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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
June 8, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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June 8, 2012

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SERVING CATALINA  ITS MAINLAND FRIENDS every week . since 1914 VOLUME 98, ISSUE 23 I nl L |td The $100 prize winners of the Chamber of Commerce eighth annual Taste Around of Avalon on May 31 are: Best of Food: Avalon Grille, Best of Drink--with alcohol and Best Theme: Steve's Steakhouse, Best Taste of Drink--without alcohol and Best Taste of Dessert: Catalina Coffee & Cookie Company. Summer Softball League Registration Open The Avalon Summer Softball League is scheduled to start Friday, June 15. Registration is $40 per person. Applications and registrations returned at 83 Sol Vista. League will fill up fast. Alex Villagra Fundraiser A fundraising event for Alex Villagra will be held at noon on Monday, June 11 at People's Park. He has managed Luau Larry's lO-plus years, and is fight- ing cancer for 4 years. Volunteers are also needled. Call Israel at 310-968-6315. City Council to meet earlier The Avalon City Council decided to start its meetingsat 6 p.m., rather than at 7 p.m., following a discussion on Tuesday, June 5. City Attorney Scott Campbell will draft an ordinance to change the city code and bring it back to a future council meeting. The city code says the meetings start at 7 p.m., so the city law has to be changed. Dinkel hired by Claremont University Consortium Mel Dinkel, who recently resigned as the chief operating officer and treasurer of the Catalina Island Conservancy, has been appointed as the first executive vice president and chief operating officer for Claremont University Consortium. Dinkel will start his new job on July 9. Airport in the Sky shut down until June 15 The Airport in the Sky will be shut down for general aviation service through June 15. Catalina Flying Boats will continue daily service from the airport as will the DC-3 Gifts & Grill. The bus service and daily tours to the airport will also continue. Just for the Halibut The 24th Annual Just for the Halibut Fishing Tournament, a fund raising event to ben- efit Catalina youth, will be held Sunday, June 10. The $60 entry fee includes a shirt and lunch. Sign up sheets at Abe's Liquor Store. Call (310) 510-0656. 00SL00/I/DCR Alexis Romero, center, paints faces at a previous Locks of Love event. The third annual Locks of Love event, organized by Kaylie Miller, will be from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12, by the Wdgley Memodal Stage. There will be a variety of fun activities including face painting, a goldfish toss, goodies, and food as well as free hair cuts. To participate in the hair donation, come with clean and dry hair. The rules are: 10 inches minimum, it could be dyed but not bleached, and cudy hair is pul!ed straight. Hair stylists will be: Jazmine Thoricht, Lourdes Thodcht, Monica Rubio, Veronica Fuentes, and Chely Bonille. All the money and hair donations made will go directly to the non-profit Locks of Love organization. Courtesy photo 30 years since Alma's launch RANDY BRANNOCK AND MARY STEIN ARE PIONEERS OF ISLAND ECO-TOURISM STAFF REPORT boat captain, was playing music on the patio of the Chi, and after a day of fishing abalone, Brannock came by to enjoy the music. At a .break, the two talked. Since she couldn't get work fishing abalone on Russ Armstrong's Ancient Trade (things were much different for women), Stein let Brannock know she was looking for a boat. Stein's potential boat quickly turned into a beau, and the rest is history. The two have lived on Catalina together, happily ever after, for more than three decades. This year is a landmark. Bran- hock and Stein are celebrating 30 yeats since the construction and launch of their boat that also launched their careers on Catalina as two of the Island's eco-tour pio- neers. Three decades ago this year, Brannock and Stein toiled at Gemilere's Boatyard at Pebbly Beach. Charlie Alexander who laid out the hull based on a cus- tomized a Don Radon design, as- sisted them. On a sunny day not unlike what we've seen this week, the two first lowered the 25-foot boat into the water. It was the heyday of the abalone fishery in Southern California, so the craft had been designed for commercial abalone fishing (with large decks that proved useful in their tour business later on). They called her the "Area," after Eco-teur, page 6 They first laid eyes on each oth- er at a meeting of the California Abalone Association. Long-time Avalon resident Mary Stein wasn't particularly interested in Randy Brannock (now her husband)--at the start. "It was an import=int meeting. He stood up and announced that it was past his bedtime, and walked out!" she said.- Two years later, the two met again on Catalina. Stein, a UCLA grad and shore I:.,*A* June 8, 2012 COUNCIL EXTENDS SEW'ER CONTRACT ENVIRON STRATEGIES ASKS FOR THREE MORE MONTHS. AVALON GIVES COMPANY SIX BY CHARLES M. KELLY The Avalon City Council.agreed to extend the agreement between Avalon and Environ Strategies to maintain the Avalon wastewater treatment plant and saltwater dis- tributio n system at the Tuesday, June 5 meeting. The extension wilt last six months. According to the staff report by Chief Administrative Officer Char- lie Wagner, Environ Strategies re- quested a three-month extension due tb the additional time required to-address unspecified issues in updating the sewer system and to helping Avalon comply with a state order to address the sewer contam- ination of Avalon bay. According to. the staff report, the new contract amount would be $569,400. However, that figure was based on the Environ work order and assumed a 90-day extension. The item was on the Consent Calendar and was not discussed, The city has nearly completed the first of three major phases of the sewer renovation project. Phase one required removing and replacing 4,500 feet of sewer line, as well as replacing the "later- als" that go between the new sewer lines and the property they serve. (The lines go up to the private property line.) Most of this work was done on the west side of town. Phase two, which is underway, requires replacing or restoring 30 manhole coverS. Phase three, which is scheduled to begin next week, re'quires the "slip' lining" of 2,200 feet of sewer line. Sewer mains with small defi- ciencies, but which do not require Council, Page 4 MYSTERIOUS ISLAND Catalina's facts, folklore and fibs This week: The Crusoe Club BY JIM WATSON In the first couple of years that I lived on Catalina Island after mov- ing here in 1995, I found myself from time to time in the not unen- viable position of having too little money to even buy a boat ticket off the Island. My predicament never lasted for long, of course. Sooner or later, a paycheck or some other form of revenue would materialize and the cash account I kept at the Bank of Levi Strauss would right itself once again like a capsized sloop. In the meantime, stranded on the Island for a few days or even weeks, I would often use these times to ven- ture into the hillsor laze on the rocks at Pebbly Beach, staring yonder at a mainland that was temporarily out of pecuniary reach. I came to refer to this predica- ment as "joining the Crusoe Club" and in the reverse of Daniel Defoe's indefatigable castaway, it was I that was often saved by Friday, if that was the day I got my pay. During these times I would of- ten ask myself "What's the longest anyone has ever gone without leav- ing the Island? Even for a day-trip to Long Beach?" Had anyone ever gone a few years? Decades? A lifetime? As Daniel Defoe's fictional cast- away Robinson Crusoe spent 28 years without leaving his Island home Have any Catalina Islanders done the same or longer.9 wild as that sounds such extreme isolationism is not unheard of. In Hong Kong's port enclave of Aberdeen, for example, it is said Watson, Page 9