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    La Jolla filmmaker documents COVID fight in America’s hardest hit city
    Jan 20, 2021 | 22265 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Adam Raby (left, with long hair in a ponytail) is interviewing Dr. John Redd, the chief medical officer for the office of the assistant secretary of health and human services for preparedness and response. COURTESY PHOTO
    Adam Raby (left, with long hair in a ponytail) is interviewing Dr. John Redd, the chief medical officer for the office of the assistant secretary of health and human services for preparedness and response. COURTESY PHOTO

    Like a lot of filmmakers, La Jolla resident Adam Raby’s film projects in 2020 were put on hold. But on Dec. 31, Empowering a Billion Women (EBW, connected with Raby for an opportunity to film ground zero in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic — El Centro, California.

    EBW is an organization made up of a global network of women leaders who advocate for women’s health and prosperity. Raby was activated as part of the EBW network to aid in a public information campaign in El Centro, informing residents about the availability of monoclonal antibody treatments (MABs).

    When President Trump got diagnosed with COVID-19, they took him to Walter Reed in a helicopter and as soon as he landed they gave him this treatment,” Raby said. “It was only available to certain people at that point, it wasn’t available to anybody, really. Now the government wants to use this as a vehicle to lower the hospital rates in because hospitals are overwhelmed. In El Centro, they got parking lots full of tents with people in them and they’re just trying to find a way to help this community.”

    The MAB program that EBW, Raby and his partner Jose Valdez filmed was started by Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Dr. Robert Kadlec and is carried out by HHS and the El Centro Regional Medical Center, a UCSD hospital. The team’s role was to inform the public about the program, help alleviate fears and fight misinformation about the new treatment.

    Women make 80% of health care decisions in the United States, according to Department of Labor statistics, so gaining the trust of women was critical in galvanizing support for the MAB program.

    There is a lot of messaging out there that has made this virus and this pandemic even more tragic,” Raby said. “Using EBW to engage the women in this community and say ‘We have something that will help you, don’t be afraid to go get a test, don’t be afraid to go to the hospital, there are resources there that will help you,’ was an important part of this.”

    Raby recalled one woman his team interviewed named Laura, a general manager at electrical cooperative, who shared that one of her employees called into work because she was not feeling well. Laura encouraged her to get tested.

    She also told her, because now she was aware of this, that she should ask her doctor if she meets the requirements for monoclonal antibody treatment. Two hours later she was getting the monoclonal antibody. So that’s the power of sharing the story.”

    Another success story was the El Centro fire chief, Cedric Cesena, who had severe symptoms from COVID.

    Within 48 hours after the monoclonal treatment, I was at 80% back to normal,” Cesena said. “My wife’s life was also saved by the infusion. She’s got bronchitis and developed pneumonia, and without the infusion, she probably would’ve died.”

    The MAB program in El Centro utilizes infusion centers where patients at high risk of severe reaction to COVID are treated within 72 hours of symptoms or after receiving a positive test. The MAB drugs, like the COVID vaccines that are now available, are already purchased by the government and are given to qualified patients at no cost.

    The program has been so far successful. Of the first 133 patients treated with the infusion, only six later required treatment in an ICU, said El Centro Regional Medical Center CEO Dr. Adolphe Edward. Edward estimates that one ICU bed is freed up for every 10 patients treated with a MAB infusion. Pre-COVID, the El Centro Regional Medical Center had only 12 ICU beds, but has now expanded to over 60 in the hospital and even in outside tents.

    As Raby, Valdez and EBW founder Ingrid Vanderveldt interviewed local community leaders, healthcare professionals and citizens who shared their stories about the successes of the infusion centers, their backdrop was often the COVID-positive tents where the filmmakers witnessed the around-the-clock battle healthcare workers were engaged in trying to save lives.

    It felt like we were in a war zone,” Raby said. “People weren’t shooting at us but there was the effect of the bodies that were lined up outside the hospital ward because they had nowhere to put the deceased. We had that view. And it was powerful. It was disheartening. It was tragic.”

    After the team finished filming in El Centro, they realized they had documented more than just a government program.

    The emotions of what I experienced over the last six days hit me and tears just started pouring down my face,” he said. “Because what we were witnessing wasn’t just something about COVID-19, it was about a community. It was about people. It was about the history of the land.

    This was once a desert and because of water, it has turned into the fruit and vegetable basket of our country in the winter months. Along with that comes people who’ve been affected by this pandemic more than most places in the county. I think their positive rate was at 37%.”

    The high rate of infection comes from a variety of factors in El Centro, where a sizable portion of the population are migrant workers exposed to environmental pollutants like pesticides and many families live in multi-generational households with little to no ability to quarantine at home.

    These people have been affected for a long period of time and their health is at risk. COVID-19 picks on people who have those kinds of health issues and it doesn’t allow them up,” Raby said. “And now, hopefully, the people that were there — HHS, certainly EBW, as well as the Department of Defense that is doing this Operation Warp Speed — they will see this community needs the help. And if we can help this community, we can take this program and help the entire country.”

    The immediate plan for the film captured in El Centro is to use the images in the campaign EBW is launching on billboards, flyers to hang on doors in English and Spanish, social media and short-form, podcast-type interviews to educate community members about the MAB program.

    EBW and Raby hope the next phase is to tell this story in a documentary form, possibly a series.

    That documentary or series, the team imagines, would not only show the devastation of the pandemic in one of America’s hardest-hit cities, but also the hope that comes out of people helping people.

    If we come together and put aside some of those differences, put aside those ideas and thoughts the messaging, put that aside and help each other, maybe this is an opportunity to move forward and make some changes in our community where we all help each other — even outside of healthcare.”

    For the first time in history, we’re all focusing on the same issue,” Valdez added. “We’re all focusing on COVID-19 and that’s the comradery of what can bring us together as a society, so hopefully this can be an opportunity.”




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    DAILY BRIEFING – Pacific Beach Planning Group election, St. Patrick’s Day Parade canceled, Children’s Choir sign-ups
    Jan 17, 2021 | 111261 views | 1 1 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The 2021 San Diego St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival has officially been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COURTESY PHOTO
    The 2021 San Diego St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival has officially been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COURTESY PHOTO

    A round-up of news, community, and business briefs from highlighting what’s happening in our community.

    Tuesday, Jan. 26


    With the return of outdoor dining, City Tacos is introducing a menu revamp alongside the return of the beloved Taco Tuesday specials, available in Pacific Beach at 4516 Mission Blvd. Beginning Jan. 26, taco lovers can revel in two new taco styles: Caseros Homestyle Tacos and Tacos Dorados. Guests can select from a variety of new flavors, including the Cochinita Pibil Taco, which features slow-cooked pulled pork in a traditional Mayan achiote sauce, served with pickled onions, semi-spicy serrano habanero creamy green salsa. Tacos Dorados selections include Chorizo con Papas, Papa con Rajas, or the Machaca de Pollo; each order features two golden-fried rolled tacos served with original Mike Hess Solis IPA beer fondue and a semi-spicy serrano-habanero creamy green salsa.


    Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa has partnered with the San Diego holistic health club, SAFFRON & SAGE, for an interactive, four-week series dedicated to re-energizing and re-engaging the mind, body and spirit to create a year you’ve always dreamt of. As part of the series, Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa will be hosting a full moon ceremony on Jan. 29 at 5 p.m. in a 90-minute ceremony. The hotel will also be hosting a yoga and breathwork class on Jan. 30 at 10:30 a.m. that will be 90 minutes of moving mediation paired with breathwork for a powerful and rejuvenation session to connect body to mind, breath to movement. Spaces are limited as the sessions are held with a limited capacity and with socially distanced protocols.


    On  Saturday, Jan. 30 from 9-10 a.m. more than 23 San Diego churches from every corner of the county will unite online for the third We Pray San Diego gathering. The focus will be San Diego hospitals, health care staff, first responders, those struggling with COVID and their families. Last year, on June 20, 135 churches and 15,000 (including online participants) people gathered all over San Diego, in other states and online to pray during the first We Pray San Diego event.
    We want to encourage health care workers and frontline healthcare staff to share their prayer requests at,” said Rock Church senior pastor Miles McPherson. “We will be praying for relief and protection from COVID, health and safety for hospital staff and frontline healthcare staff both emotionally and physically.”


    The next Restoration Advisory Board meeting for the Naval Base Point Loma Complex Environmental Restoration Program will be Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 5:45 p.m. This will be a virtual meeting and is open to the public.  To request a link contact Kellie Koenig at [email protected]. For more information, call 619-556-8926.


