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EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE COLUMNISTS

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS SEPT. 28-OCT. 20

East County News Service

September 16, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) - This week’s Destination East County features upcoming shows at the Magnolia Performing Arts Center, the Chaldean American Festival in El Cajon, a Chamber music series at Cuyamaca College, Fall at the Farm and berry picking in Julian, a Russian Ballet production of Swan Lake, and a Johnny Appleseed celebration in Santa Ysabel.

Plus, we have a preview of coming events including Oktoberfests in La Mesa and El Cajon, Kids Care Fest in Lemon Grove, the annual Green Homes Tour, a Fair Trade Gift Fair in La Mesa, Cajon Classic Cruises, and the last summer concerts outdoors in El Cajon.

 

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS IN SEPTEMBER 2019

By Miriam Raftery

September 4, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) - This week’s Destination East County features berry picking in Julian, the Sycuan powwow, Kids Care Fest, grape stomps in  Julian, Campo and Ramona and the grand opening of the Magnolia Center in El Cajon.

Plus, we have a preview of coming events including the Santee Bluegrass Festival, Fall at the Farm in Julian, Astronomy Night on Mt. Helix, Mean Mary in concert in Santee and concerts and classic cruises in El Cajon. 

 

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

AB 5 SILENCES YOUR VOICES AND VIOLATES CONSTITUTION SEVERAL WAYS: PLEASE HELP US PROTECT A FREE PRESS

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

I fought a case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the rights of freelance journalists.  AB 5 takes that away – and hurts the public by restricting your voices from being heard in local media. 

Note: I grant free reprint rights on this editorial to any publisher who wishes to repost it in its entirety.

September 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A bill to be heard any day now in the  State Senate and then head to the Governor for signature will destroy a free press in California – and we need your help to protect the public’s voices in out media outlet and others. The bill violates the U.S. constitution on multiple grounds.

AB 5 would prohibit media outlets such as ours from paying ordinary citizens to write articles on areas in which they have expertise, or hiring columnists who aren’t professional journalists, or even paying an eyewitness for photos of breaking news such as a wildfire or plane crash. A newspaper also won’t be allowed to pay for a column or editorial  unless the writer owns a journalism business or is an employee.

We've trained many citizen journalists here at East County Magazine -- including some who won journalism awards. We've run many paid pieces written by community members, too, to include a broad diversity of voices. But we won't be able to do so anymore if this becomes law.

This violates the First Amendment of the Constitution which guarantees freedom of the press and your freedom of speech.

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: EL CAJON ENSURES A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP

By David R. ShoreyEast County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

Photos via Creative Commons

September 3, 2019 (El Cajon) -- When you arrive at your home-away-from-home lodging for a business trip or a family vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is drunken brawls, prostitution, drug activity, bed bugs, and dirty room conditions affecting your stay. You have a certain expectation that the property’s owners and managers are abiding by a certain set of standards. 

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS AUG. 24-SEPT. 30, 2019

By Miriam Raftery

August 19, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features Miner’s Day at the Julian Mining Company, berry picking at Julian Farm and Orchard, the Barona Pow-wow, Julian Fall Art Show, Sky Hunters in Julian, and a Laurel and Hardy comedy night in Spring Valley.

Plus, we have a preview of coming events including the Sycuan Powwow, Julian Grape Stomp Festa, a “Holy Smoke” BBQ, Campo Grape Picking and Stomping Party, the Ramona Grape Stomp, fall at the Farm, a bluegrass festival in Santee, plus concerts and car shows in El Cajon.

 

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

EARTHTALK: MAKING YOUR OFFICE ECO-FRIENDLY: THE EASY WAY

By Stephanie King, EarthTalk

Photo:  Jesus Corrius, Flickr CC

August 28, 2019 (San Diego) - As we become more educated about our impact on the natural world, more and more of us are looking to try and lower our environmental footprint. We might make the switch (at least partially) to a plant-based diet. We might walk to places we previously drove to. We might avoid taking holidays abroad.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: LABOR DAY SAFETY TIPS

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

August 26, 2019 (San Diego) - Make Labor Day Work For You – Safely!

On the first Monday of September, many workers take the day off and enjoy time relaxing with friends and family for Labor Day. Many Americans will turn the time off into an extended weekend by hosting barbecues, going on a mini vacation or spending time outdoors, reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: SAN DIEGO DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND OUTREACH

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies
 
Photo:  San Diego County Deputy DA Monique Myers speaks at the Lakeside Life town hall in May 2019 – Photo courtesy IPS.
 
August 19, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Efforts by the Institute for Public Strategies to reduce the negative impact of drugs and alcohol on communities in East County provides us the opportunity to work with many great change makers. This includes residents, elected officials, and law enforcement. The San Diego County District Attorney’s office is part of that last category, and some view it as the last stop in the criminal justice process. 

REAL ESTATE REALITY: COOLING PLANTS, AVOIDING A BRUSH FIRE AT HOME

By Maryanne Jackson

Real estate broker CNE, CPRES. DRE# 01784021

August 7, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -

Dear Maryanne,

My fiancé and I purchased a home recently in Lakeside. The home sits on a large lot with a lot of vegetation. Were a little nervous with all the fires that have been flaring up around east county.

Are there steps we could take to help fireproof our yard? Any ideas appreciated.

Joannie B.

Lakeside, CA

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: AUGUST 10-SEPT. 7, 2019

East County News Service

August 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features the HeART of Mt. Helix food, wine and art festival, Mary Poppins Returns at MacArthur Park in La Mesa, a star party at Mission Trails, a twilight walk at Mission Trails, Beat the Heat activities at Stelzer Park in Lakeside, DJ nights at Viejas Roller Rink in Alpine, the Captain Marvel movie August 17 at Wells Park in EL Cajon, Elvis Tribute concerts in Lemon Grove and El Cajon, Queen Nation in concert in Santee, Cajon Speedway family night and more.

Plus, we have a preview of coming events including powwows at Barona and Sycuan, a sky hunters demonstration with birds of prey in Julian, a Laurel and Hardy comedy night in Spring Valley, the Campo Grape Picking and Stomping Party, and more.

 

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: LET’S HAVE SOME CLASS ON BACK-TO-SCHOOL SAFETY TIPS

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

August 6, 2019 (San Diego) -- When I was younger, I hated all the back-to-school commercials. They were a dreaded reminder that summer was over and pretty soon, I'd be back inside a hot, stuffy classroom, mourning my lost freedom.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JULY 26-SEPT. 7

East County News Service

July 22, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features some end of July festivities and hot August nights events including Pine Valley Days, a Sip of Julian, the Jamul Winetasting Festival, Herman’s Hermits at Sycuan, a concert at Santee Lakes, Julian’s Natural Wonderfest, the Ramona Country Fair, a grape stomp in Campo, a Laurel and Hardy event in Spring Valley, the Julian Star Fest, the HeART of Mt. Helix art and wine festival, a twilight walk at Mission Trails Regional Park and the Barona Powwow.

There are also some all summer long events including rollerskating DJ nights in Alpine, outdoor concerts and movies in parks across our region, movies in La Mesa, classic car shows and dive-in movies at the Kroc Center’s swimming pool.

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: FLASH FLOOD SAFETY TIPS

 

Water:  a real force of nature!

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovannaBy Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

July 22, 2019 (San Diego) -- As firefighters we know the power of water. We have some of the best apparatus capable of pumping thousands of gallons of water per minute during fires. In this capacity, water saves lives and property—it is essential to protecting our communities.

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: CRIME FREE MULTIHOUSING

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

 

Photo courtesy San Diego County Sheriff’s Department website, other photos via Creative Commons

 

July 10, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Imagine you lived in an apartment complex so riddled with crime and danger, that law enforcement officers would not enter the property until backup arrived. A place where firefighters would not respond to a fire unless they were accompanied by sheriff’s deputies for protection. Where helicopters frequently flew overhead in search of a suspect, or attempting to restore peace. Where drive-by shootings, vandalism, prostitution, thefts, drug dealing, gangs and violence ruled the day.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JULY 13-AUG. 4

East County News Service

July 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features lots of fun and festive upcoming summertime events, including Watermelon Days at Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona, the Sunshine Boys at Lamplighters Theatre, in La Mesa, a Pacific Southwest Railway Museum meet and greet in La Mesa, the Pine Valley Days festival and parade, a Sip of Julian, Concert at the Lakes in Santee, a winetasting festival in Jamul, Herman’s Hermits live at Sycuan, the Ramona Country Fair, and the HeART of Mt. Helix.

There are also some all summer long events including outdoor concerts, movies in parks across our region, classic car shows and dive-in movies at the Kroc Center’s swimming pool.

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: JULY FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

By Miriam Raftery

July 3, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- July brings Independence Day celebrations including 4th of July parades in Julian and Alpine, the Lake Murray Fireworks and Music Festival as well as Independence Day celebrations in Santee, El Cajon and Poway.

