La Jolla News Nuggets: ‘Mutt Strut,’ new mural completed, Scripps researchers honored, Jane’s Walk, more

The inaugural La Jolla Mutt Strut drew about 100 dogs and their owners to The Village in 2022. This year's event is May 13.
The inaugural “La Jolla Mutt Strut” drew about 100 dogs and their owners to The Village on May 7.
(Stephanie Montion Marquez)

100 dogs walk in inaugural ‘La Jolla Mutt Strut’

About 100 dogs and their owners turned out for the inaugural “La Jolla Mutt Strut” on May 7, walking from La Jolla High School to the La Jolla Recreation Center during an activity-filled morning.

The event, presented by the Foundation of La Jolla High School, aimed to raise funds for the school while offering pet adoptions and promoting a sense of community.

No fundraising numbers were immediately available, but organizer Olga Wharton said more than 70 sponsors participated and five dogs were adopted from participating rescue organizations.

Families and their dogs took part in a scavenger hunt, dog yoga class, dog trick class and pet psychic visits, among other things.

Wharton said she plans to repeat the event yearly.

New mural completed in The Village

Artist Hanna Daly completed her Mother's Day-inspired mural at 627 Pearl St. in La Jolla on May 5.
Artist Hanna Daly completed her Mother’s Day-inspired mural at 627 Pearl St. in La Jolla on May 5.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Artist Hanna Daly completed her latest mural at 627 Pearl St. in La Jolla on May 5. The mural honors Daly’s late mother and other moms and replaces Daly’s 2020 mural “Quarantine Dreams.”

The mural, planned ahead of Mother’s Day on May 8 and Daly’s mother’s birthday, May 10, features a peacock, a calla lily and more items special to her mother, who died in June.

National Academy of Sciences honors three Scripps researchers

Three faculty members at Scripps Research in La Jolla have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors awarded to scientists. Academy membership recognizes “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”

The Scripps Research honorees are Hollis Cline, Jane Dyson and James Williamson.

Scripps describes Cline as “a leader in research that explores how sensory experience affects brain development and plasticity.” Her work is credited with advancing “an understanding of the role of experience in shaping brain development with relevance to several developmental neurological disorders such as autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia.”

Dyson, a professor in the Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology, studies the relationships between amino acid sequences of proteins and their structure and function. Her work “has led to numerous discoveries on cancer tumor growth, drug design and the functions of important proteins in the human body.”

Williamson “uses cutting-edge biochemistry, biophysics and structural biology approaches to uncover insights into RNA structure, RNA-protein interactions and the assembly of ribosomes with the aims of better understanding a host of diseases, as well as improving drug discovery.”

First Jane’s Walk draws 20 to Bird Rock

About 20 residents gather to talk about changes in Bird Rock during the inaugural Jane's Walk on May 7.
About 20 residents gather in front of the former “Piano Building” to talk about changes in Bird Rock during the inaugural Jane’s Walk on May 7.
(Courtesy of Mimi Sells)

About 20 people attended the inaugural Jane’s Walk through Bird Rock on May 7, traversing La Jolla Boulevard to discuss the area’s assets and needs, view landscaping and architecture and talk with fellow community members.

“Looks like we have an annual tradition on our hands,” said Bird Rock resident and event organizer Mimi Sells. “I hope there will be more in the future throughout La Jolla and San Diego. Everyone was very enthusiastic and learned a thing or two.”

Jane’s Walk, named for late writer and urbanist Jane Jacobs, is a movement of free, resident-led walks that encourage people to share stories about their neighborhoods, discover unseen aspects of their communities and use walking as a way to connect with their neighbors, according to the Jane’s Walk organization, which was founded in Toronto in 2006 by a group of Jacobs’ friends and colleagues and now inspires walks worldwide.

Actress commends La Jolla neonatal ICU

A local medical facility got a celebrity shout-out this week when actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas and singer Nick Jonas announced that their first child was going home after 100 days in a neonatal intensive care unit.

In a social media post, Chopra Jonas thanked “every doctor, nurse and specialist at Rady Children’s La Jolla and Cedars-Sinai Los Angeles, who were there selflessly every step of the way.”

Rady Children’s Hospital manages an NICU in its satellite location at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.

