Our Readers Write: La Jollans voice their views on local matters — DecoBike, airplane noise, traffic, no public use of La Jolla High’s track, unleashed dogs in parks, English grammar and more

What's on YOUR mind? — 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

Our Readers Write / Opinion / Letters to the Editor:

Letters to the Editor from the Feb. 9, 16 and 23, 2017 issues of La Jolla Light as La Jollans speak out on local issues:


•••• ‘David and Goliath’ battle in DecoBikes

So here we are in a David and Goliath battle over the cursed Decobikes. But we have a much more powerful weapon than David’s sling shot. It’s the telephone.

I’m friends with several local, state and federal elected officials. Every one of them has told me that e-mails and letters are fine, but a phone call truly gets their attention. If they’re not available for a chat in person, their assistant is mandated to take your name and reason for calling and pass it along to the boss.

In case you you doubt the power of the phone, last week, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska got over 30,000 calls opposing Betty DeVos as Trump’s Education Secretary cabinet pick. “It was overwhelming”, she said. “We have never seen this level of calls.”

Murkowski valued her people over her party. “I do not intend to vote on final passage to support Mrs. DeVos.”

David 1. Goliath 0.

Early this morning, I called City Council member Barbara Bry’s office. She’d not yet arrived. Instead, an aide named Bridger (Langfur) listened to my plea for Barbara to make a stand at City Council. He could not have been nicer or more caring. He asked me some questions about my opposition to DecoBikes and promised Barbara would know of my call.

You should absolutely call Barbara. It’s easier and faster than an e-mail and it’s “un-ignorable.” Give your friends her number and urge them to take action with a 30-second call.

Her office number is (619) 236-6611. You’ll have a nice experience which will truly impact the vastly unpopular DecoBikes in our precious village. And you’ll feel proud that you did something for La Jolla.

David won. Alaskans won. So will we. — Jerry Cesak


•••• An open letter to Barbara Bry on DecoBike

I read with interest the Feb. 2 La Jolla Light article on “Call to Action issued in DecoBike fight.” Unfortunately, I missed this meeting, but I wanted to share a similar experience and a suggestion.

According to the article, City Council member Barbara Bry e-mailed the Light stating, “Before any plans for a future site move forward, I will work to ensure that the City listens to the citizens of District 1 ...” I think this is naive. In a related comment, Brian Curry says, “the City is not listening to us” and stressed the importance of writing to the Mayor as we have a “strong Mayor form of government”.

I am sorry to say, our “strong Mayor” has a strong head. Many people and organizations mailed the Mayor about all the Crown Castle DAS cell towers being installed in a secret (Process 1) fashion all over La Jolla and Pacific Beach. He ignores e-mails and suggestions from City Council and he does what he wants. This is the unfortunate side of the strong Mayor. He does not listen to the constituency.

As I have pointed out in a previous letter to the Light, if we want action, our only apparent recourse is to sue the City and the Mayor. They will be forced to at least listen to that, not that they will change. — David N. Haney, Ph.D.


•••• Unleashed dogs do not belong in public parks

My family, including a 6-year-old son, spent a recent afternoon at Kate Sessions Park. On the south side of the park, many dogs were running freely, but I understood dogs must be leashed. The dog owners said the park is dog-friendly, but I understood dog-friendly parks to be enclosed and strictly designated. Maybe some investigation is in order, but it appears that the community of dog owners have unofficially hijacked this area now defining it as a dog park.

My son has a healthy hesitation toward dogs and especially those that approach him without warning. These dogs today charged right up to our picnic area in search of food. I love dogs, but I still feel they should be leashed to ensure general public safety. Animals are after all, only animals and can be unpredictable.

Most shocking of the visit to the park was that owners were lifting up their dogs to drink out of the human water fountain; slobbering, drooling canines licking the water out of the fountain. This truly disgusted me, not to mention is extremely unsanitary. One (dog owner) might argue that the dogs are in the area away from the playground and field that hosts numerous children’s sporting events, yet the common facilities are also in the south part of the park available to everyone, not just dog owners. This whole episode was inconsiderate and not in the spirit of community peaceful coexistence. — S. Hagen


•••• Kudos for La Jolla’s Black Pioneers articles

I recently read La Jolla Light’s Feb. 2 article in your “La Jolla’s Black Pioneers” story series. I liked it very much and look forward to reading the following editions.

I mentioned the article to my 92-year-old father who arrived in La Jolla in 1949 at the age of 23. He lived and worked there for over 30 years. Dad mentioned he remembers an African-American man by the name of Frankie who had a shoe shine business around Eads Avenue and Prospect Street. Frankie spoke fluent Spanish and said he was an Afro-Mexican originally from Veracruz, Mexico. Dad says Frankie lived close to the corner of Pearl Street and Draper Street behind where the old Clean Craft laundry was.

Just thought I’d throw this bit of trivia your way. Keep up the great work you’re doing. — Jose A. Michel


•••• Seals at Children’s Pool are here to stay

The Children’s Pool harbor seal crisis has been going on for quite a while. Either we move the seals out of the area or let them stay. In my opinion, I believe we should let them stay. They pose as no threat to humans and they have so little less land than we give ourselves.

The seals most likely think of the pool as their home. If you think of how their perspective would be if we kicked them out of the area, it would be equivalent to being kicked out of your home.

Also, seals come to the Children’s Pool to bathe, bask and give birth to their pups. I do not enjoy swimming there nor do I at The Cove. I swam at The Cove multiple times and do not like the cold water.

The Children’s Pool is a great way for tourists to come see the extraordinary 360-degree views of La Jolla and visitors can witness the unique wildlife from only a short distance away. Let it be. — Philippe Covington


•••• Time has come to relocate pinnipeds

This is in response to the letter written about La Jolla Children’s Pool in last week’s paper. The author offered a choice. I choose the first proposal: Move the seals. The seals and sea lions are inhabiting developed beaches that have cost the taxpayers of San Diego millions of dollars for lifeguard stations, stairs, walls, walkways and restrooms.

The seals and sea lions can legally be displaced from the developed beaches and they can find undeveloped beaches to lay on. Maybe they will be go to the Coronado Islands. That would be great, as they wouldn’t be bothered by anyone. They’re animals. They’re adaptable. They’ll do fine somewhere else. They were somewhere else before the City of San Diego allowed them to take over Children’s Pool and La Jolla Cove.

The seals and seal lions do pose threats to humans. Their waste pollutes the beach sand and ocean water. They carry diseases such as tuberculosis, leptospirosis, brucellosis, mycoplasmosis, blastomycosis, lobomycosis, mycobacterium marinum, calicivirus, influenza, poxvirus and others. And they can attract predators, such as sharks.

If you had rats or mice or termites living in your house, would you move out and let them have the house? Or would you kick them out of “their home?” Or would you even kill them? After all, they have a right to live! And they need a place to have babies … and rest.

Since you “swam in The Cove a few times and got cold,” you should get a wetsuit and try again. Because you don’t swim in The Cove, your opinion on what other people should do there is not relevant. A lot of people swim in The Cove every day of the year, even in winter, and without wetsuits.

I agree that The Cove is a great place to enjoy 360-degree views of La Jolla. The Cove is one of the best beaches in California. Thousands of people swim there in the summer. The Cove is a great place to swim, snorkel, dive, body surf, picnic and lay on the beach … as long as it’s not contaminated with pinniped poop. — Dan Truitt


•••• Killing pinnipeds is outrageous suggestion

Regarding the relocating the pinnipeds’ letter of Feb. 16 in the La Jolla Light, according to the author, an alternate solution to relocating the pinnipeds in La Jolla is killing them. Just get them out of the way! This seems to be the human response to anything one doesn’t like or agree with — just destroy it, just kill it! — Ina Brown


•••• La Jolla High School track and field are part of the community

I was unhappy reading about the La Jolla High School principal’s reasoning for closing the track and field to the public. It appears that he is finding any excuse he can to close the facilities to the public who helped fund them.

First, it was because taxpayer money wasn’t used to pay for the new facilities which is false. Now, the excuse is because people are leaving “alcohol bottles” on the field.

Members of the community use the tennis courts, field and running track for exercise, not as a venue to consume alcohol. The idea that people jogging around the track are wearing out the track is also laughable.

Fundraisers were publicized in the La Jolla Light for the community to come together to help pay to resurface the tennis courts. As soon as the money was raised and the work was done, the tennis courts were locked to the public.

I know the school keeps claiming that the courts are open, but the chains and padlocks on the gates say otherwise. The high school now risks losing community support with these spurious claims. — Adam Lazzari


•••• Don’t kill the English language

In England, their language us spoken correctly, but here in the United States, it has almost become a new tongue. An adult may listen to a group of teenagers at a beach party without understanding a word of the conversation.

However, even editor, statesmen, reporters, journalists (and sometimes a president) break the rules of proper speech.

Take for example, the use of prepositions. First of all, what are prepositions? A preposition is used to modify verbs, nouns or adjectives. A preposition should not be used to end a sentence. There are 72 prepositions, but here are just a few: at, to, from, against, for, beneath, about, before, in, of, with, until and without.

Below are some examples of right and wrong:

1. Who does this belong to?

To whom does this belong?

2. Who are the Democrats plotting against?

Against whom are the Democrats plotting?

3. What are we thinking of?

Of what are we thinking?

If proper usage of prepositions is heard at an early age, it will sound normal to the ear. This will ensure the coming generations of Americans to speak the English language properly.

Imagine the year is 2030. Some of the teenagers on the beach are now professionals. The speaker at the podium is addressing a large audience. He will not say “This is the new medication which we are referring to.” He will say, “this is the new medication to which we are referring.” — Patricia Weber, La Jolla resident since 1953


•••• Enjoyed the letter on grammar last week

After reading Patricia Weber’s letter in the Feb. 9 La Jolla Light issue, I was moved to reflect that each of us has his favorite grammatical miscues. “Chaq’un a son gout” (“to each his own taste”), but my view is that ending a sentence with a preposition is but a venial sin against good usage compared to some others that are real whoppers — “Me and him went to the beach,” for example. As for the misplaced prepositions, let me remind readers of Winston Churchill’s rejoinder to being chided for doing just that, “This is the kind of arrant pedantry up with which I shall not put!” — Fred Boynton


•••• It’s OK to end sentence with a proposition

While I enjoyed reading Patricia Weber’s letter “Don’t kill the English language,” in last week’s issue, I do not believe it is a grammar imperative to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition. In addition, one can split their infinitives as well and still be literate and grammatically correct. Emily Brewster, associate editor at Merriam-Webster, states, “A preposition is perfectly appropriate word to end a sentence with.”

The rule of not ending a sentence w ith a preposition is supposed to have come from the 17th century writer John Dryden. He castigated such writers as Ben Johnson and William Shakespeare for ending sentences with prepositions because Dryden thought English should be more like Latin. So this rule is purely arbitrary and as Winston Churchill supposedly said, “This is just the kind of nonsense up with which I will not put.”

The point being that language is fluid and changes over time, and again, according to Brewster, “While many aspects of Latin have made their way into the English language, this particular grammar rule is not suited for English usage.”

So I ask you if I had submitted this sentence to my English teacher in a high school writing assignment, “We are such stuff as dreams are made on,” would s/he have been correct to insist it be re-written as, “Dreams are made on such stuff as we are.” (If so, Shakespeare would be turning in his grave.) — Avalee Cohen


•••• What would Sir Winston say?

Regarding the recent letter by Patricia Weber, the issue of prepositions at the end of sentences has been contentious for years. No less a figure than Winston Churchill was reprimanded for ending a sentence with a preposition, to which he replied, “That is a criticism up with which I will not put.” Quite the “put-down.”

The other grammatical rule that seems to be falling by the wayside is the stricture against split infinitives, which have been enshrined in popular culture by such memes as the Star Trek motto, “To boldly go where no man has gone before.” — Jane Dyson


•••• Two years later, same sad situation

Here’s an update to a letter published in the La Jolla Light two years ago … Nothing! The same “patch,” the same apathy, the same incompetence! — Mark Pretorius

Editor’s Note: Here is the letter to which Mr. Pretorius refers: Tarnishing Our Jewel: City’s patch job falls apart — “The quick repair the City made for the construction area off La Jolla Parkway at Ardath Road and Hidden Valley has become an eyesore again. Instead of replacing fence covering with a whole new piece, last time they simply patched it. Now it is ripping apart again and all the junk in the construction yard shows through. Another thing to note is the sidewalk is overgrown by the bushes and this is a real safety problem! That is a blind corner and it is difficult to push a stroller through there forcing the use of the street as a walkway. Cars come flying around there accelerating to get onto the parkway and it is only a matter of time until there is an accident.”


•••• Here’s a curious mystery to solve!

After years of walking over this landmark, my curiosity has finally driven me to find an answer to its mystery. In the concrete sidewalk (on the coast side of the street across from 939 Coast Blvd.) is a remnant of the past. But what is it? “Faultline” is written next to the series of slightly offset semicircles.

I’ve made inquiries with many longtime residents, as well as the La Jolla Historical Society, but no one seems to have a definitive answer. I’m thinking this question must have been asked and answered before, so I’m hoping someone out there remembers the answer and submits it to the La Jolla Light for publication. — Rusty Runholt


•••• Who has traffic plans for Fay Avenue’s future?

We have watched with excitement all of the building activity on Fay Street in recent years. Although we still miss Jonathan’s market, the addition of The Lot is a community win. Now we see the La Jolla Music Society’s “Conrad” has broken ground, with an assisted living center adjacent. With all of this development, additional traffic is inevitable. We have a concern about the potential for a pedestrian injury or death on Fay Street.

People jaywalk. Some of these jaywalkers are children, some elderly, some disabled. We would suggest that the risk management personnel of The Lot, The Conrad, Vons and the new assisted living center meet with City of San Diego traffic officials to devise a plan to prevent a pedestrian accident. For once, let’s get ahead of a potential tragedy. — Kathleen K. Edwards and Daved L. Frerker


•••• What’s behind ‘productive’ meeting with Mayor?

In the Feb. 9 edition of the Light on page A30, it was reported that District 1 City Council member Barbara Bry had a meeting with the Mayor and his staff regarding the stench at La Jolla Cove. Her staff said the meeting was “productive,” but just what does that mean? Ms. Bry should tell her constituents what took place behind closed doors that would make it “productive.” We need specifics, not more political double-speak, so there can be accountability from our City because so far, there is little of that. So sad! — Lou Cumming


•••• People in Your Neighborhood story series is fun to read

I loved La Jolla Light’s People in Your Neighborhood article about Scott Farr in the Feb. 9 issue. I took his Bridge class but had no idea about his magic career. Thanks for are great interview! Carolyn Shadle


•••• Students compiling list of health resources

I am the co-president of a student-run organization at UC San Diego whose goal is to compile a list of various free and reduced-cost health resources (such as health clinics, dental clinics, optometry clinics, shelter homes, etc.) and present the information to the less-fortunate as they may not have access to a computer or phone to find resources they need. In collaboration with San Diego 2-1-1, we travel to two different food banks every week to get in touch with the less-fortunate and present them with information that is unavailable to them without our help.

I am reaching out for an article about my organization in the La Jolla Light. Not only would this allow for my organization to expand its boundaries and collaborate with other people and/or organizations to better accomplish our goal, but would also bring awareness to an issue in today’s society that every individual can help to make better by volunteering or donating their own time. — Liam Shweyk,


•••• Just say ‘no’ to blinking crosswalk plan

We don’t need more blinking crosswalks, as reported in the Feb. 16 La Jolla Light issue, “Plan to landscape and add blinking crosswalk to Girard Avenue coming.” What we need is a culture of people who stop for pedestrians. Drivers have gotten increasingly reckless around town, and probably all over, but we can role model safe, considerate behavior and have it stick. If La Jolla earns a reputation for being a courteous place to be, visitors will come and behave appropriately. When the driver in front of you stops for pedestrians, it gives you a sense of local customs. I’ve seen this work in other communities, like Gloucester, Massachgusetts.

On the other hand, if we turn into a mini Las Vegas with blinking lights everywhere, people will become numb to it and we’ll have to get brighter and louder to make people pay attention. It’s a cultural shift we need, not more noise. — Joanie Connell


•••• All eyes on Scripps Building B plans

Regarding the story in the Feb. 16 issue, “Scripps Building B expansion plans please Shores community,” note that the Building “B” expansion plans do not please me as I miss my old office when I was working at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFCS) from 1976 to 2011 as a mathematical statistician.

I had an ocean view office. The original building included four wings, two of which had beautiful panoramic ocean views, covering the scenery from downtown La Jolla to Blacks Beach, including the Torrey Pines Golf Course. One of the major reasons we were told to move out of the building was because these facilities were deemed too close to the sea cliffs and were in danger of being damaged and/or destroyed by future erosion.

I hope the current project will take serious consideration of the possible erosion. — Nancy Lo


•••• Increase of aircraft over La Jolla is real

I attended the meeting the Feb. 15 meeting at the airport, and I was a little disappointed in the board’s response. Thankfully, I was reassured by my neighbors who reported the same experiences I’ve had recently. I’ve lived in La Jolla for eight years — four in Birdrock and four now at The Shores. I’ve always been appreciative of the quiet skies we’ve had up until now.

What I was disappointed in was the board’s response thinking this is an issue of low flying planes or early turns or some other exception. This is a new, constant stream of aircraft, unfortunately, directly over my home. A home that as other residents pointed out was simply not built to be in a loud flight path.

In your most recent article there is a reference to weather increasing the sound of the jets. This may be true, but even on clear days and nights we have new aircraft overhead. This is not the root cause of the issue.

It also says the FAA denies any changes have been made to SAN flight paths on the first phase of the Metroplex in early November. I found the following presentation that seems to back up my anecdotes of constant flights over the shores. The SAN BAYVU was implemented on Nov. 10. See slides 3, 4, and 13:

I haven’t been able to locate what the previous flight plans were, but I am fairly convinced I have never once heard a commercial jet at my home until recently. — Nicholas Gregorich


•••• We need regulation that protects environment

The imminent disablement of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not change the fact that carbon dioxide emissions contribute to global warming. That fact is what scientists report after methodical observation, record keeping, and analysis. Although the modern world depends on science, some Trump followers find it convenient to label climate science as a “fraud” perpetuated to deprive them of material benefits.

While it is may be impossible to change false beliefs, it is essential to guard against such beliefs infecting others by the alluring short-term convenience of wishful thinking. Immunization comes from honestly reflecting on how one knows what one thinks one knows. I acknowledge that what I know about global warming depends upon my belief in the truth of what scientists tell me. I have confidence in these scientifically determined conclusions for three reasons:

1) I notice scientists test each other’s conclusions with skeptical looking at research data which is stored in libraries open to the public.

2) Unlike dogma, the conclusions of science are dynamically vulnerable to change in response to new observations and thus they provide the best available understanding of what is real in the material world.

3) Many climate scientists work at UC San Diego, neighboring my home, and I do not sense that they have either motive or a value system for lying to me about science.

On the other hand, there are some persons who have a motive and value system for denying the conclusions of science when those conclusions are not convenient for their personal wishes. Consider by analogy the April 14, 1994 Congressional hearing in which tobacco company CEOs declared, under oath, that nicotine is not addictive. As I watched, I felt sorry for men who had sold their souls for corporate profit. According to a July 20, 2016 article in Scientific American, the same public relations methods used to deny cigarette dangers are now in use to deny that carbon dioxide emissions cause harmful climate change.

With that background, we need courage and perseverance to have regulation that protects the environment. This is not a minor policy dispute. It is a choice between modernity and dark ages. It is about protecting the business section of La Jolla Shores from loss to a rising sea. — John Berol

P.S. I disclose that my son is a lawyer employed by the EPA. I believe my opinion exists independently from that fact; the writing of and responsibility for this opinion are entirely mine alone.


•••• Teens reach out to aid the homeless

My name is Sammy Palakodeti and I’m a junior from La Jolla at Francis Parker High School. My friends from Cathedral Catholic and I founded a non-profit 501(c)3 called the A Warm Hug Foundation. The mission is to connect youth from different schools across San Diego and donate to local homeless people. Over the past year, we’ve thrown two large-scale fundraising events with teens from high schools all over San Diego, and have distributed countless care packages downtown. We would love an opportunity to be featured in the La Jolla Light. here are the links to our Website, Facebook and Instagram pages:,, Palakodeti, Class of 2018


•••• CORRECTIONS by La Jolla Light:

• The correct phone number to the Prostate Center of San Diego is (866) 883-8262.

• In the Feb. 9 La Jolla Light article, “FAA: Changes could decrease jet plane noise in La Jolla,” it should have stated that the airport and airlines determine flight schedules, and not the San Diego Airport Authority.


•••• 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 must contain the name of the writer; anonymous letters will not be published. Letters reflect the writer’s views and do not necessarily represent opinions of the newspaper staff or publisher.