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Nina Garin is a San Diego native who has been covering arts and entertainment since the 1990s.
Michael James Rocha is the digital creative director at the Union-Tribune. He oversees the online presentation of Union-Tribune stories online and has oversight of the photo and graphics teams. Most recently, he was the arts and entertainment editor. During his tenure, the Union-Tribune’s Sunday arts section was named the best in the nation two years in a row (2021 and 2022). Michael started his career at the Union-Tribune in December 1997 as a features page designer. He eventually became the features design editor, managing a staff of 15 designers and 17 features sections. Through the years, he has done stints as the front page designer, audience development editor and home decor editor. He previously wrote a monthly column on outdoor living, which focused on outdoor decor. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications (with an emphasis on print journalism) from California State University-Fullerton in 1994. He is a founding member of the Asian American Journalists Association’s San Diego chapter, and he has taught magazine writing, editing and design at Point Loma Nazarene University. He also loves dogs.
Jennifer is a native San Diegan and graduate of Cal State San Marcos. She worked as the letters editor at the former North County Times until 2012, before branching out into the marketing world. She has been at PACIFIC since 2015 and loves that it enables her to merge her loves of San Diego, pop culture and puns.
Sara has always been two things: a writer and a San Diegan.
San Diego Union-Tribune music critic George Varga began drumming in rock bands at 12 and writing professionally about music at 15. A Louisiana native who grew up mostly in Germany, Varga has earned three Pulitzer Prize nominations for his writing at the U-T and is a voting member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In addition to providing live coverage of the Grammy Awards and festivals from Coachella and KAABOO to the 1994 edition of Woodstock, he has interviewed everyone from Miles Davis, Britney Spears and (over a game of chess) Ray Charles to Willie Nelson, Kanye West and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis. A triple first prize-winner for criticism and arts writing at the 2022 San Diego Press Club awards and a first prize-winner at the 2022 San Diego Society of Professional Journalists awards, Varga is also a contributing writer for Jazz Times magazine and has written for Billboard, Spin and other publications. After attending San Diego City College and San Diego State University, he created and taught the 2002 UC San Diego Extension course, “Jazz in a Post-Ken-Burns World.” Varga has written liner notes for more than a dozen albums, including by jazz sax greats James Moody and Michael Brecker, and contributed two chapters to the book, “Dylan: Disc By Disc.”
Pam Kragen is the arts and entertainment editor, as well as the chief theater, dining and opera critic, for the San Diego Union-Tribune. She joined the Union-Tribune staff in October 2012 after 27 years at the North County Times, where she served as the Arts & Features Editor, as well as the paper’s longtime arts writer and theater and opera critic. She is the co-founder of the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from San Diego State University and completed fellowships in theater criticism at the University of Southern California and opera-classical music criticism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. And in 2022, she was chosen as one of the fellows in the prestigious National Critics Institute, run by the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in New London, Conn.
Anita L. Arambula is a features designer and art director overseeing visuals for Food, Home & Garden, Weekend and Pacific magazine. Arambula attended the University of San Diego and California College of the Arts. In her spare time, she writes for her food blog where she shares her photography and recipes.
Columnist Karla Peterson is a longtime San Diegan whose beats at the San Diego Union-Tribune have included TV criticism, pop-culture, Comic-Con and San Diego people and lifestyles. She has won awards for entertainment criticism from the American Association of Sunday and Features Editors. A graduate of San Diego State University, she has been with the U-T since 1985.