Catalina Island
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Reported on:
November 25, 2017 - 8:51am

Articles by Charles M. Kelly

Editor’s note: This story has been updated since the article first appeared in the print edition of the Catalina Islander.

The president of the American Conservation Experience was injured by a bison while he was working on the Island Wednesday, Aug. 26.

The Vons project is going forward.

The City Council voted 2-1 this week to uphold the Planning Commission’s decision to permit the construction of a new 23,044 square foot Vons grocery store on Sumner Avenue.

The council also approved a coastal development permit.

Councilman Richard Hernandez cast the dissenting vote. For legal reasons, Councilwoman Cinde MacGugan-Cassidy and Mayor Anni Marshall did not participate in the vote.


The overall May 2015 visitor count decreased 3.3 percent when compared with the same period last year, according to figures recently released by the Chamber of Commerce.  In all, 79,468 guests came to the Island last month. Last year, 82,204 guests came.

Avalon High School senior Michelle Rufino, 17, will visit Japan next month as a goodwill ambassador representing the City of Long Beach. She will be one of three individuals selected for the trip. “Long Beach has shared a sister-city program with Yokkaichi, Japan for 50 years,” said Lynda Muenzer, who was Michelle’s computer teacher.
“Every other year Long Beach sends two students and a Long Beach teacher for three to four weeks to embrace Japanese culture and friendship,” Muenzer said.

Plans are in the works to develop a “falconry experience tour” on Catalina Island. The tourist attraction would be a partnership between the Santa Catalina Island Company and On the Wing falconry.
Master falconer Rocky Post hopes the falconry experience will help pay for the local pest bird abatement program.
Post said the planned falconry tour would show people what falconry is, how it works and what is required for both the birds and the people who work with them.
He said the show would last about an hour and would feature a lot of birds.

An Avalon Harbor Patrol officer lost his life defending a boat that was ultimately destroyed by high seas caused by the storm that occured Tuesday, Dec. 30, according to City Manager Ben Harvey.

A civilian life was also lost Tuesday night, Harvey said.

The names of the victims have not been released. Few details were available as City Manager Harvey was on his way to the city’s command center when he confirmed the two fatalities.

Harvey described Tuesday’s storm as a “major” one with extremely high seas and strong winds.

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.