Life Events

Holiday Noir

December 17, 2014 by Source

Christmas-2011-Sale-Slider1By Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

I woke up early Bloody Wednesday. I could hear the alarm on my Sig Sauer Smartshot pleading for attention. It’s automatic loader had failed and the diagnostics were blinking error 1037, error 1037, error 1037…

Of all days, Bloody Wednesday, Christmas Eve, my companion gun’s auto-feed goes manual. I’m going to lose precious seconds loading and reloading manually at the mall.

I’ll have no advantage over the last-minute shoppers who’d put off shopping until the last minute for no good reason.

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The Day School Shootings Became the Norm

December 15, 2014 by Annie Lane

By Annie Lane

cafeteriaThe 1999 Columbine High School shooting jolted me. I was 15 at the time. That is, I was still immortal and arrogant in the way that only a teen can be. Despite this, I remember being jolted by the violence of it, and the permanence. The kids killed were my age; they were essentially moments away from entering into the adult world, however unprepared, just like me.

The black-and-white cafeteria footage that ran on a seemingly endless loop across news stations nationwide was spell-binding. It was simultaneously real while perfectly mimicking Hollywood violence – or was it the other way around?

Columbine’s Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were outcasts, no doubt. But I distinctly remember gawking at the idea of that being their motive. Really? I was a Thespian for Heaven’s sake. If your adolescent goal is to receive near-constant ridicule, join the theatre.

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Vacation Rentals In San Diego Under More Scrutiny

December 15, 2014 by Source

Vacation rental property owners targeted for missing tax payments

meet-the-5-biggest-airbnb-hosts-being-targeted-by-new-yorks-top-lawyerBy John P. Anderson / San Diego Free Press

I have a small cottage that I rent out to visitors via the vacation rental website Airbnb. The cottage is on the same property as my home and I did not think that vacation rental taxes in San Diego applied to my situation.

The taxes in San Diego for vacation rentals are the transient occupancy tax (TOT) and tourism marketing district (TMD) assessment. The rates for a property like mine from these taxes total 11.05% of gross rent – 10.5% TOT and .55% TMD, there is also a higher 1.45% TMD rate that applies to lodging businesses with 30 or more units.

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OB Cat Adoption Center Looking for a Few Good Owners

December 12, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Bone Appetit Ocean Beach Pet Supply owner Kelly Patri is looking for a few good cat owners. But be warned: She won’t give up her rescue kitties to just anyone.

“We have an application process,” Patri says about her cat adoption center in the back of the store on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. “We’ve definitely turned people away.”

The adoption center is approved by San Diego County, meaning it has passed their requirements as an “approved adoption facility.”

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“OB Time”: the Old OB Hippie – Proud of OB Coming Together

December 11, 2014 by Source
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But Not So Much of Other Things
Yup, kids, the Old OB Hippie is full of pride these days about OB (… but not so much from other stuff) and how the community came together around the annual OB Holiday Parade.

The OB Parades are always a gas, but this year was special, as the OB Town Council, who hosts the parade, named the OB Community Plan as the “Grand Marshal” of the parade! Wow! This is tremendous – and I’ve never in all my decades seen the local town council join up in solidarity with the local planning board like this. Plus I don’t think there’s ever been a Grand Marshall that hasn’t been an actual person. I could be wrong, and I’d love to know if I was on this. But this is / was very significant in this community’s history.

The OB Parade always has surprises and fun floats and entries. This year, the “OB Pause” was crazy great. They had a airplane outline in lights and then they all came to a halt. …

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Maria and Me, Living a Life of Love In Our Seventies

December 8, 2014 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Maria and meI recently wrote about a few wonderful things in my life for which I’m grateful, and I’m still in a thankful frame of mind, thinking, particularly, of Maria Ester Nieto Senour, that super-fine sweetheart of mine. I’m so thankful for having someone to age with me as my everyday valentine.

I don’t know where in the arc, of the amazing occurrences in the cosmos, Maria and I began heading in each other’s direction. But I’m glad it happened.

I do know, though, that there was a time, beginning in July of 2009, that I was as low as a man could be …

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Dog Beach Dog Wash Washes Their 500,000th Dog

November 26, 2014 by Staff
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It was a big day on Saturday over at the Dog Beach Dog Wash, OB’s iconic dog wash storefront, a really big day – actually a LANDMARK day.

At precisely 8:10 a.m., on the 22nd of November, the dog wash folks washed their 500,000th dog.

At that moment, GusGus – the dog – and his mom, Chris Uzeta (from Clairemont , was the Dog Wash’s 500,000th dog wash – or the half millionth dog wash!

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“OB Time” – Shrooming in Joshua Tree

November 21, 2014 by Source
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The Old OB Hippie Speaks – Writes

Shrooming in Joshua Tree is one of my most favorite things to do. I haven’t done it really for decades, but I did it last weekend. Are you shocked? Are you shocked I would put it in a headline?

Well, I’m here to tell it like it is.

Besides being a naked effort to attract young readers to my column, I wanted to push the online OB Rag more in the direction its original predecessor was – a “real” underground newspaper. The original Rag published in the first half of the 1970s. It and other allied alternative newspapers in San Diego, like The Door and The San Diego Street Journal, would publish articles about drugs, their effects, reviews, exposing undercover cops, blah blah blah. Other underground newspapers – like the Berkeley Barb – would even post drug prices and qualities.

So, I’m here to be real honest with my readers. I took shrooms – psychedelic mushrooms – last weekend in Joshua Tree.

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National Scrutiny of Fatal Police Shootings Reminds Us of Two OBceans Killed By Cops

November 20, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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There is a soul-searching national scrutiny going on right now about fatal shootings of civilians by police officers.

In a LA Times article, published Nov. 16th, the issue of police killings of civilians is raised and it describes how the ranks of families are expanding “who demand answers about why lethal force was used, and who decides what is reasonable use of force.”

The key and central question is : What’s reasonable force?

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Another Hit and Run in OB

November 20, 2014 by Staff

Apparently, there has been even another hit and run incident in Ocean Beach lately. This one occurred on November 6th, reportedly.

In a post at San Diego, LksdG2 stated that on Nov. 6, around 7 pm, his girl friend’s vehicle was t-boned at the intersection of West Pt Loma and Bacon Street by a drunken driver – who fled the scene.

The post states that a white Toyota with a camper shell ran the stop sign and hit the other car. The male driver got out of the truck, approached the other car, still in the intersection. The woman in the hit car was still badly shaken up and didn’t respond to the guy who had come up to her vehicle – who smelled strongly of alcohol.

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New OB Hostel Owners’ Upgrades May Include Covering Exterior “OB-esque Hippie Floral Design”

November 18, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

When the Ocean Beach International Hostel was sold last month, OB residents couldn’t help but be a little worried about the future of the neighborhood relic.

Fortunately, the business is in the hands of USA Hostels – a company that started in San Diego with a hostel in the Gaslamp District and seems to have the best intentions of the relic on the heart of Newport Avenue in mind.

Here’s USA Hostels president David Reuter response to those worries:

“We’re in it for the long haul. We’re the owners and operators. It’s going to be a hands-on approach. We’re interested in becoming members of the community.”

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Scott Bowles – Drowning Victim – Remembered by His Family

November 11, 2014 by Staff
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The recent drowning victim, OBcean Scott Bowles, is being remembered by his family who have just arrived from Arkansas and other areas of the country.

And a picture of the young 37 year old man is being formed for the rest of the community, shocked that the ocean could take a life so simply.

Scott is described as a strong swimmer – whose body was found floating off South Mission Beach by a kayaker …

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OB Man Missing Since Halloween

November 6, 2014 by Staff
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UPDATE: Scott Bowles’ body was found floating off South Mission on Friday, a week after he had gone missing. Cause of death unknown.

Scott Bowles Last Text on Friday, Oct. 31

Now there’s an Ocean Beach man missing. Scott Bowles, 37, who lives in OB, was supposed to pick his daughter up in Julian on Friday, October 31st – Halloween – according to his Bowles’ father, but never showed. His last text message was from that afternoon.

Bowles’ car was found parked at his home and his cellphone was inside. Someone had reported him missing, and police went looking. All his stuff was left. Police are now asking the public for help.

