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EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE COLUMNISTS

 

CLICK TO READ ALL CURRENT AND PAST COLUMNS BY THESE COLUMNISTS:

American Trivia

Ask the Retirement Concierge

The Attorney's Corner

Baja Blog

Bird Talk

Brew Beat

Caregiver's Journey

Deane's List

Destination East County

The Dog Blog

Dollar-Wise Divas

Dream Dogs

Earth Talk ®

East County Eater

East of the Line

Education Tour

From the Chief's Corner

Front and Center

Good Money

Homeowner's Guru

Kelly’s Travel Tips & Trips

Left Hook

Life on the Autism Spectrum

Marketing Matters

Media Watch

On the Silver Screen

Political Reflections

Political Wrangling

Purple Mountain Sage

Real Estate Trenches

Reno Dispatch

Social Security News You Can Use

Student's Corner (Students, please submit content!)

Sylvia's Soapbox

Voter’s Watchdog

Vines and Wines

 

ARCHIVED COLUMNS (Columnists no longer active. We are seeking replacement columnists for those marked with *. If you are interested in taking over one of these columns, please contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org. We also need more restaurant reviewers!)

Building with Clyde

*Citizens’ Park Review

*Cheapskate's Guide

*Crafting With Mary

Lederer on Language

 *The Loan Doc  (home mortgage and finance)

Pearls

 Policy Matters  (insurance issues)

 The Reno Report (Jamie Reno's opinions)

 *The Rolling Reviewer (issues of interest to disabled readers)

Simple Wisdom

 *Vines and Steins (East County wine and beer)

The Will Power Report

Scroll down to see the most recent column entries by all columnists, or click your favorite columnist's link above to see all current and past columns.

READER'S EDITORIAL: SMEAR CAMPAIGN IN ALPINE

 

By Ben Locke, Alpine

October 24, 2014 (Alpine) - With the election nearing, even in Alpine, I have seen some negative campaigning. I would like to  provide my opinion on Lou Russo.

POLITICAL WRANGLING: GAFFES, GOOFS AND MUDSLINGING IN EAST COUNTY RACES

 

By Buck Shott

October 25, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- The mud is flying as the clock ticks down to the November 4th election.  Here are some of the latest juicy stories, scandals and mud-slinging tactics on the campaign trail in San Diego and East County.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: DON'T BE A PUMPKIN HEAD!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

October 21, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - There’s a lot to cover for Halloween Safety and rather be a Pumpkin Head, let go over a few safety reminders advises Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.  Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you. Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.  Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always walk and don't run from house to house.

BAJA BLOG: LA MISION EQUESTRIANS - MORE ABOUT HORSES IN BAJA

 

By Susan A Mahalick

October 21, 2014 (Baja, Mexico)--In my previous article about Black Cross Winery and the Pretty Horses Ranch, I touched on how important both wine and horses are in this part of Baja. Now I want to expand on a group founded by Carla Jesme to help pay for the upkeep of her horse. She arrived here and fell in love with horses and the way of life in La Misión, with all the unpaved roads and trails up in the hills, along with beach rides.

THE ATTORNEY'S CORNER: BENEFITS OF A REVOCABLE TRUST

 

“Articles Concerning Trusts, Wills, Probate, Family Law & more”

By Stephen C. Ross, Esq.

October 10, 2014 (San Diego County) – The primary benefit of a revocable trust is often considered to be avoidance of probate. Although it is true assets held in trust avoid probate, there are several other benefits of a revocable trust to consider. The following are trust benefits that may, or may not, be important to you.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS OCT. 23-NOV. 2

By Miriam Raftery

Radio show hosted by Rebecca Williamson and Leon Thompson

October 21, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) --This week’s Destination East County includes some spooky Halloween happenings, a picnic with parrots, and our very own Party with the Press benefit event, all this weekend right here in East County. 

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions, including a wine festival at a castle in Ramona and a hot chili cook-off in Lemon Grove.

So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more, from East County Magazine!

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS OCT. 17-26

 

October 14, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) --This week’s Destination East County has some awesome autumn activities, from a spooky hayride in Julian to classic car cruisin’ at Santee Lakes, plus an international jousting competition—all in San Diego’s inland regions.

VINES AND WINES: MT. HELIX WINE GROWERS "MEET AND GREET" REPORT

 

 

By Donn Rutkoff

October 12, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - On a lovely Sunday afternoon in Sept., the Mt. Helix Wine Growers Association held their 3rd annual "Meet and Greet", otherwise known as a potluck and wine sharing.  About 30 growers came together to share news and ideas.  A few really good locally made wines were brought, one in particular was from Kristi (Anderson) and Suzie, a newly bottled Syrah.  Based on what your reporter tasted, the future continues to look very tasty for locally grown wines.

EARTHTALK(R): PLASTIC BAG BAN

 

EarthTalk® E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What’s the latest on efforts to ban plastic bags? How many U.S. locales have instituted some kind of ban, and have these initiatives made a dent in the amount of plastic litter?

                                                                                                               -- Melinda Clarke, New York, NY

October 11, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - California made big news recently when it announced the first statewide ban on plastic shopping bags set to kick in during the middle of 2015. Beginning in July, large grocery stores, pharmacies and other food retailers in the Golden State will no longer be able to send shoppers home with plastic bags, while convenience markets, liquor stores and other small food retailers will join the ranks a year later.

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: HELL-O DOLLY! (ANNABELLE)

 

By Brian Lafferty

October 10, 2014 (San Diego) – When I wasn't covering my eyes, holding my breath, and jumping in my seat, I laughed inside and thought sarcastically, "I know Uncle John would just love Annabelle." My Uncle John lives with my 99 year-old grandmother, who has collected many things over the years, including a doll that gives him and most of my family the creeps. It's an old-school baby doll that looks, feels, and weighs the same as a real baby. When you walk past it, you get the feeling it's watching you. And my grandmother insists on having it in her living room.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: OCTOBER 11-26

 

October 7, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) --This week’s Destination East County features an art show, a vintners’ harvest festival, a Fair Trade holiday sale, and the Pumpkin Express complete with a haunted train, among other attractions. Plus we’ll have a preview of some big events coming up later this month, from an Enchanted Garden Gala to the Borrego Days Desert Festival and HauntFest on Main Street.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: H20 - OH SO GOOD!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

October 4, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - It’s hot outside, so make sure you stay hydrated.  Give the lawn a break, but don’t cut-back on yourself.  Dehydration occurs when your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should.A.D.A.M. “Dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe, based on how much of your body's fluid is lost or not replaced. Severe dehydration is a life-threatening emergency says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.”

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY OCT. 3-12: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 1, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) - This week’s Destination East County features some fabulous backcountry festivals, from Jacumba Hot Springs Centennial Celebration to Julian’s Apple Days. Oktoberfests also continue this weekend in La Mesa and El Cajon.

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

 

 

 

Part III in a series

By the East County Eaters

Week 3:  Bleu Boheme (Kensington) and Cali Comfort (Spring Valley)

September 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)— For week three in our quest to bring you the most delightful and different happy hours across our inland region, we indulged in French cuisine and burgundy at Bleu Boheme, owned by a prominent San Diego retauranteur in Kensington. We also found fabulous half-price barbecue tri-tip and wings so hot they’re named for a local firefighters’ crew at Cali Comfort in Spring Valley, a sports bar and restaurant that has found the winning combination for hospitality.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS SEPT. 25-OCT. 11

 

 

September 24, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – This week’s Destination East County features some major events this weekend, including Oktoberfests, a major music festival and street fair, a fiesta,  a parade, plus concerts by the Eagles and a Barbra Streisand tribute artist.  Plus we’ll have previews of some delicious events coming up soon, including Julian Apple Days, the East County Vintners Harvest Days, a Pumpkin Festival, and Jacumba Hot Springs centennial celebration! Find all these events and more below.

 

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: BLOOD MONEY IN, BLOOD MONEY OUT (THE DROP)

 

By Brian Lafferty

September 24, 2014 (San Diego) -- I don't know if Michaël Roskam is a man of few words, but his films certainly are. He burst onto the international film scene with the Oscar-nominated Bullhead (2012), which took its sweet time (about halfway in) to fully reveal the tortured past of its protagonist (Matthias Schoenaerts). The Drop, only his second feature film and his first in the English language, further cements his reputation as a cagey storyteller.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: SEPT. 20 - SEPT. 28

 

September 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – This week’s Destination East County has some hot musical and theater events, also marking the start of Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations.  Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions, from a Fiesta in Spring Valley to the Viejas Days Parade.

EARTHTALK(R): DOES ETHANOL IN THE GAS TANK FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE?

 

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I thought that putting ethanol in our gas tanks was going help fight climate change, but lately I’ve heard reports to the contrary. Can you enlighten?       -- Bill B., Hershey, PA

Ethanol and similar “biofuels” made from corn and other crops seem like a good idea given their potential for reducing our carbon outputs as well as our reliance on fossil fuels. But recent research has shown that the federal government’s push to up production of corn-derived ethanol as a gasoline additive since 2007 has actually expanded our national carbon footprint and contributed to a range of other problems.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: SILVERADO FIRE WARNING

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

September 14, 2014 (Southern California)--“The Silverado Fire in Orange County should serve as a reminder of things to come with extreme fire danger reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. A weak high pressure system had driven temperatures up and humidity levels down which are indicators Fall is upon us. This fire grew from hundreds of acres to over a thousand in a very short amount of time. Fortunately we did not have the fierce Santa Ana winds driving this fire or we’d likely be working this fire to the ocean.”

THE ATTORNEY'S CORNER: ESTATE PLANNING FOR FAMILY BUSINESSES

 

“Articles Concerning Trusts, Wills, Probate, Family Law & more”

By Stephen C. Ross, Esq.

