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Our Readers Write: UCSD project, MAGA hat, promoting understanding, more

UC San Diego's planned Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood (area shown in color).
UC San Diego’s Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood (area shown in color) is planned for the southwest corner of the campus, along Torrey Pines Road.
(Courtesy)

Letters to the editor:

UCSD development needs a further look

The UC regents approved of the TDLLN development without adequate, if any, communication with our La Jolla community (“UC regents approve budget, scope and financing of UCSD’s Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood,” La Jolla Light, Nov. 26).

This huge project will be placed at a highly congested and crowded intersection (La Jolla Village Drive at Torrey Pines Road). Driving through this intersection is the only way for cars to reach the village of La Jolla from the southbound [Interstate 5] freeway. This intersection is deceptively quiet now during the pandemic but will be radically different again when life is back to full swing.

I am a concerned neighbor living near the [UC San Diego] campus and a former UCSD student. Along with other neighbors and homeowners, we were given no channel for dialogue with UCSD.

Increased traffic and the quality of life aren’t the only issues. The proposed height of the buildings and density of TDLLN are completely out of scale with the adjacent residential neighborhoods. The high-rise buildings would also overshadow the low-lying character and architecture of the nearby theater and dance district.

My hope is that with the current lawsuit, our concerns will finally be heard and addressed.

Katherine Hyett

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UCSD’s growth should be supported

UC San Diego is the economic driver of our county. Without UCSD there would be no life science industry here. There would be no wireless communications industry. There would be no Qualcomm, etc.

We should all be proud and supportive of having one of the top-ranked universities in the world in our back yard. We should support its continued growth. Yet the La Jolla Shores Association continues to fight its expansion (“La Jolla Shores Association pushes forward in legal case against UCSD project,” La Jolla Light, Nov. 19).

If you moved next to a major university, what did you expect? You can’t expect that everything should be the same as it was on the day you bought your house. Should nothing be allowed after you moved to La Jolla?

I have been here over 20 years and welcome the changes I have seen because of this world-class institution.

Tony Pauker

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Head of La Jolla Country Day doesn’t speak for all of the community

Head of La Jolla Country Day School Gary Krahn seems to think he can speak for all our “community” in that a MAGA [Make America Great Again] hat worn by a student at his school is “offensive” and is a “symbol of racism and hatred” (“La Jolla Country Day student is asked to remove MAGA hat because it’s ‘offensive to our community,’” La Jolla Light, Nov. 26).

Huh? I’m a member of the La Jolla community and do not think a MAGA hat is such a symbol. Mr. Krahn goes on to say that “we’re going to continue to honor the First Amendment,” after instructing the child to remove the hat. Freedom of speech, as long as Mr. Krahn agrees with the message.

Another great example of California’s and La Jolla’s cancel culture at work, misshaping the lives of young students and shaming their moms into embarrassment. Shame on Gary Krahn.

James R. Phillips

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Idea of America as great isn’t racist or hateful

About the Make America Great Again hat incident and the response by this person who proclaims how the community finds it hateful: Exactly who appointed this man as the spokesman for the community?

The idea of America being great as racist or hateful is disgusting, and I would hope any parent spending money on a school that teaches that would remove the student.

Gil Mojica

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Has other ‘offensive’ wear been banned?

Has Gary Krahn at La Jolla Country Day School banned other “offensive to our community” outer wear?

If so, what? Tell us please. Just want to know that what he does is fair and balanced.

Lou Cumming

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Conversations and education are needed to expand views about diversity, equity and inclusion

The year 2020 has brought so much pain and, with it, many opportunities for citizens to share their voices about the need for diversity, equity and inclusion in our country. I am writing to share my appreciation for La Jolla citizens who are helping our country progress by educating others, initiating conversations to promote understanding and speaking up when boundaries are violated.

  • When noticing dog poop bags next to their “We believe Black lives matter” sign, rather than writing a letter of anger in the La Jolla Light, Judy and Dave Halter are inviting the person to connect with them for a healing conversation to understand what drove this behavior.
  • A team of La Jollans has made an amazing short documentary available on YouTube (“Spark: A Short Documentary Exploring Racism’s Roots & Remedies”) to help educate us all on how we’ve gotten to this point in our American history and what we can do about it.
  • La Jolla High School student Diyln Norris is promoting social change by leading a Black Student Union to educate students, create more open-minded views and decrease stereotyping.
  • In a recent letter in the Light, Brenda Fake outlined the need for community board members and leaders to take the time for self-examination with anti-racism, while encouraging La Jollans to step up, get engaged in the local boards and help transform to a more open and responsive community.

Anyone who is tired of the current divisive climate must “think globally and act locally” by initiating the difficult conversations and providing learning opportunities. If we want to grow, we must continue learning and unlearning.

We can learn what anti-racism, White privilege and Black Lives Matter mean. Unlearning biases requires noticing the biases that may have been passed down to us from our families, communities and the environment in which we have been immersed all our lives. We must understand the biases that have been hardwired into some people and work with patience and compassion to help them see a new way.

I hope we can create a forum to expand this work in La Jolla with citizens of all ages, backgrounds and experiences.

Shahrzad Sherry Nooravi

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Program for new parking signage isn’t necessary

Local La Jolla residents would like to thank the La Jolla Coastal Access and Parking Board for their work. However, as we walk our gem, many of us feel the last thing we need is a large program for more signage (“La Jolla board gets green light from state to move forward with plan for directional signs,” La Jolla Light, Nov. 26).

We do not want big, ugly blue parking signs with digital numbers all over The Village. Could the committee reconsider and instead evaluate opportunities to improve parking by removing outdated village signage, directional or otherwise?

Everyone carries a cellphone and checks it multiple times a day. Please Google “La Jolla Cove parking” and you will find every possible vantage of parking, spaces, maps and options.

The 50-year-old funds could be reinterpreted to Ed Witt and his Enhance La Jolla team. We are grateful that individuals had vision 50 years ago to assist La Jolla for coastal access. However, reality has changed and we now have scooters instead of shuttles. With the scooters replacing shuttles and parking signage being replaced by the cellphone in your pocket, we could send the funds to help Ed’s team with coastal visual access and help him with our village’s many maintenance projects sorely in need.

Nancy Linke Patton

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The devil is in the details on short-term rentals

Pertaining to the short-term rental-focused commentary of Nov. 26 by Mr. [Scott] Chipman and Mr. [Tom] Coat (“A compromise on short-term rentals can protect neighborhood character and quality of life,” La Jolla Light), the devil is in the details.

Although their commentary is quite comprehensive and has good intent, one of the “key provisions” unfortunately demonstrates and underscores Mr. Chipman’s and Mr. Coat’s non-understanding of the overall issue. They state that “a maximum of one person per 200 square feet will address over-occupancy.” Let’s check the math and identify the impact of this provision. My wife and I live in a 1,500-square-foot home (60 percent of a 2,500-square-foot lot) that is assessed for tax purposes as a two-bedroom home. It is suitable at best for an occupancy of four persons — two persons sharing each bedroom. This ill-advised provision states that seven persons (1,500/200=7-plus) would be allowed to occupy our home if we would choose to use it as a short-term rental. To what level of negativity would this action impact our neighbors?

Here is a justifiable occupancy solution: Occupancy should be linked directly to 1) the number of the tax-assessed bedrooms of the structure and 2) a rational approach to “density” — a studio or one-bedroom home allowing two occupants, a two-bedroom allowing four occupants, a three-bedroom allowing five occupants, a four-bedroom allowing six occupants, etc.

Fair is fair! We’re talking about family-oriented residential neighborhoods. Hotels and motels would never allow such unreasonable densities. Why should the city of San Diego and its council allow this inequity?

A final point: It is unfortunate but likely that the San Diego City Council will approve a “compromise” to remediate the STR issue. I again call on the La Jolla Town Council (working collaboratively with [newly elected] Councilman [Joe] LaCava) to develop and shepherd an amendment to Councilwoman [Jennifer] Campbell’s STR compromise proposal.

La Jolla must have its own “pier” added to the compromise. If La Jolla does not take appropriate action, Mission Beach’s and Pacific Beach’s STR needs will be met but La Jolla’s will not. La Jolla’s STR ordinances will be inappropriately “grouped” with those of the remaining San Diego communities.

Ira Parker

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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. Letters from the same person are limited to one in a three-month period. ◆