Our Readers Write: La Jollans voice their views about scooter pollution and banning them; seal waste at Children’s Pool; other local matters
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 email@example.com 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.
Sad state of scooter scat
These photos (above and below) show the Windansea scooter abuse I observed on Aug. 5. The “Adopt a Beach” slogan seems to have been co-opted by scooter pollution. Even better is the “Conserving California’s Coastal Treasures” sign punctuated by the abandoned scooter. I’m amazed at how these scooters are allowed to pollute our communities. Last night, they were parked on walkways blocking the path of several parents pushing baby strollers, who had to go off the curb and into the street to get past them.
Tickets, fines should follow scooters
Are City officials going to do something about the abuse of residents’ well-being at the cost of electric scooters? Or should property owners withhold payments on their property taxes until something is done? Or should we all just handle the issue ourselves?
Urgency is needed! Case in point, this photo I took of a man with a child without a helmet, likely tourists, riding on the wrong side of the street. A hefty fine should discourage these traffic violations from irresponsible individuals. (See photos above and below)
Road rage over new road ways
My drive home from a long day at work Aug. 7 was exacerbated by people on every conceivable contraption going every which way, leaving me feeling like The Grinch shaking my fist at the Whos. No one was heeding any traffic laws and it was a free-for-all — skateboarders, pedestrians, scooter-riders, bicyclists and motorists all clogging the thoroughfares during rush hour.
As I turned onto my street and approached my driveway, I wanted to run over the scooter laying on its side blocking my access.
What the heck is happening to our society? Where has common sense gone?
Petition to ban electric scooters is now online
I wanted to tell you about this petition that I just signed: San Diego Scooter Ban at ipetitions.com/petition/scooterban
I really care about this cause, and I’d love it if you joined me in supporting it. To sign is free and takes just a few seconds of your time.
These electric scooters are NOT green, NOT cleaned, left blocking sidewalks, tossed into the ocean, take up parking and are a hazard when driving. Many citizens have been injured, while riding or being hit by riders.
— See the related story, “‘Enough is enough’ — Council member Bry calls for electric scooter moratorium in San Diego,” at lajollalight.com/news/story/2019-07-31/bry-calls-for-electric-scooter-moratorium
Scooters? Let’s look on the bright side!
La Jollans may not be aware of the community well-being solutions elsewhere — wide pedestrian walkways all over Tokyo, solar charging stations for shared e-bikes/e-scooters; towns with outdoor plazas offering space for kids’ recreation and adult activities (mini-skate board areas next to play structures, and shaded tables for adult board games). The Light should do a story with interviews of tourists asking them what their hometowns have that La Jolla needs.
What a loss if waiting for La Jolla to approve scooter corrals causes the removal of the e-scooter transportation and recreation tool we have at hand. First-generation scooters can be improved with (made in USA!) kickstands, wheel options, solar charging docks.
Does anyone remember when La Jolla children rode their bikes safely to Muirlands Middle School from UC San Diego neighborhoods? I think it was during 1965 to 1980. Now, parents drive kids everywhere due to the dangers of biking and crossing the streets. With a driver’s license, teens (and adults) drive endlessly for entertainment around La Jolla. It seems gas pollution/climate change does not concern them.
What if school kids could commute by e-scooters/bikes and skateboards? What if the elderly could use e-wheelchairs and wheeled e-scooters to do errands and go around town for fun? How would the quality of family life change if parents didn’t have to drive their kids everywhere? How much would kids benefit from commuting safely and independently to school using greener transport (not cars)?
Could La Jolla get sidewalks wide enough for two people to walk side by side in each direction? One-way streets could allow space for a narrow lane for strollers and other non-gas auto transport.
Can we get a law mandating parking corrals for e-scooters & e-bikes? Isn’t there public space available for corrals next to bus stops, and near red curbs? Gas auto transportation is reducing San Diego’s quality of life, its health and bringing out the worst in people. Look at the unhappy, stressed auto drivers — they need a better choice for transportation and recreation. Look at the people on e-scooters — happy faces equal improved quality of life.
Have you seen the adults walking around La Jolla knocking over the scooters that were lined up? They do this on their daily morning walks. They are rejecting the e-scooters with no thought for the potential to improve society.
Can the Light bring fresh information to La Jollans so their perspective is broadened without having to travel to Paris, Norway, Germany, Sweden, Amsterdam or Japan? These are all places where residents are not limited to gas vehicle transportation and the resulting stress and pollution. The residents are glad not to drive autos daily. In these foreign towns and cities, walking safely on very wide sidewalks is taken for granted.
