Skip navigation.
Home

Columns




Recurring Columns

FROM THE REAL ESTATE TRENCHES

 

by Charlotte Reed

"Real estate is my business…my only business."

 

January 13, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – In today’s column, we cover the latest hot topics in real estate locally and nationwide.  This week’s topics are:

 

  •    MLS consumer website now available
  •    Three realtor associations in merger talks
  •     Agents search for the perfect office
  •     Fair-lending charges against Bank of America settlement

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: SMUGGLING ACT

By Brian Lafferty

January 13, 2012 (San Diego) – Contraband is a goofy mess. It inspires laughter at the wrong moments and reticent admiration for its actors, who display a work ethic not unlike the horse in Animal Farm, but are deserving of a better film. Part of me wants to tell you to see it for its awfulness, but I can’t. Time and money are precious. Maybe it when it comes out on home video.

 

HOME VIDEO HERALD: ANOTHER EARTH (BLU-RAY)

By Brian Lafferty

 

January 11, 2012 (San Diego) – Another Earth was the first of two films released in 2011 about the discovery of another planet; the other one was Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia. Both films delve deep into the lives of their troubled characters and contain some of 2011’s best performances. I liked Another Earth just slightly better because it uses the other planet to show how the discovery of Earth 2, and its possible parallels to this Earth, affects the lives of its characters.

 

HOME VIDEO HERALD: ALEX IN WONDERLAND (DVD)

By Brian Lafferty

 

January 11, 2012 (San Diego) – After I watched Alex in Wonderland, available from the Warner Archive Collection, I remembered an interview I saw that featured independent director Henry Jaglom. At one point he said Steven Spielberg and George Lucas ruined the movies for him because after the massive box office successes of Jaws and Star Wars, it became about events, distraction, mass entertainment, and mechanization.

 

BIRD TALK: THE WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW


By Greg Dunne
                                                
January 4, 2012 (Lake Murray) -- The Sparrow is not exactly an exotic or glamorous bird, but it’s one with which we are all familiar.  This column highlights just a couple of the many sparrows in our area. Have some fun and try to guess how many different varieties of sparrows have passed through or are residents of our fine county that the San Diego Natural History Museum list on their website.  Answer at the end of article, and I’ll give you a hint, it’s over 10.

HOME VIDEO HERALD: DEMON SEED (DVD)

By Brian Lafferty

 

January 3, 2011 (San Diego) – Demon Seed, available from the Warner Archive Collection and adapted from a novel by Dean Koontz, may borrow from Rosemary’s Baby and 2001: A Space Odyssey, but I still felt like I hadn’t seen anything like it before.

 

Demon Seed starts out ten minutes too slow in showing the separation between Susan Harris (Julie Christie) and her husband Alex (Fritz Weaver). Their daughter died of leukemia and Alex has spent hundreds of hours tirelessly working on Proteus 4, an artificial brain. As a result, the two become estranged and Alex temporarily moves out for a few months, leaving Susan home alone.

 

WILL POWER REPORT: ARMAGEDDON OUTTA HERE


Nothing but the truth!
 
By Will Power
 
January 3, 2012 (San Diego)--Watching TV yesterday, I learned that both the Mayan  and Chinese Calendar predict the world will end sometime this year. I hope to not check out until I have exhausted my “To Do” list.

HOME VIDEO HERALD: BRIDESMAIDS (DVD)

By Brian Lafferty

 

January 3, 2012 (San Diego) – I pop in the Bridesmaids DVD. I’m ready to laugh. I wait. Fifteen minutes pass. Then thirty. No laughter. Then a whole hour passes by, but not a single chuckle was uttered. Towards the end of the movie it was so quiet in the house that I distinctly thought I heard the sound of crickets chirping outside.

 

I didn’t laugh once during the two hour running time. I couldn’t even smile. What made it irksome was that every single joke had the potential for a laugh but the writers and actors find some way to foul it up.

 

WILL POWER: MY KINDLE


Nothing but the truth!
 
By Will Power
 
January 1, 2012 (San Diego)--Perhaps because she is tired of tripping on books I leave in boxes throughout the house, my wife bought me a Kindle for Christmas.  Curiously, the Kindle came in a brown box with NO instructions.  But I managed to activate it anyway and spent one whole day figuring out the basic elements.  That's how long it took just to get it running.  For example, the directions say the Kindle needs four hours of charging before use.  If you can activate it right away, good luck! You will run out of battery before you get up and running.

POLITICAL WRANGLING: INCONVENIENT TRUTHS ABOUT THE GOP PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDERS

 

By Buck Shott

Past presidential fibs have led to impeachment and resignation. Shouldn’t honesty be a key qualification for any presidential candidate?

December 28, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Voters, and the candidates they support, often have drastically different views on the various issues.  But honesty and integrity are two traits we should all agree upon as minimal “qualifications” for anyone seeking the presidency.

Granted, in the heat of a campaign any candidate may have a slip of the lip, forgetting a statistic or misstating an name. But when presidential contenders knowingly tell brazen lies, air campaign ads with outright falsehoods, and then shamelessly defend such fibbing, we should all think twice about the character of those seeking our nation’s highest office.

FROM THE REAL ESTATE TRENCHES

 By Charlotte Reed


December 27, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)From the Real Estate Trenches is a weekly column focused on real estate news that impacts East County’s real estate market. This week’s local and national real estate highlights include:

 
 
  • East County Realtors rally to aid less fortunate at Christmas time
  • Two new scams reported in East County

 

LEFT HOOK: THE AMERICAN FALL

By Walter Davis

 
December 26, 2011 (San Diego)--They celebrated in glee as leader after leader, government after government came under pressure in The Middle East as the Arab Spring unfolded. Now, enter the American Fall. The Occupy Movement is well underway and appears to be here to stay. Mainstream media puppets voice the same message, “They are not stating a clear objective”, as if they do not understand the plight of the American people.
 
The grievances are quite clear to those who care.
 
Millions of Americans have had their homes stolen by banks in foreclosure actions, the same banks that received bail out tax dollars. Insurance company lobbyists have ensured that millions of American citizens are impeded from acquiring quality health care. Food prices continue to skyrocket; a bag of frozen strawberries can cost $11.00. Greedy gasoline companies fuel cars and inflated prices by increasing prices to over $4.00 per gallon for gasoline.

 

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: "MISSION" ACCOMPLISHED

 

By Brian Lafferty

December 21, 2011 (San Diego) – Many people I know would be hard-pressed to name their favorite TV show. For me, it’s easy. Mission: Impossible is my all-time favorite TV show. There’s something about the creativity in each mission’s execution. Even though everybody knows that the team will succeed, that doesn’t mean it lacks suspense.

THE WILL POWER REPORT: ABOLISH THE EPA?

Nothing but the Truth!
 
By Will Power
 
December 21, 2011 (San Diego) -- Newt Gingrich, the current Republican presidential frontrunner wants to "abolish the EPA".  Gingrich characterizes the EPA as a "jobkiller".

FROM THE REAL ESTATE TRENCHES

By Charlotte Reed



December 12, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)From the Real Estate Trenches is a weekly column focused on real estate news that impacts East County’s real estate market. This week’s local and national real estate highlights include:

 

 

  • Fannie and Freddie suspend evictions for the holidays
  • Prudential Financial sells its real estate brokerage for $110 million
  • Counting my blessings
  • Military Home Loans open house

LIFE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM: GOOD GRIEF

By Brian Lafferty

 

This is the last of a four-part series on loss and grief from an Autistic person’s point of view.

 

December 16, 2011 (San Diego) – It’s now been over a year since Mom died. It’s unbelievable how fast those 365 days have come and gone. As I sit and write this, I think a lot about what happened during those 365 days. More importantly, I think about what I’ve accomplished.

 

EAST COUNTY EATER: ZEYTOON SERVES UP ZESTY PERSIAN AND MEDITERRANEAN DELIGHTS

Zeytoon Restaurant at VineRipe Market

Persian and Mediterranean cuisine

8191 Fletcher Parlway
La Mesa, CA 91942    (next to CostCo)
(619) 462-7809        

By Megan McGlamery

Nestled in La Mesa next to the VineRipe Market is Zeytoon, a delicious Persian and Mediterranean restaurant now under new ownership. Zeytoon, which translates to olive, serves a wide variety of flavorful appetizers, salads, entrees and sandwiches, all of which are reasonably priced and generously sized. The market is also a treasure-trove of specialty foods from around the world.

Scroll down for coupons and details.

TIPS FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: PLAN ON IT!

 By Sharon Cormousis

 
December 2, 2011 (Boulevard) -- There are only a few weeks until we roll into 2012; we are going into the hibernating time of year. The leaves have mostly fallen, the air is crisp and often nearly thirty degrees lower at night and we drag out our flannel sheets, boots and long-sleeve shirts.
 
For me, this is one of the best times of the year. From the aspect of nature, there are several mountain plants that only produce during this season. Despite long periods of little rain, the hills are very green with the more subdued colors of sage and Manzanita. Hiking is especially enjoyable because we are able to concentrate on something else beside rattlers.

THE DOG BLOG: LOST OR FOUND DOG? WHAT DO YOU DO?

 
New Technologies, local and national databases help reunite lost dogs and their owners

 
By Dawn Celapino
 
November 29, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)--Have you ever experienced any doggy parent’s worst nightmare--losing your dog? Have you ever found a dog and didn't know what to do? 

 

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.

 

Syndicate content