La Jolla News Nuggets: Comedy Store owner Mitzi Shore dies; Town Council to hold dockless-bikes forum and more newsworthy items


Comedy Store La Jolla owner Mitzi Shore dies

Comedy Store owner Mitzi Shore died Wednesday, after a battle with Parkinson’s disease. She was 87 and had been in hospice care.

“Mitzi was an extraordinary businesswoman and decades ahead of her time who cultivated and celebrated the artistry of stand-up comedy,” read a statement released by the Comedy Store. “She was also a loving mother, not only to her own four children, but to the myriad of comedians who adored her. She leaves behind an indelible mark and legacy and has helped change the face of comedy.”

On Wednesday, Shore’s son, Pauly Shore, tweeted: “My heart lays heavy.”

The original Comedy Store — which still sands on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles — opened in 1972. Shore opened the La Jolla branch in 1977, having relocated it from Pacific Beach, where she had established the brand in San Diego a year earlier.

Over the years, the Pearl Street stage has been graced by notables including David Letterman, Garry Shandling and Roseanne Barr.

Town Council to hold dockless-bikes forum Thursday, April 13

La Jolla Town Council’s April 12 meeting will include a special session on bike-sharing apps.

“My purpose isn’t to have them talk about their service,” said Town Council president Ann Kerr Bache, who will moderate. “It’s for them to answer questions. The real issue is how do we fix the dockless bike problem, because everybody agrees there is a problem, and it’s really a problem for people who use walkers and canes.”

Among the scheduled participants are representatives of the bike-sharing company ofo and the scooter company Bird San Diego.

“I know it’s a very emotional topic, but we’re really trying to treat it in terms of how do we make the business model work,” Bache said, “but not with this craziness of letting them lean the bikes against shrubs and stuff.”

La Jolla Town Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 12 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.

Debbie Turner gifts $1 million to LJ Music Society

La Jolla Music Society (LJMS) reports that Debbie Turner, longtime partner of Conrad Prebys, donated an additional $1 million to name the stage in The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center (The Conrad) at 7600 Fay Ave. The stage of the 500-seat Baker-Baum Concert Hall will be named The Debbie Turner Stage.

“Constructing a performing arts center in La Jolla was so important to Conrad, and it is important to me, too,” Turner said. “Music was a huge part of our life together. Very generous friends and donors have raised more than 90 percent of the funds needed and I’ve decided I can do a little more for The Conrad by naming the stage.”

LJMS Board Chair Katherine Chapin added: “We are incredibly grateful to Debbie Turner for this remarkable gift and all of the supporters who are making The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center a reality. With the opening just a year away, construction is in high gear and our fundraising efforts continue. We ask the community to join us in supporting this extraordinary project by donating to The Conrad Capital Campaign.”

Turner’s gift increases funds raised for The Conrad to $73 million, bringing LJMS to within $5.5 million of the $78.5 million Capital Campaign goal. The Conrad is slated to open in April 2019 and will include a 500-seat concert hall, 2,000-square-foot flexible performance space, large meeting room, central courtyard, and new offices for the Music Society. To learn more, contact LJMS Director of Development Ferdinand Gasang at (858) 459-3724, ext. 204 or

La Jolla loses Maserati, gains Saffron Thai

Last weekend, La Jollans were treated to a sign at the Maserati dealership at 7477 Girard Ave. that read: “WE’VE MOVED.” The new address provided by the sign, 4611 Mercury St., is a location in Kearny Mesa that also boasts a Ferrari dealership.

Voicemails left for Maserati San Diego were not returned by press time. But a receptionist at the Ferrari dealer across the street, at 7514 Girard Ave., said that her boss — who also owned the Maserati dealership — has no plans to relocate Ferrari out of La Jolla.

In better news, Saffron Thai of Mission Hills will open a new location in June. The space, in a former Chipotle at 1055 Torrey Pines Road, measures about 2,000 square feet.

Bird Rock Community Council update

At the Bird Rock Community Council (BRCC) meeting April 3, treasurer Barbara Dunbar reported that the City Risk Management Department has recovered damages for two traffic accidents in the Bird Rock Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) that occurred in December 2016 and March 2017.

Dunbar called the development “nice, because that’s hardly ever happened in the past.” She said that “quite a few” accidents occur in the MAD — one of which, on March 5, 2018, awaits a final police report before a claim can be submitted — but that most are hit-and-run without witnesses.

In other BRCC news, Dunbar reported that an e-mail was sent from the City informing the Real Estate Brokers’ Association that the placement of A-frame open-house signs in Bird Rock’s right-of-ways, including sidewalks and roundabouts, is illegal.

Also at the meeting, Lauren Joniaux, deputy director of County Animal Services, reported that the problem of deliberate illegal off-leash dog-walking in Calumet Park and at Kate Sessions Elementary School has not improved. She said her department has written 20 citations in the past two months — each for between $300-$400 including penalties and assessments.

“Most individuals know they’re breaking the law,” Joniaux said. “They choose to break the law. At Kate Sessions Park, for example, they’re very savvy there. They’ll have spotters, they’ll have clickers, they’ll have things to alert each other to run through the bushes and be gone. We just do the best we can.”

In event news, area homes are needed to showcase in the 2018 Bird Rock Tour of Homes, scheduled for January. The BRCC seeks sensational, but not necessarily large, homes that have not previously been featured on its tour (unless they’ve been extensively remodeled). The entire home does not need to be shown.

— Bird Rock Community Council next meets 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 1 at Bird Rock Elementary School, 5371 La Jolla Hermosa Ave.

UCSD study: Negativity ages the brain

A new UC San Diego School of Medicine study concludes that negative life events (NLEs) — such as divorce or death of a family member — accelerates aging in the brain. Published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, the study found that a single adverse event caused the brain to appear physiologically older by approximately one-third of a year.

“Having more midlife NLEs, particularly relating to divorce/separation or a family death, was associated with advanced predicted brain aging,” said Sean Hatton, a postdoctoral scholar at UCSD School of Medicine and the study’s first author. MRIs assessed physiological aspects of the brain, such as volume and cortical thickness — a measure of the cerebral cortex or outer layer of the brain linked to consciousness, memory, attention, thought and other key elements of cognition.

However, the study primarily studied the brains of older, predominantly white, males. It is not known whether females or other ethnicities would show similar findings.

Admiral Scott Swift to speak in La Jolla

Admiral Scott Swift, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, will speak at the annual Herb York Memorial Lecture, 5-7 p.m., Friday, April 20 in the Sanford Consortium Auditorium, 2880 Torrey Pines Scenic Drive. Swift will discuss maritime security challenges and opportunities in the Indo-Pacific, erosion of the rules-based international system, engagement in the South China Sea, and growing great power competition in the region.

The lecture, hosted by the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, is free to the public. Call (858) 822-4959 for more details

La Jollan Auschwitz survivor wins book award

“The Choice: Embrace the Possible” (Scribner/Simon & Schuster) is one of 12 books that will be celebrated May 17 at the 69th annual Christopher Awards in New York. The book shares the Holocaust experience of La Jolla-based psychologist and nonagenarian Edith Eva Eger, who barely survived Auschwitz at age 16. Today, Eger’s patients include survivors of abuse and soldiers suffering from PTSD.

“It’s a wonderful honor to be given the opportunity to share with everyone how they can liberate themselves from any hurt and pain of any circumstance,” Eger told the Light. The Christophers celebrate authors, illustrators, writers, producers and directors whose work “affirms the highest values of the human spirit.”

Mayor’s Challenge: Conserve water

Mayor Kevin Faulconer wants residents to take a series of online pledges about water conservation at The pledges are part of the seventh annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water, a national community-service contest to see which leaders can best inspire their residents to conserve the most water.

“We’ve proven time and again that conservation is a way of life here in San Diego as residents have significantly reduced water consumption over the years,” Faulconer said. “This challenge is a fun and easy way to remind folks that we must use water wisely and not take our most precious natural resource for granted.”

To participate, residents enter online and compete against cities with similar populations. Cities with the highest percentage of residents who take the challenge are then entered into a drawing for hundreds of eco-friendly prizes, which include home-improvement gift cards and home irrigation equipment. The grand prize is $5,000 that winners can use toward paying home utility bills.

San Diego won this nationwide contest — which runs through April 30 — in 2015.

Salk scientist switches cancer off

Scientists at the Salk Institute — together with researchers from Switzerland’s University of Basel and University Hospital Basel — have discovered a protein that acts as a molecular switch to turn off the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. The tumor suppressor, called LHPP, could be useful as a biomarker to help diagnose and monitor treatment for liver and other cancers.

“I think we’ve discovered a new control mechanism for cell proteins that, when disrupted, could be a driver for cancer,” said Tony Hunter, Salk’s American Cancer Society Professor and an author on the paper. “It’s exciting because it offers the possibility of new therapeutics or new diagnostics for a cancer that’s basically untreatable — liver cancer — and potentially others, as well.”

The work appeared in the journal Nature on March 29.

Wheat and Water to host ‘Brews with Bry’

Following the “community coffees” City Council member Barbara Bry held on the campaign trail, she is stepping it up and hosting “Brews with Bry,” a beer-and-conversation event, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18 at Bird Rock’s Wheat and Water, 5737 La Jolla Blvd. Beer and food for purchase. Questions: call Wheat and Water at (858) 291-8690 or Bry’s office at (619) 236-6611.

Scoping meeting set for reservoir project

A public scoping meeting will be held to collect comments for the La Jolla View Reservoir project, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19 at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. The City has decided the reservoir’s demolition and construction will require the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), and must collect comments regarding the EIR’s scope, including areas that should be included.

Those wishing to lend suggestions can attend the scoping meeting at any time and give comments orally or in writing.

Written/mail-in comments must be received by May 7, and can be sent to: Mark Brunette, Senior Environmental Planner, City of San Diego Development Services Department, 1222 First Avenue, MS 501, San Diego, California 92101, or emailed to

The proposed project would replace the existing Exchange Place Reservoir and La Jolla View Reservoir with a new 3.1-million-gallon reservoir within the La Jolla Natural Park. The existing reservoirs and the Exchange Place Pump Station would be demolished. The proposed new reservoir would be almost entirely buried, except for reservoir access hatches and supervisory control and data acquisition equipment. The project also includes construction of approximately 2,700 linear feet of 30-inch pipeline.