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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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March 16, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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March 16, 2012
 

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This week the Islander continues its coverage of the five candidates in the race for Avalon City Council and the two candidates for Mayor of Avalon. The election will be held on Tuesday, April 10. The candidates were asked the following question: "What youth programs and activities-have the greatest impact on shaping children in a positive way Oley Olsen There are some great programs by Avalon Schools. Both of my children graduated from there and I believe that all of the programs that they offer benefit the children in so many ways. These kids get to go to the mainland to compete against other schools, which is abig deal a i lot of times, because without it there are some kids that may not ever have ffchance to go tothe mainland. I also think that the teen center at the community church is an amazing place for the kids to be able to go and they have a very positive influ- ence on the kids. I also think the plays produced by the school are great. Basically any program or activity that youth can participate in that is produc- tive. I also believe we need to make it more possible for parents to be involved in their child's up-bringing more and support their kids in these programs. For example, when we had day- time football games a few years ago the games were not as well attended as the night games held this past year because night games were at- tended by parents who had a greater opportunity to be off of work and could be there to watch their kids. We need to encourage parents to be there to supporttheir kids. - Robert. Kennedy All high school and youth pro- grams are successful and well-at- tended. I am certainly not saying there is not room for improvement. Supervision and coaching need some attention. La Crosse histori- cally has created a positive impact on our youth. We have children in college who continue playing on La- Crosse teams. We need to return the program in our corrfmunity in addition adding additional space resources to remove field burden and add some Other programs of interest as well. I would like to see the construction of an aquatic and community center facility. I realize this has been discussed among many people around town. Recently the Santa Catalina Island Company has been helping us ac- : c0mplish this goal. We have been meeting with a focus group for the past several months to accomplish Such a feat. This center would drasti- cally improve quality of life and program availability on the island. This would expand venues for not only our youth, but for our entire community, including visitors. 310.510.0250 310.510.8957fx Richard Hemandez I think almost all youth programs have a very strong impact in shap- ing children's growth in a positive way--whether it's Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts, any of the arts programs, or league or non-league sports. Hav- ing coached t-ball, little league, and high school girls and boys baseball teams for almost 35 years, I have personally witnessed the addi- tional benefits these sports activities achieve in addition to just recre- ation. One of the most obvious is the physical benefits of the exercise and training that act as one tool in efforts to try and limit childhood obesity, which has become a hot topic in the last few years. There are many additional ben- efits that come from participation in sports programs including learning teamwork and leadership skills, learning to appreciate diversity, learning how to manage conflicts and also even learning time man- agement skills. The community benefits from the fact that kids that are involved in the after school pro- grams of all kinds e less likely to be drawn into any form of juvenile delinquency. All of the above are why I am so passionate about us getting a com- plete recreation center finally built for our kids. One that can house not only all the sports fields and a pool, but also includes a building able to accommodate art projects, board games, with music and theatre opportunities as well and the abil- ity for kids to gather in a safe and supervised environment. &BLAIR BY KATHRYN NEWLANDER Tim Winslow The following programs are of- fered to children ages 3 years thru the 8th grade by the City of Avalon Recreation Department: Flag foot- ball, youth basketball, t-ball, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, city dance programs, Kids at Play (theatre- based programs); Little League baseball and Girl Scouts are also available as separate entities. All of these programs help children learn team spirit and team cooperation. These programs help build stronger and more active children. They build character and prepare them for their higher grades and life in general. Scott Nelson I have always supported any sport or other activity for our kids. Not all kids are the same--some are athletic while others are more art- oriented. So I believe that focusing just on one program or area is not fair to the other kids that have dif- ferent interests. When my boys grew up here, I started the soccer league and the t-ball programs in town. They are still growing and thrivig today. I think it is wonderful for our kids to be-able to have these types of opportunities and providing such opportunities needs to continue. The difficult part is finding the funding for them. Between private donations and the support of grouPs like the Yacht Club, the Tuna Club, and the fishing tourna- ments we have always been able to keep these great programs going. One thing that we have talked a lot about and that I believe we do need is a community center or recreational facility. It should in- clude a swimming pool, be a place where the kids can hang out and be safe, maybe get their homework done or have a mentoring program available to them. The community center would also be the ideal place for seniors, and it would have a gym for everyone to be able to work out. Ralph Morrow I support any program that gets our youth and visitors involved in out- door fitness and athletic activities. We have programs in place already and we should look to increase and improve those programs. We need to further develop the Las Casitas and Golf Course areas and expand and improve all of our recreational facilities for our youth. Every opportunity should be taken to provide our youth and our visitors with quality recreational facilities and locations to promote athletics, fitness, competition and fun within the City of Avalon. Let us not forget about the Avalon Community Pool. In 1976, Paul McIlroy and myself along with Jeanie Hill and others hatched a plan to raise funds to build a community swimming pool in Avalon. To date, the pool hasn't found a home yet. We have raised substantial funds to begin work on the project and are waiting for the right time and place. I support this program and would love to see it through to conclusion. Sue Rikalo I'm sorry, but I can't choose. I think it depends on the child, his interests and often on the adults he interacts with. I met with Jen Lavelle of the City Recreation Department so I could understand the scope of the programs for the youth in our town; I got quite an education. I am im- pressed by the range of opportuni- ties and the sheer number of parents and volunteers who make them happen and affordable. Sports programs affect the greatest number of our youth, but those who respond to music, theater, dance, or arts and crafts can be in- volved too. Other programs that also shape youth m a poslave way p- , clude Choices, the Women's F, .o!2um mentoring program, Linq[a Rivkin's college placementje9I,s, J?,oy Scouts an GirlsLifeguards and the Conservancy Kids in Nature and FamilieS.#Nature. 4 ) Friday, March 16, 2012 TNECATAUNA ISLANDER