La Jolla News Nuggets

Students donate $500 to River Conservancy

La Jolla High School seniors Mason Matalon, Jordan Schultz and Mitchell Morrison have spent the last two years collecting recyclable plastic, aluminum and glass, and taking them to redemption centers with the goal of ultimately donating those funds. Last week, they were proud to take the proceeds of $500 (from approximately two tons of recycling) and donate it to the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy.

Executive director Trish Boaz accepted the donation. “Donations like this don’t come along every day,” she said, excitedly. “We are so grateful.”

March 8 Town Council meeting to re-address short-term rentals

This month’s La Jolla Town Council meeting — 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. — will reconvene the Working Group on Short-Term Vacation Rentals (STVR), a thinktank of town council presidents and neighborhood associations, to finalize its recommendations to the City with input from the public.

“The Mayor is putting this back on the agenda and intends to get this done within the next month,” said La Jolla Town Council president Ann Kerr-Bache. “Clearly, this is going to happen. Let’s have it happen in a way that’s going to preserve the character of our neighborhoods and respect the desire to home-share.”

The STVR group features presidents of the Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach and Clairemont town councils, as well as San Diego Unified School District board trustee Michael McQuary and other community leaders.

“We think we’ve come up with some very simple, neighborhood-friendly ways in which the STVR problem can be resolved,” Kerr-Bache said. “This is an opportunity for the public to get involved and help us tweak this.”

Rotary club honors Preuss School principal

Scott Barton, principal of The Preuss School UCSD, received the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary’s Ernest Hahn Visionary Award for contributing to the quality of life in the area.

“I am extremely honored to receive this prestigious award,” Barton said. “The Rotary has proved to be a dedicated supporter of the Preuss School and our mission for nearly two decades, which makes this award all the more meaningful.”

Barton is a founding faculty member of Preuss, a charter middle and high school for low-income students on the UC San Diego campus. He served as its dean of students for nine years before becoming principal in 2008.

The Hahn Visionary Award is named for the late Ernest W. Hahn, whose company opened University Towne Centre (UTC) in 1977.

Registration open for Menehune surf event

The La Jolla Shores Surfing Association’s Menehune Surf Contest, scheduled for May 5 at Kellogg Park, is now taking names. Contestants 18 years old and under are being sought for longboard, short-board and novice competitions — including super menehunes age 6 and under. There will also be special heats for surfing moms and dads.

More than 175 entrants are expected. For more information, visit or e-mail before the entry deadline, April 27.

Woman’s Club seeks book club newcomers

All are welcome to attend the next La Jolla Woman’s Club Book Club meeting, 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 14 at the Clubhouse, 7791 Draper Ave. The March book for discussion is “Little Flies Everywhere” by Celeste Ng. RSVP to Pat McGill at (858) 349-1096 or

Cocktail purchases to benefit Meals on Wheels

Throughout the month of March, Meals on Wheels San Diego County will participate in the 16th annual March for Meals — a month-long celebration of Meals on Wheels and the vulnerable seniors who rely on the vital service to remain independent at home. San Diego eateries and bars will feature specialty cocktails, and one dollar from each drink purchase will be donated to Meals on Wheels San Diego County.

Restaurants include: Barra Barra, Brooklyn Girl, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Coasterra, Indigo Grill, Koizen Cellars, The Prado and Sea180.

Scientists ID Alzheimer’s sufferers in their 50s

For the first time, an international team of scientists, led by researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine, have determined that an Alzheimer’s disease (AD) polygenic risk score can be used to correctly identify adults with mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to AD, who were only in their 50s.

The findings — which could lead to earlier, more effective Alzheimer’s treatments — were published in the Feb. 27 online edition of Molecular Psychiatry.

“Current studies of the AD polygenic risk score typically occur in adults in their 70s, but the AD pathological process begins decades before the onset of dementia,” said William S. Kremen, co-director of the Center for Behavior Genetics of Aging at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “By focusing on a younger population with cognitive impairment, we may be better able to identify patients for critical early interventions and clinical trials.”

Kremen and his team found that someone with an AD polygenic risk score in the upper quartile was 2.5 to 3 times more likely to have MCI than someone with a score in the lowest quartile. Signs of MCI may include difficulty with word recall, forgetting appointments, and often losing personal belongings.

Researchers find cancer-fighting skin bacteria

UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers have discovered a strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis, common on healthy human skin, that fights skin cancer.

“This unique strain of skin bacteria produces a chemical that kills several types of cancer cells but does not appear to be toxic to normal cells,” says Richard Gallo, chair of the Department of Dermatology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. The team’s study was published in Science Advances.

UC San Diego partners with Lyft

UC San Diego has partnered with Lyft to give the campus community access to university-specific programs including alternative commuter options, safe rides for students, patient transport, designated pick-up and drop-off locations, direct billing for business travel, and ride credits for certain university-sponsored events.

“Partnering with Lyft in this way will allow us to offer our students, faculty, staff, patients and campus friends more streamlined access to Lyft as a cost-effective alternative transportation option to access campus and our healthcare facilities,” said UC San Diego vice chancellor and chief financial officer Pierre Ouillet.

Free Scripps Health lectures slated

Two free health lectures will be held in La Jolla this month.

On Friday, March 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, 4126 Executive Drive, a clinical pharmacist will address how over-the-counter medications and prescription medications may interact with one another. Safety, possible side effects and tips for how to manage medications will be discussed.

On Saturday, March 31 from 9 a.m. to noon in Schaetzel Center at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, 9888 Genesee Ave., Scripps trauma experts will provide bleeding-control training. Participants will receive a certificate upon completing the training, which includes wound-packing techniques and using tourniquets to stop bleeding.

Seating for both lectures is limited. To register, call (800) 727-4777.

Animal rights forum March 8 at UCSD

Actress Shannon Elizabeth will appear at “Animal Conservation and Civil Discourse,” a panel on animal rights, conservation and captivity on 11 a.m. Thursday, March 8 in the Atkinson Hall Auditorium, Calit2, 9500 Gilman Drive.

Elizabeth, the winner of USCD’s 2018 Earl Warren Humanitarian Award, works with endangered rhinos in South Africa through her charity, Animal Avengers, and her foundation, Rhino Review. The panel will also feature elephant activist Dr. Shermin de Silva, San Diego Zoo Global’s Dr. Oliver Ryder, SeaWorld vice president Dr. Judy St. Leger and various UCSD professors.

“Like all great public research universities, UC San Diego serves as a forum for public debate and interaction on important policy issues and we look forward to having a formative discussion on an issue that many people feel strongly about,” said Earl Warren College Provost Emily Roxworthy. For more information, call (858) 534-8444.

zpizza to open March 10 in Village Square

A new pizza restaurant and tap room called zpizza will open Saturday, March 10 at 8657 Villa La Jolla Drive in the La Jolla Village Square shopping center (between Best Buy and Ross).

Part of a national franchise based in Newport Beach, the eatery features 20 self-pour taps serving beer, cider and wine, as well as an artisan pizza menu.

“We developed the zpizza Tap Room concept because it’s the kind of place we would be proud to take our family and friends,” said Chris Bright, president of zpizza International. “We have created a very warm, casual environment with plenty of big screen TVs for game nights.”

The first 100 grand-opening guests will receive vouchers for a year’s worth of free pizza with any purchase.