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OBSERVER Celebrating Our Rural Community Lifestyle

Serving Port Renfrew Jordan River Otter Point Willis Point East Sooke Malahat Shirley

The Seed

Cover Photo by Noella LeDrew of East Sooke

Nature’s Beacon of Hope

Odd and Unusual Encounters Lighthouse Declared Surplus Vol. 7 Issue 4 September 2010

The Juan de Fuca Rural Publication Society Mission Statement A group of Juan de Fuca residents formed a non-profit society to launch a news and advertising publication for the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area. We provide a forum for our rural communities to share news, exchange ideas and develop a sense of community. At the same time the publication gives businesses within and outside the electoral area an opportunity to promote their products and services and reach potential customers. We also hope to make current information about the region and its services available to the many tourists who visit the area each year. Our goal is to protect, preserve and enhance rural life. The publication will rely on community members to share their interests and points of view through articles, correspondence and photographs. We welcome articles and letters reflecting the very diverse interests of our member communities and expressing all points of view. The editorial committee reserves the right to edit for brevity, accuracy, clarity and taste. Though every reasonable precaution will be made to verify the accuracy of material submitted, the editorial committee assumes no responsibility for the content of published articles. The responsibility is that of the writers. References and descriptions of products or services are provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. We’re online! If you wish to submit an article for an upcoming issue of the Rural Observer, please email it to:

NEW INT R P O FOT HERE AD Or mail to: Juan de Fuca Rural Publication Society 6790 East Sooke Road, Sooke BC V9Z 1A6

BECOME A MEMBER or RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP! Celebrate our rural community lifestyle by helping us share stories and information about our region. Become a member of the Juan de Fuca Rural Publication Society today. Our fee structure is as follows - you may renew/join at the basic level of $10, become a “Friend” of the Rural Observer for $25, a “Supporter” for $50, or a “Lifetime Member” for only $100. We recommend the lifetime membership - you won’t need to remember to renew each year! The Rural Observer needs your support to keep it strong, viable and independent. Please make out cheques to the Juan de Fuca Rural Publication Society and mail to: J.Roots, 6790 East Sooke Rd, Sooke, BC, V9Z 1A6

Jo in U s

Juan de Fuca Rural Publication Society


Name ____________________________________ Address _______________________________________

♫ Musical Fundraiser ♫


in support of the Rural Observer

Sunday October 24th in East Sooke

Phone ____________ E-mail ______________________ Are you able to help? _____________________________

For more information or to buy tickets, contact Kelly Nakatsuka at, or Charlotte Senay at 250 642-7282. *SEE ARTICLE ON PAGE 4*

Return to: JdF Rural Publication Society, 6790 East Sooke Rd, Sooke, BC, V9Z 1A6


September 2010

The Seed:

Nature’s Beacon Of Hope

Food for the Body, Mind and Soul

On Our Cover

by Sarah Nakatsuka

Nature thrills me. This wild coast. The intensity of the mountains. Lush forest. My garden. When I am amidst nature’s pulse, I feel so much: everything from calm and curious to electrified & inspired. Chances are you resonate at least a little with my love-on for nature, given the publication you are holding, and your likelihood of appreciating all things “rural”. Matthew Fox talks about the dichotomy that exists in us between the force for contraction and the force for expansion. He encourages us to acknowledge the existence of both, and then find deliberate ways to align with the force for expansion, which he calls “biophelia”. He asks: “How do we bring biophilia back? How do we help people cut through cynicism and despair?” Without a doubt, one way is to spend time in nature in a mindful and present way. Many of us already innately understand the connection between nature and our mental and physical well-being. Recent studies in Japan have proven the science behind this connection; simply being in nature can lower your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, lower your blood pressure and increase the activity of your natural killer (NK) cells, a component of our immune system essential in fighting cancer. As Yoshifumi Miyazaki, director of the Center for Environmental Health and Field Sciences at Chiba University explains, “When we are exposed to nature, our bodies go back to how they should be.” I tend to think of it like this: when we are in nature, we remember who we truly are. We remember that we are not just similar to nature, we ARE nature, and all it teaches: vitality, presence, patience, gratitude, compassion. When we see an alpine flower bravely thriving on the windy, chilly snow-covered mountainside, we can remind ourselves that we have this same tendency towards the light, towards growth, in the face of obstacles. In a nutshell, nature helps us tune into something we all need on a very basic level: HOPE. One of my favourite symbols for hope in nature is that of the seed. I love everything about seeds – planting them with intention, watching for the first signs of germination, nurturing new growth, facilitating food or flower production, and then finally at around this time of year, collecting seeds.

The Last Blush of Summer: Anemone and Columbine Seed Pods Photo by Noella LeDrew of East Sooke

destiny of this little morsel. Just as the genetic code for an Oak tree lies waiting within the acorn, this same vitality exists in every variety of each seed. Amazing isn’t it? And the same applies to each of us as humans: Our potential awaits… we are cultivators of our own inner landscapes. Our work is to align with the essential potential for growth, and nurture our visions lovingly, with all the compassion and possibility nature teaches us. “Whether you tend a garden or not, you are the gardener of your own being, the seed of your destiny.” – The Findhorn Community. And speaking of seeds, one of my favourite things to do this time of year is collect seeds from my garden. When I first learned how to save seeds I had an uncanny feeling of familiarity, like I had done this before. There is something primordial about working with seeds, something innate to us as humans. We have after all, as a species, been cultivating agriculture for at least 10,000 years.

When I hold a seed in my hand and tune into its essence – I am struck by how much life exists in this little nugget of potential. I feel full of possibility, envisioning the 3

continued on page 5 September 2010

♫ A Rural Fundraiser ♫

Sooke Fall Fair 2010 by Ida McDonald and Sheila Whincup

by Kelly Nakatsuka

The 97th Sooke Fall Fair is just around the corner and promises to be better than ever. The two-day fair will be held on Sept. 11th and 12th at the Sooke Community Hall and at the Royal Canadian Legion (upstairs).

The Rural Observer wouldn’t exist without the dedication of the many people who write and otherwise help in the production of this publication. The generous support of local people and businesses who advertise on these pages is also critical to our survival. And yet with production expenses that continue to rise, that support is not always enough to pay the bills.

