La Jolla News Nuggets: New executive chef, ‘Game of Life’ inventor, Sunset Pier Walks, authors mural, more

Mike Minor is the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club's new executive chef.
(Courtesy of The Nth Element)

La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club names new executive chef

Award-winning chef Mike Minor has been named the new executive chef of the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, succeeding Bernard Guillas, who retired after 27 years at the helm. Minor will lead the culinary teams at The Marine Room and The Shores restaurants and at Club Dining and catering events.

“It has been a longstanding dream of mine to live and work in San Diego,” Minor said. “The food, culture and climate of the city reflects my style of cooking, and I can’t wait to incorporate that into the menus at The Marine Room, Club Dining and The Shores.”

Minor has made multiple television appearances, including on “Chopped” and “Cutthroat Kitchen” on the Food Network. He recently was recognized by the James Beard Foundation for his volunteer service with several global charitable organizations, including March of Dimes and Three Square.

He said his next project is to bring a fresh take to The Shores’ menu, where he will emphasize the use of local indigenous ingredients.

‘The Game of Life’ inventor Reuben Klamer dies in La Jolla

Reuben Klamer, a toy industry icon and inventor of the classic board game “The Game of Life,” died at his home in La Jolla on Sept. 14. He was 99.

Reuben Klamer, inventor of the classic board game "The Game of Life," died at his La Jolla home at age 99.
(Courtesy of Jodi Levin)

“The Game of Life” was inducted into the Archives of Family Life at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., in 1981. The game, produced by Hasbro, has been marketed in 59 countries and 26 languages since its introduction in 1960. An estimated 70 million copies of the game have been sold. The Japanese edition, “Jinsei,” has been the bestselling game in that country for more than 50 years.

Klamer worked across a broad spectrum of categories and in a variety of media. Though the bulk of his most successful products were toys and games, he also held design, development and invention credits in textiles, plastics, aviation, publishing, music, film and television. He built the Starfleet phaser rifle for the original “Star Trek” series.

Among his approximately 200 other toy credits are Fisher-Price Preschool Trainer Skates, Art Linkletter Hoop, Gaylord the Walking Dog (Ideal), Moon Rocks (Hasbro), Dolly Darlings (Hasbro), Erector-Constructor Sets (A.C. Gilbert), and Busy Blocks and Zoo-It-Yourself (Tupperware).

One of Klamer’s most significant contributions was pioneering the worldwide use in toys of an unbreakable plastic called polyethylene. Before his development of what became known as the Big Poly line of large molded toys, plastic playthings shattered easily and posed potential safety risks to children. He also developed no-glue “snap-together” hobby kits for Eldon Industries, a first in the industry.

Klamer was inducted into the Hasbro Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2005. He received the TAGIE (Toy & Game International Excellence) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

Early this year, Klamer completed a memoir called “Blitz, Sizzle and Serendipity: My Game of Life.” — Jodi Levin

Sunset Pier Walks return to Birch Aquarium

After more than a year and a half, Birch Aquarium at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla is bringing back its series of Sunset Pier Walks this week.

Guests will join Birch Aquarium naturalists on an exclusive walking tour of the Ellen Browning Scripps Pier — which is normally closed to the public — and learn about research conducted at Scripps Oceanography through interactive experiences including a plankton investigation, squid dissection and more.

“Sunset Pier Walks are a great opportunity for the San Diego community to learn more about the research done at Scripps Oceanography in a safe and engaging way,” said Cari Paulenich, program manager of public engagement. “We are excited to be able to share science and sunsets from the pier with guests after going so long without our wonderful Outdoor Adventures.”

Sunset Pier Walks are priced per group of up to six people and are $135 for aquarium members and $150 for non-members. Guests must be 9 or older, and minors must be accompanied by a paid adult. Face coverings are required during Sunset Pier Walks for all guests, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

The walks will be held on select Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between Sept. 24 and Nov. 19. Learn more at

Warwick’s installs alley-facing mural of authors

A new mural including illustrations of authors on the alley-facing side of Warwick’s bookstore on Drury Lane was completed Sept. 15. It won the approval of the La Jolla Planned District Ordinance Committee during its June 14 meeting.

A new mural including illustrations of authors is on the alley-facing side of Warwick’s bookstore on Drury Lane.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The mural features authors who have spoken at or held book-related events in partnership with Warwick’s. It was printed on canvas and mounted on a second-story blank wall above the customer parking area, with a corner wrapping around so it can be seen from Silverado Street.

Twenty authors are featured, including Amy Tan, Colson Whitehead and Julia Child. There also are other notables who have authored books, such as rock star Ozzy Osbourne, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, feminist activist Gloria Steinem and actress Diane Keaton.

“These are all individuals we have hosted events for, and many of them were hosted at University of San Diego or in theaters downtown; that’s the common denominator between them,” Warwick’s owner Nancy Warwick said at the PDO meeting. “The goal is to create something artistic and culturally vibrant, so the list is representative of a range of people … people who are well-liked in the country.”

100 Wave Challenge invites surfers to participate in fundraiser

A team participates in the 2020 100 Wave Challenge, a fundraiser for the Boys to Men Mentoring Network.
A team participates in the 2020 100 Wave Challenge, a fundraiser for the Boys to Men Mentoring Network. This year’s event continues through Nov. 21.
(Courtesy of 100 Wave Challenge)

The 12th annual 100 Wave Challenge offers surfers along the San Diego County coast the chance to organize team paddleouts and catch 100 waves between now and Nov. 21 to raise money for the Boys to Men Mentoring Network, which aims to help at-risk boys break the cycle of violence, gangs, drugs and prison in their communities and achieve success.

Teams hoping to raise $5,000 or more will be treated to a day-at-the-beach experience including breakfast and lunch, snacks, an assortment of beverages and 100 Wave Challenge swag bags.

To register, donate or get more information, visit

Windansea surf shack to be honored by Historical Society’s Landmark Group

Recognizing the 75 years that the Windansea surf shack has stood to provide “shade and aloha” overlooking its namesake beach, the La Jolla Historical Society’s Landmark Group will honor the shack during its 2022 Landmark Week.

The historically designated shack was built in 1947 by returning World War II veterans who also were surfers.

“This is such an important landmark, one which is so dear to so many,” said Landmark Group President Seonaid McArthur. “We are grateful to everyone who has worked to preserve it. There is a lot of heart in that little structure.”

A plaque recognizing the surf shack as a historical landmark was installed in 2017, though the shack got its historical designation in May 1998.

UC San Diego enrollment could hit 50,000 within 10 years

UC San Diego, a university that is already struggling to handle historic growth, could add as many as 10,000 students over the next decade, pushing enrollment to 50,000 and making the La Jolla campus among the largest schools in the western United States.

Chancellor Pradeep Khosla cited the figure during a recent Zoom interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune that came as students moved into dorms for the fall quarter, which began this week.

UCSD’s enrollment has soared by more than 10,000 over the past decade, reaching roughly 40,000.

Nearly 1,175 students are still on a waiting list for campus housing, partly because the university permanently eliminated beds to promote social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The school also decided it had been packing too many people into dorms. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

La Jolla Presbyterian Church to match donations for Afghan asylum seekers

Alliance for African Assistance, working with La Jolla Presbyterian Church, is seeking monetary and home goods donations for more than 500 Afghan asylum seekers who helped the former Afghan government or coalition forces in Afghanistan.

“These people are coming to San Diego with little or no resources, forced to flee at a moment’s notice and with no room for any sort of luggage,” said La Jolla Presbyterian Church spokesman Jim Sedgewick. “The challenges of finding and renting an apartment and furnishing it and getting clothes for your family in San Diego is difficult for anyone, little less a person literally fleeing for their lives.”

To boost the impact of every contribution, La Jolla Presbyterian is matching up to $50,000 in donations if they are given through the church. Donors can mail a check to La Jolla Presbyterian Church, 7715 Draper Ave., La Jolla, CA 92037 (put “Afghan resettlement” in the memo line), or give online at

Direct donations can be contributed at

Alliance for African Assistance also is collecting new or gently used household items. For information about the most needed items and the drop-off protocol, call (619) 282-4218.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff