Central Coast roundup

By El Latino Newsroom
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Until last year, statistics were classified into eight “Part One” crimes that fall under two broad categories: violent crime and property crime, but this year they added more categories.

“The public should be aware that there are important differences between the two reporting systems that will affect the overall crime counts compared to prior years. Due to the change in reporting standards, comparing crime data collected under NIBRS to prior years’ data collected under SRS is not advisable,’ said the OXPD in a press release.

The reason, the FBI retired the UCR Program’s traditional Summary Reporting System (SRS) and transitioned to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) for data collection. 

The OXPD began reporting NIBRS-compliant crime data on November 15th, 2022, meeting California Department of Justice (CA-DOJ) requirements specific to California through the California Incident-Based Reporting System (CIBRS).

Under NIBRS crime data collection, there are 9,874 Group A offenses reported that occurred in 2023.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) collects crime data annually through the national Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, over 18,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide, including city, college and university, county, state, tribal, and federal agencies voluntarily contribute crime data.

According to the data, there were nine (10) homicides offenses in 2023, one (1) more than the previous year, but where 3 of them were justifiable, which were not taking in consideration last year and is defined as “the killing of a perpetrator of a serious criminal offense by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty, or the killing, during the commission of a serious criminal offense, of the offender by a private individual.

For this year’s data two homicide offenses, Negligent Manslaughter and Justifiable Homicide (Not a Crime), are additional offenses under NIBRS Group A that were not previously reportable under the SRS Part 1 Schedule. 

Violent crime saw an increase in robberies (from 538 to 706), also was a huge increase in aggravated assaults (from 513 to 846) and 24 additional reported rapes (26.1%) as compared to the previous year.

The domestic violence-related offenses in 2023 decreased by about 10% (781) as compared to the previous year.

Property crime in Oxnard experienced increases in and motor vehicle theft (666 from 610 in 2022) and also was an increase in larceny, commonly referred to as theft, (1.5%) and a reduction in arson (-15.4%).

On the crisp morning of March 16th, the city of Goleta witnessed a remarkable display of community spirit as 32 dedicated volunteers gathered to participate in the “Beautify Goleta” spring event. 

Armed with gloves, trash bags, and an unwavering determination, these volunteers embarked on a collective effort to tackle litter and debris strewn across their beloved city. 

Their hard work and commitment yielded impressive results, with a staggering 257 lbs of trash collected throughout the morning.

Dan Rowell, City of Goleta Environmental Services Specialist and event organizer said they had a really great Beautify Goleta event. 

“There was a strong showing of volunteers to help pick up trash in Old Town and a steady flow of cars dropping off bulky items at the Goleta Community Center. We were really pleased with the turnout and are looking forward to the next Beautify Goleta event in just over a month!,” he said.

But the event didn’t stop there. In addition to the trash pickup, Beautify Goleta went above and beyond by offering a free bulky item drop-off service. 

This initiative provided city residents with the opportunity to dispose of large, unwanted items cluttering their homes, garages, or backyards, in an environmentally responsible manner.

The response from the community was overwhelmingly positive, as evidenced by the remarkable turnout. 

A total of 42 vehicles were utilized to transport bulky items to designated drop-off points, resulting in the disposal of an impressive 6,790 lbs of materials such as old furniture, mattresses, and yard waste.

 “A big thank you to our Team Captains Community West Bank and the Goleta Rotary Club. Beautify Goleta is a year-round program to clean up trash throughout the City. It is only possible with the help of Captains and volunteers,” said Goleta Mayor, Paula Perotte.

“Beautify Goleta” in an annual program and its mission is to enhance the beauty of their surroundings while contributing to a cleaner, healthier environment for all.

As participants worked side by side, they not only cleaned up their neighborhoods but also strengthened bonds within their community, forging connections that will endure long after the event has ended.

Also, the City informed the next “Beautify Goleta Earth Day” will be on Saturday, April 20. 

The cleanup and bulky item drop off will both be at Bella Vista Park (intersection of Padova Drive and Placer Drive) in Western Goleta. 

The cleanup event will be from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and the bulky item drop off portion will be from 9:00 a.m. –1:00 p.m. and will be featuring a limited edition “Earth Day 2024” volunteer t-shirt for participants. 

The event will also feature a food truck and Waste Free Goleta themed prize giveaways for event participants.

The Pioneer Valley FFA Agriculture Program had great representation at the Regional Speaking Contest that was held at King City High School last Friday where 17 students competed against other FFA members in the South Coast Region, which stretches from Monterey Bay all the way south to Los Angeles. 

The students competed in the following contests: the FFA Creed, El Credo de FFA (Spanish), Extemporaneous and Prepared Public Speaking. Four representatives of the PV FFA will move on to the State Speaking Finals in April in Fresno.

Natalia Sanchez, a senior in the PV Agriculture Program placed 4th at the regional level for Prepared Public Speaking. 

The purpose of the Prepared Public Speaking Career Development Event is to foster and develop the speaking abilities of FFA members, develop their self-confidence and contribute to their advancement in inter-personal skill attainment and leadership development. 

This contest requires students to write and memorize a 6–8-minute speech, where students present the speech to judges and lastly there is a question-and-answer component that lasts five minutes. 

Senior Monserrat Chavez, junior Andrea Guzman and sophomore Yareli Quiroz all qualified for state in the El Credo de FFA. Chavez placed 1st in the Gold Division consisting of juniors and seniors. Guzman placed 4th in the Gold Division and Quiroz placed 4th in the Blue Division consisting of freshmen and sophomores. 

“Regionals was a great experience! It is exciting to see my peers succeed in their endeavors and most importantly it’s exciting to cheer on Pioneer Valley! I can’t wait for the state contest in April,” said Chavez.

The FFA Creed outlines the organization’s beliefs regarding the agricultural industry, FFA membership and the value of citizenship and patriotism. 

The FFA Creed was written by Erwin Milton Tiffany in 1929; it was adopted by the Future Farmers of America as their official creed by the organization delegates at the third National Convention in 1930. The ideas conveyed in the five-paragraph belief statement transcend geography, language, race, and ethnicity. 

The Fund for Santa Barbara (The FUND) has announced Santa Barbara Youth Council as one of six organizations in 2024 to receive the South County Youth Making Change Grant, a grant awarded annually to support youth-led projects impacting young people in Santa Barbara County. 

The Youth Council, a City of Santa Barbara advisory committee created to give local teens a voice in local government, will use the awarded funding to host the 2024 Youth Speak Out

 This annual workshop is designed to encourage teens to advocate for positive changes in the community. During the 2023 event, several local teens voiced their concerns surrounding gun violence and safety. This prompted the Youth Council to draft a safe firearm storage ordinance that has reached discussion with the City Council.

 “The 2024 Youth Speak Out will facilitate proactive dialogue between young people, highlighting the youth perspective on local issues and creating a foundation for change in Santa Barbara,” said Youth Councilmember Amelia Vander May.

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2024, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Palm Park Beach House (236 E. Cabrillo Blvd.)  Topics will include public safety, environmentally conscious practices, mental health resources, and how teens can take a more active role in local government. The roundtable-style workshop will bring together teens and local leaders to help teens play a direct role in the issues most impacting them. 

 “The teens who attend the event will have a safe environment to share their perspectives while expanding their views and understanding by listening to others,” said Vice-Chair Anastasia Li.