Out With the Old Locks, in With the New ‘Do
By Leslie Westbrook   |   April 15, 2021

What’s the first thing you want (or wanted) to do after getting vaccinated? Hug somebody? A trip (who’d a thunk it?) to the dentist? A trip – any kind of trip? I’m down for all of that as well as aching for a massage and/or a chiropractic adjustment. (Reminder to self: Call Charlie Bissell in […]

No Bones About It
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   April 8, 2021

I thought it was a big deal, about three decades ago, when I got my first broken bone – after falling off my bike. But it was only the collarbone (clavicle), and only a “hairline fracture.” This, I knew, was one of the easiest bones to break, and one most likely to heal quickly, which […]

 

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Can Water and Sanitary Work Together to Shape the Future of Montecito?
By Bob Hazard   |   April 8, 2021

A recent series of letters in the Montecito Journal has questioned the wisdom of the Montecito Water Board and the Montecito Sanitary Board’s studying the issue of consolidation. Jeff Kerns, a respected former Sanitary Director, has raised an important issue. He suggests that the first step is to define the problem you want to solve; only […]

A Gray and Common Day
By Ernie Witham   |   April 8, 2021

“Oh man! There are thousands of them.” “What species are they?” “They are Delphinus delphis,” the captain said.  Seems like during every Star Trek movie there comes a scene where they hit the dashboard button that says WARP SPEED. Then they can only hope that the coordinates they set don’t deliver them into the middle […]

Long Division
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   April 1, 2021

In many marriage ceremonies, the couples swear to stay together “Till Death do us part” – and some manage to fulfil that vow, even though Death may be a long time coming. No similar oaths, that I am aware of, bind parents and their children – in fact it is assumed that, at some point, […]

How Can We Be Smarter?
By Robert Bernstein   |   April 1, 2021

“Mistakes were made (but not by me)” is a quote attributed to President Reagan and later to President George W Bush. It is also the title of the book I would most recommend everyone should read. Before we can get smarter, perhaps we should find out “Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful […]

The Farmer + The Flea
By Leslie Westbrook   |   March 26, 2021

On the last Sunday of every month, the Summerland Post Office parking lot on Lillie Avenue fills up with a cornucopia of flea market and food vendors. Even volunteers from CALM (Child Abuse Listening and Mediation) are onsite to raise funds and awareness of the nonprofit. While parking may be a challenge – “It’s a […]

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Perish Prolixity
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   March 25, 2021

When I was first privileged to write this column, I was set a 750-word limit. I knew that I could go a few words over or under, and nobody would care. But I decided to make a game out of turning in exactly 750 words each time. What made this relatively do-able was that, unlike […]

Smile!
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   March 18, 2021

In our culture, the act of smiling has not always had a very positive image. Among great paintings, I can think of only one that would qualify. It’s called “The Laughing Cavalier” by Frans Hals (1624), but he is only smiling, not laughing. By the time of World War I, however, it was a different […]

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They Call it Mellow Yellow… The Case of the Hidden Staircase
By Leslie Westbrook   |   March 18, 2021

The Internet and townsfolk are all abuzz about the Big Yellow House’s new “yellow” paint job. About a month ago, I received a text with a photo of the building being painted. It read: Dear Summerland correspondent, The Big Yellow House is being painted cream. Signed, Nancy Drew I was relieved that the super bright, […]

Tale of Two Cities
By Jeff Wing   |   March 11, 2021

The intersection of East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis is in the midst of a “makeover,” a new idiom for the city’s beleaguered traffic engineers. The assignment? Design an urban experience that creates space for mourning, reflection, and unimpeded vehicular flow. Not your typical work order. The intersection’s unusual commemorative mission is borne […]

Causes
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   March 11, 2021

One way to make life seem worth living is to find a cause you truly believe in, and devote yourself to it. It might be political – getting someone elected – or social – getting something banned or permitted – or religious – spreading your own belief, or disputing someone else’s. I myself have rarely […]

Our Solar System: Uranus and Neptune
By Tom Farr   |   March 11, 2021

Uranus and Neptune, the twin ice giants of the solar system, are so far out there that they’ve only been visited once by Voyager 2 in 1986 and 1989. They’re so far away that light from the Sun takes two-and-a half hours to reach Uranus and over four hours to touch Neptune. For those reasons, […]

Labels
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   March 4, 2021

For many years, you couldn’t buy certain items, such as mattresses, in the U.S.A., unless they contained a federally required fabric label, or “tag.” I’m not sure exactly what information these labels provided, but what I do remember is that they also contained a very severe warning against removing them. Something like “DO NOT REMOVE, […]

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