Our Readers Write / Opinion / Letters to the Editor:
Letters to the Editor from the Sept. 6, 2018 issue of La Jolla Light as La Jollans speak out on local issues:
Pinnipeds help make La Jolla extra special
• With pleasure, I respond to Florence Lambert’s letter in the Aug. 30 La Jolla Light issue about the marine mammals belonging along La Jolla’s coast. She has a very special heart for animals. I agree with her sentiments and applaud every word she so eloquently states. Being a member of The Friends of the Seals for many years, I’ve expressed many times, my concern over the callous remarks by some La Jollans in their relentless pursuit to malign these mammals who sun their blubber on the small beach in The Cove and those wishing to protect them. We are all earthlings who share this most wonderful planet … our home. Respect and cherish the Earth.
• Thank you for publishing the beautiful letter from Florence Lambert regarding the seals at the Children’s Pool . I believe her thoughts are shared by many La Jolla residents who regard the seals as a gift of nature to be appreciated and protected (not removed).
A solution to the seals, sea lions controversy
The great French observer of America, Alexis de Tocqueville, often warned of the undoing of our great nation because of a “tyranny of the majority.” However, what we often find today is that the real danger in America comes from a “tyranny of the tiny minority.” Time and again we see a small minority of loud, ardent opinionates exercising a negative asymmetrical influence on our daily lives. Nowhere is this more readily apparent than regarding the seals and sea lions at La Jolla Children’s Pool and La Jolla Cove.
On most days, it has become almost impossible for any La Jolla resident with just a modicum of normal olfactory sense to venture anywhere near these two locations. The stench is not just overwhelming, but it has effectively placed The Cove and the Children’s Pool off limits to all, save those visiting tourists willing to hold their noses. Lest we forget, the seals are not a gift from nature, they are “gift” from SeaWorld who found it more economical to dump their excess seals in La Jolla and let us deal with the ramifications.
However, what if a solution could be found that protects the seals, returns the Children’s Pool to its rightful owners (La Jolla’s 3- and 4-year olds), and eliminates the massive stench at both The Cove and Children’s Pool. And what if we took a poll outside of Vons and found that this solution was supported by the majority of residents and businesses? Would we be able to implement it?
This is hard to say. Why? Because, as seen in so many other walks of our social existence, a screaming minority of emotional individuals would use their skills to convince the politicians that they represent more citizens than they actually do. They would further argue that the stench is a small price to pay and really doesn’t matter. (To which one must rhetorically ask: Are you going to believe them or your own nose?)
It’s also likely that the reasonable, common sense, thoughtful majority would remain, as they often do, quiet in the face of a loud radical minority advancing a “taking” that would have been incomprehensible to benefactress Ellen Browning Scripps.
Anyway, here is the common sense solution that certainly would be implemented if we lived in a more rational, non-emotionally charged world:
1. Move some (or all) of the seals to a remote corner of Black’s Beach and feed them there for a period of two weeks. The rest will follow. Give the seals all the luxuries our fine City can afford at their new location.
2. Make the La Jolla Cove and the Children’s Pool a leash-free dog beach for 1 year.
The positive results would be almost immediate.
A. The overwhelming stench and miasma would begin to recede. People would once again be able to stroll past The Cove and not retch after a wonderful meal at their favorite Prospect Street restaurant. Residents would once again be able to enjoy one of the most beautiful parks in Southern California.
B. Our happy canine friends would harmlessly ensure that the seals would not come back, and in turn, the seals would thrive in their new habitat. Our pooches would have a wonderful year prancing in the surf.
C. The ocean would begin its healing process, slowly removing the documented and extremely dangerous toxic excrement from the beach and ocean floor, once again making our wonderful ocean usable without condition.
D. We would be protected from a rapidly increasing likelihood that some child or adult will die as victim of a shark attack (referencing a CBS report “Shark spotted eating a sea lion off La Jolla” on Aug 9).
In summary, the blatant theft of the Children’s Pool from the toddlers of La Jolla is an unquestionable wrong, but the gross deleterious consequences from these bad decisions are equally unjust and need to be corrected as soon as possible.
La Jolla breakaway from City has merits
Recent letter-writers have suggested that La Jolla should break away from San Diego to become its own city, as Del Mar and other towns have done. Certainly, they would offer us advice.
This is not a new idea. A breakaway has been tried three times before. One attempt fell through with the mention of higher taxes on the villagers. The taxes on this town are possibly the highest in the City, and certainly, The Village can manage without a raise. The City would be reluctant to comply and has many ways to stop the effort.
However, the La Jolla community has leaders capable of seeing this through. The Village would be filled with pride to have its own mayor.
Light reporter’s ‘tone’ needs toning down
I’m writing to communicate my sincere disappointment after reading Corey Levitan’s “article” in the Aug. 30 issue on the contentious building project dubbed the “New Bird Rock Gateway.” I found it to be biased and even demeaning to the Bird Rock community representatives and DPR members (referring to Mike Costello as having “puppy dog eyes,” as one example, has no place in a serious article about a serious subject matter). While the reporter may not be familiar with all of the citizen concerns on this project, that isn’t an excuse to dismiss them with a flippant attitude. Nor should they be dismissed because these concerns may not transgress into areas that qualify as formal violations on the part of the architect.
Among the many concerns that have been raised about this project, the most important relates to the safety of our children. Most of the middle school and high school students in Bird Rock use the bike path at the corner of La Jolla Hermosa and Camino De La Costa for transit. This corner is already so congested with parking issues that the road has become a blind-turn, single-lane passageway. By adding another set of local residents and retail employees who consume the parking in this area, the project in question will further exacerbate traffic problems, putting our children’s safety and lives at risk.
While we may not have legal grounds to stop the project from going forward, this doesn’t mean that we are off base in our concerns. And, we shouldn’t be portrayed in a public article as being ignorant, because nothing could be further from the truth. Responsible citizens are aware that there is a difference between “what is legal” and “what is right,” and it remains important to fight for the latter.
I hope that, in the future, Mr. Levitan will be more thoughtful and respectful in his articles, as significant local topics require genuine and unbiased reporting. The article on the Bird Rock Gateway project was neither.
Vistor’s fall leads wife’s note of thanks
On Aug. 21, my husband fell in the street in La Jolla Village. He broke his hip in the fall. All the emergency services workers who attended to him — fire department, ambulance people — were excellent, caring and thorough. I was waiting for him at a nearby cafe, unaware of his fall. A very kind lady came looking for me and drove me all the way to the Scripps Memorial Hospital where my husband was taken.
Everyone has been so very caring during this ordeal. The hospital people have been extraordinary. We are visiting from Australia and staying with our son and his family who moved to live here. We would like to thank everyone concerned, especially the lady and her beautiful daughters, for their kindness, care and concern. Thank you, everyone!
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.