News Nuggets


La Jolla Village Merchants board swears in new members

Bill Philips of Harcourt Prestige Properties and Lik La Jolla co-director Nate Dixon were sworn in as members of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association during its first meeting of 2018 by executive director Sheila Fortune. Held Jan. 10 at the La Jolla Library, the meeting was a two-hour brainstorming session during which the 11 members present spitballed ideas for capitalizing better on La Jolla’s potential as a tourist destination.

“The goal is to engage the merchants to create more of a community,” said LJVMA board president James Niebling.

A multi-pronged plan — which takes effect July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year — was assembled including a comprehensive public relations campaign, a La Jolla events calendar, a welcome-to-La-Jolla branding package and coordination with other community association leaders to target key issues. “We need to get all the leaders of all the associations together and move forward,” Fortune said. — Corey Levitan

DMV ID getting REAL

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will offer federally compliant Real ID driver licenses and identification (ID) cards beginning Jan. 22. After Oct. 1, 2020, these will be required to board domestic flights or enter secure federal facilities. (U.S. passports or military IDs will also work.) Until then, old licenses will be good, and REAL IDs will not be required just to drive.

To apply for a REAL ID, visit a DMV with original or certified documents in addition to proof of identity. For more info, visit — CL

Ocean film fest opens Jan. 18

“Salty Cinema,” a new quarterly ocean conservation-themed film festival organized by recent Scripps Institution of Oceanography graduates, debuts 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18 at Scripps Seaside Forum, 8610 Kennel Way.

The documentaries “Smog of the Sea” and “A Plastic Ocean” will be screened, followed by a panel discussion with speakers from the Birch Aquarium, Center for Biological Diversity and the Surfrider Foundation.

The event is free and refreshments will be provided. RSVP to Laura Walsh at — CL

Photo-a-day project focuses on dogs in 2017

For the third year in a row, La Jollan Sandie Linn completed her photo-a-day project, and posted the results online. Each day in 2017, she took a photo of a dog for “A Dog A Day: 365 delightful days of dogs.” A slideshow compilation of the photos can be found on YouTube by searching “A Dog A Day.”

“I took the photos in several parts of the USA, Mexico, Czech Republic and Poland during a run or walk,” she told La Jolla Light. “As with my previous presentations, the photos were totally serendipitous. This project seemed effortless, as dogs were everywhere and in every place I visited. And their owners/walkers/companions were equally as delightful. It was truly a happiness-provoking project. All the dogs I met were excited to have their photos taken.” — Ashley Mackin-Solomon

State of District 1 address Jan. 25

To outline her future priorities, La Jollan and City Council member Barbara Bry will host her first State of the District address, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25 at University City High School, 6949 Genesee Ave. RSVP requested: — AMS

Spa La V debut postponed to Spring at La Valencia Hotel

The opening of Spa La V, the planned addition to the La Valencia Hotel, has been postponed to April. It was scheduled to open in December 2017. The Spa will be located in a 1905 house adjacent to the hotel.

“We encountered some issues during the initial demolition stages which necessitated some additional work on structural supports and foundations — this was not altogether unexpected of a building that is over 100 years old,” said La Valencia Hotel managing director Mark Dibella. “Currently, we’re in the framing and infrastructure phase with new plumbing, electrical, etc. in progress. Based on the added scope, we believe an opening in early April is on track.”

Dana Stallings has been brought on as spa director, and is drafting a menu of services. Stallings has served as spa director in a variety locations over 28 years, including luxury resorts such as La Costa Resort and Spa, and La Jolla’s The Spa at the Sporting Club at the Aventine and Beauty Kliniek in La Jolla. — AMS

Four Torrey student athletes nominated for national team

Four La Jolla Country Day School athletes have been nominated to join the 2018 McDonald’s All American basketball team: Kendal Ellenback, Bianca Notarainni, Kiera Oakry and Jayda Villareal.

The nationally compiled team will play Wednesday, March 28 from Atlanta’s Philips Arena and will be broadcast on ESPN2. McDonald’s All American Games will again benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities, which provides comfort and compassion to families with sick children so they are fully supported and able to be a part of their children’s care.

The nomination announcement was made after La Jolla Light deadline, but check out next week’s issue for the latest. — AMS

Country Day students will showcase work at MCASD

Through a collaboration with the Extended School Partnership program at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), students from La Jolla Country Day School’s Architecture & Technology course will present an exhibition of works they created, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18 at MCASD downtown, 1100 Kettner Blvd.

Inspired by the MCASD exhibition Memories of “Underdevelopment: Art and the Decolonial Turn in Latin America, 1960-1985,” and alongside their classroom’s focus on the intersection between art, architecture and technology, multiple students worked to use contemporary art as a vehicle for questioning day-to-day categorizations and realities regarding race, democracy and freedom. — AMS

La Jolla Lacrosse ready for 2018

Registration is now open for boys and girls in grades K-8 interested in joining La Jolla Lacrosse Club’s 2018 spring season.

Teams play their home games at Torrey Pines Elementary School and practice once or twice a week at fields in La Jolla and Pacific Beach. The season starts in mid-February and ends in mid-May.

Heather Ryan, La Jolla Lacrosse Club board member, said: “The La Jolla lacrosse community is a fun and close-knit group. Our youth families can frequently be seen in the stands at La Jolla High School supporting our high-school players. Elementary-school players provide halftime entertainment at home high-school games by playing during halftime on the big field under the lights. High-school players help run youth lacrosse demos during PE at Muirlands Middle School.

“Lacrosse is a fast-paced field sport that combines elements of soccer, field hockey and basketball. If your son or daughter wants to try a new sport in a fun environment, they should play lacrosse! Everyone who signs up makes a team.”

Learn more: or — AMS

SANDAG wants your opinions on its next exec director

As part of its nationwide search for a new leader, the board of directors for the San Diego Association of Governments seeks input from the community at a series of public meetings and through an online survey.

“One of the most important decisions the board will make this year is selecting a new executive director to lead this agency,” said board chair and Del Mar City Council member Terry Sinnott. “It is our goal to be inclusive in gathering input about the knowledge and skills this applicant must possess to do the job well.”

The North County Coastal meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thurs., Jan. 25 at Encinitas City Hall’s Council Chambers, 505 S. Vulcan Ave., Encinitas. Visit for the online survey and for more information. — CL

Leukemia event bowls strikes

In honor of the 10-year anniversary of his father’s passing, David Spiewak, an affiliate agent with the La Jolla office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, raised $6,500 for the San Diego Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through his Michael Spiewak Strikeout Leukemia Bowling Fundraiser event at East Tavern and Bowl.

“I started doing this to honor my father, and over the years have realized how many lives this event touches,” David said. “So many people from our office come out and participate in this fundraiser, which means so much to me.” — CL

Gala to benefit trauma care at Scripps Mercy Hospital

The 46th annual Mercy Ball, “Legacy and Leadership,” will be held 6 p.m. Saturday, March 10 at the Pendry Hotel, 550 J Street in San Diego. Featuring dinner, musical entertainment and a high-energy live auction, the gala will raise funds for lifesaving trauma care at Scripps Mercy Hospital and honor its staff and volunteers for three decades of critical care. The hospital is a county-designated trauma center, founded in 1890 by Mother Mary Michael Cummings and the Sisters of Mercy.

For tickets (from $600), call (858) 686-3568, e-mail or visit