Catalina Island
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May 23, 2017 - 7:51pm

Latest News

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.

This month, the iconic village of Two Harbors on Catalina’s west end will see a transformation with its revitalized oceanfront at Harbor Sands. Part of the Catalina Island Company’s ongoing investment in the island, Harbor Sands brings back the relaxed South Pacific ambiance reminiscent of Two Harbors in the 1930s, when thatched huts lined the shores of Isthmus Cove.

Casino exhibit to
promote rescue at May 13 event

For The Islander

As a non-profit 501C3 organization, fundraising is an omnipresent mission for Marine Animal Rescue to enable patrol vessel maintenance, fuel, equipment purchases etc.  Lead field officer Jon Council is also an avid collector of historical diving equipment and possesses what is regarded as the most diverse and broad based vintage dive gear collection in the United States.

City officials will ask a judge today, Friday, May 5, to have two American bull terriers destroyed following a recent attack on a Huntington Beach man and his Jack Russell terrier in Avalon, according to City Attorney Scott Campbell. The dogs are on the mainland now while everyone involved is awaiting a judge’s decision. The owner of the two dogs has reportedly agreed to allow the dogs to be euthanized.

City Manager David Jinkens said he would attend the hearing.

Dr. Jeff Sipsey was the longtime head hyperbaric doctor for our Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber. Based out of County USC (as all the chamber hyperbaric docs are), he first got involved in 1976 and spent close to 40 years watching out for us, and was Medical Director for much of that time. Ironically, he was NOT a diver himself and didn’t quite understand what the allure was for us.  But he was always looking out for us and treating us when needed. Although Jeff retired not too long ago, life can be cruel, and he died not too long after he stopped working.

Friday kicks off Cinco De Mayo with Folkloric Dancers on Front Street at 6 p.m.

Come check out The Catalina Classic  a Downhill Skate Contest that zooms down Wrigley Road at High Speeds.  

Men and Women from around the globe come to compete in this prestigious event.

Friday:  Qualifying rounds start at 1:30 p.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

Saturday:  Knock out rounds start at 11 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

The Catalina Island Museum is honored to welcome Tony Award nominee and American gymnast Cathy Rigby to its 30th Annual Silent Film Benefit on May 20th. This year’s Benefit features the 1924 classic “Peter Pan.” Michael Mortilla and The Accompanists will perform an original score written specifically for this performance on the stage of the Avalon Casino Theatre.

Rigby starred as Peter Pan on Broadway from 1991 to 1998. She will speak at the museum’s Member Pre-Performance Talk and introduce the film at the start of the Silent Film Benefit.

On Friday, May 5, Islander Editor Dixie Redfearn, Islander Publisher Jon Remy and Orange County Neighborhood Newspapers’ Associate Publisher Steven Remery, will hold a “coffee with the Islander” event at the Bluewater Grill on Crescent Avenue at 11 a.m.


Come and meet us, ask questions, and give us an idea of what you would like to see in future issues of the newspaper. Catalina is an exciting and diverse community and we are looking to meeting as many residents as possible.

Next week the Avalon City Council will consider new animal control laws that would include restricting ownership of vicious and potentially dangerous dogs and allow officials to seize and destroy them.

 If approved by four-fifths of the council, the “urgency” version of the ordinance would go into effect immediately.

An authentic 1920s cinematic experience in the historic Avalon Casino Theater is offered only one day each year by the Catalina Island Museum. In its 30th year, the museum’s Silent Film Benefit features the first film adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s play Peter Pan. Michael Mortilla and The Accompanists will perform an original score for the Benefit at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, 2017.

Olympic gymnast and Tony Award nominee Cathy Rigby, who played Peter Pan on Broadway from 1991 to 1998, will make a special guest appearance and will introduce the film.

We’re inching towards $25,000 ... We’re led this time by a pair of longtime Chamber supporters.

The first are the boys and girls at Hollywood Divers who again come through at the Gold level.

They are also sponsoring a Chamber Evening table as well as a boat (the Westerly).

They’re a great example of how this event thrives through the active participation of stores and clubs.

At the Silver ($500) level, we’ve got two examples of corporate matching grants being put to good use.

First of all, we’re two week away from Chamber Day 2017 and this is when the pace really quickens. Which is why what we have to say here is so critically important.

We are experiencing some sporadic issues with our secure server which may lead to us not getting notified about signups or donations that you have made through Rest assured this is simply a notification issue, not a security issue. Your credit card info is still safe and secure.

The Catalina Chimes Tower Foundation held its ‘Bells & Whistles’ event at the Catalina Island Museum on Wednesday, April 5 to share progress on the Chimes Tower restoration project. More than 75 Avalon community members and island visitors gathered to hear remarks from Foundation Chair Alison Wrigley Rusack and Vice Chair Blanny Avalon Hagenah. Attendees also had the opportunity to view original architectural drawings, historic photos and chimes mechanisms, as well as architectural renderings depicting the Chimes Tower as it will look upon completion.

A desalination expert presented a $19-million plan to improve Avalon’s desalination system to the City Council this week. The $19 million (rounded) price tag would be for construction costs. Maintenance and operations would add almost $1 million a year to the cost. The project would include adding almost 2 million gallons of water storage capacity to the system. (Last year, Avalon staff proposed adding a 2-million gallon tank.)

Southern California Edison is scheduled give a presentation on water supply options to the City Council on April 18, according to both City Manager David Jinkens and Edison Sr. Project Manager Robert Laffoon Villegas.

The presentation is expected to be based largely on the long-awaited report by a desalination expert hired by Edison. The report was originally expected in December 2016. City Manager Jinkens and City Attorney Scott Campbell both confirmed that the report was delivered electronically to Avalon officials on Monday, April 10.

The Avalon Lions Club took time out last Saturday to do some landscaping maintenance at the Haypress Reservoir day use area.

The group is also rebuilding a storage shed at the site which was destroyed in the 2007 fire. The children’s playground and picnic area at Haypress is managed by the local Lions Club under an agreement with the Catalina Island Conservancy.

On Monday April 3 the Avalon High  School Varsity Boys Golf Team traveled to Candlewood Country Club in Whittier to play in Whittier Christian’s Herold Invitational Golf Tournament.  There were 16 teams made up of four man teams.  It was the first 18 hole match of the year for the Lancers.  Typical golf matches are nine holes.  

We’ve got just a shade over three weeks to go and we’ve got some work to do. We’re not in horrible shape, but we’re not in great shape. And there are a lot of factors - the economy, the weather, how much people talk up the event - that are out of our control that shape how well we do.

The Prime-Timers were on the move again and for the month of March it was an afternoon of painting a picture of the Catalina Casino, lunch and wine followed by desserts.  With the best turnout to date, 37 Avalon community seniors (and guests) were led by Porschia Denning  from Rain Dance Arts as she coached the group through the painting process.  There were many reservations prior to the event on how well some of the individuals thought they could do but with some great guidance from Porschia and her staff, the group was able to take a nice piece of art work home with them.