La Jolla News Nuggets

Movie night at The Lot to benefit Las Patronas

All day Thursday, Nov. 12, The Lot movie theater will donate 20 percent of proceeds to Las Patronas, the La Jolla-based women’s philanthropy that raises funds for San Diego non-profits. From 6-10:30 p.m., The Lot will host a Las Patronas Night, with cocktails and appetizers followed by a screening of any available film for $65 — with 20 percent going to Las Patronas.

The Lot is at 7611 Fay Ave. (858) 777-0069.

T&T to tackle Torrey Pines Road traffic

La Jolla’s Traffic & Transportation advisory board will hear a presentation on traffic signal timing along Torrey Pines Road at its 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18 meeting at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.

The topic was introduced at the October meeting, but was tabled until presenters became available. T&T chair Dave Abrams said the extent of the discussion is not yet known, but he invited speakers from the city to give the board an update.

“When Fire Station Nine at the throat (where La Jolla Parkway turns into Torrey Pines Road) deploys its engines, they control the traffic signals, but the signals don’t automatically reset afterward,” Abrams said at the October meeting. This can cause additional backups and congestion. He also read a letter from the city that indicated staff is working on a solution. “We are in the process of installing special timing perimeters to help the traffic signal return to normal operation after the emergency vehicles preempt the signal timing,” it read.

Abrams added, “The boarder picture is how to address traffic on Torrey Pines Road, but there is something in the works called Adaptive Signal Timing, and the city is trying prototypes of this program with La Jolla streets being one (test area).” More information on this program will, hopefully, be heard during the presentation.

La Jolla represented at citywide speech contest

Toastmasters of La Jolla, an organization that helps to improve members’ public speaking skills, had some solid representation at this year’s Ignite San Diego competition, Oct. 22 at the San Diego Central Library. Event organizers invited 18 speakers to share what they were passionate about in five-minute speeches. La Jolla speakers were Sandeep Ponnuru, who gave a humor-based speech on “the difficulties of being a melon,” and Yasha Kharrati, 13, who impressed audiences with a speech on bipartisan politics.

Rowing Olympic medalist speaks to La Jolla High PTA

La Jolla High School’s PTA recently hosted a visit from two-time Olympic gold medalist, Susan Francia, who spoke to the group about the San Diego Rowing Club’s (SDRC) free Learn to Row Week, Nov. 16-20.

Francia, debuting the rowing club’s new video showcasing its juniors program, spoke about rowing’s benefits to high school students. Among the positives, she sees as the SDRC girls varsity coach are teamwork, lifetime friendships, the location of the club on Mission Bay, admission to top colleges, and even scholarships.

A 2004 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the USA Olympic eights that won gold in Beijing and London, Francia also won four world titles for the United States and was named U.S. Rowing’s athlete of the year in 2010. She headlines an accomplished team of coaches at the SDRC juniors program that is divided into boys and girls varsity (high school age students), as well as boys and girls middle school rowers.

Francia told the PTA group it is never too late to take up rowing, sharing with them that she spent much of her time on the bench in high school volleyball and basketball before finally taking up rowing as a sophomore in college. She noted that most of the team’s senior rowers are continuing their sport into top colleges such as Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, Cal and UCLA, even though some of them only started rowing one or two years ago.

The Learn to Row Week is intended to offer interested high school and middle school students the opportunity to try rowing for a week with no cost and no obligation. It features the SDRC coaches and is limited to 20 rowers to maximize coach to student ratios for best learning experience. Interested rowers or their parents can reserve one of the limited spots in the Learn to Row week by contacting SDRC director of rowing, Chris Callaghan, at (858) 352-8380 or