After an eight-month delay and with urging by the City, the La Jolla Community Planning Association, CPA, has a bylaws committee. To accomplish real reform, the new bylaws must primarily do two things:
1) Make the voting membership of the CPA consist of La Jolla residents and business owners only. The three-meeting attendance requirement is as outdated as the poll tax. This requirement keeps certain people from voting "” but who? Is it the young parents of La Jolla that must pick up the kids, take them to Little League, start dinner and homework during the 6 o'clock hour? The CPA should drop the attendance requirement. If people have a picture ID that places their residence or business in the boundary of La Jolla, they should be issued a numbered membership card that allows them to vote. Currently, people from Del Mar to Chula Vista can and do attend three monthly CPA meetings and then vote for the trustees by proxy.
2) The new bylaws must create visibility into the voting process. The city is forcing all planning groups to give up proxy votes. The CPA committee is leaning toward mail-in ballots. This would not be so bad if there were visibility into the process, but there will most likely be an "election committee" to oversee this process. Recall the last election committee that called for resumes from the trustee candidates so they could be sent to the local papers. Unfortunately the committee selectively forwarded only a portion of those resumes it received. A closed election committee could selectively send out ballots or selectively count returned ballots, and we would have a system worse than the proxy system we have now.
If the CPA desires real reform, the new bylaws would allow residents (i.e., members) to petition the CPA for a membership-wide vote on selected issues. The results of this vote would be binding on the trustees. Clearly this type of vote cannot be done on every project or question, but issues with community-wide interest could be decided with a community vote.
Now is not the time for apathy. Petition Tim Golba at info@LaJollaCPA.org to ensure bylaws are written that allow La Jolla residents and business owners only to vote, and do so in a highly visible process. When you contact him, also give him kudos for building a very nice CPA Web site.
Dave Little, Bird Rock
Seal savers don't care for children's safety
A few comments are in order in response to Mr. Hudnall's latest attempt at revisionist history, published in the July 27 edition of the La Jolla Village News (Letter to the editor, "Education, not domestication," page 8).
Calling the rock outcropping on which the breakwater was built in 1931 the ancestral home and rookery of the La Jolla harbor seals is a ridiculous assertion, with no scientific or photographic basis. Pupping season (Jan.-April) happens to coincide with winter storm season, and any pups that were either on the rock area or the thin band of sand adjacent to the rock, that existed before the breakwater was built, would have been pounded by the storm action, making it impossible to safely haul out, especially a newborn seal pup.
Even the real seal rock to the north, which has been utilized by the seals for many years, is washed over by high winter surf and there is no evidence that harbor seals ever used it for pupping activity.
What is true is that the area designated as Children's Pool was actually one of the earliest (1926) lifeguarded beaches in the San Diego area. Since the Casa Beach area was so well used by San Diegans, Ms. Ellen Scripps felt the desire to protect the youngest and most vulnerable, our children. She therefore generously donated the money used for the construction of the breakwater in order to save precious lives. The area is held in trust by the city with the specific duties to make it a safe swimming area for children, not to encourage tamed seals on the beach to use it as their "cat box."
The "seal savers" care not for the water safety of children and direct them to other areas, with rough surf and strong rip currents, putting them in jeopardy.
Mr. Hudnall should compile a book of his fantasies and call it "Environmental Fairy Tales." Who knows, he could be known as the Paul Bunyan of La Jolla.
Don Perry, La Jolla
Respect the law
Rebecca Stanger's response, published in your July 13 edition on page 8, to my May 25 letter ("Spin and weave"), invites me to evolve with the rest of the world and let go of my hangup over a 1931 trust agreement. After all, that was over 70 years ago, and the world has changed a great deal since then. She even informs me that there are now swimming pools where children can swim in safety and thereby avoid the overwhelming hazards presented by the ocean!
Well, here are a couple of news flashes for Ms. Stanger and her worthy compatriots. The Children's Pool was constructed to provide children and the public with a relatively safe place to swim and otherwise enjoy one of nature's most elemental gifts, the ocean.
The location was carefully chosen, taking into account a number of factors including providing adequate protection from one of the swimming season's more viable dangers, the summer south swell and its accompanying large waves and treacherous rip currents.
And, I'm told that Ellen Browning Scripps first conceived the idea during (or following) a visit to England where she observed a similar, manmade sheltered swimming site (or sites).
Swimming pools have been constructed for at least several thousand years. Gaius Maecenas of Rome, considered one of the first patrons of the arts, built the first heated pool (for swimming versus the more famous and separate bathing pools) in the first century B.C. In more modern times, pools began to be popular around the middle of the 19th century, and with the renewal of the Olympic Games in 1896, where swimming races were among the original contests, this popularity has spread and shows no sign of ending.
Here's another news flash. The system of laws upon which this nation is built is a product of its own form of evolution, which continues to the present day. Of no small consequence to our system is the use of trusts.
Among these uses is the principle known as the public trust doctrine, which has evolved from ancient Roman times to today. It holds that certain natural resources, chief among them being the seashore and the seas, should be preserved for public use and that government includes the requirement to maintain them for the public's reasonable use.
In spite of the perhaps overly idealist, if not simplistic, zest on the part of some to relinquish control over the land and the seas back to the animals, it is completely unreasonable to include in this "atonement" any site that is in the midst of a populated urban environment such as the Children's Pool is.
Likewise, it would be foolhardy to undo the legal evolution of our present use of trusts.
So, once again, I ask Ms. Stanger and her allies to respect the law, including the public's right to access and use the Children's Pool, especially during the summer season, and abide by the pending decision on the appeal of the judgment finding the city to be in breach of its trust obligations (see Valerie O'Sullivan v. City of San Diego, Court of Appeal Case Number D047382 and Superior Court Case Number GIC 826918).
Charley Barringer, La Jolla