Our Readers Write: Infrastructure maintenance, Children’s Pool, book ‘rescue’

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Letters to the editor:

Stairway painter deserves reward, not rebuke

Regarding “It needed to be done: Resident paints stairway railings at Windansea Beach without San Diego’s approval,” Feb. 9, La Jolla Light):

Joseph McGoldrick should receive a medal from the mayor for his actions. Instead, “the city will inspect his work to see if the paint can withstand the seaside elements and meets city standards.”

Ha! Even if it deteriorates after one year, it’ll be a lot better than the dangerous condition the railings and stairs were in.

As for the Get It Done app, with the help of then-Councilwoman Barbara Bry, I filed several complaints with that app about broken sidewalks and crossings in The Village, only to have them rejected two years later!

The best way for La Jolla to get things done would be to secede from the city.

Lewis Goodman

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No wonder our infrastructure is failing

“It needed to be done,” said Joseph McGoldrick. Thank you, Joseph McGoldrick..

Nothing illustrates the city of San Diego’s ineptitude with the management of its public infrastructure maintenance obligations more clearly than Mr. McGoldrick’s desire to make his community better. San Diego city spokesman Anthony Santacroce’s comments on McGoldrick’s good deed explains why La Jolla suffers daily with virtually no maintenance of its streets and other failing infrastructure.

For the Joseph McGoldrick wannabes in La Jolla, Mr. Santacroce says Mr. McGoldrick should have “brought this up with his community planning group, attended a meeting, brought it up with his council representative … to advocate for it.” Since when did routine city maintenance items require a resident to attend a meeting and advocate?

San Diego should be scheduling maintenance of its infrastructure as part of its operations and existence. Taxpayers pay for city departments with budgets and employees for their city government to manage and maintain its public infrastructure.

The city’s Santacroce “also lamented that residents seem to have ‘an arbitrary timeline’ as to when work should be done through the Get It Done app.” Anyone who has used the Get It Done app knows it is a waste of time. In 2021, I made a Get It Done app request for the city to replace a collapsing storm sewer drain at La Jolla Shores Drive and Avenida de la Playa (which leads directly to the ocean). Two years later, it sits untouched, with the steel rebar showing and deteriorating daily. Get it done!

Unfortunately, Mr. Santacroce’s comments do not bode well for La Jolla’s infrastructure future. If citizens need to attend hearings to “advocate” for the city to paint a handrail which had been neglected by the city for years, what chance do La Jolla residents have of seeing their streets repaired and replaced?

It is a sad state of affairs at City Hall. Well-meaning citizens spend their time and money performing the city’s work. Instead of a thank you, or perhaps recognition by the city, Joseph McGoldrick was scolded. Mr. Santacroce’s ire should be directed toward the person in the department of beaches who had shirked his/her responsibility to paint the fence.

The attitude needs to change within City Hall. Citizens are the customers of the city, not vice versa.

Ted Levis

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With Children’s Pool maintenance, wishes can come true

A recent opinion piece, “Children’s Pool seawall should not be repaired” (Feb. 2, Our Readers Write, La Jolla Light), asserted that the Children’s Pool is too polluted for human use and should be left to the seals, despite the author’s wish to “return the Children’s Pool to the condition that it was in when Ellen Browning Scripps donated it … .”

The Children’s Pool was built almost 100 years ago, with considerable attention to social, structural and environmental concerns. We understand that sluiceways were embedded to assure both structural viability (by reducing the pressure of the tide) and clean water (via continuous circulation). By investing in overdue maintenance and reopening the sluiceways, which were never meant to be closed, the Children’s Pool could become a safe destination again.

The seals will leave. Water circulation will cause the sandy beach to recede, and the seals will naturally relocate along the extensive California coastline.

Letting it go to the seals, though, is simply not a viable option. As the structure destabilizes and pollution escalates, the seals will move to a more hospitable home anyway. Neglected maintenance merely kicks the proverbial can down the road, leaving La Jolla with a safety hazard and one of the most polluted beaches in Southern California.

La Jollans have no option other than to remedy this failure. We must reinstate the required maintenance. In doing this, we can assure that the Children’s Pool delights La Jolla and its visitors for the next 100 years and, in so doing, fulfill a few wishes.

Stephanie Kelly

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Children’s Pool repair would be money poorly spent

Interesting that we are now asked to pay for a barrier wall to protect not the children at the “Children’s Pool” beach, but the seals.

Since the takeover of the beach by the seals, approved by those who do not live here, why spend $2 million on a wall? These funds are better spent on the city’s infrastructure that people actually use.

Suzanne Klein

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Don’t ‘rescue’ Little Free Library books

Regarding “The story of a La Jolla book rescuer” (Guest Commentary, Feb. 2, La Jolla Light):

I love stories about people who read and love books. The story of having to downsize her personal collection of books is painfully familiar to me, and I sympathize.

I found this one disturbing, however. The Guest Commentary reads as if Ms. [Mimi] Sells takes books, “rescues” them, as she puts it, but keeps them and sometimes might pass one on to a friend of hers.

Ms. Sells apparently doesn’t understand the function of Little Free Libraries. LFLs are to trade books with others who love reading and to return those borrowed books for others to read.

Tom Parker

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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. ◆