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Letters to the Editor: July 5, 2007

Dear Editor:

This is in response to the June 27th letter which made false accusations against Jane Bradford and La Jolla Friends of the Seals:

Neither Jane Bradford nor La Jolla Friends of the Seals is involved with or financially benefits in any way from the table set up at Casa Beach/Children’s Pool, which is run by Seal Watch.

All nonprofits depend on donations from the community. People who come to our Web site and wish to make a donation, or those visitors who give unsolicited small bills and coins to a jar in front of the educational sign, are doing it of their own choice. We gratefully accept these donations and use the money to support our primary mission of education of the public by providing postcards with information about harbor seals. We buy these cards with the donated money and they are handed out to any interested person free of charge.

La Jolla Friends of the Seals also helps fund the salaries of nighttime security guards to prevent harassment of harbor seals when they are resting on the beach.

There are many volunteers from a number of organizations who freely give of their time and talents, working towards the day when a permanent solution will be found, and all who live in or visit San Diego will have a chance to view and learn about harbor seals and their role in the marine ecosystem. Among these is Jane Bradford who is respected for her concern for the environment, for her hard work and her integrity.

Judith Lawrence

La Jolla Friends of the Seals

(Ed. Note: The Light encourages Letters To The Editor and public discussion and debate. But such discourse will be restricted to issues, not personalities. Any such references will be omitted. All letters must also contain phone numbers which will be checked for authenticity.)

Dear Editor:

I wish to protest the seal activists at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla. I have been harassed for no reason when I go there to swim.

The seals do not move when I swim and I find the “activists’ ” actions repugnant and illegal.

I would appreciate the La Jolla Light shedding light on the illegal activities of these so called “seal protectors.”

James Poirier

La Jolla High School science teacher

Dear Editor:

I read the letters to the editor regarding the seals at Casa Beach in the June 7 issue of this newspaper. I appreciate learning about the different points of view your paper provides.

As a volunteer for Seal Watch, I have the opportunity to observe and enjoy the seals, listen and watch the ocean, and talk to tourists every week. As a teacher, I look forward to talking to them about Casa Beach. I tell them that this site shows up on early maps of La Jolla as Seal Beach, that when the wall was put up in the 1930s, this place became a popular beach for children and that was its use for decades, that many from La Jolla fondly and understandably remember this era and that the seals returned in the mid-1990s. Finally, I tell them that the city has declared this a shared-use beach. Seal Watch’s signs request that visitors observe the seals from the sea wall or the sidewalk. One hardly needs to say more. Most visitors/tourists do just that. No one is conned into giving money or buying merchandise from Seal Watch as one of the letters to the editor suggests.

We are, however, often asked what one can do to ensure that the seals can stay safely on Casa Beach. Many tourists share that a friend, neighbor, or relative specifically recommended that they not miss seeing the seals at Casa Beach when plannning a trip to San Diego.

Observing nature via watching the seals is a restful complement to the active pace of sightseeing that San Diego affords a tourist. Why would we want to change that?

Pat Taylor

Seal Watch volunteer