    The Irish Congress of Southern California has announced the 2021 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival has officially been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which canceled the 2020 parade as well. This would have been the 40th annual event, which takes place in Bankers Hill and Balboa Park every Saint Patrick’s Day weekend.
    “We are of course, very disappointed to have a second Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival canceled,” said Tony Mande, chair of the ICSC board. “However, we are acutely aware that many cultural and community events are also sharing these same difficulties. The priority of the Irish Congress of Southern California will continue to be the health and well-being of our families, friends and the greater San Diego community. We are looking forward to seeing everybody in 2022.”
    The ICSC is currently exploring alternatives to the parade and festival including an online event, fundraisers, or a scaled-down celebration later in the year if state mandates allow. The nonprofit and relies solely on sponsorship, donations and event revenue to continue its mission of promoting Irish history and culture in San Diego. For more info, go to

    OB WEB DESIGN FIRM AWARDED and services has named OB-based Intrepid Network Inc. to its list of the best web design firms in San Diego. The top companies were selected based on multiple services, size of the firm, and industry focus. Intrepid Network Inc. and other firms were expected to demonstrate industry expertise in specific areas like manufacturing, retail, hospitality and healthcare. Experts at examined companies with additional branding or marketing services that would enable businesses to scale up. The guide also features large and small firms to meet a variety of budgets and service needs.
    Researchers at conducted a 40-hour assessment of over 49 companies across the city. To access the complete list of best web design companies in San Diego, visit
    Intrepid Network has worked with local clients such as the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association, Imperial Beach Chamber of Commerce, and more. They work primarily with free, open-source software, so your site doesn’t rely on expensive licenses and third-party tools. In addition to web design, Intrepid offers hosting for Drupal, WordPress, and HIPAA compliant email. Other services include video production and editing, brand identity development and graphic design. The company also works with business improvement districts to create content management systems and social media marketing campaigns. Visit digital.comfor more information.


    The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum at 401 Third Ave. downtown is hosting an online anniversary celebration on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 10 a.m. This online event will serve as an alternative to the museum’s traditional Chinese New Year Banquet, in light of public health advisories due to COVID-19. The Jan. 30 virtual celebration will feature a docent-led virtual tour of the museum’s recently refreshed permanent exhibition. Mayor Todd Gloria will offer remarks following music by pianist 郞朗 Lang Lang and pipa player 吳蠻 Wu Man.
    The celebration will include an online silent auction, which will close at 11 a.m. on event day. In addition, everyone who joins the anniversary celebration is eligible for an opportunity drawing for door prizes. To attend the anniversary celebration, register at bid in the auction, sign up at—19974.


    Pacific Beach Planning Group, which makes recommendations to the City Council, Planning Commission, City staff and other governmental agencies on land-use matters, is holding elections in March. There are currently 10 residential seats and four business seats open for election. Interested applicants must have attended two meetings in the past 12 months: one meeting can be a subcommittee meeting and one meeting must be a full board meeting.
    Upcoming qualifying Subcommittee meetings are Streets & Sidewalks subcommittee Jan. 27 and the Development subcommittee Feb. 4. Refer to for meeting agendas. If you have not met the qualifications, please attend our meeting(s) and consider applying as we will potentially have unfilled seats available for applicants in April. Interested applicants must be age 18 or older and must live in Pacific Beach to hold a residential seat. For business seats, the applicant’s business must be located in the Pacific Beach business district. Interested applicants should request a residential or business application via email from Adrienne Gallo [email protected]. Completed applications should be submitted using the same email address. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Feb. 24.


    San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria has been unanimously elected as vice chair of the San Diego Association of Governments, the region’s transportation planning agency, putting him in position to guide the development of a regional plan for San Diego’s transportation future. Gloria will serve alongside Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear, who was unanimously elected chair in December.
    “It is an honor to serve alongside Mayor Blakespear, and I am committed to working with SANDAG’sboard to develop a transportation blueprint for our region that is equitable, sustainable and will improve the everyday lives of millions of people,” Gloria said. “Together, we will implement a plan that will create jobs, fund and build projects to support our climate and housing goals, and provide more viable mobility options for all of us.”


    Calling all children who love to sing. San Diego Children’s Choir’s spring classes begin Feb. 14. Review Spring 2021 Schedule. Rehearsals follow social distancing guidelines and are offered outdoors in small group sizes – see COVID-19 Safeguards. Virtual-only rehearsal participation is available for grades 1-12. The first month of programming (mid-February to mid-March) is entirely virtual for Preparatory and Apprentice Choirs and will move to in-person in mid-March. Intermediate Choir's first two rehearsals will be virtual and will move to in-person in early March. Programming for Early Years and Premier and Chamber Choirs will be in-person beginning mid-February.
    How to Join:Children in PRE-K to second grade are not required to audition. New students in grades 3-12 participate in a free informal remote audition with SDCC’s artistic director. They may be eligible for Apprentice, Intermediate, Premier, and/or Chamber Choir. For more information, or to schedule an online audition, visit San Diego Children's Choir - San Diego Children's Choir (

    Saturday, Jan. 24

    At PB Planning Group meeting, Andrew Meyer of San Diego Audubon Society said progress is being made in efforts to expand environmental protections and enlarge wetland habitats in Mission Bay. “The Regional Water Quality Control Board recently approved a project for new planning for wetland restoration in Mission Bay,” Meyer said. “The City now has funded and approved a scope of work over the next 1 ½ years for Mission Bay that includes Campland, De Anza Cove and the mouth of Rose Creek.”
    During the pandemic, Meyer added SDAS has been writing a lot of grants. “We’ve also applied for two grants to do some research on the economic value of marshes,” he said. “As times change, and sea levels rise, we will be doing a cost-benefit analysis along with UC San Diego.”


    During the latest PB Planning Group meeting, District 2 community representative Monique Tello told members of Community Collaborators, a loose-knit group of PB civic organizations, that police and government were restricted in dealing with the recent violent public protest on Mission Boulevard.
    “You do not need to pull a (City) permit to hold a protest,” Tello told collaborators at their January Zoom meeting. “Most times protesters are not required even to notify the police department before they gather.” Tello noted five police officers were assaulted during the protest and that some suffered minor injuries. She said one juvenile was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, while some businesses had their windows smashed.


    “We’re still offering contactless book holds and pickups,” PB head librarian Christina Wainwright told the PB Planning Group, adding that the library is not yet open inside for patrons. “If you want to use library services inside you have go to the La Jolla or Point Loma libraries,” she said. Wainwright added the PB library continues to host its “Books Like Us Winter Reading Challenge,” which rewards prizes for people of all ages keeping logs of hours they’ve spent reading books. For more information about the reading program and other available services, visit


    The City of San Diego will be able to move forward on a major storm drain repair project thanks to a $5.98 million federal grant. The project will consist of repair and replacement of the Maple Canyon storm drain that serves the Uptown community. When completed, the improvements will reduce the potential for flooding and erosion due to heavy rainfall.
    The project will consist of repair and modification of existing storm drains extending from the street into Maple Canyon where runoff flows are conveyed to well defined low points and continue southwest before reentering the City’s storm drain system and exiting into San Diego Bay. Additionally, the project will restore and rehabilitate the entire streambed, stabilize the banks and plant sustainable vegetation within the project footprint.
    Old corrugated metal storm drain pipes will be replaced by reinforced concrete pipes and extended, in most cases, to the low points within the canyon. Approximately 4,000 linear feet of pipeline are planned for installation. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration and will fund half the project with the City financing the remainder. The City expects work to start by late 2022 after the project design, environmental permitting and construction bidding processes have been completed. 


    Another top golfer, Jordan Spieth, an 11-time winner on the PGA Tour, has committed to compete in the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open set for Jan. 28-31 at Torrey Pines Golf Course. Spieth joins a field that currently includes 23 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings and 16 players among the top 30 in the 2020-21 FedExCup points standings. There are also seven past Farmers Insurance Open winners committed, as well as 12 players who have accounted for 25 major championship victories.
    Spieth owns two international victories and has played in three Ryder Cups and three Presidents Cups. He will make his sixth appearance in the Farmers Insurance Open, where his best performance was a top-20 finish in 2014. San Diego products committed to the Farmers Insurance Open include Rickie Fowler, Charley Hoffman, Jamie Lovemark, Kyle Mendoza, Phil Mickelson, Pat Perez, Xander Schauffele and J.J. Spaun.


    Every spring San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife program is flooded with injured and orphaned baby wildlife and needs the community’s help to give them a second chance. But this year, instead of an in-person event, the public is invited to participate in a week-long virtual Wildlife Baby Shower,, Jan. 25-Feb. 6.
    By donating a special gift from the society’s baby registry,, the community will help prepare for the thousands of young animals including raccoons, rabbits, hummingbirds, ducklings and even baby bobcats, that need help in the coming months. The public’s generosity will help give these babies the care they need to grow healthy and strong before they’re released back into the wild. Every bottle, bag of birdseed and can of baby food donated will make a lifesaving difference.
    “Pandemic or no pandemic, the babies are coming and we will work tirelessly to give them the second chance they deserve,” said Gary Weitzman, SDHS president/CEO. “While our baby shower is a virtual event for everyone’s safety this year, we need the community’s support just as much so we can care for the thousands of orphaned and injured baby wildlife who will undoubtedly come through our doors this spring.”


    California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) has introduced new legislation, Assembly Bill 286, to create a more equitable food delivery marketplace for restaurants.
    “Restaurants are being taken for a ride by multi-billion dollar food delivery companies,” Gonzalez said. “The piecemeal approach to this problem by local governments is not enough. We need to create statewide rules that protect struggling businesses against these price-gouging tactics.”    
    AB 286 would require food delivery apps to give their customers and partnered restaurants an accurate, clearly identified and itemized cost breakdown of each transaction. Delivery app companies would be prohibited from taking any portion of money intended to be a tip or gratuity for the delivery driver.
    AB 286 continues the effort to establish basic standards around fair food delivery services that Assemblywoman Gonzalez started last year with the Fair Food Delivery Act, her legislation AB 2149 (2020), which ensures restaurants have explicitly agreed to delivery services before a delivery app company can offer their food. 


    Engineering and consultant firm Moffatt & Nichol is one of four San Diego companies named as 2021 recipients of the American Council of Engineering Companies California’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards. Moffatt & Nichol was cited for their work on the Gilman Road Bridge in La Jolla.
    Awarded projects were recognized for demonstrating an exceptional degree of innovation, complexity, achievement, and value. The Gilman Drive Bridge at the University of California San Diego provides a link over Interstate 5 for students, faculty and visitors commuting between the East and West campuses.
    Moffatt & Nichol developed bridge concepts with UC San Diego Design & Construction staff that included a standard two-span box girder, a three-span frame, and a modern concrete arch. The University chose the arch because of its elegant shape, which is unique within the I-5 corridor. The 406-foot-long bridge completes the long-planned campus loop road and provides a much needed second crossing for the growing campus by extending Gilman Drive across the freeway to provide a connection for buses, cars, bicycles, and pedestrians.
    As the prime consultant to UC San Diego Facilities Design & Construction, Moffatt & Nichol led the design of the $32 million project and provided civil, roadway and bridge engineering. Moffatt & Nichol also coordinated closely with Caltrans and SANDAG to accommodate the MidCoast Trolley project and provided engineering support during construction. The Moffat & Nichol Gilman Road Bridge Project is now eligible to enter the national level Engineering Excellence Awards competition in Washington, D.C.


    La Jolla Community Center is offering classes as part of its Wednesday Connect interactive sessions featuring speakers presenting interesting topics for education and discussion with Q&A’s every Wednesday at 10 a.m. The next Wednesday Connect session is: Staying Positive, Facing Frustration and Creating Opprtunities: Cindy Burke, Ph.D., Feb. 3 from 10-11 a.m.
    A new year is often a time for resolutions and intentions. Burke will share her insights and practical advice regarding things we can do daily to be happier and more at peace, including ten tips and questions to ask ourselves to make each day the best it can be. Register at


    Pacific Beach Town Council is hosting a series of free virtual events for the community. The nonprofit is kicking it off this month with their Kids Series. Tuesday, Jan. 26, 5-5:30 p.m. Kids Series: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Story & Craft. This is a live interactive story and coordinating craft event. 
    Tuesday, Feb. 9, 5-5:30 p.m. Kids Series Be My Valentine Story and Craf celebrating Valentine's day with kids. Both events are sponsored by PBTC 2020 Honorary Mayor Cathie Jolley, a Pacific Beach resident and school teacher. For more information visit Pacific Beach Town Council’s Facebook page.


    La Jolla-based MadCap Software, Inc. at 9191 Towne Centre Drive has added Aubrey Williams as vice president of sales. He joins MadCap from Siemens where he led the company’s global inside sales team. Aubrey will leverage his 20-plus years of sales management experience, including 10 years at MadCap competitor Adobe, in supporting MadCap Software’s next stage of growth. 

    Sunday, Jan. 17

    Any kayakers out there want to do some good? The San Diego River Park Foundation is looking for people with kayaks to help remove trash from sensitive habitat at the San Diego River Estuary at a “B.Y.O.-Kayak Cleanup” on Saturday, Jan. 30. Kayaks will be sent out in three shifts: 8:15 a.m.-9:15 a.m., 9 a.m.-10 a.m., or 9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Please indicate which shift you would prefer when you RSVP. For more information and to RSVP, email [email protected]
    Space is limited and volunteers must bring their own kayak. SDRPF staff will be enforcing COVID-19 health and safety measures to provide a safe volunteer experience for participants. If you have questions or concerns, email [email protected].

    San Diego native and three-time Farmers Insurance Open winner Phil Mickelson has committed to compete in the 2021 tournament, set for Jan. 28-31 at Torrey Pines Golf Course. Mickelson joins a field that currently includes 16 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings and 16 players among the top 30 in the 2020-21 FedExCup points standings. There are also five past Farmers Insurance Open winners committed, as well as six players who have accounted for 14 major championship victories.
    Other San Diego products committed to the Farmers Insurance Open include Rickie Fowler, Charley Hoffman, Jamie Lovemark, Kyle Mendoza, Pat Perez, Xander Schauffele and J.J. Spaun. The field is not final until the commitment deadline on Friday, Jan. 22 shortly after conclusion of play in that week’s tournament. Click here to view the current player field.

    An analysis of a large nationally representative longitudinal study by University of California San Diego Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science reportS that starting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, before the age of 18 is a major risk factor for people becoming daily cigarette smokers. Reporting in the Jan. 11 online edition of Pediatrics, researchers found that in 2014 people age 12 to 24 who used e-cigarettes were three times as likely to become daily cigarette smokers in the future. Among those who reported using a tobacco product, daily use increased with age through age 28. Daily cigarette smoking nearly doubled between 18 to 21 year olds (12 percent) and 25 to 28 year olds (21 percent).
    “This is the first paper that actually looks at progression to dependent cigarette smoking among young adults. In these data, e-cigarettes are a gateway for those who become daily cigarette smokers,” said the study’s first author, John P. Pierce, PhD, professor emeritus at Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science and UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. “The start product has changed from cigarettes to e-cigarettes, but the end product has stayed the same. When users become dependent on nicotine, they are converting to cigarette smoking.”

    With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting everyday life, the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus has once again re-imagined its 2020-2021 season. Titled “Stay Home With Us,” the reimagined program will combine some of the lively conversation, fascinating ideas and extraordinary music.
    The six-part monthly series will prepare a lively menu of musical encounters featuring interviews, solo performances and selected pre-recorded works from the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus archives. Join from your living room, or maybe from the kitchen, as you prepare a meal and enjoy a glass of wine or listen as you walk on the beach or on the trails.
    It will begin on Jan. 15 with a program titled “Music in Nature.” It will feature selected movements from Beethoven’s picturesque Symphony No. 8 a solo performance of John Cage’s Child of Tree by percussionist Matt LeVeque and an archived performance of L.J. White’s Community Acoustics. Productions will also be aired Feb. 19, March 19, April 16, May 14, and June 18. Series subscriptions or individual event tickets can be purchased by visiting, by phoning the Box Office at 858-534-4637.  

    Alaska Airlines will add daily nonstop service to New York via John F. Kennedy International Airport from San Diego International Airport beginning April 4. Alaska Airlines joins three other airlines that also provide nonstop service to JFK. 
    “We thank Alaska Airlines for adding new, nonstop service to JFK from SAN,” said Kimberly Becker, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority President and CEO. “This service will complement Alaska Airlines’ daily nonstop service to Newark Liberty International Airport, providing passengers with additional options to get to the New York metropolitan area. We appreciate Alaska Airlines’ investment in San Diego as a West Coast hub.”
    This is the first new route Alaska Airlines has added this year. The airline will begin nonstop service to Missoula, Mont. March 11. Tickets are already on sale at  

    During the COVID-19 crisis, California students are missing out on crucial learning time that could have long-term effects on their educational progress. Assembly Bill 104 by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) will help disadvantaged K-12 students recover from nearly a year of lost instruction time with opportunities for grade recovery, supplemental instruction, and intervention programs designed to tackle students’ socio-emotional needs.
    Gonzalez’s AB 104, also known as the COVID-19 Student Learning Recovery Act of 2021, will provide local education agencies in the state a roadmap to hold California students harmless for lost learning time during the COVID-19 crisis. Under this legislation, students would receive academic instruction based on their individual needs, with specific supports for English learners and students with exceptional needs, in small cohorts or in the form of distance learning if public health conditions prevent schools from reopening safely.

