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ARCHIVED COLUMNS (Columnists no longer active.)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.

CHIEF’S CORNER: BRUSH FIRE SAFETY TIPS FOR HOMEOWNERS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

August 30, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- There’s nothing wrong with being defensive, and providing some space!  Firefighting resources can get stretched thin this time of year as multiple brush fires break out. It’s important that homeowners do their part to mitigate the threat of wildfire by creating defensible space around their homes. .

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS SEPT. 3-OCT. 2

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 30, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes a living history pageant on Mt. Laguna, the Barona Powwow, a grape stomp festival in Julian, Stockzilla at Santee Lakes and more.

 Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including musical festivals in Santee and Julian, the Sycuan Powwow, a chili cook-off in Alpine, Julian’s Apple Days, and La Mesa’s expanded Oktoberfest.

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

CHIEF’S CORNER: BACK TO SCHOOL SAFETY TIPS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Let’s All Have A Little Class!

August 30, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- When I was younger I hated all the “back to school commercials and ads.” It was the dreaded reminder summer was over and it was back to school time!

One class we all need is, It’s important to use extra caution while driving as excited students will be walking, bicycling, driving, riding buses and may not be paying attention while traveling to and from school.

Let’s take our first lesson with some safety reminders:

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: FESTIVALS AND EVENTS AUG. 25-OCT. 2

 

East County News Service

Listen to Destination East County!  Click the orange arrow above.

August 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes the Ramona Country Fair, a Tierra del Sol star party, a grand opening celebration at La Mesa Wine Works, the Live at the Lakes concert in Santa Ysabel, and Corvette Cruise Night in El Cajon. Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including a concert at Sycuan Resort, the Julian Grape Stomp Festa, music festivals in Santee and Julian, Julian Apple Days, the La Mesa Oktoberfest, and the Barona Powwow.

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

Audio: 

ASK AN AUTHOR – HAS THE ROMANCE GENRE GROWN?

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller, author of the free book Between Boyfriends

August 19, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - One of my favorite local authors, Jan Moran, is helping me to talk about romance and writing. Jan and I “met” on Goodreads.com when I reached out to her because she had recently moved to San Diego and my Between Boyfriends protagonist is named Jan as well. We've since done two local author events together and I've found her to be as smart about publishing as she is talented at writing. We also happen to each have a book included in the Finding Love in All the Right Places romance bundle, 12 novels for 99 cents.

How do you think the romance genre has grown? Is it overwhelmed, growing, dying, or in need of a face lift? – Annelle Willard, author of Frosted Sweets

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS AUG.18-SEPT. 25

 

 

East County News Service

 

August 18,2016 (San Diego's East County) -- This week’s Destination East County include night fishing, a jazz musical, and the Ramona Country Fair.  Plus we’ll tell you about coming attractions including grape stomp, a bluegrass festival, an apple festival and other festive finds.

So stay tuned for all of these events and many more!

SAMMY’S WOOD-FIRED PIZZA HAS TASTY VEGETARIAN OPTIONS

 

By Chisato Iversen

August 17, 2016 (La Mesa) - East County Magazine stopped by Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza (
8555 Fletcher Pkwy, La Mesa) to have some lunch.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that unlike most pizza places this restaurant has wide variety of foods and was really international--from soups, to tacos, all the way to, of course pizzas. I am pescatarian, so was definitely really happy to see that they have a lot of food options that are for vegetarians or vegans. 

EARTHTALK®: HELPING SCHOOLS GO SOLAR

 

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

August 12, 2016 (San Diego) -- Dear EarthTalk: I am interested in helping my school get solar panels on the roof to show students how we can be part of the solution to the climate crisis. Are there any resources or grants out there to help schools go solar? --
Charles Hamilton, Warren, OH

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS AUG.12-SEPT. 10

 

East County News Service

Hear our radio "Destination East County" broadcast with Rebecca Williamson and Miriam Raftery on KNSJ!  Listen now by clicking the orange arrow.

August 11, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) --This week’s Destination East County includes a Pokemon, the movie at Santee Lakes, a star party a Mission Trails, and the Heart of Mt. Helix celebration.

Plus we’ll tell you about coming attractions including an All That Jazz musical theatre show, night fishing, the Ramona Country Fair, Santee Music Festival.



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

Audio: 

JUDGE: SAN DIEGO ELECTIONS AUDIT WAS IMPROPER—BUT RESULT STANDS, SINCE DECISION COMES AFTER CLINTON CERTIFIED AS WINNER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Updated August 9, 2016 to include clarification provided by County spokesman Michael Workman.

August 8, 2016 (San Diego) — Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfeil has issued a preliminary decision finding that San Diego Registrar of Voters Michael Vu erred in failing to include provisional and late vote-by-mail ballots in a hand-count of votes from one percent of precincts—an audit intended to assure accuracy.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS AUG. 6-20

 

East County News Service

August 3, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes events coming up in August including star gazing parties, a summer business bash in La Mesa, outdoor movies, concerts, night fishing and the HeART of Mt. Helix celebration.

So scroll down for all of these events and more!

VOTERS WATCHDOG: REGISTRAR RESPONDS TO INQUIRY ON WHITED-OUT BALLOTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2016 (San Diego) — Election observers have contended that they witnessed hundreds of ballots with votes for Bernie Sanders whited out at the San Diego Registrar of Voters office and were prevented from watching further.  Video. Some have contended that Sanders was disenfranchised.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: JULY 29-AUG. 13

 

East County News Service

July 27, 2016 (San Diego’s East County)—This week’s Destination East County includes the Pine Valley Days festival and parade, a Sip of Julian, a Musicians showcase in La Mesa, Helix Water’s customer appreciation day at the Water Conservation Garden, and our own Roaring 20s party at the San Pasqual Wine Bar in La Mesa. 

Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including a theatrical production, night fishing at Santee Lakes, a barbecue and dance, HeART of Mt. Helix, the Julian StarFest, and Viejas Summer Nights.

 So scroll down for all of these events and more!

EARTHTALK®: GROUND ZERO IN FIGHT AGAINST GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CROPS

 

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Why do environmentalists consider Hawaii “ground zero” in the fight against genetically engineered crops? -- Michael Van, Poughkeepsie, NY

July 24, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - Most of us think of beaches, surfing and luaus when we think of Hawaii. But the constantly warm and moist climate actually provides some of the most productive land in the world with a never-ending growing season. As a result, Hawaii has become a major player in commercial agriculture, and is frequently used to test new farming techniques.

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: BRISTLING IN THE DARK (LIGHTS OUT)

By Brian Lafferty

July 22, 2016 (San Diego) -- Lights Out (David F. Sandberg, 2016) is for those who haven't seen Insidious (James Wan, 2011), Annabelle (John R. Leonetti, 2014), or any other horror movie James Wan produced or directed this decade. It isn't just a matter of "if you've seen one, you've seen them all." It is far too complacent in an era where the standards for these types of flicks are higher than ever.

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ANIMAL TALES: CAT HAVEN--FRIENDS OF CATS

 

By Mimi Pollack 

July 13, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - In East County, there is place that welcomes all cats, no matter the age or condition. Friends of Cats in El Cajon is a haven for kittens, adult and senior cats, FIV positive cats and even cats with bad habits or psychological problems! They welcome them all with open arms and take good care of them, providing a safe environment. 

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JULY 7-AUG. 6

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2016 (San Diego’s East County)--The 4th of July fireworks are over, but there are many more midsummer festivities coming up including theatrical productions, Descanso Days, Pine Valley Days, outdoor concerts, films, star parties, a Sip of Julian and our very own Roaring ‘20s Party. 

So scroll down for all of these events and more!

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS JULY 4-30

 

East County News Service

June 28,2016 (San Diego's East County) --This week’s Destination East County includes Fourth of July activities galore, including picnics, parades, a train ride and of course, fireworks!

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including Descanso Days, Pine Valley Days, and a production of the Lion King. 

So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

ASK AN AUTHOR - MEASURING SUCCESS AS AN INDIE AUTHOR

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller, author of the free book Between Boyfriends

Romance and women's fiction author Julie Farley has joined us today to help define success as an indie author, talk about her recent move to the West Coast, and discuss some upcoming book bundles just in time for summer.

How should small press/independent authors measure their success when the industry standards are set by huge distributors? - Stephanie Yuhas, author of American Goulash

CHIEF’S CORNER: IT’S HOT, IT’S DRY, IT’S THE 4TH OF JULY—THE FIRE DEPT. NEEDS YOUR HELP!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

June 27, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- It’s hot, it’s dry, it’s the 4th of July! These words make fire officials cringe, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. It will be a long three-day 4th of July weekend and the fire department needs your help!

ASK AN AUTHOR – 'THE ULTIMATE CHICK-LIT READ' IS FREE AND THE TRUTH ABOUT PERMA-FREE BOOKS

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller, author of the free book Between Boyfriends

At almost every author talk, panel, and book-related event, people ask why authors make their books perma-free, or permanently free. I've heard many authors say they participate in giveaways but would never consider making the actual price of a book $0. It's easy to understand their point of view given the amount of months, if not years, it takes to write a book. Would you work for six months without compensation? Setting aside the reality that unless you have an advance you're effectively doing that every time you write a book, it's still reasonable to do so in hopes of getting paid eventually.

SAVOR THE FLAVORS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN AT SAJJ HOUSE

 

Review by Maridian Broadus

June 20, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Are you out of ideas of what to cook for dinner? Does your palate crave something other than the ordinary salt and pepper fare that comes out of your kitchen? If you answered “yes” to at least one of the questions posed, then pack your appetite, flee your house, and head over to Sajj House (1255 Avocado Ave., El Cajon), a marvelous new Mediterranean style restaurant where you can savor the flavors of exotic spices.

ASK AN AUTHOR – SHOULD AUTHORS KNOW A NOVEL'S ENDING BEFOREHAND?

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

June 17, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - Maryann Jordan, author of 17 published books including Sacrifice Love, Gabe, and Love's Taming, is joining us today to talk about an important aspect of the pre-writing stage in a manuscript's development – namely should you already know the ending before you begin? Maryann Jordan is an Amazon and Barnes & Noble best-selling author. Her novel Emma's Home will be included in the upcoming 12-book bundle Finding Love in All the Right Places. The collection is near and dear to my heart as it also will feature one of my novels, Aching for You.

Should an author have the ending of the novel decided before they begin writing? - Travis Norwood, author of Sugar Scars

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JUNE 18-JULY 4

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 15, 2016 (San Diego's East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes a Bohemian Bash, Boars and Brews, an art exhibit at the Wieghorst Museum, and Gunsmoke night with the Lions in El Cajon.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions including outdoor movies, community concerts, and 4th of July festivities from small town parades to fireworks extravaganzas.

So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

CHIEF’S CORNER: WILDFIRE FOREST – BAD!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

June 8, 2016 (San Diego) -- Brush fires chewed through hillsides from San Diego to Ventura Counties and every county in between, challenging firefighters and making hillside homeowners very nervous this past weekend as a very hot and long brush fire season is now underway.

ANIMAL TALES: LIONEL’S LEGACY--RESCUING AND EDUCATING

 

By Mimi Pollack

June 3, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Last month, as I was walking around checking out all the booths at the San Diego Humane Society Walk event, I saw two sweet and funny little faces that drew me in. They were two senior chihuahuas named Fred and Ethel, like the couple who lived next door to Lucy and Ricky Ricardo on the “I Love Lucy” show. What perfect names for those silly little faces!

Fred and Ethel are two lucky pooches that were taken in by Lionel’s Legacy, a non-profit organization, out of El Cajon that specializes in rescuing senior dogs.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JUNE 2-24

 

 

East County News Service

June 1, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes fiddle and pickin’ in Julian,  the 8th Annual “Taste of La Mesa” and the largest roller skating rink in Southern California.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions … Julian dance and back country barbecue, antique and craft fair in flinn springs and fido fest - paws in the park

So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

ASK AN AUTHOR – BOOK COVERS AND WRITING PARTNERS

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

Writing duo Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke are dropping by to talk book covers, chick lit and favorite spots in San Diego. Although Steinke currently resides in Chicago both authors are San Diego natives. The writers have been best friends for decades and have some advice for people thinking of writing with someone else. Their published works include The Year We Turned Forty, The Status of All Things, and Your Perfect Life.

They say, "Don't judge a book by its cover" but with today's market, how important are book covers to overall exposure and success, and by extension, does the same theory also apply to e-books as well? - Sahar Abdulaziz, author of Secrets That Find Us

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