Bernie Sanders: Now Is the Time to Stand Up to Big Pharma – Vote Yes on Prop. 61

October 25, 2016 by Source


Sanders Speaks Out in Support of Proposition 61, the California Drug Price Relief Act

By Bernie Sanders / Los Angeles Times RSN / October 21, 2016

Prescription drug prices in the United States are the highest in the world — by far. Californians on Nov. 8 have a chance to stand up to the pharmaceutical industry’s greed and spark a national movement to end this price-gouging.

Today, no laws prevent drug companies from doubling or tripling prices. So they just do it. The most recent flagrant example is the emergency allergy injection, EpiPen. Its maker, Mylan, jacked up the price of this 40-year-old medication by 461% between 2007 and 2015. During that same period, compensation for Mylan’s CEO rose 671%. And that’s just one company and one drug.

Proposition 61, the California Drug Price Relief Act, would bar the state from paying more than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does for the same drugs.

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Why Measure A is Bad on Climate and Bad for the Region

October 17, 2016 by Jim Miller

San Diego coast satellite

Flawed Transportation Plan Underlies Measure A

By David Harris, SD 350 and Ruben Arizmendi, Chair, Sierra Club San Diego

Why are most labor unions, numerous environmental groups, and several local elected officials opposing the proposed ballot measure that would utilize a half-cent sales tax increase to improve roadways and public transit? Aren’t we all tired of driving on deteriorated roads and congested freeways?

Yes, of course, but looking beyond the potholes and into the future, we need to ask what should our transportation system look like 20 or 40 years from now?

Measure A on the November ballot follows the “planning as usual” approach. It gives allocations of funding to every city but fails to address our long-term transportation problems. This measure does not substantially decrease greenhouse gas emissions that are already endangering our quality of life; nor does it create a more efficient system to meet the mobility needs of a growing population.

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San Diego 2016 Progressive Voter Guide

October 14, 2016 by Staff


The editors of the OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press are pleased to present our 2016 General Election Progressive Voter Guide.

We believe this is a historic election, one that will set the course of the United States for decades to come. If there ever was an election where voting was important — this is it.

The candidacy of Donald Trump is no accident. It is a consequence of decades of building a constituency for a market-driven political economy by capitalizing on fear, bias, and ignorance.

The ballot this year is long and complicated. Not everything is as it seems. Practitioners of deception have deliberately crafted personas and propositions in a manner to trick people into voting against their best interests. There are an equal number of voting decisions to be made on less-than-perfect candidates and causes.

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Props 65 and 67 – Revenge of the Plastic Bag Industrial Complex

October 14, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Props 65 and 67 – Revenge of the Plastic Bag Industrial Complex

By Doug Porter

The bastard sons of the dirty energy industry are trying to pull a fast one on California voters with Props 65 and 67.

In a perfect world, the people who put together Proposition 65, along with forcing us to vote to uphold a legislatively passed ban (Prop 67) on the crappy plastic bags handed out by retail stores, would be tried for crimes against the planet.

If found guilty they would be sentenced to picking up cigarette butts on beaches in Libya for a term of no less than two years, wearing tee shirts emblazoned with We Love Imperialism on the back.

What Proposition 65 is all about is revenge. The plastic bag industry and the oil companies who sell them raw materials want to have it both ways. If they’re gonna lose the vote to ban plastic bags, then maybe they can fool voters with a measure falsely promising to do something good for the environment.

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Prop 64 – Just Legalize Marijuana, Already

October 13, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Prop 64 – Just Legalize Marijuana, Already

By Doug Porter

California, Arizona, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts will be voting on legalizing the recreational use of marijuana this fall.

Some people, including many pro-legalization advocates, think this is about easing another legal intoxicant into society. It’s not. It’s about undoing a prohibition based on ‘scientific racism.’ It’s about a ‘war on drugs’ that served as a gateway towards militarization of law enforcement and eroded the constitutional rights of all Americans.

Legalizing pot won’t undo those things. In case you haven’t noticed, government and society rarely move backward. But legalization does provide a path moving forward that makes a lot more sense than the failed policies proceeding it.

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Prop 63 – Ammopalousa, GunGhazi and Second Amendmenting

October 12, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Prop 63 – Ammopalousa, GunGhazi and Second Amendmenting

In some states, candidates fight to see who can pose with the largest gun. In California, they fight to see who can craft the toughest regulations on guns and ammo.

By Doug Porter

This measure is Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s baby. Prop 63 requires a background check to purchase ammo, bans possession of large capacity ammo clips, sets up a way to remove guns from felons, and requires reporting of stolen firearms/ammo.

This is all good stuff and there no denying it’s part of Newsom’s image building in the lead up to the 2018 gubernatorial contest.

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San Diego Coastkeeper Says Latest Report Shows Immediate Need for Permanent Conservation Regulations

October 11, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for San Diego Coastkeeper Says Latest Report Shows Immediate Need for Permanent Conservation Regulations

San Diego Coastkeeper has released a statement in response to latest release from California State Water Resources Control Board, Statewide Water Conservation Drops Below 18 Percent in August.

This statement is submitted by San Diego Coastkeeper’s Legal and Policy Director Matt O’Malley:

“We are still very much in a drought. Our southern coast lies somewhere between extreme to exceptional drought. The monthly conservation numbers released by the State Water Resources Control Board yesterday prove that without the statewide conservation mandate, we are seeing bad habits once again take hold.”

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Props 62 and 66 – Nay or Yea on the Death Penalty

October 11, 2016 by Doug Porter

Photo by kelseywynns

An eye-for-eye and tooth-for-tooth would lead to a world of the blind and toothless.–Book of Exodus [21:24]

By Doug Porter

Both points of view regarding the death penalty managed to get a measure on the November ballot.

Prop 62 will eliminate the death penalty. Prop 66 will streamline the process of executing people. If both pass, the measure with the most votes will supersede the other.

In a perfect world, there could be a discussion about the advisability of government sanctioned executions involving actual facts and figures. We won’t see much of that sort of thing this fall.

The death penalty is an emotional issue. Facts matter much less than fear.

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Activist-Photographer Fred Lonidier’s Photos of 1972 Anti-War Protest Part of Museum of Contemporary Arts Exhibit

October 10, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Activist-Photographer Fred Lonidier’s Photos of 1972 Anti-War Protest Part of Museum of Contemporary Arts Exhibit

Way back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, there were very active social movements stirring in San Diego – and across the country. Here in San Diego, there was always this one guy -the “movement photographer” on the scene – Fred Lonidier, with his long-lens camera dangling from his neck, always there to record it all.

There was one particular and historic event in May of 1972 where 88 students and supporters were arrested for peacefully sitting down in front of the local Naval District HQ in protest of the Vietnam war. Fred Lonidier was also there – but he only had 29 shots remaining in his camera. So, he took 29 photos of those being arrested that day.

And now those 29 photos are part of a larger exhibit, called The Uses of Photography, currently at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla.

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Today Is the 5th Anniversary of San Diego’s Occupy Wall Street Movement

October 7, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Today Is the 5th Anniversary of San Diego’s Occupy Wall Street Movement

On October 7th, 2011 – a long 5 years ago – the Occupy Wallstreet movement burst upon the San Diego scene.

Upwards of 4,000 demonstrators marched through downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp District, rallied at Civic Center Plaza at City Hall – renamed “Freedom Square” for awhile -, and then returned to Children’s Park – all the while protesting the inequalities of the American economy. A tent encampment was set up – which moved the very next day to the plaza at City Hall.

It was on that October 7th that San Diego had very visibly and demonstrably joined the nation-wide movement – then a world-wide movement – against the disparities of the financial system. Local activists had been meeting for a couple of weeks and had planned the large protest.

The numbers of San Diegans who turned out was stunning – on October 7th, 2011, I was there, see my full account : :

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Save Our Heritage Org. Announces the 2016 Most Endangered List of San Diego’s Historic Places

October 7, 2016 by Source


Republished with permission from SOHO

Save Our Heritage Organization’s annual Most Endangered List is a sobering assessment of the state of historic preservation in San Diego County. SOHO is releasing the names of 11 threatened properties this month to coincide with the announcement by the National Trust for Historic Preservation of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

SOHO has nearly a half century record of saving important historic buildings, sites, and landscapes through advocacy, public education, and negotiation, but there are always properties at risk. The Most Endangered List, now in its 29th year, raises public awareness about the valuable historic and cultural resources that are currently threatened with demolition or irreparable alteration by development, deterioration, or neglect.

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Props 59 and 60 – Dirty Money and Filthy Sex

October 7, 2016 by Doug Porter

Props 59 & 60

Why are these measures even on the ballot?

By Doug Porter

The Constitution of the United States begins with “We the People.” It doesn’t say “We the Corporations” or “We the Fat Cats.”

I get it. Every person who believes in our representative democracy should be appalled by the Supreme Court (Citizen’s United) decision giving corporate entities the power to fund elections thru super-Pacs under the guise of “free speech.” This needs to change.

Proposition 59 asks California’s elected officials to work to overturn Citizens United, through supporting a constitutional amendment or other means. And if they don’t like what Prop 59 asks them to do, that’s okay, because it’s simply advisory in nature. Since it’s on the ballot and because I’m personally repulsed by the notion of living in an oligarchy, I’ll vote yes.

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OB Planning Board Approves Del Mar Project; Takes on Ebers and Greene Project

October 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie


Barely able to scrap together a quorum 15 minutes into his meeting, veteran OB planner and acting-chair Craig Klein (chair John Ambert and vice-chair Blake Herrschaft were at an architectural conference in LA) finally got the ball rolling at the Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting last night. The Board ended up appointing a new board member, approving the project at 4768 Del Mar Avenue, and taking on the controversial project at Ebers and Greene.

Appointment of New Board Member to District 5

Numan Stotz was appointed to District 5 by an unanimous vote of the Board last night. Stotz, having completed all the requirements for the appointment, is an OB local, a realtor and has worked at the Olive Tree for over 20 years.

Lack of City Representatives

The disappointing aspect of last night’s Board meeting was the visible absence of any representatives from the City of San Diego.

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Prop 58 – Righting a Wrong with Local Control of Bilingual Education

October 6, 2016 by Doug Porter

bilingual education

When Prop 227 Passed in 1998, Only Homosexuality Was Less Tolerated Than Bilingualism by Middle-Class Americans

By Doug Porter

California’s Proposition 58, being marketed as the LEARN Initiative, represents yet another step towards righting the wrongs growing out of a wave of anti-multicultural sentiment during the 1990s.

The nativist wing on the Republican Party eventually led that organization into irrelevance in California, and a generation of Latino political activists is now an ascendant force in state politics.

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ReWild Mission Bay Unveils Options to Restore Up to 170 Acres of Wetlands

October 5, 2016 by Source

8 Restoration Options for Mission Bay Evaluated by More than 100 Community Members

Based on News Release from ReWild

On September 27th, ReWild Mission Bay – a project of San Diego Audubon and its partners – unveiled eight possible options to enhance and restore up to 170 acres of wetlands in the North East corner of Mission Bay.

Based on community suggestions from two public workshops earlier this year, the draft plans were presented to more than 135 community members to collect input. To view the potential alternatives, please click here.

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Prop 57 – If Sentencing Reform Passes, Will Hospital Bombers Run Amok?

October 5, 2016 by Doug Porter

Prop 57 graph

By Doug Porter

Prop 57 is the final part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s mea culpa for the tough on crime laws passed during his first term. As a result, the state prisons were filled to overflowing. Lawsuits and investigative reporting exposed the cruel and inhumane process amounting to little more than warehousing.

The Supreme Court agreed, saying conditions were so bad they violated the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual treatment. In 2011, California was ordered to reduce its population by more than 30,000 inmates.

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Prop 56 – Tobacco Industry Lie Machine Runs at Top Speed Against It

October 4, 2016 by Doug Porter

cigarettes-in-bowlEXTRA EDITION: Saturday Laryngectomy Rant

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association in California and American Heart Association have placed Prop 56 on the ballot increasing taxes on tobacco products and updating state law to include e-cigarettes as a taxable product.

The tobacco industry has amassed a $56 million dollar war chest to defeat Prop 56. They know arguing in favor of tobacco use won’t work, so they’ve unleashed a blizzard of bullcrap advertising seeking to confuse and obfuscate the matter.

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One Giant Victory for Mankind Cooperative … Narcotics Task Force, Not So Much

October 3, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for One Giant Victory for Mankind Cooperative … Narcotics Task Force, Not So Much

By Terrie Best /San Diego Americans for Safe Access /October 3, 2016

On Thursday, September 29th, a permitted cannabis co-op operator – who was raided by the Narcotic Task Force Team 9 seven days after permitting – braved the downtown police station in order to retrieve the thousands of dollars worth of medicinal cannabis products illegally snatched by Team 9. A local NBC camera and Daily Dab TV were there to document the transaction.

Mankind Cooperative’s products were confiscated in June of last year as one of the co-op principles, 41 year old Ebon Johnson was operating a delivery service for qualified patients from his home. Tenant improvements were being made to Mankind’s retail location on Miramar Road and the Co-op was serving its patients with a home delivery service

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Props 53 & 54: Say No to Rich Guys Gaming the System

October 3, 2016 by Doug Porter

gaming the system

By Doug Porter

Dean Cortopassi is a wealthy self-made agribusinessman from Stockton. Charles Munger is a Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and lives in Pasadena. Both have long histories in politics.

Each of them has bought a spot for a pet cause on the general election ballot. And they’d like you to believe their motives are altruistic.

They’re gaming the system, promising they have your interests in mind. Their measures are, in fact, simplistic solutions to complex problems with potential or real consequences not immediately apparent to the casual observer.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – September 2016

September 30, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News – September 2016

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free world. Here is our September 2016 edition:

Activists protest Diablo Canyon shutdown chicanery.

On September 19 the San Diego Union-Tribune ran this story: “Protests filed over the details of proposed Diablo Canyon Shutdown.”

“It’s been less that three months since (San Francisco-based) Pacific Gas & Electric, along with an assortment of groups, including environmental groups, announced its interest in shutting down the last remaining nuclear plant in California–Diablo Canyon.”

It’s shutdown date is set for 2025. The Union-Tribune story appeared just after the deadline for filing protests to PG&E’s shutdown proposal had passed.

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Measure A: Mish Mash That Doesn’t Focus Enough on Climate Change

September 30, 2016 by John Lawrence

Measure A Doesn’t Do Enough to Get Cars Off the Road

By John Lawrence

Trolley (1)In a nutshell, Measure A is a something-for-everybody approach that doesn’t do enough to concentrate on climate change. A full on effort to get cars off the road and people onto public transit would do much more. That means more trolley and light rail lines paralleling major freeways.

Measure A brings up more questions than answers. It seems that the whole purpose of Measure A is just to do the same things that SANDAG has already been doing, but at a faster pace. They already duped the voters into a half-cent sales tax hike with TransNet, which is an ongoing pot of money. With it, SANDAG is supposed to be doing the right thing in terms of San Diego County infrastructure. The only reason they would need more money is to speed up the process of combatting global warming. This measure does not do that.

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Fear and Loathing in El Cajon – 1,000 People in the Streets for Alfred Olango

September 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of El Cajon Wednesday, September 28th, in protest of the fatal shooting of Alfred Olango by police Tuesday afternoon. And on several occasions, the non-violent demonstrators faced off with helmeted police, as night fell and tensions mounted. This is my accounting of the protest that swept through the suburb of San Diego over a 7 hour period.

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Proposition 52 – Keep MediCal Funding Where It Belongs

September 28, 2016 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

Back in the bad old days of the great recession, the California legislature diverted hundreds of millions in funding derived from a tax hospitals pay. The federal government kicks in matching funds for these taxes flowing back to the hospitals through MediCal, so it’s a sweet deal. Hospitals pay one dollar to get two back, more or less.

The recession is over, and the hospitals want their original deal back in place.

So they raised a boatload of money to put Proposition 52 before the voters. This is a “lockbox” measure, designed to give voters the opportunity to say that funds raised for or by a certain purpose must be spent in that general area as well.

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Unarmed Black Man Killed by El Cajon Police

September 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Unarmed Black Man Killed by El Cajon Police

Demonstration Planned at El Cajon Police Station Wednesday Morning

Tulsa and Charlotte just got closer to San Diegans.

El Cajon police shot and killed an unarmed African-American man, named Alfred Olango, 30 years old, Tuesday afternoon, September 27th. Olango had reportedly had mental health issues. Without any warning commands by the 2 officers who had confronted him, they fired up to 5 shots at him. He either died at the scene or at the hospital where he was taken.

