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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

Culture Chronicles

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

SD Trails

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ARCHIVED COLUMNS (Columnists no longer active.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 AND EVENTS MARCH 5-APRIL 4

 

 

March 3, 2015 (San Diego's East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes an artists’ reception, a calypso star in concert, and live music at a winery. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including St. Patrick’s Day weekend and Easter egg hunts, Vallecito Day historical reenactments and Tomatomania! Stay tuned for all of these events and much more, from East County Magazine.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: SINGING IN THE RAIN, BUT DRIVING IN IT?

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

March 2, 2015 (San Diego)--It’s nice to finally write about rain! We have a few more storms in the forecast and we certainly need it. We all like singing in the rain but driving in it? It’s rather stressful even when it’s not raining says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.  Most people just don’t pay attention or exercise common sense much anymore. We have far too many distractions at our disposal. There are around 707,000 automobile crashes each year due to rain, resulting in approximately 3,300 deaths and 330,200 injuries.

BIRD TALK: TURKEY VULTURES

 

By Greg Dunne

Photos by Greg Dunne and Norman Banks                                         

February 28, 2015 (Lake Murray)--The Turkey Vulture is one of the largest birds in San Diego’s East County. With their bald red head and a wingspan of up to six feet, these birds stand out in many ways. You can usually see them soaring at low levels looking for food, using the thermals for gliding effortlessly.  You can also see their slivery-colored wings contrasting with the dark colors of the bird’s feathers.

MEDIA WATCH: INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM IN CRISIS

 

 

 

New report finds over 500 important stories went unreported in last five years because of a squeeze on investigative reporters, and that freelance investigative journalists are an endangered species. 

Source: Project Word. The report can be downloaded here.

February 28, 2015 (San Diego's East County)--The report, which was conducted by Project Word, under the auspices of Investigative Reporters and Editors, shares the results of a 2014 survey that collected feedback from over 200 freelance investigative journalists. Based in 36 states and 26 countries the respondents represented all ages, media beats, and experience levels.

MEDIA WATCH: FCC VOTES FOR NET NEUTRALITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 26, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – Advocates of free and open internet access won a major victory Thursday when the Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 to adopt net neutrality.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: FEB. 28 - MARCH 28

 

February 26, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes rock climbing, live jazz and R&B concerts here in East County.  Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including St. Patrick’s Day festivities, the Ramona Music Fest a Shakespearean play with a contemporary twist, and Vallecito Day--celebrating our frontier heritage. Stay tuned for all of these events and much more, from East County Magazine.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: KIDDE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS RECALLED

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

February 22, 2015 (San Diego)--Fire extinguisher maker Kidde has recalled about 4.6 million disposable extinguishers, saying a faulty plastic valve can prevent them from fully discharging when used.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: IT'S TIME FOR A HEART TO HEART

 

By Sam DiGiovanna

February 16, 2015 (San Diego)--If your husband has chest pain you’d call 911. However, many women may not recognize signs of heart attacks themselves. Did you know that heart attack symptoms in women can be quite different from men's. Heart disease is often thought about as a man’s disease, but recent studies show that heart disease is actually the number one killer of women in America.  Yet acting quickly is vitally important.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

February 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes celebrations of Black History Month, rock and roll concerts, a star party, a sweetheart dance and more. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including St. Patrick’s Day events and Vallecito Day celebrating our frontier heritage and cattle drives along the Overland trail. Stay tuned for all of these events and much more, from East County Magazine.

THE ATTORNEY'S CORNER: 2015 FEDERAL ESTATE AND GIFT TAX LIMITS

 

“Articles Concerning Trusts, Wills, Probate, Family Law & more”

By: Stephen C. Ross, Esq.

February 13, 2015 (San Diego County) – The federal estate tax exemption for 2015 is increased to $5,430,000.00 per person from $5,340,000.00 per person in 2014. A husband and wife each have an exemption. Therefore, a couple can pass on up to $10,860,000.00 without paying estate tax. This assumes they have not made prior lifetime gifts. This is important to people with a large estate as they can pass on $90,000.00 more tax free this year than in 2014. The top federal estate tax rate is 40% and is applied to amounts exceeding the exemption amount.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP EVENTS FEB. 10-22

 

February 12, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Romance is in the air, and this week’s Destination East County includes some romantic Valentine’s events including a campout and stargazing, Valentine’s dances, a poetry campout, and dinner in a vineyard. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including Air Supply in concert, a string ensemble performance and a Salute to Local Heroes. Stay tuned for all of these events and much more, from East County Magazine.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP EVENTS FEB. 5 - 18

 

February 5, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County has events ranging from an art show to a pow-wow. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including  a poetry campout and a salute to local heroes. Stay tuned for all of these events and much more, from East County Magazine.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: FEBRUARY IS HEART AWARENESS MONTH

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

It’s February, put your Heart into it!

February 2, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Heart disease kills over a half million people every year. It’s no surprise February is Heart Awareness month. Together, we all can prevent and cardiovascular disease (CVD), one step at a time says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: DON'T FUMBLE THIS WEEKEND, HERE ARE OUR BEST PLAYS FOR A WINNING SUPERBOWL SUNDAY!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

 

January 30, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - As you Coach and prepare Super Bowl festivities this weekend make sure to be a good sport and keep your ‘Safety’ front and center at all times says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP EVENTS JAN.31-FEB. 14

 

January 30, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County has events ranging from  our own East County treasures event to an art show at Mission Trails Regional Park. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including a Ballet Folklorico dance performance and Circus Vargas bringing its mesmerizing performances to our region. Stay tuned for all of these events and much more, from East County Magazine.

EARTHTALK(R): CONSERVING WILDLIFE THROUGH DNA

 

 

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

January 26, 2015 (San Diego) -- Dear EarthTalk: How are scientists using DNA to conserve wildlife? -- Jake Summerlin, Newark, NJ

Traditionally, conservation biologists have relied on field observation and sample and statistical analysis to help them understand the dynamics behind species loss, but today genetics is taking on an increasingly important role in helping quantify the biodiversity around us and even save some threatened species.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP EVENTS JAN. 24 - FEB. 10

 

January 20, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County has events ranging from a Sock Monkeys concert at a winetasting room in La Mesa to an art show and family nature walk at Mission Trails Regional Park. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including Cupids and Canines pet adoption event at Grossmont Center to Circus Vargas bringing its big-top show to El Cajon. Stay tuned for all of these events and much more, from East County Magazine.

SD TRAILS: IRON MOUNTAIN

 

By Randy Zuniga

January 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Iron Mountain, located at the backside of Poway, just off of the Highway 67, stands 2,696 ft. tall. I consider this a moderate hike of about 6 miles in length and 1,000 ft. in elevation gain.  I don’t want to put a time frame on it because everyone is different and anyone could spend all day out there if they took the time to take in every sight along the journey.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: HEATER SAFETY

 

By Fire Chief Sam Digiovanna

January 14, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Cool weather is upon us and that means more home heating use.  This time of year, firefighters respond to an increase call load of “odor of gas in a structure” says Chief DiGiovanna.  You likely haven’t used your heating unit in several months.  It’s a good idea to have them checked before firing them up this winter.  Heating appliances should be serviced annually to keep them operating safely and efficiently. “A licensed heating contractor or Southern California Gas Co. Representative can provide this service for you.”

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JAN. 15-FEB. 9

 

January 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County has events ranging from an art show at Mission Trails Regional Park to a pipe organ concert in La Mesa and a photo tour of the Anza Borrego Desert. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including a Ballet Folklorico dance production in Lemon Grove to a circus coming to El Cajon. So stay tuned for all of these events and much more, from East County Magazine.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY

 

 

 

 

 

January 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County has events ranging from riding the rails at the Campo Railway Depot to dropping a line at the Santee Lakes trout reopener.  Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including the Martin Luther King Jr. Choir concert in Lemon Grove, candlemaking classes in Alpine, and  a blast from the past when Herman’s Hermits take stage at Sycuan. So stay tuned for all of these events and much more, from East County Magazine.

