Don Breitenberg receives Bronze Star

Donald Breitenberg of La Jolla finally got his Bronze Star medal on Dec. 21 — more than seven decades after he parachuted into France in the days leading up to D-Day in World War II. Breitenberg was 17 years old when he joined the U.S. Army in March 1942. He went on to fight in the Battle of the Bulge and help liberate a German concentration camp.

52nd District U.S. Congressmember Scott Peters pinned on the medal during a ceremony in the San Diego congressman’s office. “Getting our San Diego World War II veterans the recognition they have earned is the very least we can do to honor our greatest generation and the sacrifices they made for our nation,” Peters said Monday in a statement. “I am glad that my office and I were able to make this possible. I encourage other veterans and their families to reach out if they need help getting the benefits or recognition they earned through their service.”

Breitenberg reached out to Peters in October after reading a news report that U.S. infantrymen who served in Europe are eligible for the Bronze Star. Breitenberg also earned the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge during his time in uniform.

In April, he was one of 14 San Diego World War II veterans who were bestowed the Legion of Honor medal. It’s an award from the people of France to American soldiers who helped liberate that country. After Monday’s ceremony, Breitenberg said about the new medal, “It just opens up a lot of doors and memories.”

Parks & Beaches sets special bylaw meeting

At the request of several members, the La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory group will hold a meeting 4:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 4 at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. The purpose of the meeting will be to review its proposed bylaw changes before voting on them at the regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The board regularly meets 4:30 p.m. fourth Mondays at La Jolla Rec Center.

La Jolla Festival of the Arts leaving La Jolla

After 29 years, La Jolla Festival of the Arts is getting both a new name and a new location, becoming the San Diego Festival of the Arts at the Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego, June 11-12, 2016. With interactive fountains, intimate gardens, harbor views and access to public transit, the 2016 San Diego Festival of the Arts will be the first art event held at the 1600 Pacific Highway venue.

Tickets start at $11 with proceeds benefitting adaptive sports programs for San Diegans with disabilities. To date, the festival, which was held at Warren Field at UC San Diego under the auspices of Torrey Pines Kiwanis Club, has raised nearly $2 million in support of more than 30 programs, through which more than 40,000 people with disabilities have participated. More than $90,000 was dispersed to 24 organizations from 2015 proceeds alone, benefiting over 12,000 individual San Diegans.

App Challenge is on

Kiera Galloway, representing Congressmember Scott Peters, said at the Dec. 10 La Jolla Town Council meeting that the Congressional App Challenge is underway. Open to all high school students, the challenge invites participants to create and exhibit their software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet or computer devices on the platform of the contestants’ choice.

“If you know a high school student that codes and would like to create an app, you can submit an application before Jan. 15, 2016 or call our office. If you win, your app will by on display in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. and you will be honored by (Congressmember Peters).”

Bird Rock Council raising funds for crime-watch signs

Bird Rock Community Council is accepting donations to replace the 53 existing Neighborhood Watch signs around the Bird Rock community. The current signs are more than 10 years old, and most are faded and hard to read. Police report that faded signs and signs in poor condition are an indication of an inactive Neighborhood Watch program, according to the BRCC newsletter. Each sign is $42 and includes the necessary hardware and installation by volunteers.

Donations are payable to “BRCC.” Mail or deliver the donation payment and form found within the BRCC newsletter found at by Jan. 15, 2016 to: Bird Rock Community Council, 5666 La Jolla Blvd., PMB 168, La Jolla, CA 92037

Scripps La Jolla launches knitting club

Scripps La Jolla Volunteer Services will launch a new knitting class, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. Location given upon RSVP at (858) 626-6994.

A Scripps Occupational Hand Therapist will teach participants how to knit baby beanies for newborns in the hospital, with craft unit volunteers providing personal, entry-level instruction. Relaxation, creativity, feeling of accomplishment; people knit for many different reasons. Using your hands to complete fine motor skills like baby beanie knitting stimulates brain activity and helps keep the mind going. Any skill level from beginner to experienced are welcome.

La Jolla Library to observe holiday hours

San Diego Public Libraries, including La Jolla’s Riford Library, will observe special holiday hours. While closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, the Riford Library at 7555 Draper Ave. will be open:

9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 24

9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 26

12:30-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 27

9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28

11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 29

11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30

9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31

Regular hours resume Jan. 2, 2016. Hours posted at

City offers El Niño preparedness page

The City of San Diego has created a homepage for residents in preparation for the predicted El Niño storms, it was announced at the Dec. 3 La Jolla Community Planning Association meetings. The page includes tips on what to do before the rain comes and when it arrives, as well as resources at the city, county and federal level. Find it at

Have a La Jolla news tip? Call La Jolla Light at (858) 875-5950 or e-mail and a related, high-resolution photo should be attached if possible.