Columns

Recurring Columns

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

 

Listen to this week's Destination East County broadcast from the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ radio 89.1 FM! Click the orange link above.(note: sound files make take a few moments to load.)

By Miriam Raftery

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!

Audio: 

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.

WHAT WORKS: BUSINESSES BASED ON EMPLOYEES

 

By R. J. Hernandez

July 11, 2015 (San Diego) -- This is the inaugural  “What Works” column. And in this column, there will be stories and editorials that talk about what is working or ideas about how things could work. How things could work when people find ways to come together, even if those ways are tied together by a shoe string. This is about progress to its greatest degree, the very existence of forward motion. It isn’t even momentum that I’m talking about here. It is motion that brings people together for their mutual benefit, that engages them and inspires them and case-by-case builds them up.

ASK THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE: SIMPLE, BUT NOT EASY

 

By Sharon Ann Hamilton

Dear Sharon Ann:

July 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - I will be 66 years old and retired by year-end. I am single, in good health, my parents are still living and healthy, and my grandparents passed away in their late 90s so it is likely that I have at least 30 years ahead. I am concerned that my nest egg will not last as long as I do. I want to know for sure! Is there a way to prove the projections made by my financial advisor? I have about $1.5M in 401K investments, I own my own home outright, and Social Security will be $2350 per month.

Signed: I want to KNOW for SURE!

BAJA BLOG: FOURTH OF JULY BAJA STYLE AT ANGEL'S CAMP AND THE CANTINA

 

Story and photos by Susan A Mahalick

July 7, 2015 (Baja, Mexico)--The day dawned cloudy and cool as it often does this time of year; sometimes the marine layer stays all day, or for a month at a time along the Pacific coastline. At about three in the afternoon the layer was thin enough that the sun came out for a brief time. Time to go to Angel’s Camp for the annual 4th of July pig roast.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: STOP AND THINK!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

July 6, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Observing the calls being dispatched this weekend certainly proved a lack of common sense, civility and what a tender box we truly are in as fireworks and careless acts sparked additional wildfires, homes and even commercial business fires this Fourth of July weekend. Most from illegal fireworks. Stop and Think!

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP EVENTS JULY 11-26

 

July 6, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County features lots of e community concerts, from jazz in a lavender field to blues in a park, plus the Descanso Days Parade, and more. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including Pine Valley Days, outdoor movies, off-road madness and Jimmie Johnson night in El Cajon. So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

ASK THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE: SIMPLE, BUT NOT EASY

 

 

By SharonAnn Hamilton

July 5, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Dear SharonAnn:

I will be 66 years old and retired by year-end. I am single, in good health, my parents are still living and healthy, and my grandparents passed away in their late 90s so it is likely that I have at least 30 years ahead. I am concerned that my nest egg will not last as long as I do. I want to know for sure! Is there a way to prove the projections made by my financial advisor? I have about $1.5M in 401K investments, I own my own home outright, and Social Security will be $2350 per month.

Signed: I want to KNOW for SURE!

PRODUCE PICKS: SWEET WHITE CORN AND WATERMELON FOR 4TH OF JULY FEASTING

By Greg Dunne

June 27, 2015 (Alpine)--What goes together better than America, 4th of July, Barbeque, Sweet White Corn, and Watermelon? With 4th of July just around the corner, the second most important holiday of the summer next to Fathers day!? It is Barbeque time and peak of the season for White Corn and Watermelon. Not as traditional as some dishes but my wife’s (Dianne) arugula white corn salad, is one of my favorites. Her recipe is at the bottom of this article.

DESTINATATION EAST COUNTY: JUNE 27-JULY 11

 

June 26, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes gold rush days in Julian, outdoor movies and a preview of coming attractions including 4th of July Festivities, Mary Poppins on Mt. Helix, and the annual Descanso Days Fair and Parade. So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

BAJA BLOG: MY BIRTHDAY IN THE WINE VALLEY WITH SITARA MONICA PEREZ

 

by Susan A Mahalick. Photos and article by the author

June 23, 2015 (Baja, Mexico) - I met Sitara when she first got here from Costa Rica with not much more than the clothes on her back and a dog named Lily. We became fast friends, fast. She got enrolled in the wine school which has tough requirements, one of which is knowing Spanish well enough to understand the classes and become proficient in business afterwards. I was her very first investor and it is indeed the best investment I have ever made. In a few short years she is now sending her wines to Mexico City which is the ultimate market here and poised to export to the United States. It takes at least a year to become legal, getting a tax stamp for your bottles, becoming a legal resident and the like. Since her grandmother was Mexican this allows her to become a dual citizen with the US. Originally from Alaska, she is an adventurer like so many of us expats in Mexico. She prefers to create blends so I just got a case of her Dolcetto at the rock bottom price of five dollars a bottle. I am going to use some of these along with her new house wine, Ruffian, for a wine tasting BBQ tomorrow on my patio with two friends.

ASK AN AUTHOR: STEAMY ROMANCE GIVEAWAY AND TIPS - FEEDBACK, ANTI-HEROES, AND WRITING MYSTERIES

 

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

June 18, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Author/actress/artist Vanessa A. Ryan joins us today as a guest columnist. Vanessa is the author of the cozy mystery A Palette for Murder (“Good fun” – Kirkus Reviews) as well as the Horror at the Lake series of vampire tales reminiscent of works like Dracula. Join Vanessa on Facebook and Twitter @Vanessa_A_Ryan if you have any more questions for her about her work, or if you just want to ask her what it was like being part of the cast of the original Magic Mike.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: JUNE 20-JULY 11

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes some amazing events to delight dad this Father’s Day weekend, from an air show to a vintage train ride and a brunch with Cowboy Jack. Plus we’ll have a preview of coming attractions including 4th of July Festivities, a country music concert in Santee, and the annual Descanso Days fair and parade.  So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

Now for a preview of coming attractions…

THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE: VOLUME 116 SIMPLE, BUT NOT EASY

 

Dear SharonAnn:

June 14, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - I will be 66 years old and retired by year-end. I am single, in good health, my parents are still living and healthy, and my grandparents passed away in their late 90s so it is likely that I have at least 30 years ahead. I am concerned that my nest egg will not last as long as I do. I want to know for sure! Is there a way to prove the projections made by my financial advisor? I have about $1.5M in 401K investments, I own my own home outright, and Social Security will be $2350 per month.

ASK AN AUTHOR TIPS & FREEBIES: KDP SELECT GIVEAWAYS-- THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE WASTE OF MONEY

 

June 10, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --How do you run a successful KDP Select giveaway? You seem to always rock them. – Jennifer Gilbert

Anyone who visits my SJ Publicity Facebook page regularly can see I'm an advocate of KDP Select giveaways. There are some authors who balk at the idea of giving away free books, but I look at a free ebook as a free sample. Don't you love free samples and the people who give them out?

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: JUNE 10-21

 

June 10, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes an Olympic Day, dancing, live music, film showings,  fishing, classic cruising and more. Plus we’ll also have a preview of coming attractions including Boars and Brew, Blues & Jazz, a vintage train ride, a Father’s Day brunch with Cowboy Jack, and a desert sky photo shoot starring the Milky Way.  So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

ASK AN AUTHOR: TIPS & FREEBIES, OVERCOMING WRITER'S BLOCK, SELF VS. TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING, & NOVEL-WRITING TIME

 

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

June 6, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --This week's column welcomes a guest author, Sherrie Miranda. Sherrie is a resident of Chula Vista and the author of the historical fiction novel, Secrets and Lies in El Salvador: Shelly's Journey, which tells the story of an American visiting El Salvador during the time of the Salvadoran Civil War. The story is based in part on the author's experiences in El Salvador. If you'd like to learn more about Secrets and Lies in El Salvador, it is on sale for $0.99 on Amazon and on two best seller lists.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: SWIMMING POOL SAFETY - IT HAPPENED JUST LIKE THAT

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

June 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Drowning incidents are dramatically on the rise locally and statewide. Parents whose children have drowned say the day of the tragedy started out just like any other day. No matter how the drowning happened or where it happened -- pool, spa, or any other body of water -- one thing was the same, the seconds that claimed their child's life slid by silently, without warning, it happens just like that and can never be brought back. Drowning is Preventable reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY JUNE 6-20

 

June 4, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes a craft beer and wine festival, Shakespeare, night fishing, poetry by the river, a firefighters’ breakfast, Taste of La Mesa and more. Plus we’ll also have a preview of coming attractions including Julian’s Backcountry Dance and Barbecue, Boars and Brews at Lakeside’s River Park, and much more.  So stay tuned for all of these events and much, much more!

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