La Jolla News Nuggets: ‘Spaces’ and vending; beach trash; interim vice chancellor; ‘Celebrate Summer’; more

Vendors set up at Children's Pool Plaza in La Jolla.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Coastal Commission likely won’t hear ‘Spaces as Places,’ sidewalk vending this month

It looks like the city of San Diego’s “Spaces as Places” and sidewalk vending ordinances will not get a hearing from the California Coastal Commission this month, leaving coastal areas in further limbo as those programs are implemented in the rest of the city. As of July 5, the Coastal Commission had not listed either item on the agenda for its July 13-15 meeting.

Subsequent meetings are scheduled for Aug. 10-12 and Sept. 7-9.

The Spaces as Places program provides regulations and design requirements to transition temporary outdoor spaces established during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to permanent. The city began accepting permit applications for Spaces as Places in January, and it is set to take effect Wednesday, July 13. However, in coastal areas like La Jolla, Spaces as Places can’t take effect until it is reviewed and certified by the Coastal Commission because the ordinance requires a change to Local Coastal Programs, which serve as planning documents for coastal communities.

The sidewalk vending regulations went into effect June 22, but many points in the new 34-page ordinance cannot be enforced in the coastal zone (which includes most of La Jolla, except for an area on the eastern side of La Jolla Shores) until after the Coastal Commission approves them.

Once the Coastal Commission reviews the sidewalk vending ordinance, the law will go back to the City Council for adoption of any amendments the commission recommends. Two council hearings would be required — one for discussion and one for a vote. The regulations would go into effect 30 days after the second hearing.

Seal Society picks up 71 pounds of trash during recent beach cleanup

Cigarette butts continue to be the most common item found during local beach cleanups, with volunteer groups reporting an increase in the volume of litter removed.

Sierra Club Seal Society docent Robyn Davidoff told the La Jolla Parks & Beaches board during its June 27 meeting that the Seal Society held a beach cleanup in late June along La Jolla’s coast and picked up 71½ pounds of trash.

Around the same time last year, the group picked up about 45 pounds, she said. A big portion consisted of cigarette butts, she added.

UCSD names interim vice chancellor for health sciences

Dr. Steven Garfin has been named UC San Diego’s interim vice chancellor for health sciences.

Garfin will focus on maintaining the overarching strategy for health sciences (which includes the School of Medicine, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science and UC San Diego Health) to expand UCSD Health’s clinical enterprise, foster research collaborations and enhance educational opportunities, according to UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla.

Garfin will continue in the interim role while UCSD conducts an international search for a permanent vice chancellor for health sciences.

Westfield UTC to host ‘Celebrate Summer’ activities this weekend

The Westfield UTC shopping center will present several activities this summer.
(Courtesy of Westfield UTC)

The Westfield UTC mall will present an array of activities during “Celebrate Summer” this weekend, July 9-10.

Events include live music, art activities for all ages, treats, prize opportunities and more.

All summer, UTC visitors can take weekly fitness classes hosted by brands at the center, plus get exclusive shopping experiences and picnic-style meals on the green spaces.

New art installations also will be presented through Westfield UTC’s partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

The mall is at 4545 La Jolla Village Drive. To learn more, visit

Salk researcher is awarded $2 million to study cassava plant genome

Research professor Todd Michael of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla will receive nearly $2 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to sequence the genomes of multiple lineages of the cassava plant, a large starchy root vegetable also known as yucca root that is consumed in more than 80 countries.

A better understanding of cassava genetics may help researchers and plant breeders develop more productive disease- and drought-resistant plants, according to the Salk Institute.

“Michael’s project ... will help address food security that affects millions of people around the world,” said Salk President Rusty Gage.

The cassava pangenome project is part of Salk’s Harnessing Plants Initiative, in which researchers are developing Salk Ideal Plants — new generations of food crops that are better equipped to thrive in extreme environments.

National Charity League’s San Diego chapter honors 25 Ticktockers

National Charity League San Diego chapter members
National Charity League San Diego chapter members (top row from left) Brooke Cousino, Tatum Evans, Jesse Pearl, Regan Aalbers, Chiara Kenagy, Sophia Roberts, Megan McGinley, Alexa Gibson, Marianna Pecora, Zoe Aalbers, Ellie Lee, Eugenia (Lucie) Scoma, Madeleine Keck and Caroline Gaffney; (bottom row from left) Madeline Cramer, Isabella Myer, Camille Farrell, Olivia Edstrom, Sydney Wilensky, Alena Callahan, Alexis Ravenscroft and Ashley Sottosanti. Not pictured are Mia Adams, Kelsey Branson and Charlotte Gayner.
(Courtesy of National Charity League)

The National Charity League’s San Diego chapter honored 25 young women during its recent senior recognition ceremony at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine hotel.

The graduating high school seniors, also known as Ticktockers, devoted six years of volunteer service to the NCL chapter and local charities.

The chapter’s class of 2022 Ticktockers graduated from Cathedral Catholic High School, Francis Parker School, La Jolla High School and The Bishop’s School. During the six-year program, the participants and their mothers were involved in philanthropic work, leadership development and cultural and educational activities.

In total, they performed 10,566 hours of community service over the six years at a variety of organizations throughout San Diego County, including the San Diego Humane Society, Meals on Wheels, Ronald McDonald House, San Diego Parks & Recreation, Therapeutic Recreation Center, Gigi’s Playhouse and The Old Globe.

La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls Festival will be at Rady Shell in 2023

La Jolla Playhouse’s roving Without Walls Festival will take place at The Rady Shell in San Diego from April 23-30. The festival lineup will be announced at a later date.

Since the first WOW fest in fall 2013, the event has been staged at multiple locations around the city, including on the campus of UC San Diego in La Jolla, in downtown San Diego and at Liberty Station in Point Loma. The festival went digital during the COVID-19 pandemic, then returned in April at Liberty Station with 22 shows by artists from San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, Mexico, Canada and Australia.

Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley said recently that because of the festival’s site-specific nature — in which new theater, dance, music, puppetry and spectacle events are created and staged with the host location in mind — WOW will always be on the move to new places.

The 1-year-old Rady Shell at Jacobs Park was built by the San Diego Symphony. The outdoor amphitheater sits beside San Diego Bay near Seaport Village and the San Diego Convention Center.

Besides its 4,800-square-foot concert stage, The Rady Shell features onsite restaurants, restrooms, park areas, waterside walkways, flexible seating for up to 10,000 people and a large synthetic lawn seating area.

For more information about the Without Walls Festival, visit — The San Diego Union-Tribune

La Jolla-based group gives ‘Woman of the Century’ award

San Diegan Deborah Szekely, 100, received the “Woman of the Century” award from La Jolla-based women’s organization Charter 100 International on June 28.

Szekely was honored for her decades of service to local, national and international communities and leadership.

She helped establish Charter 100 in 1978 in La Jolla; original members included Francoise Gilot, Jacqui Littlefield, Audrey Geisel, Gloria Self and more. Charter 100 has grown to include 13 chapters worldwide.

The Woman of the Century award is given to women who have consistently gone above and beyond in their contributions and are internationally renowned.

Kiwanis Club of La Jolla gets plaque from Rotary Club of Tijuana

Kiwanis Club of La Jolla President Craig Gagliardi (left) receives a plaque from Ruth and Wally Matranga.
Kiwanis Club of La Jolla President Craig Gagliardi (left) receives a plaque from International Committee members Ruth and Wally Matranga.
(Don Hodges)

Kiwanis Club of La Jolla President Craig Gagliardi was presented a plaque from International Committee members Ruth and Wally Matranga at the club’s July 1 meeting.

The plaque, from the Rotary Club of Tijuana, recognizes a $500 donation to Rotary from Kiwanis in support of fundraising efforts on behalf of the “bomberos” (firefighters) of the Tijuana Fire Department.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff