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

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I Friday, October14,2005 The CATALINA ISLANDER Page 9 By Dennis Kalser Scan Brannock, recreation director for the City of Avalon, said he saw a lot of kids using the city's skate park after OcL 6. That was when 20-year-old Wdlie Grissom was involved in a fatal acci- dent while skateboarding on Wrigley Memorial Road. He had been skating in an unsuper- vised environ- ment and was not wearing a helmet. "l know a lot of the kids showed up right after that happened and were using the skatepark to blow off some steam and going through their emotional process by skating," said Brannock, whose office in city hall is just a stone's throw away from the skatepark. Brannock said the Grissom incident was a grim reminder of the skatepark's intended purpose as a place where Avalon youth can experience the thrills of the sometimes "extreme sport" of skateboarding in a contained, if not necessarily supervised envi- ronment. "I just hope that people realize that this was a tragic accident, but that skateboarding is a very healthy and positive activity in which many of our local youth participate," said Brannock. Brannock noted that the skatepark has recently undergone some upgrades and improve- ments. He was quoted in the Oct. 7 edition of the Catalina Islander thanking organizers of the annual Church Mouse fishing tournament Grissom, said that while she appreciates the city's participation in improving the skatepark, she thinks Avalon could do more to make the park more palatable to local youths. She said that way the city could help contain the sometimes high-risk sport in a better environment. Seals noted that Avalon's skatepark's facilities are made of wood, which can degrade quickly for their $900 donation that was from the ravages of weather. earmarked for the skatepark's Other cities, overtown, such as improvement. Laguna Niguel provide concrete The money will help offset skatepark facilities that are not costs for recent work on the only more visually attractive and skatcpark that included reworldng conducive to better skateboard- and improving some of the ing, but also can generate revenue skatepark's facilities. They as venues for professional and include ramps, jumps and rolling amateur skateboard events. walls that are used by enthusiasts Seals said that Avalon's of the sport, skatepark facilities pale by com- According to Monica Seals, parison in both form and function. owner of CSC Boardshop, recent "It is not being managed," she improvements at the city's said. "No one is taking ownership skatepark were done in a coopera- of the skatepark." five effort between the city, which Seals said that she thinks the paid for the materials, and her youth of Avalon would be better business partner Chris Arnold. served if the city put some more Seals, who was a friend of of its financial resources toward the park. She said that it is not being monitored enough and that it would help if the local police included the park more often in its regular patrol efforts. "They should at least fix the fence and clean up the perimeter around it and at night they should stop people from partying up there," said Seals. Jason Gant, pastor of Catalina Bible Church, said it might help the skatepark to be more utilized if the city laws that govern it were applied city- wide. Gant also noted that according to the Avalon municipal no one under the age of 18 may skateboard without wearing a helmet. Gant said he thinks it is imperative that the city of Avaloo as well as the parents of the city's children do what they can to pro- tect them. He said that he thinks that would be enhanced if the current municipal code were applied to everyone and not just those people under the age of 18. Grissom was 20 years old at the time of his accident last week. While Gant was unwilling to commit to a position on how such a law should enforced, he said that just by having it on the books would tend to encourage compli- ance among the general popula- tion. "It would be a way for adults to set an example and teach kids the need for safety and that we want them wearing a helmet because we love them," said Gant. Island History Contlnued from page I freight, including lumber, butane, and (in the early days) gasoline in 50-gallon drums for the Standard Oil Station also located there. The gas station moved to Pebbly Beach in 1958. Seaplanes-Curtis F Flying Boats and bi-motored Sikorskys- also discharged their passengers at a float and ramp nearby until Hamilton Beach Amphibian Air- port opened in 1931. Little Sugarloaf, its weathered sides becoming more hazardous for climbers, its stairway removed - survived after Sugar- loaf Casino was dismantled in February of 1928. The octagonal steel frame of the datCe pavilion was reassembled at Catalina Bird Park to make "the world's largest bird cage." However, during the ensuring year, the walls of the new Casino rose higher and higher and soon dwarfed the venerable rock. The whole perspective of the point changed. In March of 1929, the old rock was blasted away to improve the view of the magnifi- cent new building. Sugarloaf Rock would have been located about where the flagpole is now. This 92 ft 8 in. steel pole replaced the original flagpole in 1946. Sugarloaf Point was built up to become a parking lot. date palm trees were part of the original landscaping. The tall Washingtonian palms were added in 1934 by Philip K. Wrigley as part of a beautification project. The Washingtonian palms at the theater entrance were planted in 1948. Wold War II temporarily altered the historic view. A bat- tery of anti-aircraft guns were mounted on the point and a large wooden building was constructed in the parking area as an armory. The bow of a ship was construct- ed on the wharf to help merchant seaman trainees practice loading cargo and "abandon ship" maneu- vers. These wartime additions were removed in 1946. Only the cement bases for the gun emplacements remain as evi- dence. Southern California IEdliaon sets up display for Energy Efficiency & Incentives at Wrigley stage on Thursday & Fflday, October la & 14. Wrigley family * Rare, behlnd-the-scenes look at Wrigley SamiO's life on the Magic lsla 172 pages rifled with many rare family photos ! Ymfl cover books $37.75 Hard cover books $59.75 History] 3rd in a series of] en books i grosstng about Catalina Island rhtastor nm tU, Over 350 me & g cant phce $39. Cam//m War Zom! Mo th 190 never befoge pul~isigd. $25. ,Catalina Museum * Sugadoaf Books The Steamer Trunk Two Harbors General Stores . Buoys & GuUs I'. PYke Bookseller Carlota's Mexican Shop TIw Hen House Or:. Phone626.963.7550 Fax626.33,5.3507