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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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October 14, 2005     The Catalina Islander
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October 14, 2005
 

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Friday, October 14, 2005 The CATALINA ISLANDER Page 3 Continued from page 1 included: New Pop-Up Campsites at Little Harbor The Conservancy's Chief Operating Officer Mel Dinkel, and Director of Facilities Lenny Altherr reported that the initial request to add new pop-up sites at Little Harbor was turned down by Los Angeles County Regional Planning (LACRP). The Conservancy was advised that a full Coastal Development Permit would be required. The Conservancy protested-, this requirement. "After three months of conversation, it appears that our request for a simple Plot Plan Review will now be undertaken, and we believe that the additional sites will be approved," says Altherr. "While we don't have control of this process, we are hopeful that it will be completed within the next 6-to-8 weeks so that the new sites could be added before the summer of 2006. "We are basing this time estimate on past experience with similar requests," he said. educational amphitheater at Little Harbor, among many other improvements. The draft was circulated at the meeting, and a subcommittee formed to review it in greater detail comprised of volunteers Debbie Avellana, JJ Guion, Chip Upton, and Scott Moyse, as well as Conservancy staff. Other WBWG members are expected to volunteer for the subcommittee. Fundraising Ongoing Jackie McDougall, Chief Development Officer for the Conservancy, reported on fundraising efforts thus far. "Two gifts have been received that helped off-set initial planning costs, and one request to a foundation is pending," she' relJorted. McDougall added that "this foundation is particularly interested in marine coastline restoration." The pending request is for funds to cover the replanting at Ben Weston, Little Harbor and Shark Harbor; erosion repair at Shark Harbor, including repairing existing damage on the lower terrace, service road and parking community meetings had been held and a meeting with families of minors involved in the incident and their attorney. Changes prompted by the incident were only two: The first was a rule change - the curfew for minors in the interior was changed to dusk to dawn instead of 10 p.m. to dawn. The second was a change in management at Shark Harbor. Two Harbors Enterprises is providing reservation services and coverage by employee rangers. Free Conservancy memberships have been offered to all Island residents in order to mitigate the cost of camping at Shark Harbor (Conservancy members camp at 50% off, resulting in $6 per person per night). "The Conservancy is grateful that on short notice, Two Harbors Enterprises agreed to manage Shark Harbor after the change was made," said Dinkel. Members of the WBWG present reported that overall they felt that T.H.E. had done a good job in managing the beach, noting that improvement could be made Specializing in Carpet Cleaning " Housecleaning Services Vacation Rentals Residential & Office Move-Out Service NEXT CATALINA CLASS Oct. 31 - Nov. 11 Progress on the Road to Ben Weston Beach Dinkel and Altherr reported that the request for a permit for the "realignment of the road to Ben Weston Beach" with all required accompanying documents has been submitted. The filing fee was approximately $13,000. Based on past experience with Los Angeles County Regional Planning, Dinkel said that the Conservancy is hopeful of a reply within the next 6-to-8 weeks, which will provide requirements for next steps. "Those will include multiple reports for other County, State and Federal agencies," Dinkel said. "We are intending to get through this iterative process within the next 9-to-12 months, but it's important to note that it has taken much longer for projects of this scope. "For our part, we will keep in close contact with representatives at LACRP and use whatever means we have to keep the process moving," Dinkel concluded. Conceptual Master Plan for the Windward Beaches Ann Muscat reported that a Conceptual Master Plan had been completed, free of charge, by the National Park Service's Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. "A Master Plan turns recommendations and ideas into three-dimensional designs," noted Muscat. "It is needed to support permitting and fundraising, and reflected the slate of decisions by the Windward Beaches Working Group dealing with access, beach Little harbor. Photo by http://coverunner.tripod.comfid3.html areas; prevention of further erosion with berms, barriers, curbs and a retaining wall at Shark Harbor; and, wooden boardwalks protect sensitive habitat at Ben Weston and Little Harbor. The Conservancy's Development Department will continue to research, write and submit requests to individuals, foundations and government agencies as costs are available and permits are secured. "When firmer costs are available, we will also seek the participation of the WBWG and the broader community in fundraising," Muscat said. Summer Season at Shark Harbor Dinkel and Muscat affirmed that the Conservancy had agreed to no changes at Shark Harbor until new pop-up sites were available at Little Harbor, but noted that some changes had to be made. "We ask for your understanding for the changes made after the unfortunate incident in January that resulted amenities, interpretive signage management and muchmore." m injuries at Little Harbor," Muscat said to the group. "The Conservancy made a measured response." Muscat noted that before changes were made, two Among highlights of the comprehensive plan are the realigned road to Ben Weston Beach, and a proposed ranger station and interpretive center and in communication regarding the individual reservation system, that a picnic table should be repaired, and that more attention could be paid to fire ring maintenance. They also asked that a group reservation system be implemented to prevent congestion caused by simultaneousvisits by cove groups. As next steps, the Conservancy and T.H.E. will jointly address each of the concerns expressed before the next season. John Phelps thanked the group for its support thus far as they work to integrate Shark Harbor into their management system, and pledged to work to improve the beach experience. Muscat thanked the group for "continuing to hang in there with us through this lengthy planning and permitting process." The next meeting of the WBWG will be convened in November, the subcommittee to review the Conceptual Master Plan. "Bi-monthly, updates will be provided to the Working Group, or meetings convened," said Leslie Baer, chief communications officer for the Conservancy. "As progress is made, we'll also communicate to the broader community through reports to the local press." 6 PcKk/100 Ton US Coast Guard Approved INS INCORPORATED Call Toll Free 888-262-8020 www.maritimeinstitute.com Canyon Road. Mandatory Job WaJk: 0:00 a.m. Thurs Oct. 20, 2005. Cabrillo MoleRestrooms P e ad!L : :00 p.m.-Thurs Nov. 10, 2005.