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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
July 27, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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July 27, 2012

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VOLUME SERVING CATALINA 98, Issue 30 & ITS MAINLAND FRIENDS every week - since 1914 Fe|OAY July 27,2012 BrieFs Increased visitor counts raise Island revenues Local merchants and the spokesman for the Chamber of Commerce say they have seen definite signs of economic improvement, despite a national recession with long legs and a handful of tragic events such as the 2007 fire. See story, page 9 Study says Edison's water rates highest in the state An attorney opposed to Southern California Edison's request to increase Catalina's water rates has released a study that says Edison charges the highest rates in the state. Howeverl an Edison spokesman Said the energy company's rates are comparable to those of small mainland utili- ties. See story, page 3 Bravo's Landscaping and StraiLqlt Up Builders Win Last week's softball games weren't even close. Bravo's - Landscaping find Straight Up Builders overwhelmed their oppo- nents Friday, July 20. Bravo's made 23 and Straight Up made 33. The two losing teams each scored 7 runs. See story, page 8 Former Harlem Globetrotter brings back Hoop Camp After a 15-year hiatus, Sterling "Smooth" Forbes, a Harlem Globetrotter alumnus, returned to Catalina Island July 16-20 to resurrect his popular basketball Hoop Campfor 30 children, ages 6-14 years old. See story, page 7 A small boat and a big storm A few months ago, Islander Glen Craig Gustafson and a friend set sale from Avalon Harbor in a Catalina 22. The skies were bright and the sun was warm. The sail- ors didn't know about the coming storm. See story, page 5 June Harbor Activity Report The Fifth Annual Flying Fish Festival was held the first week- end of the month. The Tuna Club hosted a White Seabass Tournament the second weekend of the month with 21 boats par- ticipating. See story, page 7 Letter to the Editor A frequent Island visitor believes Avalon's appearance isdeteriora- ting and needs to be cleaned up. See story, page 5 Catalina Kid Ventures gets new preschool director Avalon resident Sarah Perez has been Catalina Kids Ventures' director since July 2. The pre- school has suffered hard times in years past. However, enrollment has doubled since Perez became the director. See story, page 4 Catalina Kids Ventures new the program back to its full Director Sarah, left, students and teacher Suzanne Wisniewskf make their way to the Avalon Library on Wednesday. The complement of students and is enjoying the preschool's new facility. See story on page 4. Photo by Jennifer Leonhardi new director is looking forwad to growing moves-to BY BETTY VILLALOBOS It took three men and one 60- passenger vessel to spark a life- time of journeys with the Catalina Express. It was a simple need, really, to have quick and reliable transpor- tation to and from the Island on a regular basis. Now 30 years later, the journey continues as the founders of the company step into a new chapter and a new home. Grog Bombard, president of the Catalina Express, knew the San Pedreo terminal needed a change. After years of brainstorming and planning, Bombard decided to relocate to the adjacent bjailding that housed former seaplane hang- ers. Where the Grumman Goose landed and dispatched regularly to the Island, is now the inviting realm of the Catalina Sea and Air Terminal in San Pedro. The new terminal, .which began construc- tion in mid February, has a cool "urban buzz" with a style of its own, said architect Ed Quental of Watermark Development. Passengers enter through a towering entryway surrounded by catalina Express co-founder Greg Bombard outside Catalina Express Phoenix palm trees, and continue to the Spanish mission-style building that has a refreshing contemporary twist. The atmosphere is relaxing and inviking, which was an imp or: tant goal to reach for Bombard. Bombard said the biggest chal- lenge with the former terminal was the new terminal. Photo courtesy that passengers were confined to a closed-off building with no real views of the outside marina. "There was no windows, no one ever saw anything. You missed the experience," said Bombard. Both buildings were built in 1966, one of which was used to ac- commodate the SS Catalina and other smaller vessels serving the Is- land, according to Elaine Vaughan, Catalina Express vice president. While the old terminal measures 25,000 square feet, the new termi- nal has a current footprint of 7,500 square feet with adjacent outdoor land of 18,000 square feet. "This is a big change from the 25,000 square feet of all indoor space from which we have be op- erating," said Vaughan. "We are takitlg advantage of the new out- door space with its wide open view 'of the harbor to present a relaxing and peaceful option to passengers compared to the waiting area in- side of the old terminal." After three decades of service, the former terminal will be torn down within a month to make way for the expansion of China Ship- ping, according to Bombard. Express, Page 2 Catalina's facts, folklore and fibs This Week: Ristorante Dei Fantasme BY JIM WATSON In case your high school Ital- ian isn't so good, or if your high school didn't offer Italian, the title of this segment roughly translates to "The Haunted Restaurant" As you may have surmised, this particular restaurant is one of several Italian restaurants in Ava- lon and one of my favoriteson the Island. But aside from the delicious Scampi al Vino Bianco and the in- credible Luna Piena di Polio, the restaurant holds another fascina- tion for me: it just happens t have some of Avalon's most astounding ghost stories. Teresa Brizuela has worked at this establishment for more than a decade. She most often works alone during the morning hours, cleaning the restaurant and the kitchen area. corner and disappeared?" I asked. Her first, but'certainly not last, "No," she said. "He disap- experience occurred shortly after peared, 'desaparecio,' before my she began working in the restau- eyes." rant. At about 5 a.m. one morning, Nearly hysterical, she screamed she was fetching a mop in a clean- at the man in both English and ing storage area near the kitchen. Spanish. "Who is it,/,Quien es?" Suddenly, only 5 feet away, she she asked. saw a man walking down the She grabbed a heavy steel stairs into the basement. Teresa wrench from some nearby CO2 was naturally startled by the man's bottles and boldly descended the presence since the restaurant was stairs into the basement through closed and all the entrance doors the only entrance (or exit) to the locked, room. There, she looked in each of She walked towards the man the tiny storage rooms and around and watched as he literally disap- the ice machine, but there was no peared before her eyes. "You mean he went around the Watson, Page 9