Del Mar removes Loren Nancarrow memorial bench


By Kristina Houck

A bench honoring the memory of local journalist Loren Nancarrow was removed from Del Mar’s Dog Beach on Jan. 28.

City officials do not know who installed the dog-bone shaped bench and when it was installed. The bench was removed one month after the longtime anchor died of brain cancer and the same day declared “Loren Nancarrow Day” by the San Diego City Council.

“Although we share the sentiment of those placing the bench in wanting to honor the life of Mr. Nancarrow, the city of Del Mar is responsible for the placement and maintenance of memorial benches on city property and is unable to allow unauthorized installations for many reasons, including ensuring the safety of the public,” wrote City Manager Scott Huth in his weekly update on Del Mar’s website.

Without any permits, the bench was installed north of the bridge next to the on-street parking. The location is used as a secondary emergency access point, said Andrew Potter, the city’s administrative director.

Although it was removed, city officials would like to connect with its creator to discuss long-term placement of the bench.

“We are trying to find the rightful owner of the bench so we can help identify a long-term location for the bench,” said Potter, who noted the bench is being stored with the Public Works Department until the owner is identified.

Del Mar has a process for the installation of memorial benches that includes evaluating suitable locations and ensuring the benches are installed according to city standards. There are also specific criteria for placement and ongoing maintenance. The city has a waiting list of 10-20 people interested in installing memorial benches, Potter said.

Anyone with information about the bench or its owner is asked to contact Kristen Crane at 858-755-9313, ext. 132.