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Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement sues city

Fence encourages sea lion and bird pooping

A group calling itself Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement has filed a Superior Court suit against the City of San Diego and interim mayor Todd Gloria, according to Courthouse News Service.

The suit demands that the city clean up excrement from rocks in La Jolla Cove and take down the fence that limits public access to it.

The group claims the fence was erected without public notice or an environmental impact report and violates the Local Coastal Plan requiring access. The suit claims that fencing off the public led to the buildup of sea-lion poop and cormorant guano that cause noxious odors. If the public had access, the sea lions and cormorants would stay away, says the suit.

The attorney for the suit is Norman Blumenthal of Blumenthal, Nordrehaug and Bhomick.

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A group calling itself Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement has filed a Superior Court suit against the City of San Diego and interim mayor Todd Gloria, according to Courthouse News Service.

The suit demands that the city clean up excrement from rocks in La Jolla Cove and take down the fence that limits public access to it.

The group claims the fence was erected without public notice or an environmental impact report and violates the Local Coastal Plan requiring access. The suit claims that fencing off the public led to the buildup of sea-lion poop and cormorant guano that cause noxious odors. If the public had access, the sea lions and cormorants would stay away, says the suit.

The attorney for the suit is Norman Blumenthal of Blumenthal, Nordrehaug and Bhomick.

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62

I don't know, this whole story sound fishy! This thing with the seals and the cove just stinks as we waste more money litigating nature. It's another example of govt imposing its will where it's not needed.

Dec. 27, 2013

JustWondering: Filner had a plan for eliminating the odor. I don't know what happened to it. La Jolla is a tourist draw. I can see local government getting involved. And, realistically, La Jollans have inordinate clout in City Hall because of the monied interests there. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 27, 2013

Apparently this attempt http://www.10news.com/news/bird-waste-cleanup-at-la-jolla-cove-begins-052813 did not satisfy those who have now brought suit.

Dec. 27, 2013

JustWondering: For some time, people thought it was a solution. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 27, 2013

The smell is overpowering... especially on the down hill just after you turn on to Coast Blvd. Romantic walk = ruined.

Dec. 27, 2013

Joe Poutous: Are merchants -- as well as lovers -- complaining? Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 27, 2013

The sea lions and cormorants are protected by law. Nothing should be done about the smell. The only way the City can address the guano problem is to exterminate the sea lions and cormorants. The City should red tag the houses in the affected areas due to health hazards from guano and force residents out of their homes. The City is not liable for the defecation habits of protected birds and animals and bears no liability to residents who can no longer live in their homes due to the health hazards. Birds and animals should not be exterminated simply because rich people are offended by their smell.

Dec. 27, 2013

Burwell: Yes, they are protected. Nature lovers adjust. We went to Galapagos in 1988. There was excrement everywhere. Nobody said a word. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 27, 2013

Right on Burwell, another bunch of spoiled crybaby aristocrats who made bad choices and want everyone else to pay for their failures in common sense.

What are they going to do in the next decade or so when global warming makes the ocean stink-up the entire coast, sue SIO for not preventing climate changes?

Dec. 27, 2013

Anon92107: I hadn't even thought of those effects of global warming. Thanks for reminding us. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 27, 2013

Don, the amazing reality is that global warming is still not on very many people's radar, in spite of the increasing drought devastation along the California coast in places like San Diego, Los Angeles, Big Sur, etc.

Just keep sending us your Colorado river water and we'll keep failing to notice as long as our lawns are thriving.

Dec. 28, 2013

Very true. I heard on the news the other nite, that for the first time ever, San Francisco was under a Red Flag warning in December, due to the heat and dry conditions we've been having this year. Scary.

Dec. 30, 2013

We assume Burwell is being funny, just like Jonathan Swift was being funny. Nobody's talking about exterminating sealife. We're talking about suing the public officials in charge for non-performance of duty.

Mayor Filner typically took brisk action and the La Jolla Cove stench was mitigated. Mayor Filner left office and those stench mitigation efforts were set aside by acting Mayor Todd Gloria and City Council representative Sherri Lightner, both of whom are afraid of their own shadows and unwilling ever to push the limits of the envelope for the public good.

La Jolla is/was the jewel of San Diego and a huge tourist draw, with the Cove area at its center. Restaurants, businesses, the town park and the marginal way are all negatively affected by the stench. If it takes a lawsuit to get some action from the politicians, so be it.

Dec. 27, 2013

monaghan: Mayor Filner "left" office? You make it sound voluntary. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 27, 2013

Your right. Former Mayor Filner groped his way out of office. Head lock and all.

Dec. 28, 2013

JustWondering: Now the line of people claiming they have been groped, wanting money, keeps getting longer. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 28, 2013

You are a mind-reader, Don. I originally wrote "was driven from office" and then thought it sounded more neutral to say "left office." When it's over, it's over in politics. I have moved on and am working on needlepoint, sort of like Madame La Farge.

