La Jolla News Nuggets: La Jolla Cove 10 Mile Relay, art exhibit, Princess Street trail, book sale, more

About 650 people swam at least part of the La Jolla Cove 10 Mile Relay on Sept. 26.
(Susan Forsburg)

La Jolla Cove 10 Mile Relay sees hundreds take to The Shores

The La Jolla Cove 10 Mile Relay brought 652 registered swimmers to La Jolla Shores on Sept. 26 for the annual event to raise money for the American Diabetes Association and the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego.

Organizer John Heffner said 133 relay teams and 20 solo swimmers took on 1-mile laps from The Shores into The Cove and back.

Heffner said good ocean conditions enabled the fastest team to complete the 10-mile course in three hours, 50 minutes, with the fastest solo swimmer finishing in four hours, 20 minutes.

He said most of the teams finished the relay in about five hours.

Heffner said final donation amounts would not be available for a few days but estimated it’s “highly likely” the event will exceed the record $32,000 raised in 2019 (the race was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

Community Center’s new exhibit honors late member and her art

Mimi Guarneri, Anne Michelle Casco, Marjorie Nass, Ruth Yansick and Nicole Caulfield (standing, from left) and Martin Nass
Mimi Guarneri, Anne Michelle Casco, Marjorie Nass, Ruth Yansick and Nicole Caulfield (standing, from left) and Martin Nass attend a Sept. 26 reception for a new La Jolla Community Center exhibit featuring the artwork of the late Marilyn Nass.
(Courtesy of La Jolla Community Center)

The La Jolla Community Center held a reception for the opening of an exhibit of Marilyn Nass’s paintings Sept. 26. Nass, a La Jolla resident from 2014 until her death in 2020, began painting through lessons at LJCC the last year of her life, taking many of the offered classes via Zoom during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The reception for the exhibit, “Celebrating the Life and Paintings of Marilyn L. Nass,” showed several of her paintings as Nass’s husband, Martin, and Jack Clausen and Willis Frisch played chamber music.

Nicole Caulfield, Marilyn Nass’s painting instructor, said she had a “conscious and intuitive approach to painting. She had what seemed to be an inner compass guiding her work from start to finish.”

After Nass’s death, LJCC and its chief executive, Ruth Yansick, established the Marilyn Nass Creative Arts Fund to enable more senior citizens to have access to arts opportunities.

The Nass exhibit will run through Wednesday, Oct. 6. Reservations are required. To learn more, visit

Conservancy funds second phase of Princess Street trail development

The California Coastal Conservancy awarded the Environmental Center of San Diego a grant of $180,680 on Sept. 23 to support the continued restoration of the historic Princess Street Coastal Access Trail in La Jolla.

The state funding will help cover the cost of the second phase of the project, which includes site studies, final design development and permitting of the trail site.

Once completed, the trail will restore public access to a stretch of the shoreline isolated by development over the years.

The new grant was awarded after ECOSD completed the initial planning phase in 2019-20. This is the second grant the organization has received from the conservancy for this project.

The trail has been the subject of a 40-year effort by the community and the California Coastal Commission to protect and restore the trail, which had been used since the early 1900s as a path to the beach by fishermen, divers and surfers.

“The historic Princess Street Coastal Access Trail is a valued asset for my constituents and the surrounding ecosystem,” said San Diego City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla. “Our beaches are precious to the community of La Jolla and public access to them is of utmost importance.”

The project also is endorsed by San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher, the San Diego chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, La Jolla Park & Beaches, Windansea Surf Club and San Diego Dive Club.

Friends of La Jolla Library to hold outdoor book sale Oct. 2

Friends of the La Jolla Library will hold an outdoor book sale from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, in front of the La Jolla/Riford Library at 7555 Draper Ave.

The sale will have a youth book theme, and children’s and teen books and other materials will be available with prices starting at 25 cents. All proceeds will go to support the library.

During sale hours, Friends will accept donations of gently used books, magazines, puzzles and DVDs for future sales. For more information, visit

Local researchers are awarded millions in grants

Two La Jolla researchers have been awarded a $13 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to fund a five-year project to explore the connection between aging and liver cancer.

Sanford Burnham Prebys professor Peter Adams, who directs the Aging, Cancer and Immuno-oncology Program, and Salk Institute for Biological Studies professor Gerald Shadel, who directs the San Diego Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging, will study how chronic interferon signaling influences several biochemical processes in age-related liver cancer. Interferon signaling is a process in which special proteins in the body signal the presence of viruses or cancer cells.

Doctors understand that age is a risk factor for liver cancer, but the precise molecular mechanisms behind the increased risk remain a mystery that Adams and Shadel aim to solve.

Another Sanford Burnham Prebys researcher, assistant professor Karen Ocorr, has received a $2 million grant from NASA to fund a three-year project to study the effects of low gravity on muscle and neuron function in fruit flies and nematode worms aboard the International Space Station.

The fund is part of NASA’s larger initiative to understand the effects of space conditions on different organisms.

Though fruit flies have been used for space studies since the 1940s, the need to study the effects of gravity has become more pressing as the possibility of colonization of the moon or Mars becomes more feasible.

This isn’t the first time Ocorr has put fruit flies into space. A study from her lab published last year in Cell Reports indicated that prolonged exposure to zero gravity causes cardiac constriction and changes in muscle proteins in flies. The new project will expand on those findings, looking at both muscle and nervous systems in flies and worms reared aboard the space station under simulated Earth, Mars and lunar gravity levels.

Salk scientist honored with Blavatnik National Award

Kay Tye, a neuroscientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, has been recognized as one of three recipients of the 2021 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists.

Tye was honored for her studies of the neural pathways of addiction and compulsive behavior and uncovering problems in processing reward, fear and learning that can cause a range of psychiatric disorders.

Each winner receives $250,000 — the largest unrestricted prize for those considered among America’s most innovative young faculty-rank scientists and engineers.

Pumpkin patch opens Oct. 1

Can it be Halloween season already? Indeed it can, and in that spirit, the Mr. Jack O’Lanterns Pumpkin Patch will open its La Jolla location on Friday, Oct. 1, at 6710 La Jolla Blvd.

Online ordering, delivery and curbside pickup will be available, along with games and other activities daily through Oct. 31.

Decorating kits and carving kits will be available for purchase. Admission and parking are free.

All staff and guests will be required to wear masks, and there will be sanitization stations throughout the patch.

For more information, visit

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff