Seal appeal overturned

On June 7, a California appeals court upheld the City ordinance that closes the Children’s Pool for nearly half the year for seals to give birth, nurse and wean their pups. In its decision, the 4th District Court of Appeal reversed a lower-court ruling setting aside the ordinance.

The area — originally intended by Ellen Browning Scripps as a breakwater for children — will remain closed to humans from Dec. 15 to May 15 every year. Violators face misdemeanor penalties of up to $1,000 in fines or six months in jail.

In 2014, the City Council approved closing the beach for part of the year after other efforts to protect the seals during their breeding season were unsuccessful. The California Coastal Commission issued a permit allowing that action.

But the group Friends of the Children’s Pool sued San Diego and the coastal commission, arguing that the Marine Mammal Protection Act gives the federal government jurisdiction over marine mammals, not local governments.

The group won a lower-court ruling on the matter, but the appeals court rejected that ruling, stating that nothing in the protection act pre-empts a state’s ability to regulate access to its own property.

“(The ordinance) is not directed to conservation or taking of seals,” according to the ruling. “Rather, it is a land-use regulation, which falls within a traditional state police power.”

Broken street to ‘Costa’ City $1.7M

The City has agreed to pay $1.7 million to a Segway renter who broke her hip driving over a broken section of Camino de la Costa by Winamar Avenue in July 2015.

Regina Copabianco says she needs intense physical therapy and relies on a wheelchair. She filed suit in July 2016, after the City rejected a claim for damages that April. The City initially contended, in court filings, that Capobianco and her husband would have seen the damaged pavement if they exercised due care.

In addition to medical expenses and to cover pain and suffering, Copabianco’s lawsuit sought compensation for lost wages, companionship and “consortium” (typically, a euphemism for sexual relations).

Attorneys for the City also filed a cross complaint against We Love Tourists, the tour business that provided Capobianco with her Segway, arguing that it was should cover a percentage of the settlement. However, it didn’t because, according to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune, it lacked liability insurance at the time of the accident and the company’s owner had limited assets.

The City is not keeping its infrastructure up with the demands placed upon it by alternative forms of transportation, critics say.

John Lewis’s UCSD address no longer commencing

Civil rights legend and U.S. Congress member John Lewis withdrew as the main speaker for UC San Diego’s commencement, to show his support for a job action by unionized workers in the University of California system.

Lewis, a Georgia Democrat, will be replaced at the event — expected to draw about 25,000 people to Rimac Field on June 16 — by UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla.

“Commencement is a very special milestone for our students, who have worked very hard to reach graduation and their achievement deserves to be recognized and celebrated appropriately,” the university said in a statement announcing the abrupt change.

Disgraced Salk star resigns

Inder Verma, a star researcher at the Stalk institute, tendered his resignation on June 11, followed by a unanimous Board of Trustees vote to accept it. Verna was under investigation for sexual harassment claims made by eight separate women, according to a story in the journal “Science.”

“When we signed on to be part of the Salk, we signed on to Jonas Salk’s bold mission to better humanity,” the institute wrote in a letter published by the San Diego Union-Tribune. “And no humanistic value can be more important than respectful, fair treatment of each and every person — not just on our campus, but in all walks of our lives.”

Research company reaches MetroConnect finals

Tioga Research, the company headed by Bird Rock Community Council president John Newsam, made it to the Final Four in MetroConnect’s Grand Prize PitchFest. The prestigious annual business competition, held June 7 at Farmer & The Seahorse, saw more than 100 initital applicants compete for a $35k grant from JPMorgan Chase via San Diego’s World Trade Center business association.

Tioga, which formulates topical preparations for the delivery of transdermal drugs, was among 15 finalists awarded $10k to expand its global market. Ultimately, the grand prize went to CureMatch, a San Diego company that applies personalized medicine to battling cancer.

“All four companies are great companies,” Newsam said. “They’ve all got great prospects and the CEO of CureMatch is a close friend, so I’m delighted for them.”

Ball of famer

Longtime San Diego County high-school baseball coach and La Jolla resident David Glassey will be among the inductees into the California Baseball Coaches Association’s (CBCA) 2018 Hall of Honorees. A ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 16 at 5 p.m. at the UC San Diego baseball stadium during the annual North South baseball series.

Glassey retires this year. His dedication to coaching baseball at Francis Parke School has lasted for nearly 40 years, with a career record of 612 wins and nine California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) championships. Glassey has also seen his students play professionally with the Oakland A’s (Nick Allen), San Francisco Giants (Nick Noonan and Jose Vizcaino) and Detroit Tigers (Kyle Dowdy).

“I enjoy the challenge that comes with coaching and watching the players come together as a team,” Glassey said. “It has been rewarding to see them mature and become successful adults.”

For more information about the North South baseball series and the 2018 induction ceremony, visit

Peek inside your medical record

UC San Diego Health patients can now read what their doctors write about their office visits. This move toward transparency, part of the OpenNotes initiative, is part of an international trend to make patients feel more in control of their healthcare.

“UC San Diego Health is excited to participate in OpenNotes,” said Marlene Millen, MD, chief medical information officer for ambulatory care at UCSD Health. “Sharing medical notes with patients helps strengthen the provider-patient partnership, enhances patient safety and empowers patients to take an active role in their health and health care.”

UC San Diego Health launched the OpenNotes initiative in June 2018. Participating medical teams include primary care, internal medicine, family medicine, urology, hematology and oncology. More than 30 percent of outpatients will have access to their doctor’s notes, with more clinics added over time.

UC San Diego Health patients may access their notes through MyUCSDChart:

Out on the tiles

The Women Connection of Congregation Beth El is holding its annual Mah Jongg/Game Day, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m, Sunday June 24, at Congregation Beth El, 8660 Gilman Drive.

A Chinese lunch, raffles and prizes are included, and members will be on hand to teach those unfamiliar with Mah Jongg. Other tabletop games will include Mexican Train dominos and Scrabble.

A portion of the proceeds being donated to Project Sarah of Jewish Family Service will provide counseling, crisis intervention, temporarily housing and legal assistance for victims of domestic abuse.

Tickets start at $30. For more information, call (858) 452-1734. RSVP is requested by June 22 through

Atkins socks it to homelessness

Senator Toni Atkins once again hosts a sock drive for homeless people, with a drop-off at the La Jolla Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave.

The Socks for Stand Down drive runs now through June 18. It is part of San Diego’s 31st annual Stand Down, sponsored by Veterans Village of San Diego, from June 29 through July 1. The event gives homeless veterans a chance to rest for several days in a welcoming environment. Charitable organizations are on hand to provide comprehensive services to help participants with their various needs.

“Supporting our veterans is a personal issue for me,” Atkins said. “I come from a family with a rich tradition of military service, and addressing homelessness has been my policy passion for as long as I have been involved in public service. I am proud to be a position to help make a difference in the lives of struggling veterans.”