La Jolla News Nuggets: Seadragon update; Valentine’s party for homeless; $35,000 for ‘Tea by the Sea’; more

A male seadragon at Birch Aquarium is carrying nearly 100 eggs on its tail.
(Birch Aquarium)

Birch Aquarium seadragon carrying nearly 100 eggs is moved out of public view

Ahead of the anticipated arrival of weedy seadragon babies, Birch Aquarium in La Jolla has moved a male seadragon carrying nearly 100 eggs out of the publicly visible tank and into behind-the-scenes care so the husbandry team can monitor the development of the eggs and detect if any start to hatch.

The egg transfer from a female seadragon to the male happened Jan. 9, a rarity in public view. When that happens, the male fertilizes the eggs and they stick to his tail for the remainder of their gestation.

Video: The rarely seen occurrence is a ‘learning experience’ that may help scientists foster breeding of the marine creatures.

Jan. 13, 2023

The male’s tail skin forms cups around each of the eggs so they don’t fall off. Ideally they will hatch from his tail and emerge as three-quarter-inch seadragons.

The closest that Birch — at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography — had come to a successful egg transfer before this was in 2020, when five eggs were released and two of them hatched. That transfer took place behind the scenes. This is the first time a seadragon has laid eggs on the public side of the aquarium.

A seadragon egg transfer has been documented only once in the wild and happens in captivity only a few times a year around the world.

Birch Aquarium opened its Seadragons & Seahorses enclosure in 2019, and it features one of the world’s largest seadragon habitats.

Updates will be posted on the aquarium’s social media channels. Learn more at

La Jolla teen’s nonprofit holds Valentine’s Day party for homeless families

Members of My Holiday Fairy donated "Twinkle Totes" of Valentine's Day items to families at the San Diego Rescue Mission.
(Karen Moyer)

Members of the nonprofit My Holiday Fairy, started last year by La Jolla High School junior Kate Wharton, held a Valentine’s Day party for families at the San Diego Rescue Mission, which provides shelter, clothing, food, education and other services to homeless people.

Kate Wharton and four other La Jolla High School students help the San Diego Rescue Mission.

Jan. 6, 2023

The party Feb. 14 featured donated pizzas from Hoboken Pizza in Pacific Beach and 50 donated “Twinkle Totes” assembled by My Holiday Fairy members. The totes contained chocolates, other treats, hand sanitizer and more.

Three days earlier, My Holiday Fairy members celebrated reaching their $3,000 fundraising goal for the party by doing a “polar plunge” at Marine Street Beach in La Jolla.

My Holiday Fairy now is preparing Easter festivities. To donate or learn more, visit

St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center raises $35,000 at ‘Tea by the Sea’ in La Jolla

St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, a nonprofit organization that serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, raised $35,000 at its 10th annual “Tea by the Sea” on Jan. 21 at The Marine Room in La Jolla.

St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center presented its 10th annual “Tea by the Sea” at The Marine Room in La Jolla on Jan. 21.

Jan. 28, 2023

Proceeds from the event benefit St. Madeleine’s art program and Sophie’s Gallery, an art gallery and studio in downtown El Cajon.

The tea featured speeches by Chief Executive Debra Emerson, board President Judy Mantle, and Kelsey Wammack, a student representative of the SMSC art program.

Guests took home a jar of marmalade made from fruit from Sophie’s Organic Garden.

To learn more about St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, visit

La Jolla Historical Society anniversary reception is postponed

Due to a forecast of rain for its original date, Feb. 25, the La Jolla Historical Society’s 60th-anniversary kickoff reception has been rescheduled to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at Wisteria Cottage, 780 Prospect St.

Guests will be able to go on tours of the property led by historian Carol Olten, access the Historical Society archives with Deputy Director Dana Hicks, explore the Venturi Pergola with Historical Society board President Matt Mangano and see the current exhibition, “Rare Trees, Sacred Canyons,” with co-curator Peter Jensen.

“A lot of folks know ... our fabulous exhibition program, but they don’t know that we have the archive, or they appreciate the advocacy work we do through our preservation, but they don’t know we have walking tours of La Jolla,” said Historical Society Executive Director Lauren Lockhart. “There are so many ways to be involved with our organization. The [anniversary] kickoff event is to share all those different aspects of our identity and our mission.”

Learn more at

San Diego Restaurant Week to include La Jolla offerings March 26-April 2

San Diego Restaurant Week will return Sunday, March 26, through Sunday, April 2, with several La Jolla restaurants serving up special prix fixe pricing on diverse menus.

Beaumont’s, Duke’s La Jolla, George’s at the Cove and Puesto La Jolla plan to participate.

For menus and more information, visit

Coastwise spelling bee returns to La Jolla in April

The Coastwise Spelling Prize bee returns for a second year on Wednesday, April 26, at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.

Students in grades 3-5 from Bird Rock, Torrey Pines and La Jolla elementary schools are invited to enter the bee.

For more information, visit

Museum of Contemporary Art to launch free workshops for older adults

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla will launch free art-making storytelling workshops for older adults after receiving a $250,000 E.A. Michelson Philanthropy grant.

The workshops for adults 55 and older will launch in May and continue in 2024. They will be co-developed by UC San Diego geriatric medicine specialist Dr. Khai Nguyen and MCASD director of education and engagement Karla Centeno.

The series will explore a variety of themes related to personal histories and identity and provide a forum for self-expression and developing interpersonal connections.

For more information, visit

La Jolla’s Calibr and Bill & Melinda Gates institute reach licensing agreement for tuberculosis treatment compound

Calibr, a division of Scripps Research in La Jolla dedicated to development of medicines, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute announced a strategic licensing agreement to advance development of a novel compound for tuberculosis treatment.

Under the agreement, Calibr grants Gates MRI an exclusive license to continue development of the investigational compound CLB073.

Tuberculosis is a severe lung disease caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis, or Mtb.

To develop a drug capable of targeting Mtb in a new way, scientists at Calibr collaborated with researchers at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Together, they discovered and pre-clinically studied CLB073, which uses a novel mechanism to weaken Mtb’s survival capacity.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff