Our Readers Write: Replacing parking occupied by outdoor dining; dying palm tree; beach cleanups

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Letters to the editor:

Requirement to replace parking doesn’t make sense in La Jolla Shores

The [California] Coastal Commission insists that restaurants near the beach occupying street parking spots must replace them or give up that space (“Outdoor dining venues near San Diego beaches face new requirement to replace public parking they occupy,” Dec. 22, La Jolla Light).

While I understand the public access concept behind it, the ruling ignores reality. The Coastal Commission should visit Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla Shores, where several restaurants occupy 22 parking spaces. They would see that those restaurants and their outdoor spaces are crowded year-round, contributing to the delightful ambiance the neighborhood offers residents, visitors and tourists alike.

The Coastal Commission might also realize that parking on Avenida de la Playa is limited to 90 minutes. No family going to the beach would park in a space that only allowed 90-minute parking.

If the commission had looked at the La Jolla Shores beach in the middle of high season, they would find over 1,000 people enjoying the beach. All 1,000 found a place to park, even without the 22 spaces on Avenida de la Playa.

This Coastal Commission ruling makes absolutely no sense and must be overturned in the interest of common sense.

Bill Kelly

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Prominent palm tree facing potential demise

Our 100-year-old home has a magnificent Canary Island date palm in its front yard. It sits on city property by the corner of Torrey Pines Road and Exchange Place. Perhaps many of you have noticed it. It makes a strong introduction as you enter our lovely Village, as it is one of the larger specimens in La Jolla.

Sadly though, it is dying, as are many others, due to the beetle infestation (“Weevil worries: Canary Island palm trees in La Jolla are dying due to beetle infestation,” Jan. 14, 2021, La Jolla Light). We have tried desperately to save it, using a private company to treat it, although there is only a 50/50 chance of survival. It would have much better odds if the city [of San Diego], which owns the tree, would treat it as they have those at the intersection of Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Shores Drive.

I have contacted every responsible department in the city, to no avail.

I would love to save this tree, but sadly, cannot get a response from anyone. I worry that it will very quickly become a 50-foot-high stump. So next time you drive past, you might want to wave goodbye.

Patricia Sofia

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Beach cleanups help spread word about harm from tobacco product waste

The Sierra Club's Young Adult Advisory Board participates in a beach cleanup in La Jolla.
(Efraim Lopez)

In the past few weeks, two Sierra Club groups collected debris and trash along our La Jolla beaches. In the first location, Casa Beach/Children’s Pool was inspected and debris removed by members of the Sierra Club Seal Society just before the closing for the harbor seal pupping season. The second group’s cleanup covered Cuvier Park to the south of Casa to the north of La Jolla Cove.

The Sierra Club Seal Society was invited by the Sierra Club’s Young Adult Advisory Board (ages 18-25) for an outdoor event during their Environmental Justice in Tobacco Control weekend summit training in San Diego. The local chapter hosted the group with a presentation on the differences between harbor seals and sea lions. Many of the participants were from inland regions and were enthralled with the ocean and our local weather.

Armed with grabbers and trash bags, the group went to work, collecting beer bottles, plastic and curiosities along with toxic tobacco waste from 325 cigarette filters and single-use vape cartridges, removing all from the ocean access.

This activity is the real-world part of the board’s tobacco control program covered in the workshop, developed to raise awareness about the harm of tobacco products’ waste on people, animals and the environment. Members will then be able to spread the message to every venue such as decision makers, social media, schools and other groups.

Ellen Shively

Sierra Club Seal Society

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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. ◆