News in Brief: Feb. 7 to Feb. 13



Santa Rosa Hall took first place at the annual All Hall Brawl, a competition among all UCSB residence halls and university-owned apartments. Friday’s event was the 11th year that UCSB Housing held the event. 

UCSB alumnus Jack Johnson will host a benefit concert for victims of the Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslide in March. On Friday, entertainment company Goldenvoice announced that “Jack Johnson and Friends, a Benefit for the Community” will take place on Mar. 18 at the Santa Barbara Bowl. The net proceeds will be donated to United Way Thomas Fire & Flood Fund and other local non-profits working to aid victims.


The Isla Vista Community Services District hosted their bi-monthly board of directors meeting on Tuesday evening, discussing plans for Deltopia. The district also welcomed Lt. Juan Camarena to the Isla Vista Foot Patrol, where Camarena took over the reigns from Lt. Ruben Cintron earlier this month.


A potential storm was expected to hit Santa Barbara County this week, possibly bringing rain through Friday. On Monday, the county released an update stating that the storm appeared to be weakening. The county has not issued any evacuation warnings, stating in a message from the county’s Office of Emergency Management that “the forecast is not predicting rainfall rates experienced during the [Jan. 9] debris flow.”

Commuters coming to the Santa Barbara area from Ventura may save on gas come April. The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments announced on Monday that they would test a daily train service between the two counties for people traveling during peak commuter times, according to Noozhawk. Up to $2.5 million of the county’s money will be spent testing the service over the next two years, with plans for a train coming north before 8 a.m. and leaving from the Santa Barbara area around 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Officials cite the high volume of commuters traveling between Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Goleta following the Jan. 9 Montecito mudslide as proof of demand.


Prerna Lal, an immigration lawyer working with UC Berkeley’s Undocumented Student Program, was placed on administrative leave on Thursday, according to a report from the Daily Californian. Lal was central in representing UC Berkeley student Luis Mora in late December, when Mora was detained by Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Undocumented students who Lal represented, the program’s only attorney, have since been reassigned to other attorneys at the nearby East Bay Community Law Center.

Following UC President Janet Napolitano’s announcement last fall that the university system will create a National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement, UC Irvine announced on Thursday that they will host the new think tank. Free speech has been a point of contention for several years on UC campuses, including UCSB’s. Justin McClinton, a Ph.D student in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, is among the inaugural cohort of fellows.