La Jolla Town Council fills three seats, honors Alfonso’s owner

LJTC Trustee Al Ramirez voted as first vice-president

La Jolla Town Council (LJTC) elected three new trustees and honored longtime 
La Jolla restaurateur Alfonso Fierro, who opened Alfonso’s of La Jolla in 1977, during its Dec. 11 meeting.

The commendation was bittersweet, however, as Fierro announced he will close his eatery at 1251 Prospect St. when his lease expires on Oct. 15, 2015.

LJTC President Steve Haskins referred to Fierro as a personal friend and a friend of the community.

“He is someone who was friends with my father and friends of many other people from many other generations here in La Jolla,” Haskins said, noting that Fierro started his culinary career in 1962 as a busboy (and later, bartender) working for Albert Hernandez, the man believed to have created the modern margarita at his La Jolla restaurant, La Plaza.

Since then, Fierro has served everyone from Bill Gates to actors Raquel Welch and David Arquette, and sports luminaries Sugar Ray Leonard, Pete Rose and Tiger Woods.

“He has faithfully supported the Town Council over the years and has been an important part of La Jolla’s civic life,” Haskins said.

Alfonso thanked those in attendance for their patronage. “When I came to this town in 1962, it was a little tiny beach — and I’ve seen so many changes, and I remember many wonderful people here,” he said. However, part of those changes include a decline in business from the convention center downtown, he later told La Jolla Light, adding he is hoping to open a new location in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood before his lease in La Jolla expires.

New trustees: Three candidates for three open seats on the LJTC board of directors introduced themselves, and were elected unanimously during the meeting: Estela Aguilar, Taylor Bloom and Brandon Heess.

Aguilar, an international law expert, worked as an attorney in Mexico and was Chief Judicial Clerk at the 15th Federal Court of Appeals in Mexico.

Bloom, an attorney and Bird Rock native who came recommended by La Jolla resident Julio DeGuzman, a director of community and government relations with the San Diego City Attorney’s office, returned to the area recently after passing the California bar exam.

As an attorney, she specializes in international property and sports law and serves on the San Diego Bar Association’s board of directors.

“After law school I looked for every opportunity to come back here to La Jolla — to my hometown,” she said. “I’d really like to get more involved in the community I grew up in, the community I live in now and the community I work in professionally as a lawyer,” she said.

Heess, who has volunteered with the LJTC’s Sunsetter networking events and improving the organization’s website, 
came to San Diego in the early ‘90s, working for 10 years at Intuit and, most recently, UTC-based LPL Financial.

“I felt this was a good step for me to get involved in some things that could help me understand politics a little bit better and volunteer as part of a community that I enjoy and spend a lot of time in,” he said.

The new trustees will be seated during the Jan. 8 meeting.

In addition, trustee Al Ramirez, who owns a medical equipment company and is vice-president of the Latino American Political Association, was elected LJTC first vice-president.

LJTC trustee Ann Kerr Bache, who was honored during the meeting for her role as chair of the La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival, said the parade received no government donations and was funded entirely by individuals and businesses. She said members of La Jolla Village Merchants Association board of directors — which voted in July to ask that parade organizers adopt a “faith-neutral” title — did not participate as robustly as in previous years.

“But the ones who’ve been doing this in the Village now for many years did step up to the plate and did continue the tradition,” she said.

Guest speaker Charles Norris, pastor of Prince Chapel By the Sea noted that the church will hold its two-day Pillar of Light musical celebration Jan. 29-30, 2015 at 7571 Cuvier St. The public is welcome to attend.

State of La Jolla set: LJTC will hold its inaugural “State of La Jolla” event, 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, immediately following its regular meeting at 5 p.m. at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. Participating civic and city advisory groups will discuss their accomplishments for the year and talk about their plans for 2015.

Torrey Pines Road funding: Allison Don, a representative for San Diego City Council President Sherri Lightner, noted that the City Council has allocated $1.5 million for the second phase of the Torrey Pines Road Corridor project, which includes creation of buffered bike lanes from Prospect Street to La Jolla Shores Drive, a HAWK beacon pedestrian-activated crossing and crosswalk just west of Princess Street and a painted asphalt median from Rosesland Drive to Hillside Drive. The money for the project comes from the city’s Capital Improve Project funding, comprised of a various sources.