The bear that visits Glendale homes and trash cans has two names — Meatball and Glen Bearian, his own Twitter account, paparazzi to greet him when he's in town and taxpayer-funded chauffeurs who take him back to the forest after his city sprees.
Maybe it's for the best that our bear not become the toast of the town.
Officials with the state Department of Fish and Game keep saying they don't think that Station fire-related depletion of the forest is the reason bears are visiting, but it sure seems that more bears are around this year, and that they are more persistent. The rangers pretty much take the bear's side in these matters, saying we humans occupy what was formerly bear territory and then encourage visits with trees full of fruit and garbage cans full of fast-food wrappers and leftovers.
Regardless of who's at fault, the prospect of encountering a bear on the Flint Canyon Trail, which seems possible, given our bear's two visits to nearby Pomander Place, is daunting. Plenty of La Cañadans enjoy that tranquil trail as horse riders, runners and walkers. While bears don't like to fight, they have the potential to devastate any comer, should there be an encounter.
Especially with the frequent bear sightings and most of a hot, dry summer still ahead, it is wise for residents to act on common-sense precautions and keep garbage cans off the street until the appointed day, clean them with ammonia or bleach to eliminate bear-attracting odors, keep pet food indoors and otherwise make the city less of a haven for bears. Like distant relatives, we appreciate them, but we don't need any more visitors this summer.