Our Readers Write: La Jollans speak out about scooters, 5G cell towers and other local matters

This electric scooter is seen parked on a sidewalk and blocking a driveway in La Jolla.
(Photo by Meg Davis)

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 matters. 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. Submissions of related photos are also welcome. Letters reflect the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of the newspaper staff or publisher.


Scooter violations persist despite City regulations

This weekend our neighborhood experienced a number of issues with electric scooters. There were multiple instances of groups of young men — four at a time — riding scooters on our sidewalks at top speed, almost running people over. It appears that the geo-fencing feature promised by these companies is not being enforced.

In addition, several scooters were dumped on our property and our neighbor’s property over the weekend, in one case blocking the driveway of one of our elderly neighbors (see photo above).

We called both Bird and Lime and while they promised to come take away the scooters, it took multiple calls and almost two days for them to pick them up. When I asked both companies what they would do to the offenders (fine them or ban them?) Lime said it wasn’t their problem and I would have to file a police report. I talked to three people at Bird, including a supervisor, and they said it was above their pay grade and they didn’t know if there was anything they could do.

There should be consequences for people speeding on sidewalks and dumping scooters on private property. Thanks for your ongoing efforts to get these scooter companies under control!

Meg Davis


La Jolla residents need more information on 5G cell tower risks

I read the Sept. 5 La Jolla Light article on 5G cell towers going up across La Jolla on private property. Most of these towers emit electromagnetic energy at the 5G range. This is in the upper microwave spectrum. It has been found that the 2.4G range — the same as with cell phones, WiFi and microwave ovens — is not good for humans and animals at long exposures. Many people suffer from sleep disorders from exposure.

5G is an even higher frequency and can penetrate more. Clearly, putting one of these 5G towers within 30 feet of someone’s bedroom at great power is not good. People in their backyards are being exposed. How can the cell companies place these towers on private property and not give the owners any information as to the placement and effects? There are many lawsuits against these cell towers because of the possible health risk.

One claims that cell towers are killing birds. It speaks volumes that the lone vote against these towers came from Dr. Jennifer Campbell, a retired physician, in the District 2 City Council seat. The health risks from electromagnetic energy are well documented by the Navy (radar). Ham radio operators also know of the dangers. Children are especially vulnerable.

Why are the cell companies allowed to put these towers in residential neighborhoods and expose people to electromagnetic energy? Profit is not worth lives, and the human pain and suffering from the exposure. Where are all the birds these days?

Art Riddle

— See the mentioned story, “5G’s a Hard Cell: Residents sour on towers going up across La Jolla,”at

Might migraines be linked to 5G cell tower emissions?

I recently read the Sept. 5 La Jolla Light article on the 5G towers going up in La Jolla. I live in La Jolla Shores and since May, I have suffered from three abnormal, complex migraines. I’ve had to go to ER at Scripps twice due to excruciating pain, uncontrollable shaking, spasms and vomiting. I have never had migraines this bad before, nor with any of the seizure symptoms.

I just discovered there are 5G antennas — three right around my apartment building, another on Torrey Pines Road and another by the Marine Room. I’m not sure if the Light is keeping tabs on the situation — when these antennas were installed, or if there are any residents putting together lawsuits or arguments to have them removed — but I wanted to reach out just in case. I will be continuing to research myself and may have to relocate for my health, but plan on fighting 5G installations.

Any information or contacts would be greatly appreciated. If there will be any further coverage on this issue, I’m happy to contribute my experience to help raise awareness.

Sarah Renee

Editor’s Note: By way of explanation to readers who are confused by the 5G towers discussion, an Internet search reveals the basic dilemma: “Everywhere you go there are electronic devices emitting electromagnetic radiation, or electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiation. Radiation-emitting devices include electronic products, such as medical and non-medical equipment, lasers, X-ray systems, ultrasound equipment, microwave ovens, color TVs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

“According to the FDA, an electromagnetic radiation-emitting (EMR) device is any product that uses electricity to power an electronic circuit. The effects of EMR upon chemical compounds and biological organisms depend both upon the radiation’s power and its frequency.

“EMR of visible or lower frequencies (i.e., visible light, infrared, microwaves and radio waves) is called non-ionizing radiation, because its photons do not individually have enough energy to ionize atoms or molecules or break chemical bonds. The effects of these radiations on chemical systems and living tissue are caused primarily by heating effects from the combined energy transfer of many photons.

“In contrast, high frequency ultraviolet, X-rays and gamma rays are called ionizing radiation, since individual photons of such high frequency have enough energy to ionize molecules or break chemical bonds. These radiations have the ability to cause chemical reactions and damage living cells beyond that resulting from simple heating, and can be a health hazard.”

— See the mentioned story, “5G’s a Hard Cell: Residents sour on towers going up across La Jolla,”at

This house at 11606 Flintkote Ave. is one of the most rurally isolated homes in La Jolla.

Story about remote ranger house was most enlightening

Thank you for publishing the recent story “Home on the La Jolla range: Who gets to live here and how?” by La Jolla Light reporter Corey Levitan. I just came across it after searching online — not for the first time — for information about Flintkote Avenue. I’ve been so curious about that house for more than 20 years. You’ve settled a longstanding mystery for me. I really enjoyed reading this story.

Randi Vita, M.D.

— See the mentioned story, “Home on the ‘La Jolla range’: Who gets to live here and how?” at


Good to remember the late Dick Shawn

I appreciate the “Local Lore” feature in the Sept. 19 La Jolla Light issue concerning comedian Dick Shawn. My husband and I and some friends happened to be at Shawn’s performance on April 17, 1987 in the Mandeville Auditorium on the UCSD campus. It was a performance we still talk about to this day. He was one of our favorite, crazy antic comics. As you mentioned, it seemed like an eternity before the audience realized something wasn’t quite right when he collapsed on stage.

I had just passed the state boards for registered nursing and was working as a RN. I stood up and I wanted to run on the stage and start CPR because, for what seemed like an inordinate amount of time, this was not part of his act. Finally, someone came on stage and approached him. Shortly after that, the audience was told to please leave. Sad news, of course, the next day about the outcome.

Marcia Lippett

— See the mentioned story, “Dick Shawn’s big La Jolla finish,” at


2019 Christmas parade theme should be a hit

Kudos to the La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival committee and the La Jolla Light’s headline, “They Love A Parade!” Residents of the San Diego community of La Jolla are most fortunate to have the only Christmas Parade in the greater San Diego area while other San Diego communities have changed their December parade names to be politically correct.

Our La Jolla community is most fortunate to have Ann Kerr Bache continue her long-time role as Parade chair, along with former grand marshal William Kellogg. Congratulations to the 2019 grand marshal and former city manager Jack McGrory. Everyone is looking forward to this year’s theme, “Christmas on the Moon.”

Howard G. Singer


Where are the scheduling options for ‘early start’ students?

As a pilot project, San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) has implemented a “healthy start time” for students in select schools. SDUSD appears to be moving forward with some healthful decisions, but without options to the end time of the school day, it’s not keeping up with other districts.

With school ending at 3:16 p.m. and after-school activities happening outside of the school, it’s extremely difficult to be anywhere by 4 p.m. — and impossible if your after-school activity starts at 3 p.m.

SDUSD must be more progressive. Look at North County. These schools have options in what they’re offering to a student’s schedule — zero 6th period, 4 by 4 scheduling, block scheduling, independent sports phys-ed.

Muirlands and La Jolla High are surrounded by five other schools all less than 2 miles from each other; all start within 30 minutes of each other. This results in complete chaos on The Village roads.

Time spent getting to and from school for those who must take a bus or car, has doubled. It is no longer healthy when kids are sitting in cars and buses wasting time because traffic is so bad.

Getting in and out of The Village to a freeway on a bus or a car can easily take 45 minutes — this is to go 5.7 miles — and it adds time, stress, anxiety and lateness to the day. To avoid this, you can leave an hour early and drop your student off at 7:30 a.m., but this defeats the purpose of a healthy start. Where are the options and adjustments for students?

When the La Jolla Cluster Association celebrated the late start this statement was made: “We strongly believe that this will have a substantial positive impact on all aspects of our students’ lives.”

The principals’ letter stated: “Over the next several months, our staff (administrative, academic and athletic) will be working on ensuring that this transition will be a seamless one for our students and community.

“We know that major changes require adjustments on all our parts, so we hope over the next five months everyone will have enough time to make proper preparations at home to ensure that the introduction of Healthy Start goes smoothly.”

As parents, and students we have made the adjustments on our part, what adjustments has SDUSD made? What options are being discussed/implemented for students?

If SDUSD wants to be the leader in implementing Healthy Start, then it should also be the leader in offering progressive options with start and end times.

A late start, with no options for the students is a disadvantage to the students!

Name withheld by request

— See the related story, “La Jolla High’s later start time hits first hiccup: Residents bemoan lights, noise from early sports practice,” at

— See another related story, “La Jolla Cluster group reviews later school start time, bus issues,” at


Later school start adding to traffic woes

I am a parent of two children attending Muirlands Middle School. I read the Sept. 5 La Jolla Light article about the late start this year at some La Jolla Schools, and would like to express my frustration about this “healthy start.” I live in the La Jolla Heights area and drive kids in and out of La Jolla every day. It used to take me 30 minutes in and out, and now it takes me almost 50 minutes.

Recently, when I arrived at the crossroads of Pearl Street and Girard Avenue, I met this kind of crazy traffic jam on both streets. It took me more than 15 minute just to reach Muirlands from there, because La Jolla Elementary and Gillespie School all start around that time. After dropping off the kids at Muirlands, I have to choose which way to go out of La Jolla — through The Village or through the mountain — either way it is completely grid locked. Then it is the chaotic in the afternoon to pick up the kids.

Because of the late start, my children do not gain any time, but lose 30 minutes everyday on the road. Late start may work for some parents, but definitely this is not working for me!

Hongwen Brotman

— See the related story, “La Jolla High’s later start time hits first hiccup: Residents bemoan lights, noise from early sports practice,” at

— See another related story, “La Jolla Cluster group reviews later school start time, bus issues,” at


Former lifeguard Jeff Koch (pronounced ‘Cook’) returns to the scene of the 1977 rescue that made him the namesake of the Koch’s Crack sea cave at La Jolla Cove.
Former lifeguard Jeff Koch (pronounced ‘Cook’) returns to the scene of the 1977 rescue that made him the namesake of the Koch’s Crack sea cave at La Jolla Cove.

Learned a lot from Koch’s Crack story

Thank you so very much for following up on the Koch’s Crack story, in the Sept. 12 La Jolla Light. I swam into the crack in the late 1950s as a teenager wearing glasses and carrying a flashlight. A big surge swept me in and I lost my eyeglasses and that ended my explorations. (I was embarrassed to have risked my glasses.) I’ve been intrigued by the thump of water back in that dark hole to this day. Thanks for filling in the rest of the story! Well done!

Dennis Coates

— See the mentioned story, “Heroism of former La Jolla lifeguard Jeff Koch, namesake of under-repair cave, nearly falls through cracks,” at


Jeff Koch and Sang Pham meet for the first time since Jan. 16, 1977, the day Koch saved Pham’s life in a cave located beneath their feet at La Jolla Cove.

Thanks for light on Koch’s Crack rescue

No complaints about sidewalk cracks or scooters wreaking havoc in the hood? So nice to read La Jolla Light reporter Corey Levitan’s Sept. 12 story on our local hero, Jeff Koch. The Light lived up to its name on that one!

Barb Donovan

— See the mentioned story, “Heroism of former La Jolla lifeguard Jeff Koch, namesake of under-repair cave, nearly falls through cracks,” at


Cheers to La Jollans Sandra Munson, Tim Johnson ... and all organ donors

That was quite a touching story about Sandra Munson donating a kidney to Tim Johnson in the Sept. 12 La Jolla Light. Tim is a friend from years ago. When his family first came to La Jolla, Tim, Kristi and their first child lived right next door to us. They are wonderful, loving people!

We had heard he was ill, but only saw them occasionally in Tim’s restaurants and after they moved to Bird Rock, their kids being younger, become a family’s focus, mandating school and social interactions!

Being a recent heart transplant recipient myself, not only do I appreciate hearing Tim’s story and that of Sandra’s decision, I appreciate the Light highlighting that little pink dot anyone can put on their drivers license, my family included, which can result in a miracle like this.

We have the best medical care in the world in San Diego, and thankfully, we have people like Sandra Munson, and other potential donors like mine, who are willing to do such a selfless, divine task.

Glen Rasmussen

— See the mentioned story, “A Prayer Answered: Bird Rock resident donates kidney to fellow La Jollan,” at


Free 1-hour surfboard rents for Surf Day, Sept. 20 offered by Surf Diva Surf School and Surf Shop

Surf Diva Surf School and Surf Shop will offer free, 1-hour surfboard rentals 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 at our surf shop, 2160 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla Shores, in honor of California Surfing Day’s first anniversary.

We are celebrating the California lifestyle, our beaches and surfing as our state sport. California is known around the world as the iconic surf destination. Everyone surfs here, and everyday our clients are enjoying the ocean in a positive and happy way. We want to thank our customers and give back to our community by offering free surfboard and bodyboard rentals on this historical day.

Participants must bring photo ID and a credit card as a deposit, and must be age 18 and older to sign the waiver. First come first serve, while supplies last. Limit to 1 hour per person, so everyone gets a chance to shred some tasty waves. For more information, call (858) 454-8273 or e-mail

Coco and Izzy Tihanyi, owners of Surf Diva Surf School and Surf Shop


Paddle to help save the planet, Oct. 26

World Wildlife Fund, a conservation organization dedicated to securing a future where humans and nature thrive, will host its second annual standup paddle-boarding event Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019 at 1100 W. Mission Bay Drive. Register by Oct. 5 and the fee is only $55. The 10K course starts at 9:30 a.m. The 5K course starts at 11:45 a.m. The 1-mile course starts at 1:30 p.m.

Don’t have a paddle board? No problem; they’ll be available to rent on-site. Don’t know how to paddle board? No worries; you can be a total newbie, and you don’t have to be super fit to SUP. Our low-stress 1-mile course is designed just for you. If you’ve ever wanted to try standup paddle boarding, now’s the time! Experienced paddler? Try our 5K or 10K course.

Called “Panda Paddle,” it’s our premiere peer-to-peer athletic fundraising event aimed at raising awareness and funds for global conservation work all while having fun on the water. The planet is facing severe threats to biodiversity. World Wildlife Fund’s flagship 2018 Living Planet Report shows that population sizes of our planet’s wildlife have plummeted by 60 percent since 1970. Each year, 8 million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean, and unless we change things fast, the total amount of plastic waste in the oceans will one day weigh more than all the fish in the ocean combined.

Our inaugural event last year featured dozens of participants and spectators from across the country, where pros and first-time paddlers alike had fun on the water and did their part in protecting nature while doing so! This year’s event is expected to be bigger and better, with a bayside festival filled with great music, delicious food, creative face painting, and loads of other awesome, family-friendly options.

Race registration and more information can be found at

Jennafer Bonello



• Dr. Nevin Ramona’s business name was incorrectly identified in the Sept. 12 La Jolla Light story, “Business Roundup: Five health/fitness facilities coming to La Jolla.” Her practice is Dr. Nevin Ramona, Chiropractor.

— See the mentioned story, “New Business Roundup: Five health/fitness facilities coming to La Jolla,” at

Peggy Hinaekian’s name was misspelled in the La Jolla Light Sept. 12 “Best Bets” article. She is part of the group showing at the La Jolla Art Association’s first exhibition at its new home at La Jolla Community Center.

— See the mentioned story, “La Jolla Light’s Best Bets for events: Sept. 12,” at


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. Submissions of related photos are also welcome.