La Jolla News Nuggets: Companion unit approved, blinking statue, blood donation, leaf blowers

Renderings of a new two-story 1,067 square-foot companion unit to be built behind 604 Palomar Ave.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

DPR committee approves Barber Tract companion unit

La Jolla’s Development Permit Review committee approved a Coastal Development Permit for construction of a new two-story 1,067-square-foot companion unit to be built behind 604 Palomar Ave. during its Aug. 10 meeting online.

Hubbell & Hubbell architect and primary designer Peter Barroso described it as a Tudor style house. “We have very tall roofs in the Tudor style, but we also wanted to keep it more contemporary and a little cleaner as far as not having so much woodwork in the horizontal finishes. Our design keeps a little more with the existing neighborhood.”

The 6,800-square-foot lot has an existing 1,100-square-foot one-story house, and two units are allowed on the lot. Barroso said the project meets side yard setbacks and encroaches “a little bit” into the rear setback, situating the house four feet from the rear property line.

After a short round of questions, a motion to the preliminary discussion final, which passed unanimously. A second motion that findings can be made passed unanimously with the acting chair abstaining. The La Jolla Development Permit Review committee next meets (pending items to review), 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14. It is not yet known whether the meeting will be online, in person or a hybrid. Learn more:

Grant to pay for project to bring Native American perspectives to Kendall-Frost Marsh

San Diego Audubon, in partnership with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, Native Like Water, and Renascence (a non-profit led by local archeologists and also a member of the Mesa Grande Band of the Kumeyaay Nation) have received an $85,000 grant from Honda to create an integrated research and public engagement program centered on bringing Native American perspectives and cutting-edge science into the management and access decisions needed to ensure the survival of the Kendall-Frost Mission Bay Marsh Reserve as a community asset.

The grant will reconnect humans to the marsh while supporting the city of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan, improving ecosystem resiliency and fortifying wildlife habitats on the marsh.

The project has five objectives: assess the monetary value of the marsh for carbon sequestration; reconstruct the history of the marsh’s environment and plants; celebrate the resilience of the Kumeyaay and highlight the significance of the relationship between community and the natural environment at the marsh; assess the social value of wetland restoration; and create a memorandum of understanding between reserve management and Kumeyaay leaders.

“This is a monumental collaboration that promotes the insight and interests of the Kumeyaay people as a part of the building blocks of a program,” said Renascence Project Founder and Director Brandon Linton said. “In the past we are always asked to the table during the approval phase, but through this grant and partnership we hope to bring the Kumeyaay perspective and presence to the Kendall-Frost Mission Bay Marsh Reserve.”

UCSD ‘blinking’ statue goes still for maintenance

Earlier this month, the software associated with the blinking mechanism of the “What Hath God Wrought” statue on the UC San Diego campus was temporarily shut down for maintenance.

According to UCSD, the 199-foot tall metal flag-pole-like sculpture designed by Los Angeles-based artist Mark Bradford — now considered the tallest structure on the University’s campus — is mounted with a flashing light that spells out “What Hath God Wrought” in Morse Code. The phrase is the first message Samuel Morse tested and transmitted across 41 miles, over the communication system he’d newly designed with partner Alfred Vail, from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. in 1844.

The blinking feature was down for a few days, said university spokeswoman Erika Johnson, so updates could be performed to the software. She said the blinking has since resumed.

LaCava and staff donate blood

To bring awareness to the need for blood donations, La Jolla resident and City Councilman Joe LaCava — whose District 1 includes La Jolla — and his staff donated blood to the San Diego Blood Bank on Aug. 11 at the San Diego Blood Bank Carmel Valley Donor Center.

All blood types are needed. San Diego Blood Bank strongly encourages all healthy individuals to donate blood. To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 114 pounds, and be in general good health. Appointments are required; same day appointments are available. Visit or call (619) 400-8251. 

City Councilman Joe LaCava (front left) and staffers after donating blood to the San Diego Blood Bank.
City Councilman Joe LaCava (front left) and staffers (clockwise) Ricky Flahive, Victoria Joes and Moriah Gaynor after donating blood to the San Diego Blood Bank.
(Courtesy of the San Diego Blood Bank)

San Diego Coastal Art Studios Tour changes format, removes cost

The San Diego Coastal Art Studios Tour will now be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18 and will be a free event.

The tour was originally scheduled to be a two-day event requiring a ticket purchase but will still feature a self-guided tour of more than 30 local artists at venues in La Jolla and Pacific Beach.

Artists will display works of realism, abstracts, watercolors, photography, mixed media, pastels, jewelry, fiber arts, ceramics, glass, wood and gourds.

The six tour locations will be posted at and a map with locations will be available at The Land’s End Gallery, 4984 Cass St.

Attendees will have the option to make a donation at each location if desired; proceeds will benefit children’s scholarship programs at The Village Arts & Education Foundation of Spanish Village in Balboa Park.

La Jollan expands research award at Cornell University

La Jolla resident Jonathan Ferrini has added $250,000 to an existing award at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine to support thoroughbred horse research.

The Dante and Sharon Ferrini Award for Veterinary Thoroughbred Horse Racing Studies, established in 2015 and named for Ferrini’s parents who were thoroughbred horse racing enthusiasts, works to minimize catastrophic injuries that lead to euthanasia in thoroughbreds.

In April, Ferrini also established the Jonathan B. Ferrini endowment at UC San Francisco School of Medicine’s neurology department in memory of his father, aimed at the study of early detection and treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The amounts of the original donations are unknown.

Local group meeting to write ordinance banning gas-powered leaf blowers

A group of local residents concerned about noise and environmental issues associated with gas-powered leaf blowers met online Aug. 11 to discuss an ordinance it is drafting to send to San Diego County representatives.

The group, known as SD-SEQUEL, or San Diegans for Sustainable, Equitable & Quiet Equipment in Landscaping, is led by La Jollan and Ban Leaf Blowers San Diego member Carolyn Marsden and Sierra Club San Diego representative Ron Askeland.

SD-SEQUEL, which formed in May, objects to the use of gas-powered leaf blowers, citing air pollution and damaging noise levels, and wants to ban them countywide.

The draft ordinance would implement a trade-in or buy-back program to ensure an equitable transition from gas to electric leaf blowers. It has not yet been submitted to County officials. At the Aug. 11 meeting, the group discussed community education prospects such as door hangers to inform homeowners of the proposed ban.

The group next meets at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25 on Zoom. For more information, visit

La Jolla-founded school in Haiti seeks funds to aid those impacted by earthquake

Project Edeline, a nonprofit formed by La Jollans to build Institut Edeline School in Haiti, is currently seeking funds for disaster relief efforts following the Aug. 14 7.2 earthquake.

La Jolla resident and founder Stephanie Hoffman said the school itself “fared well” but many of its neighbors are struggling in the earthquake’s aftermath. She said the school aims to feed nearly 5,000 Haitians over the next two weeks.

For more information or to donate, visit