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La Jolla News Nuggets: Scooter company permits; parking at La Plaza; fundraising; more

Electric devices are stationed recently outside the Wall Street post office in La Jolla in violation of city staging rules.
(Courtesy)

Scooter companies get new permits

A select number of companies that operate “shared mobility devices” for rent, such as electric bikes and scooters, receive permits twice a year to operate in the city of San Diego for six months. On Aug. 1, permits were renewed for Bird, Lyft and Spin scooters and Wheels electric bikes.

The latter recently caused frustration among some La Jolla residents over staging of vehicles against the city’s “four-by-40” rule, which says devices must be stored in groups of no more than four, spaced 40 feet apart. Those who see violations can report them on the city’s Get It Done app.

After temporarily ceasing operations in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several scooter and electric bicycle companies are re-rolling out their vehicles in La Jolla.

Also granted a permit was Razor, which offers an electric bike that is narrow and designed like a scooter.

New 30-minute parking spaces at La Plaza

Four parking spaces recently were converted from three-minute passenger loading to green-curbed 30-minute spaces at the La Plaza shopping center at 7863-7877 Girard Ave. in La Jolla.

The 30-minute spaces are in effect from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except Sundays and holidays and for three-minute passenger loading from 4 to 10 p.m. daily for the La Plaza valet service.

“It’s a wonderful way to have locals dash in” to pick up food or shopping items quickly, said Natalie Aguirre, manager of the J. McLaughlin store at 7880 Girard and a member of the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board. “It’s the culmination of a two-year effort.”

Aguirre said the parking space transfer was a joint project among the La Jolla Village Merchants Association, T&T and the city of San Diego, with the support of the LAZ parking company, which runs the valet service, and La Plaza management.

Sanford Burnham Prebys awarded $4.5 million to discover new drugs for mental disorders

The Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla has received a $4.5 million federal grant for research that could one day lead to new treatments for a wide range of mental disorders, the institute announced last week.

The five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health will bankroll efforts to understand how a seldom-studied group of proteins works in the brain. If successful, the project could help scientists devise new treatments for schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and substance abuse — though that goal is still a long way off.

UC San Diego raises $1.45 billion for research

UC San Diego said it pulled in a record $1.45 billion for research during the fiscal year that ended June 30. That’s $100 million higher than a year earlier and represents the 11th consecutive year that UCSD has surpassed the $1 billion mark.

Averaged over a year, the funds pump almost $4 million into new research every day.

UCSD — the county’s second-largest employer behind the Navy — got grants and gifts to study everything from the nature of the coronavirus to how to spot wildfires more quickly and better enable scientists to discover planets far outside our solar system.

The additional jobs created by the research funding, and goods and services purchased as a result, added about $1.23 billion to the gross regional product during the past year, according to Lynn Reaser, an economist at Point Loma Nazarene University.

UCSD ranks high on Forbes’ list of best employers for women

UC San Diego ranks second among higher-education institutions in Forbes’ third annual ranking of the best employers for women, the publication announced recently.

The university is listed 46th overall among 300 organizations across the country selected for their culture, diversity, development opportunities and flexibility.

Women currently occupy 63 percent of all senior leadership roles at UCSD. In 2012, there were only three women on the chancellor’s cabinet and today there are 10, composing more than half the cabinet. In the same time frame, the number of women in management roles increased from 424 to 822.

Half of all deans and four out of seven college provosts at UCSD are women.

La Jolla Institute for Immunology gets $1 million for coronavirus research

The La Jolla Institute for Immunology has been granted a $1 million gift from GHR Foundation, an independent global philanthropy based in Minneapolis.

The money will support the work of the Coronavirus Immunotherapy Consortium (CoVIC), a global partnership headquartered at LJI. CoVIC is led by Erica Ollmann Saphire, a professor in LJI’s Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research. CoVIC is aimed at accelerating discovery, optimization and delivery of antibody-based therapeutics against the virus that causes COVID-19.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown clearly, infectious disease anywhere becomes infectious disease everywhere. Until a vaccine becomes available, we need a way of giving people immediate immunity,” Saphire said, “and antibody therapy is the way to do it. The support of the GHR will help us expand and accelerate the analysis of antibodies from people who have recovered from COVID-19 to understand how they work and deliver the best ones across the globe.”

La Jollan named Junior League president

La Jolla resident Andrea Myers has been selected president of the Junior League of San Diego. She will serve through June.

La Jolla resident Andrea Myers has been named president of the Junior League of San Diego.
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“Over the past 92 years, the Junior League of San Diego has had a lasting and positive impact on our community,” Myers said. “The league is on the forefront of key initiatives and advocacy efforts to improve the well-being of women, children and families in San Diego. We offer unique opportunities for personal growth through leadership training, community service and lifelong connections.”

Myers joined the league in 2010 and has served in several leadership roles, including fund development director and chair of the nominating committee.

She has been credited with spearheading several fund development efforts and increasing the nonprofit’s revenue by more than 60 percent in three years after relaunching the chapter’s signature fundraiser, a Kentucky Derby-themed Food & Wine Festival.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff