Our Readers Write: La Jollans speak out about speeding cars, cracked streets, dog poop, ‘Independent’ La Jolla, Christmas Parade, airplane noise, seals and other local topics


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:


More neighborhood speed bumps needed to slow rushing motorists

A speeding car coming up Nautilus Street sideswiped my wife’s car and flipped over at 1:35 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 3 (see photo above). The driver fled the scene before the police could arrive. The accident occurred outside 537 Nautilus St. This is the second time a car has flipped outside our home after sideswiping parked cars this year. Speed is obviously a factor and likely driver impairment.

The speed bumps on Draper Street have reduced vehicle speed on that street and it would be nice if something similar could happen along the blocks below La Jolla High School on Nautilus.

John Heffner


La Jolla sidewalks AND streets need repair

I am responding to the article in the Nov. 15 issue, “Come on City, fix our Sidewalks!” I think an addition to the title would be “and our Streets.”

I have lived in La Jolla for a year now and am amazed over how the streets are in such disrepair. I have yet to find the right person in the City of San Diego directory to ask if repaving is on the agenda for La Jolla.

Consider the streets in the area of Girard Avenue from Genter to Kline, and Pearl Street from High Avenue to Draper. These are just two areas that seem to be really in need of repaving. I am sure there are more.

Who do we contact to get this done?

Dana Cochran


City: Repave crumbling roads in Country Club area

Despite numerous e-mails to the City about the condition of the roads in our Country Club neighborhood of La Jolla (and a blown-out tire caused by driving into one of the holes on our hill), we have been unable to get the City to re-pave these streets, which have not been replaced in over 30 years. (See photo above)

This is a two-lane road on a hill with difficult vision around corners, as well as having many construction vehicles parked along the hill. Due to this situation, it is often necessary to drive into oncoming traffic in order to avoid hitting another pothole or raised area, daily, while driving down the hill.

The condition of our roads is awful and often causes cars to have their wheels go out of alignment or even suffer a flat tire, due to the holes and raised areas caused by roots, etc. We have tried to handle this problem through the Get It Done app recommended by the City, but it only led to workers coming to drop a little bit of asphalt in a few of the holes. This is inadequate to solve the problem. Any ideas anyone has to help us resolve this issue would be most welcome!

Lisa Casey


What A Shame

I discovered the location of an area in La Jolla where rude dog owners toss away their pet’s excrement bags — Eads Avenue behind the CVS drugstore.

Disgusted (name withheld by request)


If dog owners don’t pick up pet’s poop, it’s up to the rest of us to do it

I have finally reached the limit of my disgust and can no longer put off writing to you. I live in The Village and walk most of the time to wherever I’m going. I have been deeply disturbed by the dog crap that is left on the pavements in front of businesses and private residents throughout The Village.

When I walk, I must keep my eyes turned downward, watching out for dog excrement. It’s like walking through a mine field! Today, (Nov. 19) I walked up Pearl Street from La Jolla Boulevard to Eads, over to Kline, and then along Girard Avenue. I saw three fresh piles of dog poop that had already been stepped in, leaving the residue along the pavement. This is disgusting, unsanitary and deplorable.

We should be ashamed to allow this situation to continue. I can’t imagine what tourists must think. They will stop visiting this “Jewel” if we don’t take action.

I’d like to suggest that businesses and property owners start taking responsibility for keeping the sidewalks in front of their property clean. We must stop telling ourselves “It’s not my fault; it’s not my responsibility.” Someone has to be responsible. Let’s work together to clean up this mess.

Patricia (last name withheld by request)


Time to support push for an Independent La Jolla

I love La Jolla to the depth of my soul, which is why I’m heartbroken about our Village. Some examples of why: Our trash cans overflow in The Village. And the City won’t help. Our streets and sidewalks look like those of a third world country. And the City won’t help. Half the “shooting stars” on Girard Avenue don’t work. And the City won’t help. Etc., etc., etc.

As you’ve read many times in the Light, it will take $2 million to leave San Diego. Given the wealth in La Jolla, that doesn’t seem like a big push.

I’m committed to giving my time and energy to Independent La Jolla in 2019. If we all do something — anything — we can escape and our Village will become, once again, a source of pride.

Jerry Cesak


Independent La Jolla stands at a crossroads

This letter is in response to a query in the Oct.10 issue regarding the state of the Independent La Jolla movement. I’m glad to know the letter-writer is a supporter of Independent La Jolla, but I’m not sure why he does not believe we cannot get a city-wide vote for La Jolla?

