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

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OLDMAN 'AND THE SEA Life as a Liveaboard THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT BY ALLAN OLDMAN Surely there have been times when a dripping faucet or a tick- ing clock kept you from getting a peaceful night's rest. When the Catalina eddy comes around the East end and catches your tail, well that is when the tuna cans and candied yams come a' flyin' across the cabin in their crazy search to find a place to crash or splash. Not complaining, just explaining, 'cause I'm still in training. Thinking I would rise with the sun early the next morning and go about my daily routine, I turned myself in sOmetime around 8 p.m.. Without a clue, 3 a.m. in the morn- ing, I am tossed from my bunk with a horrfic thud. There will be no sleep this night. Poseidon has released the Kraken. It was at this point that I do believe I even called out for Aunty Em, because we are not in Karisas anymore, are we Toto? Making my way out on deck, I saw no Munchkins. No yellow brick road. That's when I knew where I was. I'm in the channel. When the swell's come against the wind, is when the canned goods, the dry goods, all the goods that aren't either screwed, glued, or tied down go a' tumblin'. There is no earthly way to stow this stuff so that it doesn't scatter like scared cats. The stove is on a swivel therefore in semi-calm water it rocks to and fro. But this particu- lar night there's a clink, a clank, and then a clunk. The wires that are run inside my hollow main mast for the lights crank up their own rhythmic tune. They tick and tack, and click and clack just above me as I lay in the V-berth below. It can irritate be- YOnd the point of pleasure. Tuna and yams are tasty togeth- er. I amuse myself momentarily pondering the question of whether or not the guy who invented Reese Peanut Butter Cups had owned a boat. How else did he figure out that peanut butter and chocolate would be a delectably irresistible treat? Trying to reorganize every- thing accompanied by staggering violently from the swells and the remnants of the liquor the evening before has turned this into a twist- ed ballet to behold. And now, with matchbooks firmly wedged between doors and frames so they don't "TAP," and with everything else put low enough that it has nowhere else to fall, I'll go enjoy my tuna and yams. The bunk will feel like rock- ing in Mama's arms. It isn't always so irritating and treacherous. One sunny Saturday afternoon a couple of months ago, while spending some time on a friend's boat, such a swell came in the harbor that we were alerted by the "WHEEEeee" of children at the arch on Via Casino. They had gath- ered to watch as the waves crashed against the sea wall shooting water up as high as the palm trees. Hell, there were guys on surfboards rid- ing the waves in, and then turning around and surfing back out. There wasn't going to be any "going to town" that day, for all the dingy docks had been pulled and the shore boats weren't running. With nowhere to go and no way to get there anyhow, we sat in my friend's cockpit and drank beers, riding a gi- ant hobby-horse, watching the surf- ers and talking of calmer or wilder seas. That was a good day. My vessel is my Tenth Muse; she is the reason for the season, the saint that makes me faint, the boat I keep afloat. And that is all I have to say about that. Lisa Lavelle and Sean Brannock sell tickets to the St. Patrick's Day Dinner fundraiser for Catalina Kids Ventures on March 14. Photo by Jennifer Leonhardi Nonprofit From page 1 According to Sean Brannock, the current Community Services director, who oversees the preschool, the city has been subsidizing the preschool at the rate of about $130,000 a year. Most of that money pays for the program's staff. "We actually have a very dedicated and excellent staff," Brannock said. "The problem is we put out more expenditures in staff than we generate in tuition." Brannock said in a recent interview that it has been hard to raise the enrollment due to some factors such as having a smaller pool of potential students. "On the mainland, pre-schools can draw enrollment from sur- rounding cities," Brannock said.: "Here we are limited on where we can draw students from.". Brannock said that although Catalina Kid Ventures is affordable by childcare industry standards, many parents in Avalon who might need childcare couldn't afford it due to the high cost of living on CITY SETS APRIL 5 FOR SPRING FEST The city of Avalon will hold it annual Spring Fest from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, on Crescent Avenue. Booth applications can be picked up at the Recreation Department within City Hall. Contact Sean Brannock at the Recreation Department at (.310) 510-0220 x 231 for any additional questions. the Island. "We are trying to keep our tuition low because we want to be able to fill the pre-school," Brannock said. "Our folks are dependent on childcare so they can work. Some are working two or three jobs just so they can live on the Island. However, the preschool is necessary for working parents to have an opportunity to put their kids into a safe environment. The first five years of a child's life are really important." Some parents who cannot afford the cost of their children's preschool may- qualify for substantial assistance through government agencies such as the Children's Home Society of California. To that end, Catalina Kid Ven- tures will host a workshop with the society on Wednesday, March 28, to provide information and assist families interested in applying for assistance. There will be two presentations at city hall: One at 1 p.m. in Spanish and another at 5 p.m. in English. For more information call Sean Brannock at (310) 510-1987. Brannock said if a nonprofit were formed, the city would still continue to allow the Catalina Kid Ventures to use its facility rent- free, cover the cost of supplies and equipment and all of the non- telephone utilities. "The city will also provide the non-profit with a loan it would pay need to back within two years" Brannock said. 'Fhey are also going to donate startup costs and the city attorney's time to help draw up the necessary papers for the non-pro fit's incorporation." Brannock said that by forming an official non-profit; its board of directors would have access to grants, donations and other funding sources that would not be available if it were privatized. "There is a lot of work to get done, so .enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers are needed. Staffing the facility is necessary as well as working through the budget, establishing tuition costs, purchasing and fundraising for school equipment, and more,'" Marshall said. "We are hoping to establish the board by April 7. For this reason it is important that serious applicants with a long-term interest and commitment apply. "We need just a few good people to do many great things for. the children and families of Avalon." Persons interested in applying for a seat on the board should call Anni Marshall with specific questions at (310) 339-2935. They should begin preparing a brief summary as to why they wish to sit on the board and what strengths they think they may bring to the board. Please forward your letter of interest to: Anni Marshall, P.O. Box 2t73, Avalon; CA, 90704. Catalina Kid Ventures has been operating since 1989. It is open from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday all year round. Islanders also have PLAY, a parent-cooperative preschool. However. it is open much fewer hours and parents must participate in staffing it, which makes it , difficult for parents that ar J employed full time. For more inforrfiation on Catalina Kid Ventures, call (310)"5L0-1704. The Children Home Society has an office at 3'30 Clden Shore # 20 in Long .Beach. For more information, call (562) 256-7400 6i FridaY, March 16, 20i2 ........................................................................................................................................................ "iHE cAT&MNAisLANiIER