La Jolla News Nuggets: Beach bonfires, ‘Pillage the Village,’ lifeguard tryouts, Nierenberg Prize, more

A small wood fire burns on the beach at La Jolla Shores on Aug. 26.
(Adriana Heldiz / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

San Diego proposal would explicitly ban wood beach bonfires outside city rings

San Diego officials are moving forward with a proposal to explicitly ban wood bonfires on city beaches unless those fires are inside designated city rings. The proposal would rewrite a vague section of the municipal code covering beach fires. Under the proposal, the only fires allowed outside of designated rings would be propane-fueled.

While the municipal code may be strictly interpreted as already banning fires outside city-designated rings, city officials say it’s important to update the code for clarity and because wood fires have been allowed outside those rings for many years.

Despite questions about their legality, a local company is continuing to offer bonfire parties at La Jolla’s Marine Street Beach, saying San Diego city employees have allowed it.

Sept. 7, 2021

City officials recently rejected a compromise proposed by bonfire companies to tighten regulations but keep allowing the makeshift fires outside of city rings.

City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, first proposed the update in May and hopes to present it to the council for approval sometime in October, according to his staff. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

Merchants Association to consider name change for ‘Pillage the Village’

The La Jolla Village Merchants Association is considering changing the name of its Halloween trick-or-treating event known as “Pillage the Village” after receiving a complaint from a representative of a local Native American tribe, according to LJVMA Executive Director Jodi Rudick. The issue was broached at the LJVMA marketing committee meeting Aug. 23.

Those in favor of a change argued that the name Pillage the Village doesn’t immediately suggest a trick-or-tricking event and said that if the name offends someone, it should get a second look.

Those opposed argued that the event has always been called Pillage the Village with no complaints from the community.

The committee did not render a decision and continued the discussion to the full board meeting, which will begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the La Jolla/Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave. Learn more at

Lifeguard tryouts coming in September and October

Interested in becoming a lifeguard? The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department will hold tryouts Sept. 22-24 and Oct. 20-22 at Ventura Cove in Mission Bay. Tryouts must be scheduled two weeks in advance.

Bay and ocean lifeguards perform rescues, administer first aid, warn swimmers of dangerous water conditions, enforce beach regulations and ordinances, clean and maintain lifeguard equipment, operate rescue boats and emergency vehicles, give information to the public, maintain records, write reports and perform other duties as assigned.

Pay starts at $20.41 an hour. To get an interview, candidates must be able to swim 500 meters in 10 minutes.

For more information, call (619) 221-8844 or visit

Scripps Oceanography awards Nierenberg Prize to atmospheric scientist Warren Washington

Nicolas Nierenberg, award recipient Warren Washington and Scripps Institution of Oceanography Director Margaret Leinen
Warren Washington (center) receives the Nierenberg Prize from Nicolas Nierenberg (son of late professor William Nierenberg, for whom the award is named) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography Director Margaret Leinen.
(Courtesy of Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla has awarded pioneering atmospheric scientist Warren Washington the 2021 Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest. Washington is an internationally renowned scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research who has specialized in climate research — particularly climate modeling — for more than five decades.

The Nierenberg Prize includes a bronze medal and $25,000. Previous recipients include biochemist Jennifer Doudna, who was recently awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry; former NASA astronaut and administrator Charles Bolden; filmmaker David Attenborough; and primatologist Jane Goodall, among others.

Washington is regarded as one of the first developers of groundbreaking atmospheric computer models in the early 1960s. He was selected to receive the Nierenberg Prize in 2021, but a formal event to honor the achievement was postponed until July this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UCSD to resume two-year housing guarantees for undergraduates

UC San Diego says it will broadly reinstate the two-year on-campus housing guarantee that was available to incoming undergraduates before the COVID-19 pandemic caused the university to thin its housing stock.

The offer will be phased in, taking full effect in fall 2023 when the La Jolla campus opens a new village that can house about 2,000 students.

The reinstated guarantee will be primarily aimed at incoming freshmen and sophomores to help them acclimate to university life and avoid the highly competitive and expensive private housing market off campus. But other undergraduates also will have access, based on supply.

Many students have been on waiting lists this summer, trying to secure campus housing for the fall.

UCSD expects to house as many as 18,022 students when the fall quarter starts Monday, Sept. 19, which would be a record. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

La Jolla/Riford Library ends Summer Reading Program with book launch

Matt de la Peña launches his new book, "Patchwork," on Aug. 26 at the La Jolla/Riford Library.
Matt de la Peña launches his new book, “Patchwork,” on Aug. 26 in the finale of the La Jolla/Riford Library’s Summer Reading Program.
(Courtesy of Katia Graham)

Bestselling and Newbery medal-winning author Matt de la Peña launched his new children’s book, “Patchwork,” on Aug. 26 in the finale of the La Jolla/Riford Library’s Summer Reading Program, in partnership with Warwick’s bookstore of La Jolla.

The story celebrates the complexity and uniqueness of each child. De la Peña discussed his inspiration, read “Patchwork” aloud, took questions and autographed copies. When asked about the main takeaway, he said, “Enjoy the journey.”

The book is illustrated by Corinna Luyken.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff