Columns

Burb's Eye View: Bicyclists join forces for 'Walk Bike Burbank'

Burb's Eye View: Bicyclists join forces for 'Walk Bike Burbank'

Last weekend, a group of bicyclists gathered around a coffee-shop table and solidified a new era for Burbank’s bike and pedestrian paths.

A Word, Please: Some words have a certain kind of class

A Word, Please: Some words have a certain kind of class

Recently, I mentioned in a column that adverbs aren’t just those “ly” words that modify verbs. They’re a much larger group, including words that answer the questions “when,” “where” and “in what manner?” So in “I’ll see you...

The Whiteboard Jungle: Using 'time off' to an advantage

The Whiteboard Jungle: Using 'time off' to an advantage

“Teachers have so much time off” is an often repeated sentiment among noneducators.

Burb's Eye View: Rolling the dice on a new Burbank pastime

Burb's Eye View: Rolling the dice on a new Burbank pastime

A board-game designer and a beer brewer walk into a bar. These might seem like two unrelated professions, but there's an entrepreneurial spirit that bubbles in both.

Start the Presses: With love from Santa Clarita

Start the Presses: With love from Santa Clarita

Few talk about it and fewer know what it means: Glendale employees generally do not live in the city they serve, a figure that drops to minuscule levels when you focus on police...

A Word, Please: Web mistakes are an everyday occurrence

A Word, Please: Web mistakes are an everyday occurrence

It’s not every day that I pick on others’ language errors. Regular readers of this column know that, on the contrary, I think criticizing another person’s grammar or usage is misguided. Worse, nine times out of 10 the would-be grammar cop has his or her facts wrong, perpetuating...

Learning Matters: Making the most of the summer break

Learning Matters: Making the most of the summer break

Local school summers are shorter than they used to be. With graduations just more than a month past, the 2014-15 school year is just one month away. The current instructional calendar lines up better with Advanced Placement testing and many summer college programs, but California’s school year...

Burb's Eye View: The city, the ball and the wardrobe

Burb's Eye View: The city, the ball and the wardrobe

The man’s name was Jimmy Old-son and he was a journalist from the later 1800s looking for adventure.

Start the Presses: Crafted morality at Hobby Lobby

Start the Presses: Crafted morality at Hobby Lobby

The old Orchard Supply Hardware in Burbank sits half a mile from my former home on Reese Place. Despite its convenient location, it never failed to have more than half of what I needed for any project, forcing me to trudge another couple miles to the Home Depot down the road.

Read On: Sharing my advice on life

Read On: Sharing my advice on life

So it's the day after the Fourth of July — the Fifth, according to my unofficial calculations — and so you might say I've got numbers on my mind. I'm also in a kind of reflective mood because, you know, it's America's birthday weekend and all.

A Word, Please: Narrowing down what really matters

A Word, Please: Narrowing down what really matters

One of the most interesting questions I’ve gotten recently was from a colleague who had come across the phrase “one of the living writers who really matter.”

The Whiteboard Jungle: A chat with 'Leave it to Beaver' star

The Whiteboard Jungle: A chat with 'Leave it to Beaver' star

Bringing up decent children in a sometimes indecent world is challenging for both parents and teachers.

Burb's Eye View: The sometimes strange business of memorials

Burb's Eye View: The sometimes strange business of memorials

A few weeks ago I “met” a patron of the Colony Theatre whose ashes are contained within a sarcophagus in the lobby.

Start the Presses: Utility players on the council

Start the Presses: Utility players on the council

The Burbank City Council has no clothes.

A Word, Please: A certain prefix is driving her coconuts

A Word, Please: A certain prefix is driving her coconuts

Sometimes I think the people behind punctuation rules are co-conspirators in a plot to drive us insane. Then I realize they could be coconspirators. That’s when I know their plot has succeeded.

Learning Matters: Return to PTA emphasizes big changes

Learning Matters: Return to PTA emphasizes big changes

Nearly 27 years have passed since our daughter started kindergarten at John Muir Elementary and I first served on the board of a PTA. The last time I held a PTA office was when our youngest was still in middle school, 10 years ago — until now.

