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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
October 26, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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October 26, 2012

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CHOICES volunteers Margie Wahl and Rhonda Kalish are working together with other Avalon community members to keep the anti-substance abiJse program going after losing funding. Photo by Dennis Kaiser CHOICES From page I drinking and drug use is perceived by many Island residents to be a major threat to our community's health, safety and future." While community volunteers do much of the hands-on work, funding the program and its vari- ous activities and events still re- quires about $50,000 a year in financing. For about the past nine years, CHOICES had a reliable revenue stream it could count on. However, that has changed this year as some major funding sources are no Ion- ger available due to other demands on their funds. Despite the financial chal- lenge, Continuing Care Special- ist Rhonda Kalish, a member of the CHOICES board of directors and an active volunteer, said the organization's work is continuing as best it can. "CHOICES is very effective and has been helping with our community and keeping kids that get in trouble out of the (crimi- nal justice) system" Kalish said. "We've been involved by work- ing with them, keeping them able to do the things in school such as sports that can help them and at times sending them to re-hab." DESCANSO Enjoy our Hog Roast dinner menu during the month of October in one ofour heat J eabana Dinners are held every Saturday night. Reser~rkms required. Ten years ago last August, a handful of concerned Avalon parents and com- munity leaders decided to do everything they could to break the cycle of more Avalon youth falling through .the cracks. Thus was born CHOICES. Kalish said that CHOICES ef- forts are applied to local students from kindergarten through high school. "We do family-friendly activi- ties such as movies on the beach, provide training for parents, and workshops.with the police depart- ment," Kalish said. CHOICES was also on theAva- Ion Schools campus on Thursday to promote the national anti-drug abuse campaign known as Red Ribbon Week. CHOICES also offers annual responsible alcoholic beverage service training for local mer- chants to help reduce youth access to alcohol. According to Kalish, CHOIC- ES is also gearing up for what she expects to be one of its most effec- tive programs to date. It is planning to bring back some former students who were helped by CHOICES to get their lives straightened out after fall- ing into a drug and alcohol abuse lifestyle that could have destroyed their lives. "We will have three young speakers coming from the main- land who will talk about their own experiences with CHOICES," Ka- lish said. "I thinkit is going to be really powerfu/ to have kids talk to someone near their age who has been through what they are going through." Kalish said that CHOICES' programs are made possible by donations. However, they are als0 looking for more volunteer help. Activities can include u:anslating into Span- ish some material such as flyers, website content, brochures, etc. They also need. assistance 'to man booths at local events, sell tickets, flip burgers and chaper- ones for youth activities. To make a tax-deductible do- nat.ion to CHOICES, mail checks payable to Catalina CHOICES to P.Q. Box 1492, Aalon, CA 90704. For more information, call (310) 510-9294 or visit the web site www. Catalina PET OF THE WEEK: Bella is a 9-nine-year-old red merle Australian Shephard owned by David and Marina Gemilere. They have had her since she was a puppy when they adopted her from Frank and Nora Hernandez who lived out at Empire randing. They had Bella and her brother Moo while raising their own small children, which proved to be too much for that house- hold so the Gemilere's adopted Bella. She loves going for walks, swim- ming, taking rides in the car, and being pet by kids.Bella never forgets anyone who ever gives her a doggie treat. Send your Catalina Islander Pet of the Week photos and information to Fall Fest a success. According to organizers, Fall Fest 2012 was a success. On Thursday, Oct. 18, Crescent Avenue was the place to be. The Fourth Annual Fall Fest was met with much fanfare. Hundreds of local residents and visitors alike filled the streets as they played games, ate food, listened to live music provided by Hot Off the Range, bought pumpkins and ~up- ported their favorite local charity group or organization. There was a hometown feel to the entire eve- ning as families spent time togeth- er, fiends fellowshipped, fathers danced with their daughters and smiles were on every familiar face you passed by. The event .was desig/aed to bring the community back togeth- er after a busy summer season--to remind Islanders of the quality of life they search for as they live in such a unique and special commu- nity. There is a similar event in the spring to launch the Island into summer and to remind everyone, "Hey, I'll see you in the fall." Some of the other highlights of the festival were the cooking competitions. The Apple Pie Bake Off winner was Porshia Denning and the Fried Chicken winner was Chef Greg Wenger for a three-peat. No one participated in the Best Ta- male Contest. This was such a fun filled event and a big part of its success was due to all the volunteers who helped with setting up, tearing down, judging or working booths. It really takes a village but it is all a part of the appeal of why Island- ers live here. Sean Brannock Avalon Sanitary issues It isn't often that I become upset enough with something to write a letter to whom it may concern. However, a recent visit to the Island left me both angry and a little disappointed. I have been a visitor to the Island all my life (43 years). This year, I started bringing my children over to enjoy this charm- ing little city. We were on the Island in June, and again this past weekend for the Art Festival. In my opinion, the city just isn't the same anymore. I remember when the ocean near the beach was cleaned by young people in "salad boats" with nets to scoop up the seaweed and floating trash. The front street was power washed (which seemed tO be each morn- ing). Gum was removed from the sidewalks, t am sure that there are biodegradable soaps, with micro- organisms to do this today. The sand on the beaches was raked and cleaned too. There were hardly any bird droppings on railings or benches. While visiting in June, I noticed an open live electrical junction box on a palm tree at the beach. This visit I noticed the following: Letters, Page 8 New * Rescreening * Free Estimates P.O. Box 2257 Avalon, California 90704 310-510-1904 Days 310-339-5252 Evenings garl .atalinalstandScreens.corn www.Cat linalslandScreens.c ,n 6 i Friday, October 26, 2012 THE CATAUNA ISLANDER