La Jolla Shores previews its new map

The Friends of La Jolla Shores (FOLJS) and the Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans invite the public to preview the new “Map of the Grand Canyons of La Jolla,” on New Year’s Day at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The 2,400-square-foot mosaic — fabricated by Robin Brailsford and Wick Alexander — depicts the sea life and underwater topography of the part of the ocean off La Jolla Shores that oceanographers Walter Munk and Mel Traylor first mapped for a 1947 research paper.

A previous map — designed by Rick Sparhawk and Lynn Reeves — was installed in 2008 next to the Kellogg Park playground. Soon afterward, however, the recycled crushed glass it was constructed of began to loosen, crack and create a safety hazard. By 2015, the surface was removed and the City replaced it with decomposed granite.

Munk and his wife, FOLJS president Mary Coakley-Munk, contributed $275,000 toward replacing the map.

“We felt it was right for a community that was so supportive, financially and otherwise, of the initial project to have it replaced and done right,” Coakley-Munk said, noting that it was her hope that the public might match their donation, which hasn’t quite happened yet. (If you’re interested in contributing, e-mail

The new map — made from a more durable material invented by Brailsford — is expected to be installed by March in Kellogg Park.

“It’s going to be 10 times better than the last one,” Coakley-Munk said. “They’ve doubled the number of species represented.”

The preview will be held 1--4 p.m. Jan. 1 at 8890 Biological Grade (the old Southwest Fisheries Building). Parking and refreshments are free.

Orphan choir wows La Jolla

The Matsiko World Orphan Choir made its return to the La Jolla Open Aire Market on Sunday, Dec. 16, where it made its local debut last year. Once again, the group’s energetic burst of world music stopped and wowed produce-samplers in their tracks.

The choir currently consists of 23 of the world’s poorest orphaned and at-risk children — six from Peru, two from India, nine from Liberia and six from Nepal.

“Participants in the choir are auditioned annually, and they are selected from a pool of hundreds before leaving their home nations to travel for the first time in their lives,” said Don Windham, founder of the International Children’s Network (ICN), which takes the children, ages 10 to 18, on an 11-month tour around the United States each year.

ICN attempts to procure tax-deductible sponsorships for the children that end up changing not only their lives, but the lives of their families and villages. For more information, visit

La Jolla PR exec safaris for money, awareness

Julie Wright, co-owner of La Jolla’s Wright on Communications, just returned from a 12-day African safari that included a 40-mile fundraising walk in Kenya, during which she and five friends raised $10,000 each for African elephants through the nonprofit Space for Giants. (Wright’s funds were matched by the Roddenberry Foundation, whose president, Heidi Roddenberry — daughter-in-law of the late Gene Roddenberry of “Star Trek” fame — was in Wright’s group.)

A highlight of the safari was a visit to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, where Wright got to see the last two surviving northern white rhinoceroses on the planet — who are protected round-the-clock by armed guards.

“It was so much to absorb,” Wright said. “It was exciting to see them so close but at the same time, sad to know this is the end of the line for that species.”

Children’s Pool resealed

The City of San Diego performed its annual closure of Children’s Pool Beach on Dec. 15, to accommodate the start of harbor seal pupping season. Since 2014, the City has closed the La Jolla beach from Dec. 15 through May 15. The rope line, which served as a reminder for the public to keep a safe distance, was removed since the entire beach is now off limits.

New coastal info app has bizarre origins

The California Coastal Commission (CCC) has released a new iPhone app. Available for free in the App Store, YourCoast provides directions, photos and information for 1,563 beaches, trails and parks along the Golden State’s coast. (The info includes which locations have restrooms and parking, and which allow dogs.)

The app has its origins in a 2013 settlement with billionaire tech entrepreneur Sean Parker, whose $45 million wedding, at a Big Sur hotel campground, resulted in a Coastal Act violation for impacting public access and sensitive habitats.

Although the previous property owner was directly responsible for the permit violations, Parker — the co-founder of Napster and first president of Facebook — covered the penalties and agreed to work with the CCC to help build something beneficial to the state.

“This is a case of turning lemons into lemonade,” said CCC chief of enforcement Lisa Haage. “We negotiated a creative agreement with a willing partner of great ability and expertise that will widely benefit the public. We literally ended up working with some of the world’s best tech engineers to create something that everyone can use and enjoy.”

United Cerebral Palsy celebrates 60th

In 1958, the San Diego Cerebral Palsy Foundation — serving parents of disabled children looking for a better life since the 1940s — joined forces with United Cerebral Palsy to become the United Cerebral Palsy Association of San Diego County. Since then, UCP has grown from a single location in Kearny Mesa to three across San Diego.

“For those of you who have been involved over the past 60 years, thank you,” said UCP board president Greg Wells.

To learn more, visit

Red Cross still needs blood

The Red Cross says it urgently needs blood and platelet donors to help ensure that blood remains available this holiday season for vital medical treatments and unforeseen emergencies.

Upcoming La Jolla donation times include 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4 at the Lawrence Family JCC, 4126 Executive Drive; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 8 at UCSD Library Walk, 9500 Gilman Drive; and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 14 at Scripps Green Hospital, 10666 N. Torrey Pines Road.

Appointments can be scheduled via or (800) 733-2767. Walk-in appointments are available, but may be associated with a wait.

As a special thanks for meeting the urgent need, the Red Cross says that all donors from Dec. 20 to Jan. 6 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt (while supplies last).

La Jolla doctor helps brief FDA

La Jolla plastic surgeon Robert Singer was part of a multi-specialty task force that briefed the FDA on aesthetic uses of stem cells on Dec. 3. Singer heads up a private practice and is clinical professor of plastic surgery at UC San Diego.