Ranger has his hands full with Children’s Pool

Interim ranger Randy Hawley on duty during a recent Saturday. Photo: Dave Schwab

By Dave Schwab
Staff Writer

Interim Children’s Pool ranger Randy Hawley has been busy since mid-July keeping the peace between pro-seal and pro-beach access proponents and educating the public at the shared-use beach.

“I’m what’s called a provisional employee,” said the affable Hawley, stopping to chat poolside during a recent Saturday afternoon shift, interrupting at one point to ask, “Would you mind backing up so seals can come up on the beach?”

A retired public employee asked to come out of retirement for a special assignment, Hawley said his mission, working less than a full-time schedule, is to get the city-sponsored pool ranger and seal docent programs up and running for the full-time ranger who will replace him.

Hawley has been charged with three primary tasks: communicating with and educating the public; reviewing, interpreting and developing signage going up at the beach; and taking the lead on developing a seal docent program training volunteers.

“City docents will be volunteers who report to a city employee,” said Hawley. “Basically, they’ll be like non-paid employees for the city, which means they can’t advocate for one side or the other, they have to reflect the city’s policies not their own viewpoints.”

City Park and Recreation Director Stacey LoMedico said the process to select Hawley’s successor would soon be under way.

“We anticipate interviews will be done the first week of October and we would like to have a permanent ranger hired by November — that’s my goal,” she said.
Hawley said he’s at Children’s Pool on weekends but added his hours vary.

“The needs are to observe things at different times of the day,” he said, adding on this Saturday (Sept. 18) he did some office work before coming down to the pool at 3:45 p.m. “I’ll be here until after sunset.”

Hawley’s role is clearly defined.

“I don’t engage people on the beach unless I have a reason to interrupt their behavior,” he said. “When the tide and the seals start coming in, I just go up to people and say, ‘Would you like to see the seals?’ Then I say, ‘To improve your chances of seeing the seals, you need to move back a little bit.’ I’m not asking anybody to leave the beach: I’m not disrupting their activity.”

Parks director LoMedico said a permitting process for a year-round rope barrier at Children’s Pool is in the works. But she added that an appeal of a recent hearing officer’s decision in favor of the rope is likely to be filed with the city Planning Commission and it could be appealed beyond that to the California Coastal Commission. That makes it unlikely the rope will go up sooner than Dec. 15 when it is scheduled to be up until May 15 for the seals’ pupping season.

Concerning the ongoing controversy over the appropriateness of commercial interests operating tables at Children’s Pool which sell T-shirts and other items and pass out educational literature about the pool and seals, LoMedico said, “We have received complaints about the large number of individuals who are providing literature to the public and we are working with the city attorney’s office to address that.”

Regarding new signage being developed for Children’s Pool, LoMedico said, “We have been coordinating with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to place two city signs and two NOAA signs up at the pool within the next three weeks.

Related posts:

  1. Hearing set for Wednesday on La Jolla seals rope barriers
  2. Advisory group pleased with ranger at Children's Pool
  3. Fourth fireworks could be delayed again in 2011
  4. Roundabout reasoning revisited
  5. Sewer main replacement project continues

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=2815

Posted by Halie Johnson on Oct 8, 2010. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • ‘Fallen Angels’ a devilish good time at North Coast Rep in Solana Beach August 23, 2014
    North Coast Repertory Theatre presents Noel Coward’s “Fallen Angels,” previewing Wednesday, Sept. 3. This is Coward at his inimitable best. “Fallen Angels” provides a continuously entertaining two hours of delight, combining two slightly bored British women, an amorous Frenchman, clueless husbands and one very cheeky maid. When it premiered in 1925, audience […]
  • Congregation Beth Am hosts free Labor Day picnic in Carmel Valley August 23, 2014
    Congregation Beth Am continues its tradition of a Labor Day Picnic that is free to all members and potential members of the synagogue. This year is the 31st anniversary of this synagogue that started in a tire store in Solana Beach. “Come for a Day” and stay all year, as Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner! If you are not a member, call to reserve for th […]
  • Ballots firm up for Solana Beach water district August 23, 2014
    Now that the filing period has officially closed, the ballot for Solana Beach’s water district is complete for the Nov. 4 general election. The Santa Fe Irrigation District provides drinking water to customers in Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe and Fairbanks Ranch. […]