Best of East County

The Best of East County

YOU'RE INVITED! LAUNCH OF OUR EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB AUG. 25



 

Premier Event:  August 25 at Fabrison's French Creperie in Jamul

 

August 3, 2017 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Magazine proudly announces launch of our East County Dining Club! 

We've pulled out all the stops for our launch party at the fabulous Fabrison's Country French Restaurant on August 25 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. We have thousands of dollars in prizes, a delicious all you can eat gourmet French feast, winetasting from the Toast of the Coast winning Deerhorn Valley Winery, music by "Diva" star Lenelle Wylie and more!

Try fabulous foods, win amazing prizes, bring your friends and meet new ones, plus help sustain nonprofit news in the public interest and wildfire/emergency alerts for East County.

Sign up for invitations to future East County Dining Club adventures to savor cuisines from around the world (and the best American foods, too!)-- all in East County.  Email editor@eastcountymagazine.org with "Dining Club" in the subject line.

Reservations and payment are required by Aug. 20 for this very special dining club launch party. See the delicious details below!

A GALAXY GLITTERS ABOVE MOUNT LAGUNA

 

By Mary Elizabeth Sasso

July 25, 2017 (Mount Laguna) -- Late Friday night, a group of photographers organized by Randy Miller of El Cajon traveled 45 miles east of San Diego to the Cleveland National Forest in search of the Milky Way galaxy. After a short hike up a paved road, we arrived at the Mount Laguna Observatory which is approximately 6100 feet above sea level.

A NIGHT OF STARGAZING ATOP MOUNT HELIX

 

 

Story and photos by Mary Sasso

July 16, 2017 (Mount Helix) – Saturday night’s Astronomy Night atop Mount Helix attracted astronomy buffs as well as photographers seeking shots of the expansive city views below, families, and couples set up with picnic blankets watching the romantic sunset.

FINE FATHER’S DAY FEASTING AT RAMONA RANCH WINERY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Mark Raftery celebrates Father's Day with tri-tip and sangria at Ramona Ranch Winery

June 18, 2017 (Ramona) – What could bring a smile to Dads more than savoring grilled tri-tip, wine and sangria on a canopied hilltop terrace?  Ramona Ranch Winery provided this idyllic setting, drawing a crowd for Father’s Day this afternoon despite  a pre-summer heat wave.

VOTE FOR WINNERS IN OUR PHOTO CONTEST!

 

East County Magazine

June 3, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Thanks to all who entered our East County photo contest!    There were many great entries , making it tough to narrow it down to semi-finalists. We added extra categories to give more people a chance to be winners!  Please vote for your favorites in each category/

For directions click "read more" and scroll down:

MOUNTAIN MAN LIVING HISTORICAL ENCAMPMENT: MAY 12-14 AND MAY 19-20 AT LAKE MORENA VILLAGE

 

By Carl Costantinto

Photos by Carl Constantino and Debbie Parker

May 3, 2017 (Lake Morena) -- Step back in time at the 24th Annual Manzanita High Mountain Rendezvous. Meet colorful characters from the French and Indian War, thru to the North American Fur Trade era, circa 1750 - 1840.

See mountain men and women in period attire living in tipis and period tent encampments.  Watch demonstrations of the everyday skills of the era, such as starting a fire with flint & steel, how to load & shoot a flintlock rifle, throw a knife & tomahawk, and shoot a primitive longbow.  There is a blacksmith shop where you can watch and learn about the important work of the 1800’s blacksmith.  Or just relax and listen to period music being played under the shady oaks.  Bring your camera and come enjoy a trip back in time.

A FIDDLING REVIVAL IN JULIAN: ANNUAL CONTEST MAY 20 OPENS WITH FIDDLING WORKSHOP MAY 19 LED BY DUAL NATIONAL CHAMPION

 

By Miriam Raftery

Video, above: Open fiddling competition 2016 champion Shira Ellison in her winning performance

May 2, 2017 (Julian) -- Each year,  the town of Julian comes alive with the sounds  of music—fiddle music, along with banjos, guitars, mandolins and mountain dulcimers at the annual Julian Fiddle and Pickin’ Contest. 

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, May 20th at the Julian Town Hall, plus on Friday night a Texas-style fiddle workshop will be led by two-time national grand fiddle champion Matthew Hartz.  (For details and a schedule visit www.SanDiegoFiddler.org)

Recently we’re seeing a revival of interest in the art of fiddling and more broadly, a Renaissance in traditional music both regionally and nationally.

SEASON SET TO START FOR EAST COUNTY CAR SHOWS

 

By Jason Mueller

March 18, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Car shows are for enthusiasts, collectors and anyone that just enjoys looking at some of the most fascinating cars out there. East County is full of car shows throughout the year that are fun for all ages. With both classic and new cars, there is a little bit of everyone in the vehicles shown. If you love cars and thrive on the excitement of a good show, these three-great car shows throughout East County are for you.

FLOWING FALLS AND FLOWERS: EARTH DAY IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 25, 2017 (Cuyamaca) –From flowing water falls to blooming wildflowers, nature put on a spectacular show in San Diego’s East County. On Saturday,  I headed out to the mountains, taking the Highway 79 exit north off I-8 to start with a visit to Green Valley Falls in Rancho Cuyamaca State Park, followed by stops at Lake Cuyamaca  and picturesque Julian.

KIDS DISCOVER ADVENTURES AT SANTEE LAKES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

April 17, 2017 (Santee) – Santee Lakes is an idyllic place to let kids enjoy the simple pleasures of childhood.  On a sunny afternoon over spring break, kids at the lakes gleefully discovered their inner Tom Sawyer or Becky Thatcher. 

I spotted a group of kids piloting a pedal boat around one of several islands in the lake.   A large Canada Goose skidded to a water landing in front of another pedal boat, where a startled dad snapped photos while his kids looked on, pointing with delight.  

FLOAT YOUR BOAT AT RAIN-RESTORED LAKE MORENA

 

East County News Service

Boats, float tubes, canoes and kayaks are once again allowed after rains raised water levels

April 5, 2017 (Lake Morena) – For the first time in years, the boat launch at Lake Morena County Park is now open—and the county encourages you to gather up your fishing rods and bait for a day of fishing and fun.

CHILDREN’S NATURE RETREAT: HELPING CHILDREN AND ANIMALS TOGETHER

 

Gala on May 19th benefits Alpine nonprofit

 

By Mimi Pollack

April 5, 2017 (Alpine) -- Giving back to others is always good, but when you can give back to both animals and children, that is even better! Local humanitarian Agnes Barrelet is doing just that by heading up two non-profits, Hands United for Children and Children’s Nature Retreat in Alpine. 

SAN DIEGO'S FIRST WHITE LION ARRIVING AT LIONS TIGERS & BEARS

 

East County News Service

April 5, 2017 (Alpine) -- Bobbi Brink, Founder/Director of Lions Tigers & Bears (LTB) - an accredited big cat, bear and exotic animal rescue sanctuary, in San Diego County, Calif., and her team are making their way to the Los Angeles area to pick-up and transport a white male lion and two female lions to their new home at LTB.

BLOOMING IN JULIAN: LILAC FESTIVAL CONTINUES AT FORT CROSS OLD-TIMEY ADVENTURES

 

Also check out Julian Gold Rush Days at the Julian Mining Company just across the street

By Miriam Raftery

April 2, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – There’s still time to bring home a bouquet of fragrant lilacs as the Lilac Festival continues in its final day of the season at Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures today.  It’s all part of a revitalization of new activities reclaiming the region's  historical roots along Highway 78 just outside of Julian in San Diego's East County.

BABY BOBCAT RESCUED

 

East County News Service

March 27, 2017 (Alpine) -- Lions, Tigers and Bears, an animal sanctuary in Alpine, has a new resident – a bouncing baby bobcat.

Weighing in at just 8 ounces, the rescued bobcat kitten is believed to be only about 10 days old.  The kitten was found near a neighborhood pool in Rancho Bernardo with no mother, so it was brought to a nearby pet hospital that in turn contacted Lions, Tigers and Bears.

ALL DOGS ARE IRISH ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

 

East County News Service

March 23, 2017 (La Mesa) – ECM volunteer broadcaster Kim Cooney took her beagle, Angus, to Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa on St. Patrick’s Day.  Canine Corners, a nonprofit that maintains the dog park there, set up a “St. Pawtrick’s Day” photo booth complete with Irish props for pups of all ages.

East County Magazine Editor Miriam Raftery and her husband, Mark, also posed with their dogs, golden retriever Ginger and Juneau, a husky.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BORREGO SUPER BLOOMS

 

East County News Service

March 23, 2017 (Borrego Springs) – Bob Kutscher of Borrego Springs shared these gorgeous flower photos taken during this month’s “super bloom” in the Anza-Borrego Desert.

“A routine of mine this year has been taking afternoon off-road rides and searching out flowers.  Needless to say it's been an enjoyable time this year.”

ASSEMBLYMAN VOEPEL AND EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE TO HOST EASTERN SAN DIEGO COUNTY PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST

 

 

Photo by Darin Sefcik:  First place winner in East County Magazine's 2013 photography competition

 

March 15,  2017 (Santee) -- Assemblyman Randy Voepel (R-Santee) and East County Magazine announced today that they are hosting a photography contest that features photographs taken in San Diego’s East County.  The winning photographs will be displayed in Assemblyman Randy Voepel’s Capitol Office and published in East County Magazine.  Categories include wildlife, landscapes, cities and towns, activities, and people. 

