University Settles with ACLU

The University of California Board of Regents agreed to admit four Los Angeles County high school students to the University after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened a lawsuit in December 2000.

The students were originally denied enrollment because their high schools failed to fill out paperwork for admission into the Enrollment in Local Context (ELC) program.

The UC Regents designed the ELC program to grant eligibility to high school students in the top 4 percent of their graduating classes who have fulfilled a majority of college preparatory classes by their junior year. The students represented by the ACLU met the requirements, but their high schools did not submit the paperwork by a UC deadline.

The ACLU filed a suit against the UC Regents on Dec. 20, arguing that the students’ constitutional due process rights were violated.

“Just in time for Christmas, the University checked its list twice and took back the lump of coal it had left in the stockings of high-achieving students whose schools failed to do the paperwork for the ELC program,” Southern California ACLU Legal Director Mark Rosenbaum wrote in a statement. “These students deserve admission without question. They earned it.”

“We are very pleased that the regents recognized that these were deserving students who had been unfairly punished by an admissions policy that did not function properly. But we hope the University takes this one step further and institutes a system which does not fail in one of six schools in California next year,” Staff Attorney Rocio Cordoba added. “In any case, no student should be put in the position of having qualified academically but being disqualified through someone else’s omission.”

10 Million Yen for Nakamura’s Thoughts

Materials Professor Shuji Nakamura was awarded the 2000 Honda Prize, worth 10 million yen (over $93,000), for the impact his work with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) will have on the environment.

Nakamura invented the blue, green and white LEDs, which consume less power than incandescent light bulbs. He became a member of the UCSB faculty for the Winter Quarter 2000, after 21 years at Nichia Chemical Industries in Japan.

Kinko’s Founder Donates $2 Million for UCSB’s Children’s Center

Paul Orfalea, who 30 years ago founded the international chain of Kinko’s Copy Centers in Isla Vista, gave $2 million to the University Children’s Center, which will be renamed the Orfalea Family Children’s Center at UCSB, in the memory of Paul’s parents.

The children’s center provides childcare and education for 200 children between the ages of three months and seven years. The grant will allow the center to limit tuition, provide additional scholarships and offer more parenting classes.

Body Found and Identified Under Goleta Pier

At approximately 3 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 21, a family fishing on the Goleta pier discovered a body floating under the pier. The family contacted a sheriff’s deputy on patrol in the area, who confirmed that it did appear to be a body.

The sheriff’s dive team recovered the body at approximately 4:30 p.m. and transported it to the sheriff’s coroners’ investigators. The investigators were able to positively identify the decedent as 74-year-old Goleta resident Rosa Christine Rice, after the deceased’s daughter contacted the sheriff’s office while watching a story regarding the found body on the news.

Rice’s daughter told deputies her mother had attempted suicide twice within the past year and that she did not know how to swim. The coroners’ investigators have pronounced the death a suicide, the cause of death being salt water drowning.

Goleta Resident Arrested for DP Burglaries

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept. Criminal Investigations Division completed its investigation into a series of “hot prowl” burglaries with the arrest and booking of 26-year-old Goleta resident Frank Lamont Daniels on Dec. 20.

The investigation was initiated after “hot prowl” burglaries on Del Playa Drive on Sunday, Dec. 10 and Saturday, Dec. 16 reported similar suspect descriptions. Both burglaries occurred between 5 and 6 a.m. and in each case a resident confronted the suspect before the Isla Vista Foot Patrol was able to respond. In both reports, the suspect was described as a black adult male between 5″ 11′ and 6″ tall, wearing a black beanie hat.

The suspect was contacted by University of California Police Dept. and IVFP officers at 9 a.m. on Dec. 20, and was arrested for an outstanding warrant from Orange County. The Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division was later notified that Daniels was wearing a black beanie style cap and matched the description of the “hot prowl” burglary suspect.

Daniels was interviewed, and upon discovery of evidence that deputies believed linked the suspect to the burglaries, he was arrested and booked at the county jail, charged with two burglaries with bail set at $20,000 in Santa Barbara. Bail was set at $7,500 in Orange County for the outstanding warrant.

Compiled by Sarah Healy, Shaun P. McGrady, Eric Simons and Jennifer B. Siverts