Columns

Recurring Columns

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE COLUMNISTS

 

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

 

Animal Tales

Ask an Author

The Attorney's Corner

Bird Talk

Brew Beat

Dan's Tax Tips

Destination East County

Earth Talk ®

East County Eater

From the Chief's Corner

Marketing Matters

Media Watch

Medical Minute

On the Silver Screen

Political Wrangling

Produce Picks

Retirement Concierge

SD Trails

Smokin' Hot Places

Voter’s Watchdog

Vines and Wines

What Works

 

ARCHIVED COLUMNS (Columnists no longer active.)

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.

ASK AN AUTHOR - LOCAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR JENNIFER COBURN TALKS SEQUELS

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

May 5, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - Local writer, award-winning journalist and USA Today best-selling author Jennifer Coburn is finally joining me to offer advice to authors and talk about her latest book, We'll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Memoir. I've been trying to get her here for months and have been a fan since reading The Wife of Reilly, though I had no idea at the time that Coburn lived in San Diego – not until we both ended up scheduled at a local author event at the Barnes & Noble in Santee. She was promoting We'll Always Have Paris, her first memoir. Coburn has also authored six novels and contributed to four literary anthologies, not bad for someone who originally thought she couldn't write a novel.

How do you decide whether to write a sequel? - G. Elizabeth Kretchmer, author of Women on the Brink

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS MAY 6-26

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 4, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes the opening of Dinner and a Concert season in El Cajon, the Campo Roundup, the Coyote Music Festival, a Taste of Julian, Rihanna in concert, and a Jacumba community yard sale complete with Chinese Castle tour and rides in a flying saucer!

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including the Ramona Rodeo and Parade, Wild in the Country at Lions, Tigers and Bears,  a Laurel and Hardy Wacky Western night in Spring Valley,  a one-man musical show at Mission Trails Regional Park, and El Cajon’s America on Main Street  celebration.

So stay tuned for all of these events and more!

CHIEF’S CORNER: CAUTION, SNAKES OUT!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

April 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County ) -- We’ve all encountered them at one time or another, and never a pleasant experience “snakes!” (and I’m not referring to some of those ‘special’ people in your life or at work). “Snake season usually picks up steam between April and May," says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

EARTHTALK®: ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF VW CHEATING SCANDAL

 

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

Volkswagen is ponying up $18.2 billion to deal with its emissions cheating scandal, but environmentalists wonder if all the money in the world will be able to save those already negatively affected by the pollution and the wound to consumer confidence. Photo credit: Roddy Scheer.

April 23, 2016 --Dear EarthTalk: What has been the environmental impact of the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal?  -- Emily Warden, Philadelphia, PA

ASK AN AUTHOR – HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR WIP IS READY

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller



April 23, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - Aidan Donnelley Rowley and I tackle works in progress (WIPs) in this week's column, specifically the part of the process when they stop being “in progress” and become completed manuscripts. Rowley is the author of Life After Yes and a Yale University graduate with a law degree from Columbia University. Her latest novel The Ramblers is a “sophisticated tale of entangled urban lives” about three 30-something Manhattanites whose lives are forever altered over the course of Thanksgiving week.  

How does an author know when to stop editing/changing/reading the WIP and send it out into the world? Linda Crawford

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS APRIL 22 - MAY 7

 

East County News Service

April 20, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes a Wings of Freedom Vintage Air Show, Earth Day activities,  Lakeside’s Western Days Parade, a Beethoven to Broadway concert, a Spring Garden Festival and an Artist’s reception.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including an Arbor Day celebration, the launch of El Cajon’s Dinner and a Concert series, a hike on the El Monte Flume Trail, the Coyote Music Festival and more.

So stay tuned for all of these events and more.

HOW PREPARED IS SAN DIEGO FOR THE JUNE PRIMARY ELECTION? Q & A WITH REGISTRAR OF VOTERS MICHAEL VU

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 17, 2016 (San Diego) --In light of issues in some other states about long lines to vote, cuts in polling places or numbers of voting machines,  lack of enough voting machines on college campuses and Indian reservations, and an inquiry from a reader, we sent questions to San Diego Registrar of Voters Michael Vu.  We also asked about deadlines to register to vote , change parties or get a mail ballot for the June 7 primary, and procedures to verify your registration. In addition, we got information on how you can vote early, as well as the need for poll workers, particularly bilingual poll workers for the election.

Below are our questions, along with Vu’s responses.

ASK AN AUTHOR – MJ SUMMERS AND WRITING WITH A PEN NAME

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

April 14, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - We're going to talk about pen names and book promotion in today's column. To help me with this is my second favorite MJ, international best-selling author MJ Summers! She is the author of the steamy romance breakout novel, Break in Two, which propelled her career forward all the way to a six-figure book deal. She's since published four novels in the Full Hearts series and the novella Don't Let Go, a prequel to Break in Two. Her fifth Full Hearts novel, The Break-up, is available for pre-order.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS APRIL 16-MAY 7

 

By Miriam Raftery

This week’s Destination East County includes the opening of Cajon Classic Cruises this season, an antiques and crafts fair in Flinn Springs, a Victorian tea in Alpine,  and a Magic in the Mountains event in Ramona benefitting our own nonprofit  media and wildfire alerts.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including a Spring Garden Festival, Lakeside Western Days Parade, an Arbor Day Celebration, the Coyote Music Festival and many others.

So scroll down for all of these events and more.

VOTERS’ WATCHDOG: SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS KEY PROVISION OF VOTING RIGHTS ACT

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by David Sachs, SEIU on FlickR

April 5, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — The U.S. Supreme Court handed a victory to civil rights activists and a loss to conservative challengers, upholding a key provision of the U.S. Voting Rights Act by a unanimous 8 to 0 vote.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS APRIL 1 TO MAY 7TH

 

 

East County News Service

March 31, 2016 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes Mozart, an Old West Art Fest, the Garden Native Tour, Padre’s Opening Day and more.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including the Spring Garden Festival at Cuyamaca College, Chaldean Nights at Sycuan in El Cajon and an El Monte Flume Trail Hike.

So scroll down for all of these events and more.

ASK AN AUTHOR – ANDREW CASE TALKS BENEFITS OF SEEKING A PUBLISHER

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

Andrew Case joins us on the Ask An Author column to answers a question from a reader and a few from me while fitting in a nice nod to La Jolla. Case is an award-winning playwright and the author of The Big Fear, currently the #2 best seller in the kindle store on Amazon.com.

CHIEF’S CORNER: OMG! NO LOL HERE: DRIVING YOURSELF TO DEATH

 

April is Distracted Driving Month

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

March 27, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- They’ve drifted into your lane, driven right through red lights, blown past you in a hurry only to sit when the light turns greens (because their testing). They injure or kill thousands annually! Chances are you’re (or have been) one of them.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS MARCH 26-APRIL 10

 

East County News Service

March 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes an Eggstravaganza at Santee Lakes, Spring Harp Fest – a harmonica festival in La Mesa, a water-wise garden tour, Vietnam remembered in Lemon Grove, and more.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including the Music of Mozart in Spring Valley, an Old West Art Fest in Shelter Valley, and a Garden Native tour across East County.  So scroll down for all of these events and more!

SENATE UNANIMOUSLY PASSES FOIA REFORM BILL TO INCREASE ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2016 (Washington D.C.)—The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed legislation with rare bipartisan support that would make it easier for the public and media to obtain government records under the Freedom of Information Act.

The bill was authored by Senator John Cornyn of Texas with San Diego Congressman Darrell Issa as the lead sponsor of the bill.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS MARCH 17 - 29

 

East County News Service

March 17, 2016 (San Diego's East County) --This week’s Destination East County includes unplugged at Parkway Plaza, open house at Oasis Camel Dairy, the Borrego Garden Tour, Snoopy the musical and an a cappella quartet at the Joan Kroc Theater.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including the Spring Harpfest, Santee Lakes Eggstravaganza and a Water-wise Garden tour.  So scroll down for all of these events and more!

 

FROM THE CHIEFS CORNER: ST. PATRICK’S DAY SAFETY

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

It’s Called Common Sense – Not Irish Luck!

March 14, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- St. Patrick’s Day is here and this is the day when everyone of every nationality turns Irish. You’ll need more than “Luck of the Irish” to have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll need your common sense!

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS MARCH 11-31

 

East County News Service

March 10, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes a Gatlin Brothers concert, a St. Patrick’s Day fun run, a Circle of Art Show in Borrego Springs, and live theater including Mack and Mabel, set in the silent movie era of yesteryear.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including Tomatomania for garden lovers, Lake Jennings spring carnival,  garden tours galore and the Spring HarpFest in La Mesa. So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

CHIEF’S CORNER: EL NIÑO OR EL SUN SCREEÑO?

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

March 6, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- I don’t think I’ve sported a better tan during what has been predicted to be the wettest year in decades. I know I’ve been preaching El Nino Preparedness and catching grief about it. Please El Nino - raise your head and rain upon us…I can look foolish on my own!

READER'S EDITORIAL: TRIBES ASK SUPPORT FOR SANDERS' BILL TO PROTECT SACRED OAK FLAT FROM DESTRUCTION BY FOREIGN-OWNED MINING GIANTS

 

By Stephen Fox



March 4, 2016 (Oak Flat, Az.) -- Tribes nation-wide and other Americans across the country deeply appreciate Senator Bernie Sanders' efforts in the U.S. Senate to protect tribal sacred land in Arizona known as Oak Flat, located on U.S. Forest Service land, from destruction by foreign-owned mining conglomerates Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton through their U.S. limited liability company Resolution Copper Mining.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS MARCH 4-26

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

This week’s Destination East County includes a night hike with stargazing at the Santa Ysabel preserve, a Pirate’s Cove run/walk at Lake Cuyamaca, live music in La Mesa, and the Julian Doves and Desperados performing wild west skits in Julian.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, egg hunts, garden tours, a desert art show, a backroom beer pairing, a harmonica festival, a spring carnival, Snoopy the musical, and a hike to the Valley of the Moon..

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY FEB. 24-MARCH 26

 

February 24, 2016 (San Diego's East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes a musical production of Charlotte’s Web, a Black History Celebration, and the final weekend of Hawk Watch in Ramona.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including a hike to the Valley of the Moon, the Borrego Garden Tour, a St. Patrick’s Day walk and fun/run through downtown El Cajon, and much more.  So scroll down for all of these events and more.

CHIEF’S CORNER: FLU SAFETY TIPS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Ignorance or Arrogance?

February 23, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- You probably don’t remember me, but I remember you. At the bank, the gym, the receptionist...you were the one disgustingly sneezing, coughing and hacking without covering your mouth. Like a driver texting, you’re placing everyone else at risk. Is it just ignorance or arrogance?

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