La Jolla Town Council to present forum on La Jolla independence

The La Jolla Town Council will present a community forum on the idea of La Jolla as an independent city at its meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12, online and at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St.

Town Council past president Ann Kerr Bache will moderate the forum with input from experts, exploring the potential impacts of La Jolla becoming a city independent from San Diego, along with the laws and process involved.

For more information, visit

Town Council members voting on new trustees

Twelve candidates are running for 12 available La Jolla Town Council trustee seats. Town Council members in good standing are eligible to vote via email by midnight Wednesday, May 11.

The candidates are incumbents Rick Dagon, Jerri Hunt, Cody Petterson and James Rudolph and newcomers Suzanne Baracchini, Jennifer Brown, Jana Farella, Francie Moss, Bill Podway, Karen Roque, Treger Strasberg and David Talcott.

The Town Council originally said there were four available spots, but Hunt, the board vice president, said the council realized more were available as trustees reached the end of their terms.

The winners will be announced after the next Town Council meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12, online and at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St.

To learn more, visit

Local cancer researcher granted $138,000 from National Science Foundation

The work of UC San Diego graduate student Leila Chihab to improve cancer immunotherapies got a major boost from the National Science Foundation this month when NSF awarded her the Graduate Student Research Fellowship.

The $138,000 award will fund three years of Chihab’s tuition and stipend as a grad student working in the laboratory of professor Bjoern Peters at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology.

Chihab analyzes patients’ sequencing data — the genetic makeup of their individual tumors — in research that is considered crucial for designing personalized cancer treatments. She’s also investigating what makes some T cells good at fighting cancer.

County seeking to recognize 25 ‘Remarkable Teens’

The San Diego County public defender’s office is looking to recognize teenagers for their accomplishments or contributions to the community in its fourth annual “25 Most Remarkable Teens” awards. Anyone may nominate a teen through Sept. 15 on the county’s website,

An online application lists 25 categories including activism, civic involvement, commitment to personal excellence and courage to overcome adversity. All San Diego County youths ages 13-19 are eligible for nomination.

All nominees will receive a certificate of recognition. The 25 who are selected for the award will be featured on County News Center.

The completed nomination form can be emailed to or mailed to Connie Howard, San Diego County Public Defender Youth Council, 451 A St., Suite 1480, San Diego, CA 92101.

Proposed S.D. ballot measure would allow child care facilities at recreation centers

San Diego may give city voters a chance to boost local child care options in November by supporting a ballot measure that would make it legal for 42 city recreation centers to offer child care services.

The proposed ballot measure comes as San Diego officials have been scrambling in recent years to address a shortage of local child care options for city workers and many residents, some of whom can’t work due to lack of child care.

A comprehensive survey over the winter of 1,100 city facilities found that only 72 are viable candidates for child care services and that 42 of those are recreation centers in city parks where child care is not a legal activity.

The city charter says any land dedicated for “park, recreation or cemetery purposes shall not be used for any but park, recreation or cemetery purposes,” unless city voters approve such an exception with at least two-thirds support.

The ballot measure, which the City Council’s Rules Committee unanimously endorsed last month, would ask voters to approve such an exception.

After City Attorney Mara Elliott’s staff writes up the proposed language for the measure, the full City Council will be asked this summer to place it on the ballot. The deadline for the council to approve November ballot measures is Aug. 12.

Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, said he supports the measure, but he emphasized it should be written to ensure the change won’t allow construction of private buildings in city parks.

LaCava also wants the change allowing child care services to be limited enough that rec center space won’t be monopolized by them. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

Kavli Foundation donates $5 million to brain and cognition research

The Kavli Foundation, which established the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind at UC San Diego and Salk Institute for Biological Studies brain and mind research, has donated $5 million to the institute.

The gift matches those made by donors including Joan and Irwin Jacobs, William and Marisa Rastetter, Sandra Timmons and Rick Sandstrom and an anonymous donor.

The donations add to The Kavil Foundation’s initial $13.5 million endowment in 2004.

KIBM members represent various fields, including neuroscience, biology, cognitive science, psychology and medicine. The Kavli Institute is composed of select faculty members from the UC San Diego campus and the Salk Institute.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff