Columns

Recurring Columns

The Rolling Reviewer- A Few of My Favorite Things

By Janelle Eckardt

January
1, 2008 (San Diego) —
 There is no denying that the oversaturation
of bright lights, holiday music, and the overabundance of sales successfully
lures us into shopping every year for that one special thing we may have written
off as excessive two months ago, but that is suddenly now budding into a necessity.
And while that glorious gadget that will simultaneously style your hair and
reorganize your PDA is still out-of-stock in January, you may consider marrying
your urge to boost the economy with the interest to provide a true necessity
for someone special in your life. Whether you're shopping for someone you know
or for yourself this year, it pays to be on top of all the new and exciting
adaptive technology coming out daily. So look out Burp-Me-Elmo, I'm highlighting
some of the best sources and products sure to bring lasting smiles long after
the holiday season.

Armchair Impressionists Exhibition December 1- 31, 2008

By Tammy Lawhead

December 1, 2008 (El Cajon) —
The Armchair Impressionists, including Jeffrey Graham, Rustin Holec,
David Lawhead, Karen Marsh, and William Marsh
, will feature their
paintings December 1 – 31, 2008 at the Rancho San Diego Library, 11555 Via
Rancho San Diego; El Cajon, CA.  Please join them at the Artist’s Reception,
December 7th from 2 – 4 pm in the Community Room.

The
Armchair Impressionists are five artists who came together while students of
artist Jack Jordan when he taught at Grossmont College. The group meets to
offer support and encouragement as they submit their paintings to the various
venues available to artists in and around San Diego County.

SYLVIA'S SOAPBOX - HELLO? CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

Why are there 261 cell phone antennas within 4 miles of my house?

By Sylvia Hampton

Sylvia's SoapboxWe have a virtual hailstorm of problems from state and local finances to global
warming and limited resources.  So forgive me---here's one more that I
was ignoring until my daughter got involved in the issue recently:  The
radiation health damage from cell phone antennas and other wireless transmissions.
Researchers are finding possible links to things like autism and cancer to
the disappearance of honey bees (who are responsible for about one third of
our food supply.)  So I guess we need to pay attention.  Here are
some facts and resources my daughter found and passed along to me: 

Sylvia's Soapbox --” DOCTOR, PATIENT MISTAKES CAN BE DEADLY AND EXPENSIVE

By Sylvia Hampton

Sylvia's SoapboxAs I write this, my daughter’s relative by marriage and close friend
is in a Los Angeles hospital intensive care unit fighting for her life at age
46. The family told my daughter the following story:

“Peggy” (not her real name) had been feeling ill for some time
with abdominal pain that her doctor thought was from the uterine fibroids they
knew she had. The doctor was considering a hysterectomy to correct the problem.
When her pain and complaints worsened she was told to take ibuprofen. This
did not help and when she later could not get a call-back from the doctor,
in frustration, she increased the dose herself to a dangerous level. The pain
got so bad after a day or two that she ended up in the emergency room where
she was diagnosed with diverticulitis, an inflammation of the colon, which
was missed during the earlier office visit. Did she have an elevated temperature?
Was that checked?

THE WILL POWER REPORT - A BLANKET PARDON?

Nothing but the Truth!

By Will Power

Will Power LogoDecember
1, 2008 (San Diego) —
When I was about five years old, my father
was a US Air Force Officer. He was involved in a Court-Martial in Wichita ,
Kansas. It seemed a considerable number of US Army blankets went missing, and
several airmen were charged with stealing the blankets and selling them off
the base. I don't even remember the disposition, though I recollect nobody
was found guilty.

THE RENO REPORT - Good Luck, Chuck!

An Iowa native & SDSU Alum on the Firing of Chuck
Long

By Jamie Reno
Exclusive for East County Magazine

November 25, 2008 (San Diego) — The announcement this week that San Diego
State University head football coach Chuck Long was fired stirred up wildly
mixed emotions in me. On the one hand, as a rabid San Diego State football
fan who attended SDSU in the 1980s and is sick and tired of losing seasons,
I was ecstatic. Get rid of the guy! On the other hand, as someone
who has idolized Long for the last 25 years, I was crushed. How could they
fire my hero
?

