La Jolla News Nuggets: Bike path cleanup, Open Aire Market, Parks & Beaches president, vaccine lawsuit, more

Volunteers filled three waste bins by clearing the La Jolla Bike Path of brush and debris Oct. 23.
(Debbie Adams)

100 volunteers clear brush and debris from La Jolla Bike Path

Undeterred by drizzle, nearly 100 volunteers of all ages participated in the annual cleanup of the La Jolla Bike Path and Starkey Mini Park on Oct. 23.

Volunteers pruned, sawed, hauled and swept dry brush, overgrown vegetation and trash into two donated EDCO roll-off waste bins and an additional one provided by the city of San Diego. La Jolla Golf Carts provided two carts to move volunteers and some brush along the mile-long corridor.

La Jolla Kiwanis and La Jolla Parks & Beaches have partnered the past two years to support the all-volunteer effort.

This year, San Diego City Councilman Joe LaCava and staff helped work a portion of the trail while La Jolla Town Council President James Rudolph helped tackle tumbleweed.

“This is a public service event at its very best,” said Debbie Adams, who coordinated the cleanup with La Jolla Kiwanis member Glen Rasmussen.

La Jolla Open Aire Market celebrates 23 years; will host Halloween festivities

The La Jolla Open Aire Market is on the grounds of La Jolla Elementary School along Girard Avenue at Genter Street.
(Julie MacDonald)

The La Jolla Open Aire Market celebrated 23 years in business Oct. 24 and is looking forward to Halloween fun with an event on Sunday, Oct. 31.

The farmers market, established by former La Jolla Elementary School parent Sherry Ahern in 1998, marked its 23rd anniversary with its annual Harvest Festival, which featured live music, pumpkin decorating, a giveaway and a performance by the fifth-grade cast of the recent “Wizard of Oz” production at La Jolla Elementary.

On Oct. 31, the market will host an event for Halloween, including live music from Fast Heart Mart, crafts and trick-or-treating throughout the market. There also will be a dog costume party with treats courtesy of Gia’s Grub and True Pet Kitchen at the Dog Zenergy booth on upper Girard Avenue near Genter Street.

The event is free; guests are encouraged to wear costumes.

Currently, the Open Aire Market gathers dozens of farmers, gourmet food court vendors and artisans from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays at the corner of Girard and Genter on and around the grounds of La Jolla Elementary School.

Proceeds from the market go to the school. For more information, visit

La Jolla Parks & Beaches president to step down

Claudia Baranowski, president of the La Jolla Parks & Beaches group, announced she would be stepping down in January, citing “an unexpected and substantial increase in personal responsibility.” She did not elaborate.

“I have made the difficult decision to resign as president and as a member of this board as of the close of the [January] meeting,” Baranowski said during the board’s Oct. 25 meeting online. “I regret that my personal circumstances necessitate this change. Fortunately, our organization includes many talented and capable individuals whom I will ask to assist me in effecting a smooth transition. My time on this board and as president have been really valuable to me and I am grateful for the experiences I’ve had and to work with all of you to protect, preserve and enhance La Jolla parks and beaches.”

Student sues San Diego Unified over COVID-19 vaccination mandate

A 16-year-old Scripps Ranch High School student and her parents filed a lawsuit Oct. 22 against the San Diego Unified School District in an attempt to block its recently approved COVID-19 vaccination mandate for staff and students 16 and older.

The suit, filed in federal court in San Diego on behalf of the family — identified in the complaint as John, Jane and Jill Doe — states the high school junior’s religious beliefs prohibit her from getting the vaccine.

The district approved the vaccination mandate last month, requiring that all students 16 and up be fully vaccinated by Dec. 20. After that, unvaccinated students in that age group will be required to participate in remote learning via independent study.

The district’s plan allows for medical exemptions to the mandate, but not exemptions for students’ religious or personal beliefs.

The suit follows one filed earlier this month by parents group Let Them Choose, which alleges the district lacks the authority to implement a vaccination mandate. — City News Service

La Jollan to take part in Chinese American veteran recognition ceremony

La Jolla resident and author Russell Low
La Jolla resident and author Russell Low will participate in a ceremony honoring Chinese Americans who served in the U.S. military in World War II.
(Courtesy of Russell Low)

La Jolla resident and author Russell Low will be part of a ceremony to recognize the 20 million Chinese Americans who served in the U.S. military in World War II.

