It should come as no surprise to you by now, that helping your kids develop better focusing skills is a combination of planning and flexibility. Hopefully, you and your family have developed some good study skills early on, but even if you haven't, it's not too late to improve your situation.
I’m not a fan of Balboa Island. Too many people! Too many BMWs! And frankly, I don’t find the spirituality of sea, earth and sky there. Too many boutiques, cheap T-shirt vendors and electric cars! I am more inclined to love the Central Coast of California, north into the redwoods, and on...
Bravo zulu to LCF City Councilwoman Terry Walker for her letter to the editor against the 710 tunnel extension that ran in last Thursday’s Valley Sun.
Robert Siegel of National Public Radio, Jason Stallman of the New York Times and every other journalist who uses “fewer” with confidence, please take a seat. You’re about to get a lesson in language you didn’t think you needed. There’s a gaping hole in your grammar...
I blame Sister Mary Delores for turning me into a consummate reader. In 1960, Sister mandated we read 15 books during the summer prior to entering the eighth grade.
There’s this strange thing that happened on my iPhone. If I said, “Siri, charge my phone 100 percent,” the phone would announce aloud that I had five seconds to cancel a 911 call.
Here’s a fun thing you can do with your writing: Take any two simple, clear sentences and use a semicolon to mush them into one. For example, imagine you have a paragraph with just two sentences.
There's a lot of people rooting for La Cañada Flintridge native and Flintridge Prep grad Megan Kimble, the author of “Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food.”
It was Dec. 21, 1971. Bob Hope and the USO “On the Road Christmas Tour” were performing at Freedom Hill in Da Nang, Vietnam. Seeing Lola Falana and Ursula Andress was more than this Marine could hope for.
Having taken note of the recent tugs of war over the U.S. Treasury Department’s plan to replace a percentage of the $10 bills that now feature Alexander Hamilton with the face of a yet-to-be-determined woman of historical importance, La Cañada resident Rudy Cataldi came up with an idea.
Here's a thought: In preparation for my interview of a local author, I decided to actually read her book. I'm on page 45 and I can't put it down.
The wind was blowing southeast from the direction of Glorieta Pass in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico. Since it came from the west, it was Zephyrus, the Greek god of the west wind. Zephyrus was the gentlest of winds and a messenger of the gods.
When I got to Vietnam I learned the only thing worse than being a second lieutenant was being a second lieutenant from New York City. A Yankee! I was consumed by college boy idealism. However, my opinions would soon collide with reality.
After months of procrastination, I finally made it back to Koreatown. My destination was the Kae Sung Market.
“Since I gave up hope, I feel much better.” The slacker attitude of this once-popular bumper sticker has gone the way of Lehman Brothers and pension plans. But if we apply the same idea to grammar, the message is timeless: Since I gave up hope, I talk much better.
I can’t say that my 36 years of teaching and advising students were all sunshine, roses and lollipops. However, I had a good run. I was part of the “shinin’ times” of Glendale Community College. Having Dr. John A. Davitt as president was a taste of Camelot.
Planning a trip to Washington, D.C.? Be sure to contact Rep. Adam Schiff's staff to request a tour. Last week, we had an amazing tour of the Capitol, guided by two college students — David from Harvard and Quinn from U.C. Berkeley. Both were locals. David graduated from Clark Magnet and...
The hardest thing about English grammar isn’t grammar. Not in the strictest sense of the word, anyway. Narrowly speaking, grammar has to do with the way we order and inflect words to make sentences.
Kudos to LCF City Councilman Mike Davitt for asking Caltrans to move their concrete batch plant and tower from the junction of the 2 and 210 freeways.
When I was a kid, I was too stupid to be afraid of anyone. But as an adult, I was afraid of Sue Fuelling, Sabine’s fourth-grade teacher at La Cañada Elementary.
“A man is walking down the street.” “There is a man walking down the street.”