Dec. 28, 2013

monaghan: San Diegans smugly think the coup succeeded, and it's over. But it isn't. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 28, 2013

The tourists watching the seals are the real targets of this suit. Note that the suit does not request clean up, but seems to assert the right to chase the protected animals away, a criminal act. The smell doesn't seem to chase away the tourists, if it did, they wouldn't need the fence. Reminds of the old doggerel;

La Jolla

For the newlywed,

And the nearly dead.

The nearly dead faction has always hated those tourists. If the nearby hotels complained of, instead of advertising, the wildlife, then there might be a sliver of truth in this suit. The sea always smells like a crotch, if one doesn't like it move away.

Dec. 27, 2013

Pscholizard: I sense from the responses that this is going to be a very contentious lawsuit. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 27, 2013

"The sea always smells like a crotch..." Inelegantly stated, Psycholizard, and false.

When stench mitigation is undertaken, the stench goes away. The stench is a (relatively) recent phenomenon and it can be diminished. Somebody ought to ask Mayor Filner how he managed to accomplish it.

Dec. 27, 2013

The stench is not a recent phenomenon. The stench is the result of laws protecting sea lions and cormorants from extermination that increased their numbers. I was not joking about red tagging homes close to the ocean for health reasons related to guano. Those houses never should have been built in the first place. I believe in the legal concept of reverse zoning. The City has the right to change an area's zoning and force property owners to comply with the new zoning at their cost. Zoning rules should be changed for La Jolla so that no house can be constructed with 1,000 feet of high tide. Houses and buildings out of compliance with the new zoning rules would have to be torn down at the owner's expense.

Dec. 27, 2013

Burwell, all this keeps proving is that far too many people are too myopically short-term sighted to realize that they had better pay attention to the fact that we have exceeded 400 ppm atmospheric CO2 decades before most IPCC models predicted.

Get ready Don, soon people are going to want to sue you and your Colorado neighbors for not sending us enough water for our lawn obsessed culture.

Dec. 27, 2013

Anon92107. But the river is named Colorado. That gives us a leg up. San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas are among the cities that are going to be awfully thirsty in the not-too-distant future. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 27, 2013

Trivia like the name of a river never stops Californians from suing others who get in the way of our self-destructive cultural values.

Dec. 28, 2013

Anon92107: If the names of rivers bestowed prosperity, these would be the richest states: Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Colorado, Illinois. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 28, 2013

Burwell: Your solution will not go over well with many La Jollans. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 27, 2013

You are dead wrong, Burwell, the stench IS a relatively recent phenomenon. If you were Vladimir Putin, maybe coastal residences could be razed, including Mitt Romney's manse. But we're not there yet.

Dec. 28, 2013

monaghan: Filner's workers used some chemicals, but I don't remember the details very well. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 27, 2013

True. My point is that pro-active Mayor Filner's procedure worked. To continue the process, as Interim Mayor Todd Gloria and La Jolla City Council representative Sherri Lightner should, would cause the stench to continue to be abated. As I recall, the process was deemed non-toxic to sea life or the sea itself.

Dec. 28, 2013

monaghan: Yes, but it was a problem solved -- at least temporarily -- by Filner. So no one wants to admit that it worked. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 28, 2013

Before taking up needlepoint, I made a list of the many good things accomplished over eight short months by Mayor Bob Filner.

La Jolla Cove stench abatement was one of many problems solved by Mayor Filner in his time at City Hall. Closing Plaza de Panama to traffic and saving the Cabrillo bridge was another. Eliminating Big Brother red-light camera traps at intersections -- and incontestable $500 fines -- was another. The list goes on, but I will not be drawn into the past, even by you, Mr. Bauder. We know who was perfidious and who wasn't during the summer of 2013 and we will remember. That's enough.

Dec. 28, 2013

monaghan: It's not enough until the full story comes out. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 29, 2013

I repeat, this has nothing to do with smell, except for the stench of local corruption. They tried the absurdity of claiming that the terms of a legacy trumped the Marine Animal Protection Act, now this. As I've stated, if the local hotels would show a loss of business, and records of complaints from guests, there might be a claim of sorts, but the relief would not be to allow illegal harassment of protected pinnipeds.

Watch out for fraud from the City Attorney's Office, they may try to claim this wacky suit has merit in return for some of the slush that oozes out of La Jolla into politicians pockets. That stuff really stinks up this town.

Dec. 27, 2013

Psycholizard, this is just one more chapter in Prof. Erie's never-ending "Paradise Plundered."

Manchester's deranged rant journal thrives on producing wealth for the obscenely rich hotel industry by fleecing the citizens of San Diego and corrupting our judicial system using his vassal judge in the City Attorney's Office.

The stench is overwhelming enough in both the Editorial and City Attorney's Offices to stink up all of San Diego.

Dec. 28, 2013

Anon92107: Let's hope Steve Erie and his colleagues write another book, Paradise Plundered II. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 28, 2013

Psycholizard: Yours is a wise assessment of the city attorney's office. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 28, 2013

Holy smoke, no one wants to harass protected pinnipeds or any other living things, Psycho, though I see now that you are aptly named.

