March 1, 2015

Topanga Tim's Survival Tips— I Hear Sirens! What’s Going On?

 Here in calm, peaceful Topanga, fire engine sirens are especially piercing. And during high fire danger days, sirens can be a little unnerving, too. Some Topangans have commercial radios that can let them listen to the fire dispatch calls. But if you don’t want to spend $300 and strap a brick-sized radio to your belt, you can download a “scanner” app for your smartphone instead. These free apps, which are available for Android and iPhone, let you listen… [Read More...]

Kids in the Canyon—Time and Place: Empowering Parents and Teaching Children

 One of my favorite and most necessary things to teach my students is the concept of “time and place.” I teach the children using the traditional sports time-out hand signal, a “T” made using both hands, except I tell them that in the classroom the signal means time and place. When I make the signal, we take a pause and think about where we are and what (learning) time it is. For example, “Where are we? We are on the carpet. Why are we here? We are here… [Read More...]

“And Everything Else”…For Al

 It’s not that I forget about Topanga. It’s always with me and indeed in that bombastic, boomtown of Santa Monica, at our place of business, Shaka Shack Burgers, a street sign reading “Old Topanga Canyon Rd.” hangs on our wall, watching over us. Now and then I glance up wishing I were there. So it was edifying to be part of the Topanga Community Club Potluck Gala and Messenger Drawing on Feb. 8. Of course, after figuring out what to wear, I ran int… [Read More...]