La Jolla News Nuggets: Engineering awards, parking tickets, height issues, more

Moffatt & Nichol received an engineering award for its work on the Gilman Road bridge in La Jolla.

Engineering council awards include two La Jolla projects

Two San Diego companies received honors for projects in La Jolla as the American Council of Engineering Companies of California announced the 2021 recipients of its annual Engineering Excellence Awards.

Kleinfelder received an award for its work on the UC San Diego Mesa Housing pedestrian and bicycle bridge, which links the Mesa Housing neighborhood to almost every part of the campus.

The bridge spans 465 feet and features a 10-foot-wide bike lane and a 6-foot-wide pedestrian walkway.

Moffatt & Nichol received an award for its work on the Gilman Road bridge, which extends Gilman across Interstate 5, ties into Medical Center Drive on the east campus, completes the campus transportation “loop road” and provides a direct link for buses, cars, bicycles and pedestrians.

The 406-foot-long bridge has three traffic lanes, plus bike lanes and 10- and 6-foot-wide sidewalks.

San Diego will resume writing parking tickets Feb. 8

The city of San Diego will resume full parking enforcement Monday, Feb. 8, after a roughly one-month break during the latest state stay-at-home order, which was lifted Jan. 25.

The city also suspended full enforcement from mid-March through mid-October because many people were working from home or had lost their jobs, altering their vehicle use patterns. The latest stoppage of enforcement began Dec. 30.

During both periods, there was no enforcement of street sweeping parking restrictions, metered parking, time-limit parking or parking in yellow commercial zones.

But at all times, the city has been issuing citations to vehicles parked illegally at red, white or blue curbs and for certain other types of illegal parking. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

La Jolla DPR seeks clarity on two height issues

In its continuing quest to clarify how ambiguous San Diego building code applies to developments on La Jolla’s beaches and hillsides, the La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee reached out to city planners for clarification on two height-related issues, DPR Chairman Brian Will said at the board’s Jan. 19 meeting online.

The first is how properties are measured when there are multiple height restrictions in play — such as the 30-foot coastal height overlay and other special circumstances outlined in the San Diego building code — and whether all methods of measuring height need to be applied and adhered to.

The second is what constitutes a separation of structures on a property (structures within six feet of a house must be factored into measuring the overall height). “What if the building above grade looks like it’s six feet apart, but there is a retaining wall that touches both of them; or there is a parking garage under both of them? I asked for clarity,” Will said.

Such issues frequently come up at meetings yet are up for interpretation.

“I think it is poorly explained in the code. … Anything that leaves us wondering or folks disagreeing means it is not spelled out enough,” Will said at a previous meeting.

The board is in the midst of compiling proposed changes to local building codes to submit to the city.

Tree trimming program expected to be reduced but not canceled

Mother Nature helped the city of San Diego with its tree trimming program last week with a blustery storm that downed a lot of branches and limbs, and the program apparently needs all the help it can get.

As part of a projected $154 million budget shortfall in the next fiscal year, the city’s tree trimming program is expected to be reduced, though it is not being canceled, according to city spokesman Anthony Santacroce.

City departments are being asked to make budget cuts across the board. City budget meetings are slated to begin in coming weeks in advance of a budget being approved in the summer.

UC San Diego gets a record 118,360 applications

The campus turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t muted interest in UC San Diego, which received a record 118,360 applications globally from students seeking to enroll this fall as freshmen. That includes increases in Black and Latino applicants.

UCSD also saw a significant jump in the number of foreign students applying for admission, which could offset the sharp decline the university experienced in that area during the current academic year.

The number of prospective transfer students also rose — an increase driven largely by California residents. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

UCSD teams with San Diego County on plan for zero carbon by 2035

Drivers travel during a morning commute in San Diego in August.
Drivers travel during a morning commute in San Diego in August.

San Diego County leaders are teaming up with UC San Diego to create a blueprint for reducing the region’s carbon footprint to zero by 2035.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Jan. 27 to contract with UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy to draft a plan that would establish a framework for zeroing out carbon emissions that cities throughout the county can embrace.

The move came after nearly 1,500 residents signed a petition demanding that leaders take bolder steps to curb global warming. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

La Jolla High School announces new athletic director

La Jolla High School has announced that Aaron Quesnell will take the helm as the next director of athletics for the Vikings, beginning with the 2021-22 school year.

Quesnell has been the school’s girls and boys varsity golf coach for almost a decade, winning multiple California Interscholastic Federation and Western League championships. In 2016, he was named CIF San Diego Section Golf Coach of the Year.

In his 17 years at La Jolla High, Quesnell also has served as science department chairman, Bio-Medical Pathways instructor and Academic League coach. He has won three San Diego County championships as Academic League coach.

“We are tremendously excited to have Aaron lead our Vikings athletics program,” LJHS Principal Chuck Podhorsky said. “He brings true athletic experiences, a proven successful track record and passion for La Jolla High School and the community. His vision and expertise will shape our athletic program and community for years to come.”

La Jolla Country Day students garner National Youth Arts Awards

La Jolla Country Day School’s theater students and musical director accrued two awards and seven nominations in the 15th annual National Youth Arts Awards for the 2019–20 season.

Akshar Sharma won for Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical in LJCDS’ performance of “Once Upon a Mattress” and Emma Ragen won for Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical in Young Actors’ Theatre’s production of “Freaky Friday.”

Also nominated for the LJCDS performance of “Once Upon a Mattress” were Tofi Poumele for Lead Performance in a Musical; Ragen, Haley Dunning and Shane Foley for Supporting Performance in a Musical; Kate Alberga for Featured Performance in a Musical and Caroline Becker for Musical Direction.

Ragen also received a nomination for Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical for Young Actors’ Theatre’s “Disenchanted.”

Girl Scouts have launched the e-commerce site Digital Cookie to market their cookies online.

Local Girl Scouts are using socially distant and contact-free ways to provide cookies to customers this year in the time of COVID-19.

On Feb. 1, the Scouts launched the e-commerce site Digital Cookie, a secure way to market cookies online. They also began a new collaboration with meal delivery service Grubhub, using its technology to manage inventory and fulfill orders for delivery.

Cookie fans may visit to learn how to get cookies and download a Cookie Finder app. Cookies are $5 or $6 per package. Troops use the money to fund activities and service projects.

There are more than 40 Girl Scout troops in the La Jolla area, with participants developing business ethics, goal-setting, money management, people and decision-making skills through the yearly cookie sale. Last year, San Diegans bought 2.95 million packages of Girl Scout cookies.

Salk Institute’s NOMIS Center receives $9.5 million gift

The NOMIS Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla will receive $9.5 million to grow and expand, thanks to a gift from the NOMIS Foundation.

“Virtually every organ in our body is naturally infiltrated by immune cells, so there is a tremendous need to understand how the immune cells ‘talk to’ the other cells in these organs and promote tissue health or, conversely, disease,” according to professor Susan Kaech, director of the NOMIS Center. “NOMIS Center investigators are innovating new solutions for surviving infectious disease and developing long-term immunity, combating cancer with our immune system and treating autoimmunity. This new funding by the NOMIS Foundation will allow us to train young scientists and recruit new faculty.”

Salk scientists awarded $1.2 million to study brain aging

A team of scientists from La Jolla’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies led by professor John Reynolds will receive $1.2 million over four years as part of a grant from the Larry L. Hillblom Foundation to examine aging, including age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

“Aging is the greatest risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases, yet we know very little about how the brain ages across the life span,” Salk President and professor Rusty Gage said in a statement. “With this generous new funding … we will be able to explore this scientific mystery and hope to uncover some of the basic mechanisms of brain aging.”

National University launches new law enforcement courses

La Jolla-based National University announced the launch of two new courses that will train law enforcement personnel on the importance of community policing and organizational wellness.

The nonprofit university received two grants totaling $700,000 from the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to develop the courses in an effort to enhance current community partnerships and foster new ones.

“This past year has been an undeniably challenging time in the history of policing across our country, but with every challenge comes an opportunity,” Shelley Zimmerman, a chancellor appointee at National University and a former San Diego police chief, said in a statement. “It is critically important to provide best-practice 21st-century training to increase the overall effectiveness of police services furthering a shared goal of healthier and safer communities.”

3 local institutions get Getty grants for arts initiative

Three institutions with La Jolla ties are among 45 throughout Southern California awarded a total of $5.38 million in exhibition research grants by the Getty Foundation to prepare for the next edition of the regional arts initiative Pacific Standard Time, scheduled to open in 2024.

The series will feature dozens of exhibitions and programs focused on the histories of art and science that together address some of the challenges of the 21st century.

The La Jolla Historical Society was awarded $100,000 for research support for “Helen and Newton Harrison: California Work,” an exhibition of works by the husband-and-wife ecological artists.

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, which has a campus in La Jolla, was awarded $120,000 for exhibition research support for “Medical Condition: Art, Illness and the Body,” which will shed light on the role medical science plays in our daily lives and how it has transformed our understanding of human bodies.

The UC San Diego Institute of Arts and Humanities was awarded $120,000 for exhibition research support for “Oceanographic Art and Science: Navigating the Pacific,” which will explore the visual and sensory techniques, past and present, used to see, measure and imagine the oceans.

One by Quint Gallery at 7722 Girard Ave. in La Jolla is showing Kim MacConnel’s new painting, “The Earl of Grey,” through Saturday, Feb. 27.

MacConnel was a seminal figure in the pattern and decoration movement of the 1970s. The UC San Diego fine-arts graduate was a painting professor there until his retirement in 2009.

The exhibit’s concept is to show only one artwork at a time to encourage the idea of “slow art,” in which viewers can spend up to an hour with a single work.

The gallery is taking appointments for private, socially distanced viewings. Email or text (858) 454-3409.

Kiwanis Club of La Jolla launches new website

The Kiwanis Club of La Jolla recently launched a new website,, which provides meeting information and a way for community members to apply for membership, submit a grant request or make a donation.

The club meets at 12:30 p.m. Fridays online. Email for a Zoom link.

2-1-1 offers help with COVID-19 vaccines

The nonprofit organization 2-1-1 San Diego, in connection with Live Well San Diego, offers help to people with getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

For assistance in making appointments for the vaccine, as well as other information, call 211 or visit

La Jolla Institute for Immunology researcher named Intersect Fellow

Jermaine Khumalo, a postdoctoral researcher at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, has been named a 2021 Intersect Fellow by the American Association of Immunologists. With the fellowship, Khumalo will bring together immunology and computational science training to fuel new research into allergic asthma.

Khumalo said he hopes that combining immunological lab techniques and computational science — which uses specialized computer algorithms and high-performance computing — will help him uncover novel immune cell functions.

“Allergy is quite a complex syndrome,” Khumalo said. “We need to use computational science to study immune cells and how they change in people with allergic asthma. We can do this by combining expertise in clinical disease with cutting-edge tools in single-cell analysis.”

La Jolla accounting firm names managing partner

Lavine, Lofgren, Morris & Engelberg LLP of La Jolla announced that Scott Jablow has taken the reins as the accounting firm’s managing partner.

Jablow has been with LLME since 2008 and has more than 25 years’ experience helping clients with taxation issues, specializing in real estate taxation.

UBS USA hires La Jollan to lead business administration

UBS Wealth Management USA has named Lynn Hunter of La Jolla to lead business administration, financial management, talent development and operations across eight UBS branches in the San Diego area.

Hunter previously was vice president and business service manager with Morgan Stanley and vice president and business initiatives manager for California with Wells Fargo Private Bank.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff