La Jolla News Nuggets: Sidewalk vending enforcement; Hillel Center opens; pink lagoon; immunology award; more

A row of vendors operates in La Jolla's Scripps Park.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Sidewalk vending law to be enforced in La Jolla parks starting Feb. 1

Though the city of San Diego’s sidewalk vending ordinance can now be enforced in the coastal zone, that enforcement won’t start until next week.

City of San Diego representatives said recently that the first few weeks of January would be dedicated to educating vendors about the ordinance and adding signage. City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, said on social media that enforcement would begin Wednesday, Feb. 1.

The City Council passed the ordinance March 1 and it took effect in most of the city June 22. But its restrictions focusing largely on where vendors can operate could not be enforced in coastal communities while awaiting review by the California Coastal Commission. The commission agreed in August to withdraw its review and allow enforcement in the coastal zone.

The ordinance includes regulations for permitting and health and safety and will block vending year-round at La Jolla’s Scripps Park, Children’s Pool, the Coast Boulevard boardwalk between Jenner and Cuvier streets, and on main thoroughfares in some business districts, such as the boardwalk at La Jolla Shores, according to local officials. Vendors will be allowed to continue operating on the cross streets and side streets in those areas.

For more information, call LaCava’s office at (619) 236-6611.

Student who sought UCSD’s move to District 6 is selected for state commission

Aidan Lin, a UC San Diego undergraduate student who led an effort to have UCSD moved to City Council District 6 from its current District 1 (which includes La Jolla) in recent redistricting, has been appointed to the California Youth Empowerment Commission by state Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego).

“The California Youth Empowerment Commission is an exciting new opportunity to improve communication and meaningful collaboration between California’s youth and the state Legislature, superintendent of public instruction and governor,” Atkins said.

Lin also serves as a campuswide senator for the Associated Students of UC San Diego. Previously, he was vice president of the Associated Students and advocated for UCSD changing council districts.

In a guest commentary published by the La Jolla Light in November 2021, Lin said students at UCSD wanted the university out of District 1 because they felt much more in common with people in District 6, which includes Kearny Mesa, Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch, Sorrento Valley and University City. He wrote that District 1 politics “are run by affluent single-family homeowners in La Jolla,” who he said have been unconcerned about students’ needs, particularly for affordable housing.

The idea ultimately was rejected and UCSD remained in District 1.

Hillel Center opens in La Jolla

The Beverly and Joseph Glickman Hillel Center opens in La Jolla following a ribbon cutting Jan. 15.
The Beverly and Joseph Glickman Hillel Center opens in La Jolla following a ribbon cutting Jan. 15.
(Melissa Jacobs Photography)

After more than two decades of effort marked by local battles and legal challenges, the Beverly and Joseph Glickman Hillel Center opened Jan. 15 in La Jolla.

The 6,500-square-foot center — bounded by La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla Scenic Drive North and La Jolla Scenic Way — will serve students at nearby UC San Diego by hosting Jewish learning and holiday experiences and providing assistance services such as food and shower access to students who need it. The center also will host community activities.

Hillel of San Diego says its staff serves as mentors and educators for about 2,000 Jewish students who go to UCSD, San Diego State University, Cal State San Marcos and the University of San Diego, providing “valuable tools and opportunities to be Jewish leaders.”

Prestwick Drive development to return to PRC

Plans to demolish a single-story, 2,276-square-foot Ranch-style house at 8330 Prestwick Drive and build a new 6,583-square-foot single-family residence with a pool, a terrace and two garages into the hillside drew lengthy discussion at the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee’s Jan. 19 meeting but will return at a later date for a vote.

Applicant representative Cori Sanchez from Island Architects said the proposed house is comparable to how “the neighborhood is right now” in setbacks and square footage and that the project is “nowhere near the 30-foot [coastal] height limit.”

However, PRC trustee Janie Emerson said she had several concerns about the setbacks on the north side, the size of the house, how glass would reflect light into neighboring properties and how the project would be viewed from the beach below.

There also were questions about the basement, height measurements and more.

However, Emerson commended the architect for the design and how drainage was handled.

The applicant agreed to return with more information at a future meeting.

Scripps Oceanography experiment turns part of lagoon pink

Pink waves roll in at Torrey Pines State Beach on Jan. 20 as part of a Scripps Institution of Oceanography experiment.
(Erik Jepsen / UC San Diego)

An area of the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon within the Torrey Pines State Beach and Natural Reserve was temporarily dyed pink Jan. 20 as part of an experiment to study ocean dynamics led by researchers at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The study, titled “Plumes in Nearshore Conditions,” or PiNC, seeks more information on how small freshwater outflows interact with the surf zone.

The National Science Foundation-funded experiment released an environmentally friendly pink dye from the estuary mouth at Los Peñasquitos Lagoon. It was the first of three dye releases scheduled as part of the experiment, with the next round in February.

Researchers will track the fluorescent pink dye from land, sea and sky using a variety of instruments including drones, sensors affixed to poles in the sand in the river mouth and surf zone, and a watercraft outfitted with a fluorometer — a device that measures the fluorescence of light emitted from the dye.

For more information about the experiment, visit

La Jolla immunologist wins national award

Shane Crotty of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology is this year’s recipient of a national award from the American Association of Immunologists.

The Maryland-based organization, which represents 8,000 scientists in 71 countries, recently named Crotty as its 2023 BioLegend Herzenberg Award winner. The award recognizes researchers who make outstanding contributions to the understanding of B cell biology.

B cells produce the antibodies that detect and help the immune system destroy foreign or malignant cells, forming a core part of the adaptive immune system that protects against myriad threats, from viruses to cancer.

Working with fellow institute immunologist Alessandro Sette, Crotty published the first head-to-head comparison of four coronavirus vaccines, documenting the strength of the immune response they produced.

“B cells are amazing and antibodies are amazing,” Crotty said. “I’m very grateful to be able to contribute to our understanding of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases and vaccines.”

Salk Institute receives $1.5 million grant for MS study

Professor Ronald Evans of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla and an interdisciplinary group of institute researchers have been awarded a two-year, $1.5 million grant from the Sol Goldman Charitable Trust at the direction of cardiologist and Salk trustee Benjamin Lewis. The award will fund a research project to explore connections among the gut, brain and immune system in search of new therapies for patients with multiple sclerosis.

The grant will enable four Salk labs to explore the link between gut health and the mechanisms underlying autoimmune diseases such as MS. The Salk researchers will partner with the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins University to identify pathways, cells and biological systems that can transform new discoveries and technologies into new therapeutics.

Soledad Bridge Club seeks new members

The Soledad Bridge Club is seeking new members to play bridge at one of two local facilities: the La Jolla Cove Bridge Club at 1150 Coast Blvd. in La Jolla and the Soledad Club at 5050 Soledad Road in Pacific Beach.

The La Jolla club hosts games on Sundays; the Pacific Beach location on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

For more information, email

La Jolla Garden Club donates garden tools to elementary school

Kate Sessions parent volunteer Sarah Burge (center) with La Jolla Garden Club members Ginger Taylor and Craig Schniepp
Kate Sessions Elementary School parent volunteer Sarah Burge (center) stands with Ginger Taylor and Craig Schniepp of the La Jolla Garden Club, which donated garden tools to the school.
(Ina Thompson)

The La Jolla Garden Club has donated garden tools to Kate Sessions Elementary School in Pacific Beach.

The club bought child-size watering cans, rakes, shovels, a wheelbarrow and other tools for the school to enable more students to participate in garden activities.

The school’s parent-teacher organization, Friends of Kate Sessions, funds the garden and weekly garden classes for grades UTK through five in which students learn about nutrition, life science and the natural environment.

The garden contains several raised beds with vegetables, herbs and berries, as well as grapefruit, orange and lemon trees. Produce from the garden is served in school garden classes and shared with Sessions families.

La Jolla Playhouse awards Kat Yen its 2023-24 Directing Fellowship

Theater director Kat Yen has been awarded La Jolla Playhouse's 2023-24 Directing Fellowship.
(La Jolla Playhouse)

La Jolla Playhouse has announced that Kat Yen is the recipient of its new Directing Fellow position.

The playhouse’s Directing and Stage Management Fellowship Program, which offers two-year appointments for a Directing Fellow and a Stage Management Fellow, was launched last spring as a component of the playhouse’s Anti-Racism Action Plan, through which the organization is striving to become more representative of Black, Indigenous and people of color.

Yen is a Taiwanese American theater director who was born and raised in New York City. She joins the playhouse this month to begin her Directing Fellowship. The 2023-24 Stage Management Fellow will begin later this year and will be announced closer to the start date.

The two-year fellowships include full salary and benefits and offer recipients the opportunity to gain artistic and administrative experience, including interaction with all departments, guest artists and community members. Each fellowship is designed to culminate in a slot directing or stage-managing a show in the playhouse’s subscription season.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff