Our Readers Write: La Jollans continue to oppose new flight-path noise, no public-use of La Jolla High track and parking-ticket hassles

Our Readers Write / Opinion / Letters to the Editor:

Letters to the Editor from the Dec. 15, 2016 issue of La Jolla Light as La Jollans speak out on local issues:

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•••• Community must come together over flight path changes

• We live in north Pacific Beach and have experienced a large increase in airplane noise, not only from Northbound flights closer to the coastline, but more so from the Southbound flights. The flights no longer are required to “step up” to altitude (ascend, level off, ascend, level off), but gun their engines to attain altitude as quickly as possible.

The noise reverberates off Mount Soledad and sets off car alarms in our cul-de-sac and vibrates in your chest. It is like standing at the end of a runway. I attended the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) meeting and talked to no less than five people about this noise issue and the possibility of relocating the noise sensors with the flight path change, but it all fell on deaf ears. The landing noise has also increased as planes cut over La Jolla Shores on their way to the airport. It is so frustrating buying a home in a quiet neighborhood and ending up in a flight path! — Diane Fons

 

Editor’s Note: A local homeowners association recently discussed this matter at its monthly meeting after which one resident faxed La Jolla Light the following flier that was handed out:

Airplane Noise: Due to changes in GPS tracking systems, the FAA has changed take-off and landing routes over San Diego. While Point Loma has been particularly organized in registering complaints, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla have been relatively complacent. If you think you hear more frequent or louder plane noise than usual, please register a noise complaint or this may become a permanent change in the flight pattern. The FAA is planning more changes to be introduced in January.

To register a noise complaint:

• Call the 24-hour noise complaint hotline at (619) 400-2799

• E-mail your complaint to airnoise@san.org

• Use the Regional Airport Authority’s Web-based flight tracking system Web Trak: webtrak5.bksv.com/san

• Contact your elected representatives: Congressmember Scott Peters: scott.peters@mail.house.gov (Handling the issue for Peters is jason.bercovitch@mail.house.gov)

• County Supervisors elected Greg Cox to represent San Diego County on the issue: greg.cox@sdcounty.ca.gov

•  Alan Harris of Pacific Beach, who sits on the Airport Noise Authority sub-committee, is looking for someone to represent the community with the airport board and FAA. He can be reached at alanpacbch@gmail.com or (858) 229-4465. facebook.com/groups/plairroute

•  To complain to FAA directly, comments can be emailed to 9-ANM-SoCalOAPM@faa.gov or submitted by regular mail to SoCal Metroplex EA, Federal Aviation Administration Western Service Center – Operations Support Group, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057.

 

Editor’s Note 2: When contacted, Alan Harris sent La Jolla Light this information: “Here is a new proposed flight pattern at bit.ly/flightpathproposal

Page 2 should be of concern to anyone in 92037. These are arrivals into San Diego Airport which has no landing curfew. The flight patterns started to shift late 2015. The next meeting of the Airport Noise sub-committee will be 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017 at Airport Authority’s Airport Noise Office in Liberty Station, 2722 Truxtun Road. Barry Davis will present the past six months of flight data for arrivals and departures. It is important to note that departure routes have also changed. Previously they flew out over the ocean before turning north. Today, departing flights fly much closer to the coast. There have been only a few public notices and meetings regarding the NexGEN changes. Most resident’s have not felt it will impact them. metroplexenvironmental.com

 

• I want to share this urgent situation regarding the new flight path. I started a personal log of times that commercial jets were flying over my home in La Jolla Shores. I spend a lot of time outside gardening and playing with my dogs. I was so upset by this, I found the phone number for the local FAA office, gave my information and was able to confirm flights traveling at those time and dates.

I am shocked no one in La Jolla was notified about the change. Why did our local City Council District 1 representative not inform us? Also, I never heard about any meetings from the FAA. You would have thought some kind of letter should have been sent to every homeowner in La Jolla. I pay a lot in property tax, as do others in La Jolla. Our property value will depreciate about 10 percent.

I need to let the community know about the next Airport Noise Advisory Committee meeting: Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016 at 3225 N. Harbor Drive, Administrative Offices; by the airport, 4 p.m. The Jewel has been tarnished once again; this is a quality-way-of-life matter. — Karen Marshall

 

• Bird Rock and nearby neighbors: I hope many of you have noticed the new aircraft noise we have been experiencing since the last week of October 2016. This is due to flight path changes out of Lindbergh field made by the FAA.

As this is causing terrible problems for many of us unaccustomed to such noise, particularly since it is almost constant 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., we are hoping that we can all come together to express our displeasure with the move by communicating this to the appropriate authorities that can help.

Besides being injurious to our health and environment, it will affect the value of your property as the FAA has effectively moved “an airport” into our neighborhood. The more complaints they receive, the more effective we will be. Thank you for joining this effort. Of course, any comments or suggestions of additional actions we can take would be most appreciated. — Beatriz Pardo

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•••• More letters support sharing La Jolla High School track

• I want to include my two cents into the La Jolla High School track injustice taking place. I’ve also been trying to figure out why in the world the high school administrators would attempt to restrict the public from using the track as I’ve enjoyed the use of it since moving here.

I’ve lived in La Jolla for four years and have been an avid user of the track and have looked forward to the re-opening. I may be wrong, but isn’t it taxpayer money that funded the new spiffy track and facilities? I’ve lived in many different places in the United States and have never seen a local PUBLIC high school try and restrict public use, even if only during certain hours. On the contrary it has always seemed to build a sense of neighborhood and commonwealth.

Also, perhaps it’s just me but the new facilities and out buildings seem quite extravagant for a public school on the taxpayers’ dime. Rather than create ill will in the community, I imagine that the school district may want to re-think their stance considering the tab incurred by the taxpayers to hatch the shiny new accommodations. — Diane Campochiaro

 

• As a La Jolla High School alum, I remember constantly seeing members of the public jogging around the track, playing a friendly game of tennis on the courts, etc. and thinking how wonderful it is that the community has somewhere nice to exercise. As a student, I imagined my future self, enjoying the fields in my old age and recalling the memories of my time at LJHS. I hope that every effort will be made to keep these facilities public so that local residents may continue to benefit from their use. — Andre Belanich

 

• I join with other readers in protest of the recent closing of our local public high school’s track to La Jolla runners and walkers. There is no credible reason to deny reasonable public access to the track, which directly or indirectly, we in the community paid for and should be allowed to use. In my view, reasonable access means that the track should be open outside of regular school hours so long as the school is not using the stadium for an athletic event. I do not object to sensible rules for use of the track designed to protect students and preserve the newly renovated facility, but in general, walkers, joggers, and runners should have reasonable access to the track as they have in the past. — William Larsen

 

• I want to express my concern, and disappointment, that La Jolla High School is even considering making access to the school facilities private. As a member of the taxpaying community, to have a public school decide to close its sports fields is akin to announcing that the institution has the intent to become privately funded. By that same logic then the taxpayer should have the right to decide what schools their tax money goes to!

A renovation to the sports fields does not warrant restriction to access by the public. I’ve seen my own high school in the San Francisco Bay Area redo their facilities a long time ago but everyone was still allowed to play and exercise. The folks who use these fields fully understand that official school events and organizations have priority when it comes to using the facilities. They’re not in conflict with any staff, students, etc. during their use of the fields, and always make sure to clean up after themselves. There’s no valid assessment that the high school could make to claim that these individuals are in any way trying to vandalize/damage school property, especially since these people understand what a privilege it is to have a high school with sports facilities in an incredibly over-developed part of San Diego.

I hope this message will resonate with other members of the community and bring an end to this absurd notion for private-use sports facilities at public institutions. — Ilia Dolaptchiev

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•••• Letter shows lack of compassion for those in need

• I was gobsmacked upon reading the letter to the editor in the Dec. 8 La Jolla Light (regarding the food program at Mary, Star of the Sea for those in need). Setting aside the dog-whistle nature of terms such as “undesirables” and “industry,” a cursory use of an Internet search engine will tell anyone interested in educating themselves that more than 423,000 people in San Diego County — 13 percent of the population — are food-insecure: feedingsandiego.org/hunger-research/map-the-meal-gap

Typing a few more words into Google, you will see that many of the poor and food-insecure individuals in San Diego do indeed have jobs. The Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI) estimates that 41 percent of people over age 16 in San Diego who are living in poverty are employed: cpisandiego.org/living_and_working_in_poverty

Merely receiving a paycheck is not enough to keep one on easy street in San Diego. CPI estimates that one-third of the population of San Diego lives in households unable to pay for basic needs; they are above the federal government’s poverty threshold but unable to cover the costs of living here. MIT calculates the living wage for a family of three in San Diego to be 2.5 times the federal poverty threshold.

