Our Readers Write: La Jollans share their opinions on seals, parking, Windansea belvedere, McMansion on Coast Walk, longtime Village businesses


Opinion / Letters to the Editor / Our Readers Write:

Letters to the Editor from recent issues of La Jolla Light as La Jollans speak out on local issues:


Permitters asleep at the wheel?

Once again, some reasonable reader has expressed distress at the 1590 Coast Walk edifice (pictured above), and asked, reasonably: “How did this huge building ever get through the review process?” I would expect that this might be within the purview of your newspaper to explore, and if I have missed the answer or any update on attempts to get one, please let me know.

Barbara Rosen

Editor’s Notes: • A few months ago, La Jolla Light published a history of the 1590 Coast Walk project and it can be accessed online at

• Also, at a recent Development Permit Review committee meeting, the project applicant provided an update; see the La Jolla Light story, “Developers recommend Windansea belvedere, Marengo defends Coast Walk house” at


More thoughts on Coast Walk edifice

In the Dec. 20 La Jolla Light article about the Development Permit Review (DPR) committee meeting where Claude-Anthony Maregno defends the building he’s been working on at 1590 Coast Walk (pictured above), I feel that just because 1590 Coast Walk was approved by the City and by the DPR committee does not mean it is good. This massive windowless blob would make the designer of a Soviet prison block blush. The defense that it cannot have windows due to street noise is hollow (triple pane windows are available). Cladding it with stone just reinforces its massive blank wall.

Tony Pauker

Editor’s Notes: • Mr. Marengo has clarified that the streetside would have decorative windows.

• See the mentioned story, “Developers recommend Windansea belvedere, Marengo defends Coast Walk house” at

• A few months ago, La Jolla Light published a history of the 1590 Coast Walk project and it can be accessed online at


Sad to watch pinnipeds taking over our beaches

I read with chagrin the front-page article in the Dec. 13 La Jolla Light issue touting new plaza improvements, funded as a private-public partnership that included the La Jolla Merchants Association, to benefit this “treasure for all of us to enjoy.”

When are we going to call it our “Seals Pool” instead of our “ Children’s Pool ?” We haven’t seen children enjoying Ellen Browning Scripps’ gift since September 1997, when the City closed Children’s Pool to swimming because of “continuously high fecal coliform counts” that have persisted due to “a seal excrement overload.”

Meanwhile, nearby La Jolla Cove, which is increasingly inhabited by sea lions and has failed to meet water quality standards 21 percent of the time in 2018 (as measured by San Diego Department of Environmental Health and reported by San Diego Coastkeepers), is in peril of becoming lost to human recreation.

While the private-public partnership may benefit by tourism motivated by seals, we will certainly not benefit by losing enjoyment of the La Jolla Cove and Underwater Reserve.

Ginger Truschke

See the mentioned story, “‘New’ Children’s Pool Plaza unveiled in La Jolla” at


I know a land grab when I see one

In response to the article in the Dec. 6 La Jolla Light issue on the public parking and surf-check on Playa del Norte at Windansea Beach, it was amazing to me and others that the Mayor’s office stepped into this issue while a group of people were meeting to solve it at the request of our City Council member Barbara Bry. We came together to figure out a better parking plan there, as the City has had hundreds of calls and videos from apparently four people over the six months the parking spaces were there.

The problem is they believe the parking spaces were the cause for people driving the wrong way on the one-way street to get to the parking.

But I know for a fact that people have gone the wrong way to get home on that street forever. My mother lived on that street for 35 years and I saw it all the time. Everyone who lives on the street will tell you the same thing.

The problem is one or two condo-owners (who it seems had no idea they were moving next to one of the most popular surf spots in the world) freaked out that there were surfers nearby doing surf things. Now, the idea that the City would give them all this land to buffer them from the public and take away public parking is an outrage! It is a land grab.

I was told by the Mayor’s office that if we could provide a plan that accomplished public beach parking and no one going the wrong way on the one-way street, the City would look at it. So, there will be the second half of the meeting the community was in the middle of when the Mayor’s office stepped in to eliminate parking, and we will be able finish meeting and this plan will be presented to the City. It is called Democracy.

Melinda Merryweather

See the mentioned story, “Mayor: Put the stanchions back in place, Some La Jollans: Wait for parking study” at


Support for the Windansea belvedere

In the Dec. 13 La Jolla Light article “Parks & Beaches: Replace Windansea belvedere,” the reporter doesn’t just misquote me, she has me saying something I never said. I’m the Richard Smith who she says stated that the earlier attempt to rebuild was defeated by neighbors concerned about their ocean views. That is untrue. I said the neighbors were concerned that a reconstructed belvedere would become the attractive nuisance that the old one was.

I have spent a part of each year since 1952 in La Jolla and lived across the street from the belvedere location from the summer of 1968 to the spring of 1971. In all that time, the first time I heard anyone voice concern about the belvedere obstructing views was at the Parks & Beaches meeting and it wasn’t me that brought it up. I think that is a non-issue. The belvedere was open and the ocean was clearly visible through it. I am in favor of replacing it.

Richard Smith

See the mentioned story, “La Jolla Parks & Beaches: Replace Windansea belvedere” at


Legacy merchants had good advice to share

I wanted to extend a big thank you to the Light for the article in the Dec. 13 edition “Merchants share biz tips for half-century legacies.” I’ve always been curious about these long-standing businesses and your research provided the stories behind them as well as some great tips. As a business psychologist who helps leaders shape engaging, customer-focused cultures, I viewed many best practices that bring success from being innovative and customer-centric, being adaptable, listening to your consumer and focusing on long-term relationships. Bravo to these businesses and may many more succeed in the years ahead.

Sherry Nooravi

See the mentioned story, “THE RETAIL ROCKS OF LA JOLLA: Merchants share biz tips for half-century legacies” at


Support your local bookshop

In the Dec. 13 La Jolla Light issue’s “Retail Rocks of La Jolla,” I’m quoted as saying “People can easily buy books online.” This may have sounded like an endorsement of online book-buying, but it is not. The context of this statement was an interview specifically focused on how Warwick’s has managed to survive in this era of online competition, which has been especially lethal to bookstores.

What was not included in the write-up is that we have survived, indeed, thrived, as a bookstore precisely because our customers are choosing not to buy their books online. We are truly fortunate for the large community of loyal customers who cherish Warwick’s, and who do not want bookstores to become extinct. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of you who support Warwick’s, and for understanding what we stand to lose as a community without your support.

Nancy Warwick

See the mentioned story, “THE RETAIL ROCKS OF LA JOLLA: Merchants share biz tips for half-century legacies” at


Brain doc story had good information

I really enjoyed the article on La Jolla’s brain man, Marc Millstein, in the Dec. 13 La Jolla Light issue.

Jerry Selness

See the mentioned story, “PEOPLE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD: Meet La Jolla’s brain man, Marc Milstein” at


Need for public transit in the Soledad area

I want to bring your attention to an area of La Jolla that has been widely neglected in the past, due to the non-existent public transportation around our beautiful Mount Soledad. Despite its being a major part of La Jolla, I’ve never seen efforts to ask — even for a simple bus line — for public transportation that would cover Soledad Mountain Road, Nautilus Street, La Jolla Scenic Drive and La Jolla Mesa. There are so many retired citizens living here who would love to keep their cars at home and take a bus to UTC to Pacific Beach or to other areas.

Moreover, there are many schools in the vicinity whose families could benefit from students taking public transportation to school without needing rides from their parents.

With the Mid-Coast Trolley being developed, I don’t think there are any plans to have La Jollans from those areas connected to it, to say the least. Would you be interested in covering this in your paper? It would be good to raise the profile of this issue and maybe some good would come out of it. Many people would be interested in reading about it.

Do you also have any other suggestions for me to follow up on?

Max Ashkenasi

Editor’s Note: There are plans in the works for buses and maybe even shuttles to disburse Mid Coast Trolley riders from the platform hubs into the nearby communities. Nonetheless, you can bring your concerns to the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation board, which meets 4 p.m. third Wednesdays at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. Chair Dave Abrams’ e-mail address is: mana@san.rr.coma


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. Letters reflect the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of the newspaper staff or publisher.