La Jolla News Nuggets: ‘Spring Forward’; demonstration targets UCSD; gazebo hearing; library hours; more

La Jolla/Riford Library youth services librarian Katia Graham and San Diego Public Library mascot Odi the Coyote
La Jolla/Riford Library youth services librarian Katia Graham and San Diego Public Library mascot Odi the Coyote attend the “Spring Forward Storytime Scavenger Hunt” on March 13 in La Jolla.
(Emily Derry)

La Jolla ‘Spring Forward’ event draws hundreds

The La Jolla Village Merchants Association and La Jolla/Riford Library presented a “Spring Forward Storytime Scavenger Hunt” on March 13 in The Village, including a scavenger hunt at various merchants, stories read by library and Warwick’s bookstore staff, prizes and treats.

The free event drew about 135 children and 180 adults, organizers said.

Demonstration targets UCSD use of fossil fuels

A banner hangs over Interstate 5 opposing UC San Diego's use of fossil fuels to generate electricity.
(Courtesy of Adam Aron)

In opposition to UC San Diego’s use of fossil fuels to generate electricity for the La Jolla campus, a group of demonstrators hung a banner on a campus bridge that spans Interstate 5.

The words “University of California San Diego” are already embedded in the vertical netting alongside the bridge, and a banner was hung next to it March 1 reading “burns fracked methane.”

Adam Aron, a UCSD professor focused on the social psychology of collective action on climate change, was one of the demonstrators and said: “It is an outrage that a university that has made key discoveries about climate change and global warming still burns fossil fuels for the heating and lighting of its campus. This has been going on for years and we want the campus to do the right things and change its practices.”

University spokeswoman Leslie Sepuka said the campus “does not burn fracked methane” and that “the university does have a long-standing commitment to climate change research, education, innovative sustainability practices and real-world climate action with civic and community partners.”

She said the campus built “one of the world’s most advanced microgrids ... a flexible, resilient, reliable and secure energy distribution system powered by a cogeneration plant, a fuel cell and solar arrays. The natural gas-fired cogeneration plant is highly cost-effective and efficient, producing 75 percent fewer emissions than a conventional power plant.”

UCSD to receive more than $7 million for one-time projects

UC San Diego will receive $7.35 million in community project funding as part of an appropriations bill approved by Congress on March 12. The one-time funds come at the request of California’s senators and members of the San Diego-area congressional delegation and are designed to provide crucial infrastructure, health and human services, and research resources to help the region recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to UCSD.

UCSD projects approved for funding include:

  • $5.6 million for Southern California DDT ocean dumpsite characterization, monitoring and research
  • $950,000 for a telehealth initiative including buying equipment
  • $800,000 for a mobile LiDAR system

The funds are part of more than $100 million in community project funding awarded to the San Diego region following requests from Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla and Reps. Scott Peters, Juan Vargas, Mike Levin and Sara Jacobs.

Windansea gazebo project going before Planning Commission

The San Diego Planning Commission will hold a public hearing next week about the Windansea Barrier Project, which includes construction of a belvedere (also known as a gazebo). The work also would include privately funded improvements in the public right of way and parkland to include posts and barriers and replacement concrete bench pads.

The hearing will be part of the commission’s meeting Thursday, March 24, online.

Proponents of the belvedere say it is a replacement of a belvedere that was torn down in an act of vandalism in 1982. The new one, similar to others that line the La Jolla coast, would be about 9 feet tall, 10 feet long and 6 feet wide and built with historically accurate wood that can withstand oceanside air.

Those opposed to the belvedere have said they support repair elements of the project but are against construction of the gazebo, citing concerns about erosion and visual impacts.

Learn more about the meeting at

San Diego Decameron Project book launch March 21

The La Jolla Historical Society, San Diego Public Library, San Diego Writers Ink and Write Out Loud will hold a book launch for the San Diego Decameron Project Anthology at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 21, at the Neil Morgan Auditorium at the San Diego Central Library.

The anthology contains 100 new stories from the San Diego community inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic that were entered in the San Diego Decameron Project in February 2021.

The book launch will include books for sale and authors in attendance, with some performing short readings of their pieces. Refreshments will be served.

To register for the event, go to

Library system plans Sunday hours at La Jolla and several other branches

The city of San Diego has hired enough new library workers to fully reopen all city branches by June 30 and will follow through on a plan to add Sunday hours at 13 branches, including La Jolla, according to library director Misty Jones.

The city’s 36-branch system has been slower to fully reopen than other area libraries because of a staffing shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic and because the city’s solution to replace part-time workers with full-timers was time-consuming.

Jones said the city can soon start providing five-hour Sunday service at four branches and that it plans to eventually add Sunday hours at nine more, including La Jolla/Riford. She said it’s possible she could finish rolling out the new Sunday hours by June 30. — La Jolla Light and The San Diego Union-Tribune

Tree well filling project moving to Pearl Street

A project to add river rock to tree wells along major streets is expanding, Enhance La Jolla President Ed Witt told the La Jolla Village Merchants Association during its March 9 meeting.

The project already has been done along Girard Avenue. Now it is moving onto Pearl Street between Girard and Fay avenues and Fay and Kline Street. “I believe the rocks serve a purpose aesthetically but also will reduce the trips and slips,” Witt said. A timeline was not given.

All Hallows Academy fundraiser nets $335,000

A record-breaking live auction raised more than $335,000 for All Hallows Academy in La Jolla as the school held its annual fundraising gala March 5 at Coasterra Mexican restaurant.

The event, themed “Sip, Sip Hooray: Bow Ties & Bubbles on the Bay,” was chaired by Claire Forrest and was the first time in two years the school community was able to raise funds in person, due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings.

Proceeds from this year’s gala will help offset tuition costs and help fund a new campus sports court and recreation facilities to host basketball, volleyball and other events. All Hallows Academy is at 2390 Nautilus St.

La Jolla organizations receive $28,000 in city funds

Several La Jolla organizations were recipients of a total of $28,000 from this year’s San Diego City Council Community Projects, Programs and Services funding, which is awarded to nonprofits and public agencies for one-time community, social, environmental, cultural and recreational needs that serve a public purpose.

They are:

  • $2,500 to Bodhi Tree Concerts (which operates out of St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church) for its Music en la Calle program
  • $7,500 to the La Jolla Aquatic Complex Foundation for its Coggan Family Aquatic Complex capital campaign
  • $5,000 to the La Jolla Art & Wine Foundation for the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival
  • $5,000 to the La Jolla Community Center for its aging and technology program
  • $5,000 to the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Centers of San Diego County for universally accessible playground equipment and a camp pavilion
  • $3,000 to La Jolla Playhouse for its Without Walls Festival

SDUSD projects 95 percent graduation rate

The San Diego Unified School District is predicting a 95 percent graduation rate this year, partly because it expanded opportunities for students to recover course credits and because of a state law that temporarily relaxed graduation requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the projection stays true, it would be the district’s highest graduation rate since the state started calculating graduation rates the current way in 2017. It would amount to a 6 percentage-point jump above last year’s rate.

The projected rate jump for Black and Latino students is even higher. Both groups’ graduation rates are expected to reach 92 percent this year, an increase of 6 percentage points for Black students and 9 points for Latino students.

About 500 of the graduating students, or 8 percent, are able to do so because of relaxed graduation standards, according to district data. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

Kiwanis Club of La Jolla donates to La Jolla High School

Don Hodges (right), president of the La Jolla Kiwanis Foundation, and Joe Cavaiola, vice principal at La Jolla High School
Don Hodges (right), president of the La Jolla Kiwanis Foundation, presents Joe Cavaiola, vice principal at La Jolla High School, a check for $12,500 for the school’s foundation.
(Courtesy of Kiwanis Club of La Jolla)

The Kiwanis Club of La Jolla’s foundation presented La Jolla High School’s foundation with a $12,500 check at the club’s March 11 meeting.

The funds will be given to graduating seniors planning to attend college.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff