Columns

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...

Read On: People need to stop with the 'selfies'

Read On: People need to stop with the 'selfies'

This is probably going to sound odd coming from a guy who has a giant picture of himself running with his column, but I don’t really get the whole “selfies” thing. If I could convince my editor not to run the photo of me, I would. I’m just not that in love with my own...

A Word, Please: Some grammar skills are harder to come by

A Word, Please: Some grammar skills are harder to come by

We’ve all done it: You look at something you wrote then stop and think: “It just doesn’t look right.”

The Whiteboard Jungle: People need to take action, not tape it

The Whiteboard Jungle: People need to take action, not tape it

A video went viral last week of Santa Monica High School teacher/coach Mark Black restraining a student in his classroom.

Burb's Eye View: Road signs warn of a traffic nightmare

Burb's Eye View: Road signs warn of a traffic nightmare

When San Fernando Boulevard underneath the Golden State (5) Freeway overpass closes next month, it will be closed forever, forcing Burbank neighborhoods to cope with an undeniable increase in traffic for at least two years.

Leader Cartoon: Out of the loop

Leader Cartoon: Out of the loop

While the Burbank City Council seems extremely happy about the IKEA project, a number of residents aren't quite as overjoyed.

Start the Presses: Notes from an advisory board

Start the Presses: Notes from an advisory board

A week ago Thursday, about 20 people met with me at the open-but-not-quite-grand-open Canyon Grille at DeBell in Burbank.

A Word, Please: Long-standing 'over' rule is overruled

A Word, Please: Long-standing 'over' rule is overruled

It was the Tweet that launched 1,000 groans from copy editors: The Associated Press Stylebook's longtime snubbing of "over" is over.

Burb's Eye View: Monster mavens meet at the Marriott

Burb's Eye View: Monster mavens meet at the Marriott

Judging by his oozing head wound, the gray, plastic Hazmat suit Ken Mclaughlin was wearing didn’t help stave off the zombie attack.

Read On: Buzz phrases have become quite the trend

Read On: Buzz phrases have become quite the trend

I want you all to know something right off the bat this week, ladies and gentlemen. It's this: While I may eventually leave the Leader and the News-Press, I will never consciously uncouple from you.

A Word, Please: Are initials in parentheses really necessary?

A Word, Please: Are initials in parentheses really necessary?

People sometimes tell me to tell other people what to do, linguistically that is. I’ll get an email saying something like, “It drives me nuts when people say ‘Fruit is a healthy snack’ instead of ‘Fruit is a healthful snack.’ Please write a column telling them...

The Whiteboard Jungle: Adjusting to Common Core will take time

The Whiteboard Jungle: Adjusting to Common Core will take time

A while ago, my fellow Friday columnist Joylene Wagner lamented that “most of our elementary students don't receive...

Burb's Eye View: The Kiwanis answer the call to Aktion

Burb's Eye View: The Kiwanis answer the call to Aktion

If I’ve learned anything over the last three years writing in Burbank, it’s that there is never a shortage of ways people can help their community.

Start the Presses: Looking back after five years

Start the Presses: Looking back after five years

One day in late March 2009 I sat with my wife at Club Tee Gee in Atwater Village, having a quiet drink. It was a Tuesday afternoon, my birthday, and the waning days of a fortunately brief spate of unemployment for the two of us.

A Word, Please: Just because you can doesn't mean you should

A Word, Please: Just because you can doesn't mean you should

Most of the questions people ask me are easy. Can you use "nauseous" as a synonym of "nauseated" to mean "sick feeling"? The answer is right in the dictionary under the listing for "nauseous," and that answer is yes.

Burb's Eye View: Raising funds in memory of a fallen officer

Burb's Eye View: Raising funds in memory of a fallen officer

The bocce tournament was well underway when retired LAPD detective Michael Pavelka turned toward the hill to orient himself.

Read On: A novel approach to the Bard

Read On: A novel approach to the Bard

What is William Shakespeare doing hanging out in modern-day Burbank?

 A Word, Please: Don't mistake grammar rules for logic

A Word, Please: Don't mistake grammar rules for logic

I've gotten a lot of emails recently about where to put periods and commas relative to quotation marks. The notes were prompted by a recent column in which I mentioned that, in American English, a period or comma always comes before a closing quote mark (as in "fella.") rather than after one (as...

The Whiteboard Jungle: The SAT exam adapts to modern times

The Whiteboard Jungle: The SAT exam adapts to modern times

The high school experience includes several rites of passage for students: getting a driver’s license, going out on a first date, and taking the SAT. Now the SAT journey has just gotten a little smoother.

Burb's Eye View: Swimming with yard-sale sharks

Burb's Eye View: Swimming with yard-sale sharks

The sharks were circling. I spread the chum as neat and symmetrical as I could.

Start the Presses: Board feedback and the future

Start the Presses: Board feedback and the future

A bit less than a month ago, about two dozen people squeezed into a conference room at the Glendale YWCA, all there to share their feelings about the Glendale News-Press.

A Word, Please: She is the subject of a grammar quirk

A Word, Please: She is the subject of a grammar quirk

Many years ago, back when I used to answer my land-line telephone, I found myself in a conundrum. I realized that, when a caller asked, “May I speak to June, please?” I would answer “This is she.” But I couldn’t for the life of me explain why. Why did I use the...

Burb's Eye View: A writer's TV work remains relevant

Burb's Eye View: A writer's TV work remains relevant

Irma Kalish had not seen her friend in years, yet here she was, thousands of miles from where they first met, telling Kalish all about the surgery that removed a cancerous tumor from her breast.

