Columns

Start the Presses: Doing our part following the money

Start the Presses: Doing our part following the money

There are three clich├ęs in journalism. Well, main ones. The first is: “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”

A Word, Please: Ten common usages mistaken for mistakes

A Word, Please: Ten common usages mistaken for mistakes

Some people just love to correct others’ grammar and usage. They know it rubs people the wrong way. But they justify it like this: “I’m doing the poor ignoramuses a favor. I’ll endure their resentment for their own good. I&...

Intersections: Coverage of the Paris carnage lacked context

Intersections: Coverage of the Paris carnage lacked context

I was in Morocco when the Paris attacks took place, prematurely tarnishing the optimism I had for 2015. Amid the sights and smells of Marrakesh — perhaps the most colorful city in the world, where you share the crowded streets with motor...

Crescenta Valley PTA: 'Walk and Talk' event to be presented weekly

A “Walk and Talk” event will be held every Wednesday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Crescenta Valley Park, 3901 Dunsmore Ave., La Crescenta.

Read On: Oscar acting nods show lack of diversity

Read On: Oscar acting nods show lack of diversity

I’m feeling a lot of the outrage here in Hollywood/Burbank/Glendale since Thursday’s announcement of Academy Award nominations — namely, that all 20 lead and supporting nominees in the acting categories are white for only the second...

The Whiteboard Jungle: Student's tenacity results in gig at Clippers game

The Whiteboard Jungle: Student's tenacity results in gig at Clippers game

I often encourage my student journalists not to feel fearful or intimidated when selling advertisements or speaking to adults for articles. However, it remains challenging for many of these young people to assert themselves. A small minority do...

A Word, Please: Grammar lists often forget to check the facts

A Word, Please: Grammar lists often forget to check the facts

If you search the Internet for the term “grammar mistakes,” you’ll get a lot of hits, many of them published lists that school you on the linguistic atrocities people supposedly commit every day.

Verdugo Views: The importance of the Armenian-American float

Verdugo Views: The importance of the Armenian-American float

One of my favorite ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve is by walking the streets of Pasadena. For several years now, my husband Glenn and I have made our way to Paseo Colorado for a late-afternoon movie and dinner and then a walk along the...

Glendale PTA: R.D. White Elementary celebrating 100 years

Glendale High PTSA President Megan Schowengerdt would like parents of college-bound seniors to know that school counselors are hosting a “Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Fill Out Night” on Jan. 28.

Start the Presses: Getting ready for the area's 2015 elections

Start the Presses: Getting ready for the area's 2015 elections

This coming week, the Burbank Leader will unveil its much anticipated — or perhaps feared — election website. A companion site on the Glendale News-Press will launch shortly after the nomination period closes later this month for the...

A Word, Please: 'Graduate' is a grammatical free-for-all

A Word, Please: 'Graduate' is a grammatical free-for-all

National Public Radio recently asked listeners to submit their top grammar peeves.

Learning Matters: Life and politics can turn on a penny

Learning Matters: Life and politics can turn on a penny

When I was about 7, my older cousin took me on a penny hike. It was really a suburban walk rather than a hike, but the penny guided us. At each corner, we’d flip the coin. Heads we’d go right, tails left.

Intersections: Float celebrated the diverse Armenian story

Intersections: Float celebrated the diverse Armenian story

In 1915, a man named Moses (M.S.) Pashgian became the grand marshal of the Pasadena Rose Parade.

Read On: Things often not what they seem

Read On: Things often not what they seem

Well ladies and gentlemen, it’s a new year, when our thoughts turn to hope for a better world, optimism for a great 12 months ahead, resolutions to personally improve each of our lives, all of that stuff.

The Whiteboard Jungle: Exploring the life of Mantle during winter break

The Whiteboard Jungle: Exploring the life of Mantle during winter break

Writing a column right between the end of one year and the start of another is tricky. Typically, writers come up with “the list of the [fill in the blank] of 2014.” I thought about selecting the top education stories of the year, but got...

