Letters to the Editor: Aug. 5, 2016

 

Keep our beach volleyball court

I am writing to urge the City Council to retain Avalon’s only beach volleyball court at its current location in Mole Park.

Keep our beach volleyball court

I am writing to urge the City Council to retain Avalon’s only beach volleyball court at its current location in Mole Park.

Earlier this week I learned of its vote some months ago to use available Los Angels County funds to remove the court and add four swings for young children as part of a plan to reorganize and beautify Mole Park, and of its intention to reconsider and vote again on the matter at its Aug. 16 meeting so that final decisions can be made, construction can commence and the entire project can be completed before the December deadline for funding.

Although I believe that the Council wants to retain beach volleyball in Avalon, no viable option for a sand volleyball court at a different location has been proposed to date and I don’t believe that one exists.

South Beach, even if the net were put up only in the late afternoon when fewer beachgoers would need to be moved, will not work for all sorts of reasons. The present location, next to the basketball court and with fencing all around, is the best location for the players and the community given our space limitations in Avalon, and it has worked well since the Mole was built more than 45 years ago.

More aesthetically pleasing fencing can work. If we want to add more facilities for young children than we already have, there is another location in Mole Park that I believe can work and will be preferable aesthetically because the swings will be seen by visitors coming off the boats before they reach the volleyball and basketball courts.

Avalon is a beach resort—as the promo song goes, sunny and 75. Every beach in southern California needs at least one beach volleyball court. Especially in Avalon, where teenagers and adults – islanders, part-time residents and visitors – need recreational opportunities, we need a beach volleyball court. We have one, “it ain’t broke” and there is no better place for it. Let’s not make a big mistake and remove the beach volleyball court.

Gary Maeder
Put fake grass on Field of Dreams

The folks at Budweiser have generously given the city $500,000 for an artificial turf field. My understanding is that the current plan is to replace the natural grass on Joe Machado field.

What I would rather see, is to leave Joe Machado field as is, and use the money to install the artificial turf on the Field of Dreams. The Field of Dreams (behind the fire station, next to the golf course) has a long history as a sports field. It is where the Chicago Cubs played spring training. In addition to its roots in baseball, it has been a football field, a soccer field, a rugby field and in general, an integral part of sports on Catalina Island. Currently, it is a sad, hard-packed, dirt field used to park machinery and store all sorts of equipment and construction odds and ends. That’s a pretty sad ending and not the “Dream” for the Field of Dreams.

Adding artificial turf would give new life to the Field of Dreams. It could be set up as a year-round soccer field, leaving Joe Machado field for softball and the school’s football games. It would give Avalon some additional options and allow multiple events to happen simultaneously if we needed it. The Rugby tournament could move back there (closer to the Sand Trap, which the rugby players would appreciate, I’m sure) and that would cause a lot less wear and tear on the natural grass at Joe Machado. It could be available for “open play” at certain times for the kids of Avalon. There are lots of options, we would certainly get good use out of it.

I’m sure the City could find other places to park and store the machinery (up above Joe Machado field comes to mind maybe).

As long as we have the Bud money – I’d vote to “add” a field instead of just resurface the one we have.

Todd Hallenbeck

Avalon

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