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MEDIA WATCHDOG: UNION TRIBUTE SALE RAISES MEDIA ETHICS CONCERNS


By Miriam Raftery
 
November 20, 2011 (San Diego) –Media reform and citizens’ groups have voiced concern over purchase of the San Diego Union-Tribune, a self-proclaimed “watchdog”, by a team led by real estate developer and political activist Doug Manchester. His major pending development projects are the very sorts of deals an independent media outlet would ordinarily report on and investigate.
 
The acquisition has drawn pointed criticism from both conservative taxpayer advocates and representatives of liberal interest groups.

BIRD TALK: WILD TURKEYS AND TURKEY VULTURES

By Greg Dunne                               

November 16, 2011 (Harbison Canyon) -- It’s November, the month when we all enjoy turkey at Thanksgiving. So this edition of Bird Talk is on the wild turkey and the other turkey namesake bird, the turkey vulture.

The wild turkey is not native to California, although it is native to North America. Numerous attempts tointroduce the turkey to California failed. Then in the early 1990s a second attempt was successful.  Today, wild turkeys can be seen throughout the back hills of East San Diego County. 

THE WILL POWER REPORT: FRACKING UP?

 
Nothing but the Truth!
By Will Power

 
November 16, 2011 (San Diego)--Recent unexpected earthquakes in Virginia, Oklahoma and England have been linked by some geologists to "fracking"- injecting liquids and sands into underground faults to increase natural gas production.
  

DREAM DOGS LOOKING FOR FOREVER HOMES

By Cate Sacks

November 12, 2011 (Blossom Valley) -- News from Facebook, Therapy dog Howard has passed all the training to become a therapy or service dog. This boy is simply awesome. He is gentle, submissive and kind. I have never heard him bark, and he is happy just "being"..whether than means with the other dogs, people, children or just by himself. He is a young boy who has been rounded off to a year old. His body is that of a boxer but his look is that of a chesapeake bay retriever...an amazing combination that is hard to find. He sleeps quietly in his crate and learns quickly.  

 

THE DOG BLOG: DANGERS OF RETRACTABLE LEASHES

By Dawn Celapino
 
November 12, 2011 (San Diego) -- You see it all of the time at a very busy dog event, farmers market, or walking event; people are using retractable leashes on their dog.  The person’s dog is roaming all over the place, the leash is at full length, and it trips somebody or worst cuts their leg.
 
Retractable leashes are dangerous and should never be used at a busy event.  If the dog starts running and somebody grabs the leash, a dangerous cut or worse a finger amputation could happen and it has, many times.
 

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT

By Brian Lafferty

November 11, 2011 (San Diego) – Apparently every generation brings a disaster movie in which an asteroid, meteor, or comet is about to strike the Earth. There was Meteor in 1979. My generation had not one but two such movies in 1998. They were Michael Bay’s Armageddon and Mimi Leder’s Deep Impact. I don’t think I need to tell you which was more popular among my classmates.

 

DOLLAR-WISE DIVA: SAVE MONEY ON DO-IT-YOURSELF PROJECTS

 By Nancy Clement

November 11, 2011 (La Mesa) - Fall is a good time of year to work on do-it-yourself project, as the weather is cooler.  Many repairs you can do yourself for the cost of items for repairs.   If you have more time than money trade a home repair project with a friend, you work together on their project and they work with you to complete your project.  You could start with a small project and as your skills increase, take on more
advanced projects. 

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: UNCONSCIENTIOUS DIRECTOR

By Brian Lafferty

 

November 11, 2011 (San Diego) – As a critic it’s easy to look at a film and say something like, “It would have been better if they did this.” The flaw of such logic is that there’s no guarantee that the replacements or additions would be any better than what made it onto the screen. Nor would excising a scene or plot necessarily benefit the movie.

 

LIFE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM: GOODBYE, FAREWELL, AND AMEN

By Brian Lafferty

 

Last year I lost my mother to breast cancer. This column is the third of a four-part series about loss and grief from an Autistic’s perspective.

 

November 10, 2011 (San Diego) – I’m an optimist. I’m not a Lloyd Dobler optimist, but I rarely get pessimistic. When Mom fell ill it was emotionally hard for me to see her sick every day. But I didn’t dwell on the worst-case scenario. I refused to believe the worst-case scenario would even occur. Mom was strong. I believed she would beat it.

 

HOME VIDEO HERALD: ATTACK THE BLOCK (BLU-RAY)

By Brian Lafferty

 

November 8, 2011 (San Diego) – Attack the Block is made in the same spirit as the early 1980s work of Steven Spielberg. Like E.T., it centers on a group of young boys who have a life-changing encounter with the uncanny. Like The Goonies (which was directed by Richard Donner, but everybody knows it was really Spielberg’s film) the boys in Attack the Block band together on a daring adventure to save their homes.

 

HOME VIDEO HERALD: THE GREEN LANTERN (BLU-RAY)

By Brian Lafferty

 

November 7, 2011 (San Diego) – The comic book superhero genre won’t be going away anytime soon and that’s all right with me. Thanks to Warner Bros., The Dark Knight and Watchmen rank among my most favorite theater experiences. There have been many other comic book movies that left me excited for the next installment, eager to discuss them with friends.

 

HOME VIDEO HERALD: DRESSED TO KILL (BLU-RAY)

By Brian Lafferty

 

November 7, 2011 (San Diego) – Dressed to Kill, now out on Blu-Ray, is Brian De Palma at the apex of his career’s “Hitchcock Stage.” It began with Sisters in 1973. It continued with Obsession in 1976, which was a remake of Vertigo that actually bettered Hitchcock’s alleged masterpiece (Vertigo is, to me, perhaps the most overrated film of all-time). In 1980 he wrote and directed Dressed to Kill, a mystery thriller that borrows a lot from Psycho (De Palma, in a featurette, defends himself against plagiarism accusations, arguing that Hitchcock created a specific film grammar that he merely utilized).

 

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: NOTHIN' BUT A GOOD "TIME"

By Brian Lafferty

 

November 4, 2011 (San Diego) – I love surprises. I drove into the parking lot where the In Time screening too place thinking that it was going to be a dime a dozen action film with incoherent stunts and poor camerawork held together by a gimmick. Over two hours later, I went home with a smile on my face.

 

GOOD MONEY: SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISM – “NO FRACKING WAY”

A column written for the East County Magazine
“Your guide to financial planning & socially responsible investing”

By: Judith L. Seid, CFP ®
President, Blue Summit Wealth Management

November 4, 2011 (La Mesa) -- Last week, I attended the “No Fracking Way” fundraiser for non-profit shareholder advocacy organization “As You Sow” Foundation.
http://asyousow.org/ .
 
 

DREAM DOGS LOOKING FOR FOREVER HOMES

By Cate Sacks

 

November 3, 2011 (Alpine) -- All These Animals put up with constant walking, petting, mauling, hugging, and kissing from an ongoing stream of children last weekend at the Santee Fall Festival.  They all proved to be wonderful family pets.  Even our sweet black cat walked on a leash for the kids!

 

 

 

 

BIRD TALK: THE GREEN HERON

By Greg Dunne

                                                
November 2, 2011 (Lake Murray) --This is one of my favorite birds. It’s also John Vanderpoel’s  #183 bird on his 2011 “Big Year” bird list. More on that later.
 
The Green Heron is an odd sort of bird, short and stocky; it reminds me of a cartoon caricature from the 1960’s.  It is smart, tough, and intolerant of other birds--even other herons!  

ADVICE FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: JUST OPEN YOUR EYES

 By Sharon Courmousis Sacred Rocks Reserve


Increase your enjoyment of living!


October 30, 2011 (Boulevard) -- At 6:20 am I walked into the sun. Tormented by drama in my mind, it took a while to sink in. It was a cool morning, about 64 degrees. I was walking up a sweat. And then I saw. I saw the beginnings of color of the sunrise. The clouds were gently dancing across the sky that was bluing before my eyes. The underside of the clouds became tinged with yellow with the shining of the sun.  

DEANE’S LIST: EDUCATION NEWS AND NOTES

By Doug Deane

October 29, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) -- The following local, state and national education news items are excerpted from a very informative e-newsletter published by Doug Deane, chair of the Business Education Committee at the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce.

Our picks for Deane’s top education stories from the latest issue include:

• GUHSD boundary study community forums
• GUHSD Superintendent Swenson’s Newsline
• State looks into loss of funds by start-up charter schools
• California gears up for extra year of kindergarten
• Students need supervision to make online learning work
• The forever recession (and the coming revolution)
• How to break the cycle of remedial college classes
• Definitions, models and characteristics of gifted students
• Designing schools for 21st century learning
• A trigger to disaster at schools
• Young superintendent has district on rise
• West Hills to commemorate 50th anniversary with Gala Nov. 4
• Report calls for new oversight of school construction
• County teachers of the year named
• Weighted AP grade will cost you at Helix
• A new yardstick to measure schools
• Bill would overhaul No Child Left Behind
• Online educators gaining both classes and critics

WILL POWER REPORT: PRIVATE PRISONS?

Nothing but the Truth!

By Will Power

 
October 27 , 2011 (San Diego)--The USA now has more people in prison than China and Russia combined. Sentencing enhancements and Three Strikes law can put an unemployed drug user into prison for life in a heartbeat. Many State prisons are so overcrowded that private prisons are used to house out-of-state prisoners who get no judicial review when they are shipped from one state to another.

LIFE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM: THE LONG, COLD AUTUMN

By Brian Lafferty

 

Last year I lost my mother to breast cancer. This column is the second of a four-part series about loss and grief from an Autistic’s perspective.

