We See The Light


Pardall Tunnel illuminated at night                   Photo by Author (August 30, 2016)                 Click here for video

     Daily, UCSB students nonchalantly bike, skateboard, and walk through Pardall Tunnel not acknowledging  its beauty and significance it carries.  Only very so often, some stop and take a moment to think back to the tragedy that occurred on the night of May 23, 2014.

     On the one-year anniversary of the incident, the lights seen in the photograph to the left were installed commemorating the students’ lives we lost that day.  The “brains” behind this artwork were two professors of UCSB’s Arts and Media Arts and Technology departments: Kim Yasuda and Marcos Novak.

Both Novak and Yasuda made it a point to make a connection between the UCSB campus and Isla Vista using these lights.  Yasuda said, “I felt if we were going to do the lighting project, it had to serve as an illuminated bridge between campus and community…If it stopped at the tunnel, it would be hitting the border and not addressing the real issue of Isla Vista” (Salay) and she envisioned a river of lights from campus to IV (Leachman).  Novak says, “The statement is one of how things are interconnected.  It’s all about bringing things together” (Palminteri).


Michelle Yazawa walking through Pardall Tunnel for the last time                                           Photo by Author (August 30, 2016)

     In an interview with a friend who is a recent graduate of UCSB (class of 2015), Michelle Yazawa described to me what she was doing at the time of the incident, and what she felt was the purpose of the lights one year later, which happened to be similar to what the professors had intended.  Michelle had said that she, too, felt the connection between the campus and community.  She continued on to say that she had felt that this part was campus, and the other part was Isla Vista, but the bridge made the link between the two.  (To the right is a photograph of Michelle walking through Pardall Tunnel at night for the last time before she leaves IV.)

     I found this very interesting because I felt a different purpose for the lights.  I also found that the tunnel could serve as safety, a literal and figurative “light at the end of the tunnel” and symbol of positivism.  What it really boils down to is whether you were in the UCSB or Isla Vista community or not at the time of the incident.  Raphaella Faria, a student in Yasuda’s IV Open Lab course, said, “In four years from now, most likely there won’t be any student who was here in Isla Vista during the tragedy.  Our perception of it will vary a lot…” (Salay) which is clear to see in the difference of opinion between Michelle and I.

    For years to come, the permanent light installation will hold all its purposes, and will ultimately change over time.  But one thing remains, and that it is symbolic to those lives we lost that day, and how strong of a community Isla Vista and UCSB is now because of it.  But to me, the tunnel serves more than just a connection between campus and community.  I feel safe at night with the lights illuminated, bringing light into darkness, as they flicker and guide me to the end.  Even during the day, they shed light onto students, which also serves as a reminder to us that we should share positive thoughts and spread the light to others.  What do Pardall Tunnel’s lights mean to you?

Works Cited

  1. Flores, Adolfo, Kate Mather, and Scott Gold. “ISLA VISTA RAMPAGE; Rampage in Isla Vista; Student Dies of Gunshot after Killing 6, Wounding 13.” ProQuest. N.p., 25 May 2014. Web. 24 Aug. 2016.
  2. Leachman, Shelly. “‘We Are All UCSB‘” The UCSB Current. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2016.
  3. Palminteri, John. “Solar Light Project Helps to Heal & Inspire UCSB After Tragedies.” KEYT. N.p., 13 May 2015. Web. 30 Aug. 2016.
  4. Salay, Mark. “Blunite Lights Up Isla Vista.” Blunite Lights Up Isla Vista. N.p., 21 May 2015. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.
  5. Yazawa, Michelle. “Isla Vista Shooting.” Telephone interview. 24 Aug. 2016.

Pardall Tunnel lighting installation

As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness, To the end, to the end, they remain,” ― Laurence Binyon. There is a tunnel that allows us to access an easy passage way through the campus to the Isla Vista a small town connected to UCSB. However, this tunnel is more than just that, the only way to literally and figuratively understand it is by viewing it in a different way. The time to see it is when it is dark, because at night you can see it doing more than just being a passage way for students. This location site is called the Pardall Light Tunnel.

The creation of this intentional memorialization was one of the many lights created by students and faculties that volunteered themselves out of generosity to create this organization that will create illuminations throughout the University of Santa Barbara and the Isla Vista community.The group that had inspired the plan largeall came together to brainstorm ideas such as illuminating the areas of the community where it is much needed.The best feature of the tunnel in all is the way the lights follow your movement in every step you take closer to the other side. The one rope sized light will turn off the brightness and then change to clear, until you move on to the next light and till you meet the end of the tunnel.

This tunnel has its beauty but behind it, it carries a collective memory that all students of UCSB and the community of Isla Vista have in common. Even if you were there or not there to experience it first-hand. The May 23 2014 Isla Vista Massacre leaving more than a dozen injured and six killed. All of them being students that went to UCSB, leaving many friends and family emotionally injured. The lights bring back the memory to memorialize the people who were lost and the people affected by this tragedy.With the Pardall light installation taken place it has kept the memory of the community strength alive.

The location specifically helps provide the support it needs to keep a positive memory alive. It is placed in the middle of where the school campus and Isla vista neighborhood meets. This acts as a symbolization of how two communities can come together, and support each other in a time of need. The lights that come with the tunnel guides whoever walks underneath the tunnel to their destination. Keeping in mind that these lights will symbolize the future we all have as long as we are here, a bright and strong future. Rather than only commemorating those we have lost and giving a memorial that can be nostalgically sad.P

When I first visited the campus I had no idea of the Pardall tunnel, its light because of the time of day I would always see it. The only time you can fully experience the purpose for the tunnel is at night because you can clearly see the lights as you walk through the tunnel. Once finding out the history of the tunnel and its purpose, I had realized it’s supposed to bring enlightenment and comfort when knowing that once you walk or bike through you will be welcomed. You will be welcomed to be a part of the community that intertwines with UCSB and Isla Vista.

This tunnel is supposed to remind us that we can depend on others and feel comfortable and safe within this community. Our school also praises these types of memorials because of its different effects on students, because we may not have come from a place that has had that type of support system. The lights will show each student that they can be guided through their hard times because others in the past have. 128546681 lights will last us as long as the school preserves it and appreciates its purpose of still being there after the tragedy. We need this to be on campus because it commemorates those who have gone and those who are still here, but in a positive manner. With the positive manner that is being shown from the tunnel, it will not always bring back the memories of the past, but of the good that came out of it at the end. Which was a working community that can be guided to better things for students and Isla Vista residents.


Images: 1.     2.    3.


The Santa Barbara Municipal Airport: How it Becomes Today

Santa Barbara Airport

Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (Photo Credit: Santa Barbara Government)

Santa Barbara Airport, located within 2 miles of the UCSB campus and 8 miles from downtown Santa Barbara, served as the transportation center of the entire County. It is the busiest airport in west coast between San Jose and Los Angeles airport with more than 750,000 passengers coming and going annually, which is approximately 2,100 passengers on an average day. The airport is essential to both the economy in Santa Barbara and the UCSB students. There are about 5,000 student every year coming to the airport to receive airport tours.

The background history of the Santa Barbara Airport is strongly connected to UCSB by one person: Thomas M. Storke.


Thomas M. Storke (1876-1971)

During his days as a senate, he helped secure the land for both UCSB campus and the Santa Barbara Airport.  Mr. Storke was born and died in Santa Barbara, he was originally a journalist and then the University of California regent and the California senate. The landmark tower – the Storke Tower – is named in memory of Thomas M. Storke for his contributions to the UCSB campus and the Santa Barbara County as a whole. The airport also served its duty during war time. In World War II, as Japan attacked America and started the war, there was a need for military basements. During that period of time, Santa Barbara Airport became the station for training and
servicing facilities for Marine Air Groups. The airport has seen so many historical events inside the Santa Barbara County.


As we have today, Santa Barbara Municipal Airport helped UCSB students in transferring them from home to school. It operates routes between Santa Barbara to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, and Portland. A lot of UCSB students are from the cities above. When the school is off for holiday, taking a airplane from the UCSB airport is the most fast and convenient way for students to come back home and get reunion with their families. The airport is operated by United Airlines, American/US Airways, and Alaska Airlines, which are all very competitive in prices too.


Inside Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (Photo Credit:Airport improvement)

There are more of the Santa Barbara Airport history that are connected to UCSB students. A great student should not only know the history of his or her school but also the environment around it. As one of the major airports in the United States with the walk distance, every UCSB student should take some time and plan a visit. The airport contains a lot of memories by many generations of UCSB students.


Further Reading:

Developed to Serve Wartime Need: http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=41154

Santa Barbara Airport Statistics: http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/depts/flysba/about/newsfacts/statistics.asp

Santa Barbara – A rich Aviation History: http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=41153

Pandell, Lexi. “The Legacy of Thomas M. Storke”: http://dailynexus.com/2011-05-31/legacy-thomas-storke/



Who Was Storke and Why Do We Remember Him?

One of the pioneers of UC Santa Barbara is Thomas M. Storke who was instrumental in the induction of the school from a state school to a University of California school. We remember Storke by the obelisk-like structure that stands tall in the center of the school, the populated road, the newspaper located on campus, the radio station, the constant bells that ring, as well as the many plaques displayed around campus.

Thomas Storke was born and raised here in Santa Barbara in November 23, 1876. He was an editor as well as a publisher of the Santa Barbara News-Press growing up. He attended Stanford a year after it was established and later was instrumental in the unification of architectural style, which was based around a Spanish theme. He then was appointed a Democratic United States Senator. He was a Senator from November 9, 1938 to January 3, 1939. He also helped to change the Santa Barbara State College into a University of California school, along with supervising the construction of the airport we have here. Storke was a Pulitzer Prize winner for his excellence in the field of publication and editorial writing.

The fact that he was instrumental in the creation of the Daily Nexus which now provides Santa Barbara with great news. We remember Thomas Storke by the roads, buildings, and plazas dedicated to him. We also remember him by the many plaques surrounding the school in which he changed. We remember him not only because of what he did for this school but in the larger picture, for our country. He left lasting memories and sites that instill the type of people that should follow Storke’s mindset.

Storke Tower