Yesterday, around 9 am Carol called—I was at my office getting ready for class—to say she was stuck in traffic. Utterly gridlocked, and was now trying to make her way home having had to cancel the classes she was trying to get to.
Seems a young man had chained himself to an overpass crossing 101, Santa Barbara’s primary traffic artery. The young man was wearing a ski mask, fatigues, and waving a US flag along with a handgun. So the authorities shut everything down.
He chained himself to the overpass around 7:10; so all the go to work traffic got jammed up. Some people were so stuck and the wait so long, they got out of their cars and were talking and doing exercises on the freeway.
Some of his friends called the local TV station and radio stations saying the young man was a veteran of the Iraq war and was going through a really bad time, and, please, the police should not kill him. And, thank goodness, they didn’t.
I was at school teaching but Carol got back home and was watching events unfold on TV. The police finally had encircled the young man and were about to take him in when—bingo—the local TV station went off the air. Apparently, as Carol later found out, when she called Santa Barbara City College to say she would not be in—well, that it would make no difference if she came in or not because the juice was out all over that area of town.
Meanwhile, on campus, I go to get a cup of coffee around 9. Usually the line is 6 to 10 people deep. Yesterday—zip, nobody. Maybe students are stuck on the freeway, but mostly I expect they are still in bed recovering from the Isla Vista Halloween drunckoholic event.
45,000 students, from all over the state, showed up this year to jam the streets of tiny IV. 236 were tossed in the tank. 560 were ticketed. 55 needed medical attention, for such things as alcohol poisoning, and two people fell off the bluffs by the ocean. Both survived but one was seriously injured.
Carol and I live about two miles from IV. We tossed and turned trying to get to sleep as the night was punctuated by the screams and howls of drunken “revelers.” Also this helicopter kept circling and circling the area.