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Filner Issues Emergency Order To Close La Jolla Children’s Pool

LA JOLLA (CNS) - City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said today he would defend Mayor Bob Filner's emergency order to close the Children's Pool in La Jolla between sunset and sunrise, issued Tuesday in response to alleged abuse of harbor seals captured on videotape.

The recently installed seal cam captured images of people breaching a rope barrier at night, kicking, punching and sitting on top of the mother seals and their pups, and driving them from their resting places, according to Filner's office.

The nighttime closure is set to remain in effect until May 15, the official end of seal pupping season, according to Filner.

Goldsmith said although he would have preferred to have been consulted before the mayor took action, he agreed that protecting the seals was important.

"I have seen the videos of the seal abuse and I am appalled,'' Goldsmith said in the statement. "Once we receive information as to the identity of these perpetrators, they will be brought to justice.''

He urged beachgoers to obey the closure order, which the City Attorney's Office fully intended to enforce.

On April 12, beach access advocates will seek an injunction to the order to close the area and to a previous order to lengthen the guide rope barrier, put in place to discourage people from going onto the beach to disturb seals during pupping season.

According to the City Attorney's Office, the defendant's motion for a temporary restraining order had been defeated.

Harbor seals took over the beach in the early 1990s, causing strife between animal rights activists and beach-access advocates.

Animal rights groups have claimed videotaped documentation of people annoying the seals on the beach.

The seal cam was recently placed on a lifeguard tower that's slated for demolition. Its images are frequently broadcast on CityTV, the city of San Diego's cable outlet.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Walter Koenig'

Walter Koenig | March 19, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

Bravo Mayor Filner! What kind of people kick, punch, sit on mother seals and their pups? These people should be made to perform community service wearing a sign around their neck stating, "I kick and punch seals".

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Avatar for user 'SoCalMediaSurfer'

SoCalMediaSurfer | March 19, 2013 at 6:43 p.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

There is going to have to be a guard posted or people will still go there, closed or not.

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Avatar for user 'abalone'

abalone | March 19, 2013 at 7:20 p.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

This single event happened well over a month ago. It did not happen as stated in this news release. I have seen this video many times over and it is a staged event by the very activists that want to close any beach with seals on it. One event and the mayor has installed 2 cops, 1 ranger and there are 2 life guards. A lot of resources mindlessly spent. No one, mayor or otherwise can legally close any beach in California, day or night. It is a sad day for San Diego to have a mayor listen to Donna Frye, Jane Reldon, et al to place a cute nuisance a head of children and handicap swimmers, spear men and the like. Wake up and smell the odor of these unintended consequences of releasing rehabilitate seals and sea lions from the shoreline.

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Avatar for user 'sealfocas'

sealfocas | March 19, 2013 at 7:27 p.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

Axolottl, do you believe everything you hear? Is Mayor Filner always right in what he says? Animal extremists have been known to stage events to garner money or support. To date the SDPD have not identified those young women. Interesting since they were present the night of the event. Perhaps everything Mayor Filner says happened, did not happen. Please make decisions or comments based on reason and not emotion.

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Avatar for user 'RegularChristian'

RegularChristian | March 20, 2013 at 7:54 a.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

Anyone who would harm an animal like this has something wrong with them. To me they are like men who hit women or people who hit children. I hope these guys get a hefty fine AND some time in jail. They need to mend their ways.

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Avatar for user 'saraohara'

saraohara | March 20, 2013 at 8:39 a.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank you Mayor Filner for protecting those who cannot protect themselves from a few very strange humans.

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Avatar for user 'Alex_Grebenshchikov'

Alex_Grebenshchikov | March 20, 2013 at 10:51 a.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

Abalone, you are a voice of reason here. It is terribly unfortunate that the children's pool cannot be used as a children's pool. Instead, it is a highly contaminated area of ocean water with a beautiful, roped off, beach that cannot be used by humans. What a jewel it could be, but instead, it is a filthy, shark bait breeding ground. Seals can go many places in San Diego, they don't need us to intervene with nature and create an artificial safe haven.
RegularChristian, most people would probably agree that it is wrong to intentionally hurt animals, and they would react at varying levels of emotion at watching animals being hurt. But did you really just equate punching and kicking seals to punching and kicking women and children? I would personally be much more concerned about the person who respects equally the life of a human and the life of an animal than the person who values the life of an animal less than the life of a human.
saraohara, they wouldn't "need" protecting if they weren't unnaturally corralled in one roped off, high-profile location.
And to top it all off, taxpayer money is being used to deploy resources to guard the children's pool. We have more important things to deploy resources on, this is an emotional cause that does not make logical sense considering the state of our economy.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | March 20, 2013 at 10:55 a.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

Filner has been a train wreck since taking office, but he got this one right. I applaud him and let's hope this is the start of more good decisions from him.

Also a big thank you to SDPD for protecting and defending the seals.

Now we need arrests and long prison sentences for the criminals who harass them.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | March 20, 2013 at 11:08 a.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

Alex,

Yes, punching and kicking an animal is equivalent to punching and kicking women and children. Explain what the difference is, if you think there is one.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | March 20, 2013 at 11:10 a.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

California, that is insane. We eat animals. They are not the same as humans. They are food.

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Avatar for user 'b4goodnow'

b4goodnow | March 20, 2013 at 11:45 a.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank you, Mayor! I don't live in La Jolla, but the ocean and marine life are for all our benefit and enjoyment, not abuse and cruelty.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | March 20, 2013 at 12:01 p.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

JM,

Not everybody eats animals (vegetarians and vegans). Some animals eat people, so that makes us food as well. I'm not sure why you think eating something makes it less valuable.

What about the animals you don't eat such as dogs or seals. Does that make a dog or a seal more valuable than a cow? If so, why?

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Avatar for user 'Alex_Grebenshchikov'

Alex_Grebenshchikov | March 20, 2013 at 12:17 p.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

CaliforniaDefender, your statement seems so outrageous that I suspect you might be trolling. But in case you are not, what do you think would be worse, killing 1,000 Jews, or killing 1,000 seals?

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Avatar for user 'Really123'

Really123 | March 20, 2013 at 12:20 p.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

If your going to prohibit humans from using this artificial cove, then the sea wall should be demolished and the shoreline returned to nature. Then if seals show up, fine. Right now we have an artificially created haven for the seals, and if I'm not mistaken, maintaining that's not in Park & Rec's charter. I want my TAX money to stop protecting these seals. I will donate to an appropriate organisation if i want to protect them otherwise.

Also, making a habit of hurting animals for no good reason is a a sign of being a sociopath. Although I would have a hard time believing that these girls did anything more than harass them. I didnt see any punching on the video. But it sure gives you more impact if you exaggerate the situation.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | March 20, 2013 at 1:58 p.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

Alex,

My comments are always serious, especially on this topic. The reason you think they are "outrageous" is that you've likely never seriously examined the topic of animal welfare before. The notion of equality for blacks was just as "outrageous" to many just a few decades ago. As for your question, both are equally repulsive.

Really123,

Your tax dollars already go to protecting many different species. Those seals are but one. As for the artificial seawall creating a welcoming habitat, that is correct. But there is little undeveloped shoreline in California. If something we did actually benefits them rather than harm we should pat ourselves on the back. It is usually the other way around.

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Avatar for user 'Alex_Grebenshchikov'

Alex_Grebenshchikov | March 20, 2013 at 3:03 p.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

CaliforniaDefender,
So you seem to hold the position that human life and animal life are of equal value, so they deserve to be treated equally. As a crude illustration, suppose that you were not the person committing the repulsive act of taking life, but you were forced to choose which lives to save by a totalitarian government. If the government declared that they needed to do lab testing which would require the torture, and ultimately the killing of either 1,000 seals, or 10 Jews, and you had to vote on which would be used, what would you choose? If animal and human life are of equal value, you could preserve a lot more life by choosing the Jews for the lab testing.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 20, 2013 at 5:03 p.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

I applaud Mayor Filner for doing this.

If people are upset by this, they should express their frustrations towards the psychopaths who get a sick joy out of torturing animals instead of directing their anger towards those trying to protect them.

