Are pamphlets, T-shirt sales legal at La Jolla Cove?

Are pamphlets, T-shirt sales legal at Cove?
An open letter to Councilperson Sherri Lightner:

Surprise. I stopped in the 3-minute parking space at La Jolla Cove this a.m. so my wife could check the water temperature (54-degrees, too cold for her to swim). I am used to tables hawking T-shirts devoted to saving the Earth, but not to a table with signs and literature devoted to saving my soul. I think my temperature might have risen a few degrees when I was visually accosted by a plethora of signs set up on the grass and sidewalk inviting me to learn about God and the Bible, and offering Watchtower in the language of my choice.

I offered to the smiling attendants at their setup table that their presence on city property was a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution. The ever-smiling male attendant assured me that it was all right because the city had issued them a permit.

Well, I opined to the still-smiling proselytizer, then that makes both you and whoever issued that permit in violation of the law.
Correct me if I am wrong or please tell me who is responsible for this and what will be done about it. And while you’re at it, how about getting rid of those ugly T-shirts (sales) as well.
Donald K. Ryan
La Jolla

Dear Donald K. Ryan: I was forwarded your e-mail about Jehovah’s Witnesses tabling in a public park. This is not illegal. Public parks are often opened by the government as “public forums.” This is a legal term that means the space is available for anyone to exercise their free speech rights (within normal legal limits). Often they require speakers to get a permit. If the government chooses to open a forum, they may not discriminate against who is speaking. Any group that wishes to speak may do so, religious or otherwise, so long as they obey the law.

If this really bothers you we always suggest that people counter the religious message.  Again, the city can’t prohibit a message they don’t like so an atheist message must be allowed as well. Our group offers “non-tracts” specifically designed to counter religious leafletting. If you are going to stage this counter protest, we may be able to provide you with some free nontracts.

Andrew L. Seidel
Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.
Madison, WI

Dear Mr. Seidel
Sincere thanks for your enlightening response. It is satisfying to be assured that this is legal though I fail to see the difference between this and putting the 10 Commandments on a lawn at city hall. I shall cc this to those with whom I shared my complaint.  While firm in my belief, I am not a zealot and will let it rest.
Daniel K. Ryan

Time for the seals to go
Even though I’ve been a Sierra Club member for over 30 years, I am adamantly OPPOSED to those miserable seals which have taken over the Children’s Pool.
What would Ms. Ellen Scripps say? She had the jetty built specifically to provide a safe place for young children to swim and play. My parents took me and my two sisters to the Children’s Pool in the 1940s and ‘50s. How wonderful it was. Ms. Scripps did NOT have the jetty built to provide a place for seals to breed, foul the water, and prevent children and adults from enjoying the beautiful cove which she created.
Where else is there a safe and secure place for tiny children to enjoy the water in safe, peaceful, beautiful surroundings? La Jolla Shores?  Boomer Beach? I don’t think so. This is the last bastion.
We must take a stand to safeguard the integrity of the Children’s Pool (which the seal lovers call Casa Beach, pretending that the “Children” portion of the name is irrelevant.)
The seals are a noisy nuisance. More importantly, they are also a great snack for sharks, which at some point are going to gobble up either a seal or a swimmer brave enough to enter the polluted water.
Myrna Wosk
La Jolla

Windemere House was a historical gem
I’ve been reading your articles on the Windemere House with some interest as we lived in the house from 2001 until it was purchased by the current owner who demolished it. We moved when the property was sold by the estate of my husband’s grandmother Janet Pattee. She and her husband Walter owned the property for many years (30 or so I believe). The house itself was donated to the La Jolla Historical Society but they didn’t have a place to move it to as far as I know.
The property was perfectly habitable. We raised three children there. (I was pregnant with our second child when we moved into the house). We were shocked and dismayed to see it so abruptly destroyed. It was a lovely piece of La Jolla history and we have so many great memories of living there. I have pictures of the house if you would like me to send them to you. If you have any questions about the property I would be happy to answer them.
Deborah Pattee

Why do you love California?
Hi, my name is Samantha Jones. I attend Covenant Christian School in Mishawaka, Indiana and am in the sixth grade.  My literature class is reading the book “A Walk Across America “ by Peter Jenkins.  The book is about Peter and his dog, Cooper, who go on a journey.  Their journey starts in New York and they walk across America to California.
Due to the fact that we are reading this book, I’ve been given the assignment to select a state and do a report on that state.  I chose the beautiful state of California.  For this project, I need to write a report that needs to include any comments from people of various communities in California about what they love about California.  I would really appreciate it if you could assist me in getting the readers of your newspaper to write in their thoughts about what they love about the state of California.
Thank you for your time to read my letter.  Your letters can be sent to me by e-mail or by mail.  The deadline is the end of February.
Samantha Jones
Covenant Christian School
54790 Fir Road
Mishawaka, IN 46545

Related posts:

  1. Readers take aim at La Jolla Light candidate endorsements for Nov. 6 election
  2. Letters to the Editor, Dec. 29 issue, La Jolla Light
  3. Letters to the editor, Dec. 22 issue
  4. La Jolla Concours d’Elegance 2012 Website Goes Live
  5. Our view: Let’s get a grip on graffiti in La Jolla

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Posted by Staff on Jan 23, 2013. Filed under News, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Comments for “Are pamphlets, T-shirt sales legal at La Jolla Cove?”

  1. Andy

    In regard to the letter about the pamplets, etc. at the Cove Park I understand the frustration. I was there in the summer and a significan number of the benches were taken over by people hawking cheap jewlery. I am not sure if that has been addressed in the paper or not. The T-shirts have long bothered me. Its time to kick the money changers out of the park.

  2. Tshirt vendors pay for a few available permits to sell shirts with free speech mottos on them. Jewelry vendors have no permits. Lightners office helped generate a police sweep agaisnt the jewelry vendors. You may call poliec any time you see one operating.
    Beach closure activists have sold goods at Children’s Pool for years without a permit becasue the City fears a 1st amendment lawsuit. Tshirt verndors there have permits.

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