Columns

Around Town: Here's a not-so-scary guide to haunted fun

The Halloween season officially began in August at the Montrose CVS, and will conclude Friday night.

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: UC schools shouldn't overlook homegrown students

Unquestionably, the older I get the more persnickety I become. It’s the curse of aging. Recently, I’ve read a plethora of articles about the politicians in Sacramento and other institutions of ill-repute betraying the youth of California by limiting UC admissions in lieu of out-of-...

A Word, Please: A listicle that spells things out for you

A Word, Please: A listicle that spells things out for you

Listicles are all the rage these days, or so young folks tell me.

Around Town: Coffee is a hard habit to break

I promised to write more about Bestia, but my regimen with Equinox trainer Mike Padgett is finally showing results, which is why Stumptown Coffee is a better choice than Bestia.

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: A deeper look at the Kobani dilemma

I was a hawk, raised by members of the greatest generation, but the Vietnam War cured me of that infliction. I understand the precipitous nature of war and if you’re a good student of history, the ills of capitulation are readily discernible. The prosecution of war teeters on the razor’s...

A Word, Please: Taking a deeper look at the passive voice

A Word, Please: Taking a deeper look at the passive voice

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.

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: A good cause can leave a man hungry for more

I couldn't erase the thought of those delectable, mouth-watering lamb chops that Nick and Arsen Sarkisian were serving at the Cancer Care Network Foundation Dinner and Gala last Saturday night. They were my only salvation from the long-winded speeches at the Athletic Hall of Fame banquet at Glendale...

Around Town: Good coffee comes closer to home

Good coffee just came closer to La Cañada Flintridge, but you have to brew it yourself.

A Word, Please: It's better to avoid writing upside down

A Word, Please: It's better to avoid writing upside down

London is a place that gets a lot of rain.

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: Reflecting on the cost of war over the years

The sun rested 30-degrees over Missionary Ridge and the fall colors of the trees at the bloody angle burst with red, purple and yellow hues, signaling fall. The magic of autumn had reached Gettysburg, Pa. Beautiful! The Lutheran Theological Seminary with its white steeple appeared somber as it stood...

Around Town: Examining issue of civil-military divide

Last week, Joe Puglia addressed in his column the incident where President Obama saluted two Marines with a latte in his right hand.

A Word, Please: Some confusion over jobs that pay well

A Word, Please: Some confusion over jobs that pay well

Tom in Glendale, Calif., wrote with an interesting question about a newspaper headline that mentioned "well-paying jobs."

Around Town: Answers to Glendale's bad optics

Last week, our sister paper, the Glendale News-Press reported that our neighbor Glendale has some of the worst drivers in the nation.

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: What's in a salute?

E pluribus unum is Latin and means “out of many, one.” The saying was originally the motto of the United States, but in 1956 Congress adopted “In God We Trust.”

 A Word, Please: Don't forget to send punctuation a card

A Word, Please: Don't forget to send punctuation a card

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.

Piece of Mind: Bad drivers may never shift gears

An age-old problem was tackled again in City Hall last week, when several parents of students who attend La Cañada Elementary School spoke to the Public Works and Traffic Commission about their struggles with drivers who drop off or pick up their children at the campus and seemingly don&...

Around Town: Proximity helps make life in LCF sweet

Here it is, another year. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, arrived with sundown Wednesday, when the year 5775 began.

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: Statistics don't always tell a true story

I didn't want to comment on the article appearing in the Valley Sun titled, “Mom: Teens need more sleep.” I had other fish to fry but the idea that school days should be...

 A Word, Please: A notion writers should be disabused of

A Word, Please: A notion writers should be disabused of

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.)

Around Town: Pepper Fryman is not forgotten

You can’t go to a Force Reconnaissance reunion without hearing about La Cañadan Roy "Pepper" Fryman.

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: A bold idea forms over sandwiches

The culmination of great ideas is often serendipitous. Sometimes creation occurs in quiet ways, such as ideas written on a paper napkin in a café. Such was the case for Ted and Betsy Merchant, Ashley Kim, Denise Longo and Rob Tribken.

Piece of Mind: Customers help rewrite video store's ending

Here's some great news for supporters of Hamlet Shahbazian, the beleaguered operator of La Cañada Video: He will be allowed to remain in place through October, after all. It seems his landlord, who had affixed a 30-day eviction notice to the store's front door in early August, has changed his...

Around Town: Examining the local trash collection debate

Valley Sun readers have pointed out that the city’s trash collection agreements will expire in 2015.

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: Learning the importance of etiquette

I was graduating from officers’ infantry school preparing to deploy to Vietnam. In the previous six months I learned every conceivable way to obliterate the enemy and how to deploy every weapons system from piano wire to the battleship New Jersey.

A Word, Please: There's nothing truly good about superfluity

A Word, Please: There's nothing truly good about superfluity

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...

Piece of Mind: Video store's sad ending is full of twists

Piece of Mind: Video store's sad ending is full of twists

The soft-spoken man behind the counter at La Cañada Video seems only slightly aware of the public outcry that is taking place on his behalf. Hamlet Shahbazian offers a modest smile when he's told that it's obvious from comments posted online this week that he is very much appreciated by all...

Around Town: It's time for a Sagebrush solution

Now that September is here, it's beginning to feel like Back to School has actually begun. The La Cañada Unified School District kids returned to school in August, and this week, the doors of local private schools are finally open.

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: Volunteering for Challenge Day at LCHS

Before I left for the Marines, my Uncle Joe, a veteran of the Pacific, said, “Never volunteer!” After disregarding his warning, I found myself in precarious situations.

A Word, Please: Punctuation isn't a business for kids

A Word, Please: Punctuation isn't a business for kids

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."

Around Town: Chihauhuas and pit bulls can fly

We were at the Huntington Medical Research Institutes open house in Pasadena when one of the board members mentioned her support for a special project at the Pasadena Humane Society.

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: Reverence for the flag and its hymn

Each morning at 7 o'clock, John Giacchio and I would unfurl the colors, then attach the clips of the rope to the eyelets embroidered into the blue field of stars. While humming “To the Colors,” we'd raise the flag and salute. At 5 p.m. we'd lower the flag, hum “Retreat,” then...

 Start the Presses: Seeking an involved readership

Start the Presses: Seeking an involved readership

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.

News-Press pet: Bobo

News-Press pet: Bobo

Bobo is an adult, fawn rabbit. He enjoys being petted and sitting in laps. A rabbit’s teeth never stop growing so special wooden blocks can be used for them to chew on to prevent damage to furniture.

A Word, Please: The rule says you should 'ignore' this headline

A Word, Please: The rule says you should 'ignore' this headline

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.

Piece of Mind: LCF holds a special-effects place in his heart

Piece of Mind: LCF holds a special-effects place in his heart

Flipping through vintage Valley Suns in late July to assemble items for the August “10-20-30” history articles, my eyes fell on a story published Aug. 20, 1964 that featured a local 17-year-old filmmaker who had directed and produced four 10- to 12-minute movies that summer.

Around Town: Anti-Semitism rears its head in Europe

Here's a confession to our readers. For the past 45 days, I've written about fluff, forth and anything but the subjects which truly concern me.

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: Philosophy with Sister Audrey

Sister Audrey was many things, but one thing for certain, she was my favorite teacher at the University of Dayton. Because of her, I became a student of philosophy.

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: Getting a charge out of changing cars... and times

It was zero-dark-hundred, a typical La Cañada Saturday morning. I was lost in the fifth edit of the Great American Novel when I happened to glance toward Gould Avenue.

Around Town: Seeing an early end to summer

Summer ended early in the Foothills. In order to accommodate lengthy “winter breaks” and teacher in-service days, public schools across the nation have moved their start date up to mid-August.

 A Word, Please: Their thinking on gerunds is a bit off

A Word, Please: Their thinking on gerunds is a bit off

A few weeks ago, I mentioned here a CNN article "about the president making an unannounced stop."

Piece of Mind: Catching up with the revolution

Ah, City Hall is at last poised to tiptoe into the 21st century, communications-wise, as the City Council adopted this week a social-media...

Around Town: Dealing with homeowner-builders

A fellow in our neighborhood fancies himself a builder. The only problem is that he skips the permit process. Over the years, he's received stop orders, then pulled a belated permit and been allowed to continue.

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: A company works against America's image

A painted glass sign inscribed “The Buck Stops Here” sat on Harry Truman's desk during his presidency. The expression originated from poker in which a buckhorn-handled knife was used to indicate the person whose turn it was to deal. If the individual did not wish to deal, he could pass...

A Word, Please: Laying out the difference between two verbs

A Word, Please: Laying out the difference between two verbs

Summertime is here, and with it come endless hours of sitting in the shade regretting all the years we spent baking in the sun.

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: Analyzing on a 'Fizzio Friday'

It hadn’t been a good week. I was poised to spend another five hours at Starbucks editing the Great American Novel. After 14 months I was stuck in a mire attempting to bring synthesis to 66 chapters of action. Was Ofa Hawkins, the heroine, believable in her consuming love for Seamus O’...

Around Town: Proper boosts community feeling

Another Monday night at the Proper. I was hanging out with Skippy, the bartender, sipping a non-alcoholic better-than-Shirley-Temple concoction with muddled berries, sprigs of mint and other stuff.

Piece of Mind: Educational foundations provide valuable service

Education inequality — such as undeniably exists between schools in affluent communities and those in poor areas — is of concern to anyone who has compassion for others and who understands the value of good schooling to the future of our civilization. If all children, from the most...

A Word, Please: Taking a look at Yankovic's 'Word Crimes'

A Word, Please: Taking a look at Yankovic's 'Word Crimes'

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...

Thoughts from Dr. Joe: Sharing the story of two travelers

Cecilia Del Valle Navarro is from the picturesque town of Alcazar de San Juan, located in the Castile-La Mancha region of Central Spain. The plains of La Mancha entice one into the world of Don Quixote de La Mancha created by Miguel de Cervantes. Alcazar de San Juan is a town of windmills, castles,...

Around Town: Continuing tales from the Proper

The summers are long in La Cañada Flintridge.

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