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EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE COLUMNISTS

 

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

American Trivia

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

 

ARCHIVED COLUMNS (Columnists no longer active.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.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: GOT STRESS? APRIL IS STRESS AWARENESS MONTH

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

April 18 2014 (San Diego)--Stress, like water, seems to seep into every level of our life.  “What makes it worse, it’s very unhealthy says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.  In fact it’s so dangerous stress needs to be addressed and reduced.”  No worries here as April is “National Stress Awareness month.”  You may be surprised by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate!

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP ACTIVITIES APRIL 18-20

Easter egg-stravaganza events and much more!

By Ariele Johannson

April 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination: East County begins with a Chamgane Brunch, glow-in-the-dark egg hunt and other Easter events--then ends with fishing and a Spring Harp Festival.

But that's not all. We have a fabulous preview of some great upcoming events all right here in East County and San Diego’s inland region.

BAJA BLOG: VALLEY GIRL TOURS COME TO GUADALUPE VALLEY IN BAJA

 

By Susan A Mahalick

Photos by Sitara Monica Perez and the author

April 12, 2014 (Baja, Mexico)--Sitara Monica Perez, the woman with the lyrical name, arrived here almost two years ago to accomplish her dream of making wine. She is not only doing that, but also becoming an expert on the winemakers and wineries in the process. Originally from Alaska, she has lived in Costa Rica and Argentina before coming to Baja to learn winemaking.

THE ATTORNEY'S CORNER: FUNDING YOUR REVOCABLE TRUST

 

 

By Stephen C. Ross, Esq.

April 11, 2014 (San Diego County) – “Funding” a trust is the process of taking assets titled in your individual name, or in joint names with others, and changing the title into the name of your revocable trust, or taking assets requiring a beneficiary designation and naming your revocable trust as the primary or secondary beneficiary of those assets. An asset not retitled into the name of your trust is not governed by the trust terms, the trustee has no power over the asset, the asset may be subject to probate and the asset may not transfer to your intended beneficiaries at your death. The following are trust funding suggestions to ensure assets are included in your trust.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: NO "CHARGE" FOR THIS SAFETY TIP

 

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

April 10, 2014 (San Diego)--Those little nine-volt batteries that you changed last month from your smoke detector or just keep around in drawers could post a serious fire hazard if not stored correctly says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.  The batteries could start a fire if surrounded by the wrong items.  Several house fires have been reported caused by the batteries.

EARTHTALK(R): EARTH DAY 2014

 

E - The Environmental Magazine

April 5, 2014 (San Diego)--Dear EarthTalk: What’s going on with Earth Day this year and how can I get involved? -- Christine B., Boston, MA

This coming April 22 will mark the 44th annual celebration of Earth Day, and the focus this year will be green cities. “As the world’s population migrates to cities, and as the bleak reality of climate change becomes increasingly clear, the need to create sustainable communities is more important than ever,” reports Earth Day Network, the Seattle-based non-profit that helps coordinate Earth Day celebrations and serves as a clearinghouse for related information and resources. The group hopes to galvanize the support of more than a billion people across 192 countries this Earth Day for increasing the sustainability and reducing the carbon footprints of urban areas everywhere.

EARTH TALK(R): GREEN APPS FOR YOUR PHONE

 

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What are some cool apps that work with a mobile phone that can help me get in better touch with the environment?                                                           -- Mitchell Brown, Troy, MI

Not surprisingly, there are thousands of “green” apps out there that make it easier for people to find and share information to help us all become better stewards of the natural environment.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: BASEBALL STADIUM SAFETY TIPS - PLAY BALL, BUT PLAY IT SAFE!

 

By Fire Chief San DiGiovanna

April 3, 2104 (San Diego's East County) - “Baseball season is now official and whether you’re going to a professional baseball game or to your local neighborhood field, keep your eye on the ball and make safety a priority so that your stadium experience is more like a home run than a strikeout says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.”

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS COLUMN: HOBBY LOBBY-- THE CORPORATION AS PROPHET

 

By Mark Gabrish Conlan • for East County Magazine, www.eastcountymagazine.org

April 2, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--The U.S. Supreme Court sure picked a weird way of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act this year. On March 24, they heard arguments in a case called Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, in which a chain of art supply stores claimed that the mandate under the Affordable Care Act (so-called “Obamacare”) that employer-provided health insurance cover birth control is an infringement on their freedom of religion. Stated that boldly, Hobby Lobby’s claim that its for-profit business has the capability of worshiping God in its own way and the government can’t dictate the terms under which it can provide employees health insurance because that would violate its freedom of religion is preposterous.

EAST COUNTY EATER: FANTASTICO! NEW OWNERS ADD TO CULINARY APPEAL AT MEDITERRANEO ITALIANO BISTRO & BAR IN ALPINE

 

By the East County Eater

Mediterraneo Italiano Bistro & Bar, 1347 Tavern Road, Alpine 91901 (619)445-9902 http://mediterraneobistro.com/

March 24, 2014 (Alpine) –It’s been five years since the East County Eater first reviewed the Mediterraneo in Alpine, in a story titled “A Delightful Find in Alpine.”  Now there are new owners and a new head chef  with a menu focused on authentic Italian cuisine, raising the bar from “delightful” to “magnifico.”

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY, HOW ARE YOU LOOKING LATELY?

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

March 2, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - The way you Drive directly reflects the way you look says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.  The way you conduct yourself behind the wheel is how others view you.  Let’s take a look…

AMERICAN TRIVIA: THE MOTHER OF INVENTION (PART II)

 

by Richard Lederer and Caroline McCullagh       

March 23, 2014 (San Diego)--Tinkering is a time - honored American pastime. Many men and women can’t leave well enough alone. They’re always trying to create something or improve something. As with most creative people, they benefit from the work of those who came before them, but they add that little spark of genius that can take their invention figuratively or literally into the stratosphere. Here are some of our best:

BAJA BLOG: MULE 61, AREA'S NEWEST CONCEPT RESTAURANT

 

New column! 

(If you would like to sponsor the Baja Blog, or any column on ECM, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org)

By Susan A Mahalick

Photos by Sitara Monica Perez

March 19, 2014 (Baja)--You walk into a long space broken up by curves of white walls, stained glass windows and a large bar with lights behind the stained glass at the base at night. Both bistro type seating and regular dining tables are available in the main dining room. There is a second room for events or private parties. A very large window at the rear overlooking the Pacific opens to the fresh salt air. Ceiling fans circulate in key locations. The ceiling is made from plastic, clear tiles which provide plenty of natural light.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: IS THAT A HAZARDOUS MATERIALS INCIDENT OR THE FLU?

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

March 17, 2014 (San Diego)--During a hazardous materials incident, firefighters and first responders isolate the area and deny entry to keep it contained.  The same goes if you have the flu.  Both are toxic and pose an unreasonable risk to our Health, Safety and Environment!  Isolate yourself and stay away from others because it spreads through contamination.

BIRD TALK: THE ELUSIVE BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER

 

By Greg Dunne

March 15, 2014 (Cowles Mountain)--The Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher is a small songbird living here in our East County that reminds me of the Wrentit.  It mainly reminds me of the Wrentit because it is not easily seen.  It is always a thrill when you can get a glimpse of this beautiful, but tiny bird. It will be a great time to observe small songbirds now that the rains have cleared and the sun reappears.

EARTHTALK(R): SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

 

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Should those of us who care about our health and the planet be concerned about the new trend in genetic engineering called synthetic biology?                          -- Chrissie Wilkins, Bern, NC

“Synthetic biology” (or “synbio”) refers to the design and fabrication of novel biological parts, devices and systems that do not otherwise occur in nature. Many see it as an extreme version of genetic engineering (GE). But unlike GE, whereby genetic information with certain desirable traits is inserted from one organism into another, synbio uses computers and chemicals to create entirely new organisms.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: RAIN IS COMING, BUT PROCEED WITH CAUTION

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

February 28, 2014 (San Diego)--There’s good news forecasted for this week – Rain!  Two storms are possible this week says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. As the rain is very much welcome and needed, it’s important to keep safety in mind.  It will be hazardous.”

EARTH TALK: DIRTY FUELS

 

Dear EarthTalk: What are “dirty fuels” and why are they so called?    -- Bill Green, Seattle, WA

February 25, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - The term “dirty fuels” refers to fuels derived from tar sands, oil shale or liquid coal. Just like their more conventional fossil fuel counterparts such as petroleum and coal, they can be turned into gasoline, diesel and other energy sources that can generate extreme amounts of particulate pollution, carbon emissions and ecosystem destruction during their lifecycles from production to consumption.

THE ATTORNEY'S CODE: WHO CAN PROBATE AN ESTATE?

 

By Stephen C. Ross, Esq.

February 19, 2014 (San Diego County) – Probate is a court-supervised process whereby a decedent’s (deceased person) real and/or personal property is located, its value determined, his or her final bills and taxes paid (if any) and any remaining assets are distributed to his or her beneficiaries and/or heirs.

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS COLUMN: THE BIONIC MAYOR

 

By Mark Gabrish Conlan • for East County Magazine, www.eastcountymagazine.org

February 19, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - There’s an old saying, variously attributed to the Greek fabulist Aesop and the Roman poet Horace, that “the mountain labored and brought forth a mouse.” Last February 11, after a six-month campaign, the special election for Mayor of San Diego labored and brought forth Kevin Faulconer. Actually, it wasn’t the proverbial mountain; it was the Republican Party and the “independent” Lincoln Club of San Diego County, who essentially took the raw material of Kevin Faulconer and used him as a chassis on which to build a bionically perfect mayoral candidate for the San Diego electorate c. 2014: modishly liberal on the “social issues” and business-friendly, pro-developer and anti-labor without being as obstreperously obnoxious about it as the last Republican Mayoral candidate, Carl DeMaio.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: HOME SAFETY TIPS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

February 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--“On average 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits occur annually, reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Firefighters and Paramedics respond to thousands of accidents every day.”

Follow some of these tips to help prevent accidents in your home:

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: IT'S VALENTINE'S MONTH, PUT YOUR HEART IN IT

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

 

February 7, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--It’s Valentine month and February is also American Heart Month.  Cardiovascular Disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Now is a good time to take preventive steps and beat it!

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS COLUMN: THE MAKING OF THE RIGHT- -50 YEARS LATER

 

Why Goldwater Didn’t Become President: He Was Ahead of, Not Behind, the Times

By Mark Gabrish Conlan • for East County Magazine, www.eastcountymagazine.org

February 1, 2014 (San Diego)--Not long ago, I was at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park on a Sunday afternoon to hear San Diego’s civic organist, Carol Williams, play her weekly concert. After she was finished I walked over to one of the donation tables to renew my Spreckels Organ Society membership. The woman who helped me saw the book I was reading — a well-worn paperback of Theodore H. White’s book The Making of the President 1964 — and asked, “Is that about the Goldwater campaign?” I said yes, though the book is as much about Lyndon Johnson’s takeover of the presidency after the John F. Kennedy assassination and his campaign to keep the job. The woman then startled me by saying, “We need someone like Goldwater today — a progressive Republican.”

RENO DISPATCH: CRAMMING FOR FINALS--CAN SAN DIEGO STATE REALLY WIN A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP THIS SPRING?

 

By Jamie Reno

The Reno Dispatch

Jan. 28, 2014 (San Diego) -- The San Diego State Aztecs, who passed a tough road test at Utah State University Saturday night with a 74-69 overtime win, are headed toward the top of the 2014 class. Now ranked #5 in both major national college basketball polls, the 18-1 Aztecs, winners of 17 straight, are cramming for the Final Four in April and a possible national championship.

EARTHTALK®: CLIMATE CHANGE IS KILLING WHITEBARK PINE TREES ACROSS WEST

E - The Environmental Magazine

Photo by Frank D. Lospalluto/Flickr: Clark's Nuthatch on whitebark pine

Dear EarthTalk: How is it that climate change is responsible for killing whitebark pine trees and thus impacting mountain ecosystems?   -- Dale Livingstone, Salem, OR

January 24, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Whitebark pine trees are a “keystone” species in high-altitude ecosystems across the American West, meaning they play an important role in maintaining the natural structure of many of our most iconic mountain regions. Wildlife from grizzly bears to songbirds are dependent on whitebark pine seeds for nourishment, while forest stands of the trees stabilize and shade the snowpack in winter, which helps reducing avalanches and helps extend snowmelt flows into the dry summer months.

BIRD TALK: MT. FORTUNA’S WRENTIT

By Greg Dunne

January 24, 2014 (Mission Trails) -- Instead of being  glued to the sofa and TV watching championship football games to see who will be going to the Super Bowl, I got a big pay-off with a photo of a cute little bird on Sunday.  I passed a few hikers along the way to the top of Mt. Fortuna out at Mission Trails Regional Park on Sunday afternoon.  How can you beat the great weather we have for hiking here in the East County, especially considering the hard winter the East Coast is getting right now?

The big pay-off for me was my first photo of this warm and fuzzy Wrentit. 

RENO DISPATCH: DID THIS LEGENDARILY INERT CONGRESS REALLY JUST GET OFF THE FLOOR AND DO SOMETHING RIGHT FOR OUR TROOPS & VETERANS?

 

 

By Jamie Reno

Jan. 16, 2014  (San Diego) -- It’s been a pretty positive week in Washington for our troops and veterans. As you've probably heard, Congressional negotiators have shockingly agreed on a $1.1 trillion spending package that almost everyone says is a pretty good deal. Go figure! And one of the real positives of this whopping budget agreement is that it gives active-duty military a one percent pay raise. 

But wait, there's been even more surprising action from this historically do-nothing Congress.  Read more at the Reno Dispatch.

THE CAREGIVERS' JOURNEY: CONSIDER CAREFULLY BEFORE MOVING PARENTS IN WITH YOU

By Marsha Kay Seff

January 16, 2014 (San Diego)--When I was a caregiver to my parents, some people faulted me for placing my folks in a retirement community, rather than moving them in with me.  But I never felt guilty about my choice.

For our family, the arrangement was the best option.

COLUMN: POLITICAL REFLECTIONS: 2013 - THE YEAR OF CRASH AND BURN

 
By Mark Gabrish Conlan 
 
January 5, 2014 (San Diego) -- If nothing else, 2013 will go down in history as a year that showed up just how silly the whole notion of punditry is. People read columns like this in hopes that the people writing them have some special wisdom that will not only explain to them what’s happening in politics now but what’s likely to happen in the future. Often we’re as clueless as anyone else. As Doyle McManus recently admitted in the Los Angeles Times, at this time last year he was expecting President Obama to be able to take full advantage of his resounding re-election victory and the Republicans in Congress to moderate their opposition and maybe even work with him to get things done.

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