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Comments made by JessCG

Court Says Seals Must Go, But New Law Says "Not So Fast''

This is not about whether people or animals are more important. Polls indicate the majority of locals want the seals to stay. Children love watching them and it's a great economy boost as many people go to La Jolla just for the seals. In the current economy, the last thing we should do is eliminate an economy booster while increasing spending on police patrols at the beach.

This should be resolved by local government based on what local people want, not on the basis of a lawsuit filed by one angry woman who no longer lives in the United States.

July 20, 2009 at 5:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Seal Legislation Passes Calif. Assembly

WhereAreTheClowns, I simply do not understand your arguments. I hope others can see past your misrepresentation. I think many people may not understand what exactly this bill and the surrounding controversy are about, so I would like to clarify.

The bill that passed is not to "break" the trust for the site. It is to *add* seal watching as a recreational activity for children, so that the city can AVOID having to spend millions of taxpayer dollars dredging the beach and keeping the seals away. It puts the control back in the hands of the LOCAL government to decide whether to allow mixed use or to establish a protected sanctuary.

Just to clarify, again: this bill absolutely does NOT require any money to be spent establishing a sanctuary and it does NOT establish any stronger government involvement. Rather, it allows the local, smaller government bodies to choose NOT to spend millions of dollars evacuating the seals as they are now being ordered to do by the state judge Yuri Hoffman as a result of a lawsuit brought by one woman who lives in New Zealand and is basing her suit on the original language of the grant, which is being very narrowly interpreted by Judge Hoffman. The city has already had to spend millions in litigation on this issue, in part because it is torn between conflicting state and federal court orders -- a conflict that will NOT go away if the bill doesn't pass. This bill would allow that waste of taxpayer dollars to end and would prevent further waste going toward dredging the beach and having some mechanism to scare the seals away 24 hours a day.

This is a common sense, money saving bill designed to put control in the hands of the local community. It's absolutely ideal and should please fiscal conservatives, environmentalists, and families alike.

Regarding Ellen Browning Scripps, the original donor -- she put the rest of her fortune into marine mammal research, and I can only imagine she would be delighted for children to be able view seals in the wild, for free -- especially now that public swimming pools exist so children have other ways to learn to swim in calm water.

July 12, 2009 at 1:03 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Seal Legislation Passes Calif. Assembly

Watching the seals is hands down my favorite activity in La Jolla and something I take all of my out of town guests to enjoy. If it weren't for the seals, I wouldn't bother making the drive from downtown San Diego, but once we're there, we go out to the local restaurants and gift shops, boosting La Jolla's economy.

I have seen people from all over the country happily watching the seals and answering their children's eager questions about them. It's a wonderful experience for children! The only people I have met who want to get rid of the seals at the "Children's" Pool are a few bitter, raving old men! This whole ridiculous, expensive legal battle is going on because one lawsuit-happy woman who lives in New Zealand got a ticket for harassing the seals and sued the city, and her lawyer is more than happy to keep wasting city money for the fight.

I am originally from a coastal town where there are seals, but no place to observe them. When I first moved down here, I was amazed by locals' good fortune to have the seals right there on a little protected beach and easy to view, and I just assumed there was a policy against disturbing them so that everybody could enjoy them. I was stunned and saddened to discover this controversy.

Here are several reasons I hope the city will not have to dredge the beach:

1) Biologists have reported that dredging the beach is likely to have many negative environmental effects, including potential erosion of the beautiful hillside.

2) If the beach is dredged, it will fill back up again in a matter of months.

3) Dredging the beach will be extremely expensive and a huge waste of public funds when it fills right back up.

4) It is completely unnecessary. There are many other beaches just steps away, where I see children enjoying the water all the time (and then they cross over to enjoy watching the seals).

Regarding changing the language of the grant:

1) It is my understanding that at the time the original language was written, there were no public swimming areas for small children that were protected from waves. It was before swimming pools, which now exist in abundance.

2) It was also a time when wildlife was more prevalent than it is today. Now, things have changed and children have far less opportunity to view wildlife in their natural habitat.

3) Many families cannot afford to take their children to Sea World, the Zoo, or the Wild Animal Park. How wonderful for them to have a place to see marine mammals up close for free. That experience should not be taken from them because of a frivolous lawsuit filed by a woman who doesn't even live in the United States!

If people are so concerned about the beach being used as a recreational area for children, why don't they find out what local children want? The reports I've heard are that 90% of residents prefer to be able to watch the seals, for free, in the wild. I would bet the response among local children would be similar.

July 11, 2009 at noon ( | suggest removal )