Carnett: These guys brought military precision to OCC

Their given names were Randall, Norbert and Walter, but no one ever called them that.

Apodaca: Free-range parenting style is another simplistic fad

When I was a kid I had very little in the way of organized, adult-supervised activities outside of school, and my parents certainly did not obsess over my every move.

Commentary: Bless water, bless humanity itself

I recently attended a conference in Montecito titled "Why Water Is Sacred."

My Answer: Mend ties with sister before it's too late

Q: My sister and I had a falling out a few years ago and haven't spoken since. But this past Christmas we ran into each other at a party, and she said it was silly for us to keep on like this. However, she also made it plain that she wasn't going to apologize, and I'm certainly not going to...

The God Squad: How do we rediscover God's voice?

Q: I'm 67 and I haven't been able to pray for months. I read your column each week, and I note many comments that speak to me. I do believe in God, his endless love and power and his tremendous sacrifice so my sins would be forgiven.

The Harbor Report: Not a stellar time for harbor's sea stars

The Harbor Report: Not a stellar time for harbor's sea stars

Not sure how many of you were on the harbor last weekend and noticed all the Pleuroncodes planipes, or red crabs, doing their thing. By Monday afternoon, it appeared that they had little to no life left in them.

Venezia: It looks like a sparring match between Moorlach and Wagner

Things are heating up in the March 17 special election for the 37th state Senate District.

Reel Critics: Why only a single Best Picture?

After watching the Academy Awards show, it's clear that this was a year with a great many worthy Oscar nominees. But a few glaring omissions cry out for further recognition.

The Crowd: Two decades of decorating lives

The Decorative Arts Society (DARTS) in Newport Beach is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015.

Friends of the Libraries: Lobby for your dream library

What do you think should be included in a public library in Costa Mesa? Have you seen something elsewhere that appeals to you?

A Word, Please: An editor's single-minded effort to correct a pet peeve

Did you hear the one about the guy who went onto Wikipedia and deleted 47,000 instances of the phrase "comprised of"?

Carnett: You might say the students had a lick of talent

Whenever I'm asked where I went to secondary school, I'm tempted to say Green Chip High School of Costa Mesa.

Apodaca: Pressure means that teaching to the test won't last

In a recent column, I observed that the Corona del Mar High School cheating scandal highlighted the over-reliance on outside tutors.

The God Squad: Does the Lord permit loopholes?

Q: I understand why Orthodox Jews in Westhampton Beach, N.Y., have fought for an eruv (ritual enclosure) for years, so I don't blame them for it and congratulate them for finally "winning" one from village officials. But I can't help wondering if establishing eruvs is a little like cheating on God...

The Harbor Report: Rowing coach put the 'sea' in OCC

Between 1983 and 1985, I was at the Orange Coast College sailing center almost every day as a member of the OCC sailing team and then one year as coach. During this time, I met people like Jim Jorgensen, Brad Avery and Dave Grant.

My Answer: The story of the prodigal freshman

Q: I admit I had a good time in college and didn't work very hard, but now all I can find is a dead-end job. I don't have a question, but maybe you could urge people headed for college not to waste the opportunity like I did. — P. McC.

Reel Critics: 'Service' with a goofy smile

Colin Firth, Michael Caine and Samuel L. Jackson team up for a rollicking good time in "Kingsman: The Secret Service." It's the sort of spy thriller with a sense of humor first pioneered by the early James Bond movies. But this new R-rated version is faster, funnier and more furious than any of Sean...

Check It Out: Get your nose in a laptop

Look around you. How many people did you see on their phones, laptops and computers with their faces fixed on a screen? Our minds and world are shaped by what goes on in the palm of our hand. It wasn't like this as early as a few years ago, was it?

Venezia: Peotter brings an unpleasantness to Newport government

Last week the Newport Beach City Council voted to reduce dock fees, delivering on a campaign promise by "Team Newport" — newly elected council members Marshall Duffield, Kevin Muldoon,...

The Crowd: A Legend in his own time at CHOC gala

The Crowd: A Legend in his own time at CHOC gala

John Wayne Airport was unusually busy on this particular Saturday evening. Amid the usual hustle of travelers, one special gentleman and his exquisite model wife landed on the private tarmac, courtesy of a helicopter bringing them in from Los Angeles.

A Word, Please: An eggcorn is also known as a mondegreen

When enough people use a word wrong, eventually it becomes right. That's how every word in the language came to be. People started using a word differently than before (read: wrong) and it caught on and at one point started being right.

Around Town: Roadwork closes part of Back Bay Drive

A portion of Back Bay Drive between Shellmaker Road and Eastbluff Drive in Newport Beach is closed to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists on weekdays until Feb. 27.

Fitness Files: Apply wisdom to your teeth

Remember when we were kids? Everybody had tonsillectomies. Then adenoid surgeries. Then tubes in the ears.

Carnett: A little Pentecostal envy: What's wrong with emoting?

I remember summer Sunday evenings spent hiding in the bushes outside a small Pentecostal church on Costa Mesa's Eastside.

Apodaca: Split has church looking for new members

How does a new church leader fill the pews again after a contentious legal dispute resulted in the departure of nearly the entire congregation?

My Answer: Money not the road to salvation

Q: When our family got together over the holidays we began talking about what we wanted out of life, and one of my cousins answered with one word: money. I guess I've never thought about this much, except to be happy. Is my cousin on the right track? Should this be my goal, too? — K.G.T.

The God Squad: Would you be God for a day?

Q: If you could be God for a day, why would you want the opportunity?