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Just Who Is Mindy Pellissier – “OB Citizen of the Year”?

November 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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At their recent annual awards dinner, the OB Town Council presented their “OB Citizen of the Year” award to Mindy Pellissier for her steadfast work on the OB Community Plan update process – a process that she alone has worked on for the last 12 years. Mindy helped guide the Update through the City Council unanimous vote on the Plan last July 29th.

Mindy is well known in OB – Mindy was on the OB Planning Board for many years – , and she and her partner, Jane Donley, own and run the famous Dog Beach Dog Wash on Voltaire Street. A ‘do-it-yourself’ dog wash had never been done before in San Diego, when she and Jane opened it nearly 22 years ago.

“People thought we were nuts,” to open such a venture, Mindy told me the other day as we sat down for an interview. “We were the very firsts do-it-yourself dog wash in San Diego. Now’s there’s 32.”

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Liberty Station Woman Still Missing

November 5, 2014 by Staff
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Elizabeth Sullivan Last Seen Oct. 19th – Nothing Since

San Diego Police reported on Monday, November 3, that the Point Loma woman from Liberty Station is still missing and that there are no new leads.

Elizabeth Michelle Sullivan, 31, has been missing since October 13th, where she was seen at or near her home in Liberty Station. A text message sent on Oct. 13 was the last contact she’s had with friends or family. Her phone has since been turned off. Her vehicle was found at home.

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Fundraiser for Katie Connor Passes $10,000 as She Nears Complete Recovery

November 3, 2014 by Staff
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A Saturday fundraiser for OB hit-and-run victim Katie Connor at Pizza Port surpassed $10,000. Meanwhile doctors are saying that she is near a full recovery.

Katie will return to her home in Maryland with her parents to complete her recovery. Then she’ll return to OB, and hopefully be able to gain her old job back at Pizza Port.

Katie used to work at Pizza Port in OB, when she was struck October 12th while riding her bike home from work; she was heading eastbound on West Point Loma Boulevard toward Sunset Cliffs in the early morning hours when she was struck by a white pickup truck with a camper shell. The driver remains at large. And police are still searching for the driver.

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Tyler and Friends Have an OB Haunted House Just for Halloween

October 31, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Every Halloween in OB for the last several years Tyler Standley and his friends offer up to anyone who shows, a tour of their OB Haunted House that they construct.

The free haunt starts outdoors and spans the common area of an entire apartment building and then proceeds through the neighboring house’s full garage, backyard, side yard and front.

It takes Tyler and his friends roughly 2 months to build the complex, and it takes between 15 to 20 minutes to get through. …

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“OB Time” for News

October 30, 2014 by Staff
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CVS Pharmacy Signs Are Up

The CVS storefront was lit for the first time on the night of Friday, October 24. Gretchen Newsom told the OB Rag that she will be reaching out to them this week to request an update on their progress and fulfillment of the Community Benefits Agreement.

Hit & Run Victim Katie Conner Improves – Fundraiser at Pizza Port – Nov. 1 “She’s lucky to be alive,” Mike Conner said.

SeaWorld to Skip the Rose Parade This Year

Union-Tribune Makes Fun of OBceans – Again Once again, our very own daily, the Union-Tribune, is making fun of OBceans.

Loma Portal residents object to recycling operation


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Point Loma Navy Wife Missing for One Week

October 21, 2014 by Staff
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UPDATE: There has been a confirmed sighting of Elizabeth Ricks Sullivan. Local NBC is reporting that on Sunday, Oct. 19th, she was seen in Liberty Station at the soccer fields on just before noon, and was wearing black stretch style cloth pants and a gray sweatshirt.

A woman from Point Loma has now been missing for one week. Elizabeth Sullivan, a mother of two young daughters whose husband is in the Navy, was last seen on October 13th at her Point Loma home near Liberty Station. Police have reported that Sullivan’s car is in the garage.

Understandably, family and friends are extremely worried for her safety. Sullivan has family in Virginia.

Sullivan’s last contact reportedly was with a friend Nathan Caracter, a text message on the 13th, and her phone has been off ever since. Caracter spoke to the press and told them he had contact with Sullivan on Sunday night – that’s the 12th. He said:

“We left it at ‘talk to you tomorrow’ … didn’t hear from her again.”

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OB Hit and Run Victim Katie Connor Improves Slightly

October 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The victim in last weekend’s Ocean Beach hit and run is showing some signs of recovery, after suffering a severe head injury while ridding her bicycle late at night.

Katie was on her bicyclist when it was hit by a white pick-up truck around 1:20 a.m. at the intersection of West Point Loma Avenue and Sunset Cliffs Blvd. The pickup truck had a camper shell and was northbound, and didn’t stop.

Katie Connor, 23, an OBcean, is being treated at the University of California at San Diego Medical Center, where – and we quote from a website set up for her – “as of October 16, she has shown some signs of recovery …

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The Co-Op Movement – Democratizing the Ownership of Wealth One Step at a Time

October 16, 2014 by John Lawrence

Capitalby pikettyBy John Lawrence

It has finally dawned on the American consciousness that wealth is being concentrated among fewer and fewer people. In fact just 400 Americans own more wealth than the bottom 180 million taken together.

Thomas Piketty in his ground breaking book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, shows the dynamic behind this dramatic rise in wealth among the upper echelon of society while everyone else, in particular the middle class, is being left in the dust.

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String of Armed Stickups in Point Loma and OB

October 4, 2014 by Staff
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There’s been a string of 4 armed holdups in Point Loma and Ocean Beach lately and police are looking for a suspect that fits the description given by victims. The stick-ups happened from September 19th to the 21st, where the armed suspect accosted people late at night or early in the mornings.

Even though the local TV media stated that all the robberies occurred in Ocean Beach, actually only one or two did – the rest were in parts of Point Loma. (Local mainstream media is constantly doing that – portraying crimes in OB that really occurred in other sections of the Peninsula.)

Here’s an accounting of the armed thefts:

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Living on the Edge in San Diego, the Nation’s Most Biologically Diverse County

October 1, 2014 by Source

By Elliott Kennerson / San Diego Free Press

vernal-pool-shrimp_headerLet’s play a game. Name an endangered species from San Diego.

Anyone say vernal pool fairy shrimp? Doubtful, because when you think of San Diego, you don’t usually think of a one-inch long crustacean that you can’t even eat.

You said panda, right?

Though San Diego is the most biologically diverse county in the nation, according to the Nature Conservancy, with 200 or so threatened or endangered species, (the fairy shrimp among them), this town is much more famous for its beloved Zoo and our lately less beloved Sea World, animal parks that host tons of diversity, of course, most of it exotic.

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San Diego City Works Press, Sunshine/Noir II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana

September 29, 2014 by Jim Miller


November 1st Deadline Approaching

By Jim Miller

San Diego City Works Press is still accepting submissions for Sunshine/Noir II until November 1st. In particular we are looking for creative non-fiction pieces about underrepresented communities in San Diego and generally uncovered topics with regard to life in our region. We are also looking for good fiction, poetry, and artwork that runs against the grain of San Diego’s official story.

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Reader Rave: “Why I Jumped Off Sunset Cliffs Yesterday.”

September 10, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The following “reader rave” was sent to us anonymously by someone who claims they’re a local resident and reader.

Yesterday, while searching Sunset Cliffs for waves, I stopped, got out and then walked over to where the kids jump, and I jumped off the cliffs – and I’m 65 years old. Here’s why:

It was hot yesterday … and muggy. I was looking for waves as I cruised the Cliffs. I had my suit with me and I knew I had to hit the water at some point.

I had seen them as I drove south along Sunset Cliffs Blvd – the kids jumping off that section of the cliffs into the Pacific below, and then climbing out over the rocks back up. You know where I’m talking about. It’s between Adair and Osprey. Heck, there’s even a Yelp page for it.

Kids, young people, have been doing it for years – jumping at that small outcropping -

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Todd Gloria: “Living the Wage is Indeed a Challenge in San Diego”

September 10, 2014 by Source

Live the WageBy Todd Gloria / President, San Diego City Council

My morning ritual on most days is to buy a cup of my favorite coffee in Hillcrest. This week I did not do that. I couldn’t because I was trying to live on the minimum wage. After paying for housing and taxes, I had $51 left to spend on all my expenses including food and transportation. This meant carefully considering how to spend every penny, and I couldn’t afford my morning coffee.

