Article from the 4/8/2016 Catalina Islander

Since I became "Catalina's Official Greeter", March 10, 2014, when the Chamber Of Commerce assigned me to greet the cruise ships and cross channel boats, I have answered 44,807 questions.
These are some of the more interesting/unusual questions/comments:
"Is there a cable tram service from Catalina to the mainland?
"When is your ski lift working?"
"How much of the Island is surrounded by water?"
Referring to the Casino, "Is that a water tank?"
"Do you sell Cuban cigars?"
 
CONTEST
Sorry Linda Hayes and Linda Lechlitner, I didn't answer my 50,000 question in March.
 
Last week I shared with you some of the questions/comments that I have received concerning where Catalina Island is located (Latitude, 33.343, Longitude, -118.328), and where we aren't (Mexico, Hawaii, Dominican Republic, etc.).  I am now going to attempt to share:
 
WHO IN THE HECK ARE WE!
 
Avalon has a population of 3,802 while the entire Island has 4,137.
We are composed of 72.2% Mexican, 25.7% Anglo, and 2,1% Black, Chinese, Japanese, etc.
Our average age is 35.73 years (boy, I missed that one by a mile!).
We are 51.4% male and 48.6% female, which probably explains why 36% of us are single.
Our 1646 households have a median average income of $51,621 to try to buy the average home of $501,096.
Our average household is made up of 2.5 people (I guess we take King Solomon literally!  Share with me if you get the joke.)
53.1% of us are white collar (chiefs) and 46.9% blue collar (Indians).  THAT EXPLAINS A LOT!
We drive 428 cars and 1550 golf carts.  Every household is allowed one golf cart and the average waiting list time for first time Islanders to get a car to Avalon from the mainland is 25-30 years.
Our coldest month is January (60.4% average high) and our hottest month is July (75.4% average high).  PRETTY NICE!!!
(Got these figures off of government sites. If you question any of them, don't forget the famous quote of President Abraham Lincoln ("Honest Abe"), "Don't believe everything you see on the internet!").
 
Now to answer some of the questions/comments of our visitors.  These are based on REAL questions!  Some of them are grouped for brevity sake:
 
No, we are NOT all interrelated, although most of us know quite a few of our fellow Islanders; probably a larger percentage than those who live on the mainland knowing their neighbors.
A woman was heard to comment, "I just spoke to a native born Islander and she seemed so NORMAL!"
YES, the sun comes up on Catalina Island so you can start working on your tan.
No, we are NOT convicts and Catalina is NOT a penal colony and we are NOT connected to Alcatraz.   Nor are we an insane asylum (although we might act this why by the time "Labor Day Weekend" rolls around!). We are allowed to come and go when we want, NOT on prisoner boats.  Although most of us have gone to college, that is NOT the only circumstances that we are allowed to leave the Island.
Although a few do (probably no more than a dozen), the rest of us DO NOT leave the Island every night and return every evening.  YES, most of the buildings you see are REAL, and not just facades.  That's where we live.
NO, there is neither a bridge nor a tunnel connecting us to the mainland.  YES, we use the same cross channel boats and helicopters that the visitors use and, NO, we don't have special scheduled boats just for the Islanders.
Yes, we have a hospital in Avalon.  Although babies are not allowed to be born in our hospital, due to lack of extremely expensive malpractice insurance for delivering babies, we ARE allowed to die on the Island.
YES, we have a school on the Island, part of the Long Beach School District, K-12, approximately 650 students.
Our area code is 310 or 3-1-0, which ever one you use.
We DON'T pour chlorine and/or blue dye in our harbor.  It looks this way naturally.
YES, the Catholic Church does have Sunday service, just like the rest of the world.
YES, we do have Los Angeles County Sheriffs and, NO, we "can't just do anything we want to."  We do NOT have CHP ("California Highway Patrol").  No highways to patrol.
NO, as a rule, we are not supposed to drive any golf cart we want and return it on the "honor system".
There are no bears, mountain lions, or cougars on the Island.
Islanders are allowed to eat in the restaurants.  We also have grocery stores ("Vons" and "Vons Express"so we don't have to go to the mainland to buy our food, unless specialty items are needed and then a mainland shopping trip is necessary.
There are NO blackout dates when visitors are not allowed to come to the Island.  Maybe not such a bad idea?  (JUST KIDDING, PLEASE COME WHENEVER YOU WANT!!!).
We CAN'T stamp your passport here and you don't need a travel Visa (the credit card is ALWAYS welcome).
We DO use U. S. currency as we are part of the United States.  No, we do NOT accept WWII pesos! 
YES, the wind blows on Catalina.
We DO hire Americans here.
We DO have newspapers and magazines in English.
YES, our beaches are by the ocean and NO they are not just for couples.  You can let your children use them.  NO, you don't have to pay to swim.
YES, we have public restrooms and flush toilets.
There is NO gun hunting of fish.
YES, Avalon has sidewalks.
YES, we produce our own electricity. (Imagine how LONG the extension cord to the mainland would have to be!).
YES, people who were married on the mainland are considered a married couple on the Island.
 
REMEMBER, it is my job to answer these questions as politely and seriously as possible.  Please forgive me if I seem "spaced out" at the end of the day!
 
I would like to do a column on answering your questions concerning the Island, i.e., history and/or rumors, etc.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.