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Avalon, California
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September 16, 2011     The Catalina Islander
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September 16, 2011
 

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Activist to make 30-mile SCUBA trip from Catalina, SCOTT CASSELI WILL BE LOOKING TOSET A WORLD RECORD--AND SEE SHARKS SPECIAL TO THE CATALINA ISLANDER Scott Cassell, an environmental activist will attempt to dive below the surface and travel 30 miles from Catalina to Los Angeles in less than 24 hours on Saturday, Sept. t 7, He will be towed by a boat on his]ourney. If it's successful, Cassell's dive will'be a record-breaking event. Some reports quote Cassell as say- ing he will try to compiete the trip within 21 hours. However, Cassell will also be looking for sharks. The number of sharks around the world has supposedly dropped 97 percent its natural population, according to a statement issued by Liiminox, a watch.making finn that supports Cassell's work through sales of two special edi- tion watches. Lnminox did not say where it got that figure. Cassell heads the Underwater Voyager Project, which also said 97 percent of Southern Califor- nia's blue sharks have vanished. Again, the source for the figure wasn't cited. A 2009 study by the Intema- tional Union for Conservation of Nature found that 32 percent of open ocean sharks were facing possible extinction. In other words, however you care to count them, there are ap- " parently far fewer sharks in the ocean these days than there used to be. Cassell is among the activists worried about these apparently de- clining shark populations. Just 25 yearg ago, divers could encounter anywhere from 40 to 100 blue sharks in a single dive in the Catalina Channel. According to Luminox, Cassell will be lucky to encounter just one or two during his 30-mile underwater trek to the mainland. "The absence of sharks in our oceans is a major concern for keep- ing overall balance in marine life," Cassell said. "For example, sharks and tuna are the natural predators of the Humboldt squid. Ifyou kill off all the sharks, the squid popu- lation (each female can potentially have 20 million 'babies') will be- gin to overpower the part of the food chain below them. They will eat anything and everything and as they swarm for food they exhaust feeding grounds and fisheries as they move." Cassell's journey will be re- corded and filmed in three dimen- sions by Global Reef to relay what PUBLIC NOTICE Commun.ity Workshop Avalon General Plan / Local Coastal Plan Update" Joint Planning Commission/City Council hearing Tuesday September 20th, from 7-gpm City Cuncil Chamber The City of Avalon is updatin iLs Genera] Plan and Local Coastal Plan, which is a b!ueprint for the development of the community over the next.j0.years. As part df this ulsdate I all of the General Plan elements will lde grn.ended tofct cu#ent:Qnditions, community preferences, and legal reqvir=e.:,pe:[fi  $1ements to be updated include: Land Use, Circulation, Conservation, Open Space, o: Housing, Safety, Noise Following three public WorkshOps Ield in December 2010, April 2011 and May 2011, a Draft General Plan / Local Coastal Plan has been pre- pared and is now available for public review and input. The Draft General Plan / Local Coastal Plan is available for review at the Avalon City Hall Planning Department (410 Avalon Canyon Road) and is also available for download online at: http://www.cityofavalon.com/ To that end, the City will hold a public workshop to discuss the Draft General Plan / Local Coastal Plan during a joint meeting at the Avalon City Hall Council Chambers located at 410 Avalon Canyon Road. The workshop will provide opportunities for input from residents, business owners, and other concerned parties regarding the elements of the General Plan. In addition, the workshop will serve as a public scoping meeting as part of the requirements for the California Environfnental Quality Act (CEQA). As part of the General Plan / Local Coastal Plan update process, the City will be preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that considers, the environmental effects of implementing the updated General Plan / Local Coastal Plan. During the workshop the City will take input from the public about environmental issues and project alternatives they feel should be addressed in the EIR. The City welcomes your attendance and input regarding the Draft General Plan / Local Coastal Plan and the Environmental Impact Re- port which will be prepared. Community Workshop Date and Time: Tuesday September 20 at 7:00 pm Avalon City Hall - City Council Chambers 410 Avalon Canyon Road, Avalon, CA For more information go to http://www.cityofavalon.com/or call Amanda Cook, Avalon Plan- ning Director at (310) 510-0220, ext. 110. Scott Cassell environmentalists see as the alarm- ing state of the ocean. One of his primary missions during the dive will be to attract as many sharks as possible in order to obtain an ac- curate estimate of how many (or rather, how few) sharks are present in the area today. Rampant poaching of sharks, turtles and other endangered sea life poses a serious threat to ocean ecosystems, but Sea Wolves Un- limited LLC, an organization founded and run by Cassell, car- ries out evidence-gathering opera- tions aimed at bringing poachers and polluters to justice. Footage from Scott's dive will be captured and streamed on www. luminox.com/worldreeord-dive, giving viewers a first hand experi- ence of the dive during and after completion. According to Lnminox, Cas- sell's filmmaking and production credits include more than 35 tele- vision shows and documentaries broadcast on the Discovery Chan- nel and more. Editor's n(Jte: Scott assell may be remembered for the ill-fated Undersea Voyager Project at Two Harbors in September of 2011. Fund From page 2 land, as inability to live away from home and financial difficulties are the top two reasons for island stu- dents deciding to discontinue col- lege education. Attacking the second reason, the Fund sets up students to be able to pay for their education by examining financial requirements, finding a variety of scholarships for each participant, exploring the federal loan-process, and educat- ing the student and his or her fam- ily about the extra costs involved with collegiate life Due to experience and familiar- ity with smaller populations, most "fit" schools for Fund scholars are small liberal arts colleges, often located in the Midwest This year, the twelve active participants have selected colleges including Ohio West Lean University, Highland University, Rice University, Coe College, and St. Mary's. These schools have proved to be excel- lent options for the students due to their size and generous financial aid packages .... These colleges cost an average of $42,000 in tuition, but the extra exPenditures go beyond the class- room Most students find a lack of appropriate clothes due to sharing garments with younger siblings and not having the previous neces- sity to face winters with boots and September 16 through September 22 Nightly at 7:30 i Rated PG-13 Adult $11,00:Senior & Children $9.00 For More Information Call 310-510-0179 down jackets: Laptops, basic soft- ware, and health insurance are also usually on the "To Buy" list. How- ever, the most demanding financial need is that of transportation, usu- ally totaling around $1,200, The island community and other donors have habitually been exceedingly generous and sup- portive in alleviating these costs. In 2010, contributors paid for net- - books, word processing software, winter clothing, phone cards, and gift cards to must-have under- grad locales such as Office Depot, Walmart, McDonald's, and Sub- way. One Avalon businesswoman even transferred her air miles to a student to assuage transportation fees. Members of the community also donate cash directly to indi- viduals, often at parties celebrat- "ing a student's college decision. Avalon Citizens and the colleges themselves make an effort each year to help. Perhaps the most driving force in the efforts to help these youth is the director of the Fund program, Linda Rivkin, After moving to the island a few years before her own children were due to leave for col- lege, she noticed the lack of suc- cess the students faced when leav- ing high school--success she felt these students deserved. When she was introduced to a male senior at Avalon High who dreamed of going to University of California, San Diego, she made it .possible for him to visit its campus. The se- nior, overwhelmed by the different lifestyle surrounding the universi- ty, realized that UC San Diego was not the right choice--it was not a "fit" school. Rivkin then worked with this student to find a more appropriate college and ensure his success there--and the Fund was born. Rivkin is largely responsible for writing letters of recommenda- tion, negotiating financial packag- es, locating scholarships and many other aspects of the program. Rec- ognizing the need for the island's youth tohave promising futures, Rivkin is only compensated with Fund, Page 8. 41 Friday, September 16, 2011 THE CATALINA iSLANDER