La Jolla News Nuggets: Half marathon, code revision, tuberculosis study, pet items, poetry, more

Runners head to the finish during the La Jolla Half Marathon. The final 3.1 miles overlapped with the La Jolla Shores 5K.
Runners head to the finish line during the La Jolla Half Marathon on Dec. 11. The final 3.1 miles overlapped with the concurrent La Jolla Shores 5K.
(Joan Plaehn)

La Jolla Half Marathon crosses annual finish line

The La Jolla Half Marathon ran its annual course for the 40th time Dec. 11, drawing about 2,000 runners.

The 13.1-mile course, unchanged from previous years, began at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and ended 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 this year 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.

A runner makes his way toward the finish of the La Jolla Half Marathon.
(Peter Gotfredson)

Final numbers on the funds raised from the race were not immediately available, “but we know the event was profitable and we know we raised new monies for Kiwanis to award over the next year in grants to other children’s charities,” said Kiwanis race chairman Bart Calame.

“We expect the April 2022 race to be back on track with a normal cohort of 5,000 or so runners,” he said.

Code revision includes new sign requirements prompted by La Jollans

As part of the city of San Diego’s annual update to the land development code — which contains regulations for development and use of property, including zoning, subdivisions and more — representatives of La Jolla’s planning groups successfully recommended changes to project noticing.

The changes to the land development code were approved by the City Council on Dec. 13, including a change to the size and placement of public notices that provide details of a project to be built on a site.

The new guidelines state the notices “shall not be spaced more than 200 feet apart. No more than three notices are required for any property. If the street frontage is less than 200 feet, only one notice is required” and the signs must be “12 feet square ... generally measuring 3 feet by 4 feet.”

Local planning groups have discussed the issue of public noticing for years, with many lamenting that notices are too small or hard to find when posted onsite and can be easily thrown away when sent in the mail.

LJI scientists uncover key immune cells in play after tuberculosis vaccination

Scientists from the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, Linköping University, Murdoch University and Vanderbilt University have uncovered a subset of immune cells that help researchers understand how the BCG vaccine for tuberculosis works against the disease.

The findings, published Dec. 1 in eBiomedicine, point to a subset of T cells called Th1* cells, a key marker in the body’s “immune signature” following BCG vaccination, the study indicates.

By looking at the immune signature, vaccine developers can make sure their TB vaccine candidates are enlisting the right kinds of immune cells.

The BCG vaccine is about 100 years old and is still given to infants. However, tuberculosis still kills around 1.5 million people every year.

The researchers on this study set out to uncover exactly how the BCG vaccine works, since a better understanding could serve as a foundation for designing more effective TB vaccines.

The researchers wanted to know which kinds of immune cells respond to the BCG vaccine and “remember” the vaccine well enough to fight the bacterium that causes TB.

Local veterinary clinics taking donations of pet items

La Jolla Veterinary Hospital and Windan’ Sea Veterinary Clinic are collecting donations of leashes, collars and pet food that will be distributed to pets and pet owners experiencing homelessness and hunger throughout San Diego County.

Donations can be dropped off at boxes at 7520 Fay Ave. and 6911 La Jolla Blvd. in La Jolla. The contributions will be picked up Friday, Dec. 24, for Christmas distribution and again the first week of January.

The effort is part of the outreach program of the FACE Foundation, a nonprofit that provides critical veterinary care for pet owners who can’t afford the cost.

Write Out Loud seeks submissions for two poetry opportunities

Write Out Loud is seeking submissions for two poetry opportunities.
(Ron Logan)

Write Out Loud is seeking submissions from San Diego students for two different poetry opportunities.

“Poetry Out Loud,” a national poetry recitation competition, is open to high school students and asks entrants to memorize and recite poems with a chance to advance to the state and national finals.

The registration deadline for schools or educational organizations to host a “Poetry Out Loud” competition is Monday, Dec. 20. The individual student deadline is Saturday, Jan. 15. For more information, visit

“Let Your Voice Be Heard — Pandemic Poetry” is open to all San Diego County students in kindergarten through 12th grade and calls for original poems that address the theme “Resiliency Through and Emerging From the Pandemic.”

The submission deadline for “Let Your Voice Be Heard” is Monday, Feb. 28. For more information, visit

St. James Christmas Bazaar raises $7,500 for grants to needy

Sherry Seymour gets crazy with a cozy at St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church's Christmas Bazaar.
(Courtesy of Teresa Hixson)

St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in La Jolla raised more than $7,500 at its Christmas Bazaar on Dec. 4-5 to help fund grants for people in need.

The proceeds will be added to the money raised at the church’s upcoming 90th annual White Elephant Sale Feb. 11-13.

The grant deadline is Feb. 28, and applications are available at The grants will be funded in the first quarter of 2022.

La Jolla Garden Club donates $500 to park project

The La Jolla Garden Club contributed $500 toward the under-construction Grant Park project this month. As a member of California Garden Clubs Inc. and the National Garden Club, the La Jolla club sometimes supports causes outside its local community.

The Grant Park project will build a sensory garden, an ethno-botanic garden and signage at the new Grant Park on the San Diego River in the Mission Valley area and turn 17 donated acres into a nature education center.

La Jolla Garden Club members Connie Forest, Ina Thompson and Susan Wille presented a check to California Garden Clubs President Lynne Batchelor on Dec. 4 to contribute toward the $20,000 goal.

Learn more at

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff