Our Readers Write: Former Jack in the Box site; La Jolla street and park conditions; sea lions

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Letters to the editor:

How long must the old Jack in the Box remain an eyesore?

As recently revealed in a copy of the La Jolla Light, The Bishop’s School recently purchased the old Jack in the Box restaurant building and land on Pearl Street (“Bishop’s School buys Jack in the Box property in La Jolla; plans for its use to be determined,” Dec. 9).

According to the article, they want to lease the property for a few years before redeveloping the site for their own use.

This begs the question, who is going to lease that building and invest any money into it when they know The Bishop’s School will be taking it over in a relatively short time frame?

Furthermore, if no one is going to lease it from the school, how long do the citizens of La Jolla have to endure the eyesore that The Bishop’s School has allowed this property to become? It is in total disrepair and is surrounded by an ugly green cyclone fence. It makes one of the main streets in La Jolla look like Skid Row and makes one wish for the Jack in the Box to come back.

If La Jolla was an independent city like Solana Beach or Encinitas, this would never be allowed. It is time for our city councilman or the La Jolla Merchants Association to put pressure on the school to either redevelop the property now or put it up for sale.

The last thing La Jolla needs now is another vacant and decrepit building ruining the once-beautiful look of The Village.

Tony Schmidt

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La Jolla’s bad roads are an outrage

The “Roadblocks to Repair” series is very accurate on the sad state of La Jolla’s streets.

I take the MTS bus 30 from North Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Shores Drive to Draper Avenue and sometimes to Old Town. Sadly, most of this route feels like a continuous extended speed bump.

It’s outrageous that in an affluent community such as La Jolla, the leaders haven’t fixed this. Let’s hope they remember that potholes unfixed become sinkholes.

Patrick McIntosh

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Is La Jolla doomed to continued neglect?

I’m greatly enjoying your series on the poor condition of La Jolla’s streets.

I would recommend a similar exploration of LJ’s similarly neglected parks and beaches, which are embarrassing for one of San Diego’s most visited tourist destinations.

One need look no further than Scripps Park, a uniquely beautiful spot marred by decades of neglect. The sidewalks along the bluff and Coast Boulevard are cracked and uneven; the rotted, unsightly fencing is festooned with dangerous exposed nails, sharp wood slivers and separated wire mesh; the low walls by The Cove are pockmarked and crumbling; the huts overlooking the bluffs need sanding and repainting; the trash cans are often overflowing, with refuse scattered around by seagulls; metal railings are broken and rusted; information signage is old and defaced; there are many large patches of dead grass; bushes and trees need trimming; there is accumulated litter and weeds on the ocean side of the fencing; older park benches are in disrepair; and in general there is a lack of beautification and ornamentation that characterize inviting, well-tended public spaces.

As you have inferred in some of your articles, this sad state of affairs is in no small part due to the fact that, unlike more polished jewels like Coronado and Carmel, La Jolla is not incorporated and thus does not reap the benefits of local governance. Unfortunately, unless state law is changed to make secession easier (S.D. voters at large will never approve it), LJ will remain hostage to the political whims of less-affluent districts.

There have been many efforts to incorporate LJ over the years, but they never seem to go anywhere beyond feasibility studies, proposals and reports and irregularly updated (and eventually dead) websites. But until that day comes, LJ will remain a tarnished jewel despite the laudable efforts of local volunteers and community organizations who simply do not have the resources or authority to adequately maintain and enhance the infrastructure of a community of over 40,000 residents.

Chris Nelson

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Seasonal protection for sea lions is an all-around good thing

Thank you to Natalie Cibel for her insightful commentary about the human impact on the sea lions and seals in their respective habitats in La Jolla (“Mismanagement of Point La Jolla is an embarrassment to San Diego,” Guest Commentary, April 7, La Jolla Light).

Both pinniped colonies draw many visitors per year, as tourists and locals alike are eager to see the famous wildlife.

On April 8, the California Coastal Commission voted to have seasonal protection for the otariids (sea lions) in their haul-out and rookery sites at Point La Jolla and Boomer Beach. This will provide critically important protections for the mothers and pups and for other sea lions.

For years, visitors to the area have been shocked to see the close approaches of humans to the animals. From selfie seekers to other curious viewers, it has been an astonishing and unfortunate situation to observe the close contact that humans have been allowed to exhibit, with many disturbance events to the animals. These events of disturbance have often resulted in increased pup mortality and other harmful responses to disturbance. Such events can also be dangerous for humans.

Extensive research by scientists has looked at the deleterious effects of human-caused disturbance on hauled-out pinnipeds. With the work of many volunteers, experts, scientists and more for over 15 years, protection measures were implemented at Casa Beach [Children’s Pool] for the harbor seals.

Now, similar levels of protection have been approved by the California Coastal Commission for the sea lions at Point La Jolla and Boomer Beach.

It will be a wonderful development for the animals as well as the public to see an organized setting with respectful and proper viewing in place at these amazing and world-class nature-viewing venues.

Ellen Stanton

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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 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. ◆