Our Readers Write: San Diego infrastructure, Birch Aquarium turtle

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Letters to the editor


San Diego leaders need to stop trying to avoid their responsibilities

If you had 37,000 repair projects with a $185 million gap in funding for them and you could throw it over the fence, wouldn’t you do that? That is what the city of San Diego is contemplating (“Facing 37,000 sidewalk repairs and millions in injury payouts, S.D. wants property owners to assume liability,” June 29, La Jolla Light).

The problem is that property owners are on the other side of that fence and they are already paying the city for those services through property taxes. But — says the city — Sacramento and San Jose have done this, why shouldn’t we? Well, there are 482 cities in California, and the vast majority are not doing that.

A city representative laments that “we’re never going to solve this problem just with city resources.” She goes on to say that “we need to make sure everyone is contributing.”

That is utter hogwash! Property owners already pay a substantial portion of the “city resources”!

Councilman [Joe] LaCava has it right when he says ”that sidewalk in front of my house is not my sidewalk, it’s the city’s sidewalk and the city’s curb and gutter and the city’s street.”

The citizens of San Diego would be better served if city government spent more time owning up to its responsibilities and less time figuring out how to avoid them. What is next — charging pedestrians a fee for walking on the sidewalk?!

Jonathan Scheff

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Time for city to finally step up and fix ‘pathetic’ infrastructure

Funding gaps, poor planning and weak transparency are the reasons for the pathetic conditions of La Jolla’s and all of San Diego’s roads (“S.D. road repair efforts are plagued by funding gaps, poor planning and weak transparency, grand jury says,” June 22, La Jolla Light).

This has been years in the making. Our past and present representatives have ignored our infrastructure for a long time. What will change?

A grand jury report is floating an idea of a mileage tax as a way to close the funding gap. But why would we give San Diego city leaders more money to repair roads when our representatives have ignored their responsibilities over the years when it comes to our streets and sidewalks, even though deteriorating conditions were evident to them and everyone else. Taxpayer money was squandered on many other pet projects, with no accountability. What would be different this time around?

It is time to hold elected officials accountable. They cannot continue to waste taxpayers’ money and shirk their responsibility when it comes to maintaining our infrastructure. Our roads and sidewalks are a disgrace to our community, and our leaders should be ashamed with their appearance. We should not allocate another dime because of the malfeasance of current and prior elected officials.

Ted Levis

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A long-suggested name for Birch’s loggerhead sea turtle

Reader Sally Gall thinks this female loggerhead sea turtle at La Jolla's Birch Aquarium should be named Caretta.
(Birch Aquarium)

In reference to the article about the “unnamed” Birch Aquarium loggerhead turtle (“Rescued sea turtle at La Jolla’s Birch Aquarium gets her latest checkup. So how is she doing?” June 29, La Jolla Light): I was volunteering at the aquarium at the time she came and immediately lobbied for calling her Caretta, since that sounded pretty besides being scientifically accurate (her genus and species name is Caretta caretta). It means different things in different languages — from “darling” to “cart” — but that’s even more fun.

No luck. Birch doesn’t name its animals in case they die and kids are traumatized. After 10 years and counting, please, will some citizens lobby Birch to name her Caretta?

And yes, she is feisty. Early on she was in an exhibit with some rays, and one big one would knock her off her favorite underwater spot. So one day she bit him. Very effective.

Sally Gall

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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 ◆