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La Jolla News Nuggets: Mural walking tours, Jewish student center, $40,000 scholarship, more

Murals of La Jolla plans to resume its walking tours on Wednesday, April 28. Math Bass' "Newz!" will be included in the tour.
Murals of La Jolla plans to resume its walking tours on Wednesday, April 28. The latest of the installations, Math Bass’ “Newz!” will be included in the tour.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Murals of La Jolla walking tours to resume April 28

Murals of La Jolla will resume its walking tours of some of its sponsored murals at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 28.

Murals of La Jolla is a project of the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library that aims to place murals in public spaces around La Jolla. To date, the organization has installed 35 murals, with 15 currently on display.

The walking tours, led by Murals of La Jolla Executive Director Lynda Forsha, were paused last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. They will be held the last Wednesday of each month. Reservations are required and can be made at muralsoflajolla.com or ljathenaeum.org.

The walking tours begin at the Athenaeum and weave through The Village, covering roughly half the murals currently on view, including the five installed in 2020 and 2021. “Each mural has its own story,” Forsha said. “We talk about the artists’ concepts, what the inspiration might have been.”

The tours are free and will be limited at first to 20 of the usual 40-person capacity, with masks required.

“I’ve really missed giving the tours,” Forsha said. “I love spending time with people who are just curious. I find that the people who sign up for the tours are always interested in knowing more about the project.”

Appeals court rejects attempt to block new Jewish student center in La Jolla

A rendering depicts the planned Beverly & Joseph Glickman Hillel Center in La Jolla.
(Hillel of San Diego)

A three-judge panel of the California 4th District Court of Appeal last week rejected a local group’s attempt to stop construction of a Jewish student center near UC San Diego in La Jolla.

For more than two decades, Taxpayers for Responsible Land Use has challenged Hillel of San Diego‘s plan to build on vacant land along La Jolla Village Drive across from the La Jolla Playhouse.

The most recent lawsuit was in relation to the San Diego City Council’s approval of the project in 2017. Taxpayers for Responsible Land Use argued that the center would adversely affect the neighborhood and that the City Council did not follow the law in approving it.

According to Hillel, the $19 million project consists of three buildings totaling 6,500 square feet and will serve Jewish students of UCSD by hosting worship, Jewish learning and community activities. Construction is slated to begin this summer.

UCSD appoints World Bank official as dean of School of Global Policy and Strategy

Caroline Freund, global director for trade, investment and competitiveness at the World Bank, has been appointed the next dean of UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, effective July 1.

Freund has more than 20 years’ experience in domestic and international policy institutions and has spent much of her career focused on academic research and policy advice in the area of international economics. She is an advocate for the promotion of women and underrepresented minorities in the field of economics.

“In my recent position at the World Bank, I have witnessed how strong leadership and innovative thinking can transform an economy, accelerate growth and create opportunities for all,” Freund said. “Given current challenges to global cooperation and democracy, I cannot think of anything more important than educating our future leaders, policymakers and diplomats.”

Her predecessor, Dean Peter Cowhey, will become professor emeritus on June 30. — City News Service

Preuss School student wins $40,000 scholarship from College Board

The 25 winners of $40,000 scholarships react after learning of their awards on ABC's "Good Morning America."
The 25 winners of $40,000 scholarships from the College Board react after learning of their awards on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
(Courtesy)

Brian Perez, a senior at The Preuss School on the UC San Diego campus in La Jolla, was one of 25 students from across the country whom the College Board awarded with $40,000 scholarships toward their education last week on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

The students won the scholarships by completing all the steps in the College Board Opportunity Scholarships program.

“These 25 students are as diverse and strong as the country we call home; they come from small towns, cities and everywhere in between. What unites them is that they have overcome adversity and taken a series of small steps to earn themselves a big future,” College Board Chief Executive David Coleman said in a statement.

Students who complete the six college planning steps earn six separate chances at $500. When students finish all six steps, they are entered in a drawing for a $40,000 scholarship.

Class of 2022 students who get started on building their college list by June 30 will be eligible for a chance at the next $40,000 scholarship. For more information, visit opportunity.collegeboard.org.

Take-Out Taste of The Village attracts 300 diners

The La Jolla Village Merchants Association said more than 300 diners turned out for the inaugural Take-Out Taste of The Village, a four-night event March 22-25 that spotlighted 16 La Jolla restaurants.

Four restaurants each night teamed up to prepare special take-out meals for patrons who paid $85 for the four-course dinners for two.

Twenty percent of ticket sales (plus gratuities) goes to the restaurants and the rest goes to the Village Merchants Association.

La Jolla Community Church Easter drive-through aids San Diego Rescue Mission

Guests at La Jolla Community Church's Easter drive-through event March 27 could visit a petting zoo.
(Courtesy)

La Jolla Community Church held an Easter drive-through event March 27 to support the San Diego Rescue Mission. To attend, families were asked to donate toothbrushes, soaps, shampoos and rain ponchos.

Children participated in game stations from their cars, and at the end of the drive-through, participants could individually spend time in a petting zoo, sit in a giant basket for a photo op or have an individual family Easter egg hunt.

“I’m so proud and grateful for this community,” said Connie Evans, director of the church children’s ministries. “The families really rose above and beyond to help others in need. We were able to provide for hundreds of people and give them hope this Easter.”

Salk scientists report new insights into neurodegenerative disorders and potential for genetic therapies

Neurons lack the ability to replicate their DNA, so they’re constantly working to repair damage to their genome. Now, a new study by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla says those repairs are not random but instead focus on protecting certain genetic “hot spots” that appear to play a critical role in neural identity and function.

The findings, published in the April 2 issue of Science, give insights into the genetic structures involved in aging and neurodegeneration and could point to the development of potential therapies for diseases such Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other age-related dementia disorders, according to Salk.

“This research shows for the first time that there are sections of genome that neurons prioritize when it comes to repair,” said Salk President Rusty Gage, the paper’s co-corresponding author. “We’re excited about the potential of these findings to change the way we view many age-related diseases of the nervous system and potentially explore DNA repair as a therapeutic approach.”

Unlike other cells, neurons generally don’t replace themselves over time, making them among the longest-living cells in the human body. Their longevity makes it even more important that they repair lesions in their DNA as they age in order to maintain their function. As they get older, neurons’ ability to make those genetic repairs declines, which could explain why people develop age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Previous research has focused on identifying the sections of DNA that sustain genetic damage, but this is the first time researchers have looked for where the genome is being heavily repaired.

Scripps Research team works on way to curb harmful effect of experimental antibodies for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s

A team led by scientists at Scripps Research in La Jolla has made a discovery suggesting that experimental antibody therapies for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases have an unintended adverse effect — brain inflammation — that may have to be countered if the treatments are to work as intended.

Study co-senior author Dr. Stuart Lipton said he and his colleagues recently developed an experimental drug that may be able to counter the inflammation and thereby restore any benefit of antibody treatment in the human brain.

Experimental antibody treatments for Parkinson’s target abnormal clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein, while experimental antibody treatments for Alzheimer’s target abnormal clumps of amyloid beta protein. Despite promising results in mice, the potential treatments have not seen much success in clinical trials.

“Our findings provide a possible explanation for why antibody treatments have not yet succeeded against neurodegenerative diseases,” Lipton said.

Lipton said the study marks the first time researchers have examined antibody-induced brain inflammation in a human context.

Survey of District 1 issues and Councilman LaCava’s office is open through April 16

San Diego City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose district includes La Jolla, has extended the deadline for his District 1 biannual feedback survey to Friday, April 16. Those who would like to give input on office communications and internal operations, citywide policies and community-specific topics can complete the survey at sandiego.gov/cd1.

“Your feedback is incredibly important for my office to gauge how we’re doing, improve our service and hear more about what ... concerns are important to you,” LaCava said.

Kids Idea Tank seeking young entrepreneurs

Recognizing that entrepreneurial lightning can strike at any age, the Kids Idea Tank is seeking business pitches from San Diego children up to age 13 to compete for a grand prize of $1,000.

According to a statement, any invention or business concept is eligible, from a germ of an idea to a prototype of a product. The grand prize will be awarded by a judging panel of executives and entrepreneurs. A $500 “audience favorite” winner will be selected by family members, friends and classmates viewing the free online pitch event. Mentorship opportunities will be available for participants as well.

The “Shark Tank”-like finale will feature the top 20 applicants in June.

Contestants must film their business pitch and submit the video for consideration. Finalists will pitch their ideas over Zoom and answer questions. Learn more at loweybundysichol.com/kids-idea-tank.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff