Our Readers Write: Surf disputes, trash, sea lions, public bathrooms, Avenida de la Playa

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Letters to the editor:

Violence has no place at the beach

I read with interest your article on surf turf disputes at Windansea Beach (“Surf turf disputes at Windansea draw increased police attention after violent altercation,” Aug. 25, La Jolla Light).

First of all, violence has no place on the waves or on our beaches, ever! This tradition of violent behavior by local surfers who feel entitled to the waves at their local surf spot is ending. There is no justification for these behaviors because no one surfer owns these waves.

We hear the same comments all the time, including the comments from Bill Fitzmaurice, president of the Windansea Surf Club, who explains away these disputes by saying the problem lies with beginner surfers who “have disregard for surfing etiquette.”

That is hogwash. The real problem is surfers competing for a limited resource: the waves. Established surfers feel they have earned the right to take every decent wave, and that is at the crux of the controversy. No matter how much “surf etiquette” is displayed, the local surfers want to protect their little enclave for themselves, using the most base behavior.

My passion is kitesurfing. The surf and kitesurf communities could not be more different. The kitesurf community is fantastic. We are collaborative, supportive and helpful. Why? Because we are not competing for a limited resource. We have the whole ocean at our disposal.

Todd Lempert

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Musings on trash, surfing, sea lions and student housing

Thoughts from a native-born:

1. The trash littering the Ardath Road summit going southeast to 52 and I-5 is piling up and we need to keep La Jolla beautiful. (I refuse to say “La Jolla Parkway” — sounds too Orange County.)

2. When I surfed Windansea last century, it was noted that if you couldn’t hold your breath for at least 60 seconds underwater while pushing set waves, then you shouldn’t be surfing there. So if you lack the surfing skill, if you don’t know the rules of surfing and especially if you don’t respect the locals, then surf The Shores or join the sea lions at Boomer.

3. The lifeguards kicked the surfers out of Boomer in the ‘60s, only to lose it to the sea lions. If the surfers had been allowed to share the waves with the bodysurfers, the sea lions never would have squatted in — they would have stayed on Seal Rock and over at the caves.

4. I drive North Torrey Pines [Road] past the student dorms and wonder who would want to live in these ugly skyscrapers. Then I look at what’s being built next to the La Jolla Playhouse and I think there should be a play written about this: “Death of a Village.”

Jim Weaver

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Pay toilets with attendants could solve disgusting bathrooms

In the Aug. 18 edition, the terrible state of The Shores’ Kellogg Park was discussed (“Locals frustrated by ‘terrible state’ of restrooms, showers at Shores’ Kellogg Park,” La Jolla Light). The article implies that lack of staffing is to blame for the despicable condition of the bathrooms.

I would like to suggest a solution that you see in many European countries: Have a bathroom attendant stationed at each public bathroom facility. He or she would collect 50 cents or a preset amount for each toilet use and monitor and clean the bathrooms, replenish soap, toilet paper, etc.

I have never seen disgusting bathrooms when a bathroom attendant is present. I would gladly pay 50 cents over running blocks to find a merchant that would let me use the restroom after making a purchase.

I refuse to go in any public La Jolla bathrooms, and that’s not right. They should be in a condition where the public can use the toilets at the beach.

Some may argue that some people can’t pay. We can have a portable toilet set aside for them.

Kimie Chatfield

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Thoughts on trash hauling and Avenida de la Playa closure

Two concerns covered in the Aug. 25 La Jolla Light merit a response. One article states the “People’s Ordinance doesn’t extend to businesses or to residents who live in apartments or condominiums who must pay private haulers” (“Monthly bills would be $23-$29 if S.D. voters end free trash pickup for single-family homes, analysis says”).

No one has pointed out that the apartments and condominiums are businesses producing far more trash than private residences and requiring more frequent servicing than single homes.

Concerning the Avenida de la Playa street closure (“La Jolla Shores street closure for outdoor dining raises complaints about access to boat launch”), I have complained to [San Diego City Councilman Joe] LaCava’s office and several people about the problems of boaters and emergency vehicles accessing the beach. With summer traffic, many times residents have difficulties reaching their driveways.

Secondly, the restaurants in the designated block had outdoor dining before COVID. Providing additional space during the shutdown, when most people were not eating out, was helpful, but that time has passed.

The third point is the danger of pedestrians not returning to the sidewalk at the end of the closure [area] but continuing to walk in the middle of the street where cars have the right of way. Turning left from Calle de la Plata to Avenida de la Playa is a blind turn and turning right from Camino del Sol is a blind turn. On numerous occasions when turning, I have encountered people walking in the street, including kayak users. Eventually some pedestrian will be injured or killed for refusal to use the sidewalk.

Eleanor Mosca

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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. ◆