A Word, Please: Meaning can get lost at a certain level

A Word, Please: Meaning can get lost at a certain level

In September, the “Chronicle of Higher Education” published an article by linguist and Harvard professor Steven Pinker titled “Why Academics Stink at...

A Word, Please: A guide on how to write names of holidays

A Word, Please: A guide on how to write names of holidays

The new year, that is, New Year’s, is upon us. Soon after will come Presidents Day, also known as Presidents’ Day, then Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Veterans Day, Xmas and a bunch of other holidays no one knows how to write.

Start the Presses: Wishes for the New Year

Start the Presses: Wishes for the New Year

For the better part of a decade, my friends and I have spent New Year’s Day the same way. We drive down to Dockweiler Beach around sunset to “Burn the Man,” a ritual that grew from being a silly tradition to a sacred one.

Learning Matters: Hearing advice at Sunday Lunch Program

Learning Matters: Hearing advice at Sunday Lunch Program

“Don’t drop out of school. Get all the education you can,” advised Johnny, when I asked him recently what advice he’d give a young person today. Johnny is a regular participant at the Sunday Lunch Program, hosted each week...

Intersections: Interaction with readers makes it all worth it

Intersections: Interaction with readers makes it all worth it

A few weeks ago, I spent a Saturday in La Crescenta on a local research trip for a future story. My day involved touring facilities with a group of about 20 people. Given my large digital recorder that I kept waving around as the tour took place,...

Glendale PTA: 'High School 101' slated for Jan. 12 at Glendale High

Students in the Glendale Unified School District are on winter break through Jan. 6, with classes resuming on Jan. 7.

Read On: Yanking 'The Interview' was inevitable

Read On: Yanking 'The Interview' was inevitable

Well, what a year, huh? Crazy stuff in politics, in sports, in entertainment. Really crazy in entertainment.

The Whiteboard Jungle: Students trade their front teeth for Mariah

The Whiteboard Jungle: Students trade their front teeth for Mariah

Nearly 70 years ago, a music teacher filling in for his wife’s second-grade class asked the children what they wanted for Christmas.

A Word, Please: A mistake is not quite the same as an error

A Word, Please: A mistake is not quite the same as an error

Not long ago in this space, I wrote about exceptions to a grammar rule. I added, “But none of those exceptions apply in modern publishing.”

Start the Presses: Can our communities spare a quarter?

Start the Presses: Can our communities spare a quarter?

As 2014 winds down, the lights go up, and the decorations sparkle. The children shriek with delight at the latest "Frozen" gear, and adults drink too much while giving one another silly gifts.

A Word, Please: Don't beat yourself up over reflexive pronouns

A Word, Please: Don't beat yourself up over reflexive pronouns

Dave in Elkland, Pa., wrote to me recently about pronouns ending in “self” — myself, yourself, and so on — and how annoying they can be at times. “‘Myself,’ in particular, drives me near distraction,”...

Learning Matters: Pageants can teach lessons outside of school

Learning Matters: Pageants can teach lessons outside of school

Last Saturday, I was at church for the opening rehearsal of the annual children’s Christmas pageant. I’ve spent the majority of my December Saturday mornings in this activity since our daughter’s first pageant appearance in the late...

Intersections: Road trip to nowhere is reinvigorating

Intersections: Road trip to nowhere is reinvigorating

I took a drive almost to the edge of California recently. Going beyond the borders of Los Angeles County, I crossed over into San Bernardino, made a pit stop in Rialto and drove a few more hours until I reached the Mojave Desert, taking the...

Crescenta Valley PTA: Taste of the Foothills scheduled for Wednesday

Taste of the Foothills will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night in the Ralphs parking lot, located at 2629 Foothill Blvd. Guests can taste a variety of foods from local restaurants and benefit their local school. For more information,...

Read On: Twelve things to be happy about

Read On: Twelve things to be happy about

I think it's safe to say that no one will ever accuse me of being a Pollyanna who looks at the world in an overly positive way. In truth, I'm the world's most cynical and pessimistic optimist — so cynical and pessimistic, in fact, that the...

