Bird Rock updated on ‘sidewalk’ laws

At the Bird Rock Community Council (BRCC) meeting on July 3, real-estate agent John Shannon announced a surprising discrepancy between what most La Jolla homeowners assume is the law regarding liability for City sidewalk injuries, and what that law actually is. It seems that homeowners have always been legally liable for any injuries resulting from imperfections on the sidewalks in front of their houses, according to Shannon.

“If there is a tree root, not from your tree but a street tree, that is lifting up the sidewalk, and if somebody trips over it, the City may get sued but they’ll come back after the homeowner,” Shannon claimed, adding that he had only become aware of the law when City attorney Mara Elliott mentioned it at a recent San Diego Community Planners Committee.

According to Shannon, Elliott provided several recent examples of homeowner’s insurance being tapped for the $60,000 to $100,000 liability associated with a trip and fall. (BRCC treasurer Barbara Dunbar backed up Shannon’s assertion, saying that the City “only sporadically went after people in the last 30, 40 years, and now they’ve stepped it up.”)

Shannon recalled asking Elliott: “If a scooter hits an imperfection in the sidewalk or people jump out of the way of a scooter so a scooter can get by, but they trip and fall because of an imperfection in the sidewalk, who is responsible?”

Elliott’s reply, according to Shannon? “Good question.”

Also at the meeting, held at the Masonic Lodge, Chris McCann and Tony Stiegler of Quiet Skies La Jolla updated BRCC on their progress getting the FAA to address complaints regarding the increased jet noise from San Diego airport caused by its new NextGen SoCal Metroplex flight departure and landing paths.

“Patience,” Stiegler said. “This can be a two-, three-, four-year process. We need your help to register objections and complaints about any noise you hear.”

McCann, a retired U.S. Air Force pilot, promoted a button he invented that automates making a complaint. Available through their nonprofit’s website (, the button is already being used by 60 to 70 La Jollans, McCann said.

Bird Rock Community Council next meets 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4 at Bird Rock Elementary School, 5371 La Jolla Hermosa Ave. There is no August meeting;

Dominic’s Table has a ‘film’ star?

La Jolla’s newest owner/chef, Dominic Tedesco, is also a B-movie actor with a burgeoning second career. Tedesco — who opened Dominic’s Table earlier this summer in the spot vacated by Roppongi — reports recently wrapping a paranormal thriller alongside fellow thespians Snoop Dogg, Stephen Baldwin and Ted (Isaac from “The Love Boat”) Lange.

“It’s called ‘Blood Pageant,’” Tedesco said. “I play a celebrity chef and I take care of all the girls in the pageant.”

All Tedesco would say about the plot of the movie — due in theaters inside of eight months — is not to expect the beauty pageant to go as planned.

Tedesco — who got discovered via his frequent appearances on culinary television — said he’s “very humbled” by the support he has received so far from the film’s producers, Red Velvet Entertainment, who have asked him to star in “several more movies.” (He accepted the offer.)

“The movie business is all about pleasing people and giving them something to enjoy,” Tedesco said, “just like the restaurant business.”

Rental anguish: Town Council’s last pre-vote stand

They say you can’t fight City Hall. But you can certainly go down swinging.

A compromise ordinance on short-term vacation rentals (STVRs) from San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office is expected to pass City Council on Monday, July 16. Still, La Jollans are invited to ask questions, express concerns and add their voices to the mix at the La Jolla Town Council meeting four days earlier.

The Short Term Vacation Rental (STVR) Working Group, which will host a public forum at the meeting, views the Mayor’s compromise as a travesty that will decimate neighborhoods, decrease school enrollment and the supply of affordable housing, and begin to transform La Jolla into a hotel district.

“We are hopeful that City Council will hear our concerns about the negative impacts of the growing short-term rentals market in San Diego and insist on limiting short-term rentals to primary residence only,” said Town Council president Ann Kerr Bache. “Allowing people to own a second home that they rent out to tourists is not sharing, it’s commercialization of neighborhoods, and it will greatly worsen San Diego’s affordable housing crisis.”

Chaired by Kerr Bache, the STVR Working Group is a coalition that includes the heads of the Clairemont, Mission Beach and Ocean Beach town councils, the University City Community Association, Pacific Beach Planning groups and other experts and several activist associations.

The public forum will be held 6 p.m. Thursday, July 12 at the La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.

Surfers say charity begins at homebuilding

Volunteers from the WindanSea Surf Club paddled out to Logan Heights recently to help Habitat For Humanity build apartments for four underprivileged families. The 20 volunteers laid tile and brick, and hung doors on the apartments, which will be ready to occupy at the end of July.

“All of us are very fortunate to live where we live and be able to enjoy the ocean,” said WindanSea Surf Club president Bill Fitzmaurice, “so it’s very important for us to give back to those who are less fortunate in the community.”

At 8 a.m. Saturday, July 14, the club will stage its 18th annual Special Surfers’ Day at the Beach. Challenged athletes from all over the county will converge on La Jolla Shores, where members of the club will teach them to hang 10 and feel great about themselves, then celebrate with a barbecue.

Visit or e-mail if you would like to volunteer.

Big prostate news

UC San Diego Health doctors now offer prostate artery embolization (PAE) as a new treatment option for enlarged prostates, which plague at least half of men over age 60. The minimally invasive procedure is an alternative to surgery, with no hospital stay, little operative pain and lower cost.

“PAE has been available in Europe as a treatment option for an enlarged prostate for several years,” said Dr. Andrew Picel, interventional radiologist at UCSD Health. “With the recent FDA approval of this procedure, we are happy to offer this as an alternative to surgery for patients who are good candidates.”

Using X-ray guidance, interventional radiologists insert a small catheter into an artery in the upper thigh or wrist. The catheter is then threaded into the arteries supplying the prostate. Small particles are injected to partially block the blood flow to the prostate. This reduces the size of the prostate and relieves symptoms of BPH.

Picel and team have treated almost 20 patients with the new procedure. For more information on PAE, visit

Tell City where to put its bikes

The City has announced its intention to install hundreds of new bicycle racks. In a press release, it asked for recommendations from local Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) for installation locations.

“We’re building a more bike-friendly city every day and these new bicycle racks will encourage more folks to get around on two wheels instead of four,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Dubbed “BIDs to Bike Racks,” the initiative is a collaborative effort between the Mayor’s Office and the City’s Transportation and Storm Water and Economic Development departments.

Crowded house for editors, writers July 19

The San Diego Professional Editors Network is staging a seminar — titled “Crowd Mentoring for Editors and Writers” — designed to explore issues challenging editors and writers.

The group invites anyone at any level of experience, including newcomers, to attend. Topics will include how to land a big marketing job, how to stay organized and whether social media is worth your time.

The seminar takes place 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 19 at the San Diego County Health Services Complex, 3851 Rosecrans St. The cost is $10; free to members of the organization. RSVP via e-mail to no later than July 18.