Alameda in Spirit

Unity, a New Thought spiritual philosophy, observes its annual “World Day of Prayer” on Sept. 13, to counter the memory of the religious atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001. It’s a bold undertaking, because like 2001, 2018 has been a bad year for prayer, particularly “our thoughts and prayers.”

This past summer, 17 students from St. Joseph Notre Dame High School (SJND) traveled to Imperial Beach, just north of the border between the United States and Mexico, for an exercise in service leadership. As participants in the Sierra Service Project (SSP), students had the opportunity to work on home-improvement projects for selected members of the community who could not afford to undertake these projects without assistance from SSP. 

Attractive building façades (or storefronts) support and encourage local businesses. They can have a significant effect on the attractiveness and marketability of the surrounding area. To encourage business owners to reinvest in the downtown and neighborhood business areas, the City of Alameda offers 50/50 matching grants to assist them in restoring or beautifying their façades.

Each business owner or property owner makes a commitment to finance 50 percent of the cost of improvements. Improvements can include:  


Democracy is not a noun, not a thing to be found “out there,” somewhere. Democracy is an action verb whose spirit and agency is found in the heart of each of us.

We are re-evaluating what democracy now means, and as we fight for its return, we must be that democracy we wish to see. “If you’ve ever wondered what you would have done in 1930s Germany or during the civil rights movement, you’re doing it now.” 


Great national leaders are few and far between, be they members of congress or presidents. 
The last 81 years — the age at which the great senator from Arizona John McCain passed away — have produced but two handfuls. 

We have had the likes of Lyndon Baines Johnson, Sam Nunn, Richard Lugar and Richard Durbin, Sam Rayburn, Tip O’Neill, Dick Armey, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman and, nominally, Ronald Reagan. Shoulder-to-shoulder or heads above all of them stood Senator John McCain.