I attended an adult education summit in Sacramento last week, my first trip there since I left the school board two and a half years ago.
I want to remind everyone that the Burbank Community Advisory Board will be having its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. This meeting will be held at the Burbank Bar and Grille on San Fernando Boulevard downtown and is open to all.
Because I’m a grammar columnist, anything I write can become a lightning rod for the Gotcha Squad. If an error appears in this column — no matter if it’s real or perceived — rest assured that I hear about it.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Burbank Town and Glendale Town, boys and girls.
According to language legend, a classified ad once made this intriguing offer: Antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.
Every so often, like the reemergence of El Niño, the topic of a teaching shortage reappears on op-ed pages and talk radio.
Punctuation stresses people out. Pretty much everyone in the English-speaking world knows what it’s like to sit at a keyboard, finger hovering above the hyphen or comma key, paralyzed by self-doubt.
Last month, a group of about 20 people gathered at the Alex Theatre in Glendale to discuss the things they liked, disliked and wanted to see changed about the Glendale News-Press.
I heard a TED talk last week, replayed from a 2013 presentation by the late educator Rita Pierson, entitled “Every Kid Needs a Champion.” Her stories of championing children begin with a statement attributed to George Washington Carver: “All learning is understanding relationships....
Well, we made it through another 9/11 yesterday. That makes 15 of them, if you count the actual horrible day itself. The good news — to some degree the astounding news — is that we haven’t experienced another successful terrorist attack on our nation’s soil since.
Fourteen years ago today, an incomprehensible tragedy struck the United States — a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
I could hear the TSA agent from way back in the line. “I’m well, thank you,” he said to one woman as he checked her boarding pass. “I’m well, and you?” he said to the next traveler who was polite enough to inquire. A minute later, he mentioned that he was still,...
What does minimum wage buy you these days? As always, just enough to remain poor and stay there, though recent changes in the megalopolis just to the south may provide a blueprint for a way out.
A few weeks ago, I ran into Matt Hamo, a Glendale Unified teacher I’m always glad to see, mainly because of the positive feelings I get from him about what’s right with public education in Glendale.
Apostrophes are equal opportunity humiliators. As I wrote recently, apostrophes incriminate less-word-savvy types by popping up in plurals like “We play bridge with the Smith’s” and “He had two different alibi’s” and “She designs company logo’s.”
In 2011, I knew two things about Burbank: Its historical society celebrates Johnny Carson and motorsports in almost the same room, and “beautiful Downtown Burbank” had largely remained untouched since the days when “Leave It to Beaver” was filmed on its streets.
You should know that this is a very special day, ladies and gentlemen. More special than you will ever know. I’m taking the opportunity right here and right now to announce that today is the first annual National Read Ray Richmond’s Column in the Burbank Leader and Glendale News-Press...
“I have been told by some of my more educated friends that using the word “that” (see, I did it again) is many times unnecessary,” Randy wrote. “I was hoping you would weigh in on the technical side of when and when not to use that.”
Earlier this month, I wrote about the early start of school in Glendale and now there is an online petition called “Save Our GUSD...
If you were one of the dozens of seniors who shook their maracas at last year’s Rock-A-Hula in Burbank, you have Elvis to thank.
The vacant shell of a failed Conroy's Flowers sits — as it has for years — at the corner of Buena Vista Street and Burbank Boulevard.
The Crescenta Valley Town Council is discussing the possibility of seceding from the Glendale Unified School District...
If you feel like one of the unfortunate few who missed out on a good grammar education, welcome to the club. Almost everyone I’ve ever talked to about the subject feels the same way — as if they were out sick the day that everyone else in school learned everything there is to know...
How hot was it in Burbank this week? So hot that two Hobbits climbed to the Stough Canyon Nature Center to ask where to throw their ring.
There’s an older lady I know and care very much about who has suffered some health setbacks of late. We got to talking one night recently when she admitted there were really only a couple of things inspiring her to want to stick around before departing this mortal coil.
Here’s a bit of free grammar advice I once found online, offered up by a self-appointed expert who thought he could help all us poor, misguided grammar ignoramuses: “‘Firstly’ isn’t a word.”
My head is throbbing, my throat’s on fire, and my limbs are numb.
Great news! I just received an action item — a request from a colleague to utilize core competencies. Here’s an excerpt from the email he sent me.
The countdown has begun, and no, I'm not talking about Donald Trump's inevitable implosion on national television. Instead, if you're interested in being part of the Glendale News-Press' community advisory board, now is the time to raise your hand.
It took Adelita Alvarez 24 hours to set up the Facebook page, send out the call for volunteers and take those volunteers to the dirty Verdugo hillside.
When I was a kid, the “Do as I say, not as I do” school of parenting reigned supreme. Those adults lecturing children on the dangers of smoking? Smokers, one and all.
One of the most asked questions I get as a teacher is why does school start so early in August instead of September.
I’d been at the table for about an hour, taking in what wisdom I could from Ivor Baron and Jose Solis. Sometimes the chess pieces blurred around and away, leaving a thinner collection of game pieces that should have been easier to read.
Robert Siegel of National Public Radio, Jason Stallman of the New York Times and every other journalist who uses “fewer” with confidence, please take a seat. You’re about to get a lesson in language you didn’t think you needed. There’s a gaping hole in your grammar...
This Friday, athletes from Botswana and Zimbabwe will leave Burbank and make final preparations before the Special Olympics begin the next day. They’ll be greeted with a send-off from people from across the city, wishing them well in the upcoming games.
Maybe it’s the heat. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s mid-July and I have yet to enter a swimming pool this summer. Maybe it’s just that life leaves me filled with confusion.
Here’s a fun thing you can do with your writing: Take any two simple, clear sentences and use a semicolon to mush them into one. For example, imagine you have a paragraph with just two sentences.
Imagine you wish to write a book. And you do.
Three years ago, the Burbank Public Library modestly invited every single person in the city to become a book reviewer. A scant few, dozens maybe, have taken the library up on its offer.
Recently — in the last year maybe — I stopped telling people I was “heading back home” when visiting Mom and Dad. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it just kind of happened. I’ve settled so comfortably in the Burbank area, and aspects of it remind me so much of...
So we’ve arrived at America’s birthday, the day she gained her independence. And while in nation terms, she’s still relatively young, the United States is looking every one of its 239 years about now.
The other day, my son was practicing his guitar playing with a new music book and came upon Samuel Francis Smith’s “America (My Country, ’Tis of Thee),” you know, the 1832 patriotic song that is not “America the Beautiful” and whose melody is the same as England&...
Before he sang a note, Christian Morales smiled under the sweat-inducing orange lights of Sardo’s karaoke bar. He politely thanked everyone for their attendance.
“Since I gave up hope, I feel much better.” The slacker attitude of this once-popular bumper sticker has gone the way of Lehman Brothers and pension plans. But if we apply the same idea to grammar, the message is timeless: Since I gave up hope, I talk much better.
In the last few weeks, we've seen a lot of stories and a lot of online sputtering regarding the salaries of local officials.
For involved parents and school district personnel, a change in superintendent or principal is like getting a new choir director for a singer: emotionally unsettling and personal.
The small king snake, though safely behind glass, was nonetheless imposing. It curled itself in its enclosure and bared its tongue to 5-year-old Benjamin Spangler.
Peter Vanlaw thought that having a heart attack at the age of 51 might be the end of his life.