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La Jolla’s 2015 Year in Review: A Year of Advocacy

The Village of La Jolla has a movie theater again with the September 2015 opening of The Lot. Taking over a former site of Jonathan’s Market, the luxury cinema at 7611 Fay Ave. also contains a restaurant, bar and coffee lounge.
The Village of La Jolla has a movie theater again with the September 2015 opening of The Lot. Taking over a former site of Jonathan’s Market, the luxury cinema at 7611 Fay Ave. also contains a restaurant, bar and coffee lounge.
(Susan DeMaggio)

La Jolla has more than 10 community advisory groups that meet each month to address issues ranging from land-use to traffic. And it was a busy year for these groups and the myriad ad hoc committees, sub-committees and partnership committees that sprang from them. As soon as a community concern surfaced, a group was on the ready to tackle it.

Looking back on 2015, the volunteers that sit on these boards and dedicate their time to considering projects and problems, proved advocacy is alive and well in The Jewel. Here’s a review of this year’s community highlights.

JANUARY 2015

Some of the estimated 300 swimmers prior to the Polar Bear Plunge. (La Jolla Cove Swim Club’s annual New Year’s morning Polar Bear Plunge, La Jolla Shores Beach, Jan. 1, 2015)
Some of the estimated 300 swimmers prior to the Polar Bear Plunge. (La Jolla Cove Swim Club's annual New Year's morning Polar Bear Plunge, La Jolla Shores Beach, Jan. 1, 2015)
(Greg Wiest)
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Dive in: La Jolla Cove Swim Club hosts its annual Polar Bear Plunge Jan. 1, bringing 300 participants to La Jolla Shores for the 63-degree dip in the ocean.

McMansions: The issue of large, boxy home remodels on small lots that will dominate planning meeting discussions this year comes to the forefront when two projects before La Jolla Development Permit Review and La Jolla Shores Permit Review committees raise a few eyebrows.

La Jolla Cove “Stench” Calendar: Weekly updates about the permeating foul odor caused by sea lions and marine life. Updated Jan. 20, 2015.
La Jolla Cove "Stench" Calendar: Weekly updates about the permeating foul odor caused by sea lions and marine life. Updated Jan. 20, 2015.
(Daniel K. Lew)

This stinks! La Jolla Light launches its “Cove Stench calendar” to record daily whether a foul stench is reported at La Jolla Cove. The cause of the infamous stench distressing business owners, tourists and residents alike, is believed to be built up excrement from the growing sea lion population that has gathered there.

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Ranger Rye: Park Ranger Parish Rye, assigned to La Jolla’s shoreline, reports for duty. His patrol includes Tourmaline Park (on the border between La Jolla and Pacific Beach) and continues up to Torrey Pines Gliderport, covering everything in between — including Children’s Pool, La Jolla Cove, Scripps Park, Kellogg Park and smaller pocket parks.

Youth sports back: La Jolla Recreation Center revives its youth sports program, particularly youth basketball and flag-football. It’s been 10 years since such a program was available at the Center.

Offering updates on their volunteer boards and committees during La Jolla Town Council’s ‘State of La Jolla’ event Jan. 8 are: Tim Lucas, chair, La Jolla Shores Association; Todd Lesser, chair, La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board; Dan Allen, chair, La Jolla Parks & Beaches Inc.; Cindy Greatrex,
Offering updates on their volunteer boards and committees during La Jolla Town Council’s ‘State of La Jolla’ event Jan. 8 are: Tim Lucas, chair, La Jolla Shores Association; Todd Lesser, chair, La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board; Dan Allen, chair, La Jolla Parks & Beaches Inc.; Cindy Greatrex, vice-president, La Jolla Parks & Recreation Inc.; Claude-Anthony Marengo, president, La Jolla Village Merchants Association; Steve Haskins, president, La Jolla Town Council; Joe LaCava, president, La Jolla Community Planning Association. Photos by Susan DeMaggio
(Susan DeMaggio)

State of La Jolla: The Town Council presents the inaugural “State of La Jolla” Jan. 8, inviting advisory group leaders to explain what their respective organizations do (and have accomplished), as well as share their visions of La Jolla in the future.

Concussions: It comes to light in early January that last year a La Jolla High School football player sustained a concussion during a game, and reportedly was told to keep playing. The student reports not being able to attend a full day of school due to headaches. The assistant coach who kept the player in the game is dismissed from his position.

Crime spree: The Village experiences an uncharacteristic rash of armed robberies against commercial establishments and individuals during the 2014 holiday season. The perpetrators were never caught. In the month of January, they seemed to stop.

La Jolla Community Planning Association voted in favor of modifications to Monarch Cottages memory care facility proposed for 7630 Fay Ave. Plans now include an outdoor café that will be open to the public, added to assuage concerns about the project’s initial lack of retail connectivity in the com
La Jolla Community Planning Association voted in favor of modifications to Monarch Cottages memory care facility proposed for 7630 Fay Ave. Plans now include an outdoor café that will be open to the public, added to assuage concerns about the project’s initial lack of retail connectivity in the commercial zone.

Alzheimer’s facility: La Jolla Community Planning Association approves plans for the Monarch Cottage Alzheimer’s facility at 7630 Fay Ave. after much debate and special meetings.

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Projects please! La Jolla Community Planning Association announces nine projects it would like the city to fund in 2015-2016: revise La Jolla Shores Planned District Ordinance, incorporate La Jolla Community Plan into Land Development Code, increase code enforcement, seagull-proof trashcans, increase police presence, apply monthly bluff-cleaning treatments to reduce the Cove odor, install traffic calming measures, expand the sidewalk along Avenida de la Playa and revise the code addressing residential remodels.

Casers caught: Robbery suspects, unrelated to the commercial and on-person robberies in the Village, are arrested Jan. 16 with property from as many as eight victims. The burglars were casing the affected neighborhoods for unlocked cars, and stole surf equipment and electronics.

No religious centers in residential areas: La Jolla Shores Association approves language for the La Jolla Shores Planned District Ordinance that addresses religious institutions in the Shores. The recommendation includes striking religious buildings from residential zones.

La Jolla triathlete Glynn Turquand, pictured at another event, will travel to Cuba to compete in the Habana Camtri Triathlon, Jan. 24-25, 2015 in Havana.
La Jolla triathlete Glynn Turquand, pictured at another event, will travel to Cuba to compete in the Habana Camtri Triathlon, Jan. 24-25, 2015 in Havana.
(Courtesy)

Going to Cuba: La Jolla triathlete Glynn Turquand is one of 25 athletes from the U.S. to compete for the first time in the Havana Camtri Triathlon in Cuba, after President Obama relaxes travel regulations to Cuba.

Decades of service: La Jolla Kiwanis Club celebrates 90 years of service.

Running for office: La Jolla resident Joe LaCava announces his intent to run for the District 1 City Council seat in 2016, to fill the vacancy when Sherri Lightner terms out.

FEBRUARY 2015

School bomb threat: A bomb threat phoned into La Jolla Country Day School, prompts the cancellation of classes for the day. An arrest warrant is issued nearly two months later for William John Cooper, the parent of a Country Day student.

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Torrey Pines Road fix: Construction on the first phase of the Torrey Pines Corridor Project – designed to calm traffic on the thoroughfare – begins Feb. 9. Phase 1 includes clearing obstructions, repairing damaged sidewalks and constructing new ADA-compliant curb ramps.

Safer crosswalks: Stop signs are installed at Fay Avenue at West Muirlands, and crosswalks are painted, with the intent of improving safety for those who walk to the nearby La Jolla High School from that street.

Silver Street Town Homes: La Jolla’s Planned District Ordinance Committee gives its approval to the proposed Silver Street Village Town Homes complex. The project replaces the U.S. Postal Service annex on Silver Street at Draper Avenue, which is sold and closed.

These retail spaces on Prospect Street, which include the space rented by La Jolla Village Merchants Association’s Visitor Information Center, were sold by the family that owns La Jolla Cove Suites to Denver-based AIMCO, which also owns apartments at 400 Prospect St.
These retail spaces on Prospect Street, which include the space rented by La Jolla Village Merchants Association’s Visitor Information Center, were sold by the family that owns La Jolla Cove Suites to Denver-based AIMCO, which also owns apartments at 400 Prospect St.
(Ashley Mackin)

La Jolla Cove Suites sells: La Jolla Cove Suites and a swath of other commercial real estate – including the Red Roost and Red Rest cottages on Coast Boulevard and the commercial space above it on Prospect Street between Carlton Gallery (1144 Prospect St.) to Haagan Daaz ice cream (1172 Prospect St.) – is sold. The two commercial spaces leased by Starbucks and Pomegranate La Jolla at 1150 and 1152 Prospect St. (respectively) are not part of the sale. Additional details, including if and when certain businesses would close, are pending.

‘Tear Stains Be Gone’ by San Diego artist Jean Lowe was installed in February 2015 on the alley-facing side of 7661 Girard Ave. in La Jolla, as part of the ongoing “Murals of La Jolla’ public-art project.
‘Tear Stains Be Gone’ by San Diego artist Jean Lowe was installed in February 2015 on the alley-facing side of 7661 Girard Ave. in La Jolla, as part of the ongoing "Murals of La Jolla' public-art project.
(Ashley Mackin)

‘Tears’ mural goes up: The “Tear Stains Be Gone” mural, part of the Murals of La Jolla public art project, is installed on the alley-facing side of 7661 Girard Ave.

Juice it up: La Jolla Light explores the “juicing” craze and hears from the numerous operators of juice bars in La Jolla about their specialties. Which one is your favorite?

Sea lion expert gets a call: The City of San Diego hires a piniped expert to evaluate and propose a solution to the sea lion stench situation at La Jolla Cove. The city reserves more than $24,000 to contract with Doyle Hanan & Associates to “study and identity potential opportunities for changing the behavior or haul-out conditions of the sea lion colony now expanding along the La Jolla coastline” and file a report with the city. The results are pending.

Many sea lions at La Jolla Cove are lethargic and underweight. Here, sea lions rest close to the gate where people access the La Jolla Cove bluffs. During a similar sea lion starvation event in 2013, the malnourished and dehydrated marine mammals made their way up from the Cove into people’s yards,
Many sea lions at La Jolla Cove are lethargic and underweight. Here, sea lions rest close to the gate where people access the La Jolla Cove bluffs. During a similar sea lion starvation event in 2013, the malnourished and dehydrated marine mammals made their way up from the Cove into people's yards, in search of food. Pat Sherman

Sea lion pups starving: Experts report that 250 sea lion pups at La Jolla Cove show signs of severe dehydration and malnutrition — double the number from 2013.

Historicity denied: The San Diego Historical Resource Board votes 5-1 that the La Jolla estate once owned by publishing family James and Helen Copley is not historic. Six votes are required for historic designation. The decision is reached during the Feb. 26 meeting.

