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Our Readers Write: UCSD development; shower drain; Black’s Beach; fires

A rendering depicts UC San Diego's planned Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood.
(File)

Letters to the editor:

Expand UCSD in South Bay, not La Jolla

Following the coverage of the Board of Regents and UC San Diego’s enormous proposed project, the Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood, or TDLLN, I have listened to many discussions on the horrors of the project — in scale, disruption, traffic and ruin of La Jolla as we know it. There is real anger that UCSD will get what the regents want and the local input will never count.

During the pandemic, these times only seem to provoke more anger and possible lawsuits. So isn’t there a better solution? I believe there is. It is one that meets this time of greater awareness of the inequities in our society, especially in education, and it is one that could bring a wonderful opportunity to another part of our city.

The South Bay tried for years to get a Cal State school south of Interstate 8. Aside from Southwestern College, students from the South Bay must travel the freeways for higher education. The area has grown greatly with Eastlake’s expansion and the addition of the Olympic Training Center.

With increased awareness of the lack of equal opportunities for many, why not pick up the incredible plans for crowding all the new wonderful UCSD opportunities into an already heavily populated area and build them instead in an area where need is great and acreage is more readily available?

More importantly, bringing a first-rate campus experience to an area that hasn’t had these options would be a gift to the many locals who can barely afford tuition, much less dormitory costs. It would also offer the UCSD students opportunity for cross-border education and further international experience.

There are many states where universities offer second locations for students to attend. The University of Illinois years ago added a second large campus to allow Chicago kids the opportunity of a great school in commuting distance.

So, I address the regents, the local planners and all involved to consider growing our great UCSD in a new direction, one that eases the overcrowded land and traffic strain up here but, far more importantly, allows the campus to lead the way in bringing its excellence to another part of our region that I expect would welcome and thrive with the arrival of UCSD’s South Campus.

Let’s forget lawsuits and overcrowding up here and take UCSD’s first-class education south of Interstate 8. Prove to us that the University of California regents can really be part of the solution that will bring more opportunity to the San Diego region.

Arlene Powers

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UCSD needs to change its thinking on development

Thank you for your clear and illuminating story on the two candidates running for District 1 City Council, including their differing positions regarding UC San Diego’s proposal of the Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood development (“District 1 City Council candidates differ on short-term rentals and UCSD development at La Jolla forum,” La Jolla Light, Sept. 24).

I agree that UCSD does indeed contribute a tremendous amount to our economic and intellectual vitality. However, the university does not have a great track record of being sensitive to its host community.

For example, the university is not subject to the coastal height limitations imposed on other private and commercial oceanfront developers. True, it is within its legal “rights” to build up, but the university consistently disregards the very reason San Diego has established such a limitation. The university fails to respect this community’s desire to provide and protect the ocean vista for all, not simply the students who are here for a few years and then gone.

Why does the university insist on building high-rise structures on the perimeter of the university property in lieu of central areas? A shift in thinking (low density/low structures on perimeters, high density/higher structures in central areas) simply makes good sense. Building low and green around the perimeters of the campus would provide attractive buffer zones, minimizing traffic, noise and the environmental impact on the surrounding communities.

This approach would still enable growth while supporting the quality of life for permanent residents of this town. Everyone wins. What’s wrong with that?

Pia Stern

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Repair Kellogg Park shower drain quickly

I am so hopeful that repairs to the shower drain at Kellogg Park will happen in less than years and years! (“Shores board considers ideas to repair Kellogg Park comfort station,” La Jolla Light, Sept. 17).

Repairs to the shower drain are being considered for the north comfort station at Kellogg Park.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

I have been slogging through all that sloughed-off sunscreen, sweaty skin cells and slippery sand since arriving in LJ in 1961. Only it’s worse now because there are so many more people using all that lovely free shower water.

Is there any possibility that the water could be filtered off to drench onto the few trees, shrubs and/or grass in the park? Sad to waste a single drop!

Althea Brimm

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Be careful about accusations of bigotry

The anti-PC backlash is rooted in well-meaning progressives calling out bigotry without evidence of its existence. It’s a guess, but I doubt the [William] Black family had people of color in mind when they put their name on the deed to what is now known as the Farms and the beach below.

The Light reader who objects to the name Black’s Beach (“Local resident wants Black’s Beach renamed,” Sept. 3) was clearly set off by the word “black” without any evidence tying it to racism — or even racialism. Barbara Stevenson was trying to make that case (“No need to erase history by renaming Black’s Beach,” Letters to the editor, Sept. 17).

Then, Larry Tannenbaum piles on with an insinuation of anti-Semitism with even less linking it to Black’s Beach (“Black’s Beach and a lesson in racism,” Letters to the editor, Sept. 24).

Yes, my parents were advised of the real estate restrictions in the 1950s when we arrived here. And prejudice stubbornly clings to us today. But we need to be very careful about potential character assassination by attributing malice to total strangers based on our own reservoirs of outrage. I’m sure I’m not as woke as Tannenbaum, but I know about the plight of the Jews, and Black’s Beach has nothing to do with it.

Jeffrey Denning

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Wildfires are caused by bad policies and land management

After reading the Sept. 24 letters regarding our forest fires (and the theory that climate change is causing California forest fires), I was wondering if the authors could explain why climate change seems to stop at our state borders? Our neighboring states practice controlled burns and they aren’t suffering from fires.

Our fires are a direct result of bad land management, which is a result of bad policy. Starting in 1969, we stopped the harvesting of old timber which was only being cut to the exact ratio that new timber was grown. Then in the late 1990s, we deregulated the utility industry with a push for renewable energy. Utility companies neglected needed repairs, and we know what havoc that caused.

Our political leaders have made poor decisions. Why? Because they (and the coastal elites who continue to vote them in) have never lived in or listened to people who live in the rural communities that are most impacted by these bad policies.

Before Whites settled in California, the indigenous people were practicing controlled burns. Maybe it’s time for those so concerned about the environment to learn from those who are closest to the land.

Jerry Galyardt

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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 first and last names and city or neighborhood of residence to robert.vardon@lajollalight.com. Letters without the writer’s name cannot be published. ◆