La Jolla News Nuggets


New Lifeguard chief chosen

The City of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) has appointed James Gartland its new lifeguard division chief. Gartland has served as interim chief for the past six months.

“We have some of the best public-safety professionals in the country so it should come as no surprise that we hired one of our own to lead our lifeguard division,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “Chief Gartland has protected San Diego residents and visitors enjoying our beautiful beaches and bays for more than two decades and he is the right choice to lead our lifeguard division into the future.”

Gartland replaces former lifeguard chief Rick Wurtz, who retired in March after 30 years with SDFD.

Said Gartland: “Attaining this position has been a dream of mine and I am honored to have been selected.”

La Jolla researcher wins $450k breast-cancer grant

The Susan G. Komen breast-cancer organization has granted nearly $450k to Svasti Haricharan, assistant professor at La Jolla’s Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, to develop a diagnostic assay predictive of which ER+ breast-cancer patients may become resistant to hormone therapies.

“Komen continues its long-standing investment in the next generation of scientists, to ensure that brilliant researchers whose careers are just beginning have funding to pursue their novel ideas,” said Komen chief scientific advisor Jennifer Pietenpol.

The grants are part of $26 million in new investment that Komen recently announced to find solutions for aggressive and metastatic breast cancers.

Party at the Pantai!

On Sept. 25, Laurnie Durisoe held a VIP party in the courtyard of the Pantai Inn, the luxury hotel she owns at 1003 Coast Blvd., to roll out an adventure travel package to be promoted to travel agents at the San Diego Travel & Adventure Show, Jan. 19-20 at the San Diego Convention Center.

“Sand and Splash” will offer outdoorsy tourists ATV rides in Baja California through Academy Rentals and Tours, kayaking in La Jolla through Everyday California Adventures & Apparel, and accommodations at the Pantai.

“It’s exciting to showcase La Jolla as part of a travel adventure product,” Durisoe said. “People travel from all over the world to La Jolla to enjoy the ocean that’s right on our doorstep.”

St. James launches service for young families

St. James By-the-Sea Episcopal Church is starting an alternative church service aimed at families with young children. Called “Topsy Turvy,” it meets 5-6:30 p.m. on first Saturdays with songs, Bible stories, crafts and a kid-friendly potluck meal, with the goal of being “a silly, messy, joyful new way of doing church.”

The next event will be led by the Rev. Mark Hargreaves at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 in the parish hall, 6743 Prospect St.

Spokesperson Robin Taylor said of the service: “We have found that the tradition of Sunday morning worship doesn’t necessarily fit into the lives of modern families, which are often complicated by sports, birthday parties, etc. Families are still searching for spiritual meaning and transmission of faith-stories, but in a less structured way. We think ‘Topsy Turvy’ will meet them where they are, both logistically and spiritually.”

For more details, call (858) 459-3421 or e-mail

Fine kettle of Fishman winners

La Jolla’s Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute handed out its annual Fishman Awards to postdocs “who have made extraordinary efforts and encourages their passion for careers in science.” This year’s recipients — announced during a ceremony at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine — were Usue Etxaniz Irigoien, Koen Galenkamp, Martin-Sancho and Ee Phie Tan.

The career development awards provide a $10,000 stipend for postdocs to attend workshops and travel to national and international conferences to learn the latest developments in their research fields.

Since the fund’s inception, 64 recipients have been awarded.

Dog microchips ahoy!

The San Diego Humane Society is microchipping San Diego dogs for free during Saturdays in October. The promotion comes in advance of Halloween, when shelters typically see a substantial increase in lost dogs due to creepy costumes and opening doors for trick-or-treaters.

“We’re offering free microchips so people can protect their pets and reunite with them faster should they become lost,” says Beau Archer, VP of animal welfare for San Diego Humane Society.

Dogs will be chipped for free every Saturday in October, 8-10 a.m., at the Humane Society’s San Diego Campus, 5500 Gaines St. No appointments will be taken, and the Humane Society recommends arriving early, since supplies may not last. For more info, visit

STDs on rise in San Diego

Syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia continued to rise in San Diego County for the third consecutive year in 2017, peaking at their highest levels in two decades.

According to new data from the County Health and Human Services Agency, infectious syphilis increased by 15.2 percent, from 981 cases in 2016 to 1,130 cases in 2017. Chlamydia cases also increased by 10 percent — from 18,904 cases in 2016 to 20,801 cases in 2017. And gonorrhea increased by 19.1 percent in the County, from 4,992 cases in 2016 to 5,947 cases in 2017.

“The number of STDs increased in the state and the nation last year, and San Diego was no exception,” said County public health officer Wilma Wooten. “Sexually active people should take precautionary measures to avoid getting infected and get tested on a regular basis since many STDs don’t show any symptoms and may go unnoticed until complications develop.”

Time to register to vote!

The registration deadline for the Nov. 6 general election is Monday, Oct. 22, and if you’ve recently moved or changed your name and want to vote, you need to complete a new registration form. If you’re not sure you’re registered, check your status online at

MCASD workshop to engage educators in art

All San Diego County educators are welcome to attend “Educators Engage!” on 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 1100 Kettner Blvd. The participatory professional-development seminar — featuring break-out sessions led by MCASD partner teachers and the Museum’s gallery educators — covers how contemporary art enriches curricula across all content areas.

The subjects will include in-gallery teaching techniques for the classroom, ways to integrate exhibitions into school curricula and discussions about the importance of empathy, restorative practices, and racial equity from a contemporary-art perspective.

Admission is $25 and includes continental breakfast, refreshments, lunch and a drink ticket for a networking happy hour. More details at

Sunday’s Surf-A-Thon will benefit Boys to Men network

Two hundred surfers will hit the waves of Mission Beach on Sunday, Oct. 7, determined to catch 100 waves in one day in support of Boys to Men Mentoring Network. The San Diego-based nonprofit is dedicated to helping disconnected, often fatherless boys become good men.

Surf Legends and 100 Wave Challenge Surf Ambassadors Shaun Tomson (1977 World Surfing Champion) and Damien Hobgood (World Tour Team Member) will lead this pack of bighearted surfers into the lineup in the early morning hours. Surfers will be cheered on throughout the day by family and friends, who will gather on the beach for a community celebration of surfing for an important cause.

The 100 Wave Challenge is Boys to Men co-founder Joe Sigurdson’s “Big Idea.” The thought of an annual surf-a-thon crossed his mind nearly a decade ago, during a surf session at Black’s Beach. Sigurdson has paddled into the lineup of every 100 Wave Challenge since the event’s inception in 2010. From his vantage point as event visionary, sponsorship director and head cheerleader, Sigurdson watching the 100 Wave Challenge grow and thrive has been a joy.

Every surfer receives breakfast, lunch, a commemorative rash guard, and exclusive access to the 100 Wave Challenge Surfers Lounge, a shaded sanctuary where surfers can relax between sessions and enjoy a beverage and snacks. A team of volunteer massage therapists will be on hand to ensure that 100 Wave Warriors remain in top physical form during their 100 Wave Challenge experience.

Surfers who succeed in catching 100 waves will be invited to celebrate their achievement by ringing a bell located near the entrance of the Surfers Lounge.

The event accounts for 40 percent of Boys to Men’s annual budget, and brought in $373,000 last year. This year’s fundraising goal is $400,000. Boys to Men aims to sign up 200 surfers for this year’s event, compared to 171 in 2017. Learn more at

DMV: Unofficial websites charging fees

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is warning the public about websites that are charging customers to complete the electronic driver license and ID card application, for DMV appointments and for other online transactions. The department received reports of websites charging customers a fee to complete the new online driver license application. The DMV’s Investigations Division is investigating these websites for any violation of consumer protection laws.

The DMV reminds Californians that there are no additional fees to complete the electronic application or any online services. Also, there is only one official website for conducting business with the DMV:

To avoid paying unnecessary fees, only conduct online transactions on this official website. If a customer believes they have encountered a fraudulent website, e-mail DMV’s Investigations Division at

October is when to get your flu shot

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting vaccinated for the 2018-19 flu season by the end of October, before influenza begins spreading. (It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body.)

“Getting the flu vaccine is simple, and it’s the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family,” says Paul Downey, president and CEO of Serving Seniors. “Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about which vaccine is best for you and your family.”

More than 200,000 people are hospitalized in the U.S. from flu complications alone each year. In fact, during the 2014-2015 flu season, 710,000 Americans were hospitalized and 56,000 died, according to the CDC.

Studies show that flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

Use the HealthMap Vaccine Finder at or call (866) 358-2966 to find your nearest vaccination location.