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Our Readers Write: Masks, UCSD expansion, Barber Tract traffic, sea lions

From left, Ann Kerr Bache swears in Rick Dagon, Tony Harris and James Rudolph as La Jolla Town Council trustees June 11.
(Courtesy)

Letters to the editor:

Where were the masks?

On June 11 the La Jolla Town Council swore in new trustees inside, without masks, less than two feet apart.

Why can’t our leaders model the safe behavior we need from everyone during these COVID-19 times? Not impressed.

Cindy Hazuka

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Oppose UCSD expansion along ER route

UC San Diego plans to construct at least five high-rise buildings ranging from nine to 21 stories in a project of over 900,000 square feet. UCSD plans to delegate only 1,200 parking spaces for the 480-seat theater, retail, restaurant, conference center and countless staff and personnel needed to operate these high-rise buildings.

The development is happening in the middle of the route from La Jolla fire station to the Scripps Torrey Pines ER (basically serving all of downtown La Jolla and Pacific Beach). The certain congestion will impose significant delays on response times for emergency medical transportation on the critical North Torrey Pines Road. Anyone who has ever been in a medical emergency knows seconds amount to the difference between terminal and survival cases.

Traffic increase is more than guaranteed. UCSD’s financial incentives and environmental impact remain to be seen.

What you can do:

• Write: We recommend you send your concerns regarding this building development to the president of the University of California, Janet Napolitano, at president@ucop.edu.
• Media: Voice your concerns to La Jolla Light Letters to the Editor at robert.vardon@lajollalight.com and to The San Diego Union-Tribune at letters@sduniontribune.com.
• Contribute: The La Jolla Shores Association and friends have had to hire an attorney to fight UCSD on this. The LJSA has set up a GoFundMe account and appreciates your donation in fighting the good fight for all of us. Show your appreciation for all they do for us to live how we enjoy in La Jolla!

Gladys Sims

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Road rage case reinforces need for traffic changes in Barber Tract

A road rage-generated incident at the corner of Monte Vista Avenue and Sea Lane has brought to light and reinforces the necessity for significant city of San Diego action pertaining to the redesign of traffic flow patterns in the Barber Tract.

The Marine Street-Sea Lane-Vista de La Playa “pocket beach” is a highly utilized, unfortunately low-level-enforced section of La Jolla beach that attracts “highly charged” teenagers and younger adults from all areas of San Diego and the region.

Due to the Barber Tract’s narrow streets (the majority of two-way streets not having the width to accommodate two cars passing one another from opposite directions), overall limited neighborhood parking availability and the unacceptable utilization of alcohol and drugs by a significant number of beach-goers, a formula for gridlock, enhanced conflict, road rage and violence has presented itself.

A practical solution includes: 1) the designations of Monte Vista Avenue (north-south) and Olivetas Avenue (south-north) between Marine Street and Fern Glen as one-way streets; 2) the change-back of Marine Street (one of the widest streets in the area) between Olivetas Avenue and La Jolla Boulevard from a one-way street to a two-way thoroughfare (allowing only southward right turns onto La Jolla Boulevard from Marine Street); and 3) the conversions of Arenas Street and Dunemere
Drive to one-way streets.

The city of San Diego and the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board have conducted admirable efforts pertaining to the placement of overdue stop signs in the Barber Tract area. It is now time for a significant and timely second step to further ensure public safety, reduce conflict and hinder violence in one of La Jolla’s and San Diego’s beach communities.

Ira Parker

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Enjoy watching seals and sea lions — from a distance

The harbor seal and sea lion colonies in La Jolla offer visitors a chance to view these pinnipeds in the wild and in their natural habitat.

The best viewing spots for harbor seals are on the seawall at the Children’s Pool, and for sea lions, on the sidewalk in front of the bridge club at La Jolla Point.

Sea lions are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and municipal codes. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration guidelines suggest viewing from a distance of 50 yards.

Sea lion pupping season began this month.
(Courtesy)

Sea lion pupping season started in June and it is critical that moms and pups are not disturbed, separated or touched. Mother sea lions will abandon their pups if touched, and pups are not good swimmers until they are a few months old, so please give them plenty of space.

The Sierra Club Seal Society administers a docent program to protect both the harbor seal and sea lion colonies for ecological, educational, scientific, historic and scenic opportunities. The group also works with city officials and educational institutions and gives presentations upon request.

Docents are often speaking with visitors on the beach and answering questions about behavior, reproduction and longevity.

If you are interested in becoming a docent, email ellenshively@sbcglobal.net.

Robyn Davidoff
Docent, Sierra Club Seal Society

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What’s on YOUR mind?

Letters published in the La Jolla Light express views from readers about community matters. Submissions of related photos also are welcome. Letters reflect the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of the newspaper staff or publisher. Letters are subject to editing for brevity, clarity and accuracy. To share your thoughts in this public forum, email them with your name and city or neighborhood of residence to robert.vardon@lajollalight.com. ◆