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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
November 2, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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November 2, 2012

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SERVING CATALINA ~ ITS MAINLAND FRIENDS every week - since 1914 F.,oAY November 2, 2012 VOLUME 98, ISSUE'44 Www.THECATALI NAISLANDER.OOM BRI[FS Avalon High Sshool Football finishes season undefeated The Lancers football team fin- ished regular season play last weekend with a perfect 9-0 record and are ranked #18 in the State of California. They will play their first round play-off game at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 3 at Joe Machado Field, facing opponent Pacific Lutheran High School (7-2 record). Healthy life keeps Luv alive Isabella LiJv, 83, was gifted a ride on the Zipline. She has practiced a healthy lifestyle since the 1950s, long before it was popular. Friends made fun of it, but she outlived many of them. See story, page 7 Coast Guard medevacs girl A US Coast Guard helicopter flew an 8-year-old girl from Catalina to Long Beach on Tuesday, Oct. 30. See story, page 9 Meet Sean Brannock Kids at Play, often seen on sweatshirts of Avalon's youth as K@P shares with our commu- nity the magic of theater. Sean Brannock, the founder of Kids at Play, recently sat down for an interview. See story, page 8 First Island Co. manager key to Wrigley's success When William Wrigley Jr. pur- chased Santa Catalina Island in 1919, he did not anticipate the enormous c hallenges that lay ahead. Transporting contractors and supplies posed a unique challenge for Catalina Island's development. See story, page 4 Avalon Rotary collects books for Romania On Oct. 20, the Friends of the Avalon Library, assisted by the Avalon Lions Club and Rotary Interact, held a book sale as a fundraiser for our local Avalon library branch. See story, page 2 PLAY Preschool fundraiser The 2012 PLAY Preschool Craft and Silent Auction wfl be held 5 p.m. on Friday Nov. 16 at the Landing Restaurant. Tickets are $7 and include dinner, dessert and a raffle ticket. Slurry seal update Phase 2 of the Avalon Roadway Improvement Program is begin- ning this next week, starting on Tuesday, Nov. 6. See story, page 8 Kids line up for the start of the annual Halloween Parade on Crescent Avenue. For more photos, see page 6. Photo by Jennifer Leonhardi Meant to eliminate problem birds, a small flock of ravens kills a baby falcon BY CHARLES M. KELLY The Avalon falcon program is beginning to work and is expected to help improve Avalon Bay's wa- ter quality, according to City Man- ager Steve Hoefs. Last month, city of Avalon hired On the Wing Falconry Ser- vice to use so-called raptor birds, hawks and falcons, to scare off the pigeons and seagulls that forage for food and leave their waste all over the city. "It's going really well;' Hoefs said. He said the falconer was on the Island four days a week, flying his birds "day and night. "There haven't been as many (seagulls) at night," Hoefs said. He said the seagulls don't like the presence of the falcons, their natural predators, and eventually go away. "It's a long process," Hoefs said. According to Hoefs, one main- land resort had a huge seagull problem as many as 6,000 or Falcons, Page 2 n .. Despite fires and recession, visitor counts on the rise BY DENNIS KAISER Summertime is when people make hay, so to speak in Avalon. It's a time when some local folks work two or three jobs, like indus- trious ants, some claiming the wis- dom to save for the lean season. If the summer season is slow it impacts all the Island's merchants and businesses, big and small, in the town that survives on the tour- ism industry. The number of visitors to Catalina dropped significantly after May 2007, when a fire that broke out in the hills burned 4,750 acres. The fire loomed large over the town of Avalon, bit ultimately only one residence and six com- mercial structures were destroyed. The national attention appar- ently dissuaded many potentiat visitors from visiting the Island. Things were made more difficult when the recession hit the entire country. It was a double whammy for the Island, but most merchants were able to hang on and slowly things began to improve as Avalon businesses faced the challenges. It apparently helped that even as visitor counts had dropped, the Santa Catalina Island Company stepped up and began adding new attractions to draw visitors to the Island such as its popular Zipline ride. Economy, Page 4 Catalina's facts, folklore and fibs This Week: The Ghost in the DC-4 BY JIM WATSON Not that I feel constrained to limit ghost stories to cer- tain, appropriate times of the year, but I have another little such tale I would like to "pass on" (pun intended) to' you be- fore we completely leave Hal- loween week. You may recall an earlier column I wrote many moons ago titled "The Ghost in the Grumman Goose" wherein a Grumman Goose seaplane on its way to Catalina in 1947 with a plane full of happy pas- sengers got lost in cloud cover near the Island. To compound the zero-vis- ibility problem, ice build-up had also taken out the plane's radio antenna, leaving the pi- lot completely unaware.of his location and unable to. com- municate with the facilities on the ground. Suddenly, Over the head- phones of the supposedly de- funct radio, came a voice or- dering the pilot to "turn to nine-zero degrees. Turn now!" The pilot did as in- structed and the plane immediately exited the cloud cover. To the pilot's horror (and that of his passengers as well) they had just narrowly missed slamming into the 2,000-foot peak of Mt. Orizaba in the Island's interior. The origins of this myste- rious "voice" were never fully explained. That pilot was none other than our venerable early sea- plane pilot Robert "Bob" Watson, Page 9 Robert "Bob" Hanley.Courtesy photo