Villager March 2020 • Issue 18
The “Greta Effect” Page 4
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Port Stanley Volunteer Gardeners Detour routes during bridge closure
Port Stanley Volunteer Gardeners (PSVG) are commemorating the start of the 2020 growing season with the purchase of a Central Elgin Memorial Program bench. The bench is in front of The Breakfast Place, at 305 Bridge Street, and overlooks Port Stanley Harbour and Lake Erie. A plaque will be installed later this spring. PSVG is again hoping to recruit additional volunteers to support the Herculean effort
There’s no turning back now. It’s time to begin rehabilitation of Port Stanley’s King George VI Lift Bridge. The cost has risen to $6.5 million, with a few last-minute expenses added to the mix, and the historic span over Kettle Creek is still slated to close from March 2020 to May 2021. But Elgin County, in conjunction with Dillon Consulting Limited, has developed a few strategies to minimize the impact on locals and visitors. Here are some of the recommended improvements: For the intersection of Colborne and Warren streets: introduction of a southbound right-turn-only lane; a northbound left-turn-only lane; temporary traffic signals; and pedestrian crossings with drop curbs. For the intersection of Carlow Road and Warren Street: a northbound right-turn-only lane; temporary traffic signals; a “prepare-to-stop-when-flashing” warning sign for eastbound vehicles; and pedestrian crossings with drop curbs. Pedestrian Crossovers: on Colborne Street, approximately 475 meters south of Warren Street and fronting the Foodland grocery store; on Warren Street, approximately 140 meters east of Carlow Road; on CarlowRoad, approximately 110meters south of Warren Street and fronting the Kettle Creek Public School. Central Elgin will assume ownership of many of these improvements when the rehabilitation is completed. Beyond that, CE also plans to build a temporary traffic circle, or roundabout at the foot of Main Street, this spring.
needed to maintain 15 gorgeous gardens around the village. They are also beginning to plan for the not-for-profit group’s second annual self-guided garden tour and fundraiser, on Saturday, June 27, 2020. More than 220 people bought tour tickets last year. “We need some young blood in 2020,” said Shirley Doyle, a long- time PSVG member, “and they need to be committed. “The Gardeners are out there every Friday morning,” added Doyle. “We’ve got a core group of nine people, but sometimes that’s not enough. If we can get a few more people, get our work done more quickly and go for a coffee, that would be great.” Combined with private donations, the garden tour funds PSVG’s $3,000-a-year budget. Laurie Nagge, PSVG Chairman, had 19 gardeners on the tour roster last year and she hopes for more this time around. PSVG will place donation jars at various stores around the village, as well as on the gardeners’ work sites. For more information contact email@example.com .
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Port Stanley Villager • March 2020 • Page 3
The “Greta effect” may have a hand in the greening of Port Stanley’s harbourfront. Kettle Creek Public School (KCPS) student Carter Moyes channeled the renowned Swedish environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, at a recent public meeting on the Port Stanley Harbour Secondary Plan. While the impact of Thunberg’s straightforward rhetoric, and her students’ climate strikemovement – Fridays for Future – is heralded around the world as the “Greta effect,” the local equivalent was championed by a 13-year-old, Grade 8 scholar. Sitting near the front of the public meeting, accompanied by his grandmother Elaine, Moyes stood out in the crowd made up entirely of adults. His attentive gaze and no-nonsense question, however, helped frame the evening’s discourse. When he asked whether the man-made Port Stanley Berm, comprised mostly of Lake Erie dredge material, is stable enough to sustain development of a waterfront neighborhood, the adults at the front of the room responded with affirmations of geotechnical terms. Yet Moyes remains a sceptic on a level that Thunberg would be proud. “I was still upset,” Moyes said in a post-meeting interview, accompanied by Jayna Basson, a Grades 7 and 8 teacher at KCPS. “They’ve changed their plan, but it’s still not good enough.” The Port Stanley Harbour Plan – widely known as the “Dillon Report,” prepared by Dillon Consulting, Watson Associates, and RCI Consulting – now retains 70 per cent of the east and west harbour lands for public uses, such as waterfront parks, a pedestrian promenade and parking. As presented at the January 30, 2020 public meeting attended by Moyes and about 150 concerned citizens, the plan now restricts commercial-residential development on the east harbour lands – more popularly known as the Berm – to a southerly extension of Main Street toward Lake Erie. Dillon’s first public report on a Port Stanley Harbour Plan, presented in June 25, 2018, was widely criticized, particularly by the Port Stanley Village Association (PSVA), for blanketing a much larger portion of the Berm with development. “If they develop the Berm, you’re taking away the last green space on Lake Erie,” said Moyes. “That is a big loss. They need to get the public more involved.” Moyes’ interest in harbourfront development was stimulated by Basson’s Eco class. Students were monitoring the “Greta effect” Port StanleyHarbour Secondary Plan
Kettle Creek Public School student Carter Moyes (also on the front page) and Grades 7 and 8 Eco class teacher Jayna Basson look out over Port Stanley Harbour.
in the news when PSVA member Nancy Moore addressed the Eco class in September, informing students about harbourfront planning. Moore also invited students to participate in the PSVA Kite Festival on the Berm last summer “So, we looked at these protests globally and we looked at how we could express ourselves appropriately,” said Basson. At least a dozen classes were opened to discussions on the subject and students learned how to “appropriately and politely express themselves. “Part of our goal this year was to pass our knowledge forward and share it with the community,” said Basson. “Our concern was how would people even see the Berm if there are all these buildings down there. It just didn’t seem to fit. “We’ve all been to the Berm and have this passion that this is an important piece of land and it has to be used appropriately,” she added. In fact, Basson’s 26 students prepared letters of concern and sent them to Central Elgin Mayor Sally Martyn and the councilors. “We had a very passionate conversation in
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“When I heard it was one of the last green spaces left on Lake Erie, I thought ‘what?’ We need to conserve it,” added Moyes. This is his second year in the Eco class. “My big picture was they plant a bunch of trees, some trails … no development, no buildings. The big problem with putting develop- ment there is that there would be more private property and no place for people to go there.” Mayor Martyn is pleased with the evolution of the Dillon Report and believes the proposed secondary plan reflects the wishes of Port Stanley residents. “I got a whole raft of letters from the Eco class over their concerns about the Berm,” she said. “It’s an important thing to them and they care about what happens down there. Port Stanley is growing rapidly, and it needs more green space.” At the public meeting, PSVA president Dan Ross expressed members’ support for more greenspace on the Berm. “It’s a watershed moment for Port Stanley. We’re setting the table for what the harbour will look like in 10, 15, 20 years. The key to doing that is … to respect the culture of Port Stanley. Port Stanley holds the future of the harbour in its hands.” The Port Stanley Harbour Secondary Plan, and Central Eglin’s Official Plan must still be approved by Central Elgin and Elgin County Councils. And if both those governing bodies sign off, there are still some Provincial and Federal constraints on harbour lands development. Carter Moyes Jayna Basson
the classroom. We look at these projects as an opportunity to prepare for high school. Then Carter one-upped us all and went to the public meeting with his grandmother.” Central Elgin’s Official Plan sets out policies guiding land use planning in the municipality. Secondary plans are part of the Official Plan and provide more detailed land use plans and policies to guide investment and development in specific areas. The Official Plan currently recognizes that the “harbour and adjacent harbour lands are underutilized, contaminated, and require long-term remediation and regeneration,” but also offer an opportunity for “private sector investment and re-purposing.” The Dillon Report envisions a secondary plan that allows for a maximum of four-storey apartment buildings, with ground-floor retail-commercial space, with only two exceptions. At the base of the hill, west of Little Beach, a five-to-six storey building will be permitted. A five-to-six storey hotel on the west pier, near the D.O.C. building, will also be allowed.
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Cheerleading coachdefies perceptions David Lee Tracey makes no bones about being a jock.
At 60 years of age, “Trace” is the strong, silent type, frequently sitting quietly at Village Square Coffee House – a big fellow, wearing a Stetson hat. He is a huge sports fan. The Port Stanley resident hasn’t missed a Western Mustangs football home game since 1977. He rides a Harley. His dog Sir Magnus Nashville Colt is named in part to commemorate the Western Mustangs. Trace grew up playing football, as well as basketball and track and field. He comes from an athletic family. His mother Kit Sage was a Western basketball and tennis standout. His father Ron Tracey was a Western football and basketball star. His sister Jill excelled in track and field at Western. All that is to say … Trace’s persona betrays his 40 years as a cheerleading coach, or at least general perceptions about his choice of career. “Oddball” may be the kindest name some people have called him. “I still get that,” he said in a recent interview at his gym. Power Cheer Gym, at 580 Quebec Street, in London, is the largest dedicated cheerleading gym in Southwestern Ontario. “People say, ‘you’ve been a life-long cheerleader’, but I just think of myself as a jock. I recruit athletes, not cheerleaders. I just say I’m a coach and leave it at that.” The Grand Canyon Road resident is head coach of Western Mustangs cheerleading, the longest running collegiate program in Canada, and coach of Cheer Canada, the national cheerleading program.
Trace has coached more than 3,000 cheerleaders in his career and entering the 2018-2019 season, Mustangs cheerleading squads had won an unprecedented 32 National Co-Ed Cheerleading Championships. That’s all but one of the National Championships since its inception in 1985. He also led Cheer Canada to a silver medal in 2018. “It’s always been tied to football,” said Trace. “That’s what drives me and keeps me in it. It gets me into all the games for free too,” he adds with a broad grin. Born in Ancaster, Trace grew up in Milton, where he went to high school and cut his teeth on sports. To his surprise, Trace didn’t make the Western football team, so instead, threw himself at his studies. “I loved school, I loved reading, I loved research, everything about it.” He graduated after a four-year kinesiology program, then continued in school another five years to get his Biophysics Masters. Also in that period, Trace joined the Western cross-country ski team, but started running with a cheerleading crowd when a season of no snow steered him off the trails. Cheerleading at Western started as an all-male activity in 1929, with “Doc Thompson and his Rollicking Rooters” at football games. Doris Eagles was the first woman to join in 1939 and by the 1950s it became a co-ed squad.
