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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
May 27, 2011     The Catalina Islander
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May 27, 2011

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Heal the Bay, Catalina's Beaches Misrepresented OP/ED BY CHRISTOPHER BLEHM Heal the Bay released its 2011 water quality report card for Cata- lina Beaches on Wednesday, May 25th. According to Heal the Bay, Avalon has the second most polluted water in the state, trailing only Cowell Beach in Santa Cruz County. The LA Times wast- ed no time in plas- tering the "Beach Bummers" list all over itself, even us- ing a photo of our beaches, pier and the Casino to headline the story. Both entities are a lot more full of crap than our water. I wanted to see just where these sensationalist headlines came from, so I visited the Heal the Bay Web site. It's a solid site, very in- formative and functional. I pulled up the map of our great town. There is, indeed, a big, glaring, red "F" 1/3 of the way between the Green Pier and the Busy Bee. Guess what they didn't bother to mention? 2/3 of the way between the Green Pier and the Busy Bee, the grade is an "A." That's right, an "A." How many feet differ- ence? An "F" plastered on the sen- sationalist, self-sng, sell-news- papers-no-matter-what LA Times, and an "A" so close that the but- tons overlap on the Web site. 2/3 of the way between the storm drain Publisher Dan Teckenoff Editor Dennis Kaiser Office Man Jennifer Leonhardi Accounting Becky Eck ADVERI'ISING DISPLAY CLASSIFIEDS LEGAL ADS Subscriptions Editorial Letters to the editor Olituades 101 MARILLA #6 AVALON, CA 90704 I (310) 5100500 I FAX: (310) 510-2882 Postmaster: Send address changes to The Catalina Islander P.O. Box 428, Avalon, CA 90704 (USPS 093-140) Acceptance under 39C, F.R. t "3464 periodica,s postage paid at Avalon. CA 90704 and other additional offices. Adjudication Decree No. 377598. Date of Adjudication: Oct. 4. 1934 Exact Name of Newspaper as shown in the Petition for Adjudication: The Catalina Islander. Published weekly at 101 Marilla Avenue, #6 Avalon, CA 90704. The entire contents of The Catalina islander are copyrighted by The Catalina Islander. NO part may be reproduced in any fashion without written con- sent of the publisher. This publication is printed almost entirely on recycled paper. PROUD MEMBER OF THE CAUFORNIA NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION DEADUNES Calendar: Noon Monday I Nvs: 5 p.m. Monday ] Display Adver- tising: 2 p.m. Tuesday ] Classified Advertising: Noon Tuesday ] Lagal/Public Notices: 5 p.m. Monday SUBSCRIPTIONS One Year Subscription: Catalina .............................................. $39 : Mainland ............................. : .............. $48 Subscriptions via First Class Mail are available for $80/year Founded in 1913 Iy Ernest Windle Chris Blehm Columnist and the pier got a "C," by the Tuna Club earned an "A," and 1/3 of the way between the storm drain and the pier? A+. I'm sick and tired of sensa- tionalist journal- ism (which is being kind) bad mouthing us with incomplete information that leads people to inac- curate conclusions. Only loud mouth editorial writers actually research the facts behind the sound bites. Where are Heal the Bay's awards for our A and A+ scores? No, that doesn't self-promote or sell news- papers. Where are the measure- ments at the gorgeous Descanso Beach? Majestic Casino Point? Shark? Ben? No, Heal the Bay only measures inside the harbor. And we still earned an A+, an A, and a C. All that is being reported is the F. Maybe there is a sewage leak. Maybe the sampling procedures are as flawed as the reporting. Maybe a seagull vacated its bow- els on the Heal the Bay employee taking the sample. Maybe the em- ployee vacated his bowels when he Wrote the report card. Either way, it stinks. Im sorry, I forgot that Heal the Bay is a non-profit. And we all know that non-profits exist solely to better humanity. That's why a Heal the Bay board mem- ber just landed a job on the Calf- fornia Coastal Commission. From the press release: "Attomey and Heal the Bay board member Day- na Bochco is expected to serve a four-year term with the Califor- Help Fatherless Boys! For Jesus!l! Camping. Fishing. Biiycles i nia Coastal Commission. Bochco also sits on the City of Los Ange- les' Measure O Citizen Oversight Committee." I sure sleep better knowing that these concerned at- torneys have our best interests at heart. Now, to be fair, Heal the Bay does a lot of good work. But a lot of good people get hurt when test results are selectively reported and sensationalized as they have been here. So, beware Islander and Tour- ist alike. 1/3 of the way between the Green Pier and the Busy Bee lies some of the nastiest water in the state. Enter at your peril. How- ever, just a few feet away the wa- ter is a crystal clear, comforting A quality. Head towards the storm drain, and it improves even morb to a heavenly A+. That makes a lot of sense. Maybe Heal the Bay and the LA Times aren't interested in Ca- sino Point or Descanso Beach, but I plan on spending a lot of time in the water there this summer, just like I have for the past 12 years, with no ill effects other than a pro- pensity to call BS when I see it. It's up to you whether you want to swim inside the harbor or not. I do, and thousands of locals and millions Of tourists have been doing it since time inimemorial. We all know that Casino Point and Descanso,:Shark, Ben, and the like, have the c!eanest water you'll find anywhere; which is probably why Heal the Bay doesn't even bother to measur6 them. To scream that Catalina has_the second worst water in the state is not only misrepresenting, mislead- ing, and sensationalist, it's just plain wrong. Unfortunately, it's not going to stop. The modus operandi is not going to change. So let's counter- act it with our own publicity, and figure out why we are getting that one spike in the readings that al- lows others to further their own agendas at our expense. It is, after all, our livelihoods at stake. Dr. Bill to Receive SCUBA Award The SCUBA Show, one of the largest consumer dive shows in the country, will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center on Sat- urday, June 4. As part of this an- nual event, a party will be held on Truth Aquatics' three dive boats in Rainbow Harbor. This year will be a fund raiser for California Ships to Reefs. A highlight of the party will be the presentation of the California Scu- ba Service award. This award was created in 1989 and awarded annu- ally by Saint Brendan Corp., home of California Diving News and the SCUBA Show, to recognize those that have made long-term posi- tive contributions to the California sport diving community. This year's honoree is Catalina Island's own Dr. Bill Bushing, af- fectionately known simply as "Dr. Bill" among the diving commu- nity. Bushing first used SCUBA in 1961. He moved to Catalina in 1969 after graduating from Har- vard to teach marine biology at the Catalina Island School for Boys in Toyon Bay. He has logged thousands of dives, mostly in Southern Cali- fornia waters, for re- search and educational purposes. He has pub- lished over 450 news- paper columns and peer-reviewed scien- tific papers. Bushing served as a consultant for Jean-Michel and Jacques Yves Cousteau in "Cousteau's Redis- covery of the World" television documen- tary series in the mid- 1980s and in various programs rtm by Jean- Michel on the island dating back to the mid 1970s. Bushing received a Ph.D. in marine ecol- ogy from the University of Cali- fornia Santa Barbara. His research focused on the giant kelp forests around Catalina Island. In addi- tion, he developed a method for creating a network of marine re- serves that has been recommended by an independent group of scien- tists to NOAA Director, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, for use in establishing future federal marine reserves. In the 1990s, Bushing served as a consultant and vice president for the Santa Catalina Island Conser- vancy. During this period he insti- tuted or expanded a number of important education, research and conservation programs including non-native invasive plant control and active ecological restoration of damaged sites, as well as sup- porting the Conservancy Divers and their work. Bill writes a weekly newspaper column, "Dive Dry with Dr. Bill," on marine life and ecology, and has two cable television programs. He has provided footage for PBS, NBC, ABC, CBS, The Weather Channel and other broadcast out- lets as well as several DVDs on Southern California. Dr. Bushing has also produced " 22 educational underwater videos, and lectures for various dive clubs and other marine or conservation oriented groups. Bushing serves on the Advi- sory Board of Oceanic Defense, was named to California Ships- to-Reefs Science Committee, and chairs their environmental com- mittee. Class of 2001 Lauren Brith Keim AI,: Kitty, Loreli, Laur, Wednesday, Vampira What I Have That Others Don't: A wardrobe that's 99 percent black, bulletin board with all my friends signatures, folder with really weird stickers, and a total- ly unique attitude On life. You Can Always Find Me: School, work, in front of my computer, on the phone, read- ing, in my room, singing, senior lawn, cemetery, Matt's golf cart, writing, plotting and planning, or day dreaming. Zest Cat:edn , _.venfs at the M ]estaurant VFcscn5 "SFANISH NIGHTS" Featurln the culture of 5pain with a small plates "tapas" menu, 5panlsh wincs eers and ]louse-macle sanda. Memorial Da00l Weel00e.d 2oi I Ma B Zf h, z8 th and Z9 th Join us from pm to I Opm. To make reservations, please call  ! 0-: 10-80+. 21 Friday, May 27, 2011 The CATALINA ISLANDER