La Jolla News Nuggets

The MTS's proposed new bus map show a new local line running through La Jolla, the No. 34, and the No. 30 relegated to an express bus from Old Town to UC San Diego.

La Jolla to get Trolley feeder bus

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has proposed a brand new bus line through La Jolla. The 34 would be a local route — running every 15 minutes peak, 30 minutes mid-day — that links up with the Mid-Coast Trolley extension at Balboa Station in Pacific Beach and runs northward to Westfield UTC Mall.

The 30 bus would continue to operate, but only as an express bus from Old Town to UC San Diego.

“This looks like it’s very much what we’ve asked for,” said Dan Allen, chair of the trolley bus subcommittee at the La Jolla Traffic & Transporation Board. “It’s not the schedule we were hoping for, but nothing’s perfect.”

The proposal is still subject to public hearing, Title VI analysis and board approval. However, if all proceeds smoothly, the bus is expected to launch in Spring 2021, a few months before the trolley.

Muirlands principal retiring

Muirlands Middle School principal Geof Martin, who took over in August 2018 from Harlan Klein, has announced his retirement at the end of this school year.

Martin said he need to take time to care for his elderly parents and in-laws, and to assist his son with running the family bed-and-breakfast in Alaska.

The process of selecting a new principal was begun with a meeting with parents on Feb. 18.

“Muirlands has a great staff,” Martin told the Light. “The teachers and administrators all work hard and try to do their best. I hope to be able to get someone in here who continues the great work.”

Cheese shop coming to La Jolla Blvd.

A fixture at the La Jolla Open Aire Market is now opening its first storefront. La Jolla residents Jenny and Mike Eastwood have decided to open Smallgoods Cheese Shop & Café in their hometown at 7524 La Jolla Blvd.

The couple started their business in Fall 2016 to help support and promote small producers of American farmstead cheese as well as charcuterie and other gourmet American products. They moved to San Diego from New York City, where Jenny left a corporate career to work at legendary shop Murray’s Cheese as a cheesemonger and affineur in its cheese cave.

Smallgoods will continue to have a farmers market presence, but their new brick-and-mortar will expand from a cheese shop to a full-fledged café, open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Birch breeds weedy seadragons

Two weedy seadragons have hatched at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. This marks the first time the aquarium’s husbandry team has successfully bred the Australian breed — and one of only a handful of times they have been bred in captivity, period.

The babies, which are less than an inch long, are very delicate and display the characteristic camouflaging appendages of the elaborate adult weedy seadragons in miniature.

“This is a momentous event for our team and our seahorse and seadragon breeding program,” said Jennifer Nero Moffatt, the aquarium’s senior director of animal care, science and conservation. “Seadragons are charismatic, sensitive, and require detailed husbandry. We have spent over 25 years working with these animals and love that we have made the next steps to conserve this delicate species.”

The baby weedy seadragons will remain behind-the-scenes and not viewable to the public. All weedy seadragons are currently off display due to a yearly habitat deep-cleaning. Their cousins, the more ornate leafy seadragons are currently on display.

Burn Institute pledge drive

On Thursday, March 5, local firefighters will take to the streets for the Burn Institute of San Diego-Imperial counties’ 21st annual “Fill the Boot for the Burn Institute” firefighter boot drive. Uniformed firefighters will be stationed at 100 intersections across the county to collect donations for the Burn Institute’s fire and burn-prevention education and burn survivor support services.

The event raises some $200,000 for Burn Institute programs and services each year. If you do not catch a red light or see a firefighter on your commute, you can still donate at

Want to be picked for American Pickers?

Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, hosts of the History Channel’s “American Pickers,” return to California this March and are on the hunt for leads throughout the state.

“Specifically,” a rep for the show told the Light “interesting characters with interesting items and lots of them.” Only private collections are eligible, though, so no stores, malls, flea markets, museums, auctions, businesses or anything open to the public.

Interested parties, may e-mail or call (855) 653-7878.

UCSD outlines pathway to leaky gut treatment

UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers have simulated leaky gut conditions for the first time, using 3D models of human intestines generated from patient cells. These small organoids, or “mini-guts,” have revealed new biomarkers that help define what a leaky gut looks like — molecular signals that could one day help clinicians better diagnose the condition, track its progression and evaluate the success or failure of treatments.

Leaky gut is most often experienced by older people, patients with cancers or other chronic ailments, and people with especially stressful lifestyles. Stressors break down the zipper-like junctions between the cells that form the gut lining. Microbes and molecules that subsequently leak out through these cell gaps can trigger an immune response, contributing to a variety of diseases driven by chronic inflammation, such as inflammatory bowel disease, dementia, atherosclerosis, liver fibrosis, cancers, diabetes and arthritis.

The UCSD researchers demonstrated that the diabetes medicine metformin strengthens the junctions of mini-guts, tightening the lining back up when stressed by bacteria, aging or tumor formation.

La Jolla Meals On Wheels receives $5K

La Jolla Meals On Wheels has accepted a $5,000 grant from Meals on Wheels America and the Caesars Foundation to help expand its Friendly Visitor program for its Meals On Wheels clients, which offers seniors an additional opportunity for socialization beyond regular meal delivery.

“Social isolation in seniors is linked to long-term illness and increased risk of mortality,” said La Jolla Meals On Wheels Program Director Jane Semelsberger. “The objective of the La Jolla Meals On Wheels Friendly Visitors Program is to replace seniors’ feelings of loneliness and isolation with new friendships, hope and visits to look forward to.” To learn more, visit —Compiled by Corey Levitan from local reports