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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
July 20, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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July 20, 2012

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Watson From page I build-up of static electricity in a ship's rigging. Catalina Island apparently had its own variation on these lumi- nous phenomena in the form of what I call the "Backside Lights" as related to me by some well- known locals. Several years ago, a group of kids and adults with the Avalon Day Camp was spending i} an overnight camping trip at Little Harbor. Sean Brannock, who was there overseeing the group, re- lated how in the middle of the night an intense micro-burst of wind and rain hit tliearea. Most of the campershad n 0 tents "(The lights) were doing things like jumping up and down," he said, adding that_ there seemed to be no coordinated motion, but rather a chaotic pattern. He described the lights as num- bering from "aboUt 15 to 18." Each one was round and about 3-feet in diimeter and they were all fly- ing about 20 to 50 feet above the ground. While primarily a bright orange color ("like the color of fire"), he said they shifted through other colors as well ,like a sunset." It all ended somewhat abruptly when the rain and the wind stopped and the-strange orbs simply vanished in the night. "The thing about this was thatnone of-us  . talked:tO.eaCh other that one's sleeping and all of a sudden the wind starts to pick up?' The blasting wind was quickly joined by a sudden and dramatic downpour. "It POURED rain; like the hardest rain," he said. Lisa Keppel was there and was immediately concerned about what effect the deluge would have on the kids. "I said, 'Thank God these kids are sleeping,'" she said. As they lay there in their sleep- ing bags, staring up into the night sky with nowhere to get out of the rain, they first noticed "them"--a number of strange, colored lights that were hovering in the sky above. "There were all these flashing, different lights," said Sean; "They seemed like they were right above us, over our heads. They kept go- ing on and off and changing to dif- ferent colors ... kind of like flash- ing, dancing lights" Our local chef extraordinaire Greg Wenger was in the group, too. Unlike the others, he and his wife were inside a tent and it was the brightness of the objects that first woke him up. "The sky turned a bright orange like the sunset and you heard all kinds of weird noises, like giant fans going off," he said. "We all got up and stared up at the sky with our mouths open." and were sleeping out ? C0tbf0o/st night," he; It wasn't on the gr When the until the nexi-morning weather 1iii-77: - " ...... ,, .....  : -:that any of the s: campers There we, were in the middlc(, broughtit up, s, ,tiwe of the night, -said Sean, "everyZ: at breakfast andit  tike : ple said they all saw the same thing and everyone's mouth was open. " What could explain this bi- zarre phenomenon? I exchanged e-mails with Dr. Robert Fovell, a specialist in mesoscale meteo- rology at UCLA. Evidently per- plexed, Fovell said he had "no idea what was going on" and asked for more information. I told him what 1 knew and brought up some of my own theo- ries, including the possibility that this was an example of what's known as "ball lightning," an ex- tremely rare and little understood weather phenomenon. With only a handful of reported cases in all of history, "ball lightning" is thought to be a naturally-occurring electri- cal charge associated with thun- derstorms that manifests itself in the form of glowing spheres that then proceed to wreak havoc. Evidently none of my ideas im- pressed the good doctor, however. He simply replied: "Unfortunately, I still have no clue. Sorry?' So, in the absence of any official explanation of the matter, I confess a bit of me is happy to report that the strange "Backside Lights" will go down in the books as yet anoth- er Catalina Island mystery. Coming soon: Beginning later this month, the book "Mysteri- ous Island: Catalina,'" based on this column, will be available at Amazon, including Kindle, and in stores all over Avalon. Visit the Channel Catalina website at www. for details. City of Avalon Fire Department CPR/First Aid Class Thursday, July 26 th, 2012 5:00 PM at the Avalon Fire Department $40 for both CPR and First Aid cards are good for 2 years , - No reservations required, just show (Jp at the Fire Station. If you have any questions, call Captain Michael Alegria at 310.510.0203 ext 335 Published in the Catalina Islander Ju113  and 20 , 2012. CALL FOR ENTRIES Submit your photograph, graphic or art of . Catalina. I! we use it for a cover, you'tt get a free one year subscription to the Istander and recognition. SEND High resolution digita[ JPEG fites-300dpi min.-via emai[ to Must be origina[ artwork. By submitting work, the senders agree to license pubbshing in the Catalina Istander newspaper. museum is lecture will offered by the Catalina will be the focus of a lecture by the author of "Grand Ventures: The Banning Family and the Shaping of Southern California" at the Banning Museum in Wilmington Calif. The lecture and book signing by author Tom Sitton will begin at 10 a.m. in the historic carriage barn on Saturday, July 28, The East "M" St. The Sitton of historical lectures Phindas Bannir)g and "egion based on "Grand on the second Banning gee- Island from 1892 .pirit." Promote Education SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANY NOTICE OF APPLICATION FLUNG FOR CHANGES IN ELECTRIC REVENUES: APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND DEMAND RESPONSE INTEGRATED DEMAND SIDE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS AND BUDGETS FOR 2013-2014 APPLICATION (A.) 12-07-004 On J'01y 2,, 20i-2, Southern CJlifomia Edison C6rn)a/y (SCP=):filed an Application with the alifomi; Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requesting a change in SCE's electdc re,ehue;-i'(lated to its proposed energy efficiency program for4he 2013-2014 program cycle. ENERGYEFFICIENCYPROGRAMPLANS r" / " = : a ;  ; : " = : t ' On May 18, 2012, the CPUC issued Decision D.12-05-015, which ordered SCE, Pacific Gas and Electdc Company (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electdc Company (SDG&E) and Southern Caiifomia :Gas Company (SoCalGas) to file applications with the CPUC to establish energy efficiency programs and budgets for 2013 and 2014. SCE's proposed application A.12-07-004 requests CPUC approval of SCE's proposed progtamplans and budgets, which will allow SCE to continue to effectively and efficiently promote impland maintain the CPUC's Energy Efficiency Program. These programs are intended to pursue Jane[ecourage energy-efficisnt measures over both the short- and long-term. In order to fully implement b'lSm :prog rams in 2013 and 2014, SCE is requesting the CPUC authorize SCE to collect $355.8 million iannual electric revenues over each of the next 2 years (2013-2014) to/und these programs. T'rsis .a!" decrease of more than $46 million over the annual revenues authorized for the 2010 - 2012 Energy Efficiency program cycle. If approved by the CPUC, SCE's request ould potentially result in a  to customer base rates. Ttle following table compares SCE's current average'retes to the proposed change in average ates i(SCE's proposals in this application are approved by the Commission: . . Present Average Proposed Bundled Proposed, Customer Group Bundled ServiCe Rates Service Rates Change June 2012 - /kWh : JkWh % Residential 16.17 16.11 -0.39% Lighting -Small and Med um Power 15.39 15.33 -0.36% Le,e Power 10.40 10.35 -0.43% Agricultural and Pump n,q 11.78 11.73 -0.34% Streetand Area Lighting 18.26 18.20 -0.33% Total " 14.43 14.38 -0.38% **The actual changes in rates will be determined by the CPUC  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION FROM SCE . You may view these materials at lowing SeE business offices: 1 Pebbly Beach Rd. 3 Rimrock Rd. 374 Lagoon St. Avalon, CA 90704 tow, CA 92311 Bishop, CA 93514 505 W. 14 = Ave. 3Q01 Chateau Rd. 510 S. China Lake Blvd, Blythe, CA 92225 Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546 Ridgecrest, CA 93555 26364 Pine Ave. 4)1694 Dinkey Creek Rd. 421 W. J St., Rimforest, CA 92378 Shaver Lake, CA 93664 Tehachapi, CA 93561 120 Woodland Dr., L999 Old Woman Springs Rd. Wofford Heights, CA 93285 Yucca Valley, CA 92284 Customers with:lntemet access tha; view and download SCE's application and the papers supporting it on SCE's web site, )elications. Those without Internet access or anyone wishing to obtain more information about the application or hard copies of some or all of the materials should send a written request, referring to Application No. 12-07-004 to: Southern California Edison Company P.O. Box 800 Rosemeed, CA 91770 Attention: Case Administration You may also review a copy of this application and related exhibits at SCE's corporate headquarters (2244 Walnut Grove Avenue, Rosemead, CA 91770). Los usuarios con accese al Intemet podrn leer y descargar esta notificaci6n en espetol en el sitio Web de SCE o escriba a: Southern California Edison Company P.O. Box 800 2244 Walnut Grove Avenue Rosemead, CA 91770 Atencibn: Comunicaciones Corporatives You may also review a copy of the Application at the CPUC's Formal Files Office at 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 A.M. to noon daily EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS IEH'S The CPUC may hold evidentiary hearings where parties of record present their proposals in testimony and are subject to cross-examination before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). These hearings are open to the public, but only those who are formal parties of record may present evidence or cress-examine witnesses during EH's. Members of the public may attend, but not participate in these hearings After considering all proposals and evidence presented during the formal hearing process, the assigned ALJ will issue a proposed decision that the CPUC will either adopt, amend, or modify in issuing its final decision on the application. The CPUC's final decision may differ from what is requested by SCE in its Application. The CPUC's Division of Ratepeyer Advocates (DRA) will review this application. The eRA is an independent arm of the CPUC, created by the Legislature to represent the interests of all utility customers througllout the state and obtain the lowest possible rate for service consistent with reliable and safe service level s. The DR.& has a multi-disciplinary staff with expertise in economics, finance, accounting and engineering. The DRA's views do not necessarily reflect those of the CPUC: Other parties of record will also participate. CPUC PROCESS If you wish to comment on this proceeding, you may submit written correspondence or send an email to the CPUC's Public Advisor's Office (PAO) at the address shown below. Please state that you are writing concerning SCE's application A.12-07-004. (our comments will become a part of the formal correspondence file for public comment in this proceeding. When writing a letter or email, please refer to Application No. 12-07-004. The PAO will circulate your comments to the five Commissioners, the ALJ, DRA, and to CPUC staff assigned to this proceeding. You may atso contact the PAO if you need assistance on how to participate in this proceeding. The Public Advisor California Public Utilities Commission 320 West Fourth Street, Suite 500 Los Angeles, CA 90013 Emaih Pu July 2, 2012. .......................................... : ........... - .........................................................................  ........................................................ Friday, July 20, 20:1_219 THE CATAUNA ISLANDER