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News Nuggets: La Jolla judge, COVID-19 telemedicine, Kolmar Street development and more

Judge M. Margaret McKeown, a La Jolla resident and judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, has been selected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
(Courtesy)

La Jolla judge named to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Judge M. Margaret McKeown, a La Jolla resident and judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, was selected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences last month.

The academy, founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock and 60 other scholars, is an honorary society and an independent research center that brings together leaders from many professions and perspectives to address significant issues in society.

McKeown, appointed to the 9th Circuit in 1998, is a former president of the Federal Judges Association and former chairwoman of the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative. She also chaired the ethics committee for federal judges.

UCSD offers telemedicine for COVID-19

UC San Diego Health is offering a specialized telemedicine clinic to help patients with COVID-19 return to health in their homes under close observation of an infectious-disease team.

At the COVID-19 telemedicine clinic, patients undergo consultation with an infectious-disease physician with access to other caregivers. Interactions may include daily phone calls from a triage nurse. Patients also may have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials and research studies related to COVID-19.

Before a telemedicine visit, patients will be required to provide a copy of a positive COVID-19 test (PCR nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab) from the previous seven days. The patient’s insurance provider will be consulted to determine coverage and referral requirements.

For more information, call (619) 543-8263.

Kolmar Street development up for local review

Those seeking local review of a development project at 304 Kolmar St. in the Windansea neighborhood will get their wish when it is presented at the La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee meeting Tuesday, May 12.

Residents have spoken at local community advisory meetings about their concerns that the project is being rushed through without a chance for local input. However, project architect Tim Golba said the speediness comes from the development being approved faster than expected at the city level, and he said it would go before local groups.

The project calls for demolition of a house that sits across two lots and construction of two 1,700-square-foot houses.

La Jolla’s Development Permit Review Committee meets at 4 p.m. May 12 on Zoom. Learn more at lajollacpa.org.

City permitting goes digital

Starting May 4, the San Diego Development Services Department is accepting permit applications online for all new projects, expanding the digital permitting process that has been available for a limited number of permits.

According to the city, the conversion to a fully cloud-based permitting system is scheduled to begin later this year. In the meantime, electronic plan submittal has been expedited, including the ability to review project status and comments.

While accepting applications electronically, the department will continue regulating land use and building development for up to 50,000 approvals annually.

Customers can check the real-time status of applications on Open DSD, see plan review comments, confirm development process timelines and receive official stamped electronic approvals on plan sets at sandiego.gov/dsd.

Sunrise Rotary buys keyboards for San Pasqual Academy

Each year, the La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club offers at least 10 scholarships to graduating seniors at the San Pasqual Academy, a school for foster youths in Escondido. Recently the club expanded that mission to fund the purchase of iPad keyboards for academy students.

“These keyboards would really help the students as they type papers, send emails and communicate online,” club President Mark Powell said. “When our Rotary club found out that foster students were in need of these keyboards, we took immediate action and quickly applied for a $400 Rotary District Grant. The good news is that the grant was approved and we were able to purchase 20 keyboards for students.”


Free estate planning for first responders

The San Diego County Bar Association, in partnership with the Wills for Heroes Foundation, announced that it is offering free wills and estate planning services to eligible first responders and licensed front-line health care workers in a virtual legal event through June 30.

Participants qualify if they have an estate and net worth valued at less than $500,000. Net worth consists of cash, personal property, stock and bonds, real estate (equity only), savings, cash value of a life insurance policy, and retirement assets such as a 401(k) or an IRA. Those whose net worth exceeds $500,000 can be matched to an estate planning lawyer through the SDCBA to pay for the service.

Learn more at sdcba.org.

UCSD fencers earn All-America distinction

Five University of California San Diego scholar-athletes have earned All-America accolades from the U.S. Fencing Coaches Association.

Junior epeeist Ziad Khayat was selected to the USFCA All-America first team, sophomore foilist Benjamin Hadler and sophomore sabreur Justin Park were named to the second team, and senior epeeist Amelia Harrison and freshman sabreur Shawn Kim made honorable mention.

All-America honors are based on a scholar-athlete’s achievements during regular season events as well as the NCAA Regionals. Historically, the accolades are based on a fencer’s performance at the national collegiate championships, which were canceled this season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

MTS to clean buses with coronavirus-killing disinfectant fog

San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System will disinfect buses every other day with a fog that kills the coronavirus and other viruses on contact, the agency announced May 1.

Small devices “evenly spray a fine mist of chloride dioxide solution throughout each bus’s interior,” MTS officials said in a statement.

The fog, approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can decontaminate fabric seats, air conditioning filters and hard-to-reach locations, “leaving more time for professional cleaners to sanitize areas more frequently touched by passengers,” agency officials said.

The process takes a few minutes. Each bus will be fogged at least every other day and potentially more often once more of the solution becomes available.

MTS already had introduced cleaning and sanitation measures that included daily cleanings of all MTS vehicles with bleach and other CDC-approved solutions; hand-washing stations at all trolley stops; and increased cleanings at major transit stops.

On April 29, the agency began conducting daily mandatory temperature checks for bus drivers, trolley operators and administrative staff. Employees with temperatures of 100 degrees or more are required to go home.

As of mid-April, five MTS bus drivers and two trolley maintenance workers had tested positive for the coronavirus.

— The San Diego Union-Tribune contributed to this report.