So I'm flying down Highway 72 heading west to Springfield, Ill., listening to “I Fought the Law and the Law Won,” by the Bobby Fuller Four. It's an oldie, but it's still a goody. My cellphone began ringing off the hook. It's rare that I have my cellphone, and if I do it's typically not...
School’s out. Summer is here and it’s time for the annual Around Town Summer Reading List.
Now showing at a news site near you: the spelling “drive-thru.”
A concerned parent puts out the word she’ll be at a local coffee house at a designated time and hopes others of similar mind will join her. The topic that will be under discussion? Underage drinking by youths in our town. It seems the sentiment is that it’s time to get organized...
Until this month, the 710 Freeway connection battle was a zero-sum game. San Marino and Alhambra are pro-tunnel to reduce local traffic. LCF, South Pasadena and Pasadena are anti-tunnel.
I hope you read me last week. I don't write these thoughts for my good looks; if you've seen my face, you'd understand. One of my street names in the Bronx was...
Some interesting stuff landed in the mailbag for this week. Let's dive in.
A key component in helping students to focus is creating a structure at home that places an emphasis on studies, yet allows enough time for extracurricular activities. Back in the days when I was growing up, there were no club sports other than Little League and that was played during the summer....
Brother Timothy Joseph, the dean of discipline, hadn’t forgotten about the shots fired over his head on the corner of Murdock and Nereid avenues in the Bronx. He was convinced that the boys who pulled the trigger were sitting in the last assembly of the 1965 graduating class of Mount Saint...
Are you shy? Do you recoil at the thought of your name in print?
Have you ever thought about the word “do”? My advice is don’t. The word “do” is one of the bugbears of English that make our language incredibly difficult to master — for nonnative speakers and even for people born into the English-speaking world. Almost no one...
An outsider dropped into our midst as this holiday weekend unfolds might wonder if our population ever rests. There will be no shortage of activities, despite what some restless kids who live in our “bubble” might want to claim.
My eighth-grade teacher, Sister Delores, said, “Angels protect fools and Joe Puglia.” At the time, I wasn't sure that was a good thing; however, considering the insanity of life that was to follow: I think it was.
Memorial Day 2015 comes two weeks after Mother's Day. It also coincides with a Jewish memorial service that is held four times a year.
Hands down, my favorite Mother's Day present is the “Notorious RBG” T-shirt from our daughter.
This week, my thoughts turn to mothers and Memorial Day. I hope to remind you that the latter is not complete without attending the La Cañada Memorial Day Commemoration: May 25 at 9 a.m. in Memorial Park. Telling a story is the best way I can express the significance of both Mother's Day,...
Let’s face it, grammar is more important for some people than for others. An ambulance driver probably has more important things to worry about than whether to hyphenate adverbs ending in “ly.” (FYI: Don’t do it.)
May has arrived and the rains are over. Maybe your kids are home from college, or your high school senior is ready for a mental health day, or your mom is visiting. Maybe you have a new baby or just got out of that spin class. Whatever the reason, it’s time for breakfast and you don’t...
The other evening, the La Cañada High School choir opened its pops concert with Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.” I was transported to the ’60s, a time of wandering. The lyrics are heady. Its symbolism speaks to the prophets’ frustration with the...
How big a problem is the dreaded dangler? In the real world, maybe not so big. Danglers, though sometimes serious, often aren’t so bad. Some don’t harm your message at all and could slip by even the most careful reader. But for anyone who puts a premium on precision, it’s a good...
Up until now, we've been talking in this space about how to use some accountability techniques to help students focus on their schoolwork. But, as I wrote earlier this year, there's more to a focused student than handing in homework on time.
I should probably heed the words of my philosophy professor, Sister Audrey: “When you're about to put your foot in your mouth, shut up.”
Maybe in 50 years, if Iran or North Korea or Isis haven't blown the world up, Foothill Boulevard will be a mini Westwood/Wilshire corridor with high-rise condos lining the street.
When someone asks how you’re doing, can you respond “I am good”? Or is the only correct form “I am well”? And why?