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Opinion

Our Readers Write: La Jollans share their opinions about Su Casa restaurant closing; scooters; historic-property fight

La Jolla High Theater Haunted House 2019-jpg.jpg
ABSOLUTELY HORRIFYING! La Jolla High School’s Theater Arts Department, under the direction of teacher Stacy Allen (standing, center back), presented a Haunted House in the auditorium on 2019 Halloween night. Theater students made the stage a frightening experience for trick-or-treaters looking for something spooky in the neighborhood. — Pearl Preis
(Photo by Pearl Preis)

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 editor@lajollalight.com 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.

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Absolutely Horrifying!

Pictured above: La Jolla High School’s Theater Arts Department, under the direction of teacher Stacy Allen (standing, center back), presented a Haunted House in the auditorium on 2019 Halloween night. Theater students made the stage a frightening experience for trick-or-treaters looking for something spooky in the neighborhood.

Pearl Preis

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Adiós Su Casa!

It’s hard to believe after 50 years (1967-2019), the ’ol gal at 6738 La Jolla Blvd. closed her doors for good on Oct. 28. My dad and mom started Su Casa in a location where many other restaurants had failed. They contacted architect Roy Drew to come up with a Mediterranean-style eatery that hugged the curve of La Jolla Boulevard. And having been in the seasoning business (he invented BBQ seasoning for potato chips), Marshall Pellar (who passed away in 2009) developed all of the recipes.

Su Casa Menu Art 2019-jpg.jpg
Artwork from the Su Casa Mexican Restaurant’s menu created by ‘aesthetic advisor’ Harriet Pellar
(Courtesy Photo)

His best dishes were Gold Medal Award winners at the Sacramento State Fair. He claimed we were the first Mexican restaurant to combine Mexican food with seafood. Su Casa had an oyster bar at one time, a seafood broiler, and of course, Pellar’s famous Crab Enchiladas and Shrimp Suenos.

Two of the original staff members were there to the very end — Salvador and Ruth — a truly amazing 50 years on the job! I want to also thank all the Newman kidsAnne was a bartender; Jim was busboy who once told my dad he wanted to be an astronaut and my dad said ‘go for it!’ and Jim did (he was on the Hubble Telescope mission); Eric and Hans, who made it through the ranks to become managers for many years of great leadership.

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More thanks goes to the musicians who used to play there, Christine and Roberto, and the balloon blower. Foster Thompson, who caught the abalone on the wall, surfed down the beach at Windansea by day. Actually, many of our great waiters were surfers there.

If there is anyone interested in keeping the Su Casa flame burning, the sign, the recipes, please contact Moise at sucasarestaurant@gmail.com It would have to be soon, before all is lost and dismantled.

Nina Pellar LeBaron

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Trash tarnishes the ‘happy’ in Halloween

Attention trick-or-treaters: Please do not toss candy wrappers and other litter in our neighborhood after we give you treats. lt is a dirty trick. The wind and water push it into storm drains, and it ends up in our ocean poisoning sea life.

City street sweepers cannot get to it in the gutters with parked cars lining the streets. In every block we picked, we spotted partially or uneaten candy that would attract rats, mice, cockroaches at night and ants during the day. Show your gratitude by not littering.

Bird Rock Neighbors

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Windemere house fight was a town travesty

I live on Ivanhoe Avenue, just a few blocks away from the Windemere House on Virginia Way and have watched the proceedings at that property for many years. I feel that the recent La Jolla Light article was a bit one-sided, so I am submitting this letter to address my concerns. As I see it, the La Jolla Historical Society has, as a result of an unjustified animus, unfairly endeavored to stop the Bottini family from obtaining a simple building permit for their own home.

Why didn’t the Historical Society buy the home themselves (if they wanted to preserve it)? Instead, they opted to bludgeon the Bottinis with their own money and simply because they lawfully demolished a house that objectively had been in terribly rundown and condemn-able condition long before the Bottinis bought the property.

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It was clear to everyone right from the beginning that under an objective and clear reading of the prevailing law, there was no additional required environmental review required for a building permit. Nevertheless, it seems the La Jolla Historical Society made life miserable for a family that was looking to do nothing more than to build on their own property.

Tom McAndrews

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We should adopt Italian town’s scooter rules

Recently, in a medium-sized town in Northern Italy, two tourists — a husband and wife — were riding together on the same scooter while taking a selfie at the same time. That was an epiphany for a town that is invaded daily by tourists and scouters. The local government approved an ordinance that requires the five companies that rent these scooters to abide by the following six rules:

1. Each rider has to provide an identification document;

2. When parking the scooter, the rider has to send a photo of the parking location before the rental company stops charging for the rental;

3. Each scooter must display a telephone number to be used by the public in case the scouter is parked in locations at risk or of hindrance to passers-by;

4. Each rental company must remove scooters parked in locations at risk or of hindrance to passers-by within 24 hours;

5. Each rental company must provide proof of coverage by insurance;

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6. The city police will ticket scooters exceeding the specified speed limits.

The City of San Diego should seriously consider implementing similar rules.

Guido Baccaglini

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What Kenya coffee means to me ...

I just got back from the Pannikin, where I picked up my weekly pound bag of Kenya coffee, as I have for more than 30 years. One of the staff asked me why I always ask for Kenya, so for all my good friends at the Pannikin, here is my story:

Back in 1987, I went to my doctor for a persistent ringing in my ears that I simply attributed to a bad hangover. However, since I had full medical coverage, I decided to have it checked out. The doctor thought it was nothing, as well, but to be on the safe side, he sent me in for an MRI scan.

When the results came back, it was discovered I had five tumors in my head. Immediate surgery was recommended. After reading me a long list of possible outcomes — including stroke, paralysis, impotence and death — I found myself asking the question, “What will I have to have done to feel like I really had lived should the worst befall me?”

At the time I was reading Isak Dinesen’s book, “Out of Africa,” a memoir of her life in Kenya as a coffee farmer in the early 20th century. It was later made into an award-winning movie starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep.

I told the doctor surgery would have to wait and booked myself on a three-week safari to Kenya, where I camped out in the bush, hung out with the Masai, went on daily game drives, and even visited the coffee farm on which the book and movie were based.

I checked myself into the hospital the day after I got back, and after two summers and three operations, I made it through mostly intact. I have a plastic plate in my forehead and a permanent hole in the back, but I’m doing alright.

Now, every morning when I grind my Kenya coffee beans, I remember the opening line in the book; “I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong hills ...” and I remember those times. I’ve spent most of my life as the owner of a travel company helping others find their Africa — or whatever place on Earth helps them feel most alive. And that, my Pannikin friends, is why I always ask for Kenya.

Mark Anderson

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Some insight on the plural of ‘moose’

As one, I am responding to a recent question in your fine publication regarding the plural of moose, as presented in the “Let Inga Tell You” column, Oct. 31. The plural of moose is not mooses or meese because it is mooseses.

By the way, it may be of special interest to your readers that it is “mooseesid” in Estonian, and “ma kā Mose” in Hawaiian, not mooses or meese in those languages either.

Aloha! Moose Lampe

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Carbon-use fees could save the planet

What a radical idea! A UC San Diego professor of Climate, Atmospheric Sciences and Physical Oceanography urges religious leaders and scientists to work together to convince us of the reality of climate change and the moral imperative to do something about it. We are the stewards of this Earth. We have a responsibility to protect it and ensure future generations do not suffer the impacts of our changed climate and our collective inaction.

If you are unconvinced or unconcerned about climate change, let me ask you one question. If you have children or young people in your life that you care about, are you OK leaving a devastated Earth to them? If you do care, you must act.

Ask Congress to support HR 763 (Energy Innovation and Carbon Fee Act) which puts a fee on carbon and represents the best method for slowing climate change.

Susan Kobara

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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 editor@lajollalight.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.


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