MARCH 2015

Alumni include: Bob Coates ’54, Bob Allen ’77, Gregg Holdgrafer ’83, Mark Wayne ’84, Mike Adams ’90, Gary Frank ’90, Rey Morales ’93, Jason Green ’94, Jacob Grosz ’95, Matt Grosz ’97, Jon Felfoldi ’00, Jack Boyl ’01, Ryan Guidi ’01, Paul Misleh ’01, Jeff Ponsford ’01, James Greaves ’03, Spencer Oli
Alumni include: Bob Coates ’54, Bob Allen ’77, Gregg Holdgrafer ’83, Mark Wayne ’84, Mike Adams ’90, Gary Frank ’90, Rey Morales ’93, Jason Green ’94, Jacob Grosz ’95, Matt Grosz ’97, Jon Felfoldi ’00, Jack Boyl ’01, Ryan Guidi ’01, Paul Misleh ’01, Jeff Ponsford ’01, James Greaves ’03, Spencer Oliver ’03, Kevin Jones ’07, Jack Peterson ’07, Blake Shelburne ’07, Trent Jemmett ’08, Bo Peterson ’08, Robbie Beathard ’09, Zac Zlatic ’10, Spencer Manlapig ’11, Michael Peterson ’11, Trevor shelburne ’11, Timothy Biers ’12

Hall of famers: La Jolla High School inducts four members to its Baseball Hall of Fame: Patrick Christensen (Class of 2009), Trent Jemmett (2008), Jacob Grosz (1995) and Peter Sefton (2008).

the new $456 million Prebys Cardiovascular institute in La Jolla is a 383,000-square-foot, seven-story facility off Genesee avenue. it includes six state-of-the-art operating rooms and three cardiac catheterization labs, with space to add three more.
the new $456 million Prebys Cardiovascular institute in La Jolla is a 383,000-square-foot, seven-story facility off Genesee avenue. it includes six state-of-the-art operating rooms and three cardiac catheterization labs, with space to add three more.
(Courtesy Scripps Health )

Scripps Cardiovascular center opens: After years of planning, Scripps Health’s new $456 million Prebys Cardiovascular Institute in La Jolla receives its first patients March 8.

Goodbye Barfly/Aroma: Barfly restaurant and nightclub, and its adjacent Aroma Café, at 909 Prospect St. close abruptly amid allegations of mismanagement. The space remains vacant throughout 2015.

Work begins to remove vegetation and lower the fence along Torrey Pines Road at Amalfi Drive to return La Jolla’s world-class ocean views to the public.
Work begins to remove vegetation and lower the fence along Torrey Pines Road at Amalfi Drive to return La Jolla’s world-class ocean views to the public.

Shrubs come down: Thanks largely to the urging of La Jollan Melinda Merryweather, work begins to remove the vegetation blocking the ocean view from the west side of Torrey Pines Road between Almalfi Drive and Prospect Street.

‘Sexy Cash’ by Mark Bradford was installed March 2015 as part of the ongoing “Murals of La Jolla” public-art series.
'Sexy Cash' by Mark Bradford was installed March 2015 as part of the ongoing "Murals of La Jolla" public-art series.
(Ashley Mackin)

Another mural goes up: The abstract work, “Sexy Cash,” is unveiled at 7540 Fay Ave. as part of the Murals of La Jolla public art project, under the auspices of the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library.

Cottage conundrum: Although it had been demolished years prior, the city is still discussing the historicity of La Jolla’s Windemere Cottage this month. The San Diego City Council votes to appeal a Superior Court decision in favor of the owners (who demolished the property). However, a City Attorney representative said it would take a year for the court to issue a decision on the city’s appeal.

Historical Society preservation: La Jolla Historical Society votes to designate (thus preserve) a property at 7993 Prospect Place, but is neutral on the status of its sister property at 7991 Prospect Place. San Diego Historical Resources Board votes to adopt the findings.

La Jolla Village Merchants Association Board member Nancy Warwick (in black) and Sparkle & Shine employee Nancy Deering pick up litter along Fay Avenue on April 1, the first day of the association’s new trash collection program.
La Jolla Village Merchants Association Board member Nancy Warwick (in black) and Sparkle & Shine employee Nancy Deering pick up litter along Fay Avenue on April 1, the first day of the association’s new trash collection program.
(Pat Sherman)

Merchants raise cleanup funds: In concert with with the Sparkle & Shine cart and banner cleanup project, La Jolla Village Merchants Association launches a fundraising campaign to raise money to employ a worker to clean up litter from Village sidewalks, gutter and planters.

Homeless in La Jolla: The Town Council hosts a forum on homelessness March 12, bringing Dolores Diaz, executive director of the San Diego Task Force on Homelessness, to speak about the issue.

Shores Association chair Tim Lucas (left) flips a coin (seen in rafters) to break a tie between Everyday California assistant manager Duke Jarboe (center) and Shores resident Shahar Compton.
Shores Association chair Tim Lucas (left) flips a coin (seen in rafters) to break a tie between Everyday California assistant manager Duke Jarboe (center) and Shores resident Shahar Compton.
(Ashley Mackin)

Heads or tails? La Jolla Shores Association settles its March election with a coin-flip, after 11 candidates run for 10 seats, and there is a tie for the final spot. The flip spurs an election challenge and later, a revision to the organization’s bylaws.

Sydney Davison of Bay Bird public relations, Davlyn Investments CEO Jon Williams and wife, Tammy Williams; San Diego City Council President Sherri Lightner and Davlyn Investments President Paul Kerr cut the ribbon marking La Plaza La Jolla’s opening.
Sydney Davison of Bay Bird public relations, Davlyn Investments CEO Jon Williams and wife, Tammy Williams; San Diego City Council President Sherri Lightner and Davlyn Investments President Paul Kerr cut the ribbon marking La Plaza La Jolla’s opening.

La Plaza (finally) opens: La Plaza La Jolla, the upscale shopping district on the corner of Wall Street and Girard Avenue, opens March 16. At its opening, the center’s sole tenant is Catania restaurant. Since then, eight more businesses have opened there.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer

Mayor meets Rotary: Mayor Kevin Faulconer is the guest of honor at the Torrey Pines Rotary Club meeting, where he addresses the fate of the San Diego Chargers, roadwork in La Jolla and other issues.

Full STEAM ahead: Muirlands Middle School presents its inaugural STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) forum, bringing 35 scientific professionals to speak with students about their respective fields.

Undergrounding plans: La Jolla Shores homeowners hear a presentation on the planned undergrounding work in their community. It will take two years to complete, moving power lines under the street, and replacing them with small utility boxes at select locations.

Ouch!: A 5-year-old boy is bitten by a sea lion March 22 at La Jolla Cove. The boy’s father reportedly let him approach a group of sea lions to pet one, when an adult sea lion turned around and bite the boy on the cheek. The boy’s father declines medical coverage and later takes him to the hospital.

20 years of science: Torrey Pines Elementary School has its 20th annual Science Discovery Day, and provides hands-on experiments for students.

New tree: La Jolla Rec Center replaces the 100-year-old stone pine tree that toppled in October.

APRIL 2015

Donors to La Jolla Village Merchants Association’s “Sparkle & Shine” campaign will have their names displayed on the bottom of Village banners.
Donors to La Jolla Village Merchants Association's "Sparkle & Shine" campaign will have their names displayed on the bottom of Village banners.

Time to shine: The first round of the Merchant’s Association “Sparkle & Shine” clean-up rolls out April 1. Bookstore owner Nancy Warwick and Sparkle & Shine employee Mary Deering push a cart around the Village to collect trash, and continue to do so several days a week.

City off the hook: A Superior Court Judge rejects claims the City of San Diego is liable for the offensive odors at La Jolla Cove. The ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed by La Jolla business owners that perceived a failure on the part of public officials to rid the community of the pervasive, detracting stench.

Restroom plans handed off: La Jollan Judy Adams Halter, who spearheaded the project to replace the Cove restroom facility, announces that the plans are complete and ready to be turned over to the city. Introduced in January 2014 and funded through public-private contributions, the plans were created after several public forums.

Artist rendering of the $62.5 million Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center (aka ‘The Conrad’), which La Jolla Music Society is building at 7600 Fay Ave. in La Jolla and scheduled to open in 2018.
Artist rendering of the $62.5 million Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center (aka 'The Conrad'), which La Jolla Music Society is building at 7600 Fay Ave. in La Jolla and scheduled to open in 2018.
(Dennis Allain)

Music Center plans unveiled: La Jolla Music Society reveals renderings and plans for The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, aka The Conrad, a $62.5 million, 500-seat facility and Music Society headquarters, coming to 7600 Fay Ave.

Silver Street Town Homes: La Jolla Community Planning Association narrowly approves the proposed Silver Street Town Homes complex.

David Marino (right) of Hughes Marino real estate commits $5,000 a year to fund La Jolla’s annual July 4 fireworks display at the Cove and raised $38,000 in commitments toward this year’s event. Listening in are George Hauer of George’s at the Cove restaurant, fireworks organizer Deborah Marengo an
David Marino (right) of Hughes Marino real estate commits $5,000 a year to fund La Jolla’s annual July 4 fireworks display at the Cove and raised $38,000 in commitments toward this year’s event. Listening in are George Hauer of George’s at the Cove restaurant, fireworks organizer Deborah Marengo and merchants association board member elsie Arredondo (seated).
(Pat Sherman)

Fireworks secured: David Marino of Hughes Marino commercial real estate firm donates $5,000 for the annual Fourth of July Fireworks, and secures $38,000 in commitments for future July 4th celebrations.

Sidewalk set: After being on the Bird Rock community “wish list” for more than 10 years, the sidewalk along La Jolla Hermosa Park is finally built.

Sea lion action call: La Jolla Town Council hosts a forum to explore all things sea lion, including its biology, habits, negative interaction with humans and possible water contamination. The Council forms a sub-committee to meet with local leaders, hoping to find a solution.

Women in leadership, part one: San Diego City Council President Sherri Lightner kicks off the La Jolla Woman’s Club “Women in Leadership” speaker series. The packed house learns about Lightner’s journey to politics and thoughts about how women can succeed.

Teddy Dykstra, a La Jolla High School student, is elated to take a freshly printed paperclip from the 3-D printer at La Jolla Library.
Teddy Dykstra, a La Jolla High School student, is elated to take a freshly printed paperclip from the 3-D printer at La Jolla Library.

New library labs: La Jolla Riford Library opens its 3-D printing lab and biotech lab, becoming the first public library in the country with such facilities. With it, the library begins offering monthly 3-D printing workshops and regular biotech workshops.

Business Association forms: Hoping to be more inclusive of the myriad businesses on Avenida de la Playa that are not retail-based, the La Jolla Shores Business Association forms, replacing the La Jolla Shores Merchant’s Association.

Science Day in Bird Rock: Bird Rock Elementary School offers its first STEAM Day, to provide students with the chance to conduct experiments and introduce them to careers in science.

MAY 2015

Deadline set: La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory board gives the City of San Diego until May 30 to take action on the increasing sea lion presence at La Jolla Cove, and the problems therein. Citing the noxious smell and increasing interaction between sea lions and humans, the board urges the city to take action, and presents a list of possible options. Parks & Beaches also asks the city to increase trash pickup at Marine Street beach.

Children’s Pool opens: At the end of harbor seal pupping season, May 15, people are once again allowed at Children’s Pool (aka South Casa Beach), but under the close watch of rangers who make sure they do not get too close to harbor seals resting there.

No to retaining wall: La Jolla Community Planning Association roundly rejects the City of San Diego’s plan to build a 25-foot-tall retaining wall along Torrey Pines Road.

Murals of La Jolla series installed ‘Blah Blah Blah’ by Mel Bochner to a building at 1111 Prospect St. in May 2015.
Murals of La Jolla series installed ‘Blah Blah Blah’ by Mel Bochner to a building at 1111 Prospect St. in May 2015.
(Courtesy / Light File)

Another mural goes up: “Blah Blah Blah” by Mel Bochner is installed on Prospect Street as part of the Murals of La Jolla public art project.

Collective action on sea lions: La Jolla leaders, representing La Jolla Town Council, La Jolla Parks and Beaches, and La Jolla Village Merchant’s Association, form a committee to meet with San Diego officials, including Mayor Kevin Faulconer, to address the sea lion situation at La Jolla Cove.

Tackling crime at Marine Street: La Jolla Town Council partners with Barber Tract Neighborhood Association in efforts to improve safety at the one-time pristine Marine Street Beach. During the Town Council meeting, Barber Tract residents report increasing drinking and drug use at the beach. A sub-committee forms to keep an eye on the situation.

Shores Association settles challenge: La Jolla Shores Association has a special meeting to address a challenge to its most recent election. Following a tie for 10th place, the board flipped a coin to determine a winner, an act that was challenged. The results of the flip stand and the board forms a sub-committee to update the bylaws to address how to handle a tie.

To a cleaner Village: La Jolla Village Merchant’s Association requests the City of San Diego amend its special event permit to include additional trashcans that will be removed the Monday after the event. Previously, required trashcans were removed immediately after the event, but as event-goers remained in the Village in the hours following an event, there would still be overflowing trash and litter.

20 years of women’s health: Howell Foundation for Women’s Health announces the programming for its 20th year celebration, which includes speakers on various health topics, a happiness lectures and more.

Social Service League of La Jolla past president Lois Stanton, League House manager Ellen Seaborn and SSL past president Meredith Fedderson in front of the League House on Olivetas Avenue.
Social Service League of La Jolla past president Lois Stanton, League House manager Ellen Seaborn and SSL past president Meredith Fedderson in front of the League House on Olivetas Avenue.

60 years of service: The Social Service League of La Jolla and its League House on Olivetas Avenue celebrate 60 years of service with a party and proclamation from the city.

Shauna Smith moved into this studio apartment in the Village, June 22. Rent and utilities have been prepaid for one year while she works to get her life back on track.
Shauna Smith moved into this studio apartment in the Village, June 22. Rent and utilities have been prepaid for one year while she works to get her life back on track.
(Pat Sherman)

Shelter for Shauna: Under the auspice of life counseling group Soul Wise, a group of La Jolla women organize to find a housing solution for a homeless intersex woman named Shauna (formerly Sean), known for her frequent walks around La Jolla. The group launches a crowdfunding page to raise money.

Mansionization group forms: The ad hoc committee on residential zoning (aka “mansionization” ) forms to focus on the issue of developers building houses too large for the lots and out of character with the neighborhood. The committee’s goal is to research a solution amenable to builders and homeowners.

JUNE 2015

Scripps Meander opens: Scripps Institution of Oceanography opens the Scripps Coastal Meander Trail June 2. The new 380-foot bluffside trail connects two overlooks.

Cultural opportunities: La Jolla Town Council has its Art & Culture forum June 4, to explore the various cultural venues, offerings and institutions found in La Jolla. Fittingly, the event is held at Warwick’s Books – one of the oldest continuously running family-owned and operated bookstore in the country.

Thousands raised for Shauna: More than $7,000 is raised in one week to help a homeless intersex woman named Shauna, cover a three-month stay at a hotel and the first and last month’s rent for an apartment. She moves into a studio apartment, paid for and supplied by donations, in late June.

YMCA remodel: The $1.7 million remodel and partial restoration of the YMCA Firehouse on Herschel Avenue gets underway. The facility was last renovated in the 1980s.

Fresh coat of paint: Leading up to its July centennial celebration, La Jolla Recreation Center at 615 Prospect St. gets a fresh coat of paint. The seashell pink is replaced with sandy beige, a shade closer to its original, when the facility opened in 1915.

CIF slips away: La Jolla High School Vikings baseball team – including 10 seniors – make it all the way to CIF Division II Championship, but ultimately lose to San Ysidro. They end the season 24-9.

Women in Leadership, part two: San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis continues the speaker series at La Jolla Woman’s Club, sharing her views on how backup plans have been instrumental to her success.

Coach raises $18K: La Jolla High School water polo coach Tom Atwell completes a 110-mile run to raise money for cancer research. In total, Atwell raises $18,000.

La Jollan rides cross-country: La Jolla cyclist Bob Robinson rides across the country, from Oceanside to Maryland, as part of the Race Across America ultra-marathon. The event raises $2.5 million for select charities.

Preservation awards: La Jollans Ione Stiegler and Joseph Reid of IS Architecture, John Norris of St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, and Anne and Richard Krause are among those San Diegans honored with 2015 People in Preservation Awards for their efforts to keep or restore historic properties.

Year 1 and growing strong: La Jolla National League of Young Men – a character development organization for boys in grades 9-12 that engages then in philanthropic and cultural experiences – concludes its inaugural year.

Coming together: More than 30 people gather at La Jolla’s Prince Chapel by the Sea African Methodist Episcopal Church after the tragic race-related shooting at a Charleston, South Carolina church. Attendees pray and hear words from representatives of several faith communities in La Jolla.

Rope renewed: California Coastal Commission votes to renew the permit allowing the rope guideline at Children’s Pool for four additional years. The rope is designed to separate humans from harbor seals during seal pupping season, Dec. 15-May 15.

Beach cleanups begin: Members of the Limited Off-Leash Access at the beach (LOLA), proponents of off-leash hours for dogs, begin a series of beach cleanups.

JULY 2015

‘Alternative’ parade under review: La Jolla Traffic & Transportation advisory group hears – and critiques – plans for a second La Jolla holiday parade proposed by the San Diego County Diversity & Inclusiveness Group (SDCDIG). According to spokesperson Howard Singer, the parade would be held the week after the 58th annual La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival and would be called La Jolla Community Parade & Holiday Festival.

Mansionization meetings begin: The ad hoc committee formed to address mansionization held its first meeting July 1 with a crowd of 40 people at La Jolla’s Riford Library.

Lost tennis courts: With the planned renovation of the YMCA at 8355 Cliffridge Ave., it’s announced the facility would lose its tennis courts and basketball – much to the chagrin of faithful users.

Lifesaving gift: Philanthropist Conrad Prebys gives $100 million to Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. As such, the institute is renamed Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute.

Firefighter retires: Thirty-five year firefighter Brian Kidwell closes his career in La Jolla at Station 13. He was one of the rescuers after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

50 citations: San Diego Police Officer Larry Hesselgesser reports the Beach Team wrote 50 citations in June for underage drinking at Marine Street Beach, and are prepared for the influx of visitors during the summer.

Welcome, Ms. Ukert: La Jolla High School welcomes new vice-principal Cindy Ukert. She brings with her a background in special education, and plans to draw from her expertise to individualize the learning experience.

New athletic facility: Construction begins on La Jolla High School’s $12 million project to upgrade the athletic stadium, including the synthetic turf, running track, bleachers, stadium restrooms and more.

Pitch to ditch the PDO: Claude-Anthony Marengo, a principal with Marengo-Morton Architects, begins his pitch to eliminate La Jolla’s Planned District Ordinance (PDO) or blueprint for design. The 1984 document, he argues is “antiquated” and “full of holes.”

City Attorney visits: La Jolla Town Council presents City Attorney Jan Goldsmith to speak about his job and answer audience questions.

City fails to meet deadline: The City of San Diego is not able to take action on the sea lion situation at La Jolla Cove, per the request of La Jolla Parks & Beaches.

Host to India: La Jolla serves as the host town for 338 delegates from India for the 2015 Special Olympics in Los Angeles. The nine-day event brings 7,000 athletes from 177 countries to compete in 25 events.

Finland bound: The gymnastics team at La Jolla YMCA travels to Helsinki, Finland to compete in an international competition.

End of the cross controversy? Mt. Soledad Memorial Association in July 2015 purchased the land where its veterans memorial is situated, making it private land and no longer government property.
End of the cross controversy? Mt. Soledad Memorial Association in July 2015 purchased the land where its veterans memorial is situated, making it private land and no longer government property.
(Ashley Mackin / La Jolla Light)

Mt. Soledad Memorial land sells: The U.S. Department of Defense sells the half-acre parcel atop Mount Soledad – and the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial on which it sits – to the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association.

New books on the way: Thanks to a grant from the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation, La Jolla’s Riford Library establishes the Scripps Express Youth collection. Two-thirds of the collection is educational materials and the remaining third is the hottest new releases.

100 years strong: La Jolla Recreation Center celebrates its centennial on a sunny July afternoon, with speakers, cake and afternoon festivities.

‘The Conrad’ parking plans presented: Organizers of The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center present their plans for parking revelent to the proposed 500-seat entertainment center.

Museum expansion gets first OK: La Jolla’s Development Permit Review committee approves plans for the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego expansion at 700 Prospect St.

AUGUST 2015

Village parking examined: In connection with La Jolla Traffic & Transportation, La Jolla Coastal Access & Parking Board forms a sub-committee to explore whether the Village should have uniform parking time limits. Proponents argue the varied times are confusing to visitors and Village-goers, and the system by which time zones are adjusted needs to be updated.

Pole concerns: La Jolla residents grow vocal in their concern over city-approved SCADA poles, which started popping up throughout La Jolla communities. These are installed with approval via the Spectrum Act, which gives the city carte blanche to install the poles as deemed needed.

Mapping it out: A group of teenage surfers embark on a project to map the bathymetry (water depths and ocean floor patterns) of WindanSea Beach.

40-year reunion: La Jolla Bobby Sox softball team holds a reunion to celebrate 40 years since they made it to the National Championships.

Mansionization action: After meetings of feedback gathering, the ad hoc committee on residential family zoning, aka mansionization, begins its research for a solution, bringing other city codes under the microscope and drafting proposals.

Hillary Clinton stops in La Jolla: While on the campaign trail, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has a fundraising event in La Jolla.

Welcome Dr. Krahn: La Jolla Country Day School appoints Gary Krah, Ph.D. as head of school.

$31K raised for library: Volunteer Connie Unger is recognized for her efforts toward selling donated and used books to raise money for La Jolla’s Riford Library — $31,000 over 11 years!

Safer crosswalks: A blinking lighted crosswalk is installed across La Jolla Boulevard at Westbourne Street, at the request of residents.

DPR approves The Conrad: La Jolla Development Permit Review committee also gives the green light to The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, helping them one step closer to a clean sweep.

Shark sighting: An “aggressive” hammerhead shark is spotted two miles off La Jolla Shores by kayakers, prompting a temporary beach closure. Kayakers report, and film, the shark circling their kayaks and bumping into them, and say the shark followed them as they paddled to shore.

SEPTEMBER 2015

T&T denies alternative parade: La Jolla’s Traffic & Transportation advisory board denies the required street closures for a proposed alternative parade to the La Jolla Christmas Parade.

Another mural goes up: “Is All That It Proves” mural, replicating an eye chart with a philosophical message, is installed as part of the Murals of La Jolla public art project.

Jeweler convicted: La Jolla jeweler Karl Winchell, accused of embezzlement and fraud, is convicted of 10 felony counts, including fraudulent appropriation/embezzlement and grand theft.

Fire at Sammy’s: A two-alarm fire breaks out at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza on Pearl Street, prompting a temporary closure of the restaurant. It remains closed throughout 2015 and early 2016.

La Jollans honored for rescues: Two La Jolla residents, one professional lifeguard and one citizen, are recognized by San Diego Fire-Rescue for their part in harrowing recues. John Maher receives the Seasonal Lifeguard of the Year award and Jacob Petty receives the Citizen Rescue of the Year award.

Interfaith gathering: Representatives from two La Jolla churches – La Jolla Presbyterian and Prince Chapel by the Sea African Methodist Episcopal – announce an interfaith concert and barbecue to bring together people from La Jolla’s different faith communities in friendship. In October, some 200 people attend the event.

Short-term vacation rentals study: San Diego Community Planners Committee takes up the contentious issue of short-term vacation rentals. They vote in favor of home-sharing (in which the homeowner is on site and rents a room) but oppose whole house rentals.

Information Center closes: La Jolla Village Information Center at 1162 Prospect St. closes its doors for good. The Merchant’s Association used the facility as a hub from which to greet visitors and provide information. The center was open since January 2013.

First adaptive surf contest: La Jolla Shores is the home to the inaugural International Adaptive Surf Championship. More than 60 competitors with disabilities (from 18 countries) participate.

76 station project gets OK: La Jolla Development Permit Review committee approves plans to develop a mixed-use facility and condo project at 801 Pearl St. where there is currently a 76 gas station.

10 threats phoned in: San Diego Unified School District experiences an “unprecedented” threat that results in 10 high schools, including La Jolla High School, going on lockdown.

Flagraisers honored: Mt. Soledad Memorial volunteers, who faithfully raise and lower the flag each day, retire from service. The lighting installed at the Memorial, which allows for the flagpole to be illuminated at all times, eliminates the need for the daily ritual.

Another mural goes up: “Playing La Jolla (for all its worth)” mural is installed as part of the Murals of La Jolla public art project.

New Music Society leader: Kristen Lancino is named La Jolla Music Society president and artistic director, replacing Christopher Beach, who will continue on as a consultant.

Lifeguard fundraiser: Lifeguards and government representatives gather at WindanSea Beach to kick off a fundraiser for injured lifeguard Gareth “Chappy” Chapman, who was hurt during a rescue and cannot work.

Wedding Bowl gets love: La Jolla Boy Scouts help clean out of the Wedding Bowl, its dead vegetation, as part of the Whale View Point project.

Showtime! Luxury movie theater “The Lot” opens on Fay Avenue in La Jolla.

OCTOBER 2015

Fashion scene: Fashion Week San Diego holds its signature event, an outdoor runway show, down Wall Street. Executive director Allison Andrews says the event would ‘definitely’ return next year.

Parkway cleanups set: An anonymous La Jolla donor provides the necessary funds to start a six-month pilot program to clean up La Jolla Parkway. The cleanups supplement monthly cleanups the city conducts.

Conrad approved: La Jolla Community Planning Association gives the final approval to the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center aka The Conrad, sending the La Jolla Music Society project to the city with unanimous support from La Jolla’s advisory groups.

City Council District 1 candidates Barbara Bry, Ray Ellis and Joe LaCava
City Council District 1 candidates Barbara Bry, Ray Ellis and Joe LaCava
(Light File)

Candidates forum: La Jolla Town Council hosts a standing-room-only forum for the three candidates vying for the City Council District 1 seat to be vacated by Sherri Lightner in 2016: Barbara Bry, Ray Ellis and Joe LaCava.

Another successful art fest! The La Jolla Art & Wine Festival brings art lovers in droves to Girard Avenue. Proceeds benefit La Jolla schools. Its BraveCort Brew Festival and stein-holding contest raises funds for pediatric cancer research.

New Aquarium chief: UC San Diego alumnus Harry Helling is named the Birch Aquarium executive director.

MAD review: Bird Rock Community Council reviews its Maintenance Assessment District’s (MAD) successes as it drafts the 2017 budget.

Trial to proceed: A federal judge rules that a civil trial should proceed to address paraplegic swimmer Jack Robertson’s concerns of ADA-access at Children’s Pool. Robertson would like the city to build an ADA-compliant ramp to the sand.

Ways to give: La Jolla Shores Association begins exploring ways to accept tax-deductible donations, hoping to generate more donations.

New Cove tower: After a series of unexpected delays, the La Jolla Cove lifeguard tower opens Oct. 19. Lifeguards take possession soon after.

Valet parking: In a request that would ultimately open the door to a broader discussion about valet parking in the Village, Eddie V’s management asks Traffic & Transportation for more public valet in front of the restaurant. They were granted two additional spaces.

Las Patronas starts 70th year: At a luncheon, the women’s philanthropy group Las Patronas kicks off its 70th year with seven new members. The theme for its 2016 Jewel Ball will be Shangri-La.

Fundraising first: La Jolla High School presents the inaugural “Tangle in the Tank,” a fundraiser for Susan G. Komen San Diego Foundation for breast cancer research. The Viking football team challenges the water polo team to a water polo match, with the water polo team sinking the football team 22-21.

High school benefit: The Taste of La Jolla food tour nets $18,000 for the La Jolla High School Greatest Needs Fund.

NOVEMBER 2015

Focus on the Wedding Bowl: Organizers of Whale View Point Enhancement Project decide to focus efforts on the Wedding Bowl at Cuvier Park, including re-vegetating the area. La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory group announces its “wish list” of projects the city should fund.

San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman
San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman
(Ashley Mackin)

Women in Leadership, part three: San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman concludes the Women in Leadership speaker series at La Jolla Woman’s Club, sharing her thoughts on how being open-minded helped her climb the career ladder.

Polio papers: The sons of polio vaccine inventor Jonas Salk donate his papers, recordings and artifacts to UC San Diego for preservation and display.

Capt. Mark Hanten, pictured in front of the Northern Division station, arrived as the division’s new head in March.
Capt. Mark Hanten, pictured in front of the Northern Division station, arrived as the division’s new head in March.
(James Palen)

Meet Capt. Hanten: Police Captain Mark Hanten, whose Northern Division jurisdiction includes La Jolla, is profiled in La Jolla Light.

New merchants join board: La Jolla Village Merchant’s Association welcomes members: Adam Barno of Dick’s Liquor, Brett Murphy of La Jolla Sports Club, Ike Fazzio of San Diego Fly Rides and Christophe Cevasco of Eddie V’s.

Lovlier La Jolla coming: La Jolla Community Foundation announces it is establishing “Enhance La Jolla,” a 501(c)(3) that would manage a Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) to keep La Jolla clean. More information can be expected in early 2016.

‘Adaptive Signal’ on the way: It’s announced at a Traffic & Transportation group meeting that the city would be testing “adaptive signal timing” along Torrey Pines Road to, hopefully, ease traffic congestion.

Coronado Code? The ad hoc committee formed to address “mansionization” in La Jolla learns of the Coronado building code, and how it could be used to reduce the number of large boxy houses in La Jolla.

On a mission: La Jolla Rotary members announce they would be traveling to Haiti to build a chicken coop for a village. They depart in March.

Women of Dedication: Four La Jolla women were named by the Salvation Army as “Women if Dedication” for their gifts of time and talent. They are: Valerie Cooper, Karin Donaldson, Charlotte Perry and Lise Wilson.

DECEMBER 2015

Package theft prevention: San Diego Police Captain Mark Hanten gives tips to the Bird Rock Community Council on theft prevention. Chiefly: do not leave gifts and boxes in plain sight, always lock your car, have a system so packages are not left unattended all day, and report casing to the non-emergency police line at (619) 531-2000.

Local Scouts lead the way at the 2015 La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015.
Local Scouts lead the way at the 2015 La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015.
(Greg Wiest)

Christmas Parade success: La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival Dec. 6 wraps up its 58th extravaganza with thousands of attendees.

Short-term vacation rentals: San Diego Planning Commission takes up the hot-button issue of short-term vacation rentals, and holds a six-hour hearing to discuss a proposal by City Councilmember Laurie Zapf. They did not vote at the December meeting, instead recommending the proposal be re-worked before casting a vote.

Hold the pickle: The Sandwich Club of La Jolla, a 30-year fixture on Fay Avenue, closes.

Dancing the night away: The San Diego Dancing with the Stars fundraiser brings local celebrities to the dance floor at the La Jolla Hilton. The event raises thousands for San Diego Police Historical Association and San Diego Family Justice Center. Each dancer wins a trophy for a certain skill – most entertaining or audience favorite – without naming one winner.

Midway Bluff repair begins: The long-awaited Midway Bluff repair project quietly gets underway. The eroded bluffside was fenced off years ago to keep people at a safe distance; the project will stabilize the cliff and restore a lookout.

Lightner re-elected president: La Jolla resident and District 1 City Councilmember Sherri Lightner was re-elected as San Diego City Council president.

Michelle Canale
Michelle Canale
(Ashley Mackin)

Fire Capt. Canale retires: San Diego Fire-Rescue Captain Michelle Canale ends her 20 years of service at La Jolla’s Fire Station 13.

December 2015 saw the opening of a new ‘Y’ in the Village of La Jolla with the Shepherd YMCA Firehouse. The facility at 7877 Herschel Ave. renovated a historic fire station into a modern fitness-and-activities center.
December 2015 saw the opening of a new ‘Y’ in the Village of La Jolla with the Shepherd YMCA Firehouse. The facility at 7877 Herschel Ave. renovated a historic fire station into a modern fitness-and-activities center.
(La Jolla Light File)

New Village YMCA opens: Shepherd YMCA Firehouse in La Jolla at 7877 Herschel Ave. opens with a celebratory grand opening Dec. 9. The facility sports modern exercise equipment and expanded rooms for classes.

Survey says … La Jolla Village Merchant’s Association member Elsie Arredondo announces the results of a survey on what businesses could thrive in the Village – and her committee’s plans to recruit them. According to the data, more restaurants and grocery stores are desired.

Tough talk on sea lions: La Jolla Town Council sets a meeting to discuss the findings of a committee formed to explore a solution to the sea lion situation at La Jolla Cove. The meeting will 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12 at the Community Center, 6811 La Jolla Blvd.

Maeve Rochford (center) shares her baking championship victory with the Sugar and Scribe staff.
Maeve Rochford (center) shares her baking championship victory with the Sugar and Scribe staff.
(Daniel Solomon)
La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee (DPR) at its Dec. 15 meeting approved plans to demolish Su Casa restaurant and an adjacent apartment complex at La Jolla Boulevard and Playa Del Sur Street, and replace them with a two-story mixed-use building, two-story residential building, and three-s
La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee (DPR) at its Dec. 15 meeting approved plans to demolish Su Casa restaurant and an adjacent apartment complex at La Jolla Boulevard and Playa Del Sur Street, and replace them with a two-story mixed-use building, two-story residential building, and three-story residential building with an underground parking garage.
(Daniel K. Lew)

Sweet ending: La Jolla baker and Sugar and Scribe owner Maeve Rochford wins the nationally televised Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship.

Restaurant demo gets first OK: La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee gives the first green light for the “Su Casa project” a proposal to demolish the restaurant and replace it with a mixed-use building. However, the board cites several traffic concerns as it passes the project along to the La Jolal Community Planning Association for review.

S-Curve project gets final push: La Jollan Tom Morgan gives $25,000 to complete the WindanSea S-Curve project.

School suspensions low: Compared to other San Diego schools, La Jolla schools have far fewer suspensions and expulsions, it is announced at the December La Jolla Cluster Association meeting.


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