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La Jolla News Nuggets: Artist demonstrations, podcaster wins silver, Presidential Scholar candidates, more

Artist Sharon Hinckley will demonstrate her watercolor technique at the La Jolla Community Center on Thursday, Feb. 24.
(Courtesy of La Jolla Community Center)

La Jolla Community Center to host monthly artist demonstrations

The La Jolla Community Center and the La Jolla Art Association will begin hosting artist demonstrations at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, at 6811 La Jolla Blvd.

The events, which will repeat on the fourth Thursday of each month, are planned to highlight the diverse artistic talent of the La Jolla Art Association, which includes local artists representing a variety of media such as oil, watercolor, acrylic and digital.

Artist Sharon Hinckley will demonstrate her watercolor technique during the first event. Each demonstration will be followed by an open exhibit of the Community Center’s galleries. Light refreshments will be served.

Registration is required. For more information, visit ljcommunitycenter.org/art-receptions or call (858) 459-0831.

La Jolla Country Day podcaster wins silver Anthem Award

La Jolla Country Day School student Evan Sulpizio-Estrada took home the silver (second place) award in the Young Leader of the Year category in the inaugural Anthem Awards.

Evan was recognized for his “Evan Worldwide — Global Youth Perspectives” podcast and as a youth ambassador for The Peace Studio, a New York-based nonprofit.

The podcast focuses on “conflict, culture and cuisine.” In each episode — many of which last just under an hour — Evan interviews young people who are promoting peace and addressing conflict in their home countries around the world.

La Jolla students named Presidential Scholar candidates

Eight La Jolla students have been named candidates for the 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars program.

The students were chosen from among more than 5,000 applicants. Scholars are selected for superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

The Presidential Scholars program was created in 1964 by executive order of then-President Lyndon B. Johnson to recognize distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to students in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to include students in career and technical education fields.

The local candidates are:

• The Bishop’s School: Emma Hong, Stanley Wei, Emma Li, Michelle Wang

• La Jolla Country Day School: Vivian Li, Grace Richardson, Yuxiang Zhou

• La Jolla High School: Andrew Kanghyun Park

La Jolla Country Day teacher is named Future Arts Awards recipient

La Jolla Country Day School visual arts educator Ivy Guild has been named one of 10 recipients of the Future Arts Awards: Ecosystem X.

From October to December, hundreds of artists across the country submitted artworks that expressed aspirational visions of humanity. Selected artists earned a cash prize, and winning artworks will be featured in a curated virtual exhibition opening this month.

Guild’s submission, “The Keeling,” “is an amalgamation of aloe corpses with steel prosthetics, speculative organisms and contemporary fossils.”

“The works in the exhibition speculate on pre-PTSD of the Sixth Great Extinction and the artifacts we may leave in our wake,” according to LJCDS.

Proposal for parcel tax is delayed to 2024 ballot

Supporters of a proposed parcel tax intended to upgrade parks and libraries in San Diego will target the November 2024 ballot instead of trying to get the measure passed this year.

The measure would raise about $250 million in an effort to upgrade deteriorating parks, renovate older libraries and build new versions of each. Projects in low-income areas would be emphasized.

A parcel tax requires equal contributions from all properties, regardless of assessed value. That’s in contrast with a general obligation bond, in which property owners contribute based on the assessed value of their property.

Supporters of the parcel tax say they plan to gather the 82,000 signatures needed to make the ballot measure a citizens initiative. That would reduce the approval threshold from two-thirds of the vote to a simple majority. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

Scripps Research scientists unveil new approach to diabetes prevention

Scientists from Scripps Research in La Jolla say they have conducted promising early tests of a new strategy that might one day be used to prevent or treat Type 2 diabetes.

The scientists, whose results are reported in Nature Communications, tested an experimental compound called IXA4 in obese mice. They showed that the compound activates a natural signaling pathway that protects the animals from harmful, obesity-driven metabolic changes that would normally lead to diabetes.

The study was a collaboration between the laboratories of Enrique Saez and Luke Wiseman, both professors in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Scripps Research and co-senior authors on the paper.

Type 2 diabetes remains a major public health problem: About 30 million people are estimated to have it in the United States alone. Driven largely by being overweight, it features the loss of normal blood sugar regulation and brings a multitude of health issues, including higher risks of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, retinal degeneration and some cancers. There are many drugs for treating Type 2 diabetes, but none works well for every patient.

The team used IXA4 to treat mice that were obese from a high-fat, high-calorie diet. After eight weeks, the mice had improved glucose metabolism and insulin activity, less fat buildup and inflammation in the liver, and no loss of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, compared with untreated obese mice.

IXA4 can reach only a limited set of tissues, including the liver and pancreas, so the team is now developing other compounds that can get into a broader set of cells, including fat cells.

La Jolla businesses can apply for Storefront Improvement program

The city of San Diego is accepting applications for its Storefront Improvement program, through which the city provides free professional design assistance and financial incentives to small-business owners who wish to make a creative change to and improve the curb appeal of their storefronts. For example, at Bird Rock’s Wheat & Water restaurant, the city provided new doors, windows, a sidewalk patio, stucco walls, new paint and signage in 2017.

The program revitalizes building facades visible to customers, neighboring merchants and residents and is open to small businesses (25 or fewer employees) that are in San Diego and have a valid business tax certificate.

Learn more at sandiego.gov/economic-development and click on “Start, expand & finance your business.”

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff