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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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December 21, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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December 21, 2012
 

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Precipitating Growth: Catalina,s rainy days are welcome Islands in dry areas like the Channel Islands are susecep- tible to drought and the challenges it brings BY FRANK HEIN It's human nature togrumble when it rains. But anyone who's lived through a drought season on Catalina knows that rain is some- thing to be celebrated here. While all dry climates rely on rain, islands are more vulnerable to shifts in weather. A couple of dry seasons in a row can really impact the Island and, unlike mainland communities, we can't look fur- ther upstream or a hundred miles away for another supply of water. If rain doesn't fall from the sky, we get pretty thirsty pretty fast. Of course, every living thing on this Island is affected by rain. And December is a great time to see how true this is. If we receive just a few good rainfalls, the Island will green up at an amazing rate. Plants that went dormant in the heat of the summer will suddenly be triggered by moisture, and the greening begins. But of course you need rain and light to really get things going and by early spring plants respond to the one two punch with an explosion of life. When that explosion happens, all of the birds, insects and ani- mals living in that habitat come along for the ride. But what happens when the rains don't come? Catalina's plants and animals have developed mechanisms and behaviors to get them through dry times. Some plants devel- oped waxy or hairy leaves that reduce evaporation. Others can just go dormant and wait things out. For example, if a drought gets severe enough, Cata- lina's oaks can drop all of their leaves to prevent water from evap- Orating and then grow new leaves when the rains return. Plants with this adaptation are referred to as "drought deciduous" Some of our animals can even get through lean water times on what's called "metabolic water." That means they can get much (and in some cases, all) of the wa- ter they need from just the food they eat. Our Catalina Island foxes will switch their diet in the dry Bush sun- flowers seen from a view ovedooking Uttle Harbor and Shark. Harbor. The vitality of Catalina's flower and plant life blooms into view follow- ing rains that sustain the Island's eco- systems. Photo courtesy of the Catalina Island - Conservancy season and eat more moisture-rich cactus fruits until the rains bring relief. Frank Hein is director of edu- cation for the Catalina Island Conservancy. Three ocean earthquakes rattle Catalina Island BY CHARLES M. KELLY Three earthquakes off the Cali- fornia coast shook Catalina Island in a 24-hour period last week. The most recent was reported as a 3.5 quake which struck the ocean floor 163 miles southwest of the Island "at approximately 9:39 a.m., Friday, Dec. 14, according to the US Geological Survey. An earlier pair of quakes, which struck about 14 minutes apart, measured 4.7 and a whop- ping 63 magnitude. The epicenter of this cluster of quakes was about 163 miles south- west of Avalon. "The December 14, 2012 M 6.3 earthquake 250 km southwest of "Avalon, California, oCcurred as a result of shallow normal faulting within the oceanic lithosphere of the Pacific Plate," said the Geo- logical Survey website. The term plate refers to "tech-. tonic" plates, meaning large seg, ments of the Earth's crust. "While the broad region sur- rounding the December 14, 2012 event experiences frequent earth- quakes along the San Andreas and associated faults in southern California, the area offshore and within 250 km of this earthquake has not hosted any events greater than M 6 over the past 40 years," the website said. "The largest nearby earth- quake was a M 5.1 event 200 km to the northeast in June of 2004, 80 km west of the border between the US and Baja California," the website said. "This event is located some 400-450 km west-southwest of the plate boundary between the Pacific and North America plates - the San Andreas fault system in southern California - and is not associated with that fault sys- tem" the US Geological Survey website said. None of the quakes causec any serious damage. In fact, nany people were apparently unaware of them. Fire Chief/City Manager Steve Hoefs said there was zero impact on the community. "I think about only, from what I can gather, maybe 20 percent of the people felt it," Hoefs said. He said most people slept right through the quakes. Hoefs said if the quakes had struck at about 3 p.m., a lot of peo- ple who have felt them. Early earthquake magnitude re- ports are preliminary and subject Earthquakes, Page 9 Founded in 1913 by Ernest Wiodle Publisher Vince Bodiford vince@thecatalinaislander.com Editor Dennis Kaiser editor@thecatalinaislander.corn Advertising Pat Jamieson advertising@thecatalinaislander.com Office Manager Jennifer Leonhardi manager@thecatalinaislander.corn Accounting Judy Murray judy@localnewspapers.org 101 MARILLA #5 AVALON, CA 90704 I (310) 510-0500 FAX: (310) 510-2882 Postmaster: Send address changes to The Catalina Islander P.O. Box 428, Avalon, CA 90704 Calendar: Noon Monday [ News: 5 p.m. Monday ] Display Advertising: 2 p.m. lesday I Classified Advertising: Noon Tuesday [ Legal/Public Notices: 5 p.m. Monday SUBSCRIPTIONS Send to manager@cinews.us One Year Subscription: Catalina .............................................. $39 Mainland .." ........................................ $48 Subscriptions.via First Class Mail are available for $8O/year A Publk=atlon of CommunltyMedla Cerporatlon. CATALINA ISLANDER (USPS 093-140) Acceptance under 39C, F.R. 3464 periodicals postage paid at Avalon. CA 90704 and other additionat offices. Adjudication Decree No. 377598. Date of Adjudication: Oct. 4, 1934 Exact Name of Newspaper as shown in the Petition for Adjudication: The Catalina Islander. PuLsbed weekly at 101 Marilla Avenue, #6 Avalon, CA 90704 The entire contents of The Catalina Islander are copyrighted by The Catalina islander. NO part may be reproduced in any fashion without written consent of the publisher. This publLcation is printed almost entirely on recycled paper. Contents Copyright 2012 and Title Registered, Catalina Islander, ]nc., All Rights Reserved. 17 PROUD MEMBER OF THE CAUFORNIA NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION Enjoy Sunday Brunch at Beach Club in one of our caLmcms_ Enjoy complimentary bottomless 135 per person "Weather l-rmirring. ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................... ......... -._ CATALINA ISLANDER 2 i Friday, December 21, 2012 me