Your View: Bonair residents have been good neighbors to Riford

Hector Jimenez and Grace Zimmerman,

Dora Acosta and Juan Carlos Herguera

As residents of Bonair Street, we whole-heartedly support the Riford Center’s mission of serving the senior citizens in our community. In fact, prior to Friends of the Riford taking control of the center, residents of Bonair Street and the Riford Center have coexisted in harmony for well over 35 years — as all good neighbors should. Unfortunately, as Bonair Street residents, our attempts to communicate in a honest and helpful manner have been thwarted by a Riford Center Board that leases the Riford from the City but acts as if the Center were its own private property.

After countless hours of work by community volunteers throughout La Jolla, we are pleased to read that the Friends of the Riford Center Board has finally agreed to make its primary entrance ADA compliant with the addition of a ramp at the front of the building facing La Jolla Boulevard. At the same time, we are surprised by the negativity of Riford Board President Glen Rasmussen’s comments to the Light about the decision when the city has given approval for this front ramp. The purpose of the Community Development Block Grant awarded to the Riford Center is expressly to make such ADA improvements to the facility.

We are also incredulous that the Riford Board continues to insist on the need for a new “temporary” entrance on Bonair Street. Construction of a new ‘temporary’ entrance on Bonair Street is unnecessary & will have a lasting negative impact on the surrounding residential street. The Riford Center already has two entrances from the east side of the building - the existing wheelchair-accessible entrance and the newly constructed entrance to the media/art room. If the Board of Friends of the Riford Center continues to insist on a Bonair Street entrance, we call on the La Jolla Community Planning Organization to protect the quiet, residential character of our neighborhood and to deny the Riford Center’s request.