La Jolla News Nuggets: UCSD professor’s ‘X’ going to Met Opera; census data; Heath Fox Day; more

UC San Diego professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis
The Metropolitan Opera will present “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X,” by UC San Diego professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis, in 2023.

Met Opera to stage UCSD professor Anthony Davis’ ‘X’ in 2023

The Metropolitan Opera will present UC San Diego professor Anthony Davis’ “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X” beginning Nov. 3, 2023.

The company said the staging by Robert O’Hara will be conducted by Kazem Abdullah.

“X” had its world premiere at the New York City Opera in 1986. Davis, winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for music for “The Central Park Five,” will rewrite “X” to have one intermission instead of two.

Baritone Will Liverman will sing the title role and soprano Leah Hawkins also will sing in the production. — Associated Press

State releases census data for redistricting

California recently released the 2020 U.S. Census data needed to proceed with redistricting procedures.

According to the data, the city of San Diego has about 1.39 million residents, so each of its nine City Council districts will need approximately 154,400 people. However, District 1, which includes La Jolla, has a population of about 166,600, representing a 12.8 percent increase from the 2010 Census and almost 8 percent over the desired number.

Nine meetings have been held in recent weeks, focusing on each council district. Going forward, meetings will discuss trends and themes and review recommended changes.

Recently, the San Diego Redistricting Commission launched an online mapping tool that lets residents draw their own proposed maps. “It’s actually very user-friendly and allows you to see how many residents are assigned to each district that you create and provides demographic information such as the racial composition of your districts,” Commissioner Lora Fleming said. “You can also see what others have submitted.”

Learn more at

City Council proclaims Heath Fox Day

Heath Fox and his wife, Terry
Former La Jolla Historical Society Executive Director Heath Fox (pictured with his wife, Terry) was honored with Heath Fox Day on Sept. 24.

The San Diego City Council recognized Sept. 24 as Heath Fox Day in honor of the former executive director of the La Jolla Historical Society.

A proclamation presented by Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, read in part: “Heath Fox ... developed innovative programs related to cultural heritage, environmental issues, climate change, sustainable cities, health care research, women’s history and diversity awareness, which contributed to the advancement of public discourse around these current issues. … [His] dedication and commitment to arts and culture in the promotion of community well-being has not gone unnoticed, and his work has made the city of San Diego a better place.”

After nine years, a full rehabilitation of the Historical Society’s Wisteria Cottage, an overhaul of programming and more, Fox retired this fall to conclude a 25-year career as a museum director and an arts and culture professional.

“My sincerest appreciation to Mayor [Todd] Gloria, District 1 council representative Joe LaCava and the other members of the San Diego City Council for the recognition this proclamation brings,” Fox told the La Jolla Light. “In my career in the arts and culture sector, I’ve enjoyed success because of support from others — staff colleagues, board members, volunteers and community stakeholders. It’s truly wonderful to reflect on that support as I receive this proclamation, and I’m very honored and grateful to receive it.”

La Jolla Village Merchants Association holds election

Voting is on for the La Jolla Village Merchants Association board of directors election. Ten candidates are running for 10 open seats; ballots are due Wednesday, Oct. 6.

Incumbents Natalie Aguirre, Amber Anderson, Morgan Barnes, Cody Decker, Andy Fotsch, Michael Matthews, Kelli Metcalf and Lauren Turton are on the ballot, along with first-time candidates Nicole Perez and Karen Roque.

Voting eligibility is based on current membership in the La Jolla Business Improvement District, and ballots must include the business name and owner’s name.

Ballots may be downloaded from or requested by calling (858) 230-2725. Ballots can be dropped off at or mailed to the LJVMA office, 7734 Herschel Ave., Suite C, La Jolla, CA 92037.

Ballots will be opened and counted at the regular LJVMA meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13.

La Jolla author Vivianne Knebel pens second book

La Jollan Vivianne Knebel has written her second book, “Lessons Learned about Life and Love: Living with Intention and Wisdom from Great Minds.”

The memoir shares some of the lessons Knebel has learned from writers and thinkers such as Wayne Dyer and Dr. Viktor Frankl, weaving them into her own experiences.

The book, which also includes anecdotes about Knebel’s everyday rituals and memories from her world travels, is available at

UCSD receives U.S. Economic Development Administration grant

The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded a $929,000 grant Sept. 30 to UC San Diego to further develop its Talent Foundry Accelerator, which supports start-up companies in the technology sector. Within the next three years, the TFA expects to serve 90 entrepreneurs and start-ups in the San Diego area.

UCSD was one of 50 grant recipients nationwide as part of the federal Build to Scale initiative to support programs that fuel tech-based economic development.

Farmers Insurance Open will switch to Saturday finish in 2022

The traditional Sunday finish for the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament in La Jolla will be missing in January. With the pro football season extending an extra week into February, the conference championship games are scheduled for Jan. 30 — the same Sunday the Farmers Insurance Open was set to end.

To avoid a conflict, the PGA Tour and Farmers Insurance announced that the tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course will move up a day and begin Wednesday, Jan. 26, and finish Saturday, Jan. 29. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

UCSD professor selected as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator

UC San Diego professor Elizabeth Villa has been selected as a 2021 Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.
(Erik Jepsen / Courtesy of UC San Diego)

UC San Diego biological sciences associate professor Elizabeth Villa has been selected as a 2021 Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

As one of 33 scientists representing 21 institutions chosen from among more than 800 candidates, Villa will receive about $9 million over a seven-year term, which is renewable pending a scientific review.

Villa, a biophysicist who develops novel visualization techniques to explore the inner mechanisms of cells, was selected along with the other 2021 investigators for their potential to radically change how people think about biology, health and disease.

HHMI will invest at least $300 million in the new investigators. The institute’s investigator community currently includes about 250 scientists.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff