Acting on a citizen complaint, officials shut down Skater’s Point for a couple of hours on Friday because dozens of skaters were not wearing the required knee pads, elbow pads, and helmets. A City Parks department ranger remained in the low-walled, open-air arena for the duration of the closure, because there is no other way to keep out the skateboarders, but due to the high number of noncompliant skaters, rangers did not issue citations. Skateboarders said the pads restrict movement.
The Goleta City Council unanimously agreed to contribute $250,000 toward installing artificial turf on one of the Girsh Park soccer fields near the Camino Real Marketplace. Heavy use by adult teams renders the natural grass field unusable for several months of the year. A neighbor objected to the artificial turf and surrounding fence, which is necessary to prevent the artificial turf from being destroyed by a motor vehicle. The city’s contribution kicks off a fundraising campaign for the remainder of the $1 million total cost of the turf, which lasts 12-14 years. Councilmember Jack Hawxhurst noted that this expenditure leaves little in city park coffers for other potential park projects and reprimanded staff for bringing the issue to the board on the eve of the election.
Ranked 17th in the nation, the UCSB men’s soccer team opens up this year’s NCAA tournament at home this weekend against San Diego State. The Gauchos compiled a 12-7 record during the regular season on the way to their first Big West title since 2004. This Saturday’s matchup against San Diego State – which kicks off at 1 p.m. at Harder Stadium – is a rematch of last year’s opening-round NCAA tourney match in which UCSB defeated the Aztecs 2-0.