Deltopia: Waste and Wasted

Isla Vista Deserves Respect, or at Least Porta-Potties

Friday, April 25, 2014
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An editorial in the April 15 Los Angeles Times underlined that the U.S.’s 55-year-old embargo against Cuba has failed to achieve its objective of forcing the Castro regime from power. What were the objectives of Santa Barbara County’s embargo against Floatopia, the rite of spring celebration that used to be held beachside in Isla Vista, but which in 2010 was forced up to the town’s oceanfront street, Del Playa Drive, and renamed Deltopia on social media? Supposedly the move was made necessary because of all the trash and human waste the crowds created on the beach in 2009.

But most reports say there has been no less trash or human waste along Del Playa than happened on the beach. Still, Deltopia went fairly well for a couple of years. Even last year’s event was marred only by a collapsed balcony that probably was holding too many revelers. That is, until Sunday morning when a young woman’s body was found on the beach, probably after she slipped off the edge of the bluff while seeking a place to urinate. You see, no porta-potties were deployed along the street, although authorities were predicting 20,000-25,000 people would be strolling Del Playa that Saturday and into the night.

Again this year, no porta-potties. Planners probably view these as too enabling. And no live bands are permitted, so there’s no front-yard parties as there are on most weekends. But there were 100 cops in riot gear, six 1984-ish surveillance cameras on 25-foot poles recording everyone’s every move, and, I’m told, a helicopter circling overhead, probably with one of those ultra-intrusive search lights scouring the crowd. Shades of the movie Blade Runner.

And the response by Isla Vista’s overseers to the “riot” that occurred following a confrontation between a partier and a policeman? UCSB’s chancellor declared, while pounding his chest, that we’re going “to make a fundamental change in the culture of Isla Vista.” And Isla Vista’s representative on the County Board of Supervisors implied there will be no more so-called “unsanctioned events” until some entity steps up to be the sponsor. So what entity was it that closed the beach for the weekend, called in the surveillance cameras, ordered in 100 police, the helicopter, etc.? Clearly some entities were active, beginning with whoever declared such events “unsanctioned.”

Isla Vistans pay taxes, through their rents and through sales-taxed purchases. What does that money buy? Perhaps a few porta-potties and trash bins when tens of thousands of people are coming out to celebrate spring? Or fall at Halloween?

An activist for over 30 years in Isla Vista, Carmen Lodise is the author of Isla Vista: A Citizen’s History (2008). He has a home in a fishing village in Mexico but follows Isla Vista events closely.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

The County is protecting its interests by deploying the increased police presences but the Restroom and Refuse problem is up to the revelers hosts' who advertised the party to provide for. Unfortunately when you believe that the "Man" is going to clean up after your messes as your parents had for the last 18 years of your life, you neglect to take into the account of your so-called environment as you inebriate yourself for personal enjoyment. I partied in IV during my Senior High and College days but responsibly, I drank lightly and sparingly, was aware of my surroundings and obeyed the Law. This was not hard since I was and am a responsible human being who takes responsibility for my actions.
These parties that are organized under the guise of social networking through anonymous announcements is a Generation of babies who are looking for Mommy and Daddy to clean-up after them since they are unwilling or too useless to keep it clean...

dou4now (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2014 at 9:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

UCSB may lead the way in green efforts.....

But it is more than offset by the ecological nightmare created by Isla Vista.

I don't see the point.

Botany (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2014 at 9:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The Sheriff's Dept. has already started running plays out of the harassment playbook. The politicians will start wringing their hands about the potential calamity they see behind every bush and under every rock. (This will all be done to ensure their constituents that every thing is being done to ensure IV will be an attractive and safe.) Increased government intervention will likely divide the community and worsen it's reputation.
Hopefully people like Carmen can raise awareness before it's too late. My advise for all though is watch your back!

touristunfriendly (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2014 at 10:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany you're really exaggerating, most of the waste created from partying is recyclable and if they didn't have so many restrictions then it would just be the recyclable AND re-usable red cups that I remember using at keg parties in IV not long ago, before they were banned.. Certainly a red cup or two per person is not an incredible amount of waste to use while entertaining yourself for a day, I'm sure you use a lot more waste in your normal day-to-day activities.

Portapotties are not that expensive, they put them up at all sorts of events. They certainly would have been worth the life of Giselle alone, I have been advocating portapotties on Halloween for over a decade. Instead they just become more Draconian and things continue to get worse.

Reign in the fascism a bit and you will see these events become more peaceful with fewer problems.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2014 at 11:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

dou4now, you are so completely wrong with your insinuations.

If social media was able to setup a deltopia fund to pay for portapotties and refuse cleanup they would very likely receive more than enough money and would have plenty of volunteers to help clean up. The problem is that whatever group or individual or organization tried to do this would get shut down - they wouldn't be allowed to operate, place the porttapotties, etc.. because they are doing so for an "unsanctioned event". So your expectations of the students off the bat are impossible and unreasonable.

As they said in the article, IV residents pay plenty of taxes, they pay HUGE rents many of which go to property taxes, they pay sales tax on their alcohol... and the county spends WAY more money that necessary on "enforcement" at these events, there's no reason they couldn't take away $20k or more in enforcement and use less than $5k for portapotties.. and IV residents would be more than willing to volunteer to pickup trash if there are receptacles to put the trash in. Not difficult at all, and we're saving money!!

The author of the article nailed it, and that is the county would see this as "enabling" the event and so they won't do it, and they won't let anybody else do it.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 25, 2014 at 11:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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