Catalina Island
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Reported on:
December 17, 2017 - 11:51pm

Articles by Jim Watson

Three new members were elected last week to the CHOICES Board of Directors, according to the group’s Executive Director Rhonda Kalish.  A fourth incumbent board member was also re-elected.

Newly-elected board members include Raffaella Perico, Teresa Macktal and Jen Dreizehn.  The returning incumbent was Esther Gomez.  Ms. Perico will also act as the group’s Treasurer.

Budweiser’s iconic Clydesdale horses will be settling down for a one-week stay on Catalina beginning on Tuesday, June 28, culminating in an appearance in the 4th of July parade on Crescent Avenue.

The Clydesdales will be “stabled” on the empty lot on Beacon Street between Sumner Avenue and Catalina Street.  When not making various appearances around town, the horses will be viewable by the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Editor’s Note:  Jim Watson is the author of “Mysterious Island: Catalina,” available at Amazon, Kindle and in stores in Avalon.


Have you ever been to Fat City?

Well, if you’ve ever been to Manteca, California, then you have indeed been there since the word “manteca” in Spanish literally means “lard.”  Check it out the next time you’re in the meat section at Vons, where they sell little bricks of it.




Editor’s Note:  Jim Watson is the author of “Mysterious Island: Catalina,” available at Amazon, Kindle and in stores in Avalon.




Editor’s Note: Jim Watson is the author of “Mysterious Island: Catalina,” available at Amazon, Kindle and in stores in Avalon.

Yea, though I drive through the shadow-less Valley of Death, I will fear no evil, for I am behind the wheel of a brand new, air-conditioned Dodge Dart rental with 15 gallons of fuel and two gallons of drinking water.

It’s 7 a.m. and the sun is rising above the twisted brown mountains of Death Valley National Park where coyotes prowl, scorpions skitter and the shade is only where you make it.

Ask any schoolchild who the founder of our country is and they will no doubt tell you George Washington.  

Likewise, ask any longtime Islander who the founder of Avalon was and most of them (I hope) will correctly tell you it was George Rufus Shatto.

But less well known among Catalina history buffs is the fate of Shatto and how little time he actually had left on this earth after relinquishing his hold on the Island.

 This is the story of a goat.  Or more precisely, it is the story of a goat and a professional baseball team.

If you are a baseball fan, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  I am referring, of course, to the “Curse of the Billy Goat” and the Chicago Cubs, pride of the Windy City.

While the “Curse of the Billy Goat” has little if anything to do with Catalina Island (some have said the goat was originally from Catalina), the connection between the Cubbies and Catalina is the stuff of local legend.

Seven years ago, best-selling mystery writer Stuart Woods published an engaging novel called “Swimming to Catalina” (HarperCollins, 1998) a thriller involving underworld shenanigans back-dropped by Hollywood glitz.

I won’t go into any of the details of the plot other than to say the novel really had little to do with Catalina.  

Several local sponsors in conjunction with the national non-profit Kids Wish Network, have helped make a wish come true for a seriously ill Northern California girl. Last Tuesday at 1:25 p.m., a specially-chartered Eurocopter AS350 touched down at Pebbly Beach bearing Cecilia Her and five members of her immediate family for a four-day adventure on Catalina.  

The charter was the generous donation of Island Express Helicopters, which owns the chopper.