SIMPLE WISDOM - NOVEMBER

Gratitude for Hard Times

By Penelope Young Andrade LCSW

Are you grateful for hard times?  Although you may welcome reminders
to be grateful, you probably don’t strive to be grateful FOR hard times
themselves.  If you’re like most of us, hard times are something
you wish would pass as fast as possible. The problem is that hard times are
usually your best teachers and provide profound gifts. Giving thanks for
dark times is often a prerequisite for receiving these blessings.

THE ROLLING REVIEWER -- A TRAIL FIT TO BE WHEELED

By Janelle Eckardt

Dec. 1, 2008 (San Diego) —  Native San Diegans
are quick to admit that we enjoy arguably the best weather in the entire country – boasting
a balmy 74 degree average in November.  While the North East freezes each
winter, we oftentimes forget to even wear a coat to work.  But as a wise
person once noted, perfection grows weary; East County’s weather can
be so predictable and mild that we revel in the slightest “pattern” or “flow.” And
I am no exception. The first gloomy sign of autumn inspired me to head out
for a day of hiking at one of our most wheelchair-friendly parks: the Mission
Trails Regional Park (MTRP).

VINES AND STEINS - ORFILA VINEYARD & WINERY

By Richard Noel

Orfila employee Dolores Castaneda pours a generous taste
for Shari Zollo (right) of Vista, who enjoyed the festivities with Barbara
Deuel and Drea Zollo Bush (both of Oceanside).

“Oh yes, it’s Eighties night!”

For all those who still wear their sunglasses at night, you could have worn
them to Orfila Vineyards’ tasting room as the crew kept the doors open
late on October 23rd for a special evening of uncorked fun.  With a 1980s
music theme, wine club members and other visitors enjoyed listening to blasts
from the past while sipping the Escondido winery’s latest hits.  Tasting
room manager Benjamin Wier put together what may be the first of many more
late-night events to come, and pulled it off with the flair of a high school
reunion. 

THE CHEAPSKATE’S GUIDE TO LIVING WELL IN EAST COUNTY - Hot Tots and Cool Kids

Resale Clothes & Toys for Children of All Ages

By Miriam Raftery

November
1, 2008 -
In today’s cost-conscious times, parents are rediscovering
the jobs of resale shopping.  By popular demand, after reporting on my
favorite women’s resale shop, I scoured East County to find a great place
for parents to save money on stylish kids’ clothes, play equipment and
more.

VOTER'S WATCHDOG - Be a Good Citizen: Vote!

VOTER’S WATCHDOG - Be a Good Citizen: Vote!

By Penelope Young Andrade, LCSW, guest columnist

Are you ready to be a good citizen? Like many of us, you may have some trouble
naming your Congressperson, or knowing the number of your Congressional district.
No blame. It’s easy to get caught in demands at home or work and forget
that one of your most important relationships is with your government – community,
city, state, and national.

East of the Line - 50 PERCENT OF MY SDG&E BILL IS SUPPOSED TO GO FOR INFRASTRUCTURE MAINTENANCE -- SO WHAT AM I GETTING FOR MY MONEY?

By Billie Jo Jannen

Once upon a time, our power in many parts east of the line, was provided by
a cooperative formed, as many were in the wake of the New Deal, using both
local resources and a loan from the Rural Electrification Administration.

Between 1935 and the early 1970s, Mountain Empire Rural Electric Cooperative
built over 1,000 miles of power lines to serve remote places east of populated
areas then served by the growing for-profit company, San Diego Gas and Electric.

GOOD MONEY - Market Crisis Highlights Sustainable Investing

Your guide to profitable and socially responsible investing

By Judith L. Seid, CFP ®

Light BulbThis
financial crisis has its own unique characteristics unlike any in our history.
For twenty-five years individual Americans, and their government, have been
on a binge of borrowing and excess spending.  That could not continue
forever. 

The first down-payment on a retrenchment was the crash of the tech boom in
2000.  The next down-payments are the current crashes in the value of
our stock investments and our homes, occurring right now.  As the financial
markets restructure, we’re seeing some positive shifts toward a more
sustainable economy.

THE RENO REPORT: MORNING HAS BROKEN

By Jamie Reno
Exclusive for East County Magazine

Jamie RenoOctober 15, 2008 (Tierrasanta) - Morning has broken. As the sun rises over the East County, a sense of calm permeates my body. Yesterday morning, when I started writing this column for East County Magazine on the new fire threats, it was a different story. I was filled with anxiety. The theme of the piece I was about to write had pretty much been decided for me: Oh, no, here we go again!