Plus, we have even more July events, including The Sunshine Boys at Lamplighters Theater in La Mesa, the Descanso Days Parade and Fair, Watermelon Days at Oasis Camel Dairy, Pine Valley Days, and a Sip of Julian.

There are also some all summer long events including outdoor concerts, movies in parks across our region, classic car shows and dive-in movies at the Kroc Center’s swimming pool.

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

REAL ESTATE REALITY: SHOULD I ADD MY SPOUSE TO THE TITLE OF MY HOME?

By Maryanna Jackson

June 28, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) –  Dear Maryanne,

Two years ago, I purchased a condominium in San Carlos. I was single. I have since married and never did add my spouse to the title.

If I should sell my home will I need to add my spouse to the title of my property in order to sell?

--D.S., San Carlos, S.D.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: JUNE IS SKIN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Being comfortable in your own skin

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

June 19, 2019 (San Diego) -- There’s a beauty about getting older—you become more comfortable in your own skin. The need for approval diminishes, you’re more confident in life and you can speak your mind without the fear of rejection. But if you want to stay comfortable in your own skin as you age, you need to protecting it properly!

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: LAKESIDE LIFE, A TOWN HALL CONVERSATION

By David R. Shorey

 

East County program manager, Institute for Public Strategies

 

Photo: Lakeside Life Town Hall was held May 29, 2019 at the Lakeside Community Center. Photo courtesy IPS

 

June 19, 2019 (Lakeside) -- Resident involvement is strong in Lakeside. This was very evident recently when more than 40 people came together at Lakeside Life: A Town Hall Conversation at the community center on the shore of Lindo Lake.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JUNE 13-JULY 4

East County News Service

June 12, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- From Father’s Day to the Fourth of July, we’ve got lots of festive events coming up across East County. In late June, you can enjoy night fishing at Santee Lakes, the Bayou Brothers concert at Santee Lakes, Father’s day on artist James Hubbell’s Julian mountain retreat, a Father’s Day pit barbecue at the Santa Ysabel mission, and the Anomar Arts Festival in Ramona.

Plus, enjoy 4th of July parades in Julian and Alpine, the Lake Murray Fireworks and Music Festival as well as Independence Day celebrations in Santee, El Cajon and Poway. We’ll also have some all summer long events including outdoor concerts, movies in the park, classic car shows and dive-in movies at the Kroc Center’s swimming pool.

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

REAL ESTATE REALITY: WHERE, OH WHERE, DID OUR SEPTIC TANK GO? HOW TO AVOID A PORTA POTTY PROBLEM.

By Maryanne Jackson, real estate broker, CNE. CPRES. DRE#01784021

Photo: Creative Commons image via Free Stock

June 4, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Dear Maryanne,

My fiancé and I purchased our first home in December. We were told there was a septic tank on the property. We had asked our agent on numerous occasions to find out the exact location of the septic tank, but he never followed through with our request; he only told us, “The septic tank had recently been pumped therefore we really had no need to worry about it right now, we just needed to focus on closing the deal.”

Upon moving in we attempted to use the showers and toilets and noticed the water started to back up. We called numerous plumbers and the prior owner- who informed us that the septic had been renovated when the investor bought the property from her and did the flip.

We now are paying $200 a month for a porta potty rental; it is our only way to have a bathroom on our property until this gets resolved.

How could this situation have been avoided? Was there something we should have done while in escrow?

K. W. Blossom Valley

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: THE DEADLIEST DAYS OF SUMMER ARE HERE

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

June 3, 2019 (San Diego) -- Do you know about the 100 deadliest days of summer? No, I’m not referring to the danger of heat exhaustion or increased gun violence during the summer months—although those are very real risks in many places.

The 100 deadliest days are the days between the end of May and the beginning of September—the days when our teenage children hit the streets with lots of time on their hands.

What makes it deadly? Driving. Per mile driven, drivers aged 16 to 19 years old are nearly three times more likely than drivers older than 20 to be in a fatal crash. During the summer months, teenage deaths in vehicle accidents increase by 26% compared with the other months of the year.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS IN JUNE

 

 

East County News Service

May 28, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- June is filled with fun and festive events including La Mesa’s flag day parade, the Trevon Harris memorial basketball tournament in Lemon Grove, Lavender Days at Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs, night fishing at Santee Lakes, the Bayou Brothers concert at Santee Lakes, a Father’s Day tour of artist James Hubbell’s  home in Julian, Father’s Day pit barbecue in Santa Ysabel,  a pancake breakfast with firefighters in La Mesa, Fido Fest in Santee, Race Amity Day in Lemon Grove, and the Anomar Arts Festival in Ramona.

There are also some all summer long event series including outdoor concerts in La Mesa, Lemon Grove, El Cajon and Santee, classic car nights in La Mesa and El Cajon, and outdoor movies at Viejas in Alpine and parks in El Cajon.

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND AND JUNE EVENTS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 20, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – This Memorial Day Weekend, events include the Santee Street Fair and Craft Beer Festival, a Living History program on Mount Laguna, the Julian Fiddle and Pickin’  contest, a hike across the Santa Ysabel Preserve, an a-capella concert by Chamber Bravura in La Mesa, and a Warrior Hike Challenge at El Capitan County Preserve in Lakeside.  On the last weekend of May, Kidz Danz Kompany presents Visions of Broadway and the Musica En La Plaza series opens in Escondido.

Plus we’ll have a preview of some joyful June events including La Mesa’s flag day parade, Lavender Days at Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs, night fishing at Santee Lakes, a Father’s Day pit barbecue in Santa Ysabel,  Fido Fest in Santee, the Anomar Arts Festival in Ramona, and some all summer long event series including outdoor concerts in La Mesa, Lemon Grove, El Cajon and Santee, classic cruises and movies in the park.

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

REAL ESTATE REALITY: A ROOTY SITUATION - FINDING A PEACEFUL COMPROMISE

 

 

By Maryanne Jackson, real estate broker, CNE, CPRES

May 13, 2019 (San Diego's East County) - 

Dear Maryanne,

My wife and I have been having some issues with our neighbors’ large tree. The tree has encroached over the shared fence, causing damage to our deck.

 

The damage has since been repaired by our neighbor’s insurance company.

 

However, the deck repair company made note that the tree roots were growing under the fence and into our yard. Eventually this may cause damage to the deck again unless the tree is removed.

 

The insurance company will not cover the cost to remove the tree and our neighbors are not in a financial position to cover the cost.

 

Any ideas? We really don’t want to take legal action against our neighbors and are seeking peaceful solutions.

 

Jay N. Horizon Hills, Mount Helix


FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: GRADUATION TIPS – SHOW SOME CLASS WITH SAFETY

 

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

May 13, 2019 (San Diego) -- Prom and graduation season is here again – You want to make sure you graduate "with" your class!

Unfortunately, these happy occasions sometimes involve underage drinking which can result in tragedy reminds. It is therefore critical that parents keep the lines of communication open when it comes to talking to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking and drunk driving.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS MAY 10 - JUNE 8

 

 

East County News Service

May 8, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- The merry month of May continues with activities including San DIego River Days, the Manzanita High Mountain Rendezvous, Salsa y Salsa Festival in Lemon Grove, Lilac Festival in Santa Ysabel, Sky tours in Julian, Musica En La Plaza in Escondido, a jazz concert at Mission Trails Church, Open Farm Day at Oasis Camel Dairy, A Taste of Julian, America on Main Street Festival in El Cajon, America on Main Street, Wild in the Country at Lions Tigers and Bears, a Gunsmoke fundraiser for a local Lions Club in El Cajon, El Cajon’s dinner and a concert, Classic Cruise Night’s centennial season in downtown El Cajon, the San Diego Vintner’s Association Wine Festival, a hike across the Santa Ysabel Preserve, a Mount Laguna Living History event, the Julian Fiddle and Pickin’ Contest, a Memorial Day Warrior HIke Challenge in El Capitan Preserve, Visions of Broadway: a presentation by Kidz Danz Kompany and the Lavender Festival at Summers Past Farms.

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: SNAKE, RATTLE AND RUN!

 

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

May 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- With the coming of spring and warmer weather conditions, snakes of many species are through hunkering down, making human encounters with these elusive creatures more likely. Although most native snakes are harmless, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recommends giving the venomous rattlesnake a wide berth – and knowing what to do in the event of a strike.

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: CALIFORNIA’S 4 A.M. BAR BILL – HERE WE GO AGAIN

 
 
By David R. Shorey, East County program manager, Institute for Public Strategies
 
Photo via Creative Commons
 
May 5, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County residents enjoy a great deal of peace and quiet, where it isn’t uncommon for folks to be up and on the roads in the predawn hours heading to work--to farms and livestock, others into the city. Most of the time traffic isn’t an issue and travel is uneventful. This could change with a new bill being considered that would extend the hours of bars and clubs two hours, for a closing time of 4 a.m.

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