Feature Articles

Alameda’s garden soil may be tops for cultivating and planting in, but it does have a significant drawback: it harbors oak root fungus Armillaria mellea. Do not confuse this with “sudden oak death” Phytopthora ramorum. 

Armillaria is a serious forest pathogen common throughout California, having evolved to live where native oaks have grown. It is a long-lived, parasitic fungus that survives off dead root material, eventually killing a susceptible host. It does not affect oaks unless they are already stressed by disease or overly-watered lawns underneath the canopy.

Alameda’s Frank Bette Center for the Arts has announced its call for applications for photographers to participate in the 2020 ​Alameda On Camera exhibit. The 13th annual juried, photo-based, multimedia competition presents a 48-hour challenge for photographers to capture sites in the Island City from Friday, Feb. 21, to Sunday, Feb. 23, next year. The deadline to apply is Sunday, Feb. 2.​

Because of geography, Alameda falls within the scope of the Golden Gate Audubon Society’s Oakland Christmas Bird Count. The count takes place within a 15-mile-diameter circle centered in downtown Oakland. Alameda birders and others who join the Christmas Bird Count (CBC), are part of the Oakland Count. The Oakland Count started in 1938, took a few years off during World War II, and is now in its 79th year.

Last September, for the second year, the City of Alameda invited residents to turn in old mattresses and box springs at its hazardous-waste drop-off day at Alameda Point. The city’s Public Works Department oversaw the event, while the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) managed and paid for the mattress recycling. MRC is a nonprofit created to develop and implement statewide mattress recycling programs in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Low-income families may still enroll

The Alameda Firefighters Toy Program (AFTP) is currently underway and donation boxes have been set up all over town. Low income families residing in the City of Alameda can still sign up to receive age-appropriate holiday toys for their children up to age 12 and a $30 Target gift card for youth ages 13 to 17. Enroll at the Alameda Food Bank through this Saturday, Dec. 14, with proof of Alameda residency.