Un-Boxing My Life

By Montecito Journal   |   October 11, 2022

Most people want to compartmentalize everything.

For example, I am a Democratic, Republican, Independent, or even a Green Party person.

More examples would be I am a liberal or a conservative.

I saw an interview with the actor Woody Harrelson.

A good ole Texas boy.

He described himself as a Redneck hippie.

After careful consideration I have decided to break with this tradition of putting everything in a little box.

I am going to be a moderate liberal conservative on some issues.

And a moderate conservative liberal on others.

The only preface is the word moderate must come first.

Steve Marko

What the Flume?

L.A. residents can now get a discounted price on Wi-Fi-enabled Flume, which attaches to a customer’s water meter. The device allows Angelenos to track their at-home, real time water usage through an app available on smartphones and other devices. Flume can also help customers create a water budget, and it features smart leak alerts that notify customers when unusual water use is detected. Flume monitors and analyzes both indoor and outdoor water use as well as the breakdown of water use by common fixtures and appliances such as toilets, showers, and washing machines. All this through a new pilot program established by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The regular price tag for Flume is $199, but the DWP has discounted it for its customers at $24.

When is this program coming to us from Montecito Water District? Fact is, we wouldn’t even need it, as years ago the district installed “smart meters” at each of our homes, but here it is the end of 2022, and we customers still don’t have access to our data. And, with a drought that has no end in sight, we really need it. Now.

Diane Graham

A Bear Walks

What does a bear know? What does a bear have to say? What rights do bears have? Carlos thought, as he sat in his chair watching the evening news. So much entertaining news about disasters. Isn’t anyone taking the weather seriously? Every animal Carlos knows is up in arms with the fires, the floods, the hurricanes, and the biggest breaking news is whatever Elon Musk is perpetrating!

He sighed and carefully weighed his frame of mind.

He was letting this get to him. Human apathy, complacency, and greed were bringing him down, so he decided to take a walk and practice mindful meditation, because it brought him back to his home, the earth. Walking, taking each step as a step towards positivity helped at times like this. The changes are making even the animals frantic, pushy, and rude, he thought, but he made an agreement to do whatever he could to bring a bit of love back into the world.

The night was clear with a brilliant full moon, and he walked, being thankful that he could.

Michael Edwards

Santa Claus Speciousness

When it comes to marijuana and its various byproducts, I don’t partake in any form. From where I stand, as a citizen of Carpinteria, and a longtime patron of businesses on Santa Claus Lane, it baffles me in regard to those in opposition to the opening of a dispensary. I’ve listened to the arguments opposing the dispensary, and I have found each and everyone to be specious to say the least. Especially when it comes to parking. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if parking is such an issue, then don’t allow any businesses to open on the east end of Santa Claus Lane, in fact, tear down that whole section, problem solved.

I heard arguments that a dispensary will have a negative effect on children. But let’s be honest here, Santa Claus Lane hasn’t been child oriented since the candy store closed. I like a good burger, but to consider Padaro Grill child-centric is certainly a stretch.

But what about “those types”? Are you talking about the Korean War veteran, or the retired entertainment lawyer recuperating from cancer treatment? Maybe those against the dispensary know something about people making six figures and who drive Teslas that the rest of us are not aware of.

Then there’s the potential for crime. Crime can happen anywhere anytime. But if you want to put a dent in the illegal marijuana market, one of the best ways is to make sure legal dispensaries are able to open and run their businesses as any other business would.

And finally, I have a sneaky suspicion that if a Santa Barbara wine maker wanted to open up a tasting room, all of those voices we now hear against Roots would be mute, because nothing says safe like enjoying a glass or two of good Chardonnay with the 101 Southbound on-ramp a couple of hundred feet away.

Bryan Mootz

The Benefit of Parklets 

I have been following the controversy regarding the Parklets on CVR. As a retired retailer, I’d like to share my opinion.

Retail is down all over the country. I fear those who are complaining about the lack of parking on CVR have not taken this fact into consideration. I don’t believe the entire reason their sales are off is the lack of parking.

If you eliminate all the extra seating from the restaurants, you are eliminating viable customers from strolling the street who are likely to visit the retail shops and wouldn’t otherwise. Every retail area needs destination businesses… and the more seating you have, the more people will be on the street.

This traffic will be sorely missed by all retail establishments on CVR. Not to mention that taking away this extra revenue from the restaurants means fewer tax revenues, as well as damaging good, viable businesses.

Drive CVR, and you will see – there are spaces available – if not on one pass, certainly on two. Please don’t take the revenues or the good people traffic away from CVR. It will be disastrous for the restaurants, and, I fear, for the other retailers as well. Walking traffic is priceless… it’s hard to believe the retailers who are complaining are not considering this.

A concerned resident…

C. Lee Kirch

An RN’s Input on Roots

I would like to offer some comments on my support for the proposed cannabis dispensary at 3823 Santa Claus Lane, as well as the cannabis industry.

I am a retired RN. I worked almost 30 years in an acute care County hospital serving the poorest, sickest and often, the most marginalized humans. Throughout my career, as I cared for a very diverse patient population, I worked with many medical professionals to learn how best to relieve pain, ameliorate discomfort, and promote well-being. The use and administration of Opioids and other agents such as Corticosteroids, Antidepressants, Anticonvulsants, and NSAIDs was and remains a much studied, ever-evolving process. We all know of the illegal and dangerous use of these substances in our society and the misuse we now know occurred in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

I cannot remember ever caring for a patient with issues related to the effects of cannabis use. I knew little of this herb at that time, but always felt we underestimated its value. Thankfully, we’re now legally able to study the vast medicinal benefits of this plant and utilize its properties as a safer, more effective healthcare alternative.

I have witnessed in the last few years, the vast and unwavering medicinal benefits of legal cannabis use among our population and on a personal basis. I support, wholeheartedly, this new legal industry. I support the cultivation of cannabis products for both health-related issues and recreational use. I am thrilled with the progress being made and support our community as a forerunner in this legal industry.

It is imperative to offer a safe, clean, local space to obtain and learn about this versatile natural herb. Our adult community needs and deserves a local dispensary, and the Roots Carpinteria location offers a logical partner for our wonderful growers and those of us who benefit from their work. Its beautiful surroundings, convenient location, upscale design, and most importantly, stellar owners, all make for a perfect spot. Responsible, knowledgeable owners and staff will help to ensure safe, beneficial use of this amazing product.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my support.

Shirley Strickler

Chickens Have Adapted to New Home

The three rescued chickens from my neighbor’s destroyed enclosure are on the left

The three hens I took in after my neighbor’s chicken enclosure was destroyed by a bear are enjoying their new home.

At first, my two hens pecked at them, but that behavior has stopped, and they’re all getting along.

They are protected by a flimsy electric fence (from Premiere One), not that expensive to purchase. Wild animals have been eyeing my hens but have needed to go next door to get a meal.

I found out about electric fences from Jeronimo who sells eggs and meat products at the Saturday Farmers Market. He informed me that despite having his farm in the midst of wild animal territory between Carpinteria and Ojai, the electric fences have been effective. My chicken coop doesn’t even need to be closed at night.

The four-foot-high electric fence unit I have and the solar unit that powers it aren’t that expensive. Chickens have more room to roam in such an enclosure than many of the cramped pens in our area.

The biggest problem with the electric fence is that one may forget to turn it back on after leaving the chicken enclosure. 

Bryan Rosen

An Opinion on Joe Biden

This is America. I didn’t vote for Joe Biden, but he is MY President and I wanted him to do well. I genuinely hope that someone can convince me otherwise, but I have come to the conclusion that Biden is an absolute disaster as our President.

His policies have done considerable harm to our country. He recently bragged about bringing down oil prices, failing to note that he’s doing this by dangerously draining the nation’s strategic oil reserve. He won’t recognize that we were energy independent when he took office and that he is now trying to get oil from countries that are not particularly friendly to us. (Joe, we have what we need right here.) He doesn’t appear to realize that we are going to need fossil fuels to produce items necessary for the green energy he envisions. He continually finds people to blame for problems he creates. For instance, we have “Putin’s inflation.” He has caused totally unnecessary misery and human disasters in Afghanistan and on our own southern border. He seems absolutely oblivious to our border situation. He and his border czar, VP Harris, have done nothing to solve our internal border crisis and the suffering it is causing. His September 1 “Soul of the Nation” speech, which insulted many Americans, was simply awful.

I could go on, but letter length is understandably limited. My feeling: Joe Biden is a terrible President. You have every right to disagree with me. If you do, I hope you will make your views known. With upcoming elections, I think it is important that we voice our honest opinions and be respectful of those with whom we disagree. I’m happy this is possible in the good ‘ole U.S.A.

Sanderson M. Smith, Ed.D.  


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