Why do smoke-detector batteries always die in the middle of the night?
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What were you reading on Noozhawk this past week?
The man, whose identity has not been released, apparently fell from the cliff late on Aug. 17 or early on Aug. 18. A couple discovered the victim while they were taking a middle-of-the night stroll on the sand.
Authorities have not determined what caused the fall.
Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton lives west of Goleta, near a stretch of Highway 101 that is notorious for serious and often fatal wrecks. One of the more mysterious crashes occurred during the morning commute Aug. 20 about a half-mile north of Winchester Canyon Road.
Emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene at 7:45 that morning after reports that an SUV had slammed into a large highway exit sign near the southbound Winchester Canyon offramp. California Highway Patrol dispatch listed the incident as a “fatal,” but a CHP spokesman declined to comment and referred all questions to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
Sheriff’s deputies were no more forthcoming with Bolton, describing the area as a “crime scene” and keeping the media at a distance.
Late that night, sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Williams issued a terse statement.
“A male subject in his late 50s died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound while driving on the 101 freeway ...,” said Williams, the department spokesman. “The name of the decedent is being withheld at this time due to the sensitive nature of this tragic incident.”
Although Noozhawk knows the man’s identity, law enforcement has refused all of our requests to confirm the name. We don’t take lightly the issue of suicide, and we generally don’t publish the names of suicide victims — as I’ve explained before, in our 2010 series on the Cold Spring Canyon Bridge.
A primary exception — and it’s a big one — is when the death occurs in a very public location. The circumstances of this incident have a number of newsworthy factors: a freeway crowded with commuters, the South Coast’s major artery backed up for miles and hours during the investigation, the unusual nature of “a self-inflicted gunshot wound while driving,” and an out-of-control vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed that could have caused far more destruction than to the massive freeway sign it sheared off.
The public has a right to know more of the details of this incident, and it’s not law enforcement’s responsibility to withhold them.
Click here for free suicide prevention resources that are available 24 hours a day.
A 20-month-old Masai giraffe at the Santa Barbara Zoo died after being anesthetized for some dental work.
The giraffe, named Daniel, died Aug. 20 during treatment for an abscess and infection in his lower left jaw, zoo veterinarian Julie Barnes said.
“Everything went well during the procedure until the recovery phase, at which point he went into respiratory arrest and resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful,” Barnes said. “We ... suspect that he may have developed an obstruction of his airway.”
Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton reported that a necropsy will be conducted at the California Animal Health & Food Safety Lab in San Bernardino.
In June, the zoo had to euthanize a Baringo giraffe, 21-year-old Sulima, who had been in declining health.
Isla Vista’s deplorable student living conditions have long been the stuff of legend. That’s about to change with the completion of a trio of new apartment complexes that will provide UCSB students with all the comforts of their real homes, Noozhawk intern Patrick Kulp reported.
The Loop, a 48-unit building on Trigo Road, will welcome its 140 new residents this weekend. The $17 million Mesa Lane Partners project includes fully furnished loft apartments with kitchen appliances, flat-screen TVs, free cable and soundproof walls. Among the building amenities are a rooftop lounge with a fire pit and study spaces, outdoor and indoor gyms, a car-share program and free use of stand-up paddleboards. Leases range from $800 to $1,600 a month, and apartments range from 350 to 1,200 square feet.
Next door on Trigo is Icon, a 23-unit apartment complex that offers fully furnished units complete with washers and dryers, flat-screen LCD televisions and stainless-steel appliances. Leases range from $599 to $2,250, depending on the number of residents and the size of the apartment, which can be 350 to 1,200 square feet. Property manager Rashad Cabrera says the fully leased building will be home to 77 residents.
Over on Embarcadero del Mar, the 18-unit Plaza Lofts will be move-in ready next month. The loft apartments come with kitchen appliances, flat-screen TVs, sound-proof insulation, 17-foot ceilings, polished concrete floors, and free cable and WiFi.
Anyone else want to go back to college?
Just days after a great white shark was seen near Leadbetter Beach in Santa Barbara, a 10-foot shark was spotted off Goleta Beach.
Noozhawk’s Lara Cooper reported that a fisherman said he saw the shark Aug. 19 off the end of Goleta Beach Pier in about 120 feet of water. According to the fisherman, the shark appeared to be heading back out to sea. But really, how do we know where the shark was going or what it was thinking?
What we do know, from Capt. Quint, is that “the thing about a shark ... he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be living ... until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white. And then ... ah, then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin’.”
Have fun in the water this weekend.
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