Catalina Island
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June 26, 2017 - 9:51pm

Latest News

The Avalon City Council this week voted unanimously to increase sewer fees and salt water rates for the next five years.

The council also approved a ban on plastic foam food containers.

“The overall sewer rates increased an average of 3.5 percent beginning July 1, 2017,” said Finance Director Robert Mescher.

Catalina Island reinforces its reputation as the “Island of Adventure” with the addition of the new Catalina Aerial Adventure to its rugged Descanso Canyon, the hub for outdoor enthusiasts.

Trekking through Catalina’s canyons, his eyes trained on the ground, Peter Dixon is on a quest. The Catalina Island Conservancy’s plant conservation manager is searching for one of 32 rare or endangered plants on Catalina, a tiny flowering annual known as the Thread-leaf rock cress (Sibara filifolia).

Higher education was front and center at the recent Santa Catalina Island Fund for Higher Education awards dinner held on Sunday.  The annual event celebrates Catalina students on their way to college, and there was a lot to celebrate this year.  

The event, sponsored by AVID, was held at the Avalon School under a lovely spring moon. A fabulous alfresco dinner prepared by Alex Romero and his crew was followed by a 90-minute program hosted by SCIF director Linda Rivkin.

Pictured here are Avalon School Class of 2017 valedictorians Makenna Lee, Triana Markowitz, Jay Feagle, and Hannah Mahan.

Iva Lou was born in Hennessey, Oklahoma on Aug. 7, 1927 to Clifford and Katie Best. She and her identical twin sister Ira Lee were a surprise and one of her favorite stories was that the doctor missed the delivery of Ira but arrived to deliver the unexpected second bundle of joy. Iva Lou was one of seven girls and two boys in a hard-working farming family.

Dog and cat shelter planned

An Avalon contractor (who wishes to remain anonymous at this time) is preparing to break ground on a dog and cat sanctuary located in Baja Mexico.

“The number of homeless, hungry and sick dogs and cats in Mexico, and everywhere really, is very sad.  I want to create a haven for as many of these animals as I can.”

Stay tuned for updates on the project including photos during construction.

Kristy Throndson

The Catalina Islander

The City Council unanimously approved the introduction of an ordinance banning plastic foam food packaging containerss. The proposed law must return to the council for final approval. The ban on plastic foam, also known as Polystyrene, is scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.  

“I’m in favor of it starting on Sept. 1st, but I’m just happy that it’s happening,” said Councilwoman Cinde MacGugan-Cassidy.

Avalon icon William Richardson Hill recently passed away. He was 99. The Islander published the first part of a rememberence written by his daughter in the May 26 edition. The following is the conclusion of the two-part series.

The Catalina Island Museum and award-winning composer Michael Mortilla recently provided a rare opportunity for the Avalon High School theater class. In conjunction with this year’s Silent Film Benefit, students Makenna Lee, Curtis Leo and various other students along with help from teacher James Guadagno wrote and created a short silent film.

This year, the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce had more than 600 visitors and local residents taste their way through 15 dining establishments offering a total of 29 tastes across the three categories: Food, Dessert, Drinks with alcohol, and Drinks without alcohol.

At the end of the night, close to 300 participants completed voting cards were tallied to determine the 2017 Taste Around of Avalon winners.

Voting was incredibly close this year—winners of the Taste Around of Avalon were determined by just a couple of votes in several categories.

The owner of two pit bulls that attacked a visitor in April was arrested last Saturday on suspicion of felony “failure to control mischieveious animals,” according to Capt. John Hocking, commander of the Avalon Station.

In related news, a judge ordered the dogs destroyed on May 19, according to City Attorney Scott Campbell. The deadline to appeal the decision has passed and no appeal has been filed.

Thanks so much to our customers and patients who have completed one of our patient satisfaction surveys. We have had several requests for evening hours, WE LISTENED, and beginning Wednesday, June 7th, we will be open until 7p.m. If you find it difficult to come to the clinic 8-5p.m. weekdays, now you will have the option of making an appointment on a Wednesday evening.

All who have been moved by the melodic sound of Avalon’s iconic chimes are invited to “BELLissimo!” –  a special event hosted by the Catalina Chimes Tower Foundation.  

“BELLissimo!” will provide a unique experience for anyone who appreciates the history of the Chimes Tower,” said Alison Wrigley Rusack, foundation chair and great-granddaughter of Ada and William Wrigley, Jr. “This event will help the Foundation achieve its goal of restoring the Chimes Tower for future generations to enjoy.”

Fondly remembering Islander Bill Hill

My daughter and I were deeply blessed to have known Bill Hill, Jeannie and their whole family for 28 years.

The loss of Bill and Jeannie is huge in our lives and I’m very certain huge in the lives of their family and the Avalon family. Bill and Jeannie were both so full of life, kindness and fun and were a treasure of oral history of Catalina Island.

Desal, reclaimed, and fresh water: What makes the most sense and costs the least cents?

The City of Avalon has the potential with the vast ocean resource  and  existing  desal  to  create  an  abundant supply of fresh water. City officials also examined  and had prepared a report on the use of reclaimed water (“Recycled  Water/Energy  Sustainability Plan Sub-Plan Study,” June 2016, MBI).

Catalina Kid Ventures preschool enjoyed their recent visit with Bishop, a Harris’ Hawk, falconer Dave Long his trainer, and Ariel LaFontaine, apprentice falconer, teaching the children about the lifestyle and work of large birds of prey, specifically falcons and hawks.

On The Wing Falconry has an important job with the Falconry Bird Control for the City of Avalon. Catalina Kid Ventures thanked Dave for taking time to share with the children about one way to keep the City of Avalon clean.

by daughter Kathleen Hill Carlisle

William Richardson Hill was born in Pasadena, California on August 7, 1917, to Fred G. Hill & Ethel Richardson Hill. His grandparents were early settlers of Pasadena, and had started a long tradition of Catalina summers in the late 1800s – the Richardson’s in 1878, and the Hill’s in 1890. Bill’s first summer on the Island was 1919, spent at 315 Catalina Ave. It was one of the 3 houses his Grandpa Hill built in 1908, on leased land from the Banning’s.

Avalon City Manager David Jinkens and the city’s grant manager recently attended a California Department of Water Resources workshop on funding for desalination projects. “The full development of desal in Avalon along with use of solar power to run desal operations will make the  application for funding competitive,” Jinkens said in an email to the Islander.

The two large dogs that attacked a man and his smaller dog will never be allowed to return to Avalon. Last week a judge declared the two “pit bulls” to be vicious, according to City Attorney Scott Campbell.

Campbell said the judge continued the hearing on their fate until May 19, when the judge will determine whether the animals will be euthanized.

He said one of the things the judge was looking at is whether there is a facility for vicious dogs that would allow them to live out their lives.