News in Brief: Jan. 3 to Jan. 10

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CAMPUS

UC Student Association officially passed a resolution calling for the resignation of UC Regent Norm Pattiz. Pattiz, chairman of the Courtside Entertainment Group, was forced to apologize early last November after actress Heather McDonald leaked an audiotape exposing lewd comments made by Pattiz about McDonald’s breasts. In response, the Board of Regents passed policy mandating sexual harassment policy compliance and a biannual online sexual harassment course. Pattiz incurred no other formal consequences from the board. The resolution passed by the UC Student Association hopes to provoke members of the board to consider Pattiz’s resignation.

As Santa Barbara enters its fifth year of drought conditions, the Associated Students Bike Committee and UCSB Coastal Fund are working towards more sustainable water options with the installation of a Skywell atmospheric water cooler. The newest addition to their shared office space, located on the second floor of the MultiCultural Center, condenses and filters up to five gallons of water a day from the atmosphere, improving on the technology of current water dispensers located in the library and campus residence halls. Associated Students representatives are exploring options to install more coolers like these in other campus buildings.

ISLA VISTA

The highly anticipated HiWi Fusion hosted their grand opening on Saturday that included a ribbon cutting ceremony, live music, and free dessert options for patrons. The Hawaiian fusion cafe, located in the once empty lot between IV Deli Market and Silvergreens, offers ethically sourced Hawaiian fare ranging from Kalua Pork Sliders to an all day breakfast menu with an avocado toast trio and a spam and egg burrito. The restaurant will open full-time next week.

COUNTY

Following a lackluster holiday retail season, the Macy’s in downtown Santa Barbara’s Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center is one of 68 locations nationwide set to close their doors by mid-spring of this year. The closing of the Santa Barbara location will displace 77 sales associates, a small fraction of the 3,900 associates estimated to be displaced nationwide. The Macy’s in upper State Street’s La Cumbre Plaza was not listed among the 68 locations. The company claims that the closing of its stores is crucial to “expanding their digital reach,” according to a statement made by Macy’s CEO, Terry J. Lundgren.

Santa Barbara Police and the County Sheriff’s Department remind hikers to remain vigilant in protecting their belongings after a series of car break-ins occurred this past month. Targeted locations include Rattlesnake Trail parking lots, Lizard’s Mouth, and Jesusita Trail. Further north, parked cars at Gaviota Hot Springs and Nojoqui Falls have also had windows smashed and property stolen. All break-ins occurred during daytime hours while victims were away from their vehicles.

NATIONAL/STATE

The state of California has been intensely inundated the past couple of days, with reports of flooding and mudslides throughout the state. As of last Thursday, 68 percent of California was still in a drought, 38 percent of which was deemed in the most “extreme” of drought conditions. This storm is categorized as an atmospheric river, also dubbed as “pineapple express,” because it originates off the Hawaiian islands and brews from the tropical moisture. From September to December of the 2017 water year, rainfall in Santa Barbara is 96 percent normal with 5.45 inches of rain and expected to rise after projected rainfall of the next several days.

Los Angeles Valley Community College paid a cyber ransom of $28,000 in bitcoins after hackers managed to lock 1800 students and teachers out of their computers on Dec. 30. The virus affected voicemail, online, email, and financial aid systems. The college paid the ransom after deeming it cheaper than removing the malware virus themselves, and avoided risking any further the data of its 20,000 students.

From the campaign field to the White House, Jared Kushner remains one of President-elect Donald Trump’s top advisors as he is now set to assume the position of senior White House advisor after a formal announcement made Tuesday. Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, led the president-elect’s media campaign throughout much of the election season. Many Democrats cite nepotism laws as a possible roadblock to Kushner’s appointment.

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