Our Readers Write: La Jollans vent about judge’s ruling in MAD case, The Jewel’s former glory days, Children’s Pool, underground parking and more local topics


Time for La Jollans to polish their beloved Jewel once again

I want to comment on the article that appeared on the front page of the July 5 Light: “ La Jolla MAD opponents lack standing, judge rules: Both parties meeting to determine next steps.”

La Jolla should be making an effort to bring back its luster. I am fairly new to the area. We have been here about two years now. We absolutely love it. Where we came from in Oregon, La Jolla has always been known for its beauty, tourism intrigue, luster and high-life. Now, it seems like the town is slowly going downhill.

I drive around and see that it’s tourist season and it’s fabulous, but the broken-down sidewalks and shops moving out of town are so sad. The vacation rentals are great, but why have them if tourists start hearing bad things about La Jolla? They will slowly stop coming here. To me, bad news starts a trend and others won’t hesitate to move on to a newer, better, upcoming area.

Where’s the beauty anymore? This is a seaside town with gorgeous beaches like no other! The City, County and town itself need to make this place a priority again.

But I’m just a recent transplant ... what do I know?

Melinda W.


Takes courage to speak the truth about La Jolla

Bravo to Jenna Holbrook for laying out the cold hard facts about the decline in La Jolla during her 20-year absence. And bravo to the Light for publishing it.

Judith E.


Yearning for La Jolla’s old glory days

I read the Guest Commentary of July 5, “Through the La Jolla Looking Glass” and felt the pain and sorrow in every word. I don’t know if it is worse to come back as Jenna did and find what La Jolla has become or to live here through it all, without being able to stop, change or even influence the process, as I have.

And there is more yet to come with the increase in road traffic around us and the air traffic above us. Crowning it all is the lack of civility and courtesy. We seem bent on destroying the gentle paradise by the sea that La Jolla used to be.

Gillian Ackland, Resident for 51 years


Rentals: Slippery slope to sleazeville

I appreciate the Guest Commentary by Jenna Holbrook in last week’s La Jolla Light, however, it contains one inaccuracy so blatant that I first thought the commentary was going to be a satire. While Proposition 47 does reduce some felonies to misdemeanors under some circumstances, it does not decriminalize the crimes listed. In any event, this proposition was passed by all of California so it is not under the control of the City of San Diego .

What is under the control of the City is its malignant disregard of residential life when it permits hotel uses in residential zones. Whether by failure to enforce zoning laws or by gutting residential zoning under the false pretense of passing laws to regulate (and thereby profit from) hotel uses, the City is breaching its promise to La Jolla residents in such a flagrant manner that it may now be time to secede.

Based upon the City of San Diego’s failure to honor residential zoning, this is a reversal of my opinion published in the Light on April 2, 2015.

For 40 years I have worked toward maintaining residential life in La Jolla, but this cannot be done while the City chooses the profits of hotel use instead of honoring its promise of residential neighborhoods. The idea of having it both ways is as ugly and dangerous as a chimera.

John A. Berol


Rec Board is missing public input on projects

The La Jolla Recreation Center belongs to the City of San Diego and is a precious resource in this community. We need to hear much more at a public forum about numerous proposals currently being floated to “renovate,” “green up” and “improve” La Jolla Rec Center grounds and its historic Irving Gill building. Any drastic changes at the Rec Center should have the broadest community support, be aesthetically pleasing, well-planned and fiscally responsible.

The Light has reported La Jolla Recreation Center advisory board interest in a complete redesign of the playgrounds and basketball courts and the addition of a club bocce space on the pristine front lawn. At one time there was talk of a skate park, but that seems to have disappeared.

The Light also reported, after-the-fact, a private three-day design charrette in the Rec’s main meeting room in May to explore major construction of a subterranean parking garage beneath the entire Rec Center premises.

And last week, the Light reports on the urgent need for construction of numerous shade structures for Rec Center play spaces, presumably even before any redesign or remodel of the area. That would be costly and premature.

I suggest that public information is required before any such proposals move further.

Neither private initiatives nor small advisory groups that conduct monthly afternoon meetings reach the broader community, which has genuine users’ interest in the La Jolla Rec Center.

Frances O'Neill Zimmerman


Children’s Pool belongs to children

Friends of the Children’s Pool disagrees with the recent appellate court reversal in Friends of the Children’s Pool vs. City of San Diego/Coastal Commission. The ruling disregards citizens’ fundamental coastal-access rights granted in our State Constitution and the Coastal Act. The State Tidelands Grant for Children’s Pool, giving tideland management authority to the City of San Diego, was specifically intended to protect public access and to create a children’s bathing pool and park.

Children’s Pool is the safest ocean beach in San Diego and to close it at any time of the year has a negative impact on the “public safety” the City claims to be enhancing by closing the Pool. Promoting ocean safety should be the real safety issues the City administrators should be concerned with and not the string of false and unfounded police calls used to demonstrate a “public safety” need to close the Pool.

A review of the police service calls to Children’s Pool shows that the majority of police calls were the result of unruly behavior, primarily by two seal activists armed with cameras and bullhorns used in an aggressive manner. Those who regularly visited the Pool in the past decade know this all too well.

The other large number of unfounded police calls were false accusations of violations by anonymous callers with the intent to use the police and fire department to harass beach-goers. Compare the calls for police assistance at Children’s Pool to the number of calls at other popular beaches, like the boardwalks in Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. There is a much greater demand for police response in those places. And yet there is no discussion of closing those beaches.

Closing Children’s’ Pool Beach was not to correct a “public safety” problem. It was closed to cover up the City’s ineffective policies to encourage and manage the growing harbor seal population (clearly a federal government function under the Marine Mammal Protection Act). It is troubling to see how the appellate court condones misuse of government authority. It will allow the City to enact unjustified public policy that endangers ocean-users when the safest ocean beach in San Diego is closed and they use the surrounding beaches well known for hazardous waves and rip currents.

I invite you to view a video of how quickly changing ocean conditions off Shell Beach caused several swimmers to need assistance returning to shore through the safe exit at Children’s Pool on the FoCP YouTube Channel.

Ken Hunrichs; President, Friends of the Children’s Pool


The sad passing of an early La Jolla sentinel

A 200-year-old-plus star pine tree gave up and old age took another gem from our Jewel. Park Row has a sad blank spot — old age isn’t just for people.

Robyn Willsey Morton


Drop the underground garage idea, please

This letter would be far easier to write if I didn’t know, like, and respect Tom Grunow as much as I do. Still, I oppose his proposal to build a garage, albeit underground, at the Rec Center, which would lead to the destruction of one of the loveliest “old La Jolla areas.”

Next time you’re in the area, take a look around. You’ll see the La Jolla Historical Society grounds, St. James By-the-Sea Episcopal Church, the Woman’s Club, and the Recreation Center complex with the La Jolla Tennis Club. These old buildings are charming, and part of La Jolla’s history, of which little remains and so needs to be left as is!

The garage construction, lasting 2 to 3 years, will be a disruption for thousands of children, as well as public parking in the area. Once built, we will see signs promoting “All Day Parking,” etc.

The noise level from cars coming and going will be non-stop as there is no way to completely insulate the garage and this will interfere with lectures, dinner dances, meetings and more.

There is also the very important safety factor for the thousands who use the Rec Center yearly. What will the insurance costs be to the City, which we citizens will then be taxed to cover? Kevin Kinsella’s Guest Commentary in the June 28 issue raised numerous valid points, and no one I’ve discussed this issue with is in favor of building the garage.

To the La Jolla Town Council and the City of San Diego, I say, please don’t go forward with this project.

(Editor’s Note: See Grunow’s letter, “Revised La Jolla Rec Center plan does not include a garage; Charrette takes Cultural Zone proponents on new path” at

Marcia Robinson


Migrant children should be with parents

What has happened to common sense? The idea that the government cannot put migrant children back together with their migrating parents is insane! When my grandchildren go on field trips at school, everyone has an armband to say who they are and who their parents are. It is the same in the hospital when a new mom gets a bracelet to match her newborn so they do not get separated. There is no excuse for this stupidity; parents and children should have been joined by armbands.

Melinda Merryweather


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.