At the end of each year, the Downtown Alameda Business Association (DABA) presents awards to member businesses in recognition of their contributions to the success of the downtown district. The owners and staff of the selected businesses are excellent examples of the quality of service you can expect to find throughout the district. Additionally, the award recipients are highly active in DABA activities, continuously participate in downtown events and make a special effort to cultivate improvements in the business community. 

Sunday is dog-walking day for me. I get out of bed around 6:30 a.m., dress quickly, retrieve the New York Times from my doorstep and drive to a parking spot just over the Park Street bridge to read for a while until my friend Larry and his three-legged dog Maggie emerge from their home and beckon me to walk. We walk along the waterway at a measured pace as befits a three-legged dog and talk about the state of the world, our families and ourselves.

Dear Dr. K:
The doctors have been asking me how I injured my back. Now I know. 
When I was about one year old, my aunts Mabel and Hazel came to visit. They said I was cute and asked if I could walk yet. Each held a hand to help me walk. My back was hurting. They said,

“Big boy, look how strong he is,” as I wobbled. I loved the praise, so I gritted my gums and kept going. Once they had left, I went back to my hands and knees to relieve the pain. 


Happy New Year and the best to you in 2018. We at the West Alameda Business Association (WABA) are jumping right into celebrating another New Year Tradition: Lunar New Year. 

In 2018 Lunar New Year will fall on Friday, Feb. 16. According to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle, this year will be the Year of the Dog. Also known as the “Spring Festival” throughout Asia, the Lunar New Year is the most important traditional festival lasting at least several weeks. The New Year falls on a different date each year because it is based on the lunar calendar.  

Many mom-and-pop businesses in Alameda have had to weather the storm of larger, regional or national chains coming to town and threatening their livelihoods. 

My father owned one of those small businesses — a thriving retail music store in Berkeley with little competition until Tower Records moved in around the block. Younger readers may not remember Tower Records but it was the equivalent of a Barnes & Noble moving in near a favorite indpendent book store.