OUR READERS WRITE: Jan. 25 issue — Skate park along Fay Bike Path is a bad idea


A community activist, who normally does an excellent job of advocating for La Jolla’s natural beauty, recently supported the argument for a skate park to be located along the beloved Fay Avenue bike path. What a half-baked, ill-digested idea!

The section of the bike path envisioned for the location of the skate park is dedicated open space, and the neighbors love being able to walk, ride their bikes or walk their dogs. Having a quiet, peaceful place away from the crowds (and traffic) of La Jolla is a priceless asset.

This area is literally surrounded by homes, so any construction would be quite disruptive. Moreover, the kids coming from Pacific Beach or Mission Beach to skate would simply cause more traffic and noise pollution, and we all know that eventually somebody would call for outdoor lighting to be installed.

We know that developers have been swarming around La Jolla just looking for their next project. Let’s preserve the priceless open space we have in La Jolla by saying “NO” to the proposed skate park.

Bill Smith

Is it legal to tint car windows dark?

Can someone on the La Jolla Light staff do a brief report on window tinting on cars? It would be an article of great interest to many drivers and pedestrians. What is the law regarding blackout window tint on drivers’ side windows? These often lead to a “Mexican standoff,” with me wondering if the driver sees me crossing the street with my children or sitting in my car at an intersection wondering if they see me?

I suspect they may be waving me on at times, but who would know! I can’t believe the police and CHP allow such tinting. It is a serious safety concern.


Editor’s Note: On behalf of this request, Light reporter Corey Levitan reached out to Officer Mike Martis, a public information officer with California Highway Patrol. Martis said motorists are not allowed to have any tint on their driver or passenger front windows or windshield — other than whatever is put in by the manufacturers. (All windows will have a slight manufacturer tint.) The rear side and rear windows can be tinted any amount. Violating this law is a fix-it ticket with a $25 court processing fee.

‘Graffiti’ actually a memorial tribute

The “graffiti eyesore” on the Pump House reported as “Tarnishing Our Jewel” in the Jan. 18 La Jolla Light issue was actually a tribute to a beloved member of the WindanSea community. Shame on the ignorance! Gnome was a lifelong resident who had a sudden and untimely death, recently. He was a dear friend of my sons and a good soul. He was funny, endearing and a loyal member of the community. Obviously, it won’t be there forever, but the memory of Gnome will be.

Kevin Hughes

Signs of ‘tough’ times are telling

Reading the Light last week, the unfortunate conclusion seems to be that when the citizens blight the coastal landscape (“Tarnishing Our Jewel”) it’s a bad thing, but when the government blights the landscape, it’s OK? So much time, money and effort have been spent both by the City and volunteers to beautify the WindanSea area, and now it looks like a Walmart parking lot. To the La Jolla Town Council, if you must block access to the foot of Playa del Norte, take out the tacky bollards and substitute landscaping. There are plenty of locals willing to volunteer.

And while I agree graffiti is unsightly, I’d ask an exception for that particular graffiti because it — as nearly all graffiti on the Pump House — is part of an old and tragic tradition: It’s the way WindanSea surfers honor the death of one of their own. Next time you see graffiti on the Pump House, with the distinctive letters “RIP,” consider the grief behind the paint.

Our local issues go far beyond bollards and graffiti. There is a terrible snake in our paradise that has bitten many of our loved ones: Drug and alcohol addiction. I’d be grateful to hear suggestions on how we can work together to find a solution to that problem, which underlies so many of the other problems we complain about, including some of that graffiti on the Pump House. Many of those spray-painted names were far too young to leave us.

Karen Heyman

Independent La Jolla hinges on ‘revenue’

I read with longstanding hopelessness, the complaints aired by Dr. Harmon last week in his Guest Commentary in the Light. He outlined the deterioration of La Jolla and the call-to-arms of Ms. Merryweather for La Jolla to secede from San Diego and separately incorporate itself. Fifteen years ago, on Oct. 2, 2002, I convoked a public gathering to rouse that very purpose. Months of meetings, legal and factual research, financing efforts, displays of energetic endorsement followed.

But the whole effort died aborning because no one and no group could seem to muster even the pittance it would take to fund a lawsuit to pursue the matter. I am much afraid the same will happen now, and will continue to crown these separatist efforts, unless and until, La Jollans get just plain too fed up to continue their mismatch as part of the polity of San Diego.

And the law is little help. The Wilson-era statute authorizing secession made it virtually (and, as it turns out, actually) impossible to separate. The legislature did not want what it thought of as the “balkanization” of its cities; and the law provides that the city from which separation is sought must approve, and thus has veto power over, any attempted secession by a community within it. In the whole tortured history of efforts by California communities within a city to separate, not a single one has succeeded.

The recent try by the San Fernando Valley to split from Los Angeles was vetoed in a city-wide election. Imagine a rule that permitted Great Britain voters to quash American independence; nor did anyone contend that a vote in the British Commonwealth could nix the recent effort of Scotland to separate if its own voters approved.

The larger point is the utter illegality of a statute so constructed that it is impossible for people in good faith to comply with it. No such rule burdens communities in an unincorporated area like the County of San Diego. Hence, such cities as Encinitas and Solana Beach, separately incorporated simply by a vote of their own citizens. So the statute not only prohibits compliance; it succeeds in discriminating irrationally and harshly between citizens based upon the distinction of an arbitrary city boundary.

The response to La Jolla was and is that San Diego City would as likely vote to let her “Jewel” go as it would be to tell the paymaster to take a furlough. But the argument dissolves with the requirement that any separation must be revenue “neutral,” i.e., the separating entity must pay its city over the long-term for what it got. The work has already been done (though it is in need of updating) that La Jolla as a separate city could well comply with this obligation. All that San Diego would be losing would be the disproportionate share of money it gets from La Jolla in comparison with what it spends there, an intolerable distortion whose evidence Dr. Harmon tellingly recites.

There is more brainpower, skill, energy, wealth and independence of mind on this little peninsula than probably any comparable place on the face of the Earth. When the outrage of the citizenry over our plight as part of San Diego reaches critical mass, then this potent commonality shall unleash; and if so, Katie, bar the door! Until that happens, all the citihood-talk and pothole-complaints will be heard by San Diego as the selfish snorts of a few grumps who have it too well off.

Paul Kennerson

Inga is right: Be wary at dental visits

I really enjoyed Inga’s humor column on dental visits last week! Outside of the very first dentist I had in Poway, upon my 1985 arrival to town, I found that when it comes to San Diego dentistry, I’m glad I grew up in the pool halls all over my old state of Ohio! It’s every man for himself!

Teddy Rodosovich


In a letter published in the Jan. 18 issue of La Jolla Light, Joe LaCava should have been identified as a Consultant to the Public Land Public Vote Coalition.

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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 staff or publisher.