News in Brief: Feb. 15 to Feb. 21

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CAMPUS

Gaucho Gaming held the Winter 2017 charity LAN party in Loma Pelona Center this past weekend. This quarter, the esports group hosted its first two-day LAN (local area network), with 10 hours of gaming each day. The event featured giveaways, a raffle, and the opportunity to play League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Super Smash Brothers, and a new Party Game Tournament. All proceeds from participant entry fees were donated to the Monarch School, a San Diego school dedicated to educating homeless youth. Jeffrey Wang, the organization’s president, wrote on the event’s Facebook page that they raised a total of over $1,000.

ISLA VISTA

An Isla Vista resident and Santa Barbara City College student was recently hospitalized and diagnosed with Meningococcal meningitis, Type B, according to an email released by UCSB Student Health last Thursday. Student Health encourages students to be aware of the warning signs and symptoms of meningitis and offers MenB vaccines on weekdays at the immunization clinic. Students are also encouraged to visit UCSB Student Health or Urgent Care if they develop any symptoms of the disease.

A new traffic light will be installed this summer at the intersection of Pardall Road and Embarcadero del Norte in Isla Vista, according to Noozhawk. The project, which will be funded by UCSB and the Santa Barbara County Community Development Block Grant Program, was decided upon by county officials in order to help the busy intersection operate more consistently and decrease bicycle and vehicle accidents.

Friday night’s rainstorm caused a tree to fall from a house on the 6500 block of Del Playa Drive in Isla Vista. According to Noozhawk, the tree fall left a chunk of the backyard missing and the home’s resident was asked by authorities to evacuate. This is one of numerous backyard demolitions caused by storms in 2017 so far.

COUNTY

A Goleta commercial building, occupied in part by the Islamic Society of Santa Barbara, erupted in a massive fire late Sunday night, KEYT reports. The county fire department stated that the fire started at Derrick’s Roofing Company, and, though the cause of the fire is currently under investigation, no evidence has been found to declare that it was set intentionally or maliciously. The meeting space of the Islamic Society of Santa Barbara sustained only some smoke damage. Imam Yama Niazi of the Islamic Society said in an interview with KEYT that he does not believe there was criminal intent involved in the fire.

February storms and large ocean waves have led to the closure of the Goleta pier. The pier was closed because of its eroded base, according to Noozhawk. While crews are currently working to repair the pier, they are also installing emergency rock revetment along the damaged beach in front of the Beachside Bar Cafe. Despite this damage, the storms have created positive change at Lake Cachuma, which has risen over 25 feet since last Thursday and will likely continue to rise over the next couple weeks, providing the county with much-needed water supply.

Hundreds gathered at the De La Guerra plaza in downtown Santa Barbara for an “all-cause” protest during President’s Day Weekend this past Saturday. Participants met to demand that President Donald Trump “serve ONLY the people and OUR country, not billionaires and foreign and special interests,” according to the Facebook event page, which welcomed all to the rally and march.

NATIONAL

Several Santa Barbara businesses closed on Thursday in observance of “A Day Without Immigrants,” a national movement in which workers around the U.S. protested President Trump’s immigration policies by refusing to go to work. While numerous employers in Santa Barbara were accepting of their staff’s participation in the event, employers across the U.S. were not supportive, and hundreds of employees lost their jobs after participating in the protest. Even though businesses claim that firing their employees has no connection with their employees’ participation in the protest, some employees believe otherwise, NBC reports.