Letters to the Editor: Robbery victim has warning for fellow La Jollans


••• Robbery victim has warning for fellow La Jollans: On Friday, Dec. 27, at 8:30 p.m, my friend and I were walking home on Ivanhoe after eating at Alfonso’s, when we were accosted on the corner of Silverado and Ivanhoe by a hooded black male with a gun … in my face.

My friend asked what he wanted and for that brief second, he took his eyes off of me and I bolted into the street screaming my head off and waving my arms. There was traffic on Ivanhoe and Silverado and headlights pointed my way and some cars came to a stop. After continuing screaming my head off, which stunned the man with the gun, another black male in a hoodie, who was hidden in the shadows, came out and said, “Let’s go.” They both ran to a car parked on Silverado. I took off up Ivanhoe and my friend followed. A car stopped and a woman asked if we were OK and offered us a ride home. I was shaking and stunned at the bold and brazen attack. The woman said she walked the streets and alleys of La Jolla all the time, as I do, and was stunned, as well. She drove us two blocks to Virginia Way and we got out. We felt lucky to get out of that situation in tack and unhurt.

I went into the house, called the police and they came rather quickly. A detective was asking us both questions and said that our description matched the description of the two men who have been terrorizing La Jolla this holiday season. He said they had struck six times! Already on Girard, Prospect, Pearl, Birdrock. As we were speaking to this detective, he got a call from another detective and these same two black men in hoodies held up another victim(s) and this time were successful in getting something from them. This assault and robbery occurred one block away on Herschel from where I was accosted. That detective, Robbery Unit, came over to my house to take my statement, as well. He said they fit the same description I had given to the first detective.

I have lived here since 1975 and this is the first time I have been afraid of going anywhere in La Jolla. These holdup men are unafraid of getting caught because, as the police said, we do not have police patrolling in La Jolla. Politics and money.

I have told all my friends to be careful of walking anywhere in La Jolla in the evening and they are spreading the word, as well. They are all afraid of going out at night now or walking the streets.

You need to warn the residents here. If the police won’t patrol or help, then we need to be informed. — Name withheld for security reasons

••• Where is the study on the impact of tourism in La Jolla? I don’t get it. Well, maybe I do … I just don’t like it. Ever since reading in the Jan. 1 La Jolla Light about San Diego Tourism Authority’s $3 million international marketing plan, which includes La Jolla, I’ve wondered what in the world these people are thinking? What studies were done to evaluate how much MORE tourist traffic the marketing campaign is expected to influence and how much more La Jolla can absorb? What are La Jollans thinking? Does anyone care?

Does anyone who approved of this plan — or anyone who thinks they will benefit from the expected outcomes — live in La Jolla? Drive on our streets? Deal with the impact of all this additional tourist traffic in any capacity?

Perhaps I’ve missed something but I’ve seen no response or comment to it — certainly no concern. Is it that homeowners aren’t paying attention? Or aren’t present? Or somehow think they will benefit financially from flooding La Jolla with even more tourists guaranteeing its devolution as a community, as with countless other East Coast and Southern California over-crowded tourist traps?

Will every neighborhood eventually turn into short-term vacation rentals for a good buck? Or just the ones where the houses are large enough to really profit as the neighbors are powerless to do anything about it? Will every beach turn into a huge parking lot? Will every parking lot turn into a battleground? It doesn’t have to be this way, but it will be if the masses stay silent. — Jula H., La Jolla

••• How much does it cost to operate La Jolla? I read with interest the results of the Light’s recent weekly poll asking if people thought that things would improve in town if La Jolla was an independent city. I wonder if the 56 percent of respondents who thought so realize that things won’t improve if it is not fiscally feasible to form an independent city. One of the requirements to form an independent city is to provide an independent fiscal analysis, which hasn’t been done since 2005. That study is no longer valid, but it did not include many cost items which would have, at the time, consumed the projected fiscal surplus and bankrupted the new city.

I believe that people should withhold any opinions about an independent La Jolla until a fiscal analysis is provided that contains accurate, complete and valid financial data. It doesn’t make any sense to me to form an independent city if it will just go bankrupt in short order. — Dale S. Duffala, Bird Rock

••• Seal island would solve waste near shore odors: I visit La Jolla with family and, of course, have noticed the smell in town from the restaurants close to the “sea lion rocks.” Long ago, I made a newspaper suggestion to build a large floating seal island off shore, and perhaps the seals would use it as a new home. There could be ramps for them to get onto the island.

Of course, with the fish hiding under such a contraption it should be a very popular sea lion sanctuary. Then, put something on the current sanctuary that the sea lions don’t want to be around — such as low whale noises or noises made by whatever eats sea lions. Problem solved! You will still have a tourist attraction, but a good one! Also, construct a sprinkling pump system to come on at specified number of times each day to wash away the feces, etc …. so that very little smell exists.” — Earle Callahan, Coronado. Retired CDR U.S. Navy carrier aviator

••• Buckeyes are best! Ohio State won the championship game of the inaugural College Football Playoff, defeating Oregon 42-20, Jan. 12. I am proud to be a graduate of the greatest university in America. — Norma Schwab, La Jolla

••• Thank you to La Jolla’s community leaders: I’d like to share my appreciation for the La Jolla Light’s timely and important article last week on our many community leaders and their goals in making La Jolla the best it can be. From the leadership positions on the many boards, foundations, and associations to the countless volunteers that work behind the scenes, a note of thanks for the positive impact you have on the community. — Trent Wagenseller, Bird Rock

••• More research needed before seal behaviorist enters picture: Our municipality is considering hiring a behaviorist to train the sea lions at the Cove to go elsewhere, based on the assumption that the odor detected in La Jolla is from poop from sea lions. This conclusion is counterintuitive and may even be wrong.

The sea lions haul out on the lowest rocks and many of them are subsequently washed for free by the sea twice a month at the highest of spring tides at new and full moon. Alternatively, the pelicans and cormorants drop their guano higher on the slope where it is washed only when it rains, which needless to say happens much less frequently. Before spending money shouldn’t someone whose nose is more sensitive than mine determine which guano is guilty before attacking the wrong problem? — Art Cooley, La Jolla

••• Is city letting La Jolla’s beaches become polluted, anti-people places? As a long time La Jolla resident and swimmer at La Jolla Cove, I wanted to let you know of the poor conditions that now exist. While the ongoing construction causes concerns and inconvenience, it is not as bad as the closure of the bathrooms and showers because of the loss of the pump.

Apparently, raw sewage was flowing into the Cove before the pump loss was discovered with no notice to swimmers.

The City of San Diego is spending millions of dollars for new lifeguard stations at the Cove and the Children’s Pool. However, with the ongoing dispute on the seals and sea lions, both of these areas are now — and will be in the future — unfit for human use. The stench is overpowering because of the seal and sea lion defecation that is routinely seen on the beach.

Swimming at both of these areas is becoming a health hazard when it is allowed at all. It is unfortunate that the City is doing so little to return these areas to the popular public use they’ve had until recently.

While it appears that the use of the Children’s Pool is a lost cause, the same result should not happen to the La Jolla Cove. If you haven’t been down to the Cove, I suggest you take the opportunity to inspect the area for yourself. — Bruce W. Beach, La Jolla

••• Is city providing lifeguard towers solely for seals and sea lions? Given the recent death of a surfer three-days after he surfed in the “staph-infected” waters off Point Loma, the City of San Diego might consider the real health risks to swimmers in our formerly pristine waters at the La Jolla Cove and the Children’s Pool. Several years ago I appeared before the San Diego City Council to posit — on the record — the obvious unwisdom of spending millions of dollars to build a new lifeguard station and restrooms where the only view was over an area where swimmers would not be allowed and where the only water creatures available for rescue would be the seals. Clearly, the pinheads and the pinnipeds are of one mind.

Our elected officials remain asleep at the switch. Given the current state of affairs, it now appears inevitable that future “viewing opportunities” for sea lions and seals could create a second cottage industry: An expanded opportunity for “viewings” of deceased swimmers. R.I.P. — Rick Wildman, La Jolla

••• Coast Walk Trail needs caution signs: On Saturday, Jan. 3 at around 10:30 a.m., I was walking along the Coast Walk Trail off of Torrey Pines Road. Halfway though the trail, just west of the white staircase and bridge, I witnessed a man slip off the grass and slide 10 feet down the cliff. Luckily, he did not fall into the ocean; he was trapped by dead branches at the edge of the cliff.

He was in a lot of pain and couldn’t move so his wife and I called 911. The paramedic team was at the scene in a matter of minutes, and handled the situation extremely well. While I do not know the outcome for this man, who was a 60-year-old tourist from Sweden, I can only hope he left the hospital with just a few scratches.

After speaking with residents who live near the Coast Walk, I’ve learned that these accidents along the trail are rare but still happen on occasion. There are chains meant to keep all hikers on the trail, but I think that La Jolla can do more to prevent these tragedies from happening again.

As a preventative measure, I suggest the implementation of caution signs along to trail to warn all hikers to be wary of the cliffs. I have walked this trail countless times during my visits here and have yet to see any warnings of the cliff. La Jolla brings in many tourists from all over the world, and many do not speak English, so I propose that these signs use images for all to understand. With these safety measures in place, I hope that residents and tourists alike can continue to enjoy the stunning views that the Coast Walk Trail has to offer without compromising their safety. — Jill Cates

••• Several resources available to brain injury victims: The article by Pat Sherman on the football concussion in the Jan. 8 issue ends with: La Jolla Light will be following this story in the coming month. As you follow the story, it may help to shed light on the topic in general for readers and the public in general.

Having incurred a concussion/Traumatic Brain Injury nearly seven years ago, I have found there is a lack of awareness in general about the issue. However, there are a few expert local resources on the issue. I hope you can get this list of resources to the family of the La Jolla High School football player recently injured.

1) San Diego Brain Injury Foundation - they have a guide for the families of concussion victims should read as soon after the injury as possible:

2) Dr. Spencer Wetter - Neuropsychologist. (In Frontline:League of Denial-concussions in the NFL, Neuropsychologist was consulted. They examine how the brain functions after a concussion.) Dr. Wetter administered cognitive testing to me which helped me understand how my brain functions since the concussion so that I can adjust and manage.:

3) Occupational Therapist Amanda Gretsch who administered spatial, coordination and balance tests which helped me understand the areas affected and she gave me exercises to improve as well as a book that explained sensitivities experienced by concussion victims:

4) Book: “Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight: What to Do If You Are Sensory Defensive in an Overstimulating World” by Sharon Heller:

Thank you for printing the story about the recently injured La Jolla High School football player. I hope these resources can help him and his family. And provide insight into concussion issues as you follow up on his story in the coming months. — Lynn Hawklyn, La Jolla

••• Where can people donate old resource books? From the article, San Diego Book Project, Jan. 8 edition, I gather that the project does not want people to donate old books for the most part as no information was given about this. It would be useful to have an article on where to donate books that could be re-used as the Book Man off El Cajon Blvd. used to do. Is there another group like this? I have many old scientific books, Encyclopedia Britannica and Book of Knowledge books that would be useful to someone. The Book Man’s website gives a church as a place to take books, but I rather doubt it would pursue the same sort of book distribution to people and places that need them. — Ann Heinemann, La Jolla

— Editor’s Note: For starters, books can always be donated to the La Jolla Library, 7555 Draper Ave. Readers who know other places for used books can e-mail the information to and we’ll print the list in an upcoming issue.

••• Memorial’s cross symbol represents death, not religion: Regarding the Dec. 25, 2014 letter to the editor, ‘Reader shares thoughts on veterans memorial,’ this letter is wrong in so many ways it’s hard to know where to start. A veterans memorial association is NOT a religion! It’s quite clear the writer has never visited the memorial or she would have seen the plaques honoring military service of Christians, Jews and undesignated — men, women, whites, blacks, Indians, Asians and Hispanics. Who knows? Maybe even agnostics or atheists, although I hear there are none in foxholes ...

Now I admit I don’t know all the history of the use of the Star of David, but I do know the Nazis used it to intimidate and isolate Jews, and in the end, Jews embraced and identified with it. Similarly, Romans used the cross as an instrument of fear and torture, and in the end, Christians embraced and identified with it. In both cases, it’s kind of like making lemonade out of lemons.

Since the Romans did not reserve the use of the cross just on Christians, it has also come to represent death, not who died. Those who resent the memorial so much should come up for the view. It’s fantastic! — Beverly Bratek, La Jolla

••• Traffic calmer doesn’t work: I hope that new “traffic calming island” on West Muirlands Drive cost us taxpayers nothing, because that is exactly what it does: nothing. — Jerry Cesak, La Jolla

••• We must all work to perserve freedoms of the press: We join the rest of the world in mourning the brave staff of the magazine Charlie Hebdo, gunned down by religious fanatics for defending freedom of the press.

Meat industry fanatics in the U.S. have devised a more subtle means of stifling freedom of the press. The states of Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, and Utah have enacted “ag-gag” laws that impose criminal penalties on investigators seeking to expose animal abuses and safety violations in factory farms.

According to an Associated Press report in Jan.8 newspapers, four members of an animal protection organization were charged with violating Utah’s ag-gag law. They sought to document the daily transport of thousands of pigs from the infamous Circle Four factory farm in Cedar City (UT) to the Farmer John slaughterhouse in Los Angeles. Ag-gag laws are clearly unconstitutional and are being challenged in federal courts. Assaults on press freedom need to be confronted wherever they rear their ugly heads, even when they assume the legitimacy of a state law. — Sheldon Daniels, La Jolla

••• What’s on YOUR mind? Letters to the Editor for publication should be 250 words or less, and sent by e-mail to and please include the full name of the sender, city of residence and phone number for verification.

Note: Letters are NOT the opinions of La Jolla Light.