La Jolla News Nuggets: Colors for revamped mural; Light awards; budget revise; penguins’ opening date; more

People gather at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library last week to choose a color for the “Your Favorite Color” mural.
People gather at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library last week to choose a color to be included in the “Your Favorite Color” mural on Eads Avenue.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Colors are chosen for revised mural

The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library invited hundreds of people to come by the rotunda courtyard May 19-21 to select a color that will be included in the new-look “Your Favorite Color” mural when it is repainted this summer.

The mural will rework Roy McMakin’s “Favorite Color” at 7596 Eads Ave. with the same format of painting the 900 8-by-8-inch squares, based on community choices.

Murals of La Jolla Executive Director Lynda Forsha called the selection event “a big success” during which all the squares were filled. Murals of La Jolla was founded by the La Jolla Community Foundation and is now a project of the Athenaeum. “Favorite Color” was one of the first murals created through the program.

For repainting the mural, the Murals of La Jolla committee decided to use shades from the RAL color chart, which is used internationally, so the mural can be maintained and preserved more easily.

Learn more at

La Jolla Light earns three California Journalism Awards

The La Jolla Light netted three California Journalism Awards for 2021 from the California News Publishers Association. Union-Tribune Community Press publications won nine overall.

In the category of weekly publications with distribution between 11,000 and 25,000, Light staff writer Ashley Mackin-Solomon captured second place in Breaking News for “City pursuing temporary emergency closure of Point La Jolla to ‘protect the public and the sea lion rookery’” and third place for Enterprise News Story or Series for her series “La Jolla: Then and Now.” Staff writer Elisabeth Frausto took fourth place for Coverage of Youth and Education for “Can UCSD doctoral student’s findings on pelicans’ ‘wave-slope soaring’ give drones a lift?”

The Del Mar Times won five CNPA awards — three first place and two third place — and Editor Susan Gill Vardon of the Ramona Sentinel won second place in Enterprise News Story or Series in those papers’ category of weeklies with distribution between 4,300 and 11,000.

Budget revise includes park bathroom cleanup, more funding for safety personnel

Additional nighttime lifeguard sergeants and a second shift to clean park bathrooms are among the items in San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria’s most recent revision to the proposed 2022-23 city budget.

The draft, known as the “May revise,” reflects feedback from City Council members based on their constituents’ suggestions.

Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, held two budget town halls this month to collect input. La Jolla residents expressed a need for more lifeguards at night, more funding for the San Diego Police Department and additional resources to clean shoreline park restrooms.

LaCava praised the May revise, saying it “reflects a commitment to city services and public safety.”

The revise includes five new sergeants for the lifeguard night shift; a second shift of Parks & Recreation Department staff for cleaning and security at park bathrooms; police officer overtime; police recruitment efforts; restoring arts, culture and community festival funding; and professional services in support of city real estate transactions.

The budget is expected to be finalized Monday, June 13. The new fiscal year starts Friday, July 1.

Little blue penguins habitat to open July 12

An opening date has been set for the biggest addition to La Jolla’s Birch Aquarium in 30 years — one that will house a very little family.

The Beyster Family Little Blue Penguins habitat will open to the public Tuesday, July 12, and showcase the world’s smallest penguins on their journey from hatchlings to adults. Little blue penguins are the smallest species of penguin — 10 to 12 inches tall and weighing just 2 to 3 pounds — and are known for their unique blue color and their big personalities, according to Birch Aquarium. There will be 15 little blue penguins in the habitat.

“We are so very excited to be adding this amazing new experience to Birch Aquarium,” said Executive Director Harry Helling. “The new habitat will allow us to contribute to an international Species Survival Plan and create a fun and engaging guest experience.”

A public campaign is underway until Sunday, May 29, to name one of the penguins.

The exhibit will include a 2,900-square-foot habitat with a rocky and sandy shore, an 18,000-gallon penguin lagoon, a small amphitheater and a discovery cave for children to watch the little blue penguins on land and inside nesting burrows.

To learn more or to vote for the penguin name, visit

100 Days of Summer to start Memorial Day

The upcoming Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 30, kicks the La Jolla Village Merchants Association’s 100 Days of Summer campaign into gear. Held in partnership with similar organizations in Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach, the promotion looks to highlight events and activities in each of the three communities from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

“This campaign will feature a curated calendar and dedicated social media listing the many activities happening in each beach town with one featured event each day,” according to LJVMA. “Over the course of the summer, there will be contests, games, prizes, giveaways and so much more to help all ages further enjoy the fun of PB, OB and La Jolla.”

Learn more at

La Jolla student among recipients of 2022 Peter Chortek Leadership Award

La Jolla Country Day School senior Elinor Amir-Lobel is one of three recipients of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego’s Peter Chortek Leadership Award.

The award honors Jewish high school students in the area who are making a difference in their community.

Amir-Lobel received the award for serving as co-president of Female Empowerment and Education of Leaders, a student organization at La Jolla Country Day that creates a space to discuss issues of sexism and inequality in the broader community.

The Peter Chortek Leadership Award was established in 2011 by the Chortek family to honor the late namesake. Recipients receive a $5,400 stipend, $540 to establish a Donor Advised Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation and a professional video made about their project.

Recipients were celebrated at a recent brunch for them and their families.

For more information, visit

Free summer camps available for S.D. Unified School District students

The Visual and Performing Arts Foundation, funded by grants from the San Diego Foundation, is offering free summer art camps for San Diego Unified School District students as part of the district’s “Level Up SD” summer program.

VAPA camps will be composed of arts programs available throughout SDUSD that enable students to discover and learn many types of art and design.

Organizations that will provide camps include The Old Globe, San Diego Youth Symphony, Art Reach, The Rosin Box Project, Center for World Music, San Diego Symphony, Malashock Dance, Classics for Kids and Outside the Lens, along with several local painters and muralists.

Each camp will accommodate up to 90 students. Overall, up to 1,080 students will be provided with opportunities to learn and be exposed to the arts.

To register, visit

La Jolla residents donate $1 million for theater at UCSD Park & Market

La Jolla residents Claire and David Guggenheim have donated $1 million to establish a theater at UC San Diego Park & Market.
(Xavier Bailey)

Longtime La Jolla residents David and Claire Guggenheim have donated $1 million to establish the Guggenheim Theatre at UC San Diego Park & Market, the university’s new complex in downtown San Diego.

The Guggenheims have been involved with arts at UCSD for more than three decades. The theater will feature 225 seats to be used for a wide range of performances and teaching.

UC San Diego Park & Market spans a full city block at the intersection of Park Boulevard and Market Street in the East Village neighborhood. The complex is designed as a social and intellectual hub.

La Jolla Community Foundation appoints new executive director

The La Jolla Community Foundation has appointed longtime La Jollan Lidia Rossner as its new executive director.

Before joining the foundation, Rossner was the communication and engagement director at La Jolla’s Athenaeum Music & Arts Library.

She earned a bachelor degree in applied arts and sciences from San Diego State University and a master’s in visual and media anthropology from Freie Universität in Berlin.

Longtime La Jollan Lidia Rossner has been named executive director of the La Jolla Community Foundation.
(Carol Sonstein)

Rossner lives in Bird Rock with her husband and son.

LJCF, established in 2008, supports projects and services that enhance La Jolla’s environmental, cultural and commercial communities.

“I am joining the La Jolla Community Foundation at a very exciting time of transition and growth,” Rossner said in a statement. “The board of directors have been working for years on cultivating civic engagement and meaningful partnerships and have developed a beautiful vision for improving our community’s public spaces. I am humbled and honored to be given this opportunity to uphold and advance the foundation’s mission for positive impact and to serve our community.”

LJCF is transitioning to become an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. During the transition, the group will maintain its affiliate status with The San Diego Foundation, which will continue to steward contributions supporting the La Jolla Community Foundation.

Rossner can be reached at

La Jolla Community Planning Association looking for a new trustee

The La Jolla Community Planning Association will hold a special election to fill a midyear vacancy and encourages those who are eligible to apply.

To be eligible to run, 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.

A candidates forum will be held during the LJCPA meeting beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 2, online.

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