La Jolla's 2016 Year in Review: The Task Force Awakens — The Jewel's top news stories and events

La Jolla's 2016 Year in Review:

Sub-committees, working groups, task forces. Whatever you want to call them, La Jolla has several that formed this year to address new and pressing issues in the community. The task forces that were established in 2016 took on everything from a set of broken stairs, crime, sea lions at The Cove, a reservoir replacement project and more. Not to mention the working groups that were previously established that made headway this year — including a group focused on mansionization, Children's Pool Walkway beautification and so on. Here's a look back on the year that was 2016, with all its active community volunteers working on sub-committees and working groups, and other notable happenings in La Jolla.

 

••• JANUARY 2016:

• Shores street collapse: On Jan. 6, a storm surge causes a half-block sinkhole on Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla Shores. The westernmost end of the street (that had been under construction for a sewer and water infrastructure project for nearly two years) fell two feet and exposed a gas line.

Children's Pool Tower update: City of San Diego representatives announce the Children's Pool lifeguard tower would likely be complete in late 2016. In the beginning of the year, much of the exterior was complete, but several interior projects needed to be complete before lifeguards could take position of the facility. Construction began in 2013.

A MAD idea: On Jan. 7, the La Jolla Community Planning Association is introduced to the plan for a Maintenance Assessment District in The Village of La Jolla to carry out improved maintenance services and capital projects. Then-La Jolla Community Foundation executive director Julie Bronstein explains an organization that would be called Enhance La Jolla was being established to manage the MAD, and that several community presentations were planned to answer any questions.

Conflict of interest issue: La Jolla Parks and Beaches advisory group learns the San Diego City Attorney's office has issued an opinion indicating it would constitute a conflict of interest to have the same architect or engineer design a project and then bid to carry it out. As a 501(c)3 organization, La Jolla Parks and has facilitated several projects over the years, the most recent of which had to be re-worked given this opinion.

• Su Casa demo approved: Permits required for a project to demolish Su Casa restaurant and construct an apartment complex were approved by the La Jolla Community Planning Association on Jan. 7. At the time, it was stated the project would likely break ground in the fall.

Mansionization committee reports: Continuing the work that started in 2015, the La Jolla Community Planning Association task force on single family zoning (aka the mansionization committee) meets and votes to recommend the City create tailored language for development in La Jolla, rather than include La Jolla in city-wide code. The San Diego City Council would later vote to evaluate the recommendation further, and withhold any other decisions pending a full review.

Lightner's goals: In the beginning of what would be her last year as City Council president, Sherri Lightner sits down with La Jolla Light to discuss what she would like to accomplish in 2016. Among the goals: easing traffic on Torrey Pines Road, San Diego City Charter revisions, accessing long sequestered funds for coastal access and parking, and more.

Rolling barrier plan introduced: After meeting for months, the La Jolla Town Council sub-committee on sea lions (known as the Coastal Committee) proposes a concept to discourage sea lion congregation on the bluffs of La Jolla Cove. At a special meeting, chair Steve Haskins presents the committee's idea to install metal cables across key access points on the bluffs and string rolling plastic cylindrical barriers so the sea lions could not gain traction and climb the bluffs. The idea, which became known as the "rolling barrier plan" would circulate to other community groups in the months that followed.

Town Council supports MAD: The La Jolla Town Council becomes the first community advisory group to vote on, and support, the Maintenance Assessment District for The Village of La Jolla, when they cast their vote Jan. 14.

St. James' new reverend: Rev. Dr. Mark Kingston Hargreaves joins St. James-by-the-Sea as its new rector. The community church searched for more than a year for someone to fill the position.

Sea lion shopper: On Jan. 21, a sea lion pup "went shopping" at Sunny Jim's Cave Store above La Jolla Cove, and was photographed climbing on the counters. To reach the store, the pup climbed 145 steps from The Cove.

T&T approves speed limit changes: La Jolla's Traffic and Transportation advisory group approves three speed limit increases on: Soledad Mountain Road between Pacific Drive and Soledad Road, La Jolla Boulevard between Gravilla and Pearl Streets, and La Jolla Scenic Drive North between La Jolla Mesa and Soledad Park Road.

• One Wave challenge falls short: The One Wave Challenge and fundraiser, an attempt to break the world record for number of people riding on one wave, is held in La Jolla Shores Jan. 23. Although more than 150 surfers attempted the feat over the course of two hours, the record of 110 people on one wave was not reached. Official results show a peak of 97 surfers.

87K to charity: At a special luncheon at The Marine Room, La Jolla-based women's philanthropy group Las Patronas distributes more than $870,000 to San Diego non-profits. The money was raised through the annual fundraising ball The Jewel Ball (held in August 2015).

Growing support for barriers: La Jolla Parks and Beaches lends its support to the Coastal Committee rolling barrier plan, hopeful the implementation would minimize the pervasive smell emanating from the sea lions congregating and defecating there.

 

••• FEBRUARY 2016:

Hillside forms Neighborhood Watch: Taking a cue from residents of the WindanSea neighborhood (which took similar action the month before), residents of the Hillside community hold a meeting establish a Neighborhood Watch. In attendance is San Diego Police Officer Larry Hesselgesser, who advised on the benefits and resources in establishing a Watch.

Airport renamed: It is announced that Montgomery Field airport in Kearney Mesa will be renamed to honor La Jolla resident Bill Gibbs. As of April, the airport is known as Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport.

Mansionization committee concludes: Having drafted a recommendation and presented to the City, the La Jolla Community Planning Association sub-committee on single family zoning (aka the mansionization committee) ends its association with its parent group, and announces it would continue meeting and working as an independent entity.

Mayor LaCava: La Jolla Town Council names community activist Joe LaCava as "Mayor of La Jolla" during its Feb. 11 meeting. It marks the first time a citizen has been named an honorary mayor of La Jolla.

Globetrottin': Harlem Globetrotter El Gato Melendez stops by The Bishop's School to challenge Knights hoopster Alessandra Aguirre to a shoot-off on the heels of Aguirre's CIF record-setting 50 points in a game.

Bike Path ideas: A task force under La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory group, comprised of members concerned about safety on the Fay Avenue Bike Path, give a report to La Jolla's Traffic and Transportation advisory group Feb. 17. Task force members Sally Miller and Stuart Gimber present a list of improvements that the City could implement.

70 years of service: La Jolla-based women's philanthropy group Las Patronas celebrates 70 years of fundraising. The first benefactor was the United States Service to China organization in the aftermath of World War II. To date, Las Patronas has given more than $19 million to hundreds of San Diego charities.

Fatima statue visits: Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church hosts the traveling International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima on Feb. 22, drawing parishioners and prayers to the healing figure.

Play ball: La Jolla Youth Baseball holds its 64th Opening Day festivities Feb. 27 at its home field of Cliffridge Park.

 

••• MARCH 2016:

Six CIF wins: In a battle for Pearl Street, The Bishop's School Knights girls water polo team defeats La Jolla High School Vikings to win its sixth CIF title in the Open Division. A strong defense was considered instrumental to the win.

Concert kick off: Bodhi tree concerts, supported and often hosted by St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, kicks off its fifth season. The series of concerts double as fundraisers for local charities. The 2016 beneficiaries are Free Flight Bird Sanctuary in Del Mar and Mama's Kitchen.

Here comes the Sun: The mural 'Suns' by New York artist Byron Kim and San Diego artist Victoria Fu is hoisted on the Empress Hotel at 7766 Fay Ave. as part of the Murals of La Jolla public art program.

CPA supports rolling barriers: La Jolla Community Planning Association joins the La Jolla Town Council in supporting what became known as the "rolling barrier plan" as a possible deterrent to sea lion congregation on the bluffs of La Jolla Cove.

No to speed limit increase: La Jolla resident Robert O'Neill speaks out at a La Jolla Community Planning Association against the Traffic and Transportation decision to approve a City-requested speed limit increase on Soledad Mountain Road, and asks that it be heard again by the traffic board. He alleges the speed limit monitoring sign was turned off when the City conducted the speed study on which the recommendation (to increase the speed limit) was based, yielding incomplete or inaccurate information.

Thanks, Coach: La Jolla High School hires two new coaches: football coach Matt Morrison and girls volleyball coach Kelly Drobek.

CIF titles: La Jolla Country Day School Torreys defeat the La Jolla High School Vikings in basketball for the CIF title, while the La Jolla High School soccer team wins its first CIF title in 18 years.

Dj Moo: To mark the 110th anniversary of the famed "Cows on the Beach" photo taken at La Jolla Shores, the La Jolla Historical Society contracted photographer Philipp Scholz Rittermann to recreate the scene for a modern-day photo.

Merchants support MAD: After a second presentation, La Jolla Village Merchants Association votes to support a Maintenance Assessment District for The Village.

Unhappy campers: La Jolla Shores Association discusses overnight camping in Kellogg Park during summer holidays with San Diego Police officers, hoping to be proactive for the coming year. Following a discussion at the March 9 La Jolla Shores Association meeting, the two entities decided to post signage ahead of the holidays and utilize social media to deter illegal camping.

Helping Haiti: Members of the Rotary Club of La Jolla went to Haiti to build a chicken coop, to provide a much-needed source of protein for the local community — especially the children.

La Jolla's lass: Maeve Rochford, owner of La Jolla's Sugar and Scribe bakery, is chosen as the Irish Woman of the Year by the Irish Congress of San Diego. She marches in the St. Patrick's Day parade in Balboa Park.

The room with a view: The Marine Room celebrates 75 years in La Jolla Shores with a historical retrospective and luncheon March 20. The celebration is held in conjunction with La Jolla Historical Society's 50th anniversary.

New Friends: The La Jolla Riford Library Friends group appoints a new board to serve for two years. Sallie Warren is elected president, and three new board members are elected: Sally Corson, Cathy East and Jennifer Greenfield. The Friends group provides financial support for library programming through donation facilitation.

Pirasteh saga begins: La Jolla artist Nasser Pirasteh, with a home studio at 6706 Avenida Manana, is given a notice indicating his Nautilus Street-facing sculpture is in violation of City code. The notice states the piece is an unpermitted accessory structure in the front yard setback. The City ordered the 10-foot dome-like piece be removed by May 7.

Women of the Year: La Jolla residents Mary Coakley Munk and Monica Montano are named Women of the Year by Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins at a celebration in Mission Bay.

So cool: The Girl Scouts "Cool Women" of 2016 include La Jolla residents Betty Beyster and her daughter Mary Ann "M.A." Beyster, Martha Dennis, Susan Shirk and Erica Ollmann Sapphire. The Cool Women are honored for their leadership and community service.

Barrier plan sent to City Hall: After making the rounds at La Jolla's community advisory groups, the sea lion rolling barrier plan is sent to San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer's office. The committee hopes the Mayor would approve, fund and implement the plan or one similar.

Sandwich board reform: La Jolla's Planned District Ordinance committee has its first of several meetings to discuss regulations for a-frame signs aka sandwich boards on March 28. Sandwich boards are prohibited under Promote La Jolla (which disbanded in 2011), yet are still prevalent in The Village and considered an eyesore to some. La Jolla Village Merchants Association president Claude-Anthony Marengo presents the idea to allow the signage with the same regulations as are in place across the City, with strict regulations, so Code Enforcement Officers know what to look for and keep signage in check.

 

••• APRIL 2016:

Mural in the Shores: The mural 'Demos Gracias' by Los Angeles-based artist Lorenzo Hurtado is posted on the exterior wall of Galaxy Taco at 2259 Avenida de la Playa as part of the Murals of La Jolla public art program. It is the first mural to be installed in La Jolla Shores.

Beach access closed: In addition to causing a sinkhole in La Jolla Shores, storms in the early part of 2016 destroy a set of stairs near 100 Coast Blvd. that lead to a beach area known as The Horseshoe. After the stairs were closed off, La Jolla Parks & Beaches discusses the problem at its April monthly meeting and appoints a sub-committee to investigate when the access point might be reopened, who would reinstate the stairs and who would pay for it.

Welcome, Angie: Angie Stava joins the La Jolla Riford Library as the Youth Services Librarian.

Torrey Pines wall plan OK'd: City engineers present revised plans for the Torrey Pines Road retaining wall to La Jolla Community Planning Association. The new plans calls for an arc-shaped wall that varies from three feet to nine feet, between Lookout Drive and Roseland Drive. The new look would mimic the retaining wall across from La Jolla High School across Fay Avenue. In May 2015, the board rejected the first incarnation of the plans, largely due to the height of the previously proposed wall. Pending environmental review, the wall will be constructed in fall 2017. The Community Planning Association approves the new plans.

Surf's Up: La Jolla Shores-based Surf Diva surfing school celebrates 20 years in business with a celebration at Duke's restaurant.

Sinkhole explained: Citing "poor planning" as the reason the Avenida de la Playa infrastructure did not survive the January storm (causing the sinkhole in La Jolla Shores), the engineering firm that designed the infrastructure is dismissed and a new firm is hired.

Sandwich board rules approved: La Jolla's Planned District Ordinance committee approves the sandwich board regulations presented the month before. The new rules would allow for a-frame signs, with strict regulations that are more easily identified by City Code Enforcement Officers. The recommendation goes to La Jolla Community Planning Association for ratification.

Cross spruce up: The Mount Soledad Memorial cross receives a facelift, courtesy of community volunteers and supporters. Upgrades include refinishing the base and repainting the cross.

Pirasteh fights city: La Jolla artist Nasser Pirasteh announces he would not remove the controversial sculpture on his property, which the City argues is an unpermitted accessory structure.

Children's Pool pause: A Stop Work Order is posted at Children's Pool lifeguard tower, indicating work had taken place that disturbed the nearby pregnant and nursing harbor seals, dated April 13. Work had to pause until mediation could be reached between City planners and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

More 'no' to speed limit increase: Dozens of concerned citizens attend the April 20 La Jolla Traffic and Transportation advisory group meeting to overturn the decision to support a City recommendation to increase the speed limit on Soledad Mountain Road. After lengthy discussion, the traffic board recommends residents circulate a petition of neighbors so there is documentation that the community would like the speed limit kept as is, before they cast a vote to maintain or overturn the decision.

Hillel gets gift: The Hillel Center for Jewish Life project receives a $5 million donation from Joseph "Chickie" Glickman. As such, the center would be renamed the Beverly and Joseph Glickman Hillel Center. The San Diego Planning Commission and San Diego City Council must review the Environmental Impact Report associated with the project before it can be constructed.

 

••• MAY 2016:

Swim at your own risk: A San Diego Department of Environmental Health sign goes up at La Jolla Cove, indicating bacteria levels exceed heath standards. It reads: "Warning! Contact with this water may cause illness." The Cove is regularly tested for bacteria levels, and County officials report the levels are high enough to merit the warning until levels decrease. Water quality at The Cove is tested year round.

Stair committee reports: The La Jolla Parks & Beaches sub-committee tasked with investigating the busted stairs at Coast Boulevard, in the course of their study, came up with more questions than answers. Chiefly, whether the project would be considered a repair, which would take months, or a replacement, which would take years. The task force agreed to continue pleading for the project to be considered a repair, and find more answers and report back.

Candidates make the rounds: In the first of several speaking engagements to familiarize voters with the candidates, four San Diego City Council District 1 hopefuls speak at a forum at La Jolla Village Square ahead of the June primary election. They are: Barbara Bry, Ray Ellis, Kyle Heiskala and Louis Rodolico. Candidate Bruce Lightner, husband to outgoing City Council president Sherri Lightner, was not in attendance.

How sentimental: La Jolla resident and theater icon Dori Salois pens and publishes "Mrs. Bennet's Sentiments," a spin-off of "Pride and Prejudice" from the perspective of the novel's matriarch.

Working together: La Jolla Community Planning Association and UC San Diego form a community working group to improve two-way communication when it comes to development on campus. The goal of the group is to meet monthly to discuss the university's Long Range Development Plan, so the community members can relay that information back to their respective groups, and the community can in turn, offer their feedback on proposed development.

Request withdrawn: The City of San Diego retracts its request for a speed limit increase on Soledad Mountain Road, following a hearing at La Jolla's Traffic and Transportation advisory group meeting, a request for review from a resident and the circulation of a petition.

Candidates speak at Community Center: San Diego City Council candidates Barbara Bry, Ray Ellis, Kyle Heiskala and Louis Rodolico speak for the second time in May, this time at La Jolla Community Center. Each candidate shares their background, political priorities and promises if elected.

Shores pleas for project funds: La Jolla Shores Association, frustrated with the lack of funds available for projects in their area, vote to write a letter to San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer requesting the creation of a specific fund for La Jolla Shores, using some of the revenue generated from kayak concessionaires and other Shores businesses.

Women in Science: The "mother of Hospice in San Diego," Dr. Doris Howell, speaks at La Jolla Woman's Club as part of the Women in Leadership series. Howell is the first speaker of the year that would focus on women in science.

Go for a ride: La Jolla Light investigates the lack of bike infrastructure in 92037, and how it could hinder compliance with the City's Climate Action Plan.

Traffic calming on Soledad: Although the City of San Diego rescinded its request for a speed limit increase on Soledad Mountain Road, residents still present to La Jolla Traffic and Transportation advisory board during its May 18 meeting to request traffic calming. After a lengthy discussion, the topic was tabled for discussion at a future meeting.

Last time around: During a third candidate's forum, Barbara Bry, Ray Ellis, Kyle Heiskala and Louis Rodolico (running for the City Council District 1 seat up for election in the primary election) speak about the in-planning Hillel Center, taxes and more at Congregation Beth Israel. It would be the last time the four candidates would speak before the June primary.

Honoring Teddy: On Memorial Day (May 30) the Mount Soledad Memorial Association honors former President Theodore Roosevelt with the installation of a plaque at the 6905 La Jolla Scenic Drive memorial.

 

••• JUNE 2016:

Lights, camera, action: Intended to ease traffic on Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Parkway, adaptive signal timing cameras are installed on mast arms over key intersections on those streets. The cameras measure traffic flows in real time and adjusts green light durations accordingly.

Book savers: La Jolla High School sophomore William Dorst and La Jolla Elementary School fourth-grader Ellie Levine take top honors in their respective age groups in the San Diego Public Library Essay contest. The students, representing La Jolla's Riford Library, were tasked with answering the question "If all the books in the world were about to disappear, I would save …"

Pirasteh appeals City decision: Artist Nasser Pirasteh and representatives from the San Diego Department of Code Enforcement come together for a hearing so Pirasteh could appeal the City's decision that his controversial street-facing sculpture is an unpermitted accessory structure and needs to be removed. Several supporters testify on his behalf, indicating they appreciate the piece and would like it to stay as is. Hearing Officer James Queenan said he would review the testimony and render a decision.

Crisis at the Cove: La Jolla Town Council hosts a "Crisis at the Cove" hearing at La Jolla Rec Center, to discuss the burgeoning sea lion population at La Jolla Cove, and options for dispersing it. Panelists for the standing-room-only event include divers, swimmers, city representatives and experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Survey says: Tired of empty storefronts, members the La Jolla Village Merchants Association Economic Development division sub-committee announce they would distribute a survey to La Jollans to determine what types of businesses are wanted in the Village, so they could in turn solicit those businesses with data in hand.

Jazz Fest: An idea to bring an upscale jazz festival to La Jolla is introduced to the La Jolla Village Merchants Association, and met with excitement at the prospect. However, allegations of fraud against the organizer would later put a damper on the concept.

$45K for Rec Center: Responding to a capital campaign for improvements to the La Jolla Rec Center, Audrey Geisel of the Dr. Seuss Foundation gives $20,000 and Douglas Dawson of the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation granted $25,000 to the Rec Center board. They would continue the fundraising efforts with a public capital campaign and applying for federal grants.

Safety improvements: The Fay Avenue Bike Path — spurred by requests from a La Jolla Parks & Beaches sub-committee — gets safety improvements such as brighter red curbs to deter parking that blocks the entries and exits, and brighter signage to indicate cyclists could be near.

Bry vs. Ellis: The race for City Council District 1 is narrowed following the June primary election. The top two contenders to battle it out come November are La Jolla resident and Democrat Barbara Bry and Carmel Valley resident and Republican Ray Ellis.

Q&A on MAD: Enhance La Jolla, the organization that would manage the in-development Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) hold a two-session informational meeting (one session in the morning and one in the afternoon) to answer questions and report on progress.

Better late than never: La Jolla's Children's Pool Lifeguard tower, three years in development, opens quietly June 27, with lifeguards preparing to take possession soon after.

Private security: On June 30, Bird Rock resident Ron Fineman holds a special meeting to explore private security in Bird Rock, including a presentation from National Public Security.

 

••• JULY 2016:

4th of July fireworks failure: Crowds turn to La Jolla beaches one more year to celebrate and watch the fireworks. Unfortunately, just 10 minutes into the show, the fireworks stop, to resume 15 minutes later. A "catastrophic malfunction" that endangered five workers, but not the public, was reported.

Wedding Bowl dirt: La Jolla Light uncovers the state of disrepair that the Cuvier Park site presents. After a winter El Nio storm, the lush turf on the western side of the ceremony site on Coast Boulevard was reduced to dirt and sand. City crews have been working in restoring the grass, which now looks a lot healthier than this summer.

"Emergency" for Coast Boulevard staircase: The San Diego Public Works Department approves a declaration that the obliterated staircase at 100 Coast Blvd. constitutes "an emergency" and will be treated as such in getting it repaired.

Bird Rock screens private security force: The Bird Rock Community Council board and community members hear the pros and cons of contracting private security to help deter crime in the neighborhood. In a prior meeting, member Ron Fineman organized a presentation on private security by company National Public Safety.

Art meets maps in La Jolla: An exhibit that will be on through May 2017 at the Map & Atlas Museum of La Jolla opens in July. The "Art Meets Maps" exhibit features pictographic maps — pieces that mix cartography, art and illustration.

Doyle Hanan Inc. turns in report: After almost a year and a half since he was contracted to study the sea lion issue at La Jolla Cove, marine mammal expert Doyle Hanan Ph.D. completes and submits to the City his report. Citing empirical data and observation, the 39-page study confirms that the sea lions presence constitutes a "problem," and the city could refer to the study when considering a solution.

Children's Pool lifeguard tower closed: Three weeks after the Children's Pool lifeguard tower is unveiled and its restroom station open to the public, a sewage malfunction forces the City to close the facility.

Planners OK'd "sandwich board" amendment: La Jolla Community Planning Association takes a step toward allowing a-frame signs (aka sandwich boards) in The Village, when it narrowly votes to amend applicable regulations during its July 7 meeting at La Jolla Rec Center. The vote allows the advertisement structures so they can effectively be enforced within the San Diego municipal code.

Summer concerts return to Scripps Park: For the 33th consecutive year, summer Sundays of 2016 at Scripps Park in La Jolla were filled with music and families. Drawing nearly 1,000 people per concert, the series kicks off with Sue Palmer & her Motel Swing Orchestra July 17.

A Catholic welcome to Infant Jesus: Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church holds an enthronement ceremony for it new Infant Jesus of Prague statue Saturday, July 16. The event is officiated by San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy and includes daylong celebrations.

Task Force to tackle crisis at The Cove: La Jolla Town Council holds a "Crisis at the Cove: Part II" forum to review the findings of the long-awaited report on the sea lion situation by marine mammal expert Doyle Hanan of Hanan & Associates. At the conclusion of the meeting, president Ann Kerr Bache proposes the formation of a joint task force of swimmers, divers, business representatives, Town Council trustees and community members at large to find a method for dispersing the sea lion population in accordance with the Hanan Report.

A gift on wheels: Local non-profit So Others May Eat receives a barbecue-trailer gifted by the La Jolla Kiwanis Club, which has since been used to feed homeless people on the go in different parts of San Diego.

Business and Crime Task Forces created: The La Jolla Town Council announces the formation of a business task force, a "Chamber of Commerce" of sorts that will be independent of the La Jolla Village Merchants Associations and work with businesses across the 92037 including UTC, Bird Rock and La Jolla Shores. A second task force, to improve communications between La Jolla's Neighborhood Watch captains and better understand area crime trends, forms under the name the Community Watch Committee.

DecoBike is back: The City of San Diego informs community advisory groups that despite the unanimous rejection from La Jolla community advisory groups, bike sharing kiosks of DecoBike will be coming to La Jolla.

Jazz Festival gets OK: The proposed Jazz Festival to take place at Scripps Park collects approval from the La Jolla Parks & Beaches board.

Conrad Prebys passes away: At age 82, the businessman and philanthropist dies of cancer. Among his final charitable gifts to La Jolla is The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center — future home of La Jolla Music Society — under construction on Fay Avenue and scheduled to open in 2018.

 

••• AUGUST 2016:

Time capsule: As part of its centennial celebration, the Congregational Church of La Jolla opens a 100-year-old time capsule which contains coins, letters, a church photo and a copy of The La Jolla Journal newspaper from 1916.

New SIO assistant vice chancellor: Scripps Institution of Oceanography welcomes its new assistant vice chancellor Steve Gallagher, and the new leader is introduced to various advisory boards as an effort from the institute to reach out to the community.

Veteran's artwork: The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego features in its La Jolla location a show made up of art pieces done by war veterans during their recovery from trauma.

Nobel Prize home: La Jolla Light breaks the story of a home previously owned by Nobel Prize awardee Maria Goeppert-Mayer that is being dismantled while awaiting historical designation.

Empty storefronts: The La Jolla Village Merchants Association hears of an initiative to fill empty storefronts with installations from local galleries or art students.

No to DecoBike: An online petition against the location of DecoBike bike sharing kiosks in La Jolla is started on change.org

Green Dragon Colony replacement: Construction starts for the townhomes on Coast Boulevard that will stand where the historic Green Dragon Art Colony once existed.

A one-candidate race: Ray Ellis, the Republican contender to Barbara Bry for the District 1 City Council seat, publicly announces that he will no longer campaign for the position because he believes he didn't have a chance to win.

That's fast: A group of La Jolla Cove Swim Club members set a new swimming record for men in their 70s from the California Coast to Catalina Island swimming the stretch in 14 hours flat.

Muirlands Watch: Residents of the Muirlands respond to burglaries in their area forming a Neighborhood Watch.

New wiring for the Rec Center: After an inspection by City officials, a new electrical wiring and upgrade is announced for the Irving Gill-designed building where most community advisory groups meet.

'Landing' new mural: The first installation in the Murals of La Jolla program, "The Girl from Ipanema" at 7724 Girard Av. is replaced by Heather Gwen Martin's "Landing."

Sea lion 'busters': Six weeks after Doyle Hanan turns in his report, La Jolla Parks & Beaches sends a letter to the mayor and the Park & Rec Department to request that the City takes action and authorizes an entity to carry out one or more of the deterrence methods named in the Hanan study.

No more summer concerts: The La Jolla Concerts by the Sea board of directors announces that 2016 was going to be the last season of the family friendly event, due to a lack of a sustainable funding source.

 

••• SEPTEMBER 2016:

Home game: After a year with no games at home, the La Jolla High School Vikings football team is finally able to play in its newly renovated athletic complex. The first football game of the season is Sept. 2.

Construction back to The Shores: After Labor Day, City crews return to the streets of La Jolla Shores to work, once again, in the area's stormwater infrastructure. Work includes changing old sewer pipes and repairing the damages caused by the January collapse of the stormwater infrastructure in Avenida de la Playa, installed in October 2015.

Nobel Prize home: The San Diego Historical Resources Board, which tends to such matters citywide, struggles with the designation of the house where Nobel Prize winner Maria Goepper-Mayer once lived. The matter is sent back to the applicant for more information.

Unpermitted structure: The City of San Diego informs local artist Nasser Pirasteh of its affirmation that the sculpture in his front yard an unpermitted structure. He is given 60 calendar days to move or completely remove the piece and pay administrative costs of $1,143.57 and $5,000 in civil penalties.

Safer streets: Thanks to community advocacy, the City installs street lights on the previously dark Westbourne Street, which connects La Jolla High School with the beach and a convenience store.

Adaptive Signal Timing: Three months after the Adaptive Signal Timing cameras were installed along Torrey Pines Road, City reports state that traffic on Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Shores Drive decreased but waiting times on side streets increased. However, the project is considered a success.

Crime Task Force Reports: The Town Council Community Watch committee created earlier this year reports that so far in 2016 there were more residential burglaries than the average of the past ten years.

Bird Rock neighborhood safety: At the monthly Bird Rock Community Council, Bird Rockers discuss for the second time the option of hiring a private security firm to patrol the streets of the neighborhood. The website lajollasafety.org is established to provide the community with more information.

Shores Construction: In an update from the City, La Jolla Shores Association board members receive the news that stormwater construction in the areas' right-of-ways will continue until summer 2017 and extend throughout the coming years.

New Principal: New Bird Rock Elementary School principal Amanda Hale takes her post.

Business survey: In a final report from the La Jolla Village Merchants Association Economic Development Committee on the business survey, trustees say that the amount of responses is insufficient for its primary goal of identifying new businesses for the village. However, the data will be used to prepare marketing materials for empty storefronts.

All things Irving Gill: As part of a multi-institution effort, the La Jolla Historical Society kicks off its Gill exhibit studying the architect's integration of architecture and landscape. The show will run until January 2017.

Historic house designated: The home of African-American pioneer Ed Coleman of La Jolla, who worked as a gardener, janitor and realtor of his time, is designated historical by the Historical Resources Board.

Molli and Arthur Wagner's Walk dedicated: The UC San Diego Department of Theatre and Dance dedicates the walk from the parking lot to the La Jolla Playhouse the "Molli and Arthur Wagner Walk," in memory of the late founding chair of the department and his wife.

Rutgers Road street vacation: In a first presentation before the La Jolla Development Permit Review committee, the City seeks approval to sell a vacant lot between La Jolla and Pacific Beach originally acquired to build a road.

YMCA Aquatic Center: The Ann Woolley Aquatic Center opens Sept. 27 at the La Jolla Cliffridge YMCA. The complex includes a cool water and a water pools, spa and a water spray park.

50 years of community planning: The City celebrates 50 years of community planning with a ceremony at City Hall where the founders of the first local community association, La Jollans, Inc. and community volunteers are honored.

Relay Swim moves to Shores: High levels of bacteria prompt the La Jolla Cove 10-Mile Relay Swim to relocate to La Jolla Shores.

Night of the Stars: The 15th annual San Diego International Film Festival brings celebrities to La Jolla in its "Night of the Stars" award ceremony, Sept. 29 at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego La Jolla galleries. Celebrities include Annette Bening and Warren Beatty, Kate Beckinsale, Jason Mitchell and Patrick Flannery.

Reservoir update: La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory board hears updates on a project to demolish La Jolla View Reservoir and decommission Exchange Place reservoir. A large underground tank is to be built instead.

Goodbye, Quint Gallery: By the end of September, the 3,000-square-foot art gallery home to Mark Quint closes its doors on Girard Avenue, and the local artist moves his talent and collection to Rose Canyon after 35 years of running art spaces in La Jolla.

 

••• OCTOBER 2016:

Tiger style: Oct. 2 is the start date for one of the most popular plays of the year at the La Jolla Playhouse, "Tiger Style," written by La Jolla High graduate playwright Mike Lew.

Art & Wine draws artists, crowds: 150 artists show their works at the eighth La Jolla Art & Wine Festival. Proceeds go to La Jolla public schools.

'No' to the jazz festival: La Jolla Parks & Beaches withdraws its support for the proposed winter jazz festival in Scripps Park, following allegations of fraud against the event organizer and the postponement of Bayfest at PETCO Park, which the organizer was also planning. The concert did not come to fruition in 2016.

Challenged Athletes swim moves: The Challenged Athletes Foundation moves the San Diego Triathlon Challenge swimming leg from The Cove to The Shores due to high levels of bacteria.

The cross stays: After a two-decades-long legal battle, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismisses the case against the purchase of federal land by the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association.

Health risk: Lifeguards and swimmers report illness after contact with water at The Cove. The Light reveals that five lifeguards has contracted staph-like infection.

Pirasteh moves piece: Artist Nasser Pirasteh seeks new home for his installation, now deemed an "unpermitted structure."

Gas in the air: La Jolla Cove lifeguards report working amid sewage gasses coming from an open pump inside the lifeguard station.

Children's Pool Walk: La Jolla Parks & Beaches learns that the Children's Pool Walk beautification project is underway after five years of planning and has a starting date of June 2017.

MCASD changes: The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego former director Hugh Davies passes the baton to Kathryn Kanjo during the celebration of the institution's 75th birthday. A capital campaign is announced to raise more funds for the expansion project, which is expected to start in January 2017.

Call for action: The La Jolla Sea Lion Task Force issues a "Call for Action" to request the La Jolla Town Council be appointed the agent authorized to use deterrence methods on sea lions.

Nobel Prize home: Remodeling resumes on the property of Via Siena where Nobel Prize awardee Maria Goeppert-Mayer once lived. Historical designation is halted when applicant decided to follow preservation guidelines.

It can't be moved: An attempt at moving Nasser Pirasteh's sculpture from his front yard setback to another site in his property fails, and it eventually has to be dismantled.

 

••• NOVEMBER 2016:

Boardwalk: La Jolla Shores Association board members advocate for a new boardwalk, claiming the existing one is in disrepair.

Rutgers Road: The proposal to vacate a "paper street" on Rutgers Road is heard by La Jolla Parks & Beaches by request of the Development Permit Review Committee, and is approved.

Shores sit-in: To protest the lack of accountability during construction, dozens of business owners and residents of The Shores gather on Avenida de la Playa and stage a sit-in.

In 'Jeopardy': La Jolla High School student Sabrina Duong makes viral headlines when in her Jeopardy participation answers a question with the social media quote "What are THOSE?"

Flight path changes: The Light prints the story of a Bird Rock resident, Beatriz Pardo, who is disturbed by outgoing plane noises at her home due to a flight path change. Other concerned neighbors send scores of letters to the Light.

Barbara Bry: On the night of Nov. 7 Democrat and La Jolla resident Barbara Bry wins the District 1 seat at the San Diego City Council.

New LJVMA board: The La Jolla Village Merchants Association sits 10 newly elected board members and James Niebling of Esteban Interiors is elected president.

Call for action sent to City Hall: The La Jolla Sea Lion Task Force sends its "Call for Action" letter to the mayor with 1,500 supporting signatures.

MAD wins votes: Voters support the Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) for the Village of La Jolla with their ballots. City Council ratifies the decision.

New playground: La Jolla Park & Rec, Inc. receives a pledge for $350,000 in donations to upgrade the playscape at La Jolla Rec Center.

Private Security grows: La Jolla Safety, the organization trying to gather enough support to hire a private security company for Bird Rock, starts making its rounds in other La Jolla advisory boards.

Construction costs: The Light learns that the City was to spend $11 million in the Avenida de la Playa stormwater fiasco.

 

••• DECEMBER 2016:

Happy Birthday: La Valencia hotel turns 90 years old.

Cove Pavilion in 2018: The La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory board hears the plans for the new Cove Pavilion facility for Scripps Park. Construction is expected to start in 2018.

A holiday gift for La Jolla Post Office: A group of volunteers from the La Jolla Historical Society Landmark Group donates time and resources for a Christmas make-over of the historical building.

Black's lookout: La Jolla Parks & Beaches trustees present a plan to re-vegetate and spruce up Black's Lookout (north of Scripps Institution of Oceanography).

A private golf course: Real Estate mogul "Papa" Doug Manchester builds a set of private golf holes on the property adjacent to the former Copley state, which he purchased in 2015, to the surprise of neighbors.

Lightner's farewell: Outgoing City Council President and District 1 representative Sherri Lightner has her going away party at the La Jolla Community Center to conclude her eight years of service to the community.

Parking district: After the La Jolla Community Planning Association denies the request from the City to dissolve the La Jolla parking district, which hasn't registered any activity since its creation in 2005, the City Council overlooks the advice of its advisory board and grants the dispersion of the inactive district.

• Christmas Cheer one more time: The La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival effectively kicks off the holiday season in town with the 59th edition of the event.

Women in science: The La Jolla Woman's Club closes its year of "Women in Leadership" speaker series with a speech from Elizabeth Blackburn, president of the Salk Institute and Nobel Prize winner.

Counter-petition: A petition is protect sea lions at La Jolla Cove is circulated online, and receives nearly 100,000 signatures in two weeks.

Rec Center playground ideas: La Jolla Parks and Rec, Inc. hosts the first of several meetings to determine how to renovate the Rec Center playground. Those in attendance prioritize safety, shade and creativity-encouraging play structures.

Light it up: Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church lights its tree for the first time in decades. The tree was once the "community Christmas tree," but the volunteer firefighters would break branches, so the Church stopped lighting the tree. With the branches regrown, and to celebrate the Church's 110th anniversary, the Church strings and illuminates lights.

The bitter end: La Jolla Country Day School and The Bishop's School varsity football teams each made it to the CIF state championships in their respective divisions, but both team lost in the end.

Shores banner district: San Diego City Council approves the formation of the Shores Banner District and appoints La Jolla Shores Business Association to manage it. The banners will likely go up in spring 2017.

Parking District dissolve: The La Jolla Community Parking District is dissolved by the San Diego City Council. La Jolla Village Merchants Association executive director Sheila Fortune contests the decision and starts efforts to reopen the discussion.

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