Welcome back. It’s been quiet around here for the last few weeks and now that everyone is back from break, it’s time to let the fun begin again! It’s time for early-morning classes, late-night cram sessions, gourmet Top Ramen dinners and Top Ramen lunches with left over Top Ramen for breakfast the next day. It’s time for quizzes and midterm exams and research projects with deadlines set two days before the day they are assigned. It’s time again for moving the four cars parked behind yours in the driveway designed for two just to get to a class with 200 students in a room designed for 100.

Oddly enough, most of the people I talk to admit that it was nice to sleep in past 7:30 a.m. and actually have fresh, home-made meals, while wearing freshly washed clothes, with that hint of April freshness you can only get at home, while hanging out with old friends. But when it gets down to the nuts and bolts, it’s still good to be back at UCSB and in I.V. Problems and all, it’s a pretty good place. Well, maybe except for the case of Top Raman that seems to sit on top of every fridge in I.V. That can go.

In the mean time, look cool in your new “Vote For Pedro” t-shirt and appreciate the I.V. good life.

I just came back from the Winter Break and my VCR is missing from my room. Now I can’t watch the episodes of “BJ and the Bear” I’ve been taping. What should I do?

Okay, you caught me. This is a re-hashed question from a few, or twenty, years ago. But it’s an important point that I want to get out as everyone is getting back from the holiday break. Every year while the students take off for home, there are a few unsavory folks that take advantage of the quiet streets of I.V. So far this year it appears that the total number of burglaries is down from last year, but they still happened. If you come home to find someone has cleaned out all of your Donny and Marie CD’s or anything else, report it to the I.V. Foot Patrol. Admittedly, there is no guarantee that we will find your Kiss action figures, but when we do catch a burglar with your stuff, the only way we have of knowing it might be yours is if you reported it. It’s frustrating sometimes to catch Benny the Bumbling Boneheaded Burglar with CD’s, stereos and computers, and we know the stuff is stolen, but since you didn’t reported it, your stuff goes in storage, or worse, back to Benny.

My friends and I were wondering about a noise ticket we got. We had the music going from our apartment and got the ticket, but we were wondering could we get a ticket if the music was coming from our car?

Well, that’s an interesting question. Now if I were to say you wouldn’t get the ticket, I would bet a week’s supply of Twinkies and Ho Hos that by next weekend, someone would figure out a way to park their Volvo in their living room and blast the music till the break of dawn. I do have to admit that would be impressive to see, alas, it wouldn’t do much good.

The local noise ordinance (40-2 Santa Barbara County Ordinance) states that amplified music cannot be “broadcast outside of any residence or building” and/or be heard more than 100 feet from the property line after 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Sadly, that would include a car stereo from the driveway – or living room. Now what about if you parked on the street? Actually there’s a state traffic law that says a car stereo cannot be heard more than 50 feet from the car.

One last bit of advice. Many of the tickets written for the stereo violations are a result of the bass being turned up. The thumping can usually be heard two or three times farther away then the rest of the music. Turning down the bass will definitely make a difference.

Got caught by a cop? Your party popped by the Police? Ticked off by a ticket? If you have questions, don’t let it eat away at you, question authority! E-mail me anytime at: QA@police.ucsb.edu or call me at the Crime Prevention Office: 893-4063.