La Jolla news and community briefs
Published - 06/29/18 - 02:08 PM | 28969 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
 Beachgoers gawk at powerful waves exploding right outside the famed WindanSea Beach shack earlier this month. DON BALCH/VILLAGE NEWS
Beachgoers gawk at powerful waves exploding right outside the famed WindanSea Beach shack earlier this month. DON BALCH/VILLAGE NEWS
UC San Diego’s EV charging program awarded for modeling ‘Energy System of the Future’

The campus is the first higher education institution to be recognized with an award from Greentech Media.

The University of California San Diego has been honored with the 2018 Grid Edge Innovation Award for serving as an epicenter for research, development and commercialization on smart electric vehicle (EV) charging. UC San Diego has collaborations with more than 18 companies and organizations in providing 135 EV charging stations on campus. In May alone, more than 700 different EVs were charged by UC San Diego’s world-renowned microgrid.

UC San Diego is the first university to receive a Grid Edge Innovation Award from Greentech Media, a leading information services company for technologies, markets and businesses shaping the future of the electricity sector. Representatives from the campus will officially accept the honor on June 21 at a ceremony in San Francisco.

“Our efforts in the electrification of transportation have benefited from the microgrid, and both are great examples of how UC San Diego has been leading the way in decarbonizing energy,” said Vice Chancellor of Resource Management and Planning, Gary C. Matthews. “This is key to our efforts, as we approach the milestone of becoming carbon neutral by 2025.”

Collectively, UC San Diego charges over 700 unique EV drivers each month, which represents a monthly reduction in 5,400 gallons of avoided gasoline being used. The number of such drivers is expected to continue to climb, as UC San Diego experiences an annual growth rate of 120 percent in EV commuters to campus.

A microgrid is a local energy grid with control capability, which means it can disconnect from the traditional grid and operate autonomously.

UC San Diego has one of the country’s first and best-studied microgrids. It consists of two 13.5 MW gas turbines, one 3 MW steam turbine, a 2.8 MW fuel cell, a 2.2 MW solar-cell installation, 2.5 MW/5 MWH of battery electric storage and more than eight million gallons of thermal energy storage.

The success of the microgrid has propelled additional “green innovation” such as the EV charging which the campus began exploring as early as 2011.

UC San Diego’s microgrid powers 85 percent of the 1,160 acres -campus’ electricity needs, 95 percent of its heating, and 95 percent of its cooling.  The reliability and resiliency of the grid has allowed the university to cut costs, while mitigating carbon emissions. It is estimated it is saving the campus about $850,000 a month, compared to buying retail energy.

According to Greentech, this year’s winners represent the top projects involving the innovative applications of grid edge technologies, and they offer solutions to the technical, business and regulatory challenges of distributed energy integration.

Alliance Healthcare awards youth organization

Alliance Healthcare Foundation (AHF), located in La Jolla, has awarded Just in Time for Foster Youth (JIT) with a $100,000 Mission Support grant and the San Diego Center for Children with a $35,000 Mission Support grant.

This grant will support JIT’s work to engage a caring community to help transition-age foster youth achieve self-sufficiency and well-being and will allow the San Diego Center for Children to improve access, timely care and a more effective, family-centered treatment approach for children, teens and their families who are struggling with mental, emotional or behavioral health disorders.

This is the third consecutive year JIT has received a Mission Support grant from AHF. This year’s $100,000 grant will allow JIT to innovate and improve its services for young people who exit the foster care system without family support. The grant is part of AHF’s nine-year commitment to nonprofit organizations dedicated to advancing health and wellness in San Diego and Imperial counties.

Just in Time for Foster Youth mobilizes a caring community to help young adults leaving the foster care system stay on the path to self-sufficiency, ultimately allowing them to become more confident, capable and connected while breaking the cycle of dependence. This is achieved through a variety of initiatives that empower participants while helping them attain stable housing, essential education, meaningful employment, financial security, reliable transportation, positive relationships and more. 

The San Diego Center for Children, founded in 1887, is the oldest children’s nonprofit in San Diego. The Center provides therapeutic care, specialized education and critical life skills to more than 1,000 children and their families in eight locations and hundreds of homes across the county.

