Some things can change

Some things never change. And some do - but only in terms of the detail. A year ago the Light’s headlines included two stories that were in the news last week and another that’s been in and out of it for more than 20 years.

  • Let’s start with that one: the Independent La Jolla movement. A group of people who have carried that banner on and off over the years are back. They’re meeting monthly (July 8 at the library) and talking seriously about finding a way to control the community’s destiny.
  • Then there’s Torrey Pines Road. A year ago, after a lot of hard work, a study looking at overall improvements, with an eye to safety and walkability on the thoroughfare between La Jolla Shores Drive and Girard Avenue, was presented. At the time, then council President Scott Peters said finding funding was “a little bit of a process.” His aide said the project, which would have to be done in phases, might get under way by year’s end.

Surprise. It’s back in the news with residents asking for action and a new council member saying funding is the issue.
At least Sherri Lightner is being realistic when she says, “We’re not going to magically find money.” Her suggestion that a maintenance assessment district might be an option to look at may be the only way to get it done.

  • You can probably guess what the other repeating news story is: The seals. A year ago, the appellate court rejected an appeal to have the rope barrier reinstalled during pupping season. Guess what happened? More hearings and the rope went up.

The beat goes on, with yet another hearing set for July 20 and a state Senate vote ahead that likely will twist a new wrinkle into the saga. If the bill passes and is signed, the city can legally turn the beach into a marine mammal habitat. But don’t look for that to end the matter.
Attorney Paul Kennerson has already said “it will be challenged” so brace yourselves for more battles.

While we don’t have much control over that one, the Torrey Pines Road situation might be a little more manageable. While funding is sparse, there’s a good chance with community pressure that the project can be advanced one way or the other. The foundation is there. People have stepped up and are leading the charge. Now the key is to keep the topic in the spotlight.

This may well be an issue that can do what the Independent La Jolla group wants - unify La Jollans be they from Bird Rock, the Shores or the Village. Improving Torrey Pines isn’t likely to draw opposition on the issues of safety or beautification, although there always well be those who don’t like how it’s done.

This time, instead of fighting over details, though, let’s get on the same page on an issue that can make La Jolla a better place.