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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ARCHIVED COLUMNS (Columnists no longer active.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.

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.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: AUGUST 30-SEPT. 7

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 28, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – This week’s activities in East County include living history presentations complete with mountain men and cowboys.  It’s also the start of pow-wow season at Barona and football season for the Aztecs—plus we’ll tell you about an art show,  free concerts and a family movie in the park.  Plus we’ll have a preview of next week’s top events, including a popular annual tradition in East County’s wine-growing region: a grape stomp festa!

ASK THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE: SCARED SPITLESS ON THE ROAD

By Sharon Ann Hamilton

August 23, 2014 (San Diego)--Dear Retirement Concierge,

My 16-year-old just took his solo voyage as a driver. Since I saw him learning to drive I am nervous at best when he is out there alone without a parent to guide him. At the same time my parents-in-law AND my parents are creeping into their late eighties and I notice a few dents in their cars; they all drive! That brings the tally to five people now on the road with questionable driving skills. I think I’ll be using public transportation for the next few years! What practical ideas do you have for these situations?

Signed: Scared Spitless On the Roads

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP EVENTS AUGUST 20-31

 

Listen to Destination East County on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM.  Our show airs Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays at 5 p.m. and you can hear Destination East County each Wednesday and Friday with your hosts, Rebecca Williamson and Leon Thompson.

August 20, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- Stargazers, wine lovers, and music fans will all find plenty to savor in East County this week.  Plus in this week’s edition of Destination East County, we’ll have a preview of coming attractions  so you can mark your calendars– including a pair of Indian pow-wows and the season opener for the Aztec football team.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS AUGUST 13-30

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 12, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County  includes some festive options for these hot August nights, from concerts to a dive-in movie.  Major charitable events are also taking place including a fashion show to benefit disabled adults in East County and an art lovers night atop Mt. Helix.  Plus we’ll have a sneak preview of activities later this month – including Julian’s StarFest and the start of pow-wow season.  Stay tuned for all these events and more on East County Magazine’s Destination East County!

BIRD TALK: THE COMMON RAVEN

 

By Greg Dunne                                             

August 10, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--The Raven has such an undeserved reputation--always associated with darkness, despair, death. Right away one thinks of Ravens and Alfred Hitchcock, the Addams family, or Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven” and the movies inspired by Poe’s poetry, the 1935 classic “The Raven” starting Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. The list of Raven influence and culture is endless.

ASK THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE: CONTEMPLATING RETIREMENT

 

I am 59 years old and contemplating retirement, with dread. I just cannot imagine myself not going into work each day or being able to afford not working. What would I do with the time? I am alone at home and sometimes even on the weekends I get lonesome. My nest egg is comfortable but not luxurious. I wonder if it will last out my life, though. Guess I could live with my kids if necessary. Eeww! I often wake up at night thinking about my future and then cannot get back to sleep. Signed “Worried”

By Sharon Ann Hamilton

August 10, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Dear Worried, You are right to be worried! And you are not alone. July 13, 2014 research by US Census Bureau, Saperston, and Bankrate shows us that 80% of people, even as young as 30, do not believe theywill have enough money for retirement. In fact 35% rely completely on Social Security. 76% of people polled cite worries about money as a leading cause of stress. As we all have heard, stress can kill you.

BIRD TALK: THE GREAT BLUE HERON

 

By Greg Dunne                                          

August 8, 2014 (Lake Murray) --Always dazzling when you see them with their long S-shaped necks, usually standing motionless, they look as if they are in stealth mode. The Great Blue Heron is one of our largest, most majestic birds in the East County.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS AUGUST 7-16

 

Plus previews of coming attractions

By Miriam Raftery

August 7, 2014 (Destination East County) – From fishing at night to fun with firefighters, we have some unique outings featured in this week’s Destination East County – along with some rollicking musical performances and "Politics in Paradise."  Plus we have previews of next week’s top events, from a Cajun concert to a event atop Mt. Helix for lovers of art, craft beer and wine.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: AUGUST 6-16

 

Plus previews of coming attractions

By Miriam Raftery

August 6, 2014 (Destination East County) – From fishing at night to fun with firefighters, we have some unique outings featured in this week’s Destination East County – along with some rollicking musical performances.  Plus we have previews of next week’s top events, from a Cajun concert to a event atop Mt. Helix for lovers of art, craft beer and wine.

BAJA BLOG: SPLASH, BEST OCEANFRONT RESTAURANT AND SPORTS BAR

 

By Susan A. Mahalick

August 5, 2014 (Baja, Mexico) - Want to be outside, see waves splash up onto volcanic rocks, watch dolphins swim by and sea birds perch everywhere? Add to this some of the finest hospitality, drinks and food and this is a sure winner.

EARTHTALK(R): ECO-TRAVEL DESTINATIONS IN THE U.S

 

 

E - The Environmental Magazine                                           

By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

August 2, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) --Dear EarthTalk: Where are some good “eco-travel” destinations right here in the continental U.S. that I can consider for a family vacation?                                               -- Janet Devino, Brooklyn, NY

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: GRILLING SAFETY TIPS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

August 1, 2014 (San Diego's East County) July, August and right into Labor Day, we use our barbeques more than any other months.

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