    The award-winning San Diego Chorus of Sweet Adelines International wants you to shine in 2021. The Chorus is hosting their Winter Open House virtually on Jan. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. The event, "New Year, New Start, New You,” will be held via Zoom. The San Diego Chorus is looking for all women and other marginalized genders from all walks of life who get joy from singing and performing.
    The night will be structured much like the weekly "ViRehearsals" and will include an educational breakout session for guests including an explanation of what a cappella singing is, and how barbershop fits in the genre; information about Sweet Adelines International and competition; questions answered regarding voice parts, and more. For more information, visit San Diego Chorus - The San Diego Chorus of Sweet Adelines International.

    Girls on the Run San Diego enters the new year with new leadership, hiring Anna Maria Gentiluomo Maybury as its new executive director. Maybury brings to Girls on the Run San Diego extensive experience in the nonprofit space, having worked previously with San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, Project Left Behind, and Voices for Children.

    In her role as executive director, she will lead organizational development and strategic planning, optimize financial performance and cultivate existing and future charitable partnerships, manage the Girls on the Run San Diego staff, and oversee all programming in San Diego County. For more information about Girls on the Run and how to register as an individual or start a new team for the spring season, visit

    Tuesday, Jan. 12

    “This past weekend, we saw violent confrontations and destruction following the outrageous events last Wednesday in Washington, D.C., when the President used lies and disinformation to incite his followers to storm and ransack the Capitol, causing the deaths of five people,” said Mayor Todd Gloria in a release. “Violence will not be tolerated in San Diego. There will be consequences for those who bring that kind of behavior to our city. I am asking for the public’s help in identifying anyone who was seen committing acts of violence in Pacific Beach. Please report those incidents and individuals to the San Diego Police Department as soon as possible.
    “The City of San Diego will always support the people’s right to demonstrate and voice their opinions while taking measures to keep the peace and prevent violence,” added Gloria. “However, I want to remind San Diegans that COVID-19 continues to kill thousands of Americans every day, and the smartest thing all of us can do right now is stay home.”
    Anyone with information leading police investigators to those who acted violently last weekend in PB should call the San Diego Police Department’s Northern Division Substation at 858-552-1700.

    Over the past several months, SANDAG construction crews have made significant progress constructing the Rose Creek Bikeway that runs two miles along Santa Fe Street between the cul-de-sac at the north end (south of SR 52) and the new Mission Bay Drive undercrossing (north of Garnet Avenue).
    Recent construction activities included:

    • Roadway striping

    • Planting trees and groundcover

    • Irrigation improvements

    • Stormwater maintenance

    • Electrical work

    • Grading and paving

    • Installing curb, fences, and railing

    Upcoming construction activities will include building the raised median for the bikeway on Santa Fe Street, paving the path along the creek, continued planting of trees and ground cover, habitat restoration, and the installation of lighting, signage, and other finishing touches. The bikeway is expected to be completed in spring 2021.

    SeaWorld San Diego is giving fans a whole new way to enjoy the park with the first Sesame Street Parade of Lights Drive-Thru. Guests can experience the all-new drive-thru event on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from Jan. 15 through Feb. 14. With enhanced health and safety measures in place, the new drive-thru allows guests to drive under SeaWorld’s Skytower lights and through light tunnels while enjoying the only Sesame Street Parade of Lights on the West Coast. The experience features everyone’s favorite furry friends dancing along to a lively Sesame Street soundtrack.
    “This is an exciting new way for families to experience SeaWorld’s Sesame Street Party Parade and an incredible winter wonderland of lights from the safety of their own cars,” said park president Marilyn Hannes. “As we continue to promote our enhanced health and safety protocols, we are thrilled to offer this unique opportunity so our guests can enjoy SeaWorld like never before.”
    After passing through the entrance, guests will begin their journey by meandering through a winter wonderland of lights lined with their Sesame Street friends physically distanced on parade floats while listening to Sesame Street music along the way. The excitement continues as guests venture under the illuminated Skytower and watch in awe as they drive through two different tunnels of lights before cruising through the Sesame Street Village. Seasonal favorite snacks will be available to enjoy in the car with limited contact purchasing. Advance purchase of date and time-specific tickets are required and start at $49.99 per vehicle. Tickets are on sale and advance reservations are required for all visitors to manage capacity. 


    In recognition of the City of San Diego’s exemplary efforts to enforce and administer the building code, the Insurance Services Office has given the City its second-highest national rating for effectiveness and performance.
    The ISO rating recognizes the City’s Development Services Department and its dedication to comprehensive building plan reviews and field inspection services. DSD staff work with developers, residents, and businesses to ensure new buildings are code-compliant, have structural integrity and minimize catastrophe-related damage, ultimately helping lower insurance costs for property owners.
    “Through the proactive upkeep of the building code and regulating the design and construction of buildings, we are reducing vulnerabilities from the devastating effects of natural disasters,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “DSD’s efforts help protect public welfare and provide future cost-savings on insurance premiums for homeowners and small businesses.”
    As a statistical, rating, and advisory organization, the ISO evaluated more than 14,000 building departments nationwide in 2020, providing advisory insurance underwriting and rating information to insurers. Its Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule is a rating system that ranks how well municipalities mitigate property damage caused by natural disasters. The system is used by individual property insurance carriers to help set rates.
    “The ISO evaluated our current staffing capabilities, the codes enforced and the quantity of permits reviewed and inspected, determining that we have achieved the second-highest rating in the industry,” said DSD deputy director and chief building official Kelly Charles. “Though we are rated among the nation’s best, we will continue to improve our training and staff development to serve the City of San Diego even better.” Visit DSD’s website to view the most requested services, make an appointment, and to find other project and permitting resources. 


    One of San Diego's more popular Italian restaurants, Cesarina has taken over the 1,100-square-foot space across the street in Point Loma and will open Angelo, a bakery and pizza shop with a full bar set to debut later this year. After relocating to San Diego from Rome, Cesarina Mezzoni and her husband Niccolò Angius started their Cesarina brand as a pasta vendor at area farmers markets before launching their first brick-and-mortar restaurant in March 2019 in Point Loma. In order to expand operations, the couple has taken over space across the street that previously housed Richard Hosker Whyte Antiques to open a compact bakery with a pizza component. 
    Angelo is expected to open later this year at 4060 Voltaire St. and Point Loma. In addition to having a small dining area with a chefs' table for intimate meals, the eatery will be used for much of the preparation at both restaurants, including making fresh pasta, pizza, sauces, and bakery items like Italian desserts and cakes. Angelo will also have a full bar thanks to the eatery obtaining the liquor license from the now-defunct Jolt N Joes La Mesa branch. For more information about Cesarina, visit


    Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, in collaboration with Dutch scientists, have found that certain metabolites — small molecules produced by the process of metabolism — may be predictive indicators for persons at risk for recurrent major depressive disorder. The findings were published in the Jan. 11 online issue of Translational Psychiatry.
    “This is evidence for a mitochondrial nexus at the heart of depression,” said senior author Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, pediatrics, and pathology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “It’s a small study, but it is the first to show the potential of using metabolic markers as predictive clinical indicators of patients at greatest risk — and lower risk — for recurring bouts of major depressive symptoms.”
    Clinical depression is a mood disorder characterized by multiple symptoms in combination: feelings of sadness or hopelessness, anger or frustration, loss of interest, sleep disturbances, anxiety, slowed or difficulty thinking suicidal thoughts, and unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches.
    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is among the most common mental illnesses in the United States, with an estimated lifetime prevalence of 20.6 percent, meaning one in five Americans will suffer at least one episode during their lives. For patients who have recurrent MDD (rMDD), the five-year recurrence risk is up to 80 percent. View the full study at


    Japan Airlines has resumed nonstop flights between Tokyo, Japan via Narita International Airport and San Diego International Airport . The service will operate three times a week with the first arrival into San Diego on March 2 and the first departure from San Diego on March 3. The resumption comes after Japan Airlines suspended service in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “Japan Airlines provides the greater San Diego area with an important nonstop link to Asia,” said Kimberly Becker, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority president and CEO. “By providing Japan with direct access to our region, San Diego is more competitive and attractive to those individuals looking to vacation or conduct business in Southern California, which is critical to rebuilding our economy post-COVID-19. We look forward to welcoming travelers from Asia once again and thank Japan Airlines for resuming this important service.”
    Japan Airlines became the first airline to launch nonstop flights between Asia and San Diego when they inaugurated service to Tokyo in December 2012. Pre-COVID-19, the airline offered daily nonstop flights which were immensely popular. For schedule and tickets, visit


    To keep up with the ever-changing needs of the City of San Diego’s land uses, the City Council has approved an update to the code that regulates the development and use of properties. Among the 44 items in this Land Development Code Update, applicants can now turn ground floor commercial spaces into residential uses more quickly.
    Additionally, recreational amenities in the public right of way will no longer need a development permit, and adult day care facility regulations will now be defined in the City’s Municipal Code.
     “Each component of this update is a step toward fulfilling the City's goals of creating more dynamic neighborhoods that are more inclusive and sustainable," said Mayor Todd Gloria. "These updates are also about adapting to the challenges we face during this time. We are enduring a housing crisis and it's important we make it easier to build more homes for San Diegans. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's also critical that we support local businesses and help them get through this." 
    “Land Development Code Updates are crucial to keeping the City progressing in a positive direction, adapting to new trends such as an aging population, and anticipating for what is expected to come,” said Planning Department Director Mike Hansen. “These updates remove unnecessary barriers to ensure our City’s needs, like making it easier to create housing, are met.” 

