La Jolla News Nuggets: Half Marathon, Scientist of the Year, skydiving seniors, ADUs, lifeguards, more

Runners cross the finish line of the 2022 La Jolla Half Marathon on April 16.
The 2022 La Jolla Half Marathon, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla, had about 3,200 runners cross the Scripps Park finish line April 16.
(Lee Ann Yarbor)

La Jolla Half Marathon draws 3,200 runners

The La Jolla Half Marathon ran its annual course April 16 with about 3,200 runners crossing the finish line at Scripps Park.

The race returned to its usual April slot after COVID-19-related delays pushed it to December last year.

The 13.1-mile course, unchanged from previous years, began at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and ended at La Jolla Cove. The final 3.1 miles overlapped with the concurrent La Jolla Shores 5K.

The race is the primary fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla, which awards more than $200,000 annually to schools and nonprofit institutions.

Half Marathon Chairman Bart Calame said he expects the next race in April 2023 to attract even more runners.

ARCS San Diego honors La Jolla Nobel laureate as Scientist of the Year

Nobel Prize winner Ardem Patapoutian of Scripps Research in La Jolla has been named Scientist of the Year by ARCS San Diego.
(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Achievement Rewards for College Scientists San Diego will honor Ardem Patapoutian, a neuroscience professor at Scripps Research in La Jolla and winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, as its Scientist of the Year at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 24, during an online ceremony.

The free event also will highlight 50 ARCS Scholars and two Scholar alumni and raise funds for financial awards to support ARCS Scholars. Through their research, ARCS Scholars help to advance science and the ARCS mission to keep the United States competitive globally.

Registration for the event is required. Visit

Skydiving seniors unsuccessful in attempt to break record

A group of senior skydivers — all older than 60 — who attempted a record-breaking dive came close this month but were unsuccessful in their quest.

The group of 100-plus divers took to the skies out of Perris in Riverside County on April 7-10 to make several jumps per day and finesse their formation. One of them was Steve Briggs, a UC San Diego distinguished professor of biology in La Jolla.

UCSD professor Steve Briggs participated in a group of skydivers older than 60 who attempted a record-breaking dive.
Steve Briggs, a UC San Diego distinguished professor of biology, participated in a group of skydivers older than 60 who attempted a record-breaking dive.
(Courtesy of Steve Briggs)

“There have been jumps with hundreds of people and jumps with older people, but there has never been a formation of 100 people all over the age of 60,” Briggs previously told the La Jolla Light. The skydivers tried to break the record of 75 jumpers 60 and older set in 2018 in Illinois.

The group completed nine jumps, eight of them record attempts. During one jump, the group just missed fully linking up in the snowflake formation.

“I’m on cloud nine just thinking about it. I wish we had gotten the record, but wouldn’t change one decision we made. It was so much fun, and I am forever grateful,” event organizer Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld told the participants.

San Diego adds new incentive to spur more low-income ADUs

The city of San Diego gave developers a new incentive last week to build more accessory dwelling units for low-income people.

The new incentive makes it easier to take advantage of the city’s bonus program, which has allowed construction of one bonus ADU by any property owner willing to build an ADU and rent it at a reduced rate to low- or moderate-income residents for 15 years. The bonus ADU can be rented at market rate.

The incentive, which the City Council approved unanimously April 11, shrinks the duration of rent restrictions from 15 years to 10 for low-income residents but maintains the 15-year requirement for moderate-income residents.

City officials say accessory dwelling units, sometimes called “granny flats” or casitas, are the fastest and cheapest way to address the local housing crunch. They say having more of the units reserved for low-income residents can reduce homelessness.

Critics say incentivizing thousands of new ADUs across San Diego threatens to dramatically change the look and feel of many single-family neighborhoods.

Tenants eligible to live in ADUs restricted for low-income people must earn less than $39,930 — 60 percent of the area’s median annual income of $66,550 for single-person households.

Moderate income is defined as 60 percent to 110 percent of the city’s median income. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

Mayor’s budget includes new sleeping quarters for La Jolla lifeguards

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria’s proposed budget for the 2023 fiscal year contains $100,000 to build new sleeping quarters for lifeguards in La Jolla to replace a 40-year-old trailer that the city says “is beyond its service life and ... inadequate for its use.”

The current quarters sleeps two and is “not in good condition,” said San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokeswoman Monica Munoz.

Munoz said replacing it “would be helpful” in that it would enable a three-person team to rest there.

The draft budget will be subject to hearings, town hall meetings, analyses and more before a final budget is approved. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

California pauses plan to require COVID vaccinations for schoolchildren

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that he is pausing a mandate for California schoolchildren to be immunized against COVID-19 before the upcoming academic year.

Newsom made headlines in October when he announced California would be the first state to mandate the vaccine in schools once shots were fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for children 12 and older, with the requirement going into effect by July 1.

On April 14, the California Department of Public Health said the timeline will be pushed back to at least July 1, 2023, since the FDA has not yet fully approved the vaccine for children as young as 12 and the state will need time afterward to initiate its rule-making process.

Newsom’s office said that after the FDA approves the vaccine for children 12 and older, state public health officials will consider recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other groups before implementing a school vaccination requirement.

Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is fully approved for people 16 and older, and an emergency authorization — a lesser standard than full approval — is in place for ages 5-15.

Newsom’s mandate is limited to grades seven through 12 and allows parents to opt out because of personal beliefs. The state is required to offer broader personal-belief exemptions for any newly required vaccine unless it is added through a new law to the list of shots students must receive to attend California schools.

Newsom’s announcement came hours after state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) said he will pull from consideration Senate Bill 871, which would have added COVID-19 vaccines to California’s list of required inoculations for attending kindergarten through 12th grade. Those prerequisites can be skipped only if a student receives a rare medical exemption from a doctor. — Los Angeles Times

Youth concert in La Jolla to benefit music therapy at Rady Children’s Hospital

San Diego music therapy nonprofit Resounding Joy will hold the annual “Heart of a Child” concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, 7600 Fay Ave., La Jolla.

The benefit show will feature young San Diego performers in a range of musical genres, including classical, pop, a cappella and instrumental.

Proceeds from the event will help fund music therapy for Rady Children’s Hospital patients through the Ariana Miller Healing Notes Music Therapy program.

Tickets are $30 and up. For more information, visit

Youths can ride area public transportation for free beginning May 1

Starting Sunday, May 1, all riders 18 and younger will be able to ride MTS and NCTD services for free with a Youth Pronto app account or card under the Youth Opportunity Pass, a pilot program sponsored by the San Diego Association of Governments through Thursday, June 30.

Children 5 and younger always ride free on MTS and NCTD; no card or proof of eligibility is required.

Registration for the Youth Opportunity Pass is available by downloading the Pronto app ( or visiting the MTS Transit Store or NCTD Customer Service Center.

There are no fees for the youth pass through Tuesday, May 31. For more information, visit

LJCPA looking for a new trustee

The La Jolla Community Planning Association will have a special election to fill a midyear vacancy and is encouraging anyone eligible to apply.

To be eligible to run for a seat, a candidate must be an LJCPA member and have attended three of the group’s meetings in the 12-month period before the election, which will be held by mail in July.

There will be a candidates forum during the meeting Thursday, June 2.

LJCPA has been recognized by the San Diego City Council to make recommendations to the council, Planning Commission, city staff and other governmental agencies on land-use matters. Learn more at

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff