Opinion/Letters to the Editor: ADA access would complete the grandness of the Children’s Pool in La Jolla

Letters to the Editor for publication should be 250 words or less, and sent by e-mail to sdemaggio@lajollalight.com Please include the full name of the sender, city of residence and phone number for verification.
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ADA access would complete the grandness of the Children’s Pool in La Jolla

By Cheryl K. Aspenleiter
A handicapped swimmer

I am writing in regard to handicapped access at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla. There is a ramp there now that historically has been used by wheelchairs. The new lifeguard tower remodel needs to be redesigned immediately to include full ADA access to the water’s edge by wheelchairs.

According to the presentation prepared by Indiana University’s National Center for Accessibility, “beaches with public access points must have an accessible route every half mile. As with any construction completed under the ADA, 20 percent of the project budget must be spent on accessibility. Beach nourishment, alterations to an existing beach (including the upgrading of parking, circulation path or restroom facilities) or the creation of a new beach constitutes construction.”

Please check out this video to see the potential for handicapped people at the Children’s Pool.

(Editor’s Note: The awe-inspiring footage in this video from an international TED Conversation shows a woman, Sue Austin, “scuba” diving in her wheelchair. The image below was taken from that video.)


Legally, the construction must not begin until full ADA access to the water is included in the blueprints. The Children’s Pool is a perfect place — and is the only safe place — for people with handicaps to potentially get to the water to swim. This is a swimming pool, not a seal toilet. This pool must be upgraded to the condition is was in 1932, and made better for wheelchair access. The seals can be everywhere else and still come to visit. The sand needs to be dredged out and the sluice ways opened again for keeping the water clean.

This could be an incredible tourist attraction, drawing much more income for the hotels that families would stay at and the restaurants people would eat at, and the handicapped people who may even move to La Jolla to be near this incredible gift of Ellen Scripps! Do you know the freedom that comes for a paraplegic who is able to get out of a wheelchair and swim? Incredible! The Children’s Pool is THE place for them.
Stop the building plans and incorporate full ADA access, dredge out the sand, restore the wall, and watch the tourists come. Watch the people with disabilities enjoy the ocean, who otherwise would not be able to.

The Children’s Pool was built for children and the “infirmed.”  The trust states: “to be forever held by the City of San Diego and its successors in trust for the uses and purposes of: a public park, bathing pool for children, parkway, highway, playground and recreational purposes. …. the absolute right to fish.”
This is the purpose of Children’s Pool and ADA access MUST, by law, be incorporated into the plans. The current plans only allow wheelchairs to use the bathroom; these plans prevent people in wheelchairs from accessing the water, and this is illegal.

• Sheri Lightner seeks community support to oppose Venter Institute’s access
Dear Neighbors,
We have heard from many of you about your concerns over the Venter Institute, which is currently under construction on Torrey Pines Road at La Jolla Village Drive. Since last year, I have been in talks with UCSD about the access to the Venter site. I oppose a driveway to the Venter Institute from Torrey Pines Road. A driveway onto Torrey Pines Road will create numerous dangers for cars and pedestrians, increase traffic in the surrounding neighborhood, and cause traffic backups.
UCSD should take access from Expedition Way, which is on university property. The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department has requested controlled access for emergency vehicles off Torrey Pines Road, and I support their request as long as this driveway otherwise remains closed.
It is crucial that UCSD know that this issue is important to you and your neighbors. You can let them know by contacting the following UCSD officials and telling them to take access to the Venter Institute off Expedition Way, not Torrey Pines Road:
• Chancellor Pradeep Khosla: chancellor@ucsd.edu
• Gary Matthews, Vice Chancellor Resource Management & Planning:gcmatthews@ucsd.edu
• Robert Friedman, COO, Venter Institute: rfriedman@jcvi.org
Please copy Mayor Bob Filner and me on your emails:
Please feel free to distribute this message to your friends and neighbors … you may contact me with any additional questions, comments or concerns.
Sherri S. Lightner
Council President Pro Tem, District 1
City of San Diego

(619) 236-6611

• Driving is never the time to text on your cell phone
I commend Brandon Takashi Roberts for his letter demonstrating the dangers of texting while driving by teaching us the harrowing statistics relating auto accidents and distracted driving. (“Texting while driving is unsafe and illegal,” La Jolla Light, Feb. 28.) As the next generation of drivers like Mr. Roberts learn from behaviors of their own parents and other adults, our society must continue to uphold values of common sense and safety while engaging in potentially dangerous activities like driving.
Courtney Hibbard
La Jolla

• We must protect the Yosemite valleys
The Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite was flooded after the U.S. Congress decided to flood the valley by building a dam. I am writing to raise this issue because I have been to Yosemite and think its valleys are too beautiful and full of life to be flooded for the needs of a city miles and miles away. If you don’t know, I am talking about San Francisco.

Since there is concern about where else San Francisco will get its water, government research has proved that there is another resource that has enough water to make up for the loss of this dam. Another concern is that it will take $3 billion to $10 billon to restore the plant and animal life in the Hetch Hetchy Valley. But I feel that Mother Nature will work wonders in replenishing this valley to its original natural beauty.
People in San Francisco were supposed to vote on whether or not to drain the dam. From what I know, a decision was never reached. I think people in California should once again raise this issue to Congress and propose to get rid of the dam and restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley.
Alexis Rosen, Grade 5
Torrey Pines Elementary

• Greenhouse gases ban needs tighter enforcement
I am writing about the newly started “Cap and Trade” in California to help stop the greenhouse gases in the state. So far, California has been successful in its Cap and Trade auctions to get greenhouse emission permits. They have been trying to reduce the emissions to what it was like in 1990 — to 427 metric tons of carbon by 2020. This pollutant is mostly our fault from transportation, commerce, industries, agriculture, land use, etc. but this new law can help the most major industries cut down on releasing excessive amounts of greenhouse gases. We need to start enforcing this because many companies are exceeding their limits of greenhouse gases. The easy part was passing the law, but they did not think how hard it would actually be. H.R 2454 has been trying to make a big reduction in carbon emissions in just eight years by 17 percent in 2020 — and by 83 percent in 2050. Many companies don’t have permits at all. They need to get out of their chairs and start fining these violators.
Bobby Baranic, Grade 5
Torrey Pines Elementary

Related posts:

  1. Opinion/Editorial: Police presence at Children’s Pool in La Jolla will hopefully ease the tensions over shared-use plans
  2. Letters to the Editor, Jan. 31 issue of La Jolla Light, Open letter to Mayor Bob Filner seeking yellow rope for grunion crowd control
  3. La Jolla Community Center appeals for capital projects support to complete remodel
  4. Your View: Harmony at the Children’s Pool on the 4th
  5. Opinion: Children’s Pool is about living up to a commitment

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Posted by Staff on Mar 12, 2013. Filed under News, Opinion, Seal Watch. 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.

2 Comments for “Opinion/Letters to the Editor: ADA access would complete the grandness of the Children’s Pool in La Jolla”

  1. Califia

    See the Children’s Pool in use by a disabled diver and the efforts by his friends and family to carry him up and down the dangerous stairs to provide this experience:


    The locked beach access ramp needs to be opened and the ramp restored.

  2. Cheri Jacobs Aspenleiter

    Chidren’s Pool unhealthy for seals. The over population of the seals at The Children’s Ocean Swimming Pool has caused a serious imbalance in the underwater ecosystem at Children’s Pool. There are too many seals for the carrying capacity of the underwater environment as is evident when one dives there. Even the mussels have all but disapeared: the seals have devoured everything edible. Fished out, worse than nets could ever do, gone are the sea stars, gone are the limpets, the abalones, the lobster, And here comes the Great Whites, looking for some food. The bacteria and feces and afterbirth should not be allowed in a Childrens Bathing Pool and one where handicapped people in wheelchairs swim. Soon the seals will become sick living in the closed in area. Even before the wall was built, there was a deeper pool there naturally. So the sand that has built up is not natural. It should be dredged out and the sluice ways opened to allow for clean water circulation.
    Seal Rock and Shell Beach are better environments as its the entire reef behind the breakwater wall, and the adjoining beach of S. Casa where the natural tides can wash the environments naturally. Children’s Pool is getting like a seal toilet, it really should not be allowed. The seals will begin to get sick as well. The smell at the Cove was created by stopping people from being on the rocks as the y were for decades, keeping the birds from wanting to nest there. Look what was created, stench. And now Seal poop stench too? Next target beach to close and rope off is the Cove, already in the plans by these people who do not understand ocean ecology and how important balance is, and that marine mammals should not be managed in an environment built for people, as Children’s Pool is, especially for handicapped people. Children’s Pool is only one quarter of the space in the Jewel of La Jolla Beach Area that includes S.Casa, The Reef, Shell Beach and Seal Rock. And the little tiny human ocean swimming pool, Shared use is vital.

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