Read On: A less expensive branding campaign

Read On: A less expensive branding campaign

Let’s go back for a moment to November 2011. The city of Glendale had just announced a new marketing/branding campaign designed to spruce up the city’s bland ’n boring image for good. It had committed $1 million to this task and entrusted it to North Star Destination Strategies...

A Word, Please: Your conversations may be in a subjunctive mood

A Word, Please: Your conversations may be in a subjunctive mood

One of my favorite things about the subjunctive is that people who know nothing about it — who've never even heard the term — use it with great skill all the time.

The Whiteboard Jungle: Mayor should hold himself to higher standard

The Whiteboard Jungle: Mayor should hold himself to higher standard

When Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared “this is a big f—in’ day” while holding up a bottle of beer on live television at Monday’s rally celebrating the Los Angeles Kings winning the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup, I thought I was watching a promo...

Burb's Eye View: Don't shortchange the value of coin collecting

Burb's Eye View: Don't shortchange the value of coin collecting

John Kozlowsky sat across from the appraiser with a bag of dimes in his left hand, a list of handwritten questions in his right.

Start the Presses: An interesting week in gender issues

Start the Presses: An interesting week in gender issues

This has been a fascinating week, gender wise. First, Glendale resumed its women's self-defense class — delayed while officials tried to figure out...

A Word, Please: It's easy to waste time on false grammar rules

A Word, Please: It's easy to waste time on false grammar rules

I graduated from college not knowing what money is, how a computer works or the meaning of the word "adverb."

Learning Matters: Kudos to workers trying to close the gap

Learning Matters: Kudos to workers trying to close the gap

It seems wherever I go in the realms of education and career, I'm being urged to "mind the gap."

Burb's Eye View: Scout paints B project as Eagle worthy

Burb's Eye View: Scout paints B project as Eagle worthy

The giant B overlooking downtown Burbank from the Verdugo foothills is older than most of the people who see it every day.

 Read On: A nation held hostage by gun nuts

Read On: A nation held hostage by gun nuts

There are only three sure things in life: Death, taxes, and that if you say anything negative about guns in any context anywhere, there will be hell to pay from those who are particularly passionate in their support.

A Word, Please: There are people who have a problem with that

A Word, Please: There are people who have a problem with that

People. People who need people. They’re the luckiest people in the world, according to some people. But according to other people, it’s not the people who need people, but the people “that” need people who win.

 The Whiteboard Jungle: Writers may be happy to hear from you

The Whiteboard Jungle: Writers may be happy to hear from you

This fall, when my students study "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," it won't be the same due to the passing of Maya Angelou last week.

Burb's Eye View: Colony Theatre makes way for new memories

Burb's Eye View: Colony Theatre makes way for new memories

It's five minutes to showtime and the house lights are still up at the Colony Theatre. They'd have to be, if they ever expect to sell anything.

Start the Presses: Elliot Rodger, Burbank guns and the Glendale Gun Show

Start the Presses: Elliot Rodger, Burbank guns and the Glendale Gun Show

About a year ago, the Glendale City Council moved to ban gun shows on public property, shelving the decades-old confab at the Civic Auditorium.

A Word, Please: Avoiding 'whom' might be best way to go

A Word, Please: Avoiding 'whom' might be best way to go

I fielded a question recently about one of my favorite subjects: “whomever.”

Learning Matters: GCC choir provides a fun outlet

Learning Matters: GCC choir provides a fun outlet

I have written and spoken many times — including in this column last September — about the academic and social benefits of music education for children. Learning to read music is learning a new symbolic language. Learning rhythms is an exercise in mathematic fundamentals. And music is...

Read On: Phone becomes international traveler

Read On: Phone becomes international traveler

We were somewhere in Burbank last month when my phone disappeared. One minute it was on the store counter. The next, it was gone. You know how it is. Poof.

A Word, Please: The multipurpose apostrophe rarely forms plurals

A Word, Please: The multipurpose apostrophe rarely forms plurals

I fielded a question recently about "minding your p's and q's." I had used that expression in a column a few weeks ago, and it prompted an email from a reader named Christine who was curious about those apostrophes.

The Whiteboard Jungle: Where are the voices against pot legalization?

The Whiteboard Jungle: Where are the voices against pot legalization?

The latest Pew Research Center poll shows that 54% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana.

Burb's Eye View: Reflection and inspiration on Memorial Day

Burb's Eye View: Reflection and inspiration on Memorial Day

If you’ve never been to a Memorial Day observance in Burbank, it is a poignant and solemn ceremony that provides many reasons for you to attend and honor those who have fought for their country.

Start the Presses: Let us know about your local happenings

Start the Presses: Let us know about your local happenings

As I have mentioned in this space before, a community paper should — first, foremost and always — be about the people who live here, those humans that make it such a unique and special place.

A Word, Please: Capitalization doesn't always follow the rules

A Word, Please: Capitalization doesn't always follow the rules

If I were to write that the Beatles were a great band, would you that give you pause? That is, would you notice anything funny about how I've written the band's name?

Burb's Eye View: Picnic-goers witness Nerf carnage at the park

Burb's Eye View: Picnic-goers witness Nerf carnage at the park

The Ryan family enjoyed a Mother’s Day lunch under a tree at the old L.A. Zoo. Even Grandma flew in from Florida to enjoy the lovely afternoon in a quiet corner of Griffith Park.

A Word, Please: The right and wrong of adverbs and hyphens

A Word, Please: The right and wrong of adverbs and hyphens

Good questions have been piling up in my inbox lately. Ed in Albany, N.Y., had a question about a recent column in which I mentioned people “who just won’t stop using the word ‘over’ wrong.”

The Whiteboard Jungle: Recognize teachers every day of the year

The Whiteboard Jungle: Recognize teachers every day of the year

May is “thank your local teacher” month: Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5 through 9), National Teacher Day (May 6) and California’s Day of the Teacher (May 14).

Start the Presses: Putting the boards' ideas to work

Start the Presses: Putting the boards' ideas to work

In the wake of the discussions by the Community Advisory Boards for the Burbank Leader and Glendale News-Press, I want to announce a number of adjustments and tweaks to our offerings and features.

A Word, Please: To compare one preposition with another

A Word, Please: To compare one preposition with another

Twice in the past week, people have asked me about “compare to” and “compare with.” What’s the difference, they wondered. How do you know which one to use?

Burb's Eye View: Lessons in prevention at the YMCA

Burb's Eye View: Lessons in prevention at the YMCA

The girl opened her mouth wide, eyes wider and plunged backward into the unknown.

Read On: The cost of staying in a yurt

Read On: The cost of staying in a yurt

Sometimes, it just doesn’t pay to leave Burbank or Glendale. Once you’re outside those city limits, all bets are off. People behave in odd and confounding ways. It’s a jungle out there, baby! Always remember that.

A Word, Please: The upsides and drawbacks of spell-checker

A Word, Please: The upsides and drawbacks of spell-checker

I got an email recently from a reader whose spell-checker flagged the word “uninvolved” as an error.

The Whiteboard Jungle: The balancing act of choosing days off

The Whiteboard Jungle: The balancing act of choosing days off

For the first time in Glendale Unified School District’s history, April 24 is no longer a school day.

Burb's Eye View: Phone-booth project calls out domestic abuse

Burb's Eye View: Phone-booth project calls out domestic abuse

The four phone booths inside the Burbank Town Center Mall may have looked at home there 20 or 30 years ago. Not Monday.

A Word, Please: P, Q mindfulness may effect fewer errors

A Word, Please: P, Q mindfulness may effect fewer errors

A user on Twitter asked me recently about the difference between “affect” and “effect.” Specifically, she wanted to know which to use in the phrase “the affect/effect of celebrity endorsements.”

Burb's Eye View: Catching the Youth Art Expo's opening

Burb's Eye View: Catching the Youth Art Expo's opening

At the gala opening of her show at the Creative Arts Center Gallery, artist Thora Moeller stops a moment to allow her public a quick photo of her with her latest — and...

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