Catalina Island
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Reported on:
March 26, 2017 - 11:51am

Latest News

Southern California Edison says it could take two- to three-years to build a half million gallon water storage tank on Catalina. The utility company is hoping to get grant money for the project and will know in June. If Edison can’t get grant money, the company will have to speak with local stakeholders—residents, city officials and businesses.

Meanwhile, City Council members expressed concern about Avalon’s current water supply.

Chihuly at the Catalina Island Museum is the first major exhibition presented by the Catalina Island Museum since opening its new building this past summer. It is also the first time the museum has presented the work of a major living artist. The artist, Dale Chihuly, will make a personal appearance during the museum’s Member Preview of Chihuly at the Catalina Island Museum on Saturday, March 25.

Get rid of standing water

In my nearly 20 years of living in Avalon, I’ve only been bitten by a mosquito on a single occasion.  One of the great attractions of our little piece of paradise, in addition to the best climate in the world, is that we have virtually no biting insects.

On Wednesday, March 8, Mayor Anni Marshall, Councilwoman Cinde Cassidy, the city manager, and city attorney met with local and corporate SCE representatives at City Hall by the head of the Water Division of the California Public Utilities Commission, Raminder Kahlon. Also in attendance was Arturo Salacies and Marisol Barajas from Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell’s Office. The assemblyman and his staff have taken an active interest in this matter. The meeting lasted two and 1/2 hours.

To err is human. To dive is divine. To err while diving can cause some big problems. A study has shown that 69 percent of diving accidents are caused by diver error.

So the last thing you’d want to hear is, “Sorry, there’s no chamber in the area so there’s nothing we can do for you.” Fortunately, that’s NOT the case in SoCal because, since 1974, we have relied on the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber to bail us out when things go wrong. And once again, our Chamber is counting on you.

The Catalina Island Museum is preparing for its first museum-wide exhibition since it opened the Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building this past June. The exhibition will present works by internationally renowned artist Dale Chihuly, a major milestone for the museum. Chihuly at the Catalina Island Museum will open on March 26 and run through Dec. 11, 2017.  

To safely accommodate the installation of the exhibition, the Catalina Island Museum will temporarily modify its operating hours between March 15th and March 19th.

You can stop worrying about whether you’ve exceeded your water allotment. Southern California Edison announced to the City Council this week that, effective immediately, Stage 3 rationing will revert to Stage 1 conservation. Islanders will still have to save water, but Stage 1 restrictions will be similar to those facing mainland water users.

In related news, Edison’s desalination expert is scheduled to give a presentation to the Avalon City Council on March 21. The presentation has been delayed several times since it was first expected in December.

The Catalina Island Marathon, California’s oldest trail marathon, will celebrate its 40th anniversary on March 11 when runners arrive on the Island to once again tackle one of country’s most scenic courses across the rugged wildlands stewarded by the Catalina Island Conservancy.

Getting to Catalina Island just got easier.

Catalina Tours, the premier reservation service for the Island, has recently expanded its services to book additional transportation options to Catalina.

Thanks to the company’s partnership with Catalina Passenger Service and Island Express Helicopter Services, Catalina Tours now offers both flights to Catalina and another option for ferry transportation to the island.

Catalina Island Company, formerly known as Santa Catalina Island Resort Services, Inc., kicks off 2017 with a refreshed name and logo, reemerging as “California’s Island Escape.” This new brand identity represents an exciting, ongoing transition for the legendary island destination as it prepares to unveil significant new experiences and activities this spring and onward through 2020.

Catalina Island Medical Center and its Medical Group Office are pleased to welcome Joseph (“Joey”) Mulevicz, as its new permanent full time nurse practitioner. He joins Dr Laura Ulibarri and Dr Aimee Warren as part of CIMC’s outstanding medical team.

According to Clinic Manager David Hamlin, “this will mean better service and improved care for patients with these three medical staff members here on the island.”    

Southern California Edison is holding off sending new water allotment letters to Islanders until the company knows the impact of last Friday’s rain on the Middle Ranch Reservoir. Two weeks ago, the company announced that water rationing would be reduced to 25 percent. According to Edison, the new rationing will be based on Stage 3 approved variances, or Stage 2 variances if that doesn’t apply or on the baseline water use if Stage 2 variances don’t apply.

The Avalon Boys Basketball team has been working all season long on improving as a team and their work has finally paid off. They have won seven out of 10 league games and are returning to the CIF Playoffs.  They defeated St. Michaels twice, TVT twice and Samueli Academy twice. They split with Southlands Christian and lost both games to undefeated league champs Fairmont Prep. They enter the playoffs as a second seed with a 7 and 3 league record.  

Going into the last two games against Vivian Webb High School the Avalon Lady Lancers knew what was at stake.  Either win these last two games of the season or stay home for the playoffs.

There are many fine people who work at SCE and provide electric, gas and water services to Avalon. No one doubts this fact. We understand that operations in Avalon and Catalina Island are directed from Southern California Edison corporate offices on the mainland.

There are a number of outstanding issues that need to be positively addressed in order to ensure that Avalon has a year-round and sustainable fresh water supply. Only SCE corporate officials can provide these answers, and City officials are persevering to get answers for the City Council and community.

The youngsters eagerly hiked nearly three miles roundtrip to Catalina’s Ben Weston Beach, frequently stopping on the trail to ask about plants and bugs and how they fit into the Island’s ecosystem.

The audience applauded Tuesday night when a Southern California Edison representative told the City Council that Avalon water rationing would be “adjusted” down to 25 percent. Most Avalon residents, more than 90 percent, according to an Edison statement, will see their water limits reduced. The change officially went into effect Tuesday.

Some Islanders will still have to save 50 percent of their baseline water use: residents of the West End, the Isthmus, White’s Landing, Tonyon, the Airport-in-the-Sky, Little Harbor, Blackjack and Empire Landing.

In March 2016, Jason Paret, CEO contracted with Press Ganey, an industry leader in measuring and evaluating hospital performance, to know “what we do well and what needs to change.”  Patients are asked to grade their most recent health care experiences in the emergency department, physician’s office, laboratory, radiology and physical therapy.  

The following is the Avalon Sheriff’s Station significant incidents report for the period of Jan. 25 to Jan. 30.

“It is important to note that no assumption of criminal guilt or affiliation should be drawn from the content of the information provided in this report,” said Capt. Doug Fetteroll, commander of the station.

“Many people who get arrested do not get convicted or even charged with crimes for which they have been arrested,” he said.

The Recent Storms

For Christmas this year, my husband and I flew in from Seattle and our son flew in from Chicago. We rented a condo, we ate at all the restaurants, we rented a golf cart, and we took a three hour jeep tour of the interior.

We had a great time. We loved when the boats stopped running during the high winds on Christmas and we all became a little island cut off from the world.