La Jolla News Nuggets: Dr. Seuss home, Hillside Drive project, Luau & Legends of Surfing, more

Theodor Geisel (known as Dr. Seuss) and his wife, Helen, are pictured outside their La Jolla home in 1957.
(Getty Images)

UCSD accepting bids for La Jolla Dr. Seuss home through Aug. 17

The University of California Board of Regents is accepting bids to buy the La Jolla home of famed Dr. Seuss author Theodor Geisel through Wednesday, Aug. 17.

The property at 7301 Encelia Drive encompasses four sites totaling 4.03 acres, a 5,000-square-foot house, a pool house and a pool with expansive ocean views.

UC San Diego, which received the property from the Geisel Trust in 2019, decided to list the property for sale in June.

Net proceeds from the sale will create an endowment called the Geisel Fund in the UCSD Foundation.

The property is listed for $18.995 million with the Jason Barry Team at Barry Estates.

UC says it will accept one offer for the entire property or separate offers for the four sites.

For more information, call the Jason Barry Team at (858) 756-4024. — La Jolla Light and The San Diego Union Tribune

Development planned for Hillside Drive to go before hearing officer

After six local hearings, a La Jolla residential project will go before a San Diego hearing officer on Wednesday, Aug. 17, online. The project, planned for 7595 Hillside Drive, got the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee’s approval in February 2021.

The applicant seeks site development and coastal development permits to demolish a home and build a new 7,091-square-foot, two-story house. Little of it would be visible from the street, since much would be built into the hillside. However, the building’s overall height proved problematic at previous hearings.

The city hearing officer will hold a public session to approve, conditionally approve or deny the application. The officer’s decision will be final unless appealed to the Planning Commission.

Birch Aquarium offers new penguin experiences

Following the July 12 opening of the Beyster Family Little Blue Penguins exhibit, Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla is launching three new ways for guests to celebrate the diminutive penguins: a Behind-the-Scenes Penguin Tour, a Live Penguin Cam and a renovated gift shop with exclusive little blue penguins merchandise.

Birch Aquarium is now offering a Behind-the-Scenes Penguin Tour.
(Courtesy of Birch Aquarium)

During the 60-minute tour, guests will meet with an educator and a penguin care specialist to learn firsthand how the species lives in its native habitat, what the penguins eat and the role conservation plays in protecting their home.

Penguin tours are offered at 1:30 p.m. daily. Advance registration is recommended. The tour costs $100 for aquarium members and $115 for non-members. Admission to the aquarium is included with the purchase of the tour. Each tour is limited to six guests.

Learn more at

Luau & Legends of Surfing contest returning

The Luau & Legends of Surfing invitational will return to Scripps Pier and the Scripps Seaside Forum at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla starting at 7 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 21. The event brings together surf teams made up of a “surfing legend” and four representatives of local research companies who also surf.

The fundraiser raises discretionary money for UC San Diego’s Moores Cancer Center, event founder Sam Armstrong said. “Having these funds … that aren’t locked in allows these researchers to run with these projects,” Armstrong previously told the La Jolla Light. “Numerous things have come from these funds.”

Last year’s surf contest raised $500,000, but the luau was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more about this year’s event, email

90th White Elephant Sale coming to St. James church

St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church’s White Elephant Sale returns for the 90th year this month to give new life to new and gently used items. The sale will be held inside, outside and around the property at St. James by-the-Sea at 743 Prospect St. in La Jolla.

The “main sale day” starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27. At 1 p.m., remaining items will be half-price. At 3:30 p.m., guests can buy a mystery bag for $5.

Before the main sale, a “first choice night” will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, during which guests will have their first choice of donations to buy, and complimentary wine and appetizers will be served. Tickets for first choice night are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

Those who would like to donate items to be sold as part of the event can drop them off at St. James from 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 14-19.

Proceeds from past sales have supported nonprofit groups for efforts ranging from providing baby supplies for military families to furnishing apartments for low-income senior citizens.

UCSD tops $1 billion in research funding for year

For the 13th year in a row, UC San Diego topped more than $1 billion in research funding. In fiscal 2021-22 (July 1-June 30), the university received $1.64 billion in research funding, up from $1.54 billion the previous year, a more than 6 percent increase.

The year’s most highly funded project received two awards totaling $62 million from the Simons Foundation to build a world-renowned observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert (at 17,200 feet in elevation) capable of helping astrophysicists better explore how the universe began. Funding for the project, currently under construction, has expanded.

La Jolla boys raising money for ALS research

Local residents Callum Morton, Evan Morton, Timmy Morrissey and Elijah Wiener are raising money for ALS research
Local residents Callum Morton, Evan Morton, Timmy Morrissey and Elijah Wiener raise money for ALS research via their “LemonAid” stand to help their neighbor Todd Witt.
(Courtesy of Claire Morton)

Four La Jolla boys are raising money to fight ALS in support of their neighbor Todd Witt, who was diagnosed with the disease last year.

Callum Morton, 10, Evan Morton, 7, Timmy Morrissey, 9, and Elijah Wiener, 9, recently set up a lemonade stand called “LemonAid” and raised $126 to donate to the ALS Association’s Greater San Diego chapter.

The boys plan to set up other LemonAid stands around La Jolla to raise additional funds for the cause.

The Witt family and its “Witt Wolfpack” team will participate in the Walk to Defeat ALS on Sunday, Oct. 16. All the money raised will stay in San Diego to help more than 200 families fighting ALS by providing equipment, support services and more. To learn more, visit

Il Giardino di Lilli now open in former Pannikin La Jolla location

Il Giardino di Lilli is now open at 7467 Girard Ave. in La Jolla.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

After months of construction and preparation, Il Giardino di Lilli is now open at 7467 Girard Ave. in the former Pannikin La Jolla location.

The Italian-influenced cafe owned by Edoardo Ciulli, Stefania Sciomachen and Giuseppe Scognamiglio serves coffee and other beverages and pastries and other food.

Il Giardino di Lilli (Italian for “Lilli’s garden”) had a soft opening Aug. 5 and plans a grand opening on Friday, Aug. 12.

The cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays. Learn more at

The owners of the former Pannikin, rebranded as The Flower Pot Cafe and Bakery, are operating a pop-up cafe at The Lot La Jolla while their new permanent site at 7611 Fay Ave. is under construction. The new location is scheduled to open in coming weeks.

UC San Diego to receive genomics discovery and training support from Illumina

UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla announced that Illumina, recognized as a global leader in the development and application of genomic technology to improve human and environmental health, has provided researchers at the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine at Scripps with new scientific equipment to build genomics and laboratory automation-enabled discovery and training programs.

Additionally, the Illumina Foundation donated $973,000 for additional materials to help bring the equipment into operation and set up two laboratories on the SIO campus.

VA’s National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic visits La Jolla Shores

Surfing sessions for the Veterans Affairs National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic are being held from 9 a.m. to noon through Friday, Aug. 12, at La Jolla Shores near lifeguard Tower 33.

The clinic, held annually at various San Diego locations, offers adaptive sports and recreational activities to injured veterans. The five-day event, now in its 15th year, welcomes nearly 80 veterans from across the country who have injuries ranging from brain trauma to loss of limb.

In addition to surfing, the clinic includes cycling, kayaking, sailing and adaptive fitness.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff