La Jolla News Briefs: Children's Pool lifeguard tower demolition to begin, injured sea lions found at La Jolla Cove ... and more

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An image from a digital recording of a sea lion at La Jolla Cove that was apparently injured while becoming entangled in fishing line. Courtesy Andrea Hahn

Compiled by Pat Sherman and Ashley Mackin

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Injured sea lions found at La Jolla Cove

As many as five sea lions were discovered at La Jolla Cove last week with gouges around their necks, after apparently being caught in fishing line.

SeaWorld was contacted about the injuries and, with assistance from lifeguards, is monitoring the animals’ condition. At press time, the sea lions were either submerged in water or resting on slippery rock formations deemed unsafe for SeaWorld rescuers to access.

“We rescue and return several animals each year that have fishing gear related injuries,” said SeaWorld’s curator of mammals, Keith Yip. “A vast majority of the time it is too dangerous for our staff and the animal to attempt rescue.”

SeaWorld Director of Communications David Koontz added that marine mammals are often impacted by pollution like fishing line, netting or other plastics.

“An animal can be entangled for quite some time, and as they grow it becomes a greater issue because it can start to cut into their body,” Koontz said.

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Seal Cam monitoring approved by commission

California Coastal Commission staff analyst Kanani Brown said the Commission approved San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s request to use the Seal Cam to meet the terms of a coastal development permit allowing a year-round rope at Children’s Pool.

The permit requires the city develop and implement a monitoring program of beach activity by seals and humans. Filner requested flexibility in how the city meets this special condition, including use of the Seal Cam as an acceptable method of recording the mandated beach activity. The Coastal Commission issued a notice of approval May 14.

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Starbucks corporate representative Elizabeth Valerio presents design plans to the Development Permit Review committee for a patio at Starbucks.

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DPR approves Starbucks patio

La Jolla’s Development Permit Review (DPR) committee on May 14 approved Starbucks’ plan to convert a former bank drive-thru at its location at 1055 Torrey Pines Road to an outdoor patio.

Starbucks is seeking coastal and site development permits for the 1,100-square- foot, enclosed patio. The plans will be reviewed next by the La Jolla Community Planning Association.

Starbucks corporate representative, Elizabeth Valerio, said it is the third time the company is presenting the plans to the community. The city has already approved the addition of an additional handicapped parking space and access required per the Americans with Disabilities Act, she said.

DPR requested that Starbucks close one of two driveways accessing the property off Torrey Pines Road to avoid additional traffic congestion. However, Valerio said such an action would be the responsibility of the landlord and would require a traffic study. There are two other existing driveways into the property (one off Virginia Way and one off Bluebird Lane), which Starbucks shares with a Chipotle Mexican restaurant.

“It’s going to be months and months, I would say at least six months, of (traffic) study,” Valerio said. “This is something that I proposed to the landlord. I haven’t gotten any response.”

White Sands resident John Baker contacted the

La Jolla Light

to report the problem of traffic backing up along Torrey Pines Road as cars wait to enter the Starbucks parking lot.

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