My local Trader Joe’s has once again transformed into a purveyor of all things pumpkin. It’s as if the Pumpkin Innards Fairy launched itself from its pumpkin patch, gathering the masses of discarded jack-o’-lantern glop to insert them into every baked good, coffee product and...
Bert Ring gives his take on Glendale, again, being tagged with some of the nation's worst drivers.
I have to admit that when Barack Obama was elected president of the United States back in 2008, it seemed not only historic but incredibly exciting to everyone in my liberal-minded circle. A black president, in our lifetime. It was glorious. I felt fortunate to be alive to witness it.
National Punctuation Day, which took place on Wednesday, turned 10 this year. The brainchild of Northern California education booster Jeff Rubin, the annual event aims to help kids learn about periods, commas, quotation marks and the rest.
Years ago, doctors took blood pressure, drew blood and administered medicine. Today, medical assistants perform these duties.
A few years ago, the Flores brothers first evaluated the Extreme Cowboy Assn. and their place within it with all the rigor and careful planning that a 15-year-old and an 8-year-old could muster.
If I had a nickel for every time I've written about ending sentences with prepositions, I'd be about 5 cents shy of that Frappucino I've had my eye on. (I'd probably also be one of the top earners in what remains of the newspaper industry, but that's a subject for another day.)
A few weeks ago, a colleague and I went to Daily High School to meet with the new principal Rene Valdes, about a school-to-career grant we're working on. Deb Rinder, whose responsibilities include the high schools, joined us for the conversation.
Before an ounce of soapy water soaked the first windshield at 12-year-old Will Jurman's car wash, he'd already earned $900 in memory of his friend.
A reader named Loretta recently wrote to me after making a very astute observation.
In the game of education, there are many players: students, parents, teachers, administrators, district officials, state and federal politicians. Too often, the group that has the most contact with the students — the teachers — is not part of policy decision-making.
In Burbank, there are UFOs and then there are UFOs.
Cartoonist Bert Ring looks at a mash-up between California's drought problems and Gov. Jerry Brown's reelection campaign.
In a recent New York Times piece, novelist Zoe Heller wrote about helping her daughter with an English essay. "Try excising the words 'extremely,' 'totally' and 'incredibly,'" Heller suggested. Her daughter did and was "surprised to discover that not only were the intensifiers superfluous, but...
By now you may have seen the videos on the Internet of the "Ice Bucket Challenge," a fundraiser that's pretty straight-forward:
So this is the headline I woke up to read on my Facebook news feed on Friday morning: "Ice Bucket Fraud! ALS Foundation Admits 73% of Donations Not Used For ALS Research."
According to the Internet, there's a car dealer whose service department has a "kid's play area," but a competitor offers a "childrens play area."
One of the charges of the high school English teacher is to help teenagers see the relevancy of literature to their lives. I'm always on the lookout on how to win over the students to read, in their minds, very old books from long, long ago.
Bob Olson first strapped on a pair of skates nearly 60 years ago, but until 10 years ago, he'd drive off to Hansen Dam to use them.
Bert Ring gives his take on the recent crazy over the "ice bucket challenge" and proposed rate hikes.
Newspapers — community newspapers especially — have a duty to inform, entertain and engage. How well we do these three things is directly related to our value, our impact, and our stature.
Some friends have asked about my intentions for next April's election. As I've told them, I'm not seeking another term on the Board of Education. And I don't plan to submit my name for the interim appointment to the seat being vacated by my good friend Mary Boger, though I pondered the possibility...
Much has been said about misused quotation marks. Photos of signs boasting about "fresh" seafood and "free" refills abound on the Internet, offering a good laugh at the expense of business owners who don't realize that quotation marks around "fresh" and "free" could suggest quite the opposite.
Last year's citywide spelling bee was an experiment for the Burbank Public Library's literacy program, one that organizers won't try again as they reinvigorate the popular annual fundraiser — a trivia challenge.
I don't think I've seen the kind of shock and national mourning — and outpouring of love — for an entertainment figure that's been generated by the suicide this week of Robin Williams since Michael Jackson's death in 2009.
In casual conversation, most people I know don't worry too much about sounding proper. They don't bother with "whom." They say, "There's a lot of people here" instead of "There are a lot of people here." They opt for forms like "Joe is taller than me" instead of "Joe is taller than I."
This summer has not been kind to California educators with increased deductions from their paychecks to pay for the pension fund, and tenure and job protection ruled illegal by a Superior Court judge.
Scott Lasky taught himself how to build a website so that the church he belongs to could be online. That’s what you do when you’re a large, networked organization: You have a website and you get on the Internet like everyone else.
On Wednesday morning, I had the opportunity to take part in an informal poverty caucus at the Glendale Adult Recreation Center. There, elected officials from Burbank and...
A few weeks ago, I mentioned here a CNN article "about the president making an unannounced stop."
It’s hard to say why people fall in love with Rosie: maybe it’s the beauty mark on her nose or the way she’s perfected the pinup pose.
I can remember while growing up that I always thought America was the good guys. Not the ones who locked our borders and tossed away the key — "Sorry, you're too late, country's closed. Try again next century." Not the ones who justified torture. Not the ones who tried to bully the world...
Summertime is here, and with it come endless hours of sitting in the shade regretting all the years we spent baking in the sun.
Knowing that the leading cause of death among teenagers is fatal car crashes, one would think that teaching adolescents how to safely drive would be a national priority — or at least a high school graduation requirement.
We just had our faces melted off by the shrieking guitar riffs and arena-blasting, Prog-Rock stylings of Styx. Then Foreigner took the Greek Theatre stage, wailing on classic ballads 30 years past their Billboard heyday, but no less powerful.
For the last two years, I have taught a journalism class at USC. Most of my students are undergraduate sophomores, too young to drink, but not too young to seriously damage their reputation online.
When I was a kid, I fancied myself a musical-parody artist. Most of the spoof lyrics I created for popular songs are lost to the ages, and the stuff I remember I’ll spare you due to its heavy emphasis on flatulence (“Heart of Glass,” indeed). But the lessons from that exercise live...
I met Mary Boger, president of the Glendale Unified Board of Education, in 1990, in Oakland at my first PTA convention. I had the good fortune of sitting with her and Susan Hunt at...
Last weekend, a group of bicyclists gathered around a coffee-shop table and solidified a new era for Burbank’s bike and pedestrian paths.
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...
“Teachers have so much time off” is an often repeated sentiment among noneducators.
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.
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...
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...
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...
The man’s name was Jimmy Old-son and he was a journalist from the later 1800s looking for adventure.
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.
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.
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.”
Bringing up decent children in a sometimes indecent world is challenging for both parents and teachers.