The Frank Bette Center’s wheels of organization and creativity have been spinning for months in preparation for their current annual holiday boutique. Lots of red and green and sparkle have transformed the center into an inviting showplace for gifts galore, ranging in price from $3 to $200. Emmanuel and Amelia Williams’ low wattage lamps light individual tabletops filled with low-cost gifts (pictured). Some cast opaque light through paper mache, others have the quality of a stained glass window.

Recently the news has been full of reports about terror and violence. The cause is often ethnic and religious differences. For a refreshing change of pace, here is some good news about our youth here in the East End of Alameda. 

From past experience I propose a possible solution to Alameda’s rent issue. With about 12 years on the rent review board in Vallejo, with two years as chairman, I know Vallejo’s ordinance could be used for renters and landlords in Alameda as it has been for properties in Vallejo. 
The headline in a recent commentary (“Rent Control Unfairly Taxes Landlords,” Nov. 19) said it all, but the counter to that was on page one (Landlords Sneak in under Moratorium,” Nov. 19). All this proves that we must have a better control over excessive rents in Alameda. 

As a longtime Alameda resident and property owner, I’ve watched with great sadness what is happening in our community as the housing crisis worsens in the Bay Area. It is unfair to take advantage of market shifts by disrupting tenants, especially the disadvantaged and elderly. I encourage all property owners to consider the vulnerability of some of our Alameda renters and think before you act. I also encourage those who purport to represent the interest of renters to work with property owners to negotiate and mediate disputes. 

Nearly all discussions of the housing crisis in Alameda seem to rest squarely on the slippery shoulders of ambiguity. One of the most ambiguous terms is “affordable housing.” In the Bay Area the expression has become a cliché to be bandied about by sidewalk politicians, demagogues, populists and sensitive people.
Nothing serves to make this expression less trite; its buoyancy depends entirely on its abstruseness. To render this platitude less abstract, could someone please identify, unequivocally, for whom is this “affordable housing” destined for.