Ripping — in All Its Forms
I just wanted to compliment you guys on this article on the Bali Hai (“Tiki Said to Hell with It. Let’s Party,” October 23 cover story). Excellent article! What a great newspaper you guys are. Keep up the good work. I thoroughly enjoyed this article by Matt Potter.
Although, I see SD on the QT and Diary of a Diva are in this issue. Let me take care of that right now by ripping them out. [Rips paper.] Allright! My newspaper is cleaned up.
Rolling into Children’s Pool
I am writing in regards to the Children’s Pool lawsuit filed by Friends of the Children’s Pool (News Ticker: “Seals and People Together at Last?”).
I support the efforts to keep our only Pacific Ocean pool open for those of us who may not be strong enough to swim through surf. Nearly one in five Americans have a disability, and the ramp that was at the Children’s Pool is truly the grandfather of all ramps into the Pacific Ocean on the West Coast. The ramp is the only dedicated vertical easement ramp into the ocean. And it has been destroyed.
A viewing-only platform ramp is going in next to an ADA-code shower. Why in the world would a wheelchair-bound person go there to take a shower? He will not have a ramp any longer to take a swim in order to need that shower.
The City of San Diego and, in particular, the City Attorney and his assistant, George Schaefer, are fighting tooth and nail against disabled people having access to swim at the ocean pool built especially for them. Why?
I filed a complaint with the City back in November 2013 and was to receive a “Plan of Action,” a “remedy” in 30 days. It took them seven months to even respond, and then that was only to put me off pending Jack Robertson’s lawsuit for decades of disability violations, for not upgrading the primary access ramp to current codes every time it was rebuilt.
1948 was a watershed year for disability access codes and the Children’s Pool ramp was to the codes of the day in 1948. A car could drive down and up the ramp; it was wide and fine. My disability complaint was ignored, and this is illegal.
Now the City claims there was never even a ramp, even though wheelchairs used it for decades. The City of San Diego has disabled, limbless veterans laying all over the city who deserve to have this pool for excellent rehabilitation. There should be challenged athletes rolling into the pool right now.
Also, the seals have far exceeded the carrying capacity of the underwater ecology. The fish stocks are gone, including the protected Garibaldi. California mussels, a tide pool staple, are gone. Tide pool creatures are devoured and polluted. Now the seals have to travel further out to eat the dolphin’s fish stocks. The poor seals are hungry and it is not OK for S Casa, Children’s Pool, Seal Rock, and Shell Beach undersea ecologies to be allowed to become dead zones, as they are fast becoming.
R.A.M.P. Committee: Restore Access to Many People and support a balanced ocean ecology. For more, visit restorechildrenspool.org.
The Reader would be well-served to present a more cogent and accurate story about the harbor seals in La Jolla. This reporting (News Ticker: “Seals and People Together at Last?”) by omission or ignorance helps to continue inaccuracies which are easily turned into “facts” by those opposing the presence of seals at the site.
The harbor seals reside at Casa Beach, also known as the Children’s Pool — not La Jolla Cove where California sea lions haul-out on the east bluff. I am a native and have always known the site as Casa Beach — as do the San Diego Lifeguards.
In March 1999, the San Diego City Council voted 5 to 4 not to dredge the beach of 5000 cubic yards of sand — not specifically to close the beach. This entire exercise was promulgated by anti-seal La Jolla elites and uneducated city politicians, and was predicated on the assumption that the site was contaminated by seal feces. In fact, the connection between seal feces and bacterial coliform counts over the prescribed limit were never proven. During the same period, higher counts were recorded on other San Diego beaches due to human sewage spills and other causes.
During that vote, then-councilmember Juan Vargas wanted some kind of barrier to separate humans from seals as there were literally hundreds of complaints about abuse toward the 250 seals. That barrier was added to the vote and was installed by city workers two weeks later in mid-April. It constituted a legal barrier, which was respected and enforced by lifeguards from April 1999 to August 2004.
The only news here is that the seal haters or detractors continually attempt to find a way around the wishes of the 1 million-plus yearly visitors coming to this world class wildlife site to see the seals, the preponderance of legal decisions for the seals, and the millions of taxpayer dollars spent fighting this special interest group of La Jollans and divers.
Also, and painfully, I must point out a continual misapprehension or ignorance by journalists. The photo in the article, however cutesy, is of a California sea lion — not a Pacific harbor seal. They are very different pinnipeds, as the harbor seal could not climb up into the chaise lounge due to the evolutionary absence of long usable front flippers and a rotating pelvis.
Oh well, we are all learning — I hope.
- Patrick Lee Hord
- Wildlife Biologist and founder of La Jolla Friends of the Seals
While factually accurate in some details, the Reader’s article about the San Diego Planning Department’s effort to seek planning consultants on an on-call basis (News Ticker: “Kevin Faulconer’s Pricy Plan to Privatize Planning,” October 17) grossly mischaracterizes the goal and intent of this effort.
Community Plan Updates are typically led (and written) by staff planners and supported by consulting firms placed under contract to do technical studies and other specific tasks. One of the reasons the City has a big backlog of Community Plan Updates is that, in the past, it has taken the Planning Department the better part of a year to place consultants under contract because of the city’s historically cumbersome procurement process.
When I took over as Planning Director in July of 2013, we decided to move to an “on-call” approach to consultants, as Public Works, Transportation and Stormwater, and many other city departments do.
This process does not change the division of labor between the city’s staff planners and private consulting firms, or give money to private consulting firms at the expense of city employees. It simply pre-screens consulting firms for qualifications, allowing the Planning Department to deploy consultants more quickly in order to help clear out the backlog of Community Plan Updates, just as other city departments do.
Mayor Filner, Interim Mayor Gloria, and Mayor Faulconer have all supported this approach, as well as other steps to move the Community Plan Updates along more quickly. In fact, Mayor Faulconer’s current budget calls for a significant increase in the number of staff planners — the first such increase in many years — in other to clear out the backlog of Community Plan Updates.
One more correction: Interim Director Tom Tomlinson has never worked for the City of San Juan Capistrano, as reported in the story.
All this information would have been readily available to the Reader’s reporter had he contacted Mayor Faulconer, Deputy Chief Operating Officer David Graham, Interim Director Tomlinson, or me. Apparently the reporter chose not to do so, and as a result the Reader’s readers were poorly informed.
- Bill Fulton
- Former Planning Director
Turn the Page
Week after week I read letters regarding Walter Mencken’s SD on the QT. I am old enough to remember MAD Magazine and National Lampoon, and the satire enclosed therein.
I read today a suggestion that SD on the QT and Diary of a Diva be removed by a voting consensus (Letters). Here’s a fresh idea in these PC times: if you don’t care for those columns, don’t read them. If you don’t care for satire, or Mrs. Fokos’s particlar brand of storytelling, turn the page.
Why do people insist that anything and everything they don’t care for be removed? Can you say censorship? There are sections of your publication that I don’t want to read, so I just don’t.
Freedom of the press means exactly that: freedom. What about the readers that do enjoy these columns? They just get to read what’s left, until someone else objects to another writer/story. See where I am going with this? It is a very slippery slope to head down, particularly for a free publication.
Just one reader’s opinion, who happens to look forward to Diary of a Diva every week.
- Name Withheld
- Lemon Grove
Sounds Like a Complaint
I’ve been reading the Reader since the ’70s. Have always loved it, no complaints.
Lately, though, the writing is more TMZ versus the very much expected SD cool your readership was built upon decades ago.
Case in point, your current film reviews are much more empty and very mean-spirited versus basic objectivity. After 30+ years as a faithful reader, we know you guys can do better. Please, don’t go tabloid.