Catalina Year in Review 2012: October

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Buccaneer Days

 

The last weekend in September showed a spike upward in the number of visitors to Catalina, according Wayne Griffin, president and CEO of the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce.

 

“We were able to look up lodging occupancy for the last weekend in September last year and compare it to this year.”

 

Buccaneer Days

 

The last weekend in September showed a spike upward in the number of visitors to Catalina, according Wayne Griffin, president and CEO of the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce.

 

“We were able to look up lodging occupancy for the last weekend in September last year and compare it to this year.”

 

Vacation rentals are not included in the comparison between 2011 and 2012: For Friday, Sept. 28, visitor counts were up 45 percent, on Saturday, Sept. 29, they were up 24 percent and for Oct. 1, they were up 44 percent.

 

“There were 127 aircraft parked at the airport at one time, possibly the most ever,” said George O’Leary, airport director.

 

 

Robots study sharks off Island

 

In October, the Islander reported that scientists have been using robots to study sharks. California State University, Long Beach’s Chris Lowe, a marine biologist, worked with Harvey Mudd College’s computer scientist Chris Clark and other scientists to use so-called “autonomous underwater vehicles,” meaning submersible robots, to study sharks.

 

Lowe said he knew this was a place where he can find leopard sharks.

 

Lowe said that one of the things the team wanted to learn was whether leopard sharks would react to the presence of the robots—which operate from a distance of about 100 yards.

 

“It looks like it didn’t have any effect on their behavior at all,” Lowe said.

 

 

Jazz promoter pumps tourism

 

As the annual JazzTrax music festival celebrated a quarter century of bringing music and tourists to Catalina, its founder Art Good said he can look at the event like a proud parent.

 

Good said that as usual, the first weekend this year was light, the second one picked up a bit and he expected the third weekend to see a big surge in attendance at the festival.

 

“Our (core) audience has aged,” he said.

 

“But many of them are retiring now and they have the money to come to the Island and enjoy the festival,” he said.

 

Now with 25 years of setting the JazzTrax tradition, Good said he still hasn’t tired of producing the event and helping it grow.

 

 

City of Avalon hires falconers

 

The Avalon City Council on Tuesday, Oct. 16, approved a contract to hire a falconry service to disperse the pigeon and seagull population. On the Wing Falconry Service uses raptor birds—hawks and falcons—to scare off the troublesome birds. “Specifically, common pigeons and western gulls (“nuisance birds”) aggressively forage for food in and around the city, and their wastes have negatively affected the sanitary conditions of the city—specifically including the beaches,” wrote City Attorney Scott Campbell in his report to the council. “The raptors are specificallytrained such that they will not make physical contact, kill or otherwise harm the nuisance birds.”

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