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La Jolla News Nuggets: Protective gear, Hillside Drive work and more

Brad Ouellet (left of cart), director of Supply Chain Management Services at UC San Diego Health, Steve Govett, president of the San Diego Seals lacrosse team (right of cart), UC San Diego Health nurses and Seals players handle a delivery of personal protective equipment.
(Courtesy)

UCSD to distribute donated protective gear

The founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has sent nearly a half-million pieces of personal protective equipment to hospitals in the San Diego region, much of it expected to arrive this week, UC San Diego Health announced.

The Tsai family — San Diego residents Joe and Clara Tsai and their children — reached out to UCSD to help distribute equipment throughout the region to help keep health care workers safe while battling the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Tsai owns the San Diego Seals indoor lacrosse team, which partners with UC San Diego Health for the team’s medical needs.

“Our university is privileged to play a role in assisting Joe and Clara in providing their generous donation of masks and goggles to health care institutions in the greater San Diego community and other parts of California,” said UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla. “This equipment is invaluable as our region prepares for a likely surge in the number of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

UC San Diego Health, the first local health system to care for COVID-19-positive patients in the region, is testing more than 700 people per day. The hospital also is undertaking clinical trials to help identify a future treatment for the viral disease.

A team of UC San Diego scientists is developing a COVID-19 antibody test and is hoping it will provide answers for immediate medical use against the coronavirus that causes the potentially deadly respiratory disease.

Hillside Drive repairs nearing completion

Hillside Drive, the narrow hairpin street above Torrey Pines Road, is being closed in segments for repaving. The project is expected to be completed this week.

For the past two years, the La Jolla Community Planning Association’s Hillside Drive Ad Hoc Committee has been working with San Diego City Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry and her staff to advance the repair. According to ad hoc committee chairwoman Diane Kane, the project will scrape and repave three spots near 7687 Hillside, 7505 Hillside and 7457 Hillside.

Hillside Drive has been the subject of scrutiny the past few years due to a perceived spike in development and its effects on traffic and stability of the hillside. The ad hoc committee has been working to create regulations for the street and will continue its efforts in the coming year.

Osher institute moves online

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC San Diego has moved its entire program online using Zoom videoconferencing.

The institute offers its 1,000 members twice-daily discussions of current events and lectures on a variety of academic subjects featuring faculty from UCSD and other local universities, plus community leaders, artists, musicians and others. The online format is typically a one-hour lecture followed by a question-and-answer period.

The Osher institute, in its 46th year at UCSD, is a membership organization for adults older than 50. Monthly and quarterly memberships are available.

Visit extension.ucsd.edu/olli/join for current online program offerings and how to become a member.

Input sought on parks master plan draft

The public can give feedback on the city of San Diego’s draft document outlining the future of the city’s parks and recreation system as it expands its “Play Everywhere” initiative, the city announced.

The new parks master plan is “focused on increasing access to all parks for everyone, regardless of their income, age, race, ability or geographic location,” according to a city statement. The plan also seeks to upgrade existing parks and give the city the ability to deliver new parks faster.

During a nearly three-year effort, the city’s Planning Department held regional workshops, interviews with affected parties and resident surveys in each City Council district. It found that while residents were generally happy with their existing parks, they would like to see more upgrades and amenities in the parks.

To view the draft plan and submit comments, go to sandiego.gov/parks- master-plan. Comments must be submitted by Monday, May 25.

The plan is expected to go before the City Council later this year.

UCSD gets $5,000 for pediatric cancer research

UC San Diego will receive a $5,000 grant as part of $1.8 million in donations from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest non-government funder of pediatric cancer research grants.

The foundation has awarded more than $286 million in grants since 2005 to support the development of childhood cancer treatments and train early career scientists in the field. Its next round of funding will be announced in July. ◆