Our Readers Write: Street repairs, Point La Jolla, history bee
Letters to the editor:
San Diego seems to lack will to fix the streets
San Diego has 2,800 miles of streets, enough to reach from here to New York City. We all take for granted the necessities that lie beneath: sewer and water mains, gas lines, electric lines, cable TV and internet.
All of this infrastructure has a limited lifespan and must be replaced from time to time, with each separate utility periodically tearing up our roads to make repairs. This, coupled with years of neglect, means that our streets are in their worst condition in history (“Roadblocks to Repair” series, Parts 1 and 2, March 10 and 17, La Jolla Light).
Slurry sealing the streets is only an inexpensive Band-Aid for an enormous problem that we seem to be unable to have the political will to create a long-term solution for.
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Why not just fill the potholes?
With all the excuses we hear from the city and City Council about not fixing our streets, I really do not understand one major issue.
Potholes seem to be the most serious, most dangerous and most annoying to us, so how is it that our city cannot start with just spot-filling the bad ones?
We hear there are streets scheduled to be “resurfaced” but we hear nothing about just filling in the bad potholes in the meantime.
Is our leadership as bad as it continuously appears?
This is the third part of a La Jolla Light series that looks at the conditions of area streets, seeking to answer the question, “Why does it seem so hard to get roads repaired?”
In addition, speeding would not be so bad if all of us who continue to complain about it actually drove the speed limit ourselves. I try to do it and it works, so the more of us who do the more it self-polices.
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Bad roads that create danger need priority
The streets in San Diego need a lot of help! In particular, one street that my dad and I drive on a lot is Soledad Road by Kate Sessions Park. This road is so torn up that people are practically forced to drive on the shoulder in order to avoid the road, which is both illegal and highly dangerous. Someone could hit a person or a parked car.
At the same time, the city has decided to repave the road directly in front of my house, which did not need to be repaved. Citizens should make sure that the city services the streets we actually drive on, which is especially true in front of parks where children are playing.
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Rangers make closing Point La Jolla unnecessary
Following the ongoing issue of sea lions, tourists, docents and closing access, the story about park rangers being hired (finally) and onsite (“Long-desired rangers could be at Point La Jolla by the end of April,” March 10, La Jolla Light) brings up the fact that ocean access does not need to be closed because soon there will be a park ranger onsite to prevent, educate and, if necessary, issue citations to violators of the federal law prohibiting harassment of the sea lions.
This would solve the Seal Society issue about educating visitors with their confrontational approach and eliminate the problem created by the Sierra Club, with their unnecessary infringement on residents’ rights to access the ocean as has been done for decades.
I guess we’ll see when the park rangers show up and do their job!
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Sea lion data don’t support closure proposals
As a La Jolla resident and ocean swimmer, I was concerned and alarmed to read of the Sierra Club Seal Society’s proposed year-round closure of Point La Jolla and access to Boomer Beach (“Arguments for and against Point La Jolla closure plan continue as April Coastal Commission review nears,” March 17, La Jolla Light). This was in spite of a locally protested and overly generous compromise offered by the city of San Diego to close the area for four months during sea lion pupping season.
There is little scientific evidence to back either proposal. The California sea lion is not endangered. According to NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration], the California sea lion population was less than 75,000 in 1972 when the Marine Mammal Protection Act was passed. The population today is estimated to be as many as 300,000, a fourfold increase. Scientific studies have indicated this level to be healthy, robust and optimally sustainable for the species.
The sea lion population at Point La Jolla is growing and thriving. The sea lions are already expanding to Boomer Beach and La Jolla Cove. The proposed closures will accelerate this process. It won’t be long before the Seal Society will insist the city close these iconic and historic beaches as well.
We’ve seen the same thing happen at La Jolla’s Children’s Pool. In recent years the city spent over $3 million to build a new lifeguard station there. The beach is now closed five months of the year for harbor seal pupping season. The harbor seal population is currently thriving and expanding to nearby South Casa Beach. It seems likely that is the Seal Society’s next target for closure.
It’s time for our elected officials to stand up to outside groups and represent the voters who put them in office. There are already laws in place to protect marine mammals that do not involve closures. Side effects including increasing birth numbers overflowing to adjacent beaches have not been studied or addressed.
Our local coast is in an urban environment. A human near a sea lion does not create an urgent crisis. Policies should be based on facts and not alarmist views.
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Drive to close Point La Jolla corrupts a local jewel
I am fortunate to have enjoyed Scripps Park, La Jolla Cove and Point La Jolla for 45 years. I vividly recall in 1977 discovering this jewel of a city park as an ocean lifeguard.
The beauty of this rocky coast, sheer majesty of the sea life and the power of the ocean up close and personal have been a constant source of joy. The park’s rejuvenating and timeless energy has been an essential part of who I am.
From lifeguard to dive instructor, Boomer bodysurfer, San Diego paramedic, kayak guide, park volunteer and ocean safety instructor, I have stayed this course. For me, this spot is hugely significant, but the latest Point La Jolla brouhaha is startling. The Seal Society has moved in with full force to implement its vision of pinniped breeding support with harsh rules and heavy-handed enforcement.
The overwhelming negativity associated with these proposed changes is a drastic departure from 135 years of uncluttered, unfettered ocean vistas and access. Now, dozens of red stenciled warnings blight the views and obnoxious signs block access.
The self-appointed harassers (blue-shirted “seal docents”) are poking fingers at everybody! It corrupts the very character of this precious public space. Speaking from my nearly five decades of embracing all this park has to offer, closure is a poor choice for everyone.
Sea lion populations are not threatened, the local colony is likely transient, evidence of harm is unproven, and our state Constitution provides coastal access. Bottom line, this proposed closure is overreaching, overreacting and ill-advised.
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An inspiring performance in history bee
My brother is Colin Crowder and it’s really great to see that my brother’s on here (“La Jolla students fly high at regional history competition,” March 17, La Jolla Light).
It’s really inspiring actually, even though I don’t know much history.
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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. To share your thoughts in this public forum, email them with your first and last names and city or neighborhood of residence to firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can submit a letter online at lajollalight.com/submit-a-letter-to-the-editor. 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. ◆
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