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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
December 30, 2011     The Catalina Islander
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December 30, 2011

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SERVING CATALINA &: ITS .MAINLAND FRIENDS every week - since 1914 VOLUME 97, ISSUE 52 YEAR IN REVIEW 2011 ,,,,,, December 30, 2011 Part 2 July-December Firework implodes While thousands of spectators enjoyed Avalon's Fourth of July fireworks show, few of them actually saw one explo- sion that was not planned to occur the way it did. Most of the 300 pyrotechnic shells for the evening were set offelectroni- cally out on the Mole from a safe distance. However, about 70 of the larger ones were set off with a hand-lit fuse from a metal tube called a mortar, sticking out of a 55-gallon metal barrel packed tight with sand. Some- thing went wrong with one of them and the barrel blew up in a fireball, splitting the metal barrel down the middle. Witnesses said they were amazed that the man who ignited it was not seriously injured. "It was a pretty catastrophic equipment failure," said Mayor Bob Kennedy, who was on the scene and said it was the first time he could remember when such a mishap had occurred. Steve Hoofs, Avalon Fire Chief and City Manager, who runs Avalon's fireworks show as a licensed, private contrac- Rrework, Page 3 Locals Surf Avalon Bay A north eastern swell caused by a winter storm passing over Southern California before Christmas, allowed for a rare and unique opporttmity for local surfers. The intense wind that blew from the mainland created con- ditions inside Avalon Harbor that were just too good for about 15 locals to pass up. Swells were consistent around 3-5 feet, with many larger waves crashing onto the beach regularly. About 40-50 spec- tators gathered near Step Beach to take photos and enjoy the show. Some of the brave locals who jumped on the rare op- portunity to surf Avalon Bay, are rumored to include Pastor Lopez, Jon Quarnstrom, Weston Leonhardi, Aaron Cush- ing, Buck Lopez, Adam Thoricht, Eddie Hoffinan, Jim Fe- lix, Michael McCormick, Chris Arnold, Carlos Hernandez, Alex Hobbs, Steven Bray and Kaitlyn Lopez. Holly Hill restoration The new owners of the Holly Hill House, Mark and Kar- en Engman, started restoring this Queen Anne style Victori- an home earlier this year. Original construction of the home by Peter Gano was in 1890. It is a historic landmark, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. "We purchased the home in March this year on an 'as is' basis' with the in- tention to keep it as our personal vacation home," Engman said. "Our decision was to restore it to its original form." During the restoration process, original flooring was ex- posed, hand carved woodwork earne into view, and original columns belonging to Gano that were hidden within the walls were all discovered. "'We anticipate a two-year process," said Ken Redding, the contractor the Engmans hired to complete this project. "With that being said, there are a lot of variables involved in the time table. There was termite damage, which was greater than expected and it is tmknown what other factors could arise...the Engmans are committed to see that, whatever it takes for the best result, they will see it through." THE DIRTY HEADS SELL OUT DESCANSO The Reggae, hip-hop and rock band, the Dirty Heads headlined a sold out performance on July 22 at Descanso Beach on the grass. The concert was considered a success- ful event by the Island Company, visitors and locals alike. Dirty Heads have been com- ing to Catalina every summer for years said cofounder Jared "Dirty J" Watson. The band was founded in 1996 by Watson and vocalist/gui- tarist Dustin "Duddy B" Bushnell. Dirty Heads, Page 3 $15,000 PURSE FOR CATALINA SUP FEST The Catalina SUP (Stand Up Paddling) Festival came to Des- canso Beach and Crescent Avenue September 30 through October 2. The weekend-long stand-up pad- dling (SUP) event was hosted by the Santa Catalina Island Company and their partners REVO sunglasses, SUP Magazine, Siena Nevada and Skyy Infusions. It included two days of races in the calm waters off Des- canso Beach Club, SUP films and numerous entertainment festivities. sue, Page 3 RICHARD SALDANA HONORED WITH 2ND PURPLE HEART Catalina native son Richard Sal- dana was 24 years old, serving his country in Vietnam. A specialist fourth class, Saldana and other sol- diers were ambushed. A rocket gre- nade hit the tank's ammunition can. The explosion left his right hand dangling from his wrist and it was later removed in a field hospital. The muscles in his left arm were also badly damaged. He nearly lost MUSEUM'S 1,000TH MEMBER CRUISE SHIP BERTH OPTIONS FLOATED The year 2011 marked a mile- In an effort to increase business, stone as the Catalina Island Mu- the city of Avalon and the local seum celebrated its 1,000th mem- ber-Eric Huart. In 2010 the museum's member- ship was only about 350 strong. "This museum has undergone one of the most dramatic tumarounds that I have ever seen. It really is evidence that the public likes what we are doing and where we are headed," said Executive Director the arm, but doctors in Japan were, Dr. Michael De Marsche. Vet, Page 3 Museum, Page 3 Chamber of Commerce have been exploring ways to have more cruise line passengers move more easily from their ships to the shore. Cur- rently, cruise lines must employ ten- ders to ferry people onto the Island. According to Wayne Grif- fin, Chamber president and CEO, cruise line management said a sig- nificantly higher number of people would visit the Island if they did Cruise, Page 3