“Eastern San Diego County is full of beautiful scenery and iconic landmarks, and I can’t wait to showcase photos of our wonderful community in our State’s Capitol,” Voepel said.  

Miriam Raftery, Editor of East County Magazine said, “We’re pleased to partner with Assemblyman Voepel to showcase the best of East County’s beautiful scenery, unique communities, people, wildlife, and activities.” 

Click "read more" or scroll down for for details:

HORSEBACK RIDING IS BACK AT WARNER SPRINGS RANCH RESORT

 

Latest phase in resort renovation follows renovated golf course

East County News Service

March 21, 2017 (Warner Springs)  – Warner Springs Ranch Resort (WSRR), the iconic San Diego County destination, has brought back horseback riding to its amenities available to the public.  The resort has partnered with Warner Valley Stables to provide guided rides at the Warner Springs Ranch Resort Equestrian Center through the miles of scenic trails surrounding Warner Springs.

FEATURED COUNTY PARK: EL CAPITAN COUNTY PRESERVE

 

By Michelle Mowad, County of San Diego Communications Office

March 5, 2017 (Lakeside) -- The hike at El Capitan County Preserve is considered one of the most rugged and physically challenging in San Diego County. The preserve’s trails run along a granite-ribbed ridgeline, which has stunning views of both the ocean and mountains. It can easily take up to six hours to complete this 12-mile out-and-back trek.

THE “MANE” EVENT: A BIRTHDAY PARTY AT LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

March 2, 2017 (Alpine) -- If a first responder does not already have Bobbi Brink, co-founder of Lions Tigers & Bears Exotic Animal Rescue Sanctuary in Alpine on speed dial they should consider it.  Why? Brink is accustomed to dealing with exotic animals and if a catastrophic event happens (flooding, wild fires plus).  Brink can show up and help handle the movement of that exotic animal. 

TEMPTING VALENTINE’S TREATS FOR 2017

 

By Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson

February 8, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Blackberry Compote Linzer Hazelnut Torte…picture these desserts to love paired with Hawk Watch Winery’s 2013 Tinderbox wine selection for this weekend in Warner Springs as a warm up for Tuesday’s Valentine’s Day celebration of love.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS ON 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF ANZA BORREGO FOUNDATION--AND COLORFUL TALES OF DESERT LORE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Listen now to our interviews, originally aired on KNSJ radio, by clicking the audio link above.

February  7, 2017 (Borrego Springs)—In April, the Anza-Borrego Foundation will celebrate its 50th anniversary.  We recently interviewed Paige Rogowski, ABF’s executive director, on exciting events coming up to celebrate the occasion. In addition, we interviewed Diana Lindsay, a historian who has written extensively about Anza Borrego Desert State Park. 

They shared some fascinating history with us about our desert region, and the colorful characters from the region’s past, info on the State Park, as well as the Foundation’s successes and continuing efforts to purchase and preserve privately owned lands within the largest state park in California.

Audio: 

ANIMAL TALES: ALPACA FARMERS ENJOY PEACEFUL LIFE IN DESCANSO

 

You can meet the alpacas at an open house Feb. 11

By Mimi Pollack

Photos by Mimi Pollack and Dan Harrison

February 3, 2017 (Descanso) -- “David is a unicorn,” says Amy Alyeshmerni, referring to David Kabbai, her partner of six years in life, love, and business. ”Here is a man who owns a ranch, loves animals, and wants us to spend every other Friday with his mother for Shabbat dinner. How unusual is that? I am very lucky!”  

RAMONA’S WINEMAKING COMES OF AGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Mark and Miriam Raftery

Photos, left:  Bill Schweitzer, Ramona Valley Vineyards Association cofounder and past president at Highland  Hills Winery; Pamo Valley Tasting Room on Holiday Wine Tour

January 8, 2017 (Ramona) –“2016 is going to be our greatest vintage so far. Everybody says it came in perfect,” says Bill Schweitzer, cofounder of the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA) in 2002,  and a driving force in attaining an American Viticulture Area (AVA) designation for Ramona back in 2006.  That’s due to the ideal combination of heat, rains and drought years—as well as years of efforts by local vintners now savoring the fruits of their labors.

Sipping wine on the sunny patio at Highland Valley Winery during the Holiday Wine Trail event in December, he reflected that back in 2001,  Ramona had just one winery (Schwaesdall) and 20 vineyards growing grapes.  Today, there are at least 29 wineries in Ramona, soon to be 35, and 150 vineyards.

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