The effect is quite subtle. I didn’t notice until I read your post and checked again. The striping seems not to be every other row, but 2 rows white, 1 row gray. Also below the ‘last visit’ orange line there is only a single white background row.
Together with the title text, which is black when it has new messages and grey if I had visited the topic and there are no new entries, this makes it look a bit messy.
I will think of a good solution, and maybe PM some of our UX / graphic designer members to ask their opinion.
Wrt Meetups, maybe we can have an entry in the top bar besides New, Unread, Top, Categories, Meetups, and fitler them out from the main list entirely (if that is possible). Could give ‘Meetups’ a separate color or flat-pixel button-like appearance in that case to make it stand out.
BTW I don’t know how many of our chapters use Meetup, but I was planning of asking our fine member Yvette (@lolarobot), who is CTO of Meetup, if their product allows having a ‘group of groups’ for all chapters related to the CHT. If that sounds interesting, we can explore the options in separate topic.