On Dec. 5, 1867, California Governor Henry Huntly Haight used his inaugural speech to rail against the citizenship and voting rights of formerly enslaved Africans and Asians and immigration from Asia.
Some 150 years later, on Dec. 5, 2017, I contacted the Haight Elementary School PTA and encouraged them to initiate the process to rename Haight. Students and parents petitioned to rename the school. The Haight Renaming Committee solicited name suggestions, hosted a community forum and held two student-centered elections.
The City of Alameda kicked off the holiday season with a festive celebration at City Hall last Saturday. City officials, the poets laureate and several musical performers entertained a festive crowd. Children enjoyed free candy canes and visits with Kris Kringle himself. Following the event, merchants in downtown Alameda invited revelers to warm up on the Hot Cocoa Crawl. Throughout the season, Santa Claus will be dropping by locations on Park Street, Webster Street and South Shore Shopping Center. That jolly, old elf in the red suit sure does get around.
Members of the congregation, city officials and members of the public joined Chabad of Alameda for the lighting of a 9-foot Hanukkah menorah on the waterfront in the Bridgeside Center last Sunday, Dec. 2, the first night of the eight-day holiday. The ceremony, organized by Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Meir Shmotkin, featured a fire juggling show, arts and crafts, food and Mayor Trish Spencer lighting the attending candle.
Ten members of the Alameda Fire Department spent weeks on the fire lines in both Northern and Southern California. Their colleagues recently welcomed them home.
On Thursday, Nov. 8, two Alameda fire engine companies — Engine 501 and Office of Emergency Services (OES) Engine 296 — responded to the Camp Fire in Butte County as part of Strike Team OES 2870C. The following day, Alameda firefighters headed to Southern California aboard AFD’s Water Tender 2 as part of XAL Task Force 2014 to assist in fighting the Woolsey Fire that burned in both Ventura and Los Angeles counties.