The Whiteboard Jungle: Appreciating the legacy of 'The Christmas Song'

The Whiteboard Jungle: Appreciating the legacy of 'The Christmas Song'

For years now on most Fridays, I begin class not with a grammar or writing exercise but with a music lesson as a way to broaden my students’ musical knowledge by playing for them some of the great singers and composers of the 20th century,...

A Word, Please: A holiday gift list for mindful language lovers

A Word, Please: A holiday gift list for mindful language lovers

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re a language lover. And if you’re a language lover, there’s a good chance your holiday gift list includes some birds of a feather — fellow language lovers who&...

Verdugo Views: Donald Duck and his brood nested in Glendale

Verdugo Views: Donald Duck and his brood nested in Glendale

Disney character Donald Duck celebrated his 50th birthday by riding the Glendale float in the 1985 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Glendale PTA: Wilson Middle School has the holiday ticket

This time of year seems to usher in hectic schedules and frazzled nerves. Taking some time to spend with family and friends in an enjoyable activity might be just what the doctor ordered.

Learning Matters: Getting help to the variety who need it

Learning Matters: Getting help to the variety who need it

Glendale and La Crescenta together make an appealing size for a community — big enough to be interesting and small enough to be knowable, with many resources to meet the needs of children and families.

A Word, Please: It's not possible to badly split an infinitive

A Word, Please: It's not possible to badly split an infinitive

Not long ago while editing a series of articles, I noticed that the writer had strange ideas about where to put adverbs. Many were placed before the verbs and some before the subjects, too.

Intersections: Sitting down to tradition and reflection

Intersections: Sitting down to tradition and reflection

Thanksgiving is a complicated holiday — on the one hand, I dream all year long about the food I will come to eat on the last Thursday of November, even as a vegetarian. On the other hand, the fact that it simplifies and paints over the pain,...

The Whiteboard Jungle: Teacher salaries say something about society

The Whiteboard Jungle: Teacher salaries say something about society

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.

A Word, Please: There's correct, and then there's also correct

A Word, Please: There's correct, and then there's also correct

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,&...

Verdugo Views: Scholarships helped a GCC career get started

Verdugo Views: Scholarships helped a GCC career get started

A couple of scholarships awarded to a young woman named Jill Benone sent her on a theatrical career path.

Crescenta Valley PTA: Mountain Avenue to host PTA meeting, Reflections awards

Mountain Avenue Elementary: The PTA meeting and Reflections awards begin Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

Start the Presses: Bring the market back to Brand

Start the Presses: Bring the market back to Brand

So it finally happened: the Downtown Glendale Market, evicted from its sidewalk-tripping perch on Brand Boulevard to a church parking lot, has closed.

A Word, Please: Here's an early grammar gift for the holidays

A Word, Please: Here's an early grammar gift for the holidays

Before you start composing your holiday cards and invitations, here’s a cautionary tale for you.

Learning Matters: The joys of performing poll-worker duty

Learning Matters: The joys of performing poll-worker duty

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...

Intersections: Graves mark the consequences of war

Intersections: Graves mark the consequences of war

I’m walking in Arlington National Cemetery on the Sunday before Veteran’s Day. I can feel the weather changing seasons in real time, and within a few minutes, I have to put on my coat again as I make my way across the grounds.

Guest Column: On how his mother's last years mattered

I was holding my mom's head when she was taking her last breaths and my dad was holding her hands. Dad said “she is gone” and yet she was still breathing. “I just saw her soul go out through her eyes,” he said. After 65...

Glendale PTA: It's time for the Hoover High PTA Tour of Homes

The office for the Early Education and Extended Learning Programs has moved to 520 E. Wilson Ave., Suite 215, in Glendale. It will be open today in the new location. The department provides high-quality preschool and before- and after-school care...

Read On: Election had little to do with facts

Read On: Election had little to do with facts

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.

A Word, Please: What's before who makes all the difference

A Word, Please: What's before who makes all the difference

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...

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