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EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE COLUMNISTS

 

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Animal Tales

Ask an Author

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Bird Talk

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Dan's Tax Tips

Destination East County

Earth Talk ®

East County Eater

From the Chief's Corner

Left Hook

Marketing Matters

Media Watch

Medical Minute

On the Silver Screen

Political Wrangling

Produce Picks

Retirement Concierge

SD Trails

Smokin' Hot Places

Voter’s Watchdog

Vines and Wines

What Works

 

ARCHIVED COLUMNS (Columnists no longer active.)

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 JUNE 30 - JULY 29

 

East County News Service

June 26, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes Fourth of July fireworks, parades and picnics, plus an Elvis tribute in El Cajon.

We also have a preview of coming attractions including Descanso Days, the Pine Valley Parade, astronomy on Mt. Helix, music superstars Lionel Ritchie and Mariah Carey coming to San Diego State, and a murder mystery dinner theatre in Julian.

So stay tuned for all of these events and many more!

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS JUNE 25 - JULY 29

 

East County News Service

June 21, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes the return of caboose rides at the Campo railway depot, the Broadway Tenors onstage at Sycuan, a flea market in Alpine, and Elvis tribute artist Scott Bruce in El Cajon.

Plus, we have a preview coming attractions including Fourth of July fireworks, parades and picnics, Descanso Days, the Pine Valley Parade, astronomy on Mt. Helix, and music superstars Lionel Ritchie and Mariah Carey coming to the Viejas Arena at San Diego State.

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

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: “WAKEFIELD” A DELICIOUS BIT OF ABSURDIST THEATER

 

“If the reader choose, let him do his own meditation; or if he prefer to ramble with me… I bid him welcome.”  

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Review by E.A. Barrera

June 21, 2017 (San Diego) -- What would it be like to become a ghost in your own life? To be a voyeur in your private world? In this film adaptation of E.L. Doctrow’s short story “Wakefield” we see Bryan Cranston in the role of Howard Wakefield, a man who wants a time-out on his life. He doesn’t want to change his life so much as put it on hold. This is not a story of  a mid-life crises as it is a tale of human breakdown from the daily pressures

TRÉS BIEN! FABRISON’S COUNTRY FRENCH RESTAURANT IN JAMUL

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 18, 2017 (Jamul) – East County has a fabulous new destination for lovers of French foods. Fabrice and Allison Borel, owners of Fabrison’s French Creperie San Diego’s Little Italy and Coronado, have opened up Fabrison’s  in  Jamul .

This location has not only their signature “crepes for lovers,” but also a full menu of country French cuisine for breakfast, lunch and now, dinner.  So far, the Jamul location has earned a five-star review on Yelp, and it’s not hard to see—and taste—why.

CHEERS, BEER FANS! SAN DIEGO NOW TOPS IN CRAFT BREWING COMPANIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: BNS Brewery, Santee

June 18, 2017 (San Diego) – Already famed for producing among the best beers in the nation, San Diego now has the most craft brewing operations of any American city, according to a new report from the real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.  America’s finest city now boasts 125 craft breweries, according to the report, which along with brew pubs popping up in urban neighborhoods are fueling the latest “cool trend” revitalizing communities.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS & EVENTS

 

East County News Service

June 14, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes Father’s Day adventures, the Julian Blues Festival, a Passport Through Time ride along Historic Highway 67, an outdoor movie at Santee Lakes, and historic train rides at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo.

Plus, preview coming attractions including Broadway Tenors at Sycuan, Fourth of July parades in Alpine and Julian, fireworks in Santee, El Cajon and Alpine, more parades and festivals during Descanso Days and Pine Valley Days, astronomy on Mount Helix, plus music superstars Mariah Carey and Lionel Richie set to rock the stage at San Diego State.

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

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JUNE 10 - JULY 15

 

East County News Service

June 7, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes lavender day at Summer’s Past Farms, the Julian Dance, the Taste of La Mesa, Fido Fest in Santee, outdoor concerts in La Mesa and Santee and night fishing at Santee Lakes.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including a Father’s Day Adventure at Fort Cross in Julian, the Julian Blues Fest, a Passport Through Time road trip on historic Highway 67, a Father’s Day brunch with Cowboy Jack, Santee Salutes, Julian’s Fourth of July Parade, El Cajon’s Independence Day celebration, Descanso Days, and astronomy night on Mount Helix.

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

CHIEF’S CORNER: JUNE IS NATIONAL SAFETY MONTH -- SPREAD THE WORD OF SAFETY

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

June 5, 2017 (San Diego) -- June is the month that is declared as National Safety Month by the National Safety Council (NSC).

The NSC and thousands of organizations across the country work to raise awareness to keep each other safe. Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JUNE 2 – JULY 4

 

East County News Service

May 31, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) - This week’s Destination East County includes Fly Day at Gillespie Field in El Cajon, the In-Ko-Pah outdoor overnight concert at Jacumba’s Desert View Tower, La Mesa’s Flag Day Parade, and Family Day at the Van Ommering Dairy in Lakeside.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including Lavender Day at Summers Past Farms, the Julian Dance, Fido Fest in Santee, summer concerts in La Mesa and Santee, a Taste of La Mesa, night fishing at Santee Lakes, Julian Blues Festival, a Father’s Day brunch with Cowboy Jack, a Father’s Day adventure at Fort Cross, the Secret Life of Pets showing at Santee Lakes, Julian’s 4th of July Parade, plus Independence Day events with fireworks in Santee and El Cajon.