The comments about “undesirables” and keeping shelters on the outskirts of town so that La Jolla’s shopping district might not be sullied by the presence of the poor are so reminiscent of certain Dickensian characters. My hope for this holiday season is that we all might reject our inner Scrooges, reflect on our own blessings and cultivate some empathy, which our culture, at the moment, seems to be sorely lacking. — Sarah Garrison

 

• I wasn’t sure how to help feed those in need in our community until I read (the Our Readers Write section) in your Dec. 8 issue. After reading an opinion, I was moved to donate generously to “So Others May Eat” in order to help them with their wonderful work at Mary, Star of the Sea church. I hope everyone in La Jolla is moved to do the same. — Andrew Shorenstein

 

• It’s been a few days since I read (a letter containing) advice to Tresha Souza about feeding people in need in La Jolla. The request is to have an appropriate venue “on the outskirts of town,” certainly not “where industry happens” and in the retail district of Girard Avenue (even though it’s a church venue: Mary, Star of the Sea).

My blood is still boiling. I’m wondering in what world we live in where we don’t help or feed people in need. Maybe folks do come from various parts to get a hot meal, maybe they do make a wage, maybe they work in La Jolla at minimum wage and need to stop for something to eat before taking a long bus ride home. Maybe they are kids who are not sure when they are gonna get dinner, maybe they are handicapped and that’s as far as they can get, maybe they don’t have a kitchen, maybe they have mental problems and don’t know how to cook, maybe they just need one moment a week to not feel judged — a safe place to eat with people who care about them.

I admire Tresha Souza for her loving heart and open mind. She reminds us of the importance of family and extended family, of love and giving, not of pompous attitudes and distaste for humanity. — Neva Sullaway

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•••• Also ‘ticked off’ by parking tickets issued in La Jolla

I am in complete sympathy and agreement with “Ticked off” who wrote that letter in the Dec. 8 La Jolla Light of being cited for overtime parking during times that she was not even in the Village. I had a similar experience with these overzealous meter maids.

In April, I received a citation at 11:26 a.m. for overtime parking in a 2-hour zone which implied that I would have been in that spot since 9:26 a.m. or earlier. In fact, at that time, my car was parked in its usual spot in the underground garage in the building where I live. As I explained in my appeal letter to the city parking administration, I left my underground spot at 10 a.m. in my car to go to my gym on Fay Avenue, across from Vons. I was there until 10:40 a.m. before returning to my building where I parked outside because I had to shortly leave for an appointment. I was in that spot for 36 minutes when the citation was issued. So during the 2-hour period that the ticket issuer said I was parked outside for 2-hours plus, I was actually in my underground space and at another location for over one hour of that time.

I included in my appeal a letter signed by my trainer and the manager of the gym who were present with me during the 40 minutes that I was there. My initial appeal was denied according to the review decision letter that stated that a complete Administrative Review of the citation had been performed by their staff and “after carefully reviewing the facts and evidence available, we have determined that the citation was properly issued.” Of course, this “careful review of the facts and evidence” did not include the city contacting either of my witnesses.

I appealed again and took exception to their statement of their review of the facts. In a subsequent e-mail, I accused the city parking authority of ignoring exculpatory evidence in their zealous pursuit of a conviction whose single-minded purpose appeared to be to extract money from its citizens. To my surprise, the city upheld my appeal and refunded the fine that I had to submit at the time of my first appeal.

Not to drag this out, but a few months later, my wife parked in a 3-minute zone as she ran up to our apartment to get something. Her car was there for about a minute when the meter maid ticketed her. The fine was $52.50 which I gather is the standard price for routing parking violations. When she wrote the check, she missed the 50 cent part and wrote it for $52.00 even. That oversight resulted in an additional penalty of $40. I find that absolutely outrageous, but we paid it anyhow. It reinforces my contention that the primary purpose of the city parking authority is pure and simple to raise money for the city with absolutely no consideration of the punishment fitting the crime. — Ron Weiner

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•••• La Valencia Hotel story did not serve Whaling Bar fans

• I moved to La Jolla in 1968 and was soon told to go to the La Valencia’s Whaling Bar to get the real feeling for La Jolla. That advice was perfect and over many years I was never disappointed with the experiences at the La Valencia and the Whaling Bar. Yet that wonderful part of La Jolla history was sadly destroyed after the new hotel owners purchased the property from long-time local owners, the Collins family.

Then the worst offense against La Jolla’s history occurred — the Whaling Bar was demolished including the oft-maligned yet historically significant artwork above the bar. In its place a “café” with the appeal of a commercialized coffee shop was put upon us. Gone forever are the charm, the charisma and the “Mad Men” atmosphere, so sought after then and now, that was the Whaling Bar.

By the way is there anyone at all in the whole hotel that knows how to make a true “Whaler”? History not understood nor appreciated will always be lost. — Steve DeLeau

 

• I find it very ironic that in the recent story about La Valencia’s 90th anniversary, its management would claim that “they” built history in La Jolla. Their destruction of the Whaling Bar destroyed the heart and soul of the La Valencia hotel.

The Whaling Bar’s mural and interior design was classical and historical, and it provided a tremendous amount of atmosphere. The current Café La Rue’s layout and interior design reminds one of a common coffee shop. The addition of paintings that were painted “in the same period as the original mural,” just doesn’t make the grade. — Bob Newsome

 

• I object to your front-page story (Dec. 1, 2016 La Jolla Light) hyping the commercial prospects of once-beautiful but much-altered La Valencia Hotel as it approaches the century mark under new management. This story does not begin to reflect the reality of what has befallen that famous property. Charming photos accompanying the story show leftover nostalgic details but remind us how much has been lost.

Management chides us that local opposition to the remodeling can be attributed to La Jolla’s character as “a community that is challenged by change.” In fact, La Jolla is a community besieged by change caused by myopic commercial profiteering, relentless grandiose redevelopment and extreme political neglect.

We’ve got an unmitigated stench wafting into town from La Jolla Cove. Parked and moving cars choke our poorly-lit pot-holed streets; sidewalks are gooey with spent chewing gum, cluttered with sandwich-board signs and pop-up tables and chairs; vacant store-fronts litter the business streets for years because landlords hike rents and are willing to wait for tenants who will meet their high price — and then they get community planning rules modified to meet their claims of economic “distress.” — Frances O’Neill Zimmerman

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•••• La Valencia Hotel story brought back memories

My wife and I enjoyed the article about La Valencia Hotel in the Dec. 1, 2016 La Jolla Light. The La Valencia is where our wedding reception was held followning our marriage in La Jolla on Aug. 15, 1948. My wife and I were both at La Jolla Elementary School together from kindergarten through second grade. We met again as freshmen at San Diego State, and after many years in Los Angeles and Crown Point in Pacific Beach, we finally returned to La Jolla three years ago to live in the old family home that was built by my grandfather on Park Row, just before my wife and I were born in 1925. Yes, we are both in our 91st year. — Fred Livingstone

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•••• CORRECTION

In the Nov. 17, 2016 Business Spotlight in La Jolla Light, “La Jolla Addiction Healing Center can ‘C’ you well,’ Founder and CEO Kamran Zafar, Ph.D. of the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC), describes the center’s three Cs: Catch it. Challenge it. Change it. The correct contact information for La Jolla Addiction Healing Center, located at 7590 Fay Ave., Suite 404 is (858) 454-4357.

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•••• What’s on YOUR mind?

Letters published in La Jolla Light express views and comments from readers in regard to community issues. To share your thoughts in this public forum, e-mail them with your name and city of residence to editor@lajollalight.com or mail them to La Jolla Light Editor, 565 Pearl St., Suite 300, La Jolla, CA 92037. Letters reflect the writer’s views and do not necesarily represent opinions of the newspaper staff or publisher.

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