Our Readers Write: Whaling Bar, fireworks


Letters to the editor


Letters to the editor:

Make the new Whaling Bar look like the old one

I read about the forthcoming renovation of the Whaling Bar (“Whaling Bar to return to La Jolla’s La Valencia Hotel,” June 10, La Jolla Light). Many of us around La Jolla and the rest of the world grieved when the old Whaling Bar was dismantled years ago and replaced with something considered to be hipper and better suited for a more contemporary clientele.

But what was destroyed was something that was elegant and classy, reminiscent of New York or London bars and restaurants that had passed the test of time and served generations of happy customers.

For our part, we put up a number of Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and renowned authors such as Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer and Maureen Dowd at La Valencia when they came to appear at D.G. Wills Books to discuss their latest books.

We would always spend some time in the Whaling Bar during those visits. For example, Vidal introduced us to Macallan Single Malt Scotch in the front large corner booth of the Whaling Bar. I also spent some time at the Whaling Bar on its last night of operation and took a dozen or so photos of the entire bar.

I think it is of paramount importance that the remodeled Whaling Bar looks like the original one, with the booths all facing the same direction and in the same location as in the original, with that small booth at the end of the bar as well, and the large corner booth near the front door and the original Wing Howard whaling painting hanging over the bar.

If designers somehow choose to enlarge the space and create a completely different architectural design, it will not look like the original Whaling Bar but just like any other large generic restaurant/bar in any other city.

The Cafe La Rue can continue to serve as well on the other side of the wall as the quieter, family-oriented venue.

Dennis G. Wills

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La Jolla can be a leader in alternatives to fireworks

I sincerely hope La Jolla will reconsider the impact that fireworks will have on the wildlife and environment (“Lawsuit tries to stop La Jolla Fourth of July fireworks,” June 3, La Jolla Light).

Loud noises disturb newborn sea lion pups, nesting cormorants, pelicans, seagulls and their newborn chicks and cause mother sea lions and seals to abandon their pups, resulting in death from starvation.

Fireworks contain approximately 30 toxic ingredients. A 2015 NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] study found 40 percent more toxic particulates in the air after July 4. These particles drop into the La Jolla marine sanctuary, cliffs and park, causing harm to marine life, birds and plants.

Fireworks can also cause hearing loss and pose a danger for people with PTSD and autism.

There are nontoxic, eco-friendly, quieter, less expensive alternatives for celebrating July 4, which many towns and cities are now using in place of toxic fireworks, such as a laser light show and a parade. La Jolla’s Christmas Parade is absolutely wonderful. How about a shorter patriotic version?

Do we really want to cause harm to the jewel of La Jolla, its marine life, environment and visitors, especially in the midst of climate change? Let’s make La Jolla a leader in adopting fireworks alternatives.

Elena Tillman

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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 You also can submit a letter online at Letters without the writer’s name cannot be published. Letters from the same person are limited to one in a 30-day period. ◆