Columns

Recurring Columns

MARKETING MATTERS: TIPS AND TRICKS FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS AND GROWTH

Internal Customers’ Interaction with External Customers: The Ultimate Marketing Tool By Rama Beerfas June 1, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) --In our previous installment, we looked at how important your internal customers (employees) are to the success of your business. (If you missed it, check it out at http://eastcountymagazine.org/?q=node/986).

WILL POWER REPORT: CALIFORNIA TO SELL COLISEUM?

Nothing but the Truth! California’s Governor “Terminator” Arnold Swartzenegger is now so frightened about California’s deficit that he now wants to sell off California landmarks like San Quentin and the LA Coliseum. He also wants Big Oil to drill off the coast of Santa Barbara which he has opposed for years. He thinks the state can earn $200 Billion. He’s using a self-created crisis to change the political landscape in California.

THE ROLLING REVIEWER: A NEW SOCIAL BUTTERFLY TAKES FLIGHT

Our Guide to the Best Disability-Based Websites on the Net

By Janelle Eckardt

 

May 1, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--The concept of having a “social life” doesn’t exactly mean the same thing it did twenty, ten, or even five years ago. Interfacing with family and friends seldom actually involves meeting face-to-face, and meeting someone new is only one click away. Chat room chat-ups and instant messaging marathons have, whether or not many of us would like to admit it, become integral elements to our link to the world around us.

 

POLICY MATTERS:  OPTIONS WHEN YOU HAVE DAMAGE FROM A PRIOR ACCIDENT

By Dennis Volz

A client called me yesterday with an interesting dilemma. He said that recently,
when his car was parked on the street, it was hit by another car whose driver
was gracious enough to stop, confess and make contact.

Nevertheless, he was concerned because on the same side of the car there was
some damage from a prior accident.  He wanted to see if he could get that
fixed at the same time. He also wanted to make sure the paint
matched the rest of the car
. So here's the advice I offered to Steve.

MARKETING MATTERS: TIPS AND TRICKS FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS AND GROWTH

THE INTERNAL CUSTOMER--MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU MAY THINK> By Rama Beerfas May 1, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) --In our previous installment, we looked at customer service as your #1 marketing tool. (If you missed it, check it out at http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/?q=taxonomy/term/310.) This month, we focus on what exactly an internal customer is--nd why internal customers are just as important as your external customers to the success of your business.

 

SIMPLE WISDOM: HOW OTHERS VIEW YOU

May 1, 2009 (San Diego)--Do you worry about what others think of you? Of course everyone likes to be well regarded. Having some sense of how you’re viewed is healthy. The problem comes when you imagine someone holds a negative view and you can’t stop thinking about it. Your anxiety may be heightened if that someone is a family member, boss or co-worker…someone whose opinion and connection matters to you.

MARKETING MATTERS:  TIPS AND TRICKS FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS AND GROWTH

Your #1 Marketing Tool

By Rama Beerfas

April 1, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) - Clients often ask me, “What is the number one most effective marketing tool?” My answer is, “Delivering consistent customer service at or above the level that is consistent with your image.”

The truth is that no matter how good your product or service is, your customer service will play a huge part in whether your business will generate repeat sales and word-of-mouth referrals (unless you’ve got a monopoly and you are the only one selling a must-have item.). Without repeat sales and customer referrals, you will be spending all your time, money, and effort replenishing your customer base rather than growing it.

Good Money - How to Survive a Bear Market, “Armchair Quarterback” Analysis

Your guide to profitable and socially responsible investing
By Judith L. Seid, CFP ®

April 1, 2009 (La Mesa)--I thought you would all appreciate this “armchair quarterback" analysis, done by a colleague in Cincinnati, OH, charting the mood swings during the 4th quarter of 2008 and its remarkably awful, three-month market run, which has continued into the first quarter of 2009.

MEDIA WATCH: DEMISE OF NEWSPAPERS, INCREASED MEDIA CONSOLIDATION THREATEN DEMOCRACY, WARN MEDIA EXPERTS AT LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS EVENT

By Miriam Raftery

Media Watch“If we don't find a way to save investigative journalism, our democracy will not only suffer, it will die." - Jeanne Brown, vice president, San Diego League of Women Voters

“The good news is the rise of online, nonprofit journalism organizations like East County Magazine.” – J.W. August, managing editor, Channel 10 News

“We believe the Internet has broad ability to improve democracy.” –Jon Bartholomew, associate director of media reform, Common Cause

April 1, 2009 (San Diego)—The demise of major newspapers and consolidation of broadcast media threatens the future of a free press and puts the public’s right to know at risk, speakers warned at a League of Women Voters luncheon held in San Diego on March 19th.

VOTER’S WATCHDOG: ELECTION OFFICIALS ARRESTED FOR RIGGING ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES; PLUS DIEBOLD ATM MACHINES FOUND TO CONTAIN SECRET ID-STEALING SOFTWARE

By Miriam Raftery

April 1, 2009 (La Mesa)—The prospect of election-rigging via electronic vote machines is no longer a theory. In Kentucky, election officials have been arrested for reportedly buying and selling votes—and manipulating votes using electronic voting machines without the knowledge of voters. Officials arrested and charged under Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) laws normally reserved for organized crime included a circuit court judge, the county clerk, a school superintendent and other members of the Clay County elections board, Brad Friedman reported in an article titled “Kentucky Fried Clickin’” at Bradblog.com. According to the indictment, the officials’ alleged criminal actions affected outcomes of federal, local and state primary and general elections in 2002, 2004 and 2006.

