2013: Another year in La Jolla's rearview mirror

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Odor Eaters: Using an eco-safe foam, workers rid La Jolla Cove of its odor — and a thick crust of bird poop — though the stench has returned, courtesy of the sea lions.

By Pat Sherman and Ashley Mackin

The

La Jolla Light

celebrated its 100th year of publication in 2013. We would once again like

to thank our readers for turning to us as their primary source for news and information about San Diego’s coastal Jewel. There was much to celebrate this year in La Jolla (and a few things to deliberate and outright bemoan). Here’s a recap of the year’s top stories.

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Bob Filner, speaking at an event in La Jolla during his short-lived time as San Diego's mayor.

January

Hands-on Leadership:

Fresh out of the gate, San Diego’s soon-to-be ex-mayor, Bob Filner, wasted no time asserting his authority at La Jolla Children’s Pool. In January alone, Filner extended the beach guideline rope to 152 feet, installed a webcam atop the old lifeguard tower to monitor harbor seals (and those who might harass them) and added temporary police surveillance to deter seal harassers — all seen as victories by marine mammal advocates, and an outrage by beach-access proponents.

‘Peacemaker’ Remembered:

La Jollans honored the memory of La Jolla philanthropist, attorney and law professor Murray Galinson (1937-2013), feted as a champion for the rights of women and minorities.

For the History Books:

La Jolla’s beleaguered post office at 1140 Wall St. received a federal historic designation — a feather in the cap of the 1935 WPA-era building that preservationists have fought to save since the U.S. Postal Service announced its pending closure and relocation of its services. The post office remains open, its future uncertain.

Merchants’ Big Splash:

The La Jolla Village Merchants Association opened the La Jolla Village Information Center at 1162 Prospect St. with high hopes and bare bones — nearly quadrupling rent the association paid at its former space on Herschel Avenue. As the year progressed, the association sought to sell advertising on flat screen TVs and via window displays, though it never quite caught on. To pay rent, the association now subleases a majority of the space to Sotheby’s International Realty.

February

Bidding Adieu to an Era

: La Vallencia’s iconic Whaling Bar (a preferred watering hole and place of intellectual discourse for the likes of Gregory Peck, Raymond Chandler and other high profile patrons) served its last snifter of cognac. The space is now in the final stages of a remodel, and will soon reopen as the expanded Café La Rue, with sidewalk seating along Prospect Street.

100 Years!

Grande Colonial Hotel on Prospect Street celebrated its 100th birthday.

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Harassment? Alleged kicking of pregnant harbor seals at Children’s Pool is captured by the Seal Cam.

Beach Brutality:

The Seal Cam at Children’s Pool filmed two young women appearing to kick, punch and sit on seals during the night. The story was picked up by news outlets around the globe, sparking outrage over the alleged incident. The women were never located and some people later questioned the veracity of the footage, speculating that the incident could have been staged to garner support for the Seal Cam (whose operators, WAN Conservancy, La Jolla Light later learned requested $283,000 per year to operate the camera and monitor footage).

March

Starving for Attention: A mysterious, albeit short-lived, “starvation trend” afflicted sea lion pups off the La Jolla coast and elsewhere in Southern California. Dehydrated and malnourished, dozens of pups hobbled their way up from the beach onto La Jollans’ patios, into the passenger seat of a vehicle and as far inland as the onramp to Interstate 5.

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