September 13, 2014 (San Diego County) – Planning to pass on a family business can be very challenging due to the many issues that must be considered. Business succession issues include: who will take over from the current owner; potential income and transfer taxes; when does the ownership transfer take place; how should the new owner hold his/her interest; and, are there family members to consider who are not active in the business.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: CALIFORNIA FIREFIGHTERS REMINDING YOU SEPTEMBER MARKS NATIONAL PREPARED MONTH!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna



September 12, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - It’s National Preparedness Month, a time when communities, emergency responders, businesses, and families come together to make sure they are prepared for the next disaster. This year’s theme is “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Our guard is down and now is the time to prepare!

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY

 

Part II in a series

By the East County Eaters

 

Week 2:  Alpine Beer Company Pub (Alpine) and Vine Cottage (La Mesa)

September 11, 2014 (San Diego's East County)--Last week, we opened our Best Happy Hours in East County series by focusing on some premier locations for cocktails. This week, our eager team of eaters and drinkers hit the road once again, this time bringing you reviews of a local brewery’s pub that’s one of the most popular watering holes in the backcountry, along with a European-style bistro with a wonderful wine bar and some of the best happy hour food deals in town.

 

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY

 

September 10, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) - This week’s Destination East County has some wild events—from the “We Like it Wild” benefit for Project Wildlife to a wildlife tracking event, a storytelling session, and an effort to break a world record with a spectacular fireworks display.  Plus we’ll have previews of future attractions, from a free kids care fest to a music festival in Julian , from theater and concert performances to a Somali Bantu African cultural celebration.

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: LOVE MEANS HAVING TO SAY YOU'RE SORRY (A LETTER TO MOMO)

 

By Brian Lafferty

September 10, 2014 (San Diego) – Hayao Miyazaki’s retirement has left a void in the realm of anime. His monopoly on the genre was such that it’s difficult to divorce his films from those of other anime filmmakers. Hiroyuki Okiura’s A Letter to Momo is a serviceable piece of anime filmmaking that pushes the right emotional buttons. Maybe it’s because I’ve been spoiled with such Miyazaki masterpieces as Castle in the Sky (1986), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), and Princess Mononoke (1997), but at Momo’s finish, I felt like it should have been something more.

BAJA BLOG: BLACK CROSS WINERY IN ROSARITO AND PRETTY HORSES RESCUE

 

By Susan A. Mahalick

September 6, 2014 (Baja, Mexico)--Nestled up in the golden hills is a winery that is the vision of another one of our women winemakers here in Baja. The location of this venue was determined by the location of the Pretty Horses Rescue ranch. This part of Baja and horses go together with wine tasting as a natural outcome of blending two favorite activities of residents down here. There is a hitching post at the tasting room and plans are to build a horse trail around the ranch property.

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY!

 

 

 

 

Part 1 in a series

By the very happy East County Eaters at East County Magazine

Week 1: Terra American Bistro (San Diego/La Mesa area) and Viejas Resort & Casino (Alpine)

September 4, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—Our intrepid team of East County Eaters have been on the road in search of the best Happy Hours across our inland region. (It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!) Each week, we’ll be featuring two locales offering diverse experiences. Whether your tastes run to sushi bars or cowboy bars, wine bistros or craft brew pubs, urban eateries or mountain taverns, you’ll find plenty to whet your appetite!

To kick off our series, we start by featuring two of our favorites:  Terra American Bistro, a bistro and bar that prides itself on farm-to-table fresh cuisine--right down to the fresh-squeeze passionfruits in our cocktails and the refreshingly tasty and affordable appetizers, plus we tried our luck at Viejas Casino and Resort -- a four-star vacation destination hotel with some great specials sure to make you happy. Cheers!

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: SEPT. 3-SEPT. 20

Photo: Julian Grape Stomp Festa

 

By Miriam Raftery

Autumn is in the air – and this week’s Destination East County activities reflect that.  This weekend you can enjoy apples, trains, grape stomping and a pow-wow! Plus we have a preview of coming attractions, from an attempt to break the world record for fireworks, to an end-of-summer music festival.

VINES AND WINES: SO WHAT ARE THOSE "FRENCH" AND "ITALIAN" VARIETALS?

 

By Donn Rutkoff

September 1, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - You hear the term, but you don't know what it really means.  Why are some grapes called Bordeaux grapes, if what I drink is from California?  And why are they sometimes called vinifera or Vitis vinifera and why are they connected to each other?  What is a cultivar, or a Bordeaux grape?

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: CALIF. GRAPE CRUSH AND CRASH COMES EARLY-- WINE AWARENESS MONTH IS SEPTEMBER

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

August 29, 2014 (San Diego)--It appears the California Grape Crush came crashing in a bit early and un-expectantly for the Napa wine region. On the eve of the 2014 harvest, Napa and Napa Valley wineries were rocked by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake in the early hours of Sunday morning. The quake injured over 100 people, but fortunately claimed no lives says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Napa’s Resiliency is to be commended, however, a good reminder for all of us to be prepared… Coincidentally, September is National Wine Awareness Month and wine has become so vital to California, that it deserves a whole month.

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