NEWS NUGGETS: La Jolla Light Aug. 17 issue: Author Ann Patchett to speak at UCSD Library dinner

Ann Patchett will share her life and work as a New York Times bestselling author, independent bookstore owner and literary advocate, 6-9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, as part of the UC San Diego’s Dinner in the Library, held in the Geisel Library building.

Proceeds will support the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative to modernize its interior public spaces. Because of the significance of the plans to student learning and the campus overall, Chancellor Pradeep Khosla will match gifts raised up to $1 million, doubling the impact of donations.

Patchett is the author of seven novels, including “Bel Canto,” which received the Orange Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. She has also written three books of nonfiction, including “Truth & Beauty, What Now?” and “This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.” She’s received numerous awards and fellowships.

In 2011, the last independent bookstore in Nashville, Tenn., closed. Instead of mourning the loss, Patchett took action and opened her own bookstore, Parnassus Books, with publishing veteran Karen Hayes. “When there isn’t a bookstore in your city, there is an incredible void … a bookstore isn’t just the place you come to buy books; it’s a community center,” explained Patchett in a video that aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network. “It’s the place where you bring your kids for story hour. It’s the place where terrific authors give readings. Books give us empathy; and that’s what makes us more compassionate people.”

Jeanne Jones of La Jolla is serving a second term as event Chair. The dinner will include a cocktail reception, an opportunity to learn from UCSD students about their research projects, and a Champagne and dessert reception. Tickets are $300 per person or $2,400 per table at or (858) 534-7021.

Braille Institute seeks volunteers

The Braille Institute San Diego is looking for volunteers interested in helping with its the award-winning library, technology lab, course instruction, special events and more. There is also need for a facilities assistant and lunchroom guides. Becoming a Braille Institute volunteer is a way for community groups to get involved and help those in need.

If interested, attend the orientation session 2-3:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21 at the Center, 4555 Executive Drive. For more details, call the volunteer office at (858) 404-5009.

County: Back-to-school shoppers should monitor receipts

According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, families with children in elementary through high school grades will spend an average of $687 this year on clothing, electronics, shoes and school supplies. Families of college students will see that bill jump to $969. The last thing anybody wants is to be overcharged by faulty cash register price scanners.

Every year, the County Department of Agriculture, Weights & Measures inspects thousands of businesses to make sure the equipment that scans, weighs and measures the things consumers buy are charging people accurately. And every year they find overcharging errors.

The best way to protect against being overcharged is: 1) Always verify receipts and immediately notify store management of any price discrepancies. 2) Stores are required to display the price of the item as you are buying it. Watch the cash register display screen as your items are being scanned. 3)Take sales advertisements with you when you’re shopping to verify prices. Stores cannot legally charge you more than their lowest advertised price.

If you’re overcharged and can’t resolve the issue, contact the County at 1 (888) TRUE SCAN (1-888-878-3722), or send an e-mail to You can also contact the department on the County’s free “Tell Us Now!” app.

Chasing Coral’ to screen Aug. 17 with panel

Scripps students will share the stoke they feel about the ocean with a free, public screening of “Chasing Coral,” an ocean adventure starring a team of divers, photographers and scientists setting out to discover why reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate which captures breathtaking underwater beauty in the process.

The screening is 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17 at the Scripps Seaside Forum on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) campus, 8610 Kennel Way, and will feature a conversation with the film’s director Zack Rago as well as a panel of coral reef experts from SIO.

The screening is part of the on-going community event series, Salty Cinema, featuring ocean themed films screened in San Diego. Ranging from scientific to inspirational, Salty Cinema features films big and small, including short films made by Scripps students. (858) 534-5604.

Card players invited to Game Days for children’s charity

La Jollan Marguie Bartels invites the community to “meet friends, enjoy camaraderie, taste luscious food and engage in activities to sharpen your brain all in one day!” She speaks of Game Day events, a creative way to support St. Germaine Children’s Charity. Game Days meets 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. Participants form their own groups to play bridge, Rummikub, Mah-jongg, canasta or any game of their choice, a buffet lunch is served, and play ends around 2 or 2:30 p.m.

“Both men and women are welcome to attend,” Bartels said. “It is a fun day and benefits a great cause. We usually average seven tables and would love to see more people join us. Please call me with any questions. The next Game Day is Tuesday, Sept. 5. Reservations are due by Friday, Sept. 1.”

The fee is $35 per person, and a portion goes to St. Germaine to support child abuse prevention programs in San Diego County. Reservations are a must by calling Bartels at (650) 430-3177 or e-mailing

UCSD appoints Vice-chancellor for Academic Affairs

Elizabeth H. Simmons has been appointed Executive Vice-chancellor for Academic Affairs at UC San Diego, effective Sept. 18.

Since 2017, Simmons has served as Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Staff Development at Michigan State University, leading the Academic Advancement Network, which is charged with helping all 5,500 academic employees grow as teachers, scholars and leaders across the arc of their careers.

She has also held the position since 2007 of Dean of Lyman Briggs College, a residential college that focuses on the study of science in historical, philosophical and sociological context.

“I’m excited to be joining UC San Diego because it is such a vibrant academic community, with a truly experimental spirit,” Simmons said. “I’m looking forward to working with faculty, staff and students to further enrich the intellectual reach, educational creativity and inclusive climate of the campus.”

Simmons will serve as UCSD’s chief academic officer, responsible for oversight of academic programs, the recruitment and advancement of faculty, and for driving academic, student support and student outcome initiatives. The seven general campus divisions and schools, the Graduate Division and Undergraduate Affairs, six undergraduate Colleges, the University Library, and University Extension will also fall within her purview.

SDG&E reminder: Call 8-1-1 before you dig

An increase in the number of natural gas lines damaged by third-party contractors or residents has prompted San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to remind customers about the importance of calling 8-1-1 before digging underground.

The frequency of strikes on gas lines has more than doubled since 2010. In 2016, natural gas lines were damaged 354 times. That’s nearly once a day. Work as simple as installing a mailbox or adding landscaping could result in damage to a gas line.

“Hitting and damaging a gas line can result in a serious safety hazard, fire, property damage and costly repairs; and places additional burden on emergency service personnel who are required to respond,” said Gina Orozco-Mejia, SDG&E vice president of gas operations. “Furthermore, gas leaks caused by damages disrupt daily lives and cause a wide-range of inconveniences from service outages that can shut down your favorite coffee shop on your way to work, to forcing street closures that cause traffic delays impacting your ability to get home or to work.”

Contractors and homeowners can call 8-1-1, or submit a request at, at least two business days prior to digging. SDG&E will then mark the location of buried gas lines free of charge. It typically takes 24-48 hours to complete a request.

If you suspect a natural gas pipeline has been damaged or you detect a gas leak call SDG&E immediately at (800) 411-7343.

Women’s Museum to stage Suffrage March Aug. 26

The Women’s Museum of California will celebrate Women’s Equality Day 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26 at its 12th annual suffrage parade march, gathering on the lawn area by the Hall of Nations in Balboa Park (across from the Organ Pavilion). The march commemorates the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Aug. 26, 1920, when women gained the right to vote .The amendment was the culmination of more than 70 years of struggle by woman suffragists.

Organizers plan to re-enact speeches by the suffragists leading the first wave of feminism: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Carrie Chapman Catt, Ellen Browning Scripps, Harriett Tubman, Alice Paul, Eleanor Roosevelt. Participants are encouraged to wear white and don their suffrage hat and long skirt, and wave “women equality” signs to join the rally and parade. More details at

Artists sought for Liberty Station ‘Installation at the Stations’

The NTC Foundation, which oversees the development and operation of 26 buildings at Arts District Liberty Station, seeks proposals from qualified artists or teams of artists to create temporary, site-specific outdoor installations to continue the transformation of the historic 100-acre former Naval Training Center site. Dubbed “Installations at the Stations,” artists will be asked to work with the community to create art that reflects the historic and cultural vibrancy of the San Diego-Baja border region.

Administered by NTC Foundation’s Art in Public Places Committee, proposals contracted between $3,500 to $12,000 will be awarded with a goal of up to five projects selected per year, starting in 2018. Deadline for submission is Dec. 15. The works can be a short term installation or on display for several years. To learn more, visit

City sets improvements to construction-related storm water programs

The City of San Diego reached an agreement in cooperation with the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Diego Region to implement corrective measures that address alleged deficiencies in the City’s inspection and enforcement of storm water pollution prevention practices required of contractors at construction sites.

The City has said this is not related to the storm water infrastructure work that took place over the past two years in La Jolla Shores.

On July 18, 2016, the San Diego Water Board issued an administrative civil liability complaint proposing to levy the City of San Diego $4,614,868 for multiple violations of the construction component of the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) Permit. The MS4 Permit requires the City to conduct storm water best management practice (BMP) inspections and to enforce implementation of these BMPs at construction projects within its jurisdiction.

The complaint alleges that the City did not require implementation of minimum BMPs at construction sites, comply with discharge prohibitions requiring a reduction of pollutants from construction site discharges to the maximum extent practicable or implement an escalating enforcement process to require implementation of minimum BMPs at construction sites.

The City is continuing to address these alleged deficiencies through a set of corrective measures it began in 2015. Each measure remedies a categorical complaint summarized by the San Diego Water Board as matters of implementation, enforcement, communication and staffing.