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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
July 22, 2005     The Catalina Islander
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July 22, 2005

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Friday, July 22, 2005 Serving Catalina Island and its i Mainland Friends every week since 1914 I By Patti Nelson Coller Mike Coller, who grew up on Catalina Island, was on board a spectator boat to cheer the start of the 100th anniversary of the Transpacific Yacht Race when more than 70 speedy sailing vessels passed the Island's west end this week. The Transpac is a celebrated 2,225 nautical mile race held every two years from Los Angeles Harbor to Honolulu, Hawaii. Coller has even more to cheer about. He is heir to a long forgotten Island story famous in its day about his late par- ents, Russell and Jenny Coller. They owned the Lucky Seven Apartments on West Whittley from 1950-1975. In addition, Russ worked for the Atwater and St. Catherine hotels as well as managing Art LaShelle. Jenny Coller the Isthmus for Before moving to the Island, Jenny Better yet, Jenny helped the nation's Coller was a pioneer Transpac sailor. She number one cowboy film hero, Buck was also a starlet during the 1939s Golden Jones, and his 85-foot schooner Sartartia Age of Hollywood when the cinema's lead- capture first in a sailing race from t ae sailed the oceans blue. Kffo n as Isthmus to San Pedro's lighthouse. Jenny Gray, she appea ed in more than 40 The starlet sailor then charted her movies, often in nautical roles. She sang course for the 1936 Transpac. As a stow- and danced with Ginger Rogers and Betty away, she 'isneaked" onto Jones' Alden- Grable in "Follow the Fleet." designed schooner in the race beginning Jenny learned to sail off the Isthmus in off Santa Monica that year. the Wimpy H, her husband Russ' classic Jenny hid in a stowage locker. She Herreshoff' S" sloop. Please see Starlet, page 9 uncil g,ves Scott Bice loses appeal bid for lighter penalty over holding tank discharge By Dennis Kaiser Boater Scott Bice said this week that honesty is the policy that ultimately led to his banishment for one year from Avalon's inner harbor. "People have been telling me that I was foolish to turn myself in," said Bice, a law professor at the University of Southern California. On Monday, the Avalon City Council denied Bice's request to reduce his penalty for allowing a brief discharge of the septic system holding tanks aboard his vesself Deference Any septic fluids pumped into the harbor are accompanied by some green dye that boaters must allow authorities to place in their septic systems. Bice said that the incident, which occurred on June 22, was completely accidental and that he reported it immediately to the harbormaster. He said that if he probably could have easily hidden the incident from the Harbor Patrol by not reporting it. "Other boaters in the harbor have been telling me this week that I should have just run my dinghy through the dye a few times to dissipate it," said Bice. "They said it happens all the time when people have little accidents." Bice said that he reported the incident with his boat because he didn't want to see someone else Please see Bice, page 9 t By Aaron Morehouse f in the early morning on Friday, July 15 you hap- pened to look out from Avalon Harbor you may have seen the USS Vin- cennes in tow. A tugboat chugged along through the early morning mist pulling the dreamlike figure of the giant guided missle military cruiser across the horizon. Such a David and Goliath scene at sea could be an inspira- tion in and of itself (think of the "Little Engine That Could"). But as with many things in the beauti- ful Island hamlet of Avalon, the story is just beyond what you see. Behind the helm of the tug- boat was Leonard Lopez, Jr a Catalina native who at the age of 32 recently became the youngest tugboat captain in Los Angeles Harbor. "Len" as he is known, is son to Leonard Avalon residents Lopez, Jr. Leonard and Kathy Lopez. Kathy and Len Sr. were both lis- tening to the Harbor Department radio that morning as the tugboat and ship made their near harbor passing. Len wasn't traveling alone out there, but was accompanied by NeaI Salamunovich another native islander as well as Garri Furgusen, Dan Seeley, and Eric Hansen, all of whom work for Millenium Tugs in the L.A. Har- bor. "Growing up in Catalina doesn't offer all the same oppor- tunities that there are on the mainland," said Kathy Lopez thinking of those younger years when Len worked the many Har- bor jobs that kids do here on the island. "But if you make the most of what opportunities there are, you really can achieve just as much and more than the youth on the mainland ." According to Mrs. Lopez it was direction and determination that brought Len to this most recent achievement and what got her son to the helm of that tug- Please see Tug, page 3 Members of the cast at left of Santa Monica Civic Light Opera's production of the musical "My fair Lady" that will be presented for one night's performance at 8 p.m. in the Avalon Theatre on July 27. General admission tickets are $20 ($15 for seniors and $10 for under 18) st the Avalon box Office or by calling (800) 322-3434.