    Thursday, Jan. 7

    Starting on Monday, Jan. 11, City Ballet School in Pacific Beach will offer one-hour Ballet Barre Zoom classes. It's fun and perfect for all fitness levels. Sculpt your way to a dancer's body in the comfort of your home. Ballet Barre classes are a way to achieve a dancer’s physique without having to learn choreography.  Classes feature exercises using the ballet barre that tone your legs, lift your glutes and strengthen your upper body core. The class ends with a stretch to help you relax and to lengthen your muscles.
    Contact the City Ballet School office at 858-274-6058 weekdays between 9 a.m.-1 p.m. or 3-7 p.m. You will receive a Zoom meeting invitation to join the Ballet Barre Classes. If you are not a student currently enrolled at City Ballet School, complete the 2020-2021 Adult Registration Form and submit via email to [email protected].


    The Port of San Diego Board has selected Joe Stuyvesant as its next president/CEO. Stuyvesant, who currently serves as executive director at Navy Region Southwest, was considered the top candidate among hundreds of applicants after a vigorous nationwide search that began in September. Stuyvesant’s contract is expected to be ratified at the Jan. 19 board meeting and it’s expected he will assume his duties Feb. 1.
    Stuyvesant served in the United States Navy for 30 years. His primary assignment in the Navy was as a naval aviator. Stuyvesant will lead more than 500 employees managing the Port, a specially created state district responsible for more than 14,000 acres of tideland, bay, and beaches along 34 miles of waterfront in five cities.


    National Bagel Day is Friday, Jan. 15 and local bagel companies are offering some sweet deals to mark the occasion. To celebrate the tasty holiday, guests can receive any of the below free bagel deals simply by ordering ahead on the respective brand’s mobile app beginning Jan. 15 through the end of the month: 


    • Einstein Bros. Bagels: Receive any egg sandwich of your choice, such as crowd-favorites like the Farmhouse and Chorizo Sunrise, for free with any purchase when you order ahead through the brand’s mobile app.


    • Noah’s New York Bagels: Receive any egg sandwich of your choice on a high quality, fresh-baked New York-style bagel for free with any purchase when you Order Ahead through the brand’s mobile app. 


    • Bruegger’s Bagels: A free, fresh-baked and authentic New York-style bagel and cream cheese with any purchase when you Order Ahead through the brand’s mobile app.


    Newly elected County Supervisor Nora Vargas of Chula Vista has been appointed to the board of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority replacing former Supervisor Greg Cox. Vargas was nominated by Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher and confirmed by the full board on Jan. 5. The Airport Authority, which operates San Diego International Airport, is governed by a nine-member Board whose members are appointed by elected officials representing all areas of San Diego County.


    Through Jan.15, Circulate San Diego is working alongside the County of San Diego’s Community Action Partnership to collect input about community needs across the region. To ensure the community has a voice in the process, the County and CSD invite residents to participate in a Community Needs Assessment Survey and Community Conversations being held virtually.
    The purpose of the 2020 Needs Assessment is to identify current strengths, needs, and ideas for future services in the community. Previous Needs Assessments have identified top needs to be youth programs, housing, gang activity, community engagement, access to healthy food, infrastructure improvement, employment, education, and transportation. Take the survey by Jan. 15 and be entered to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card.


    Construction activity is continuing for the EB Scripps Park Comfort Station Replacement Project to replace outdated and deteriorating restroom-shower facilities with an attractive, sustainable pavilion honoring the beauty of the Cove and Scripps Park. Work has begun on the foundation of the north building. The crews expect to pour the walls in the early weeks of January. Work will continue on the structural elements of the buildings for the next few months. The project remains on schedule and is anticipated for completion this summer.


    The university’s lung transplant program ranks among the nation’s best. Recently, the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients announced its biannual report, released every January and July, ranking transplant programs across the United States. The SRTR evaluates the status of the nation’s solid organ transplant system and provides data analyses to transplant programs, organ procurement organizations, policymakers, transplant professionals, transplant recipients, organ donors, and donor families, as well as the general public to help improve overall recipient outcomes.
    In the latest rankings, UC San Diego Health’s lung transplant program was first in the nation for one-year patient survival outcomes among programs with a volume of 30 to 100 lung transplants performed, and second in the nation among all lung transplant programs. According to the SRTR, the probability of UC San Diego Health lung transplant recipients surviving one-year post-transplant is 98.59 percent, which is higher than the expected rate of 90.94 percent and national average rate of 89.86 percent.


    Cutwater Spirits’ First Fridge Run benefiting The San Diego Food Bank will take place virtually on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 23-24. Those interested in participating in the lighthearted competition can purchase a race kit and register at All race kit proceeds go to the San Diego Food Bank, and Cutwater will provide at least 125,000 meals to the community. Direct donations can also be made on the registration site. Actor Kevin McHale and comedian Sarah Colonna are joining Cutwater for the race-from-home challenge by posting footage of their “race day training routines” (to and from the fridge) on Instagram.
    Participants are encouraged to do the same and share training, race-prep and “most epic” weekend strides to the fridge content for a chance to win prizes like a fridge-full of Cutwater Spirits’ award-winning canned cocktails. The winners’ podium will include Best in Show, Most Creative, Most Athletic, Best Music and/or Choreography and Best Fridge/Finish Line.


    Nonprofit Point Loma Playhouse at 3035 Talbot St. is offering classes for all levels Jan. 11 through Feb. 8. Hamilton resident director Hannah Ryan will show how Trust The Text will strengthen your acting skills through text-based analysis of new works. With the goal of finding strength in truth, you will learn to approach new and developing pieces of theatre with an action-based objective. The five-week live class begins Monday, Jan. 11 at 4 p.m. For more information, visit


    Wednesday, Jan. 6

    Connect with characters and explore new stories this January with the City of San Diego Public Library’s annual Winter Reading Challenge. The program, which began Jan. 1, and the theme, Books Like Us, is a celebration of diversity and stories that reflect the unique experiences of people around the world. The Winter Reading Challenge is open to children and adults. Participants who complete the program by reading five books or logging five hours of reading are eligible for a variety of prizes including passes to San Diego’s Museum of Us, meal vouchers, puzzles and journals.
    The program runs through Jan. 31. Participants can register online and view of list of recommended books at and join the San Diego Public Library’s Virtual Hub for storytimes and book discussions. For a list of available in-person and online library services, visit the San Diego Public Library’s web page

    Three notable players have committed this week to compete in the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open, set for Jan. 28-31 at Torrey Pines Golf Course:

    • Jon Rahm – World No. 2 and 2017 Farmers Insurance Open champion;

    • Brooks Koepka – World No. 12 and four-time major championship winner;

    • Marc Leishman – World No. 28 and 2020 Famers Insurance Open champion.

     Rahm, Koepka and Leishman join a field that currently includes 15 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings and 15 players among the top 30 in the 2020-21 FedExCup points standings. There are also three past Farmers Insurance Open winners committed, as well as five players who have accounted for nine major championship victories. San Diego products committed to the Farmers Insurance Open include Rickie Fowler, Charley Hoffman, Jamie Lovemark, Kyle Mendoza, Pat Perez, Xander Schauffele and J.J. Spaun.

    Small Businesses and nonprofits now have some extra time to apply for $500 million in State of California COVID-19 relief funds. The San Diego and Imperial Small Business Development Center, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and The San Diego Foundation have partnered to make sure those funds get into the hands of those who have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Interested entities can apply at They have until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13.
    Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in December $500 million in grant funds for small businesses and nonprofits. This is not a first-come, first-serve grant. All applications will start to be reviewed following the closure of the application period. These grants are to cover business expenses and specifically for small businesses hit by the pandemic.

    San Diego Blood Bank is celebrating National Blood Donor Month throughout January by inviting eligible individuals to donate blood and convalescent plasma in 2021 with the goal of creating a robust supply that can meet local hospital patient needs. To be eligible to donate blood you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 114 pounds and be in general good health. Appointments are required and available by visiting or by calling 619-400-8251.

    A guided walk around Rose Creek to learn about native plants and animals that co-exist in the estuary will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9. There will be a 10-person maximum, masks are required and there will be no sharing of binoculars with people outside their own household. Rose Creek is a hidden treasure in Pacific Beach, a quiet, peaceful stroll under the hanging Eucalyptus trees that line the walking path on the west side and the bike path on the east side. You might see or hear the osprey family, kingfisher, great blue heron, hawk, egrets, and the mud feeders; plovers, willits, sandpipers and ducks.
    Wear sturdy shoes, bring binoculars and your camera or smart phone and a coat. Suitable for all ages. Guests will be walking on mostly flat paved and dirt trails. Meet at the Mission Bay High School Faculty parking lot off Grand Ave and next to the Creek. Here is a google map pin with the location of where to park.

    La Mesa’s newest addition, Smokey & The Brisket, is ready to ring in the new year with toothsome barbecue sure to become a staple favorite in the neighborhood’s growing culinary scene. Locals and visitors can curb cravings as they savor the smokey goodness of barbecue prepared the old-fashioned way, with custom techniques that are revved up with flavor and quality. Smokey & the Brisket is now open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., in a 5,000-square-foot space at 5465 Lake Murray Blvd.
    Smokey & The Brisket’s seasoned owner and chef is San Diego restaurateur, Alberto Morreale, who is behind such concepts as Farmer's Table and Farmer's Bottega. The barbecue concept is Morreale’s second La Mesa eatery, and he has a real heart for the community. Call for more information at 619-439-6544.

    Semola Pasta is leaving the Little Italy Food Hall and re-opening sometime in early 2021 in La Jolla as Semola – The Ambrogio15 Pasta Bar on 7556 Fay Ave. The new establishment will feature a menu with several modern pasta dishes that will share the same philosophy of high quality, gourmet ingredients and recipes that made Ambrogio successful. There will also be some special dishes inspired by the owner’s hometown of Milano, Italy. The new location has a beautiful patio. The eatery will also always be available for take-out and delivery. Say tuned and follow at semolapastasd.

    For Lovers of the strange, unusual, and biizarre, the Oddities & Curiosities Expo is coming to San Diego Jan. 16 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The event focuses on the weird, with local and national vendors selling all things strange and unusual. You’ll see items such as taxidermy, preserved specimens, odd antiques, horror and Halloween merchandise, original artwork, animal and human skulls/bones, jewelry made from insects/bones, clothing, antique medical equipment, vintage circus collectibles and much more. For more information, visit

