Our Readers Write: La Jollans share their views on local issues, including motorized scooters, helicopter noise, short-term vacation rentals
Our Readers Write / Opinion / Letters to the Editor:
Letters to the Editor from recent issues of La Jolla Light as La Jollans speak out on local issues:
Bravo, teen filmmakers!
I’d like to thank the La Jolla Light for advancing this year’s La Jolla Film Festival and alerting us that there was a time and venue change. We wanted to go, perhaps just to reminisce about the days when our kids attended La Jolla High School and remember and relive the great energy, creativity, talent, intelligence that we were so lucky to experience back then.
This year’s films screened on June 2 did not disappoint. We experienced the gamut of emotion — from humor to sadness, love and love lost, and courage. The sixth-grader’s film about Holocaust survivor psychologist Dr. Edith Eger was precious, reminding us of the power of the human spirit.
We left Parker Auditorium inspired and hopeful, that despite troubling national and world news, we have a bright future with perceptive young folks willing to work hard for what they believe in.
Thanks to all those who sponsored the event. I sure hope it continues next year. — Neva Sullaway
City Council remiss in scooter situation
The City Council is ignoring a law and code that exists in the statutes 407.5 (a)(b) California Vehicle Code about motorized scooters. What is the purpose of the statute? They will continue to ignore the law until someone gets seriously injured or dies (only a matter of time) and the City is sued. We will read it about that headache to taxpayers very soon. So sad that the City Council does not uphold the laws that are supposed to guide them. — Doug Wheeler
Helicopter noise is rattling nerves
Helicopters are flying solo over houses along the shore throughout the day and rattling residents’ walls and the windows. Lately, I’ve been keeping a log of what type of helicopter is flying by because it’s almost nearly impossible to sleep. Not only do I jot down the time and the date, but I take my binoculars out and look at the craft. Almost every time it’s the San Diego Police Department. They’re constantly flying back and forth and my tax dollars are paying for all that fuel.
There are some nights or early mornings the chopper leaves and then 10 or 15 minutes later, it’s back. I’ve documented evenings when there were more than 25 fly-bys in one night!
Are the police serious? I wrote a letter to Mayor Kevin Faulconer regarding these constant, numerous fly-bys so low and loud, and never heard a response back. Because the economy in San Diego City/County is higher than anywhere else in the nation, except maybe San Francisco, my house is expensive, my property taxes are high, the cost-of-living goes up each year, and now all my hard work and everything I try to provide for my family, has been totally damaged by the constant helicopter noise pollution.
The Mayor is in charge of the police chief, who is in charge of the police force, and all of us who work hard to have nice homes with beautiful views, have to live with noise pollution created by our government agencies. Even if I try to sell my house, most buyers will not accept the noise and the constant distraction from the helicopters.
It sure seems that La Jolla Light is willing to write about the problem and yet there’s no follow-up on the story. — Margaret McDaniel
Time has come to limit short-term vacation rentals
In reference to Logan Jenkins’ guest commentary in the May 17 La Jolla Light lamenting the outbreak of short-term vacation rentals (STVRs), we can only say thank you for his thoughtful essay on a topic that has become a source of misery for our family. We moved to the Muirlands area less than a year ago with our two young children and were quickly and warmly welcomed by our neighbors, many of whom have lived here for literally dozens of years. So imagine our frustration when the house next door was purchased and turned into a party house listed on VRBO, Airbnb and the like.
We’ve watched hordes of strangers flow in and out of the house, been interrupted at all hours of the day and night by music, smoking, alcohol, drug use and excessive noise. The driveway and street overflow with cars.
Last week, there was even a party bus that picked up a large crowd of young people at 11 a.m., who returned at 5 p.m. to regale us for hours with a chorus of yelling, screaming and partying. It was yet another evening where we could not enjoy our backyard.
Every few days, another caravan arrives with new faces not familiar to the neighborhood and who have no regard for the community. The owners of the house live in La Jolla (but far enough away not to be inconvenienced by this nuisance) and provide no supervision or management whatsoever. Their online claim that parties are prohibited goes completely unenforced.
No real surprise when their listing also notes that their four-bedroom house (which they inaccurately list as a five-bedroom) is a wonderful option for up to 16 people. We’ve complained to them, of course, but they do not respond. This property has become a neighborhood parasite. It is unsafe to have strangers coming in and out of the community on a nightly basis. And it ruins the culture of our neighborhood to have each set of residents treat the house as a party scene.
Because some homeowners have zero regard for their neighbors, our elected political leaders need to stand up and prevent the destruction of our residential communities. We certainly don’t object to having a long-term rental next door and believe that STVRs have their place, but that place is not in a neighborhood that is overwhelmingly occupied by year-round residents.
As Jenkins notes: “STVRs in typical family neighborhoods are a pox on all our houses.” We couldn’t agree more and can only hope that Mayor Faulconer’s office is reading these articles and will propose a solution that provides appropriate limits on these clear detriments to our community. We’ve heard rumors that his proposal involves requiring permits and the imposition of taxes on STVRs. That is fine but not nearly sufficient.
A failure to prohibit STVRs rentals in family neighborhoods is wholly unacceptable. Taxes and permits will only enrich the City’s coffers while continuing to leave residents at the mercy of greedy homeowners. We too are taxpayers and we are voters. Our leaders need to heed our voices more than those of the Airbnd and VRBO lobbyists. — Martin Price and Sandra Velvel
In defense of dockless bikes in La Jolla
In a community often gridlocked by traffic and where parking is a competitive sport, shouldn’t alternate forms of transportation be something to celebrate? Dockless vehicles are a relatively pollution-free component to alleviating at least some of our traffic woes and one that is not being underwritten by the taxpayer.
Are there issues with them crowding sidewalks and being vandalized? Yes. But those incidents can be minimized with education and dialogue. Outright bans and knee-jerk reactions will not make this problem go away.
Frankly, what concerns me is people who lack the common sense needed to park (or move) a bike out of the way or who feel entitled to damage property not belonging to them. Let’s work with these companies to help solve their problems and some of our own. — Charles Stephens
I’d like to see cost breakdown on park’s restrooms project
Attention: Mark Brunette, Senior Planner, City of San Diego : According to the La Jolla Light May 10 article: “Last Call for Comments on Scripps Park Restroom Replacement Project,” the City’s “most recent budget puts the pricetag at $3,060,784" for two relatively small buildings with toilets, benches, outdoor showers and storage for beach equipment.”
At that price, using a $250 per square foot measure, one could build a luxury house of over 12,000 square feet. I believe it to be unconscionable to estimate that cost, which if anything like the La Jolla Shores lifeguard station, will increase substantially before completion.
I would like to ask for an itemized breakdown of the cost, a daily penalty to the construction company for delay on preset completion date, and procedures for dealing with faulty material that needs to be replaced — i.e. the windows at La Jolla Shores lifeguard lifeguard station. — S. Walden
La Jolla Light policy on election-related letters
• In order to be consistent about which endorsement letters advocating for or against a candidate, ballot measure or political party are published in La Jolla Light, election-related Letters to the Editor are considered advertising. Endorsement letters are subject to a charge of $95 for the first four inches and $20 an inch thereafter.
As with other Letters to the Editor, they must be submitted with the writer’s name, address and phone number (only the writer’s name is published). Political endorsement letters may or may not run on our Opinion pages and will be identified as paid letters.
La Jolla Light retains the right to reject any letter that doesn’t meet its publishing standards and will decide whether a letter is subject to the endorsement-related fee. At this point, the writer will be notified and may decide whether to pay to have it published.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Get the La Jolla Light weekly in your inbox
News, features and sports about La Jolla, every Thursday for free
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the La Jolla Light.