When she moved into her new home on Lincoln Street this month, Elana Helgesen discovered a welcome surprise message: “Will you marry me?”
Back in 1998, when I was embarking on my 10th year as a teacher, I had an op-ed piece published in the Times about paying good teachers six-figure salaries as a way to attract and retain higher qualified people.
Sometimes it seems like grammar is all darned-if-you-do, darned-if-you-don’t propositions. If you say “Who are you visiting tomorrow?” some people will look down on you for not using “whom.” But if you use “whom,” others will think you’re out of...
Family Promise of the Verdugos began as a conversation.
Before you start composing your holiday cards and invitations, here’s a cautionary tale for you.
Election day is over, and I suspect most of us are relieved. As the League of Women Voters emailed, “… It’s once again safe to open the mailbox, answer the phone and leave the TV unmuted during commercials.” Yet for all the calls and emails, only 25% of registered voters...
A little over a year ago, Fay Playsted sat in the room at the Joslyn Adult Center, listening to someone from the L.A. Metro transit service talk about all the benefits of taking the bus or train. It made sense to her; she’d used the service for years commuting from Burbank to downtown L.A.
It's a weird thing sometimes to live in the United States, particularly when you feel so out-of-step with the masses — as I did on Tuesday night.
I saw a fascinating online grammar discussion recently that I was eager to discuss in this column. But I can’t. It contained a bad word, by which I mean a great word — one of those anatomically specific insults that can make anyone the butt of a joke while simultaneously resonating...
Lost in the middle of the midterm election coverage this week was a major press conference on Monday by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announcing a $150-million infusion into the Big Apple’s 94 worst-performing schools, creating community schools.
This month you may see more laptops than usual at your local diner or cafe.
Scarecrows, jack-o’-lanterns, hay bales and witches have appeared again at elementary schools across the district. PTA members have been setting up game booths, enlisting volunteers and gathering prizes by the boxful.
Not so long ago, the only people who had to worry about typos were named Gutenberg. Today, typos dog everyone with a keyboard, and that horrible feeling of realizing too late that a resume, important email or blog post contained an error is practically universal.
Last year, Cathy Stevens expected to walk into the art gallery, pick up something nice and scoot out the exit.
So while I hate to write about my own personal issues — actually, that’s a lie, there is little I like to do more — I must take the opportunity here to slam the stuffing out of a little company you may have heard of called AT&T.
Listicles are all the rage these days, or so young folks tell me.
Last week, I was invited to participate in the Local Authors’ Showcase held at the Buena Vista Library in Burbank.
This past Saturday, the city of Burbank held possibly the largest public beer tasting in its history, teaching the ale-and-lager-loving public there’s a complex spectrum to the craft-beer movement in Southern California, and Burbank may be the perfect hub to capture its hop-infused magic.
Does the passive voice lend itself to biased, manipulative writing? A reader named Richard wanted to know after witnessing a discussion about a news article.
A few years ago, a French-Armenian graduate student came to Glendale to gather research for her dissertation on Armenian communities in Glendale and Hollywood. I had the pleasure of spending several hours with her at the invitation of my City Attorney friend, Lucy Varpetian.
She didn’t know where the gifts of food and clothes came from, but Heather Brown knew that at Christmas, they’d be there.
London is a place that gets a lot of rain.
A couple of days ago was the annual Walk to School Day. Knowing such a day exists may raise eyebrows as to its need until you realize, as my fellow Friday columnist Joylene Wagner pointed out, kids just don’t walk to school anymore.
Stepping out into the bright morning from Union Station, we were disoriented. We hopped on our bikes and rode a couple blocks into Chinatown, where we found ourselves smack in the middle of a parade.
Bert Ring expresses the feelings of many Burbankers during the heat wave.
Over the last few years, thanks to the work of parent and traffic-safety advocate Kara Sergile, I've had experience as both a valet drop-off lane attendant and a "walking school bus" volunteer with R.D. White Elementary.
Tom in Glendale, Calif., wrote with an interesting question about a newspaper headline that mentioned "well-paying jobs."
When you tell people that you've got a bag of sheep's wool in your possession, the first thing you get asked is, "Can I touch it?"
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...