Commentary: One key to writing is having a story to tell

I began keeping a journal in the eighth grade. What prompted me to write was Amia Lucia Donatella Davia. She was the new student in Sister Dolores' class who came from Caltanissetta, Sicily. Amia was the reincarnation of Venus, the Roman goddess of beauty. I was compelled to write about her and,...

Commentary: The average risk of breast cancer is higher than you think

When it comes to mammography, I am not a fan of "normal." Being told that your mammogram is normal might sound nice, but normal doesn't tell you anything other than right now, at this exact moment, you don't appear to have any evidence of breast cancer.

Commentary: Thoughts on papal visit from a Cuban, Catholic

Pope Francis was greeted by a multitude of cheers upon his arrival to the island nation of Cuba, a country where I was born and I called home for the first six years of my life.

Mailbag: Proposed Fountain Valley sign is a 'hideous plan'

We have lived in North Mesa Verde, Costa Mesa, for over 50 years. We have freeway noise, airplane noise, helicopter noise.

Mailbag: It's time to stop ignoring high school football concussions

Re. "Barbato returns to CdM," (Sept. 24): On Sept. 28, 2001, our 17-year-old grandson, Matthew Colby, died playing football for Costa Mesa High School.

Commentary: Brown should veto bill that penalizes Costa Mesa for transparency

With the impending stroke of his pen, Gov. Jerry Brown could potentially mete out one of the biggest and most cynical acts of revenge against taxpayers by signing into law the Civic Reporting Openness in Negotiations Efficiency act, or CRONE for short.

Commentary: The mysteries of the U.S. Mail belong in a book

I've always loved a mystery, from the time I first read Nancy Drew as a little girl.

Commentary: A spiritual answer to fluctuating health advice

How can we determine what is good or detrimental to our health?

Commentary: Paying teachers more would reduce pending shortage

Every so often, like the reemergence of El Niño, the topic of a teaching shortage reappears on op-ed pages and talk radio.

Commentary: Kids should thank their parents for their sacrifices

I recently overheard a young teenager complain about having to walk to school two miles (gasp).


The Crowd: 'Priceless Luncheon' spotlights human trafficking

 They called it "The Priceless Luncheon," a gathering of concerned O.C. residents horrified by the explosion of human trafficking worldwide, including abuse in the U.S.

Venezia: Costa Mesa helipad proposal hovers over Newport

I like to scratch the surface a bit more after reading a story that piques my interest.

Casagrande: Six words that may invite contradiction

Because I'm a grammar columnist, anything I write can become a lightning rod for the Gotcha Squad. If an error appears in this column — no matter if it's real or perceived — rest assured that I hear about it.

Fitness Files: Hiking with safety in mind

Almost exactly one year ago, Paul and I splashed through The Narrows, a slot canyon in Zion National Park.

Carnett: Chinese competition challenges Western viewer

It seems antithetical to all things American.

From the Boathouse: Lobster season is upon us

Ahoy, and once again, let the bug hunting begin.


Editorial: City should air Eastside debate

Costa Mesa City Hall recently decided not to broadcast the Oct. 2 political forum sponsored by the Eastside Costa Mesa Neighbors' Group. The city's election counsel had concerns about dedicating public funds and city staff time toward political events or activities.

Orange County toll road blues

Like many other toll roads across the nation, those in Orange County have gone cashless. Motorists who aren't equipped with a transponder are supposed to set up an online credit card account with the Transportation Corridor Agencies — their license plates are read automatically and their...

Editorial: Adams fence is a necessary evil

The school board recently made one of those unpopular but necessary decisions of the post-Isla Vista, post-Sandy Hook, post-Fort Hood, post-Aurora, post-Virginia Tech, post-Littleton, post-etc. world.

Editorial: David Stiller set a good example

Community service isn't what it used to be. You sign up for a city committee these days and you're met with brickbats and backhands, critiques and criticism, not to mention marathon meetings. Sometimes you deserve the criticism, sometimes you don't.

Editorial: You should have 'good cause' to carry a gun

As you've likely read, the Orange County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to hire 15 retired sheriff's deputies to process an increase in applications for concealed-weapons permits. They did this in response to a U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that will allow more people to carry guns...

Editorial: Cheating scandal exposes unrealistic expectations

The alleged cheating scandal at Corona del Mar High School is an interesting case study in how students in one of the county's top-performing high schools responded to intense pressure to succeed. We're talking about a world where some children feel like their lives are over if they don't gain...

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Patrice Apodaca

Newport-Mesa public school parent, writer

Read her columns ...

Len Bose

An experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist

Read his columns ...

Jim Carnett

Longtime Costa Mesa resident

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June Casagrande

Grammar book author, columnist and editor

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Barbara Venezia

Newport Beach resident, political columnist

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Mike Whitehead

Host of boating radio talk show, "Boathouse Radio Show"

Read his columns ...