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EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE COLUMNISTS


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS FEB. 10-FEB. 28

By Miriam Raftery and Jonathan Goetz

This week’s destination East County features events in mid-to late February across San Diego’s inland region.

Hot happenings include a tribute to Michael Jackson at Sycuan, a candlelight concert in Jacumba, Valentine teas in Julian, black history month events at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, new moon fishing at Lake Jennings, Laurel and Hardy night in Spring Valley, birdwatching classes at Mission Trails, Fido Fest in Santee, Touch-a-Truck in Lakeside, and Hawkwatch in Ramona.


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FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: DUST IN THE WIND

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

 

January 29, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) -- We certainly have had our share of wind lately. Not to mention the unusually cold weather. This could affect your health!


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP EVENTS JAN. 27-FEB. 25

By Jonathan Goetz and Miriam Raftery

 

January 21, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – Upcoming festivities and events include concerts at The Magnolia in El Cajon and Viejas in Alpine, a star party, wildlife tracking and birding classes at Mission Trails, a play at Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa and Hawkwatch raptor viewing in Ramona.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: LEMON GROVE HANDLES CANNABIS LAW RESPONSIBLY

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

January 10,  2023 (Lemon Grove) -- Since the passage of Proposition 64 legalizing cannabis for recreational use, cities and counties across California have been attempting to meet the desires of the electorate while also balancing public health and safety. Local Control, the ability for cities and counties to regulate whether or how cannabis operations exist in their jurisdictions, was included in the original proposition. It often brings the fight for or against cannabis to city hall steps.


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FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: JANUARY IS CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

 

January 9, 2023 (San Diego) --  In the past 20 years, from 2001 to 2020, cancer death rates went down 27%. We all still have a lot of work to do!

Take charge with these Mayo Clinic tips such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular screenings.


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FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: THEY’LL LOVE YOU FOREVER WITH THIS GIFT

They’ll Love You Forever with This Gift! 

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

 

December 12, 2022 (San Diego) -- The holidays provide a good opportunity to spend quality time with family, friends, and co-workers. Rather than getting stressed about holiday obligations, think about these opportunities as making "deposits" in your relationship banks. The time you spend is an investment into the relationship's long-term success. 


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: SPRING VALLEY RESIDENTS MAKE EFFORTS TO REDUCE CRIME AND HARMS FROM DRUGS AND ALCOHOL, WHILE IMPROVING COMMUNITY HEALTH

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

December 12, 2022 (Spring Valley) -- Spring Valley residents have become agents of change for their community’s health  and welfare and their work is having significant results. The Spring Valley Community Alliance has become actively engaged in planning and land use issues and neighborhood health and safety concerns, while securing resources for community transformation.


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FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: CHRISTMAS SAFETY

Let’s Hang Out with Safety This Week!

By Fire Chief San DiGiovanna

December 7, 2022 (San Diego) - Many of us will be hanging Christmas decorations this week. Let’s start this week start from the outside and work our way in.


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FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: SAD CROSSING

Seasonal Affective Disorder Effects Over 3 million People in the U.S.

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

 

November 28, 2022 (San Diego) -- Feeling an onset of sadness? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of mood disorder associated with seasonal changes. Commonly seen as depression arising during the winter months, it happens due to a disturbance in the circadian system of the body.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOV. 25-DEC.31

By Miriam Raftery

November 20, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features fun and fabulous holiday events coming up across San Diego’s inland region, as East County communities celebrate the season.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES IPS CELEBRATES 30TH ANNIVERARY, MAKING EQUITY THE PATH FORWARD

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

November 20, 2022 (San Diego) - The Institute for Public Strategies is a recognized leader in community-based drug and alcohol harm prevention workthroughout San Diego County. But what may not be known is the history and depth of our work.


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FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: GET READY FOR THE WINDS!

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

November 16, 2022 (San Diego) – ‘Tis the season for Santa Ana winds, starting this week in our region. Here are some wind safety tips.

The safest place to during high winds is indoors.


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CHIEF’S CORNER: THANKSGIVING SAFETY TIPS

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

November 13, 2022 (San Diego) -- Please Pass the Safety! And can you add some manners, too?

Thanksgiving signifies the beginning of the Holiday Season. Many of you are starting your Thanksgiving plans. Most will be spending more time in the kitchen preparing for the holidays.

It’s time to serve up these cooking safety tips. After all - Thanksgiving is the single worst day for residential fires!


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CHIEF’S CORNER: AN ADDED SAFETY CAUTION THIS HALLOWEEN - BEWARE OF RAINBOW FENTANYL MASQUERADING AS CANDY

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

October 22, 2022 (San Diego) -- With Halloween just weeks away, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is warning parents to check your children's candy very closely this year.


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EARTHTALK: HOW TO AFFORD HOUSEHOLD ENERGY EFFICIENCY UPGRADES

By Anagha Iyer, EarthTalk

October 5, 2022 (San Diego) - Dear EarthTalk: I’d like to upgrade the energy efficiency of my condo but can’t afford the up-front cost of new equipment and materials. Are there any federal or other programs designed to help working people afford to make such transitions?  —Paul B., Monroe, NY

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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: NALOXONE IN SCHOOLS CAN HELP PREVENT OPIOID OVERDOSE

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

October 4, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) -- There is an opioid epidemic in the United States that stretches into California and San Diego County. People who use drugs are dying from overdoses in record numbers, including 12 kids under the age of 18 who died in San Diego County from opioid overdoses in 2021. A proven strategy to address the rising opioid overdose deaths is through widespread naloxone distribution in our communities which should include local school campuses for grades 6-12. Even one child using drugs and putting their life in jeopardy is one too many.


