ALS striking veterans at an alarming rate

We all have read or seen stories about our wounded warriors. About veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury, depression and other serious mental health issues. About those who have lost limbs or endure other physical hardships. These are very serious issues that deserve our attention.

What also deserves our attention, but which gets much less press, is that military veterans are twice as likely to develop -- and die from -- ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Unfortunately, the disease that took the life of baseball legend Lou Gehrig is striking our military heroes at an alarming rate. It doesn't matter when or where they served in the military; home or abroad, peace or war, from World War I to Afghanistan. Those who served are at greater risk.

As some of us veteran families know, ALS is horrific. Worse than your worst nightmare. It robs people of the ability to move, trapping them inside a body they no longer can control. There is no treatment. No cure. Only death in an average of two to five years.

I hope people can find the time to remember those heroes who are fighting for their lives against ALS.

D. Parkos

Fremont

Angels who stayed deserve our praise

We have all heard about the horrors at Valley Springs Manor. I would like to applaud the paper for letting us know more about the angel janitor, Miguel Alvarez.

God bless this man for staying and trying his best to care for the 19 patients left behind. This man had only just started his job three weeks prior and was not even paid for those three weeks -- yet he stayed there along with his friend.

They did not abandon these patients like the professionals did. They did not have the experience, but they did have a heart. What they did was beyond amazing.

These three who chose to stay behind and care for these patients should be rewarded. Their human compassion, heart and sacrifices I am sure are most appreciated by the families, as well as the public. I want to thank each of them for what they did. They were all angels.

Sonja Loob

Fremont

Could Earth have entered an ice age?

Recently, I read a United Nations climate report that stated, "The heating of the Earth's surface appears to have slowed in the past 15 years, even though greenhouse gas emissions keep rising."

Researchers now know the Earth goes through epoch cycles of glacial and nonglacial periods -- but they don't know why or how long one will last.

We know it was warmer 1,000 years ago when the Vikings settled in Greenland and Canada. Then, in the 1300s, the Earth started to cool again until the industrial revolution.

Could it be that the Earth has entered into an ice age epoch but, because of our efforts on the atmosphere, we have nullified the devastating effects of it?

Ron Barreau

Hayward

PG&E penalty must be a fair one for all

The San Bruno pipeline accident was a tragedy and PG&E should pay a fair and just penalty. However, the record-breaking $4 billion fine proposed by the California Public Utilities Commission may harm the local community and workers.

A penalty of this size may prevent the financing of the very infrastructure projects needed to test and modernize PG&E's energy system to keep our communities safe. In addition, infrastructure projects of this size bring good jobs to local workers and boost our economy.

I hope the CPUC will take these factors into account before signing off on the penalty.

Michael Hernandez

Business Manager Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 342 Oakland

Explain how MLB is unlawful monopoly

Now Major League Baseball is under fire for attempting to block the A's move to San Jose. "The act of a monopoly," say attorneys.

In what way is Major League Baseball an unlawful monopoly? There has to be a league of teams to create the product. Any person or persons creating a commodity has the right to sell it throughout the United States.

MLB can't be accused of having the ability to commit the evil aimed at by the Sherman Antitrust Act: extorting unreasonable prices from the public for a product we all must have. Watching people playing games with balls is hardly a necessity of life.

The reason for the Sherman Act was to protect the general public. If an otherwise legal business does not injure the public, you'd think its owners, as a whole, should be able to decide where their outlets can be located.

If MLB is truly an unlawful monopoly under the Sherman Act, Congress and the courts have the duty to tell us how consumers are oppressed by its existence and then dissolve it.

I say: The A's should stay in Oakland.

Monte Hess

Moraga