LaCava to run for City Council, city asks court to dismiss Cove odor suit, ‘Doomsday Clock’ updated ... and more
City asks court to dismiss Cove odor lawsuit
San Diego doesn’t have a duty to clean up sea lion poop, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said Jan. 23 when he asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by La Jolla merchants and residents who want the city to fix the stinky mess. The La Jolla Cove has made local and national headlines since pungent animal waste from birds and sea lions began driving away tourists and shoppers several years ago.
In December 2013, a group of residents and merchants called Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement sued the city in San Diego Superior Court, accusing officials of not acting to reduce “the foul, noxious and sickening odors emanating from the excrement of cormorants and sea lions.” The group has proposed hiring an animal behaviorist to train the sea lions to do their business elsewhere — a proposal the city is mulling over.
On Jan. 24, the city argued in a legal filing that sea lions are part of the “natural condition” of the beaches and pointed to court decisions holding that agencies aren’t responsible for the potential nuisance posed by wild animals within their jurisdictions. The increase in sea lions at the Cove follows the animals’ resurgence throughout California as a result of the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act, the city said in its filing. Statewide populations of the species climbed 500 percent between 1975 and 2008, according to the document.
The benefits of protecting the animals outweigh any harm caused by the unpleasant smell, the city said in its filing. “Though the remaining odor of the sea lions may be pungent at times, these are the sacrifices made by human beings to preserve and protect wildlife.”
Meanwhile, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has pledged the city will continue spraying a microbial foam on the bluffs above La Jolla Cove that eats away the bird waste and, to a lesser extent, sea lion excrement — increasing applications to a monthly basis this year.
Gerry Braun, a spokesperson for the San Diego City Attorney’s office told La Jolla Light via e-mail, “a court ruling that the City has no duty to control the sea lions does not, of itself, have an effect on future efforts to manage the odor.”
Joe LaCava will run for Council District 1 seat
La Jollan Joe LaCava, president of the La Jolla Community Planning Association and chair of the Community Planners Committee, announced he plans to run for City Council at the Torrey Hills Community Board meeting Jan. 20.
LaCava, a land use and public policy consultant, said he plans to run for Council President Sherri Lightner’s District 1 seat when it is up for election in 2016.
The Torrey Hills meeting was one of LaCava’s first stops as he plans to visit local planning groups in the district to learn about the issues facing their communities. District 1 includes Carmel Valley, Pacific Highlands Ranch, Torrey Hills, Torrey Pines, Del Mar Mesa, Del Mar Heights, La Jolla and University City.
More undergrounding is set for La Jolla
The next round of utility undergrounding in La Jolla will be in the Muirlands neighborhood (Block 1M1) and the La Jolla Shores area (Block 1J phases 1 and 2), with phase 2 extending south toward Mt. Soledad.
Pre-construction meetings with the community will be scheduled for mid-February through early March when residents will be able to ask questions and address concerns like streetlight and utility box placement.
More at sandiego.gov/undergrounding or (619) 533-3841.
Scripps dedicates Loren Nancarrow Healing Garden
Family and friends of San Diego broadcast journalist Loren Nancarrow, who died Dec. 28, 2013 after a battle with brain cancer, celebrated the dedication of the Loren Nancarrow Healing Garden at the Scripps Radiation Therapy Center, Jan. 22. The garden is on the rooftop of Scripps Radiation Therapy Center, 10670 John Jay Hopkins Dr., (near North Torrey Pines Road) in La Jolla. The funds raised in his name will be used to provide patient support services for cancer patients at Scripps Health.
‘Doomsday Clock’ update
An elite group of scientists and Nobel laureates that includes Richard Somerville, a distinguished professor emeritus and research professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and UC San Diego, warned that climate change and the threat of nuclear war are posing an increasing threat to civilization and are bringing the planet closer to doomsday.
The group moved its symbolic “Doomsday Clock” two minutes forward last week, making the current time three minutes to midnight (or doomsday). Somerville unveiled the updated clock during a press conference of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in Washington D.C. on Jan. 22.
A member of the Science and Security Board and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Somerville is calling on people to demand action from their leaders to curb fossil fuel pollution and to stop developing more modern nuclear weapons that are endangering the planet.
“Efforts at reducing global emissions of heat-trapping gases have so far been entirely insufficient,” he said. “Unless much greater emissions reductions occur very soon, the countries of the world will have emitted enough carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by the end of this century to profoundly transform the Earth’s climate.” Somerville noted that 2014 was the hottest year on record and that the tipping point of ice loss in west Antarctica has been reached, meaning the melt is now unstoppable.
Created in 1947, the clock has been changed just 18 times, ranging from two minutes to midnight in 1953 to 17 minutes before midnight in 1991. It has been set at five minutes to midnight since 2012. The last time it was three minutes to midnight was in 1983, during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.
‘Sparkle & Shine’ campaign continues
Some of La Jolla Village Merchants Association’s (LJVMA) ‘Sparkle & Shine’ banners displayed on Torrey Pines Road will be temporarily taken down Feb. 8 to make room for banners promoting the Farmers Insurance Open golf tourney, Feb. 5-8 at Torrey Pines Golf Course (farmersinsuranceopen.com). Sparkle & Shine banners will go back up after the golf tourney is finished, said LJVMA executive director Sheila Fortune.
The popular program, in which residents and businesses purchase personalized banners to raise money for steam-cleaning sidewalks in the Village, has netted nearly $61,000 since it was announced last fall. The most recent donors include: Adelaide’s florists, Best Western Inn by the Sea, The Bishop’s School, Brick & Bell Café, Bridget’s Blooms, Chicklits Book Club, Gillispie School, La Jolla Management Company (La Jolla Country Market, Sycamore Court, Village Corner), Monarch Gallery, Monday and Wednesday Walkers, Needle Nook, OrangeTheory Fitness, Whisnladle Hospitality, Ghassan Aboukhater Realtor, Deborah Greenspan Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, Barbara Leinenweber Realtor, Jeffrey and Jane Marks, Arthur Rifkin, Ruthi Warburg and Friends, and Dave Weston.
“We pretty much have already pressure-washed all of the sidewalks in the Village,” Fortune said, noting some of them were so badly stained from gum and other pollutants that it will take subsequent quarterly cleanings before a significant change is noticed.
In addition, LJVMA will use Sparkle & Shine proceeds to hire someone part-time to ride a bicycle-powered wagon through the Village (provided by the San Diego Business Improvement District Council), cleaning areas as needed a couple of hours per day, several days a week.
“The maintenance staff will be provided a schedule of sidewalks in the Village to monitor … picking up garbage, (pulling) weeds around trees, sweeping sidewalks where the trees have dropped leaves, and (performing) other light maintenance,” Fortune said. “We will launch this for 30 days as a trial and then adjust for lessons learned, and hopefully continue to grow this program. … We do hope that the tenants and real estate owners will do their part in keeping their storefronts, sidewalks and landscaping maintained to help enhance our contribution.”
There is still time to purchase a banner and join the campaign. Info at (858) 454-5718 or email@example.com
Concours d’Elegance registration opens
Luxury/classic car and motorcycle enthusiasts may register vehicles online for the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance show, April 10-12 in Scripps Park. The event highlights vehicles from some of the world’s most rare collections, as well as gourmet food and events. The Concours raises money for La Jolla Historical Society and Monarch School. Register at lajollaconcours.com
ArcLight La Jolla offers free screenings of ‘Selma’ to students
San Diego is one of the cities to be part of the Selma for Students program, which offers students a chance to see the Oscar-nominated drama “Selma” for free. Beginning Jan. 31, students in the seventh, eighth and ninth grades can see the movie by presenting a current student ID or report card at the box office of any participating theater. According to Paramount Pictures, ArcLight Cinemas in the UTC shopping mall, 4425 La Jolla Village Drive, is one of the participating theaters.
“Selma,” which is nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Song, tells the story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leading a campaign to secure equal voting rights in 1965. The offer is good for as long as tickets last. selmamovie.com/studenttickets