WWII carrier pigeon’s message holds mystery

The issue: The code-breaking machines are long gone, but a few nonagenarian minds may yet be able to help unlock one more secret In an era of supercomputers and multiple screens that seem to cater to our every information whim, there’s a certain satisfaction to be found in a musty mystery captivating Britain. IT SEEMS […]

December 12, 2012 | Posted in Our View | Tagged ,

A gift straight from Thomas’ heart

By Jeannie Johng-Nishikawa My 12-year-old daughter Victoria plays the violin and often needs me to buy her new strings. With her winter concert approaching, I knew I’d be making a trip to Watermelon Music in downtown Davis. I wanted the errand to go as quickly as possible. It was a freezing day and because I […]

December 12, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Too scared to act

Dear Annie: I work in the aftercare program of a highly regarded private school. It’s a part-time job at minimum wage, but the kids are great, and I am grateful to be employed. My problem is with the supervisor of the program. “Jane” constantly changes our group assignments, putting us with a different age group […]

Celebrate our breathtaking mountains

By Charlotte Orr Dec. 11 has been designated International Mountain Day. The day was created by the United Nations in 2003 to promote awareness about the importance of the world’s mountains and highlands. Mountains are crucial to life, provide most of the world’s fresh water, harbor a rich variety of plants and animals, and are […]

December 11, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Whose tax dollars, anyway?

A key question has raged in California for more than one year, ever since Gov. Jerry Brown first proposed two of his key tactics in the ongoing battle against seemingly perpetual state budget deficits. That question: To whom do tax dollars really belong? There are also these corollary questions: Are taxes collected by cities the […]

December 11, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Senate stumbles on U.N. disabilities treaty

The issue: What’s not to like about an international treaty that would ban discrimination? It may be difficult for many to remember how formidable Bob Dole was. The respected lion of the Senate, former Senate majority leader and standard-bearer of the Republican Party in 1996 worked miracles across the aisle with Democrats. It was a […]

December 11, 2012 | Posted in Our View | Tagged ,

Don’t mislabel our children

As a teacher, a parent and well, I guess just an informed human being, please let me state for the record that autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder are not, and will never be, “serious emotional problems” as stated in Kathy Glatter’s op-ed piece Sunday. I am chagrined that a medical doctor termed them […]

December 12, 2012 | Posted in Letters | Tagged ,

Dealing with an ingrate teen

Dear Annie: My family recently went on vacation, and my 17-year-old son was an absolute pain. He refused to go swimming with us at the pool, saying it would be too boring. He wouldn’t wear a jacket and tie to dinner at the hotel’s five-star restaurant, and when I told him he wouldn’t be able […]

Subtlety gets them nowhere

Dear Annie: My niece, “Susan,” is 23 years old and in college. After four years, she still hasn’t picked a major. She is quite intelligent, but lazy and immature. She is socially awkward and has lost friends because of her negative attitude. My problem is, Susan wants to “hang out” with my 15-year-old daughter. She […]

Something is changing, and not just the climate

You know the feeling you get sometimes that your relationship with someone is changing? You’re not getting along as smoothly as before, or you’re getting along better, but you’re not sure why. You notice things you didn’t notice before. You behave differently, too. That’s happening with the weather and me. Take last weekend. My husband […]

December 09, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

The story of Santa Claus is a beloved, well-intentioned lie

Last week I picked apart the Christmas Tree. This week: Santa. Here’s the deal: Santa Claus is the most well-intentioned, beloved lie we tell our kids. But, at the end of the season, it’s still a lie. And sooner or later, your kids will get suspicious. Maybe it’ll happen when she sees Santa at Macy’s […]

December 09, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Why the silence? Why? Why!?

Dear Annie: I have a sister who is 10 years older. “Doris” lives in a retirement hotel, and we speak often on the phone and see each other once a month or so. Recently, my oldest son told me he saw Doris dining in a posh restaurant. Even though I have since spoken to Doris, […]