The Alamedan will be mounting a stronger fundraising push this year to support our work, which will include some events (like our upcoming Tomatina Dine & Donate fundraiser next Wednesday, January 21), an advertising program and more reminders from us about the importance of supporting local news.

The holidays are upon us, and with them comes the end of The Alamedan’s publishing year. This is also the time of year that we reach out to you, our readers, to ask you to consider supporting us with a contribution that will help us continue to provide you the local news you need.

For more than 14 years, Alameda Family Services has been providing shelter to homeless, runaway and “thrown away” teens in an eight-bed Victorian in Oakland. But the teens may soon find themselves with nowhere to go.

The owner of the home that houses the DreamCatcher emergency shelter has himself fallen on hard times and is preparing to sell it. So the nonprofit is scrambling to raise $100,000 over the next few weeks so that it can purchase the home and keep the shelter – the only one of its kind in Alameda County – up and running.

“He’s very much trying to work with DreamCatcher,” spokesman Sean Sullivan said of the home’s owner.

UPDATE: We've passed our $1,000 fundraising goal! Thanks to Aidan Barry, Karen Butter, Vicki Sedlack and Chuck Kapelke for pushing us over the line!

Today, we’re kicking off our Election 2014 fundraising drive. Our goal is to raise $1,000 to make sure you know who’s running, how they’d vote on the issues they’ll confront if elected, what their track record has been on major local issues and who’s paying for their campaigns.

Members of the Recreation and Park Commission decided the Clark Memorial Bench should be saved, and a community group called Save the Bench has launched a fundraising effort to pay for its restoration.

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.

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

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.

I'm taking a few days off from writing so I can log some quality time on one of the most important tasks facing any nonprofit organization: fundraising. Specifically, I'll be working on a new sponsorship program that will allow companies and local businesses to show their support for Alameda and for the local news we need to be informed and engaged local citizens. Stay tuned for more information on that next month.

Before I sign off, though, I want to offer my thanks to all of our recent donors: Anne Bevan, Ann L. McCormick, Scott and Sheryl Sheppard, Marilyn J. Pomeroy, our own Morton Chalfy, William Pai, Jessica Lindsey, Irene Dieter, Chuck Kapelke, Earleen Hamlin, Terry Flippo and Richard Hausman. Your contributions help us keep tabs on City Hall, the schools, Alameda Point and more - heck, we couldn't do this without you.

If you'd like to join this list of outstanding folks - well, that's easy to do. You can make your contribution online or write a check made out to our project sponsor Community Initiatives (with Alameda Community News Project in the register), 354 Pine Street Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104.

Thanks as always for keeping local news alive, and I'm always happy to take your questions, tips and suggestions at We'll be back Monday with more news.