The Great Divide


ertain people embody the spirit of giving. They’re the doers, the life changers and angels.

I am not one of these people.

It’s not that I don’t care; in fact, I consider myself a fairly compassionate soul, but I’m not about to stumble into the vast chasm between me and, say, Cindy Cantle (cover and page 28). I see the Great Divide.

Let’s not use this space to list all the ways Cindy is involved in bettering Ventura County. Suffice it to say, her background as an aerobics studio owner and the general manager of the Pierpont Racquet Club come in handy as she bounces from issue to issue: healthcare, homelessness, education, and the environment, to name just a few. And yes, she does have a day job. I get tired just thinking of her weekly routine.

Philanthropy is a common theme this time of year, with Thanksgiving in November and the December holidays just around the corner. We can’t possibly cover all the local people and organizations doing good things in our community, but we’ve put together an editorial mix that gives a nod to the region’s natural bounty—thank you, Ventura County—while spotlighting a few of the many deserving people.

Like Chef Tim Kilcoyne (page 12), of the SideCar Restaurant in Ventura, who is usually applauded for celebrating local ingredients—which, by the way, have been first-rate for ages, although the food world at large is just waking up to them. Chef Kilcoyne had the seafood spotlight at a major culinary event last month and opted to prepare Gulf shrimp: a show of support for the South in the wake of BP’s oil debacle. Of course he used Ventura County ingredients in the dish, but when it came to the headliner he left local superstars like spiny lobster and white sea bass out at the Islands. With a major media sponsor, Sunset Magazine, the event would have been an ideal forum for a show of local foodie flag waving. Instead Tim took the high road, putting his passion for local food second.

Then there’s Jes MaHarry (page 19), an Ojai-based jewelry designer whose work has been the top seller in Robert Redford’s Sundance Catalog for a decade. Jes could easily ride out her success as a bon vivant, filling days with champagne bubbles and spa treatments, and say, I’ve earned it. She’s taken a less narcissistic path, though, channeling her success into charitable causes—namely, animal welfare, women’s human rights, and the environment.

Our interview with John Nichols (page 37) hits on what I, personally, consider to be Ventura County’s most underappreciated asset: natural abundance. Certain places seem designed for food production. This is one of them. On a planetary level, you’d be hard pressed to find a better combination of fertile soil, ideal growing conditions, mountains and sea, Mediterranean climate… We even have a couple of islands.

By the time this November edition drops, our assistant editor, Maxine Hurt, will have received the ultimate promotion—to the rank of Mom. Benefits will include slogging through her waking hours and occasionally glimpsing the paradise island of Sleep as it sinks into the seas of WHAA! Compensation also includes tears of frustration, through which she’ll frequently look at her daughter and feel a depth of thankfulness she’s never known.

Thanks again for reading, and for supporting our advertisers. As always, feel free to email me your comments and suggestions.


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