News

La Jolla's 2018 in Review: The year of scooters, stanchions and short-term rentals

In case you’ve forgotten all the major news events in La Jolla this year due to too much eggnog, here’s a recap!

January 2018

2018 goals: At the start of her second year as District 1’s City Council representative, Barbara Bry states her 2018 priorities as Community Choice Energy, increasing police recruitment efforts, encouraging STEAM programs in schools and increasing housing.

No dog beach: A plan to establish a dog beach north of Scripps Pier is vetoed because the area is owned by Scripps Institution of Oceanography and deemed an Area of Special Biological Significance.

Water bill increase: La Jolla residents start coming forward with unexplained increases to their water bills — some topping $4,000 — and held the first of what would be several meetings at La Jolla Library. Some reported being out-of-town, and upon their return expecting to see a bill decrease from not using water, but instead saw an increase.

Bridge bypass: The City of San Diego announces plans to build a bypass along the Coast Walk Bridge. The bridge was closed the year before due to unstable erosion, and the bypass would allow the bridge to stay open, but detour pedestrians away from the unstable area.

Lancino departure: La Jolla Music Society president Kristin Lancino abruptly resigns, citing only “personal reasons” in a statement. Her resignation comes in the midst of construction on LJMS’s $76 million Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, the 49,000-square-foot center set to open in April 2019.

Les Mis: La Jollan youth actors Stella Wahl, Marina Hall, Talia Silver, Nathan Conlan, Roland Meisler, Robert Mackay, Brendan Dallaire and Henry Austin are cast in JCompany’s “Les Miserables,” its first production of 2018.

Stanchions standoff: After the La Jolla Community Planning Association votes to remove stanchions that outline a no-parking area in Windansea, the La Jolla Town Council votes to keep them, in direct opposition. Those in favor of keeping the stanchions argue they deter people from illegally parking and engaging in disruptive behavior. Those in favor of removing them seek to preserve the ocean view treasured by surfers.

Hapless Hillside: Residents of Hillside Drive, suffering with excessive construction on their narrow street, take their plight to community meetings, two this month. Multiple building projects underway at the same time reportedly cause traffic by construction vehicles that prevent cars from getting past.

Y-M-C-A: The ribbon is cut Jan. 18 with dignitaries and YMCA representatives on hand for an expanded Dan McKinney Family YMCA. The three-year renovation project adds 25,000 square feet to the center.

MAD fight continues: The City requests a new trial to argue for a La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District (MAD), filing notices Jan. 22. The City would ask the court to vacate a 2017 ruling that the MAD was formed unconstitutionally.

State of the District: City Council member Barbara Bry hosts a State of the District event to highlight victories of 2017, goals for 2018. She announces her buzzwords for 2018 are “imaginative, innovating and inclusive.”

Coast Walk crash: A car careens from Torrey Pines Road onto the hillside, landing in the yard of one of Coast Walk houses below.

Water department audit: Council member Bry announces on Jan. 31 that she’s called for an audit of the water department to explain increases in water bills across La Jolla.

February 2018

The abandoned Red Roost and Red Rest cottages on Coast Boulevard in La Jolla have been a blight on some of California's most desirable real estate for 40 years.
The abandoned Red Roost and Red Rest cottages on Coast Boulevard in La Jolla have been a blight on some of California's most desirable real estate for 40 years. Light File

Questionable cartoon: A cartoon appears in the La Jolla High School newspaper that some call ‘racist’ and disrespectful.’ It depicts nine people wearing hooded sweatshirts with stereotypes written on them, such as a Mexican man wearing a “#1 (Juan) Cool Beans” with a mustache and a gap in his two front teeth.

‘Eyesore’ cottages sold: As part of a collective sale, the La Jolla Cove Hotel & Suites, Red Rest and Rest Roost cottages, are sold, creating the potential to have the dilapidated cottages restored. Considered an eyesore, the cottages have fallen into neglected disrepair.

Hillside hearing: During its Feb. 1 meeting, La Jolla Community Planning Association hears concerns about Hillside Drive and a proposed project to build on the problematic street. After a lengthy discussion, the board votes to support the new development on Hillside.

New chief: David Nisleit is appointed chief of the San Diego Police Department.

Smart meters: A question arises as to whether the City’s “smart meters” are behind the spikes in water bills, after a Public Utilities Department employees tells a La Jolla resident the analog meters are “more reliable,” and those with exorbitant bills investigate whether use of smart meters correlates to high bills.

Hale takes ‘time off’: Following complaints from parents regarding Bird Rock Elementary School principal Amanda Hale’s conduct, on Feb. 14 the San Diego Unified School District announces Hale would be “taking some time off.”

Merchant strategies: La Jolla Village Merchants Association announces its five-fold strategies for 2018: Community; marketing; organizing; design, including Village upkeep; and economic development, including working with other local groups to have a unified voice when it comes to working with the City.

Fireworks go bust: On Feb. 20, it’s announced that the Fourth of July fireworks at La Jolla Cove would be canceled, due to insufficient funds and lack of donors.

Klein moves to Bishop’s: The Bishop’s School announces that Muirlands Middle School principal Harlan Klein is appointed Head of Middle School, starting in the 2018-2019 school year.

Sea lions on the move? La Jolla Light looks at whether sea lions that frequent the La Jolla Cove area are on the move based on haul-out patterns. Looking over where they would leave the water to rest over the last five years, the pinnipeds appear to move to get away from people’s presence.

Water bill refunds: At a packed forum at La Jolla Library, the San Diego Public Utilities Department promises individualized attention, refunds and improvements to customer service in light of unexplained water bill increases. The City does not provide an explanation for the increases.

Wheels of Change: Bishop’s School student Kevin Barber launches the Wheels of Change program, which (under the auspices of the Alpha Project) provides homeless people the opportunity to work for $10 an hour completing tasks such as picking up trash, pull weeds and clear brush.

Children’s Pool historic? La Jollan Diane Kane announces her intention to have La Jolla’s 1931 landmark Children’s Pool listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and begins her lengthy effort this month.

March 2018

Two LimeBIkes have sat on the La Jolla Shores boardwalk, one with a damaged tire, for several days (according to resident reports).
Two LimeBIkes have sat on the La Jolla Shores boardwalk, one with a damaged tire, for several days (according to resident reports). Light File

Dockless bikes and scooters: Dockless bicycles and electric scooters start appearing in La Jolla, intended to be on-demand transportation accessed via an app with a real-time map as to where these vehicles are located. Users are instructed to leave the bikes and scooters on the sidewalk when they are done for the next person, raising some eyebrows from residents concerned about visual pollution.

Hillside requests: La Jolla Community Planning Association writes a letter to the City asking to change the scope of what is considered an “impact” when it comes to development on Hillside Drive, to include considerations such as cumulative impacts on the entire street when multiple projects come forward.

Corridor project continues: Construction resumes from the holiday moratorium on the Torrey Pines Road Corridor Project phase II. This involves the installation of new sidewalk, installation of a pedestrian-activated crosswalk and striping of buffered bike lanes. The $2.7 million project is expected to take six months.

La Jolla High threat: Threats of violence are made against La Jolla High School by a 15-year-old student on March 7. However, because the threats were reported to school officials and police, no violence was brought to the school. Details about the threat and the suspect were not released.

Short-term rental coalition: A coalition of town councils — including La Jolla’s — presents its recommendations to regulate Short-Term Vacation Rentals in coastal communities, which include a permitting process, fines, limiting the number of rentals in certain areas and establishing a dedicated fund for enforcement.

Art Association crisis: La Jolla Art Association in La Jolla Shores faces a crisis of funding, and launches a GoFundMe page to raise $100,000 to keep its gallery doors open.

Bandera Street view opens: The Bandera Street view access in Bird Rock reopens after eight years, by way of a chain-link fence coming down (and replaced with a post-and-chain barrier than can be seen over) and a trail being established.

Land vacation denied: La Jolla’s Development Permit Review committee votes down a request to have the City vacate a public right-of-way near Fay Avenue at West Muirlands Drive, unwilling to lose any more public space to private development.

Walking out against gun violence: Students at Muirlands Middle School, La Jolla High School and The Bishop’s School participate in the National Walkout Against Gun Violence, featuring speakers, moments of silence and demonstrations.

Post Office plaque: A plaque is posted on the La Jolla Post Office recognizing its place on the National Register of Historic Places, and a small ceremony is held the morning of March 20. The Post Office was built in 1935.

Lifetime Achievement: La Jollan Jane Fetter is honored during the San Diego Crew Classic with a Lifetime Achievement Award for all she’s done to support the sport of rowing.

MAD back in court: On March 29, the City reargues for the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District in San Diego Superior Court, hoping to overturn a decision that determined the District would not provide special benefits above what the City provides.

April 2018

Actor Sean Penn visits La Jolla to read from his debut novel at D.G. Wills bookstore.
Actor Sean Penn visits La Jolla to read from his debut novel at D.G. Wills bookstore. Light File

Honoring Lincoln: The La Jolla Concours d’Elegnace car show, themed “Lincoln” for the 100-year-old car company, populates Scripps Park with car lovers. In addition to the cars parked on the lawn, dozens are lined up along Coast Boulevard for free public viewing.

Eric Elam: La Jolla Light profiles Eric Elam, who makes gigantic bubbles in Scripps Park for the enjoyment of children who visit. Eric is also homeless, but does not let that define him nor limit his joy of bubble-making.

Torrey Pines traffic: Citing an “increase in inquiries” about the traffic on Torrey Pines Road associated with the Torrey Pines Road Corridor Project, City representatives announce a change in schedule to mediate traffic. At the onset, reps simply said they would explore “a variety of options.”

Whaling Bar mural: Wing Howard’s “The Whale’s Last Stand” mural, which once hung in the Whaling Bar within the La Valencia Hotel, is re-positioned within a meeting room in the hotel.

Sean Penn: Actor Sean Penn visits La Jolla to read from his debut novel “Bob Honey who just do stuff” at D.G. Wills bookstore. The crowd is beyond standing-room-only, spilling into the street. The next day, Penn has a similar reading at Warwick’s Books.

No more straws: Gillispie School students culminate a project to eliminate single-use plastic straws on campus, and bring in biodegradable and/or reusable straws to its student population.

VAPA winners: La Jolla High School teacher Michael Fiedler and student Grace Dessert are among the San Diego Unified School District’s Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) awards winners.

Community outcry: La Jolla community groups such as La Jolla Village Merchants Association, La Jolla Town Council and La Jolla Shores Association call for action to address the proliferation of dockless bikes and scooters in town. These groups have discussions and hearings on the subject during their monthly meetings in April.

Living Learning Neighborhood approval: The California Coastal Commission approves the UC San Diego Living Learning Neighborhood. The project calls for the construction of an 11-acre mixed-use complex on the west campus to house academic buildings, residential units, parking, a market and more.

Gun reform protest: La Jolla High School students participate in the National Walkout for Gun Reform. About 100 students leave their classrooms April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.

VP in LJ: Former United States vice-president Joe Biden speaks in La Jolla at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies’ launch of its Conquering Cancer Initiative.

Half Marathon: The Kiwanis Club of La Jolla’s half marathon brings 4,000 runners to San Diego — from Del Mar to La Jolla Cove — April 22. Andrew Falkiewicz and Patricia Miessner win in the men and women’s categories.

Meet the Chief: A safety forum is held at La Jolla Library to introduce new San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit, but much of the discussion is about the parking area at the foot of Playa del Norte. At this meeting, Council member Bry announces a pilot parking program to install two parking spaces at the controversial site.

May 2018

A group of residents from the south side of Torrey Pines Road celebrate the success of their grassroots effort to get the City to install a Hawk pedestrian signal and crosswalk o
A group of residents from the south side of Torrey Pines Road celebrate the success of their grassroots effort to get the City to install a Hawk pedestrian signal and crosswalk on Torrey Pines Road between Amalfi and Princess Street. Light File

Slope work suspension: The Torrey Pines Road Corridor Project slope restoration component hits an “unforeseen bump” and construction is suspended until September, with an expected completion date of December 2018.

A-plus: La Jolla educators are honored as Teachers of the Year by their principals and the San Diego Unified School District. They are: Michael Naylor of La Jolla Elementary, Lisa Kluch of Torrey Pines Elementary, Tara Barber of Bird Rock Elementary, Tanya Nielsen of Muirlands Middle and Melanie Saddler of La Jolla High.

Dockless debate: Rather than sign on to a community initiative asking for regulations to curb dockless bikes and scooters, La Jolla Shores Association stands by its request for an all-out ban of dockless bikes and scooters in The Shores.

Muirlands Mural: Muirlands Middle School gets wall-to-wall murals for its auditorium, and another for its breezeway. The auditorium murals and enlarged photos of La Jolla landmarks and seascapes, and the breezeway work is a colorful mandala-inspired series.

Madame president: Alisha Hawrylyszyn Frank is elected the new — and first female — La Jolla Village Merchants Association president.

Lacrosse team victory: La Jolla High School boy’s lacrosse team clinches the San Diego CIF title, its third title in as many years.

Grunow’s greening and garage: La Jolla contractor Tom Grunow hosts a three-day design charrette to outline his plan for an underground parking garage underneath the La Jolla Rec Center, and an overall plan to “green up” La Jolla’s Cultural Zone. Plans include removing some parking from the center of town to promote more walking and adding more green-scape.

2,200 trees: The Village Garden Club of La Jolla celebrates the planting of more than 2,200 jacaranda trees across San Diego at its Tree Dedication Ceremony at the Darlington House.

Having a heart: Girl Scouts in Troop 3803 develop a plan to bring CPR and AED training to Muirlands Middle School. The pilot program is so successful, the San Diego Unified School District looks to expand it to other schools.

Dockless ban defeat: An attempt to ban motorized dockless scooters on boardwalks in La Jolla and Pacific Beach fails to garner enough City Council votes, during the Council’s May 22 meeting. During public testimony, those from coastal communities called the scooters a “danger,” and a “hazard.”

Hawk crosswalk: The pedestrian-activated “Hawk” crossing, across Torrey Pines Road between Almalfi and Princess streets, has its inaugural cross with residents who’ve advocated for it. The lighted crosswalk remains dark and traffic uninterrupted until a pedestrian indicates they want to cross, at which time lights progressively instruct traffic to stop.

New Muirlands principal: Geof Martin is named principal of Muirlands Middle School, succeeding Harlan Klein, who transferred to The Bishop’s School as Head of Middle School. He previously worked on curriculum development and studied how to engage students in learning.

Basketball court blunder: La Jolla Park & Rec learns the City plans to fill in deep cracks in the basketball courts with cold patch, which some argue make the trip hazards more dangerous, by creating an uneven raised surface on the court.

June 2018

Hale on the move: Bird Rock Elementary School announces that principal Amanda Hale, who was on “personal leave” following allegations from parents, had transferred to another position in the San Diego Unified School District, and that the search was on for a replacement.

MAD review: Judge Randa Trapp is asked to “take another look” at her ruling against the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) in court June 8. She later rules that those opposed to the MAD did not have the legal grounds to file a suit.

Parks Master Plan: City representatives announce they would be creating a Parks Master Plan, and needed La Jollan’s input. 2018-2019 would serve as the first year, known as the “listening phase.” It is expected to take three years to put a master plan together, before implementation.

Run, Tom, Run! La Jolla High School swimming and water polo coach Tom Atwell runs his ninth 100-mile trek around the school track to raise funds for the American Cancer Society .

Insight Series: Sanford Burnham Prebys launches its Insight Series, which shines a spotlight on different ailments and brings together representatives from different, but related, fields connected to the disease. In June, the topic was Alzheimer’s, and the panel included a scientist, a doctor and caregiver.

10 years of bridge: The American Contract Bridge League celebrates its 10th year partnering with La Jolla High School, and bringing the game of Bridge to students once they complete their AP tests.

Pocket park pergola: La Jolla Historical Society creates a “pocket park” in the back of its 780 Prospect St. campus, with a pergola designed by Robert Venturi at its center. The area is landscaped, and new seating areas are created to fill in the park.

Fortune resigns: Sheila Fortune resigns as the La Jolla Village Merchants Association executive director after six years. She does not give a reason for her departure.

UCSD groundbreaking: UC San Diego breaks ground on its North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood June 18. The development is expected to open in Fall 2020.

New La Jolla Light owner: Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong announces the complete acquisition of The San Diego Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times and other publications including La Jolla Light.

