YOUR WEST COAST CULTURE JULY 2012
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Back-beat JULY 15
Naden Band JULY 22
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west coast culture â€“ july 2012 issue features
Restaurant Spotlight Bringing Italy to the Peninsula: The Latch Inn & Restaurant
the Grape, Part 2 24 Romancing Focus on Peninsula Wineries Scows 28 Steamers, and Speculators: A History of Sidney
A Pet 30 Pet-A-Palooza: Lover's Extravaganza!
Columns First Word............................................ 8 Smell the Coffee..............................16 Forbes & Marshall........................... 21 Weatherwit...................................... 23 Island Dish........................................ 42 Last Word......................................... 55
departments 9................................................. Letters 10................................... Can We Talk? 14........................... Raincoast Update 27............................. Veterinary Voice 32.............................. Common Cents 36......................................... Footprints 39........ Young Readers Book Review 44.................... West Coast Gardener 45....................................Grey Matters 52...........................What's Happening 54................................. Entertainment
On the cover: Raptors at Church & State Wines (see story p. 24) churchandstatewines.com for daily schedule. Photo courtesy www.joannway.com
C L I E N T
S P O T L I G H T
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L to R: Julie Banister & Lisa Makar
Freelance writer Arlene Antonik My writing adventures with the Seaside Times began three years ago when I became the first assignment writer for its predecessor, Peninsula Times. Since then, I've been sent all over the Saanich Peninsula to meet with amazing people who contribute so much to our daily lives here. Two examples of this are Daksha’s Gourmet Spices and the Just Love Animals Society, which it’s been my pleasure to tell you about in this issue. My husband and I have lived in Saanichton for 37 years, raised three sons, and now delight in watching our grandson grow up here too. We know how lucky we are!
Publisher Sue Hodgson 250.516.6489 email@example.com
Editor-in-Chief Allison Smith 250.813.1745 firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertising Sales Marcella Macdonald & Lori Swan 250.516.6489
"Grey Matters" monthly columnist Trysh Ashby-Rolls In a journalism career that spans more than 30 years, I've tackled most challenging social issues. Although I love to make people laugh and have a whacky sense of humour, it's become a mission to shine light in dark places. When the opportunity came to write for Seaside Times, I tried lighter subjects before starting "Grey Matters" for the elder set. Since I'm in my senior years, it's a natural fit. I also write non-fiction books. If you'd like to know more, please visit www.tryshashbyrolls.info. My regular blog, written for anyone in recovery, is at www.TryshAshby-Rolls.com.
This Month’s Contributors Arlene Antonik • Ron Armstrong • Trysh Ashby-Rolls Jennifer Bowles • Shelley Breadner • Yvonne Bulk Rob Campbell • Peter Dolezal • Lynn Fanelli Michael Forbes • Doreen Gee • Chris Genovali Valerie Green • Pene Beavan Horton • Linda M. Langwith Cindy Lister • Barry Mathias • Ingrid Ostrander Carole Pearson • Simon Quinn • Bob Ramsey Steve Sakiyama • Susan Simosko • Steve Sheppard Jim Townley • Wayne Watkins • Jo-Ann Way • Lauren Wiegel • Heather Zais
"Raincoast Update" columnist Chris Genovali As Executive Director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation, one of my roles is to serve as a spokesperson, writing about who we are as people, in addition to the science and conservation work we carry out to protect coastal B.C.’s environment. One of the most enjoyable assignments I’ve had is writing for the Seaside Times, which has allowed me to profile the highly expert, dedicated staff of Raincoast. Describing Raincoast’s unique projects is rewarding as well. In this edition, I cover our initiative to enlist 50 artists, including some of Canada’s most celebrated, on a sea-going expedition to take up paintbrushes and carving tools to portray B.C.’s fragile "raincoast." Freelance writer Barry Mathias My previous articles in Seaside Times have focused mainly on Pender Island activities, apart from "Meditations on a Garden in Early Spring," a humorous look at gardening, which even produced "fan mail!" In this edition, "I Beans and Gone and Done It … Again" is another light-hearted look at a horticultural problem. As a writer of novels and short stories, I enjoy producing short, comic pieces that examine situations we can all relate to, and hopefully will produce a smile. There is no doubt that living on an island provides a rich opportunity for humour.
P.O. Box 2173, Sidney, BC, V8L 3S6 email@example.com Seaside Times magazine is printed 12 times a year in Richmond, British Columbia by Rhino Print Solutions. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Reproduction requests may be made to the editor or publisher via the above means. Views of contributors do not necessarily reflect the policy or views of the publisher and editor. Staff of the magazine cannot be held responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs.
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SEASIDE TIMES | JULY 2012 | www.seasidetimes.ca
first w o rd Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there. They serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help you figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be – your roommate, your neighbour, professor, long-lost friend, lover or even a complete stranger who, at the very moment you lock eyes with them, you know that they will affect your life in some profound way. For me, at this moment of my life, that person is my very dear friend, Anthony Westlake. About a year-and-a-half ago Tony got diagnosed with lung cancer, the kind that only 15% of people who never smoked a day in their life get. For the past year Tony's body has accepted a targeted chemotherapy drug called Iressa. I call it a miracle pill. However, in the past month or so it stopped working, and the old-fashioned way of chemotherapy is what Tony is now facing.
I sat with him last week upon his return home from the hospital, with tears backed up in my eyes, and said: "Why you, Tony?" "Why not me; better me than someone else," he answered. At that moment in time, for just a second, my heart felt like it stopped, my breath seemed to whisper "I get it now," and my mind was at ease. The people you meet who affect your life and the successes and downfalls you experience … they are the people who create who you are. Even the bad experiences can be learned from. Those lessons are the hardest, and probably also the most important ones. I believe everything happens for a reason: nothing happens by chance or by means of good or bad luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments or true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of our soul. Without these small tests – whether they be events, illnesses or relationships – life would be like a smooth, paved, straight, flat road to nowhere … safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless. Sometimes things happen to you, and at the time they seem horrible, painful and unfair, but upon reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would never have realized your potential, strength, willpower and heart. Tony, my dearest friend and a loving father and husband; this issue is dedicated to you. You have shown me that in life, no matter how difficult it can be, we are in it together.
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SEASIDE TIMES | JULY 2012
letters Seaside Times welcomes your feedback! Send letters to the editor via firstname.lastname@example.org or post your comments on our Facebook wall! Like us on Facebook and you could win a $25 gift certificate to Spitfire Grill. Letters may be edited for space and content.
Peninsula identifier. Excellent use of the beach kids' photo with Tina's article as well. Thank you both! Angus Matthews, Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre
Love Seaside Times. Especially enjoy Ms. Langwith's contributions. "Do It For Your Dad" was particularly good. Dads deserve some stroking, and stepdads too. Linda puts a very human touch on her stories. She scores again with her lovely article about the beauty of the Government House gardens. It reminds us that the work of volunteers is vital to keeping order – not just to the gardens, but to our souls. Nuala Vermeiren
Just received the Seaside Times this a.m. It is GREAT. You are doing a fabulous job in providing a local magazine that supports community endeavours and local businesses … always worth the read. Regards, Marie R.
✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ It was a pleasure to write "Celebrating the Peninsula: A World-Class Destination" for the June issue and I love that the cover illustrates the point so perfectly! Susan Simosko
✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ Well done with the Diverse by Nature article and the entire June edition … another great and clever cover and I like the space you gave for the
✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢
✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ Thank you so much for your amazing blog. I appreciated the way you took the time to understand all of our goals and reflect them in your blog/article! We are thankful for the support from you and the ripple you have created. We are already hearing from people who have read your blog and are offering support. You are amazing. Peggy Mahoney Editor's note: In the June 2012 issue story "Plants to Love," the writer noted that she had used comfrey in place of spinach on Oysters Rockefeller. A reader has alerted us to the fact that the ingestion of comfrey may not be safe there is much controversy regarding its possible toxicity.
