La Jolla News Nuggets: Barber Tract crowds and trash; lost wedding ring; illegal red curbs; more

Marine Street Beach has had a large influx of visitors this summer, according to the Barber Tract Neighborhood Association.

Barber Tract sees more people and trash at beach

The Barber Tract Neighborhood Association said there have been more beach-goers than ever at Marine Street Beach and therefore more problems with traffic, trash and safety.

The Barber Tract neighborhood, which extends from north Windansea Beach to Pearl Street at La Jolla Boulevard, is “a beach community. We have several small secluded beaches with no public parking, so the visitors who come to our beaches park along our few narrow streets,” BTNA President Mike Cole said at the July 9 La Jolla Town Council meeting.

“Every summer we have an influx of beach-goers, but this summer has been absolutely crazy,” Cole said. “It’s a perfect storm following the [coronavirus] lockdown. ... It felt like a tsunami here. The congestion is a nightmare.”

BTNA board member Dorie Defranco said there has been increased trash at the beach and on area streets and private property, along with public urination, graffiti and illegal beach fires at night.

“Area residents and board members began to get involved to remedy these problems; we reached out to [San Diego police], our community relations liaison officer Brandon Broadus for increased patrols,” Defranco said. “We began to work with La Jolla Parks & Beaches and [San Diego City Council member] Barbara Bry’s office to address the trash piles. We were given additional trash cans and increased trash pickups. After two weeks, we began to see increased police patrols, and the alcohol containers in the trash lessened. We continue to monitor the situation.”

La Jolla visitor seeks help in finding missing wedding ring

A recent beach-goer in La Jolla lost her wedding ring and is pleading for the community to help her find it.

Her family visit was the afternoon of July 8 near Wipeout Beach south of the Children’s Pool, during which she took off her ring to apply sunscreen and forgot to put it back on.

This wedding ring was lost near Wipeout Beach in La Jolla on July 8.

“I am so saddened; we looked and looked but did not find it,” she wrote to the La Jolla Light. “It’s not so much about the money but the sentimental value it has for me. We’ve been married for 11 years and that is my original ring. I know it’ll be like a miracle if someone were to find it and return it, but I’m taking a shot at it.”

Anyone who may have found the ring can call (928) 446-3368.

Curbs illegally painted red in La Jolla Shores are restored to gray

Curbs in La Jolla Shores that were illegally painted red were quickly painted back to gray by city staff.

Reports came last week that someone painted curbs red along Camino del Collado, a short street near Kellogg Park, in an apparent attempt to deter parking on the street. City representative Perette Godwin said the repainting work was completed the morning of July 10.

A message on the San Diego County Surfrider Foundation website says “Camino del Collado in La Jolla has a troubled history of red-curb bandits preventing the public from parking on public streets and accessing public beaches. Coastal homeowners who take illegal measures to bar the public from accessing their beaches is a serious problem and strikes at the heart of our mission to ensure equitable beach access for all people.”

Posts on the neighborhood-based social networking site said some people who frequent the area “have been complaining about this for years. … We go every summer, and every summer more red paint appears.”

Council committee to hear leaf-blower bothers

With more people working from home, complaints are coming in about leaf blower noise. In response, San Diego City Council member Barbara Bry has asked the council Environment Committee to docket the issue.

Bry representative Steve Hadley said “half a dozen” people have contacted her office.

The issue has not been slated for the July 23 meeting, but residents can call in during public comments and ask that it be heard in August, Hadley said.

“Even if you cannot get a citywide ban, you can have some change on city streets,” he said.

To learn more or submit a public comment slip, visit

Windansea team participates in ‘virtual’ swim at Cove

Several members of La Jolla’s Windansea swim team participated in the revised 2020 Coronado Rough Water Swim the morning of July 3 at La Jolla Cove.

Given coronavirus restrictions, the 62nd annual swim went “virtual” in that participants could complete the 1-mile event wherever they chose, then post their times on a virtual leaderboard. All registered athletes received a finisher medal, T-shirt and swim cap.

View the leaderboard at

San Diego VA loses first employee to COVID-19

Inewsource reported that a medical technician at the VA San Diego Healthcare System died from COVID-19 in late June, marking the first death of a local VA employee due to the disease.

John Paul Martinez, 62, worked with ventilators and other biomedical equipment at the Veterans Affairs hospital in La Jolla. Martinez’s sister, Bernice Villanueva, said she believes he contracted the illness at the hospital.

UCSD music professor gets Chancellor’s Distinguished Professorship

UC San Diego professor and award-winning composer Lei Liang received UCSD’s Chancellor’s Distinguished Professorship on July 1, days after the release of his new album, the gun violence-inspired chamber opera “Inheritance.”

Liang is the first music professor — and only the fourth professor from any department at the La Jolla campus — to be so honored.

The Chancellor’s Distinguished Professorship, established in 2018, is supported through an endowment of $1 million to foster further teaching, research and service. Liang, 47, will receive $25,000 per year in discretionary income to use in his work.

In recent years, he has spearheaded collaborations with the UCSD School of Engineering, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Qualcomm Institute, which in 2018 appointed him as its first research artist in residence.

Compiled by La Jolla Light staff