Washington state police have located Neil Baker, the ex-UCSB staff engineer who allegedly threatened to kill his former coworkers. Baker is believed to be the author of two threats posted on the community forum; the anonymous writer stated that he could have done more damage than Goleta Postal Facility mass killer Jennifer San Marco. Until police located Baker, who now lives in Washington, UCSB administrators had ordered the campus engineering building to be locked to all but authorized personnel. The extra security measures ceased on January 31.

Associated Students (AS) Legislative Council, a UCSB student government group, ultimately decided against pursuing a resolution that would have frozen funding to the Daily Nexus, the campus newspaper. The council had voted at a January 17 meeting to punish the paper monetarily for running ads for Conquest Student Housing because some students found them offensive, given campus protests against the company. AS President Jared Goldschen later vetoed the resolution, as he believed the council lacked the authority to withhold the money. At the January 24 meeting, any consideration of overriding the veto was absent from the agenda. Also, last week UCSB hired former S.B. News-Press editor Jerry Roberts as its publications director.

UCSB researchers announced on January 30 that they have developed significant new laser technology that could affect such fields as high definition video and medical procedures. Professor Shuji Nakamura led engineering professors Steven DenBaars and James Speck and graduate students Matthew Schmidt and Kwang Choong Kim in achieving laser operations in nonpolar gallium nitride semiconductors and constructing the first ever blue-violet laser diodes. In the past, Nakamura had developed new light sources that work with previously unutilized color wavelengths. A demonstration of the new technology is scheduled at UCSB in early February.

The UCSB office of admissions has reportedly received 48,728 undergraduate applications for fall 2007, the most in the history of the university. The university also reported that 40,894 of those applicants are students entering college for the first time, which is 1,066 more first-year students than applied last year. UCSB’s target enrollment for the 2007-2008 school year is 4,200 first-year students.

At the behest of Representative Lois Capps, the House of Representatives passed a resolution officially recognizing last year’s remarkable NCAA national championship run by the UCSB men’s soccer team. Along with Representative Elton Gallegly, Capps congratulated the Gauchos for their upset victory over rival – and perennial soccer powerhouse – UCLA in St. Louis last December. The 2-1 victory landed the university its second national intercollegiate sports title in school history.

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