The Alamedan

A few weeks ago the head of Digital First Media – the private equity-backed company that owns the Oakland Tribune, San Jose Mercury News and most of the other daily papers in the Bay Area – announced the company was shuttering Project Thunderdome, a 50-person outfit that provided business, technology, health and other news to dozens of the company’s papers across the country.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly two-sentence news review. Here’s what happened this week.

In a surprise award ceremony Friday at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, Benjamin Jenkins was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor in the United States, for his service. In addition to seeing combat during World War II, Jenkins battled segregation as one of the first black Marines in American history.

This is an exciting week for us here at The Alamedan: On Friday, we turn the corner on two years of providing you high-quality local news coverage and a voice in local affairs. I’d like to thank you for reading, and for your story ideas and support of our work.

Two and a half weeks ago I got an e-mail from my colleague Steven Tavares, who runs the East Bay Citizen political website. It contained a link to a 20-year-old Los Angeles Times story about the arrests of seven people accused of participating in an auto insurance fraud ring – one of them an Alameda city councilman.

“Have you ever seen this story about Stewart Chen?” he asked.

I hadn’t – not in 2012 when I was covering the election that saw Chen win a two-year term on the council, nor in 2010 when he ran for and won a seat on the Alameda Health Care District Board, which oversees Alameda Hospital.

And that means I need to work a little harder.

To provide more of the news, explanatory reports and accountability journalism you want, we are going to need your help.

Are you interested in the future of Alameda Point? If so, we’ve scheduled a meetup where you can share your ideas on the Point with other like-minded souls.

The Alamedan’s Alameda Point meetup will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, January 31 at Blue Danube, which is on the corner of Park Street and Alameda Avenue. There’s no charge to come and share your thought on the Point, and Blue Danube has coffee, wine, sandwiches and treats available to purchase and enjoy.

The crew here at The Alamedan is looking forward to providing more of the news that matters to you in 2014, and we could use a little help doing that. We’re looking for a few good folks to help us broaden our coverage of the Island.

Specifically, we’re looking for freelance writers interested in keeping our readers abreast of local business and tech and to help us build our coverage of the 2014 elections. We’re also on the lookout for newshounds who can help us extend or coverage of big issues with local implications and overlooked local stories.

If you value the news and information The Alamedan serves up fresh every weekday, we hope you’ll consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help us keep it flowing.

Today I’m proud to announce the initiation of our brand-new sponsorship program, which will give companies doing business here the opportunity to show Alameda that they support local news.

‘Tis the season for us to take a little break, so The Alamedan will be signing off for the rest of the year and returning on January 2. But before we go, we’d like to thank every reader, commenter and contributor who supported us this year – and to let you know what we’ve been able to accomplish with your help and what we’re planning for 2013.

If you value what we do, we hope you’ll consider supporting us by making a contribution today.