DEL MAR — An unauthorized memorial bench installed in memory of local journalist Loren Nancarrow at Dog Beach has been removed. But city officials would like to find its creator to discuss long-term placement of the dog-bone shaped structure.
Andrew Potter, Del Mar’s administrative director, said no one knows who installed the bench or when, but city officials believe it was during the week of Jan. 19. The city placed a sign on the bench in hopes of finding the owner but no one had come forward with any information at press time.
The bench was removed Jan. 28 — exactly one year after doctors discovered Nancarrow’s brain tumor, one month after his passing and the day that was declared Loren Nancarrow Day in San Diego.
The bench is being kept at the Public Works Department until the owner is identified, Potter said.
“Although we share the sentiment of those … 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,” City Manager Scott Huth wrote in his weekly update on the city website.
Potter said the bench, installed north of the bridge next to the on-street parking, was in a location used as a secondary emergency access point.
Del Mar’s process for installing memorial benches includes evaluating suitable locations and ensuring they are installed according to city standards, Huth wrote. There are also specific criteria for placement and ongoing maintenance.
There is currently a waiting list of more than 10 parties interested in installing memorial benches, Potter said. “There are no approved locations so it could be a number of years until a location is identified.”
On her blog, Nancarrow’s daughter Hannah describes her father as “an avid collector of walking sticks, beach glass and beautiful (G)erman shepherds.”
During his more than 30-year career, Nancarrow worked for ABC 10, CBS 8 and Fox 5 News.
Anyone with information about the bench or its owner should contact Kristen Crane at (858) 755-9313, ext. 132, so the city can work “on a long-term plan for the bench,” Huth said.