City Council approves UCSD fire station

As expected, the San Diego City Council approved construction of the first on-campus fire station at UC San Diego. Slated for the intersection of North Torrey Pines Road and Northpoint Driveway, the 10,500-square-foot facility will serve students, faculty, staff and the university’s surrounding neighborhoods.

The Jan. 8 vote was unanimous. The need for the station was sparked by a 2011 study by Citygate Associates, which concluded that fire crews and stations in the area were insufficient to achieve the City’s desired firefighting response time performance.

“We look forward to working together with the City of San Diego on this vital project,” said UCSD chancellor Pradeep Khosla. “It is critical that we address life safety issues as part of our growth.”

Built as a partnership between the City and UC San Diego, the station will include three vehicle bays, administrative offices, a kitchen and dining area, a training room, an exercise room and crew quarters.

UCSD implants 3D-printed rat spines

Researchers at UC San Diego’s School of Medicine and its Institute of Engineering in Medicine have, for the first time, used rapid 3D-printing technologies to create a spinal cord, then successfully implanted it — loaded with neural stem cells — into sites of severe spinal cord injury in rats.

After a few months, new spinal cord tissue had grown across the injuries and connected the severed ends of the host spinal cords. As described in the Jan. 14 issue of Nature Medicine, treated rats regained significant functional motor improvement in their hind legs.

“This marks another key step toward conducting clinical trials to repair spinal cord injuries in people,” said co-first author Kobi Koffler, assistant project scientist in at the Translational Neuroscience Institute at UCSD School of Medicine.

As proof of concept, researchers printed implants modeled from MRI scans of actual human spinal-cord injuries. These were printed within 10 minutes.

Seal Society to host interactive lectures

The Sierra Club’s Seal Society will hold its annual informational “Talk and Walk” programs at the Children’s Pool. During several Saturdays this pupping season, participants will hear docents discuss the life cycle of harbor seals while viewing new seal pups.

“Already, one pup has been born on Casa Beach and word is that he is doing well,” said docent Ellen Shively. “It’s very early to have a viable pup. I hope not too many mothers try to have their pups at South Casa this year, as it is fully unprotected and an uneducated visitor can cause great harm to the newborn suckling and mother if disturbed in this important four-to-seven week period before being weaned.”

The tours meet at Mangelsen Nature Gallery, 7916 Girard Avenue, at 2 p.m. on the following Saturdays: Jan. 26; Feb. 9 and 23; March 2, 16 and 30; and April 6. The hour-long event is free and no reservation is necessary.

Former fed to chair Scripps Health

Jan Caldwell has been named chairman of the Scripps Health board of trustees. A member of the board since 2012, Caldwell retired from the FBI in 2006. Her 32 years as a special agent included roles in investigating the 9/11 Pentagon attack, the 1996 downing of TWA Flight 800 and the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

“Ms. Caldwell is a highly accomplished problem solver and strategic thinker, with experience that spans some of our nation’s most challenging episodes,” said Scripps Health president and CEO Chris Van Gorder. “She brings a unique blend of expertise and compassion that will be tremendous assets as Scripps moves forward during a time of great change in health care.”

Paradise lost, but Kiwanians offer hope

The Kiwanis Club of La Jolla gave $10,000 to children who lost their homes in last year’s Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. The donation was sent to the Kiwanis Club of Chico, whose president presented a check to the Boys and Girls Clubs of the North Valley.

Donations are still being accepted by the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla, P.O. Box 81, San Diego, California, 92081.

In related news, Rock Bottom La Jolla, 8980 Via La Jolla, is offering Resilience IPA. A craft beer created by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and now brewed by 7,000 other U.S. breweries, its sales go entirely to the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund.

UCSD continues Holocaust series

The 2018-2019 Holocaust Living History Workshop series continues with Holocaust survivors, witnesses and scholar lending their experience and expertise to highlight memories of the tragedy.

The series — presented by the UC San Diego Library and the UC San Diego Jewish Studies Program — includes “The Rescue of Bulgaria’s Jews,” a screening followed by a talk by film producer Atanas Kolev (Feb. 6); and “Defiance and Protest: Forgotten Acts of Individual Jewish Resistance in Nazi Germany,” featuring USC Shoah Foundation founding director Wolf Gruner (Feb. 27).

“In today’s world situation, with the resurging far right in Europe and the U.S., it is particularly important to learn from history,” said Susanne Hillman, program project manager.

The programs begin at 5 p.m. in the Geisel Library, 9500 Gilman Drive .For more information, e-mail Hillman at or call (858) 534-7661. An RSVP is required to attend at

Kindergarten tours at La Jolla Elementary set

Parents considering La Jolla Elementary School for their kindergartners are invited to attend one of several upcoming meetings during which interim principal Stephanie Hasselbrink, and current parents, will answer questions and provide tours of the kindergarten areas.

The 11 a.m. meetings will take place Wednesday, Jan. 16; Thursday, Jan. 30; Wednesday, Feb 13; and Wednesday, Feb. 27 in the library at La Jolla Elementary School, 1111 Marine St. An RSVP to the school office is required, (858) 454-7196.

City seeks businesses for recycling award

If your business or organization took steps to increase its recycling or reduce its waste in 2018, the City of San Diego wants to recognize the efforts. Now through Friday, Feb. 8, applications are being accepted for the 2019 Business Waste Reduction & Recycling Award.

Applicants with the most comprehensive, creative and/or improved recycling programs will receive the award. Top recyclers will be recognized at a ceremony in May at the San Diego Central Library. All applicants will be invited.

“We would like to honor those businesses and organizations who are doing their part to help the City achieve its Climate Action Plan goal of zero waste by the year 2040,” said Mario Sierra of the Environmental Services Department. “Their efforts are helping to extend the life of the Miramar Landfill, reducing their carbon footprint and setting an example for other businesses to join in the City’s campaign to reduce waste in the workplace.”

Applications can be downloaded at or completed online by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8. They can be e-mailed or mailed to the City of San Diego, Environmental Services Department c/o Jennifer Hobbs, 9601 Ridgehaven Court, Suite 320, San Diego, CA 92123.

— Compiled by Corey Levitan