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

Baja Blog

Bird Talk

Brew Beat

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ARCHIVED COLUMNS (Columnists no longer active.)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.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS. SEPT. 4-13

 

This week’s Destination East County features a grape stomp, a pow-wow an art show and a deep pit barbecue.

Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including a production of the hit show Hairspray, Santee’s bluegrass festival, a dinner theatre show and as the season turns to Indian summer, yet another pow-wow.

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

CHIEF'S CORNER: FIRE TESTS METAL, WINE TESTS MEN - JAPANESE PROVERB

By Fire Chief DiGiovanna

August 31, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Both have been tested as some of this year’s most destructive fires came dangerously close to the Napa Wine Region. Several fires have also burned near Paso Robles. We're still not out of the woods as drought conditions and warm temperatures continue reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

READERS & WRITERS CALENDAR: FROM AUGUST 30, 2015

 

For complete Calendar including Authors Events, go to www.SDWriteWay.org

This column is also published in the http://EastCountyMagazine.org. If you are from East County, I highly recommend that you check out the ECM for articles and the latest in what is happening in the East County.

ANIMAL TALES: DYNAMIC DUO DOGS' BEST FRIEND

 

Stephanie Nisan, the professor, and Rebecca Weinrib

By Mimi Pollack

August 27, 2015 (Blossom Valley)--Making a difference in the world seems to be the motto that Blossom Valley resident Rebecca Weinrib and Stephanie Nisan live by, especially in the world of homeless dogs. Together, they founded The Animal Pad in 2010, a rescue organization for dogs, with their own unique vision.

ASK AN AUTHOR: REVIEWS IN EXCHANGE FOR FREE BOOKS: ETHICAL OR DANGEROUS?

 

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

August 26, 2015 (San Diego) -- “How is it possible to acquire genuine reviews for a book when most reviewers want FREE books to review? If a reviewer has a Free book have they been compromised or influenced to provide a good review? I have been approached by fellow authors requesting reviews on the understanding of you scratch my back and I will scratch yours! I have of course turned down all such requests! Over the past few weeks Amazon has started to address this issue by removing reviews that they consider to be inappropriate or not genuine or verifiable. I would be most interested in your understanding of the current and future book review process.” - Mike Wilkins

Let's first address the idea that a free book automatically means a positive review. That is not the case. Any author who has run a successful giveaway knows that you're more likely to get negative reviews than positive ones from people who download free books.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS AUGUST 28 – SEPT. 19

Photo: Percussionist Scott Robinson performs Aug. 29 at Mission Trails Regional Park

August 26, 2015 (San Diego's East County)--This week’s Destination East County features dinner in a mountain meadow, a percussion concert and classic car show .

Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including a Native American Pow-Wow, a Bluegrass Festival in Santee and deep pit BBQ in Descanso.    

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

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: UNDER PRESSURE?

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

August 24, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - When the temperature is in the 90s, even in the shade, it’s likely you reach for some water, the sunscreen and head for a cooler place.

ASK THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE: PLANNING YOUR RETIREMENT

 

By SharonAnn Hamilton

Dear SharonAnn,

August 23, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - My wife and I are 60 and 62 respectively looking at retirement in a few years. She is a medical researcher and I am a CPA. We feel we have an adequate income prepared for our future but what concerns me is lifestyle. What are we going to do with the 50-60 hours each week when we are not working anymore? Our kids are grown and independent, our parents are happy in their community of friends. We need outside interests, but who has time? We want to make a difference in our world but how and where? I expect we could live 30-40 years and that is a lot of time ahead of us that right now seems daunting. Signed Kind of Lost.

ASK THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE: TO TEST DRIVE YOUR RETIREMENT

 

Dear SharonAnn,

Our planned retirement and move in 12 months is heading toward us like a bullet train and such big changes in our lives are really scary. What if we cannot make new friends? What if we would have been better off to delay it for five years? What if we run out of money? What if we get bored not working? What if we detest our new community? Signed Nervous about Change

August 23, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Dear Nervous: There is no doubt that life changes are nerve wracking. In fact for most of us any change pushes us into fight or flight impulses, even those changes we initiate ourselves. There is no substitute for doing your own investigation. Having Plan A and Plan B is also a smart strategy when thinking about your retirement or any move.  Our best remembered baby boomer good-bye is remembered in the words of Spock, “Live long and prosper.” We all want that!

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY FOR AUG. 21-SEPT. 12

 

August 20, 2015 (San Diego's East County)--This week’s Destination East County features the Julian Wild & Scenic Film Festival, singers and song writers of the  ‘60s, grape stomping at a vineyard, a top comedian's performance and movies in the park.

Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including a Native American pow-wow, a Bluegrass  Festival in Santee and Descanso’s Deep Pit BBQ.  

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

BAJA BLOG: GALERIA LA MISION, MY SUNDAY PLACE TO HANG OUT

 

Story and photos by Susan A Mahalick

August 19, 2015 (Baja California, Mexico)--My life is not all events and parties; there are my contracts, which I am most fortunate to do from home, my two cats, Zoë and Chloë and my friends, some of whom own businesses. It is possible to work in Baja, but most Americans I know open their dream businesses, such as wineries, gift shops, and galleries.

POLITICAL WRANGLING: HYPOCRITES AND EXTREMISTS ABOUND ON PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN TRAIL

 

By Buck Shott

August 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—As the presidential candidates court voters in America’s heartland in Iowa this week, it almost seems as if the current crop of presidential wannabes are competing to see who can be the most outrageous, extreme, or scandal-prone.

VOTER'S WATCHDOG: HUESO BILL TO BOOST VOTER TURNOUT GOES TO GOVERNOR'S DESK

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 18, 2015 (San Diego)--State Senator Ben Hueso, a Democrat from the San Diego region, announced this week that Senate Bill 415, a measure that will dramatically increase voter turnout in local elections, passed the State Senate on a 26-12 vote and is now headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature.   Local governments with voter turnout 25% less than the average turnout in that city will be required to consolidate their elections with state elections.

READERS & WRITERS CALENDAR: FROM AUGUST 16, 2015

 

 

For complete Calendar including Authors Events, go to www.SDWriteWay.org

 

I'M BACK

I have retired and moved to the southern Mexican beach town of Zipolite in the state of Oaxaca. If anyone wants to visit, I would be glad to help you get a place to stay and show you around.

I have to warn you though. It is not your typical resort town. It is clothing optional, marijuana smoking is legal, it is gay friendly, bars open all night, and you won't find any luxury hotels. What happens in Zipolite, stays in Zipolite. One can stay in a dormitory for about $4 a night or rooms or bungalows from$10 and up. Email me at sambookwarren@yahoo.com.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: BE FIRST CLASS

 
 
 
By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna 

August 17, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - School has already or soon will be starting for many of our school districts. Our First Class should be “School Safety” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS AUGUST 14-SEPT. 6

 

August 11, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County features dancing under the stars, a star party at a Julian winery and a rocking outdoor concert. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including a Native American pow-wow, Julian’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival, the Nudestock music festival, and Descanso’s Deep Pit BBQ. So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: IF YOU COULD IMMUNE YOURSELF FROM 'ONE' THING - WHAT WOULD IT BE?

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

August 10, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Traffic?  Rude or obnoxious people? Crime? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could vaccinate specific things or people from our lives.  Unfortunately, those toxic people and situations are the association dues we must pay for being alive.

CHILI COOKOFF FUND RAISER AT LA SALINA 2015

 

Article and photos by Susan A Mahalick

August 7, 2015 (Baja California, Mexico)--Another beautiful summer day for this now locally famous annual event dawned just like most this time of year, with a light marine layer and cool temperatures. The event would not start until 11 a.m., when people have to start cooking their entries on site to be ready for judging and tasting at 2:30 p.m. Booths were mostly set up the night before, with one couple who always has the best spot in the first place where most people start their tasting. Frank and Darlene, who live here, have entered since the first cook-off seven years ago. Two hundred and eighty to three hundred and twenty people were estimated to have attended the event.

BAJA BLOG: 5TH ANNUAL DAVE CLARK SAND GOLF TOURNAMENT AT LA SALINA

 

By Susan A Mahalick

Article and photos by the author

August 4, 2015 (Baja California, Mexico)--The day dawned as it usually does this time of year, with a marine layer clinging to the hills to the west of the beach. It is supposed to be 80 degrees later in the day, but for the game which is supposed to start at 11 a.m. this is perfect, especially in the shade. Thirty two people signed up for the fun event and played in teams of two or up to five. This is a usual amount I am told by Jesse, the cantina manager who has been here for many years.

ASK AN AUTHOR: USING FEEDBACK FROM AGENTS/PUBLISHERS, WRITING BACKSTORY

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

August 5, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – How does a writer know what's right for their work with so many different opinions from agents, publishers, and articles? What is your suggestion for handling backstory?Linda Crawford

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS AUGUST 7-22

 

August 5, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County features an evening bird walk, movies by a lake, a rocking outdoor concert and a Sip of Julian. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including a cabaret-style show, the Commodores in concert, a star fest, and Julian’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival. So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: WHERE AND WHAT TO EVACUATE DURING A WILDFIRE

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

August 3, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Wildfires are burning throughout the State and things will only get worse before they get better says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. If by chance you are near a wildfire, you may be asked to evacuate. Here are some things you should know if you find yourself in that situation:

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: WE'VE SEEN FIRE AND WE'VE SEEN RAIN - AND WE'RE GOING TO SEE MORE!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

July 29, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --We feel the impact every day. Warm temperatures and lack of rain continue to increased drought conditions. With greater evaporation, particularly during the summer and fall, this will and is exacerbating drought conditions resulting in an extremely high increase of wildfires. Fires are spreading at a phenomenal rate of spread. A deadly and disastrous rate that impacts us all!

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JULY 28 - AUG. 14

 

July 28, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County features a once in a blue moon hike, a vocal and jazz trio concert, and a watermelon festival at a camel dairy. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including movies at Santee Lakes, a Sip of Julian, the reopening of Rancho San Diego’s Farmer’s Market, and a rollicking new Lamplighters Theatre production.  So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

WHAT WORKS: CRITICAL THINKING IN POLITICS

 

By R.J. Hernandez

July 11, 2015 (San Diego) – Everyone likes to get the most amount done or gained for the least amount of work. In all the interviews and surveys I have done, voters have always claimed apathy due to the feeling and evidence that no matter what they do, their vote will never mean anything.  No return for any effort. However, we fail to realize that these individuals who feel this way  are a silent majority. And as with all majorities are, they are the winning side.  It works, if only they would vote.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS JULY 24-AUGUST 9

 

July 23, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County features hikes and hops,Pine Valley Days, Music in the Garden and more. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including a Sip of Julian and Watermelon Days at the Oasis Camel Dairy. So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS JULY 16-26

 

July 14, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County features a Pop-Rock Musical Revue, Jimmie Johnson night and Mary Poppins on Mt. Helix. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including Pine Valley Days, Hops and Hike on Volcan Mountain, Music in the Garden and more  So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

LEARN HOW TO GET A BOOK DEAL FROM SARKA-JONAE MILLER AT THE CASA DE ORO LIBRARY

East County News Service

July 13, 2015 (Spring Valley) -- Local award-winning author and publicist Sarka-Jonae Miller will be answering questions about writing, marketing, and publishing books at the Casa De Oro Branch Library (9805 Campo Rd., #180, Spring Valley, 91977) on Saturday, July 18th at 10 a.m. SJ will give instructions for submitting manuscripts to her publisher Booktrope as well as offer tips about self-publishing and pursuing a traditional publishing deal.

ASK AN AUTHOR: BUILDING AN AUDIENCE, NO. OF DRAFTS, & IDEAL WRITING ENVIRONMENT

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

 

July 13, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --This week I'm happy to welcome #1 best-selling author, Caroline Fardig, to the Ask An Author column.

Caroline is the author of the Lizzie Hart Mystery series of hilarious cozy mysteries. She recently got a book deal with Penguin Random House for an upcoming mystery novel, Death Before Decaf, and she just self-published her third novel, Bad Medicine. Caroline also happens to be one of my favorite authors.

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