La Jolla News Nuggets: Fallen trees, Michelin recognition, aquarium party, wearable microscopes, more

A massive pine tree fell onto a La Jolla Shores Drive property March 21 as a rainstorm passed through.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

La Jolla trees fall during storm

Trees big and small fell across La Jolla amid gusty winds and heavy rains March 21.

In the Windansea area, a small tree fell across Nautilus Street, reportedly damaging a car but not injuring anyone.

The same day in La Jolla Shores, a 75-year-old stone pine toppled onto the driveway of a home on La Jolla Shores Drive. No injuries were reported.

Requests to remove fallen trees should be made through the city of San Diego’s Get It Done app.

La Jolla native’s North Park restaurant earns Michelin Guide recognition

Mabel’s Gone Fishing, a North Park gin and oyster bar opened in late September by business partners Chelsea Coleman, a La Jolla native, and Rae Gurne was one of six California restaurants recognized March 8 by the Michelin Guide.

The honor came just three months after Mabel’s was honored by as one of America’s top 15 U.S. restaurants.

San Diego County is now home to 55 Michelin-recognized restaurants, including Addison in Carmel Valley, one of just 13 Michelin three-star restaurants in the United States.

Mabel’s is the second midcity restaurant owned by Gurne and Coleman, who is the daughter of late San Diego Padres announcer Jerry Coleman. They opened The Rose Wine Bar in South Park in 2010. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

Birch Aquarium to hold Party for the Planet

Birch Aquarium in La Jolla will celebrate Earth Day this year by throwing a Party for the Planet, offering guests an opportunity to celebrate the ocean’s biodiversity and learn how they can take action to make a difference.

Party for the Planet will run over two weekends, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 22-23 and 29-30. Interactive activities will include eco-friendly crafts, live music, a community art project, a scavenger hunt and more. Birch Aquarium educators and Scripps Institution for Oceanography scientists will host hands-on stations discussing some of Earth’s greatest challenges.

The event is included with the cost of aquarium general admission, which is $24.95 for adults and $19.95 for children ages 3-17. The aquarium is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and reservations are required for all guests, including members. For more information, visit

Salk’s new wearable microscopes could ‘revolutionize the study of pain’

Scientists at La Jolla’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies have created wearable microscopes designed to enable unprecedented insight into the central nervous system of mice.

The spinal cord is known to play an essential role in relaying pain signals by acting as a messenger, carrying signals between the brain and body to regulate everything from breathing to movement. But scientists have limited understanding of how the process occurs on a cellular level.

“These new wearable microscopes allow us to see nerve activity related to sensations and movement in regions and at speeds inaccessible by other high-resolution technology,” according to Axel Nimmerjahn, an associate professor and director of the Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center. “Our wearable microscopes fundamentally change what is possible when studying the central nervous system.”

Nimmerjahn’s team began applying the novel microscopes to gather new information. In particular, the researchers wanted to image astrocytes, star-shaped non-neuronal glial cells, in the spinal cord because the team’s earlier work suggested the cells’ unexpected involvement in pain processing.

The team found that squeezing the tails of mice activated the astrocytes, sending coordinated signals across spinal cord segments. Before the new microscopes, it was impossible to know what astrocyte activity looked like or what any cellular activity looked like across those spinal cord regions in moving animals.

“Being able to visualize when and where pain signals occur and what cells participate in this process allows us to test and design therapeutic interventions,” said Daniela Duarte, a researcher in Nimmerjahn’s lab. “These new microscopes could revolutionize the study of pain.”

Kiwanis Club of La Jolla awards $2,500 to The Preuss School

Lori Gremel, director of development for The Preuss School, and Bart Calame of the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla
The Kiwanis Club of La Jolla, represented by Bart Calame (right), awarded $2,500 to The Preuss School, represented by Lori Gremel, director of development, on March 16.
(Kiwanis Club of La Jolla)

The Kiwanis Club of La Jolla awarded $2,500 to The Preuss School on the UC San Diego campus in La Jolla at its March 16 meeting at the La Jolla Community Center.

Lori Gremel, director of development at Preuss, received the grant, which will be used for the school’s scholarship program.

The Kiwanis Club of La Jolla awards about $150,000 annually to nonprofits and other 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 be held Saturday, May 20.

Coastal historic district hearing postponed

A state hearing for a proposal to designate a segment of the La Jolla coastline as a historic district has been postponed from April to August.

The 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.

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 was slated to be considered by the California Office of Historic Preservation’s State Historical Resources Commission in April, but the hearing has been postponed to August so heritage plants in Scripps Park can be identified and affected neighbors can be notified.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff