Ocean Beach and Peninsula News – Late April 2014

April 22, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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OB Elementary School Crosswalk Finally Opens!

The long-sought-after crosswalk for school kids on Santa Monica Avenue is finally installed. It took over a week of construction – and several years of organizing – but OB Elementary School has the mid-block addition.

Rumors of CVS Pharmacy Pull Out Are False

The OB Rag has heard rumors that CVS Pharmacy had changed its corporate mind and was pulling out of the former Apple Tree Market. But they are not true. As of March 26, CVS rep Steve Laub contacted the OB Town Council and had this to say:

We anticipate that the lease will be executed in the next few weeks. Break ground should be in early summer after the City issues construction permits. CVS plans to open the store before year-end.

OB Brighton 5065-71 streetBrighton Cottages Sold

Seven cottages containing eight residential units in Ocean Beach at 5065-5071-1/2 Brighton Ave., San Diego 92107, have been sold for $1.6 million, cash. …

And much more. ….

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The Construction Boom in Ocean Beach

April 16, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Every now and then the OB Rag monitors the state of development and construction going on within the Village of OB. Here, we’ve done it again with the following photos.

But we have to say:

There’s a Construction Boom Going on in OB!

There’s a huge development coming in down at the waterfront, there’s the work being done at the corner lot at Voltaire and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, and there’s the construction of the third large mansion on West Pt Loma. And we’re not talking about all the street repairs, cross-walk installations, one-way streets and detours.

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Senator Bernie Sanders’ Guide to Corporate Freeloaders

April 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Here is Senator Bernie Sanders’ guide to the corporate freeloaders. Check this list out as you write the check for the IRS and compare what they made and paid in taxes with what you did.

Exxon Mobile, Bank of America, GE, Chevron …

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Sarah Boot Takes on District 2

April 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

Sarah Boot and I grabbed a table outside at Nati’s in OB the other day for our interview – but as the sun was playing hide and seek, we later had to move inside. Sun or no sun, Sarah is running for the District 2 City Council seat in the Primary which is coming up on June 3rd. The mail ballots go out in May.

Before we sat down outside, we met in the foyer of the iconic family cafe on Bacon Street. We shook hands, then while leading her into one of the dining rooms, I informed Sarah that Nati’s was the oldest Mexican restaurant in the Peninsula. I pointed to the oil painting hanging prominently on one of walls of Louisa – the famous server who worked at Nati’s for over 50 years – and who I met when I was a teenager when my family came during the Sixties.

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Report of State Assembly Committee that Stalled the Orca Welfare and Safety Acts in Pens

April 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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From WDC / April 8, 2014

For those of us watching the live feed of the California legislative hearing on Assembly member Bloom’s orca bill (AB 2140) at the State Capitol in Sacramento, it was clear that an overwhelming number of Californians support passage of the bill. Mothers, teachers, business owners, labor interests, organizational representatives, and unaffiliated individuals of the public filed past the microphone and proclaimed their complete support for AB 2140, alongside individuals from other countries that flew in to physically present their support of the bill at the hearing.

Not only was public sentiment overwhelmingly in support of the bill, but the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee chair, Anthony Rendon, made it clear that he supports passage of the bill and recommended a ‘yes’ vote to Assembly members on moral and ethical grounds alone.

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Locals Respond to Sunset Cliffs Park Going to the Dogs

April 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Report from the Latest Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Advisory Committee Meeting

by Lois Lane

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park – the area along and at the end of Sunset Cliffs Blvd, is a Regional Park, but also a City of San Diego Park and a Beach Park. Why does any of this make a difference? For a lot of reasons, but a big one is DOGS.

Not only in the city of San Diego, but all over San Diego County, dogs in public must be on a leash.

“Away from Home: If you walk or otherwise bring a dog to public or other private property (where dogs are permitted), you must restrain the dog by a hand held leash (not longer than 6 feet in length)…”

This is the San Diego County Code.

For freedom-for-dog advocates, city of San Diego beaches present an entirely different philosophy. Leashed dogs are allowed after 6 p.m. from April 1st to October 31st or after 4:00 p.m. from November 1st to March 31st and on the beach, on sidewalks, and on park areas near the beach during the night and early morning hours until 9 a.m.

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More Photos From City Council Hearing on District 2 Appointment

April 9, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Here are more photos from the San Diego City Council hearing on appointing the District 2 representative held on Monday, April 7, 2014.

Union leader Ed Harris was ultimately appointed from an initial field of 20 applicants. Many of the applicants were from Ocean Beach and Point Loma.

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Democrats’ Revenge: San Diego City Council Appointment of Ed Harris Tilts Council Left

April 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Appointment of Democrat Is Complicated even with “Super-majority”

The Democrats on the San Diego City Council took revenge on their Republican colleagues yesterday by appointing another Democrat to the Council. As of 5pm Monday, April 7, there are now 6 Democrats to the 3 Republicans on the Council after they choose Ed Harris, a lifeguard and union head – and Democrat, to take the seat to represent District 2.

This retaliatory measure was, in no small part, revenge for the defeat of the Democratic candidate in the last mayor’s election, where David Alvarez lost to Republican Kevin Faulconer. Faulconer vacated his seat for the 2nd District when he stepped up to the mayor’s floor of City Hall.

With a 6 to 3 tilt, the City Council now leans left, …

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BREAKING: Ed Harris Selected by City Council to Represent District 2

April 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Ed Harris, lifeguard and union head, was selected by the San Diego City Council to take the vacant seat for District 2 left when Kevin Faulconer was elected mayor.

It took two ballots for the 8 Council members to coalesce around one applicant with at least 5 votes. The replacement selection was the only item on the docket, and the Council Chambers were filled with the applicants, their supporters and community people.

Twenty people had originally filled out the paperwork for consideration, but when Council President Todd Gloria gaveled the meeting to order around 2:05 pm, there were only 17; Richardo Flores, Don Mullen and Wayne Raffesberger had all withdrawn their names. (See the list.)

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The 20 Who Wish to Serve the People of District 2

April 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Today is a big day for 20 people. This is the day that the San Diego City Council will decide who of that twenty will sit in District 2′s seat for the remainder of Kevin Faulconer’s term, until December of this year.

At 2pm today in Council Chambers, the Council will take up the matter – supposedly the only issue on their docket – and listen to the 3 minute spiel each applicant has, then will begin taking votes. The first applicant with 5 votes – a majority – wins and takes their seat immediately.

Who are these people who wish to serve the people of District 2? Here is a brief run-down of these individuals taken from their publicly-available application (in alphabetical order):

  • Stephanie Antin – a professional businesswoman who has lived and been active in Pacific Beach for 15 years; she has a BA in communication from Tulane U in New Orleans;

and many more …..

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Ocean Beach Planners Elect New Officers, Make Appointments and Approve Project on Muir

April 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Ruscitti Elected New Chair

At their monthly meeting last night (Wed., April 2), the Ocean Beach Planning Board appointed two new members and elected their officers for the upcoming year.

Two veterans of the Board, Jane Gawronski and Seth Connolly, were appointed to vacancies on the normal-14-member Board. Jane was appointed to District 5 and Seth to District 4. With the departure of Barbara Schmidtknecht from the Board, and with the additions of Connolly and Gawronski, the Board now stands at 11 members.

Tom Gawronksi announced that Board member Bill Bushe is having major medical problems and he doubted that Bushe would be able to return to his seat.

For those who are seeking future appointments to the Board next month, there are 2 confirmed vacancies in District 1 and 7, and maybe a vacancy in District 4.

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OB Planners: Election of Officers, Board Appointments and Demolition of Near-Century Old House on Muir

April 2, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The Ocean Beach Planning Board holds its monthly meeting tonight – Wed., April 2nd – at the OB Rec Center, located at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue, at 6 pm sharp.

First on their potentially busy agenda after the normal quorem-agenda-minutes housekeeping is the certification of the Board’s most recent election – held on March 11th. This is usually a pro forma procedure.

Board Appointments

Next is the decision on whether there will be any appointments to the Board itself. At the most recent OB Town Council meeting, the liaison with the planners, Gio Ignolia, announced that there are 5 appointments available – two in the all-important District 4, and one each in Districts 5, 6 and 7. And there are indications that several people have applied for an appointment. If applicant candidates qualify, then the full Board votes them up or down.

(For an intro to OB’s 7 planning districts, go here.)

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City Council Candidates at OB Town Council “Debate”

March 27, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Lorie Zapf a ‘No-Show’ After Town Council Tries to Re-schedule Forum

There was a hundred people in the audience at last night’s “debate” between the candidates for the District 2 council seat hosted by the OB Town Council. It wasn’t so much an actual debate inside the Masonic Center as it was an opportunity for residents of the district to ask questions of the candidates.

Three of the four candidates did show up; Sarah Boot, Jim Morrison and Mark Schwartz. Lorie Zapf couldn’t make it so sent her campaign manager, Sara Kamjab, to give a brief introduction. Kamjab explained that Zapf had committed long ago to being the speaker at a major Mira Mesa community fundraiser, however Town Council president Gretchen Newsom commented that the Council had offered an alternative date for the debate, but that the Zapf campaign declined to accept that one also.

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OB Book Sale Success Proves Books Are Still Cool

March 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The Friends of the OB Library held a book sale on Saturday, the 22nd, and their record-breaking success proves that books are still cool, and have not gone the way of the 8 Track Cassette.

For over 3 hours, the volunteer team headed up by president Judy Collier did their work on the green in front of the old branch that serves Ocean Beach. And the Friends have announced that they made $645.75 during their sale.

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19 Applicants For District 2 City Council Appointment

March 18, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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We have received notice from the San Diego City Clerk’s office that there are 19 applicants in the running for an appointment to represent District 2 on the City Council. OB and Point Loma are in District 2 of course, as are many parts of Mission Beach and PB.

The applicants include OB’s Jane Gawronski – former long-term member of the OB Planning Board and retired educator from SDSU, as well as OB’s Gretchen K Newson, the current president of the OB Town Council. Both Gawronski and Newson have qualified to be considered.

Two other applicants have also been qualified: …

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Ambert, Ruscitti and Wilson Win Seats on OB Planning Board

March 18, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The OB Planning Board held its annual election on March 11th – and the results are in (but they are “unofficial” until certified by the Board at their next meeting on April 2nd).

Drew Wilson won in District 2, Peter Ruscitti in District 3, and John Ambert in District 6. Wilson and Ambert ran as write-in candidates and both have been serving on the Board.

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Reader Rant: What to Do With Bad Neighbors in a Good Neighborhood?

March 18, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Anonymous Neighbor

Good Neighborhood, Bad Neighbors.

Living in Ocean Beach on and off for twelve years, I have a unique perspective based on my military experience throughout the world. This area is rich in stories and traditions and has developed a distinct reputation. Fairly or not, inhabitants of Ocean Beach are seen by outsiders as eclectic bunch. As a result, inhabitants of Ocean Beach also need to be accepting of the diversity of background and ideas found here.

I became fully aware of this when I became a permanent home owner in the area, married and started a family here. There are wonderful things to see here in OB like …

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Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg calls Obama to protest NSA spy programs

March 14, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Brandon Bailey / San Jose Mercury News

Outraged by new revelations about the government’s Internet surveillance programs, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that he telephoned President Barack Obama personally to complain about “the damage the government is creating for all of our future.”

Zuckerberg’s Wednesday [3/13/14] night phone call — the latest sign of the tech industry’s growing alarm over government spy efforts — came on the heels of a news report that said the National Security Agency has developed a computer program that can install spying software by masquerading as a Facebook network server when a surveillance target attempts to visit the social network.

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Ocean Beach and its 7 Planning Districts

March 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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For the past six or so weeks, the OB Rag has been running reviews of each of the 7 planning districts of OB. The OB Planning Board is holding its annual election on Tuesday, March 11th, and we wanted to build interest and support for the election and for the Board – which historically was the very first democratically-elected planning committee in San Diego – and in California.

(See details here about the election.)

So, here is each of our posts on the districts:

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OB Planning District 7: The South-End of Ocean Beach

March 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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As we complete our romping review of Ocean Beach’s planning districts, we round out our visit with District 7 – the South End of OB.

This has been our efforts at a public service as the OB Planning Board is holding its annual election on Tuesday, March 11th, between 4 and 7pm at the OB Recreation Center, 4826 Santa Monica Avenue.

Here’s District 7
Here in south OB, the ubiquitous airplanes are off in the distance, as are the other attributes of living in a highly packed urban beach area, the noise, the traffic, the parking problems, the congestion, the tourists and other visitors. One can almost feel part of a different neighborhood than the raucous community to the north, the loud OB.

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The District 2 Appointment Gambit – Newsom Leads Informal OB Rag Poll, Jane Gawronski Also Running

March 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

19Candidates So Far In the Running

Now that former Councilmember Kevin Faulconer has been sworn in as mayor, the deck is clear for the appointment process to his seat to begin in earnest.

Applicants – or “candidates” – must have their 50 signatures and qualifying statement to the Clerk’s office by March 17. Then on April 14 and 15 the full City Council will pore over the applications with the plan being to narrow down the field to about 6 “finalists”.

OB Rag Poll In an informal poll that the OB Rag ran …

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OB Planning Board Election Update: Who’s Running – Who’s Not

March 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Here’s an update to our late February take on upcoming changes to the Ocean Beach Planning Board in light of their March 11th annual election and anticipated vacancies …

From our own inquiries, from candidates’ statements at a recent forum on the 5th and the latest from Raeanon Hartigan, head of the Board committee on the election, we can now summarize what we know and who is actually running.

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Ocean Beach Planning District 6: The Hills of OB

March 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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As we move south across the map of OB in our continuing series about the different planning districts within the Ocean Beach Planning Area – we come to District 6 – “The Hills of OB“.

Today’s review of this district is part of the OB Rag’s public education service to build support and knowledge of the upcoming OB Planning Board annual election on March 11th.

District 6 of the Ocean Beach Community Planning Area
Stretching from the lowlands of Cable Street going east, District 6 immediately begins to climb up the hill – the hill of Point Loma – which is very steep at times, hence “Niagara Avenue” – and reaches the “peak” of OB at the intersection of Coronado Avenue and Froude Street. This is the highest point in “official” Ocean Beach –

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OB Planning Board Fails to Block Incompatible 2 Story Houses on Brighton

March 6, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Last night, the OB Planning Board approved the project at 4746 Brighton Avenue – a project that involves the demolition of an older, existing house on a large lot and the construction of two 2-story houses – that several Board members described as “incompatible” with the surrounding neighborhood and with the new Precise Plan.

Yet, by a vote of 7 to 4, the Board approved the project.

After the developer’s adult son Yale Jallos had made his presentation to the full board, audience members and then Board members had their say. Jallos had already made one pitch at the Board’s subcommittee, the Project Review committee, on Feb. 19th, and they had simply punted the project for the entire Board to consider without approving or denying it.

It was a full house in the audience as I counted 30 people in the chairs.

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New Regulations Prohibit Food Trucks From 2 to 3 Blocks of Beach … and More

March 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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New food truck regulations just passed by the City will prohibit them near the beach in Ocean Beach. In fact, the new law will not allow any food truck – unless on private property – from operating within 2 to 3 blocks of the beach. This will certainly bring smiles to restaurant owners in OB, but it is also bringing frowns to the mobile meal managers.

However, the new restrictions will not apply near the coastal communities until the California Coastal Commission weighs in and grants its approval

Yes, the City of San Diego finally took action to provide guidelines and new rules for the exploding gourmet food truck industry, …

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OB Planning Area District 5: the Cliffs at Ocean Beach

February 28, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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In our continuing series of looking at each of the seven planning districts in Ocean Beach, we come to District 5 in southwestern OB. (Here is a map of all these districts within the Ocean Beach Planning Area. )

The OB Rag is performing this public education service as the OB Planning Board is having its annual election on March 11th. (Here are our views of District 1, District 2 , District 3, District 4. Here’s why it’s important.)

District 5 – the Cliffs at Ocean Beach

The fifth district within OB is the smallest district geographically, but because it hugs the gorgeous Sunset Cliffs, it has some of the most stunning views of sunsets, the coast, the surf, and provides an aura of solitude at those cliffs.

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Ocean Beach and Point Loma News Round-Up

February 27, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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4 Unit Apartment on 4800 Block Long Branch Sold

A four-unit apartment complex at 4860-4866 Long Branch Avenue just sold for $850,000. (No other info is available at this time.)

Local TV Station Picks Up OB Rag Knock-Down Game Story

Michael Chen on Channel 10News picked up our story about an OBcean being attacked in a probable Knock-Down Game incident – the first of its kind in Ocean Beach.

OB Planning Board News & Updates – Candidate Forum – March 5th
……….

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Changes Expected on Ocean Beach Planning Board

February 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Every year around this time, there are some changes to the Ocean Beach Planning Board as the committee holds its annual elections. OB has 7 planning districts and each district has 2 reps. Usually only one is up for election any one year.

But this year, there may be more changes than normal as board members retire or are termed out and new ones elected in the balloting, which takes place on March 11th at the OB Rec Center.

Plus because of a timing flunk or other individual reasons (Jane G was in Peru, for example), on the official ballot, there is only one candidate’s name: Pete Ruscitti – the current vice chair and rep for District 6. He’s now running for District 3 – his home district.

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Gio Ingolia Appointed to Mission Bay Park Committee

February 25, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Gio Ingolia is a member of the OB Planning Board as well as a council member of the OB Town Council. He also has been very active in the process to draw up, vet and organize the new OB Community Plan Update.

For his grassroots visibility and work, Ingolia was just appointed to the prestigious Mission Bay Park Committee.

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OB’s Planning District 4: the “Hub” of Ocean Beach

February 20, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: As we continue in our series looking at the different districts within the Ocean Beach Planning Area, today we settle in District 4 – the Hub of OB. (Here’s a look at District 1, District 2 and District 3. Here’s why it’s important.)

District 4 – The Center of the Village – the Hub of OB

It’s easy to see why District 4 is indeed the center and hub of the community of Ocean Beach. Just look at a map and you’ll see that the business district and the main beach are both in this district.

Downtown OB – the 3 commercial blocks of Newport Avenue and the adjacent side streets – is certainly the center of the community, no matter how you measure it. Traffic, pedestrians, events, happenings, music, food – and of course drink – it all happens right there.

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