Again, no July 4th fireworks at The Cove
For the second straight July 4, there will be no fireworks at La Jolla Cove — and none for the foreseeable future unless someone picks up the fundraising mantle.
About a dozen people contacted La Jolla Light wanting to know the status of the show over Ellen Browning Scripps Park — including 30-year La Jolla resident Donna Lochtefeld, who now lives part-time in Michigan.
“The things that so many of us in the community have enjoyed for so many years — the things that are really meaningful to us — we’re losing,” Lochtefeld said. “This is just one more thing, and that’s sad.”
The last July 4 fireworks organizer, Marengo Morton Architects co-owner Deborah Marengo, spearheaded a grassroots group, the La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation, which took over the annual show in 2010. (It was launched in 1985 by restaurateur George Hauer, owner of George’s at the Cove, who financed it himself for more than 20 years to the tune of, as costs rose, $20,000 to $40,000.)
Marengo turned to the public for donations and got dozens of La Jollans to contribute up to $5,000 each. She stayed involved when the La Jolla Village Merchants Association grabbed the baton in 2015. As the show’s price tag skyrocketed, however —2018’s would have cost $65,000 — Marengo told the Light that donation offers simultaneously dwindled.
“I can’t just go out and buy the pyrotechnics myself,” she said last year. “I had to make the decision that it was just going to be too difficult to raise the money. I went out to the hotels and restaurants to see if they would up their commitment, and they were actually looking to reduce it. At that point, I threw my hands up and yelled uncle.”
While it may be too soon to call it a permanent day for July 4 fireworks, Marengo said last year that “it might be time for someone else to pick it up.” (See related story A1.)
Marengo did not return messages left by the Light seeking an update.
Coincidentally, the Light received a press release from the City of San Marcos, announcing that it is funding the entire cost of its own July 4 fireworks celebration via crowdfunding. Its website has so far raised $1,900 of its $5,500 goal: gofundme.com/SM2019FIREWORKS
76 station mixed-use project is re-Bourne
La Jolla resident and real-estate investor David Bourne, with partners including Steve Slater, has purchased the shuttered 76 Unocal gas station at 801 Pearl St. from its former owner, Mark Conger. The purchase price was not disclosed. However, Conger previously told the Light that he wanted to sell the land for $5 million.
“We’re trying to finalize a new project right now,” said Bourne, who estimates construction will begin in 12 to 15 months.
Bourne calls the plan he favors “somewhat similar” to the mixed-use building approved by the City Planning Commission for the site on Aug. 11, 2016 — an Alcorn & Benton design featuring 12 condos, four retail spaces and an underground garage. However, he said it will differ sufficiently to need to go through “whatever review boards are necessary.”
“It’s going to be less intensive,” Bourne said. “We’re going to build less.” (He added that the condos will now be apartments and the retail imprint along Pearl Street will be smaller, at 3,000 square feet.)
Bourne, who was reached by the Light while out of town, said he was informed about the unsightly graffiti recently added to the site, which the Light has received complaints about. When asked if he planned to clean it up, Bourne replied: “I can’t really answer that right now. The problem is that it’s just going to be done over and over. We’re going to have to figure out who’s doing it and what can be done to stop it.”
Lifelong learning on tap at UC San Diego
UC San Diego’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is offering its summer program for, according to marketing materials, “those over age 50 who thirst for knowledge in a relaxed, friendly environment.”
Featuring twice-daily lectures and seminars, the program includes offerings on international relations, ethics in science and technology, medicine, music, history, law and society, and the humanities. There’s also a lecture and performance series on Beethoven by concert pianist Gustavo Romero, a lecture series on Silk Road architecture by historian Diane Kane, and an analysis of the Supreme Court by constitutional law professor Glenn Smith.
The first lecture for the summer quarter is 10 a.m. Monday, July 8 on the Extension Campus, 9600 N. Torrey Pines Road. Visit olli.ucsd.edu or (858) 534-3409.
Historical Society to present a virtual Windemere Cottage
Scott McAvoy of UCSD Library’s Digital Media Lab will host a drop-in virtual-reality recreation of Windemere Cottage, 1 p.m. Sunday, June 30 at 780 Prospect St.
Using historic photographs from tourists and the La Jolla Historical Society archive, McAvoy has virtually reconstructed Windemere — the 1890s Irving J. Gill cottage torn down in 2012 — for visitors to walk around and through using virtual-reality goggles.
The free presentation is part of the society’s “History in Motion: Devices & Wizardry in Early Cinema” exhibition. (858) 459-5335. lajollahistory.org
— Compiled by Corey Levitan