George’s La Jolla makes OpenTable ‘100 Best Al Fresco Restaurants’

OpenTable, the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of Booking Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG) recently unveiled the 100 Best Al Fresco Restaurants in America for 2018.

From the oceanside views at Leilani’s on the Beach in Hawaii and the stunning desert scenery at LON’s at The Hermosa Resort in Arizona to New York City’s Tavern on the Green, an oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle, the complete list features winning restaurants in 22 states.

California comes out on top this year with 30 winning restaurants, followed by Florida with 26, and Hawaii with 10. Other notable states for outdoor dining include Arizona with eight winning restaurants and Maryland, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina each with three. Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C. are also among the winners.

While most of this year’s honorees serve American fare, other cuisines proved popular for outdoor dining, particularly seafood, French, and Italian. “From picturesque restaurants with shaded terraces to vibrant rooftops and sidewalk cafés, this year’s list showcases the spots that take the al fresco experience to the next level,” said Caroline Potter, OpenTable's chief dining officer. "These restaurants offer friendly service and the ideal ambiance for diners looking to enjoy the warm weather and soak up the best sights of summer.

The 100 Best Al Fresco Restaurants in America list is generated solely from more than 12 million verified OpenTable diner reviews for more than 27,000 restaurants in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. collected between May 1, 2017 and April 30, 2018. All restaurants with a minimum "overall" score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of reviews for which "outdoor dining" was selected as a special feature.

Based on this methodology, the restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the 100 Best Al Fresco Restaurants in America for 2018 according to OpenTable diners. The complete list may also be viewed at

Salk scientist studying infectious diseases and microbiome receives $250,000 prize

Salk associate professor Janelle Ayres has been named one of three winners of the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists, one of the world's largest unrestricted prizes for early career scientists. Ayres, the laureate in the life sciences category, will receive $250,000 for her pioneering research in physiology.

Ayres’ work is revolutionizing our understanding of host-pathogen interactions and has the potential to solve one of the greatest current public health threats.

: anti-microbial resistance.

"Janelle is one of the most original thinkers in the field of infectious disease research," says Salk President Rusty Gage. "Her pioneering work on microbes has the potential to change human health in fundamental ways. We are elated the Blavatnik Foundation has recognized Janelle's past accomplishments and future promise with this prestigious award."

As a member of Salk’s NOMIS Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, Ayres works at the intersection of immunology, metabolism and microbiology, studying how our bodies stay healthy during infections. She takes an innovative approach grounded in mathematical and evolutionary predictions to understand how bacteria have evolved ways to promote our health. She uses these discoveries to develop new therapies for treating diseases.

Ayres’ groundbreaking research on host-pathogen interactions is redefining our definition of health. In pivotal work, she discovered that microbes have evolved mechanisms to promote the health of the host to support their own survival, revealing a beneficial role for microbes in the maintenance of host health. Her revelation of an entirely new set of defense mechanisms likely will lead to novel therapies that bacteria won’t be able to evolve resistance to (unlike antibiotics). Ultimately, by leveraging those damage-control mechanisms, Ayres aims to develop effective treatments for infectious and noninfectious diseases, such as pathologies associated with cancer and aging.

Ayres, who is also Helen McLoraine Developmental Chair at Salk, was selected as one of 31 finalists from among 286 outstanding faculty-rank researchers age 42 or younger nominated by 146 institutions across 42 states. She is one of three Blavatnik national laureates—one each in the categories of life sciences, chemistry, and physical sciences and engineering. The 2018 Blavatnik national laureates and finalists will be honored at an award ceremony on Monday, September 24, 2018, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

The Blavatnik Awards, established by the Blavatnik Family Foundation in the United States in 2007 and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences, began by identifying outstanding scientific talent in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The Blavatnik National Awards were inaugurated in 2014 and, in 2018, the awards were expanded to include young scientists in the United Kingdom and Israel. By the close of 2018, the Blavatnik Awards will have conferred prizes totaling $6.6 million, honoring 271 outstanding young scientists and engineers.
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