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 firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to La Jolla Light Editor, 565 Pearl St., Suite 300, La Jolla, CA 92037
Tarnishing Our Jewel
The photos above were taken last week during my walk at The Cove. I appreciate that the La Jolla Light helps try help clean up the eyesores that are “Tarnishing Our Jewel.” I often wonder where my tax money is being spent, other than for building parking for the not made-in-America scooters racing around on the sidewalks and grass at the parks that used to be a place to relax, as long as one stays clear of the restrooms and now the walking paths.
I am sure I don’t appreciate the complexities involved in La Jolla breaking free the from the “anchor” that is being part of the City of San Diego . I would love to hear about them. Are they really insurmountable?
I moved to La Jolla from Solana Beach about 10 years ago to join my lovely wife here in La Jolla. Every week I hear (in the La Jolla Light and by word of mouth) about how the City won’t allow “this” and won’t allow “that” improvement, largely related to road and traffic issues, but the list goes on.
And the roads, don’t get me started. I have become an expert obstacle course driver trying to spare my low clearance car from poor road repairs and potholes, suffering a flat or worse. This can’t be a safe practice!
I am a scientist and our lifeblood is what we call a “control experiment.” Well, you, too, can do a “control experiment” — pick a nice sunny day and take a drive north on Torrey Pines Road until you reach Solana Beach. No need to read the signs or use Google maps. You will know you have arrived when your tire noise drops to a whisper, sidewalks are like new and the aesthetic and thoughtful landscaping, bike paths and beachfront (Fletcher Cove) surround you.
This is what a town feels like that has seceded from the City of San Diego. La Jolla is an enchanting place to live, but it pales in comparison to Solana Beach in terms of the overall quality of the environment and infrastructure. It is a shame that La Jolla can’t break free and would rather fight a nickel-and-dime war with the City on every desired improvement.
Einstein said it aptly: “Insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.” Being a part of the City of San Diego isn’t working, so let’s take control of our future and bust free already!
Pedestrians vs. motorists
Only in La Jolla would drivers need to be reminded to yield to pedestrians in a school zone and only in La Jolla would anyone expect this to improve pedestrian safety.
I would hope that every driver would already know, in California, pedestrians in crosswalks have the right of way. The Light’s recent article mentions that because drivers can only turn left or right when coming south on Fay Avenue — and during that same cycle of the lights pedestrians are crossing Nautilus — yielding to the pedestrians often limits the number of cars that can get through each cycle of the lights.
This intersection seems like an ideal place for what many cities, including Carlsbad , have recently implemented: at a certain time in the cycle of the lights, traffic in all directions is stopped and pedestrians can move through the intersection in any direction. When the cars are allowed to move pedestrians are required to stay out of the street.
In Carlsbad, they’ve implemented this along Pacific Coast Highway at a four-way intersection, and pedestrians are allowed to cross in any direction — including diagonal — during the pedestrian-only cycle. My guess is that, even with the pedestrian-only cycle, traffic would flow more smoothly through this intersection since the cars would not be competing with the walkers.
People need Children’s Pool more than seals do
Thanks to Erik Holtsmark for his letter to the Light last week. He makes points that are often ignored. Regarding the Children’s Pool, I’ve seen letter writers make such comments as, “Why don’t you just go to another beach?” and “With so many swimming pools here, why not just swim in those?” Such comments miss the point entirely and show an ignorance of what the Children’s Pool has always been about. It’s not about just another patch of sand to sit on.
The Pool has always been a place where children (and adults) can swim safely in the ocean and learn to appreciate the marine environment. There isn’t really anywhere else (besides La Jolla Cove) when kids can put on their fins and masks and explore the undersea wonders the Pool affords.
It’s like swimming in an aquarium exhibit. The eelgrass ebbs and flows with each swell, and the calico bass and opaleye, with their distinctive white “eye spots,” hide under the shallow ledges. The bright orange garibaldi are magical, and the juvenile ones with their neon blue spots make a special sight. There are sometimes octopi, sea hares, spider crabs, sea stars, sea urchins in their little cubbyholes with their purple spines, lobsters hiding in their holes, and all too rarely, abalone. I once counted 26 types of fish in one summer.
This experience can grow into a lifelong love of the ocean, as kids grow up and venture beyond the pool. When swimming and diving in the sea, one is immersed in nature, not merely being a spectator. It’s a powerful force for instilling a love of all nature.
Other local beaches, such as Windansea and La Jolla Shores, are too churned up to see anything but sandy water without swimming out past the surf line. That isn’t practical or safe for children. (Just ask the lifeguards.)
Another issue that is often overlooked is that of non-interference with nature. A guiding principle of wildlife preservation is to let nature take its natural course. We prohibit “feeding the animals,” we avoid interfering with wildlife, and we try to keep their habitat in its natural state. But the Children’s Pool sandy beach is not a natural habitat, it’s man-made. It’s not like our beautiful natural wetland preserves. The harbor seals don’t need this man-made beach; they are thriving on a thousand miles of coastline. They don’t need our help, just as they never needed this beach for the first 60 years of its existence. Coddling these seals is akin to feeding the animals — it’s interfering with nature. Just because they’re cute doesn’t make it right.
Please consider the unique, special nature of the Children’s Pool. It’s a rare treasure for children (and adults) and its loss would be tragic. Let people enjoy it!
John Welsh, La Jollan since 1951
Children’s Pool belongs to children
I’d like to thank Erik Holtsmark for his intelligent, fact-based letter in the May 23 issue. I’ve been coming several times a year to La Jolla since 1977 and have been amazed at the ongoing nonsensical public debate about the seals at Children’s Pool. I’ve traveled the West Coast many times and have seen countless areas where seals go forth and multiply to their hearts’ content. Why are some folks compelled to deny children (and their families) access to that which was given to them in the first place? Ellen Browning Scripps must be rolling over in her grave.
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 email@example.com 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.