Association will ask city to station ranger at La Jolla Shores beach

Donna Derrick and Barbara Denny show off a photo of a plaque similar to what they would like placed at The Shores. Ashley Mackin

By Ashley Mackin

The La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) held its monthly meeting May 8 to discuss the steps for acquiring a ranger at The Shores beach, hear the monthly lifeguard report, and consider a request from the Daughters of the American Revolution.

■ Ranger request:

LJSA members agreed there is a need for a ranger at The Shores, which would require raising approximately $100,000, because the city does not currently have the funds to support the position.

Member Mary Coakley-Munk said a ranger’s presence is direly needed based on the number of visitors who frequent the locale. “The per square foot usage at Kellogg Park is ridiculous, it’s so beyond carrying capacity,” she said.

District 1 City Councilmember Sherri Lightner’s representative, Erin Demorest, told the group that if the money were raised, the city could have a ranger stationed there immediately, for one year.

Board member Izzy Tihanyi said fees paid by Shores business owners — which would cover a ranger’s annual salary — go to the city’s general fund as opposed to the local community. “If fees go to the city’s general fund, it should be called a tax,” she said. “But the city doesn’t want us to refer to it as a tax, they want us to call it a fee; and a fee goes back to the program that generated it.”

Board Chair Tim Lucas agreed, suggesting that local business fees should cover a ranger. “If they don’t want to give the money directly to the community, put it toward the (law) enforcement and the park management they need,” he said.

The LJSA agreed to write a letter to the city requesting a ranger be stationed at The Shores, and possibly paid for through business-owner “fees.”

■ Lifeguard activity:

New lifeguard Ben Lewis reported that in April there were 18 rescues, 30 medical aids, eight lost-and-found cases and one detention at The Shores beach, and 150,000 people were counted as visitors.

He said his unit also assisted in a rescue five miles off La Jolla, where a boat capsized and the father and two sons on board were deemed “in serious condition.” With choppy water conditions, Lewis reported the bilge of the boat was overworked and short-circuited. As a result, the boaters could not issue a Mayday call and were in the water for three to four hours before they were rescued.

In regard to the new lifeguard tower, which will “hopefully” open at The Shores this summer, Lewis said lifeguards need to move every- thing from the old tower to the new tower, and the old tower must be demolished.

However, asbestos was found in the old tower’s roof, and needs to be abated before the old tower can be demolished, he said. Originally planned to open before Memorial Day, it is more likely the new tower would be ready for lifeguards on June 1.

Acknowledging public safety issues, Erin Demorest said it was her understanding the city would work through the summer construction moratorium if it didn’t finish the new tower by Memorial Day.

Donna Derrick and Barbara Denny show off a photo of a plaque similar to what they would like placed at The Shores. Ashley Mackin

■ DAR project:

Representatives from the La Jolla Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) asked LJSA if it would be amenable to having a DAR historical plaque somewhere in The Shores. Donna Derrick told the group DAR pays for the creation and installation of the plaque, working on the wording with community groups. The plaque would not honor any particular person, but would represent the group’s mission. DAR is a non-profit lineage- based membership organization for women who are directly descended from a person involved in the U.S. fight for independence. It works to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. The DAR has chapters in all 50 states as well as in the District of Columbia.

Coakley-Munk suggested the Scripps Institute of Oceanography as a possible place for the plaque, as well as the flagpole at Kellogg Park. “We have a flag with a base down there that the Beach and Tennis Club puts up. That base might be a good location. The base also needs to be landscaped and this could be a part and parcel,” she said.

Chair Lucas said the board would take a vote on placing the DAR plaque at Kellogg Park when a more solid plan is proposed.

In other LJSA news

There are three open positions on the LJSA board; one two-year position and two one-year positions. A representative is needed from the Via Capri area. Those interested can e-mail and attend the next meeting, 6:30 p.m. June 12 at 8840 Biological Grade.

Chair Lucas nominated John Kassar and Todd Lesser to the Traffic and Transportation Board as representatives from LJSA. The nominees were approved by majority vote.

Todd Lesser resigned from the LJSA. “Todd had a lot going on with his other work,” Lucas said. “He had to pick and choose, and decided to stay on Traffic and Transportation.”

Lucas nominated himself, Janie Emerson, Dolores Donovan and Myra Nagle to the Permit Review Committee. All were approved by majority vote.