GUEST COMMENTARY: St. James Episcopal Church is landscaping to save water

The Landscape Committee at St. James By-the-Sea has been conscientiously addressing the drought situation for the past several years. At this time, we are pleased to announce that the renovation of the landscaping on church grounds to minimize water use is in its final stages.

The front lawn and mow strips outside the adjacent historic cobble wall have been replanted with Tif Green Sports Turf Bermuda grass sod. This type of grass grows very slowly and requires much less water than other grasses typically used in our area.

We also installed a new irrigation system with MP Rotators, which feature a multi-trajectory rotating stream delivery system that achieves water-conserving results. MP Rotators deliver multiple streams of water at a slow, steady rate. This slower application rate allows water to gently soak into the soil and achieves an even distribution throughout the area being irrigated. This increased efficiency results in 30 percent less water use when compared to traditional sprays and significantly reduces wasteful runoff.

Our “Landscaping to Save Water” plan also included replacing the turf in the curb strips around the church with decomposed granite so those areas will no longer require irrigation. Unlike concrete, decomposed granite is porous and allows rain water to drain through to the roots of trees below rather than into street, and from there, into storm drains.

We have almost completed replacing the irrigation systems in our gardens with water conserving types. Our grounds are minimally planted with drought tolerant specimens and the areas at the base of the trees, in the garden beds and pots, have a thick layer of mulch to conserve moisture in the soil there.

The historic fountain on the patio in front of the church was converted to a low bubbling water feature so no water is lost by evaporation when sprayed up into the air or when the cohesive water column is subject to prevailing winds. The fountain pump recycles the water within the fountain and is controlled by a timer so it is on only a few hours each day.

When the fountain is drained for cleaning once a month, a hose is attached and the end is put at the base of the nearby magnolia tree to provide deep water to its roots.

We are very happy to have the opportunity to care for the grounds of our beautiful historic church in the center of the La Jolla Cultural District at 743 Prospect St.

We hope the members of our community and visitors from afar who have enjoyed a visit here over the past 106 years will continue to do so for many more.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Off-shore platforms might end sea lion issue at Cove

PRECAST structures have been used to create a place for sea lions in other communities. We could build a sea lion home off the shore, while temporarily netting the cliffs so sea lions no longer make the cliffs their home. The new structure could be far enough away to reduce the smell and ocean waves would clean the structure far more often than the cliffs get washed. Learn more at

Mary Kay Plantes

Diversity group launches website, parade date

The San Diego County Diversity & Inclusiveness Group (SDCDIG) is pleased to announce and welcome the world to its first website In addition to the website, the SDCDIG is proud to make known to everyone within reading distance that SDCDIG will hold its first annual La Jolla Community Parade at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 13.

Linda Wenger

Historical Society support for cultural expansion plans noted

La Jolla Light published an excellent Guest Commentary in its May 28 edition, “Historical Society endorses Art Museum, Music Society plans.” Heath Fox, the executive director of the La Jolla Historical Society, and its board of directors approved, with a thorough understanding, the plans for expansion of the La Jolla Music Society and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD). Each will bring excellent architectural structures and a park next to the museum that will provide a delightful view of the ocean.

In terms of the MCASD, the expansion will allow exhibition of its “prestigious collection,” which will have dramatic and meaningful growth in the future. And the Music Society, with its expansion of the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, will yield a superb facility for the excellent programs it provides. These two institutions will be centers for enriching culture for the citizens of La Jolla and San Diego, the equivalent of the finest in the state of California.

The support of the La Jolla Historical Society is most meaningful.

Charles and Monica Cochrane

Other side of Shauna story missing from report

I couldn’t help but notice the extremely misleading fluff piece, “Shelter For Shauna,” in the May 28 issue. This is the same unpredictably hostile individual who patrols Pearl and Fay streets during daylight hours. As a longtime Village resident, I witness (almost daily) this person screaming obscenities at both passerbys and vehicles, in front of everyone from small children to the elderly. I’ve witnessed this individual threaten to harm people at random, more times than I care to count. We live in arguably the most beautiful neighborhood in the country, yet the peaceful serenity is shattered once you hear the shopping-cart wheels coming and you realize the inevitable curse-laden tirade isn’t far behind.

I’ll abstain from commenting further on the fundraising effort at hand since the end result will satisfy the Soul Wise Coaching folks as much as it will me: a threatening presence off of our streets. But how dare you author such an incomplete description making us feel like we owe something to this “victim”? If Hitler were still around, some people would start a GoFundMe site to encourage him and La Jolla Light would write a glowing review of his artwork.

James DiCiocco

Shores neighborhood is not the lovely place it used to be

I’ve been a resident of the “Jewel” since 1963. At that time it was a Village of friendly people who cared about each other and the environment. As a business owner in La Jolla Shores (for 35 years) I was a member of the La Jolla Shores Association and participated in resolving many community issues. I’ve owned my property on La Jolla Shores Drive since 1974. Much love and financial effort has gone into making this my home, but it is becoming more and more difficult to live here.

The vicinity around UCSD has contributed an abundance of traffic — something that can’t be changed, so it seems, at this time. However, what could be addressed more aggressively is the speeding and excessive noise.

There is a sign at the corner of La Jolla Farms Road and La Jolla Shores Drive that indicates “Pedestrian Crossing.” Cars, for the most part, travel above the posted speed limit at 50-60 miles per hour in either direction. Although there is a double yellow line, U-turns are constant and my driveway is used to make turns, day and night.

In many cases, the properties are slumlord rentals to students, who leave their trashcans out all week. The city establishes rules, which are never enforced.

Two properties nearby are student party houses. More than 100 people gather there at least once a month with loud music and screaming. Police have made several visits there, to no avail.

Nearby a Eucalyptus tree sheds leaves and huge junks of trunk, in immediate danger of falling over the street and on our houses. Trash — like plastic bottles, soda cans and paper — are part of the daily scenery. One corner house is an eyesore with droppings from banana trees and overgrown vegetation covering the sidewalk.

Via Capri and Torrey Pines Road have speed indicators, but La Jolla Shores Drive (once called “Scenic Route”) does not seem to qualify, although the traffic is not less than on Torrey Pines Road. u

Isabella Miram, CTC