Feature Articles

For recovering narcissists like me, Valentine’s Day can be a rather melancholy occasion of introspection, rather than a celebration of shared love and affection.

My question is: if I’m as talented, witty, creative, interesting and fabulous as I think I am- then why am I no one’s Valentine? Is my innate wonderfulness simply too intimidating for others to comfortably process? Am I just too gnarly to handle? The answer eludes my superior intellect.

On Wednesday, Jan. 22, Ben Cable married his partner of 23 years, Marcial McCarthy Bolina. The couple exchanged vows in a small private ceremony at City Hall. Katherine J. Sirota officiated.

Cable and Bolina were the first couple to challenge California’s ban on same-sex marriage. When the Los Angeles County Clerk denied them a marriage license in February 1993, they filed suit with the Second District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles.

Human trafficking — the organized criminal exploitation of human beings for profit by forcing them into prostitution or involuntary labor — is no stranger to Alameda County.

Human trafficking is perhaps the world’s fastest-growing criminal activity. It affects victims in 127 countries, including the United States. California is a major entry point for traffickers and their victims. About 80 percent of these victims are forced into commercial sex slavery; 17 percent are exploited for forced labor, often in homes and sweatshops.

The Public Works Department is teaming up with the Park Street Business Association and West Alameda Business Association to conduct a parking meter study. The first step is surveying local users of the city’s meters.

The survey’s aim is "to better support our shopping districts; protect our environment from unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions; and afford shoppers clearer, easier, and more convenient access to parking," the city said in a press release.

Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) is now accepting nominations for its Teacher of the Year program.

The district designed the program to honor and recognize excellent teachers.

Past award winners have included Lincoln Middle School’s Chris Hansen, who started an innovative anti-bullying program; Alameda Science and Technology Institute’s Tracy Corbally, who introduced her students to innovative thinking and reading skills; and Island High School’s John Nolan whose uses research-based instructional methods to help at-risk students.