Letters to the editor: January 10, 2008

Dear Editor:

In the world of propaganda there is a concept called The Big Lie. If a lie is repeated often enough, and heard frequently enough, people will believe it and in time it will be accepted as the gospel.

Such is the case with the mythology surrounding the Casa Beach/Children’s Pool land grant. The area was never designated as a children’s bathing beach exclusively. In fact, the state specifically refused that suggestion and instead enumerated 6 specific uses of the area, only 1 of which was a bathing beach for children. In addition, the language of the grant specifically authorized the City of San Diego to add to the six uses any additional purpose which the City deemed appropriate, such as, for example, recreational seal watching.

Ellen Browning Scripps donated money for the sea wall to be constructed. She did not own the ocean or the sand and had no authority over the manner in which the area was to be used, contrary to assertions by Melinda Merryweather. The state made that decision and it did not limit the use to a children’s bathing beach. Had the judges on the appellate court accepted and reviewed any of the amicus briefs submitted to them by legal experts, they most certainly would not have upheld Judge Pate’s revisionist history.

By not acting on the municipal authority granted to it by the state, the City of San Diego has allowed a terrible situation to develop which potentially could waste a million dollars or more for just the initial stages of compliance with Pate’s order, never mind the ongoing expenses. Meanwhile we are told that the City lacks the funds for adequate fire protection without raising taxes or issuing bonds. The situation is frankly insane.

I would not want to be working for the chamber of commerce if the day ever comes when people turn on the evening news and see bulldozers chasing baby seals off the beach. Tourism in La Jolla would certainly suffer an enormous blow. Instead of being known as “The Jewel” you can bet La Jolla would from then on be known as “The Cruel.”

Jane Cartmill