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La Jolla News Nuggets: Doughnuts, yellow tier, sewer rates, carbon dioxide, Orchids & Onions, more

The Salvation Army of San Diego delivers doughnuts to employees and veterans at VA La Jolla on June 4.
(Courtesy of Salvation Army)

Salvation Army celebrates Doughnut Day at VA La Jolla

To celebrate National Doughnut Day and the health care workers of the VA Health Center in La Jolla, BakeMark and the Salvation Army of San Diego took 500 freshly made doughnuts to the VA on June 4.

It was part of a more than 100-year tradition of taking doughnuts to those on the front lines — first to soldiers in World War I and now to health care workers — to help lift their spirits.

San Diego County turns to yellow as coronavirus tiers near end

Downward-trending coronavirus infection rates have put San Diego County in the least-restrictive yellow tier of the state’s reopening system, though the change is anticlimactic with the entire structure set to expire Tuesday, June 15.

San Diego County has an adjusted rate of 1.2 coronavirus cases per 100,000
residents in the state’s latest weekly tier report. It was the second week under two cases per 100,000, meaning the region automatically moves from orange to yellow on Wednesday, June 9.

Bars are the biggest beneficiaries. Though many have already quietly returned to service, all may now officially use up to 25 percent of their indoor spaces, with a limit of 100 patrons under their roofs at once.

Indoor gatherings may increase from 50- to 100-person capacity, and gyms and fitness centers may use up to 50 percent of indoor spaces, double the amount allowed in the orange tier. They also regain use of saunas and steam rooms. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

Analysis critiques San Diego’s plan to raise sewer rates 28% in four years

San Diegans in single-family homes may get a modest reprieve from a city plan to increase sewer rates nearly 19 percent next year and a total of 28 percent over the next four years.

The city recently got a legally mandated second opinion on a consultant’s analysis that was used to calculate the rate increases, and the second opinion says the increases should be more gradual and smaller.

City officials conceded the initial analysis may have prompted higher rate increases than necessary. They agreed to incorporate the second opinion into their rate recommendations.

The City Council is scheduled to receive the final recommendations in July and vote on them in September, with new rates potentially taking effect in January for the city’s 2.2 million sewer customers. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

Carbon dioxide levels hit record high even as pandemic slowed emissions, Scripps Oceanography says

Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide continue to break records despite a temporary, pandemic-induced dip, according to UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla.

Concentrations of carbon dioxide averaged 419 parts per million in May, the highest tally for any month since recordkeeping began more than six decades ago, scientists reported June 7.

Readings are taken at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s
Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. Scripps scientist Charles David Keeling
started the measurements in 1958, with NOAA establishing a parallel recordkeeping effort in 1974.

“It’s rising as fast as ever,” said Ralph Keeling, a geochemist at Scripps who took over the measurement series, known as the Keeling Curve, after his father’s death in 2005. “Fossil-fuel burning is the center of the problem. It’s what’s driving CO2 up and is the major cause of climate change.”

Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases trap heat on the planet that otherwise would radiate into space. The highest monthly averages for carbon dioxide typically happen in May, before plants in the Northern Hemisphere start to suck up large amounts of the gas during the growing season. Oceans and other natural ecosystems also act as what are known as carbon sinks.

Last year, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions fell by the largest percentage since the 1940s, according to the International Energy Agency. But temporary reductions in transportation emissions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic were “too small and too short in duration to show up clearly,” Keeling said of the data from Mauna Loa Observatory. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

Nominations open for Orchids & Onions

The San Diego Architectural Foundation is inviting the public and design industry professionals to nominate the best and worst of San Diego’s architecture in the run-up to the 45th annual Orchids & Onions awards ceremony.

The program recognizes the best (Orchids) and worst (Onions) in architectural design, form and function. Categories include architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, historic architecture and a miscellaneous category for public art or other community improvements.

In 2020, three La Jolla developments won an Orchid: The Center for Novel Therapeutics, UC San Diego’s Tata Hall for the Sciences and UCSD’s Mesa Housing pedestrian bridge.

Nominations close June 30. Learn more at orchidsandonions.org.

Summer reading program includes activities component with cooking and virtual story time

The San Diego Public Library summer reading program invites readers of all ages to open a book. The program, themed “Reading Colors Your World,” began June 1 and for the first time features an activity challenge component.

Participants can earn prizes by completing a combination of 10 books, 10 hours of reading or activities. The activities include attending a virtual story time, listening to an audio book or reading a recipe and cooking up a treat. Reading and activities can be mixed to complete the program.

The program offers three age categories: 11 and younger, 12-17 and 18 and older. Upon completion, readers will be eligible for prizes including meal vouchers, museum passes, comic book bundles and puzzle books. Reading and activities can be tracked online or on paper logs available at the La Jolla/Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave.

The program runs through Aug. 31. To register and view lists of activities and recommended books, visit sandiego.gov/summerreading.

Beach cleanup coming at the Children’s Pool

The community outreach committee of the San Diego chapter of the Community Associations Institute will hold a beach cleanup at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, June 12, at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla.

Volunteers are asked to meet on the observation deck above the beach. Snacks, water, gloves and masks will be provided. To RSVP, email clairmont@roseman.law.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff