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Our Readers Write: San Diego’s responsibility; electric bikes; Children’s Pool; street dining; UCSD; more

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Letters to the editor:

San Diego isn’t living up to its responsibility in La Jolla

When reading about the city of San Diego claiming Enhance La Jolla’s responsibility for a tripping incident in La Jolla Village, one develops great concern about city leadership, or lack thereof (“Second trip-and-fall lawsuit against San Diego embroils Enhance La Jolla,” Oct. 13, La Jolla Light). This is the pot calling the kettle black, the ultimate irony, and a complete Catch-22.

Enhance La Jolla was developed only because the city refuses to live up to its responsibility to maintain the infrastructure of its communities, including La Jolla. Enhance La Jolla’s volunteers have committed time and resources to help do the city’s job. If the city would do its job, private citizens would not have to volunteer their time to do the city’s job.

How sad the city chooses to take advantage of well-meaning volunteers instead of stand behind its responsibilities. The city cannot have it both ways. If the city wants La Jolla to remain part of the city of San Diego, it should live up to its responsibilities and maintain La Jolla’s infrastructure. If it chooses not to do so, it should allow La Jolla to become independent and control its future.

Pick one, city of San Diego. Your lack of leadership should not be our problem. This approach is a disgrace to the community and those who have graciously volunteered their time to do your job.

Ted Levis

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Electric bikes are a danger on Fay Avenue Bike Path

The increasing use of electric bikes on the Fay Avenue Bike Path is becoming a severe safety issue. The sign says no motorized vehicles are allowed. The Police Department says they don’t consider them motorized, but they race at high speed on the path without a horn or verbal notice that they are coming.

Many small children, strollers, pets and seniors with hearing issues use this path. A posted speed limit is ignored. There will be a serious accident if this continues.

Occasional police walking the path might be a deterrent, but until something to address this is done, a serious accident will happen.

Mary Pat Des Roches

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Give the Children’s Pool back to the children

The Seal Society is very concerned about the harassment of the animals, and rightfully so.

No one likes to see animals of any kind abused or harassed.

There is a simple solution, however, that will benefit not only the seals but the public as well: Return the Children’s Pool to the children.

Ellen Browning Scripps gave it to the children of La Jolla! It belongs to them, not the city. ... Get the seals out of there and return it to the rightful owners.

James Heiner

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Do negatives of permanent street dining outweigh the positives?

It has taken me awhile to formulate an opinion on making makeshift street dining permanent (“Councilman updates La Jolla Shores on ‘Spaces,’ repaving, ‘comfort station,’ undergrounding and more,” Oct. 20, La Jolla Light).

Is hauling in more people to the beach areas to improve the bottom line for private business owners a good idea? Is more more or is more less?

Adding to the visual clutter in La Jolla is something we should think twice about. Are we good with “furnishing” our streets? Do we need to have sprawling dining now that COVID is being managed?

Maybe there could be a cost for using public space for profit. Directing those fees toward enhancing La Jolla would be a good exchange.

“More is more” is a slippery slope.

Debra Duford

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What can we do to stop UCSD’s expansion?

I would like to thank [Cameron] Volker for the thorough and excellent guest commentary in the La Jolla Light (Oct. 6) about the unmitigated extension of the UCSD campus (““UC San Diego’s unbridled expansion is harming our coast and community”).

I am delighted that someone is realizing and publicly complaining about the reckless disregard for rules in our community. I know that Mrs. Volker has written about the problem with the university in the past, although to no avail. When I look out my windows, I see the cranes and high-rises going up and am appalled that there seems to be nothing we can do to stop it.

How will we cope with all the traffic, the water used for construction and water needed for 43,000 students?

How is it possible that UCSD is ignoring the will of the people of La Jolla for so many years? We have to organize! Or what can we do to stop this madness?

Roswitha Marouf

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Measure C plan to lift Midway height limit is unjustified and may spread

Over the past several years, we have seen the consequences of deregulating development to rely on the market alone to solve our affordable-housing problem.

It’s depressing because it is predictable that the attempted repeal in 2020 of the 1972 citizens’ initiative — which was invalidated by the courts last year — was once again put on the ballot this November as Measure C.

Measure C is a verbatim repeat of the same ballot wording used in 2020, justified by the same flawed environmental review process.

It’s the result of those in power refusing to accept “no” as an answer to getting what they want.

For those who aren’t aware: Measure C again proposes removing the Midway-Pacific Highway planning area from the 30-foot coastal height limit overlay zone, allowing otherwise unlimited heights for all new buildings in this area. We are being told that it is necessary to build the affordable housing called for to redevelop the sports arena site.

Yet the sports arena site is 48 acres; and as city property any redevelopment is required to contain no less than 25 percent affordable units. But once this is pointed out, proponents pivot to saying it’s necessary to build a new sports arena. So why doesn’t Measure C focus on that particular site exception rather than remove protection for the entire 1,324 acres in the Midway planning area?

We’re told that the only way to get affordable housing is by allowing unlimited heights and density. But all we have to show for it are ever more expensive high-rises, with token amounts of small units sandwiched between luxury second homes and corporate and vacation rentals.

Buildings exceeding the 30-foot coastal height limit are already allowed under the state density bonus law as long as they include affordable housing. (Proponents claim even that process is too onerous, ignoring that every development undergoes a project-by-project review.)

Make no mistake: The repeal of the coastal height limit in “just” the Midway planning area is the camel’s nose under the tent. If they can get away with saying Midway isn’t the coast — when it’s literally reclaimed, liquefiable saltmarsh — what’s left to say about Point Loma, eastern Pacific Beach or the heights of La Jolla?

Please vote no on Measure C.

Mat Wahlstrom

— This letter was originally published by Times of San Diego.

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Time to ban plastic bags in San Diego

The last thing I want to see when I take my partner out on a date to hike in the mountains is a large, obnoxious plastic bag hanging from the tree branches. But on our three-month anniversary, what was supposed to be a relaxing walk through the foliage became a “Where’s Waldo?” for plastic pollution: water bottles, empty snack packages, even a food container with a rotting, half-eaten burrito nestled inside like a bunny in a den.

This isn’t an issue that just affects me. According to the EPA, 27 million tons of plastic were deposited in landfills in 2018. We can no longer treat plastic pollution and climate change by addressing the symptoms. Instead, we must focus on the root of the issue: the production of excess plastic.

That’s why I’m calling for City Council member Joe LaCava to help ban plastic bags from San Diego. Longevity becomes unattainable if politicians and decision-makers continue a pattern of indifference.

Yale Huang

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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. ◆