Volume 12, Number 3, Sept 1990, pp.1-2

President's Letter

by Mark Watters

Preparations for the WAAC Annual Meeting in Avalon on Santa Catalina Island are proceeding apace. An abundance of abstracts for talks have been submitted this year, thanks to the diligent efforts of WAAC Board Members and the participatory spirit of the WAAC membership. In fact, some cannot be included in the final schedule, unfortunately, due to time limitations.

A tentative list of presentations follows, arranged alphabetically according to presenter's last name. Those attending can look forward to a rich variety of presentations, ranging from talks on the conservation of the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts to a discussion of Mexican altarpieces and the importance of their conservation (by Lilia Rivero Weber, whose participation in the Annual Meeting is being sponsored by the Friends of Mexico Foundation).

For those wishing to attend the Annual Meeting from start to finish, plan to arrive in Avalon on Sunday, 14 October, which is the day before sessions begin. A WAAC registration desk will be open in the lobby of the Catalina Canyon Hotel that Sunday afternoon. The hotel operates a van service between the center of Avalon and the hotel on a regular basis throughout the day. Details of this service will be sent to Annual Meeting registrants by early October, along with a map of Avalon, a preliminary Annual Meeting Program and other helpful information.

On Monday, 15 October, and Tuesday, 16 October, presentations will be scheduled for morning and afternoon sessions running from approximately 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, with breaks for coffee and lunch. A registration desk in or near the meeting place will be open just before and during the Monday morning 1session. On Wednesday, 17 October, there will be a morning session, at the end of which the meeting will close.

Evening events include a Glass Bottom Boat Tour on Monday, 15 October, and an optional Top of the Island Dinner Tour on Tuesday, 16 October. The Glass-Bottom Boat Tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. With special lighting from the boat and a guide's commentary, nocturnal marine creatures can be observed through the boat's glass bottom. The Top of the Island Dinner Tour starts before sunset with a ride through the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy to the Airport-in-the-Sky, at the "top" of the island. A simple buffet dinner will be served there, accompanied by musical entertainment. Wine or beer may be purchased at the bar. The return trip to Avalon follows.

As indicated on the WAAC Annual Meeting registration form included in a recent mailing, approximately 100 spaces are available for each evening event. Due to this limitation, meeting registrants must be given priority for participation. Remaining spaces will be available for family and friends on a first-paid, first-served basis. If demand exceeds space limitations, reimbursements will be made promptly to those affected, and every effort will be made to make changes for registrants whose family or friends cannot be accommodated.

Both evening events are being arranged through the Santa Catalina Island Company. This company, which owns most of the island, offers several tours. A tour of the landmark Casino in Avalon, and a highly-recommended Inland Motor Tour, which covers most of the island (see ZORA'S COLUMN), are among those available. For further information, write or call: The Santa Catalina Island Company, P.O. Box 737, Avalon CA 90704; 1/800/4AVALON (CA only), 1/213/510-2000.

There are a number of boat services operating from mainland California to the island. Round-trip fare on any of these is approximately $30 per person. All services apparently require reservations and enforce luggage limitations. Catalina Express operates from Redondo Beach, Long Beach and San Pedro (Los Angeles Harbor). For information and reservations: Catalina Express, Berth 95, P.O. Box 1391, San Pedro CA 90733; 213/519- 1212. Catalina Cruises operates from Long Beach and San Pedro. For information or reservations, call 1/800/888-5939 or 213/514- 3838. Catalina Flyer operates from Newport Beach in Orange County. For information and reservations: Catalina Passenger Service, Balboa Pavilion, 400 Main St., Balboa CA 92661; 714/673- 5245. The trip to the island using any of these boat services takes 1 to 1-1/2 hours. For much higher fares, helicopter service is available as well: Island Express Helicopter Service, 213/510- 2525 or 1/800/2-AVALON; Helitrans Air Service, 1/800/262-1472, 213/548- 1314 or 714/724-9944.

Those arriving in a Los Angeles area airport might need to arrange for transportation from the airport to the boat service. The boat services can recommend shuttle services. Some of the local shuttle services are: LAX-Press Airport Shuttle at 213/215- 3111, SuperShuttle at 213/338-1111 and Metropolitan Express at 213/417-5050. Once again, reservations should be made in coordination with flight arrival and boat departure.

For those who are attending the meeting but have missed the deadline for reduced rates at the Catalina Canyon Hotel, there are numerous other hotels, inns and bed-and-breakfasts in Avalon. Most everything in Avalon is easily within walking distance of the Catalina Canyon Hotel. Some of the hotels and inns are: Catalina Island Inn 213/510-1623, Hotel St. Lauren 213/510-2299, Hotel Villa Portofino 213/510-0555, Hotel Vista de Mar 213/510- 1452, Pavilion Lodge 213/510-2500. The Chamber of Commerce provides information and often direct connections to Avalon hotels. It also provides information on restaurants and recreational activities. Write or call: Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 217, Avalon CA 90704; 213/510-1520.

Please note that I am not recommending any particular service or establishment previously listed. I am simply offering information which I hope will be helpful to meeting registrants in making plans.

I look forward to seeing all those members who are able to attend in Avalon for another successful and enjoyable WAAC Annual Meeting.

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