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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
August 14, 2009     The Catalina Islander
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August 14, 2009

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f SERVING CATALINA & ITS MAINLAND FRIENDS every week - since 1914 VOLUME 97, ISSUE 33 F.,OAV August 14, 2009 BRI[FS CHOICES Family Luau CHOICES is hosting a Family Luau on Monday, Aug. 17. The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Field Of Dreams. Enjoy games, music, and activi- ties for all ages. The Skatepark will be open. Admission is free. A BBQ meal will be served, meal tickets $5 per person. Call (310)510-9294 or visit www. 6th-erade Orientation Incoming students will receive a letter regarding a 6th-Grade Orientation Session to better prepare them for middle school. Orientation wil be held during two sessions on Tuesday, Aug. 25 in Room 211 (the Art Room). The first session from 9 a.m. to noon and the second from 1 to 4 p.m. Students will be assigned to a session based on last year's 5th-grade class teacher. The orientation teacher will be Mrs. Anita Rockwell. If you have any questions, please call the school (310) 510-0790, extension 153. Art, Caps n Designs wins The second game of the night decided the competition for the league title. That game was between Island Rentals and Art, Caps n Designs~ both of whom came in to the game tied for first. A combination of hits and errors saw Art, Caps n Designs take the first lead of the game. See story, page 4 Richard Saldana On April 1, 1970, while serving in Vietnam, Richard "Clams" Saldana lost his right hand a few inches above the wrist. Some of his friends encouraged him to play golf. See story, page 7 Authentic Chinese junk Like a relicfrom a different age, the Chinese junk known as the M ei Wen Ti appeared out of the m st of the early morning fog at Two Harbors over the weekend. See story, page 9 Between Two Harbors Numerous cruise events brought the biggest crowds of the year to Island coves, and an unseason- able westerly wind pattern made mooring and anchoring conditions tess than perfect. See story, page 4 Harbor Report June 30 was a sad day for the Harbor Department but a happy da~/for Patrol Officer Brian Dawes as after almost 30 years of ser- vice he completed his final shift before retiring. See story, page 4 " The lawn at Descanso Beach was the setting for the performance of Music Man for two wonderful eve- nings, Wednesday and Thursday. The 25 member cast and 7 person crew were all com- munity members and the moneys raised went to the Avalon High School Theater Department and Kids At Play children's theater company. See page 6 Avalon sheriff's statiOn has new commander BY CHARLES M. KELLY B Lt. Jeffrey Donahue is the new commander of the Los Angeles Sheriffs Deparunent station in Avalon. Two months into the new job in his new hometown--he and his wife Kim moved to Avalon from Orange County--Donahue said he and his wife have been welcomed by the Island community. Sheriff, Page 6 Missing sailor found on dinghy at Isthmus Dennis Larson had appar- ently left the sailboat to get provisions and then could not locate it at sea BY DENNIS KAISER It appeared to be a ghost ship. When the Coast Guard came upon 72-year-old Dennis Larson's sail- boat on Saturday, he was nowhere to be found. Larson's sailboat was dis- covered at around 10 a.m., about 14 miles from Catalinal The sails were up and fishing gear was over the side, according to U.S. Coast Guard reports. Larson was reported to have departed San Diego earlier in the morning, bound for Avalon. A report by the harbormaster at Two Harbors, said that Larson's boat was not only adrift. "For some inexplicable rea- son, shortly before noon, the man had decided to lash his tiller in place, with sails set, and head for Two Harbors in his small red dinghy to get fuel, leaving the sail- boat underway and unattended," said Harbormaster Doug Oudin. However, a Coast Guard report said Larson had dropped his anchor and the sailboat had drifted further out to sea. (Larson could not be reached for comment by the Islander's press time.) Coast Guard reports said Larson had left his cell-phone on the sailboat. It was used to contact Larson's wife. Dinghy, Page 3 Exploring Catalina's underwater world Written by Patti Lange for the Catalina Islander's "Catalina Island... Looking forward to the past," the Catalina Islander's Special Millennium Issue. 1999. Catalina's underwater world has enthralled people for more than 100 years. Long before scuba, hooka and fish finders were available, the curious discovered ways to investigate life under the ocean. Fishermen wanting to see their tangled lines or look for aba- lone and other ocean fare devised simple hand held glass viewing boxes in the 1870s. They would hold these over the sides of row- boats and peer into the clear, water to aid their endeavors. Shortly after, glass plates were incorpo- rated into the structure of row- boats and a booming glass bottoro rowboat business began. One Catalina historian claims the first glass bottom boat origi- nated on Catalina in 1880. Some might debate this fact but regard- less, many, such as early marine explorer and fisherman Charles Frederick Holder, studied the ocean on such modern contrap- tions. A professor and acknowl- edged expert on "all things Californian," Holder described "the large pelagic fishes, as the yellowtail, white sea bass, or the giant black sea bass, which weighs 500 pounds and lives in the kelp beds." He told of swaying kelp and large menacing octopus in not so friendly terms. While much of his scientific explanations and names are erroneous, as we know it today, his accounts and descrip- tions captured the imagination of countless individuals, giving them a desire to view the undersea gar- dens for themselves: See History, P~ge 9 A three ton diving bell was installed off Casino Point in 1950 and took 12 passengers down to view the kelp beds and the intriguing marine life of Catalina. It operated until 1961.