The Canadian Girl Guides will be honoured as we Salute 100 Years of Girl Guiding. The first Company in Sooke was formed in 1921, under the leadership of Miss Kathleen Wright. Be sure to attend the Opening Ceremonies at 2 pm on Saturday at the Community Hall where the Guides will be officially recognized. During the fair, join their campfire sing-along and see a display of their programs and group projects.

To help offset those costs, the Rural Observer is hosting a fundraising concert on Sunday October 24th. Mark it on your calendar. This will be the first of what we hope will become a semi-regular event to support the RO, but also to gather as a community to celebrate and enjoy an evening of great music.

The 2nd annual Great Sookeini Race also takes place Saturday where zucchinis of all shapes and various sizes race down the ramp. Check the catalogue for size constraints if you don’t want your car to get bogged down in the race shoot! Kids of all ages (the “senior racers” category is for those 18 and over, Moms (and Dads, too) will compete for trophies and prizes in various categories.

The line-up is still being finalized, but headlining the bill will be the talented young folk singer and songwriter Aidan Knight. Aidan is from Victoria and is truly one of the bright young lights on the Canadian folk and independent music scene. He writes thoughtful, intelligent songs that have garnered critical acclaim from coast to coast.

The ever popular Pet Parade will run on Sunday afternoon. vIt’s not only for children and their pets, but also includes awards for pets shown off by their proud and imaginative adult owners. vPrepare for a carnival atmosphere along Eustace Road between the Legion and Community Hall.

Aidan’s debut album Versicolour is receiving national airplay on CBC Radio and on local radio stations all across Canada. He is also a finalist in the Music BC 2010 Peak Performance Project. The contest gathers 20 of the best bands and artists in BC in a career-development program, with the winners garnering hundreds of thousands in career development funds.

We’re pleased to announce that even at 97 years old, the Sooke Fall Fair has entered the 21st century and acquired a computer operating system. The new software will make the recording and scoring of entries more efficient, but will also require all entrants to make advance entries. This means that all entry forms must be received by September 3rd. Place your completed entry forms in the entry box at Shoppers Drug Mart, or mail to Sooke Fall Fair, P.O. Box 291, Sooke V9Z 0S9. Entrants will pick up their entry tags, pay for their entries and bring in the items to be entered on Friday, Sept. 10th, between 2-8pm, at the Community Hall.

This will be a wonderful evening of music with Aidan, and more artists to be finalized in the coming weeks. There will be great prizes, refreshments, and much more. Watch your local listings and notice boards for additional details. For all of you who enjoy and celebrate our rural way of life, we hope you will come to East Sooke on Sunday evening, October 24th. Tickets are $15, and will be available soon, as well as information on the location for the concert.

The 2010 Fair also celebrates “International Year of Biodiversity”, so all growers are encouraged to enter their finest and most varied fruits, vegetables and flowers. Not sure what kind of apples you have in your garden? Bring your specimen to the fair where a member of the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association will be on hand to help you identify your mystery apples.

For more information or to buy tickets, contact Kelly Nakatsuka at, or Charlotte Senay at 250 642-7282.

All the Sections in the fair (Produce, Flowers, Kitchen Craft, Needlecraft, Hobbies, Photography, Art and Literary Art, Wine and Beer, Poultry, Rabbits and Cavies, and Honey) offer ways to demonstrate the importance of preserving our lands for all forms of life on earth.

EAST SOOKE COUNSELLING Connect. Grow. Thrive. relationship counselling nature walk therapy grief counselling blended families life purpose transitions

Sarah Na katsuka

B A, RPC Registered Professional Counsellor

Come stroll behind the Community Hall to enjoy the awardwinning murals, which depict Sooke’s agricultural history. And don’t forget that upstairs at the Legion is where the adult photography, art and literary arts sections will be exhibited. Purchase raffle tickets to help raise funds for future fairs. First prize is a king-size quilt made by talented members of the Sooke Quilters; second prize is a $500 gift certificate for Sooke Home Hardware; third prize is two gift certificates worth $200 each from Village Food Market and Western Foods.



September 2010

The Seed... continued from page 3 Why is saving seeds important and beneficial to us? The reasons are plentiful: seeds from plants grown in our own gardens are much more likely to thrive, given their familiarity to that particular environment. Also, in saving our own seeds or buying open-pollinated locally-grown organic seeds we are supporting sustainable agriculture, which means sustainable living for us all. And it feels so good to know we can feed ourselves – on a physical level for sure, and also on a soul level. For me, collecting, planting and growing seeds is soul food. Seed-Saving in a NUTSHELL There is an art to saving seeds, and there is definitely a science. But it’s not rocket science. If you’ve never saved seeds before, and want to play with it this season, there are a few important elements to keep in mind: make sure to select seeds from the healthiest, most robust plants in your garden. Timing is key, and many people collect seeds too early. Leave seeds on plants until they are ripe enough to collect, but before critters or birds get to them before you do! If this is your first time, you may want to start with seeds like peas, lettuce, beans, calendula or sunflowers. Once you have collected the seeds, make sure to dry them thoroughly – I like drying them in paper bags in the sun or in the heat of the greenhouse. Then label them with the variety and the date, and store in containers in a cool, dark place at a consistent temperature. If you want to kick it up a notch this year, try your hand at saving tomato seeds – the key with tomatoes is to let the seeds and ‘juice’ of ripe tomatoes sit in a container for a few days until a layer of mold builds up on top (to remove the gelatinous coating which inhibits germination) before rinsing, sieving, then drying on a plate. Of course this is just a taste of the how-to of seed-saving. If you are inspired, there is a wealth of information in books and now on the internet about proper seed-saving methods, and many island seed-savers hold workshops on the subject. May your gardens be abundant, and may you fulfill the seeds of your unique destiny. Sarah Nakatsuka is a passionate seed-saver, psychotherapist (EAST SOOKE COUNSELLING), Interfaith Officiant, and founder of THIS VIBRANT LIFE centre for sacred living on Vancouver Island. For more information, please visit

Catch all the details in the Sooke Fall Fair Catalogue available in most stores in the community or check out www. Come, enter and enjoy the Sooke Fall Fair! Image on right was an entry in the Great Sookeini Race


September 2010

Odd and Unusual Encounters by Janet Caplan

“Oh God, oh my God,” I yelled in fright. As the large black bird hurtled toward my kitchen window I jumped to my feet, kicking and tripping over my dogs in the process. Just as I was certain the bird was about to make impact, it quickly veered back and headed for the trees on the side of my property. I stood stock-still for a moment just trying to catch my breath. I managed to grab my binoculars from a shelf just as the bird swooped in a second time: thankfully not as dangerously close. It retreated once again to the woods, but by now I’d gotten a good look. The bird was too big to be a crow or raven or even a gardenvariety vulture. At first I thought it might have been an eagle but then I caught sight of its featherless red head; this was indeed a huge turkey vulture. Oh, this was one ugly bird with its big heavy body and its tiny, bald, red head. Such an odd combination of parts. Nevertheless, it must be aerodynamically correct because it glides and soars with great strength and even beauty.

Photo of Turkey Vulture by Mike Yip Visit his website at

ignoring my presence. Through my rear view mirror, I studied the little red head sitting oddly on its unbalanced body, a body so rotund that it actually hung over its legs and feet, making them invisible. Not exactly a beautiful feathered friend, I thought.

I have to admit that being buzzed by a bird of that size was disconcerting. Its approach to my expansive “The rural community surrounding kitchen window was too close for When I got home I went through my bird my home requires one to be comfort. Through my binoculars books, and quickly identified the bird I’d I clearly saw its eyes and the especially cautious and reasonably spotted as a turkey vulture. There really wrinkled red skin of its pint sized slow; one never knows what’s was no question; nothing else came close. head. Even with a few decals In addition to this morning’s ‘bird’s-eye view’, around the next bend...” stuck to the glass, smaller birds I’ve seen several since that first encounter. had, on more than one occasion, Last week while I was driving home, one bounced off that window. The swooped down right above my car casting a thought of a six pound turkey vulture honing in was frightening. wide, distracting shadow over my front window. The bird glided I stood watching at the window for a while longer, binoculars down onto the shoulder of the road where a feast in the form of a in hand. My cocker spaniels, still upset from the sighting, dead squirrel awaited. These birds generally appear through the continued to bark and jump up in anticipation of another viewing. summer and early fall. With so many young animals around at But that was not to be as I had last spotted the bird disappearing that time of year and with more people driving through the area into the trees on my neighbour’s property. I figured that there on holidays, road kill is abundant. must be something dead down on his land, maybe a chicken or a rabbit, a raccoon or possibly even a young As it turns out turkey vultures summer here deer, the victim of some larger prey. Score on Vancouver Island. I live at a point on the one for the vulture. Island where these birds tend to gather and surprisingly it’s not for the great and plentiful Before moving to Vancouver Island a few cuisine. My bird books tell me that they are not years ago, I had never heard of the turkey fond of flying solo over water and so when it’s vulture. Luck or ignorance? At any rate I time to leave this habitat, they gather together was astonished at my first sighting. Driving to cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca en masse. the narrow, windy road that services the rural It’s incredible to think that they instinctively community surrounding my home requires know when and where to meet up. I have one to be especially cautious and reasonably learned other facts about these odd creatures. slow; one never knows what’s around the Did you know that they vomit some of their next bend. That’s precisely how I came upon food so that the smell throws off their prey? my first turkey vulture. As I followed the Did you also know that they pee on their legs curve around the creek that runs parallel to because the acid kills any bacteria that may the road, I was forced to suddenly brake as remain from having stepped in their meal? I came upon a very large and rather hefty, Smart tactics. blackish brown bird gorging itself on what I recognized as the remains of a rabbit. I Turkey vultures are not the only new and edged over to the roadside to get a better unusual encounter I’ve had here on Canada’s look at this bird that simply didn’t budge. western edge, just one of the oddest. It went on eating with great gusto, totally


September 2010

Understanding Emergency Preparedness Structure and Language by Lee Hindrichs, JDF Emergency Program, Director of Media Communications

a well planned chain of command from the individual to the neighbourhood to the community operations centre. Being prepared is about being able to provide for yourself for 7 days, but it’s also about having a structure in place to respond to disasters when needed, both efficiently and in a timely manner.

Emergency preparedness has its own language. It’s relatively simple and if you’ve had military time it will come as second nature.

For more information, please contact Juan de Fuca EA Emergency Coordinator, George OBriain at 250 642-2266, or email

A chain of command structure is established rising from the individual to the neighbourhood pod, the (ICP) Incident Command Post(s) at the site(s) of disaster, and finally to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC structure is repeated at the provincial and federal levels as needed. Within the EOC there are colour coded sections, each of which has identified responsibilities. Orange is Operations. Operations is concerned with and coordinates the deployment of first responders who are on the ground directly responding to a disaster. Blue stands for Planning. These folks focus on what could happen next, anticipate how the present situation could unfold and the resultant impact, both in the short and long term. Planning monitors resources and their allocation. This is where it’s decided that the understaffed fire department in area X needs more help than area Y, for example. Yellow is logistics. This is the section that ensures that the EOC can operate. They locate required resources for the planning section, find personnel and provide technological support, communications, and security. Grey stands for administration and finance. These folks keep track of response and recovery costs, and coordinate compensation and claims. These are the people who are still working long after the dust has settled. Red stands for internal functions such as liaison, risk management and public relations. These people talk to outside agencies and on the risk management side, worry about all the risks that must be taken by the EOC staff. And finally, green. The person wearing green is the person that is in charge of the EOC, the director. In a nut shell, that is how emergency preparedness plans operate. Everyone speaks a common language and follows


September 2010

Doug Read Licensed Realtor

Earth Medicine And The Spirit Of Late Summer by Roselyn Caiden

25 years experience~15 years *Selling* in *East Sooke* Put my local Knowledge & Experience to Work for You.

The corn in my garden will soon be ready to pick, the first blush of colour has touched the Japanese maple and arbutus leaves crunch underfoot as I walk along the path to the sea. The light is changing with the shorter days as late summer calls us toward the centre, toward that place of stillness, of fullness and the ripening—toward the gathering in.

Doug Read Pemberton Holmes Real Estate 250-361-7939 or 250-642-2705 or toll free 1-866-536-7169 email: web site:

The earth element embodies the energy of late summer, giving us the ability to nurture ourselves and others and to stop and appreciate the fruits of our own labour. The earth calls to us in late summer to remember the sweetness of life and how we are nourished and supported unconditionally every day by the land we walk on. We are a part of the earth. Like the plants and the trees, we carry earth energy naturally inside of us. With the fast pace of these times, however, we may become dispirited as a result of a disconnection from our life path and, from the earth. With a willingness to seek reconnection to our deep inner self and our life purpose, we offer the earth to once again find expression through us, in the same way as it does through the abundant ripening of the land. To Strengthen Your Earth Connection Sit under a favourite tree and as you lean against the rough bark of the trunk and feel its deep-rooted connection inside the earth, imagine that you too have your own grounding root that connects you to the hearth at the very centre of the earth. Your grounding root is like an anchor that will keep you steady and centered as you remember your purpose and walk your sacred path. Roselyn Caiden offers acupuncture and earth medicine shamanic healing services out of her studios in Metchosin and Victoria. For more info: please visit


September 2010

East Sooke Community Calendar East Sooke Volunteer Fire Department Practices Thursday 7:00 p.m. New Volunteers Welcome Chief Roger Beck (250) 642-4411 East Sooke Fire Protection and Emergency Services Commission Fire Hall training room MeetsThird Mondays 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Public Welcome Chair Layton Engwer (250) 642-4411 East Sooke Advisory Committee Meets at request of JDFEA Chair Layton Engwer Contact: Planning Office (250) 642-1500 press 0 JDFEA Land Use Committee Meets third Tuesdays 7:00 p.m. Sooke Council Chambers More info: (250) 642-1500 press 0 East Sooke LUC Rep. Neil Smith JDFEA Parks and Rec. Commission Meets fourth Tuesdays 5:00 p.m. JDFEA Office 2-6868 W.C. Road Chair: Louise Paterson JDFEA Economic Development Commission Meets fourth Thursdays 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Village Foods Market Meeting Room ES Commissioners: Blair Cusack & Yale Sharp Chair: Blair Cusack

Brian White Presents a Hand-carved Wooden Bowl to Josie Hill of Ragley Farm

East Sooke Community Association Email:

Karate Classes For All Ages East Sooke Fire Hall Tuesdays 7:00 p.m. Contact: Armin Aielopp (250) 642-3926 Coffee, Conversation & Book Exchange Saturdays 10:30 am - 3:00 pm Ragley Farm, 5717 East Sooke Road Email:


Taoist Tai Chi


FREE CLASS/Demos Thurs Sept 9 7:30-9pm


Legion Hall 6726 Eustace


Beginner Courses

Start Sept 14

Bones of your garden!

Tue / Fri 11am - Open Noon Mon to Sat 8:30 – 5:00pm • Closed Sunday Tue/Thu 6:30-7:30pm Debit, Visa, Mastercard 3459 Luxton Road, Langford, B.C. • Tel: 250-474-6005 Tel 250-642-2731

Yoga Classes East Sooke Fire Hall Wednesdays 7:00 - 8.30 p.m. Saturdays 10:00 -11:30 a.m.

Taoist Tai Chi

TM Free Class & Demos 7:30-9pm Legion 6726 Eustace

Community Events Oct. 24 Rural Observer Musical Event, Location to be determined Oct. 31 Halloween Party Sponsored by East Sooke Fire Dept.

Thu Sept 9th Sooke Beginner Courses Start Sept 14

Tue / Fri 11am – Noon &Tue/Thu 6:30-7:30pm Tel 250-642-2731


September 2010

METCHOSIN DAY Sunday, September 12, 2010 by Mary Gidney

Metchosin Day is a fun day and free for the whole family. Starting at 8 a.m. is the five-kilometer run/walk leaving from the community hall and ending at the municipal grounds, followed by the Scouts’ pancake breakfast. The pet show is for anyone who wants to show off his or her pet – from smallest to cutest to hairiest. Bring your pet to the village green at 11 a.m. for judging. Everyone is a winner. At noon are children’s games – the old fashioned kind – threelegged race, water-balloon toss and egg and spoon race, fun for all kids.

More than 85 vendors will be set up on the village green. A chance to see everything from bags to biscuits, clothing to corn, pottery to produce, fudge to flowers, septic savvy to sheep shearing, and more. Metchosin day has it all! The Pioneer Museum is well worth a visit. The Old Barn Bookstore will be open inside the building, with the overflow books in a tent outside – a wonderful selection and many bargains. And while you are at the Pioneer Museum right next to it will be the Chicken Swap – located where the Farm Market usually meets. If you are interested in learning more about poultry or maybe buying some laying hens, here is the place to do it.

From toddlers to adults, Metchosin Volunteer Fire Department will stage their annual Junior Firefighter Challenge. Come and see how you do on a fire-fighter training course! Or stop by the Emergency Operation booth and find out how to be prepared for an emergency.

Food is available all day. Scouts Canada will be selling hot dogs and hamburgers. Mr. Softie has ice cream and the Lions cool you down with snow cones. Donuts are available from the Donut Man too. The community house offers hot buttered corn on the cob. Local Metchosinites from Smokin’ Bones and 2% Jazz will provide delicious treats.

Entertainment - On the stage at the pavilion, there is an excellent lineup of entertainment starting at 11 a.m. Listen free all day to music from country to jazz to the blues. Sip on a glass of wine as well as beer or cider while tapping your toes in the beer garden next to the stage. And while you are relaxing take time to win at Chicken Bingo – a chance to help raise money for Scouts.

The Mayor and councilors will honour the citizen of the year, the volunteer and volunteer group of the year and the friend of the earth award. Come and show your appreciation for these people who have done so much for Metchosin. The best part of Metchosin Day has to be the lamb and salmon BBQ. For only $15 you get a delicious tasting, mouth-watering meal. The wood fire is lit at 5 a.m. to have the lamb cooked just right by the end of the day and salmon is grilled to perfection nearby. It is the best meal deal in town. Not only is Metchosin Day free, so is the parking. There is space for hundreds of cars right next to the village green. Enter off Happy Valley Road.

John Horgan

And last but not least, VOLUNTEERS. Metchosin Day works because of the volunteers. If you would like to help out for one or two hours or more, please give Mary Gidney a call at 250-474-6145, or email at

MLA Juan de Fuca

Your Rural Voice in the Legislature 800 Goldstream Ave, Victoria, V9B 2X7 250 391 2801 JH-RurObs-0909.indd 1


9/24/09 12:41:00 PM

September 2010

Calendar of Events for Shirley Unless otherwise indicated, events are held at the Shirley Community Hall

Shirley Fire Department Practices held Thursdays 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Chief Donovan Ray –250-646-2107 Shukokai Karate for all ages Mondays, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Alida – 250-642-4631 Hatha Yoga Tuesdays, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Sarah - Shirley Quilters and Crafters Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. All welcome Shirley Community Association Meeting Wed, Sept. 8, 2010 7:30 pm. Shirley Community Association Meeting Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010 7:30 p.m Remembrance Day Ceremony Thurs, Nov. 11, 2010 10:00 a.m. Shirley Fall Craft Fair Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Fern – 250 646-2009

Protecting Sheringham Point Lighthouse by Sheringham Point Lighthouse Protection Society

The Federal Government, earlier this year, declared the Sheringham Point Lighthouse property and light station as surplus. After years of waiting, the decision now requires that the government dispose of the property, which will be offered to Federal agencies, the Province and local government first. The process also includes a special consultation with First Nations before disposal of the property may occur. While the decision was long awaited, it is a double edged sword -- the land and light station could also be sold to the highest bidder including private individuals or developers. Since 2003, Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society volunteers have worked to ensure the land, access and light station are preserved and safeguarded -- and to keep it all in public hands as a passive, protected park. Just in the last couple of years, support from the public and volunteer efforts: - - - - -

helped build an oral history project to collect significant information and stories about the light station, its keepers and their memories, enabled the Society to work with the Regional Director and CRD staff to garner the support of the CRD Board in efforts to acquire the land; ensured the Society would be able, under agreement, to help protect the property just outside the lighthouse land and make certain the Lighthouse View Trail was built and maintained for public use; allowed the Society, through an agreement with the local Parks Commission, to manage and maintain the 3-4 kilometer trail through private land adjacent to the lighthouse property; and made certain that the Society continued its conservation work with Federal, Provincial, First Nations and local government with the goal of acquiring the light station and surrounding property for use as a passive park.

The Society continues to monitor the land disposal process, meet with officials from all levels of government and maintain and enforce agreements, all while working toward the goals and mission outlined by its membership. For more information please check our website:

♫ Musical Fundraiser ♫ in support of the Rural Observer

Sunday October 24th in East Sooke

For more information or to buy tickets, contact Kelly Nakatsuka at, or Charlotte Senay at 250 642-7282. *SEE ARTICLE ON PAGE 4* 11

September 2010

Clayton Fischer on Sustainable Energy and More

hydro access is more remote. These installations can be quite complex and generally involve panels, inverters and generators. One such system, a hybrid of sorts, can be found at Horne Lake and involves solar panels, generators, battery back-up and micro-hydro energy. The T’Sou-ke Nation at Saseenos has one of the largest solar installation systems in western Canada. It, too, is a hybrid set-up with grid tie-in and off grid devices and utilizes solar panels, a solar thermal system plus battery back-up. Energy consumption dropped by 30% within the first six months after installation of the photovoltaic panel system, just one year ago.

by Janet Caplan

Ask Clayton Fischer, electrician and owner of Otter Point Electric, about what type of work he does, and he’ll talk to you about residential and commercial installations, new build construction, generators and more. Ask him about solar electric energy and he’ll talk to you about one of his great passions. The ability to design and install sustainable electrical systems was paramount in his motivation to become an electrical contractor, just a couple of years ago.

In deciding to implement solar electricity, one of the most important considerations is site suitability. A shade analysis should be done to determine if a system would even be viable. This analysis calculates the amount of solar radiance on the property. Proper design of a system for the specific site is critical. Currently solar electrical systems work well for lighter loads such as pumping water, lighting and refrigeration. The efficiency of the panels is increasing and the cost decreasing and according to Clay, a bit of procrastinating at this point is not a bad thing; it’s getting better and cheaper all the time. Right now, solar thermal hot water systems are an important, efficient alternative energy consideration and one that is supported by grants and initiatives on the part of the BC government and SolarBC (see livesmartbc. ca and

Although the bulk of Clay’s work is more standardized, he has done some solar installations and worked with a couple of Victoria electricians on others. The demand is not great as yet due mainly to the expense of the systems themselves and the inexpensive electricity provided by BC Hydro; we enjoy one of the lowest rates in North America. As a result Clay feels that British Columbia may be one of the last provinces to jump on board with solar electricity. But it will improve. Clay does believe that over the next several years we will see a shift: energy rates are rising, the cost of solar panels and related equipment is decreasing and at a certain point the dollars will meet and we will attain grid parity. It will make economic sense to look at alternatives, solar being primary. He points out that solar panels are now warrantied for 25 years; no other electronic device comes close to such a warranty and some financial institutions are now willing to finance them. Although BC does not offer much in the way of incentives or grants towards the cost of the installation of solar electric systems, other provinces do. Ontario in particular has various programs and initiatives in place and is setting a precedent in the country.

While Clay is passionate about solar and all forms of sustainable energy, he is pleased to serve customers with all types of electrical installations and can be reached at Otter Point Electric, 250-588-4324.

According to Clay, most of the solar electric installations that exist in our province are grid independent and are found where

Dr. Keith Martin

WANTED: A contact in OTTER POINT to create a calendar of events for your area. Call 646-2528

Member of Parliament

Your Voice in Ottawa 666 Granderson Road, Victoria, BC V9B 2R8 (250) 474-6505; Fax: (250) 474-5322;

Dr. Keith Martin, MP


September 2010

A NEW TRAIL FOR OTTER POINT by Rosemary Jorna, Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society

William Simmons Memorial Park will open this fall and with it Otter Point will have another 3.5 kilometer walk on public trails. To explore this trail, take Otter Point Road to the Sooke Business Park. Turn in at their sign to find the parking lot which, when completed, will accommodate horse trailers. Until the parking lot is complete park in the gravel at the side of the road. Back track to Otter Point Road, turn left and walk back 70 meters until you see the gravel path on the other (North) side of Otter Point Rd. (by the time of publication the connection to the trail through The Woods may be off the road, clear and complete). In September, the gravel path around The Woods takes you through flowering hard hack, asters, thistles, hedge nettles, foxgloves and ocean spray with a few escaped day lilies adding to the colour.  Dragonflies dart overhead. There are good views of Trap and Bluff Mountains to the north and Sacred Mountain (Broom Hill) to the south. The Woods property was clear cut in the late 1990s, so the forest cover is new, with the usual mixed species of alder, fir, hemlock and cedar emerging. New homes are under construction.

Returning along the Panama Rail Trail turn left at the junction and proceed about 400 meters back to the parking lot. This is a shared trail for walkers, cyclists and equestrians. It is an easy walk with good footing and gentle changes in elevation.

The path is nearly complete although there are some segments that require further work. About 300 meters from Otter Point Road the gravel stops. It could be muddy for the next 200 meters, cobble stones continue to the first road but after crossing it the gravel path continues up a gentle slope until it meets the second . Turn left and follow the paved road to the intersection at Young Lake Road. vTurn right and walk down the forested road back to Otter Point Road.  Watch carefully and cross Otter Point Road back into William Simmons Memorial Park. At this point you will be following the Panama Rail Trail; the old rail bed of logging rail road which operated up to the 1930s. You might see old railway spikes which are still turning up along the trail. The woods in the park and along Young Lake Road are second growth which I would guess are about 80 years old.  The open meadow to your right is the Equestrian Rest Area with its hitching posts mounting blocks and manure bins. The trail continues left to a sign posted junction.  At the sign post follow the trail to the left to the community area featuring a view point over Poirier Lake and a memorial bench commemorating William Simmons after whom the park was named. Past the view point is a picnic area complete with shelter and tables. There is also an ornamental pond and orchard which are being restored.


September 2010

The Gift: Too Little, Too Late

for so long. Optimistically, even with the challenges, I still believed love, discipline and the routine of family could heal.

The Mister knew nothing about my desire for a new family member. Truth is I didn’t know it myself.  An email Arrived with the Subject, “ This is interesting.”  My pulse quickened. I just had to meet him.  Eighteen months old, difficult to place, been on the inside for 3 months, discarded by his family.  Hook, line and sinker, I was caught.

He had once been a companion dog. Dayton, as he was called, had been displaced when his owner lost her courageous battle with cancer.  Sorrow and confusion deepened.

by Bonnie Coulter

I took him home. When my efforts to sneak him into the house failed, I sheepishly tried to explain to my husband what the large black German Sheppard was doing in the back seat of my vehicle. I was irrational and desperate to win this one.  Mister was truly not impressed. “Live here?  In the house? For how long? ”  Hates loud noises confirmed.  Although apprehensive, the dog perked up when he met my grandsons.  Currency found.  New home, new start, new name.  Jackson it was.  He learned it as fast as a dump bear knows the time and sound of the next delivery.

It was NOT love at first sight. He wouldn’t look at me.  This was going to be challenging.  I slowly took in what the attendant was saying: hates baths, afraid of feet, afraid of the dark, afraid of loud noises, won’t eat if stressed, don’t even try to cut his nails, poor eyesight, questionable hearing, insecure, limited exposure.  Yikes! I saw a despondent, depressed dog, no longer connected.  Painful to see.  I felt something close to shame for looking at him

“Hates water” confirmed - swimming companion firmly ruled out. Jackson did, however, loving boating as long as he could get into the craft without getting feet wet or chipping a nail. We returned from a fishing trip one day to find Jackson lying on his back on the couch, paws outstretched.  Like an insolent teenager he opened one eye and slid off. The house was in perfect condition, no wild wrecking party.  But when I went to serve dessert to our guests that evening, there it was.  The inconsiderate indiscretion realized.  Jackson had eaten all 12 apple turnovers.  Not a crumb or smudge as evidence.  Licorice Allsorts would have to stand in as dessert.  Looks and words cast disdain upon black dog. By September the adoption was finalized. Jackson loved his furnishings, and the Mister accepted that he was here to stay.  I imagined the dog grateful. We treat him like a real dog.  Expectations are: do your job, don’t bite, don’t bark at the neighbours, do bark at salesmen, and above all, STAY OUT OF THE GARDEN! Christmas is coming.  I notice Jackson has started inspecting every parcel as if interviewing for a job at the airport. I was mildly amused as I wrapped gifts. He watched silently. continued on page 17


September 2010

Know Thyself, Know Thy Septic: Local

Islander Falls Waist Deep into Wastewater! by CRD Staff

Being a CRD Septic Savvy Workshop Facilitator, I think about septic systems quite a bit; and in this line of work I hear it all. At a recent workshop, a local resident told us how she found out (the hard way) that a neglected system can bring some messy surprises. While turning over the compost in her back yard, she took a fateful miss-step and the ground collapsed below her. “So that’s where my septic tank is!” she thought as she sank waist deep into human waste. Tearing off her clothes and running to the shower, she vowed to locate the rest of her septic system and mark it well.

means you can protect them from damage. The drain field is the second essential part of your septic system. Here, the majority of sewage treatment takes place. Microorganisms in the soil ‘digest’ dangerous pathogens, but these micro-organisms need oxygen and good drainage to stay healthy. If an RV or boat is parked on the drain field, the soil compacts, microorganisms are compromised and the pipes may be crushed. Know where your drain field is, plant only grass on it and don’t park on it or use it to store lumber, firewood or anything else.

Sludgy as it sounds, a septic system can be your best friend, providing safe, dependable wastewater treatment in an environmentally friendly manner and returning clean water to the water table. Find your Septic Tank! It’s crucial to know where your septic tank is located, partly so you can avoid falling into it, but also so you can take good care of it. Some older tanks were made of wood, which eventually rots, or metal, which rusts. Most newer tanks are made of concrete or plastic-you’re unlikely to fall into a newer tank. Knowing where your tank is, however, will prevent having to dig up your yard in order to find and have it pumped out. All septic tanks need to be pumped out eventually, usually every 2 to 5 years, because solids do build up in the tank. Additives do not help, and can actually harm your system; additives are banned in some regions.

Our two hour workshops “How to Care for Your Septic System” are free. You’ll also find a wealth of information, including video clips, household information kits and much more at http://www. To attend a workshop and learn how to protect human health, the environment and how to save money contact the CRD Hotline at 250-360-3030 or

Find the Drain Field! Knowing your septic tank and drain field’s location also

J ua n de Fu ca El ec to ral Ar e a Parks and Recreation Commission The Commission meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 5:00 PM, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Office, #2 – 6868 West Coast Road Public W elcome to Attend For more information, visit For meeting confirmation or enquiries, please call 250-642-1500


September 2010

From the desk of John Horgan, MLA Juan de Fuca One of the highlights of my job as your MLA is the opportunity to stay connected to the families moving through School District 62. Whether you’re a parent or not, it’s the time of year when our kids are put at the forefront, from watching your speed through school zones, stocking the shelves with school supplies or just focusing on getting your kids back into a regular school routine.

Despite government assurances that the problem is solved, class size and class composition challenges continue to stretch teachers, administrators and kids. Those of you with children in the system know our District’s schools are short on space. The start of full day kindergarten at 12 of our local schools has made the space crunch even more apparent. Our schools just don’t have the room to accommodate 600 more students into classrooms that were already over  flowing. School District 62 is one of a handful of districts in Everyone agrees that we need our education system to be the province bucking the trend of declining enrolment, yet the flexible to respond to changing technology and transformative Minister of Education failed to recognize this fact and initially economic change. We need to ask if we’re providing our offered little additional funding to help our schools cope with kids with the tools they will need to succeed and help our increased enrolment.  communities prosper. Today’s children quickly become   tomorrow’s young adults and if we want a future as bright as our I support full-day kindergarten, but I think it was wrong for past, it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure they have the best government to force Districts to provide a new program without educational opportunities a modern society can provide. They putting in place the resources to make it happen.  In June, after are the ones that will be making decisions about our future. They months of lobbying by trustees, parents, teachers and local will try and put right the problems past generations have left MLAs, the government acknowledged they were failing to invest unresolved. Knowing this makes it even more important that we enough in all-day kindergarten and came forward with $144 give priority to building a strong public education system. million province-wide for school infrastructure. In our District that   translates into building additions or modular classrooms at 10 Without question, our public education system is one of the best schools and this is welcome news. News on replacing Belmont in the world. We have dedicated teachers and administrators, High School was not as positive. committed support staff and parents who take on many roles   including volunteer, advocate, fundraiser and chauffer! But, there It’s not just our elementary, middle and high schools that need are cracks in the system, and each September, due to a lack of attention. The same can be said for our colleges, universities provincial resources and support, the cracks are becoming wider. and technical schools.   When thinking about career options, many high school graduates see the value of a post secondary education. While some choose to study close to home at either UVic, Camosun or Royal Roads, others decide to venture to the lower mainland or go further afield. High tuition fees and the lowest minimum wage in Canada ($8 an hour) mean many have no choice Pharmacy service the way it is meant to be…..over 20 years of but to fund their education using student service in the communities of Sooke, East Sooke, Otter Point, loans. In fact, BC graduates now have the second-highest student debt load in the Jordan River, Shirley, and Port Renfrew, ( and even for our country.  customers who have moved to Victoria and still use our service ).   Pharmacy practice to benefit the needs of OUR community and I support re-introducing a needs-based student grant system and cutting the more importantly….. with PEOPLE in mind. interest rates on student loans as two ways Talk to our pharmacy staff about how we can confidentially to help make a post-secondary option more affordable. Rather than saddling transfer your prescriptions to our location. young people with enormous debt when they’re just starting out – let’s give them some support when they need it most.   Helping people live better lives I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on any of these issues – problems you are facing or solutions you’d like to propose. My Langford Community Office is open to help with any provincial government issues. Drop by, call or email anytime.  Ron Kumar   Pharmacist/Owner John Horgan, MLA Juan de Fuca 250 391 2801




September 2010

Kids’ Fun

by Tricia Pincombe of Sooke Montessori School

CD Spinners Materials: Old CD or DVD, 1 marble, Bottle cap from a 2L, Hot glue gun, Paper, Felts Glue stick.

Have your child decorate a piece of paper that will fit on the top of the CD cut the center out and glue it on with a glue stick. Hot glue the marble to the bottom, it should rest in the hole but not go through. Next hot glue the cap to the top.

The Gift... continued from page 14: Christmas morning started with Jackson pacing the kitchen, nails clicking loudly. Two vets and three groomers later, “don’t even think about cutting his nails” is solidly confirmed.  The Mister and I exchange gifts. Jackson watches. He pulls on discarded paper and sighs. When we are done Jackson drops to his bed.  I swear he acts like a surely teen some days.  I get busy setting out the Christmas goodies, out of reach of the long nosed, now referred to as, German Shedder. His eyes tracking me, casting aspersions.  I rebuff with accusations of thievery and verbally remind him of the missing chocolate truffles from Christmas Eve.    The grandsons arrive and skip past Jackson ignoring the usual inspection for crumbs.  I am startled by my daughters loud exclamation, “ Mom, what is this about?”  She is pointing at my gifts neatly stacked a few feet from the Mister’s. And there it is, Jackson’s gift to us neatly coiled between the two stacks.  Horror erupts into gales of laughter from all of us. We speculate. Was he expecting a parcel? I have never, ever purchased a gift for a dog, but Jackson’s accusation stood. “What kind of people are you?” I tried to feel guilty but it didn’t fit.    Boxing Day I bought a toy as the Mister insisted, “real dogs don’t have toys.”  I wrapped the furry thing complete with squeaker in the best piece of recycled paper, bow attached. When family was gathered again to tackle left over turkey and brussell sprouts, the gift was presented.  Jackson took it, rejected it and returned to his bed.  His expression intended to verify yesterday’s injustice.  Clearly voiced “too little, too late.”  He turned his back to us. My grandsons put the stuffy in their backpack, claiming the prize for their dog.

Seashell Bubbles

Materials: Shells collected from the beach, A glass, White vinegar. Pour a couple of ounces of vinegar into the glass and add the seashells. If there is limestone in the shells you will have a bubble reaction.

Sand Clay Mix 3 cups of sand with ½ cup white glue. Add water as needed to make it shapeable. Use different size containers to make small castles, decorate with small shells and premade flags. Airdry to harden.

Pinwheels Using a square piece of card paper decorate both sides. Cut from the corners towards the center, going only about half way. Without folding the paper, bend every other corner towards the center and glue in place. Pin the pinwheel with a pushpin to a stick or dowel loosely enough that the wheel will spin easily.