The fact is that Mayor Filner took the initiative about solving this problem, found a remedy that actually worked, and City officials should have continued doing whatever he did to fix it after he left City Hall.

Long-suffering La Valencia Hotel and George's Restaurant, plaintiffs in the suit, are on the frontline of the pervasive stench coming from the Cove's rocky cliffs and wafting uphill toward establishments along Prospect Street and even farther into the village of La Jolla.

The smell is disgusting -- that's why it's called the "stench." There's no question it negatively affects many businesses as well as visitors and residents of La Jolla. I know for a fact that regular Cove walkers, runners and swimmers now avoid the area. It's been occurring most days for more than a year (documented in the local weekly paper.) The stench needs to be eliminated.

Dec. 28, 2013

monaghan: Goldsmith always salaams to La Jollans with bucks. So he will put his weakest lawyer on the case. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 28, 2013

Why is the City responsible for this smell regardless of how much it stinks? The suit seems to argue, as described by Mr. Bauder, that it's the City's fault because it constructed a fence to protect animals from harassment. Chasing animals from the Children's Pool seems to be the whole point of the suit. Huge numbers of seals on California beaches is a natural event, and the colony complained of is a totally natural consequence of creating a marine reserve offshore.

Dec. 30, 2013

Pscholizard: Which is another way of saying that sh*t happens. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 31, 2013

the yearly rain is late this season.

Dec. 28, 2013

Murphyjunk: You mean the San Diego River is not overflowing its banks? Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 28, 2013

Don, the reality is that the NWS has admitted that they don't have a clue about what to expect for this season, so we now hold guessing contests in San Diego.

Apparently the NWS hopes that the majority opinion will be better than their increasingly clueless computer models.

Global Warming is winning, even SIO has given up discussing near term forecasts with any confidence as atmospheric CO2 concentrations go vertical up the chart.

La Jolla has a lot more stink to look forward to as a fact of life, and the really, really rich are moving to RSF to distance themselves, but even that is a short term solution as on shore winds carry the stink further and further beyond I5.

Colorado seems to be a better and better refuge every day so get ready to publish your own newspaper for San Diego refugees.

Dec. 29, 2013

Anon92107: I can assure you that we did not leave San Diego because of La Jolla stench. We lived on Mt. Helix. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 29, 2013

Anon92107: Colorado gets cold and snowy in the winter. Do you really think San Diego aristocrats will come to such a location? Best, Don Baudere

Dec. 29, 2013

But if global warming is winning, the ocean levels will rise, and wash all the critter crap back into the ocean. Problem solved! (at the risk of losing thousands of acres of beachfront property)

Dec. 29, 2013

aardvark: But suppose the rising of the ocean levels washes the critter crap inland, not out to sea? Some real estate values will recede. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 31, 2013

Soon they will sue for the noise pollution of the seal barks, bird cries, and the waves crashing against the retaining wall. Oh the humanity!!! The suffering of the La Jolla Village never ends. Thank goodness they can pull the City government out of their pocket to teach those seals respect.

Dec. 28, 2013

Psycholizard: Yes, but the cormorants are less tractable. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 28, 2013

The children's pool, aka the poor man's SeaWorld, brings a lot of tourism to town. I know that most La Jollans think their s--- doesn't stink, but wasting taxpayer dollars on turning a sea breeze into Febreeze in order to mask the scent of sea lion poop is insane. What did Filner do to prevent the smell after the seals performance of doody, feed them Beano? Since it's LJ, why not install a few gold-plated bidets and be done with it.

Dec. 29, 2013

Scott Marks: Unfortunately, I am not privy to the latest ideas circulating in La Jolla. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 30, 2013

Didn't Paul Revere say "One if bidet, two if by sea?"

Dec. 30, 2013

Dandiego: It was something like that. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 30, 2013

I drove by the site yesterday, I love the smell of ocean air. Perhaps the City should tax residents for the days the air smells great, to pay for defending smelly lawsuits, since apparently the City is now responsible for the sea air.

Dec. 31, 2013

Psycholizard: Better yet, tax smelly lawsuits. We could pay off the national debt. Admittedly, that's not practical. However, transaction taxes in the world's money markets could lead to great income flows for troubled governments. Best, Don Bauder

Dec. 31, 2013

I am sure some company ( with connections to the city council ) will get a nice contract to take care of the matter.

Jan. 1, 2014

Murphyjunk: And the councilmembers will get a nice pecuniary award under the table. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 1, 2014

Under the table is so Twentieth Century, modern scamsters just donate to a non profit, which then hires the crooked politician with the slush, taxed and laundered clean.

Jan. 2, 2014

Psycholizard: I plead guilty. I'm too influenced by the last century. I try to keep up with new scam methods, but maybe I am not really keeping up. However, the money laundering technique you describe could also be called "under the table." Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 3, 2014

Honestly, I learned of the laundering techniques partly through your Reader and UT articles. I also feel some nostalgia, remember when "non profit" didn't imply crooked scheme?

Jan. 3, 2014

Psycholizard: Only in recent years have we become aware of the amount of money laundered through non-profits, and the mischief buried therein. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 3, 2014

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