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Today, cheerleading is a dynamic symbol of Western University’s cul- ture. Typically accompanied by the school’s marching band, cheerleading not only raises the spirits of Western sports fans, it has also become an integral part of homecoming, parades and orientation. “I love school traditions,” said Trace, adding that his cheerleaders sing the Western School Song after every Mustangs touch down. Cheerleading is a predominantly American activity, with an estimated 1.5 million participants in the U.S. According to Wikipedia, students in England started cheering and chanting in unison at sports events in the 1860s and that enthusiasmspread to America. On November 6, 1869, at an intercollegiate football game, student fans cheered and shouted “Sis Boom Rah!” for the first time. It became a global phenomenon after ESPN’s 1997 broadcast of an international cheerleading com- petition. The release of the film Bring it On in 2000 added fueled to the fire. There are now an estimated 100,000 participants outside the U.S., in countries like Canada, Australia, China, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand and England. Trace took over the Western cheer- leading team in 1980 and started a revolution of sorts. “I didn’t like that cheerleading was so goofy, so I took it upon myself to change it. I wanted it to be perceived as athletic and difficult, not just rah-rah and pom-poms.” He took his team to U.S. training camps and soon the pyramids and hoists of early cheerleading routines evolved into
complicated throws and gymnastics. “We modelled out stuff after what was going on down there. I like the tricks and the flips.” In 1988, he formed Power Cheerleading Athletics and started sharing the knowledge gained in the U.S. He later opened his own gym, home of five Vipers cheerleading squads. Trace’s most popular “trick” is known as the Western Helicopter. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5JbTOc9AXY . It’s an impressive acrobatic performance: five or six people on the ground, spinning and throwing three other athletes, in skydiver formation, up to 15 feet in the air. “You have to have that show-off gene in you,” said Trace. “I want the kids to get that buzz, that feedback thing from the crowd.” Western has a 35-member co-ed cheerleading squad, as well as a 38-member, all-women team. Many of Trace’s recruits are gymnasts and figure skaters, as well as volleyball, hockey and rugby players. “Our job is to connect the play on the field with the people in the stands,” he said. “Flips and spins are used to get into the spectators’ sightline, not to interfere in watching the game, but to enhance the experience. You don’t go to a football game to cheer, you go to watch football.” Children start cheerleading in Ontario at age four years, and they can advance through Ontario Cheerleading Federation ranks until they’re 18 years old. Competition includes events in eight cities across Ontario. The nationals are held in April, in Niagara, and the worlds in April, in Orlando. Trace considers his greatest accomplishments are the 11 Western alumni who have gone on from his program to open their own gym. “The highlights are never the winning. They’re wonderful, but to me it’s watching the joy of the athletes. I hope I’m passing on that enthusiasm. To me, that’s success.”
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Port Stanley Villager • March 2020 • Page 7
Port Stanley’s community hatchery C.J. ‘Kit’ Brown has turned a boy’s love of hooks, lines and sinkers into a man’s passion for community fish hatcheries and the environment. “I’ve fished Lake Erie since I was about six years old,” said Brown, 80, a founding member of the Lake Erie Salmon and Trout Club (LESTC), and a director with Elgin Stewardship Council (ESC). “I’ve always been interested in nature, period.” LESTC was a standard-bearer for recreational fishing, launching a Lake Erie fishing derby, the popular Summer Salmon Search, in July 1980. Eight years later, the derby was renamed the Summer Salmon Search and Great Walleye Hunt. In 1990, reflecting the changing composition of the fish population, it became the Great Walleye Hunt until the final derby in 1992. “We started this Salmon fishing contest, it made a lot of money and we needed to find something constructive to do with it,” said Brown. The anglers discovered a scenic nine-acre parcel of flood plain, at 4255 Thomas Road, just west of Union Road. That property – located in the old Village of Selborne, Southwold – was once the site of the Phoenix Mill, built in 1831 and sold in 1949 to C. Teskey Smith. LESTC had 100 members at the time – only 20 remain today – and when they agreed to buy the lot, their focus turned to building a Salmon hatchery to help stock Lake Erie and support recreational anglers across Southwestern Ontario. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), rejected the notion of a Salmon hatchery, so LESTC started farming Rainbow Trout instead.
About 1.27 million anglers go fishing in Ontario lakes and streams every year, contributing about $2.2 billion to the provincial economy annually. Behind the scenes, community hatcheries like the LESTC operation have collectively stocked over 235 million fish since 1982. Less than 50 community hatcheries remain in Ontario, with 70,000 volunteer hours a year needed to keep the sport – and the science – alive. The MNRF operates nine fish hatcheries, stocking about eight million fish into some 1,200 Ontario water bodies each year. Community hatcheries complement those efforts, stocking Atlantic Salmon, Brook Trout, BrownTrout, ChinookSalmon, CohoSalmon, Lake Trout, Muskellunge, Rainbow Trout and Walleye. The LESTC hatchery, a registered not-for-profit corporation, is comprised of a series of six tanks. The tanks capture water from nearby springs and a natural aquifer, with about four gallons per minute flowing through the property, with a septic system for settling, before running out to Kettle Creek.
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Like cowboys after the cattle drive, Brown, Ron Casier – a retired science teacher, also of St. Thomas – and other LESTC members tend to the ranch, managing the forest and stream, trimming, digging and sweating. LESTC maintains its property as a nature preserve, featuring 120 species of native Carolinian trees and shurbs, including the Paw Paw, with its native fruit, as well as Tulip, Coffee and Cucumber Trees. Many varieties of birds, including the Green Heron and King Fishers, inhabit the area. The property is open to visitors 365 days a year. Tours may be arranged by contacting members. The park-like setting has come to be known as a community learning centre, frequented by many local schools. Bird and wildlife watchers bring their binoculars and cameras. Folks enjoy feeding the trout in the hatchery pond. The club is now also committed to wetland management and tree planting. Brown is chairperson of the ESC and Casier a director. Alongside Gary Brown, Gord Longhurst, Jason Gillard and Kevin Helkaa, the ESC directors manage Fingal Wildlife Management Area, Aylmer Wildlife Management Area, and the Calton Swamp Wetland Complex. Their ESC duties include restoring habitat through prescribed burns, wetland restoration, invasive species control, managing pollinator habitat, planting and trail maintenance. “All the conservation things that are popular these days, I’m into. It’s all for the better,” added Brown. “I’m into all this stuff. It keeps me busy.”
South Mill Creek winds through the club’s land, draining through a culvert underUnionRoad intoKettleCreek, just northof town. There’s also a garage on the lot, with a cement tank to raise minnows. From the hatchery to Kettle Creek, it’s actually a 36-foot drop and club members built some steps and pools up the creek, to accommodate spawning fish. Limestone was hauled in from Ingersoll.
These lucky anglers followed Trent to his favorite Lake Erie fishing hole.
To advertise here, please contact Joe@villagerpublications.com LESTC herds about 100,000 Rainbow Trout a year into the club’s fish trailer and hauls them to fill fishing and game club orders for stocking at Erieau, Rondeau and Wheatley. “We’re feeding the recreational fishing industry,” said Brown. In the spring, the fish swim up the creek to spawn, jumping and splashing. The Rainbow Trout run from mid-March to the second week of May, depending on water temperatures, but preferably about 52 degrees Fahrenheit. Hatchery volunteer workers collect eggs from the stream. The MNRF also supplies “eyed eggs.” Between March to October, the young Rainbows grow to four or five inches in length. They remain in the pond until the following May, when they reach 10 to 11 inches in length. In two years, the Trout grow to 20 inches, when they’re ready for stocking.
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Port Stanley Villager • March 2020 • Page 9
Port Stanley’s second annual Booster Day By Craig Cole Spring is almost here. If spring is almost here, can summer be far behind? Summer for Port Stanley means one thing, hordes of summer visitors, and so it has been for the last 100 years. In August of 1934, 86 years ago, the London and Port Stanley Railway Employees Benefit Association printed a program for Port Stanley’s second annual Booster Day. It is unclear if this was a booster day for Port Stanley or for the beloved L&PS, but in those days the two were so closely intertwined that it doesn’t really matter. In summer, hourly passenger trains linked Port Stanley to London and St. Thomas. At a recent meeting of Heritage Port Stanley, we discussed in detail the 82-page brochure published to mark the 1934 Booster Day. The brochure says, “Port Stanley as a summer resort is unrivaled in the diversity of its appeal to those who relish rest and entertainment. It has that something which appeals to both young and old, for it possesses quiet restful spots where one can relax, and the bright lights where those who like to promenade and dance can indulge themselves to their hearts desire. It has perhaps the finest alluring bathing beach on the Canadian shore of Lake Erie and is a place where romance abounds under the cool canopy of evening. For those who desire a real good time it is strongly recommended.” Could we still say this? It is something to think about as we consider plans for the future of Port Stanley.
The brochure contains several truly awful jokes and advertisements for local businesses such as Burkes Hardware. In another advertisement W. Heman and Son of London advertise Blue Coal whose, “Reputation for positive satisfaction is far reaching. It satisfies customers because of its even, uniform heat and because it is long burning. Again we say it is still the favourite in Canadian homes just as it has been for 50 years, because no finer anthracite has ever been brought above ground”. Many of us still remember the huge piles of coal, mostly from the coal fields of Ohio and Pennsylvania which lined both sides of the harbour, even if we did not appreciate its stellar qualities. Most of this coal was taken north to St. Thomas and London by the L&PS. A highlight of the Booster Day in 1934 was the sports program on Mariner’s Bluff (then known as Invererie Heights). The girl’s race, five years old and under, offered prizes for all. The Pillow Fight on Pole had two prizes, as did the Boxing in Barrels. Some of our readers might have wished to enter the Elderly Ladies Mystery race. Or maybe not. Our Heritage Port Stanley members tell me that the Ladies Clothes Pin race would have been won by the person who could put clothes pins on a line the most quickly. The brochure includes a brief history of Port Stanley, written by E.N. Lewis. It tells us that, “On April 10th, 1670, at the mouth “COUNT THEM – 14 CARS” Merrymakers Enroute to Port Stanley – Be One of Them on Booster Day
View of the Beautiful Picnic Grounds on Inverie Heights
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of the River Tonti (now known as Kettle Creek) was found Joliet’s canoe, lost in a storm between this point and Port Dover, while in 1721 Charlevoix, making his way up the chain of lakes, declared that this part of the country had the most beautiful scenery viewed on this trip.” Lewis says that in 1824 this harbor was visited by three young men, all members of Parliament in England, one of whom was Lord Stanley, later known as the Earl of Derby, as he succeeded to the family title and estates, becoming a prominent figure in the political life of the Mother Country. These young men were evidently sent to Canada to gather facts regarding this part of the world. They were guests of Colonel Talbot, so it would seem clear, Lewis says, that Port Stanley was named after Lord Stanley, as no records bear that name prior to this visit, and it was so designated shortly after 1824. How about the jokes? “Are you a doctor?”, she said, addressing the soda jerk. “No Mam”, he replied, “Just a plain fizz-ician.” This brochure was brought to my attention by David Harding, a past chair of Heritage Port Stanley, who has had a life-long interest in the London and Port Stanley Railway. It was published in 1934 by the Hayden Press Ltd., in London. Heritage Port Stanley meetings are usually held on the fourth Thursday of every month at 1:30 p.m. in Port Stanley’s Festival Theatre building. Dr Cole has been a summer resident of Port Stanley for the last 80 years. He was a medical researcher, teaching medicine and physiology at McGill University for many years. Twenty years ago, he and his wife retired to the old family summer cottage on Orchard Beach. He is the co-author, with Robert Burns, of a book entitled Port Stanley: The First Hundred Years.
Port Stanley Villager Issue #15 March 2020 www.villagerpublications.com JOE KONECNY Managing Editor Joe@villagerpublications.com Publisher: Barb Botten, Villager Publications P.O. Box 134, Lambeth Station Ontario N6P 1P9 Barb@villagerpublications.com 519-282-7262 Graphic Artist Cathy Wood To advertise call Joe at (226) 658-0152 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Port Stanley Villager • March 2020 • Page 11
Beach at the western end. Each has its unique ambiance, with people visiting the beaches year-round. Part of the charm of Erie Rest is its history. In 1889 John Mitchell owned most of the lakefront west of the Village. He filed plans for subdivisions of “summer colonies” along the beach. Later he developed lots inland and provided these lots “deeded access to the beach.” Finally, he established a beach area at the western end for all residents of the Village. Legal documents quote him saying: “The beach was to be kept inviolate for the children of Port Stanley.” That is why it is a public beach available to everyone. For different historical reasons, the beaches west of Erie Rest are privately owned to the water’s edge. Port Stanley’s four public beaches are seen as ‘community beaches’ with the emphasis on a wide demographic from teenagers, young families with children, to retirees. About 10 years ago, Council decided beach services, including managed parking, could only be improved with a funding stream from paid parking. They created a “business unit” for beach parking for annual budget scrutiny. This was much fairer to municipal ratepayers and allowed for significant improvements to be made. The beach area at Erie Rest has been a travesty in terms of parking availability and traffic issues. Note the plethora of ‘no parking’ signs and barriers, private and public in the area. At peak times in the summer police have had to be called and serious safety concerns arose. This has also created friction among property owners and visitors. It became a big summer parking ticket revenue generator for the municipality. Unfortunately, this type of revenue generates more bad feelings than income. Council examined the issue and approved the construction of a new parking lot as part of the 2018 Capital Budget. For many, Erie Rest Beach was a ‘free’ alternative to Main Beach. Nevertheless, it is also busy throughout the year as a popular place to go for a walk. Staff studied the situation and recommended a 100-space parking lot as a reasonable size to solve the problems. It was also decided that because of construction and maintenance costs it would be subject to the same fees, in the summer, as Main Beach. Once engineering plans were produced, they were reviewed with the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority. Most of 2019 was spent consulting a ‘shoreline engineer’ with the aim of preserving the integrity of the ‘dynamic beach zone.’ This reduced the parking lot size to only 56 spaces. On the plus side, the engineers verified the beach is ‘accreting’ and could be expanded, as necessary, in the future. Last November a nearby cottage owner addressed Council to convince them to further reduce the size of the lot. Other interventions have been attempted to change this decision. As of early February, the process to tender the parking lot has not yet been finalized. Given the general issues of parking and traffic we should all examine closely any justification the current Council would use to make the parking lot any smaller than is necessary. The public interest is at stake as well as the integrity of Council.
Port Stanley parking, Erie Rest Beach
By Dan McNeil
An examination of Port Stanley’s 1989 Official Plan allows one to review community attitudes in a different time. What were the intentions and objectives 30 years ago and how do they apply today? Traffic and parking were concerns, especially as the village was adapting from being a summer destination to a year-round place to live. The 1989 policy promoted access to Lake Erie and its beaches for everyone. Its objectives included: • “To promote the rehabilitation and redevelopment of the Lake Erie beachfront lands to revitalize this area for the enjoyment of residents and tourists alike; • “To provide and maintain public access to and along the Lake Erie beachfront; and • “To secure beachfront lands through the purchase, lease and/or easement agreements for public open space purposes … ”. The Village of Port Stanley did a great job preserving public access to Lake Erie. Central Elgin today promotes the four public beaches available to residents and visitors: our Main ‘Blue Flag’ Beach, Little Beach just off the berm, Pumphouse Beach and Erie Rest
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Dan McNeil is a retired Royal Canadian Navy officer who served as Central Elgin Ward 1 Councillor from 2010 to 2018. An activist and environmentalist, he also helped establish the Port Stanley Village Association (PSVA) and served as its first president.
Page 12 Port Stanley Villager • March 2020 To advertise here, please contact Joe@villagerpublications.com
A Dish with Deb By Deb Kussmann
Instructions 1. Rinse and dry the chicken, then rub all over with a little more than half of the chermoula paste and refrigerate overnight or for at least two hours. 2. After marinating, cut tomato and onion into thin wedges, combine with remaining chermoula paste and sprinkle with ras el hanout seasoning. Then spread the tomato and onion into the base of the tajine. 3. Place the chicken pieces on top of tomato and onion mixture, arranging them in the centre of the tajine. 4. Coat potato wedges with the chermoula marinade and arrange the potatoes around chicken. 5. Top the chicken with onion slices, then tomato slices and olives in between the potato wedges. 6. Mix chopped coriander/cilantro with remaining chermoula marinade and water. (You may add less water. It depends how much your tajine can hold.) Pour mixture on top of tomatoes and onions. 7. Top with preserved lemon wedges then cover tajine with lid. Cook on a very low gas heat for 45 minutes. Do not stir or lift the lid during the cooking process or add any additional liquid. 8. Serve with Couscous or Orzo. 9. Easily adapted for vegan or vegetarian by omitting the chicken and adding additional hearty root vegetables. Squash, sweet potato and cabbage are fantastic in a tagine as well. Deb Kussmann is the founder of Pepper Tree Spice Co. and creator of over 90 signature seasonings. Full disclosure: Deb is not a trained chef or a food critic. “I simply love food and everything about food … except doing the dishes.” Navigating around diet trends, market changes and social issues affecting our ever-changing relationship with food, Deb has a passion for sharing with people who love food.
