Gleaning — an ancient practice that goes back to Biblical times — is not scavenging (to search for things that others have discarded), nor is it foraging (gathering foodstuffs from the wild). It is, in essence, gathering food that has been overlooked. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines gleaning as “the act of collecting excess fresh foods from farms, gardens, farmers markets, grocers, restaurants, state or county fairs or any other sources in order to provide it to those in need.”


Morton Chalfy’s recent column (“The Great Remixing,” Feb. 21), describes a society absent racism where only the “strongest” genes survive and everyone is brown. Surely it provides a better ground in which equal opportunity, pursuit of happiness and other founding ideals can flourish. But I always get a late winter chill from a call for sameness, one big happy family. It reminds me of classless, ethnic and ideological utopias of the previous century, those experiments in sameness that didn’t work because they required a non-volitional buy into the collective. 

I for one am so thankful to be part of this amazing community — even more so after being a part of the Lunar New Year Celebration on Feb. 16. There are always so many people involved with an event like this and I want to take a minute to thank them all. 


Sometimes, “what’s old” is more interesting than “what’s new.” That’s the case with the great buildings on Park Street.

Prior to 1864, Alameda was home to just a few small farmhouses scattered around the peninsula. With improved railroad transportation came hubs of commerce along the train routes, including the historic Park Street District. By 1905 more than 150 ornate commercial buildings lined the downtown streets. But, as time progressed, many of the older buildings were either torn down or converted into something else. 


As a neighbor of Jean Sweeney Open Space Park and a proud resident of Alameda I would like to convey my deep concerns with Measure B in the upcoming April 9 special election. Since its opening, Jean Sweeney Open Space Park has proven to be a truly wonderful addition to our town. The play area is often crowded and the bike paths are being utilized with wonderful regularity. My family very much enjoys walking our dogs there (on leash, of course).

Despite being only about one-third complete, this wonderful space is clearly one of the many jewels of Alameda.