Halloween is coming fast and, depending on your point of view, it’s the greatest thing for students at UCSB since the discovery that Google can actually be used for researching assignments and not just watching videos of David Hasselhoff’s drunken attempt at eating a hamburger while saying how he likes turtles. To others, it represents a pagan celebration of the ultimate downfall of mankind’s soul into Dante’s seventh circle of hell. Oh, and risky home mortgages.

Me? I’ve seen it at its best and worst. Over-packed streets in near-riot conditions with hundreds arrested and more filling the emergency rooms at all the local hospitals, as well as years of tons of local students and residents walking up and down Del Playa showing off their most creative and individualistic ideas, which nine out of 10 times tends to be either a pimp or sexy cop. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining, just noticing…

However you view Halloween in Isla Vista, the truth is that it has the potential to be a bit wild at times. There is a huge increase in the amount of emergency services in town that weekend. This includes medical, search and rescue, fire, as well as a few extra cops. Some may not believe this, but the purpose of all the extra services is not to shut down Isla Vista, but to try to keep it safe for the students and locals who venture out that night. There are a lot of stories and ideas floating around about Halloween, so hopefully in the next few weeks I can answer some of your questions about it and make it a safe weekend for all of you.

I heard that Isla Vista was being shut down for Halloween, and if you don’t live here, you can’t drive into town. Is that true?

Every Halloween there are hundreds of rumors and a million exaggerations. Just to set the record straight, yes, Isla Vista will be closed to everyone; anyone entering California will be asked if they are going to Isla Vista and if so, will not be allowed into the state. We also will be installing very large tiger pits at all entrances to Del Playa filled with angry Swedish Olympic wrestlers. And I could go on…

Truthfully, though, there will not be any restrictions on people coming into Isla Vista, but if you think parking is scarce now, you’ll probably have a better chance of getting money from a rich deposed West African dictator you met via a random e-mail he sent you than finding parking on Halloween weekend. On Friday and Saturday nights, barricades will be going up, blocking off access to the 6500 to 6700 blocks of Del Playa and Sabado Tarde. These will be going up around 8 p.m. or sooner depending on the size of the crowds each night. This will be restricting vehicle traffic but not pedestrians.

What time does the noise ordinance take effect on Halloween weekend?

Although the county noise ordinance normally takes effect at 12 a.m. on weekend nights, from Oct. 26 through Nov. 4, the ordinance takes effect at 6 p.m. It also does not restrict the distance the music can be heard from the residence. Basically, if the stereo can be heard outside, it is potentially a violation of the ordinance (6-70.01 SBCO). Does this mean you can’t have your friends over to hang out on Halloween? Of course not. It just means you have to keep the stereo down lower than you would have to during the rest of the year.

I hope that all of you who venture out on Halloween weekend can have a fun and safe time. If you have any questions about the rules, laws or what may happen, please don’t hesitate to ask. Either e-mail or call, and I will do whatever I can to answer your questions. Also, on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. there will be a town hall meeting at Embarcadero Hall about Halloween weekend with many of the local officials there to answer your questions. Don’t miss an opportunity to Question Authority! Take care and have a safe year!