Letters to the Editor: Treasured scarf is tribute to 9/11 tragedy



• “One eye sees, the other feels.” — Paul Klee, artist

This unique piece of art touches my soul. The artwork itself is actually a large silk scarf with a brightly colored montage of New York City’s landmarks hand-drawn by artist John Rombola. It was given to me while working at New York magazine in 1993. At the time, I was only 25 years old and the magazine was celebrating 25 years since its inception. A group of us were given the scarves as commemorative mementos to toast 25 years of the magazine’s success.

The scarf was just a scarf to me back then, so I tucked it away into a drawer and forgot about it. After Sept. 11, the scarf suddenly became a treasured keepsake of my beloved NYC. It was the last thing I had depicting the Twin Towers standing tall and proud. I took the wrinkled scarf to The Artful Framer in La Jolla and had it steamed, blocked and framed. It hangs in our home, not only as an inspirational collage for my family to enjoy, but a meaningful reminder of the tragedy of 9/11.

— Lorri Sabban, La Jolla

• Case of unfair ticket for neighbor’s off-leash dog

It was 7:30 a.m. on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. We three neighbors ran into one another as we walked our dogs. We began chatting in our shared driveway as our dogs waited together, peacefully, while we visited. Suddenly, an Animal Control van pulled into our driveway, the first such van I have ever seen in La Jolla. A young man got out, walked up to us and asked “Whose dog is that?” Our neighbor, Nancy, acknowledged that the off-leash dog, Pearl, was her dog. Nancy is 79, and suffers from multiple sclerosis. She requires a motorized wheelchair. Her illness also precludes her managing a leash. The only way she and 11-year-old Pearl can walk together outside is if Pearl stays near Nancy’s mechanical wheelchair. Everyone in this neighborhood is acquainted with Nancy and Pearl. It is always a better day when we run into them on their walks together. We know this is the only time they are in sunshine. My theory has always been that Pearl must have been God’s special gift to Nancy because Pearl is perfectly behaved.

Without a single word of conversation the young man stated, “I need to see your identification.” Like all of us, Nancy didn’t bring her ID to walk her dog, so this man followed her into her home through her garage. I tried to engage him in discussion of the circumstances, but he told me that since this was not my business he didn’t have to talk to me. He followed Nancy into her home and issued a ticket for not having Pearl on a leash. He was clearly there to issue a ticket, not to assess the situation. Frankly, I was stunned by his arrogance. Yes, he was legally correct. Pearl was not on a leash. But I assure you it is scary to meet people with power who are without human compassion. As a retired attorney I do recall that compassion is also part of justice. I generally support the leash law in La Jolla, though it is a challenge to me that we lack dog parks and trash receptacles to assist us in caring for our dogs. I do understand there is resentment toward dogs and dog owners in La Jolla.

It is my humble opinion that, instead of threatening people and their loving dogs, the real war should be on dog owners who don’t clean up after their dogs! The 90 percent of us who DO clean up are just as grossed out as anyone when we see an abandoned poop pile. But as for Nancy and Pearl, they are a great team who brighten our days. We should embrace them, not threaten them. I hope we can let Nancy and Pearl preserve their independent walks without the threat of fines and Pearl’s removal from Nancy. Unlike the sad young man from Animal Control, we are better than that, I hope.

— Glenda M. Rothberg, La Jolla

• Cleaning Casa Beach would harm ecosystem

The proposed “cleaning” of Casa Beach during the summer months would disrupt the nutrient-rich natural beach conditions that contribute to the ecological health of near-shore waters. The ecology of the beach and adjacent waters provide a wealth of nutrients for the spiny lobsters so sought by sport divers during the lobster season. Shame on members of the La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory committee (LJPB) for their failure to consider all of the other species involved in the vicinity of Casa Beach. The unique La Jolla harbor seal rookery is well established at Casa Beach and the seals can be viewed there year-round. Use of the beach by the seals differs in different seasons, and this time of year, the best seal viewing is late at night and at first light in the morning. Fecal matter deposited on the beach by the seals during the night becomes part of the beach nutrient load not to be disturbed, however, one might not wish to let children play in or ingest this sand. Included with the sand-sanitizing proposal by LJPB is the old, rehashed idea of cutting holes through the seawall at Casa. Long ago this idea was dismissed for various reasons (including public safety), and the beach sand has long since become stabilized at its current level.

— Jim Hudnall, La Jolla. Charter Member, Society for Marine Mammalogy. Founder, Casa seal-protection movement

• Crime(s) at Cove need reporting

I have been watching the glacial progress in the construction project at La Jolla Cove. It’s like watching grass grow. Some days you might see one person sort of working, maybe looking at a drawing. Many days you see no one working. At this rate, the construction project might be completed in about two years. The Empire State Building was built in a little more than a year. The Cove project is relatively simple. In addition, they received two dedicated parking spaces at the Cove so more people can park and do nothing? What are they doing in that trailer, playing cards? Where does the city find these contractors and why to they fail to manage them so that the work gets done expeditiously?

— Doug Burleigh, Clairemont

P.S. The message below has been posted around the Cove. I wondered if you could publicize this, as it’s a threat to those who use the Cove. It was reported to the police, but I don’t expect they’re going to “jump right on it.”

Warning to Swimmers: We have some car thieves operating at the Cove. On Thursday, Sept. 4, between 3 and 4 p.m., a swimmer’s black SDSU backpack was stolen from under the green table on the deck. The contents included car keys, a cell phone, etc. When the owner walked to her car parked on Silverado at Exchange. Her car (2005 Silver Audi A4) was gone! The car key was just a simple metal key, not electronic, so the car could not have been easily located by pressing an alarm or trunk button. Her wallet was in her car. When she called her bank, someone had already tried to use her debit card twice, including the CVS in La Jolla. It’s possible that the thieves saw her park and walk away with her swim bag. They then could have followed her to the Cove and stolen her bag when she went out swimming.

Just before the victim went out to swim, two people had arrived and sat down on chairs at the rear corner of the deck. They were a heavy-set Caucasian couple, around 40. The guy had long brown hair; he was wearing a white tank top, extensive (mostly black) tattoos on his arms, and a large scar inside his left bicep. They may not have had anything to do with it, but they may have. People of the same description have been noticed at the Shores also. If you see them around, watch them. At the same time on Thursday, another guy reported someone had gone into his swim bag and taken his car keys, too. Try not to leave your car keys in your bag. Look around before you leave your car to see if someone is watching you. If you see someone who seems out of place on the deck area, take a photo of them and let them see you do it.

• Cove ‘gate’ must be larger

Months ago, I was thrilled that a decision was made to have a gate installed so people could access the bluffs and discourage the birds and seals. Unhappily, it was a small, wienie gate that was frequently closed and the (dicey) path down was problematic. I have lived here since 1960 and until the fence went up, never noticed an odor. I think if a six-foot-wide gate were installed and some steps carved out instead of a treacherous slide then more people could access the area with less city liability and our birds and seals could find a more peaceful haunt. P.S. Why a gate at all?

— Robyn Willsey-Morton, La Jolla Village

• Tired of the debate: Children vs. seals

Please, can we accept the solution put forward by Melinda Merryweather and Debbie Beacham. Seals five months, then opening the sluiceways in the seawall to help clean the area, then the children and others to enjoy for seven months. As a life-long resident of La Jolla, I feel it is time to put the matter to rest and move on.

— Cynthia Shelley, 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.