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Bird Rock Community Council grateful for trash can lid, streetlight replacement

A blocked storm drain at La Jolla Hermosa Park
City representatives have committed to fixing a storm drain at La Jolla Hermosa Park that is blocked, so water tends to flow back into the park, contributing to erosion and creating a deep groove near the overlook.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

The Bird Rock Community Council is singing the city of San Diego’s praises this month, after trash can lids were replaced ahead of the Memorial Day weekend and streetlight bulbs were changed; and the city continues to commit to making safety-related repairs at one of Bird Rock’s overlooks.

At the June 1 BRCC meeting, the members of the ad hoc coastal overlooks committee applauded San Diego Parks and Recreation Department district manager Dan Daneri for speedy action in replacing a trashcan lid that had been thrown over a nearby cliff at the Forward Street overlook.

“The volunteers that maintain that area were distraught because the seagulls had been the enjoying the open container [by picking out and distributing trash] and with the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, they were beside themselves,” said ad hoc committee member Mary Lynne Hyde. She said she reached out to Daneri and asked if they had “any old, cracked lids they could give us,” even though Forward Street is not under that department’s jurisdiction.

“Within 30 minutes, I not only had a reply, but they had found a lid and installed it later that day,” Hyde said.

Ad hoc committee member Don Schmidt echoed, “It is stellar customer service. These employees should be used as an example of what other employees should be doing. This is the San Diego I grew up in … this is the way it should be done. We were all worried we were going to have to watch that trashcan like a hawk all weekend [to shoo away seagulls] and they totally took that stress away from us. It was fantastic.”

Board members also expressed appreciation for the replacing of streetlight bulbs, which BRCC secretary Barbara Dunbar said coyly “I suspect Steve [Hadley, field representative for City Councilman Joe LaCava] had something to do with.”

She reported that streetlight bulbs were replaced on the northeast and southeast corners of the Camino de la Costa roundabouts. “I know people were complaining about it being very dark at that roundabout at night, so the city came in and [fixed] that,” she said, adding the city had replaced other streetlights as well.

Hadley confirmed that moving forward, the city is working to fix a storm drain at La Jolla Hermosa Park that is blocked, so water tends to flow back into the park, contributing to erosion.

“The big issues are that the storm drain is obstructed and the retaining wall that kept the dirt out of the storm drain is cattywampus across so any water that comes into the storm drain goes into the park and there is that big crevasse,” Dunbar explained. “The viewing bench was removed because it was in jeopardy of falling in. The safety of the bottom section and the storm drain are important. We’re lucky it was a dry season.”

She thanked Hadley for his continued commitment to having the city repair the storm drain.

In other BRCC news:

Fourth of July parade: Plans are moving forward with the Bird Rock Fourth of July parade, which was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19-related restrictions on gatherings. Leadership at Murfey Company, which has coordinated and sponsored the Bird Rock parade, is proceeding with obtaining and securing permits from the city.

Russ Murfey told the La Jolla Light after the meeting, “the parade is definitely on” but that donations and volunteers are still needed. Themed “May The Fourth Of July Be With You,” the parade is slated to begin at 10 a.m. along Beaumont Avenue. Family donations of $40 and up are requested: gofundme.com/f/2021birdrock4thofjulyparade.

Those who want to volunteer can email patty@murfeycompany.com.

Although the state will have lifted its COVID-19-related tier system on Tuesday, June 15, Murfey said event organizers “encourage everyone to participate according to their comfort levels, including masks, social distancing, as applicable.”

BirdStock: Representing the Bird Rock Merchants Group, Bird Rock Animal Clinic owner Craig Bender said efforts were still underway to create an event to welcome visitors back to Bird Rock.

“We’re excited for June 15,” he said, the date on which the state plans to lift its COVID-19-related restrictions, and that the plan was to have a “Taste of Bird Rock"-style event, but that is now on pause at the risk of overwhelming businesses so soon after they can operate unrestricted.

Instead, Bender said an ArtWalk with art-related events and chalk art on the street is being planned for some time this year and a “BirdStock” type event with a band, promotions for local restaurants and more is being planned for 2022.

Bird Rock Community Council next meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 6, online. Learn more at birdrockcc.org. ◆