Miracle on Prospect Street

Instead of returning to her car immediately following Sunday services at St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, as she usually does, La Jolla resident Anne Marshall decided to check out the rummage sale out front for a few minutes.

Unfortunately, she chose Dec. 2 to do it, which occupied her until five minutes past the posted towing deadline for cars parked along Prospect Street. (Two hours later, the La Jolla Christmas Parade would march to a close along that same stretch.)

A tow-truck driver had already chained up Marshall’s SUV and a police officer was already writing the ticket when Marshall saw and came screaming across Silverado Street.

In the spirit of Christmas, both decided to let Marshall off the hook. She drove away unticketed.

“It’s a Christmas miracle!” Marshall said after posing for a photo for the Light with her new favorite people.

Westfield UTC shopping mall sets date for parking charge

Jan. 30, 2019 is the date Westfield UTC will begin charging for parking. The mall has had ticket machines and gates in place for nearly a year.

It is not known what the hourly charge will be, but it will be implemented after the first two hours, which will be free. In addition, individual venues — such as the ice rink, movie theater and 24 Hour Fitness — will validate for up to four hours of free parking.

UTC claims the reason for the move is not profit, but curbing illegitimate use of its parking.

“We were shocked at how many friends at the IrvineCo. (offices) are parking on our site,” mall manager Ryan Perry reportedly told attendees of a UC San Diego retail real-estate conference in 2017. “P.F. Chang parks in our lot. UCSD students love to park at UTC and go to school.”

UC San Diego launches new cultural-inclusivity initiative

In California, Latino/Chicano students make up nearly 55 percent of all K-12 students. However, they only make up 20 percent of UC San Diego’s undergraduate population. With this in mind, UCSD has launched the Latinx/Chicanx Academic Excellence Initiative.

According to a UCSD statement, the campuswide initiative — led by the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion — “unifies and expands services dedicated to attracting and supporting a diverse faculty, staff and student community.” The statement also said of the initiative: “It acknowledges that student success is not just about academic success. It is about affirming identity, celebrating culture and recognizing diverse backgrounds — all of which contribute to a positive college experience.”

“One individual can change a life, and one mentor can set a student on a pathway that they never even considered,” said Frances Contreras, associate vice chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. “Our goal is to create an infrastructure where these pivotal moments aren’t happenstance and are more widely available to our undergraduates.”

Latinx recognizes those whose roots stem from Latin America; Chicanx is an identity rooted in a social justice movement to empower Mexican-American and Latinx communities. The gender-neutral “x” replaces the gendered endings “a” and “o.”

Coffee and ink at Pannikin

Occasional Pannikin resident-artist Natalie Bessell has announced a joint show with Ita Lilianthal titled “La Tigrosa y Las Poetas” (The Tiger & The Poets) debuting Dec. 8.

Mexican American artist Ita uses recycled Amazon boxes as papier mâché to create sculptures he calls “bajabrijes” reminiscent of Mexican Folk Art. Bessell draws inspiration from traditional Chinese & Japanese ink paintings in her new works on paper.

“It fascinates me that with minimal use of line and color, emotionally complex pieces of art are created,” Bessell said.

The premiere party, which is open to the public, is 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Pannikin, 7467 Girard Ave. (858) 454-5453.

UCSD health updates

UC San Diego Health has launched the Pancreatic Cancer Prevention and Screening Clinic. A multidisciplinary team has created one of the first-of-its-kind clinics to develop a personalized prevention and early detection plan for high-risk patients seeking care at San Diego’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

UCSD Health is also the first medical center in San Diego to be certified to offer (CAR) T-cell therapies for the treatment of certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphomas. CAR T-cell therapy involves genetically modifying a patient’s T-cells (white blood cells) to recognize a specific protein (antigen) found on tumor cells and kill them. Most of the 11 patients treated with CAR T-cell therapy through clinical trials at UC San Diego Health thus far have seen their disease go into remission for at least six months. But not all patients will experience a long disease-free survival and some may still require a blood or marrow stem cell transplant.

Also at UCSD, School of Medicine researchers have developed a method to leverage human B cells, best known for producing antibodies, to manufacture and secrete tumor-supressing microRNAs. Once internalized by cancer cells, these small pieces of genetic material dampen a gene that spurs tumor growth. In mice, breast tumors treated with this approach were fewer and significantly smaller than in untreated tumors. The study is published in the Dec. 4 issue of Scientific Reports.

Nominations open for the County Women’s Hall of Fame

The San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame, established in 2001, is accepting nominations in five categories:

Trailblazer: Women who have paved the way for other women, or who were first in their fields.

Empowerer: Women who have significantly improved the lives of women in San Diego.

Activist: Women who have created structural change — and shifted our way of thinking and doing — to better women’s lives.

Cultural Competency: Women who are multi-culturally competent and involved in building bridges, coalitions and understanding within the communities of San Diego.

Historian: Women who have kept their culture and history alive within the community, thereby contributing to the maintenance and integrity of the community.

The public is invited to nominate by completing the form at by Dec. 31. Honorees must be present to be inducted at the 18th annual Women’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 3, 2019 at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center, 404 Euclid Ave.

Board of Supervisors approves new bike plan

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has approved a plan that could eventually add several hundred miles of safer, more convenient bicycle lanes to roads in and around unincorporated communities.The Board voted 4-0, with Supervisor Ron Roberts absent, to approve a new Active Transportation Plan, the first update of the County’s bike plan since 2003.

The plan will be used to guide the potential addition of bike lanes or bike lane improvements when road projects in unincorporated communities, including resurfacing and repaving, are planned and built in the future.

The transportation plan aims to give County residents healthier opportunities to get around, exercise and have fun, by biking rather than driving on unincorporated roads. Improvements in the newly adopted Active Transportation Plan would more than triple the potential miles of future bike lanes, from 280 miles to 934 miles, putting in striped markings dedicating space for bicyclists that would improve safety for both bicyclists and motorists. In addition, the plan could also potentially add 22 miles off-road bike lanes that are completely separated from traffic.

Kiwanis hosts Roberts

The Kiwanis Club of La Jolla hosted County Supervisor Ron Roberts at its Nov. 30 meeting. Roberts, who is retiring in January after 31 years in public service, described the various projects in which he has participated, involving programs for transportation, children and the homeless.

La Jolla Presbyterian Church to sponsor blood drive Dec. 9

La Jolla Presbyterian Church, 7715 Draper Ave., will host a blood drive in partnership with the San Diego Blood Bank, 8:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9 in the church’s Life Center Building, Room 3.

Donors must be age 17 or older and present a photo ID, weigh at least 114 pounds, and be in good health. Walk-ins are welcome, but donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment at (619) 469-7322 or