For me, food is about sharing, caring and loving. The language of food brings people together in a way that nothing else does. It’s what we all do and what we all have in common. When we share food, we share a little of ourselves – a story, a laugh, a tear, our hopes, a victory, a new love or lost
love. We share something personal in a moment in time. It evokes an emotional response when we bake muffins with our kids, for example, or prepare a dish to comfort a sick friend. It's exciting to create a special meal or find that next great recipe that we can’t wait to share with a friend. Food has a way of breaking down walls, opening our minds and carrying conversations. As Julia Child once said, “People who love food are always the best people,” and who doesn’t love food, especially this time of year, when the chilly weather inspires comfort foods and warm flavours? A dish that comes to mind is the traditional Moroccan tagine, easily adapted for plant-based diets. The self-basting nature of the tagine infuses the entire dish with the flavours of Morocco and the aromas of a spice market. It’s a bit like a vacation in your kitchen. Chicken and Olive Tagine Serves six to eight. 325 degrees Fahrenheit, or low heat, with a gas stovetop Ingredients 1 10-to-12 lb roasting chicken, cut into 8 pieces; or 8 legs and thighs (with bones) 3/4 to 1 cup chermoula paste 1 tomato 1 onion 2 large potatoes, cut into wedges
1 onion, sliced 1 tomato, sliced 1 tbsp. ras el hanout seasoning 150 g green olives, pitted 1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped or 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped 3/4 to 1 cup water 1 preserved lemon, cut into 6 segments
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Port Stanley Villager • March 2020 • Page 13
Port Matters by Frances Kennedy
“Interesting times” is how historians describe periods of seismic shifts in global geopolitics. Right now, at the turn of a decade, polarity is epidemic and current crises proliferate prophesies of what’s up down the road. What matters right here in Port
factor for the of the entire County of Elgin. To the assembled Council representatives, municipal staff and consulting engineers, thank you. No doubt you can expect more specific questions and more illuminating answers required on a schedule that ensures input from public consultations is relevant. Up next, the 6th Annual Polar Bear Dip in aid of ChildCan happens on Little Beach on March 7. The event has swelled in numbers in recent years as an early harbinger of spring. Katey Berzins’ past sponsors, photo fans and social media followers should know her team, TeamBer, is taking the plunge again. Apparently, the bridge will bemade whole temporarily for the Dicken’s Night Parade this year. Someone suggested an Andy Griffith look- alike whistling across the bridge from Mayberry to Margaritaville wearing a Hawaiian shirt and bearing a badge. Humour can help bridge a great divide and it puts a little spring in our step. Recently I received an email of a Stay Tooned Port Stanley cartoon of a couple on the bridge surveying the harbour flanked on both sides with high-rise towers with the caption “What happened Mildred?” Most certainly the worst-case scenario, it is not an unfounded fear. “Increased green space” doesn’t tell us all we need to know. Who’s driving the bus, and to what end? Council is only able to represent the interests of its constituents when they are known; our role is to articulate those interests. Administrators, public servants, consulting engineers and developers furnish a version of what’s feasible within the parameters. It behooves us to understand the processes and learn what not to do from in and around Grand Bend and other lakeside communities. When we practice our best future, we create it. grateful to these parents for organizing and the entire community for participating and supporting each fundraiser. We had so much to look forward to in February, including our Kindergarten registration, our Spirit Days, a concert with the Ukes of Hazzard, the Intermediate Division Valentines Dance and moving the back half of our school into their newly renovated spaces. Our construction continues, with the next part of our school being upgraded. The great news is that at this point, we are well on schedule to be all done in September. We can hardly wait! We are also looking forward to our Kettle Creek Book Swap which will take place March 9 to 12, 2020. If you have any gently used children’s books that you are willing to donate, please bring them to the school on Monday, March 9, 2020. We appreciate all books, however, we would be really pleased to have books or magazines for Grade 7 and 8 students because they are often the most difficult reading materials to find. Thanks for considering us in your spring cleaning. A special thanks goes toMrs. Koolenwhoonce again is organizing thiswonderful and environmentally friendly event for our students. As always, it is an absolute pleasure to work with such amazing families at KettleCreek aswell as themembers of this community. Thank you for your positive and ongoing support-we really do appreciate it!
Kettle Creek Public School By Esther Wendel-Caraher Principal, Kettle Creek Public School and what matters right now world-wide recommends unifying citizenry through values and vision. Civic leaders who fail to honour cultural values fail the public trust and fuel divisiveness by default dimming all hope for anything like enlightened progress. What rallies us to belonging to something greater than ourselves? No surprise to anyone who has stood straight as a soldier during our national anthem it’s what we declare we stand for. What matters to our community? What do we wish to be going forward? What is “the Port Stanley experience?” The echo of community advocacy will be our landmark legacy. February can be a bleak but blessedly short month and this year it was neither. As of this writing the frenzy of activity on both sides of the bridge made the Mardi Gras Stork Club night at PSFT a sellout. Restaurant, retail and hospitality themed offerings made Port an ideal weekend destination in friends’ and lovers’ month. Well done! Bravo and thank you to Ed Finlan who conceived the idea and orchestrated the event. Imagine if bringing back jazz and swing all started the night of 02/22/2020! I was disappointed to miss The Blessing of The Nets at Port Stanley Presbyterian Church: its tradition is bound in the safety and bounty for a long lineage of local livelihoods. Next up was The Harbour Information night which confirmed that public access to shoreline is critical to not only our present and future quality of life, it’s an economic 2020 has arrived at Kettle Creek Public School and we are enjoying the best of this Canadian winter, with fantastic indoor and outdoor learning opportunities for everyone. Although our basketball interschool competition ended at the beginning of January, our intermediate basketball teams still practiced and worked on their basketball skills during recess breaks. As well, students continued to benefit from the many other extra-curricular offerings, such as craft club, Lego club, green team, spirit days, Me toWe, school mentors, and our musical rehearsals. WehadaFebruary visit fromCodyDeanewho isa formerWorldWrestling Federation (WWF) wrestler. He demonstrated some wrestling moves and encouraged students to follow their dreams and use their gifts and talents to make this world a better place. Students were inspired and showed outstanding manners as they listened to the interesting stories that our guest shared. Our parent volunteers have also been busy this month and we would like to thank all the members of our Grad Committee for their time and effort spent planning our Paint Nite at Debackere Farms. The evening was a huge success with over $700 raised to support the student trips. Many of our students were also very successful covering their trip expenses by selling pepperettes. Thank you to Mrs. Sutherland for helping us get that organized. At this point, our Grad Trip Committee has raised over $9,000 toward the trip to Montreal and we are so
Page 14 Port Stanley Villager • March 2020 To advertise here, please contact Joe@villagerpublications.com
“Gab and Gobble” lunches, Port Stanley United Church, 239 Colborne Street, on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. Speakers at 11:30 a.m. Soup and sandwich at 12 noon. Goodwill offering. Fit NRG weekly community events on Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., Kettle Creek Villa, 289 Frances Street, offering fitness program with monthly visits by a dietician, a “laughter yoga” leader and others. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org . Port Stanley Library Technology Drop-In, Thursday evenings, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., 302 Bridge Street. The Association of Port Stanley Artists (www.portstanleyartists. com) continues to support Port Stanley Festival Theatre patrons, providing original art in the upper hall of the PSFT reception room. Accessible during regular box office hours. Port Stanley and Area PROBUS Club for retired/semi-retired people meets the third Wednesday every month, 10 a.m., at the Masonic Centre of Elgin, 42703 Fruit Ridge Line. Guest speakers and social time. (226) 658-0508, or email@example.com. Zumba classes at the Union Sports Club and Community Centre, Six Bell Street, Union, Mondays 6:30–7:30 p.m. (519) 631-3840. Port Stanley and Area Community Cupboard presents free lunch and learn events monthly at Christ Anglican Church, 283 Colborne Street. The Sparta Beavers meet Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Cubs on Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Scouts and Venturers, Thursdays, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sparta Community Hall, 46272 Sparta Line. Call (519) 775-2265. Yoga Classes, at Union Sports Club and Community Centre, Six Bell Street, Union, Mondays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., and Thursdays, 5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Call (519) 631-3840. Sparta Stitchers, Tuesdays, at Sparta Community Hall, 46272 Sparta Line, to quilt, sew, knit, crotchet and tat. VON Middlesex-Elgin free SMART and falls prevention classes, Port Stanley Arena and Community Centre, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For seniors 55-plus and adults with disability. Call 519-637-6408. Low-impact circuit training at Union Sports Club and Community Centre, Six Bell Street, Union. Tuesdays, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Call (519) 631-3840. The legacy of architect David Kilpatrick will be featured at The Elgin County Heritage Centre, 460 Sunset Drive, until April 4, 2020. Kilpatrick’s architecture reflects the 1870s Elgin-St. Thomas boom. Tuesdays to Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (519) 631-1460 ext. 193. Elgin Theatre Guild presents 1900Deelite, March 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 2020, at Princess Avenue Theatre, 40 Princess Avenue, St. Thomas. Call (519) 631-1680 ext. 4132. Port Stanley Library Pre-School Storytime on Tuesdays, March 3,10, 24 and 31, 2020, 10:15–11:15 a.m., 302 Bridge Street. Five years olds and under, with a caregiver. Pre-registration required. Tour the Palmer’s Maple Syrup Shanty, 34308 Lake Line, Southwold, Saturdays and Sundays in March, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free and ticketed activities. Learn about making maple syrup and enjoy a pancake or waffle brunch, topped with maple syrup. Port Stanley Library presents Kids Club on Mondays: March 2, 2020, Wild West; March 9, 2020, Lucky Leprechauns; March 23,
