The fifth annual Alameda “Blues, Brews & BBQ” festival, presented by the West End Arts & Entertainment takes place this Sunday, Sept. 15, from noon to 6 p.m. The festival on Alameda’s historic Webster Street between Central and Santa Clara avenues features award-winning blues bands, barbecue vendors competing for prizes, craft vendors and a kids zone. The event is free, family and pet friendly.

This year’s entertainment lineup includes:

As any dedicated recycler knows, even Alamedans are still learning to sift their refuse correctly. Dirty diapers and plastic bags in the green container; broken strollers in the blue; Styrofoam peanuts in the gray — at least it’s off the street, and the bags of half-consumed fast food tossed fashionably from cars provide a free lunch for the corvids. 

We have a crisis in this state, actually in many places in this country. There isn’t enough housing. It’s pretty simple, two people have two children and then those children have two children. That, over time, makes for a lot of people. Many people want to live in the Bay Area because it has few faults. Mostly it is awesome. The weather is great, people are diverse and interesting, there is a lot to do and ways to expand your world that most places don’t have.

Every second Friday turns the West End into an explosion of art. Several Webster Street merchants participate. Cap off the September artwalk, next Friday, Sept. 13, drop by the Concerts in the Park at Crab Cove. This month’s performers, SambaDa, will have hips shaking to some hot salsa sounds from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Webster Street’s off-beat gift store, Feathered Outlaw, at 1506 Webster, pulls out all the stops for 2nd Fridays. From 7 to 10 p.m. the public is invited to a haunting evening of mystics and horror at the shop. Costumes are encouraged!

Dear Alameda families:
I sincerely hope that the opening of school and first week of classes went well for all our students and their parents or guardians. Facilitating positive educational experiences for students is a multifaceted and often underappreciated task. I have been struck already by the deep commitment I have seen from our educators during both summer meetings and visits to classes all this first week.