<b>Cursive writing</b>

EDITOR: In 2010, I was teaching third grade and was a member of the California Academic Standards Commission. The commission reviewed the Common Core Standards and recommended to the state Board of Education that California adopt those standards, with additional standards that reflected California priorities. We added the requirement for teaching cursive writing.

Students who can write cursive delight in being able to read it. Many times a student has come up to me holding the facsimile of a letter from Thomas Jefferson or Lewis to Clark, amazed that they can read the actual words written by that famous person.

I teach fifth grade at Olivet Charter School in Santa Rosa. We recently studied "opportunity cost" as part of a social studies lesson on resources. Opportunity cost is the cost of choosing — if you decide to use or own one thing, then you give up something else. Of course, choosing to teach cursive means that I am giving up instructional time that could be devoted to something else. My students will soon be weighing in with their own opinion pieces about whether students should be required to learn cursive. They will research and read, including the article in Sunday's Press Democrat ("Cursive writing survives, for now"). Then they will write their opinions, in cursive.



<b>Israel's self-defense</b>

EDITOR: Susan Lamont ("Strongest must lead the way to peace," Close to Home, Monday) made no mention of the fact that since the 2006 Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, the Gazans have shot many hundreds of rockets at Israel's cities in unprovoked attacks clearly targeting civilians. What other country would Lamont expect to tolerate this?

No mention of the fact that Hamas and other Palestinians have repeatedly called for and worked toward the annihilation of Israel. Yet Lamont accuses Israel of genocide.

No mention of the fact that Western countries have given billions of dollars to the Palestinians. Instead of spending it on schools and industries that would improve their lives, they spend it on explosives. They have consistently chosen terrorism over peaceful coexistence.

No mention of the fact that it is the Palestinians who have relentlessly attacked Israel since well before the formation of the state of Israel, systematically choosing civilian targets such as school buses, markets, bus stops and family celebrations. Imagine living under those conditions.

Is Lamont deluded or hostile when she says, "Only when the strongest lay down their arms can the world begin to find its way to peace"?

The sad truth is this: If the Arabs lay down their arms, there would be peace. If Israel lays down its arms, there would be no more Israel.


Santa Rosa

<b>Single-party rule</b>

EDITOR: Since I became an adult I've realized that one-party rule is dictatorship. Witness Germany under Hitler, Italy under Mussolini, Russia under Stalin, Cuba under Castro and many other socialist and communist nations. Today California and several other states are controlled by one party, the Democrats. If we continue on the path we're on, in five years our nation will be ruled by a dictator who began as a so-called Democrat.


Santa Rosa

<b>Medical recycling</b>

EDITOR: People are often at a loss about what to do with medical supplies and equipment that's no longer needed. Instead of dumping walkers, commodes, shower benches, canes, crutches, adult diapers, wheelchairs and other such items, know that there are plenty of people in need who could use these items. The Sonoma Section on Aging, a membership organization of people serving seniors, has just opened a recycling closet of used medical equipment that is open to the public. Located at Careful Moving and Storage, 812 Donahue St. in Santa Rosa, equipment can be dropped off or picked up, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

If you have leftover supplies or equipment, don't throw it out. Drop it off. We'll find a home for it. And, if you're in need, check the shed at Careful Moving and Storage first. The shed is full of items ready to serve those in need.