Catalina Island
64.4 °F
Reported on:
September 19, 2017 - 4:17pm

Articles by Charles M. Kelly

Can you believe it?

The King of Avalon was lost, but now has been found.

Leroy the cat is back. That is, the statue of the cat who once owned the community of Avalon, has been found.

Leroy was brought into the Tuesday, Oct. 7, council meeting in a cat carrier before being unveiled to the council.

The audience “awed” at the sight of the statue.

City staff is looking at potential places to place the statue.

Avalon’s economy is thriving, according to City Manager Ben Harvey (pictured left).

Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce figures visitor driven revenues for the first six months of 2014 appear to support Harvey’s position.

According to the Chamber figures, total visitor driven revenues to the city have increased 15.5 percent for the year-to-date.

The transient occupancy tax (that is, the hotel bed tax), wharfage fees, sales taxes and other city revenues have all increased.

The Avalon City Council voted unanimously to declare a local State of Emergency for Catalina Island at a special Tuesday, Sept. 2 meeting.

Passing a resolution declaring an emergency was necessary for the city to have a chance to obtain money to help recover from the effects of last week’s wave surge caused by Hurricane Marie off the coast of Mexico.

Editor’s note: This online article corrects a misquote that appeared in the fourth paragraph of the Friday, Aug. 22, print edtition of the Catalina Islander. The article now correctly represents what Norris Bishton said.

blic Utilities Commission has placed a hold on a decision in Southern California Edison’s request to increase water rates for Catalina customers.

Stage 2 water rationing will begin Aug. 11, representatives of Southern California Edison told the Avalon City Council Tuesday night, July 1.

The utility company sent several representatives to Catalina to provide the council with an update on the fresh water situation.

Meanwhile, Edison reps reported that a West End area well has failed to meet secondary drinking water standards and water is being trucked to that part of the Island.

According to Council Member Joe Sampson, some water is being diverted from Avalon to the West End.

The Avalon City Council unanimously decided against acting on an urgency water-use regulating ordinance at the Tuesday, June 17 meeting.

Mayor Anni Marshall and Council Member Joe Sampson had asked staff to draw up the proposed ordinance.

The ordinance, among other things, would have prohibited the use of fresh water in construction  and did not include an end date for water restrictions.

Avalon residents and business owners have begun receiving notices from Southern California Edison, telling them just how much water will be allotted to them when water rationing begins. The notices came with customers’ regular bills. Anyone who applies for a variance on their water allotment may use 30 gallons a day while the application is being considered.

The city will not create a committee to advise the Avalon Sheriff’s Station.

That was the outcome of a lengthy discussion among officials at the Tuesday, May 20, Avalon City Council meeting.

Instead, the city manager, the station commander and any individual City Council member will hold informal meetings as needed to address complaints about the local Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department station.

There was no formal vote on the matter.

April 2014 visitor traffic increased by 28.8 percent over April 2013, according to figures recently released by the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce.

This April’s cross-channel carrier traffic increased by 20.7 percent from last April and the cruise ship visitor count increased by 45.5 percent from April 2014.

Percentages can be misleading without the actual numbers. For example, two is 100 percent more than one.

In April 2013, there were 64,224 visitors to Catalina Island. In April 2014, there were 82,703 visitors.

The contract between Avalon and On the Wing falconry service has expired. City Manager Ben Harvey said negotiations are on-going. Master falconer Rocky Post said all of his birds and equipment are now on the mainland.

Post said in a recent email that the contract between his business and the city expired on April 27.