Nearly 1 in 3 deaths in America are related to heart disease. More than 50 years ago President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed as February American Heart Month. Cardiovascular disease many attribute to smoking, eating habits, weight problems, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and just plain genetic bad luck. Unfortunately, more awareness of these risk factors has not led to a decrease in cardiovascular-associated deaths in the United States.

Writers including Eric J. Kos, one of the owners of the Alameda Sun, and Katherine Schwartz, the executive director of the Alameda Family Services League recently wrote appreciation for businesses focusing less on making money while overlooking workers. They encouraged changing the focus to people.  

Although Valentine’s Day is when we commercially celebrate love and our loved ones, I feel we should celebrate another national holiday all year round.

Help the world turn kind by celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Week taking place through Feb. 23. Introduced by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation in 1995, its mission has been: to change schools, the workplace, families and society through kindness. What a wonderful mission to carry on not just during Random Acts of Kindness Day (Feb. 17) or Week, but throughout the year. 

Beacon Business Bank recently announced that it had hired Matt Ching, who has spent more than two decades serving clients in the East Bay, as a vice-president and branch manager of its Alameda branch, located at 1442 Webster St. 

“I’ve known Matt for years,” said Beacon CEO and president John Delaney. “I am confident that the skills and relationships that he brings to Beacon will benefit our clients.” Ching joins Beacon from City National Bank where he was a vice-president manager of the Oakland branch.

People move to the Bay Area for many reasons, among them: work, its unique social life and the fantastic natural beauty of California. But for gardeners who find themselves living here a greater secret awaits, for Alameda has not two, but three growing seasons. In addition to the early and late-summer plantings, the Island’s gentle climate also allows a winter-season garden.