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

CHIEF’S CORNER: HIKING SAFETY TIPS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

May 29, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Hiker in distress!  Firefighters are responding to these calls more often now that our hillsides are dried out and weather has permitted. But before you hit the trail, follow some of these safety tips first, reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

HUNTER SUGGESTS ASSAULTING A REPORTER COULD BE JUSTIFIABLE IF REPORTER ‘DESERVED IT’

 

Photo:  Suggested attire for reporters asking tough questions of government officials

Media Watch column by Miriam Raftery

May 25, 2017 (San Diego) – Congressman Duncan Hunter, asked by capitol reporters what he thought about Montana Congressional Candidate Greg Gianforte bodyslamming a reporter, replied that is’ “not appropriate behavior” then clarified, “unless the reporter deserved it,” the Hill reports.

Gianforte was charged with assault against a reporter from the Guardian last night who asked his views on a Congressional Budget Office report on the GOP healthcare bill.  

The violent assault was caught on tape by Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. The attack was also witnessed by a Fox News crew, who confirmed that Gianforte “grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground,” then began punching him. Three newspapers revoked their endorsements of Gianforte over the brutal incident, which broke the reporter’s glasses. On tape, Gianforte can be heard shouting at Jacobs to "get the hell out" after smashing him to the ground.

HOT, HOT, HOT! MARDI GRAS CAFE AND MARKET IN SPRING VALLEY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Jordan Damond

 

May 25, 2017 (Spring Valley) -- Mardi Gras,  a small cafe and market located in Spring Valley, is named for the famed carnival held in New Orleans. Following this theme, the cafe sells ample New Orleans specialties for lunch, dinner or to outfit an entire party. As someone ofNew Orleans heritage who has grown up with these foods, I was  pleased to discover that the Mardi Gras Cafe lives up to the quality of  Cajun and Creole cooking served up in New Orleans.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS MAY 26-JUNE 23

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

May 23, 2017 (San Diego's East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes a catfish opener at Santee Lakes this Memorial Day weekend,  Ramona Valley Wine Country’s Summer of Wine kick-off events, the Coyote Band in an outdoor concert in downtown El Cajon,  the Baja Blues Boys live in Ramona and open ranch  day at the Oasis Camel Dairy.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including the La Mesa Flag Day parade,  Fly Days at the Gillespie Field Café,  Family Day at the Van Ommering Dairy in Lakeside, Lavender Day at Summers Past Farm, Boars and Brew at the Lakeside River Park, the Julian Dance, Fido Fest, a Taste of La Mesa,  summer concerts in  Santee, Father’s Day adventures, a Julian Blues Fest, and the Secret Life of Pets at Santee Lakes featuring a movie plus close encounters with animal ambassadors from around the world. 

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

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS MAY 19 - JUNE 18

 

East County News Service

May 15, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – This week’s Destination East County includes La Mesa Rocks, the Manzanita Rendezvous, Julian Fiddle and Pickin’ Contest, El Cajon’s America on Main Street, Explore Mission Trails Day, a Wild in the Country Casino Real benefit, and the Grip It and Rip It Golf Tournament.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including a production of Into the Woods, , open house at the Oasis Camel Dairy, La Mesa’s Flag Day Parade, Fly Days at Gillespie Field, the annual Julian Dance and Barbecue, Fido Fest in Santee, Lavender Days at Summers Past Farms, Sundays at Six Concerts in LA Mesa, Night Fishing at Santee Lakes, the Julian Blues Fest,  Santee Summer Concerts, a Father’s Day Brunch with Cowboy Jack, and a Father’s Day adventure at Fort Cross in Julian filled with rugged, manly experiences! 

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

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS MAY 11 - JUNE 18

 

East County News Service

May 9, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes Mother’s Day brunch, tea and dinners as well as a butterfly festival, classic car events, the Manzanita Rendezvous with mountain men and more.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including the Julian Fiddle and Pickin’ Contest, America on Main Street, Explore Mission Trails Day, Fly Day at Gillespie Field, Night Fishing at Santee Lakes, the launch of Santee’s Summer Concert series, and a Father’s Day brunch with Cowboy Jack.

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

PRODUCE PICKS: CHERRIES, FIRST OF THE SEASON AND CALIFORNIA GROWN

 

By Greg Dunne

Photo:  Juan Carlos Peñaloza and Jonathan Borges at Barons Market getting the Cherries and Berries ready for the day.

May 8, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- The cherry season has started! California cherries are available and the California peaches and nectarines are also just starting to come in – but the best tasting fruit still has a couple of weeks to go.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: GRADUATION SAFETY

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

First Class Graduation!

May 8, 2017 (San Diego) -- Graduation is upon us and we want to make sure we graduate with our class safely this year.

Let’s start with the first class:  underage drinking can result in tragedy so let’s keep those critical lines of communication open when it comes to talking about the dangers of underage drinking, driving and graduation parties and events.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS MAY 5 – MAY 26

 

East County News Service

May 1, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes hot events happening in May across our region, from Friday night dinners and concerts in El Cajon, to Mother’s Day teas in Julian. 

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including America on Main Street in El Cajon, Explore Mission Trails Days, and more.

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

CHIEF’S CORNER: WILDFIRE SAFETY—THERE’S GOLD IN THEM THAR HILLS…AND IT’S DANGEROUS!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

May 1, 2017 (San Diego) -- There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills!  It’s also along the freeways, in open fields and vacant lots in your neighborhood. That lush green vegetation and pretty wildflowers from recent winter storms is now turning golden in color and soon to become dark brown, brittle and extremely dry.  Fire season is already here and getting extremely dangerous quickly. We’ve already seen quite a few fast moving grass/brush fires throughout Southern California.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS APRIL 28 - MAY 21

 

East County News Service

April 26, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County includes Lakeside’s Rodeo and Western Days Parade, a wine-tasting festival in Jamul, and a Cinco de Mayo celebration at Cajon Classic Cruises.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including the opening of El Cajon’s dinner and a concert series, a fashion show to benefit East County arts, Vintage Alpine, butterfly festivals, Explore Mission Trails, and El Cajon’s America on Main Street celebration.

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

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS APRIL 22 - MAY 15

 

East County News Service

April 19, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - This week’s Destination East County includes a star party in Julian, an eco-folk musical at Mission Trails for Earth Day, Open Farm Days and Animal Shows at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona, Jazz Sunday at La Mesa Wineworks, and a Clint Black concert at Sycuan.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including Lakeside’s Rodeo and Western Days Parade, a Wine Festival in Jamul, El Cajon’s Dinner and a Concert Series, Vintage Alpine, America on Main Street and much, much more.

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

CHIEF’S CORNER: APRIL IS DISTRACTED DRIVING MONTH

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Keeping it in your own lane!

April 18, 2017(San Diego) -- Situational Awareness (aware of your surroundings at all times) is huge in the fire service. It provides firefighter safety at all times by maintaining situational awareness and being present at all times. The same holds true with driving. We all need to be aware and present and expect the unexpected at any time.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS APRIL 13 - MAY 15

 

 

 

East County News Service

April 12, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - This week’s Destination East County includes an Eggstravaganza in Santee, an Easter carnival in Alpine, Spring Harp Fest in La Mesa, a Save El Monte Valley fundraiser in Lakeside, the opening of Cajon Classic Car season and a Clint Black is Back concert at Sycuan.

Plus, we’ll tell you about coming attractions including Lakeside’s Western Days, parade and rodeo, spring garden festivals, butterfly releases, a fashion show to benefit local arts, the Art of the Quilt in Lemon Grove, community concerts, and Vintage Alpine, a wine tasting experience in the country to benefit children’s causes.

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

A SALUTE TO ADMIRAL’S EXPERIENCE: FLAVORS OF THE WORLD SERVED UP AT SAN CARLOS RESTAURANT

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 11, 2017 (San Carlos) – As a Navy chef,  Geoff Cole traveled the world preparing feasts for admirals and other VIPs.  Now he’s opened a  salute-worthy restaurant in San Diego's San Carlos neighborood. At Admiral's Experience, he serves up  what he calls “world class cuisine” from around the globe—as well as a catering service.   

“I cooked for all the admirals, senators and dignitaries on their private jet,”  Chef Cole told East County Magazine.  Of Jamaican descent, he’s  lived in exotic locales such as Hawaii and collected favorite dishes in his travels to Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean and other places.

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: ARMENIAN GENOCIDE FILM HAS POTENTIAL, BUT FALLS SHORT (THE PROMISE)

 

By Liz Alper, ECM film reviewer

Photo via Facebook

April 10, 2017 (San Diego) - The Armenian genocide was a horrific event in September of 1915 in which Turkish forces (then still under the control of the Ottoman Empire) slaughtered thousands of Armenian men, women and children.  Director Terry George attempted to put this tragedy on screen in The Promise, starring Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon.

CHIEF’S CORNER: RATTLESNAKE SEASON

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Snakes' eyes – they’re watching!

April 10, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- We know all about those snakes at work that slither around trying to work their way into promotions, office social circles and politics, or even belly up to the boss. They’ll do anything (even bite you in the back) as long as it benefits them.  But the snake I’m talking about is actually more fearful of you, however just as dangerous and you need to exercise caution around them: rattlesnakes!

CHILDREN’S NATURE RETREAT: HELPING CHILDREN AND ANIMALS TOGETHER

 

Gala on May 19th benefits Alpine nonprofit

 

By Mimi Pollack

April 5, 2017 (Alpine) -- Giving back to others is always good, but when you can give back to both animals and children, that is even better! Local humanitarian Agnes Barrelet is doing just that by heading up two non-profits, Hands United for Children and Children’s Nature Retreat in Alpine. 

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