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1528 Stelly’s X Rd - Saanich Fairgrounds www.peninsulacountrymarket.ca www.seasidetimes.ca | JULY 2012
ca n we talk? . ............. Publisher Sue Hodgson talks with Sylvia Olsen, You are a woman who wears many professional hats: author, knitter, project manager for new construction in Tsartlip and small business owner. How do these individual projects work together? My work appears to be a strange mix of seemingly unrelated activities. As a young girl I was a committed handworker, and I followed that love when I married and moved to Tsartlip First Nation. I was immediately interested in the women's woolworking and have been involved with knitting ever since. I am a historian by education, with training in public administration. My first job when I graduated from university was as a housing manager on the reserve. Once I began working in that field it opened up for me a window into government/First Nations relations. It was tough work but endlessly fascinating so I never quit. I went from one aspect of housing to another and now have tied that work together with my historian hat. Currently I am writing a PhD dissertation on a history
of government involvement with on-reserve housing. On being an author … I see life as a story, many stories, with fascinating characters, plots, subplots, intrigue, exciting beginnings and disappointing endings (or the other way around). Through the convincing of Diane Morris, one of my publishers, I began to write about 10 years ago and because of her constant encouragement I continued to write. I now tell stories as well. I am a lateral thinker and have lived long enough to do a few of the things that interest me. I get up at 4 a.m. – I think that may have something to do with what often looks like an insane pace. Perhaps what really ties it all together is that I love life and enjoy what I am doing and I do what I enjoy. Your most recent venture is West Saanich Woolworks, a business that is jointly owned between you, your daughter Joni and your son Adam. How did the company come about? Our family owned and operated a Cowichan sweater business for years from a shop behind our house in Tsartlip. The kids were raised in bags of wool and with daily visits from knitters bringing their sweaters for sale. In the early '90s we closed the formal business but woolworking continued to be an important part of our family. Several years ago I knit and felted bags, pillows, blankets and rugs for their grandmother's memorial giveaway. We got together at that time and imagined how fusing knitting and felting could create a new kind of product. Since then we have been experimenting – some products have emerged that they can produce and market. Your creations are labelled “Salish Fusion Knitwear” – can you tell us what that means? Cowichan sweaters were, in the first place, a wonderful fusion of traditional Coast Salish blanket making skills and techniques and European (especially Scottish) knitting practices and tools (knitting needles). It is the woolworking in both peoples that has deep roots and important cultural significance. Ingenuity and need created the specific products. Adam and Joni became particularly interested in the fusion aspect of the Cowichan sweater because of their fused heritage, so to speak, of Scottish/ British and Coast Salish parents. Their grandmother, Laura Olsen, was a knitter for more than 80 years. She
Author, Designer, On-Reserve Housing Technician Sylvia Olsen has lived and worked on the Saanich Peninsula for more than 40 years. She is an author, designer and on-reserve housing technician. After working in the housing field since the mid-'90s she has returned to university to think about things for a while. 10
SEASIDE TIMES | JULY 2012
Sylvia is the grandmother of six amazing children who are her joy and inspiration.
Author, Designer, On-Reserve Housing Technician made hundreds of Cowichan sweaters but she also created an amazing array of spontaneous designs. She was an innovator and my kids have the same sort of spirit. It seems that, as often happens with many cultural traditions as the population ages, Cowichan knitters are becoming few and far between. Along with yourself and Joni, all work is performed by Vancouver Island knitters – do you see the business as a way to pass on this very important cultural practice? Knitting became a vocation for many Coast Salish women during a time when there were few opportunities. It was hard work and paid little in return, and yet it was still a beloved occupation. Thankfully there are now many higher paid jobs for First Nations women, but there is a resurgence of interest in knitting by women who are retiring, wanting something to do part time to supplement other income or wanting a paying hobby. It is always a struggle selling handwork; the business can provide an outlet for some of it. West Saanich Woolworks recently braved “The Dragons” on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. I know you can’t reveal whether or not you made a deal, but could you tell us why you decided to take the business in this direction? Dragon's Den was not my decision. Adam loves the business and also has a flare for the theatrical; he brought the business and Joni along with it to Toronto. It was an outlet for his combined interests. However, in spite of my initial foot-dragging, I must say Adam and Joni's experience with the show was extremely beneficial. They did a lot of preparation. They organized and thought through the business much more rigorously than they would have otherwise. It has been said that, as a writer, you often find yourself exploring the “in-between places where Native and non-Native people meet.” Could you expand on that? I was 18 when I moved to Tsartlip First Nation. I lived there for more than 35 years. My children were raised in that community and have made their homes there and my business was there. I was blond and blue-eyed in a world where blond people were not very welcome. The experience formed how I see the world. Because it was such a profound experience I have studied the places where the two peoples come together – how we get along and how we don't. Some people are brimming with desire to get along with and understand the "other." Some people are entrenched in harsh stereotypes and want to stick together in their own packs. There are reasons for both. There are as many of both types of people on both sides of the racial divide. We can get through it and beyond it but it takes effort and a willing heart and mind. I find these ideas wonderful and discouraging, but either way they provide endless ideas for stories.
As project manager for new construction in Tsartlip and a member of the Board of Directors for the First Nations National Housing Managers Association, it is clear you highly value the needs of your community. How have you passed that sense of responsibility on to your four children? Our home was always a hotbed of discussion about the world, culture, politics, religion … being a cross-cultural family, tensions of society were never far away. Carl, the kids' father, and I never backed away from the issues. I think we all just assume that our role as humans is to contribute something of value to society … otherwise what is the purpose of our energy? With all your work and years you’ve put into housing management, it’s not a surprise to hear that you’re now working on your PhD, focused on the history of reserve housing. Given all that you’ve experienced with the issues facing the First Nations, in your opinion, who’s to blame? While I don't usually think blaming is useful, as a historian I think knowing the roots of our problems is essential. It is easy to say that acts of colonization resulted in the difficult conditions First Nations experience today. When one people superimposes its society on another and systematically excludes the original people from wealth-making opportunities then it follows that there will be vast inequality and social disruption. A further important question is why have the inequalities lasted so long? Housing is a good example. First Nations people make very few of the important decisions about how on reserve housing is delivered to their communities. Until recently, financing for housing on reserves was confined to structures set in place by the Indian Act of 1876. On reserve residents had no access to mainstream housing finance mechanisms. There are no easy answers but there is a better approach. Let people speak for themselves and act on their own behalf. If people are to take responsibility for themselves they must have input into decisions regarding their lives. I am very optimistic. Change is happening and I think, in the long run, it will be change for the better. Last year, your book Working with Wool, a Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater, won the Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for historical writing – what is one of the next stories you’d like to tell? I continue to write kids' books. Sebastian Sasquatch, a picture book, is coming out with Sono Nis Press this fall and The Problem with Promises, a novel for young readers, will be out with Orca Book Publishers in spring 2013. Besides writing about the history of on-reserve housing I would like to tell a story about white women who have lived most of their lives on reserves. Perhaps it's because I am getting old that I want to look at my own experience and find people who have lived in similar circumstances. It has been both wonderful and difficult and that's the stuff that makes a good story. For more information visit www.sylviaolsen.ca. Photo courtesy Rob Campbell. SEASIDE TIMES | JULY 2012 | www.seasidetimes.ca
I Beans and Gone and Done It … Again by Barry Mathias Every year, I approach my small vegetable patch with blithe anticipation and a bounce in my step. I always have a vision that this year I will achieve fruitful orderliness: lines of lush lettuces; huge, silky white cauliflowers; succulent carrots; and, of course, runner beans. Of all the preparations in the garden, it is the erection of the beanpoles and their careful stringing together that produces the greatest satisfaction. For, unlike the other beans which are marked by pegs or a single string line, the runner beans have a complex edifice above them: a visual confirmation that something important has been achieved. “I hope you haven’t planted too many beans this year,” my wife remarks.
Summer is Here!
Time For New Sunglasses & Contacts Many patients are seasonal contact lens wearers, and nothing beats a stylish new pair of sunglasses to go with those contacts. If you haven’t worn contact lenses for a few months, throw out that disposable pair sitting in the old case. The solution is usually only good for 30 days, so who knows what might be growing in there! Speaking of cases, throw it out too and start the summer off fresh. If you’re worried your sunglasses are not 100% UV, bring them in and we’ll check them at no charge. If your eyes feel dry, gritty or itchy with the new contacts, it’s likely your eyes, not the contacts. Come see us and let’s tune up those eyes for the rest the summer. Never wear contacts if it causes your eyes to go red.
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SEASIDE TIMES | JULY 2012 | www.seasidetimes.ca
I protest my innocence. “Oh! Fewer than last year. Yes, considerably fewer.” There is the excitement of the first sprouting beans, followed by their gradual, remorseless climb to the top of the poles. Then, the red provocative flowers, the humming of innumerable bees, and suddenly the first, small pods appear. On a number of days I say: "We’ll have fresh beans tonight for supper." But each time I return to the kitchen empty-handed. Eventually, oh immeasurable joy! The first delicious pickings arrive; the true essence of summer. It is like a scene from Macbeth: "Is this a bean I see before me? Come let me clutch thee. I see thee, yet I have thee not … " The beans are clever and elusive, but worth the effort of finding them. Soft, juicy, tasty beans. Ambrosia of the Gods! This is the succulent taste of real country living. But every year it happens – something stops the gentle rhythm of the picking: unavoidable social engagements appear without warning, there is a bedroom to decorate, the boat needs attention, and always the dog gets fleas! A number of days pass before I get to the beans, and once again the battle is lost: there are beans everywhere. Huge, military-looking beans with bulging muscles sticking out at all angles. Long, thick, shiny, knobby beans … they fill bucket after bucket. “No more beans!” my wife protests. The freezer is full, neighbours disappear if I approach with anything resembling a bean, and it becomes the new swear word in our house. “I knew you’d planted too many beans! You always do.” It’s true. Every year it happens. But, next year will be different … really it will!
Where Community Happens! What’s Happening at “My” Community Cultural Centre?
