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The Thompson Reservoir Level as of Thursday, Oct. 24, is 411 acre feet. By-the-gallon rationing becomes mandatory when the water level drops to 300 acre feet or less.

Bad times, like good times and glory, are fleeting. It’s always a good idea to remind yourself of that when you are about to go through a long, hard time or you find yourself enduring a series of problems.

Avalon has serious financial challenges. Avalon has a crumbling sewer system. Avalon now needs a new hospital, according to Council Member Ralph Morrow, I don’t have any answers. I don’t even have a clue. If I had either, I’d offer them.

But I’ve been watching Avalon’s city leaders for a few years now and I have confidence that the council and city manager will find a way to meet the city’s needs. As a journalist, it will be interesting to see them go about making that happen. As a fan of Avalon, it’s going to be hard to watch because the task they face isn’t easy by a long shot.

Finally, some good news. Avalon water quality is improving and the waters off Avalon are getting good grades. Yes, the Avalon sewer system is in horrid shape. Yes, it will cost the city far more than it has. Yes, the financial impact of upgrading the system will be felt for years after the upgrade is completed. But things are finally getting better.

It’s nice to hear good news from time to time and a pleasure to pass the good news along.

JazzTrax, possibly the best of the off-season events to come to Catalina Island, has begun. It’s fun, it’s good for business. I don’t believe the win-win situation is always possible, but this is a prime example of what a win-win for all looks like. Unless you don’t like Jazz, but there are plenty of ways to have fun on Catalina Island if you aren’t interested in Jazz, so that really isn’t a problem at all, is it?

Have fun, Avalon.

If you read this week’s Catalina Islander, you know that it is quite likely all Southern California Edison electricity customers will help to foot the bill for improvements to Catalina’s drinking water system. At 9 cents a month, the increase will ruin no one’s life, cost no jobs on the mainland, ruin no businesses.

Yet I expect some mainlanders will object on genera principal.

We’d like to know what you think about this. Is it really fair to ask people who do not live on the Island to help pay for Island utilities?

No one’s at fault. Let’s get that straight from the start. The fact that the 2013 Catalina Grand Prix motorcycle race had to be canceled just as the 2011 and 2012 races had to be canceled is not the result of human error or irresponsibility.

Some of the things that make Catalina Island unique, even special, also make it a logistical challenge for big events. Few other race courses would involve state and federal agencies as well as publicly and privately owned land.

Still, it seems a pity. Catalina Island could use some off-season events to boost visitor counts.

Maybe the focus should be on non-sport events like the Film Festival.

As of Thursday, Sept. 12, the Thompson Reservoir level measured 435 acre feet, a 7 acre foot drop from the previous week. Fresh water usage is expected to to decrease as the tourist season has ended and there are likely to be fewer visitors using water in Avalon. However, only rain—a lot of rain—will cause the fresh water level to rise. Water rationing will become mandatory when the Thompson Reservoir level measures 300 acre feet or less.

Congratulations, Ben Harvey, on becoming Avalon’s new city manager.

I’ve worked with Harvey in my capacity as a reporter and his capacity as region manager, public affairs, for Southern California Edison and I’ve always found him to be one of the best professional spokesmen I’ve dealt with. I’d be shocked if he proved any less skilled as a city manager.

As of Wednesday, Aug. 28, the water level at the Thompson Reservoir measured 448 acre feet. Last week, the water level was 451 acre feet. The positive side of the decline in tourist activity as we move from summer to fall is that water usage will decrease, which in turn will slow the drain on Avalon’s supply of fresh water.

The bad news is that unless we get a lot of rain in a short period of time, strict water rationing—which goes into effect when the water level reaches 300 acre feet—is inevitable.

The Thompson Reservoir water level, as of today, Friday, Aug. 23, is 451 acre feet deep. Water rationing begins when the water level reaches 300 acre feet.