THE ROLLING REVIEWER: ROLLING WITH THE LUCK

By Janelle Eckardt         

November 1, 2008 (Alpine) - I
firmly believe that we make our own luck. We each control how we react to different
situations, therefore we play a hand in the ultimate outcome of any given scenario.
If we’re
lucky, we come out on top as clear victors--though sometimes we hit when we
should have stayed and lose our entire pot. The majority of the time, however,
we simply enjoy the fact we’re still in the game. I also believe in reading
signs and rewarding yourself when you deserve it. Now, it has been my experience
that these two philosophies work really well in building a happy life. But
I had to wonder how they’d pan out as actual gambling tactics. When looking
the dealer in the eye, do we really control the fate of our hand, or are we
at the mercy of the deck?

VOTER'S WATCHDOG: PROTECTING YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE

Why you should vote—and how to be a smart voter

By Miriam Raftery

October
1, 2008 (San Diego’s East County)
--  Your
vote does count!

John F. Kennedy was elected president of the United States by just one vote
per precinct nationwide.  Some local races have been decided by just a
handful of votes.

Decisions made in the November 4 election will impact the future of us all.

THE CHEAPSKATE'S GUIDE TO LIVING WELL IN EAST COUNTY - OCTOBER 2008

Making ends meet is getting tougher. The cost of gas, food, college and
just about everything else is going up, while wages have failed to keep pace
with inflation. This column provides info on where to find bargains in East
County, plus other tips on how to get more for less.

October 1, 2008 (EAST SAN DIEGO COUNTY) - Autumn is the perfect
season to tackle these.

MEDIA WATCH - PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES: HOW TO SEPARATE SPIN FROM FACTS

By Miriam Raftery

Media WatchOctober 1, 2008 (San Diego's East County) -Sorting
out truth from fiction in political races is challenging.   If
you didn’t watch the first presidential debate, for example, you might
get a radically different perspective on how the candidates fared if you’re
listening to a right-wing or left-wing media commentator—or the campaigns
themselves. (If you missed it, you can view a video of the full debate, narrated
by Jim Lehrer of PBS, on YouTube.

EAST COUNTY EATER - MEDITERRANEO BISTRO BAR & GRILL: A DELIGHTFUL FIND IN ALPINE

Mediterraneo Bistro Bar & Grill
1347 Tavern Road, Alpine 91901
(619)445-9902.

October 1, 2008 (ALPINE) - Dining at the Mediterraneo
Bistro Bar & Grill,
one can almost imagine oneself savoring a meal near the Mediterranean Sea.  Perched
on a hilltop with distant ocean views visible through a screen of trees in  rural
Alpine, this eatery has the feel of a sophisticated, upscale European restaurant.
Contemporary and modern décor, colorful artwork, cozy seating and a
well-stocked bar add flair to this backwater watering hole, which also features
cozy seating and large, heated outdoor dining area.

THE ROLLING REVIEWER - AN ANTIQUE STORY

By Janelle Eckardt
October 1, 2008 (La Mesa) --  When considering a place and/or attraction in the East County to highlight from my perspective as a 20-something woman in a wheelchair, La Mesa’s long row of antique shops didn’t immediately rank high on my list. This is not to say that I don’t appreciate the fine crafts of generations past–I was raised in a household of jukeboxes, ice boxes, and radios the size of large robots–But after years of watching “The Antique Road Show” with my mother, I’m ashamed to say it is still beyond me to tell the difference between a hand-carved wooden horse from the nineteenth century and one carved in a middle school class by a kid with an acne problem.  So I decided to roll outside my comfort zone and head off on a modern day treasure hunt.

Sylvia's Soapbox - Duncan the great white Hunter

Wildebeest hunt bags a Congressman
By Sylvia Hampton

Sylvia's Soapbox

Our congressman Duncan Hunter (R-52nd district) is leaving his congressional
seat to his son. Sort of an inheritance or royalty passed on to the next generation
like in England. Since Duncan D. Hunter, the son, has the same name his election
should be like shooting fish in a barrel. But before Hunter senior leaves that
throne he hoped to squeeze in a great overseas exotic hunting trip paid for
by the taxpayers. To do that the trip needs to be official government business.
Like feeding the starving! That should do it! Oh, darn. Looks like that won’t
work out, thanks to those big blabber mouths at the Embassy in Chad. As they
say in the comic books, “Foiled again!”

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