CROWN JEWELS Be part of your community during the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II The Town of Sidney and The Peninsula Players August 25, 7:30 pm & August 26, 2 pm
“The Winspear Cup” Pro-Am Charity Event July 17th @ 1:30 pm
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rain co ast update
Art For an Oil-Free Coast by Chris Genovali
Fifty artists – some of the country's most celebrated and many who are First Nations – have taken up paintbrushes and carving tools to portray Canada's fragile "raincoast" – one they feel is threatened by Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline and supertanker project. A network of coastal lodges, tour boat operators and businesses donated or discounted their services, enabling the artists to explore some of the most spectacular and remote locations of British Columbia's central and north coast. Over a two-week expedition in June they depicted the rich biodiversity and ecological elements of the forest, intertidal and ocean zones, and the people, flora and fauna that have lived there for thousands of years. Their goal is to bring attention to the dramatic beauty and ecological diversity of B.C.'s central and north coast that will be at risk if tankers are permitted to ship tar sands oil through the region's narrow and dangerous channels. The resulting works, combined with prose and poetry, will be published this fall as an art book titled Canada's Raincoast at Risk: Art for an Oil-Free Coast. The original artwork, donated by the artists, will become part of a traveling art show to raise public awareness of what is at stake on this priceless coast and why it needs to be kept oil-free. The art-for-conservation idea is the recurring brainchild of Tofino artist Mark Hobson, who helped coordinate a similar venture in 1989. That project produced the book Carmanah: Artistic Visions of an Ancient Rainforest, which
drew international attention to the Carmanah Valley on Vancouver Island and led to permanent protection of the area through its designation as a B.C. provincial park. "Since the call went out to the artist community to participate, the response has been overwhelming," explains Hobson. "Many feel as I do; it will only be a matter of time before incidents like the Exxon Valdez and Nestucca oil spills repeat themselves in this incredible coastal ecosystem." The artists are united in the conclusion that an oil spill resulting from the collision or grounding of a supertanker will have an impact whose magnitude will far exceed anything ever experienced on Canada's shorelines. “This is one of the most rich and beautiful biotic zones on planet Earth and it could be utterly destroyed,” adds Canadian icon Robert Bateman, who was part of the June expedition. The Art for an Oil-Free Coast project is being coordinated and supported by the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. In addition, Raincoast's research vessel, Achiever, was one of the boats that hosted the artists' journey. Among the artists participating in the project include the aforementioned Robert Bateman, Robert Davidson, Carol Evans, Roy Henry Vickers, Craig Benson, Michael Svob and Alison Watt. Chris Genovali is the executive director of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. Photo courtesy Eric Sambol.
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SEASIDE TIMES | JULY 2012
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Peninsula Streams Society 10th Anniversary by Susan Simosko What are you doing Saturday, July 14th between 2 and 6 p.m.? If your answer is "not much," consider attending the Peninsula Streams Society’s 10th Anniversary Celebration in Centennial Park “We’ve got so much to celebrate,” says Newton Hockey, chairperson of the Society. “It’s going to be a wonderful event – one that we want to share with the whole community.” Peninsula Streams Society was founded 10 years ago to help develop, organize and participate in environmental projects and programs on the Saanich Peninsula and the surrounding area. “We’ve had incredible successes,” says Newton. “We’ve restored streams for fish habitat, removed invasive plants, developed education programs for young people and so much more – all through the efforts of volunteers who are passionate about improving the environment in our community.” Ian Bruce, executive coordinator of the Society and a professional biologist, is equally enthusiastic about the Society’s accomplishments: “Yes, we’ve improved the environment for fish, wildlife, wetlands and water quality,” he says, “but mostly we’ve improved the environment for the people who live, work and play on the Peninsula.
We’ve shown that by working together we can make a difference. That’s a very important function of the Society.” “We’re always looking for new volunteers,” Newton says, “people who like to get dirty, have fun and make a difference.” The Society is committed to providing hands-on opportunities for anyone – children and adults alike – who want to improve the local environment. “We have become the watershed stewardship leaders on the Saanich Peninsula,” says Newton. “That’s why it is such exciting and important work for people of all ages.” The family-friendly July 14th celebration will include live music, art activities for kids, native tree planting opportunities and more. Food and wine will be available for purchase. For more information, visit www.peninsulastreams.ca.
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smell the c o ffee
Coffee, Sex and Politics by Steve Sheppard Three of the most powerful words in our culture today, but never underestimate history. Below is a glimpse into how they were well-entrenched in the coffee world well before our time! In 1475 the first coffee shops appear in Constantinople. In fact, coffee becomes so much a part of the Turkish culture that they create a law making it legal for a woman to divorce her husband if he fails to provide her with her daily quota of coffee, which is now widely believed to be an aphrodisiac. In 1511 the trouble begins: coffee houses gain popularity in Mecca and Governor Khayr Bey bans the drink, fearing its influence promotes opposition to his rule. As a result, riots break out and unrest spreads! Just when it appears a coffee revolution could erupt, the Sultan of Cairo intervenes and has the Governor executed. In Venice Italy, 1600, the Church notices the increasing popularity of coffee. The local clergy believe it to be satanic, a product of Ottoman infidels, so Pope Clement
Double Date …
VIII decides to inspect the dark beverage himself. The aroma is so pleasant, the Pope succumbs to temptation and tries the "devil's concoction." After tasting it, he proclaims: "Why, this Satan's drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the Infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall fool Satan by baptizing it." In 1637 a Greek student at Oxford University brews the very first cup of coffee in England. With his newfound get-up-and-go drink, Nathaniel Conopios could stay up all night throwing dishes, dancing and cramming for tests; however, Oxford's porcelain was more precious to them and "Nate" was summarily expelled. In 1668 a little-known factoid: coffee overtakes beer as New York City's favourite breakfast beverage, while in London, public drunkenness is a problem and coffee houses replace taverns as the place of choice for meetings. London in 1675 – coffee is at the centre of a war between the sexes, and women are barred from most male gatherings. So if their men weren't at work or the pub, they were spending time at coffeehouses. Women surmise that coffee encourages men to drink more liquor and they circulate a petition entitled "The Women's Petition against Coffee," which states that coffee makes their men impotent and is creating a "very sensible decay of that true Old English vigor." Around the same time, King Charles II orders England's coffee houses closed. Charles, it seems, was afraid of a war of a different kind: revolt. Coffee houses breed the kind of talk and ideas that might run counter to his royal rule. Protests are so severe that Charles' coffee ban lasts only 11 days, which is about how long I can go without … (ahem), coffee … Steve out.
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SEASIDE TIMES | JULY 2012 | www.seasidetimes.ca
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Families are our Business. Jack Barker
photo courtesy Moira Gardener
Take yours on a ride this month and explore the Saanich Peninsula!
Remember those scenes in Moonstruck of that eccentric close knit family – loving, arguing, laughing, crying – but inextricably wrapped together in a warm blood-bond? That core importance of family is part of the Italian culture. Luigi and Valeria Cisotto bring these family values and other Italian traditions to
The Latch Inn & Restaurant, enriching our Peninsula with the golden aura of a distant land where olive trees glisten under a Mediterranean sunset. As I sip "primo" java amidst the fairy-tale Latch ambience – where ocean and forest meet sky – adorable
Bringing Italy to the Peninsula: The Latch Inn & Restaurant by Doreen Marion Gee
Taste What the Peninsula Has to Offer
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little Alessandra Cisotto gives me a big teddy bear hug. She is all excited about the “Mini-Latch” that daddy built her outside (with a little help from his friends). With her nickname, Jewel of the Latch, Alessandra is a part of The Latch experience when she serves bread to delighted patrons. Two other daughters grace this European family: Julia and Ariana. This family sentiment trickles into their restaurant business, where every customer is treated like a loved one. The service is friendly and accommodating. To Valeria, “Everyone who comes here is part of the family! 18
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We want people to feel at home – because they are special.” The Cisottos only have one dinner seating, so patrons are never rushed out and can stay as long as they want – just like having dinner with the folks. “Many people who come here just need to talk with somebody,” reflects Luigi. “We treat them like family.” “Spaghetti and meatballs is not Italian!” laughs Luigi, setting me straight in a New York minute. The value of authentic European food is etched in gold leaf in this Peninsula business. Their
Quality homemade ingredients are a carryover from Luigi’s Italian homeland. Vegetables are fresh every day. All food is cooked when ordered and never beforehand. Both Cisottos do the cooking and make everything from scratch: focaccia bread and Sicilian antipasto are just a few of their delicacies. Their salami and cheeses come straight from the Continent. Luigi brings his own family recipes from Italy and Valeria has her own specialties from Romania. Luigi beams with pride: “My antipasto is beautiful!” Tradition is based on experience – another value from oceans away. Valeria has experience in many kitchens and Luigi worked all over the world, bringing the gourmet edge of many European countries
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to the Peninsula. He honed his craft on cruise ships, learning from the “best of the best” chefs. In Italy, the title of "chef" is reserved for those culinary virtuosos with years and years of experience following their schooling. It is this dedication to excellence that underscores the quality dining experience at The Latch. The Cisottos extend a sincere “Thank you to all of our wonderful patrons who keep coming back and who continue to support us.” If you want to go to Italy for an evening and watch crepes Suzette sizzle under moonlight, treat yourself to The Latch. As Cher would say in that classic film: “Capisce?” For more information visit www.latchinn.ca. www.seasidetimes.ca | JULY 2012
Check out These Great Peninsula Restaurants!
restaurant is a taste of real pure Italy – not the watered-down American version. Their lasagna contains lots of chopped up vegetables and the marinara sauce is actually made of seafood. The Cisottos’ genuine cannelloni is made with white meat and their consommé comes from hours of cooking beef bones.
fo rbes & marshall
The Dawn Patrol by Michael Forbes As early morning radio hosts, the big question we get asked is: how do you get up so early and do you ever get used to it? The answers are "I don't know" and "no." After an endless string of 3 a.m.'s, it is something that no respectable human ever fully gets their head around. The only time that dragging your carcass out of bed at that hour can even be remotely awesome is when your grandpa wakes you up holding a fishing rod or there is an airport-bound cab outside waiting to take you to Puerto Vallarta. While you are nestled snug in your Craftmatic adjustable bed, I'm out in a bizarre world teeming with activity and laced with a big dose of strange. Some mornings, I stand in the driveway and stare off into the dark void, straining to hear an eerie moan coming from the creek near the house. I have described the sound to people, who just pass it off as deer calling out to each other. Ya right, I have watched enough of those YouTube videos to know it's a Sasquatch. Then there's a commotion in the shrubs and I can see the outline of Moonbeam, Buttercup and Charlie. These raccoons enter my backyard with all of the tact and grace of a mob heist and leave the remnants of my Country Grocer rotisserie chicken strewn all over the lawn. Probably payback for the cousin we hit and almost killed on Blanshard a couple of years ago.
a couple of hours ago still looking for a party, crossing paths with those of us trying to do our job. Sometimes we clash, which explains how one morning I stood over the bathroom sink at work trying to rinse a Big Gulp out of my hair after being caught in the middle of a 7-11 bare knuckle brawl. Hands down though, the oddest thing I've noticed in the wee hours is that some birds actually chirp. That cheerful sound seems incredibly out of place with the street lights still on. Do you know why birds sing in the morning? It's because they don't have to go to work … and also I think because they are trying to warn me of the Sasquatch on my back deck. Forbes & Marshall are the hosts of Ocean 98.5’s popular morning show. They are one of the few married morning show teams in Canada and have two children, Noah and Adam. Join Forbes & Marshall weekday mornings from 5:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Dodging wildlife on our way into Victoria is nothing compared to the close encounters of the human kind. I once braked for a body lying in the middle of the street and gingerly got out to check for a pulse. As soon as I lifted the corpse's arm, his eyes snapped open and, through a toothless grin, he said: "and then one day this lady met this fellow." Scared witless, I said "Waa?" He then staggered to his feet and skipped off, belting out the theme to the Brady Bunch. Sometimes at 4 a.m. you do hear a distant siren which is puzzling because, during my first stop at Timmies, I could blindly throw a Tim Bit over my shoulder and hit at least five cops. Police do seem to be out there though because they, along with the delivery truck drivers and the morning DJ's, witness a kind of bizarre changing of the guard. It’s the anonymous drifters who left the bar SEASIDE TIMES | JULY 2012 | www.seasidetimes.ca
Island Blue Celebrates 100th Anniversary Island Blue Print Co. Ltd., operating today as Island Blue, the well-known Victoria business specializing in digital printing services and the retail supply of art materials on the corner of Fort and Quadra, officially celebrates 100 years of business on July 4th, 2012.
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Island Blue Print Co. Ltd. was founded July 4th, 1912, when the assets of the Electric Blueprinting and Draughting Company were purchased by Joseph B. Davenport, a draftsmen, and partner Bateman Hutchinson, a land surveyor, for the sum of $1,000. In 1910, a major fire had completely destroyed the T.N. Hibbens Co., “Booksellers and Stationers” business, thus the loss of the original map of Greater Victoria. Mr. Davenport was commissioned to replace this map. This marked the beginning of a new business to be known as Island Blue Print & Map Co. Ltd. and the mapping (Davenport Maps) of the most populated cities and small communities on Vancouver Island. The main focus of the company throughout the next 40 years was map drafting and map sales, along with the sales of drafting supplies and blue print production. After Davenport’s sudden passing in 1954, Victor Shemilt, who joined the company in 1950 as a junior office boy/ draftsman trainee, was given a year to prove he could run the business. He expanded the business with more drafting, survey and graphic products and additional print services and in 1969, he and his wife Pam purchased the company. Today, Island Blue remains a family-owned and operated business under the second generation Shemilts: Mike, Craig and Rob. On July 4th, the company will hold an open house celebration for its customers with door prizes and cake in the “Art Store.” The classroom in the Art Store will be turned into a museum showcasing Island Blue Print’s old maps dating back to 1912, historical calendars and cards, drafting products including custom sheets of old Letraset (dry transfer lettering) and marketing materials from the past.
