Our Readers Write: Scripps Coastal Reserve, streetlights, drone show, more

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Letters to the editor


Scripps Coastal Reserve needs to be reopened

The Scripps Coastal Reserve is a treasured resource funded by our tax dollars and should remain open to the public (“Coastal Commission investigates as Scripps Coastal Reserve at UC San Diego remains closed,” July 27, La Jolla Light).

This beautiful area had been frequented by visitors including myself for decades prior to its closure. As a UC San Diego alumna, this was always a cherished gem where students and other community members would go to appreciate the beautiful, unique scenery offering panoramic views of La Jolla Shores.

Unfortunately, under the guise of COVID restrictions, these same visitors came to be greeted with a large iron gate blocking their entrance. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has been over for some time, it is very questionable that this particular location, which is nestled next to multimillion-dollar mansions at La Jolla Farms, continues to be cordoned off.

The restriction of access to a coastal area previously open to the public is a violation of the California Coastal Act and our rights as taxpaying citizens. Treasured coastal land belongs to all of us and should remain open to our community.

Ghalia Mohder

Coastal Commission isn’t doing its job on Scripps reserve

Regarding your article about the ongoing closure of Scripps Coastal Reserve, the [California] Coastal Commission claims to be working with [UC San Diego] to restore public access since they became aware of the closure in late 2020, but the university claims the commission has not even contacted them about the issue for nearly a year.

It is well-established that daily public access to Scripps Coastal Reserve has existed for decades. Andrew Willis, enforcement staff counsel for the Coastal Commission, acknowledged that “a coastal development permit is required for a change of access to a coastal site” and that UCSD has never applied for this permit.

The ongoing closure to the general public of the reserve by UCSD is therefore a violation of the Coastal Act that must be enforced by the commission. Yet Leslie Sepuka, UCSD’s associate communications director, stated that the Coastal Commission has not even contacted the university about restoring public access since August 2022.

So why is the Coastal Commission failing to fulfill its legal duty to the people of California to protect coastline access in this case? Coastal Commission counsel Willis is correct in his statement, “We need to stay vigilant to make sure those closures are addressed.”

Shea Leader

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Waiting for La Jolla to go from darkness into light

The La Jolla Light dedicated not one but two lovely articles to the lights of La Jolla in its July 20 issue.

From Elisabeth Frausto’s article, “New streetlights in La Jolla Shores will be directed away from homes,” I learned that the new lighting in the La Jolla Shores Drive and Scripps Institution of Oceanography areas will have to conform to the “dark sky” policy.

OK, let’s do it! But let’s also celebrate that the moon and stars are far and free from any bureaucracy, not needing a permit to gift us their radiant, romantic glow.

Back to reality, I wonder why we have to wait till next spring to find out how well-designed and how “wisely directed” these new rays beaming from the top of the concrete poles are going to be. Logic would suggest that the darkest months of the year would make a perfect setting to test this new solution. After all, isn’t winter the season in which good visibility becomes a necessity with the shorter days? It might also be a nice feature to provide us with an extra festive mood during the holidays.

But who am I to judge? Let’s wait and see.

Perhaps apart from providing us with more safety, the illuminated sidewalks and streets might prove that the quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson is true: “There is no object so foul that intense light will not make it beautiful.”

After reading the article by Ashley Mackin-Solomon and David Garrick, “San Diego to evaluate La Jolla fixtures as part of plan to fix 6,100 streetlights citywide,” I started praying (selfishly) for the “new wave” of repairs to include Ellen Browning Scripps Park. Apart from being a popular oceanfront landmark enjoyed from dawn to after dusk by locals and tourists for recreational activities and strolls near the Pacific, it’s also a way to commute to my work.

Since I never owned a car, I have been biking through La Jolla since 1986, noticing many changes in how our beautiful Village has been illuminated. Recently, it feels more like a dim light has been turned to a minimum.

Thousands of abandoned broken lights are not just an issue of street safety and aesthetics; dark neighborhoods are an invitation for crime to flourish.

I am excited that the matter of light is finally being addressed by the city of San Diego. I will be ready to cheer and celebrate the completion.

Jaruska Solyova

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High praise for La Jolla drone show

Drones form the shape of the American flag during La Jolla's Fourth of July celebration at La Jolla Shores.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

God bless America. And God bless you, Bill Kellogg, for initiating the use of drones to celebrate the Fourth of July here in La Jolla. What a sight! (“Drones put on a show for Fourth of July in a first for La Jolla,” July 13, La Jolla Light)

Not only was the drone show spectacular, it was patriotic and artistic as well. The drone formation of the American flag was truly awesome. Drone art in the sky.

What a wonderful and innovative way to utilize drones in a peaceful and beautiful manner where no one is harmed.

We’ve known for years how dangerous and harmful fireworks can be. But I’m sure most people don’t know that the Fourth of July and New Year’s Day are the worst days of the year for animals and a very sad one for animal shelter staff. Due to the fireworks on those days, more animals end up there, injured or lost.

Perhaps this is the right time to rethink our outdated fireworks tradition. We now have the new-age technology to do so.

The Kellogg family has added much to make La Jolla a sought-after destination to visit or live in, and I thank you, Mr. Kellogg, for your latest contribution.

Florence Lambert

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Let impatient drivers shore up San Diego’s finances

As so many impatient drivers whose time is worth more than ours try to beat the traffic while going northwest on La Jolla Parkway and take La Jolla Scenic Drive North, make an illegal U-turn and force their way back to the parkway, all we need is a San Diego police officer hidden somewhere and hand out tickets.

Just think how quickly the city could get out of the red!

Amir Sahimi

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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 ◆