Heather Johnson is a healthy athlete who lives in Oakland. She’s got no medical problems. "Despite the fact that I almost never use my health insurance, my premiums with Blue Shield have jumped 44 percent from $180 in 2013 to $280 now for a bare-bones plan offering a very narrow network," she said. A few years ago, her deductible was zero. Now, it’s $4,500. She’s tempted to cancel the plan and take the tax penalty instead.

Do not tax yourself and your neighbors of Alameda County one- half cent on every taxable purchase you make for the next 30 years for a hodgepodge of transportation projects.

It might appear to be a good idea at first; but the measure isfraught with major problems. It promises way too much for too many cities and entities. Why? So that you will vote for measure BB.

 If you ride a bicycle, vote for Measure BB because there is money for bicyclists.

 If you ride BART, there is money for BART.

 If you ride AC Transit, there is money for AC Transit.

Are you registered to vote yet? Local high school students may be ahead of you in preparing for the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

On Friday, Oct. 17, League of Women Voters of Alameda (LWVA) volunteers and the Alameda County Registrar of Voters (ROV) staff will help as many as 350 Alameda High School seniors in 10 social science classes to register or preregister to vote, helping them build a lifetime of voting and civic engagement. (The voter registration deadline is Monday, Oct. 20.)

On Sept. 22, the Planning Board approved Tim Lewis Communities’ TLC plan to build 414 housing units on the Del Monte site (308 of them at the warehouse). That’s more than twice the size of what the draft Housing Element identifies as "realistic capacity" and almost three times the size the approved Housing Element identifies. And, if that isn’t over capacity enough, the Planning Board also voted to approve at least 30,000 square feet of commercial and retail space on the same 11 acres.

Last week’s decision to cancel the varsity portion of the Island Bowl, a game played and celebrated, uninterrupted, for 60 consecutive years between rival high schools, was a curious, possibly impolitic, call.

It was an alarming departure from Alameda tradition that few — if any — of Alameda’s denizens and even fewer natives would have had the hubris or rashness to make. Here are just a few questions (more below):

 Who ultimately, was the target of the punishment?

 Was it a constructive punishment?