THE ATTORNEY'S CORNER: STEPPARENT ADOPTION

 

“Articles Concerning Trusts, Wills, Probate, Family Law & more”

By: Stephen C. Ross, Esq.

January 4, 2015 (San Diego County) – A stepparent adoption is the process of terminating a biological parent’s parental rights and recognizing the step-parent as the child’s legal parent. A biological parent’s rights can be terminated by consent or court order.

READERS & WRITERS CALENDAR: FROM JANUARY 4, 2015

 

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

Readers

January 5 (Monday, 7:30 pm) — Publishers Weekly’s review of Genesis Code by Jamie Metzel notes: “Metzl, a former member of the U.S. National Security Council, offers up a tense vision of the near future with this science fiction thriller…Metzl enhances it with a philosophical protagonist, scientific plausibility, and a keen sense of mood.” This futuristic thriller offers a frightening look at a new kind of superpower race—of humans. As women unknowingly impregnated with genetically enhanced embryos are murdered, Rich Azadian, a historically-burdened Armenian-American reporter for the Kansas City Star, begins the fight of his life, under growing danger, to try to figure out who is killing these women and why, and whether any others like them may still be alive.

BILL TOONE'S ECOLIFE: WORKING TO SAVE NATIVE WILDLIFE AND PEOPLE

 

By Mimi Pollack

January 4, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)-- There are so many different subjects one could mention when writing about Bill Toone, such as California condors, monarch butterflies in Mexico, mountain gorillas in Uganda, Aquaponics, Patsari and Massai stoves, holistic conservation, guided trips to Mexico and Africa, yet in the end, they all tie in together.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS JAN. 1-17

 

 

December 30, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County has events ranging from a winery concert to a walk up Mount Helix.  Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including a concert by the famed British rock band Herman’s Hermits at Sycuan, a photo tour in the Anza Borrego Desert and a Martin Luther King Jr. birthday concert in Lemon Grove.  So stay tuned for all of these events and much more, from East County Magazine.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: DEC. 23-JAN. 11

 

December 23, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County has events ranging from wildlife hikes to a New Year’s eve  “light up the night” celebration. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including a hike to the top of Mt. Helix and concerts at Mission Trails Regional Park. So stay tuned for all of these events and much more, from East County Magazine.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEAS-GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

December 23, 2014 (San Diego)--Is there that hard to buy for someone special in your life? I don’t think anything could be more special than to say Happy Holidays by giving a gift of “life safety” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

EARTHTALK(R): CLIMATE CHANGE DENIERS IGNORE SCIENCE

 

Photo Credit: NASA HQ, Flickr CC

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), chair of the House Science, Space  Technology Committee, calls the Obama administration's 2014 National Climate Assessment--which squarely pins the blame for global warming on human industrial activity--"a political document intended to frighten Americans into believing that any abnormal weather we experience is the direct result of CO2 emissions."

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Are there still outspoken global warming deniers in Congress or the mainstream media? If so, what do they say when presented with scientific facts and anecdotal evidence pointing to an increasingly warming atmosphere?                                                      -- Ben Charles, Cary, NC

December 20, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) - Given the preponderance of data showing rising temperatures around the globe in recent decades—along with the increasing frequency of extreme weather events—it’s hard to believe there are still any climate change deniers. But a recent survey by the non-profit Center for American Progress found that some 58 percent of Republicans in the U.S. Congress still “refuse to accept climate change.” Meanwhile, still others acknowledge the existence of global warming but cling to the scientifically debunked notion that the cause is natural forces, not greenhouse gas pollution by humans.

FREE AS A BIRD: BIRD IDIOMS AND CULTURE

 

By Greg Dunne                                           

December 19, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--“Free as a bird.” I might be a bit biased on this subject, being an avid birder, but I believe in the world of nature that birds are the biggest part of our human culture. We eat them, we use them in clothing, they are used for our national symbol, and we use them in our daily language.

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