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With a staff of 45 and locations in downtown Victoria and Sidney, the company operates three different divisions: the “Reprographic Digital Print Center,” offering a variety of small to large format digital printing marketing solutions; the “Art Store,” Vancouver Island's largest retailer of arts and craft materials; and a book printing division, “Printorium Bookworks,” with customers across Canada. The company commissioned local artist Steve Milroy to create and paint a mural on the Quadra Street side of Island Blue’s Art Store building to commemorate the event. The mural is a wonderful homage to painter Emily Carr and her adorable sidekick Woo.
July Weather Forecast by Steve Sakiyama I'm Walking on Sunshine … A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless but the first initial starts with “Doctor,” suggested that I do aerobic exercise to relieve stress – caused by the pressures of writing humor (funny how that is). Jogging first came mind because runners are very fit, smart and all beautifully glow-ish. I want that. However, when joggers run they all seem to have a strained look on their faces, and they take their pulse often as if to say: “Am I still alive?” This wasn’t particularly appealing to me. The comedian Wendy Liebmann says she only runs when the ice cream truck is doing 60 – and I agree with her. The only time I experienced a “runners' high” was when I chased down a Dickie Dee ice cream truck as it meandered through our neighbourhood – all while sweating profusely and exhausted while waving frantically, trying to get the driver’s attention. The truck’s musical bells invoked a Pavlovian response which beckoned me further and drove me crazy, so crazy that I imagined the street lined with vast crowds all shouting: “Run Forrest … Run! So instead of taking the leap into jogging, I thought it would be good to start with “power walking” (an oxymoron in my mind). Apparently you burn loads of calories, so who cares if my power walking style looks like a tourist in Mexico looking desperately for a bathroom. I now fly past octogenarians with walkers, feel “the burn” (in my ankles) and experience what joggers call “a second wind” – normally associated with going for the next round at the buffet table. I’ll be running like the wind soon.
Speaking of wind – what causes it? Due to changes in air temperature and density over the surface of the earth, the air pressure can vary from one location to another. In order to equalize the pressure difference, air will move from high pressure to low pressure – just like when a vacuum sealed can of coffee is opened and the air rushes in. The speed of the wind is directly related to the magnitude of the pressure difference between the two locations – called a “pressure gradient.” A strong pressure gradient means the wind moves very fast, just like a steep slope where a ball will roll very quickly down. Conversely a weak pressure gradient (gentle slope) means the winds move slower. Continuing on the theme of slow-moving things, the weather through mid-June wasn’t warm enough to break a sweat, so let’s look forward to a July jog into summer heat. The long-term forecast models are showing no particular bias toward warmer- or cooler-than-normal temperatures, although there is a greater chance that the South Island will be drier than normal. As we run headlong into July, my sentimental forecast for Canada Day (July 1st) is warmth and sunshine – perfect weather for Canadians to catch their breath and celebrate with fireworks, parties and ice cream. Listen … I hear bells … ~ Weatherwit. Questions about the weather? Email email@example.com or post it on my blog at weatherwit.wordpress.com.
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Romancing the Grape; Part 2 by Linda M. Langwith
Coming down Tatlow Road in North Saanich towards Chalet Road and the sparkling waters of Deep Cove, the eye catches a vineyard right out of the Loire Valley, serried ranks of vines stretching up to the edge of the wood, sturdy trunks bearing cordons from which the promise of this year’s harvest is just beginning. It’s the Muse Winery, and I think I’m falling in love with a vineyard! Caring for the vines and bringing the grapes to fruition is intensive work, a year-round labour of love, requiring a practiced eye and deft hands. At this time of year the vines are a bit like small, exuberant children, sprouting up and running about in all directions. While pruning starts in January when the vines are dormant, come June, with the beginning of bud clusters, the focus is on
removing excess shoots and training the remainder to grow upright, called Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) or "nip and tuck," to quote Carol Wallace of Dragonfly Vineyard and Winery. Training involves different methods such as taping the shoots to a wire or encouraging them to grow within a double wire. The end result is a rather pleasing vision of upright leafy soldiers bearing tiny bunches of flower buds. Nip and tuck, however, is no easy feat when faced with acres of vines, but the vineyard is a peaceful place and an iPod helps as well. John, the vineyard manager at deVine Vineyards, can prune through the 10 miles of vines in two-and-a-half weeks! In July and August work on the canopy begins, making sure the vines are growing horizontal to the wire, removing stubby shoots to ensure light and air gets through and the energy of the plant goes into the grape rather than into more shoot production. If the weather is cool, grape clusters might be reduced to one or two to ensure more likelihood of ripening. Ongoing is the application of foliar fertilizer and compost, as well as weeding, for which John uses "The Badger."
Wine Tasting 11:00 am – 6:00 pm daily Lunch in the Bistro Wednesday to Sunday Reserve @ 250-652-2671 Best Red Wine in Canada 2011 Winner