Oakland: Post Office collects annual letters to Santa

From the happy to heartbreaking, kids share hopes and dreams with St. Nick. 
The Public Works Department office and maintenance facility includes a two-story building totaling 14,316 square feet, and a 3,000-square-foot open canopy  
Meanwhile, the University of California joined the fight against the planned Albany racetrack it was reported Dec. 15, 1939. Secretary of the Regents R.M. Underhill wrote to the State Horse Racing Board saying the regents had instructed him to write in opposition.  
The annual "Shop with a Cop" program in Richmond will again give 40 children age 7 to 13 from low-income families in Richmond a holiday shopping outing at Hilltop Mall, giving each young person $100 to spend as they choose while accompanied by a law enforcement mentor.  
Albany Albany Senior Center -- 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. 846 Masonic Ave. Mercy Brown Bag Dec. 19. At 1:30 p.m. Dec. 23, the movie will be "Elf"; $1. The center will be closed Dec.  
The 30-minute show performed near the Bulb was broadcast as a live stream by a new South San Francisco company called PressureDrop.TV, which is looking to give small- to medium-sized bands a way to get more professionally produced videos online.  
Giovanni's, which harks back to the corner mom-and-pop neighborhood store of yesteryear, holds its own, attracting loyal customers who prefer an old-fashioned, personal touch.  
The contract will preserve existing services, but will reduce reserves from about $1.4 million to around $800,000 by 2019-20 out of an annual budget of about $3 million. Critics say it will reduce reserves even more  
A group trying to raise $100,000 to help purchase a 7.5-acre tract of land for open space has nearly reached its goal after receiving a pledge of $25,000 from a donor on the East Coast.  
The collection, under the care of retired Berkeley police Sgt. Michael Holland, includes handcuffs, guns, lie detectors and other law enforcement paraphernalia, a trove of documents and photos, and many memories of August Vollmer, Berkeley's first police chief who instituted many reforms that appear visionary a century later.