Those were the highlights of La Jolla Shores Association’s (LJSA) October meeting.
The advisory group, which makes recommendations to the city on parks and related issues within La Jolla Shores, heard from Northern Division police public affairs officer Omar Sinclair, San Diego lifeguard Lt. John Sandmeyer and Dan Daneri of the Park and Recreation Department, all of whom updated community planners on the status of neighborhood concerns.
• Construction on the new Shores lifeguard tower is nearing completion, Sandmeyer reported.
“They are wrapping up the interior of the tower, the electrical and plumbing in the walls, and it’s heartening to see them moving at such a rapid pace,” he said.
Adding that the stairs of the cantilevered lifeguard tower are being welded in place and outside wood paneling is now being put in place, Sandmeyer joked lifeguards are taking bets on how soon the job will be done.
“New Year’s Day is the over/under and I’ve got the under,” he quipped.
In any event, Sandmeyer said the city is aware that lifeguards will not move into the new facility until construction is completely finished.
• Sinclair endorsed the establishment of a Neighborhood Watch program in La Jolla Shores.
“Neighborhood Watches are the eyes and ears for the department and help us focus on issues and problems we may not be aware of,” he said.
Anyone interested in participating in Neighborhood Watch is urged to call Sinclair at (619) 756-2419 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Daneri said the city is establishing an unfunded parks list for projects. He invited Shores residents to weigh in on suggestions on what needs to be done to address future needs.
“Is a park ranger on the unfunded list?” asked LJSA board member Janie Emerson.
“I don’t think you’ll see one funded just for La Jolla Shores,” replied Daneri, noting the situation at Kellogg Park is different than at Children’s Pool, which has its own ranger because “of the seals and the problems they create there.”
Though he agreed that a prospective ranger might stay busy during the summer, Daneri was not certain such a position would be necessary the rest of the year, and, he added, “I don’t know that a seasonal ranger would work.”
Some members, however, felt security issues still needed to be addressed.
“Summer is the worst time down there [at Kellogg Park],” said LJSA board member Mary Coakley-Munk. “Some enforcement would make a huge difference.”
Daneri conceded her concerns were valid, but, he said, “That’s true of every (coastal) park.”
• Sixteen-year-old La Jolla Boy Scout Kristoff Pawinski filled the LJSA in on his plans to pursue an Eagle Scout project for Troop 271, in collaboration with Friends of La Jolla Shores, a local nonprofit raising funds for community improvements.
“We want to make a donor wall right in front of the whale [J.J.] in the small park, get a bunch of little metal fish that have the names of donors,” he said.
Mary Coakley-Munk, on LJSA’s Parks and Beaches Committee, said Friends of La Jolla Shores is funding the fish.
Shores resident Tim Lucas said Scouts have to “do fundraising and come up with a project that works,” in order to achieve Eagle Scout status, the highest rank in Boy Scouts.
• La Jolla community planner Dan Allen asked the group to support his efforts to seek an alternative to the construction of a controversial pedestrian-only crosswalk at Princess Street on high-traffic Torrey Pines Road.
“A traffic signal at Princess would make the situation worse than it is now,” Allen said, noting an alternative he would like the city to study is the feasibility of creating an overhead bridge, which, while expensive, might be practical if it could be included into long-range plans under way on the Torrey Pines Road Corridor Improvment Project.
“How many people would want to use this pedestrian bridge — 100, 10,000?” asked LJSA’s Emerson. “An overlapping bridge is a whole lot of money.”
The Princess Street signal is already included in the improvement plan, Lucas said, but it might not be too late to alter some of the plan’s aspects.
“There are millions of dollars that haven’t been funded yet,” he said. “We might want to present an alternative that might be better than what’s been approved.”
LJSA chairwoman Audrey Keene asked Allen to return with something in writing the group could sign off on requesting the city to study alternatives other than the proposed Princess Street light.
The group’s next meeting will be Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. in Building T-29 at SIO.