Our Readers Write: Sea lions, Windansea, fireworks, bicyclists, SB 9 and 10


Letters to the editor


Letters to the editor:

Scrap over sea lions is sullying beautiful beach

In our lives, many of us come across a special place or region that is unforgettable. Fortunately, La Jolla Cove and specifically the area at Boomer Beach is one of those magical places that is unbelievably beautiful and truly a gem of the city and, in my opinion, the world.

Unfortunately, this area has become a battle between the “rights” of the encroaching sea lions and the right of the public to use this beach for their enjoyment.

This beach, which has provided millions of people and generations of families with special memories, is quickly becoming unpleasant due to the dozens of animals and their related feces and liquids that now pollute the area. Their numbers have grown due to the COVID-related unpopulated beaches, which provided an opening for these animals to come around the corner from La Jolla Cove and The Shores.

People have a right to use this beach, as they have for 100 years. I totally agree that people getting within two feet of these animals and taking “selfies” is wrong, but to limit watermen from entering the beach as well as preventing families from enjoying this special place would be a travesty.

Sea lions are nowhere near as delicate as the self-appointed advocates would have people believe. Additionally, there is no science that shows the sea lions are abandoning their pups due to disturbances from the public. Don’t believe the hype. These animals were around the corner at La Jolla Cove for generations without incident.

Seth Maxton

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A refresher on the rules of Windansea shack

I never dreamed I would have to write this letter, but with all the new people coming to Windansea, many do not not know the history of the shack or what is permitted there.

The shack was built by surfers coming back from World War II to create shade and aloha, a place to keep their boards out of the sun, a place to change, a place in those days for kids to take naps and eat lunch.

It is still that place, but now our wonderful lifeguards also keep their boards under the shack, and anyone can sit there and enjoy the shade.

But what you cannot do is take it over and prevent surfers and people from entering it or hang anything in it.

And that is what happened on [July 10]. I got call from people at the beach to please come and do something, that “the shack was taken over.” I know the rules, as I helped write them, so I went down to find that people had a table under the shack running the whole length of it and tables blocking people from getting in on the edges. All the tables had food on them. They also had the disrespect to move the lifeguards’ lifesaving equipment out. I asked them to move everything out, as did others, and they finally did.

Perhaps we need to put up a temporary sign in the shack giving the rules:

• The shack is dedicated historic, just as the buildings in Balboa Park are, no one has the right go into the gardens there and set up a dinner party.

• It cannot be used for commercial gain.

• You cannot get a permit to get married there or film there. No permits are ever issued for events under the shack, so no one person or any group will ever have the right to its exclusive use.

For those of us who grew up here and in the surf culture, this is a very special, sacred place.

I am honored as a member of Friends of Windansea and the Windansea Surf Club to be one of many guardians of the shack. We must all do whatever we can to protect and preserve our magnificent beaches.

Melinda Merryweather

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Fireworks and the environment don’t mix

If an environmental permit is required, we will never have fireworks again (“Again, La Jolla’s Fourth of July fireworks didn’t happen. Here’s why,” July 8, La Jolla Light).

Long ago, we went for July 4 fireworks inside the Rose Bowl with our young kids. Fireworks on one side, with large 6-foot exhaust fans; people on the opposite side.

We choked to death; the large fans were no match for the polluted air and smoke.

Since then, I have considered fireworks to be not friendly to the environment. After cleaning up smog in Pasadena and the east valley, it is kind of obvious that we think more of the environment now.

Dimitri Papanastassiou

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We need protected bike lanes

The bicyclist injured by a driver who drifted into a marked bike lane on North Torrey Pines Road recently (“Bicyclist hurt when SUV drifts into bike lane in La Jolla; motorist is suspected of DUI,” July 8, La Jolla Light) is yet another example of why we need protected bike lanes on high-speed roads like Torrey Pines and Gilman Drive. Had there been some sort of vertical separation, from inexpensive bollards to the raised medians planned for Gilman, this crash likely would not have happened.

The La Jolla Light has published multiple letters from high-performance riders who oppose the Gilman Drive protected bike lanes, calling them “dangerous.” Yet these riders ignore the vast number of hit-from-behind collisions caused by distracted, drunk and reckless motorists in painted bike lanes. It’s clear that bicyclists need more than the paint protection and “dismount and walk” recommendations in letters to the editor.

Given this collision and the recent fatality of a rider also on North Torrey Pines, this road is an excellent candidate for a “quick build” to add inexpensive vertical separation.

Paul Jamason

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Bicyclists have road rights, too

Regarding Mark Sickman’s letter, “‘Dismount/walk’ zone is an answer to cyclist safety,” July 8, La Jolla Light), I refer Mr. Sickman to the California vehicle code [Division 11, Chapter 1, Article 4], which states:

“A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle. …”

Bicyclists are not and should not be second-class road users.

I suggest that instead of bicyclists dismounting and walking, motorists stop, get out of their car and push them through the intersection.

Richard Wolf

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State bills would change La Jolla for the worse

As a 30-year resident of La Jolla, I am deeply concerned, along with many fellow residents, about the imminent passing of SB 10 in the Assembly. Ashley Mackin-Solomon’s articles on this and SB 9 are appreciated, as there is a dearth of information on these extremely important bills, particularly as their elimination of present zoning laws will have such dramatic and lasting changes on our community.

Residents have written in a strong way regarding their dislike of 939 Coast Blvd. These bills are welcoming that density in a far greater amount, and they will only be favoring wealthy developers, not residents or the homeless. They will exclude local influence or control, and fees for these developers are being eliminated, so we Californians will shoulder the tremendous expenses incurred by the increased density in the form of water, sewer, gas, traffic, police, fire, etc.

The only question one would have regarding these bills is “Why?” What we know is that once these bills are passed, our community will not resemble what we now know as La Jolla.

Patricia Garay

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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 The deadline is 10 a.m. Monday for publication in that week’s paper. Letters without the writer’s name cannot be published. Letters from the same person are limited to one in a 30-day period. ◆