And for 'abolone' and the others claiming this was somewhow staged by animal rights activistis, I ask you to provide VERIFIABLE PROOF before making such idiotic assertions.

That's really rich considering it was a Children's Pool Advocate named Kent Trego who was convicted in a court of law for making death threats to a volunteer with the Animal Protection and Rescue League after she caught him and others mis-treating seals and took down his license plate number.

I'm not trying to imply that there are not crazies on both sides of pretty much any issue, but come on - suggesting animals rights activists are torturing animals to further their own agenda with no proof is a bit much - especially when there is a documented history of crimes against these animals and those trying to protect them by children's pool advocates.

And by the way, 'abalone', in your little rant about people for whom you defend, you make mention of "spear men".

Are you suggesting people should be allowed to roam the area like Neanderthals and SPEAR these animals?

If so, YOU, my dear, and those like you, are the prime reason why we need 24-hour security to protect these animals from unbalanced kooks.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 20, 2013 at 5:05 p.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

Alex_G., your last post is completely irrelevant here.

Nobody is having to choose between the life of the seals and the life of human beings.

We are asking to choose one tiny area of our sprawling coastline of which to simply let animals live in peace without being tortured,

Is that REALLY too much to ask?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | March 20, 2013 at 7:58 p.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

Alex,

If you're under a totalitarian regime that forces you to kill seals or Jews, you've got bigger problems. Clearly you're out of defensible points if you're down to posing such a ridiculous question.

Duck,

Abalone isn't anywhere close to a valid argument. Ignore him/her/it. I'm glad to hear those protecting the seals nailed a criminal. They're good honorable people for standing watch and should each be given a medal.

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Avatar for user 'Alex_Grebenshchikov'

Alex_Grebenshchikov | March 21, 2013 at 8:21 a.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

CaliforniaDefender, OK, you don't have to play if you don't want to. We are, after all, in a relatively free country :-)
But, I do appreciate your honesty. Do you believe all animal life is as valuable as human life, or just larger mammals like seals, and maybe dogs, horses, etc.? For example, are the lives of smaller animals like rabbits, squirrels, mice, lizards, and maybe even ants and cockroaches as valuable as the lives of humans?

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Avatar for user 'Alex_Grebenshchikov'

Alex_Grebenshchikov | March 21, 2013 at 8:28 a.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

Peking_Duck_SD, I didn't know that seals were being tortured all up and down our sprawling coastline, and that the unnatural children's pool we created was the only place they had a chance to live in peace, free of torture. This is unfortunate news.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | March 21, 2013 at 8:56 a.m. ― 1 year, 1 month ago

CD so humans and animals are all the same? Why don't we charge gorillas with rape? Or lions and sharks with murder? Or, since we are all the same, and I kill other men who I view as my competition when trying to woo a woman I want to mate with? Your comparison does not go very far.

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Avatar for user 'RegularChristian'

RegularChristian | March 23, 2013 at 7:41 a.m. ― 1 year ago

Have they caught the people who attacked the animals?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | March 24, 2013 at 1:57 p.m. ― 1 year ago

Alex,

All animal life (yes, everything included in your list) is just as valuable as human life. We are animals, no different, and I challenge anyone to prove otherwise.

JM,

An interesting point. I'd say we don't because animals don't have the same level of cultural advancement or empathy as we do. Humans, in their more primitive state (still in many 3rd world countries) routinely murder, rape, and loot without consequence in their society.

Same reason why we don't punish the mentally challenged for committing crimes (except in Texas).

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Avatar for user 'wpstoll'

wpstoll | March 27, 2013 at 12:58 p.m. ― 1 year ago

This was a staged performance designed for the SealCam in an effort to get the beach closed and solicit more money from gullible donors who value emotion and sentimentality over science. The Wans of Malibu and their pseudo-scientific and eponymous "conservancy" are only in this for the profits. Altruism is the farthest thing from their minds.

State law prohibits closing public beach access. Even wealthy beachfront property owners in Malibu have to live with this reality. Filner is pandering to the lowest common intellectual denominator by his illegal action.

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