The ceremony will be in Simi Valley next month, when Congressional Gold Medals will be presented to the surviving veterans or their families.

“This recognition is well-deserved and long overdue,” Low said. “Ceremonies across the nation will honor our WWII veterans who served in every branch of the United States military. I will be accepting Congressional Gold Medals for my father, Loren I. Low, and his young brother Stanley Low. Both men served in the Pacific. One came home with a Silver Star for gallantry in action on Saipan in June 1944, while the other gave his life for his country and our freedoms before he was old enough to vote.”

The presentation was orchestrated by the Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project. Learn more at

Paseo del Ocaso project doesn’t get a vote; will return at future PRC meeting

Despite changes to the floor plan, the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee did not take a vote on a home construction project planned for 7951 Paseo del Ocaso during its second review Oct. 18. The applicant will return for a third time at a future meeting.

The project calls for site development and coastal development permits to demolish a single-family residence, including a garage, pool and shed, and build a 3,355-square-foot, two-story single-family residence with roof access and an attached two-car garage.

In a preliminary hearing last month, Shores PRC trustees expressed concern about the proximity of the house to the property line and a lack of articulation in the walls. The intent of articulation is to not have a solid blank wall. It can mean stepping back a second story or using trims or accents to break up the massing.

In a second review this month, homeowner David Baylor and representative David Darling showed revised plans they felt addressed the board’s critiques.

After nearly an hour of debate, the board determined that the project had been improved but not quite enough. Trustees applauded the design but were concerned about lack of articulation in the walls. The applicant agreed to work with PRC Chairman Andy Fotsch until the next meeting to further revise the plans.

The La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee next meets at 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15, online. Learn more at

Lower Hermosa home project headed for November DPR meeting

Preliminary plans for a home development in La Jolla’s Lower Hermosa area were heard at the La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee’s Oct. 19 meeting and will return to a future meeting for a vote.

The project calls for a coastal development permit to demolish a residence and part of the garage and build a two-story single-family residence with an attached garage, a balcony and a patio for a total of 7,497 square feet at 6208 Avenida Cresta.

DPR trustees wanted to see more renderings, including ones that include landscaping, the building in relation to its neighbors and more.

The board next meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, online. Learn more at

Vote centers will replace local polling places in San Diego County

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted last week to permanently change the way residents vote in elections.

Neighborhood polling places will be replaced with larger “vote centers” under a new election model the supervisors passed unanimously.

Authorized under the 2016 California Voter’s Choice Act, vote centers will offer voters multiple options, including in-person voting, ballot drop-off, voter registration and translation assistance.

Under the old voting model, voters must request a mail ballot or vote in person on Election Day at their local polling place. Those who wished to vote at a different polling location had to turn in their mail ballot or vote using a provisional ballot.

“Because vote centers nearly eliminate the need to cast a provisional ballot, this reduces the post-election administrative tasks required to certify each election,” speeding the tally of election results, the county stated.

Under the new system, which starts with the June gubernatorial primary, all registered voters will automatically receive a mail ballot. They can mail it or return it to an official drop-off location or a vote center.

For those who prefer to do things in person, 197 vote centers will open throughout the county. Forty will be open for 11 days including Election Day, and the rest will open at least four days including Election Day.

Voters can go to any center, where workers will use an electronic poll book with a roster of all registered voters.

Vote centers also can provide replacement ballots, language interpretation and translated materials, and register a person to vote, according to the county. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

La Jolla Institute for Immunology appoints new chief financial officer

The La Jolla Institute for Immunology has appointed Richard Stryjewski as its chief financial officer. Stryjewski will lead financial planning and operations to advance growth and ensure the institute’s long-term financial security, LJI said.

“Richard is passionate about supporting scientific research and uniquely equipped to thrive in the environment of an independent, world-class research institute,” said LJI President and Chief Executive Erica Ollmann Saphire.

Stryjewski, a certified public accountant, started his career at Ernst & Young and subsequently held various accounting and finance positions with large organizations including PacifiCare Health Systems and Walt Disney Co. Most recently, he spent 12 years at Scripps Research in La Jolla, where he oversaw general accounting, financial reporting, budget, treasury, risk management, compliance, endowment accounting and donor financial stewardship.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff