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Our Readers Write: Sea lions, UCSD housing, beach stairs, outdoor dining, vendors

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Letters to the editor:

Watch sea lions responsibly

Visitors to Scripps Park line the wall overlooking Point La Jolla to view the sea lions hauling out there.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The sea lion pupping season is in full swing at Point La Jolla just south of La Jolla Cove. Visitors are able to watch the births, mothers nursing and nurturing the newborns, males asserting territorial rights to protect their harem, pups learning to swim in the shallower waters off the Point and all gathering together for sleeping and needed socialization.

The closure will continue through Oct. 31, keeping humans and sea lions separate for their safety at this vulnerable time.

NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration], the government agency that manages protection of marine mammals, suggested in a Facebook post to remember to share the shore with sea lions and enjoy watching marine mammals responsibly, such as:

• Give animals space. Move away at the first sign of disturbance or agitation. You are too close if an animal starts to stare, fidget or flee.

• Be considerate of mothers and pups. Sea lions come ashore to rest, regulate their body temperature and nurse their young. It is normal for mothers to leave pups behind as they search for food. Do not approach solo pups on the beach! Moms may not return if humans are too close to the pup.

• Keep pets on a leash and on the sidewalk. Dogs may agitate sea lions, which can become aggressive.

Ellen Shively
Docent, Sierra Club Seal Society

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UC San Diego must offer students housing

Regarding the July 21 guest commentaries in the La Jolla Light on UCSD housing, “UCSD has obligation to help solve the affordable-housing crisis, not exacerbate it,” by Stefanie Holden and “Here’s what UCSD is doing to help students and staff with housing on and off campus” by Pradeep Khosla:

The on-campus student housing crisis at UCSD worsens the housing crisis faced by all San Diegans. Both crises will become more severe if UCSD increases its current 42,000 enrollment to 50,000 by 2030.

For the good of its students and all San Diegans, UCSD needs to revise its plans upward to house considerably more than 50 percent of undergraduates on campus and bring future undergraduate enrollment growth in line with available undergraduate housing so that all undergraduates have a guarantee of living on campus for up to four years at 20 percent below market rates.

UCSD should immediately guarantee all new undergraduates four years of campus housing, as UCLA has done.

By housing the vast majority of its students on campus, UCSD will provide its students with first-class academic and co-curricular experiences at lower cost and time to graduation and lessen the housing shortage in San Diego. A win-win for UCSD students and all San Diegans.

Joseph Watson

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Is UCSD’s growth to be at any cost?

Kudos to Stefanie Holden for her excellent and eye-popping description of her search for housing. Her commentary in the July 21 Opinion section of the Light so clearly outlines UCSD’s role in contributing to the current housing crisis in San Diego — a crisis that affects not only UCSD students and staff but, as she points out, all renters in the San Diego community.

Chancellor [Pradeep] Khosla’s rebuttal, replete with justifications and statistics, is a red herring. The question he avoids — and the core issue at hand — is what is the optimal threshold for enrollment that will support our fine university while sustaining the quality of life for the people who actually live and work in this community?

The current student population is over 40,000, and he has made it very clear that he has no plans to stop there. It seems to me that Chancellor Khosla can only envision an ever-increasing expansion — at any cost.

I challenge the chancellor to leave his rent-free, spacious ocean-view abode, pound the pavement and get a taste of what people in this community are going through. His ambition for unbridled growth is tone-deaf to the community at large and, in the long run, may prove to be misguided for the well-being of the university as well.

Pia Stern

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La Jolla Shores beach stairs are treacherous

Regarding the article “La Jolla Shores group backs railing and stairs project at beach access” (July 21, La Jolla Light):

Many times we’ve had to slip and slide our way down (and up) these treacherous stairs wearing 80 pounds of scuba gear — sometimes when they were underwater during high tide.

They’re a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Michael Bear

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Keep Shores outdoor dining

My wife and I have often enjoyed spending a leisurely dinner at the outdoor seating of the restaurants on Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla Shores.

With our beautiful weather and great people-watching, the block closed to traffic has taken on the feel of a European plaza. The city of San Diego previously created a very successful permanent pedestrian plaza in Little Italy by closing West Date Street between India and Columbia streets.

Hopefully the business owners in La Jolla Shores can organize and persuade the powers that be at City Hall to create the same type of permanent pedestrian plaza that works so well for Little Italy.

Andrew Shorenstein

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Beach parks shouldn’t be like swap meets

I’ve seen a lot of recent debate and discussion about what our beach parks should look like. Should they be attractive spaces where we can enjoy nature? Or should they be swap meets where we can buy sunglasses, colored rocks, shells and cheap hats [from vendors]?

Why do we continue to debate this? Let’s quit tolerating this nonsense and get ’em the heck out. Yes, we may hurt a few feelings. Tough. Get ’em out. Now.

Chris Day

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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 robert.vardon@lajollalight.com. 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. ◆