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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
February 24, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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February 24, 2012

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TIE (00l00llh.IIl+ ! 00illllDll F..'o,, February 24, 2012 VQ+LUME 98, ISSUE 8 I I IIlll:l Annual Underwater Harbor Clean-up this weekend The 31st annual Underwater Harbor Clean-up will be held Saturday, Feb. 25. During the clean-up, there will be a showcase of unique, vintage SCUBA equip- ment located next to the stage on Front Street. The showcase is meant to help kick off a planned diving history museum in Avalon. Lady Lancers in Semi-Finals Lady Lancers in CIF Semi-Finals The Avalon High School Lady Lancer Basketball team has con- tinued their winning ways, and will play in the CIF Division VA semi-finals at home at 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25. If they win, it will mark their first appearance in the CIF finals. Oscar night this Sunday The Catalina Island Medical Center Foundation will return to the red carpet and the Catalina Island Yacht Club on Sunday, Feb 26, for its second annual "An Evening With Oscar" fundraiser. Funds raised from this years event will be directed toward replacing the Medical Center's X-Ray equip- ment Which is nearly 30 years old. For more information call Executive Director Anne Bolzoni at (760} 450-4498. Catalina Vaqueros ride into Catelina's history The Vaqueros.riding group, formed in 1939 by the Santa Catalina Island Company, were just begin- ning the production of a silent film titled "The Great Western Movie." See story, page 9 President of Yemen visits Avalon for a day President All Abdullah Saleh of Yemen visited Catalina Island on Thursday, Feb. 16. See story, page 2 Avalon Library to celebrate Read Across America Dr. Seuss and Gayley Moore were both much-beloved, both adored children, both revered books and both will be honored at an open house at the Avalon Library between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 2, Dr. Seuss's birth- day. In Seuss's honor, schools and libraries across the country will celebrate Read Across America Day. See story, page 2 Women's Forum donates te Avalon Driver's Ed The Women's Forum recently donated $3,750 to the Avalon High School Driver:s Education program. See story, page 5 Lance Corporal Cody Morand was greeted by family, friends and members of the communi- ty on Sunday February 19, as he disem- barked the Express boat and returned home after his year-long tour of duty. See story, page 6. Photo by Jennifer Leonhardi Armstrong's lease terminated EXTENSIVE RENOVATION OF BUILDING FOR A LARGER RESTAURANT PLANNED Santa Catalina Island Resort Services recently announced that Armstrong's Seafood Restaurant & M.arket on Avalon's waterfront will close for a remodel on Oct. 31. At that time, a multi-million dollar renovation .of the Terminal Building is scheduled to begin. The new restaurant will include both the existing Armstrong's lo- cation as well as the adjacent Busy Bee restaurant site. Until then, Armstrong's, which has provided local residents' and visitors with fresh seafood for many years, will continue opera- tions and will also temporarily ex- pand into the Busy Bee space. Russ Armstrong is a well-known yachtsman and big game fisher- man, active in both local and in- ternational waters for many years, with many prizes and awards for his fishing prowess. He will con- tinue to operate the Ristorante Vil- la Portofino, the Casino Dock Caf6 and Big Olaf's Ice Cream Parlor in Avalon while seeking a new home for Armstrong's Seafood. "Russ has been a great tenant of SCICo for many years," said Randy Herrel, Island Resort Ser- vices president and CEO. "Dur- ing the past year, we have been exploring how best to continue our relationship, including having Russ partner with us or join with other investors in the creation of a new restaurant with the Armstrong name. Ultimately, Russ felt it was better for him to remain indepen- dent, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors?' Island Resort Services also an- nounced that the Bluewater Grill Restaurant Group based in New- port Beach has signed a 25-year lease for the building and will be the new restaurant owner and op- erator. Bluewater Grill is a lead- ing operator of premium seafood restaurants with four properties in California and Arizona. Bluewater Avalon will serve the freshest seafood while malntainin the-strictest standards for sustain- ability and marine stewardship. Local residents have seen Bluewa- ter's vessel, the Pilikia, in Southern California waters for many years, fishing the waters off Catalina Is- land in the most sustainable man- ner by targeting only mature fish without use of nets or long lines. Remodel, Page 3 CATHERINE HOTEL TO SELL EASEMENT TO ClIY OF AVALON SEWER/SALT WATER INCREASE MOVES FORWARD BY MICHAEL CAMP Deb Weir, a Bunn family rep- resentative, convinced the Avalon City Council on Tuesday night that the price for the easement pur- chased in 1993 for the front section of the Catherine Hotel had at least partially been paid to the city. Having brought enough proof and a proposal of a deal for the deed, Weir requested that the remaining questionable amount of $63,056.25 be put into escrow by Helen Bunn, owner of the Catherine, and the deed also be in escrow for 60 days at which time the transfer would be made. The council conceded that two initial payments totaling $76, 018.75 were probably paid, but the remaining balance of $63,000, with no documentation produced from either side, would have to be paid for by the Bunns for the ded to be transferred. Hence the escrow transfers of deed and money. The 60-day delay of transfer will allow the Btmn family to continue searching for proof of their pay- ment to the city for the land. They will also be able to move on with the pending sale of the Catherine. It was mentioned that the new buyer, a very affluent person, in- tends to entirely renovate the hotel. There were thumbs up in the au- dience at this statement. Also ad- dressed was further investigation in Council, Page 3 MYSTERIOUS ISLAND Catalina's facts, folklore andfibs This Week: The Honored Dead, Part I In observance of the 70th anniversary of the Second World War, Mysterious [sland continues its series on the war and its effect on Catalina Island. BY JIM WATSON On Feb. 20, 1941, the Catalina Islander be- gan a weekly column that listed all of the Avalon residents who were serving in the armed forces. The first bombs would not drop oh Pearl Har- bor for another 10 months, but the winds of war were already blowing and American merchant seamen were already dying in the Battle of [he Atlantic. We all knew it was just a matter of time before the war came to America. In that February t941 issue, the "Honor Roll" as it was called, featured a mere eight names. But by war's end nearly five years later, the list had grown to more than 150 names. As news of battlefield deaths trickled in to the Catalina Home Front, a small star would be placed to the right of the individual's name, in- dicating that they had been "Killed in Action?' As a final epitaph to this series on World War H and its effect on Catalina, it wasxny desire to present to you, Dear Reader, who these individ-. uals were, how they died, and where they are now. It is a project I have worked on for at least four years and it's a project that, unfortunately, is not complete. Due to less-than-inspiring gov- ernment recording-keeping, fading memories and the passing of friends and family members who could have contributed to this co/npila- Watson, Page 8 , World War II poster reminds US citizens of the phrase that was popular during the war that "loose lips sink ships."