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    Jack Flash Floyd
    January 18, 2021
    What the San Diego River really needs is an amphibious loader and an amphibious hauler to constantly patrol for large appliances, shopping carts and auto parts.
    LA JOLLA YEAR IN REVIEW - Village adapts to an unprecedented and unforgettable year
    Jan 07, 2021 | 7573 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Self-professed ‘hippie’ and recent high school grad Danika Zikas, 17, organized a flower march on June 12 in La Jolla to support the Black Lives Matter movement. PHOTO BY DON BALCH
    Self-professed ‘hippie’ and recent high school grad Danika Zikas, 17, organized a flower march on June 12 in La Jolla to support the Black Lives Matter movement. PHOTO BY DON BALCH
    It started with the Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day and ended with a revised annual year-end Christmas parade. In between, La Jollans adapted to the ongoing pandemic, which transformed how we all live, work, and play. While businesses closed and reopened periodically due to the coronavirus, residents and merchants moved outdoors to curbside parklets and parking lots to ply their wares and conduct daily activities. Live events were canceled. Meetings went remote. Masks were mandatory as was social distancing. Having turned the corner into 2021, La Jolla Village News gazes back in the rear-view at the once-in-a-lifetime unforgettable year that was 2020.   JANUARY Polar Plunge About 400 people attended the La Jolla Cove Swim Club’s annual Polar Bear Plunge on Jan. 1 in the chilly water off Kellogg Park at La Jolla Shores which was 57 degrees, according to swim club president Don Simonelli. “It’s a really great way to kick of the year,” he said of the event created more than 30 years ago. “Some people dip their toes in for fun, others go out and wade for a while and some regular members even do a half-mile swim.”   Looking Ahead Asked his take on the new year, La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District board president Ed Witt said, “We have a lot of work to do as a board with adding new members and establishing committees, plus all the continued ‘enhancing La Jolla.’ We’ll continue to listen to the community and to refine our processes with our vendors to improve efficiencies and the final product.”   Preservationist Passes Community activist, journalist, and historical preservationist Patricia Harriet Ravage Dahlberg, 90, died Dec. 20, 2019. Heath Fox, executive director of La Jolla Historical Society, praised the contributions of Dahlberg to La Jolla Historical Society and the community during her long and fruitful life. “Her work was instrumental to the bequest of Wisteria Cottage by the Revelle family, the designation of UCSD’s Audrey Geisel University House (chancellor’s residence) on the National Register of Historic Places, and in recognizing Pottery Canyon and its importance to the history of La Jolla,” said Fox.   ‘Golden’ Anniversary Joel D. Perlin owner of H.S. Perlin Co., Inc. of La Jolla, celebrated his 46th year on the corner at 1110 Silverado St., and 51st year in the community. Perlin remains a precious metals dealer and a financial advisor who uses tangible assets.   Steak-Out Donovan's Steak and Chop House at 1250 Prospect St. abruptly shuttered at the end of 2019 after four years in business.   Golf Fest Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and more than 150 other notable top golfers took over Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course in La Jolla for the PGA Tour’s 2020 Farmers Insurance Open Jan. 23-26. Golfers in the $7.5 million, 72-hole tournament vyed for $1,350,000 in prize money and 500 FedExCup points. Event winner Marc Leishman picked up his fifth career PGA Tour win with a one-shot win over Jon Rahm at Torrey Pines’ South Course.   Overlooked Overlook A frequent jogger at Torrey Pines State Park warned that the Broken Hill overlook, accessed from the furthest south trail directly adjacent to the north of Torrey Pines Golf Course, was dangerous and needed remedying.   EIR Certified The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board certified the final environmental impact report for the Airport Development Plan, which envisions replacement of the 53-year-old Terminal 1 at San Diego International Airport.   Controversial Proposal UC San Diego unveiled a plan to build five new multi-story buildings on a parking lot adjacent to La Jolla Playhouse. Named the Future College Living and Learning Neighborhood, the project was designed to provide residential life and administrative space for a new undergraduate college, with approximately 2,000 undergraduate beds, classrooms, an estimated 1,200 underground parking spaces, and a conference center and retail space.   Scooters Scooted The City Council voted 5-4 Jan. 28 to endorse a ban on motorized vehicles, including electric scooters, on Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla Shores boardwalks, and along Mission Bay Park bayside path, while reducing the scooter geofencing speed limit from 8 to 3 mph in congested areas.   FEBRUARY   Space Chat La Jolla marine biologist Jessica Meir made time to video chat with 150 middle school students from the international space station. “It really means so much for me to be able to share my life up here with all of you,” said Meir at the beginning of her live stream call with Scripps Institution of Oceanography in February.   Park Use La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc. voted 8-7–1 against denying the issuance of new special-use permits for Scripps Park events that are for-profit and commercialize the park. It was the culmination of several months of vetting of the controversial issue of public versus private use of world-renowned Scripps Park.   Museum Grant Closed for reconstruction since January 2017, the Museum of Contemporary Art La Jolla received a $750,000 federal matching fund grant which will go toward infrastructure improvements at the La Jolla museum site.   Leap Year Being a Leap Year, 2020 offered an additional 24 hours on Saturday, Feb. 29. LJVN asked locals how they spent their time, as well as profiling nearly endless suggestions for things to do, in and around San Diego. The list included kite surfing, yoga by the ocean, whale watching, kayak tours, visiting both sides of the border wall, Temecula wine tours, riding in a hot air balloon, and skydiving.   MARCH   Drone Delivery UC San Diego Health launched a pilot project to test the use of aerial drones to transport medical samples, supplies, and documents. The university’s medical drone pilot program was being tested between Jacobs Medical Center, Moores Cancer Center, and the Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine, all in La Jolla. The goal was to speed the delivery of services and patient care currently managed through ground transport.   Rec Center Modernization An update for the modern era to La Jolla’s century-old recreation center complex was underway by the Visioning Committee of La Jolla Recreation Center. The committee was planning long-term for bringing the facility, commissioned and completed in 1915 by La Jolla philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, into the 2020s and beyond. That update began, in a small way, with the repaving of the basketball courts in the rear of the rec center.   Legal Challenge In March, La Jolla Shores Association voted to retain legal counsel to represent them in negotiations on a new controversial multi-story, multi-building, mixed-use project proposed on UC San Diego campus dubbed The Future College Living and Learning Neighborhood.   Tagging Tackled Tagging was a new problem Enhance La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District contended with in fulfilling its mission of cleansing and beautifying La Jolla’s downtown Village.   Eviction Moratorium Continuing to take aggressive steps to protect the health and welfare of San Diegans, the City on March 25 enacted an eviction moratorium that provided relief to residential and commercial tenants facing financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic.   APRIL   Cooperating Businesses As the pandemic lockdown continued, coastal business improvement districts including La Jolla Village Merchants Association worked together along with their umbrella organization, the BID Alliance, to help small businesses in neighborhoods citywide.   Great Wait Education went online in what was described by some as the “great wait” while the lockdown continued in an attempt to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. San Diego Unified, the state's second-largest school district, transitioned to online learning on April 6 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The announcement came a few weeks after the district shut down all of its schools to prevent the spread of the virus.   Relief Partnership Continuing to take aggressive steps to deliver relief to San Diegans affected by COVID-19, Mayor Faulconer and Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry announced on April 13 over $300,000 in private donations to kick start a new partnership to expand the City’s Small Business Relief Fund and encourage more community support for small businesses as the demand for economic relief rose.   MAY   Disabled Rights Disabled-rights attorney Ann Menasche called for the City to end its moratorium prohibiting vehicle habitation throughout most of the City, warning policies punishing people without housing and forcing them into crowded shelters or safe lots would worsen the COVID-19 pandemic. “This strategy runs counter to recommendations of public health experts asking people to shelter in place,” Menashe argued.   New Normal LJVN surveyed a representative cross-section of small businesses and individuals in the community to get their take on how the “new normal” had impacted residents and businesses. “It’s a mess, just a rat’s race to figure out what’s going on,” responded Brett Murphy of La Jolla Sports Club at 7825 Fay Ave.   Coast Walk Fundraising Despite the pandemic, nonprofit Friends of Coast Walk Trail soldiered on with fundraising to complete ongoing projects to improve the popular half-mile panoramic trail on the bluffs between the Cave Store at La Jolla Cove and La Jolla Shores beach.   Master Plan Update La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc. established a working group to review the City's Draft Parks Master Plan and submit comments relating to La Jolla's shorelines and parks to the City by May 25.   No Normal Allowed to reopen with strict guidelines and limited seating under the County’s plan to allow dine-in customers, local restaurateurs were happy to reopen, but also feared the pandemic had shaken customer’s confidence, which could translate into a long slow climb back to normalcy and profitability.   Tourism Turn Jonah Mechanic, owner of SeaBreeze Vacation Rentals in La Jolla and president of Share San Diego, Airbnb's San Diego arm, said the typical San Diego tourist has changed. “The client now is not your typical tourist who comes here to go to the beach and see all of San Diego’s attractions like the zoo, Balboa Park and SeaWorld, which are all closed,” he said. “People are now staying here for more extended periods of time, are coming and renting for a month or multiple weeks, so they can stay in the same house and quarantine together. It’s something we haven’t seen before.”   JUNE   Better Belvedere La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc. June 1 approved plans for the replacement of a historic belvedere at Windansea beach to be done by landscape architect Jim Neri who had worked on a number of coastal park improvement projects in La Jolla, including restoration of the Children’s Pool Plaza.   Outdoor Dining La Jolla civic leaders were initially frustrated in attempts to close off streets in the Village and Shores to accommodate outdoor dining to aid restaurants following the pandemic lockdown. “It’s the perfect location,” said La Jolla Shores Association president Janie Emerson of Avenida De La Playa, the neighborhood’s commercial business strip.   BLM Backed Dozens of residents and supporters came out to the ‘Paddle for Peace’ event at Windansea beach to back Black Lives Matter and protest police brutality on June 8. On June 3, several local African-American spokespeople participated in an hour-long Zoom webinar on social justice and accountability in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic murder.   Village Signage La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Committee got an update from the La Jolla Village Merchants Association on establishing a new street signage program to help people find their way more easily in the Village. “We are exploring ways to mitigate some of the traffic issues that are caused by parking, working with Ace Mobility, our parking consultant,” said Jodi Rudick, LJVMA executive director. “We’re excited about maybe introducing some electronic signage to help people understand where they might be parking.”   Flower Power Self-professed “hippie” and recent high school grad Danika Zikas, 17, organized a flower march for June 12 in La Jolla to support the Black Lives Matter movement.   JULY   Marketing Funding San Diego Tourism Marketing District awarded $32.3 million in funding for destination marketing programs for the 2021 fiscal year starting July 1. With these funds, SDTA planned to support tourism recovery by focusing on marketing campaigns targeting a leisure audience in the drive market. The campaigns, labeled as “Happiness is Calling You Back,” were meant to attract drive-in visitors using images of wide-open spaces and outdoor recreation. San Diego Tourism’s strategy also was to include a “Stay Diego” campaign encouraging residents to have staycations.   Climate Research The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration selected the University of California San Diego to host the new Cooperative Institute for Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Systems. The cooperative institute, led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, will conduct collaborative, multidisciplinary research on climate, oceans, and ecosystems to better understand the coupled systems and assess the physical and biological state of the oceans.   Space Race In July, La Jolla Village Merchants Association discussed numerous alternatives for freeing up outdoor space since indoor dining had been temporarily banned again, including painting curbs to shorten parking limits and setting up outdoor cafes and parklets. “COVID has changed our business model quite a bit,” said LJVMA executive director Jodi Rudick. The business improvement district was asked if it would be willing to approve or support green curbs changing 90-minute parking to 15- or 30-minutes.   AUGUST   Outdoor Approval Mayor Faulconer signed an executive order extending the growing list of allowed outdoor options to hundreds of additional businesses including gyms, worship centers, barbershops, and nail salons, which were being allowed to expand their operations into private parking lots.   Vending Vetted District 1 staffer Steve Hadley, responding to complaints from La Jollans about permissive street vending and lack of mask-wearing enforcement said, “It is legal what they’re (vendors) doing. So it’s difficult for police to enforce unless they’re obstructing ADA access or violating noise decibel ordinances. Regarding masks, Hadley said police told him it is problematic to enforce because the mask ordinance, as presently construed, requires masks to be worn within six feet of anyone who is not a member of the same household, difficult to determine on a public beach.   Outdoor Uses As part of a continued effort to help San Diegans move activities outdoors where experts say the spread of COVID-19 was reduced, Mayor Faulconer Aug. 18 signed an executive order allowing gyms and religious institutions to operate in city parks where physical distancing was made easier.   BLM Donation L a Jolla Country Day School student Elinor Amir-Lobel won an essay competition with a $2,000 cash prize and founded a nonprofit with it, selling her original sticker art and donating 100% of the profits to the Black Lives Matter organization.   Murals Guidelines Judging the content of public murals was a slippery slope, and those murals promoting commercial interests should not be allowed. That was the general consensus of La Jolla Planned District Ordinance Committee in August. The 11-member advisory group makes recommendations to the City on signage, setbacks, and other development conditions detailed in La Jolla’s PDO.   SEPTEMBER 50th Anniversary In September UC San Diego Library observed the 50th anniversary of the university’s intellectual heart of campus, Geisel Library, which first opened its doors to the UC San Diego community and the public in September 1970. The library planned a yearlong celebration aimed at recognizing the remarkable legacy of Geisel Library, UC San Diego’s most iconic architectural masterpiece.   Business Success Restaurants, and at least one La Jolla bookstore owner, benefited from moving some of their operations outdoors. Brick-and-mortar D.G. Wills Bookstore at 7461 Girard Ave. Held its own during the pandemic, offering 1,000 books in its driveway to a dollar apiece. The Cat Lounge Rescue and Adoption Center at 1006 Torrey Pines Road achieved, with the support of volunteers and the community, its goal of rescuing, rehabilitating, and adopting out 1,000 cats before celebrating its first anniversary in November.   MAD Manager Mary Montgomery took over for John Unbewust as district manager for the Village’s Maintenance Assessment District noting she was hoping to be able to focus more on long-term capital improvement projects, like refurbishing weathered wooden benches.   Dining Extended La Jolla Shores Association endorsed extending successful outdoor dining during COVID on Avenida de la Playa commercial strip until year’s end.   Community Conversation La Jolla Town Council on Sept. 10 held a public forum with police and fire officials discussing fires, health, and safety. Local community planners also vetted ongoing problematic beach fires in La Jolla Shores and Beach-Barber Tract neighborhoods.   OCTOBER   Life Support LJVN profiled Laurel McFarlane who usually promotes about 70 live San Diego events a year and was down to only five virtual events in 2020 due to COVID. She characterized her present circumstances, and those of the rest of San Diego’s small-business event industry, as “brutal” and “catastrophic.” The live events industry was lobbying the government for increased aid to help them survive the pandemic.   The Map The Map of the Grand Canyons of La Jolla, a lasting memorial to the late La Jolla oceanographer Walter Munk, was unveiled at the educational plaza at Kellogg Park in La Jolla Shores on Oct. 16. It was a fitting tribute that the man who discovered the grand canyons off the coast of La Jolla Shores should have an educational plaza honoring him and his 80-year career at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The Map features a 2,400-square-foot tile mosaic displaying all the various types of sea life in the La Jolla Canyon illustrating 123 life-sized species.   Reserve Reopens The scenic hiking trails at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve reopened on Sept. 24 after being closed since April due to the pandemic.   Peace Paddle Paddle for Peace, a community of surfers and nonsurfers united, held a paddle out at Tourmaline Surf Park on Oct. 10 to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The group raised $2,684 to fight cancer from the event.   Cottage Calamity The historic Red Rest and Red Roost turn-of-the-century cottages at La Jolla Cove caught fire in the early hours of Oct. 26 and were severely damaged.   NOVEMBER   Set Back Demoted from red to the more-restrictive purple COVID tier, La Jolla restaurants had to close indoor operations again and operate outdoors only. Restrictions were restarted on Nov. 14.   BLM Debated Black Lives Matter chalk drawings created on the popular Fay Avenue Bike Path between La Jolla Village and Bird Rock touched off a heated community controversy over the proper place of politically motivated art in public spaces.   Restaurateur Sentenced On Nov. 18, the courts confirmed that former La Jolla restaurateur Daniel Dorado would not be eligible for parole until he turns 94 years old as a result of his 40-year prison term for rape. Dorado was convicted by a jury on Dec. 20, 2019, of 20 sex crimes against four women.   Tenth Anniversary Everyday California, an eco-friendly, La Jolla Shores-based ocean adventures kayak touring and apparel shop marked its 10th year in La Jolla Shores serving locals and visitors alike.   Service Honored On Nov. 6, La Jolla parks planner Phyllis Minick presented Bill Robbins with a plaque made from the remains of a fallen “Lorax” Monterrey cedar tree from Scripps Park, along with a watercolor painting, honoring his long volunteer service to the community.   DECEMBER   Mr. Jingles In the Dec. 11 issue of LJVN, Mr. Jingles Christmas Trees, a one-stop-shop for anything and everything Christmas at 6710 La Jolla Blvd., was profiled. Every year the seasonal business offers six different tree types as well as fresh garland and wreaths anywhere from 8 to 60 inches.   Short-Term Support City Planning Commissioners Dec. 3 voted 7-0 for a proposed short-term rental ordinance calling for licensing them, capping their numbers, and penalizing violators, while creating a City office to administer the new program while making it subject to annual review.   COVID Mansion San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott filed a civil enforcement action to shut down a La Jolla Farms short-term vacation rental property at 9660 Black Gold Road. The complaint alleged that defendants were maintaining a public nuisance and engaging in unfair competition, including false advertising.
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    In 2021, consider a San Diego Humane Society virtual training class for your dog (or cat)
    by Juliette Nash
    Jan 06, 2021 | 12627 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Uploaded 121120
    Uploaded 121120

