La Jolla News Nuggets: Ice cream trucks; homeless; Light awards; Mitzi Merino update; beach cleanups; more

An ice cream truck is parked in La Jolla on June 21.
An ice cream truck is parked in La Jolla on June 21, before the city of San Diego began enforcement of the section of the municipal code that prohibits such vending.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

News and events briefs


San Diego steps up enforcement of ice cream truck prohibition in coastal zone

The city of San Diego is getting stricter with its enforcement of regulations for ice cream trucks and mobile food trucks in the coastal zone. Signs were posted recently in places like Cuvier Park in La Jolla indicating the section of the municipal code that prohibits such operations would be enforced effective June 23.

The signs were posted to “ensure vendors are aware of the rules and to promote compliance,” said city spokeswoman Nicole Darling.

According to the municipal code, vendors are not allowed to sell items from vehicles in the coastal overlay zone, which includes some of La Jolla, Darling said. However, “we have heard from community members about vehicles, including ice cream trucks and food trucks, parking in this area and selling food items. When violations are seen, our city’s park rangers will enforce the municipal code.”

San Diego council finalizes homeless camping ban in repeat 5-4 vote

The San Diego City Council on June 27 finalized the city’s controversial new ban on homeless encampments on public property with a 5-4 vote that mirrored the council’s initial approval June 13.

The ordinance prohibits camping on any public property when shelter beds are available and at all times in places where public safety is a concern, such as city parks and near schools or existing shelters.

June 15, 2023

The ordinance asserts that people camping on public property can be cited or arrested if they refuse an available shelter bed. They cannot be cited for sleeping outside if no shelter beds are available.

But in some areas of San Diego, the ordinance allows around-the-clock enforcement of anti-camping laws and arrests even if no shelter beds are available. That applies to places deemed to have public safety concerns, including within two blocks of existing shelters or schools and at all city parks, riverbeds, waterways, trolley stops and transportation hubs.

The law will take effect 30 days after the opening of a city-run safe sleeping area at 20th and B streets on Thursday, June 29.

Enforcement won’t begin until at least 30 days after the ordinance becomes official, then will be a progressive three-encounter process.

June 17, 2023

A trial has been scheduled for San Francisco to defend clearing homeless encampments. An attorney for a national homeless-rights group says San Diego’s ordinance also could be challenged.

June 19, 2023

City Council member Stephen Whitburn, who spearheaded the ordinance, was joined in support of it in both votes by colleagues Joe LaCava (whose District 1 includes La Jolla), Marni von Wilpert, Raul Campillo and Jennifer Campbell.

The “no” votes both times came from Monica Montgomery Steppe, Vivian Moreno, Kent Lee and council President Sean Elo-Rivera. — The San Diego Union-Tribune and City News Service

La Jolla Light nets multiple journalism awards

The La Jolla Light received five reporting and writing awards in the non-daily category, including several first-place honors, at the Society of Professional Journalists San Diego Pro Chapter’s June 20 awards ceremony for work published in 2022.

Staff writers Elisabeth Frausto and Ashley Mackin-Solomon won first place in the series category for “No Room to Rest — a series on homelessness” and third place for “Roadblocks to Repair — a series on fixing the streets.”

Frausto also won:

Mackin-Solomon also won:

SDUSD Area Superintendent Mitzi Merino to continue serving La Jolla schools

San Diego Unified School District Area Superintendent Mitzi Merino, who last week was named to remain in that role, will stay in the area that includes La Jolla.

The school board announced June 27 that Merino’s area will align with District C, which includes La Jolla and is represented by trustee Cody Petterson.

Six area superintendents — who the district says are responsible for supporting their assigned schools by working with the communities “to implement the instructional policies and goals set forth by the district” — were selected during a two-month process after the district announced in April that it was vacating all of its area superintendent jobs. It encouraged those who held those roles and anyone else to apply.

Five of the six, including Merino, will support elementary and K-8 schools in their designated areas and one will oversee all middle schools. High schools will continue to be overseen by Erin Richison, senior executive director of the Office of Graduation.

Merino, who attended La Jolla schools growing up, is the only previous SDUSD area superintendent continuing in the role, the district said. She had been serving Area 5, including La Jolla, and has been an area superintendent for 15 years.

The other area superintendents announced are Michel Cazary, Steven Dorsey, Maria Gomez, Michelle Irwin and Gabriel Núñez-Soria.

A district statement indicated that all will assume their posts by Monday, July 17.

Two beach cleanups coming to Windansea

The Windansea Surf Club will present two beach cleanups next week: its regular July 5 cleanup to remove debris left over from the previous night’s Fourth of July festivities and its third annual Eric Shaw memorial beach cleanup on Saturday, July 8. Both will start at 7 a.m.

Shaw was a local surfer whose family helped revive the Windansea Surf Club.

Volunteers will meet at the Windansea parking lot for a cleanup in the immediate area, but those who want to clean another beach can do so, according to the club. Learn more at

Historical Society fundraiser planned for Aug. 12

Tickets are on sale for the La Jolla Historical Society’s 60th-anniversary fundraiser planned for 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, at Wisteria Cottage, 780 Prospect St.

The cinema-themed event will feature a nostalgic look at classic 1960s films, highlighting those played at the Cove Theater; a presentation on La Jolla’s cinematic history; recognition of Historical Society historian Carol Olten; live music by Rob Thorson; and a popcorn and candy bar. Guests also can view “The Artist at Home” exhibition, which is on view through Sunday, Sept. 3.

Tickets start at $40 and are available through by searching “Celebrating 60 Years at La Jolla Historical Society.” Learn more by emailing

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff


2:27 p.m. June 28, 2023: This article was updated with the opening date of San Diego’s new safe sleeping area.