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EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE COLUMNISTS

 

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Animal Tales

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Destination East County

Earth Talk ®

East County Eater

From the Chief's Corner

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Media Watch

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On the Silver Screen

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Retirement Concierge

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Smokin' Hot Places

Voter’s Watchdog

Vines and Wines

What Works

 

ARCHIVED COLUMNS (Columnists no longer active.)

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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS DEC. 1-23

 

East County News Service

November 30, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) - This week’s Destination East County includes a parade of lights and snow festival, a murder mystery theatre, a pottery studios tour, a holiday concert by the San Diego Festival Chorus and Orchestra, and a Christmas festival at Lions, Tigers and Bears.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including La Mesa’s Holiday in the Village celebration, a holiday wine trail in Ramona, Victorian Christmas teas, and a production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in Julian.

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

CHIEF’S CORNER: KEEPING YOU WARM--HEATER AND GAS SAFETY TIPS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

November 28, 2016 (San Diego) -- This cold front and much needed rain are prompting people to turn on their heaters/furnaces for the first time in a long time. This time of year fire departments respond increasingly to calls of “odor of gas inside.”

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: FIND WHO YOU ARE ON A HAWAIIAN JOURNEY (MOANA)

 

By Liz Alper

November 21, 2016 (San Diego) - I, like most little girls in the 90s, ate, slept and breathed Disney movies.  I was never a princess for Halloween--I was too tomboyish for that--but Belle was my favorite Disney princess and Beauty and the Beast was my favorite Disney movie.  I watched it all the time.  That and Toy Story.  That honor eventually went to 101 Dalmatians (seriously, I was obsessed with that movie.  I played the computer game all the time too).  Tonight I had the privilege of reliving my childhood as an almost 25-year-old.  I attended a pre-screening of the new Disney film Moana, directed by Ron Clements, Don Hall, John Musker and Chris Williams. 

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOV. 19-DEC. 3

 

East County News Service

November 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) - This week’s Destination East County a Turkey Bowl in Spring Valley, the Casa de Oro Fall Festival, the Mother Goose Parade, ice skating at Viejas, and the annual tree lighting in downtown El Cajon.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including Pomegranate Days at the Oasis Camel Dairy, Jesus Christ Superstar at San Diego State, breakfast with Santa in Santee, a Jingle Paws walk for pets, Lakeside’s Spirit on Maine, holiday concerts, and a Country Christmas in Julian.

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

CHIEF’S CORNER: THANKSGIVING COOKING TIPS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Now You’re Cooking – With Safety!

November 14, 2016 (San Diego)--Thanks giving is quickly approaching and did you know Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year? “Thanksgiving is a fun, festive holiday, but it’s also very hectic says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. “All the entertaining and distractions make it easy to forget about what’s cooking on the stovetop.”

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOV. 11-DEC. 3

 

East County News Service

November 7, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes a Veterans Day commemoration, breakfast with firefighters, Kidz Dance Kompany’s production of 1968, a Wieghorst Museum Holiday Lunch, a wine and painting gathering in La Mesa, and the Spinners live in concert at Sycuan.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including a Turkey Bowl in Spring Valley, Casa de Oro’s first Fall Festival, the Mother Goose Parade, Pomegranate Days at the Oasis Camel Farm in Ramona, Jesus Christ Superstar at San Diego State, breakfast with Santa in Santee, a Jingle Paws walk for pets, Lakeside’s Spirit on Maine, and a Country Christmas in Julian.

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

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: NOV. 4-DEC. 24

November 4, 2016 - This week’s Destination East County include live music at La Mesa’s newest wine tasting room, a fall Planstravaganza, the Ramona Art and Wine Festival, and the opening of trout fishing season in Santee.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including a holiday open house at Summers Past Farms, a  Paint-a-Holic program in La Mesa,  a Veterans Day commemoration in El Cajon, the Casa de Oro Fall Festival,  the Mother Goose Parade, holiday concerts at Parkway Plaza and more.

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

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS OCT. 29-NOV. 20

 

East County News Service

October 26, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) - This week’s Destination East County includes the college area Boo! Parade and a HallowScream extravaganza.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including La Mesa’s Historical Home Tour, a fall plantstravaganza, the Ramona Art & Wine Festival, the Trout Opener at Santee Lakes, a Veterans Day commemoration in El Cajon, the Wieghorst Museum’s holiday lunch and the Mother Goose parade celebrates its 70th year of ushering in the holiday season in East County.

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

PRODUCE PICKS: APPLES AND FALL SEASON CHOICES

 

Apple recipes included

By Greg Dunne

October 26, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Let’s compare apples to apples. The change of the season from summer fruits, to fall and winter apples is under way. The start of the new crop apples begins the middle of October and will run through early May. The variety of apples we see in the markets are increasing all the time. Some of the relatively new varieties include Opal Apples, Sweetie Apples, Envy Apples, Ambrosia Apples, Ginger Gold Apples, Autumn Glory Apples, and Sweet Tango Apples.

EARTHTALK®: HOW TO GREEN UP YOUR HALLOWEEN

 

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

Caption: Green Halloween encourages parents to organize costume swaps & give out healthy snacks or treasures instead of candy this year at Halloween. Credit: Cascadian Farms, FlickrCC.

Dear EarthTalk: Any tips for how to green up my Halloween this year? -- Jason Falcone, Bern,NC

 

October 22, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - Halloween may be fun, but...this most ghoulish of holidays is also cause for lots of waste, given the preponderance of one-time use costumes that end up in a box or in the trash come November 1. And sustainability proponents also decry Halloween for promoting unhealthy eating habits, as obesity and diabetes rates among American kids continue to skyrocket. So what’s a green Halloween reveler to do?

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

East County News Service

October 19,2016 (San Diego's East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes Borrego Days, a Toast to East County,  a production of Annie Jr.,Lakeside Heritage Day, Haunt Fest on Main, haunted trails and more.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including Trunk or Treat, Stoney’s Boo Bash,  the Boo Parade, Halloscream, the La Mesa Historical Homes Tour,  the Art and Wine Fest in Ramona, a  Fall Plantstravaganza, and the Trout Opener at Santee Lakes.

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

Audio: 

CHIEF’S CORNER: A DEDICATION AND REMINDER THAT SANTA ANA WINDS ARE COMING!

 

 

Dedicated to the Men of Engine Company 57

“I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was home in Orange County leaving for work in Los Angeles. I could see the large plume of smoke to the east. In a matter of moments it intensified. The plumb expanded and rose quickly into the atmosphere. I knew something went bad. I didn’t think it was this bad… Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna”

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

October 17, 2016 (San Diego) -- October 26th 2006, 1:11 a.m. Santa Ana winds stirred across the southland.

A Red Flag warning had been identified and was in effect. A high probability for large fire growth was in effect as conditions were high temperatures, low humidity, and Santa Ana winds.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS OCT. 15-31

 

East County News Service

October 11, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes an air show, a haunted trail, howl-o-ween hounds, fair-trade shopping, a barbecue cook-off, and a pumpkin patch with activities galore.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including Haunt Fest on Main, Stoney’s Boo Bash, and the College Area Boo Parade.

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

CHIFE’S CORNER: FIRE PREVENTION WEEK

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

October 11, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS OCT. 5-31

 

East County News Service

October 4, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) --This week’s Destination East County includes the 60th annual melodrama in Julian, the German-American Club Oktoberfest and a Grammy award-winning country music star in El Cajon.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including a barbecue competition in Spring Valley, a fair trade shopping event in La Mesa, a Howl-o-ween pet adoption event at Grossmont Center and a spooky array of Halloween events from the College Area Boo Parade to Night of the Jack-o-lanterns in Alpine, Hauntfest on Main in El Cajon, and a Halloscream Extravaganza in Spring Valley.

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

CHIEF’S CORNER: SAVING SOME WINERIES—THANK YOU, FIREFIGHTERS!

 

Wine Awareness Month

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna October 1,  2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- To date, some of this year’s most destructive fires were dangerously close to the Napa, Paso and Santa Barbara Wine Regions. Our hearts go out to the victims of these dangerous wildfires. Ask any Firefighter - they take any loss personally. Sometimes were just outnumbered, many times mother nature and the fires fury is too much. Especially with these drought conditions.

COUNTY URGES VOTERS TO CHECK REGISTRATION AFTER MAILING SCAM EXPOSED

 

The Registrar of Voters is urging voters to double-check their registration status on its website after some residents got letters from an organization called the Voter Participation Center claiming the residents aren’t registered to vote.



The organization’s letters offer a pre-filled voter registration form that may include incorrect or outdated information or information for persons who don’t live at the address. The letters are causing some confusion because in many instances, the voter is properly registered to vote.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS SEPT. 24-OCT. 21

 

East County News Service

September 20, 2016 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes a Latin film festival, Julian Apple days, Lemon Grove’s community potluck, Peace Day in La Mesa, and  a cowboy swap meet in Descanso.

 Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including Oktoberfests in La Mesa and El Cajon, Marshall Scotty’s scare trail,  Haunt Fest on Main,  East County’s first over-the-line tournament and a tailgate barbecue cook-off.

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

MEDIA WATCHDOG: UNION – TRIBUNE’S EXCLUSIVE WEBSITE SPONSORSHIP DEAL WITH SDG&E RAISES QUESTIONS

 

Updated to include clarification from  SDG&E that its sponsorship was short-term,  not long-term.

East County Magazine

By Miriam Raftery

September 19, 2016 (San Diego) — Last week, the San Diego Union-Tribune rolled out a much-touted revamp of its website featuring San Diego Gas & Electric, a division of Sempra Energy, as its only sponsor.  The deal allows SDG&E to reach news readers directly with messages such as energy saving tips, but also poses potential conflicts of interests for San Diego’s largest newspaper.

SDG&E spokeswoman Stephanie Donovan has clarified that the sponsorship was only for two days, not an ongoing sponsorship. She added thiis perspective on the sponsorship:

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: SEPT. 16 - OCT. 21

 

 

Hear our KNSJ radio broadcast of this week's Destination East County by clicking the orange button above.

East County News Service

September 15, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes the Julian Music Festival, concerts by Siren’s Crush and the Grossmont Symphony and Master Chorale and a hike to the Valley of the Moon.

 Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including Julian Apple Days, Oktoberfests in La Mesa and El Cajon, an OktOVERfest and over-the-line tournament in Santee, a Marty Stuart concert in downtown El Cajon, Stockzilla at Santee Lakes, the Laguna Mountain Rendezvous, open house with firefighters, a tailgate barbecue contest in Spring Valley, and Haunt Fest on Main.

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

BIRD TALK: MOCKINGBIRDS

By Greg Dunne

“Hush, little baby don’t say a word, Mama’s going to buy you a mockingbird.”—traditional lullaby

September 13, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- The Northern Mockingbird is the only mockingbird commonly found in North America. This bird is mainly a permanent resident, but northern birds may move south during harsh weather.  While most other North American birds become silent or migrate in the fall, mockingbirds keep on singing in hopes of landing a mate for next spring.  Males with a good repertoire of song can be a good catch.

CHIEF'S CORNER: WHAT WILDFIRES AND MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HAVE IN COMMON. IS YOUR HOME A CATCHER'S MITT?

 

By Sam DiGiovanna

September 12, 2016 (San Diego) -- Some would say they strike fast and hit hard. That most occur in the 'outfield" and not on my home turf.  Or that the MLB Playoffs are in the fall and so are our Santa Ana winds. But what homeowners should be most concerned about is if their home is a “catcher’s mitt!”

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS SEPT. 10 - OCT. 16

 

Hear our audio version of Destination East County by clicking the orange button above.

East County News Service

September 6, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes a chili cook-off, a breakfast for wounded veterans, the Sycuan powwow, and VW Mania at El Cajon’s Classic Car night.

 Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including concerts and music festivals, Julian’s Apple Days, a barbecue competition in Spring Valley, Oktoberfests in La Mesa and El Cajon, the Laguna Mountain Rendezvous, and a hike to the Valley of the Moon.

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

Audio: 

BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY: BLACK ANGUS STEAKHOUSE ADDS FRUITY NEW HAND-CRAFTED COCKTAILS

 

By the East County Eaters

September 4, 2016 (El Cajon) – Long known for its flame-grilled steaks, cattle rancher roots and Western-themed décor,  Black Angus restaurants have now added a new hand-crafted, fresh juice cocktail menu to their Bulls Eye Bar.   From a Brazilian margarita that may make you want to dance the Samba to a Citrus Pomegranate Mule, you’ll find plenty to whet your whistle during all-day Happy Hours each Sunday , or from 3-7 p.m. all other days except Saturday.

We stopped by the Black Angus in El Cajon, where we savored some refreshing libations as well as tasty appetizers that roped us in to stay for a full dinner feast. 

EARTHTALK®: SMOKE WAVES FROM WILDFIRES ARE HAZARDOUS TO HEALTH

 

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

Photo: Smoke waves can radiate out for hundreds of miles from wildfires, spreading particulate matter and causing health problems for millions of Americans who think they are safe and far from the fire lines. Credit: Dave Thomas, Flickr CC.

September 2, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- Dear EarthTalk: What are “smoke waves” from wildfires and how can they be hazardous for our health? -- Doug Jenkins, Big Sandy, TX

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: 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. .

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:

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