Letters to the Editor: June 7, 2007
What are the activists doing?I have seen the antics of the seal activists on many occasions, how they relentlessly deter the public from going down on to the Children’s Pool Beach to view the seals or to swim since the rope came down. Before the rope was removed you could go down to watch the seals from a safe distance. Now if you want to go down to view them from that same distance, you are stopped at the stairs and sometimes told it is against the law to go down on the beach, and if you do go down you are called, “seal hater” and if you disagree with them you are a “anti-seal activist.” If the seals are being harassed as the activists claim, then why are they still here? And why are they multiplying in even greater-numbers? This is their best year yet with a record of 32 births and only four deaths posted on their signs next to the table of souvenirs they use to make a buck off tourists, and with a mortality death rate of 50 percent say pinniped biologist adds, at this rate they will soon be taking over more beaches as well.
I have talked to many of the swimmers and divers that use the Children’s Pool and they say that they love the seals too, and clearly from what I have seen they go out of their way to stay as far from the seals as possible, the seals don’t appear to be harassed, in fact most of the time the seals don’t even move and the ones in the water follow and even play with the swimmers and divers. These people say they are not anti-seal activists they are seal activist-activists.
Kudos to the LightCongratulations to Dave Schwab for writing an unusually balanced article on the Children’s Pool controversy. Especially appreciated was his comments pertaining to the recent court judgment that found the city of San Diego guilty of breach of trust and other violations pertaining to that beach. (Readers wanting more information can view the entire Judge’s decision at https://divebums.com/Childrens .)
However, the poll that claimed 80 percent of city residents agreed with the seal activists is a deception. What was used is a “push poll” which is commonly described as being designed to shape, rather than measure, public opinion. Here’s just one example of the leading questions used:
”.... During seven months out of the year, there is no rope, and people often go right up to the seals and end up scaring them away.
Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree that the rope should be kept up year round?”
Obviously, the activists got the desired, though meaningless, answers.
Finally, Donna Frye’s suggestion that there’s a compromise proposal “that both sides seem to be in agreement with” is a complete fantasy. It suggests that it might somehow be permitted for the seals to permanently reside on the sand at night. Unless the seal advocates are prepared to diaper their wards, the Children’s Pool would continue to be one of the most polluted beaches in California. This is a one-sided proposal that appears to be no more than the last gasp of the pro-seal forces as they realize the courts are about to put an end to their cause.
Zogby poll verification at www.aprl.org/zogbyseals.pdf.
Carl B. Lind