“The solid citizenry of Ocean Beach are aroused.”

by on January 16, 2015 · 29 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, History, Ocean Beach

Complaints About Homeless Have Echoes

By John Lawrence

The solid citizenry of Ocean Beach are aroused. For some time now, there has been a virtual state of war existing between businessmen and merchants, on the one hand, and homeless on the other. The growing homeless community in OB has been met with growing alarm on the part of the established citizenry.

Those with Establishment interests want to drive the homeless out of OB since they view them as a treat to their businesses and are offended by the mores and folkways of the homeless youth culture. Homeless contribute very little economically to established businesses and tend to scare away more conventional people who would have patronized these businesses. Homeless people have been refused service at several places of business and in turn have taken revenge through acts of vandalism and theft. Because of this, insurance companies have raised the rates charged to OB businessmen.

Recently, there have been several public acts of sexual intercourse including screwing on the front lawn (an all-time first in San Diego according to some sources) which established citizens feel set a bad example for their own families.

The panhandling scene flourishes in OB, and businessmen are chagrined when they are hit up for spare change which is not spent in local businesses. They are also sometimes vexed at the epithets hurled at them when they refuse a panhandler’s request.

There is a large drug scene in OB which mortifies established citizens immensely since they do not was their own offspring influenced to such wiles and temptations.

A group calling themselves the Peninsula Aroused Citizens went to the City Council last week to demand better law enforcement on Ocean Beach. This group, composed primarily of the merchants and businessmen who for over a year have been waging a relentless was with the homeless, is intent on driving them out of San Diego.

They contend that the majority of homelss are from out of town (which is probably true of a majority of San Diegans) and have come to San Diego as a result of the heat at beaches up north. Their plan is to kindle the heat to the homeless boiling point here so that they will evaporate leaving OB clean and pure and sterilized – once again fit for the enjoyment of decent folk.

One of the strategic focal points in the campaign is a place called the SeaWall where homeless are fed.  Located on Newport Avenue, the SeaWall homeless feeding was brought into existence by the Point Loma Methodist Church. At the present time there are also a number of other churches involved in sponsoring the feeding of homeless.  The Peninsula Aroused Citizen’s view it as a den of iniquity and a sanctuary for fornicators, dope peddlers, and revolutionaries of all stripes and colors. They wring their hands over the alleged fact that churches are supporting such shenanigans.

According to informed sources, the San Diego police feel their hands are tied in “combating crime” at the homeless feeding at the SeaWall because the place is church-sponsored. The police cannot afford to lose their considerable prestige by placing themselves in the position of attacking a church. The Aroused Citizens are trying to get the churches to pull out their support so that the police can move in with good conscience and a free hand and clear all those filthy homeless out of there. It is generally acknowledged by the SDPD that they would like to see the homeless feeding at the SeaWall closed.

According to informed sources, the Aroused Citizens are not only aroused but dedicated and well-heeled. It seems as if they have blitzed the homeless with their spring offensive putting the homeless on the defensive.

Meanwhile, the police are opening a Community Relations Office in OB.

Editor: The above article is lifted word for word right out of the July 1968 issue of the San Diego Free Press, except for our substituting the words “homeless” for “hippies” and the “Inbetween” for the “SeaWall and homeless feeding” and some other minor editing.  It was originally written as a serious article and it is not satire nor tongue-in-cheek. This article shows that since 1968, OB merchants and the well-heeled citizens of the area have been complaining about the hippies, their pan-handling, their sex, their drugs and graffiti. The so-called “Peninsula Aroused Citizens” was a real group. Also, the Inbetween is mentioned and discussed – it sat right on the last block of Newport Avenue. Have yourself a good laugh – and a history lesson.

Image of the article "O. B. "Citizens" Aroused from the original San Diego Free Press

Image of the article “O. B. “Citizens” Aroused from the original San Diego Free Press

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah January 16, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Well done.

I like the naivete that allowed for the title “…Aroused Citizens”.

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objamie January 17, 2015 at 2:55 am

Hah I hope the people who need to learn from this wonderful piece, do.

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Tyler January 17, 2015 at 10:52 am

I didn’t see anything in the article regarding mass defecation, litter, theft and assaults, stabbings, etc.

Some things don’t change but some things do. It’s not just business owners anymore. It’s a vast majority of the community…

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie January 17, 2015 at 11:50 am

Consistently, over the years, the main complaint of the homeless is the lack of public restrooms; year after year, survey after survey, this is the no. 1 issue of the houseless. And consistently, over the years, the no. 1 complaint of merchants and residents about the homeless is the public urination and defecation. Why hasn’t this been addressed by local government and those who are in quasi-government roles?

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unwashedwallmartTHONg January 18, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Let’s buy them adult diapers. Distribute the diapers along w/ methadone & condoms.
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giggle

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Kandi Anderson January 20, 2015 at 6:17 pm

I agree Frank!!

I am one of the HOUSEless out here in OB… been here since Oct 16th, and see soooo many problems its not even funny. Why doesnt the Mayor, or Town Council, or whatever pays to have things…. its all common sense, or would seem to be to me anyways…. If there are no reasonable places to do what EVERY human HAS to do from time to time… then of course people will do what they have to do and GO wherever it is that they can find… but if there were more public restrooms that were located throughout OB on different corners and such… then the businesses wouldnt have to put signs in their windows for “customers only”, and it might just get some more jobs generated.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page January 21, 2015 at 9:01 am

Well, let me relate something that happened about two hours ago. I was jogging and the end point of my run is just south of the pier where the sidewalk ends at an old seawall. I often stop there to watch the wave action. I noticed movement off to my left just past the block wall and as I looked up I saw a guy taking a s _ _ t. His ass was clearly visible to the people in the apartments up on the bluff. The guard tower restrooms are maybe 100 yards away yet he could not be bothered to walk over there and do that in privacy. THIS is what upsets a lot of us, the complete disregard of everyone else. Visit the Brighton St. restrooms any morning before the City gets in there around 7:00 to clean up and see what a disgusting mess is created there every night.

The problem isn’t providing more bathrooms, the problem is the people out there who don’t care, who know that others will clean up their messes. There are two guys I see almost every morning picking up the trash on the sand on the seaward side of the wall where these people hang out, a couple of great local citizens that should not have to spend their mornings like that. Between the churches feeding them and the City and concerned locals cleaning up after them, these people have the demeanor of teenagers.

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Kandi Anderson January 21, 2015 at 12:54 pm

I get that… I do…. but dont throw every person into the same bunch of apples as everyone else…. as I said… YES, I AM houseless…. YES, I go to the feeds… and YES, I SLEEP at the Church on Brighton and Sunset Cliffs EVERY night with my husband. WE take showers about 3-4x a week IF possible depending on the weather… we do our laundry 2-3x a week as well!! WE are very clean, and kept up.. the ONLY way you will KNOW that I am houseless is because I push a shopping cart, and have a big backpack on …. other than that… you can NOT tell… I definately could be considered a “local” of the OB if I didnt have to haul my gear everywhere!!

But I think instead of people COMPLAINING about the problems that the HOMELESS bring into their communities is that the community should get together and figure out a way to solve some of these issues…

Myself, yes, I think it is truly deplorable about how the bathrooms look throughout the day and at night after they were cleaned that AM… Maybe if other issues that were the leading causes to peoples behavior and demeanor were addressed and taken care of…. maybe eventually these “problems” could be naturally eradicated over a period of time.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page January 21, 2015 at 1:06 pm

Perhaps you would like to enlighten everyone as to why you are houseless and taking advantage of what is out there to assist the homeless? You obviously have access to a computer and can write. Why aren’t you working? This isn’t an accusatory question, I’m just curious.

As for the others, there is a very sad portion of the homeless that are mentally unstable and probably cannot be held responsible for their behavior. Before Ronald Reagan said these people would be better cared for by the private sector and axed the state institutions, there were at least some places they could go and get a bed and meals besides jail. Thanks Ronny, that worked great.

There is also a portion of the homeless who are decent people truly down on their luck but I doubt they are the problem. They are the ones who look to St. Vincent De Paul and other organizations for help.

It is the rest, those that choose the lifestyle and prefer to live off the generosity – however misplaced – of others or prefer to steal. That’s the core that is the problem everyone is complaining about. How do you “help” people who don’t want that? You’re apparently out there, any ideas?

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Kandi Anderson January 21, 2015 at 3:26 pm

First off…. I am not taking advantage of anything or anyone… I am simply utilizing the system that has been put in place for people who need the assistance.

I lost my job in Oklahoma back in July 2011. I applied everywhere within a 50 mile radius of my home… and received nothing. So in Feb 2012 my husband and I had an opportunity, and some money to move to another state, and we did so in hopes of employement opportunites popping up, and they did not. I was able to get some temporary work, but nothing permanent. By March of 2013 our funds exhausted, and no income… we went on the streets.

Let me say I have been in 27 cities. 6 states. All since Feb 2012. I have put in 850 job applications/resumes in those cities. 40 of those applications and resumes… HAVE been PLACED IN Ocean Beach… and I have heard NOTHING BACK from ANY of the Merchants. Is that my fault?

The economy is tanking. The value of the dollar is nothing now. The police state is being amped up, and the people all over this country have become complacent, lazy, and programmed to think that they have NO power when it comes to laws and government. But it IS WE the PEOPLE.

Why do people who have money look down on those who have none?? I have always wondered why people with money “think” they are better than those who have none? Perhaps YOU can enlighten ME. ;)

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Geoff Page Geoff Page January 21, 2015 at 3:39 pm

I’ll start by saying that I’m sorry you lost your job in 2011. You don’t say why but I’ll assume it was the state of the economy at that time. Your statement though that the economy is tanking is not currently correct.

850 job applications and 40 in Ocean Beach and you ask if that is your fault? Probably not during the recession but you have to admit that some of it must be your fault. What skills have you obtained? The construction business in Texas and North Dakota has been booming for years. I find it hard to understand why such an effort to look for work has been fruitless. Margarita’s Restaurant has been looking for waitresses for some time, the sign was still in their window last Sunday.

Finally, where do you get the idea that people who have money look down on those who don’t? Perhaps some do but the people who run those “feedings” have money and don’t look down on the homeless. That’s an unfair blanket statement. I have to guess that some of your problem starts with you but I wish you good luck in finding a job.

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Kandi Anderson January 21, 2015 at 4:56 pm

I made a mistake that went against company policy… I corrected said mistake and went above and beyond to repair what I messed up… but it wasnt good enough for said “corporation” and I was axed after 2.5yrs, and after running the show all by my self for 10months, 6 days a week, open to close. I was just a slave anyways.

I have many skills…. I have customer service, cashier, waitressing, data entry, computers, writing, editing, warehouse work, etc…. but tell me.. how many 45 yr olds out there getting waitressin gigs in the OB? Lol!

I have lived in Texas… wont do it again, and North Dakota is TOO COLD!! I am not that stupid!! Lol!!

No my statement mainly goes out to those who own businesses and think that their crap dont stink because they are a business owner that can treat their customers however they want, and run people off whenever they want.

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Gary Gilmore January 21, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Dear Kandi, I’m a merchant on Newport and I’d like to go on record by saying that my crap stinks. Those who exhibit Bad Behavior”, their crap REALLY STINKS!.

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Gary Gilmore January 18, 2015 at 12:54 pm

I’m a merchant on Newport & I’d like to make something clear. We (the merchant association) have studied this topic in great detail & have come up with the following: It’s not homelessness that we oppose, it’s BAD BEHAVIOR that offends Ocean Beach as a community.

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Kandi Anderson January 21, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Well some of that “bad” behaviour…. DOES come from the merchants themselves…

I HAVE been disrespected, and accused of crimes that I DID not commit, and I am NOW in the process of SUING one of these “local” businesses for defamation of character, and slander.

“BAD BEHAVIOR” comes from ALL walks of life…. even LOCALS that LIVE INSIDE and drive cars, and have jobs.

People need to stop with all the judgement in this world, and learn to accept people as they are regardless of “LABELS” that have been placed upon them.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page January 21, 2015 at 3:43 pm

If you are living on the streets, how can you afford a lawsuit? No attorney in his right mind would take the case you described without a direct fee. Defamation of character and slander are very difficult to prove and you have to show actual damages.

I’m beginning to guess that “Kandi” is a fiction.

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Kandi Anderson January 21, 2015 at 4:46 pm

Want to meet for realz?? I will meet you anywhere in OB… say on Newport Avenue??

I am for real…. VERY real!! I have witnesses to being slandered, and defamed, and they have already said they will state what they heard and seen. Case Closed. IF this business HAS an actual video of me as the “employee” that defamed me claims… I sure would like to see it!! Lmao!!

So do you want to meet me or not? I can guarantee if I dont bring along my gear, you would walk right past me!

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Kandi Anderson January 26, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Yep… just what I thought… ALL TALK and no action…. Easy to hide behind a computer screen…. Harder to get dressed, and make an effort to meet someone and get a different perspective.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page January 26, 2015 at 2:42 pm

I think we got a pretty good idea of your “perspective” from your posts.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page January 19, 2015 at 12:54 pm

“Recently, there have been several public acts of sexual intercourse including screwing on the front lawn (an all-time first in San Diego according to some sources) which established citizens feel set a bad example for their own families.” Sets a bad example?! There is an understatement.

The church feedings really piss me off. I asked some of these people once why they don’t do these “feedings” at their church and got predictable answers. Seems is just isn’t practical to do that for a variety of ridiculous reasons. If the churches want to do this, make them do it at their churches and not on the wall. Over the years, the messes that have resulted from this are criminal. The first step I would make is to prohibit what the churches are doing on the wall and in the park and require they provide the service on their own property.

As for the lack of public bathrooms, just take a look at the ones we do have and what they look like every morning. Trashed, absolutely trashed. Providing more of that isn’t the answer.

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John O. January 19, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Aroused Citizens… amazing! Great name. Seems like it should be a alt-rock band name.
Citizens of OB… get aroused!

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Kandi Anderson January 20, 2015 at 7:18 pm

Hello…. Again!!

Myself, I dont see where humanity has any common sense nowadays…. its all about “money”… ALL HUMANS regardless of race, religious, or sexual preference bleed… and they ALL feel the same emotions, as well as they all have to eat, sleep, pee, poo, and keep their body clean. So why is this even an issue? If people WANT to HELP other people… then the first thing that needs to be done… is made sure that the BASIC NECESSITIES are being met…. then try and go for the bigger issues at hand.

But even for OB to only provide 2 toilets at the lifeguard tower for the men, and 4-5 for the women… and then at the Brighton/Dog Beach bathrooms…. 2 toilets and 2 urinals for men, and 6 toilets for women…. so that is what… about 16-17 bathrooms for ALL the tourists and locals when they decide to come to the beach for a day in the sand and sun?? And then for the showers to be located OUTside?? and COLD water only? Are you kidding me?? Even public swimming pools do better than that!!

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Kandi Anderson January 21, 2015 at 3:38 pm

How about a “challenge”

For all you local OB’ers who have a house, a car, a job, etc….

Pack all you can carry, and think that is “necessary” for survival out on the streets, (clothes, bedding, and hygiene products), and anything else that you deem “important”, and go live on the streets for a week. NO money… so you have to find your food, and supplies completely on your own…. figure out where you are going to sleep… where you are going to eat… where you are going to shower, and where you are going to store your personal property IF you have a job!!! and if you have no job… then you need to be putting in applications, and hoping you get an interview, and if you do get an interview, you have to make sure you look presentable enough to the public, and you have to round up getting bus fare and the route information to get to and from the interview…. Think you can do it? Think you can survive out there withOUT the generosity of others?

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Kandi Anderson January 26, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Aww…. Nobody wants to take the challenge and come outta their cozy, comfy, shells they call a house?? Yep… just as I thought!

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Debra January 26, 2015 at 2:54 pm

The VERY FIRST thing I would do, if I found myself in such a situation, is to go over to the Community College (located on Worden) and sign up for one of their vocational programs, in order to get a certificate to qualify for steady employment. And I’d also look into obtaining a Pell Grant (and any other Grants out there) to help pay for any associated costs.

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Kandi Anderson January 26, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Well I AM college educated. Just because I am houseless doesnt mean I am not educated. Just because I am houseless doesnt mean I am unclean, unkempt, a thief, a liar, a bum, or whatever label you people want to throw out there.

