Feature Articles


A new event in the Island City called “Sensory Santa” designed just for kids with sensory-processing disorders or other special needs has been set for Saturday, Dec. 1, at the office of Chiropractor Dr. Heidi Wroebel. The idea behind the event is to provide private visits and photos with Santa in a low-stimuli environment with no crowds and no loud sounds or music. The location is wheelchair accessible and no spotlights will be used. Varied seating options and sensitive elves to help with accessibility will be available.


The well-known holiday art exhibition Mini Masterpieces brings together local artists selling smaller, affordable pieces in the Rhythmix Cultural Works K Gallery. The gallery walls are densely packed with artwork in a wide range of styles and materials at reasonable prices. A reception with the artists has been set for Friday, Dec. 14, from 6 to 9 p.m. Mini Masterpieces will remain on display until January. 

The City of Alameda announced it will celebrate the grand opening of its newest park, Jean Sweeney Open Space Park, on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 10 a.m. The event takes place at the east entrance of the park at Atlantic Avenue and Sherman Street. The event will include music, food and fun for the kids.

Born on a Nevada reservation
Jean saw the beauty beneath the blight
Scaled rusted fence         
Trespassed concrete blocks  
Wandered amid rails, ties 
and the unloved urban void
Jean touched the trees
Jean heard the birds
Jean knew the quiet 
open space
Jean saw a Potential Park
Neighbors suffered acres of tangled brush and trash
Developers desired retail, residences and riches
Railroad right of way

Alameda’s dual poet laureates, Gene Kahane, top with a local barista, and Cathy Dana, bottom, have launched a new literary program to encourage poets. The “Poem of the Week” project now has displays in three coffee shops and all three branches of the Alameda Free Library thanks to the laureates. In addition to the libraries, local poets are having their works displayed in Coffee and Tea Traders on Bay Farm Island, Julie’s on Park Street and Spritzer’s on the West End. Poems are swapped out weekly at each location.