Our Readers Write: Parks & Beaches, UCSD, trash

People write messages in chalk in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on the La Jolla Bike Path on Sept. 27.
People write messages in chalk in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on the La Jolla Bike Path on Sept. 27.
(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Letters to the editor:

Members of Parks & Beaches board are focusing on its purpose

I just read the article in the Oct. 29 issue of the La Jolla Light regarding the backlash over comments by board members Mary Ellen Morgan and Marie Hunrichs about Black Lives Matter (“Parks & Beaches board faces backlash over comments about Black Lives Matter; will draft code of conduct”).

The reported purpose of the La Jolla Parks & Beaches board is to preserve and enhance the parks, beaches and open spaces of the Village of La Jolla. I appreciate that these two women have volunteered to serve on this board and fulfill the board’s stated purpose by insisting that pathways, walkways, benches, tables, beaches, trash cans and other public areas and fixtures be kept free of decorations and graffiti regarding movements, organizations, groups and all associations, no matter how worthy the movement’s cause. What a sight it would be if any group could decorate our paths, walks, picnic tables, benches and public fixtures with their icons, logos or messages.

I, for one, appreciate their efforts to keep these areas and fixtures in their natural state and believe they should not be called racist nor any other salacious label for doing so. I trust the board will focus on the issue of the purpose of the board.

Instead of calling for the removal of these volunteers from the board, I wish to commend them and all volunteers for their service.

June Dempsey

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Criticism is valid, though volunteers’ work is vital

I am writing regarding the recent coverage of the La Jolla Parks & Beaches meetings relative to comments regarding Black Lives Matter. I am not a member of the board but have participated in meetings over the past 10 years as it relates to Coast Walk Trail and I regularly work with and respect its leadership team.

I agree that the comments made by the two LJP&B board members were poorly chosen pertaining to their concern for keeping a public area free, in their opinion, of “graffiti.” As a result of the public backlash, they opened up a conversation on the topic of racial ignorance by some (maybe all) LJP&B board members, which the board is now confronting.

Last week’s meeting did not meet the expectations of those looking to vote out the offending board members. I do, however, commend the board for taking a pause to identify how it can learn from this experience and educate its members on the important conversations that need to be happening around race in America and, more specifically, in our community.

Observationally, I write to remind your readers about the generous contributions of time and funding this organization has made to our community. Ask yourself, have you enjoyed the new Children’s Pool plaza? Thank Phyllis Minick for her hard work. Do you enjoy Windansea Beach? You have Melinda Merryweather to thank for her oversight and fundraising. If you enjoy the new sidewalk and untrampled sea lavender at Whale Viewpoint, consider a kind word to Ann Dynes. Next year we will have a new bathroom complex at Scripps Park, thanks to Judy Halter in her term on the board. The recent cleanup efforts of the very bike path area on which the colorful chalk art appeared was led by LJP&B volunteer Debbie Adams; did you reach out to thank her? The board members put in endless amounts of volunteer time to help La Jolla remain “The Jewel” we want her to be.

New membership and thinking are critical for La Jolla to grow and thrive into the future, so I believe this is an opportunity not just for self-examination by LJP&B but also for citizens in La Jolla to consider their own role in our volunteer organizations. In addition to justifiable criticism of LJP&B board members who serve under an antiquated bylaws structure, other dedicated people must step in to lead and build on the good work of the current generation, which has spent decades ensuring that they will leave La Jolla better than they found it. A good dose of “inquiring before advocating” to improve understanding is long overdue by both the board and the public in helping our community move forward.

In addition to voicing concern when board members forget the fact that they sit to serve our community and not be served, are you willing to step up and dedicate time to improve La Jolla and, hopefully, bring diversity, new ideas and scrutiny to its boards? If so, I urge readers to consider volunteering to be on one of any number of community boards and work toward the kind of change and representation our community needs. Our future, the future of La Jolla depends on it.

Brenda Fake
Chairwoman, Friends of Coast Walk Trail

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La Jolla location helps make UC San Diego desirable

Gosh, the only thing questionable is the premise by the august academician David Serlin (“An objection to objections over UCSD development,” Letters to the editor, Oct. 29, La Jolla Light).

I suspect that his state-supported institution is desirable primarily because it is located in La Jolla! Put your hallowed grounds in Fresno (no offense to Fresno) and see how that would work.

Stephen Baral

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Protect wildlife from trash

Help protect your birds, fish and mammals from ingesting trash and plastics, which in many cases is served on your plate for consumption.

Erect signs at La Jolla Shores requesting that all trash be deposited in trash cans readily available.

It is most distressing to see birds flying carrying garbage in their beaks.

Alexandra Ashborn

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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 Letters without the writer’s name cannot be published. ◆