    Whether you’ve just adopted a puppy during the pandemic or you’re a longtime pet owner, positive reinforcement-based behavioral training is key to a happy, healthy human-animal relationship, especially while everyone is spending more time at home.

    But with most traditional in-person training classes on hold in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you may feel your options are limited. That is not the case, though — and trainers at San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) have moved many of their training classes online. They have found online training classes, conducted via Zoom or other video chat platforms, can bring tremendous results to pets and families alike.

    The Importance of Training Your Pet
    Training, when done right, is about more than just preventing accidents in the house or keeping your pet from chewing on the furniture. Positive reinforcement training, which focuses on rewarding good behavior with toys, treats and positive attention while ignoring undesirable behaviors, has many benefits. These include better communication, mental stimulation for your pet, and involving everyone in the house, all of which strengthens your bond with your furry friend, leading to better behavior. Plus, it’s just more fun for everyone.
    Multiple scientific studies over the past two decades have demonstrated that dogs trained using positive reinforcement methods show higher levels of obedience; are less likely to show aggression or fear; learn new skills more quickly, and are more interactive with their owners. Positive reinforcement training isn’t just good for dogs, either — you can even use the same methods to train cats in behaviors like using a scratching post, using the litter box, walking on a leash or even doing tricks!

    Getting Started with Virtual Training Classes
    If the pandemic has brought a new animal companion into your life, it’s important to start training right away. Don’t worry if you can’t attend a traditional, in-person training class. All-online virtual training classes, whether in small groups or one-on-one, are an excellent way to train your dog or cat right at home in their usual environment, with fewer distractions — and they’re incredibly affordable.
    January is National Dog Training Month, which makes now the perfect time to take advantage of the many free and low-cost training resources available through SDHS.
    The certified Behavior & Training Team at SDHS offers more than 50 different classes year-round, and most are currently available online. In addition to basic behaviors, addressed in classes like our popular Marvelous Manners course, SDHS offers specialty classes that address different aspects of high arousal behavior in dogs (Shy Dog, Fabulous Focus for Impulse Control, Reactive Rover and Feisty Fido), enrichment-based classes such as nose work and living room friendly dog sports — and of course, several classes for cats.
    If there has been a silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been an increase in shelter pet fosters and adoptions or more time at home with their pets for many people now working remotely. Training classes, whether in basic obedience or fun new tricks, will make this uncertain time something memorable for everyone. They can also resolve many behavioral challenges that may be straining your life at home.
    San Diego Humane Society is here as a resource for all pet families in San Diego County that need help. All animals are trainable, and believe it or not, they all learn in the same way.


    Juliette Nash, MS, is the community training coordinator for San Diego Humane Society. Nash helps the SDHS community address their behavior and training concerns through organizing, developing, and curating content for our extensive range of training classes for dogs and cats, community outreach projects, and responding to inquiries to our behavioral helplines. She holds a master’s degree from the University of San Diego in Marine Science and has spent more than a decade researching the social and vocal learning behaviors of killer whales. Nash grew up training a wide variety of animals and has been professionally training dogs for the past 10 years. When she’s not at work, Nash is being trained regularly by her three cats: Kitty (15) Ginny (4) and Poe (2).


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    Portion of new West Mission Bay Drive Bridge opens to traffic
    Jan 05, 2021 | 9289 views | 1 1 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A portion of the new West Mission Bay Drive Bridge will open Jan. 6. The project is now roughly halfway complete. CONTRIBUTED GRAPHIC
    A portion of the new West Mission Bay Drive Bridge will open Jan. 6. The project is now roughly halfway complete. CONTRIBUTED GRAPHIC

    Mayor Todd Gloria on Jan. 5 was joined by City Council President Jennifer Campbell to open traffic onto a portion of the new West Mission Bay Drive Bridge, signaling that the $135 million project is now roughly halfway complete.

    On Jan. 6, motorists will begin to be diverted onto the newly constructed bridge to allow the existing, aging bridge to be safely demolished. As the existing bridge is demolished, the iron, concrete and other materials will be hauled off to be recycled and reused in other capacities.

    The old West Mission Bay Drive bridge was built in the early 1950s and features only two travel lanes for northbound and southbound traffic. As traffic volume increased significantly during the past 70 years, the bridge was targeted for replacement to accommodate this growth. The new version features two standalone bridges – each with three vehicle lanes – and a 12-foot-wide shared path for pedestrians and people riding bicycles, scooters or other modes of transportation.

    Adding protected bike and pedestrian lanes will improve the safety and accessibility for all road users on this busy route linking the Loma Portal and Midway District neighborhoods with SeaWorld, Mission Bay Park and popular beach areas.  

    "It’s an exciting day in District 2,” said Council President Campbell. “The opening of the new West Mission Bay Bridge is a big step in reducing traffic, increasing safety and creating better options for the residents in our beach communities to move around."

    In addition to the significant infrastructure and mobility upgrades, this high-profile project provides for environmental mitigation at key locations along the San Diego River, allowing for the growth of native vegetation and habitat for protected species in the area.

    Improvements will also be made to widen the westbound Interstate 8 off-ramp, as well as nearby Sports Arena Boulevard. The project is expected to be completed in 2022.

    Construction on the project began in July 2018. Conceptual renderings of the bridge and live video feed of the work in progress are available by visiting

    “I am thrilled to open this new bridge that will ease traffic congestion in a heavily traveled part of our city and ultimately provide bicyclists and pedestrians a safe and environmentally friendly way to cross the San Diego River,” Gloria said. “This new bridge is going to make life easier for residents in our coastal communities, especially during busy summer months.”  

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    Thomas Mitch
    January 15, 2021
    Why is this called the Mission Bay Drive bridge when the streets it connects are Sports Arena Blvd. and Ingram?

    Pedestrians aren't safe when they have to share a path with bicycles and scooters who often expect pedestrians to get out of their way and are loath to slow down.
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