La Jolla News Nuggets: Sean Penn to read novel in La Jolla and San Diego; Astronaut Sally Ride stamp dedication at UCSD; and more newsworthy items

Sean Penn to read novel at D.G. Wills Books

Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn will read from his first novel, “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff,” at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 7 at D.G. Wills Books, 7461 Girard Ave.

“We’re absolutely ecstatic,” said D.G. Wills owner Dennis Wills, who noted that this will probably be the biggest-drawing event in the bookstore’s 27-year history.

“Allen Ginsberg drew 500 people,” Wills said, referring to the late poet’s 1994 reading. “I think we’re going to have that, maybe more, for Sean Penn. We’ll find out and we’re preparing.”

Penn, will read from his novel — which press materials describe as about “a modern American man, entrepreneur and part-time assassin” — and then will take questions, submitted on 3x5 cards, that he pre-approves beforehand.

“This is something his publicist and I agreed upon immediately,” Wills said. “He’s a humanitarian, but he’s a controversial person as well.”

Penn will also appear at a similar reading for Warwick’s on Sunday, April 8 at 5 p.m., but it will be held at University of San Diego’s Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Theatre at 5998 Alcala Park, not at the bookstore’s La Jolla location.

Astronaut Sally Ride stamp dedication at UC San Diego

A new Forever postage stamp honoring the late Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space, will be dedicated on May 23 at UC San Diego, where Ride retired from NASA to become a physics professor. On hand will be U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan and three of Ride’s close friends: former tennis star Billie Jean King, space shuttle astronaut Ellen Ochoa and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The 5 p.m. ceremony at UC San Diego’s The Price Center is free and open to the public.

“Like Sally, the panelists and moderator are remarkable leaders who have shattered barriers and led the way for women in their fields,” said Tam O’Shaughnessy, Ride’s life partner and executive director of UCSD’s Sally Ride Science. “This promises to be an exhilarating evening.”

The dedication will be followed, in the same venue, by a panel discussion on women in leadership featuring King, Ochoa and Rice. A UCSD spokesperson said this event may or may not be open to the public; it’s too early to say.

Ride died in 2012 from pancreatic cancer.

Congress member Scott Peters gunning for gun violence

Following the massive school walk-outs in which thousands of students called on government officials to enact gun reform, Congress member and La Jollan Scott Peters (CA-52) voted for the STOP School Violence Act, which reauthorizes the Secure Our Schools grant program to provide training for school personnel on preventing violence and technical assistance to develop threat assessment and procedures to anonymously report emergencies. The bill does not allow for taxpayers dollars to be spent on training teachers to handle firearms or for the purchase of firearms.

As a member of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, Peters has also co-sponsored bills to improve the background check system, ban the sale of high capacity magazines and ban individuals on the terror watch list from being able to buy guns.

Dead whale off Black’s Beach

A lifeless whale was discovered in the ocean west of Black’s Beach at 11 a.m. Monday morning, according to a San Diego Fire-Rescue official.

At press time, lifeguards were monitoring the matter and National Marine Fisheries was expected to announce what would be done with the badly decomposed carcass. It has since been determined it would be taken to a landfill.

Scripps Research Institute: CBD helps addicted rats kick habits

A study conducted at La Jolla’s Scripps Research Institute (SRI) has found that recovering rats given cannabidiol (CBD) are less likely to relapse when exposed to alcohol and drugs five months later. CBD is a cannabis extract containing little-to-no THC, the psychoactive component of the plant that makes users high.

“The efficacy of the CBD to reduce reinstatement in rats with both alcohol and cocaine — and, as previously reported, heroin — histories predicts therapeutic potential for addiction treatment across several classes of abused drugs,” said lead author Friedbert Weiss.

Scripps researchers think the result owes to CBD reducing anxiety and impulsive behavior. They hope their findings will assist in developing treatments to prevent human drug relapses. The findings were published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

Osher spring registration set

Registration is open for pupils over 50 years old interested in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s Spring 2018 quarter, which starts April 2. Classes — without grades or homework — cover arts, history, science, medicine, international relations, and political and social sciences.

The morning and afternoon lectures and seminars are led by scholars and experts. Pre-registration is not required. Classes take place Classes are five days a week on the UCSD Extension campus at 9600 North Torrey Pines Road. Learn more at

Artists call for Athenaeum Library juried show

Local artists are invited to enter the Athenaeum’s 27th annual Juried Exhibition, considered one of the most prestigious art shows in San Diego. The deadline to enter is 5:30 p.m., June 8. Submission is open to all artists who live, work, or exhibit within San Diego County and work in 2-D or 3-D media (no functional or craft art). The work must have been completed within the past five years. Fees are $15 for Athenaeum members and $20 for non-members.

The Juried Art show will be on view Aug. 4 through Sept. 1. First, second, and third place awards, the Leslie Von Kolb Memorial Award, Night Owls Members’ Choice Award will be given at various events in August. Entry forms can be picked up in person at the Athenaeum, 1008 Wall St. or

Calle Cielo comments?

Comments are being collected through April 5 about the City’s draft Mitigated Negative Declaration Report for the Calle Cielo project in La Jolla Shores. The draft Mitigated Negative Declaration has been placed on the City of San Diego website at under the “California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Notices & Documents” section.

Written comments may be submitted to: Morgan Dresser, Environmental Planner, City of San Diego Development Services Center, 1222 First Ave., MS 501, San Diego, CA 92101 or e-mailed to with the Project Name and Number in the subject line.

The controversial Calle del Cielo calls for subdividing a 4.45-acre site at 8280 Calle del Cielo in La Jolla Shores — considered the last open parcel in The Shores — into eight lots and building a house on each. The applicants are selling the lots themselves and the houses would be constructed when buyers are located. The subdivision project was approved at the La Jolla Community Planning Association meeting in September, after three sub-committee hearings, one special meeting and more than four hours of committee debate (over two months).

Habitat for Humanity shares its house with Sustainable Surplus

San Diego Habitat for Humanity has merged its business operations with local nonprofit Sustainable Surplus Exchange. Sustainable Surplus Exchange’s programs — including the repurposing of donated, excess business items for use by educational, charitable and start-up institutions — are now an initiative of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore home-improvement retail centers. The two organizations have been collaborating for several years, sharing large corporate donations and logistical resources.

“In the beginning, Sustainable didn’t have a truck,” said Sue Prelozni, CEO of Sustainable Surplus Exchange. “Habitat would help pick up large items and sell some of them in the ReStore. All of the items would support sustainability, a shared value of both organizations.”

Habitat for Humanity builds and repairs safe, healthy, affordable homes for San Diego families in need of improved housing who earn less than 80 percent of the area median income. It operates ReStores in Escondido, Kearny Mesa and National City. They are all open to the public and accept donations of new and gently used items for resale.