CharACTer Curtain Calls Grade 2 to 4 students perform Off Their Rockers on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at 7 p.m. and Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 7 p.m., Princess Avenue Playhouse, 40 Princess Avenue. http://www.charactercurtaincalls.org/. Port Stanley Library’s March Break 2020 program kicks off with Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head on Monday, March 16, 6-7 p.m., 302 Bridge Street. Bring a potato. All ages. Pre-registration required. Port Stanley Library’s Adult Book Club, March 17, 2020, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. New members welcome. Currently reading Ayesha at last, by Uzma Jalaluddin. Port Stanley Library’s March Break 2020 program continues with Never Neverland on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 11 a.m. to 12 noon, 302 Bridge Street. Limited spaces. All ages welcome. Pre- registration required. St. Patrick’s Day at Port Stanley Library will feature a Shamrock Hunt on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., 302 Bridge Street. St. Patricks day story and craft. All ages welcome. Pre- registration required. Port Stanley Library’s 15th Annual Butter Tarts Bake Off – in Memory of Carol Smetheram –Tuesday March 17, 302 Bridge Street. Bring recipes and tarts to share. 18 years old and up. Judging begins at 11:30 a.m. Tagine Please cooking classes, with the flavours of Morocco, creating a lemon olive and date chicken, as well as a vegetarian tagine, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 6–8 p.m., Pepper Tree Spice Co., 223 Colborne Street. Cost is $75. Call (519)782-7800. Movie at Port Stanley Library, Thursday, March 19, 2020, 3 p.m.: Albert, 2015, action-adventure, after his prank upsets hometown, troublemaker Albert explores the world with his best friend. Port Stanley Library Royal Tea Party on Friday, March 20, 2020, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., 302 Bridge Street. Costumes welcomed. Crafts and snacks. All ages. Pre-registration required. Abbamania at Port Stanley Festival Theatre, 302 Bridge Street, on March 21, 2020. Tickets: www.psft.ca or call (519) 782-4353. Port Stanley Library Creative Programs for Adults presents Scrapbooking on March 24, 10 a.m. to 12 noon. $5 per person. Please pre-register. The Art of Japanese Ramen cooking classes, creating Japan’s most traditional and coveted dishes, on Wednesday, March 24, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Pepper Tree Spice Co., 223 Colborne Street. Cost is $75. Call (519)782-7800. Euchre Night, Union Sports Club and Community Centre, Six Bell Street, March 27, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person. Prizes, light lunch and fun. Call (519) 631-3840. Port Stanley Library Creative Programs for Adults presents Card Embroidery on March 27, 2020, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. $5 per person. Please pre-register. Surfin’ Safari: The Ultimate Beach Party Show at Port Stanley Festival Theatre, 302 Bridge Street, March 28. Celebrate the music of Jimmy Buffet, Frankie Avalon, Jan and Dean, The Ventures, and The Beach Boys. For tickets visit www.psft.ca or call (519) 782-4353.
2020, Dragons and Castles. For Grade 1 and up, including JK/ SK with a caregiver. 302 Bridge Street. Pre-registration required. Come and Live in Port Stanley Ontario (CALIPSO) Festival 2020 planning, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 7 p.m., Kettle Creek Inn, 216 Joseph Street. Employment Services Elgin Spring Job Fair on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., 400 Talbot Street, St. Thomas. Plant Based Eating cooking classes, creating nut-seed crackers and dip, using local vegetables, on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Pepper Tree Spice Co., 223 Colborne Street. Cost is $70. Call (519)782-7800. Port Stanley author and birder Carol Parafenko, aka CP Avis, will be featured at an Author Talk event at Port Stanley Library, 302 Bridge Street, March 5, 2020, 6:30 p.m. Port Stanley Library presents 1,2,3 Sing and Move with Me, March 5 and 12, 2020, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., 302 Bridge Street. Music and movement to support early literacy development. For parents, caregivers and children six years old and under. Registration required. TheSpringwaterMapleSyrupFestival,March7,2020toMarch29, 2020, at the Springwater Conservation Area, 8079 Springwater Road, Aylmer. Wagon rides, sugar shanty demonstrations, maple products and pancakes. $8 for adults, $4 for children under 12 years old. Open on weekends and throughout March Break, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information at www.catfishcreek.ca. YWCA of St. Thomas-Elgin presents Women’s Day, March 7, 2020, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at St. Thomas Seniors Centre, 225 Chestnut Street. $45 buys three workshops, plus a guest speaker presentation and lunch. More information at https:// www.ywcaste.ca/2020/01/07/womens-day/. Childcan’s 6th Annual Port Stanley Polar Bear Dip, raising funds for those living with childhood cancer, March 7, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register online at www.childcan.com/polarbeardip, or on the 7th at 10 a.m. at the Masonic Centre of Elgin, 42703 Fruit Ridge Line, St. Thomas. Jump in at Port Stanley’s Little Beach, transportation provided for swimmers, followed by lunch and awards. Youth Ball Registration, Union Sports Club and Community Centre, Six Bell Street, March 7, 2020, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, $45 a child. Call (519) 631-3840. Port Stanley Library Creative Programs for Adults presents Card Making onMarch 9, 2020, 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Create a handmade card with Jean. $8 per person. Please pre-register. Movie at Port Stanley Library on Tuesday, March 10, 6:30 p.m.: The Fencer, 2015, historic drama, a champion fencer on the run from the Soviet secret service inspires Estonian schoolchildren. Harbour Guitars presents Harbour Sessions Live, an acoustic singer-songwriter concert series, featuring three groups – Rebekah Hawker, Basset, and The Pairs – on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., at Port Stanley United Church, 239 Colborne Street. $20. Elgin Theatre Guild presents Off Their Rockers on March 11 and 12, 2020, Princess Avenue Theatre, 40 Princess Avenue, St. Thomas. Call (519) 631-1680 ext. 4132. Sous Vide cooking classes, learning the technique of sous vide, creating a ribeye meal, on Wednesday, March 11,2020, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Pepper Tree Spice Co., 223 Colborne Street. Cost is $85. Call (519)782-7800.
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