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FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: WILDFIRE EMBERS – DANGER!

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

October 3, 2022 (San Diego) -- We are about to step into the height of fire season as Santa Ana Winds will soon be blowing. During wildfires, winds can send embers flying well over a mile on and into unprotected combustibles and openings around your home.


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FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION WEEK OCT. 9-15

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

“Fire Won’t Wait - Plan Your Escape!”

October 1, 2022 (San Diego) -- This year marks the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week. Fire Prevention Week is to bring heightened awareness to saving lives, preventing injuries, and protecting property. Start planning and sharing with family and friends now!


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EARTHTALK: MORE SUSTAINABLE FOOD PACKAGING COMING OUR WAY

By Rhea Joshi, EarthTalk

Photo:  Heinz is working with Pulpex to prototype a food-grade bottle made from sustainably-sourced wood pulp that can be recycled and biodegrades if it is thrown away.

September 23, 2022 (San Diego) - Dear EarthTalk: What’s new in food packaging to make it more sustainable?

--E.C. Bern, NC


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: METHAMPHETAMINE USE AMONG OLDER ADULTS CONTINUES TO RISE

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

September 8, 2022 (San Diego) -- Methamphetamine use impacts every part of our society. While often viewed as a misuse disorder that affects younger adults, people over the age of 65 are increasingly using methamphetamine in San Diego County and it has definitely become an issue for the Aging and Independence Services Department, according to officials. The rise in meth use is among both chronic users with a history of drug abuse and new users who have been introduced to meth by caregivers in their home.


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FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: LABOR DAY SAFETY TIPS

For the Love of Labor!
 
By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
 
August 27, 2022 (San Diego) – There are no Labor Day discounts when it comes to safety. Labor Day marks the beginning of the end of summer – so for many of us it’s a chance to pack one last fun-filled weekend in, enjoying the outdoors with family and friends.
 
Following are some tips to make the most of Labor Day:

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A TASTE OF THAILAND: THAI THAI RESTAURANT IN SANTEE

On the road with the East County Eater

Story and photos by Shiloh Ireland

August 26, 2022 (Santee) -- On the road and in Santee-Yesterday I returned to my favorite Thai restaurant. When I have Thai Cuisine, it has to be authentic, fresh and delicious. Thai Thai Restaurant is located at 10251-B, Mast Blvd; Santee. Phone:  619.335.3453. Thai Thai features dine-in and carry-out, offers reservations and has reasonable prices.

What I especially enjoy, too, is the friendliness of staff and willingness to explain or recommend any dish as there are many. I love curries and their yellow, red and green is a pleasant surprise. One month ago, they added a sushi bar to their operation and it looks very popular also. Thai beer is also on the menu.


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FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: AUGUST IS NATIONAL WELLNESS MONTH

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

August 13, 2022 (San Diego) -- This month gives us all a chance to put renewed emphasis on our personal well-being. Wherever you work or whatever you do, you have an even greater incentive to stay well. After all, your physical performance and mental responsiveness don’t just impact success or failure — they could be the difference between life or death.


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FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: TAKE THE PLUNGE FOR SWIMMING POOL SAFETY

By Sam DiGiovanna

August 3, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) -- Though we are reaching the peak of summer, it seems like it’s been an “endless summer” as it’s been hot for so long. Many people are spending their time in pools to beat the heat. Unfortunately, there is the dangerous side to summer and swimming pools.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: CALIFORNIA’S ALCOHOL SERVER AND RETAILER TRAINING WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

August 3, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) -- More than 9,000 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in California between 2009 and 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. A California law is now in effect that requires bartenders and servers of alcoholic beverages to get proper training, in an effort to reduce instances of overserving intoxicated customers and prevent service to minors. It’s known in the industry as Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training and it’s offered by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). Additionally, a voluntary training, called Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs, is offered by the ABC for owners, managers, and staff of liquor stores, corner markets, and any other retail establishment that sells alcohol to consume off-site.


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Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: MIDSUMMER TO SUMMER’S END FESTIVITIES

By Miriam Raftery

July 29, 2022 (San Diego's East County) - This week’s Destination East County highlights upcoming East County events including the Julian Natural Wonderfestan art show at a winery, a grape stomp in Julian, the Ramona Country Fair, a Star Party at Mission Trails, a Laurel and Hardy comedy night, community concerts and car shows in several communities, a concert to benefit the homeless in El Cajon, candlelight concerts, the Mt. Helix Food and Wine Festival and more.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JULY 15 - AUGUST 15

By Miriam Raftery

July 15, 2022 (San Diego's East County) - This week’s Destination East County highlights upcoming East County events including the Ramona Country Fair, a Star Party at Mission Trails, the Lakeside Historical Society’s boutique and vintage sale, community concerts and car shows in several communities, a concert to benefit the homeless in El Cajon, candlelight concerts and the Mt. Helix Food and Wine Festival.


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Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: THE CALIFORNIA HEALTH EQUITY AND RACIAL JUSTICE FUND WILL HELP UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

July 11, 2022 (San Diego) -- Communities that are low income or consist of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color generally see less investment in services and access to health care. They are more consistently targets of drug and alcohol marketing and overconcentration of alcohol retailers. This creates a spiral environment where drugs and alcohol become a coping mechanism to numb physical, mental and emotional pain in lieu of proper care.


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FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU – SAFELY!

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

June 26, 2022 (San Diego) -- With drought conditions, bone dry vegetation and over 40 million Americans expected to hit the road this year over the 4th of July weekend, I wanted to get this message out early to start planning for a safe 4th of July!


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