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UP AGAINST ITBuska with S.


The coffee was hot—

et it’s happened to you. Just sat down with a steaming mug of coffee. . . I settled into my favorite chair with my book and a fresh cup of coffee, inhaling the aroma of the medium roast blend, ready for a relaxing evening. Okay, maybe you never drink coffee in the evenings but it could have been morning— same difference. The coffee waits patiently as I open my book—which actually is a Kindle—curl my feet up under me, and read a few pages while the coffee cools from burning to hot enough to drink. As I reach for the cup, I notice son Paul’s gone from where he was sitting a minute ago and Christy’s walking back to the couch. “Paul’s in his room, getting ready to go to bed. He’s waiting for you to help him get in bed,” she explains. After his neck surgery, Paul still needs help getting around so the coffee waits while I go to help him. Five minutes later I come back, curl up in my comfy chair and pick up my Kindle. Before I can swipe the Kindle to “on,” my cell chimes. The

display shows it’s Bryan— oldest son. Several days a week at about this time, he calls as he’s driving home from work and yes, he uses his Bluetooth, so no criminal acts involved. I glance at my coffee. It isn’t steaming any more, but I figure it should still be fairly hot in its thick, royal blue Punxsutawney Phil mug. Just to be sure, I set a couple of napkins across the top of the mug and hope for the best. Bryan has lots of news and of course, I have some for him. As we trade stories,

warm but not too bad. . . Knock! Knock! Who’s that? At seven in the evening, it can only be my other son, Craig. Always good to see him; he’s a busy person. I hope he’ll do more than pop in and pop out like he often does. I stick the napkins back across the top of the mug, knowing it’s not going to do much good. Craig settles into the other comfy chair, chats with Christy and me for a nice long time, then leaves to crash at home after a long day at work. Okay. Coffee time. It’s still there, waiting patiently. I remove the napkins, take a sip. It does not welcome me warmly. It’s cold. Like I said, I bet that’s happened to you, too.

“I settled into my favorite chair

with my book and a fresh cup of

coffee, inhaling the aroma of the

medium roast blend, ready for a relaxing evening.“ I occasionally look longingly at my coffee, but sons are more important. I turn my attention back to the conversation. When I finally hang up—or whatever you call it when you end the call on a cell phone, more like pressing “End,” I guess— I take the napkins off the top of the coffee mug, pick up my Kindle, open it to my last page and reach for my coffee. Hmmm, a little

Buska is an author, columnist and long-time resident of East County. Send e-mail to Sheila at and visit her website

SDSUwithBEAT Steve Dolan


News Radio 600 KOGO-AM is planning a live broadcast from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Target store parking lot, 250 Broadway, El Cajon, in support of the 39th annual East County Toy and Food Drive. KOGO’s Cliff Albert, LaDona Harvey and Ted Garcia will help collect donations benefiting the Salvation Army El Cajon Corps and East County families. Also as part of the event, a parade of fire trucks from Heartland Fire and Rescue Dept. is planned. About a dozen fire trucks will leave at about 11 a.m. from Fire Station #6, 100 E. Lexington, El Cajon, and arrive at approximately 11:15 a.m. at the Target parking lot. KOGO, an iHeart Media station, has annually supported this fundraiser with a live remote since 1996. Started in 1976, the East County Toy and Food Drive is one of the oldest and largest toy and food drives in San Diego County.

East County welcomes Toys for Joy on Saturday The Rock Church will present the 19th annual Toys of Joy from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. The free toy, food and clothing giveaway will be held at four locations, including Lincoln High School, Southwest High School, San Marcos High School and El Cajon Valley High School, 1035 East Madison Ave, El Cajon. Children ages up to 11 receive a free toy and families will have the opportunity to receive free lunch, clothing, groceries and entertainment. Church officials expect attendance will reach 23,000 people. In addition to the expected 23,000 toys, 12,500 bags of groceries and 200,000 articles of clothing that will be distributed to families in need, there also will

SDSU Extended Studies Catalog Available

he spring semester catalog of classes for San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies is now available in both online and print versions. To take a multimedia look at SDSU College of Extended Studies’ many life- and careerenhancing programs, click on the digital catalog link on the College’s home page at The free print catalog is available by calling (619) 265-7378 (SDSU). After more than 40 years of publishing a print catalog three times per year, the College will implement a digitalonly initiative in summer 2016 that will result in faster delivery of the latest courses and schedules with more complete information: videos, live links, and downloadable flyers. And with no paper and no waste, it’s also environmentally friendly. To ensure you are provided with timely delivery of the digital catalog, please visit to add or update your mailing address. Whether your goal is to stay on the cutting edge of your profession, prepare for industry certification exams, network with other professionals, or explore a new career field, the College offers more than 50 ways to reach your goals. Its wide array of certificate and degree programs range from contract management,

construction, and craft beer, to health care, human resource management, and regulatory affairs. And if you’re a writer with a dream, get one step closer to being a writer with an agent by attending the annual SDSU Writers’ Conference. Now in its 32nd year, the conference takes place January 22-24 at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley. With author and agent panels, workshops, networking opportunities, and 1:1 feedback from industry professionals, the conference has a long history of launching careers. San Diego residents can also sign up for regular SDSU courses through the Open University program. It allows individuals to enroll in courses on a space-available basis without being formally admitted to the university, and is available at SDSU’s College of Extended Studies reaches out to San Diego, the nation, and the world with a wide variety of lifelong learning opportunities, and more than 50 certificate programs for career advancement. Topics range from contract management, construction, and craft beer, to grant writing, marketing, and human resources. For more information or to register, visit or call (619) 265-7378 (SDSU).

Steve Dolan hosts a one-hour sports talk radio show Tuesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. on East County’s “The Mountain – 107.9 FM.” The show may also be heard on the Internet at

EAST COUNTY BIZ with Rick Griffin Salvation Army to benefit from KOGO News Radio remote

DEC. 10-16, 2015

be free lunch and live entertainment, including JR Crew, a kids’ fun zone and more. Last year, Toys for Joy gave away 17,000 toys, 20,000 lunches, 15,100 bags of groceries, 423 haircuts, 5,441 books given away and 198,000 articles of clothing. The public is invited to participate. Volunteers can sign up at Toys can be purchased using an online wish list at Monetary and in-kind gifts can be contributed online at Platinum sponsors include 99.3-FM, Mattel Toy Store, MetroPCS Rock Thrift Store, San Diego 6, San Diego Half Marathon and Sundance Organics. The church said many volunteers, sponsors, and community partners work together to spread pervasive hope through this event. The Rock Church, which began in February 2000, opened an East County campus in 2013. Its East County campus, at 808 Jackman Dr. in El Cajon, was a former Michael’s retail store that was remodeled to feature a 725-seat auditorium. More than 15,000 people attend The Rock’s 15 Sunday services at four multi-site campuses and more than 20 microsites.

East County escrow officer is realtors’ affiliate board member Lakeside resident Debi Ciolfe, now in her 44th year of working in the escrow industry, has been elected to serve on the 2016 board of directors of the Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR), a 2,300member trade group for San Diego-area realtors. Coilfe (last name is pronounced cho-FEE) will serve on the board as an affiliate director. She will represent PSAR affiliate members, which includes vendors and suppliers who provide services to PSAR members. Coilfe has been a long-time volunteer and supporter of PSAR. She received PSAR’s Affiliate of the Year

Submissions are welcomed for this column. Press releases can be sent to or faxed to (619) 461‑3151. Press releases may be edited due to space considerations.

award in 2014. She also teaches classes to real estate agents on zipForms 6, an enhanced version of the real estate industry’s leading forms software for contracts and other real estate transactions and business activities. The zipForms software is the official forms software of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Coilfe has appeared in numerous local parades riding a restored 1948 Ford 8N tractor. A familiar sight in farm country, the N-series tractors were made by Ford Motor Co. between 1939 and 1952. The 8N models, introduced in July 1947, featured more power and an improved transmission and is regarded the most popular farm tractor of all time in North America. Coilfe and her tractor have appeared at parades in Julian, Pine Valley, Alpine, Ramona, Lakeside, Poway and Vista. The tractor was restored over a three-year span by husband Tony. They are members of the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association, Branch 22, of Campo.

La Mesa Native American honored by Union Bank, KPBS In honor of American Indian Heritage Month, KPBS and Union Bank have selected Vickie Gambala of La Mesa as a Local Hero. Gambala, a Cherokee Indian, has worked as an advocate San Diego’s American Indian community for the past three decades. For more than 27 years, she served as the San Diego Unified School District’s director of the Indian Education Title VII program, where she established many educational and cultural enrichment initiatives including the Soaring Eagles Indian Education Program. She is on the board of the San Diego American Indian Health Center and a member of Soaring Eagles Dance Group. She also is the 2009 recipient of Honored Elder Certificate from the California Indian Education Center.

121015 the herald  

Enjoy the Dec. 10-16 digital version of The Herald! Get Your Community Fix!

121015 the herald  

Enjoy the Dec. 10-16 digital version of The Herald! Get Your Community Fix!