Catalina Island
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Reported on:
November 22, 2017 - 4:51am

Articles by For the Islander

At the age of 18, Blanca Alvarez had lived on Catalina her entire life and believed she knew the Island well.

Then she was introduced to NatureWorks, the Catalina Island Conservancy’s educational program, and she discovered there was much more to learn about the very special place she calls home.

Visiting Catalina Island during off-peak season has many perks, from more room to roam, cooler weather to incredible savings.

Now through March 2017, Catalina Express and Paradise Hotel Partners offer combination boat and accommodations packages at 20 hotels in Avalon as part of its “Best of Winter” offering.  And with events galore taking place through March, there’s no reason to say no to a day or overnight in Avalon.

From budget to luxury, there is a deal to fit every pocketbook and taste.

CHOICES is currently seeking candidates for their Board of Directors for the coming term.

Four positions are opening and each term will last for two years.  

CHOICES is the local drug abuse prevention organiation.

In addition to occasional special meetings, regular Board of Directors meetings are held roughly every other month.

Heads are turning on Catalina Island, as the Catalina Island Conservancy’s new Wildlands Express shuttle arrived in Avalon this past weekend.  

The Conservancy has added a new high-roof passenger van to its fleet of existing Wildlands Express shuttles.

The vehicle seats up to 11 passengers, and has over 80 cubic feet of cargo space.

The vehicle also features a low-emission 6-cylinder diesel engine and 4-wheel drive to provide safe and reliable transport in a variety of road and weather conditions.  

Las Caballeras, an organization of horsewomen who gather every fall for a six-day vacation with their horses on Catalina, recently presented the Catalina Island Conservancy with a $1,400 donation for the bison, which was from contributions collected during their ride this year on Catalina.

The organization’s first ride was 1995, and the annual event has grown from 26 riders to about 50 riders today.

In an effort consistent with its long history of community support, and with a goal to ease the ongoing burden of water rationing, the Santa Catalina Island Company recently announced an agreement with Southern California Edison to make non-potable irrigation water from the Island Company’s golf course well available to island residents free of charge.

Hotel Villa Portofino owners Tom and Gina Cappannelli recently announced the sale of their property on Catalina Island. Hotel Villa Portofino and Ristorante Villa Portofino have been sold to Eat, Drink, Sleep, a San Diego-based company that owns and operates “urban retreats in unexpected places.” The hotel and restaurant officially transferred to the new owners are Oct 21.

The Catalina Island Conservancy broke ground Friday on Trekking Catalina, the most extensive enhancement of the organization’s hiking trail network since the 2009 opening of the 37.2-mile Trans-Catalina Trail.

It also honored Los Angeles County Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe for his many contributions to the Conservancy and the Island during the new trail groundbreaking at Patrick’s Reservoir, one of the trailheads in Catalina’s wildlands, and a celebratory picnic at Haypress Recreation Area.

The Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau recently invited business owners, managers and other interested parties to join in a Fixer.