Our Readers Write: La Jollans comment on local issues, including no public use of La Jolla High track, airplane noise, dangerous cross walks, seal lions and Cove odor
Readers Write / Opinion / Letters to the Editor:
Letters to the Editor from the March 2 and 9, 2017 issues of La Jolla Light as La Jollans speak out on local issues:
••• Soccer players for a clean (and public) field
I am part of the fight to keep the track and athletic field at La Jolla High School open to the public. On Feb. 11, the soccer group that usually plays there showed up early to walk around the facilities and clean up. We are trying to go out of our way to show that we value the school fields so much, we will gladly clean them up! We picked up many bags of trash, spoke to some neighbors and even a couple of high school lacrosse coaches who are all on our side! We cleaned the softball field, football field, football stand and bleachers (these were covered in trash), and also the surrounding streets of Rushville, Eads, Fern Glenn and Draper.
••• Time for compromise on school track use
I have been following the recent debate on public use of the La Jolla High School track and field. It appears the school is taking a position that the turf and track upgrade funded by Propositions S and Z does not obligate the school to permit public use. The California School Facility Program Handbook provides the core guideline for the joint-use of the facilities by the school and public, to be an integral part of the community. Propositions S and Z funding was to repair, renovate and revitalize the district school facilities that already exist and not for creating exclusive assets.
Therefore, I do not believe it is fundamentally right to restrict the usage. Leaving aside the technical debates that can go for ever, I do fully appreciate the principal’s basic desire to protect and preserve the track renovation from the wear and tear of uncontrolled use, as if it were a public park. The community needs to recognize and use the facility with abundant care.
I strongly urge we pursue a compromise approach with more than normal cautions, warnings and restrictions on the use of the facilities when school is not in session. Access through a single or a few entry points monitored by cameras and clear warnings at the entrance should be adequate.
If that fails, a slightly expensive approach of tracked access through entry cards may be used to permit public use. The case for joint-use with community is compelling since La Jolla, with its superb beach areas, still lacks nearby safe level walking and jogging facilities like parks or commonly available school tracks all over the country — a real need for the senior citizen community and others of all ages. Having no public access is not a right solution for a proud community like La Jolla.
••• Support for crosswalk on Torrey Pines Road
We are neighbors of Sherry Nooravi, who wrote the Guest Commentary in the Feb. 23 issue of La Jolla Light about the Torrey Pines Road Corridor Project. I, too, want to make a comment about the danger of crossing Torrey Pines Road without a safe crosswalk. We have twin 8-year-old girls and we moved here 2 1/2 years ago. When we moved into our home, my husband and I, like Sherry, were surprised that there is no safe way to walk from one side of Torrey Pines Road to the other.
From my house, I can see pedestrians walking on the south side of Torrey Pines Road (where there is no sidewalk) and trying to cross Torrey Pines Road daily. It is so dangerous! Cars are whipping by with no regard for pedestrians. We need a safe crossing point for pedestrians.
In addition, there are no sidewalks between Amalfi and Prospect to enable us to walk our girls to school. It is necessary to have a crosswalk and sidewalks on both sides of the street, not only for our neighbors, but for visitors to La Jolla who would like to explore the town on foot. I look forward to safety on Torrey Pines Road!
P.S. I have included the following comments from my daughters, who are in the second grade at La Jolla Elementary School:
• Camille: “It would make me so happy to be able to cross the street safely, so I can walk to The Village! It is too scary to try to run across (Torrey Pines Road) now.”
• Celeste: “I would really love to be able to walk to town, but we can’t now because it (crossing Torrey Pines Road) is too dangerous.”
••• City left crosswalk projects unfinished
I hope you can use your editorial sway to encourage the City of San Diego to complete crosswalk improvements at two intersections. I’ve contacted them twice in the last year (with photos) about these pedestrian safety issues:
• Crossing the street on Ivanhoe Avenue is one such striking need. That unfinished crossing connects two handicap accessible yellow ramps on each side of the street, with markers in place for where the crossing would be painted.
• The second hazards are at the corner of Cave Street, Prospect Place and Exchange Place. There have been markers up denoting painting, but the existing crosswalk markings are barely distinguishable. This is an intersection I often use on my way to The Cove.
Having those crosswalks painted were part of the street improvements, which were completed many months ago. Why can’t a Ccity crew be assigned to finish the job?
••• Readers in Maryland join plane noise protest
• Contrary to what was reported in your recent series of articles about aircraft noise, flight noise has not improved around Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National Airport. It has gotten worse. Arrivals are much worse for those of us in Maryland, and FAA plans to push further channelization on us without working with us through the community working group that was created by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) to address airplane noise.
Prior to 2015, those of us in Montgomery County barely noticed a plane in the sky. If we did, it was a silent silver dot high in the sky. Now, they are screeching and roaring over our rooftops lower than 3,000 feet, often several a minute, all day long, with some of the worst offenders in the early morning and late night hours. The FAA tries to tell us that it has always been like this, when we know it has not, and we never would have bought homes under a flight path.
• I live in Bethesda, Maryland. I woke up one day to a new Metroplex Flight Path at Reagan Airport, Washington, D.C. It has ruined my home/property, neighborhood, other neighborhoods here, too. 450 planes on average over some Bethesda neighborhoods. I had no idea the FAA could destroy my quality of life and home and property. We have formed a Group here in Bethesda, trying to ask the FAA for some “relief.” I wanted to let you know the DC Metroplex is impacting some of our Maryland neighborhoods.
••• ‘Faultline’ message on sidewalk no folly
I thought about the faultline “mystery message” put forth by a reader in the Feb. 16 La Jolla Light issue. The word “faultline” is inscribed on the sidewalk in front of the big condominium near La Jolla Children’s Pool. Along the road going north past the Torrey Pines Park, is a faultline on the west side of the road where the two sides have slipped in relation to one another. Maybe the namer (who inscribed the message) was a geologist.
••• No one advocates killing pinnipeds
It would be good if people would read the letters to the editor before they comment on them, and not read things into them that they would like to be there, but are not. The letter said, “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.”
It did not mention killing pinnipeds.
The point was to question what an animal lover would do if his/her house were infested rats, mice or termites — would he/she move out and let them have the house? Most people would call an exterminator to rid the property of the undesirable critters. The point was that just because a bunch of critters take over an area (or house) you should not cede it to them. That does not imply that pinnipeds should be killed. But they can, and should, be moved!
••• Rotary Clubs have annual get-together
Once a year, all five Rotary Clubs from the La Jolla area gather for fellowship and inspiration. This year they got together on Friday, March 3 at the Braille Institute with guest speaker Brenda Cressey, the incoming Rotary International Trustee. She updated the group on Rotary International’s multiple humanitarian projects, including the ongoing fight to eradicate polio in developing countries.
••• Rethinking possible Cove Odor solutions
With the prospect of a more reasonable EPA, solutions to the malodor from sea lion waste at the La Jolla Cove, previously ruled-out by strict regulations, might become possible. Consider a pipe embedded along the cliff a few feet above the rocky shelf where most of the offending waste stagnates. When ocean water is pumped into the pipe, nozzles along the length of the pipe allow the saltwater to wash down the shelf. A timer would be set to turn on the pump often enough to limit contamination from any single washing to below an acceptable level. After installation, the recurring costs would only be pump maintenance.
••• City not doing enough to protect harbor seals
On my visit to La Jolla on Saturday, I was horrified to see so many people on the unprotected beach at The Children’s Pool touching the baby seals and blocking the way of pups and their mothers from entering the sand, while they photographed and had their children prance about the harbor seals. I am outraged that nothing was done to stop this!
Many visitors and some residents were yelling at the people to move away from the seals and many of us called the Seal Conservancy and spoke with the lifeguard on duty. The City has an obligation to keep San Diego a healthy and happy place to live and visit. This disgusting display of ignorance on the City’s part by not protecting the seals during their pupping season when they need the protection the most is not acceptable.
People are ignorant, but City Hall knows how these harbor seals must be protected and City Hall is not fighting enough to do so. I, and many of the people there Saturday, plan to put up pictures of this scene on social media and I will let people know that La Jolla is not a good place to visit. Perhaps only when the greedy dollar and the town itself is jeopardized with fewer visitors not spending their money, will government officials help protect the seal pups and their mothers.
••• Aircraft noise in Shores a problem ... or six
The FAA’s change of routes over La Jolla raises many issues — the incessant, peace-disturbing noise is one, which is happening at all hours over The Shores. Another issue is that property values are now damaged and real estate transactions must now disclose the airpath. Further, and maybe most importantly, health, lungs and hearts will be affected by the minute particle pollution generated by fallout from aircraft overhead.
So, aside from fighting this unwanted change in the airpaths … questions for the FAA are:
1) Do you have major money set aside for health compensation for each resident and business employee affected?
2) What would be the fair value, in the interim, for less property taxes since you have devalued our homes?
3) And here’s a general, but big question, Who is really benefitting (i.e. making money) from this unwanted decision?
P.S. flightradar24.com gives timely details and flights continue to fly well below the 8,000 threshold ... 6,100 feet ... 4,800 feet.
••• 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 necessarily represent opinions of the newspaper staff or publisher.
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