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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
September 21, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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September 21, 2012

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BY PORSCHIA DENNING experiences of the races rang- ing anywhere from rare dolphin The waters of AValon bay sightings to boat design modifi- echoed in shouts of excitement as cations that would set the con- the outrigger canoes crossed the testants apart from their future finish line in the national cham- competition. The air was electric pionship race to Catalina Island with anticipation as awards were from Newport, California on Sat- given out to all contestants, with urday, Sept. 8, 20t2. the top awards going to the female Racers from far and wide and " class Lanakila Outrigger Canoe islanders alike were celebrating Club with a time of 4:28:45 and the 38th annual race with live is- in the male category the Lanakila land music, refreshments, and Outrigger Canoe Club at a time of celebrations that extended from 4:04:48. early in the morning, long into the The first channel crossings for early evening. The golden rays of this race back in 1959 took 5 hours sun set off a beautiful hue for the and more on average, times have announcement of the final results certainly changed in the design of from the main stage with a beauti- these vessels with the latest modi- ful background setting of Avalon fications made by Pogue Sports in Bay. partnership with Jon Puakea with The racers exchanged their many victoriqs under.their belts AGREEMENT IS FOR 10 ' business that leases the concession YEARS. INSURANCE REMAINS stand to operate the stand without AN ISSUE providing more equipment: Approved the assignment of BY CHARLES M. KELLY the city's TV franchise to Broad- band Solutions. The Catalina Ca- The Avalon City Council ap- ble TV Company has had the city's proved an amended agreement cable TV franchise since 1984. with the Santa Catalina Island Now the operators of the TV Corn- Company to reopen Pebbly Beach pany plan to sell the business to Road at the council's .Tuesday, Catalina BroadbandSolutions. Sept. 18 meeting. Authorized.Mayor Bob Ken- " and the Santa Cata- nedy to extend Catalina Trans- lina Island Company have reached portation Services' contract to an agreement which will reopen provide Dial-A-Ride, taxi and trol- Pebbly Beach Road for all vehicu- ley services to the city of Avalon. lar and pedestrian traffic for a 10- The contract was extended for two year period," said the staff report more Years. The money for the by City Attorney Scott Campbell. agreement has already been bud- But don't plan a road trip just geted, according to the staff report yet. Insurance remains an issue by Chief Administrative Officer and so does the scope of the prop- Charlie Wagner. erty covered by the agreement. Renewed the city's trash con- Campbell told the Catalina Island- tract with Edmundo Vega for two er in a telephone interview that the more years. The current contract 10-year deal is an "agreement in will expire April 14, 2013. Seagull concept." Sanitation's contract does not in- . As for insurance, Campbell said clude removing trash from public Avalon hag agreed to get $20 mil- trash containers. lion in private insurance and Ava- lon's own insurance, in exchange Hospital trustees for which the Island Company will Meeting as the Avalon Munici- reopen Pebbly Beach Road. pal Hospital Board of trustees, the Scottsdale Insurance will pro- council appointed four members vide a $5 million policy that will to the board. Rose Ellen Gardner, cost Avalon $17,500, according Maggie Maki and Ron Saio were to Campbell's staff report. The each appointed for one additional remaining $15 miltion will be year. Their terms end June 30, provided by PARSAC and CSAC, 2013. The council appointed Rod- Avalon's insurance providers, ney Muller for an additional four The California Coastal Corn- years. mission has ordered Avalon to The appointments, followed reopen the road. However, Islimd a May 15 presentation by Bryan Company officials do. not want to Ballard that said the hospital by- be exposed to the financial risk if a laws had been changed to allow boulder falls on a car or pedestrian appointments to be extended. traveling on Pebbly Beach Road. Originally, the city. was going to Hospital finances install nets to capture falling rocks According to the chief financial before they could strike the road. officer's report for July, net patient "The project was cancelled af- revenue was over budget by 20 ter redevelopment funding for the. percent or $139,707. Gross revenue project was lost," said Campbell's was under budget by 3 percent or staff report. $43,256. Gross patient revenue was under budget by 27 percent That same night, the council: ($71,902). Charity care was over Decided to finish building budget by 63 percent ($182,964). the Joe Machado Field concession "Overall, net patient revenue stand with both permanent and was 59.3 percent of gross revenue moveable equipment. According compared to budget of 46.6 per- to a staff report, this will allow any cent in July" the report said. coming from Canada and Hawaii. For more results check out race-results/ and to see a time lapse film of the finishers arriv- ing to their island destination see: made by John Talsky. This standing honored tradition of outrigger canoeing on Catalina Island is one of the long standing traditions we continue to celebrate in this unique and ideal paradise through the decades. : Thanks to folks like "Uncle Bud," Mike Shandroff, Ralph Morrow, Dan Tailleffer, and the Avalon VFW Island Outpost 4682, the future of outrigger ca- noeing on Catalina Island is some- thing participants and spectators can share stories of with pride and fond memory for years to come. There is talk of a local outrig- ger canoe club representing local businesses, the town is stirring. For more informatipn about a' local outrigger canoe club- contact (310)710-6475 "or visit the Island Caravan Gallery. Outrigger canoes are stored on the beach before enterting the water for the race. Photo by Porshia Denning 10/1/1973- 8/31/2012 Eddie Wheeler passed away in Whiteville, North Carolina on Friday, August 31st. He suffered a brain aneurism and imme- diately passed away on Friday and was de- clared brain dead Friday morning at 2:38 a.m. at the young age of 38. Although he only lived on Catalina from 6/2010 to 8/2011", he touched many lives in his short time on the Island. He followed his best friend Theresa Cummings to the Island from Colorado in June of 2010. During his time here, he worked for Straight-Up Builders, Sue Rikalo at the DC-3 Grill and Gifts Restaurant, Big Dave at Island Build- ers and provided work for many others during his brief fife here. No one understood Eddie more than his friend and life partner of 5 years, Theresa Cummings. "Most people have no comprehension of the back woods mentality Eddie was from," Cummings stated., "When I first met him in Florida over 5 years "ago, I couldn't even understand him when he spokel He thought I was hard of hearing when I kept asking him to repeat himself. Over time, I helped him to adjust to speaking and living among mainstream socie~. People still judged him, since he was so very different from educated people in America, but he was a friend to all." Upon his death, Cummings was contacted by his "adoptive" parents, the Rockwell's, regarding his passing. His biological mother passed away 4 years ago and he never knew his father. The l~ockwell family has been the only family he has had sincehe was a teenager. His only remaining family is his sister Betty Anne Wheeler, who lives in Florida, and some step siblings that he only randomly com- municated with. His step grandparents in Whiteville were also important to him. Virginia Rockwell tracked down Cummings and told her she was contacted by the hospital to see if they wanted to pay for his cremation and receive his ashes. Despite the cost that would dip into her savings, she agreed to pay it. She knew Eddie would want his ashes scattered in the ocean at Myrtle Beach and had a plot to place a headstone for him, in his remembrance.. Cummings knew Wheeler wouldn't want the Rockwell's to spend what little money they have on his cremation and offered to raise the $500 in cremation fees to her. When word spread throughout Avalon, within one week, Cummings received donations from lo- cals adding up to $450.00. Several donors didn't even know him, but knew how important he was to her. '~I am overwhelmed by the response," Cummings stated. "I sent an email blast to contacts on the mainland, but it was the locals of Avalon who came through." Cummings has been in continual contact with the Rockwell family since his passing. Their son Stephen was a close friend of Eddie's as well as his brother William. Their parents Virginia and William Sr. loved him as parents love their own flesh and blood. "He was like our very own son," Rockwell stated, "and we'll be having a memorial service for him on October 1st when he would have turned 39." A vial of ashes Will be sent to Cummings. "He loved Catalina and we know he would want some of his ashes spread in the ocean there," Rockwell told Cummings. Cummings said, ."Once I receive the ashes, I'll schedule a memorial service on the green pier that we used to fish on together and spread his ashes into the water. He loved the people here, and the Island was ~i very special place to him." THE CATALINA ISLANDER ~ep~emDe[ ,~&. LU.LZ