OUR READERS WRITE: Letters from the June 15 issue of La Jolla Light

I’d like to respond to various letters on the topic of Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Parkway. Stop whining about speeds, noise and pedestrian crossings on La Jolla’s major thoroughfares. The residents and tourists of La Jolla should not have to pay for people moving into houses next to or across the street from our major access roads and then wanting to turn them into convenient city streets for their walking and listening pleasure.

What La Jolla needs is not to slow down the traffic on the one access road in and out of The Village. We need to speed it up! If people want to walk more, add pedestrian bridges, not more stop lights. La Jolla traffic has become arduous enough over the past few years. Do not make it worse! --Joanie Connell

La Jolla Shores Drive needs some attention

In your recent story about the speed limits in La Jolla, you left out La Jolla Shores Drive. The traffic along La Jolla Shores Drive, north of Poole and Azul Streets, is the worst in town. I have lived here since 1974, and at age 86, I and can honestly say that nobody cares about this stretch of town. People drive by at 40 to 50 mph, and huge trucks and tankers are also driving on the stretch — unbelievable! I must walk the neighborhood (taking my life in my hands) to clean up all the discarded cups and bottles laying around. It’s absolutely terrible! --Isabella Miriam

People should know what public conduct is illegal

Your recent article about San Diego panhandling laws quoted Police Officer Larry Hesselgesser, who seemed to suggest that, unless the homeless person is being aggressive, we as La Jollans simply have to tolerate their antics. This is just not true. The relevant law, Penal Code 647(c), says absolutely nothing about aggressiveness. Rather, the law states that if a homeless person “accosts” you for the purpose of “begging or soliciting alms,” he/she is guilty of a misdemeanor. To accost someone doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is approaching you in an aggressive manner; it could simply mean that the person approaches you and asks for money.

Moreover, Officer Hesselgesser’s remarks gave the impression that accosting someone is the only thing for which La Jollans can contact the police. This is not true. The following is from the City of San Diego website, and it states: “While being homeless is not a crime, many kinds of public conduct are illegal and should be reported to the SDPD. These include being intoxicated, loitering, prowling, fighting, trespassing, aggressive panhandling, soliciting, urinating/defecating, consuming alcoholic beverages in certain public places, camping or sleeping in parks, littering, obstructing sidewalks, living in a vehicle parked on a public street, disturbing the peace by loud and unreasonable noises, using offensive words, behaving in a threatening manner and more.”

Obviously, La Jollans are more empowered than Officer Hesselgesser would like us to believe. Taxpayers deserve a more proactive police department. --Bill Smith

Planning Association board too important to neglect

Your coverage of the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) in the June 1 is accurate. I attended the La Jolla Kiwanis-Rotary joint luncheon the next day and that article was all everyone was talking about. The point was well-taken. The group needs a strong leader. Minus a strong leader, it caves under its own weight. The solution to that is obvious to the community.

At the LJCPA meeting in May, Cindy Greatrex was re-elected (while absent) to another term as chair by the board of trustees. But now, the City says she can’t serve because of its arbitrary rule that you lose your board seat if you have three absences. Three is just a number. It has no meaning. I asked for the records of her absences in a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and was told she was absent zero times in 2014, zero in 2015, and one in 2016. Thus far in 2017, she’s had a death in her family and three absences, and the City says that is too many. Why?

The board disagrees. One trustee suggested they fight the rule. That solution is obvious to the community. Greatrex ran the board for two years without the slightest problem. Without her there now, it is just bickering and confusion, which will continue, all because of an arbitrary absentee number set forth by the City. Once again, the City has it’s foot on our necks.

Restore order! Bring back Greatrex before all credibility is lost. And if she will not do it, somebody had better quickly beg Joe LaCava to do it. --Rob Thornton

Live from La Jolla! It’s ‘Thursday Night!’

I recently read the La Jolla Light article regarding leadership issues with the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA). I would like to offer my opinion as to why there is a shortage of leadership. Many qualified people in our community, although angry, have chosen not to get involved with this group due the absence of credibility and transparency in the community planning process. Given the option, most people would prefer to watch a train wreck than be in one.

What’s happening with our community group is excellent material for a new cable TV reality show. “Thursday Night Live in La Jolla” might be a suitable name. The director would have a difficult time selecting which stars and material to use for the season’s premiere episode.

Conceivably, he or she could start with the LJCPA election in which two LJCPA trustees ran for re-election, despite being termed-out and disqualified, but went on to claim victory. Only after an election challenge was filed, did one of the termed-out trustees admit to his error and step down. The other, while repeatedly admitting he was not duly-elected, refused to step down.

Or perhaps the premiere episode could be about the infamous LJCPA trustee who has gone to the dark side, now seemingly making money opposing applicant’s projects rather than approving them. Nevertheless, in one of his senior moments, he mistakenly divulges his true intentions at a Planning Commission meeting exposing how (convoluted) the planning approval process is in La Jolla.

Maybe the episode would be about the time a former LJCPA president, despite an 8-4 LJCPA vote to appeal a home he designed, refused to file the LJCPA’s appeal in the 10-day period allotted. His deliberate omission of not filing this appeal saved his client thousands of dollars and months of environmental review.

Possibly the premiere should introduce one of the many stealth “save our community groups” strategically used by some of the LJCPA trustees to add cost and delay to an applicant’s project. The star of this episode would have to be their exclusive go-to attorney who is always willing to file an appeal or a frivolous lawsuit when this group of LJCPA trustees don’t get their way.

No, all the above-mentioned episodes will have to wait. The premiere episode must be two hours long. The first hour will feature a LJCPA trustee and the go-to attorney and bogus community group “Save La Jolla” opposing the beach front expansion of his neighbor’s deck. But due to his neighbor’s persistence, the parties end up in Federal Court, twice! The first hour will end with the court slapping the trustee’s hand and warning him not to trespass on his neighbor’s property again. The second hour will end with a video from the neighbor’s security camera showing our LJCPA trustee trespassing, not once, but seven different times between 11:59 p.m. and 1:38 a.m. The combination of the neighbor’s video and the associated police report, describing a 68-year-old LJCPA trustee in his nightshirt and slippers trying to explain to the police why he was playing “ding-dong-ditch” at his neighbor’s front door were so compelling the jury awarded the neighbor $121,000 in damages!

Anyone in our community angry enough to be the next star of “Thursday Night Live in La Jolla”?

--Bob Whitney

Guardrail needed along Coast Walk

It was just a matter of time before a car went off the cliff on Coast Walk; it happened back in the 1970s, but some how the report disappeared from police records. The Light has quoted me many times over the last 20 years saying someone is going to go over this bluff due to no guardrail. The real guardrail is inside the parking lot that is now filled with bushes and boulders. The City has been warned about this for years, but never chose to do any thing about it. I’m surprised it took this long, but I am so relived no one was in that car. Coast Walk will someday need to be widened to its true width of 50 feet before it falls into the ocean. --Melinda Merryweather

Please don’t ditch your doggy doo bags

I love walking around our Village, but lately I’ve noticed that though the dog owners ARE picking up their dogs’ poop, they’re throwing the full bags into the bushes, lawns and on streets. Come on owners! Please keep our Village clean and tidy.

You may love and care for your dog, but that includes cleaning up after them, too. Their waste carries disease and odor, as we all know. Don’t be just plain lazy, don’t be halfway helpful. --Susie Holub

Vikings Cheer Team seeks funds for camp

My name is Emily and I recently joined the La Jolla High School Cheer Team. We are preparing for a wonderful competition season, but are in need of funds for cheer camp materials and uniform costs. Community support is vital to our success. We are fund-raising on, so I am hoping La Jolla Light would be interested in helping us succeed by printing a link to our page: Talerman


The story in the June 8 issue about historical designation for Helen Copley’s house contained two errors. It should have said Copley was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (not Cedar Rapids, Michigan as published) and it should have stated her birth year as 1922 (not 1951 as published). A thank you goes out to the two readers who called in the mistakes.

The next bit of information from Cara Cadman speaks to the home’s ownership lineage: “I wanted to let the La Jolla Light know that Mark and Sherri McMahon purchased the house in 2010 and preserved it with the copper and renovations, and then sold it to Sandra Saw and Jeff Marchioro in 2016.”

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.