Our Readers Write: La Jollans voice their opinions about cannabis billboards, traffic, off-leash dogs, lack of parking, canceling World History class, Children’s Pool closure for seals, and more local topics

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 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


Response to “Bird Rock billboards going to ‘pot’" article

As a part owner of Torrey Holistics, a parent of teens, a Girl Scout troop leader, and a former elementary school teacher of 20 years, I am dismayed that misinformation, stigma, and falsehoods about cannabis are still so pervasive in our community.


In this industry, we understand that the evolution of public opinion is a bit like turning an ocean liner…it takes time. To that end, I would urge the community not to take my word for it, but to take some time to get educated. If you dig into the history of why cannabis became illegal in 1937, you will find that the motives were primarily political and were not based on scientific research. Cannabis was widely used prior to that for many of the same conditions people are discovering it can be used for today. Hopefully, you would base your own decisions on scientific facts rather than the social stigmas your were taught as a child. Extensive research is currently being conducted, our website lists much of it.

Torrey Holistics is passionate about education and making sure our customers understand the product they are buying and how to properly use it. Since opening Torrey Holistics, we have been on a mission to educate our neighbors like Laura B. about the facts and fiction surrounding cannabis use. Starting at a grassroots level, we began hosting Mary J parties, small group gatherings focused on the benefits of cannabis for a multitude of conditions, as well as the do’s and don’ts. Many of us struggle with insomnia, anxiety, and pain. Everyone that attends Mary J parties learns something new and is appreciative of the history and factual scientific information shared. We also host a quarterly Medical Professional Open House to help educate our medical community. We invite our vendors to share information about their products and their research with local doctors and scientists. Many of the doctors who have attended our open houses have responded with gratitude and enthusiasm for our efforts. They are thrilled that their patients now have an option for pain management that is not opioids.

Our next Medical Professional Open House will be held in conjunction with the GoodLife Show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, a seminar series where the community can learn about cannabis. Come get educated on May 11th!


As for the effect of advertising on our children, we live in a society where images of gaming casinos, alcohol, and yes, cannabis, are all around us. For those of you who are grappling with how to talk to your child about cannabis, it is no difference than your conversation with them about alcohol. Let me be of assistance….


Cannabis and alcohol are not meant for you. Your brain is growing and developing until you are 25 years old. Teens who start using alcohol, cannabis or drugs at a young age when they are still growing have a higher chance of damaging their brains, becoming dependent or addicted. This is the most important muscle you have, it is the only one you have, let it grow to be as strong as it can. You will need it for every decision you make in life. Using cannabis, alcohol, drugs, as well as being unsafe when doing physical activities (concussion) can keep you and your brain from reaching full potential.


Billboards are one of the few places the cannabis companies can legally advertise. The billboards available to us are limited based on state wide regulations and billboard company policies. The cannabis industry is unable to advertise in many publishing and marketing arenas because it is only state approved and many publishers have federal regulations they must adhere to.


It is no different than having a glass of wine on a Friday night to relax. It is about conscious consumption as a responsible adult. I can’t tell you the number of times I have been out with friends, who express to me their unwavering negativity towards cannabis. Holding a glass of wine in their hand, they don’t see the irony at all. In 10 years, I have a feeling that those friends will look back on their comments and say “Oops, I didn’t know what I was talking about”.

Audrey Gans

Peace of Mind,


Something needs to be done along Gilman Drive

I live on Gilman Drive in La Jolla and am reaching out to the La Jolla Light because our community has been turned upside down. Given the tragedy that happened on our street today (Tuesday, March 5), we need to speak to someone to see if there is any way we could get some help!

This morning, a 32-year-old man riding a motorcycle was killed in an accident right in front of my home. This was, unfortunately, not surprising given the circumstances of our street.

Last year, the Ortiz Corporation came to do a major project for the City on Gilman Drive to enlarge the pipes that run from UC San Diego in order to accommodate UCSD’s latest expansion. We were told that the project would only take a few months. The street was torn apart, rebuilt, and appeared to be on schedule. But since the end of November 2018, instead of having the final re-striping/re-paving, the project has sat without a single sign of the work being finished.

Gilman Drive is a major artery that feeds into UCSD and the northern part of La Jolla. It used to be a double-lane road in each direction that would accommodate a large amount of traffic, bikes in the bike lane, and also resident/public parking along the street.

Since the construction started, the parking has been taken away (minus a tiny area where about 6 to 10 cars can park), leaving residents scrambling for parking. This has caused a huge imbalance of parking spaces for the area.

The La Jolla Terrace condominiums, for example, have 160 units and only 60 surface parking spots inside the complex, a huge problem. Residents are forced to park across the street in the 6 to 10 car parking area or around the block completely. There are many residents who are elderly and many young families, as well, running across the busy street with cones. This is not safe!

