Three cheers for seagulls! They are a godsend to man

Surely you knew that the “seagull chick” article on your front page last week would elicit a strong response from the small handful of La Jollans who think the Earth was created solely for them. However, I am proud that our city did the right thing in taking a stand for this helpless little chick (and halting lifeguard tower construction until it was able to fly away.) In so doing, the city not only helped the baby seagull, it also helped us.

Most grade-school children can tell you about the role seagulls played in the pioneer history of our country. In 1848, the people of Utah were saved by seagulls. A great plague of Rocky Mountain crickets was destroying their crops and nothing they did could stop them. This firsthand account by Orson Whitney describes the devastation of the crickets:

“When it seemed that nothing could stay the crop destruction, great flocks of gulls appeared. Filling the air with their white wings and plaintive cries, they swooped down upon the half-ruined fields. All day long they gorged themselves, and when full, disgorged and gorged themselves again. The white gulls upon the black crickets, looked like hosts of heaven and hell contending, until the pests were vanquished and the people were saved.”

More than 100 years later, in 1955, the gull was selected as the state bird of Utah. In Salt Lake City an impressive bronze and gold leaf monument depicting the “Miracle of the Gulls” was erected in the center of Temple Square.

We are fortunate to have California gulls as permanent residents along our coastline. Their presence certainly guarantees that we won’t be plagued by crickets. And not only can we enjoy watching their effortless, graceful flight, we can also be amused by their aerobatic gymnastics. Normally they are quiet, gentle birds, though we are all familiar with their high-pitched cries when food is around.

I’m sure most of you, like me, don’t appreciate those big, white, paint-like blobs left by seagulls on you cars or other places. But this truly is a small price to pay for the good they do. Perhaps we need to remember that not only are they helpers in cleaning our beaches and shorelines of the litter left by humans, they are also beneficial to agriculturalists. Gulls do more good than harm in this world, and after all isn’t that what we try to do too?

Florence L. Lambert

Retired nurse, conservationist,

native San Diegan, 43-year resident of La Jolla

Vons must rethink its parking policies

As a La Jolla resident of more than 30 years, and someone who likes to support our local businesses, I have never experienced what happened to me while I was shopping at Vons last weekend.

Having done my shopping at Vons — with the grocery bags visible in my car — I proceeded to the adjacent UPS store and to pick up a sandwich from Subway. I had plenty of time left within the two-hour posted parking limit.

Upon approaching the upper part of the parking lot, I, and an older lady, were accosted by a large man who spread his arms and feet to stop us from going any further and asked where we were going? I told him politely, and then he got belligerent and told me to return to my car immediately as Vons has the policy that its parking lot be used for those shopping at Vons only and no where else.

He said the company was STRONGLY ENFORCING the policy. He told me to read the sign, where upon I noticed that someone had freshly taped on a line, saying that one could only use the parking lot for shopping at Vons. These warnings were new to me, and were added to every two-hour sign.

If Vons wants to start threatening its loyal patrons I will shop at Ralphs in UTC, which will take me out of La Jolla where I can shop in many stores and support them instead.

I do not know what is happening to La Jolla. Burns Drugs and Jonathon’s have departed leaving a big hole in my heart. I strongly believe in supporting one’s own community with everyone being courteous to one another. Vons is now off my list. I do not need them.

Sandra Edgington

La Jolla

Keep letters civil

It was distressing to see the letter (Lasers vs. fireworks? Ridiculous proposal) published in that form. I do not recall the previous use of such snarky, condescending personal attacks in the pages of the

La Jolla Light.

This is La Jolla; not the U.S. House of Representatives. Can we keep the discourse civil?

Robert Schreiber

La Jolla

Ban leaf blowers and hire neighborhood kids

I feel so blessed to live in such an environmentally conscious city, however, I feel as if leaf blowers have slipped through the cracks of that awareness realm. I’d love to see the city set up ordinances on their usage. There have been times I am literally lightheaded from their exhaust fumes coming from a block away as I work in my open-windowed office. The noise, while a nuisance, I can block out, but it’s a shame to be in a heat wave and have to close up corridors because of heavy fumes. I’m an adult, but I think of how the fumes affect the little bodies playing on the playground and in their own yards.

The level of productivity leaf blowers offer is well-below par compared to the problems they present. The average California yard is small enough to rake — in some cases I truly believe I could hand-pickup the leaves faster — not to mention we hardly live in a deciduous forest here in our palm-tree paradise. I look around my neighborhood and see a plethora of young, energetic kids. Instead using a leaf blower or asking your landscaper to add that to their list (they will most likely use one as well), employ one of these youngsters instead. It serves so many wonderful purposes: The environment will thank you (as well as your neighbors), the noise factor is nonexistent, and you’ll help Little Johnny or Little Suzy learn all about earning money, and that will lead to more of their own ingenuity and discipline. Just a thought La Jolla.

Kat Cowley

La Jolla

Hot Curl is still around

Just FYI, last week someone wrote about Hot Curl saying he was gone. But he is not! He is doing well at the California Surf Museum in Oceanside.

Melinda Merryweather

La Jolla

Science at La Jolla High is set for a big boost

Kudos to all the members of our community who support our efforts at La Jolla High School! Some years ago the Nierenberg family made a generous donation that allowed our school to renovate some of our most ancient science and technology classrooms.

We are now at the cusp of upgrading the remaining “old” science classrooms with the infrastructure necessary to allow us teachers to deliver lessons that will capitalize on the same 21st century science and technology that is driving our burgeoning BioTech industry — a world leader in the field!

Thanks to Linden Blue, the La Jolla Community Foundation and all the members of the La Jolla High Foundation for supporting our school and our community with the financial commitment that will be needed to take our school to the next level. This new building will allow us to offer students a whole new experience! u

Howard Tenenbaum

Science Teacher