As a dog, I love the smell of a Christmas tree in our Alameda home. It means there will be lots of food close at paw. Holidays over, “Mr. Exuberance,” my Old Man was down in the dumps. My oldsters had packed boxes and boxes of Christmas away. 

While peacefully lounging on my couch I watched my disheartened Old Man trudge the boxes into the attic. Way too soon he was back. He had bumped into his camping gear. 
“Can’t wait to leave Alameda and go camping again,” he said. 

The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft.

Dear Mayor Ashcraft:
While light-emitting diode (LED) lights save energy, there is also a significant downside to using LED. We at Soft Lights would like to provide information to help the Alameda City Council make wise outdoor-lighting decisions.

The words evoke a thoroughfare with shops, a park and maybe city hall or other municipal building. Alameda’s Main Street boasts no such amenities.

In fact, the Island City’s Main Street runs nowhere near the center of town but skirts its periphery. Alameda’s Main Street has something in common with San Francisco’s Main Street. They both bear Charles Main’s name.

I am occasionally asked how more than 2,000 families in Alameda can come up short on grocery money when the economy is booming for those who are working and the government safety net helps those who are not. Do they lack ambition? Are they unwilling to work? Are they content to depend on the kindness of strangers?

It was just a chicken-wire fence
plain and simple
But it might as well have been a castle fortress.