Believe me, every community that has become independent will vote for it, as they know firsthand how much it transformed their neighborhood and would not stop another community from improving itself. We do not intend to helicopter La Jolla out of San Diego, we just want to make La Jolla better for everyone who comes here, because we live in an amazing place and it is a mess! The City of San Diego does not have the funds to take care of La Jolla.

If we were our own city, we could not only clean La Jolla up, but improve it for all, because when you are your own city, you contract for your services. Instead of paying $80 for a pothole repair, we would pay $8, and with that savings every day, we would not only have more than enough money to take care of ourselves, we would have enough to pay the alimony required to San Diego to separate from it. They would use that money to help the other communities in San Diego that are in need. So, for anyone who feels sorry for San Diego if we leave it, believe me, it would be a benefit to them if we did! San Diego is just too large and can no longer take care of all its neighborhoods.

Furthermore, our website — — is not out of date, it just has listed the last things we did in this effort. Right now, we’re at a crossroad, and in order to proceed with our independence campaign, we need $2.5 million. We need to fund a new Feasibility Study, as ours expired because we had to wait almost three years for the City to come up with its figures.

As to how La Jollans can help, at this point, the only thing this project needs is money. We’ve been given an offer of $200,000, which we will not accept until we reach the full amount required, so those who support us, please get out there and find some of our wealthy community members who want to be The Founders of The City of La Jolla.

There is also another avenue, which is a lawsuit that local attorney Paul Kennerson is willing to pursue, that will cost $300,000. If there is someone who finds this of interest, please let me know, Paul believes that if we can prove we are suffering by being forced to be held under the leadership of San Diego, we can sue to get out.

Melinda Merryweather,


What’s in a (parade) name?

I recently attended the La Jolla Christmas Parade and wondered: Can anything called “Christmas” truly be secular? If we call something organic, can it be organic and, at the same time, not be organic? Wouldn’t that be an oxymoron? Wouldn’t that be false advertising?

Christmas is a specifically Christian holiday, just like Ramadan is a specifically Muslim holiday and Hanukkah is a specifically Jewish holiday. So again I ask: Can anything called the La Jolla Christmas Parade be anything but a Christian parade? Can anything called Ramadan be anything but a Muslim holiday? Can anything called Hanukkah be anything but a Jewish holiday?

Perhaps the name Christmas, in the context of a parade, has become so generic that it no longer indicates a religious function. I think whoever started the parade (and those who keep it going) should respond. I also would like to hear from the City of San Diego, which spends a great deal of time and money providing security and traffic control.

Bill Smith


Omission of harbor seals rookery in Children’s Pool Plaza story ironic

I was astonished to read the article in the Nov. 29, 2018 La Jolla Light about the renovation of the sidewalk area adjacent to the lifeguard tower by the seawall at the Children’s Pool without any mention of the harbor seal rookery on the beach below. The large crowds of people who gather above the beach — those for whom the sidewalk area has been renovated — do so for the most part to enjoy the seals while also viewing our coastline.

Growing up in La Jolla in the 1950s, we called the beach inside the seawall Casa Beach, but today many simply refer to it as “The Seal Beach.” Indeed, that little strip of sand inside the seawall is the only place on the entire Southern California mainland coast (south of Carpinteria) where harbor seals haul out to rest, give birth and nurture their newborn pups, and thus it is the only place where San Diegans can come to observe natural harbor seal behavior as well.

When I walked through the “Children’s Pool Plaza” a few days ago (before the temporary fence was chained closed) my first impression was of a much larger expanse of flat concrete than had existed in the area previously. There are low walls on which to sit, and plenty of room for the T-shirt vendors to set up their stalls, but as I looked to the south from the Plaza to check the surf at Pumphouse and Horseshoe, I had to look between horizontal metal fence bars screening off that coastline.

Thinking back to a time when the lifeguard tower was in its early planning stages, I remember our Parks & Beaches committee being very concerned about the view corridor on either side of the proposed tower. I suppose the City had its way with us on that score.

So now that the temporary chain-link fence blocking off Children’s Pool Plaza has been in place for a number of “extra” weeks after the completion of Plaza construction, it is finally to be removed just in time for our general public to view the numerous pregnant harbor seals hauling out every night on the beach below and resting during gestation on the sand during the day. Will the proposed music during the unveiling party be played so loud as to scare the seals off the beach? That would be a perfect follow-up to an article that didn’t mention the main attraction at all.

James Hudnall


Children’s Pool Plaza invites us out for a holiday stroll

The Light’s playful headline “Tad Dah!” announcing the unveiling of Children’s Pool Plaza 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9 in the Nov. 29 issue, was a long awaited expression of jolly fanfare fitting the story perfectly. Finally, a dream comes through, the vision transforms into reality! Kudos to all who made it happen, especially brave Phyllis Minick, the project organizer.

What a relief! Since all the workers left over a month ago, I was wondering what kind of (yet another?) bureaucratic barrier was preventing us from enjoying one of La Jolla’s most picturesque ocean views. There is no project too small to skip my attention if it’s located along the route I have been biking on for the past 19 years to and from yoga classes at The Cove.

In fact, last week I noticed that the gusty winds saved the demolition crew some time and effort — Mother Nature needs no stamp nor permit to act.

Let’s hope that if Ms Ellen Browning Scripps took a sneak peek at the new make-up of Children’s Pool Plaza, she would smile. I find that the practical and creative use of the stones with soft, round edges (harmoniously blended with a low maintenance landscape) makes this area an inviting spot to pause, sit to rest or gather, and is also an aesthetically pleasing place to cast a glance when simply passing by.

The party planned for Sunday is sure an opportunity to celebrate the festive season. Happy Holidays everyone! I can’t wait to see you strolling by!

Jaruska Solyova


The holidays are here! Let’s show some compassion and cheer!

My dear La Jolla neighbors: We find ourselves at the onset of another holiday season in our beautiful corner of the world. I consider our greatest perk of living here is getting to see how the beauty of nature has a domino-effect on the beauty of attitudes. The Vitamin D-effect some say. I’m originally from the realm of “Southern hospitality,” and I’ve gone on record with all of my friends and family back home with my stance that you can’t top the positive attitudes and open hearts I’ve experienced in California (and especially our home here in La Jolla).

But nothing dissolves that sensation faster than stepping into the Wall Street Post Office. Something mysterious happens when 80 percent of La Jollans cross the post office door threshold. The same sweet granny who wanted to pet your dog and wished you a “Wonderful day!” on your morning walk, suddenly morphs into a cruel and callous person toward the overworked and over-stressed staff there. I make frequent post-office runs and can attest to this behavior on the regular, but with holiday traffic approaching, it’s getting plain sad already.

I went in the post office twice the other day. Once at 11 a.m. and another time at 1:30 p.m. Both times the staff was moving as quickly as they could move, not to mention training a new worker. During my 11 a.m. visit, a seemingly sweet, granny-type started loudly huffing every 5 seconds and then yelled: “Is there anyone else back there?” and she threw her folders on the waiting counter in disgust.

She turned to the line behind her and tried to get more patrons to jump on her complaint bandwagon, but for once in my life, I was thankful everyone was staring at their phones and not giving her behavior any attention. She then proceeded to go behind an active customer — still getting her mail stamped — like a car tailgating another car on the freeway.

At my 1:30 p.m. rendezvous, a manager (who I must say I’ve always been thoroughly impressed by) came to see who he could help with flat-rate shipping paid via credit card. He approached the first woman in line and another woman five people behind her jetted out and said: “Can you help me first?”

He politely told her that he was going to help the first customer first and he would be back. As he moved through the flat-rate customers in line, he eventually reached me. I could tell he was really stressed. I said: “I know ya’ll have one of those jobs where you see everyone at their worst, but we really love having you here.” And I’m telling you, I think if he was off-the-clock, he might have teared up right there. He just said: “It’s hard. People are so impatient. We’re trying.”

It wasn’t that long ago that we were fighting to keep our community post office open. Can we please remember that, along with the fact that these workers are human and if you or I were behind that counter, things would move at exactly the same speed. None of us would want that treatment when we are working long holiday hours, using our energy and keeping a pleasant tone among the nasty attitudes. These folks go home to kids, spouses, pets, their favorite plant maybe, just like we do. Our attitudes affect how they are able to navigate in those roles once they leave the office for the day.

Can we please make a valent effort to be kind? When the holidays roll around, just count on the post office trip taking 15-20 minutes longer. It’s part of life. It’s not a new phenomenon. It literally happens every year — and it still beats the Pony Express. We should be happy about that.

P.S. Thank you, La Jolla Post Office workers! You work hard and your efforts and attitude are appreciated. I sincerely mean that.

