La Jolla News Nuggets: Pedestrian Sanctuary; local scientists “Highly Cited”; birch aquarium; new trees; more

Added pedestrian crossing to crosswalk on La Jolla Boulevard

A new pedestrian shelter has been installed at a crosswalk on La Jolla Boulevard to provide people crossing the street with a place to stop when it is unsafe to proceed.

The crosswalk near Bonair Street and the La Jolla Community Center has had strobe lights activated by pedestrians for years, but the pedestrian shelter — outlined by paint and markers — was installed Oct. 29.

“It was a creepy crosswalk. It still is, but now with the lights, people are slowing down faster,” said Nancy Walters, Executive Director of the Community Center.

City of San Diego spokesman Anthony Santacroce said the refuge was installed “as an upgrade to the intersection” and not in response to any specific event. The intersection is about a quarter mile from where a 90-year-old man on a seated motor scooter was struck by a car and killed June 11 at the 6600 block of La Jolla Boulevard near Rosemont Street.

Scripps Research scientists added to Highly Cited list

Thirteen Scripps Research scientists were named to Clarivate’s Highly Cited Researchers list this year, which includes researchers in the fields of biology and biochemistry, chemistry, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology and toxicology. Launched in 2014, the ranking identifies the world’s leading research scholars who have demonstrated exceptional impact in their fields.

Two of Scripps Research’s 13 award-winning scientists are featured multiple times. Dennis Burton was honored in Microbiology and Immunology and Ian Wilson was named in Microbiology and Biology and Biochemistry.

Many of this year’s Scripps recipients are featured in the Cross-Field category, highlighting their research that bridges multiple disciplines. They are Jeong Hyun Lee, Wei Liu, Ardem Patapoutian, William Schief, Eric Topol and John Yates.

Other Scripps Research scientists added to the list are Jin-Quan Yu and Phil Baran for their foundational chemistry work, Jean-Philippe Julien for his microbiology contributions, and Vadim Cherezov and Vsevolod Katritch for their pharmacology and toxicology research.

“The Highly Cited Researchers list identifies and recognizes exceptional individual researchers at Scripps Research who have made a significant impact on the research community, as evidenced by the rate at which their work is cited by their peers,” said David Pendlebury, Director of Research Analysis at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate, a British-American analytics company. “These individuals help turn human ingenuity into our world’s greatest breakthroughs, and it’s an honor to celebrate their accomplishments.”

Birch Aquarium launches Oceans at Night event, sending five penguins to Cincinnati

The Birch Aquarium at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla is launching Oceans at Night, a unique event for guests ages 21 and older to experience an after-hours immersive blend of art, science and technology.

Oceans at Night begins Thursday, January 26 at 6:30 p.m. The events will take place on selected Thursdays in 2023. Tickets are $27 for Birch members and $30 for non-members.

Interactive experiences will highlight marine phenomena that occur at night, including bioluminescence and biofluorescence, while the aquarium creates an adults-only atmosphere with live music, light-up night dives, and a light-up lounge with life-size games. Sizzling cocktails and food from The French Gourmet are available for purchase.

Ticket sales begin Friday, December 2nd at 10am. For a full schedule and more information, visit

Birch also announced last week that it sent five of its little blue penguins to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden as part of an international species survival plan aimed at preserving the genetic diversity of certain species in zoos and aquariums.

This year, the SSP Little Blue Penguin Coordinators recommended that five penguins in the habitat of Birch’s Beyster family little blue penguins — Sheldon, Squid, Craig, Odette, and Bo — become part of new breeding colonies at the Cincinnati Zoo. Over the years, Birch has shared a variety of marine animals with other institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as part of SSPs, including pot-bellied and fringed seahorses.

The Birch Little Blue Penguin Habitat opened in July, bringing the world’s smallest penguins to the West Coast for the first time. Ten of the birds remain in La Jolla, including Magic, Cornelius, Reka, Nero, Katie, Persimmon, and Azulito.