 

October 27, 2011 (San Diego) – At my alma mater, The Winston School, I was blessed to have a fine P.E. teacher and softball coach. On one of my toughest days he gave me a piece of sage advice. He told me, “If you worry that something bad is going to happen, chances are it’s not going to happen.”

 

POLITICAL WRANGLING: WITH THE WAR OVER, NOW CAN WE CREATE JOBS?

By Buck Shott

October 25, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)—While the President announced the end of the Iraq War (bringing all troops home for the holidays—permanently) and rolled out a jobs bill to put Americans back to work, Republican candidates announced plans to cut off student aid, deregulate Wall Street robber barons, and jack up taxes on the poor and middle class. No, I’m not making this up.

MEDIA WATCH: 2 WARS END, UNION-TRIBUNE DOESN’T THINK YOU NEED TO KNOW

By Miriam Raftery

October 25, 2011 (San Diego) – On the morning of October 21, President Barack Obama announced that he is ending the Iraq War and bringing home all of our troops by year’s end. That afternoon, NATO announced an end to operations in Libya, ending two wars in one day in which the U.S. led military efforts.

So why wasn’t this headline news at the San Diego Union-Tribune’s online edition?
 
 

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: TALE OF THE "MIXTAPE"

By Brian Lafferty

 

October 21, 2011 (San Diego) – The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 opens by saying it “doesn’t presume to tell the whole story of the Black Power Movement.” It further states that the purpose of the film is to show how the Black Power Movement was perceived by a few Swedish filmmakers. For me, nine times out of ten the first minute can make or break a film. The first minute in this documentary establishes the treatment afforded to this volatile, polarizing, and historically significant movement.

 

NEW COLUMN! BIRD TALK: THE GREAT EGRET

By Greg Dunne

 

October 21, 2011 (Santee) -- This resident of the East County can be found at many lakes in our area. Egrets have been found as far east as Cuyamaca Lake, but are commonly seen at Lindo Lake, Lake Jennings and Santee Lakes, where this Great Egret was photographed.

HOME VIDEO HERALD: TOP GUN (BLU-RAY)

By Brian Lafferty

 

October 19, 2011 (San Diego) – I remember in elementary and middle school when the end of the month couldn’t come soon enough. The teacher would usually let us watch a movie, provided it was rated either G or PG. The first requested title was always Top Gun. It was (and still is) PG but the teacher invariably and immediately vetoed it. After having seen it years later, I’m amazed that the MPAA hasn’t upped it to PG-13.

 

WILL POWER REPORT: 60 VOTES? UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

Nothing but the truth!
 
By Will Power
 
 
 
October 17, 2011 (San Diego)-It is beyond my understanding why politicians of both parties continue to insist the US Constitution requires 60 votes to stop a filibuster and only 51 to pass legislations.

The US Constitution is quite clear- the majority required to pass legislation is only 51 votes.  How did the current 60 vote logjam come about?
 

HOME VIDEO HERALD: DONNIE DARKO (BLU-RAY)

By Brian Lafferty

 



October 19, 2011 (San Diego) – There’s major box office successes, the ones that rake in millions upon millions of dollars. There’s box office sleeper hits, the kind that come out of nowhere and attract lots of audiences.

 

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: YOU CAN'T GO WEST AGAIN

 

By Brian Lafferty

 

October 14, 2011 (San Diego) – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid ended on a famous freeze frame shot. It was right up there with the famous shot of Antoine Doinel looking at the camera to cap Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. The Bolivian army surrounded Butch and Sundance. They emerged from hiding, guns blazing. The movie ended on a freeze frame of the two with the sound of gunfire blasting away.

 

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: THE "WEEKEND" OF THE AFFAIR

By Brian Lafferty

 

October 14, 2011 (San Diego) – Weekend is not to be confused with the 1967 Jean-Luc Godard film by the same name. This Weekend, a British import, is in some ways like a Henry Jaglom film in that it’s high on the dialogue meter and all about relationships. What separates Weekend from Henry Jaglom’s films are that it isn’t self-indulgent, it’s an honest portrayal of relationships, and the characters and conversations are worthy of my time and yours.

 

HOME VIDEO HERALD: THE PACK (DVD)

By Brian Lafferty

 

October 12, 2011 (San Diego) – The 1950s spawned a then-novel horror subgenre. Many of these movies involved everyday animals and insects attacking entire cities after being transformed into giants (usually thanks to atomic testing or laboratory experiments).

 

After years of dormancy, this subgenre made a comeback in the 1970s, only this time the animals tended to be their normal sizes. However, they were just as deadly. Films of this kind included Frogs (1972), Grizzly (1976), Day of the Animals (1977), and The Pack (1977), the latter of which is now available from the Warner Archive Collection.

 

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