A few months ago, my grandmother passed away. It was a slow, agonizing end, one of those things that began with a trip to the hospital and only became progressively worse as the months wore on. In some ways, she knew that once she went in, she...
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...
“Teachers have so much time off” is an often repeated sentiment among noneducators.
In the late 1920s, Kent Gardiner's grandparents, George and Emma Scholl, decided to relocate from expensive San Francisco. They chose to move to Glendale because of its lower housing prices.
Few talk about it and fewer know what it means: Glendale employees generally do not live in the city they serve, a figure that...
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...
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...
In the summer in Armenia, fruit is a part of my daily life. I think about how it tastes, how long it lasts, where the best open air markets are located across the city to acquire the freshest of berries and apricots, and how many varieties of...
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...
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...
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.
Two men who grew up in Glendale read a recent Verdugo Views about Jackson Bowl, and both wrote to say they had youthful connections to the bowling alley.
The Burbank City Council has no clothes.
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.
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.
After three years away, I am back in Armenia, writing to you from a fourth-floor balcony overlooking a city perpetually caught between East and West.
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...
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.
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’...
Italian immigrants Tommaso and Josephine Bonetto bought acreage in the still-wide-open Crescenta Valley in 1905 and with their two small sons, Bart and Tom, moved into a tiny one-room, stone house already on the property.
This has been a fascinating week, gender wise. First, Glendale resumed its women's self-defense class...
I graduated from college not knowing what money is, how a computer works or the meaning of the word "adverb."
It seems wherever I go in the realms of education and career, I'm being urged to "mind the gap."
The most asked question in the Armenian-American diaspora for the last few weeks has unequivocally been this one: “Did you see the trailer for ‘Glendale Life?’”
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.
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.
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.
A huge crowd, estimated at 1.5 million, watched Glendale’s 1959 Sweepstakes award-winning float — which had just collided with another float — make its way down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses parade.
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.
The last day of school in the Glendale Unified School District, including graduation and promotion ceremonies, is June 3.
I fielded a question recently about one of my favorite subjects: “whomever.”
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...
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.
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 latest Pew Research Center poll shows that 54% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana.
Harry S. Webb founded Webb’s Department Store in 1917 with a loan from his mother.
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.
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?
I spend a lot of column space writing about the Common Core Curriculum and preparing our students for their future. But what about preparing them for ours?
They’ve come from Paris, from London, from New Mexico, Austin and Portland, trekking up these wild hills hidden away in the crevices of Los Angeles, into this suburban small-town extension not exactly known for attracting outsiders, where the...
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.”
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).
Fifty years ago this week, a momentous phone call connected Glendale's Field Elementary with an elementary school in our Japanese Sister City of Hiraoka.
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.
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?
It's May, the month for celebrating Mother's Day, Teachers Appreciation Day and Classified Staff Appreciation Day.
The floor was covered with shattered glass from the patio table. The mangled umbrella was halfway in a pool filled to the brim with leaves and debris.
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.
I got an email recently from a reader whose spell-checker flagged the word “uninvolved” as an error.