News in Brief

AC Transit fees changing
AC Transit will be changing up their fare options starting on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Riders will be able to choose the option of a Day Pass, which provides the rider with unlimited travel on any regular line for $5. 
Other new savings will be that riders will be able to receive discounts for single-trip fares paid with Clipper cards and there will be price reductions for 31-Day local adult passes. The downside to the new AC Transit fare changes is that transfers will be eliminated to improve efficiency and convenience of the fare system. 
The AC Transit system anticipates that these changes will help in building ridership, improving speed in boarding and will increase the use of Clipper cards. 
For any questions and concerns about the new fare changes, check on your local bus (signs should be posted) or visit

First Presbyterian welcomes new pastor
The First Presbyterian Church of Alameda recently welcomed Rev. Christopher Peterson as its new pastor after an 18-month long nation-wide search. Peterson and his family have moved to Alameda from Georgia where he had been serving the First Presbyterian Church of Thomaston, outside Atlanta. 
Pastor Peterson will lead worship this Sunday, June 8, at 10:30 a.m., as the congregation celebrates Pentecost. The morning includes a special time of fellowship with the Alameda Korean Presbyterian Church.

ASTI student wins scholarship
Meriam Salem, a senior at the Alameda Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), has been named as the 27th annual winner of the $5,000 Ken and Shirley Van Sickle Scholarship. Meriam is a top student at ASTI and student body president. She takes part in community activities such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center and the Islamic Center of Alameda. Meriam plans to attend American University in Washington D.C. this fall and study international relations.
The scholarship honors Ken and Shirley Van Sickle, two distinguished educators who together devoted more than 50 years to the education of students in Alameda. Applicants to the scholarship are judged on a combination of academic achievement, leadership and financial need. In addition to Meriam, three other students were selected as scholarship finalists —Amy Fann of Alameda High and Emma Finn and Dylan Tonningsen of Encinal High. 
Keith Van Sickle, president of the scholarship foundation said, “We are very pleased to be able to support Meriam as she pursues her dream of a college education. We congratulate all the scholarship finalists, who were truly outstanding and demonstrated both academic talent and leadership in their schools and community.”