After much laughter, dishes done, kids ready for bed, kisses generously dispensed. Almost out the door, my daughter asked, “Where is Jackson? He always says good-bye.” We look over and there he is curled up with the blue stuffy between his paws, the very ones with extraordinarily long nails. It finally hits me. He’s home.  The last proof he required to know he belonged.


September 2010

From Juan de Fuca Regional Director Mike Hicks For me, property taxes are at the top of the issue list as they have one of the greatest impacts on our lives. This year, I finally had time to perform a quick analysis on how we fare in the Juan de Fuca in comparison to our neighbouring communities.

the line on their budgets. There is not much we can do about the other factors, but we were fortunate that generally land assessments did not raise substantially and our taxes were generally stable. The numbers below show the taxes per $100,000 value of your property assessment. If you own a million dollar home in Port Renfrew, your taxes would be 10 times $550 or $5,550. This does not include garbage, sewer, or water.

Property taxes are based on a the appraised (market) value of your property multiplied by a mill rate (tax rate) established by the local government (JDF Electoral Area), hospital, and school district. Many entities make up the JDF rate including library, recreation facilities, our government (planning, building inspectors, administration) and our contribution to CRD programs such as Regional Parks, and the Hartland Land Fill.

Oak Bay - 594 Esquimalt - 696 Saanich - 595 Victoria - 648 North Saanich - 437 Metchosin - 480 Sidney - 566 Colwood - 577

One will read that Sooke or Victoria is looking at a 4 or 5.5% tax increase. This means that their portion of the total tax requisition will increase 4% from the previous year. If your property assessment raises by 10%, you are looking at a crippling tax increase. I am pleased to report that the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area’s mill rate was negative one half of one percent this past year. We required less funds from our taxpayers to administer our programs than the year before. This was a great accomplishment and full credit must go to our fire departments, staff and volunteer commissions that held

Municipalities and Electoral Areas such as ours, raise the funds necessary from commercial, industrial and residential property taxes. Some municipalities such as North Saanich, Sidney and View Royal are fortunate to have airports, the ferry terminal and hospitals and some such as Langford have a huge commercial base. Some communities such as Metchosin and Oak Bay have extremely high valued real estate resulting in a strong source of taxes and a lower cost per $1,000. Some communities such as Port Alberni have lost some of their industrial tax base, have a lower residential average value and a resulting huge residential tax rate.

Sooke - 620 Port Renfrew - 550 Shirley - 570 Otter Point - 561 East Sooke - 542 Willis Point - 492 Port Hardy - 967 Port Alberni -1,088

I certainly don’t pretend to be an economist, but I think we are doing pretty well in the JDF considering we have little or no commercial taxes and middle of the road average property values. We are at the low end of the tax scale and we are not anticipating huge expenditures such as Victoria’s blue bridge or monstrous sewer system. I write this little piece in a fashion, I hope, understandable to all. We still have many constituents feeling the pain and unemployment from our recession and we will continue to try and keep tax increases to a minimum.


September 2010

Alice McLean Pottery p.10 250-642-3522

Vivi Curutchet

All Sooke Arts & Crafts Christmas Fair p.15

Advertising Sales Ph: (250) 642-1714 Email:

Arnet Fencing p.2 250-391-0801 Custom Digging p.15 250-413-7685 Deb’s Barbershop p.11 250-391-7566 Doug Read - Pemberton Holmes Realty p.8 250-642-2705 Dr. Keith Martin, MP p.12 250-474-6505 East Sooke Counselling p.4 250-642-4074 East Sooke Fire Protection Commission p.9 250-642-4411 Felix Irwin - Chartered Accountant p.8 250-642-5277 Force of Nature Landscaping p.3 250-686-6920 Fotoprint p.2 250-382-8218 From the Garden... at French Beach p.14 250-646-2177 Hugh Gregory Fine Painting p.6 250-480-8295 James Craven & Associates p.18 250-744-9455 JdF Emergency Program p.7 250-642-2266 JdF Ground Search and Rescue p.7 250-642-1085 JdF Parks & Recreation Commission p.15 250-642-1500 John Horgan - Juan de Fuca MLA p.10 250-391-2801 Juan de Fuca Veterinary Clinic p.13 250-478-0422 Le Sooke Spa p.13 250-642-7995 Lotus & Sage p. 3


Markus’ Wharfside Restaurant p.14 250-642-3596 Mosaic West Consulting Services p. 14 250-642-0399 Noella LeDrew, Graphic & Web Design p.19 250-889-4100

Pacific Rim Dental Centre p.19 250-478-4114 Peoples Drug Mart p.16 250-642-2226 Pure Elements Hair Design p.18 250-642-6452 Rural Observer - Advertising p.19 250-642-1714 Sacred Path Healing p.8 250-889-8717 Sage Garden Services p.13 250-217-8797 Sarah Richer Hatha Yoga p.8 Sheringham Point Lighthouse Pres. Soc. p.20 250-646-2528 Sooke Fall Fair p.5 Sooke Harbour House p.5 250-642-3421 Spanish Classes p.8 250-642-1714 Tale of the Whale p.18 250-642-6161 Taoist Tai Chi p.9 250-642-2731 Victoria Alarm Service p.14 250-721-0266 Vivi’s Flowers & Ducks p.17 250-642-1714 Walk, Sit & Stay - Dog Walking p.15 250-642-0458 Westside InstaPrint p.11 250-478-5533 Worklink p.13 250-642-3685

Numa Farms p.9 250-474-6005

♫ Musical Fundraiser ♫

Ocean Body Works p.7 250-507-9511

in support of the Rural Observer Sunday October 24th in East Sooke

Otter Point Electric p.13 250-588-4324 Otter Point Veterinary Hospital p,12 778-425-1425



September 2010

Join us in East Sooke

Sunday October 24, 2010

for an

Evening of Music featuring singer and songwriter

Aiden Knight


For more information or to buy tickets, contact Kelly Nakatsuka at , or Charlotte Senay at 250 642-7282.

Dedicated to Preserving and Protecting since 2004 Join the fight to protect the Sheringham Point Lighthouse, surrounding land, and public access by going to: Your membership and contribution now will help ensure this piece of British Columbia history is saved. PLEASE HELP NOW, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.


September 2010

Rural Observer September 2010 Issue  

September 2010 issue of Rural Observer

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