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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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March 9, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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March 9, 2012
 

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - From page 6 or two. We have felt, every day, like explorers in a new world, checking, registering and immor- talizing our awe in articles and presentations, letters and photo- graphs, journals, sketches and de- tailed drawings. I always felt this was the last job I was going to have, a place where I would like to retire only to have more time to dedicate to explora- tion and more discoveries. Here, I have seen children turn into young adults, sharing with them some of the wonder I felt about this place, their home, our home. Many of them wave at us or stop me in the streets, and tell me about a tidbit of information I gave them, a moment of discovery we shared, or a place that we explored together. Those moments will be indel- ibly etched in our minds and in our hearts, immortalized by the power of the sweet and delightful shared experiences. My own grown chil- dren have also benefited from the bounties of the Island, and built their own loving memories of working in conservation and enjoy- ing its treasures. This is what this land, this small rock, surrounded by the coO1, clear Pacific Ocean, has done to us. Here also we have made friends for life; we have discovered the generous nature of Catalina's people, the loving way they feel about their island home arid about the history of which we are a small part of now. We've seen with Sad- ness some of them leave, and have managed to stay in contact with many of them, still sharing what we loved and what we learned here together. I have worked with inspiring people, professionals through and through, with a pas- sion for their work that is seldom seen. I have learned so much dur- ing this time that it feels that I have lived here for decades. I discovered and re-discovered here things about myself that I didn't know I had, like a renewed love for music and playing, an unending sense of wonder, and a voracious curiosity to fige things out, in nature and in people's af- fairs. Here I have been filled with a new wonder and an insatiable lust for knowledge, simply becauseof what this place is. I have an enormous debt to the people of this Island, past and present; to the ancient Tongva that have slowly revealed themselves to me through their amazing ar- tifacts, the sacred remains of its people, and the tireless effort of committed scientists that have cared for this important part of the Island's history; and to its present people, multi-cultural, eclectic, a diverse melting pot of beliefs, at- titudes, hopes and dreams, held to- gether by their unshakable, shared passion and love for the Island. We have been humbled and shaken, in- spired and loved, changed and im- proved, and that will always stay with us. We can't think of a better gift than the gift of love, friend- ship, tolerance and generosity that we have received, day in and day out, from the people of Cataliria. Our hearts are truly broken for CATAUNA COUPLES: CARLOS AND CLAUDIA DE LA ROSA Please send us your favorite photo of yourself or of another local Catalina couple to be included in the Catalina Islander. They can be young or old; in special places, special occasions or just at home. Email your high resolution photo to ed@cinews.us. having to leave, but they are al- ready healing because we will al- ways carry a part of the Island with us, and we remain hopeful that we too wilt always be part of what made this Island a home for us. So, thank you Avalon, thank you dear friends; thank you for all the memories and all the love. We will always carry you fondly in our hearts. Carlos and Claudia de la Rosa Many Thanks A little over three years ago the Los Angeles County Fire Depart- ment selected me to serve as the Fire Captain in Avalon at Fire Sta- tion 55, here on Catalina Island. What a privilege and an honor it has been. The professional, and more importantly, personal joys .that my family and I have expe- rienced along the way have been truly immense. On March 1, 2012, my duties came to a close and I assumed a new assignment on the mainland. I Wanted to take this opporttr- nity to say "thank you," to count- less friends, neighbors and col- leagues who have contributed to what has been undoubtedly the greatest chapter in my professional life. I want to make every attempt to acknowledge those individuals and organizations that I have been blessed to work with. (For any that I miss, please accept my sincerest apologies in advance): Santa Catalina Island Conser- vancy President and CEO Dr. Ann Muscat Santa Catalna Island Conser- vancy COO / Treasurer Mel Din- kel Safita Catalina Island Com- pany Geoff Rusack Santa Catalina Island Com- pany CEO Randy Herrel Avalon City Council Avalon Fire Chief Steve Heoffs Los Angeles County Sherriff's Captain Jeff Donahue, Avalon Sta- tion All .of our Organized Youth Camp Administrators and Staff, private, faith-based, or otherwise Public safety partners: Avalon Fire Department Avalon Harbor Department Los Angeles Sherriff's De- partment Dispatchers, Deputy's, Administrative Staff East and West End Search & Rescue Teams Santa Catalina Island Conser- vancy Rangers Jim Fellows, Dave Scoff, and Phil Lopez During my post I was also priv- ileged to work with extraordinarily talented Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguards, both in Avalon and at The Isthmus. These have become some of my most special personal relationships that I will value for alifetime. I would be remise if I did not recognize your neighbors and our dedicated volunteer Patrol Fire Fighters. Collectively, they have contributed nearly 200 years of service to this community. The firefighters include: FS 55 - Avalon- Orne Carstarphen Dave "DMZ" Christensen Mike King Mike Krug Dave Long Adam Olsen FS. 155 -- Two Harbors Blake Boutillier David "Chowder "' Luchau "Mama T" Theresa McDowell Scott Panzer "Uncle Paulie" Paul Wintler My position periodically re- quired me to travel to the main- land, during which I was continu- ously supported by very capable and committed Los Angeles Coun- ty Fire Department Catalina Island Relief Staff members. They in- clude: Adolfo "Fo" Rodriguez Cameron Davey "The Matador" Dave Gillotte Dave NOrman Derrick Chapman Gary Black Jim Lile Mitch Brown Greg Prancevic Brian Robertson John Smolin .... Pink Mark Rubeshaw" Matthew Kaller "The Minator" Scott Evans Tim Gilman Their help with the Catalina i s- land operation has been indispe[ s- able and very much appreciated. I am also indebted to so[ae very special individuals, whc se help has served me in multitudes ways. They include: Lenny /l- of theer, the Santa Catalina Islahd Conser,ancy Maintenance Stff, Mike Krug, Mike Alegrea Sr., J.J. Poindexter, Rick Harp, Steve Po - ell, Jeane Barrett and Richard & Leslie Warner. Finally, none of this would ha ve been possible without the uncc m ditional support of my wife Sh, ;ri and our sons Matthew and Eth: a]. They have continued to show th ir love, with patience, despite the 4 hustle and bustle of their very bu sy husband and father. Words do [ot suffice to express my gratitude tO them and my love for them is ,th of this world. Your new Los Angeles Corn Fire Captain Gary Black will corn to Cataliha Island with 30 years c experience under his belt. as well a a significant background here on ill Island. Captain Black's parmer t Fire Station 55 will be Fire Fighter Specialist Andrew Cardullo.-I ar Letters, Page 61 Friday, March 9, 2012 THE CATAUNA ISLANDEI