This page gives me the opportunity to share with Alameda “The State of the Sun” each year and it’s truly one of the more enjoyable things I write all year. Luckily, it tends to be a good news page. I am in the unique position to spin things that way.
But I don’t lie on these pages, and one thing I can say for certain is that we’ve had a very good year. Looking at this same page from last year, readers might find reference to some whim of mine: starting a tree planting program. That whim turned into more than talk when earlier this year the Alameda Sun made a donation to the Alameda Backyard Growers to seed Project Tree, a program which is about to experience its first planting this fall. The Alameda Boys & Girls Club will be one of the first recipients of Alameda Sun-financed trees. I’m proud to have helped establish this effort, it has been a long-held dream of mine. But, that’s just one good thing from this year.
Our steadfast team of professionals at the ready to serve the Alameda public has grown in both number and productivity. For 15 years now I’ve relied on Laurel Yeates — the longest-standing employee of the Alameda Sun other than myself — to produce a calendar of events for our paper. In case you’re counting, that’s 780 calendars of, I would guess, about 100 events each week. That’s a lot of community service.
My tireless partner, Marathon Man Dennis Evanosky won’t quit doing what he loves: running, giving tours, and speaking and writing about history. He’s among the East Bay’s most notable authorities on local history, and I’m proud to work with him every day.
Quietly in the corner, keeping an eye on the cops, the Jets, Pilots, Hornets and anything else the Island City is buzzing about is Ekene Ikeme. Originally an intern, Ekene has become a critical employee of the Sun, adding more and more responsibilities without a single complaint. His youth and energy help keep our online presense current and tweeting and our sports page full of details from the fields and courts.
New to the team this year are four people who have made my life into something liveable. These people essentially took over Carrie Beavers’ job. Our longtime employee Carrie left us since we printed this section last year. She stopped working at the Sun, and then she passed away, the only Alameda Sun employee we have lost. It took four people to replace her.
First among them is Pauline Evanosky (Dennis’s beloved wife of 40 years). The amount of stress this wonderful lady has lifted from my shoulders is immeasurable. Her skill and experience range far beyond what our small company needs from her — she kept the books at a much larger firm for many, many years. She regularly provides the patience and detail needed to keep accurate financial records. The best part is I don’t have to do it.
Then we brought on the impeccably organized and creatively intelligent Jillian Strahler. In German, her last name means “beam of light” and that’s exactly what she’s brought to our office. She has rendered the once nebulous and confusing world of legal advertising into an easy-to-track system and has begun redesigning alamedasun.com. That’s what I think is really great about Jillian. I actually had to ask her to stop taking on more responsibility.
People who know me know I was starting to lose my mind and my patience being overwhelmed with work after Carrie left. Colin Close was the first person in Alameda who stood up and expressed interest in helping out. Once we brought Colin on board, my days opened up, my life suddenly had some windows of fresh air and I could occasionally kick back knowing Colin is a ninja with graphics and totally has my back. My favorite part about working with Colin is laughing out loud at least once a day while we work together. If you’ve noticed a certain sense of humor to the Sun lately (did you see last week’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Dog?) that’s all Colin.
Our latest addition to the team is Cindy Pelletier. Cindy and I must be paisans from the old country or something. We hit it off quickly, probably because we both get a huge rush every time she makes a sale. Cindy has exactly the energy the Sun needs to continue to grow — and so it has. In just the few months since Cindy has arrived we have been blessed with steadily increasing revenue — some of which we give back to the community.
In 2016 the Sun has already given more than $11,300 to local non profits, mostly in the form of free advertising. That’s up from $8,300 at this time in 2015.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the patient work of John Leite and Daisy Pineda and their team of delivery agents who are the front line of our effort. Without them we couldn’t do what we do, and their job is the hardest. If you see an Alameda Sun delivery person out there, give them a heartfelt thank you.
Other key team members include Kevin, Melissa and Veni from Southwest Offset Printing who have been doing a near-perfect print job for as long as I can remember.
Thanks to everyone who helps make the Alameda Sun great, and most of all, Thank you, Alameda!