La Jolla News Nuggets: Bird Rock July 4 parade, Westfield UTC job fair, Bike Anywhere Week, more

Russ and Scott Murfey, organizers of the Bird Rock Fourth of July community parade, get ready for the start in 2019.
Brothers Russ and Scott Murfey, organizers of the Bird Rock Fourth of July community parade, get ready for the start of the 2019 parade.

Bird Rock looking to hold July 4 parade with ‘modifications’

In addition to a planned return of the La Jolla Fourth of July fireworks in The Village, the traditional Bird Rock Fourth of July community parade is planned to return this summer.

Representatives of Murfey Construction, which has coordinated and sponsored the Bird Rock parade, are proceeding with obtaining and securing permits from the city of San Diego.

Murfey representatives sent an update to the Bird Rock Community Council for its May 4 meeting.

According to the update, read by BRCC President John Newsam, “It goes without saying that this year’s parade, assuming permits are issued and reopening plans continue in their current direction, will be different from years past, with modifications and considerations for appropriate distancing. Those exact specifics will depend on what the state of affairs is as we get closer, but there will definitely be modifications needed. We understand that a safe parade is in everyone’s best interest.”

Updates will be provided at BRCC meetings as they become available.

Westfield UTC holds job fair

The Westfield UTC shopping center is hosting a job fair May 12-13 featuring more than 35 shops and restaurants and more than 185 available positions, including sales associates, cooks and servers, merchandisers and shop and restaurant managers.

The job fair will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, May 12, and 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 13, outdoors near Pottery Barn at 4545 La Jolla Village Drive.

Free registration is available at

SANDAG Bike Anywhere Week starts May 16

Catherine Blakespear, chairwoman of SANDAG and mayor of Encinitas, gets geared up for Bike Anywhere Week May 16-22.
Catherine Blakespear, chairwoman of the San Diego Association of Governments and mayor of Encinitas, gets geared up for Bike Anywhere Week May 16-22.
(Courtesy of SANDAG)

Bike Anywhere Week will be celebrated throughout the San Diego region May 16-22, with residents encouraged to ride bikes to work, school or anywhere else.

Participants can get a free T-shirt and find a self-guided activity or virtual event at Self-guided activities will include Bike Anywhere Bingo and bike tours through various neighborhoods and bike paths. Virtual activities will include bike yoga and commuting classes, a bike safety check and a SANDAG Regional Bike Networks webinar.

Traditionally, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) presents an annual Bike to Work Day on the third Friday in May to encourage commuters to try biking to work. This year’s event will open participation to anyone.

“This countywide event aims to remind us that riding a bike is a viable transportation choice to get anywhere, not just to work or for exercise,” SANDAG Chairwoman and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear said in a statement.

Miracle Babies to host fundraiser at La Valencia

The nonprofit Miracle Babies will celebrate its Miracle Circle Auxiliary at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 26, at the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla. The event, called “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” will include a cocktail reception and brunch.

Aiming to raise funds for a “heart” shuttle to transport parents and babies receiving care at the Rady Children’s Hospital Heart Institute, the event also will feature keynote speaker Dr. Nita Landry of “The Doctors,” along with Dr. Denise Suttner of Rady Children’s Hospital.

The fundraiser will follow county public health guidelines, with tables placed six feet apart and attendance limited to 50 percent of capacity.

Tickets are $200. For more information, visit

Parachute Studio offers summer art camp at La Jolla Rec Center

Parachute Studio will bring an outdoor, in-person summer art camp to the La Jolla Recreation Center in June and July for children ages 6-13.

Sessions will run from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays through Fridays, June 21-25, June 28 to July 2, July 5-9 and July 12-16. There will be a maximum of 15 students. To comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines, students must attend the entire week of a session.

“The camps will be sustainability-focused and will be geared toward building community in La Jolla and providing a fun, creative, safe space for kids to socialize again,” said owner Raychel Long.

Students will work with oil pastels, watercolors, acrylic, clay and more to create one to three art projects over the course of the week. Sessions will include a midday snack break and an outdoor activity.

The cost is $250 per student, with discounts for groups of five. Learn more at

Salk scientists transform atmospheric carbon dioxide into industrial material

Plants capture carbon dioxide from the air, but leftover crops release carbon back into the atmosphere, mostly through decomposition. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla have proposed a more permanent, useful fate for the captured carbon by turning plants into an industrial material called silicon carbide, or SiC, offering a strategy to turn the atmospheric greenhouse gas into a valuable material.

In a new study published April 27 in the journal RSC Advances, scientists at Salk transformed tobacco and corn husks into SiC. The findings can help researchers, such as members of Salk’s Harnessing Plants Initiative, evaluate and quantify carbon-sequestration strategies to potentially mitigate climate change.

SiC, also known as carborundum, is an ultrahard material used in ceramics, sandpaper, semiconductors and LEDs.

“The rewarding part was that we were able to demonstrate how much carbon can be sequestered from agricultural waste products like corn husks while producing a valuable, green material typically produced from fossil fuels,” study first author Suzanne Thomas, a Salk staff researcher, said in a statement.

Next, the team hopes to explore the process with a wider variety of plants, particularly horsetail or bamboo, that naturally contain large amounts of silicon.

UCSD names chair of Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Dr. Susan Bukata has been named chairwoman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and UCSD Health.

Bukata joins the faculty from UCLA Health, where she was an orthopedic surgeon, a professor and vice chair of orthopedics clinical operations.

“While being among the first women to hold such a position is only a small part of why I took this job, it is something I take very seriously,” Bukata said in a statement. “Only 6 percent of orthopedic surgeons are women, and there are very few women in leadership. …

“I’m looking forward to attracting and training students, residents, fellows and junior faculty who represent the patients we serve, as well as engaging with the local community to introduce young girls to careers in musculoskeletal health.”

Bukata succeeds Dr. Reid Abrams, who served as interim chair after Dr. Steven Garfin stepped down in 2018 to serve as interim dean for the UCSD School of Medicine. — City News Service

Art & Wine Festival planning return to The Village

After being suspended for a year, the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival will return to The Village Oct. 9-10.

The fundraising event includes more than 150 juried artists from around the world in a variety of media, plus 3D chalk art displays, interactive art murals, live music, a family art center, roving entertainment, a gourmet food court, and a wine, craft beer and spirits garden.

All profits raised at the Art & Wine Festival benefit programs such as art, music, science, physical education, technology and onsite medical care at the five La Jolla public schools. For more information, visit

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff