La Jolla News Nuggets: Col. Dave Severance honored; La Jollan named Rotary district governor; more

Retired Marine Col. Dave Severance of La Jolla was honored with a plaque at the Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial.
Retired Marine Col. Dave Severance of La Jolla was honored July 25 with a plaque at the Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial.
(Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial)

La Jollan Dave Severance honored at Mount Soledad for military service

Retired Marine Col. Dave Severance, 101, a resident of La Jolla since the late 1960s who during World War II commanded Easy Company — immortalized in an iconic photo of the raising of the American flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima — was honored July 25 with a plaque at the Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial in La Jolla.

Retired Marine Col. Dave Severance is pictured in 2019.

The San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Mount Soledad Memorial Association and Day Family Foundation recognized Severance’s life and service, which included 32 years in the Marine Corps. Severance received the Silver Star for his actions at Iwo Jima.

Later he became an aviator and flew 69 combat missions in Korea, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross.

La Jollan named Rotary district governor

La Jolla resident Steven Weitzen is the new governor of Rotary District 5340.
La Jolla resident Steven Weitzen is the new governor of Rotary District 5340.

La Jolla resident Steven Weitzen has been installed as governor of Rotary District 5340 and will provide leadership to 62 Rotary clubs in San Diego and Imperial counties.

Weitzen has been a licensed attorney since 1987, opened his law practice in 1990 and is now a solo practitioner in civil litigation. He has been a member of the Del Mar-Solana Beach Rotary Club since 2006 and served as president in 2013-14.

He said he will focus this year on a campaign against human trafficking with education, media attention and training goals; encouraging multi-generational clubs and diversity; encouraging more women to join Rotary and take key leadership positions; and supporting the environment .

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Bry speaks out against ‘Complete Communities’ plan

San Diego City Council member and mayoral candidate Barbara Bry, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, is speaking out against the city’s “Complete Communities” initiative, saying it “would more appropriately be called completely ignored communities.”

She said in a campaign statement to supporters that “the Complete Communities plan is just a local application of the YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) theory of transferring power from our neighborhoods to out-of-town real estate speculators and developers.”

The initiative has drawn the ire of La Jolla community groups that say the plan is being rushed through and would have long-term consequences for local development. After reviews at groups such as the La Jolla Community Planning Association and its subcommittees, some have asked the City Council not to hear the plan until after the August council recess. It has yet to be scheduled for a council hearing.

Village’s Sur La Table to say ‘au revoir’

The Sur La Table cookware store at 7643 Girard Ave. in La Jolla will close in coming weeks, according to a post on its website, which reads “Closing permanently in August or September.”

Inquiries as to the reason for the closure were not immediately returned. USA Today reported that Sur La Table filed for bankruptcy earlier this summer and announced plans to close 51 stores.

Social La Jolla Facebook page brings together 1,300 members

A Facebook group called “Social La Jolla” has about 1,300 members posting about all things La Jolla, and its founder is hoping for more.

La Jollan Charlie Hein created the page ( in 2017, modeling it after popular Facebook group “Social Pacific Beach.” He said he was “hoping we could capture some of the fun banter that exists there for La Jolla.”

Hein said he also “wanted an alternative to Nextdoor,” the neighborhood-based social networking app. “While I like Nextdoor,” Hein said, “I didn’t like that I had to go to a separate platform to post, read and interact. All my friends are on Facebook, so it feels more familiar and more integrated into many aspects of my life. … I wanted a more fun and positive experience.”

Hein said the Social La Jolla page contains “all kinds of things,” from language clubs and sunset photos to job postings, pleas to help find lost jewelry and new La Jollans searching for friends.

He said he hopes the group will “be a place where people can share experiences with the community. With growing numbers, I hope to see more pictures of interesting things around town. I also hope that people use it more and more to share stories of things that have happened to them. It should be a lighthearted and fun experience for people — just like the town of La Jolla itself!”

UCSD receives $220,000 cancer research grant

The UC San Diego School of Medicine has received a $220,000 grant from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest charitable funder of childhood cancer research grants in the United States.

St. Baldrick’s recently announced a total of 53 grants nationwide worth more than $12.9 million.

With the newly awarded grants, childhood cancer researchers can continue to pursue new ideas and work to move novel treatment approaches to the next phase of testing, St. Baldrick’s said. Ultimately, the grants could help reveal potential new treatments and cures for children with cancer.

La Jolla’s Cend Therapeutics names new president and CEO

La Jolla-based cancer drug developer Cend Therapeutics has appointed one of its board members, David Slack, as
its president and chief executive. He replaces Erkki Ruoslahti, a co-founding CEO who will retain his role as executive chairman and serve as a senior adviser to the company.

Slack most recently was chief business officer at Viracta Therapeutics and before that was co-founding CEO at Kinagen and
vice president for business development at Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

Compiled by La Jolla Light staff