Rock, Peace, and the Nature of Bears

By Montecito Journal   |   March 15, 2022

Carlos, The Bear, set his Fender Telecaster guitar on its stand, sat back in his bean bag chair, crossed his arms, and began humming a tune. His mind was remembering his early days. He was a smallish bear, nothing like the one he saw on CNN earlier that day, Hank the Tank. No, Carlos was pretty much the little guy on campus. The big cubs used to pick on him, bully him, and make fun of him. They would pin him on the ground and beat him up. He hated that!

Then, one day, he got tired of the daily assaults and fought back. As he swung his arms, bit with fury, and got the upper paw, the other cubs watching cheered! His pride, his self-worth, and heart felt bigger than ever before. And, from then on, he swore he would never back down. This is what Ukraine is doing now, he thought, they are fighting a bully and they are not backing down!

“Good for Them! Go for it!! Don’t give up without a fight!!!”, he growled.

Then, he felt ashamed. After all he was a bear, and that is the Russian mascot, The Bear. But Carlos is an American bear, playing an American guitar, through an American amp. His thoughts tumbled back to the ‘60s as he watched young Russians take to the streets and call for peace, just like back then. He isn’t a Russian Bully Bear, he wants Peace!

He began humming the song louder, with emphasis, feeling sad for the human cubs caught in this tragedy. He began to remember the words, interspersing them with his humming, interjecting new lyrics as he went. He morphed another song to that one, for more effect. He plugged the Telecaster into his amplifier, turned the master volume to eleven and began to sing.

“Tin soldiers and Putin’s coming, we want to be left alone. This winter I hear the drumming, people dying in Ukraine, oh my NO! We’ve got to get down to it, we can’t let Russia’s soldiers keep cutting us down, we’ll find the cost of freedom as we hold our ground”.

Carlos added: Carry on, LOVE is coming, LOVE is coming to us all. For all humans, especially Ukraine’s. Then, after a few choruses of this, he sat in his bean bag chair and said: May Peace Prevail on Earth and flashed a peace sign with prejudice!

Michael Edwards

Hot Springs Pipes Vandalized, Reservoir Low

On March 7, 2022, my friend and I took a hike up Hot Springs Trail, and there sure was a lot of vandalism. The main pipe was completely disconnected from a holding tank near the ruins of the old resort, disrupting the flow of hot springs water to estates – instead the hot water was pouring all over the trail. Also, by Barn Springs two pipes were disconnected – one of them was broken. 

When we returned, some water – not much – was pouring into the reservoir on upper Hot Springs Road. As the water would get there faster than us, it looks like someone put the pieces of the main pipe together. Due to the small amount of water entering the reservoir, the water in it was only about three to four feet deep.

On March 8, the reservoir was even lower at about two feet deep. It may go dry soon unless more water enters into it. The reservoir is normally low, but that’s the lowest level I’ve seen. The reservoir doesn’t have enough water in it to provide residents adequate protection against forest fires. It seems likely that estates using hot springs water for irrigation have backup systems connected to the Montecito Water District, but if some don’t, it would be a good idea to install such systems before fire season arrives. 

Bryan Rosen 

Thoughts in the Pipeline

Back in the USSR! Putin wants to re-establish the Soviet Union drawing the world back to the ‘80s, soon to be eyeing the Baltic states, Romania and Poland. As a dictator, he holds all the levers of power arresting or murdering those who oppose him in Russia and many outside its present borders. He has a hit-list already compiled for certain Ukrainians. Maybe the amnesia that has lulled European minds for the past 30 years will be burst by this shocking invasion of Ukraine. Europe has become too dependent on Russia’s vast energy resources thinking they would always be available from an, if not friendly – at least civil – Asian country. They foolishly turned from nuclear, or other but maybe more expensive, sources of natural gas and oil. America is now coming to the aid of the EU via LNG shipments of its prodigious natural gas resources. But we need improved port and pipeline expansions. The very fossil fuels that have been hampered by short-sighted government restrictions, pushed by the many environmentalists that sue and obstruct reasonable conveyance and production measures, under the guise of climate change, must cease. This trend of injuring our and our allies’ national security by injuring our energy security must be rehabilitated. The people who want to “build absolutely nothing absolutely nowhere” seem to act as if oil from dictatorships like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Russia is better for the climate than our safer and more controlled domestic producers. And Santa Barbara’s environmental groups need to be awakened and transformed as well. Suddenly, virtually overnight, America’s top national interests are now turning to the realization that our energy resources are not only important, as we transition to cleaner energy sources, but are essential to our own and our friends’ security and safety in what is rapidly becoming a more dangerous world.

J.W. Burk  


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