A crowd gathered in the afternoon – which swelled to up to a hundred people. Many were angry, upset; some chanted, “Black Lives Matter!” As nightfall came, the crowd expressed more anger, and riot police with dogs came onto the scene.

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The Ocean Beach Empire of Michael Mills

September 27, 2016 by Frank Gormlie


Slumlord Owns 241 Housing Units in OB

Many OBceans struggle long and hard to earn the financial resources to purchase their one house, condo or apartment. Many never obtain enough to make the plunge into buying property in Ocean Beach. It is so expensive to buy a home here at the coast, that it’s prohibitive for most.

Not Michael Mills, the notorious slumlord of Ocean Beach.

Mills has a virtual empire in OB. He and his trusts own 241 homes, condos and apartments in the Ocean Beach area. Imagine that. Two-hundred and forty-one units. And many of these units are within multi-unit apartments. Look at that map. See the list.

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Point Loma Explorer Juan Cabrillo Never Conducted a Spanish Possession Ceremony in Kumeyaay Territory

September 26, 2016 by Source

juan-cabrillo-plagueBy Steve Newcomb / Indian Country / September 26, 2016

A statue is dedicated to the conquistador Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo stands at the Cabrillo National Monument at Point Loma, California.

On the ground nearby is a plaque the Navy of the country of Spain placed there a few years ago, with the approval of the U.S. Navy. The plaque states as a fact that in 1542 Cabrillo “took possession of these lands.” The Spanish Navy is part of the Spanish government, and the plaque is Spain’s way of claiming that Cabrillo “took possession” of the Kumeyaay Nation’s territory in what is now typically referred to as San Diego, California.

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California Sea Otters Are Coming Back

September 26, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for California Sea Otters Are Coming Back

By Christina Beck / Christian Science Monitor / Sept. 21, 2016

In a near victory for California sea otters, biologists are cautiously optimistic about the future of the state’s southern sea otter population after the annual otter census counted more than 3,000 individuals this year.

Although otter population growth has delighted scientists, however, there are also worrying signs that the population range is contracting, a factor that can restrict long term recovery.

“The population index has exceeded 3,090 for the first time, and that’s encouraging,” said US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) southern sea otter recovery coordinator Lilian Carswell, “but sustained population growth will require range expansion.”

While 3,090 may seem like an odd number, it is a significant one for biologists, …

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Dispelling Myths about the Point Loma High Class of 1966

September 20, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Dispelling Myths about the Point Loma High Class of 1966

The following are remarks by Frank Gormlie from the podium at the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Point Loma High School Class of 1966, held recently at an undisclosed location off of Point Loma.

By Frank Gormlie

Tonight we’re here to dispel all those myths and rumors that have circulated and existed for half a century – myths about our favorite class – Class of 66 – our school, our teachers and classmates.

First, we want to dispel the rumor that our class created a fake student by the name of “Mike Hall” in a science homeroom run by those team teachers – Mr. Millstone and Mr. Shank – this did not happen.

And it’s also not true, that our classmates filled out all the paperwork for this fictitious Mike Hall – you remember all those multi-colored forms at the beginning of each semester – filled them all out – not true – for an entire year.

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From Mission to Microchip: An Interview with California Labor Historian Fred Glass – Part 1

September 19, 2016 by Jim Miller

mission-to-microchip-cover CaliforniaBy Jim Miller

In my Labor Day column , I gave a shout out to Fred Glass’s seminal new labor history of California, From Mission to Microchip: A History of the California Labor Movement. As Glass notes in his introduction, his history of working people in the Golden State is much broader than a narrow chronicle of unions.

To learn more about this story and what about it is most important, I am pleased to present the first installment of my three-part interview with Fred Glass, author, teacher, union member, and long-time Communications Director for the California Federation of Teachers.

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58% of California Voters Support Marijuana Legalization

September 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for 58% of California Voters Support Marijuana Legalization

Proposition 64 Enjoys Wide Support Among Most Voter Categories

A new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found that a good majority of California voters support marijuana legalization and back Proposition 64.

58% of voters in the state support Prop 64, which would allow Californians ages 21 or older to possess, transport and use up to an ounce of cannabis for recreational purposes, and would allow individuals to grow as many as six plants. The measure would also impose a 15% tax on retail sales of the drug.

And according to the poll, the favorable attitude toward grass cuts across most lines of age, race, income and gender.

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