The Beyster Family Little Blue Penguins exhibit is included with general admission to Birch Aquarium, which is $24.95 for adults and $19.95 for children ages 3-17. Reservations are required for all guests, including aquarium members. For more information or to make a reservation, visit

Local groups come together to plant new trees

Enhance La Jolla, the La Jolla Rotary Club, the La Jolla Garden Club, and the La Jolla Woman’s Club have partnered to plant three new Chinese elm trees on Silverado Street in The Village on November 18. Enhance La Jolla will fertilize, trim and tend the trees in the future. The other organizations donated one each.

Enhance La Jolla is a nonprofit organization that manages The Village’s Maintenance Assessment District and is empowered to improve services provided by the city, including landscaping, street and sidewalk cleaning, trash and graffiti removal, and supplemental garbage collection. It can also privately fund and complete capital improvement projects in public spaces, such as: Such as upgrading trash cans, installing benches, expanding signs, parking improvements, public art and treetops on major thoroughfares.

La Jolla Woman’s Club representative Pat McGill said the need to replace the trees came after “the city removed diseased palm trees but left the stumps.” She said she’s made unsuccessful replacement requests on the city’s Get It Done app for the past several years.

Fourth graders at the children’s school take on the Egg Drop Challenge

Firefighters in La Jolla help fourth graders at Children's School with theirs "Egg Drop Challenge" on 11/17

Crew members from San Diego Fire-Rescue Station 35 in La Jolla help fourth graders at the Children’s School with their Nov. 17 “Egg Drop Challenge.”

(Paris Menier)

Firefighters from San Diego Fire-Rescue Station 35 in La Jolla helped fourth grade students at Children’s School in La Jolla with their “Egg Drop Challenge” on November 17th.

More than 30 students designed egg contraptions to survive an 85-foot fall from a fire truck ladder while their classmates cheered them on. Firefighters helped by carrying the students’ egg projects up the ladder and dropping them from the top.

Pulitzer winner Anthony Davis of UCSD is nominated for a Grammy

Composer, pianist, and UCSD music professor Anthony Davis is nominated for a 2023 Grammy in the Best Opera Recording category.

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, pianist, and UCSD music professor Anthony Davis is nominated for a 2023 Grammy in the Best Recording Opera category.

(Bodhi Tree Concerts)

When the 2023 Grammy Awards nominees were announced on Nov. 15, they included Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and UC San Diego music professor Anthony Davis, whose “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X” in was nominated in the category “Best Opera Recording”.

It is the second Grammy nomination in Davis’ 50-year career. He was first nominated in 1992 in the Best Contemporary Composition category for X, which debuted in 1986 as a New York City Opera production and was revived and revamped this year. Davis won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his fiery opera The Central Park Five.

The new “X” album features the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and various guest artists, including bass-baritone Davóne Tines, who sings the role of Malcolm X.

The Grammy winners will be announced on Sunday, February 5th in Los Angeles. — The San Diego Union Tribune

Deadline November 30 for applications for short-term residential occupancy licenses

The deadline to apply for a short-term residential occupancy license to operate a short-term rental unit in San Diego is Wednesday, November 30th. Level 3 and 4 licenses are required starting May 1st.

The short-term rental ordinance, approved by the City Council and the California Coastal Commission, provides guidelines for rentals less than a month. They include a requirement for hosts to obtain a license and cap the number of licenses granted for whole home rentals that operate more than 20 days per year.

For more information, call (619) 615-6120 or email [email protected]

La Jolla Concours d’Elegance returns in April

The La Jolla Concours d’Elegance luxury and classic car show is taking place for the 17th time Friday through Sunday, April 21-23 at Ellen Browning Scripps Park.

Online registration is open to submit vehicles for the competition in 13 categories.

The “Honored Brand” for 2023 is Duesenberg, and the Friday night VIP party returns.

Proceeds from the event go to the La Jolla Historical Society, and over the years the concours has benefited other local charities.

For more information, registering a vehicle or purchasing tickets, go to

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff


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