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EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE COLUMNISTS

 

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

American Trivia

Animal Tales

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ARCHIVED COLUMNS (Columnists no longer active.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.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS NOV. 27--DEC. 8

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes some wild Thanksgiving happenings—form a swinging holiday party at Sycuan to a Thanksgiving feast for the beasts at Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine. Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions, including several  holiday home tours, community holiday festivals, Santa at Santee Lakes, and a Feliz Navidad celebration with mariachis and more at Jacumba Hot Springs!

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

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: BACK IN BLACK, GRAB THE SACK!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

 

November 22, 2014 (San Diego)--People trampling over each other for cheap goods merely hours after celebrating what they are already thankful for. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when holiday gift buying begins.  “Unfortunately, Black Friday is a day when many shoppers become victims of crimes and injuries says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.”

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOV. 22 – DEC. 7

 

November 19, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes events ushering in the holiday season, from a tree lighting and snow sledding in Santee to the annual Mother Goose Parade …plus we’ll have previews of some coming attractions in the next week or so, including musicals, Lemon Grove’s holiday bonfire and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Holiday Party. 

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

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: TANKS FOR THE MEMORY (FURY)

 

"The first casualty of war is innocence."

- Tagline, Platoon (Oliver Stone, 1986)

By Brian Lafferty

November 18, 2014 (San Diego) – In the 28 years since Platoon's release, its tagline quoted above has become more and more relevant in light of the world events that followed it. This includes, but is not limited to, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and Russia's invasion of the Ukraine. With the way things are going, it looks at this point like those are just for starters.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: NOV. 13-23

 

East Count News Service

November 12, 2014 (San Diego's East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes a barbecue and beer-tasting event, a star party, a health faire, a brass quintet concert, the musical Mulan, and a holiday open house!  Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions, such as Woodstock the Musical, Pomegranate Days at a camel farm, live music in Lemon Grove, a World of Bats program for nature-lovers, the Mother Goose Parade, and for working up an appetite for all that Thanksgiving Feasting, the Waddle and Trot 5 K run!

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

EARTHTALK(R): NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM

 

EarthTalk®

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I hear that many school cafeterias have nutrition standards no better—even worse—than those of fast food chains. What can be done about this?      -- Betsy Edison, Nashville, TN

November 10, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Americans have done a great job making sure that our kids have something to eat at school regardless of socioeconomic status, with the National School Lunch Program providing low-cost or free lunches to upwards of 31 million students at 92 percent of U.S. public and private schools.

EARTHTALK(R): CLIMATE CHANGE

 

EarthTalk®

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that global warming is causing our crops to be less nutritious?

                                                                                                            -- William Persson, Glendale, OH

November 9, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - It is difficult to say whether or not the climate change we are now experiencing is negatively impacting the nutritional quality of our food, researchers warn that it may be only a matter of time. “Humanity is conducting a global experiment by rapidly altering the environmental conditions on the only habitable planet we know,” reports Samuel Myers, a research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: WALK THIS WAY...

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

November 10, 2014 (San Diego)--Cooler weather is upon us so why not put your best foot forward by keeping yourself free from accidents says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.  ‘Walk this Way’ and plan walk-able routes. Map out a well-lit route with sidewalks and crosswalks and little traffic. Let someone know when and where you are going. Walks are a great opportunity to educate kids about safety. Explain the different traffic signals, remind your kids to stop at the edge of driveways to watch for cars, and teach them never to cross streets without being in a crosswalk.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: NOVEMBER IS DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

November 3, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Did you know that one in twelve Americans has diabetes? That’s more than 25 million people. Another 79 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Why is this awareness important? Because diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. If it’s not controlled, diabetes can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: NOV. 6-23

 

November 4, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - This week’s Destination East County includes the Aztecs homecoming game, a hike by the light of the moon, the musical Mulan, an acorn harvest festival and a holiday open house at Summers Past Farms. Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions, including a free concert by the Pomerado Brass Quintet and the much-anticipated East County holiday tradition, the Mother Goose Parade.

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

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: COLD AS ICE (WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD)

 

By Brian Lafferty

October 31, 2014 (San Diego) – For a film directed by Gregg Araki – well-known for anarchic, usually erotically charged films like The Living End (1992), The Doom Generation (1995), and Mysterious Skin (2004) – White Bird in a Blizzard is unusually peaceful. While small traces of his trademarks – teenage angst, sex, and homosexuality – appear, his latest film is his most accessible by far. Whether that's refreshing or disappointing will depend on how much you're willing to readjust your expectations.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: OCT. 31 - NOV. 15

 

East County News Service

October 29, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - This week’s Destination East County includes lots of fun festive activities including an ice-skating Halloween costume party in Alpine , an art and wine festival at a Ramona castle, and the trout fishing season opener at Santee Lakes. Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions, including an Acorn Festival and a Hike by the Light of the Moon in our mountain regions.

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

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: ASHES TO ASHES (HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR)

 

By Brian Lafferty

October 27, 2014 (San Diego) -- Only death could stop prolific French director Alain Resnais from making movies. Resnais passed away on March 1 this year, having directed 50 features, shorts, and TV series. Even at 87 years young, when he helmed Wild Grass (released in the United States to deserved critical acclaim in 2010), he was as much a master of cinema as he was at 37, when he directed the film that quickly established him as one of France's preeminent filmmakers: Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959). 

ASK THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE: CAN YOU CHANGE YOUR WILL YOURSELF?

 

By Sharon Ann Hamilton

Dear Retirement Concierge,

I am retired and fortunately have adequate resources. I just don’t believe in spending money if I don’t have to and it is not hard because I have chosen to live a simple life for many years now. I do have my estate documents in order: trust, will, health care directive, and power of attorney for financial matters should I be unable to act for myself. Here is the situation: I want to make a couple of small changes in beneficiary recipients. Someone told me I could just handwrite a codicil and put in in my trust documents. Is that true? Attorneys are pricy these days and if I can do it myself without risk, I will.

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.

SAVING THE CHEETAHS

 

 

Only 10,000 cheetahs remain in the wild, and Dr. Laurie Marker aims to save the species

By Mimi Pollack

September 24, 2014 (Ramona) – Kumbali looked at us with soulful amber eyes. Those present were struck by the magnificence of this cheetah--the star attraction at a benefit event for the Cheetah Conservation Fund. The event took place last weekend  in the Ramona home of well-known wildlife photographer Roy Toft and his wife, Robin.

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.

 

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