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

Articles by Charles M. Kelly

The incumbents are out. Voters elected a new mayor and two new council members Tuesday night, April 8.  The Avalon mayoral race was a landslide. The City Council races were decisive.  

Ann Marshall won by 75 percent of the overall vote.

Forty-seven percent of eligible voters turned out for the election.

The election results are unofficial. The final results will have to be certified.

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Avalon Fire Department Chief Steve Hoefs announced his plans to retire after 25 years with the city’s fire agency, according to City Manager Ben Harvey.


The city manager made the news public during the Monday, April 1, Avalon City Council meeting.


Avalon’s deficit has decreased by more than $900,000, City Manager Ben Harvey told the City Council on Tuesday, March 18.

The deficit was originally $1.6 million. But during the mid-year budget review at Tuesday’s council meeting, covering the period from July 1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2013, Harvey said the deficit had been reduced to $688,971.

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A proposal to eliminate the assistant chief’s position from the Avalon Fire Department was removed from the Tuesday, March 4, City Council agenda following a closed session discussion of the issues raised.


The council directed staff to work with the Fire Department.


Avalon has a projected $1.6 million deficit.


An Avalon woman died this past weekend, possibly as a result of a drug overdose.

A council member said heroin activity had increased recently at the Tuesday, Feb. 18, Avalon City Council meeting.

“On February 16, 2014 at 8:10 a.m., deputies, Fire Department personnel, and paramedics responded to the 100 block of Metropole Avenue regarding a possible drug overdose,” wrote Capt. Doug Fetteroll in an email about last Sunday’s death. Fetteroll commands the Avalon Sheriff’s Station.

Avalon Bay water quality is improving, according to one of the city’s consultants.

However, state-mandated deadlines can’t be changed.

The consultant also warned the City Council that if Avalon exceeds bacteria limits, the city could be fined or possibly lose the authority to approve sewer connections.

The City of Avalon won’t be hiring anyone for at least two weeks.

At that time, the council will receive updated figures on the city’s budget.

That was the direction of Mayor Bob Kennedy to staff, informally supported by two other council members, following a discussion of cost saving measures for this year and next year at the Tuesday, Feb. 4, City Council meeting.

City Manager Ben Harvey suggested that the city consider a year-long hiring freeze.

In early January, Avalon Sheriff’s Station deputies arrested a minor and two adults for their roles in the theft and vandalism of a resident’s golf cart.

The minor was arrested Jan. 2. The adults were arrested Jan. 9.

All three suspects are Avalon residents, according to Capt. Doug Fetteroll, commander of the Avalon station of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

The adult suspects were identified as Jonathan Torres, 19 and Ricardo Ramirez, 20.

A powerboat ran aground at Arrow Point on Catalina Island on Monday night, Jan. 27, according to Capt. Doug Fetteroll, commander of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Station in Avalon.

There were three men aboard the boat and all three were injured, two of them seriously, according to Inspector Scott Miller, a public information officer for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Fetteroll said the Sheriff’s Department would investigate the cause of the crash.

Catalina Island had a good December—visitor counts were 28.4 percent higher in December 2013 than in 2012, according to figures released this week by the Chamber of Commerce.

Credit goes to the weather, according to Wayne Griffin, Chamber president and CEO.

Cross channel carrier traffic increased 17.1 percent during the same period. Cruise ship visitor counts in December 2013 were up 65.6 percent over December 2012.