The Barking, the Biting, and the Smell

Someone is inhabiting the wrong place (“La Jolla Cove Is Becoming a Sea Lion Cesspool,” January 16 cover story.

Mr. Merkel referenced the colony of sea lions saying the sea lions “feel as though the cove has become their own yard in which to play.” News flash, Mr. Merkel! It is their yard! The builders built next to the sea and the restaurateurs and residents moved in. I think that the sea lions were there first.

You don’t build your house near the ocean cliffs, as they may erode in the future and your house could fall into the ocean. Who’s at fault there? It is the people who chose to inhabit an area that always belonged to sea creatures.

So much talk about solving the problem of what to do about the sea lions! It’s pretty easy, really. The people need to move or need to put up with the barking, the biting, and the smell. Is that too obvious? But wait, we have spent so much money to be here and we can make so much money if we stay, so it’s the sea lions that have to go. Right? Not!

  • Name Withheld
  • North Park


Not a Cesspool

Here in San Diego County we have over 70 miles of pristine beaches, and an idyllic climate for all of us to enjoy. Your article, “La Jolla Cove Is Becoming a Sea Lion Cesspool,” (City Lights, January 16) focuses on the habitat of the seals that measure the size of a few football fields, out of those 70 miles.

The majority of the other 70 miles have no seals or other marine life to contend with — just sand, people and seagulls. There are plenty of other beach options for people to enjoy that have no seals or marine life to disturb us if we want to swim or wade in the ocean.

We are very fortunate to have a real life, non-aquarium view into how the seals live, and we should embrace it for the wonderful natural event that it is, and not label it a “cesspool.” These are not rats or vermin, brought to us from a foreign land. These are amazing and beautiful aquatic creatures who have been here in their natural habitat before the Native Americans and the Spanish Explorers arrived.

This area should be designated a Wildlife Reserve, for all of us to enjoy and treasure for generations to come, just as we now enjoy Yosemite, Sequoia, and the Grand Canyon.

  • Joel Brown
  • San Carlos


Keep It Wet

Regarding the nasty stuff from the seals (“La Jolla Cove Is Becoming a Sea Lion Cesspool,” January 16 cover story), all they need to do is put up a sprinkler system. Draw the water out of the ocean, and put it back into the ocean. Keep the rock wet and it won’t stick. It’ll just keep going downhill. And it won’t interfere with the seals — it would just be like a rainy day.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail


Smokeless and Tobaccoless

Re: January 16 City Lights: “E-cigs Face Enormous Obstacles

Perhaps electronic vaporizers “can’t get away from the stigma associated with cigarettes” because you are calling them a tobacco product when there is no tobacco used in most vaporizers. Only a few of the liquids actually have nicotine — nicotine being the only chemical used that is under FDA.

The e-liquid is a glycerine base, the same used in baby food. Some baby food manufacturers are even getting on board with the vapor industry.

Tobacco is not sold in e-liquid, nor is it sold in any of the products from Viper-Vape, the store mentioned in your article.

  • Carrie Madariaga
  • Carlsbad

What the Heck’s a Bot?

Concerning Barbarella’s story in the January 16 Reader, “Freaking Frauds” (Diary of a Diva). I quote, “[A] credit-card fraud-detection bot notified me of several small, out-of-character purchases.”

What the devil is a bot? The only thing I can find in several new dictionaries we have in the house is that it’s the larvae of a botfly. I’m sure her bot is some sort of computer jargon, but I have no idea what it is.

It might be useful to know, since I have credit cards too. I check my statements all the time to make sure there’s no hanky-panky going on anywhere. Please have Barbarella explain what a bot is.

And by the way, she shouldn’t use such nasty language. She can just as well say, “What the heck?” The F-word is not really necessary, and it’s not very becoming of her to use language like that. Even if she talks like that in real life, using it in print is not very graceful.

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

Bot is short for robot. You may have heard of “robo-calls” to describe those automated telemarketing calls. Just as robo is short for robot, bot refers to automated services online, like spambots that blast spam emails. Regarding the cursing, I don’t alter dialogue. If I said it, I write it. I thank my Brooklyn-born and raised parents for blessing me with my colorful, if not very graceful, use of naughty words.

­— Barbarella

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