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EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE COLUMNISTS

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: EAST COUNTY YOUTH COALITION IS THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD

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

 

Photo:  East County Youth Coalition members hold up the blankets they are making to help families in need who have been affected by domestic violence, substance abuse in the home, and children in foster care. The blankets will be completed in time for the holidays. Photo courtesy IPS

 

November 13, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Youth in East County are making an important positive impact on health and safety in their communities and are acquiring leadership skills in the process. Through the East County Youth Coalition, high school students advocate against underage alcohol and drug use and focus on activities that promote healthy schools, neighborhoods, and families. Coalition members are especially concerned about adults who make it easy to obtain alcohol and marijuana, both in the home and through retail stores. 

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOV. 9 - DEC. 14

East County News Service

 

November 5, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) - This week’s Destination East County features a fall festival in Casa de Oro, a Cultural Arts Expo in El Cajon a Multicultural Diversity Event in Lemon Grove.

 

Plus, we have a preview of coming events including concerts at the Magnolia Center, 

the Mother Goose Parade in El Cajon, Pianorama in La Mesa, a Thanksgiving Feast at Pine Hills Lodge in Julian, Pomegranate Days at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona, a Julian Country Christmas, Lakeside’s Spirit of Christmas on Maine, a Christmas celebration on Mt. Helix, Ramona’s Christmas Tree lighting, Santa at Santee Lakes, and La Mesa’s Holiday in the Village. 

 

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

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS OCT. 31-NOV. 30

By Miriam Raftery

October 30, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features a Halloween bash at Parkway Plaza and trick-or-treating at Grossmont Center and in the La Mesa Village.

Plus, we have a preview of coming events I November including the Ramona Art and Wine Festival, concerts at the Magnolia Center, a fall festival in Casa de Oro, a Cultural Arts Expo in El Cajon, a Multicultural Diversity Event in Lemon Grove, the Mother Goose Parade, Pomegranate Days at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona, and a Julian Country Christmas.

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

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS OCT. 25 - NOV. 30

By Miriam Raftery

October 16, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features our own haunting Halloween Party, Matilda the Musical in Spring Valley, On Golden Pond in La Mesa, a Chamber music series at Cuyamaca College, Fall at the farm in Julian, a pumpkin patch at Summers Past Farms, headliner concerts at the Magnolia Center in El Cajon, trick or treating in the La Mesa Village, the Julian Autumn Jubilee, Borrego Days Festival and Parade, Pints 4 the Park, and a Green Homes Tour.

Plus, we have a preview of coming events including HauntFest on Main in El Cajon, the Ramona Art & Wine Festival, costume contests for people and pets at Bates Nut Farm, spooky campovers at Lake Jennings, a Halloween Bash at Parkway Plaza, trick or treating at Grossmont Center, a Cultural Arts Expo in El Cajon, the Mother Goose Parade, Pomegranate Days at the Oasis Camel Dairy, and Julian’s Country Christmas.

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

REAL ESTATE REALITY: STAYING PUT; EXPERIENCING CONTENTMENT

By Maryanne Jackson 

Photo: Creative Commons

October 14, 2019 (San Diego’s East County)

Dear Maryanne,

My husband and I own a home in La Mesa. We really do not plan on selling or moving any time soon.

However, we are planning on fixing up the place just for us.

I am curious what type of improvements tend to induce homeowners to stay put?

Lesley M.

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: CASA DE ORO DISPLAYS ITS GOLDEN BOUNTY

 

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

Photo, left: Casa de Oro Fall Festival 2018, courtesy IPS

 

October 10, 2019 (Spring Valley) - There is no better way to celebrate autumn than Casa de Oro Alliance’s Fourth Annual Fall Festival Nov. 9 at the Spring Valley Academy. The festival is a signature event for the community and highlights a neighborhood alliance that has been successful in tackling alcohol, drug, crime and neighborhood blight issues.

The free family event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will feature shopping, vendors, games, prizes, entertainment and food trucks. The campus is located at 3900 Conrad Dr., just up the hill from the Campo Road business corridor. More information about the Fall Festival can be found at www.casadeoroalliance.org

The annual Fall Festival is part of a bigger plan by the Alliance to create a historically rich, culturally diverse and thriving community that is attractive, safe, pedestrian friendly and a popular destination for dining, entertainment and shopping.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS OCT. 10-NOV. 24

East County News Service

October 9, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features Matilda the Musical in Spring Valley, a production of On Golden Pond in La Mesa, a Chamber music series at Cuyamaca College, Fall at the farm in Julian, Ms. Smarty Plants Goes Batty at the Water Conservation Garden, a pumpkin patch at Summers Past Farms, a Fair Trade gift fair in La Mesa, concerts at the Magnolia Center, and the Julian Autumn Jubilee.

Plus, we have a preview of coming events including the Borrego Days Festival and Parade, Pints 4 the Park, a Green Homes Tour, Hauntfest on Main in El Cajon, costume contests for people and pets at Bates Nut Farm, spooky camp overs at Lake Jennings and at Lions, Tigers and Bears, Trunk or Treat in El Cajon, a Cultural Arts Expo in El Cajon, and the Mother Goose Parade.

 

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

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: OCTOBER HAUNTS AND HAPPENINGS

By Miriam Raftery

October 2, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features Oktoberfests in El Cajon and La Mesa, fall festivals in Jacumba and Jamul, Kids Care Fest in Lemon Grove, the Ramona Air Fair, Fall at the Farm and Julian’s Autumn Jubilee.

Plus, we have a preview of coming events including Ms. Smarty Plants Goes Batty at the Water Conservation Garden, La Mesa’s Fair Trade gift faire, a spooky campover at Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine, vocalist Lillian Palmer at Mission Trails Church, headliner shows at The Magnolia Center in El Cajon, a chamber music series at Cuyamaca College, the Borrego Days desert festival and parade, Pints 4 the Park in Borrego Springs, a Spooky Camp-O-Ween at Lake Jennings, a Green Homes tour, Haunt Fest on Main in El Cajon,  Halloween costume contests for people and dogs at Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center, and Trunk or Treat in downtown El Cajon.

 

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

 

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: NOT EVERY HERO WEARS A CAPE

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

September 30, 2019 (San Diego) - The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has announced "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape, Plan and Practice Your Escape!" as the theme for Fire Prevention Week, October 6-12, 2019. This year’s campaign recognizes the everyday people who motivate their households to develop and practice a home fire escape plan; these seemingly basic behaviors can have life-saving impact.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS SEPT. 28-OCT. 31

By Miriam Raftery

September 27, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features a bounty of fall festivities, including the season finale of El Cajon’s concert series, Chaldean-American Festival in El Cajon, a Johnny Appleseed celebration in Santa Ysabel, concerts by Grammy Award and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame stars at the Magnolia in El Cajon, and the start of Fall at the Farm harvest activities near Julian as well as a chamber music season launch at Cuyamaca College.

Plus, we have a preview of coming events including Oktoberfests in La Mesa and El Cajon, our own Fall Fiesta in Jamul, the Ramona Air Fair, Kids Care Fest in Lemon Grove, the Jacumba Fall Festival, Julian Autumn Jubilee, Ms. Smarty Plants Goes Batty at the Garden, a Fair Trade gift faire in La Mesa, vocalist Lillian Palmer at the Mission Trails Church, the Borrego Days Desert Festival and parade, Pints 4 the Park in Borrego Springs, a Green Homes Tour, HauntFest and Trunk or Treat in downtown El Cajon.

 

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

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: FALLING RIGHT INTO FIRE SEASON

This is the first week of Fall, and with it comes Santa Ana winds!

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

September 27, 2019 (San Diego) - Though fire season is year round, Fall typically brings triple-digit temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds bringing high fire danger and red flag warnings.

REAL ESTATE REALITY: THE DISHWASHER REPAIR NIGHTMARE

By Maryanne Jackson, real estate broker, CRE, CPRES

September 21, 2019 (Mt. Helix) - Dear Maryanne,

My son purchased a home in Mt. Helix recently.  I have been staying at the house and have noticed a strange noise coming from the dishwasher when I open the door.  The appliance company came out and said they cannot remove the dishwasher to do the necessary repair, as the tile floor was placed too high and is now preventing the dishwasher from being removed at all.  The dishwasher repair is a relatively inexpensive fix, but the floor will need to be torn up and replaced.  Do we have any recourse to get this fixed?

Any suggestions appreciated,

CVS, Mt. Helix

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: SEPTEMBER IS SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH

Suicidal Tendencies?

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

September 20, 2019 (San Diego) -- Suicide is on the rise. Regardless of race, gender, age, fame, financial status, it is rising! Having suicidal thoughts does not mean someone is weak or flawed.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: THE PRICE FOR FREEDOM: FIRE SERVICE LESSONS FROM SEPTEMBER 11

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” —Major General James Jackson

September 19, 2019 (San Diego) -- It’s been 18 years since United Airlines flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11 were purposely flown by hijackers into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Shortly thereafter, the Pentagon was severely damaged by the impact of an additional airliner and resulting fire. Hijackers also crashed a fourth plane into a field near Shanksville, Pa., after the passengers and flight crew attempted to regain control of the aircraft.

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!

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