Dear Isla Vista Friends,
I have been honored to serve the UCSB and I.V. communities for the past three years as Third District Supervisor. Although I will not be running for office again, I would still like to express a concern that I have for I.V.
Every year during Halloween, I.V. is literally invaded by thousands of out-of-towners who come expecting to live out their party dreams on our streets. Unfortunately, this can sometimes result in violence and tragedy. Years ago, the celebration was the usual I.V. style – fun-spirited with much energy – but remained in large part a local event. Back then, residents of I.V. even brought their children to the early evening costume parade. Sadly, this is no more.
These new festive visitors have brought with them a high degree of violence. The threat for increased violence grows worse each year due to the escalating numbers of visitors. During the festivities, innocent locals routinely get hurt. Not to mention, the scene in the Santa Barbara County Jail drunk tank is not pretty, and the emergency rooms have been overflowing in recent years. The strain on law enforcement and emergency medical care is severe. The costs to the county for services and cleanup of the celebration are not fair to the rest of Santa Barbara.
Please know that strict enforcement of county ordinances exist with heavy penalties and fines for stepping outside the legal boundaries. County public safety personnel have the responsibility to limit the violence and harm done to the community – and they intend to do their job.
Placing all this in perspective, there will be a Halloween celebration this year, but let’s please try to keep it cool and local. Tell your friends from out of town, as I do, that the real Halloween celebration is at UC Merced this year.
Above all, keep your wits about you, especially on these Halloween nights.