La Jolla News Nuggets: New president for La Jolla Music Society; Nominate environmental heroes; Exhibit your photos in a museum; County property values top $543B; and more local news


New president for La Jolla Music Society

Susan T. Danis becomes president and CEO of La Jolla Music Society (LJMS) as of Oct. 1, filling the vacancy created when Kristin Lancino, the previous president and artistic director, abruptly resigned in January, barely two years after coming on board.

“With the opening of The Conrad just around the corner, this is a very exciting time for our organization,” said LJMS board chair Katherine Chapin. “We are confident that Susan is the right person to build on our strong foundation and lead us into a dynamic future.“

Danis currently serves as general director and CEO of the Florida Grand Opera (FGO) in Miami, and brings more than 30 years of arts administration experience to her new position.

“I am truly honored to be a part of the opening of The Conrad, and to work with the new SummerFest music director, Inon Barnatan,” Danis said in a statement. “I will make it my mission to passionately preserve the highest artistic standards while imagining a new, bright future for LJMS.”

Reporter seeks Japanese relocated from Bird Rock in 1942

In the early 1900s, Bird Rock hosted a thriving Japanese community. Many sold flowers and strawberries by the side of the road grown on their tracts of land.

This community was destroyed, literally overnight, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on Feb. 19, 1942. That order authorized the forced relocation and imprisonment of all Americans of Japanese ancestry, due to the U.S. fighting Japan in World War II.

Although all prisoners were freed from their internment camps after the war, Bird Rock’s original Japanese community never returned.

Do you know anyone whose relatives were relocated — or who may have been relocated as a small child? La Jolla Light seeks to interview anyone with memories of this regrettable time in U.S. history for an upcoming story.

If you have any leads, please contact reporter Corey Levitan at (858) 875-5951 or

La Jollans asked to nominate environmental heroes

Nominations are being accepted for the Cox Conserves Heroes program, which honors environmental volunteers who create, preserve or enhance shared outdoor spaces in their local communities. (Their activity must be done on a volunteer basis and not be a part of paid employment.)

The San Diego regional winner will receive $10,000 to donate to the environmental nonprofit of their choosing. The winner will also compete for an additional $50,000 in a national competition in October.

La Jollans can nominate volunteers by filling out an online form at through July 31.

Exhibit your photos in a museum!

To celebrate its 35th anniversary on Aug. 2, the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) extends the same invitation it did to patrons attending its 1983 grand opening: Bring your own photo to pin on the bare walls. (The museum will provide the push-pins.)

For guests who can’t attend, the museum will print and display all photos shared on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #MakeMOPAHistory.

The free party — featuring a live DJ, hard kombucha by Boochcraft and local art vendors — takes place 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2 at MOPA, 1649 El Prado in Balboa Park. No RSVP is necessary. For more information, visit or call (619) 238-7559.

County property values top $543 billion

Assessor Ernest Dronenburg, Jr. has certified the 2018 property assessment roll listing the value of all taxable property in San Diego County at $543.6 billion. This is an increase of 6.11 percent (or $31.3 billion) over the 2017 roll.

The net assessed value after the deduction of property tax exemptions for homeowners, disabled veterans and charitable organizations is $521.8 billion. Based on Proposition 13’s statutory 1-percent tax rate, this will produce approximately $5.21 billion in tax revenue to fund schools, law enforcement, parks and other public services.

Dronenburg said: “This is the fourth consecutive year the assessment roll has increased in excess of 5 percent thanks to the continued growth of the housing market and the economy as a whole. In addition to the strong real estate market, the assessed business property value increased by 5 percent, to just over $18.2 billion, setting a new record for San Diego County. The increases to the business roll are strong indicators that business owners are optimistic about the local economy and are making capital investments in property and equipment.

“While housing affordability is a challenge in the county, 83 percent of property and homeowners will only see a 2 percent increase in their assessed value due to the protections offered by Proposition 13.” The 2018 assessment roll is from Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017 and serves as an economic tool for budgeting used by city, county and state agencies.

Scripps Research makes Ebola breakthrough

Scripps Research scientists conducting the first comprehensive study of key immune system cells that kill Ebola infected cells have made a surprising Ebola breakthrough: While 96 percent of the Ebola survivors made cytotoxic CD8+ T cells that responded to a protein of Ebola virus called the nucleoprotein, only 38 percent of these survivors responded to either of the virus’s two glycoproteins, which are presumed to be the main target for killer T cells.

“Our study of the immune response in Ebola survivors suggests that a vaccine targeting not only the glycoprotein but Ebola’s nucleoprotein would likely be more effective than the current vaccines that only express the glycoprotein,” said Michael B. Oldstone, MD, Scripps Research professor and senior author of a paper reporting the findings in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

This important discovery will inform future studies of how the immune system targets the virus.

Audit: City workers not effectively rewarded, punished

A thorough analysis of the City of San Diego’s Human Capital Management revealed that managers feel unable to discipline poor job performers or reward good ones. This was reported both by the managers and employees.

“When incentives and discipline are considered the top concerns by both management and employees, there is a problem,” said Council member Scott Sherman, who blames “burdensome restrictions from collective bargaining agreements.”

Sherman urged staff to correct these issues in the next round of collective bargaining and give management more flexibility to reward good employees and discipline bad ones.

Pastor offering Sanka-tuary

Tim Seery, pastor of the Congregational Church of La Jolla, invites La Jolla residents and visitors to meet him for a cup of coffee.

“The purpose of Coffee with a Pastor is to meet people where they are in their busy, complicated lives,” Seery explained. “It’s a time to take a break from our news feeds and reflect on the important questions that reconnect us to our world and to each other.”

Seery, a recent arrival to La Jolla, is its youngest pastor ever. He raised eyebrows and steins last year by initiating a similar series called Beer with a Pastor. Pull up a chair and a latte with him, 9:30-11 a.m. Friday, July 27 at the Pinpoint Cafe, 7855 Ivanhoe Ave.