Last Gasp for San Diego Seals?

A year ago I blogged about the legal order that could force the eviction of the seals that had taken over the at the Scripps "children's pool" in La Jolla, California. This past Monday, a local judge ordered the eviction to proceed, but the San Diego city attorney is going to court to try and have the order overturned, relying in part on a newly enacted state law. The AP reports:

The announcement by City Attorney Jan Goldsmith was the latest development in an emotional and yearslong battle over who should have exclusive use of the protected cove — children or seals — in the posh seaside neighborhood of La Jolla.

On Monday, a San Diego Superior Court judge ordered the city to begin chasing away the creatures from the cove, called the Children's Pool, by Thursday or face heavy fines in order to comply with a 2005 ruling in a lawsuit brought by a disgruntled swimmer.

The city said it would blast recordings of barking dogs to scare away the pesky pinnipeds at the cost of $688,000 a year. San Diego cannot use force because the seals are a federally protected marine species.

But just hours later, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that added a marine mammal park to the list of permissible uses for the Children's Pool — giving the city a legal tool that could allow the seals to stay put. . . .

Attorney Paul Kennerson, who represents the disgruntled swimmer, said Senate Bill 428 does not absolve the city of its responsibility to maintain the cove exclusively for the use of children.

Thursday's hearing is scheduled just 90 minutes before the city's deadline to begin chasing the seals away.