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

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Watson From page 1 Hanley who for many years flew Gooses for Amphibian Air Trans- port, Avalon Air Transport/Cata- lina Air Lines and his own airline, Catalina Channel Airline, which he started up in 1959. I fielded that harrowing story. from an excellent book titled "Ghosts of the Air: True Stories of Aerial Hauntings" (Fall River Press, 1991), written by a pro- foundly experienced airman and author by the name of Martin Cadin. And from that same book comes this week's mystery ... In the late 1940s, before Hanley started flying for Amphibian Air, Hanley found himself captaining Douglas DC-4 passenger airliners for an unnamed airline. (The DC- 4 was one of the workhorse airlin- ers of the day. The next time you see Catalina Flying Boats' Douglas DC-3 fly over Avalon, just picture a slightly larger plane with four engines in- stead of two). On one memorable night flight from Chicago to Oakland with a full load of passengers, Hanley and his crew were enjoying the spectacular view as they flew their ship high above the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies. That snow was there for a reason, for there was a tremendous amount of very ugly weather far below them. But high above the maelstrom, they marveled at the moonlit landscape below. "We didn't seem to be moving," wrote Hanley. "We were suspend- ed 'in night space, and the earth rolled slowly toward and beneath a nearly full moon." It was a sight that Hanley described as "not af- forded to many mortals?' Then, straight out of an Arthur Halley screenplay, the conflict component of the story .. began. It seems one of Han- ley's pas- sengers, described as a "very pregnant" Jim Watson young Chi- Columnist nese wom- an, began to go into labor. There were, of course, no doc- tors on board so Hanley and the stewardesses stretched the now- unconscious young woman in the cabin's aisle and began feeding her bottled oxygen at the l l,000-foot altitude. They radioed their situation to the flight station at Fort Bridger, Wyo., and were given the depress- ing news that they would need to descend into the awful weather and land at Salt Lake City where they could get the poor woman to a hospital. To get there, they would have to descend into a blizzardy Diablo Canyon (that's "Devil's Canyon" in English) on their approach to Salt Lake, flying only bY the high- friend Harold Tucker. "We'd flown est tech navigation instruments of together too many hours not to no- the time, namely twin radio sig- tice every detail of his face." nal~ that when properly aligned theoretically placed the aircraft right where it was supposed to be. Unfortunately, as Hanley de- scribes in the book, heavy snow- storms can often distort the radio beams and in the narrows of Dia- blo Canyon that could prove fatal to one and all. However, without being able to see anything in the stormy night, Hanley had no other choice than to align the two beams into a single beam and hope there wasn't too much distortion going on. "We were hanging on to that beam like a drowning man clutch- es a plank" wrote Hanley. That was when the beam started to "weave" forcing Hanley to try to chase it back to its "null" position. This is where things really got weird. It was at this .point that Hanley says a "voice appeared to emanate from over my shoulder." Someone, said Hanley, was behind him and speaking to him. "Bob, get over to the left," commanded the voice Hanley then looked to his left to see who was giving this peril- ous command. That was when Hanley said he felt he had been stuck "a terrible blow" "An old pilot friend stood by my side," he wrote. "A man I had spent many hours training to fly flying boats." .It was "unmistakable," said Hanley, that the man was his Problem was, said Hanley, "Harold Tucker had been dead for many years" The apparition spoke once again, this time with greater au- thority. "Get over to the left," yelled "Harold" Having then evidently dis- patched his other~worldly duties, the specter then vanished, leaving Hanley "ice cold?' But Hanley did as instructed and drifted the plane to the left of the beam much to the astonishment of the co-pilot who apparently hadn't been privy to the ethereal vision. Now at the bottom of Dia- blo Canyon, the .plane suddenly emerged from the clouds where Hanley noted the right wing of his plane was "barely a few feet from the rocky wall of the can- Coast Guard A US Coast Guard helicopter transported an 8-year-old girl from Catalina to Long Beach Tuesday, Oct. 30. The girl,'whose name has been withheld, due the fact that she is a minor, wasa reported to have ex- perienced seizures. Unfortunately, heavy fog and poor visibility made it necessary for the Coast Guard to provide her with transportation to the main- land. Coast Guard Air Station Los yon." Within minutes, the DC-4 was skidding to a stop on the icy runway at Salt Lake City. They had landed safely. There are two epilogues to this story, one tragic and one happy. Since I prefer leaving off on a happy note we'll start with the sad ending: a DC-3 cargo plane that came in to land after Hanley's plane was faithfully following the deceptive radio beacon signal and flew straight into a mountain, kill- ing the entire crew. The happy ending is that the Chinese woman not only survived, but successfully gave birth at a local hospital. She and her rela- tives were delighted with Hanley's heroics and, yes, they named the bal~y after him. Jim Watson is the-author of "Mysterious Island: Catalina," available at Amazon, Kindle and in stores all over Avalon. Angeles launched a HH-65 Dol- phin helicopter about 10:25 a.m., with a flight surgeon onboard to pick up the girl and her father from Catalina Island and take them to the mainland. The helicopter crew picked up the pair and flew them to Long Beach Memorial Hospital at around 11:15 a.m. Because the girl was a minor, no further details were available at this time. From page 5 contained by the Thompson Dam. Completed in 1924, this reservoir Continues to supply water to the town of Avalon via ~2 mi~es of pipeline from the Island's interior. As a way to meet the demand PTA officials thanked everyone who stopped by the PTA booth at Fall Fest and voted for the king and queen. Congratulations Jossue Silva and Jasmine Rodriguez--Fall Fest king and queen. In addition to selling votes, the PTA also sold Lancer bracelets-- wear them and show your Lancer pride. The bracelets will also be available at the Lancer football home game for $2 each. Your donations to the PTA have helped with a variety of Red Ribbon week activities that took place last week, as well as the Perfect Attendance ribbons that are being distributed monthly. Every bit counts. November schedule: Nov. 2--Senior Class Fundrais- er 5 p.m. at the Gym Serving Tacos, Beans, Rice, and Cactus Salad Nov. 2--Fall Carnival 6-8 p.m. at Avalon Schools Booths, Games, Prizes, Fun! Nov. 3--Lancer Football CIF First Round Home Game vs. Pacific Lutheran Nov. 5--PTA Meeting 5 p.m. Library Nov. 12--Veteran's Day Holi- day (No School) Nov. 22-23--Thanksgiving Holiday (No School) for building materials such as roo and enamel tiles. Wrigley and Renton decided to construct a tile factory using Catalina clay they had discovered in the Island's inte- rior. Catalina Clay Products went on to expand their offerings to everyday dishware and specialty products as well. Production began in 1927 and lasted until Philip K. Wrigley sold the business to the Gladding McBean Company in 1937. Renton's wide variety of build- ing projects also included the con- struction of a golf course, a spring training camp for the Chicago Cubs, the world-famous Casino building, an exotic bird park and more. For over two decades Wrigley and Renton worked closely togeth- er and formed a remarkable work- ing relationship. Wrigley often referred to Renton as his "hands." But the two also shared a certain type of energy and enthusiasm for thinking ambitiously and creat- igg. some~ing where nothinghad Sto0d before. " Renton's final construction project for his boss was to build the Wrigley Memorial. The plans for the tomb used Catalina materials, flagstone and tiles, in a magnificent 80-ft high resting place that is now a part of the Wrigley Memorial Botanical Gardens. Wrigley once described Renton as "one of the greatest men I have ever met in my whole business career. He is a regular he-man, and knows how to do more things and do them well than any other man I have ever met?' Prior to his retirement" in 1936, Renton worked brief- ly for Wrigley's son, Philip K. Wrigley, developing the "Paseo del Encanto" (Promenade of PUBLIC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Hearing Officer will be conducting Vehicle Hearings on Monday November 5, 2012 in the City of Avalon Coundl Chambers located at 410 Avalon Canyon Road. The agenda will include but may not be limited to the foflowing: APPUCANT ~ Ken Redding Constr.-Renew Comm. Vehicles 12:45 om Catalina Coffee & Cookie-Renew Comm. Autoette LL0~L~m Ghost Tours of Catalina~Renew Comm. Autoette l:lS om Klrkpatrlck Haintenance-Renew Comm. Autoette Caleb LIns - Transfer Comm. Permit Za0~ Environ Strategies - New Public Service Tracy Romo - Oversize Residential Permit Catalina Pest Control - Renew Public Service December Renewal bv Declaration Catalina Snorkel & Scuba-Renew Comm. Veh!de &Autoette Catalina Steam Cleaning-Renew Comm. Autoette Christy Lins CPA-Renew Comm. Autoette David Simpson Constr.-Renew Comm. Auto, ette Mar-/Lou's Travel-Renew Comm. Autoette " SirJa's Cleaning .Service-Renew Comm. Autoette Tremont Apts.-renew Comm. Autoette Vivid Visions-Renew Comm. Autoette Catalina Diver's Supply-P~enew Comm, Vehicle The public is welcome to parUcipate. Add~onal information and a complete agenda can be obtained at C~W,Hall 410 Avalon Canyon Road, between the hours 0f 8;00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Honday through Friday. ,. ~ " " -. Pubrlshed: The Catalina ~lan(~er: Oct. 19, 2012 - Butter BOard at Cfty Hal, " " ~ " ......... " City of Avalon Website: ' w v I Enchantment), which opened in August 1933. P.K. Wrigley's goal was to preserve the spirit of old California. Together Wrigley and Renton transformed Catalina Island into one of the world's preeminent vacation destinations. To learn more about this transformation visit the exhibition A Democratic Dream: William Wrigley Jr. and Catalina Island. Commemorating the 80th anni- versary of William Wrigley Jr.'s death, this exhibition can.only be viewed at the museum through Nov. 26. The Catalina Island Museum, its digital theater and store are located on the ground floor of Avalon's historic Casino and are open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more informa- tion. the museum may be reached by phone at (310) 510-2414 or at its website CatalinaMuseum.org. CITY OF AVALON FINANCE DEPARTMENT. IS NOW DEVELOPING A HIRING LIST FOR THE POSITION OF EQUIPMENT MECHANIC Scope: Under general supervision, inspects, troubleshoots, diagno- ses, and repairs a variety of vehicles and heavy equipment; maintains and orders necessary inventories of equipment, shop supplies, parts, and materials; performs other related duties as required. The Equip- ment Mechanic is the journey level class responsible for a variety of mechanical, electrical and hydraulic maintenance and repair on City ownedpower equipment,: How To Apply: Applications may be obtained from the Finance Department at Avalon City Hall. All applications must be turned in by Monday, October 29, 2012 by 4:00 p.m. All applications should show educations and experience relevant to the position, incomplete ap- plications will be rejected. Selection Procedure: Applicants will be screened and those can- didates possessing the most relevant experience will be invited to participate in an oral interview. City of Avalon is an equal opportunity employer. Range 28 Step 1 $23.563 Step 5 $28.641 THE CATABNKISLANDER November 2, 201219