News Nuggets: Light pole replaced; historic district support; 430-mile ultramarathon; funding updates; more

A fallen light pole at La Jolla Cove was replaced March 10.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Fallen light pole at La Jolla Cove replaced

Despite concern that it would be weeks or months before a fallen light pole at La Jolla Cove could be replaced, San Diego city crews were onsite March 10 getting the light fixture reinstalled.

The pole toppled in late February from a sidewalk next to Scripps Park above La Jolla Cove and damaged a section of fencing and some plants below.

Most troubling to some people who frequent the area was the lack of light illuminating the street and the stairs leading to The Cove. The nearest light pole to the one that fell is halfway up Coast Boulevard to the north, in front of the La Jolla Bay Homes on the former Green Dragon Colony site. The next-nearest light is nearly all the way up the street in the other direction, near Prospect Street.

Area resident Bill Robbins said some beach-goers stepped on glass after the pole fell and that people who swim in the early morning had trouble seeing where the water meets the stairs.

“When we lost the streetlight at La Jolla Cove, it posed a risk to public safety,” said City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla. “Once I learned of the city’s timeline for replacement, I pushed for a faster response. Twenty-four hours later, city crews were there.”

PDO Committee supports coastal historic district nomination

The La Jolla Planned District Ordinance Committee discusses the nomination of the La Jolla coastline as a historic district.
Seonaid McArthur, chairwoman of the La Jolla Historical Society Landmark Committee, speaks to the La Jolla Planned District Ordinance Committee about the nomination of the La Jolla coastline as a historic district.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The La Jolla Planned District Ordinance Committee became the first local planning group to lend its support to a proposal to designate a segment of the La Jolla coastline as a historic district.

The committee voted unanimously March 13 to sign on to a letter supporting the proposal.

The plan also will be shopped to groups such as La Jolla Parks & Beaches and the La Jolla Community Planning Association in coming weeks for additional letters of support.

The planned La Jolla Park Coastal Historic District would include:

• Eight acres of coastal parkland surrounding The Village

• Areas such as The Cove, Boomer Beach, Shell Beach and the Children’s Pool

• Historically designated sites such as the Casa de Mañana retirement community and Red Roost and Red Rest cottages

• Longtime structures such as the cobblestone wall at Whale View Point, beach access staircases and belvedere shade structures

The nomination may be heard by the California Office of Historic Preservation’s State Historical Resources Commission next month.

Designation as a historic district would recognize the coastal zone’s role in the growth and development of La Jolla. Such designation comes with limits on what can be built in the area, and any change would have to be in line with the terms of the designation.

La Jolla doctor finishes ultramarathon in Canada to raise money for Down syndrome support

Dr. Russ Reinbolt of La Jolla continues to raise money to support people with Down syndrome, recently completing a 430-mile ultramarathon in Yukon, Canada.

Last summer, Reinbolt ran his fifth Badwater 135, an annual ultramarathon in Death Valley, as a fundraiser for the same cause.

Reinbolt previously entered the 300-mile distance of the Yukon ultramarathon twice, failing to finish each time.

Reinbolt also aims to raise awareness for DS Action, a San Diego-based nonprofit that advocates for people with Down syndrome.

To donate, visit

Bird Rock Foundation raises record amount for elementary school at 2023 gala

 Bird Rock Elementary School teachers and the acting principal attend the Bird Rock Foundation gala March 4.
From left, Ali Nieblas, Shannon Warren, Kristi Nelson, Jamie Jorgensen, Debbie Gawle and Melisa King of Bird Rock Elementary School attend the Bird Rock Foundation gala March 4.
(Jessica Donovan)

The Bird Rock Foundation held its 41st annual gala and auction March 4 to raise money for Bird Rock Elementary School. Foundation President Jessica Donovan said final numbers are still being tallied, but so far more than $190,000 has been collected, “a record-breaking amount.”

The gala, called “Prohibition Ends Here” and held in downtown San Diego, was attended by Bird Rock Elementary parents, teachers, acting Principal Jamie Jorgensen and San Diego Unified School District board member Cody Petterson.

Rotary Club of La Jolla raising money for welcome sign

The “Welcome to La Jolla” sign would be at the median at the intersection of Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Shores Drive.
The “Welcome to La Jolla” sign would be placed at the median at the intersection of Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Shores Drive.
(Trace Wilson)

The Rotary Club of La Jolla is raising money for a “Welcome to La Jolla” sign that would be placed at the median at the intersection of Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Shores Drive.

Conceptual drawings for the sign were approved by several community groups last year. Since then, architect Trace Wilson has made adjustments to the sign, making it 25 percent smaller and shifting the word “welcome” to provide a dot over the “j” in “Jolla.”

Rotarian Cindy Goodman said the club was awarded a $25,000 San Diego County grant this week to cover some of the cost. “That will leave us approximately $20,000 to raise to complete the project, including installation, planting and permitting,” she said.

Goodman said the sign, which is expected to be installed in the summer, will increase community goodwill and “income for local businesses and cultural institutions.”

Tax-deductible contributions can be directed to the La Jolla Rotary Foundation with “Welcome sign” in the subject line and mailed to Leinenweber and Associates, 7755 Fay Ave., Suite D, La Jolla, CA 92037.

The club also held its 75th-anniversary party March 5 at a home in Rancho Santa Fe, attended by club members and a group from the Tijuana Rotary Club, which shares a long-standing project with the La Jolla club.

Kiwanis Club of La Jolla awards $5,500 to local organizations

Nicky Moore, with K9 Ambassador Moose, from Shelter to Soldier, which received $2,000 from the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla.
(Kiwanis Club of La Jolla)

The Kiwanis Club of La Jolla awarded $5,500 to local organizations at its March 10 meeting.

Shelter to Soldier received $2,000 to send staff to a training conference, and the scholarship program at the Monarch School received $2,500 to be given to graduating seniors.

The Kiwanis Club of La Jolla awards about $150,000 annually to nonprofits and institutions in La Jolla and elsewhere in San Diego. The money is raised from the club’s annual La Jolla Half Marathon. The 2023 half marathon and 5K race will take place this year on May 20.

Las Patronas grants $18,000 for new hand-washing stations at New Children’s Museum

The La Jolla-based women’s philanthropy group Las Patronas recently granted The New Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego $18,625 to upgrade its popular outdoor Paint and Clay Studios hand-washing stations.

“The outdated plumbing and stations built too high for children to access easily posed a concern we needed to address,” said Elizabeth Yang-Hellewell, the museum’s executive director. “The new sinks address our goals of promoting safety, independence and exploration among children, as children will no longer need an adult to assist them. For this, we are truly thankful to Las Patronas for supporting something that may not be glamorous but is truly essential.”

UCSD doctor named Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine president

Dr. Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman, chairwoman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, is the 2023 president-elect of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

“Good health begins before birth, with maternal-fetal medicine helping to ensure the well-being of both parents-to-be and their unborn children,” said Dr. John Carethers, vice chancellor for health sciences at UCSD. “Throughout her distinguished career, Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman has advocated for both research excellence and compassionate care so that her patients, especially those most at risk, have the best chance at a long and healthful life. She will be an extraordinary leader for SMFM.”

SMFM, established in 1977, works to advance knowledge, education and research about complications that can compromise the health of patients during pregnancy.

Gyamfi-Bannerman, who specializes in obstetric complications, became chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences in 2021.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff