La Jolla News Briefs: Sharks increasing off La Jolla coast, mayor honors local author, Romney amenable to help woo Olympics ... and more

By Pat Sherman


ocal honored by mayor:

La Jollan

Marjorie Hansen


received A “

Neighborhood Hero

” award from Mayor

Bob Filner

April 22 for her work with the San Diego Public Library’s low income, underserved college admissions program, Admit One. Shaevitz was one of 40 finalists honored. Of those, only 10 received a Neighbor- hood Hero award. For more information, visit

Post Office update:


La Jolla Historical Society

(LJHS) asked the city’s

Historical Resources Board

(HRB) for a 60-day continuance before deciding whether to grant a historic designation to La Jolla’s

Wall Street post office

(which the U.S. Postal Service intends to sell in the near future). During its April 25 meeting, the HRB instead granted a 30-day continuance.

LJHS executive director

Heath Fox

told board members the continuance was needed for the LJHS’s

Save Our La Jolla Post Office Task Force

to clarify details of the designation, which he said relate to potential adverse effects resulting from the USPS’s recent notice of intent to sell the post office building and relocate its services.

“A sale of our post office would require an environmental impact report, which would include the impact of a loss of historic use,” Fox said.


Diana Alvarado

told the

La Jolla Light

this week that the post office building at 1140 Wall Street is not yet on the market, and that USPS has not found a rental site in or near the Village in which to relocate services. USPS is analyzing appeals filed in response to its notice of sale and relocation.

Historical Review Board:

During the public comment section of the April HRB meeting, the

La Jolla Historical Society

again requested that the board review new findings on two Tudor Revival-style cottages in WindanSea that are slated for demolition.

Last month, the city’s

Development Services Department

issued an expedited coastal development permit to


the cottages at



341 Playa del Sur

  1. The

La Jolla Community Planning Association

(LJCPA) will decide whether to appeal the permit during its monthly meeting Thursday, May 2 at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. The property owners wish to build a 3,273-square-foot duplex on the site.

Lifeguard tower update:



will also receive a presentation on final designs for the


lifeguard tower at Children’s Pool

beach (scheduled to break ground next month), and take action on the planned,

24-hour closure

of Children’s Pool beach during the seals’ winter pupping season.

Preservationists vindicated:

Last month, the office of the State Auditor issued a scathing assessment of the San Diego

Development Services Department

’s (DSD’s) track record on historic preservation. The report, requested by state Senator

Ben Hueso

(D-40), found, in part: DSD did not collect sufficient information to ensure reviews of project sites potentially possessing historical resources; DSD applications had incomplete information on historical resources; DSD did not consistently adhere to municipal code when approving construction changes; DSD did not ensure the public receives mandatory notices of environmental determinations on projects; and on projects subject to CEQA review, DSD often filed a Notice of Determination 12-90 business days late. Read the full report at

More old trees to go:

La Jolla’s

Planned District


committee has approved removal of a more than 100-year-old eucalyptus tree at 7850 Ivanhoe Ave. The property owners say the tree has caused damage to the sidewalk. Another old eucalyptus tree was removed across the street at 7835 Ivanhoe Ave. March 18. Eucalyptus limbs are known to fall off, causing personal injury and property damage.

Seal lawsuit dropped:


Volker Hoehne

dropped his suit against the City of San Diego, in which he claimed the city violated his “constitutional right to fish” by refusing to remove the seals from Children’s Pool beach.

Judge Joel Pressman

opined that the city could still use Senate Bill 428 to create a marine mammal park at Children’s Pool. Passed into law in 2009, the legislation amended the terms of a public trust to give the city council the discretion to create a marine mammal park there “for the enjoyment and benefit of children.” Pressman held that “the Children’s Pool as a seal habitat is consistent with the public trust.”

Torrey Pines Road design update:

According to the office of District 1 City Councilmember

Sherri Lightner

, the design of Phase 1 of the

Torrey Pines Road Corridor project

(which includes reconstructing sidewalk segments, curb ramps and driveways along the north side of Torrey Pines Road between La Jolla Shores Drive and Prospect Place, and the addition of new sidewalk and curb ramps along the south side of Torrey Pines Road) should be complete by November — though it could take longer if the city’s Development Services Department requires an environmental impact report or mitigated negative declaration.

Cluster Foundation releases final survey:

The administrators, teachers, parents and staff of the

La Jolla Schools Cluster

have spent three years engaging stakeholders and collaborating through meetings and surveys to determine what the La Jolla educational community needs to make its foundation stronger. A final survey includes the actual partnership agreement it will bring to San Diego United School District for review. View and complete the final survey at:

Cove shark sightings:

Scuba divers spotted large

sevengill sharks

swimming off the coast of La Jolla last week. Divers are pushing for an explanation for this uncommon sight inside La Jolla Cove and have started a website at

According to the experts at, the 5- to 8-foot, broadnose sevengill sharks are on the hunt for food and prefer prowling in shallow, inshore waters, although they appear in deeper waters along the continental shelf. Sevengill sharks aren’t fussy eaters — they prey on almost anything, including octopuses, rays, other sharks, bony fishes and carrion. Observers have seen sevengill sharks in packs hunting for seals.

Sea lion rescues down: SeaWorld

noticed a steep decline in the number of malnourished, dehydrated sea lion pups during the past two weeks. At the height of what the

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

(NOAA) deemed an “unusual mortality event,” SeaWorld was rescuing about 10 sea lion pups per day, which has declined to about two per day, SeaWorld spokesperson

David Koontz


NOAA’s Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator,

Sarah Wilkin

, said the prevailing hypothesis for the decline is that the ocean conditions that caused a shortage of prey have improved, though it is also believed the animals could be so weak that they are dying at sea or in the Channel Islands, where they are born. While as many as 200 sea lions were being rescued in Southern California at the height of this year’s crisis, NOAA reported only 42 rescues last week.

■ Another starving

sea lion rescued

in La Jolla April 30:

Though SeaWorld reports that sea lion strandings are down (See above), at press time it was reported that SeaWorld had rescued another malnourished, dehydrated sea lion pup — this one found about a quarter mile from the Marine Room restaurant, not far from the bustling traffic of Torrey Pines Road.

The female sea lion was spotted at about 6:25 a.m. near Roseland Drive and Avenida Alamar. Neighbors coaxed it toward an adjacent home, where it remained for about 90 minutes, when SeaWorld rescuers arrived, according to local reports. SeaWorld spokesperson David Koontz said the mammal began eating immediately.

■ Mitt Romney ready

to offer advice on

mayor’s Olympic bid:

La Jolla resident and two-time presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he is willing to share his expertise for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s 2024 Olympics bid, which Filner envisions as a joint effort between San Diego and Tijuana.

Filner initially proposed seeking Romney’s input as an “honorary” event chair during the TransBorder Nonprofit Fair at Point Loma Nazarene University, April 27, according to local reports. Romney was president and CEO of an organizing committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.