UPDATED: La Jolla News Nuggets Aug. 27-Sept. 2

SDG&E SCADA pole under investigation, expanded yoga options in the Village of La Jolla ... and more

Editing Note: News Nuggets was updated to reflect the passage of AB 57 by the California Senate Monday, Aug. 24.

SCADA or nada? Pole placement is puzzling

During the La Jolla Community Planning Association’s Aug. 6 meeting, Vic Salazar, a sewer and water project representative for the City of San Diego, told La Jolla Light the city is still studying to determine if a planned, 30-foot-tall SCADA pole related to Sewer and Water Group Project 820 is necessary at Exchange Place and Bluebird Lane.

Exchange Place residents are already angered by SDG&E’s adjacent, 49-foot-tall SCADA wireless communications pole, which SDG&E installed without notice in May, in front of a home on the opposite side of Bluebird Lane. A representative with the city’s Development Services Department confirmed SDG&E may not have had authority to install the pole at a height breaching La Jolla’s 30-foot coastal height limit and that the “SCADA pole installation remains under investigation.” Should the city decide to install its 30-foot SCADA pole there, to transmit information to a water facility south of San Diego State University, city representatives will return to the LJCPA to present the project as an information item, Salazar said. —Pat Sherman

Assemblymember Atkins opposes cell tower bill

Last week, state Assembly speaker and La Jolla representative Toni Atkins told the Light her opposition to AB 57 was the reason she didn’t vote on the bill when it reached the Assembly floor in May. The bill, related to the FCC’s Spectrum Act order currently being implemented by the City of San Diego (and criticized by La Jollans), would give wireless communications companies carte blanche authority to install new cell phone antennas and related equipment, without public notice or chance for appeal. The bill also removes much of a city or local government’s regulatory authority over such installations.

AB 57 passed the Senate Monday, Aug. 24. It was amended three times in the Senate (most recently, on Aug. 18, with exemptions for installations on “fire department facilities,” which opponents tell the Light they believe were added to move the state firefighters union from opposition to support). The bill will now return to the Assembly for a vote on concurrence.

“I won’t vote for it if it returns to the Assembly,” said Atkins, via e-mail last week, though stopping short of saying she would use her authority as speaker to squash the legislation. “During my time on the San Diego City Council, I took part in extensive discussions on this issue. I know how hard local communities have worked to enact land-use policies such as height limitations that make sense for them, and, in this case, I won’t support a bill that undermines their authority.”

State Senator and La Jolla resident Marty Block told La Jolla Town Council Aug. 13 he also opposes AB 57 and would lobby his Senate colleagues to oppose it — despite the heavy influence of the telecommunications industry to woo state legislators and his belief that it would pass.

To read more from Block on this subject, visit

Earlier this month, San Diego City Council President Sherri Lightner, also of La Jolla, issued her own statement opposing the state and federal wireless industry coup, citing “longstanding concerns about wireless cell tower installations in residential neighborhoods dating back to my time as a volunteer and chair of the La Jolla Shores Association.”

Lightner’s letter said her efforts to “make adjustments to the La Jolla Community Plan in the early 2000s, in order to protect the community and provide additional restrictions on where and how wireless installations could be installed” were “stymied because of conflicts with federal communications laws.” Lightner referred to the Spectrum Act as “a federal gift to the wireless carriers.” —Pat Sherman

More Villge yoga options

Buddhi Yoga at 7843 Girard Avenue, Suite F (above Lululemon and Girard Gourmet) has more than doubled the size of its yoga studio, from 800 to 2,000 square feet.

In the coming weeks, a retractable wall will be installed so the studio can be divided into two spaces to accommodate Buddhi Yoga’s expanded offerings, including meditation, yin yoga and a happy back class for people living with chronic back pain or recovering from back injuries. Owners Amanda McCarroll and Carolina Vivas also plan to host workshops with instructors from across the country and expand their teacher training and mentoring program.

Meanwhile, the yoga-inspired athletic apparel brand, Yogasmoga, plans to open its first San Diego store at the La Plaza La Jolla shopping complex at Wall Street and Girard Avenue in October. The luxury clothing brand has retail locations in Greenwich, Connecticut and Brentwood, California. Yogasmoga co-founders Rishi and Tapasya Bali were born and raised at the foothills of the Himalayas. Their clothing is made from proprietary fabrics created with eco-conscious dyes in vibrant colors, as well as its trademarked Carbon 6 Black, a shade of black that offers unparalleled opacity.

Scientists uncover mechanism of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Every year, more strains of bacteria develop resistance to the antibiotics we use to treat deadly infections. At The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla scientists have been working to develop new forms of these drugs, including an antibiotic called arylomycin — but tests have shown that it is possible for bacteria to become resistant to arylomycin, too. Now, TSRI have discovered that the important human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, develops resistance to this drug by “switching on” a previously uncharacterized set of genes.

“This explains why antibiotic resistance rates in some bacteria are higher than in others,” said TSRI professor Floyd Romesberg, senior author of the new study. “Resistance depends on this little set of genes that no one knew could contribute to tolerating the arylomycins.” — These findings were published by the journal mBio.

Rotary Club of La Jolla to host bowling tourney

In an effort to support Rotary International’s primary mission of eradicating polio worldwide, the Rotary Club of La Jolla will host a bowling tournament to “strike out” polio, 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 at Kearney Mesa Lanes, 7585 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Rotarians will support the effort by sponsoring bowlers, lanes or achievements, from strikes to gutter balls. The club hopes to raise a minimum of $1,500 to aid in the fight against polio.

Although the disease has nearly been eradicated, it still exists in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, with some people refusing to have themselves or their children vaccinated. Nigeria is the latest country to have reported no cases in more than a year. The World Health Organization is responsible for certifying that countries are polio free. To register for the tourney, contact Will at (808) 681-9918 or e-mail

Scripps Health mobile app now available

Scripps Health launched an app that provides patients and visitors with instant access to information about physicians and Scripps hospitals and clinics through their Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.

The app offers the same primary functions available on the website — physician searches, location searches and maps, a patient portal link and one-touch dialing for the toll-free 1-800-SCRIPPS information line.

More functions will be added in the coming months. To download the free app, go to the Apple or Android app stores and search for “Scripps Health.”

Heroin usage is up
in San Diego County

Nationwide heroin overdoses and deaths are soaring, and San Diego County is no exception to this trend, according to statistics released Aug. 20 by the SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division. Traditionally, heroin/opiate use has been lower among the arrestee population in San Diego, compared to other large U.S. cities. In 2002, 25 percent of adult male arrestees in Chicago tested positive for opiates, compared to 13 percent in New York and 5 percent in San Diego. However, in 2012 (the most recent year for comparison data across cities) these rates declined to 15 percent in Chicago and 10 percent in New York, but doubled to 10 percent in San Diego. In 2014, 13 percent of adult male arrestees and 15 percent of adult female arrestees in San Diego County tested positive for heroin/opiates — the highest rates since the Substance Abuse Monitoring (SAM) Program began tracking data in this format in 2000.

Swim for Warriors a success for two locals

Two La Jolla swimmers who use La Jolla Cove daily as their training ground attempted to swim the Catalina Channel Aug. 21 to raise funds for Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station — one of them was successful.

Dana Selles and La Jolla High School alum Penny Nagel departed Catalina last Friday and Nagel landed on the mainland 15 hours later. Selles, who suffered an injury during a military tour in Afghanistan, had to stop a few miles short. The swim team, including two support kayakers, touched sand in Rancho Palos Verdes outside of San Pedro. Warrior Foundation provides services to veterans in Southern California, and supplements government programs. Donations can be made at or by mailing a check to: Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station, 1223 1/2 28th St., Apt. A, San Diego, CA 92102.

Local Toastmaster wins third at World semifinals

Toastmasters of La Jolla member Prabhu Kandasamy recently took third place in his group at the semifinal round of Toastmasters International Semifinals and World Championship of Public Speaking contest in Las Vegas. Kandasamy represented District 5 (which covers San Diego and spans all the way to Arizona) at the championship, which grouped districts together — with one winner proceeding to the World Championship final round.

The competition showcases the most skilled public speakers in the world, representing local Toastmasters clubs. Toastmasters International is an organization aimed at improving public speaking skills.

Kandasamy wrote a speech for the competition based on his life story and growing up with polio in India, and relied on his local club to help refine his skills. He competed with his perfected speech at the division and district levels, before qualifying for the Toastmasters International Semifinals and World Championship of Public Speaking. More details at

Library fines reduced by half in September

The entire month of September, San Diego Public Library users can return overdue books and materials and the library will discount the late charges by 50 percent.

Library patrons are encouraged to search their bookcases and children’s rooms for overdue library books, CDs or DVDs and return them during this one time only fine discount time period. For those who haven’t used their library cards for years because of their fines, this is the time to them pay off.

La Jolla’s branch library is at 7555 Draper Ave. Hours: 12:30-5 p.m. Sunday; 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday; 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. (858) 552-1657.