Our dependence on autos is linked to the too-early La Jolla schools start times with school buses stuck in motorist traffic dictating start times. These community problems have been solved elsewhere and can be fixed in La Jolla and San Diego if people can think outside “their box.”
Kudos to San Diego Council of Divers
As a long-time diver in the San Diego area and president of Ocean Sanctuaries, I’d like to extend a heart-felt thanks to Joel Tracey and the San Diego Council of Divers for sponsoring the “Rocks, Reefs and Rips” program along the beaches of San Diego. Some of the beaches, especially in the areas mentioned in the Aug. 8 Light article — such as North Bird Rock , Marine Street, Hospital Point, South Casa (aka Children’s Pool ), Shell Beach, Boomer Point and La Jolla Caves, plus Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma — can be tricky to navigate, enter and exit, if you’re not a local diver with previous experience in these areas and are not paying attention to the tides.
Many people don’t realize how heavy and cumbersome SCUBA gear can be, especially in shallow water if you happen to lose your footing in high surf and fall onto rocks. Training such as the 3R’s offered can be invaluable in showing divers and snorkelers the areas to avoid, as well as how to extricate oneself from, things like strong rip currents: swim parallel to the shore in either direction. The trainers have probably saved more lives than they realize.
Michael Bear; President, Ocean Sanctuaries
— See the mentioned story, “Learning the Three R’s: Council of Divers leads water workshops in La Jolla,” at lajollalight.com/lifestyle/story/2019-08-07/council-of-divers-leads-rips-reefs-rocks-workshops
Lessons learned from La Jolla’s high-rise
My mom made an activist out of me when I was nine years old by driving me around The Shores (our neighborhood) and having me run up to each front door and tuck a neon-orange bumper sticker that said “FIGHT HEIGHT” under every doormat.
Then she took me to the San Diego City Council meeting downtown, even though it was a school morning, to make the citizens’ gallery look more packed with bodies as La Jollans fought to keep our town from becoming Miami West. We ended up being victorious in getting a height limit approved, but it was too late for 939 Coast Blvd., which was already under construction, and too late for the 22-story and 25-story towers that were snuck through by some Texas developers at the same time that 939 was approved, blindsiding the community.
The only thing that saved La Jolla from having three towering sore thumbs sticking out of La Jolla’s most prominent point was a downturn in the Texas oil business (or some other financial misfortune) that made the developers unable to follow through on their wretched approved plans. We lucked out, and the height limit was in place to stop any other high-rise surprises.
Thank you, La Jolla Light, for digging into the back story behind our not-so-welcome landmark in La Jolla. We used to call it the “Pretzel Palace,” when it had the balcony decorations fussing up the exterior. When the décor concrete started to crumble and became a liability, that too, was a benefit because now the tower looks a little sleeker without all those weird ovals and spikes.
Beth Wagner Brust, La Jolla High Class of 1972 — Go Vikings!
— See the mentioned story, “How this La Jolla high-rise got built: 18-story 939 Coast Blvd. building leads to coastal-height limit,” at lajollalight.com/news/story/2019-07-30/how-this-la-jolla-high-rise-got-built-18-story-939-coast-blvd-building-leads-to-coastal-height-limit
Sidewalk vending detracts from park experience
Council member Barbara Bry says she wants to talk to the sidewalk vendors about their concerns. Well, she better bring a translator. The vendors don’t speak English! Again with the politicians, it’s talk to the few over the majority. I believe we need to get these vendors out of the parks! Go see what the boardwalk in Pacific Beach is tuning into!
— See the related story, “City Council committee takes up sidewalk vending: Proposes year-round moratorium in Scripps Park,” at lajollalight.com/news/story/2019-08-07/city-council-committee-takes-up-sidewalk-vending
Will ‘The Jewel’ become ‘The Putrid Killing Field’?
Prediction 1: The Children’s Pool pinniped pollution will spread to other La Jolla beaches. This beach’s water is polluted by poop from pinnipeds allowed to inhabit the area. The La Jolla Cove beachline, too, has been reported (Aug. 1, 2 and 3 by The San Diego Union-Tribune) to have polluted waters. The La Jolla Rough Water Swim at The Cove was cancelled in 2016 and 2017 due to poor water quality.
Prediction 2: Pinnipeds will attract sharks to the La Jolla coastline resulting in pinniped shark attacks.The “Coastal waters in Southern California are a known nursery habitat for white sharks” (La Jolla Light, Aug. 1, 2019). Indeed, just this May 28, 2019, sightings of a shark consuming a seal in La Jolla were reported on FOX 5 San Diego and KPBS. Lifeguards issued a shark advisory for 2.5 miles of La Jolla coastline.
Prediction 3: A la Jolla swimmer will be attacked by a shark. Encouraging pinnipeds to inhabit our beautiful La Jolla beaches is insane. Wake up La Jolla! How hard would it be to remove the basking pinnipeds and install nets offshore to prevent their return? We can put men on the moon can’t we? What is preventing this or some other solution?
Prediction 4: Follow the tourist money.
Born in 1944? You’re invited to a party with ‘The 1944 Club’
On June 6, 2019 the world marked the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. The year was 1944, and for those of us born that year, 2019 also marks our 75th birthdays. For the past 20 years, a group of 1944s have belonged to an informal organization called “The 1944 Club.” Created in 1999, by four women born in 1944, the Club was inspired by the existence of the 1918 Birthday Club — the only existing birthday club at the time.
What a great idea! A Club for folks born in the same year! So we got the word out and 1944s began meeting for dinners, picnics and shows, enjoying the chance to get to know others who shared their birth year, and discovering the paths their lives had taken.
Every five years, on marker birthdays (60, 65, 70) a large event has been held to celebrate everyone’s special day at one big party.
And so, in 2019, in keeping with the tradition, those born in 1944 turn 75, and the 1944 Club will host a fabulous party, 5-9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13 at Admiral Baker Field, at the east end of Tierrasanta, just off Friars Road. There will be a dinner buffet in an elegant banquet hall and music from the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s provided by San Diego’s favorite band, Sundance. We’ll be dancing like we were on American Bandstand and no one needs a partner!
The event is open to anyone over age 18. Tickets are $70 per person and include everything except a no-host bar. For more details or to make a reservation, call (858) 229-9981 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Leslie Johnson Leech
Time for the City to clean seal waste at Children’s Pool
In further reference to the article about people raking seaweed off the Children’s Pool beach: Seals have thousands of miles to go and I believe there are only two man-made pools in California; why invite the seals into a man-made pool for children and ask the children to leave?
The original deal with the City, which I never thought was legal, was to change the Ellen Scripps Trust. Yes, this is confusing, as the locals call it the Ellen Scripps Trust because she is the person who paid for the sea wall and gave it to the City to maintain. But it is also called the “Children’s Pool Trust,” and it’s a state tide land grant deal. And what is written there is a “Park and Playground and Bathing Pool for Children,” and in part B is “access for absolute right to fish,” and as we all know, that includes spear-fishing and diving.
Can you imagine changing the trust of the founder of our community? The City accepted the gift and promised to maintain this gift and never has. The City now needs to open the gates in the wall that are there to clean the pool or create new gates. The reason for the gates is the man who built the wall said: ‘I cannot build this without gates to flush it, as you will end up with a hill of sand, a beach not a pool, where you come down the stairs and are wading in the ocean.’
So we now have a beach and it should be a pool, so the City needs to do its job and clean the pool for the health and safety of the public.
Also, when the trust was changed, it was changed to include seals in with the other three things going on at the pool — swimming, diving, fishing. But just looking at the seals, not giving them the pool for months to take over and close children out. In the 1970s, I experienced swimming, diving and fishing and looking at seals, as there were some on the rocks by the wall and a few on Seal Rock at Children’s Pool. It is time for the City that invited the seals to clean up after them!
Furthermore, 2,000 to 3,000 people come every day to the Children’s Pool, according to the lifeguards. Wonder why it is so hard to find a parking spot? The City gave the public a place to look at sea life for free, but not one parking space. You need two spaces to open a coffee shop! I, and others, believe the City should have created a parking lot for this seal attraction they created against the community’s wishes. Sometimes, I think the City does not care about us.
I’ve received a few phone calls from people who have corrected me and said that, yes the City does still rake the beaches in the summer — every day at The Shores. Why in the world would they not take the seaweed off the one beach in La Jolla that the City has contributed to the pollution of? Again, I will repeat what has happened to common sense?
Loving Life in La Jolla
Walking on Bellevue Avenue in the Bird Rock area on Aug. 9, I thought I fell through a crack in time! Seeing this classic car and classic Spanish-tiled home — even with a classic California palm tree — left me wondering if Bogie and Hepburn were sauntering about? I’m a new resident and every day brings a new surprise or delight on my neighborhood jaunts.
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 email@example.com 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.
Get the La Jolla Light weekly in your inbox
News, features and sports about La Jolla, every Thursday.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the La Jolla Light.