La Jolla News Nuggets: UC protest shakes La Jolla; Scripps IDs scary new climate milestone and more newsworthy items

UC protest shakes La Jolla

Hundreds of service workers picketed outside Jacobs Medical Center on Monday, May 7, the first day of a planned three-day strike.

Shouting “hey, hey, ho, ho, UC greed has got to go” and “UC, UC, you’re no good, treat your workers like you should,” they marched inside a perimeter of heavy aluminum barricades erected beforehand by the university to keep protesters confined to a section of sidewalk outside the hospital’s main entrance. (The California Nurses Association and the University Professional and Technical Employees Union were due to join the picket lines Tuesday and Wednesday.)

The protest was called in response to UC’s pending imposition of a 2-percent-per-year raise and changes to other benefits. However, it expanded beyond medical facilities, as workers of all types, at all 10 UC campuses, aired a range of grievances from wages to hiring practices. UC San Diego officials reported that 60 percent of its food-service workers didn’t show up Monday, forcing the university to temporarily close five dining facilities including: 64 Degrees North, Roots, Club Med and Foodworx.

Scripps IDs scary new climate milestone

The monthly average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for April was 410 parts per million (ppm), a “dangerous” new milestone according to Ralph Keeling, director of the CO2 program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which monitored the readings.

“It’s another milestone in the upward increase in CO2 over time,” Keeling said. “It puts us closer to some targets we don’t really want to get to, like getting over 450 or 500 ppm. That’s pretty much dangerous territory.”

When the Industrial Revolution started, CO2 levels were about 280 ppm. That’s a 46 percent increase. And that increase is speeding up, happening faster in the 2010s than it did in the 2000s.

Children’s Pool ‘unsealed’ May 15

The Children’s Pool reopens to the public on Tuesday, May 15 — at least to the human public — now that pupping season is over for the harbor seals that have made their home there for more than 20 years.

In 2014, City Council voted to seal off the breakwater — created by Ellen Browning Scripps in 1931 to create a wave-free ocean area for children to wade — every Dec. 15 to allow the seals to give birth and feed their young without human interference.

A group of local residents called Friends of the Children’s Pool filed suit against the ruling, while animal-rights activists seek to close the beach year-round.

The battle is still tied up in the courts.

Report: 8 women say Salk researcher sexually harassed them

Eight women have told the journal Science that they were sexually harassed by Salk Institute biologist Inder Verma, allegations that the star researcher has denied through his attorney.

Science reported that the alleged harassment occurred from 1976 to 2016 and involved such things as forced kissing, pinched buttocks and the touching of women’s breasts.

The explosive allegations once again threw the elite La Jolla science center into turmoil.

In the past 10 months, three female professors at the Salk separately sued the institute for alleged gender discrimination. Salk President Elizabeth Blackburn left her job far earlier than expected. And the institute recently put Verma on leave while it investigates unspecified allegations against him.

Tennis anyone of any age?

The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club is hosting the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) National Women’s Senior Hard Court Tennis Championships, now through through Sunday, May 13. The best players from all over the country, ages 50 to 90+, will compete in singles and doubles tournaments in the 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90-and-over age divisions.

Barbarella keeps its promises to kids

Throughout the month of May, Promises2Kids has partnered with restaurants around San Diego to raise funds for foster children through Camp Connect, Guardian Scholars, Foster Funds and the A.B. and Jessie Polinsky Children’s Center.

The restaurants include Barbarella in La Jolla Shores, which is donating all proceeds from the purchase of Pancakes Limone, and half the proceeds from Mimosa Flights, to the cause.

“It warms my heart to see the community come together to support foster youth for National Foster Care Month,” said Tonya Torosian, CEO of Promises2Kids. “We are so grateful for our generous partners who will be donating proceeds to help foster youth overcome the difficulties of their past, and grow to become healthy and successful adults.”

Visit for more information on Promises2Kids and Foodies 4 Foster Kids.

Join study conducted by La Jolla science institutions

California researchers, at institutions including UC San Diego Health and the Scripps Translational Science Institute, seek at least 1 million U.S. participants to provide genetic, biological, environmental, health and lifestyle data. The All of Us Research Program, a nationwide study led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), seeks to accelerate research and improve health via precision medicine.

Unlike research studies that are focused on a specific disease or population, All of Us will serve as a national research resource to inform thousands of studies, covering a wide variety of health conditions. Researchers will be able to access data from the program to learn more about how individual differences in lifestyle, environment and biological makeup can influence health and disease.

Participants will be able to access their own health information, summary data about the entire participant community and information about studies and findings that come from All of Us.

“We hope Californians from all backgrounds will want to participate in All of Us to help make history and change the future of health,” said Lucila Ohno-Machado, professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at UC San Diego Health and associate dean for informatics and technology at UCSD School of Medicine. “We look forward to sharing this exciting journey with our many participants.”

Congress has authorized $1.455 billion over 10 years for All of Us. More than 25,000 people nationwide have already joined the program as part of a yearlong beta testing phase that helped shape the participant experience.

To join, visit

Don’t forget Mama’s Day benefit

More than 50 chefs will offer samplings at the 37th annual Mama’s Day fundraiser for the nutrition-focused charity Mama’s Kitchen, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, May 11 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine. Guests will enjoy food, live music and a program hosted by Sam “The Cooking Guy” Zien.

Mama’s Kitchen delivers hot meals to men, women, and children affected by HIV, cancer or other critical illnesses who are vulnerable to hunger.

Tickets are $150, $175 at the door. Visit for more information.