This brings me to my last and most important point. Because Gilman Drive is a major artery stemming directly from Interstate 5, motorists are speeding as if this was still a four-lane street. The speeding is particularly problematic because it is such a long street coming from the freeway and from the university. It is very dangerous to slow down to enter/exit any of the apartment, condo, hotel entrances and I have seen many close calls, because there is simply no wiggle room for cars to slow down.

There are cars, large trucks, and huge transit buses that use Gilman Drive every day. The current situation of this street (one lane northbound, one lane southbound) is not sufficient for this community. We need this street re-striped ASAP because every day we see the entire middle of the street coned-off for no reason.

There are cyclists, scooters, joggers, etc. using this street and God forbid another tragedy happens again.



Please start ticketing off-leash dog owners

Irresponsible dog owners are turning our wonderful parks into dangerous and dirty places where playing a game of baseball or lacrosse — or even tossing a Frisbee — can lead to a feces-covered shoe or an emergency room visit. The park adjacent to Bird Rock Elementary is now trashed and has ankle-breaking holes, missing grass and mud patches … not to mention the animal feces. Same for Calumet and other nearby parks. The elementary schools that use the playgrounds have to monitor and limit student access.

Dogs are not the problem. Owners need to keep them leashed where the law says it’s required — or head to a dog park. The problem is enforcement of the law. The dog owners don’t fear letting their pet pooches run loose because nobody stops them. Police or park rangers should be ticketing these people relentlessly, and hopefully, the ticket fines can pay for at least some of the damage these folks are causing (or pay some of a ranger’s salary).

It’s a crime taking place in broad daylight, with the violators all showing up, hanging out and making small talk without a worry. Where are the animal control officers? Can’t police make a routine patrol effort to ticket them?

What’s the solution, Mayor and City Council? Maybe it’s time for citizens arrests?

Please do additional stories on this important topic. We need some answers and solutions from the City. Is a lawsuit the only way to get attention these days? Please withhold my name for I fear aggressive response from some people about the issue.A

A La Jolla resident (Name withheld by request)


Let Rec Center tree be

So, let me get this straight. The La Jolla Recreation Advisory Group (LJRAG) wants to cut down a healthy living tree because it’s grown too big to decorate for Christmas? That’s our benchmark now? Whether a tree is aesthetically pleasing enough to be a holiday decoration? Boy, Charles Schultz must be spinning in his grave.

If La Jolla needs a community Christmas tree, there are lots of place where an artificial one (they never grow too large) could be assembled every year. There are also lots of places to plant a real one. A town tree does not necessarily belong on the Rec Center grounds.

And while we are at it, leaning trees are not diseased, they are simply leaning, and unless it’s leaning over your house and in danger of falling, leave it alone.

This action puts LJRAG in a poor light and I, for one, am sadly disgusted.

Name witheld by request


More lead time needed on event stories

The La Jolla Light is a great local newspaper and I read it cover to cover every week. It covers everything going on locally, not only in La Jolla, but also the issues in the San Diego area that are apt to be of interest to its readers.

My only complaint is the timing of the news the paper publishes about events coming up in the arts. The first notice of art events is often only a day or two before the paper lands in my mailbox and sometimes the very day — too late to make plans.

I wonder if it would be possible to publish this information at least a week prior to the event? Perhaps, by requiring an earlier deadline for the organizations submitting the information, the public would be given more notice and be more apt to attend the event.

Thank you again for providing our community with a great newspaper.

Connie Forest

Editor’s Note: Your wish is our command! We will bump up event advances by a week or so, when possible! Thanks for bringing the situation to our attention.


Children’s Pool beach on Coast Boulevard in La Jolla is closed annually by way of a chain and sign during harbor seal pupping season, Dec. 15 to May 15.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Planners short-sighted on Children’s Pool vote

Regarding the story in the March 14 La Jolla Light issue about the La Jolla Community Planning Association’s (LJCPA) recent vote to oppose renewal of the Coastal Commission’s elegant access solution at Children’s Pool, the LJCPA board’s viewpoint would seem to be rather myopic. Perhaps that’s not so surprising when one compares the names representing the LJCPA with those on previous anti-seal efforts, however La Jolla and San Diego’s public deserves better.

Access to the tidal sand and nearshore water of Children’s Pool for the last five years has been available, except during the harbor seal pupping season, through an opening in the guideline rope, to those who for whatever reasons desire to use sand and sea water having high seal-coliform bacteria levels. For those who enjoy watching harbor seals in the only existing Southern California mainland-coast harbor seal rookery, access has also been provided, from the sea wall, the sidewalk and lower viewing levels, and the beach itself except during the pupping season.

During pupping season, the beach must be completely closed to prevent human disturbance of the seals, which can cause disrupted public viewing, premature seal stillbirths, and abandoned or crushed pups as seals stampede into the water during a disturbance.

Unlike sea lions, which are numerous along the California coast and use surf-swept rocks and sand to haul out and give birth, harbor seals, unable to “walk” on land as sea lions do, must use calm-water rocks and sand to complete their life cycle.

In La Jolla, the only habitat which meets seal habitat criteria for pupping is the short stretch of sand and adjacent rock sheltered by the seawall at Children’s Pool. (Efforts by the seals to use the old “seal rock” for pupping were largely unsuccessful due to powerful winter surf and King tides.) Harbor seals do not and will not “invade other local beaches” the way sea lions have been known to do.

I find it quite ironic that a “beach-access advocate” at the LJCPA meeting sees Children’s Pool as “one of the greatest assets this City has,” but fails to realize that people come from all over the City, the country and the civilized world not to swim at Children’s Pool, but to view the harbor seals in their natural habitat. Often hundreds of people can be seen at any one time on the seawall and sidewalk enjoying seal watching.

La Jolla’s merchants might be wise to heed the words of a well-known restaurateur, who at a meeting of business owners not too long ago pointed out that people coming to La Jolla to see the seals come with their clothes on and wallets in their pockets, while those who come to swim do only that.

James Hudnall


Parking in Village of La Jolla is a joke

We have had a store in La Jolla for 24 years. Most of those years we bought two parking passes for our employees and parked at 1020 Prospect St., which is now condos with no public parking. There were 94 spaces there, and to my knowledge, those 16 condos (until they are sold) are not using all that parking or will they be.

We were also parking at 1055 Wall St. in a LAZ lot, which the La Jolla Village Merchants Association worked out for its members at $70 a month. February that was discontinued. The Merchants Association was told that the owners of the property set the parking rates, and it was out of their hands. As far as I know, the parking companies have leases with the owners of the buildings and set their own rates. If I am wrong, maybe someone will correct me.

I called Sunset and they only let those signed up with a pass park there. We had a lock box before with LAZ and our employees then hung a pass on their mirror.

We called Diamond and they are all filled up, but will call us when space becomes available. Ace called back, but it was $200 a month per pass.

We’ve looked into our employees parking in an area where permitted and then renting a Bird scooter to and from the store. We contacted our insurance company to see if our employees would be covered in case of an accident, but haven’t received an answer yet.

A month or so ago, I read in the Light about all the parking available in La Jolla according to these lot owners. WHAT A JOKE!

I know the City wants cars off the streets, but we merchants need cars to bring customers to our stores and they need a place to park.

Clair Thelin, La Jolla Cove Gifts


Civility missing in essay about World History class

In response to the Guest Commentary by Frances Zimmerman in the March 14 La Jolla Light issue regarding the cancellation of 9th Grade World History at La Jolla High School (LJHS), those of us who work very hard to provide exceptional educational opportunities to our students feel very disrespected. Disparaging entire programs to build up one course is not the example we should be setting for our children — especially high school students who are extremely sensitive to societal norms and influences.

How will they feel after reading an essay that suggests they’re enrolled in courses that are rudimentary, “haphazard,” and without merit? Never mind the fact that the writer did not accurately describe any of the programs she attacked. I suggest she do her homework, including reading some of the articles from this very paper that highlight the many good things happening at LJHS as a result of the programs she disparaged. There are articles about the Biomed program, ASB, LJHS valedictorians, and more. Or better yet, she should attend a function like the recent Air-band competition, school musical or science seminars.

While we understand the frustration of losing the option to take World History in ninth grade as opposed to the upper grades, using this as a platform to recklessly go after other programs in the school is, at best, hurtful and at worst, damaging to the students enrolled in those programs and the community overall. Please rise above the current climate of attacking others to make a point.

Rachel Tenenbaum

Director, La Jolla High Biomedical Pathway Salk Institute Partners in Science Advisor


Canceling 9th Grade World History at La Jolla High is a mistake

Frances Zimmerman O’Neil’s opinion piece in the March 14 La Jolla Light about La Jolla High School’s 9th Grade World History class was exactly on point! Cutting history from the curriculum does a disservice to the students and the school.

Further, and not mentioned, is that 9th Grade World History is one of only two ninth-grade Seminar classes — and the administration promised not to cut Seminar. Yes, there a variety of enrollment and financial pressures that are real challenges. Some hand-wringing won’t cut it. History has taught us that for millennia, when faced with great challenges, people have come together to overcome adversity. It seems LJHS administrators missed a history class.

Tony Pauker


Teens need to know smoking pot in public places is still illegal

As I walked into a restaurant in La Jolla Shores two nights ago, I was shocked at being accosted by the smell of marijuana. It turned out to be five or six college students on spring break who were right out front of the restaurant smoking pot. They did not see any problem with smoking marijuana in public. They said it was legal.

Walking along the Shores boardwalk, I came across a young lady smoking marijuana and I asked her to stop smoking since it’s not allowed at the beach. She, too, said that marijuana is legal.

I know that marijuana has been legalized in California, but to my understanding it was to be in your own home or residence, not on community property or in public areas. Is there a way to educate our youth on this issue? I am very concerned about the prolific use of marijuana in public and the ability of lifeguards, park rangers, and the police to enforce these rules. With summer coming and the influx of tourists, this issue needs to be addressed.

Kathy C. (Last name withheld by request)


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.

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