Since tonight is Halloween, little Pleasantonians will be ringing your doorbell, scaring your dog, asking for candy, and looking cute as ever in their costumes. Just to be sure, I've conducted a statistically imperfect survey of Pleasanton parents. Here are the results:

Seven-year-old Sabina Datwani will be a black cat, accompanied by her 4-year-old sibling twins Neal and Saira. Neal will be a white shark and Saira will be Princess Aurora, the title character of "Sleeping Beauty." In fact, despite her tender age, little Saira has unequivocally stated that Princess Aurora is "the best princess." Nice to have this finally settled.

Another set of 4-year-old twins, Mirabelle and Nathaniel Ouellette will be, respectively, "a black kitty with rainbow spots" and "a robot." Both costumes will be homemade by mom, requiring tin foil, dryer duct and bottle caps.

At the Gillette household, Colin (7) is going to be Laval from Lego Legends of Chima, and Decker (5) is going to be a gladiator. Seems Decker does not have a clue what a gladiator is. The important thing, says mom, is that the costume comes with a sword. It's all about the sword.

Six-year-old Katherine Moorefield will be the green witch Elphaba from the musical "Wicked," with 23-month-old Ellarie tagging along as a bat.

From the Montoya family, Addison (4) will be a puppy, Maylen (6) a purple fairy and Sam (8) will be, of course, a skeleton.


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Over at the Rittmullers, the whole family is dressing up in an art theme: Kira (7) will be Frida Kahlo, Susanna (5) will be the "Girl with the Pearl Earring" painting by Vermeer (her head will pop out of the painting), dad will be Van Gogh and mom will be the Mona Lisa.

Walnut Grove students and friends Maggie McClellan and McKenna Gumerson, both 9, will appear this evening as rock star twins, with Kate McClellan (6) portraying a "sparkly pop star."

Get that candy ready and be prepared for cuteness!

veterans day: I hope you'll join me Nov. 7 at Las Positas College. At 10:30 a.m. in the Mertes Center for the Arts for a Veterans Day celebration, retired Marine Mike Dowling will speak about being on the front lines in Iraq working with his dog, Rex.

Dowling has written a book titled "Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog." Dowling's talk will be followed with a dog-handling demonstration by Livermore Police Officer Al Grajeda and his canine partner Fin.

If you can arrive at 9:30, come see a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter fly onto the campus, followed by the national anthem at 10 a.m. A barbecue at noon is free to veterans and $5 for others. Cake-cutting will occur at 1 p.m., the Huey will depart at 2 p.m. and taps will be played at 5 p.m. to honor veterans everywhere.

Las Positas College's student population includes some 300 veterans. The campus is located at 3000 Campus Hill Drive, Livermore. The event and parking is free.

Contact Jim Ott at jimott@sbcglobal.net.