La Jolla’s 2019 in Review: A year of new leaders, venues, solutions – La Jolla Light

Posted By on December 25, 2019

In case youve forgotten all the major news events this year in La Jolla due to too much eggnog, heres a month-by-month recap!

A vote for safety: La Jolla Community Planning Association asks the City of San Diego to fund the installation of a handrail on a wall alongside a beach access south of The Marine Room restaurant to improve safety, at its Jan. 3 meeting.

Amanda Hale exonerated: After a yearlong investigation, former Bird Rock Elementary School principal Amanda Hale is exonerated of charges filed against her by parents. Charges include questionable leadership choices and attempting to generate positive surveys from parents and staff by being in the room while the surveys were taking place and offering gift cards.

Police Chief Nisleit reports: San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit tells the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla that the three biggest issues the department faces are use of the street drug fentanyl, human trafficking and computer crimes.

Seuss-ian art: UC San Diego opens a special collection of original drawings by the late Theodor Dr. Seuss Geisel at its Geisel Library.

Shores gates still open: Although funding was available Jan. 1 to lock the gates to the Kellogg Park parking lot in La Jolla Shores, at the Jan. 9 La Jolla Shores Association meeting, trustees report seeing the gates wide open after hours.

Dan Simonelli to the rescue: La Jolla Cove Swim Club president Dan Simonelli rescues a man from The Cove the morning of Jan. 10. The swimmer assumed he could traverse the choppy waters, and got stuck in an area known as The Hole. Simonelli, a lifelong swimmer, gets the man out in a dramatic save.

Bye, Nicole: La Jolla Rec Center Nicole Otjens leaves the 615 Prospect St. center after more than six years as director.

In January 2019, demolition begins and gas tanks are removed from the Unocal 76 gas station that closed in September 2018.

(Photo by Corey Levitan)

76 station 86-ed: Demolition begins on the 76 Unocal gas station at 801 Pearl St. Construction of a mixed-use building with retail and 12 condos was approved for the lot in 2015.

Three decades of culture: Athenaeum Music & Arts Library executive director Erika Torri celebrates 30 years at the helm.

MCASD tear-down: To accommodate its upcoming renovation, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego La Jolla campus tears down an adjacent house it owns, which was built by Thomas Shepherd.

Rotary Club tree project: The La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club announces it would like to replace the La Jolla Rec Centers so-called leaning tree with another tree that could be more easily maintained. The board would work with the La Jolla Recreation Advisory Group to facilitate the replacement.

Start time pilot program: La Jolla High Schools Site Governance Team submits a pilot program to move its start time from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The La Jolla Cluster Association and Site Governance Team had been seeking a later start time for more than a decade.

$840K to charity: La Jolla-based womens philanthropy group Las Patronas doles out $847,545 to 11 major beneficiaries at a luncheon. The amount was raised at the 2018 Jewel Ball, themed Viva La Vida.

Brys priorities: San Diego City Council member Barbara Bry holds her State of the District address Jan. 30, announcing she would focus on dockless bikes, homelessness, short-term rentals, meeting the terms of the Citys Climate Action Plan and promoting the innovation economy in the coming year.

Scooter injury report: UC San Diego and Scripps Health release data pertaining to emergency-room visits resulting from motorized scooter injuries, finding 215 visits from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30, 2018.

Bird Rock park problems: Parents report problems with divots and dog waste at Bird Rock Elementary Schools joint-use field, and injuries to students such as twisted ankles.

Stanchions to stay: San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announces the stanchions that line Playa del Norte would remain in its configuration with no changes, after about a year of debate. Residents would continue to advocate for crosswalks and other changes at local advisory groups this month.

New youth librarian: New La Jolla Youth Services Librarian Dana Sanchez sits down with La Jolla Light to discuss her priorities at her new post, which include reaching more teens and tweens.

Flagpole collaboration: La Jolla Historical Society, La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory group, local contractors and Park Row residents announce a group collaboration to repair and replace the Union Circle Park flagpole. Installed in the 1940s, the flagpole was deteriorated due to termites, weather and time. The City agreed to replace the pole for $16,000, but the local groups banded together to do so at a reduced cost.

World-famous oceanographer and La Jollan Walter Munk died in February 2019 at age 101. His research about the nature of winds, waves and currents at Scripps Institution of Oceanography earned him the nickname the Einstein of the Oceans.

(Photo by Eduardo Contreras / The/San Diego Union-Tribune)

RIP Walter: Famed oceanographer and La Jolla resident Walter Munk dies Feb. 8 at age 101. Prior to his passing, the La Jolla Shores boardwalk is renamed Walter Munk Way and the Walter Munk Foundations for the Oceans is established.

Map project on hold: With Walter Munks passing, Friends of La Jolla Shores announces The Map project would expand to add more features, and its installation delayed. Previously, the hope was to have a less-elaborate Map installed so Munk could see it in his lifetime. However, without a sense of urgency, the mosaic display (with different shades of blue to show ocean depths and different colored tiles to depict marine life) would be expanded to include fencing, a plaza and interpretive panels.

Start time stumble: While the San Diego Unified School District rejected the pilot program to start La Jolla High School at 8:30 a.m., other possible and later start times are still considered on the table.

Enjoya La Jolla coming: La Jolla Merchants Association renames its La Jolla Nights program Enjoya La Jolla the first of which would be held in May.

LJES renovation plans presented: San Diego Unified School District representatives present plans for a Whole Site Modernization of La Jolla Elementary School. Construction will begin in 2020 and be complete in 2022. As part of the work, new classrooms and administration buildings will be constructed, current classrooms renovated and portable classrooms removed.

Historical changes: La Jolla Historical Society archivist Michael Mishler retires after 10 years, and is succeeded by Dana Hicks.

New LJMS director: Ted DeDee is named the La Jolla Music Societys artistic director five weeks before the new $82 million Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center is set to open. He was selected Feb. 28 by a unanimous vote of the La Jolla Music Society board of directors.

Stand-up downhill champ: La Jolla High School sophomore Nick Broms is named a world titleholder in stand-up downhill skateboarding.

Dennis Wills hosts his 40th and last St. Patricks Day reading of Irish Poetry and Prose at D.G. Wills Bookstore in March. The event had been drawing standing-room only crowds for decades.

(Photo by Corey Levitan)

Irish eyes are weeping: About 200 people attend D.G. Wills Books 40th and last St. Patricks Day Open Reading of Poetry and Prose, which concludes with plenty of reminiscing.

LJCPA against Childrens Pool closure: Ahead of a June California Coastal Commission hearing to decide whether to continue to close Childrens Pool during harbor seal pupping season (Dec. 15 to May 15 annually) for the next decade, the La Jolla Community Planning Association votes to recommend against the continued closure.

At the Bird Rock Community Council meeting on March 5, a resident questioned whether cannabis billboards like this one, on Turquoise Street near the southern end of Bird Rock, violate current laws.

(Photo by Corey Levitan)

Up in spoke: Residents speak out at the Bird Rock Community Council meeting with concerns about marijuana billboards that have sprung up near the southern end of Bird Rock, with some arguing they are too close to area schools.

LJCPA bylaw change: La Jolla Community Planning Association general members vote to approve a change in bylaws that addresses its recusal policy (applicants that are also board members must leave the table at which other trustees sit, but no longer have to leave the room).

Historicity overturned: The San Diego City Council overturns the historic designation of the Edgar and Carrie Coleman property at 7510 Draper Ave. The San Diego Historical Resources Board designated the house historic in 2016, citing homeowner Edger Colemans efforts as a black pioneer and entrepreneur in La Jolla in the 1940s and 1950s.

Science success: Three All Hallows Academy students each win first place in their categories at the Greater San Diego County Science and Engineering Fair, and proceed to State Championships with their projects. They are Sholeh Mozaffari, Summer Stys and Julia DeAndrade.

MAD in City budget: In preparation for San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconers 2020 budget release, a City spokesperson announces funds for the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) will be on it. Between City contributions and approximately $87-per-year assessments, the MAD would generate about half a million dollars a year to enhance existing City services such as trash pick-up, and implement capital improvement projects.

La Jolla Country Day Schools boys basketball team wins the CIF state Division III state championship.

(Courtesy of Jeff Hutzler)

State champs: La Jolla Country Day Schools boys basketball team wins the CIF Division III state championship March 8, after defeating San Francisco University 67-39.

Bye, Briley: La Jolla Library branch manager Shaun Briley announces he is leaving the 7555 Draper Ave. library to become the City of Coronados library director. In March, the Library also elects a new board and president, Linda Dowley.

Woman of Distinction: La Jolla resident Linda Tu is named a Woman of Distinction by Assembly member Todd Gloria for her civic activism, and involvement with the San Diego Alliance for Asian Pacific Islander Americans.

New alter-ation: St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church dedicates a James Hubbell-designed altar frontage at its 724 Prospect St. church on March 24.

Senate Bill talks: La Jollans are introduced to Senate Bills 330 and 50, when presentations are made at local community planning groups. The fear was originally that these bills could suspend the 30-foot coastal height limit on new development, in an effort to increase housing availability.

Parking plan nixed: A discounted parking plan for Village employees is discontinued by the Coastal Access and Parking Board.

Overlook inventory submitted: An inventory of La Jollas coastal overlooks, including improvements that could be made to them, is submitted to the La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory group for its blessing before being submitted to the City. While some praised the work, others called the suggested repairs a private property rights issue. The board reviewed the inventory in March, but did not vote on it.

The $82 million, 49,200-square-foot Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center opens in April 2019 on Fay Avenue in the Village of La Jolla as a special-events facility and new home for La Jolla Music Society. It also received an Orchid Award that honors the best in San Diego architecture.

(Photo by Darren Bradley for The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Grand opening: The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center opens at 7600 Fay Ave. on April 5, to house the La Jolla Music Society. It contains a 500-seat concert hall, a 2,000 square foot flexible performance space, a generous meeting/reception room, a large central courtyard and new home for La Jolla Music Society.

New pedestrian island planned: Bird Rock Community Council hears that a refuge island for pedestrians is coming to La Jolla Boulevard at Mira Monte immediately fronting the La Jolla United Methodist Church.

New LJCPA chair: Tony Crisafi is appointed chair of the La Jolla Community Planning Association.

Rec Center director: San Diego native Jesse DeLille takes the reigns as the new La Jolla Recreation Center director. The lifelong sports nut says he would like to increase athletic programming for children and teens.

Concours car show: The La Jolla Concours dElegance car show draws hundreds of classic-car enthusiasts to Scripps Park April 12-14. Best in Show goes to a 1935 Duesenberg Gurney Nutting, owned by a family in Newport Beach.

Van life forum: La Jolla Town Council holds a forum on homelessness and the process of van-living, in which people sleep in their cars, following the City of San Diego recent repeal of a ban on van-living. Calling it a public-safety issue, the Town Council votes to protest the Citys recent decision.

Vehicles including a school bus descend down Nautilus Street toward Muirlands Middle School at 8:15 a.m. in September 2019. While the new time has reportedly been well received by students who live in La Jolla, the students who are bused in face a different start to their days. The later departure time puts the buses in more commuter traffic than when school started at 7:25 and 7:15 a.m., and some have been arriving close to the bell.

(Photo by Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Pilot program progress: La Jolla High School and Muirlands Middle School are granted a scheduling change to start the 2019-2020 school year at 8:35, following years of attempts to have the schools start later. The later start time is part of a pilot program, but should it prove successful, could become permanent.

Back to the drawing board: La Jolla Coastal Access and Parking Board reconvenes after more than a year of not meeting. The board is tasked with finding short-term parking solutions in The Village, and creating a shuttle program to move people around The Village. The latter is per the terms of a memorandum of understanding that was written in the 1970s.

Renderings presented during the Feb. 27, 2019 La Jolla Parks & Beaches meeting, show the look planned for the La Jolla Cove Pavilion (restrooms and showers).

(Courtesy Photo)

Comfort station funding: San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer issues his 2020 draft budget, and includes funding for the Scripps Park Pavilion (restroom facility) project, the La Jolla View reservoir replacement project, the new UC San Diego fire station construction, and other smaller and continuing projects.

Cove stench returns: The infamous Cove Stench returns, with the City of San Diego reporting the smell is emanating from Alligator Point, where sea lions gather. The smell is from the waste of birds and sea lions, and combated only with a microbial agent the City applies three times monthly.

Dockless scooter regulations: The San Diego City Council passes new regulations for dockless scooters and bikes, after hours of public testimony. Among the new regulations, the ordinance calls for companies to limit speeds, have the vehicles staged in corrals on the street, pay a permit fee and more.

New LJES principal: Stephanie Hasselbrink is named the new La Jolla Elementary School principal. She served as interim principal following the departure of Donna Tripi, and is formally appointed April 26.

5,000 runners: The Kiwanis Club of La Jollas half marathon from Del Mar to La Jolla has 5,000 participants on April 28. Adam Dailey of La Jolla wins the race.

Flagpole work begins: The 1940s Union Circle Park flagpole is taken down, so refurbishing work can begin, in a community effort that brought together several local groups in February.

Vendor in the grass: La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory group decides to take up Senate Bill 946, which legalizes sidewalk vending, and draft local regulations to address the proliferation of T-shirt and other vendors in La Jollas parks.

Beachgoers standing behind a barrier rope observe seals at Childrens Pool in La Jolla.

(Photo by Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

National landmark? La Jolla resident Diane Kane submits a nomination form to list La Jollas Childrens Pool on the National Register of Historic Places, after two laborious years of research and work. Should the 1931 landmark be listed, any changes or repairs to the seawall would need to meet the Secretary of Interior standards, rather than the City standards, and keep that property looking like we all enjoy it, Kane says.

Senate Bill updates: It comes to light that under Senate Bill 330, the San Diego City Council would have the authority to overturn the 30-foot coastal height limit in La Jolla on a project-by-project basis.

Village shuttle? During a public forum on transportation held at the La Jolla Town Council meeting May 9, residents and board members asks that when the Blue Line Trolley extension is complete and service begins in 2021 a shuttle to The Village be implemented.

Results are in: A La Jolla Merchants Association-commissioned study asking what brings tourists to La Jolla finds that the top two reasons are scenic beauty/nature and its dining. The shocking discovery is that zero percent said they considered La Jolla to be a cultural destination.

Retaining wall thumbs-down: At its May 21 meeting, La Jollas Development Permit Review committee voted against a City-requested Substantial Conformance Review for a short wall built at Childrens Pool. Permitters disagree with the Citys assertion that the wall is necessary and that the project conforms to the terms of a permit issued in 2012.

Tree hazard: Although the City is hesitant to remove trees from the La Jolla Rec Center grounds, an arborist tells the La Jolla Recreation Advisory Group some of the trees are at risk of breaking or falling, posing a hazard.

The City reviews and attempts to mediate the proliferation of stuck trucks on Torrey Pines Road turning onto Hillside Drive by adding several warning no trucks signs with flashing lights.

(Photo by Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Stuck trucks re-emerge: As La Jollans investigate the persistence of stuck trucks turning onto the steep-inclined Hillside Drive at Torrey Pines Road , the La Jolla Community Planning Association ad hoc committee on Hillside Drive finds that a GPS app directs truck drivers to use Hillside, and that many are unaware that they will get stuck. Further, a recent street repair changed the angle of the base of the street, which increases the chances of a truck getting stuck.

Yet Another Stuck Truck La Jolla Light reader Carl Doughty supplies this photo and writes: Despite flashing warnings and signs along both lanes of Torrey Pines Road advising truck drivers not to attempt turning onto Hillside Drive, this truck was spotted the morning of Nov. 11, 2019 doing just that.

(Photo by Carl Doughty)

Idea Lab opens: La Jolla Library opens a first-of-its-kind Idea Lab on May 25 in what was once its computer lab. The new Idea Lab includes an open-to-the-public bio lab, 3D printing lab, computers and meeting space for workshops.

Dream Team at Stella Maris: Father Patrick Mulcahy is appointed to lead Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church and Francie Moss is named principal of the churchs sister-school Stella Maris Academy, in what is called a dream team.

Mary, Star of the Sea pastor Patrick Mulcahy and Stella Maris Academy principal Francie Moss

(Photo by Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Overlooks inventory adopted: La Jolla Parks & Beaches, after months of debate, votes to adopt the heavily edited coastal overlooks inventory submitted earlier in the year. It was submitted to the City, so it could make suggested repairs as funding becomes available.

So close, Sarah! Season 10 of FOX-TVs show MasterChef premieres with La Jolla real estate agent Sarah Faherty as contestant. She makes it all the way to the top, finishing as the runner-up.

Sarah Faherty waves to the crowd as she begins the Season 10 finale of MasterChef in which she is one of three finalists competing for the $250,000 grand prize.

(Courtesy of MasterChef)

Originally posted here:
La Jolla's 2019 in Review: A year of new leaders, venues, solutions - La Jolla Light

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