Letters to the Editor: Friday, Oct. 14


Setting the record straight on flying the Goose

Thanks to my good friend Robbie Hovard I was forwarded a copy of your Sept. 23, 2016 Catalina Islander. I see my old friend Brian Dawes has gotten the ear of some gullible journalist and has been embellishing seaplane stories again. No doubt egged on by Paul Moritz and Robbie Hovard, men generally associated with the old hands of Catalina’s seaplane operations.

Setting the record straight on flying the Goose

Thanks to my good friend Robbie Hovard I was forwarded a copy of your Sept. 23, 2016 Catalina Islander. I see my old friend Brian Dawes has gotten the ear of some gullible journalist and has been embellishing seaplane stories again. No doubt egged on by Paul Moritz and Robbie Hovard, men generally associated with the old hands of Catalina’s seaplane operations.

There are a couple of things I think we need to be clear about for the readers’ sake. We never carried “dock boys” in the bow baggage compartment of the Goose on Friday’s if all the seats were sold out so they could get back to San Pedro for a weekend off. Paul Moritz never sold a last minute charter from San Pedro to Avalon so late in the day that we had to make a night landing back in Pedro. (Paul did go along to help unload bat Avalon.) The Avalon dock boys never hung dead fish in the baggage compartment for the rampers in Long Beach.

What I can say is that Brian Dawes did fly a Goose most of the way to Long Beach one day. But only after I had given him about three minutes of instruction of how it all worked. Brian very possibly is the only islander left on the Island who has very flown a Goose. I flew professionally 39 years. I flew for a couple dozen companies. The absolute best job I had in all those years was flying the Goose to Catalina.

Fred Austin – Retired

Catalina Airlines-Golden West Airlines-Air Catalina

Is medical marijuana good for Catalina?

For the past several issues, the Islander has published articles supporting proposition X, the marijuana medical dispensary proposal. These articles, sometimes factual, often misleading, raise the question: do we need or want this kind of business in our community? It suggests that we have neighbors who need and have difficulty in obtaining medical marijuana.

Question, has a survey been done defining the needs of our community with regard to this subject?

Who is the author of these articles? They suggest that “vast sums of profit will be distributed to nonprofits and kids in our community.” With startup costs for this kind of business estimated to be between $30,000 and $200,000. One would opine that this is indeed a highly profitable enterprise.

A recent L.A. Times article on California proposition 64, stated in part, that many groups representing medical marijuana dispensaries in Calif. are opposing 64, legalizing recreational use of marijuana. The reason given: it would cut into their profits.

THE FACTS ARE, today’s marijuana is a potent and powerful intoxicant. Driving fatalities in marijuana related car crashes have doubled in the state of Washington where recreational usage has become legal.

I support usage of medical marijuana, as prescribed by reputable physicians for those who qualify, as treatment for certain medical conditions as defined by law. I too, also recommend that all persons learn the FACTS, before they vote.

I suspect that the person or group sponsoring this effort, is doing so for personal profit. If they are truly interested in doing more for the youth and nonprofits in our community, I suggest they donate the amount of money that it would cost to start up this business, to the youth and nonprofits.

Walt Puffer

Canyon Terrace

Editor’s Note: What Mr. Puffer calls an “article” was actually a paid advertisement. The Islander does not advocate nor take positions on local issues.

Road widening could help traffic at Vons

The traffic at Sumner Ave and Beacon St will at times be heavy. When Santa Catalina Island Co and Vons put in Third St. from Catalina Ave to Sumner Ave they should make it wide enough to park some of the all day parking lost on Sumner Ave.

Bill Hill


Women’s Forum helped college student

Dear Catalina Island Women’s Forum,

I am extremely grateful that you chose to grant me your scholarship this year. With your help I was able to make the most of my first year without having to worry about my financial situation. In addition to thanking you, I would also love to update you on how my school year went.

I go to Barnard College of Columbia University in New York and I can’t begin to explain how much of a great of a choice I made. New York is an absolutely amazing place filled with so many things to do and opportunities to take advantage of.

My college allowed me to take so many new and exciting classes in my major and some outside of my comfort zone, which led me to find my love of learning Italian. Right now I am an Environmental Science major and an Italian/Science, Public Policy, and Ethics double minor.

Because of your support I was able to be a part of so many amazing things instead of just working. This year I was a part of many clubs including Artist Society, Mujeres, Intramural Volleyball, Columbia QFLIP, and Engineers without Borders to name some.

Also, I was able to hold a few lab positions at Barnard’s Environmental Science Department. This year I worked in a lab that sampled water from the Hudson River to test for e coli and enterococcus cells. I also was the lab assistant for a geology professor and aided her in rock sampling.

By meeting and working with so many awesome and prominent professors I was able to secure an internship in France for the summer that focuses on how calcifying organisms are affected by ocean acidification. Without your help I couldn’t have done so much of all I was able to and take advantage of all of the opportunities that came my way.

Blanca Alvarez Caraveo

Catalina Island
Will Vons displace small businesses?

Catalina Island Population about 4500, Vons needs 10,000 sf to operate the grocery business. They are planning on 20,045 sf: 10,000 sf grocery store, 2,000 sf food service, 1,000 sf public toilets, 1,000 sf 3rd loading dock. They have about 6,000 sf left. They have tested beach equipment. They will put everything sold in the small stores that have a fast turnover.

Bill Hill

A solution to Catalina’s water issues?

There has been a lack of recognition that the state of California has a unique geographic/ meteorological advantage that can aid it in the inexpensive geo-engineered conversion of Pacific ocean water into unlimited fresh water. The Chinese have expanded existing islands in the China Sea for militaristic purposes; California can do the same in its battle with Mother Nature. Whether from an offshore island (or onshore), drawing-up sea water in large hoses and spraying the mist over any grid of glowing hot material would create large plumes of rising steam clouds, devoid of salt. It would also create a slurry pool of concentrated salt water that can be reduced…dried… and barged off for industrial and commercial sale.

Meanwhile, constant, dependable easterly pacific breezes will naturally transport YOUR clouds of (desalinated) water vapor to YOUR Sierra and San Bernardino mountain ranges where the clouds are divested of water into rain and snow. What clouds don’t make it to the mountains will create shade before raining onto your lakes, rivers and lawns (in addition to the largest and most productive growing valley on Earth.) With the skyrocketing price of water, the ability to fill your reservoirs (even during continuous drought) could be worth upwards of 80 trillion over the next 20 years, without factoring improved quality of life.

I have worked for a California defense contractor and have decades of over-the-horizon perspective, but this isn’t rocket science; it’s simple science – 1) evaporation removes salt; 2) hot air rises; 3) pacific breezes blow eastward; 4) mountains harvest cloud water; and 5) The Alaskan Gulf current that runs down your coastline (with its frigid waters) should magnify these effects. Not only does this make sense; it can make dollars on several levels. The feds have a track record of support for geo-engineering. Providing year round moisture to your flora statewide will reinvigorate your bone-dry forests! Building this infrastructure alone would create hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs along the entire west coast! Water tables will be naturally refilled. Instead of leaving the state, people most definitely will come!

Most meteorologists spend their day analyzing wind currents. Today we use their intel passive/defensively when projecting a forest fire’s path. Yet, a 300-station-steam-driven-sprinkler-system that spans the entire west coast would make the mild-mannered weather girl the aggressor. By riding the same wind that drives a fire, our clouds will use up-wind positioning to track down a fire more doggedly than any heat seeker. Humans, forest fires, armies and jets share a lethal design flaw – a glaring vulnerability to a rear attack. A fire’s rear is usually the focal point of fuel depletion along with wind and temperature abatement. Enveloping any wind-driven fire from behind magnifies these inherent defects. Dousing the embers that conflagrations rely upon to jump fire breaks and pre-dousing surrounding trees would seal its fate. Fire coverage from this device would extend from Northern Canada to central Mexico and 1.000 miles inland. With 8 million lightning strikes on Earth every 24 hours (and a large ratio over North America) our US Forestry Service is in dire need of 21st century weaponry of this caliber in its losing war (with a 1.7 billion dollar price tag for 2015 alone). American supremacy at war is based on one bedrock tenet – we own the sky!

While I have tried to lay this out for you simply and logically, I’ve also tried not to overwhelm you with data, as I appreciate how precious your time is and how daunting it would be to investigate a mere theory of this nature. I now live far from California, and have nothing to gain, either way. Yet, It pains me no end to see that you’re holding a winning lottery ticket that would create an unimaginable Disney-like renaissance for generations to come for virtually every single life form in the state…when all you have to do is realize it and cash it in. My continuous efforts to debunk this theory have only led to more reinforcement for it at every turn: economically, environmentally, employment-wise, socially, morally, etc. I believe there are many who would welcome this information, but I have no voice to share it.

Bill Crews

Louisville, Kentucky


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