Regulation attempt: Council member Bry hosts a committee discussion on dockless bikes and electric scooters, hoping to develop regulations across San Diego. She, along with Council members Chris Ward, Chris Cate and Georgette Gomez, learn the challenges and benefits of vehicle-sharing, what other cities are doing to regulate them and more. The intention is to come up with draft regulations by fall.

Welcome Garden: The Rotary Club of La Jolla creates a Welcome Garden at the intersection of Torrey Pines Road at La Jolla Shores Drive. The Garden includes rocks and drought tolerant plantings.

UCSD parking limits: La Jolla Traffic & Transportation board votes to limit parking along La Jolla Scenic Drive North, between Scenic Place and Sugarman Drive, to deter UC San Diego students from parking in the residential neighborhood.

July 2018

Surfers paddle out from WindanSea Beach to spread the ashes of fallen lifeguard Chloe Buckley on Saturday, July 28.
Surfers paddle out from WindanSea Beach to spread the ashes of fallen lifeguard Chloe Buckley on Saturday, July 28. WILL BUTTNER @WILL_TECHNTREK

What fireworks? Thousands flock to Kellogg and Scripps parks unaware that the July 4th fireworks are canceled.

Rebuilding bridges: The Coast Walk Trail Bridge reopens for public access, following the construction of stairs up the slope leading to the bridge, City crews complete a bypass project in the works for more than a year.

Vacation rental regs pass (for a short term): On July 16, San Diego City Council approves the short-term vacation rental ordinance proposed by Council members Barbara Bry (District 1) and Lorie Zapf (District 2), after voting down Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s more business-friendly proposal. Bry-Zapf, which passes 6-3, allows vacation rentals in primary residences only, banning short-term stays in multiple properties.

Ott Out: Torrey Pines Elementary loses principal Sarah Ott, a five-year veteran of the school, when she accepts another position within the San Diego Unified School District. This makes Torrey Pines the third La Jolla public school to start the 2018-2019 school year with a new principal.

Walk on: After years of delays, the Children’s Pool Walk Beautification Project begins. The project — which includes installing short planters/sitting walls and bike racks, replacing concrete and painting a crosswalk across Coast Boulevard South — has been in the works, and repeatedly revised, since 2010.

Hump day for Draper: Six sets of speed humps are installed on Draper Avenue along the six blocks between Westbourne and Genter streets. The proposal was first heard at the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation advisory board meeting in June 2017.

Dizzying Gillispie: The Gillispie School expands into a 17,000-square-foot retail building at 7420-7426 Girard Ave. It is one of four adjacent million-dollar-plus parcels the private school has purchased since 2012.

Bishop’s finds sexual misconduct: On July 23, leaders of The Bishop’s School issue a letter disclosing the shocking results of a year-long investigation: more than a dozen incidences of sexual misconduct over 30 years. According to the letter, seven alumni came forward and described 15 separate incidences, five of which were first-hand accounts of sexual misconduct of a “boundary violation” committed by a school employee.

Life and limb: The large pine tree fronting the La Jolla Rec Center, leaning since it was planted in 2015, is now reportedly dying. At La Jolla Park & Recreation, Inc.’s July 25 meeting, the board tells new area manager Rosalia Castruita that lack of City attention is to blame.

Paddle-out for Chloe: La Jolla’s surfing community pays tribute to beloved Mission Beach lifeguard Chloe Buckley with a paddle-out at Windansea Beach attended by more than 200 on July 28. Buckley was 27 when she was killed after her car crashed on the CA-52.

August 2018

Neighbors object to the scale of 1590 Coast Walk — especially because it blocks what was once a narrow view of the ocean.
Neighbors object to the scale of 1590 Coast Walk — especially because it blocks what was once a narrow view of the ocean. Light File

City doubles Shores trash pick-up: Members of the La Jolla Shores Association express outrage over the City’s approach to summer trash pickup at their Aug. 8 meeting. At first, the City blames local businesses who don’t provide private trash cans. Two weeks later, following intervention from San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, it begins a second daily trash pickup in La Jolla Shores.

Coast Walk “high-rise” draws ire: Protest letters flood the La Jolla Light about the development at 1590 Coast Walk, approved locally more than 10 years ago before undergoing City-approved changes. Neighbors object to its scale — especially because it blocks what was once a narrow view of the ocean.

Torrey Pines night shift: On Aug. 14, supervisors for the City’s Torrey Pines Road Slope Stabilization Project tell members of the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation board that work could be shifted to nighttime hours when it resumes on Labor Day, but that the La Jolla Community Planning Association, Mayor and Council member Bry oppose this change. On Aug. 30, Bry sends a memo to City Public Works director James Nagelvoort requesting the shift to nighttime hours.

Architects challenge MCASD expansion: A petition opposing elements of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s $75 million expansion at 700 Prospect St. gains national attention and the signatures of some of the design world’s major players, but ultimately has no effect on the plans.

City closes Children’s Pool sidewalk: To keep pedestrians away from construction on the Children’s Pool Walk Beautification Project, the City closes the sidewalk and erects a temporary walkway.

Permitters open door for new Bird Rock gateway: Despite protests, the La Jolla Development Permit Review committee recommends permitting a new mixed-use gateway to Bird Rock at 5785 La Jolla Blvd.

Bank yanked: Wells Fargo closes its branch at Vons, 7544 Girard Ave., blaming “a decrease in customer traffic over the last few years.”

Exit stage left: La Jolla Playhouse associate artistic director and producing director Jaime Castaneda is replaced by Eric Keen-Louie.

Info tent installed at Cove: The City’s Park & Recreation Department installs an informational tent overlooking La Jolla Cove to teach visitors about the wildlife below.

Cry for kelp: A dramatic increase in dead seaweed floating in the ocean and depositing on the beaches around San Diego has La Jollans concerned about underwater plant die-off, but it turns out to be the result of a normal summer swell.

Vacation rental regs challenged: Opponents — rallied by Airbnb — take to the streets with petitions in hand to nullify the Bry-Zapf ordinance. Only 35,000 signatures are required by the City Registrar’s office, yet 62,000 are submitted on Aug. 30, virtually ensuring that voters will decide the issue.

September 2018

Susan T. Danis changes her mind about becoming president/CEO of the La Jolla Music Society mere weeks before assuming the job.
Susan T. Danis changes her mind about becoming president/CEO of the La Jolla Music Society mere weeks before assuming the job. COURTESY

More musical chairs: Director of Florida Grand Opera, Susan T. Danis — who the La Jolla Music Society announced would fill its president/CEO vacancy abruptly left in January by Kristin Lancino — abruptly turns down the position a mere weeks before assuming it. The development is blamed on a since-discredited letter Danis was dealing with back home.

Stanchions standoff (the sequel): On Sept. 6, the La Jolla Community Planning Association recommends making permanent a compromise, six-month pilot program that replaced the stanchions with two 15-minute parking spaces. On Sept. 13, La Jolla Town Council rebukes that recommendation.

76 station 86’ed: The Unocal 76 station at 801 Pearl St. closes and plans get underway to demolish and replace it with a mixed-use building featuring 12 condos, four retail spaces and an underground garage.

Barbarella’s changes hands: Barbara Beltaire, who has owned the beloved restaurant at 2171 Avenida de la Playa for almost 20 years, hands it over to new owners the Hamerslag family.

Brooks Brothers closes: Brooks Brothers closes its store at 1055 Wall St., a 14,000-square-foot space it has occupied for 10 years.

Homeless benched: Two benches are removed from Prospect Street by the manager of a store who says she’s fed up with homeless people offending passersby on the sidewalk. The manager claims they are the property of the owner of the building, who purchased and installed the benches around 1990.

New Cluster committee: The La Jolla Cluster Association forms a “social intelligence” committee at its Sept. 13 meeting, charged with coming up with a K-12 curriculum that emphasizes social well-being.

Drug rehab opens in La Jolla Hermosa: A residential drug rehab facility for six people opens in a single-family house at 5978 La Jolla Corona Drive without alerting neighbors. A Light investigation confirms that owner Daniel Simons (who also owns La Jolla Recovery addiction center at 1804 Garnet Ave.) has followed every City, State and County protocol, none of which require that neighbors be notified of a rehab this small.

New lifeguard chief: James Gartland, who served for six months as the City’s interim lifeguard chief, gets to call the job officially his.

Lip-service dogs? A Light investigation reveals a rash of non-service dogs taken into La Jolla grocery stores, a situation arising because the laws regarding services in California are a confusing tangle of state and federal regulations that conflict on key issues.

New Historical Society exhibit: “San Diego: The Four Ecologies” explores our town’s four independent terrains — beaches, freeways, sub/urban and the border — and how they are connected through cars.

Sky lines: La Jolla honors David Antin by skywriting a three-stanza poem by the late poet, performance artist and UC San Diego professor on Sept. 29. A crowd of 200 gathers along Coast Boulevard behind the shuttered-for-renovation to celebrate Antin, who died on Oct. 11, 2016.

October 2018

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer addresses an audience of 2,000 grieving members and supporters of the San Diego Jewish community at Temple Beth Israel in University City, Oct. 29.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer addresses an audience of 2,000 grieving members and supporters of the San Diego Jewish community at Temple Beth Israel in University City, Oct. 29. Light File

10th Art & Wine: The La Jolla Art & Wine festival celebrates its 10th run with what organizer Sherry Ahern says are a record-setting 45,000 visitors.

New Merchants director introduced by resigning prez: At its Oct. 10 meeting, the La Jolla Village Merchants Association introduces executive director Jodi Rudick, newly hired by president Alisha Hawrylyszyn Frank. At the same meeting, Frank surprises many on the board by announcing she will not seek re-election. (She had been elected in May to finish out former president James Niebling’s term.)

Coastal Commission OKs Princess St. access: A long-sought beach access at 7957 Princess Street, the home of builder Ure Kretowicz, moves one step closer to reopening by a vote of the California Coastal Commission (CCC) during its Oct. 11 meeting. Kretowicz had previously challenged the CCC’s requirement of the path through his property, which was held up by both a 2013 San Diego Superior Court and a 2015 state appellate court decision.

Crossing in crosshairs: A new pedestrian-activated blinking crosswalk, spanning Torrey Pines Road between Pottery Canyon Drive and Ardath Lane, raises questions including its location at the bottom of a hill often subject to speeding drivers, and signage partially blocked by trees.

Making waves: La Jolla surfer Skip McCullough, 22, trounces 128 competitors in a prestigious Philippines surfing competition called the Siargao Cloud 9, buoying his surfing rank from No. 148 in the world to No. 75.

Museum expansion breaks ground: On Oct. 18, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego breaks ceremonial ground on the latest expansion to its La Jolla campus at 700 Prospect St.

Tripi trouble: Following backlash from a cautionary email La Jolla Elementary School principal Donna Tripi sent to parents that made national news, a forum is held to address racism in the community on Oct. 22.

Vacation rental regs rescinded: On Oct. 22, the San Diego City Council votes to rescind its July 16 ordinance on short-term vacation rentals.

Residents want dog park: Representatives from the City’s Planning Department hold a Parks Master Plan workshop Oct. 22 as part of the La Jolla Parks & Beaches monthly meeting. Residents indicate that a dog park — or at least an off-leash area — is a top priority.

Metal fish swiped from donor wall: A small section of the Kellogg Park playground donor wall is vandalized when a panel of six titanium fish plaques recognizing donors is forcibly removed.

High-school threatener arrested: On Oct. 26, San Diego police arrest a person suspected of making threats toward La Jolla High School in a pair of notes found by students.

Local Jewish community reacts to shooting: Nearly 2,500 people jam University City’s Congregation Beth Israel on Oct. 29 — including Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Congress member Scott Peters and City Council members Lorie Zapf and Barbara Bry — reacting to the Oct. 27 massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

November 2018

The owner and some employees of the Carlton Gallery at 1144 Prospect St. are charged with trafficking ivory in defiance of California law. In the meantime, the gallery remains op
The owner and some employees of the Carlton Gallery at 1144 Prospect St. are charged with trafficking ivory in defiance of California law. In the meantime, the gallery remains open for business. Light File

LJ Shores Drive construction: After a yearlong respite, the jackhammers return to La Jolla Shores Drive — this time for a sewer and water line replacement project lasting another 18 months.

Hillel green-lighted: On Nov. 9, Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor upholds Hillel of San Diego’s right to build the Beverly and Joseph Glickman Center across from UC San Diego, denying the latest lawsuit by Taxpayers for Responsible Land Use, which objected that the Jewish center would add traffic and noise and take parking away from the neighborhood.

MAD green-lighted: Judge Randa Trapp issues a ruling denying the request by La Jolla Benefits Association — which opposes La Jolla’s proposed Maintenance Assessment District — to change the plaintiffs in the case to address a concern about legal standing.

Town Council drones on: La Jolla Town Council holds a forum on drones, before which a drone pilot demonstrates the capabilities of the latest models outside the Rec Center.

New Merchants officers: The La Jolla Village Merchants Association names former treasurer Brett Murphy as president, former board member Don Parks as vice president and Kelli Metcalf as treasurer.

Parking spaces restored: During its Nov. 19 meeting, the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board (T&T) recommends converting the red zone on the west side of La Jolla Boulevard, north of Marine Street, back to three parking spaces. (At T&T’s July and August meetings, a resident complained about traffic speeding around that corner. The board asked the City to come up with a solution, so it removed those spaces.)

Overlook overhauled: Bird Rock residents Joyce Snell and Trish Savage add cement, plants and pebbles to the Forward Street overlook — fundraising, planning and contracting for the improvements themselves.

Gallery taken to tusk: On Nov. 28, San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott files criminal charges against Carlton Gallery in La Jolla, its owner and an employee for trafficking ivory in defiance of California law.

December 2018

Audrey Geisel, shown at the UCSD library bearing her surname, died Dec. 19.
Audrey Geisel, shown at the UCSD library bearing her surname, died Dec. 19. COURTESY UC SAN DIEGO

Christmas Parade takes 61st sleigh ride: Organizer Ann Kerr Bache calls the La Jolla Christmas Parade on Dec. 2 event “one of our best efforts,” estimating its attendance at 20,000.

Woman dies following arrest: Aleah Mariah Jenkins, the 24-year-old woman arrested during a Nov. 27 traffic stop near the 3700 block of La Jolla Village Drive, dies Dec. 6 after being placed on life support.

Tripi resignation: La Jolla Elementary School principal Donna Tripi announces that she is leaving her post at the year’s end to become superintendent of the Rancho Santa Fe School District.

Stanchions standoff (the finale)? Less than 24 hours after meeting with both sides on the contentious issue, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office orders the stanchions reinstated. However, members of the La Jolla Community Planning Association vow not to give up the fight to establish alternative parking in that area.

Children’s Pool Plaza opens: The renovated Children’s Pool Plaza is unveiled Dec. 9. Eight years in the making, the project removed landscaping, replacing and expanding the sidewalk to improve pedestrian flow, and added sitting walls and bike racks.

Marengo defends 1590 Coast Walk: During the Dec. 11 La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee meeting, Claude-Anthony Marengo of Marengo-Morton Architects explains that the project came through DPR twice and complies with all code and view-corridor requirements.

UCSD firing up: The first fire station on the campus of UC San Diego is approved by the City’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee.

Greatrex pleads guilty: La Jolla resident and civic volunteer Cindy Greatrex pleads guilty to grand theft and great takings in San Diego Superior Court Dec. 17, in the charge of stealing more than $67,000 from La Jolla Recreation Center funds. She is ordered to pay the money back by Jan. 28, 2019 and to serve 180 days of home detention.

Brooks Brothers reopens: The largest U.S. men’s clothing chain reconfirms its commitment to La Jolla by cutting the ribbon on a smaller location at the former Burns Drugs site, 7824 Girard Ave., on Dec. 12 with a lavish grand-reopening party.

Bry will run for Mayor: On Dec. 14, La Jolla resident and District 1 City Council member Barbara Bry files her intention to run for San Diego Mayor in 2020.

Car display raises questions: A decorative marquee over the O’Gara Coach and McClaren car dealershoip, 7440 La Jolla Blvd., causes debate between residents who consider it an art piece and residents who consider it an unpermitted billboard.Audrey Geisel dies at 97: The widow of the most famous children’s author in history, Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, dies in her Mt. Soledad home on Dec. 19.

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