La Jolla Light News Nuggets: Rotary Club, La Jolla United Methodist welcome new leadership

La Jolla United Methodist Church senior pastor Bob Rhodes

La Jolla United Methodist Church welcomes new senior pastor

La Jolla United Methodist Church welcomes Pastor Bob Rhodes as its new senior pastor. “Pastor Bob” comes to La Jolla from the Pacific Beach United Methodist Church, where he served for six years.

He earned a Master of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology with a focus on worship, preaching and the arts and was awarded the Fellowship Award for excellence in Worship Arts.

Rhodes’s passions in ministry center around Pentecost, and he said he enjoys seeking out relevant ways through which to communicate the Gospel message. In addition to the spoken word, he employs the languages of music and technology. He is also passionate about inclusivity ministries, especially as they relate to the un-sheltered and disadvantaged and also the LGBTQ+ community.

Rotary Welcomes new president, format

The Rotary Club of La Jolla has a new president, a new structure and a new way of doing business. Bank of America senior vice-president and client advisor Dirk Harris took over club leadership July 1 as the organization continues to serve the community despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Harris is a Certified Financial Planner, with degrees in both finance and microbiology from Louisiana State University and brings a strong commitment to public service.

Rotary also welcomes four new members: Rebecca Hartford, Nan Johnson, Christopher Lee, and Sam Nejabat.

The club continues to meet weekly at noon on Tuesdays, but currently via Zoom, a change that will continue until it is once again safe to meet in person. For more information about The Rotary Club of La Jolla or questions about becoming involved, visit or email

Poseidon Innovation funds three UCSD research projects

Poseidon Innovation, a joint collaboration between the University of California San Diego and Deerfield Management Company, announced in its first round of funding it will support three UC San Diego researchers. Projects that enter Poseidon will have access to sufficient funding to perform pre-clinical activities in anticipation of entering the clinic.

The three researchers are:

  • Stephanie Cherqui, associate professor of Pediatrics. Cherqui’s work focuses on the use of stem cell and gene therapy for multi-systemic genetic disorders and the fundamental understanding of tissue repair by bone marrow stem cells.
  • Stuart Lipton, adjunct professor of Molecular Medicine and professor of Neuroscience. Lipton’s work focuses on using genetically programmed human stem cells for transplantation as a potential cure for Parkinson’s disease.
  • Andrew Shiau, professor of practice of Cell and Developmental Biology. Shiau’s work focuses on developing novel small molecule therapeutics that target the aberrant gene expression in leukemia, prostate cancer and other cancers.

Paul Roben, UCSD associate vice chancellor for Innovation and Commercialization, said he believes these projects have the potential to transform health outcomes for patients regionally and worldwide. “The diseases where Stephanie, Stuart and Andrew are conducting their research are in desperate need of effective drug therapies. Through the support they’ll receive from Poseidon, our hope is that we can bring those therapies to fruition more quickly than would otherwise occur.”

Athenaeum Juried exhibition goes online, features 92 works

Forty-six artists have been selected for the Athenaeum’s 29th Annual Juried Exhibition, on view online at through Sept. 12. A record 269 artists submitted 735 works for consideration. This year’s jurors, Best Practice Creative Director Joe Yorty and HereIn Independent Curator and Editor Elizabeth Rooklidge selected 92 works by 46 artists. Due to current health guidelines, the entry process, jurying and exhibition were organized fully online, which allowed for 2D/3D entries as well as time-based works.

Moveable Tiny Houses heard at City Council

The San Diego City Council heard the issue of whether to add “movable tiny houses” to the ordinance for companion units during its July 21. However, the meeting was held beyond La Jolla Light deadline, and the findings will be reported in a future issue.

The small dwellings on wheels could provide more housing, but some in La Jolla are concerned with how the amendment would affect community character and where the movable houses could legally be placed on a property. Others are worried about what they see as a lack of community review.

Previously speaking to the Light about this issue, architect Phil Merten said, “We have community plans in the coastal zone, and the community plans talk about community character. If someone builds a conventional companion unit in a neighborhood in the coastal zone, it goes through an approval process where someone looks at the design and sees if it relates to the main house and retains community character. The problem with these mobile homes is they are purchased out of a catalog or off a parking lot somewhere and wheeled in and the character may not be appropriate for the neighborhood.”

Documentary filmed in La Jolla on Film Festival lineup

A documentary filmed partly in La Jolla is now screening as part of the PBS Short Film Festival 2020. Using sites in La Jolla, including La Jolla Riford Library and the beach under UC San Diego, “You Know the Drill” is a documentary on active shooter drills, with La Jolla child psychologist Katherine Williams interviewed as part of the 12-minute project.

The film chillingly opens with a voice saying “Alright, active shooter, active shooter! Lock down, lock down! What are you guys going to do with the desk? Somebody grab the desk!” as a facilitator leads an active shooter exercise with school children in Wyoming.

It then opens up to La Jolla, at a talk Williams gave at the La Jolla Library; and an interview with the mother of four about the vulnerabilities that children have that adults don’t have and the potential impacts to their mental health. Williams also interviews children who have grown up with active shooter drills.

The film streams on through July 26. Other films in the festival span topics such as race, the environment, family issues and more. View the films and vote for your favorite:

—Compiled by Ashley Mackin-Solomon