Our Readers Write: More La Jollans speak out about no public-use of La Jolla High’s new track & field, parking meters, charity-food program, La Valencia hotel’s closing of Whaling Bar


Our Readers Write / Opinion / Letters to the Editor:

••• Letters support public use of La Jolla High School’s new track & field athletic complex

• I’m a frequent user of the La Jolla High athletic facilities and also a small business owner in the Village. Lately, there’s been harassment from the school and a few rude people in the neighborhood about using the track and fake grass. The thought that the school would make it private is absolutely ridiculous and a slap in the face to every member of this community, whether they use it or not.

The high school is not private. Taxpayer money goes toward the facilities AND the school hosted a fundraiser to help pay for this stuff! They accepted donations on the premise that the new facilities would be public, as they should be. The people using the tennis courts, running track and grass space are health-conscious members of the community using exactly what we should be able to use. The audacity of a public school to try and steal such from the community that paid for the facilities is embarrassing. This is doubly true for such a small community that has no other space to use! I would be a tiny bit more understanding if there was a big city park or just vast grass space in La Jolla that people could use all the same, but that simply does not exist.

The only time the facilities are damaged, a mess, or have trash left on them is when the students disrespect the property themselves, not the taxpayers who funded the fields and use them with great pleasure whenever we can avoid unfair harassment. — Devin Kostrzewski

• It has come to my attention that considerations are being made to privatize La Jolla High School’s fields. My friends and I have been responsibly using them for outdoor activities for the past several years. It’s become a tradition for us to meet Saturday mornings and kick a ball around for a few hours. We understand and respect the school’s use of the field for scheduled activities and would never seek to interrupt school events with ours. Many of us pick up trash previously found on the field, thus leaving it in a better condition than we found it.

A change in policy would adversely affect those who’ve come to rely on these parks for physical outdoor activity. My group has become family, and the privatization of these fields would not only push my family out, it would tear us apart. It is my sincerest hope that every effort will be made to keep these facilities public so that all may continue to benefit from their use. — Parker Imperl

• I’m a La Jolla community member and I strongly disagree with the idea to make the La Jolla High School fields private. I have my office a few blocks from the school and participate in outdoor activities at the field regularly. Primarily, I attend a soccer game on weekend mornings. It is nothing but healthy, active and clean fun. On the field, I’ve met countless friends. The fields help connect community members who enjoy sports. The fields becoming private would have an adverse effect on the community. — Ryan Warden

• As a resident who lives within walking distance of the high school and who uses the facility for a number of activities, I’m deeply concerned with the proposal to ban use of the fields to the public. I have used the school’s track, stadium stairs, tennis courts and fields to pursue a number of athletic activities. Access to these facilities has had positive impacts on my physical well-being, as well as providing me with many friendships over the years. Eliminating public access to La Jolla High’s outdoor athletic facilities would negatively impact not only me, but many other residents who’ve come to rely on this place as a source of physical and social engagement. We all hope that a solution can be reached that will allow public access for recreational activities to continue at La Jolla High School. — Tarrant Seautelle

• I use the high school sports facilities in a responsible way and want them to remain public as they should be. — Kristopher Williams

• I’m writing to voice my support for keeping the La Jolla high school facilities available for public use. This is very important to us, as community members in La Jolla. — Charles Bulger

• As a taxpaying community member who uses the La Jolla High fields often to play soccer, I hope that I can continue to enjoy the fields. If this facility is closed to the public, I urge you to make another equivalent option available. Healthy bodies have healthy minds, and we cannot afford to let ourselves be complacent in either department! — Micah Tuttle

• Every Saturday we use a soccer field at La Jolla High School and for me it is one of the most beautiful days of the week. Thanks to a ball, I got to know people from all over the world, great people. For this reason, I ask you to leave the public facilities public. This will encourage integration, eliminate discrimination, and after all, happiness is a right and happiness is a simple thing ... as simple as a ball rolling! — Paolo Calabrese

• If the high school field is not in use at a certain time (like our soccer meet-ups on Saturdays) then it’s a facility going to waste. I’m part of a group of young professionals (founders of tech companies and others) who get together Saturdays and play soccer. We’re not all originally from here. Personally, I’ve been here 20 years (I’m from Europe originally), and we all love to play there, engage with others in the professional world, and are respectful of the field. We also pay our taxes to the City and see no reason why a public school should close its borders when school is not in session. — Yashar Ahmadpour

• Editor’s note: Similar letters were sent by Danijel Nisavic, Tobias Nergarden, Josh Isaacs, Nick Johnson, Zach Warburg, Graeme Lazarus, Laura Loegering and L. Braude.


••• Spreading joy at the holidays

I thought readers might be interested in seeing the last batch of toys out of my garage woodshop — ‘Bugattis,’ dogs (modeled after my dog, Barney) and bluebirds. These are distributed by the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association through its toy program to underprivileged kids and children of those in the military, who are away on foreign duty. For me, it is therapy after a nasty stroke a couple of years ago. It’s what old rocket engineers do, I guess! — Ed Hujsak,


••• Food program does not belong in Village

It’s good that Tresha Souza is helping people, but it’s bad that she’s doing it in La Jolla. “So Others May Eat” attracts many undesirables to our town. Some look around and decide to stay. Some people eating at her functions are not homeless at all, they’re just looking for a free meal. Just ride the bus on the day when food is being handed out and listen to the conversations. They are almost invariably about how someone is heading to La Jolla to “score” a free meal. I believe these are blue-collar workers with homes and incomes.

Zoning laws are in place for a reason — there are places where people live and places where “industry” happens. The two shouldn’t be in the same place. This is why shelters are usually on the outskirts of town. One can’t dismiss legitimate complaints from residents by saying “how dare you?” This is so presumptuous. Most La Jollans don’t want this happening in the middle of Girard Avenue every week. Please, find an appropriate venue for this kind of activity. Hint: It’s not in the middle of La Jolla’s retail district. — Bill Smith


••• Parking meter ticket troubling in La Jolla

Saturday, I entertained a cousin from out of state and we enjoyed brunch at La Valencia, followed by a quick walk to see the sea lions at La Jolla Cove. I was very mindful of the two-hour parking window and even made the comment, “We need to head back up to the car because I’ve only got about 15 minutes left on my spot.” When we got back to the car, low and behold, a yellow ticket was on my windshield!

I was alarmed because I consciously kept track of time during the entire brunch/walk. When I looked at my ticket to see what time it was issued, I noticed it said my car was “marked” at 10:50 a.m. At that time, I wasn’t even in downtown La Jolla! I looked back at my call log because I called my sister before heading to brunch to see if she wanted to join us. The call was at 11:01 a.m. and it was made from an apartment on Torrey Pines Road. Even after that, we ran a few quick errands and I gave my guest a drive-by of WindanSea beach before even heading to downtown La Jolla. It is completely dishonest to say my car was “marked” at 10:50 a.m.

Not that I would want to go this far, but any business video surveillance that was around could easily validate my “car location alibi.” I understand that parking citations are income for the City, but as citizens, we should not be victim to a dishonest system and dishonest officers (perhaps eager to meet a quota?). This was a blatant “fudge” in timing. I am obviously appealing the ticket, but unsure of how “my word” against a City employee’s will play out. To be continued ... Please print anonymously as I don’t want the issuing officer (whose name is on my ticket) to hunt my car down for life for putting him on this blast. — Ticked off


••• City engineers need to talk to the Dutch

Before anyone does anything more on the storm water project, the San Diego engineers need to consult the engineers in Holland who are the world’s experts in drainage systems. I spent much of my childhood vacation days on the east coast of Lincolnshire, England. This flat land is intersected by dykes that drain water from a large area into a holding basin away from the beach. After the turn of the high tide, the sluice gates open and the water is pumped out, helped by the outgoing tide.

I mentioned some of this to an engineer who was inspecting the site over a year ago. An alternate solution would be to re-route the storm water to a holding basin built under Vallecitos and partly under Kellogg Park, and then pump it out on the ebbing tide. Building at that site would be far less disruption to businesses and to visitors. — Patricia Granger


••• Magazine features Mt. Soledad history

I am very excited to have my article about Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial featured on the cover of The American Surveyor magazine. I filed one of the first declarations back in 1989 to save and protect the memorial. Its history is quite interesting with regards to its function as a primary geodetic survey station. La Jolla Light readers might find it of interest. It can be accessed online at It has been a long 27 years! — Michael J. Pallamary


••• La Valencia 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 last week’s 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


••• Kitchen Shrink’s recipe rocks!

I wanted to thank The Kitchen Shrink for her recent Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Bread recipe. I made a bunch of mini loaves for my husband’s family, and they have since told me how much they liked it. It truly is the best pumpkin bread I have tasted. Before Thanksgiving, she mentioned two main dishes for vegetarians — pumpkin or acorn squash risotto and roasted red and yellow peppers stuffed with quinoa, pistachios and goat cheese. We are not vegetarians, but these sound delicious. In the future, I hope she will share these recipes! — Marianne Chandler



In the article “How to Weave a Painting” about artist Mohan Sundaresan in the Nov. 17 issue of La Jolla Light, the artist Remington Weinger, who collaborated with Mohan on the painting “One,” was not mentioned. The Light regrets the omission.


••• 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 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.