Stepping up to help special-needs adults

On Oct. 31, the Olive Garden generously provided a delicious pasta lunch for the Special Needs Adults at Fremont Adult and Continuing Education. I am writing this on behalf of our students to say thank you.

Sarah, team trainer, delivered spaghetti, salad, breadsticks, and tiramisu for approximately 50 students in attendance that day.

Christine, manager of the Fremont Olive Garden, made the arrangements for this treat. We cannot thank them enough for their generosity.

Our program has been providing excellent life-skills training for special-needs adults in our community for more than 30 years. In recent years, there have been drastic cuts to the program, including the cancellation of our summer program. We recently partnered with the Fremont Education Foundation to raise funds to restore our summer program.

We are very thankful for community merchants such as the Olive Garden who help support and raise awareness of our program.

Michele Sullivan

Instructor Adults with Special Needs Fremont Adult and Continuing Education Fremont

Kids have the right to not be pawns

The author of a Nov. 22 stated that Palestinians have rights, too. I want to add to his argument:

Palestinians in Gaza have the right to live in peace without a terrorist government that stores and fires rockets from their schools, neighborhoods, hospitals and mosques.

They have a right to shelters, and to not being used as human shields. They have a right to a government that imports food to help feed them, not rockets and explosives to kill Jewish children.

And they have a right to a government that recognizes Israel's right to exist in peace so the borders can be opened.

Larry Feinstein

San Carlos

Israel has right to defend itself

The Nov. 22 letter, "Palestinian people have rights as well," distorts the truth beyond limits of any reasonable discourse, including the following:

"They (Palestinians) have the right to resist Israel's oppression and colonial occupation."

In 2005, Israel withdrew from Gaza, thus giving the Palestinians a chance to run their own affairs. By overwhelming majority they elected to be governed by Hamas. The rest is history.

"For the past five years, Israel has imposed an illegal blockade on Gaza." The blockade has been in force after Hamas came to power. It is totally legal since Hamas, in its charter, openly proclaims the goal of eradicating Israel.

"In 2008-2009, Israel invaded Gaza." Israel undertook military actions to stop incessant bombardments of its southern cities from Gaza.

"You and I pay for every bullet, rocket, tank and F-16 that the Israeli army uses." American aid constitutes less than 20 percent of Israeli military budget. The lion's share of this aid is directed toward high-tech development, like Iron Dome, which eventually may serve interests of both countries.

Vladimir Kaplan

San Mateo

Nov. 6 is the day bell began tolling for us

I'm a 87-year-old veteran of the Marine Corps from World War II, a student of history and economics, and a political centrist who believes that capitalism is in the best interests of our country.

It is capitalism that for more than 100 years developed our county into the world leader in economic well-being of its citizens willing to work, succeed and prosper without government interference.

On Nov. 6, the majority of voters in our country supported a major change to our economic future, favoring European government entitlement spending, which after 65 years, has finally crushed their economic future.

I feel that with proper government support and cooperation, our country could return to manufacturing greatness through huge demand for goods and services in the world marketplace. The progressives now controlling the Democratic Party are headed in a different direction, one of absolute government control of finance, manufacturing and distribution.

I believer our future is dim and historians will point to Nov. 6 with the question: For whom the bells toll?

Emil Raffetto

Hayward

Nudes are typically not very interesting

Hurrah for Dorothy Miller for a good opinion and one I can contribute to.

Rather than the word treated to public nudity, how about "Treated to a fun horror show"?

In my view, often the public nudes have little to show except possibly goose pimples.

Doreen Ainscough

Walnut Creek