La Jolla News Nuggets: Blood drive for teacher; Barbara Bry podcast; La Jolla Innovation Center; more

Stacie Buechel of La Jolla needs a rare type of blood as part of her cancer treatments.
Stacie Buechel of La Jolla needs a rare type of blood as part of her cancer treatments.

La Jolla teacher still in need of rare blood type

The San Diego Blood Bank was still seeking a match this week for Stacie Buechel, a La Jolla teacher and mother of three who needs a rare blood type to fight bone cancer. More than 600 people have donated blood in her name, according to the blood bank.

Buechel, 47, requires about a pint per week of the rare blood for transfusions as part of her treatment. She needs type A+, O- or O+ that does not have a protein called Kpb. Less than 1 percent of the U.S. population has that type of blood, the blood bank said.

In a Feb. 2 post on her family’s Meal Train web page, Buechel — a Montessori teacher and the founder of Essbee Learning Center in La Jolla — wrote that “my picture is a bit grimmer than we originally thought.” But she added that “We can’t give up hope. ... There aren’t enough words to describe what so many of you have done for me and my family.”

To donate blood in Buechel’s name, visit any San Diego Blood Bank donation location or mobile blood drive and include the code “ESSB” when registering. For more information and to make an appointment, visit or call (619) 400-8251.

Barbara Bry launches podcast following mayoral run

Following her term representing District 1 (which includes La Jolla) on the San Diego City Council and an unsuccessful candidacy for mayor, La Jolla resident Barbara Bry has launched a podcast with her husband, San Diego Union-Tribune business columnist Neil Senturia.

The podcast, called “I’m There For You Baby! The Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Galaxy,” streams on Spotify and at

Barbara Bry and husband Neil Senturia prepare to drop their ballots at the La Jolla/Riford Library on Election Day Nov. 3.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

“The theme of our show is that today everyone needs to think like an entrepreneur, whether it’s in your own business, a large organization or a nonprofit,” Bry wrote in a message to supporters. “Our guests have included the head of the largest angel investor group in the U.S., an entrepreneur who created a natural fertilizer business combining [expletive] and garbage, the head of the Hispanic Chamber of e-Commerce, a leader in the cannabis industry and the CEO of Goodwill of San Diego County.”

Public comments being taken on LJ Innovation Center through March 22

A draft environmental impact report for the planned La Jolla Innovation Center is available for public comments through March 22. The proposed 110,000-square-foot, seven-story building would be on the southwest corner of Villa La Jolla Drive and La Jolla Village Drive, where Rock Bottom Brewery once operated.

The facility would house several programs from UC San Diego Health, UCSD School of Medicine and UCSD Extension and include office and educational space, a ground-floor cafe accessible to the public and about 275 parking spaces.

The entire property is currently a 7-acre commercial complex from which UCSD has leased about 90,000 square feet for decades. The university would acquire the land and is looking to redevelop one acre. Following approval from University of California regents, which is expected in May, the project could begin construction and be open in late 2023.

An online public environmental hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25. For more information and the draft EIR,

Church’s White Elephant Sale is a virtual fundraiser this year

The 89th annual White Elephant Sale by La Jolla’s St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church will be a virtual fundraiser this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The event raises money to fund grants for people in need.

With no in-person sale this year, donors are asked to send a check payable to the Women of St. James (with “WES” in the memo section) to St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, 743 Prospect St., La Jolla, CA 92037, or pay on the St. James website, The goal is to raise $50,000. Donations are tax-deductible.

A “Zoom to Remember” event is planned for 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, via the church website featuring past volunteers, shoppers, photos and a toast to beneficiaries.

LaCava commends Bishop’s students who founded Operation Nourish

La Jolla resident and San Diego City Councilman Joe LaCava awarded his first commendation in office to Bishop’s School students and Operation Nourish founders Bela and Mira Gowda, whom he called “two bright, young innovators.” Their nonprofit supports the community’s health care and restaurant sectors by buying bulk meals from local restaurants and donating them to nearby medical facilities.

“Since its inception, Bela and Mira have provided over 1,000 meals from heavily impacted restaurants to health care workers at six area hospitals,” LaCava wrote. “Thank you both for your commitment to the community and your creativity. Keep up the great work!”

La Jolla club aids student effort to help Vietnamese village

The Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle contributed $500 to an initiative by UCHS Interact, a student-led organization at
University City High School, to partner with the nonprofit Gravity Water to build rainwater collection and filtration systems to provide clean drinking water in needy regions.

UCHS Interact “adopted” the Ban Lien Primary and Secondary School in the Bac Ha village of Lao Cai, Vietnam. Students are working to raise a total of $2,500 by March 1 so they can complete the project in June.

For more information or to donate, visit

MCASD announces first special exhibition for remodeled La Jolla campus

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has announced that its first special exhibition at the La Jolla campus in spring 2022 will be “Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s.” The Prospect Street museum is currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion that will quadruple its gallery space. It is set to open later this year.

The exhibition will explore a transformative 10-year period in Saint Phalle’s work, when she embarked on two of her most significant series, “Tirs,” or “shooting paintings,” and “Nanas,” according to a news release.

The French-born sculptor, painter and filmmaker moved to La Jolla in the 1990s. She died in 2002.

Scripps Oceanography continues collaboration with SDG&E to study climate change effects

Utility company San Diego Gas & Electric and UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct research on the effects of climate hazards to the San Diego region.

The collaboration will assess the risks that coastal flooding, extreme rainfall variability, sea-level rise and wildfires pose for SDG&E operations, infrastructure and customers, with an emphasis on creating an early-warning coastal flood model.

The MOU is a continuation of a collaboration between SIO and SDG&E. In 2018, the company and Scripps’ Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation established an ongoing project using a baywide observational network of pressure sensors and gauges to enhance understanding of water-level extremes, wave energy and potential flooding now and in the future. In 2019, the contract was extended for three years and expanded to include the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes and other researchers at Scripps.

Cherry Sweig will do live demonstrations along with other artists at the Perry Gallery in La Jolla Shores through February.
Cherry Sweig, whose work is pictured displayed at the Perry Gallery in La Jolla Shores, will do live demonstrations along with other artists at the gallery throughout February.

The Perry Gallery at 2218 Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla Shores features live painting events through February on its front patio, with local artists demonstrating their techniques and explaining their inspirations.

The participating artists are Dana Levine on Fridays, Cherry Sweig on Saturdays and Dottie Stanley and Mona Ray on Sundays. All demonstrations are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit

Local author publishes latest children’s book in series

La Jolla Realtor Janet Lawless Christ has published her second book, “Bizzie: The Beat-Loving Bumbling Bee,” via the publishing branch of her company JoyWorks Networks Inc. “Bizzie” is aimed at promoting the power of music to children and is the second in a series.

The book is based on a true story about bees relocated from the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the book will go to Guitars in the Classroom, a national nonprofit that trains and equips teachers and school staff to integrate music with academic instruction and social-emotional development.

Lawless Christ’s first book, “Nugget the Nomad,” was published in October to teach children how to cope with difficult situations.

“Bizzie” is priced at $12.95 and is available at

La Jollan is board president of newly launched Hebrew Free Loan

Hebrew Free Loan of San Diego, whose board president is La Jolla resident Selwyn Isakow, has named Encinitas resident Mindi Frankel as its first executive director to help grow the newly launched nonprofit interest-free lending institution, a member agency of the International Association of Jewish Free Loan.

To learn more, visit

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff