News in Brief: Nov. 9 to Nov. 15

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CAMPUS

A single male bicyclist was the subject of a bike accident in front of Girvetz Hall on Tuesday afternoon around 1:30 p.m., hitting his head on the ground. Witnesses said that he was bleeding from the head and unresponsive for a time, unaware of his surroundings when he finally responded. Paramedics and emergency personnel took the bicyclist away from the scene in an ambulance, and washed blood from the pavement.

ISLA VISTA

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a report of a gunman reported in Isla Vista last Wednesday afternoon. The call reported an altercation between four men on the 1000 block of El Embarcadero. Investigators say that the men were challenging each other to a fight when one man lifted his shirt and took out a handgun from his waistband. According to law enforcement, the men got into a grey car and drove southbound on El Embarcadero and turned eastbound on Del Playa. The car and suspects were not located. The gunman has been described as a Hispanic adult male, approximately 6 feet tall, and roughly 200 pounds. Anyone with any additional information they can provide is asked to call the the Santa Barbara County Public Safety Dispatch Center’s non-emergency line at (805) 683-2724.

An Isla Vista resident fell off an apartment balcony on the 65 block of Del Playa early Friday evening. After his thirty foot fall to the base of the beach cliffs, the victim, believed to be in his early 20’s, was transported via ambulance to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital with only minor injuries.

COUNTY/STATE

As the five-year-long drought continues, Santa Barbara County faces a serious water shortage as Lake Cachuma hits an all time record low at seven percent capacity. Thousands of residents and their homes, businesses, and farms in the Santa Ynez Valley are dependent on the 3,000-acre wide reservoir, as it currently supplies half of the water necessary to run the underground aquifer. If drought conditions persist through the winter, water officials report that the reservoir will not have water available. Nearby towns of Solvang and Buellton are looking towards alternative water sources, while the city of Santa Barbara is considering a total ban on outdoor water usage until a desalination plant is installed.

The latest statewide election results put education at the forefront as Santa Barbara County schools benefit from the passage of Propositions 51, 55, and 58 that appeared on the ballot Nov. 8. Proposition 51, with 54 percent voter approval, will send $9 billion from state-issued bonds to K-12, charter, vocational, and community colleges throughout the state. Proposition 55, which extends the tax increase for tax brackets over $250,000 for another 12 years, will fund maintenance and school programming in K-12 and community colleges, passing with a 62 percent approval rate. Passing at a margin of 72.6 percent, Proposition 58 allows English language learners to learn in a bilingual setting while still preserving the goal of English language proficiency.

Many Goleta residents expressed concern over environmental impacts at a hearing on Wednesday regarding the newly proposed Rancho Estates Mobile Home Park Fire Improvements Project. The new emergency access road and retaining wall, which would sit on the edge of Ellwood Beach and the Coronado Butterfly Preserve, could endanger wildlife in the area, according to some critics. The 20-foot-wide access road running along the north side of Devereux Creek and the consequent 270-foot-long retaining wall would also be accompanied by new fire hydrants, a fire line, and a car wash. The ultimate decision is up to the California Coastal Commission.

As University of California, Santa Barbara and local high school students participated in rallies and walkouts throughout the week following the election, Santa Barbara community members participated in their own “United Against Hate” rally this Saturday. Protesters carrying “Love Trumps Hate” signs filled downtown Santa Barbara’s De La Guerra Plaza where the initial protest began before making their way down State Street towards the ocean. The protest remained peaceful despite the scattered presence of the opposing side, ending at Pershing Park.

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