Thank you La Jolla TODAY and Don Balch for his excellent article (“Riding monsters,” Feb. 14) and photographs. A very balanced and interesting presentation, giving credit where credit is due while avoiding the hype that appears in so many articles and books on surfing. The lead photo of the nearly-vertical drop says it all.
Love nature? Act like it
The entire situation at the La Jolla Children’s Pool is a sad commentary on what passes for a natural experience these days.
Urban dwellers deprived of contact with nature (and their suburban counterparts whose manicured and leaf-blown yards have destroyed natural habitat in their own neighborhoods) want to convince themselves that they are participating in a real-life interaction with another species. So they hop into their gas-guzzling cars — or pile into smog-belching tour buses — and turn petroleum into greenhouse gases as they make their pilgrimage to the Children’s Pool, where they join the crowds of gawkers, hawkers, propagandists and self-appointed guardians of nature.
If one truly wants to protect and interact with nature, there are plenty of ways to do so. Start by letting your yard grow over to create cover, seeds and habitat, and keep your dog in the house or garage at night to reduce the threat to any four-legged visitors.
Start by leaving your car in the garage and using your feet or a bicycle for trips under a mile. Start by not taking your dog to the mountains or the beach to chase birds and otherwise harass and scare off wildlife. Start by not allowing your cat to destroy all songbird life in your neighborhood.
Start by picking up some of the trash that you or others leave on the beach. Start by getting a mask and snorkel and looking at seals in their natural habitat, not the artificial shelter created by the Children’s Pool breakwater. Or simply sit at the water’s edge and marvel at the sea and all that is in it.
But who wants to change their ways? It’s so much more fun — and easier — to keep one’s own anti-ecological lifestyle, participate in the circus, and feel virtuous while demonizing those who want the beach left as it was before the crusaders and profiteers created the sorry spectacle at the Children’s Pool. As for San Diego’s mayor, his approach — bypass any sort of due process or open discussion, react to legitimate activities with threats and bullying — is enough to make one sympathize with anti-government conspiracy theorists.
La Jolla used to be a wonderful place to live, and the Casa/Children’s Pool area was a wonderful place to swim, sit, relax and enjoy nature. But seal tourism (which is the antithesis of nature appreciation and conservation) has taken care of that. Now it’s nature as entertainment — in someone else’s backyard, of course.
Stop targeting seals, humans who protect them
Dear City Attorney Jan Goldsmith:
You have called for an end to litigation over the Children’s Pool in La Jolla now that the legislative branch of city and state government have settled the issue by calling for protection of the seals. However, your neighborhood prosecution unit is spending public resources on criminal prosecution for removal of illegally posted signs at Children’s Pool that encourage seal harassment. The anti-seal agitators who sell T-shirts and seek to turn the area into an illegal petting zoo have to sign an agreement with the city for their permitted booth space, which states they will keep signs at arms length within their permitted space. Instead, these individuals are posting signs and “OPEN” flags all over the beach and surrounding areas with impunity, and citizens who do the city’s job in removing the illegaly posted signs are being prosecuted for it. Please review this policy with your neighborhood prosecution unit. Thank you.