Oceanographer Walter Munk honored in France

Veritable La Jolla saint Walter Munk — the Scripps Institution of Oceanography chair who’s still hard at work at 100 years old — is now a knight in France. Well, sort of.

He was “knighted” by the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin (Fraternity of Knights of the Wine-Tasting Cub), a brotherhood of Burgundy wine growers and enthusiasts founded in 1934. He was nominated by Alex Robertson and Max Gurney of the Torrey Pines (La Jolla) Rotary Club, who are both knights themselves and who attended along with other La Jollans including Dr. Damien Leloup, Barry and Seonaid Bielinski and, of course, Walter’s wife Mary Coakley-Munk.

“It was out of this world,” Robertson reports. “The whole confrerie rose and cheered when he was knighted. It was so emotional and impactful.”

Of particular interest to the Frenchmen was the role Munk played in predicting the waves that determined when the U.S. would invade the beaches at Normandy.

No-fuss budget

The City’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget, which won unanimous City Council approval, funds the largest infrastructure investment in San Diego history while prioritizing funding for core neighborhood services — including public safety, the “Clean SD” initiative, homelessness, street repair, recreation centers and libraries. All this was accomplished with slowing revenue growth and rising City employee salaries.

“We’re making another big down payment on San Diego’s future with a balanced budget that puts neighborhoods first,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer, whose office drafted the initial version of the budget. “We’re maintaining the key services we’ve restored in recent years and making the largest infrastructure investment in City history.”

The budget, covering July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 — includes:

• $559 million for the Capital Improvements Program (the most in City history);

• $76 million to fix 390 miles of streets;

• $154 million for projects and programs related to the Climate Action Plan;

• $121 million to move forward with the Pure Water recycling program;

• $8 million for homeless services and programs;

• $28.3 million for the largest recruitment and retention package in SDPD history;

• $11 million for new animal services contract with the San Diego Humane Society;

• $18 million for projects to support Vision Zero safety goals, including bike facilities, sidewalks, traffic signals, crosswalks and traffic calming measures;

• $4.4 million to expand a program focused on curbing illegal dumping;

• $550,000 for increased brush management and clearing, which is considered a key to preventing wildfires;

• $317,000 to pay for a police captain and other resources to accelerate background checks for new officers and boost recruitment to help fill more than 200 vacancies; and

• $238,000 for a lifeguard academy.

“I want to thank the City Council for unanimously supporting a budget plan that continues the progress we’ve made to fix more streets, help people into stable housing, put more officers on the street, and keep our libraries and rec centers open for families,” Faulconer said.

Vikings PTSA salutes two educators

It’s not only the kids at La Jolla High School who recently received valued pieces of paper this year. Before school let out, the Parent-Teacher-Student Association named Kerry Dill as its 2018 Teacher of the Year and David Bueno as its Staff Member of the Year.

Peters fighting family separation at border

U.S. Congressmember Scott Peters is attempting to pass the Keeping Families Together Act, a bill — introduced in the Senate by Dianne Feinstein on June 8 — to prohibit Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials from separating children from their parents when all arrive illegally at the U.S. border. (The exceptions are extraordinary circumstances such as trafficking or other concerns of risk to the child.)

“Ripping terrified children away from their parents’ arms at the border is horrifying and un-American,” Peters said. “These children have endured so much already and should not suffer even more at the hands of this Administration’s cruel policies ... To be clear, the President could end this right now with the stroke of a pen, but he won’t, so Congress must act.”

The bill would also require DHS to develop policies and procedures allowing parents and children to locate each other and reunite if they have been separated.

Scripts institution seeking plays

Scripteasers, the playwright-development organization founded in San Diego in 1948, is accepting submissions for its annual “Script Tease of Short Plays” competition. Cash prizes of $100-$200 will be awarded to three San Diego playwrights.

There is no entry fee. The deadline is Monday, July 2. For more info, visit

New tour bus hops around La Jolla

A new double-decker tourist bus, The Hopper, has begun a test shuttle run in La Jolla, with a pickup at La Valencia at 9 a.m. and a drop-off at 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

“We are excited about this test run and hope that we can start a permanent pick up and drop off program in La Jolla in order to meet this need,” said company rep Rosemary Scarry.

The hop-on/hop-off tour, which began service to other San Diego areas in May, features concessions and free wi-fi en route to six tourist attractions for $49. A $99 ticket buys admission to six attractions along the route.

The La Jolla shuttle is complimentary with purchase of a tour bus package. No La Jolla stops are included on the tour at the moment.

For more information, call (833) 743-3467 or visit