Letters: May 22, 2009

Thanks to local businesses for making a difference
Thanks so much to Gideon Marcus for the wonderful article he wrote about my class in the May 15 issue (“Boxing classes aid special needs kids”). My students were excited to see their pictures and names in the newspaper. I would like to add that when we first started going boxing, part of the “motivation” for getting through their workout was a trip to That Pizza Place, located next door to L.A. Boxing. Now our kids look forward to pizza and garlic bread after each boxing session. The employees have been so nice and always greet us when we come in, making us feel welcome. We also look forward to seeing some of the “regulars” that show up there for lunch. Thank you to That Pizza Place and L.A. Boxing for creating the opportunity for such a fun and educational experience for all of our students.
Janine Shelton
Special Education Teacher
Madison Middle School

Too much sand!
I went down to the beach at Stonesteps, in Leucadia, on Mother’s Day with my daughters and grandsons. Unfortunately, the so-called “sand” was more like dirt, very dark, almost black, and not coarse. As it has been for years now, the sand was piled up so high it completely covers the bottom flight of stairs.
Residents and surfers know that we have excessive sand now. Too much sand destroys natural flora and fauna. It kills the kelp and negatively affects the surfbreak. Believe me, it’s no fun sitting in that dark nasty stuff, either. True beach sand has higher silica content and lower carbon content, my daughter tells me.
We don’t need or want more bogus “replenishment” sand, which is really being put on the beach as armor for a few bluff top property owners who bought knowing the cliffs are unstable. The Coastal Commission has determined that sea walls can only be built in cases of emergency. So instead, sand has become big business and a political rallying cry, with lobbyists convincing cities and private entities, such as the Self Realization Fellowship, to pay them to lobby for more and more sand.
Recently in Leucadia, very poor quality construction dirt was transferred to our beaches from the Pacific Station development downtown, where underground parking garages are being excavated and built. The city paid the developer and allowed him to dump this dirt on our precious shoreline.
We sincerely wish the city of Encinitas would opt out of SANDAG’s program, as Del Mar has wisely done. We don’t need more sand and we don’t need to keep paying sand lobbyists, such as Steve Aceti and the California Coastal Coalition as private contractors, making their living by arranging to put more unwanted dirt on our cherished beaches.
Lynn Braun Marr


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  1. Rodney Scow says:

    Lynn Braun Marr “went down to the beach at Stonesteps in Leucadia,” and based upon her horrible experience there, wrote a letter to The Coast News. Her conclusion that the beach is dirty (not sandy) illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding of where we live and how we define some solid material here.

    Earth is a planet composed primarily of rock and water enveloped by gas. Water and gas (usually as wind) have the patience and power to wear down the rock, which surrenders particles to gravity, which rolls the rock downhill until the rock’s kinetic energy is expended.
    Some of the particles are large. Some of the particles are tiny. Some of the particles are really, really tiny.
    The U. S. Department of Agriculture uses a grading system to differentiate these particles according to their varied sizes.
    “Silt” consists of particles between .05 millimeters and .002 millimeters in size. “Sand” consists of particles larger than .05 millimeters and smaller than 1 millimeter.
    We can say all we want about what’s dirty and what’s clean, but in terms of defining sand (and contrary to what Marr writes about what her daughter says) silica content and carbon content have nothing to do with the matter. It’s about the particle size. This is why we have black sand beaches, white sand beaches, jade sand beaches and a whole bunch of other varieties, including beaches made of tiny sea shell particles–not exactly rock, but it’s the same idea.
    By the way, it is theoretically possible to have beaches composed of 100% carbon sand. This could be a “black sand” beach (coal) or it could be a kind of sparkly, expensive beach made of diamonds.
    If Lynn would spend more time informing herself, the rest of us would not have to endure her ongoing, cynical, vitriolic ignorance.
    Better yet, she should go over to the site where Pacific Station is being built. She should grab a few handsful of our planet from different areas of the excavation, and then she should go home and measure the particles. I do not know her personally, but my guess is she won’t bother with the facts because the facts will prove her wrong.


    Rodney Scow

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