Letters to the Editor: Friday, Feb. 1, 2013

 

Conservancy rant

We have watched as the Los Angeles Times and island papers have revealed many serious issues regarding Catalina’s non-profit conservancy, instated for the preservation of Catalina’s unspoiled interior lands, we have been told. We are saddened, but not surprised.

Conservancy rant

We have watched as the Los Angeles Times and island papers have revealed many serious issues regarding Catalina’s non-profit conservancy, instated for the preservation of Catalina’s unspoiled interior lands, we have been told. We are saddened, but not surprised.

Reading the articles one would imagine that Mrs. Muscat had only now become a self serving figure head, when since her arrival many years ago, it has been clear that she had little interest in the prosperity of the island community and conservancy partners.

This includes the yacht clubs and the conservancy service clubs (to which the two of us have belonged), except in so far as she could “use” them for her own end. Why would the needs of the city or others be considered any differently?

In a talk Mrs. Muscat had with our club many years ago, her agenda become immediately clear. She purported to enlighten us on the work of the conservancy, while all the while lecturing us on the attributes of the island, for reasons apparently only a scientist of her stature could understand.

Of the hundred or more in that room there wouldn’t have been a soul who didn’t deeply appreciate the island, and many were appreciating it before she was born!

While the event was billed as a discussion, she made it clear that it wasn’t our ideas or feedback she was interested in, only our money. And goodness help you if you had ideas different than hers. There wasn’t one suggestion made that day that she seemed to take seriously. We got a taste of mayor Bob Kennedy’s “her way or the highway” from a recent published article.

Out of courtesy and real concern, my wife and I tried to engage with her after the talk, but her eyes quickly wandered and keyed in on others of known higher worth. She excused herself and ultimately fell all over herself getting an introduction.

Personal disappointment with the character of the person who was selected for the most influential post on the island aside, it is obvious to us that there are serious issues at the conservancy, and in that case, for the island also. The pristine interior is the partner asset to the glorious beaches and coves that make the island a prime destination for tourists.

Neither of us are strangers to the satisfaction and perks, and also the challenges and serious responsibilities of serving on a board. Given that this CEO has not had the wisdom and grace for the benefit of the organization that has paid her $286,000 a year (if the newspaper is to be believed) to step down, then the board is compelled to act. No matter what the past successes that are the source of the remaining board of directors’ “full confidence” in Mrs. Muscat, what is obvious to those of us at 1000 feet is that her positive contribution to the conservancy and to the Catalina is done and it is time for a change.

We only hope that change comes swiftly to avert additional damage to this iconic institution and island.

Todd and Sandy Binder

 

Courthouse closure protest

Thank you for the article about the protest that is ongoing to save the Avalon Courthouse from closure.  (“Residents and merchants urged to protest Avalon’s courthouse closure,” Friday, Jan. 25.)

There is a petition being circulated online at www.change.org.

You can also find the link from my Facebook page.

There is so much more to having a courthouse than just being able to appear in court for criminal matters.

Obtaining and filing paperwork, jury duty, taking care of tickets, civil matters such as evictions, and even small claims cases, which may amount to less than it would cost to handle on the mainland, but require the justice system to resolve and avoid escalation. It is simply not the right thing to do to deny Avalon court access.

We cannot simply drive a little farther to a different courthouse.  Boats, hotels, and multiple trips can be required for even a simple legal matter.

We must fight to save our courthouse access.

Please log on to change.org and sign the petition.  Please tell your friends and family to sign the petition.  You do not have to live in Avalon to sign.  Thank you so much for your support for our local Avalon Courthouse!

Denise Pereyra

Staff Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer

Catalina Island Conservancy

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