Letter to Editor: City Measured Wrong in Erecting Rope at Children's Pool

Jane Reldan, MD, says rope at the Children's Pool in La Jolla was originally intended to create an effective buffer zone with a 3-foot opening.

Dear Editor, 

Indeed, the saga of the Children’s Pool rope continues as ‘Native San Diegan’ David Pierce chastises Mayor Filner for correcting the City’s own measurement error. Mr. Pierce conveniently fails to mention the fact that “the original intent of the permit [for the rope] was to create an effective buffer zone by utilizing the rope with a 3-foot opening.” The only reason the rope’s length was shortened to 130 feet last year was because the City’s staff used an improperly-calibrated measuring wheel when they originally measured out how long the rope should be. This resulted in the mistaken approval of coastal development and site development permits for a 130-foot rope barrier. And that resulted in an opening of 25 feet, a far cry from the intent of the May, 2010 City Council Resolution in support of the rope.

It was always the intent of the permit that the rope maintain a three-foot  access for entrance and exit into the water. Thus, contrary to what Mr. Pierce implies, the increased rope length is not a violation of the permit at all. Rather, it does the opposite, bringing the rope in to conformity with the original intent of the permit.  

Since the 152-foot rope was erected on December 21, 2012, there has been peace at Children’s Pool Beach, with both people and seals respecting the rope guideline without incident.

Only those who want to create a battleground at Children’s Pool Beach would oppose the 152-foot rope, offering “Tickets to cross the rope free” on signs posted on the sidewalk, as well as posting “Beach Open” signs on the seals’ side of the rope, which confuse the public and lead them to unwittingly violate the City’s and NOAA’s recommended 50-feet guideline distance from the seals. 

These “professional harassers,” as Mayor Filner so accurately characterized them, insist on luring unsuspecting visitors on to the sand, which scares the very pregnant seals who are too large to move at this time of year. These same harassers compose Facebook posts such as, “SEALBOMBS will be visiting the seals at 3 to 4 am every morning to disperse them off the beach.” These people are not interested in shared access, they are interested in chasing the seals from the beach and depriving everyone else of their right to enjoy the seals. The State has declared this area a Marine Reserve for a reason and we all need to respect that.

The best way for humans and seals to truly share the beach is with the current, fully-legal, 152-foot rope. It makes all the difference as far as allowing both seals and humans to enjoy the beach in peace. It is time for all of us to learn to live with nature instead of destroying it. I for one, wish to thank both the Mayor and the City Council for the 152-foot rope and urge them to continue to preserve the peace by keeping it up year-round!


Jane Reldan, MD

Also read David Pierce's Letter to the Editor: Children's Pool Rope Saga Continues

Ryan Sweeney January 04, 2013 at 05:32 PM
wow Jane Reldan... Seal Bombs... you apparently have no problems with blatant lying. No such thing has happened or will happen. That's ridiculous. You are a regular "professional harasser" of those law abiding citizens who actively exercise their guaranteed rights to use this beach. Lets not forget Jane... this is the ONLY man made seawall in San Diego with a TRUST protecting access for the people. The seals, which we all know are not in any danger as their numbers continue to grow year after year... have taken over the beach as the city negligently refuses to uphold its responsibility to maintain the beach in a safe manner for the community. All of this because you and your chronies have consistently harassed, sued, assaulted and threatened our city and community at every turn. All in the name of protecting your private little zoo. Stop exploiting these poor animals for your personal gain Jane.
Linda Jalving January 04, 2013 at 06:11 PM
Thank you, Jane!! This little piece of beach has given so much pleasure to so many people around the world as they enjoy watching the seals! I know this because people come into my shop all the time, and mention seal watching as one of the favorite things they do when they are in the San Diego area. Last year, I had a young man (around 10 or so) come into my shop with his Mom and he shared with me the excitement and wonder of watching one of the seals with her pup. It is a shame that a small group of selfish people feel it their place to disrupt the seals from what has become their rookery. Humans can choose to be anywhere on San Diego's 70 mile coastline, but the seals have this one little beach to call theirs...and I consider it one of La Jolla's treasures because of this unique seal watching opportunity that brings us a chance to watch the seals "up close (not TOO close) and personal. Thanks again, Jane Linda Ronelle Jalving, owner Jewels by the Sea 1237 Prospect St. #B
Ryan Sweeney January 04, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Well, Linda... you're totally right in the first part... people do love watching the seals. people love swimming with them too. Nobody is trying to get rid of the seals... or at least the couple/few that would like to see the seals go is probably because they think that's what is necessary to get rid of the anti-human activists. Everyone loves the seals. That's why shared use works. as for humans having 70 miles of coastline... that's ludicrous. if anything, the seals have much better access to the coastline than people do. And... again, lets be straight... there is a rookery in Pt. Loma. This isn't an issue of whether seals have a safe place to be... because they have the entire 70 mile coastline, right... this is a matter of whether people get their very own Free zoo... with no tax dollars contributing the city... with a city that doesn't clean up the feces all these seals leave in turn creating an unhealthy habitat for both seals and people. If we truly care about the seals well being we would take the wall down all together and restore the coastline to its natural state... and let the seals go where they go naturally.
4RBeach January 05, 2013 at 05:26 AM
So let me get this strait, "the City’s and NOAA’s recommended 50-feet guideline distance from the seals" is JUST A GUIDELINE! So their is NO LAW on how close one can be from a seal. And I would like to Clarify that Dr Jane Reldan in wrong, the Children's Pool is NOT a state marine reserve, she must be confused or lying because the la jolla cove is a state marine reserve. Free tickets to enter a open public beach, am I missing something here?
Therese Burchianti January 08, 2013 at 08:10 PM
This is a wonderfully important decision. I applaud Mayor Filner for taking this step toward helping these poor animals with a little bit of extra protection that is so vitally needed for their safety during the pupping season AND throughout the entire year. If all humans knew how to treat wild animals with respect and care then this would not even be open for discussion, but that is unfortunately not the case. Many people harrass and abuse these animals. Again, Thank You Mr. Mayor for doing the right thing and please continue to help this little rookery stay safe from harm.
Kristen Ybarra January 09, 2013 at 07:23 AM
Ryan, What other beaches are a protected beach area for seals? You mention a rookery. Is is a protected beach area for seals to have pups? I think it is an amazing experience for humans to be able to watch wild mammals up close. One that is rare. Why are you so angry? Kristen Ybarra
Ryan Sweeney January 09, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Kristen... What leads you to believe seals need protection? According to ALL scientific evidence their numbers are not only healthy, but in some cases/locations are more than the eco-system can sustain healthily. Just because you/people can't see other rookeries does not mean they don't exist... there is one in Pt. Loma that is just not located right next to a big viewing area like at the CP... out of sight, out of mind for your side huh. You're totally right, it is an amazing experience for humans to be able to watch wild mammals up close... and at the CP these wild animals have been domesticated and are beyond tolerant of human interaction. I am angry because we live in a city where the city officials feel it is OK to blatantly disregard their legal obligations to maintain this beach in a safe and healthy manner for its citizens. They blatantly disregard and look for every opportunity to ignore the fact that this beach was donated to the city and is protected by a trust that incredibly clearly states it is for the people. It is the ONLY beach of it's kind on the entire coast... so the argument of "people are selfish and can go elsewhere" is total BS... so can the seals. We're equal in this regard... shared use works. Except seals can go anywhere in the ocean/shoreline with much more ease since they are after all, sea fairing mammals :) I'm angry because "seal activists" continually harass the community and sue the city, wasting tax $$$ & contributing nothing in return.
Ryan Sweeney January 09, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Lets also not forget about the Marine preserves that were just implemented in January... one is just north of the CP, one is south of the CP, one is in Del Mar and one is in Pt. Loma... all of these are perfectly safe places for the precious seals... places where evil man can not interfere with them... although they're also places where you can't have a free zoo or sell t-shirts and lie to less knowledgeable tourists.
Bob Ewing January 10, 2013 at 01:32 AM
Jane the world is flat too. I have heard, from your mouth, lies to unsuspecting tourists that happen to go on the beach. Your cause, because you're a medical professional, should be to get Filner to clean this cesspool. Open the sluice ways. I bet if your residence was a little closer to the Children's Pool you would carrying a clip for a petition to clean it up and address the traffic conditions. What do with your money and who support for office is your choice but it is not right. You will not win on the side of the seals.
Bob Ewing January 10, 2013 at 01:37 AM
Linda, thanks for posting your business with your asinine logic. It will never see another dime from me and I am a local. You obviously never enter the water or you would be aware of the lack of points of entry that are safe for divers.
John Leek January 10, 2013 at 05:43 AM
All seals are federally protected so any beach or rock one chooses is a protected place. The City created this mess with a stated motive; to have a lucrative tourist attraction. It is perfectly reasonable for a conservationist to oppose this acclimation of animals to an urban setting to exploit them for profit. I swim in the pool with them and they swim into my hands and roll over for a tummy rub. It is fun but I know it is also stripping them of their natural protective instincts. But it brings the tourists and their money and the City does not have to maintain the beach for human recreation so it is a shrewd business decision. These are otherwise perfectly capable animals, able to swim away anytime they felt abused, so they must not be. We don't have to run them off because they are too stupid to realize the "danger" they are in, and we don't have to do that to people either. The only danger to the colony is the all or nothing drive by misguided animal lovers that people have to leave because an animal showed up and figured out nobody hurts it.


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