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Our Readers Write: Chalk drawings, traffic circle, ‘slow streets,’ more

Participants in a Labor Day chalk-in draw on the La Jolla Bike Path in a show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Participants in a Labor Day chalk-in draw messages and images on the La Jolla Bike Path to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
(Stephen Simpson)

Letters to the editor:

Chalk art on bike path can be restricted

The Black Lives Matter chalk art on the La Jolla Bike Path is not constitutionally protected, despite what we have heard from the office of City Council member Barbara Bry (“Creators of BLM drawings on La Jolla path are undeterred by removals,” La Jolla Light, Oct. 1).

True, the message itself is speech and is protected by the Constitution. But where the speech takes place matters. In U.S. Supreme Court parlance, these are called reasonable time, place and manner restrictions. The bike path is, as the name suggests, meant for bikes (and pedestrians). Look at the photos of the participants [in the chalk drawings] and you’ll immediately see one problem: They are blocking the path, meaning cyclists and pedestrians were prevented from using the public right of way.

If the speech is taking place in a traditional public forum, the full protection of the First Amendment applies. But this bike path is not by history or designation a public forum, meaning the government is empowered to limit the activities taking place there (including prohibiting speech).

Let’s also remember that this area is dedicated (and beautiful) open space, which we should cherish and preserve. Mother Nature should be the only artist allowed.

Bill Smith

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Black Lives Matter is not a ‘positive message’

In answer to Shannon Cain (“Why remove chalk art and its positive messages?” Letters to the editor, La Jolla Light, Sept. 24):

Black Lives Matter is not a “positive message for our children.”

• Black Lives Matter is politically based, Marxist-communist, violent mobs, looters and arsonists.

• It has done nothing to advance the lives of African Americans (see Leo Terrell, Larry Elder and other Blacks who disavow BLM).

• They are organized and travel state to state.

• They want to “defund the police.”

• Recently they terrorized diners in downtown San Diego. Watch out. They may soon come to La Jolla.

Many of us mistakenly embraced the movement because we wanted to help the African American population and we didn’t know what BLM stood for.

I believe all lives matter and our children should be exposed to “joyous sandcastles” and not violent mobs.

Sally Fuller

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Let’s have a design competition for possible traffic circle

Referring to a possible traffic circle on Camino de la Costa: Finally, an appropriate place for a traffic circle (“Neighbors want traffic circle at intersection in Lower Hermosa,” La Jolla Light, Sept. 24).

The community should take the opportunity to be an integral part of the process by creating a design competition for the circle. Any La Jolla resident could submit a design based on a set of guidelines/requirements created for such a competition. The local planning groups could facilitate the process from guidelines to judging.

Just one “requirement” — please figure out how to reduce the number of street signs that seem to visually overpower the existing installations, particularly the ones not on La Jolla Boulevard.

Dan Linn

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‘Slow streets’ show appreciation for surroundings

I was totally blown away by the film “My Octopus Teacher” (Netflix) and truly appreciate how Craig Foster shares his intimate learning from this teacher, therapist, friend, incredible liquid animal. Each time I view the film, more is revealed to me.

Foster speaks of his octopus teacher: “What she taught me is to feel that you’re part of this place, not just a visitor. That’s a huge difference.” Also, “she made me realize just how precious wild places are.”

If only all humans could learn to feel a part of this place, the ocean for those near the coast, to the point of wanting to devote themselves to protect it. To feel an intimacy, to become one, alive in the beauty of this spectacular, incredibly freeing ecosystem, is never to take it for granted.

Which brings me to give a shout-out for the idea of “slow streets.” I happen to live on Diamond Street in Pacific Beach, where people are the focus, not cars or trucks. People can safely practice social distancing, enjoy skateboarding, inline skating, walking with their families or even have a biking event right down the middle of the slow street. The quiet on our street is so welcomed, yet we get to hear the sounds of people enjoying each other’s company instead of the noise of vehicles.

And so appropriate to call it “slow streets.” People have slowed down as bike sales rise, and hopefully, as in “My Octopus Teacher,” people are slowing down to think about vitally important cleaner air, cleaner water, healthier living all around, getting to know the people in your neighborhood or the creatures in the ocean.

Hopefully as more slow streets are requested, the car culture may begin to decline. One of my pet peeves is the number of people that sit in their cars while it is idling and those hazardous emissions contribute to the air I breathe as I take a walk or ride my bike.

Jo Thompson

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Deirdre Andrews continues her gift to La Jolla

Thank you, La Jolla Light, for featuring one of our own … Deirdre Andrews (“Young Actors Workshop celebrates 50 years,” Sept. 24). Her remarkable career and gift to the parents and children in La Jolla for the past 50 years continues.

Deirdre Andrews is the founder and director of the Young Actors Workshop.
(Courtesy)

As a parent of three little girls who all participated in the Young Actors Workshop over 30 years ago, I am so grateful for this always smiling, full head of marvelous hair, dynamo of a woman. She inspired and touched the spirit of hundreds of kids and still does.

The show must go on … and it does. Thank you, dear Deirdre.

Shannon Turner

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An unpleasant surprise on Girard Avenue

Took my walk in La Jolla this morning [Oct. 3]. People eating outside, some ordering inside on Girard Avenue.

While next door was a homeless man, no pants, taking a dump into a plastic bag. I actually looked twice. Could not believe.

I will never be around there again, let alone order food.

Jorge Sanchez

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