Our Readers Write: Utility undergrounding, property transfer tax, tobacco retailers, more

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Letters to the editor


La Jolla can wait for utility undergrounding

I’m writing in response to the article about underground utilities (“La Jolla residents seek answers about utility undergrounding delays,” Aug. 31, La Jolla Light).

La Jolla should be at the bottom of the priority list for undergrounding. Less-prosperous neighborhoods should be undergrounded first.

Who should get priority for undergrounding? How about the army of gardeners and maids who come into La Jolla every morning at 7:30 I’d much rather see a caregiver from Barrio Logan, responsible for caring for the elderly in La Jolla, get a property value boost.

I witnessed the recent undergrounding in north La Jolla Shores with astonishment. The homes there range in value from $4 million to $30 million.

I came to San Diego in 1958. My home is not undergrounded, and I don’t mind waiting 30 or 40 years — long after I’m dead — if it means less-fortunate people receive the benefit first.

Neal Olander

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No new taxes until local governments show competence

The city and county of San Diego have proved inept at allocating our tax dollars over the years. Ours streets are a disaster, whether riddled with potholes, lack of striping or crumbling curbs. Our sidewalks have weeds overgrowing pathways. Storm sewers are crumbling. Streetlights sit dark for years. Homelessness continues to expand, regardless of prevention programs.

Please show citizens one area of our infrastructure that is maintained with quality and summarize how the city and county have effectively reduced homelessness with the significant amount of money already allocated and spent.

Now these same people want more taxpayer money, this time through a transfer tax when selling our homes (“Proposed San Diego ‘mansion tax’ would unfairly affect La Jolla property owners,” Guest Commentary, Aug. 24, La Jolla Light).

This money is to go to the black hole of homelessness spending, eviction support programs (whatever that means) and tenants’ rights education (for exactly whom?). For a city and county that have shown an inability to replace a burned-out streetlight, schedule pothole or street repairs or maintain our sidewalks, preventing homelessness, initiating eviction support programs and providing tenants’ rights education will be another waste of taxpayer money that will show no results.

Voters need to stop this growing bureaucracy, which continues to confiscate more of citizens’ hard-earned money while we see no results except a growing payroll and more of the same ineptitude by city and county government.

Before we see one more dime of taxpayer money allocated to housing and homelessness, the city and county need to prove their worthiness though some semblance of progress with the money they have already allocated and spent.

Ted Levis

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Countywide crackdown is needed on irresponsible tobacco retailers

In response to the article published Aug. 31 titled “S.D. city attorney sues two retail chains — one with a La Jolla location — alleging sale of flavored tobacco”:

Tobacco retailers and retailers in general have a huge responsibility not only to obey the law but to ensure that communities throughout San Diego have access to healthier products. Sadly, smoking [products], trash food and alcohol are three preventable causes of death found at local stores.

San Diego passed a law last year prohibiting flavored tobacco products because of the e-cigarette youth epidemic and that the tobacco industry targets kids and many tobacco retailers sell to minors.

The e-cigarette youth epidemic is still out of control, and there is no coincidence that many schools have a serious problem with flavored tobacco and vaping. All city councils in San Diego County must act and implement strong enforcement measures and regulations, including eradicating all tobacco retailers close to schools and revoking tobacco licenses for retailers who blatantly break the law.

Tobacco retailers who follow the law should not be concerned about this.

Juan Andrade

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Time to give back the parking taken for outdoor dining

I am so over the “Spaces as Places” bureaucracy (“Coastal Commission OKs ‘Spaces as Places’ parking replacement requirement for beach areas,” Aug. 24, La Jolla Light).

I will no longer support an establishment that has consumed many parking places from The Village and businesses of La Jolla. They did just fine before COVID but still use that as an excuse for taking our parking. How will they and where will they replace parking?

I suggest they have a valet system that will park your car and you pick it up when you are done dining. Why should we be redirected to a parking structure five-plus streets away with enclosed parking?

With the money the city of San Diego makes from the permit income and my local taxes, they can pay for this inconvenience. Also, how much money from the permit fee stays in La Jolla for helping to maintain our streets, sidewalks and filth that is produced from outdoor dining?

Karen Marshall

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People have a right to show support for Trump

People are obsessed with hatred toward [Donald] Trump and are willing to trample over other people’s beliefs (“‘Trump 2024’ signs in La Jolla aren’t officially connected to the presidential campaign,” Aug. 24, La Jolla Light).

If the signs were in [President Joe] Biden’s name, would they be “uncomfortable”?

When I see (if you could even find one) a Biden sign, I shake my head and chuckle. But I never think “Take that down!”

Thank God for the First Amendment!

Jorge Sanchez

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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 ◆