My reduced consumption wasn’t limited to coffee. I knew this challenge would require a drastic reduction in what I was able to contribute to the local economy. I didn’t eat out this week. I didn’t dry clean my clothes. I skipped washing my car. The businesses that I did patronize saw far less of my money than they would in an average week.

As I struggled to live on $51 for one week, …

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Obama Reneges on Using Executive Action to Implement Immigration Reform Until After Midterm Election

September 8, 2014 by Brent Beltran

San Diegans Speak Out Against the President’s Unwillingness to Help the Latino Community

By Brent E. Beltrán / San Diego Free Press

Latinos throughout the United States woke up yesterday morning to the news that President Obama had decided not to use his executive powers to push immigration reform forward until after the November election.

For months the President has said he would do whatever he could to implement reforms for millions of undocumented immigrants in the US. He kept the Latino community’s hopes up only to have those hopes crushed in an act of political cowardice.

The Deporter-in-Chief once again lets the Latino community down.

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Reader Rave: Happy Endings All Around At an OB Barber Shop

September 3, 2014 by Source

Editor: OB Rag supporter and sometimes commentator, Geoff Page wrote something up about his friend, Ron Pilcher, who ran the Clip Joint for nearly 4 decades – a men’s barber shop on Santa Monica Avenue. Our reporter, Matthew Wood, also did a write up of the barber shop’s change in ownership back in July. Here, Page, does some reminiscing of days gone past.

By Geoff Page

This isn’t a sad story because there are two happy endings. But it starts with a bit of nostalgia for an OB that is no more. The pet store on Cable and Newport. The great little breakfast place next door run by the sweet Korean couple. Paras Bookstore. The Coronet. The old men’s store on Bacon and Newport. All gone. And now, the Clip Joint. Ocean Beach is losing another long time business institution, this time to retirement. I am talking, of course, about Ron Pilcher, the man behind the chair at the Clip Joint for 39 years.

Ron and his wife are building a home in a gated community near Tucson, Arizona where Ron plans to play golf and be on his feet only when he feels like it. That is a happy ending to a long, talkative career; he probably won’t be resting his gums though.

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Vote Yes on Proposition 47: The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act of 2014

September 3, 2014 by Ernie McCray

To end felony sentencing for drug possession and petty theft crimes

By Ernie McCray

If “Yes on 47″ passes, California will be the first state to end felony sentencing for drug possession and petty theft crimes. This would permanently reduce incarcerations and shift one billion dollars, over the next five years, from state corrections to K-12 school programs and mental health and drug treatment. I love the sound of that. And it’s about time we get our minds off punishing people and focus on helping them become better human beings.

Details of the Act:

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The Widder Curry: My Visit to Fort Rosecrans Cemetery Two Years Later

August 15, 2014 by Judi Curry
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Note: After visiting the cemetery on Saturday, August 9th, 2014, we three widow’s were sorely disappointed in what we saw – or didn’t see, two years later. I sent this article to Doug Ledbetter, the Director of the Ft. Rosecrans and Miramar Cemeteries so that he would be aware of what I was going to write. He called me this morning – Monday, August 11th, and we discussed the conditions I have mentioned in this article. His comments to me are in italics and indented next to our concerns:

Two years ago – August 21, 2012 – I wrote my first article about the deplorable conditions of Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery. The cemetery has special meaning to me because my husband is interred there, and it will be my “home” when I leave my Pt. Loma home. Over the past two years I have written several follow-up articles about the grounds and have complimented the “new” director, Doug Ledbetter on returning the cemetery to its “pre-2012” standards.

I don’t know if it was “karma” but yesterday I received a call from Doug asking me if I had been up to the cemetery lately. I had not, but told Doug that today three of us were going to visit our husbands on Saturday because it has been a long time since we have been there.

I told him that we were looking forward to the improvements we expected to see, and I would let him know our thoughts the first part of the week.

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