Our Readers Write: La Jollans speak out about overflowing trash, scooters and other local matters

This image of overflowing trash was taken on Girard Avenue in La Jolla on 2019 Labor Day afternoon.
This image of overflowing trash was taken on Girard Avenue in La Jolla on 2019 Labor Day afternoon.
(Photo by Bill Podway)

Opinion / Letters to the Editor / Our Readers Write:

The following are Letters to the Editor from recent issues of La Jolla Light as La Jollans speak out on local issues. Letters published in La Jolla Light express views from readers in regard to community matters. 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. Submissions of related photos are also welcome. Letters reflect the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of the newspaper staff or publisher.


By now, the City should know beach towns need frequent cleaning

On a walk down the north side of Girard Avenue between Silverado and Prospect streets on Monday afternoon (Labor Day), I observed overflowing trash cans and even a used diaper on the street. Also, there were two, overflowing trash cans on Herschel Avenue and even one in front of La Valencia hotel! The cracked, dirty sidewalks are in deplorable condition as well; and bottles and cans were left on the benches.

However, kudos to Warwick’s and Brooks Brothers for installing and maintaining lovely planters in front of their businesses.

On another note, La Jolla Parkway is the main entrance and exit to La Jolla. Who is responsible for picking up the litter on the sides of the Parkway? It is an ongoing mess. By comparison, northbound I-5, between Balboa Avenue and the La Jolla Village Drive, exits were very clean and almost litter-free in spite of the trolley expansion work.

Furthermore, The San Diego Union-Tribune published several times last week that there would be no pickup of garbage and recycling containers on Labor Day. There were many blocks in The Village where the containers were already out and overflowing. Maybe the City needs to come up with a flyer or label to place on the containers the week before a holiday, indicating the regular trash day was moved foreword.

What are our local, elected representatives doing to ensure our tax dollars are applied to basic City services? There are so many store vacancies and businesses leaving monthly in La Jolla. Until our downtown becomes a more pleasant shopping experience, my first choice will be the beautifully renovated and expanded nearby mall.

Bill Podway

This image of trash purposefully inserted inside a metal grill/cage on Girard Avenue in La Jolla was taken on 2019 Labor Day afternoon.
This image of trash purposefully inserted inside a metal grill/cage on Girard Avenue in La Jolla was taken on 2019 Labor Day afternoon.
(Photo by Bill Podway)


Hire a service to keep La Jolla’s parks clean

When we arrived at The Shores, Monday morning, Aug. 26, we were greeted by visions of trash everywhere, and this is such a beautiful park! Imagine what the tourists think ... Tax-paying La Jollans can surely can afford to hire a guard to patrol this area on evenings during the summer.

Gene Pantiga


Vendors are destroying park’s beauty

Our beautiful Scripps Park has turned into a strip for vendors setting up in La Jolla every day of the week. I have watched them ruin the grass — 4-feet in; there is nothing but brown dirt in this once lovely park. This must be stopped. The vendors have been there for many years making money. Do they give anything back to The Village for payment? I have been a resident of the high-rise for 15 years. Can our local, elected officials please do something about this?

Cheryl Hintzen-Gaines


Correction required on cold case story

Please publish a correction for the Aug. 29 La Jolla Light article about “justice” in which it is reported that Colleen Fitzpatrick helped solve the Golden State Killer case. She did not work on the case. Dr. Fitzpatrick does not claim to have worked on the case. The genetic genealogy portion of the case was done by Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter, J.D., Ph.D., and her team. The case was not solved, rather a suspect was matched to the sample provided to forensic genealogy investigators.

Erroneous reports about who did the work can be catastrophic to the prosecution of this case. Please make this correction immediately so that your readership is not mislead.

Melinde Lutz Byrne, CG, FASG, FNGS; Consulting Forensic Genealogist

— See the mentioned story, “Justice for John Doe: La Jolla native solves cold cases with forensic genealogy,” at


Set the record straight on the self-made Ellen Browning Scripps

A story in the Aug. 15 La Jolla Light issue discussing the Torrey Pines State National Reserve, states: “The park originally consisted of 364 acres — until newspaper heiress/philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps made it the next project in her mission to make La Jolla a better place.”

Ellen Browning Scripps (EBS) was NOT an heiress. She was self-made. She was a working woman — an independent, intelligent and hard-working woman. Prior to moving to Detroit to work with her brother at the penny newspaper, she lived in Rushmore, Illinois, a small town on the grasslands, where she lived in rural poverty. She did farm chores and helped her stepmother take care of the babies. Her mother died when she was five.

She was the family’s designated reader of her father’s large collection of books, which she absorbed quickly with great comprehension. She was fortunate enough to get a college education. EBS was a school teacher in a one-room school house on the prairie.

Yes, she was born in London, but she did not live a privileged life. Her father (James Mogg Scripps) was a bookbinder and the family lived above the shop. It was her grandfather who edited the publishing, with the London Daily Sun and True Britain. Living on his small fortune after retiring to the Isle of Wight and having seven children, including Ellen’s father, there wasn’t much, if any inheritance remaining for him.

Her father moved to the United States when EBS was around age 8 to provide opportunities for his children. In 1865, at age 29, EBS moved to Detroit to live with her older brother, James, who managed The Daily Tribune. He gave her a job as a feature writer reviewing concerts, theater performances and books. She also taught. She drew a salary of $10 per week (about $150 in 2016 dollars). She invested her salary in shares of stock, and in five years (by 1870), she owned $4,000 (around $75,000) worth of stock.

James branched out on his own with a penny newspaper for the working-class person called the Detroit Evening News. She labored as a writer/copy/editor with an income of $15 per week (equivalent of $400 per week). EBS took her pay in stock shares in her brother’s company.

She traded childcare/housework in lieu of rent. Her half brother, Edward Ellis (E.W.), came to Detroit and worked with EBS for his step-brother’s penny newspaper. E.W. estimated that he and his half-sister worked 16 hour days, seven days a week during the first year of Detroit Evening News. Edward eventually became the founder of the E.W. Scripps Company, a riverside media conglomerate and United Press Service.

EBS earned every share of stock by her hard work and perseverance. It took two years to operate in the black. I just want Light readers to have a correct understanding of the self-made and hard worker EBS was — she was NOT an heiress! Warwick’s sells historian Molly McClain’s 2017 book about the remarkable story of EBS titled “Ellen Browning Scripps New Money & American Philanthropy.”

Leela Gill

— See the mentioned story, “Home on the ‘La Jolla range’: Who gets to live here and how?” at


NOW (top): The condominium building on the left at 464 Prospect St. is the former Scripps Metabolic Clinic, the building on the right is the former Scripps Memorial Hospital. THEN (bottom): Notice how similar the buildings appear in this 1928 photograph, in contrast to the cars.

Old Scripps Hospital story brought back dear memories

I read the Aug. 29 La Jolla Light article with great interest on the history of old Scripps Hospital, since I was a nurse there from 1953 to 1956, working in the OB nursery. It was a busy department during those years with often 20-plus babies crowded into a rather small nursery. It was fun working in a 105-bed hospital, as you pretty much knew everyone. I occasionally meet up with one of “my babies” born then! Then when my own children arrived, half were born at each Scripps — old and “new.”

I know the article was focused on the condos, but readers may be interested to learn of the Nurse’s Residence, just north of the hospitals at 484 Prospect St. It was also donated by Ellen Browning Scripps as a home for nurses and lab technicians working at the hospital or clinic. I have spent time researching its history but can find little except that it was built in 1922.

When I lived there for a short time during the 1950s, I was told that Miss Scripps donated it with the stipulation that the monthly rent was to be kept at $10/month. but they had to break the Will to charge $15/month in order to cover utilities. It was pretty bare bones dorm living, but we were happy to be living one block from the beach. It has now been converted to a very elegant private residence, but the exterior remains much the same as I remember it, with the addition of lovely landscaping.

Joan Smith Patton

— See the mentioned story, “Anatomy of a Condo Complex: The unusual history behind La Jolla’s 464 Prospect St.,” at


A flood of electric scooters by private companies continues to be placed daily on sidewalks and public areas throughout La Jolla and the San Diego region, despite growing public outcry.
(La Jolla Light File Photo)

Who really profits from e-scooter use?

Letter-writer Jack Resnick was right on the mark in his rebuttal to K.G., who is either a shill for electric scooter companies or a politician. One can ask how all these scooters got here? Well, the old adages apply down the ages — “follow the money!”

These scooters are not being used as transport. They are not being used for exercise because they are motorized. The elderly and those disabled on e-wheelchairs do not speed irresponsibly anywhere and everywhere. These scooters are being used for irresponsible and dangerous joyriding anywhere and everywhere. If the riders maim or kill innocent bystanders with their irresponsible behavior, that is most concerning for us all!

Also, like many people today, scooter-riders expect others to clean up after them and so they drop the scooters wherever — blocking sidewalks, streets, driveways, etc. The City has halfheartedly attempted to make scooter-riding rules, knowing full well there is not enough money and police personnel to enforce these rules, so the scooter companies have free rein.

Again, the old adage applies — “follow the money!”

Ina Brown


Where have all the blue jays gone?

I have been a resident in La Jolla since 1962. What has happened to the blue jays I would feed that are no longer here? Pine nuts and sunflower seeds would invite their visits daily. They would fly onto the ground and look up at me to be fed. Also, there are no more mockingbirds, who would sing their little hearts out. One very young one was injured by a cat and I took him in, calling him Chirp-Chirp. I would feed him egg yolks and later mealy worms. I took the cage with me to the office every day, since he needed to be fed every two hours to heal.

When he was healed, I set him free. He would fly onto the back fence, chirp, but returned to my shoulder. His freedom was more important to me than being able to carry him around, so I took him to a woman in East County who had a huge aviary and was delighted to have Chirp-Chirp. It truly saddens me to have lost so much of Mother Nature. Does anyone know why?

Isabella Miram


Profile view of the Razor house in La Jolla.
(K.C. Alfred)

Who can really be called an architect?

In the Aug. 29 News Nugget, “Report: Razor House sells for $21 million,” it describes Wallace Cunningham as “architect” Wallace Cunningham. Mr. Cunningham is an architectural designer and not an architect, I believe. I do believe, however, that his firm has licensed architects on staff. According to the California Architects Board, if you are not licensed in California, you cannot call yourself a licensed California architect.

Charles Kaminski


What’s on YOUR mind?

Letters published in La Jolla Light express views 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 writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of the newspaper staff or publisher.