospital for more than a week now. I am writing because I am concerned about the care being given here and I am afraid for my family member and for other patients.

There doesn’t seem to be enough help most of the time. When the nurses need to turn people they call a nurse’s aide to help them who sometimes doesn’t arrive for more than an hour. When he comes, he is very helpful but at least twice now he has had to leave abruptly when there are announcements over the loudspeaker in the hospital about an emergency.

Banned Books Week is Sept. 27 to Oct. 3 this year, and it a week worth celebrating. Every year, some small-minded person complains about books that might harm the children, or society, or General Decency, and some weak-souled library or school district caves in and removes the book from the shelf. This causes actual harm to the public; a book that can’t be read, an idea that can’t be heard, dies a lonely death. If ideas or books were actually harmful (that is, they emitted a poison gas or the ink make your skin fall off), I could understand the problem.

Look way up in the sky. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No. They are the new ballpark lights at the Will C. Wood Little League Field — higher than all the tallest trees and taller than all surrounding houses, apartments and structures. More than $250,000 worth of lights that make we who live around them feel like O.Co Coliseum or AT&T Park just moved in.

I remember visiting my daughter earlier this year in New York City. We walked around this vast city and took in the sights of Manhattan. It had everything you’d expect from a busy metropolitan hub including taxis, skyscrapers, shopping and lots of people. But what caught my attention was something else: the Clinton Community Garden. Here neighbors share the land, share the work and reap the benefits of home-grown produce. Shared space combined with shared resources and a common goal is a powerful combination.

With the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the attack on women’s health, unfair taxation, the pollution of our environment, poor access to affordable health care and housing and a fiscally challenged educational system, the role of the nonpartisan League of Women Voters to empower residents to shape better communities has never been more necessary.