Kat Zemeckis


Why does La Jolla have half-lit holidays?

Once again more than half the shooting-star Christmas lights on Girard Avenue are out. This seems to be a continuing problem every year. Why bother to put them up? Who’s at fault? It doesn’t make a very good impression on visitors and locals alike ... though it is somewhat indicative of the general infrastructure deterioration throughout La Jolla.

Larry McCracken


Signs along coast clutter views

Regarding the story in the Nov. 15 issue: “Wildcoast posts 17 new Marine Protected Area signs,” this headline is adjacent to a photograph of a large poster that blocks an otherwise beautiful ocean view. The last thing our La Jolla coastline needs is more signage, educational or otherwise.

If additional information is needed about our local beaches, a simple Google search will provide it. Unnecessary installation of billboard notifications by non-governmental organizations serve little purpose other than fund raising or self-aggrandizement.

Carl Lind


Essay on airport noise meeting doesn’t get some facts straight

This letter serves as correction to a few points in the Guest Commentary by resident Anthony Stiegler in the Oct. 31 La Jolla Light issue. His letter was submitted in regard to the Oct. 17 public meeting of the San Diego Airport Authority’s Airport Noise Advisory Committee (ANAC). Mr. Stiegler is not a member of ANAC, rather, he appears at meetings as a resident requesting to speak during public comment.

In his submission to the Light, referencing Mission Beach ‘s ANAC representative Deborah Watkins, Mr. Stiegler stated: “Mission Beach’s representative, Deborah Watkins proposed that ANAC exclude the Air Noise Button complaints, which would seriously prejudice La Jolla, where most residents use the button. Watkins denigrated the Air Noise Button and incorrectly argued that it ‘skewed’ the overall data. However, it was argued that the complaints accurately reflect La Jollans’ perception and annoyance with jet noise, in real time, with data tied to each offending flight. Watkins was strongly rebuked by residents and her suggestion was rejected.”

This statement is inaccurate. ANAC meetings are audio recorded, and the recording clearly will show that Ms. Watkins does not propose that ANAC Air Noise Button complaints be excluded from anything at all. There is no denigration stated, nor implication of skewing.

All she did ask is how many third-party, non-Airport Authority app providers exist. The answer provided to her was “one.” Ms. Watkins then asked if ANAC can be enabled to see a breakdown of the number of complaints per community deriving from third-party non-Airport Authority apps vs. application data from the Airport Authority. That is not any sort of “exclusion,” rather data comparison.

Furthermore, Ms. Watkins was not “strongly rebuked” by anyone. A discussion followed on various ways to collate and correlate data submitted by residents. Various opinions were expressed, but no one was rebuked in any matter. The charter of ANAC is in fact the gathering of input of its members, to best advise the Airport Authority on noise abatement strategies. The culling of data is part of that mission, and everyone’s opinion is sought on efficacy and presentation of same.

Cindy Greatrex and Deborah Watkins, Airport Noise Advisory Committee members


It was the Catamaran, not Elarios, for best jazz

Elario’s was certainly a very fun and special spot for jazz, as reported in the Nov. 15 issue of the Light, but the undisputed king of jazz and blues shows (with the finest views and the best sound), was the Catamaran Hotel.

From 1977 to 1981, I booked thousands of shows there, including Ray Charles, BB King, Oscar Peterson, Sarah Vaughn, Stan Getz, George Benson and many others. Music writer George Varga’s memory is rather hazy. He would always call me to come to my shows to do reviews for The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Thanks Joe Marillo for starting the shows there with the Preservation for Jazz Society. It was a pleasure to carry on the tradition to a higher level for him.

Tony Kampmann


La Jolla needs a good jazz club

Thank you for the recent story about the old jazz scene at Elario’s. And hello to everyone who is still around! I came to La Jolla because of Elario’s. I’d watch the Sunday session on TV in San Francisco ... great jazz, sunshine, the ocean ... I knew someday I’d be here. I had two brothers who both played, composed and arranged trumpet.

We need a jazz club — small or large. One that doesn’t feel like a church. Concerts are OK, but two hours later, you’re on the cold sidewalk while the musicians are just warming up. The empty room at Hilton’s Cusp would be filled with decent happy people if it had jazz.

Dolores Marin Hecht



In La Jolla Light’s report on the Chabad Hebrew Academy football championship win, the name of team member Naftali Ellis of La Jolla was mistakenly left out of the story.


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• 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.