News briefs
by la Jolla Village News Editor
Published - 03/09/07 - 09:01 PM | 1366 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Girard Avenue bank robbed by man with note

The Union Bank at 7807 Girard Ave. was robbed at noon Monday, March 5, when a man in his mid-50s used a note to demand an unspecified amount of cash from a teller.

Although witnesses did not see if the man had a weapon, the note said that he was armed, according to Sgt. Rebecca Bigbie of the San Diego Police Department's robbery division.

"We have no leads at this time," Bigbie said. "The robbery doesn't fit the description of any series cases, but we are continuing to work in collaboration on this case with the FBI."

The suspect is described as a white male around 5 feet 8 inches tall, between 170 and 180 pounds, wearing a gray baseball cap, white T-shirt and sunglasses. He had short hair and no facial hair.

He was last seen fleeing the bank on foot, Bigbie said. To report information, call San Diego County Crime Stoppers, (888) 580-TIPS, or visit


Daylight Saving comes early this year

It's time to move the clocks ahead on Sunday, March 11, when Daylight Saving Time takes effect.

The Burn Institute and the San Diego County Fire Chiefs Association wants to remind everyone to replace the battery in their smoke alarm after changing their clocks one hour ahead.

The Burn Institute is also offering free smoke alarms to any residents 55 years and older who own their own home and do not have a working smoke alarm.

To request a free smoke alarm, call (858) 541-2277 or visit


Committee votes to crack down on beach fires

The City Council's Natural Resources and Culture Committee voted 3-0 Wednesday, Feb. 21, to recommend that anyone within 10 feet of an unapproved fire at the beach would be breaking the law.

The proposed ordinance would limit beach fires to city-provided fire rings or portable barbeques. The full council is expected to act upon the committee's recommendations within two months.

The City Attorney's office recommended a beach fire ordinance to combat a problem of people setting fires to abandoned sofas or chairs on the beach or other fires in areas where they are not allowed. The City Council passed a measure several years ago that prohibits beachgoers from bringing furniture to the beach except for beach chairs.

Violators face six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine for the misdemeanor offense. Most offenders are not likely to be arrested unless they are committing another crime. Police officers or lifeguards could issue tickets to violators, including those who are within 10 feet of an illegal fire.

The ordinance says the law would "better define the fire regulations ... and assist the public in complying with the law." Fires will only be allowed in concrete fire containers that will be provided by the city. Fire materials must be wholly contained inside.

The regulations specify that only charcoal, clean wood and paper products would be allowed in fire containers. Prohibited items include paint, metal, landscape debris, anything with nails, rubber, asphalt, sealer or anything that produces noxious fumes.

Portable barbecues will be allowed, but coals must only be deposited in fire containers and not buried on the beach.

Committee chair Donna Frye and councilmen Kevin Faulconer and Benjamin Hueso voted to forward the regulations to the full City Council for adoption.


Muirlands needs help painting mural and more

Students from Muirlands Middle School and local artists recently commenced painting benches and a mural designed by local artist and architect Steve Pomerenke. They are hoping the entire project will be completed by the end of the school year.

"Muirlands is in some need of some color. We're trying to add some life back into Muirlands to make it colorful again," Muirlands parent Dorie Gayner said.

Pomerenke got his inspiration for his design from the school's close proximity to the beach. Gayner hopes the mural will connect the kids to the beach.

Community members can help out painting the mural, poles and benches. Painting occurs on Tuesdays and Fridays after school in the quad.


Water Authority warns about imposters

The San Diego County Water Authority warns residents to beware of individuals posing as employees of the San Diego Water Authority or pretending to represent a local water utility. These imposters arrive without an appointment and try to gain entry into the home under the pretense that they have been sent to check the home's water system or to test the water quality. The imposter's usual intent is to commit theft or fraud.

After receiving a report of a person posing as an employee of the San Diego Water Authority in the Santee area, the Water Authority issued this warning because there is no governmental agency called the San Diego Water Authority.

"We have had reports since 2000, so it could come up anywhere. It's just where [the imposters] are practicing their arts," said John Liarakos, media relations representative for San Diego County Water Authority.

The Water Authority and its employees do not fix water problems or test water systems in residences and rarely have a reason to ask for entry. In addition, an official employee will have proper identification and be willing to show it and provide a supervisor's phone number at the agency for verification. Any employee who refuses to wait until the supervisor is contacted should be considered an imposter, and the police should be notified promptly.

Follow these tips to avoid becoming a victim:

"¢ If the water agency needs in-home contact with a resident, someone would call first to make an appointment.

"¢ Be alert if someone asks to collect an overdue bill. If your service is subject to being discontinued, you will be contacted with notices or correspondence about your bill and instructions on how to pay it.

"¢ Water agencies do not sell or endorse water filters, cleaners, softeners or other products.

For info, visit or call (858) 522-6600.


Cabrillo Club offers scholarships

Some say there is no such thing as "free money," but the Cabrillo Club might beg to differ. According to club member Mary Jane Silva, thousands of dollars from the local chapter's annual scholarship program for students went unclaimed last year. And while the money did end up benefiting applicants to other chapters across the state, it could have been claimed by eligible San Diegans.

Last year's winners from club No. 16 included Daniel Silva from Point Loma High School, Maurenna Virissimo from Our Lady Of Peace Academy, Christopher Gonzales of La Jolla High School and Radomir Avila of Clairemont High School.

The Cabrillo Club, an organization dedicated to the civic progress of Californians of Portuguese descent, is currently offering $500 scholarships to a maximum of 113 applicants. These numbers are up from the typical 80 to 90 scholarships of $400 awarded annually. The scholarship program is offered at all 12 chapters statewide, and the deadline to apply is March 15.

Eligible applicants must be high school students of Portuguese descent with a 3.50 GPA who have participated in three extracurricular activities. A transcript and three letters of recommendation are required, along with an application.

Club members will participate in the judging, which will be held in Sacramento.

For more information or to download an application, visit


Lectures explore "˜new' Middle East

The Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center (JCC), 4126 Executive Drive, presents a three-part lecture series on the conflicts and future of the Middle East in "The Challenge of a "˜New' Middle East."

The first part of the lecture will focus on the inherent instability and growing fragmentation of Israeli politics and the strong need for political reform. Following part one, the next part of the series centers on the Israeli-Lebanese border and its future. Last but not least, the lecture concludes on Israel-Iran relations. The lectures will be presented by Jacob Goldberg.

Goldberg is an internationally renowned lecturer and consultant on the Middle East. He was a former regional and international affairs adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ehu Barak.

He graduated from Tel Aviv University with a B.A. in Middle East History and Arabic Language and later earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Middle East Politics at Harvard University.

This event begins with part one on Monday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. Part two continues on Tuesday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. It concludes on Wednesday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m.

Admission for one lecture is $10 for JCC members and $12 for nonmembers; the entire series costs $25 for JCC members and $30 for nonmembers.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the JCC box office, (858) 362-1348, or by visiting n
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