Our Readers Write: Sea lions and seals, squirrels, bonfires and more

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Letters to the editor


Four strikes, but the pinnipeds still aren’t out

We should be at strike four for the pinnipeds of La Jolla:

Strike one: Sea lions at La Jolla Cove and seals at the Children’s Pool delivered a massive blow against local humans by invading and desecrating our two prime beaches while over a thousand miles of unoccupied shores are available.

Strike two: These squatters pose physical dangers, chasing beach-goers (“Viral sea lion video creates local buzz,” July 21, La Jolla Light) while escalating shark presence (“Dead sea lion raises question of shark presence in La Jolla waters,” Dec. 29, La Jolla Light).

Strike three: The sea lions can carry “a rare and contagious bacterial infection” that “can be transmitted to dogs and humans” (“SeaWorld rescues sea lion from La Jolla Cove carrying ‘rare but contagious’ bacterial infection,” March 16, La Jolla Light).

Sea lions hang out on Boomer Beach in La Jolla.
Sea lions hang out on Boomer Beach in La Jolla.
(Robyn Davidoff)

Still not out? Nope! They are abetted by single-minded activists who conveniently reside far from La Jolla while virtually canceling our rights.

How about strike four? It is now found that “pollution in the ocean is released into the air” in sea spray aerosols that can reach people beyond just beach-goers (“La Jolla researchers report evidence of a ‘global problem’: airborne ocean pollutants,” March 9, La Jolla Light).

Surely it would be more intense along La Jolla headlands from direct feces by invasive pinnipeds, with significant contributions by cormorants.

Conclusion: Strike four and you’re out. High time that we the people drive the trespassers back to their more natural habitats and take back our rightful plots.

Ellen Scripps would be appalled to witness what our generation has allowed to become of her efforts to provide safe swimming for people, particularly children. I was part of the lucky generations that had the pleasure.

Erik Holtsmark

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Thoughts on squirrels, food waste, pay toilets, La Jolla cityhood

I really like squirrels, especially the ones with bushy tails. The “squirrels” in state and local government are another issue – bait boxes might work, but let’s try common sense (“San Diego lays bait stations to help control squirrels at La Jolla Cove, prompting concern,” March 23, La Jolla Light).

Composting provides no revenue and remains a head-scratcher for most people. What, another green bucket? (“Ready or not, it’s time to recycle food waste,” Let Inga Tell You, March 9, La Jolla Light).

It’s right up there with pay toilets. How many 25-cent flushes does it take to get to $1 billion? (“Could charging for public restrooms help San Diego cope with homelessness?” Jan. 26, La Jolla Light).

Also, I really have no expertise in “tiny houses,” but I imagine you could build a few with $1 billion.

I guess I’m in favor of La Jolla becoming a city (“New analysis seeks to answer many questions about possible La Jolla cityhood,” March 23, La Jolla Light). You know, create a thousand new committees and really screw things up.

Jim Strohmeyer

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Use humane solutions to control squirrels

I was shocked to learn that the city apparently is engaging in the cruel practice of poisoning the squirrels.

I have personal experience of seeing rats poisoned. They take two days to die and it is not a painless death. Having seen that, I would never poison an animal.

I walk the dog along the cliffs daily. About a month ago the dog got severely ill and almost died. I can’t help but wonder if poison got out of the bait traps and my dog ingested it.

I understand that erosion is a problem. It seems like birth control is a humane solution.

Carolyn Marsden

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City bonfire law is unfair to people who respect the beaches

Of all the news outlets that covered it, your story on Dec. 22 covering San Diego’s new code restricting beach bonfires outside of designated pits got the most direct issues (“San Diego explicitly bans wood fires on city beaches outside designated rings”).

I am not wealthy enough to afford to live along the coast. I’m not some business that is going to lose money because of this. I’m just a regular person who lives in San Diego, works as a waiter and my simple enjoyments are baseball, football and going to the beach with my portable fire pit, cleaning up after myself. We pick up after other people and sit with our small fire and enjoy the waves, the crackling of the firewood, the smell of the smoke.

It’s silly because a lot of this came from La Jolla associations, and we don’t go to La Jolla for fire pits because the beaches are so crowded, there’s never parking and La Jolla is a different kind of beach – it’s like a sanctuary for seals.

Oh, but wait – if you’re wealthy enough to lease land from the city, you can still have wood fires … or if you’re staying in a hotel. So visitors can come to San Diego and enjoy this, but those of us who live here, who are respectful to the beaches, we can’t do it?

San Diego fails to deal with the real issues, like crime on the beach and the homeless. The Police Department is supposedly understaffed by 200 officers and now they have to go out there and enforce wood fire pits.

Jessie Putman

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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. See the full policy at ◆