La Jolla News Nuggets: Light wins awards; electric car; research grants; Zandra Rhodes exhibit; more

Centenarian Werner Cahn was profiled in a La Jolla Light story that won first place in the San Diego Press Club awards.
Centenarian Werner Cahn was profiled in a La Jolla Light story that won first place in the San Diego Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism awards.

La Jolla Light team nets 10 San Diego Press Club awards

The La Jolla Light nabbed 10 awards, including three for first place, as the San Diego Press Club held its 47th annual Excellence in Journalism awards Oct. 27.

Reporter Elisabeth Frausto took first place for her profile “La Jolla new centenarian Werner Cahn reflects on fleeing Nazi persecution and finding luck”; second place in the general news category for her story “Rec Center reborn? Committee unveils $6 million plan to revamp La Jolla Recreation Center”; and third place in the visual/fine art category for “New mural goes up on Girard Avenue in La Jolla: Can you spot the Berlin connection?”

Reporter Ashley Mackin-Solomon took first place for her health/science feature “A prayer answered: Bird Rock resident donates kidney to fellow La Jollan”; third place in the general news category for “Children’s Pool concerns? Local residents behind historic designation say La Jolla landmark is falling apart”; and third place in the sports category for “Advantage Autism: La Jolla tennis clinic helps special-needs players thrive.”

Designer Daniel K. Lew received first place for his layout of the La Jolla Light Holiday Calendar and shared second place with former Light reporter Corey Levitan for the food feature on which they collaborated, “La Jolla restaurants fight to survive amid coronavirus lockdown.”

Contributor Catherine Kaufman, known locally as “The Kitchen Shrink,” took first place in the humor category for “Don’t kill your dinner guests on Thanksgiving!” and honorable mention in the education category for “Fishing for the Future — a celebration of sustainable sea-loving kindred spirits.”

Retail location at Westfield UTC features electric vehicle Solo

Canada’s ElectraMeccanica has opened a new retail center at Westfield UTC shopping center on La Jolla Village Drive featuring the Solo, a single-passenger, three-wheeled all-electric vehicle with a range of 100 miles and a top speed of 80 mph.

The car, which retails for $18,500, is slightly more than 10 feet long and 57½ inches wide at the front wheels — considerably smaller than a typical passenger vehicle.

“There’s a lot of interest in electric vehicles in the San Diego market and there’s just a great number of commuters,” said Paul Rivera, chief executive of ElectraMeccanica.

The all-electric, three-wheeled Solo has a suggested retail price of $18,500.
The all-electric, three-wheeled Solo has a suggested retail price of $18,500.

The Solo features a heated seat, Bluetooth stereo, rear-view camera, power steering, power brakes and air conditioning. For safety, it has front and rear crumple zones, side-impact protection, torque-limiting stability control and a roll bar.

The Westfield UTC storefront is one of six new retail locations that ElectraMeccanica is opening in November in California and Arizona.

“People can go see it, they can go feel it, touch it and schedule a test drive,” Rivera said.

Customers don’t drive the vehicle off a lot but place an order to have it delivered later. The Solo requires a $250 refundable deposit.

— The San Diego Union-Tribune

Scripps Oceanography gets $9.3 million as part of robotic ocean research project

The National Science Foundation has approved a $53 million grant to five ocean research institutions to build a global network of chemical and biological sensors that will monitor ocean health.

The project, called the Global Ocean Biogeochemistry Array, will be led by La Jolla’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and other organizations. They will work together to build and release a network of 500 robotic floats into the ocean to collect chemistry and biology data from the surface down to a depth of more than a mile.

Scripps Oceanography will receive $9.3 million of the grant. Its science team, led by oceanographer Lynne Talley, will build 15 percent of the floats at UC San Diego. The floats will measure temperature, depth, salinity, oxygen concentration, acidity, nitrate concentration, sunlight, chlorophyll and particles in the water. Researchers, educators and decision-makers around the world will have free access to the collected data in close to real time.

LJI scientists get NIH grants for research studies

The National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has granted scientists at La Jolla Institute for Immunology more than $2.3 million to study how a family of molecules called integrins helps the body fight disease. The research could open the door to new cancer therapies or treatments for autoimmune diseases.

“Once you understand integrin activation better, you will have new targets for drugs,” said professor Klaus Ley, who will spearhead the five-year project at LJI.

Ley’s laboratory will lead the effort to image integrins, signaling and adhesion molecules that sit on the surface of white blood cells. White blood cells normally swim in the bloodstream without interacting with other cells. When a threat appears, integrins get signals to activate and change their shape to make a white blood cell “sticky.” The sticky cells can then leave circulation, attack pathogens or move into tissues to respond to infections or cancer.

In addition, LJI professor Catherine “Lynn” Hedrick recently received $523,914 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study how immune cells may contribute to cardiovascular problems in COVID-19 patients.

Hedrick’s work will focus on how the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 may affect monocytes, a type of immune cell in the bloodstream.

Monocytes are part of the body’s first line of defense against viruses. As COVID-19 has spread, more studies suggest the coronavirus affects monocytes in an unexpected way. COVID-19 symptoms like abnormal blood clotting, heart damage and lung inflammation can be tied to problems with monocytes.

‘Zandra Rhodes: Some Artworks’ on exhibit at Athenaeum

The "Zandra Rhodes: Some Artworks" exhibit includes items such as champagne glasses handpainted by Rhodes.

The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla is hosting “Zandra Rhodes: Some Artworks” through the end of the year. The exhibition by print designer Rhodes includes a collection of paintings, drawings, prints and small items.

Items for sale include collectible, limited-edition items from Rhodes’ personal archive, including handpainted champagne glasses, signed giclee prints and sketches inspired by Rhodes’ travels and her home in Del Mar, etchings and framed silk scarves from the early 1970s, printed canvases featuring some of her best-known design motifs, large original paintings from the 1980s, and copied and signed sketchbook pages in various sizes.

Rhodes has been a well-known figure in the British fashion industry for five decades, with a career that includes collaboration with several global brands.

The Athenaeum exhibit is open for members and non-members by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, email or call (858) 454-5872.

Seniors Community Foundation launches ‘No Seniors Alone’ initiative

To help the San Diego senior citizens hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Diego Seniors Community Foundation announced a $1 million “No Seniors Alone” initiative designed to address the challenges facing the region’s older adult population. The foundation will reinvest the dollars raised into local senior-serving organizations through a grant-making program later this year.

San Diego Seniors Community Foundation founder, Chief Executive and President Bob Kelly also said the Sahm Family Foundation has offered a $500,000 matching grant to help end social isolation during COVID-19.

“The reality for older people is that we are at high risk of infection and at even higher risk of long-lasting impacts due to social isolation,” Kelly said. “Health and economic well-being later in life has little to do with personal sacrifice on an individual level. It has more to do with our collective willingness to give where it helps to build a community that supports all of its residents. That’s what the No Seniors Alone initiative is about.”

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff