La Jolla News Nuggets: La Jollan named to Team USA for Volleyball; Styrofoam ban proposed by Surfrider and San Diego City Council member Barbara Bry; and more newsworthy items


La Jollan named to Team USA for Volleyball

Nathaniel Gates, a junior at La Jolla High School, is among the 12 players selected for the USA Volleyball High boys’ youth national team.

The team is already in Costa Rica for the NORCECA U19 Continental Championship, which runs June 6 to 10, after having trained at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and the Colorado Springs Christian School.

In 2017, the boys’ youth team placed 15th at the FIVB Boys’ U19 World Championship in Bahrain. In 2016, it placed second at the NORCECA U19 Championship in Havana, Cuba.

Styrofoam ban proposed by Surfrider, Council member Bry

Surfrider Foundation San Diego, City Council member Barbara Bry and others held a press conference last week to drum up support for an ordinance that would ban the sale of Styrofoam in the City of San Diego. The City would join 116 California municipalities currently banning it.

“Expanded polystyrene’s non-degradable nature threatens the environmental health of our beautiful beaches and unique coastal lands,” Bry said, referring to Styrofoam’s generic name.

The proposed measure bans the sale and distribution of Styrofoam in food service ware, fish and meat trays, egg cartons, coolers and beach toys.

“Polystyrene food take-out containers are not recyclable and pervasive within our community,” said Surfrider San Diego executive committee chair Michael Torti, adding that his volunteers collected 12,575 pieces of Styrofoam from San Diego beaches in 2017 alone.

Styrofoam does not biodegrade; rather it photodegrades — breaking down into smaller pieces which are easily mistaken for food by marine wildlife. San Diego’s Climate Action Plan includes a keystone goal of achieving zero waste by the year 2040.

Seasonal lifeguard tryouts June 7-9

The City of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) Lifeguards are recruiting men and women interested in becoming a seasonal lifeguard. With more than 40 miles of oceanfront and bay shoreline to patrol throughout the City, and an average of 17 million visitors and 6,000 rescues at local beaches each year, seasonal lifeguards are used to supplement year-round staffing during the summer.

The official tryouts for seasonal lifeguard positions will be held June 7-9. Those interested in applying are encouraged to visit

Salk gets $1.5M for Alzheimer’s research

The Salk Institute announced receiving $1.5 million to research the cellular underpinnings of Alzheimer’s disease from a South Korean company called NANOS.

The funds will establish a dedicated lab called the NANOS Alzheimer’s Disease Stem Cell Suite, which will serve as a bank for Alzheimer’s stem and body cells from human donors. Such cells are critical to analyzing new drugs.

The new suite will allow Salk scientists to collect skin samples from hundreds of individuals and transform them into neurons. This promises to more accurately pinpoint processes, such as DNA repair, that go awry in Alzheimer’s and to identify novels avenues for intervention.

Village to tout its wellness ways June 9

Global Wellness Day will be celebrated in La Jolla, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 9. It starts with a preview of the new Spa La V at La Valencia Hotel and a 10 a.m. free yoga class on the Garden Terrace (El Jardin) overlooking the pool.

Afterward, 18 different wellness-oriented businesses around The Village will have free presentations and special offers — from an organic mattress store to Sky Yoga, to Cryotherapy, to a travel agency that is specializing in wellness travel. There will also be IV infusions and a vein clinic.

The day ends at La Jolla Sports Club with a raffle and an open house. A Wellness Walking Map of La Jolla will be available and merchants will have Pink Paddles for selfies that say “I Say Yes!” to Wellness.

Experimental drug inhibits leukemia at UC San Diego

In results from a Phase 1 clinical trial, UC San Diego researchers reported that treatment with cirmtuzumab, an experimental antibody-based drug, inhibited the “stemness” of chronic leukemia cancer (CLL) cells — their ability to self-renew and resist terminal differentiation and senescence.

The findings were published in the June 1 issue of “Cell Stem Cell.”

“In this trial, we treated 26 patients with relapsed CLL with increasing amounts of cirmtuzumab, which we found was exceptionally well-tolerated,” said Michael Choi, M.D., assistant clinical professor and first author of the paper. “Patients received only a short-course of treatment and this appeared to halt disease progression, allowing most patients to forego any additional therapy for more than eight months.”

CLL is the most common form of blood cancer in adults, resulting in a progressive and deadly overabundance of white blood cells, called lymphocytes. CLL accounts for roughly one quarter of new cases of leukemia (21,000) annually and roughly 4,500 deaths each year.

Planner sought for Airport Noise Advisory Committee

The Airport Noise Advisory Committee would like a La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) member to join their group for a two-year term. The ANAC meets every other month at 4 p.m. on a Wednesday at the Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside, 4875 N Harbor Dr.

If you are interested, email LJCPA president Bob Steck at To become a LJCPA member, attend the next LJCPA meeting 6 p.m., Thursday, June 7 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St., and fill out a membership form.

Science leader Rush Holt to speak at UCSD

Rush Holt, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the scientific journal “Science” will speak at UC San Diego at 5 p.m. June 11 about advocating for research.

“Now, more than ever, researchers need to become public advocates for science, communicate its value to the public and celebrate its many contributions to our communities,” Holt said. “Science is a global good that informs and improves our lives. And the research community must work together to ensure it continues to thrive.”

One of the organizers of the March for Science, Holt served for 16 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District, and established a track record of advocacy for federal investment in research and development, science education and innovation.

The talk — happening at 5 p.m. Monday, June 11 at UCSD’s Atkinson Hall auditorium, 9500 Gilman Drive — is free. However, registration is required by June 9 by visiting