Read On: Local news is on storm watch once more

Read On: Local news is on storm watch once more

The water is coming! The water is coming! Spectacular amounts of it! Quick, round up two of every animal and meet us at the ark at dusk. This thing that’s bearing down on us is gargantuan! It’s monumental! It’s…it’s…Stormageddon!

The Whiteboard Jungle: Hoover High produced an infamous graduate

The Whiteboard Jungle: Hoover High produced an infamous graduate

On March 28, Glendale High School will rename its auditorium the John Wayne...

Burb's Eye View: Decades of helping the homeless

Burb's Eye View: Decades of helping the homeless

When Barbara Howell interviewed for the job of directing Burbank’s aid center and food bank, the building looked lived-in and run down.

Start the Presses: The paper in the community

Start the Presses: The paper in the community

On Thursday, I spent a pleasant morning and early afternoon hand-delivering copies of our new Montrose/La Crescenta edition. I’m pleased to say that everyone — literally everyone — I spoke to was pleased about our newest initiative, with many saying they’re looking forward to...

A Word, Please: Time to press flush on this grammar error

A Word, Please: Time to press flush on this grammar error

Regular readers of this column know that I spend a lot of time talking about grammar wrongs that aren’t — the countless mythical language no-nos that get passed down from generation to generation of people who never bother to look them up.

Burb's Eye View: A tale of unexpected friendship

Burb's Eye View: A tale of unexpected friendship

Norman Sewelson was out of his car for… 20 minutes? Maybe 30? He doesn’t remember — it was a long time to be sitting by the heavy traffic on Pico Boulevard, waiting for the dirty little dog to trust him.

Read On: A tragic end, a moving beginning

Read On: A tragic end, a moving beginning

Well, the walk on the beach together in six months isn’t going to happen after all. We lost my brother Len on Monday following an...

A Word, Please: Misplaced punctuation could spell the end

A Word, Please: Misplaced punctuation could spell the end

A group of university researchers working with some Facebook folks have recently determined that I’m not a dinosaur. Not yet, at least.

Whiteboard Jungle: Parents need to be more involved in child's education

Whiteboard Jungle: Parents need to be more involved in child's education

Last week Hoover High had a Recruitment Night for the eighth-grade parents of Toll Middle School.

Burb's Eye View: Copter noise propels a call for relief

Burb's Eye View: Copter noise propels a call for relief

If you want to know how bad the helicopter noise gets in Burbank, ask a horse.

Start the Presses: Upcoming changes in the news

Start the Presses: Upcoming changes in the news

This coming week is a pretty big one for our publication. If you missed the editor's note last week, here's a recap in form of an editor's column:

A Word, Please: Superlative 'rule' isn't one of the better, er, best

A Word, Please: Superlative 'rule' isn't one of the better, er, best

If you have two children, and Sarah was born before Bobby, then Sarah is the older of the two. But is she also the oldest?

Burb's Eye View: 3D printing represents a wave of the future

Burb's Eye View: 3D printing represents a wave of the future

How do I know we live in the future? Because on Saturday I watched a couple of school kids enter a virtual world where they built a toy robot and were ready to manufacture it in a few hours.

Read On: A health crisis hits home

Read On: A health crisis hits home

I’m supposed to write a column right now, but as I type these words my brother Len is fighting for his life at home battling AIDS. It’s tough for me to think of a whole lot else. So please indulge me.

A Word, Please: While away the time with this lesson

A Word, Please: While away the time with this lesson

Making good grammar decisions usually requires very little grammar. If the sentence “Whom are you?” sounds wrong, it probably is. You don’t need to know why. You need never have heard the term “predicate nominative” or even “object pronoun.” Call it...

The Whiteboard Jungle: There is no shame in society anymore

The Whiteboard Jungle: There is no shame in society anymore

When working with teenagers, I try to keep up with the latest trends so that I can name-drop a Kardashian or crack a joke about Instagram to let them know that this old-man teacher does have an awareness of youth culture.

Burb's Eye View: Appreciating the job of sewer workers

Burb's Eye View: Appreciating the job of sewer workers

If you were to ask me where the worst place is to start your career as a sewer worker, I might have said behind a chili restaurant. That’s where mine started.

Start the Presses: Youth leaders and responsibility

Start the Presses: Youth leaders and responsibility

I woke up early Friday morning, my eyes blinking against the light and the sound of my alarm blaring in the predawn gloom. The balmy morning air gently woke me up as I made my way north to Glendale Community College.

A Word, Please: Even dictionaries don't always agree

A Word, Please: Even dictionaries don't always agree

According to my 1933 Oxford Universal Dictionary, “good-bye” and “co-operate” are hyphenated, neither “leg room” nor “birth rate” can be run together into a single word, and “teenager” doesn’t exist.

Burb's Eye View: Garden club to host bee presentation

Burb's Eye View: Garden club to host bee presentation

Bees are life-giving little insects that make our food possible, and they even make some of it on their own. They’re fuzzy, colorful and cute in a six-legged freaky sort of way.

Read On: An unhealthy backlog on insurance

Read On: An unhealthy backlog on insurance

A Southland health insurance broker named Brad Reichman — whose clients run from Santa Barbara to the Inland Empire and include Burbank, Glendale and La Canada — called me the other day to share a horror story borne out of the Affordable Care Act.

A Word, Please: Mastering the complex use of hyphens

A Word, Please: Mastering the complex use of hyphens

Don’t read this column. Really. It’s not like the other articles out there that impart knowledge. Instead, this one could leave you feeling like you know less than you did before you started reading.

The Whiteboard Jungle: Student teaching is hard and unpaid work

The Whiteboard Jungle: Student teaching is hard and unpaid work

Those who go into the teaching field are often viewed as giving individuals due to the lack of financial rewards, and nowhere is that truer than with those who train to become teachers who sacrifice an entire year’s salary.

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