La Jolla News Nuggets: Music award nominee, LJCPA resignation, surveillance tech meeting, more – La Jolla Light

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La Jolla musician nominated for San Diego Music Award

La Jolla resident Lissa Dee has been nominated for a San Diego Music Award in the Best Pop category, for which voting is now open.

Last year, Dee released a music video for her song “Empty Bottle,” which is intended to bring hope to people with mental health struggles.

Dee has participated in singing groups, piano lessons and various bands.

For five years, she was a member of San Diego indie rock band Blazing Jane, which performed all over the region, including at the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival, and recorded two albums.

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Following the announcement of a new planning group that is challenging the La Jolla Community Planning Association for city of San Diego recognition as an official advisory group, Suzanne Baracchini, a leader of the new organization, has resigned from her position as LJCPA secretary.

The new La Jolla Community Planning Group says that if it is chosen for city recognition, it plans to boost member diversity and combine with LJCPA to preserve crucial institutional knowledge. It proposes board term limits shorter than LJCPA’s, night meetings to help boost attendance, electronic voting and designating one board seat for a vice president of community outreach.

SDPD to simulcast surveillance technology meeting in La Jolla

To comply with the city of San Diego’s surveillance ordinance, the Police Department will hold a community meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 7, to share information about 10 of its technologies.

The meeting will be simulcast at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St.

The technologies being discussed include:

  • Covert audio recording device
  • Covert audiovisual recording device
  • Motion-activated trail cameras
  • Zoom video camera mobile units
  • Digital video cameras and recorders

    Learn more at

San Diego is granted $29.9 million for homelessness solutions

The city of San Diego will continue tackling homelessness by supporting shelter space, outreach efforts and housing programs with an additional $29.9 million grant from the state.

The city’s Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department worked with San Diego County and the Regional Task Force on Homelessness, which will be receiving their own allocations, to prepare a joint application. Of the $29.9 million allocated to the city, $4.5 million is being proposed for prevention and shelter diversion, with $17.4 million for interim housing options and $3 million for street outreach. An additional $3 million is proposed specifically for continued interim housing for youth.

The San Diego Seniors Community Foundation has awarded $206,850 in grants and other funding allocations to 14 local senior centers and nonprofit organizations to strengthen senior center programming and enhance executive leadership.

The allocations support expanded programming and services and may enable increased hours of operation to serve more senior citizens.

San Diego County has 28 senior centers, but they serve only about 8 percent of the region’s total senior population.

For more information, visit

City paying $170,000 for sewage flow into La Jolla home

The city of San Diego is paying $170,000 in a legal settlement with a La Jolla property owner who said a blockage in city sewer pipes caused sewage to flow into his home.

Baruch Ezagu said his home on Hidden Valley Road needed repairs after it was flooded with sewage in May. The payout also covers Ezagu’s temporary relocation during repairs.

UCSD study identifies gene linked to autism expression

People with the neurodevelopmental disorder Williams syndrome have what is considered a gregarious “cocktail party” personality, while those with the opposite genetic alteration tend to have autistic traits and are prone to struggle socially.

Now, thanks to new findings by researchers at the Sanford Stem Cell Institute at UC San Diego in La Jolla, scientists have a better understanding of why. The research, published in Cell Reports, may help explain variations in human personality and could lead to the development of a treatment that makes it easier for some people with autism to function in society.

While the broader genetic region underlying Williams syndrome has been studied previously, scientists at UCSD hypothesized that one gene in particular — GTF2I — is predominantly responsible for the social variation seen in the disorder.

To learn more about its role, researchers used human stem cells to create mini organs that mimic the human brain during fetal development — minus GFT2I. At 2 months of age, these so-called brain organoids were smaller than ones with GTF2I. Indeed, loss of the gene, scientists found, resulted in increased cell death, decreased electrical activity and defects in synapses, the electrochemical connections that allow neurons to communicate with one another.

The research has paved the way for potential development of a drug that regulates GFT2I expression, facilitating social interaction for people who are affected. Such treatment also may help those who have a normal GFT2I gene that was “turned off” by the epigenome, biochemical regulators that modify how genes are expressed during development and across the life span.

Local author releases first picture book

Inspired by experiences in La Jolla with her granddaughter, local author Zohreh Ghahremani has released her debut picture book, “Memory Garden.”

Ghahremani previously authored “Sky of Red Poppies” and “The Moon Daughter.”

In “Memory Garden,” as a grandmother and child enjoy a lively afternoon gardening together, the subtleties of their conversations introduce children to the concept of immigration and change.

The book, illustrated by Ghahremani’s daughter Susie, includes imagery and information about Ghahremani’s native Iran and its gardens and culture.

La Jolla High School 60th reunion planned

La Jolla High School’s class of 1964 is planning its 60th reunion for October.


The La Jolla High School class of 1964 is planning its 60th reunion for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at the San Diego Yacht Club, 1011 Anchorage Lane.

An RSVP and updated contact information are requested to Carla Marriner Bowlin at [email protected].

UCSD study looks at muscle/heart disease relationship

Body composition — often expressed as the amount of fat in relation to muscle — is one of the standard predictors of cardiac health. New research from UC San Diego indicates more muscle doesn’t automatically mean lower risk of heart trouble.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that all muscle isn’t the same. Researcher Britta Larsen said men with a bigger area of abdominal muscle have a greater risk of cardiac trouble. It’s a different story for men with greater muscle density: Men with the densest muscle in the abdominal cavity had about one-fourth the risk of coronary heart disease later on, the study says.

Larsen said the study subjects were in their mid-60s when the research — aimed at understanding thickening of the arteries — began in 2000. Participants were recruited from several places around the country and had follow-up visits for 20 years. Larsen said her group followed the subjects’ medical records for 12 years.

The researchers found that the large-muscle group’s heart-disease risk was as much as six times higher than the group of men with the smallest abdominal muscle area. Larsen said the team was surprised by the correlation of higher muscle area with higher risk of coronary heart disease.

In addition, the study found no correlation between muscle and stroke among men as well as women. The researchers drew a distinction between coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease, which includes stroke — a block in the artery outside the heart.

“What that tells me is that muscle density isn’t just sort of a proxy measure of overall health or frailty or aging,” Larsen said. “Otherwise, we would see it with stroke and other outcomes, too.”

Larsen said the work raises many more questions and possible avenues for future research.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff

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