Our Readers Write: La Jollans speak out about flight-path noise, sea lions, no public use of high school track, election signs



Readers respond to story about flight-path noise

• Thank you for writing my story about the flight path noise problem in the Nov. 24 issue. Since you were last here, the problem has actually gotten worse. Unfortunately, I’ve been so busy I haven’t been unable to follow up on some of the contacts I’ve made. I have at least two neighbors who are furious with what’s going on now, so maybe we can get together and get something done. I am hoping you get some good feedback from other folks! — Beatriz Pardo

• Beatriz Pardo is 100 percent correct about the new flight noise. There used to be close to none and now there is tons. We picked La Jolla as our home partly because of the quiet no-flight path location. And the FAA has the nerve to say there was a notice and comment period. Who was notified? Not us? All of us have noticed the changes. What a joke. At a recent 90-minute Saturday Muirlands soccer game, five planes flew noisily overhead. There used to none. I thought I was crazy. Thank you and Ms. Pardo for getting involved in this issue! — Todd Lyons

• I am a longtime resident of Bird Rock. I agree with Beatriz Pardo that the airplane flights are noisy and occur both early and late in the day. In addition, the seemingly constant helicopter flights are even worse. They occur at all hours of the day and night and at very low heights. What’s even worse, is that often the helicopter uses a PA system that is loud and obnoxious and very disturbing. How was any policing done without the helicopter?

Let us also add the “weekend” pilot. Each weekend numerous small biplanes and recreational planes, as well as banner advertising fly over the area at very low heights. How would you feel if someone in a race car drove up and down the street where you live? The effect is very much like that and just as disturbing.

This Sunday morning the skies were full of planes. Between 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., flights seemed to fly on a northerly trajectory (toward LA) about every 10 minutes or so. The noise was very distinctive and loud enough to wake me with the growl-like sound of aircraft climbing to cruising altitude. Over Bird Rock they are still quite low and are easily seen with the naked eye — no binoculars needed. Once the aircraft has passed, the pause in flight schedule brings a peace and calm that is soon broken by the next flight out. Flights continue throughout the day but nothing seems quite so bad as the first few hours of the day. Needless to say, helicopters fly at all hours, very low and very noisy especially as they often circle over the same area for some extended time.

As a longtime resident of Bird Rock, I deplore the changes “to enhance the flow of air traffic and cut fuel costs” at the expense of the noise and disturbance to those living below. Echoing Ms. Pardo, “If I had wanted to be awakened by aircraft every morning, I would not have chosen the tranquility of Bird Rock.” Note that I have in the past written to the Light about the noise from flights but have never received a reply or acknowledgement. — Gillian Ackland

• Yes, I have noticed more flights turning north closer to Bird Rock from the airport. If the planes continued west for even one minute more before turning north this would make a huge difference. — Robert “Skip” George

• Yes, I have noted much more airplane noise in La Jolla Shores Heights area and I don’t like it. — Eric Blau and Betty Vorhies

• We’re in the southern most end of La Jolla Alta where there’s lots of big beautiful sky! It might have been about a year ago when we noticed every kind of small/private plane and helicopter began to enjoy flying directly over our backyard. Granted, it’s a pretty nice backyard, but we’d like to enjoy it, too! We understand the emergency hospital helicopters and police units with their occasional high beams into our bedroom on occasion, but whom else are we talking about? Fortunately, we’re not plagued by the commercial jets just yet as they’re still to the east. Perhaps it’s time to move to Point Loma? — Carolynn A. La Pierre

• It’s Sunday morning, my front door is open, and the airplane takeoffs are endless and creating a huge difference in the noise level. When we invested in Bird Rock, I conscientiously focused on environmental noise learning that we were subject to the northbound flights, not the entire air traffic take-off system. Today is different, very different. What can we do to share the take-off load out of San Diego?

Another thought: To make everyone happy, the planes should take off and climb over the Pacific Ocean until they are high enough in their U-turn to head east. As I work all week and was out all day, Saturday, Sunday was my first day at home and the noise from these flights was unending. Head them out over the Pacific, just like they do at JFK, which heads them out over the Atlantic while they climb altitude. — Lesley Weber

• I’ve heard an increase in airplane noise the past couple of weeks where I live on Coral Reef Avenue and just tonight, in the past 60 minutes, I’ve heard a plane go by just about every minute — literally. While we’ve always had planes in the area, they seem to be much lower and much noisier and more frequent. I have lived here for 15 years and I’ve never heard constant flights over my house like I do now and I’m thinking I might have to move. This is too much noise. I want to let someone else know this is happening in our neighborhood, as well. — Debra Block

• I live at WindanSea and am well aware of the constant roar of planes, lately. I attributed it to some kind of military maneuver and expected it to go away eventually. It is disturbing. — Renate Dutcher

• I live on La Jolla Corona Court in the Muirlands. Recently, I’ve noticed new noise from the jet engines. It sounds like rumbling thunder. It seems to occur around 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. I have dual-pane windows, but I still hear the loud noise over my home. I hope that if enough people complain, the new flight paths can be changed. — Marilyn Back

• I read last week’s article and wish to report that I, too, have been hearing loud jets in the distance for the past few weeks. I am at home now, its 5:10 p.m. in La Jolla Shores on Vallecitos Court, and there is a loud jet noise every approximately 2-3 minutes since about 5 p.m. I heard this the other day, too, and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. It is very loud and thundering, in the distance. I thought possibly there were military jets nearby, but now I fear it is airport noise. Very unhappy about this noise.

Thank you for writing the article, hopefully we can insist that the FAA keep the airplane noise over the ocean and not over residential areas. We should not be subject to this bureaucratic unaccountability. — Cameron Volker


Sea lion problems lie on City’s shoulders

Regarding a letter last week about sea lions at La Jolla Cove: We can’t move the sea lions from La Jolla Cove TO anywhere; we can only move them FROM where they are now. Where they go next will be their choice, not ours. We now have a large population of sea lions in La Jolla Cove, a small, developed city beach, where a large number of people go in the water and where the smell of the sea lion waste wafts through a densely populated prime area of the city.

Each day these animals deposit approximately a 55-gallon drum full of sewage in The Cove area. If the sea lions were in an undeveloped beach where no one swam and their stench didn’t bother anyone, there would not be a problem. If the sea lions move to another coastal area where we don’t want them, we’ll have to shoo them from there, too. The process will take some time, maybe several years. Hopefully, they will end up at a place where their presence does not cause problems. Maybe that will be somewhere in Point Loma, Baja or the Coronado Islands, which would be fine. They don’t need to be near people and people don’t need to be near them.

La Jolla Cove is about the worst place in Southern California to allow an infestation of large smelly animals. For over a hundred years, the City has spent large amounts of taxpayer money (millions just recently) building lifeguard towers, stairs, decks, walkways, retaining walls and other structures as part of Scripps Park, La Jolla Cove and Children’s Pool. The Cove was rated as one of the top 10 beaches; it won’t be anymore.

The City should have addressed the problem years ago. The City should have protected our investment and the health of those who use La Jolla Cove. But they stuck their head in the sand, which is how they deal with many problems. If they had stuck their head in the sand at La Jolla Cove or Children’s Pool beach, they may have understood the problem better, as it would have made them ill. — Dan Truitt


I’ll head group to restore community use of high school track

I share other letter writers’ incredulity that La Jolla High School administrators intend to deny individual access to the LJHS track to joggers and walkers like me. The rationale is that funds from Proposition S (a 2008 $2.1 billion bond measure to support school upgrades) somehow prohibits our using the facility — unless we rent it! — a clearly impossible barrier for individual users.

In 2007, the community faced a similar lockout threat (for different reasons), but we constructively engaged administrators to turn that around, and then we happily used the track for another eight years until reconstruction closed it. If we care about restoring access for individual recreational use, let’s get together and organize an approach. I am happy to receive and disseminate input, and help coordinate a public meeting. Let’s get fired up! — Igor Grant, M.D. at


Who has gluten-free stuffing recipe?

I enjoy The Kitchen Shrink column in the Light and really related to the Flour Power article that discussed gluten-free (GF) flour. My 34-year-old daughter discovered this year she has Celiac Disease and since March we have been educating ourselves with Hasselbeck books and “Celiac For Dummies” by Dr. Crowe of UC Thornton. Her health was declining rapidly, but after one month of the GF diet and added supplements, she is feeling better than ever!

I will roast our turkey at Thanksgiving but sides (and for sure the GF gravy) will come from Water’s Catering. But their stuffing, which we love, is not gluten-free and I wonder if anyone knows of a yummy gluten-free stuffing? My daughter likes the gluten-free bread from 3 Bakers, so I could cube that and use it with butter, celery and onion. Or I saw online a recommendation for Glutino Stuffing Mix. Any recommendations are most appreciated. — Carol Shrigley


Article missing the director’s title

Thanks for the article about our premiere of the film “Arrival” at UCSD. I wish the article by Will Bowen had identified me as the Director of the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop, especially since the fundraiser was for this cause. I’ve been directing Clarion since 2010 and I was surprised the article decided to call me an ethnic studies professor with an in interest in popular culture and science fiction instead. It may seem like a small thing, but this happens a lot to women. — Shelley Streeby


Candidates, please pick up your signs

The proliferation of campaign signs on public property is creating a real eyesore in La Jolla, particularly on La Jolla Parkway and Torrey Pines Road. Three and four signs are placed next to each other for the same person, and installed a few months before the election. The candidate and/or the organization installing them should be fined a significant amount for EACH sign. At the very least, if the signs are not taken down by two days after the election, there should be fines for every sign still standing. This advertising is an assault on the aesthetics in our community, and I don’t understand how they can be legal when installed on public property. I doubt that any legitimate business could get away with this littering, for that is certainly what it is. — Joani Nelson


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 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.