VOTER’S WATCHDOG: CIA WARNS E-VOTING NOT SECURE; PROOF EMERGES THAT CA'S DIEBOLD VOTING MACHINES DROP VOTES & AUDIT LOGS ALLOW DELETION OF VOTING RECORDS

By Miriam Raftery

March
28, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—In testimony before the U.S.
Election Assistance Commission in Florida, CIA cyber security expert Steven
Stigall said that voting equipment connected to the Internet could be hacked
and that even machines not connected could be hacked with wireless devices. Stigall
warned that foreign governments could potentially alter outcomes of U.S. elections,
noting that “wherever the vote becomes an electron and touches a computer,
that’s an opportunity for a malicious actor to…make bad things
happen.”

PEARLS - PARALLEL PASSIONS

By Charlavan Baker Hart

April 1, 2009 (El Cajon)-- I spend part of each week and sometimes a portion of each day doing what I call ‘social cancer research’. My team of researchers is large but in my universe it is just me. Chief, cook and bottle washer.

I had cancer 9 years ago. An advanced case of breast cancer! It hit me like a ton of bricks because I had not even considered such a thing. I thought cancer happened to people who maybe had abused their bodies, had inherited a tendency, perhaps, or other vague but unproven notions.

LOCAL ARTIST AND AUTHOR CHARLAVAN PUBLISHES BOOK FOR BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS

By Miriam Raftery

April 1, 2009 (El Cajon)—The indomitable spirit of Charlavan Baker Hart shines like a beacon of hope in her new book, Tit Tatts: Life After Breast Cancer.  The El Cajon artist has owned four galleries, authored the newspaper column “Pearls”,   produced Internet radio programs, worked as an image consultant and reaped rewards as a professional poker player.  But she faced life’s biggest gamble when she was diagnosed with cancer. 

Excerpt from Tit Tatts: Life After Breast Cancer

 

PRELUDE

Little girls can hardly wait to have boobies.  When I was about 13 I started to notice a difference in my body.  I wasn’t all LITTLE GIRL anymore.  By 14 it was pretty evident and at 15, I was verifiably a WOMAN.  My goodness, there is a lot of attention paid to those adornments!  It may not have been prime time but it was certainly getting there and I was proud of it.  Wow.  I didn’t have to do ANYTHING, but wait.

YOU’RE INVITED! JOIN US AT “ON THE ROAD WITH THE EAST COUNTY EATER” APRIL 20 AT THE VINE WINE BAR & BISTRO IN ALPINE

April 7, 2009 (Alpine)—East County Magazine invites our readers to join us in a festive culinary experience—and the unmasking of our very own East County Eater restaurant reviewer. For the occasion, we’ve chosen one of our favorite spots: the Vine Wine Bar & Bistro in Alpine. The place is a cozy mountain retreat complete with lodge-like stone fireplace and a tree growing straight through the roof! Blues guitarist Paul Nichols has generously donated his services to entertain us—so we can offer you live music, wine tasting, a delicious array of food and a chance to win some great prizes—all for just $25! Help us make our first fundraiser a success-and support independent community journalism. Please reserve early—the more early-bird RSVPs, the more fun and surprises we can plan!

Read the “Eater” review of Vine Wine Bar & Bistro: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/?q=node/819 Listen to Paul Nichols’ music, visit: http://www.myspace.com/paulnicholsmusic. Download the flyer here. Then make your reservation to join in the fun—all for a good cause!

THE BARREL ROOM: A WINETASTER’S TREAT IN RANCHO BERNARDO


A  column for East County wine and beer enthusiasts

16765 Bernardo Center Dr., San Diego CA 92128
(858) 673-7512; www.thebarrelroomsandiego.com

 

By J.J. Gold, guest columnist

 

April 7, 2009 (Rancho Bernardo)—Could a place that received both theWine Spectator 2009 award of excellence and the Wine Enthusiast 2008 award of distinction possibly live up to the hype? I headed off to the Barrel Room in Rancho Bernardo, determined to find out. Much to my delight, the wines that I sampled were both unusual and highly pleasing—and the food was equally delectable.

EAST COUNTY EATER - THE VINE WINE BAR & BISTRO: VINTAGE CHARM IN ALPINE

 

2502 Alpine Blvd., Alpine CA 91901
(619)722-7046
www.visitthevine.net

April 1, 2009 (Alpine) — Let me recommend a sure-fire place to unwind. The Vine Wine Bar & Bistro in Alpine is situated in a cozy wooden building with hand-hewn beams and split-rail trim, reminiscent of places sure to be found in the back-closets of our memories. Places surrounded by trees and cool running creek water. How could you not feel comfortable in a restaurant that has a tree growing up through the middle of the bar and a huge river-rock fireplace warming the place?

EAST COUNTY EATER: OY VEY! BEST DELI IN TOWN: DZ AKINS

Photos of celebrities who have dined at DZ Akins

Editor's Note: Due to a family member's illness, the East County Eater has been eating mostly hospital food for the past month. So guest columnist Denise Di Mascio fills the Eater's shoes this month with a review of a local favorite.

DZ Akins
6930 Alvarado Rd
San Diego, CA 92120
(619) 265-0218
www.DZakinsdeli.com

THE ROLLING REVIEWER: A PRICK OF CONSCIOUSNESS

By Janelle Eckardt

March 1, 2009 (El Cajon) — Hello friends! Are you tired, run-down, listless? Do you poop out at parties? The answer to all your problems is in this little needle. Really! Acupuncture just might be your ticket to feeling better and living better. I've discovered a respectable acupuncture facility right here in the East County that actually serves the community without milking it dry. Just for reading this article you get a brief history of acupuncture, my personal account of a session, and a one-on-one interview with the owner of Healthy Community Acupuncture, in El Cajon.

Get the point?

Good Money - Is it a good time to convert to Roth IRAs?

Your guide to profitable and socially responsible investing
By Judith L. Seid, CFP ®

If your retirement assets took a beating in the recent stock market decline, converting an IRA to a Roth IRA may be one of the best tax strategies this year and could save you a fortune in taxes. But you need to understand the rules and play the game right.

9 Ways That "Waiting For Mortgage Rates to Fall" Can Come Back To Haunt You

By Jim Copeland

February 2009 (San Diego) — At the end of 2008, as mortgage rates fell to
around 5%, homeowners helped to start a mini-refinance boom.  Recently,
self-doubt has crept in as rates have inched upward since January 14, 2009

Rest easy, friends.  You're not missing out.

EAST OF THE LINE: LOCAL ECONOMY GETS SHOT IN THE ARM FROM BORDER OPERATIONS

By Billie Jo Jannen

Victor Leon of Potrero and Rudolfo Reyes of Campo put a raked finish on the drying concrete at the base of the border fence in the far western portion of Campo. They are working on the south side of the fence, which is constructed a short distance north of the border inside the border "buffer zone." Workers on the fence have been harassed by suspected smugglers on the Mexican side and there was at least one incident of rock-throwing toward U.S. workers.

February 16, 2009 (Campo) — Of the 670 miles of infrastructure built along the Southwest border as of January '09, about 10.5 miles of primary fencing was in San Diego County and most of that, about 9.75 miles, was in rural East County. An additional 2.6 miles in Marron Valley, south of Dulzura, is funded and expected to be completed this year.

The fence, itself, stands 18 feet above the ground, according Agent Jerry Conlin of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It is sunk into a footing of concrete - six feet deep and two feet wide - and made up of steel tubes filled with concrete, called bollards. The bollards stand upright in steel framework with their feet buried in the concrete.

WILL POWER REPORT: LAY-OFF NOTICES ARE EXTORTION!

The Will Power Report: Nothing but the Truth

LAY-OFF NOTICES ARE EXTORTION!

February 17, 2009 (San Diego) -- The use of layoff warning letters as an excuse to terrify workers has an old history. For decades, school boards would send out letters to teachers on March 15, designed to terrify teachers and force them to accept substandard contracts and working conditions.

EAST OF THE LINE: NEW PLANNING GROUP CHAIRMEN HAVE THEIR WORK CUT OUT

By Billie Jo Jannen

Planning groups countywide have seated their newly elected members since the first of the year and Campo's changing of the guard does nothing to dispel its image as among the most contentious in the rural East County (along with the now-legendary Ramona, Potrero and Alpine groups).

The short description of the meeting might well be summed up as "Lions 0, Christians 2, after a lively clash," and bodes another exhausting year for planning group watchers in Campo.

CRAFTING WITH MARY: HOLIDAY BOUQUETS

By Mary
Genser

February 8, 2009 (La Mesa) — It's
easy to create festive floral arrangements to suit any occasion--all on a minimal
budget.

Start with a simple container such as a drinking glass, vase, pottery jar
or even a metal can. You can pick up these items at discount stores or yard
sales, or simply use an item from your kitchen cupboard.

Good Money - What You Need to Know if You've Been Laid Off

Your guide to profitable and socially responsible investing
By Judith L. Seid, CFP ®

It's
your worst nightmare. You come into work thinking it's just like any other
day and you leave with your stomach in knots. Fears of how you will take care
of yourself and your family's spin your head around. Here are some tips
to help calm your anxiety and start you on the path to recovery from such a
blow.

SYLVIA'S SOAPBOX -- SNAP

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Food Stamps are a "SNAP."
But Not in San Diego County

By Sylvia Hampton

Sylvia's SoapboxFebruary
1, 2009 (San Diego) —
After the embarrassing front-page news
that San Diego County has only one in five people who need food supplements
enrolled to receive them (the worst enrollment record of any county in the
nation) the supervisors are finally paying attention. They voted to find ways
to streamline and improve access to the food supplement program and county
administrators will report back to the board within 90 days with changes that
can be made.

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