La Jolla News Nuggets: ‘Ghost ship,’ half marathon, blood drives, Rhodes Scholar, vending ordinance, more

An empty sailboat anchored off the coast of Bird Rock is pictured Nov. 13. It was towed away a few days later.
(Amber Asaro)

‘Ghost ship’ no longer lingers off Bird Rock

A sailboat anchored for more than five weeks in a marine reserve off the coast of Bird Rock in La Jolla has been towed away and impounded by San Diego lifeguards.

The boat, which arrived Oct. 11, appeared to be abandoned, leading some La Jolla residents to refer to it as a “ghost ship.” But Monica Muñoz, spokeswoman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, said in early November that lifeguards had contacted the boat’s owner after they received complaints about it.

“It’s not [abandoned],” Muñoz said at the time. “It’s not a ghost ship.”

City, state and federal officials said the boat’s anchoring in a marine reserve did not violate any laws.

Residents who observed the boat daily said it was approached by another vessel Nov. 18 and hauled away.

A sailboat anchored off the coast of Bird Rock is approached by another vessel Nov. 18.
A sailboat anchored off the coast of Bird Rock is approached by another vessel Nov. 18, around the time local residents say the sailboat was taken away.
(Trace Wilson)

Muñoz said lifeguards had “marked [the boat] and left it a few days, and when they returned there was still no owner to be found. … It appears the owner abandoned it, so it was impounded.”

She said the boat would be held “until the owner comes to retrieve it. There is a cost associated with the tow and a per-day charge for the impound.”

Kiwanis Club warming up for La Jolla Half Marathon

The Kiwanis Club of La Jolla is in the final stretch of preparations for the 40th annual La Jolla Half Marathon on Saturday, Dec. 11, beginning at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

The 13.1-mile course, unchanged from previous years, ends at La Jolla Cove, with the final 3.1 miles overlapping with the concurrent La Jolla Shores 5K.

The race, typically held in the spring but canceled in 2020 and postponed in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is the primary fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla, which awards more than $200,000 annually to schools and nonprofit institutions.

The Kiwanis Club also will present a La Jolla Half Marathon Expo beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla. The free all-day event is an opportunity for half-marathon runners to pick up their bibs and registration packets. Vendors will be selling sports-related items.

To register or learn more about the La Jolla Half Marathon and La Jolla Shores 5K, visit

American Red Cross to hold four blood drives in La Jolla

The American Red Cross will hold four blood drives in La Jolla in December, part of a schedule of dozens of blood drives in San Diego intended to replenish supplies affected by fewer drives and donations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The local drives are:

• 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, Thornton Pavilion at Jacobs Medical Center, 9300 Campus Point Drive

• 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, 4126 Executive Drive

• 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, Residence Inn by Marriott, 8901 Gilman Drive

• 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, Schaetzel Center at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, 9890 Genesee Ave.

All those who donate before Thursday, Dec. 16, will automatically be entered for the chance to win a private screening for the winner and 50 guests of the new film “The Matrix Resurrections.” Donors also will receive a $10 Amazon gift certificate by email.

For more information, visit

Bishop’s grad is named a 2022 Rhodes Scholar

La Jolla native and The Bishop’s School graduate Sayeh Kohani, now a senior at Stanford University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering, has been selected as a 2022 Rhodes Scholar.

Rhodes scholarships provide all expenses paid for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.

The 2022 class includes 22 women, the most ever chosen in a year, and has winners from 24 different colleges and universities.

“I’m so humbled to be a part of this year’s incredible group of scholars and am so excited to be living and learning in a completely new environment,” Kohani told the La Jolla Light.

Kohani has researched neurological disorders, is the inventor of a proprietary solar-powered water purification system to combat waterborne disease and is founder and president of NeuroConnect, a volunteer program matching students with patients with neurodegenerative disorders to limit the effects of social isolation on disease progression.

She proposes to complete a master of science degree while at Oxford in physiology, anatomy and genetics and a master’s in evidence-based social intervention and policy evaluation.

Sidewalk vending ordinance goes before City Council on Dec. 14

A revised sidewalk vending ordinance is slated to go before the San Diego City Council on Tuesday, Dec. 14.

“After receiving critical input from everyone this issue touches, I believe this ordinance will balance the needs of residents, vendors and our public spaces,” City Council President Jennifer Campbell, who is proposing the ordinance, said in a statement. “I look forward to addressing this crucial issue for San Diegans.”

Vendors set up shop near La Jolla Cove.
(Courtesy of Bob Evans)

Campbell said her proposed legislation won’t be unveiled until a few days before the Dec. 14 meeting, but she expressed confidence it will be well-received.

Merchants and other groups in downtown San Diego and some city beach communities say vendors have flooded business districts and parks with few or no restrictions because of a 2018 state law that aims to encourage street vending as a new class of small business.

Advocates for street vendors say critics have exaggerated the dangers and chaos created by vendors and that those complaining are mostly businesses frustrated that they are facing new competition from street vendors.

La Jolla Parks & Beaches has been monitoring the situation since 2018. Vice President Bob Evans said earlier this year that “sidewalk vending needs to be better managed and prohibited from our La Jolla coastline parks and beaches. The vending and commercialization takes away from the views, crowds the busy walkways and benches, harms the landscaping and adds to unhealthy and unsanitary conditions and trash woes.”

San Diego begins new ‘Sidewalk Reset’ deep-cleaning program

The city of San Diego began a pilot program last week intended to help keep sidewalks cleaner longer.

The city’s new “Sidewalk Reset” approach is a deep-cleaning method intended to remove grime and buildup from sidewalks downtown, in beach areas and the South Bay, with other areas being evaluated. Crews developed the approach after noticing the regular sanitizing solution beading on the sidewalks due to buildup of grease and dirt.

San Diego has been sanitizing sidewalks in an effort to prevent the spread of infectious diseases since a hepatitis A outbreak resulted in 592 cases and 20 deaths in 2017. Recently, the city increased those efforts to seven days a week due to an outbreak of shigellosis in the city’s homeless population.

Regular sidewalk sanitization consists of a quick spray of a mist containing a mixture of water and bleach. The Sidewalk Reset involves a deep power-washing of the sidewalk and gutter, street sweeping and removal of the water a process that can take up to two hours per block.

“These sidewalk resets will prevent the spread of bacteria, beautify our neighborhoods and improve the quality of life for our residents and visitors,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. — City News Service

Part-time La Jolla resident John Huckabay received the Naval Submarine League’s 2021 Distinguished Civilian Award for significant contributions assisting the submarine force.

The Naval Submarine League presented its annual awards Nov. 18 at its 39th Symposium and Industry Update in Arlington, Va.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff