Letters to the Editor: December 20, 2007


Kudos on service club article

On behalf of the LJHS Interact club, thank you for your part in publishing the excellent story on our club’s home-building initiative in Tijuana (Dec. 13 Issue). We enjoyed meeting Manny Lopez and we enjoyed talking with him about this good community-service project. We especially appreciate the addition of the story to your Web site. This allows our members to share the story far and wide with family and friends out of the La Jolla area.

If we could change one thing, it would be to have our club’s Web site ( added to the end of the article where Project Mercy’s URL is. We’d love to have more La Jollans know more about the wonderful community service that LJHS Interact club members are performing.

Thank you again for helping us get the word out about our good works.

Cal Mann

LJHS Interact Club, Advisor

Troublesome intersection in Bird Rock

The intersection of Colima Street and La Jolla Mesa is not yet finished but already the signs of trouble are apparent.

There are tire marks on the north curb of Colima. The left turn from La Jolla Mesa into Colima is so tight and at the wrong angle that cars end up bumping the north side of the street.

The bike lane that comes down the hill from Mount Soledad ends abruptly at Linda Rosa. Cars pull out of Colima into the path of the cyclists all the time. Car drivers don’t give the bikes the room they need and do not estimate the speed of the bike well. With the narrowing of the road, there is no out for the cyclists as La Jolla Mesa is so constricted at that point. An accident will happen there.

Now I see that there are two 24” box Torrey Pines ready for planting. They look cute in boxes at the moment but doesn’t the city know how big those trees will be? There is not enough room for one, leave alone two, in the space beside the sidewalk. They will completely dominate the intersection, overshadow the houses and block the view of the road. A much better choice would one Bauhinia Blakeana (Hong Kong Orchid) or Verigata, one Tabebuia Avellandedae (Ipe tree) or one Cassia Leptophylla (Gold Medallion). Any one of these is more in scale and echoes the other plantings in Bird Rock.

At the other end of Colima trees have been planted in the roundabout. After allowing the developer of Sea Haus to take away half the view corridor from Colima to the ocean, trees are planted in what is left. The lovely sea view as you walk down Colima soon will be completely gone. Oh, that’s right, no one walks anymore so no one cares.

What a disaster this is turning out to be. How do these things get designed and approved?

Gillian Ackland

Bird rock

Free La Jolla

The small but apparently tireless little band of parking meter advocates (PMAs), faced with constant and overwhelming community opposition, have sought to bring some respectability to their cause by arguing that parking is an “asset,” or “resource,” which needs to be “managed.”

The argument is, apparently, that we if La Jollans are left to our own devices, we will waste and despoil the asset which is free parking. It needs to be managed, and, so say the PMAs, the best way to manage it is by charging for it. Who should manage it? Why, the PMAs of course, because they were the only ones smart enough to contrive this plan to save us from ourselves. They will tell us what the right thing to do is, then they will do it to us.

What little I know about management science suggests that good managers ought to manage by objective, and for the benefit of an identified group of constituents. Now, what is the apparent objective of the plan on the table? To make commercial life more profitable for tourist serving restaurants and hotels whose business success turns in part on quick turnover and no overhead expense for parking (i.e., don’t pay for your own business parking; create a plan to require that everyone else do so). Who are will be the beneficiaries? Those same few businesses? Run by the PMAs? Hmmm, I may be a slow learner, but I think I’m getting it.

Some other La Jolla resources which aren’t being adequately managed:

Views - Too many people go to the waterfront, or to Mt. Soledad, to glory in the views, without paying for the experience. We could have a small Advisory Board to allocate sponsorships for which people will pay. “The North Coast, brought to you by Joe’s Restaurant.” (Legend on discretely placed signs). The fees thus collected will be used to buy paint and flowers, to make the views even more beautiful. That is, the part of the fees that doesn’t go to the City of San Diego.

Beaches - It’s November, and La Jolla Shores is still overcrowded. Needs management. Needs admission charges, probably signified by temporary tattoos, each good for one hour. Typical signs: “Childrens’ surf area, thanks to Acme Hotel.” The Beach Advisory Board will use the net proceeds of sponsorship (after the City takes what the City wants) to get sand of a better sort, and to pay administrative expenses.

Sunsets - You understand the process by now.

How many more of the great attributes that make La Jolla La Jolla, and which have been free until now, can we figure out how to “manage?”

Karl ZoBell

La Jolla