Besides… College Education is a scam. A waste of time, money, and energy for all involved…. O, except for the people that are MAKING money off of this scam… Lol.

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Citizen Cane Larry OB January 21, 2015 at 7:30 pm

In all fairness to the old In Between, they also had a jobs program that matched up local youth with employers for Summer jobs. I think the wages were partially subsidized by the Methodist Church. Frank, do you remember much about that?

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie January 21, 2015 at 9:55 pm

Sure, I worked for a year at the Inbetween, doing counseling, feeding kids, sweeping floors. By time I worked there, 1973-74, I believe it had city and /or county funding for its employees and programs, and the job program was over, I believe. Good question, though, of exactly funded the Inbetween.

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Daphne April 24, 2016 at 1:36 pm

Hello to every dear soul out there who has suffered from the nature of this situation at O.B. I am very sad about the confusion and sadness, the pain, the sorrow and the fighting back and forth. It is not easy and I am not here to give advice. I comment only to say that it would be very good to see resolution come, in any form that is to make amends between the rich, the sad and the poor. My thoughts are that Jesus won the war for us, on the streets, in the shelters and in the cozy comfort of homes that people go to work to pay for. What we all want, need and seek are the basics for our survival. No one likes to walk, work, play or lie their head down in feces – whether it is from an animal or human. Cleanliness takes each one to participate. If one declines to do their part, then it falls on the shoulders of someone else and doubles the burden, which was not God’s intention for us. If you drop something, pick it up. If you sleep in your bed, make it. Those with a lack of respect to participate let their responsibility fall unto others and this is what creates hate and crime. Kindness comes from respect. Respect is an act of kindness even if one doesn’t feel kind in their heart, they know it is the right thing to do.

I recently visited O.B. this past March 16′ and met many great people. Some worked hard to serve others, and others worked hard to find others to serve them. I also met many wonderful people who had fell on hard times and became homeless who have come to rely on things that society adheres to in order that they survive too: they are taxes that pay the government so cities can pay for streets, sidewalks, schools, healthcare, government programs to help people with food and housing and education, and shelters to provide a hot meal and a bed for the night. Yet, so many of these homeless wonder aimlessly on the streets looking for help claiming to need nothing from society because they can live freely on their own. They want as little as possible to do with society who is the hand that most often offers them food, medical supplies and shelter. They are lost and searching for something that society can truly not give to them to satisfy them as food does to satiate their hunger. They are hungry for something else that no one fed them properly to begin with and now society has the burden to face feeding them on a regular basis. Each individual must be responsible for where they are going in life, not to walk on government roads only, but know which direction to take in life that will lead them to the promise of everlasting life hereafter. If that road means that they have to put the burden on someone else to carry them, something is clearly wrong, not only with them, but with how someone in that person’s life at some point convinced them of being unworthy and that success was not within reach for their life.

Walking among many who are homeless there, I had paid careful attention to who I encountered and couldn’t help but think, “what’s that person’s story?”, and as I wrote in my journal, I couldn’t help but also think how reckless they were to their own livelihood and to society, and if they even cared enough to be aware of the problem it was creating around them. I also had to admit that I realized more than my five senses could tell me. I saw how in need they were of something society just could not give to them that would satisfy them enough to pick up and get a life they could be proud of and that others could be proud of. I had pity, mercy and compassion all at once hit me, and for each of them. They reminded me of how we all look in rags to our God who died for our sins so we could take those rags off and be Him to the Father and enter into His Kingdom. I was thankful that this was my disposition in looking at them rather than from one of hate or judgement because I could tell that though I was a tourist, I was looking at them as my equal. I honestly did not see them as a threat, a real threat to society anyway. Nuisance? Yes, I could see how they would be a nuisance to a shop owner, local or even tourist, but who’s not ever been a nuisance before? Cleanliness? That is difficult, and one everyone wants an answer to.

We need answers, not more hate of the problem or agitating one another. What if, just what if we called one new rule to Ocean Beach, “KINDNESS”. Rather than post signs that read “No shoes, No service” what if instead there were signs that read “Rule #1 of O.B., We are kind to one another, no matter what race, religion or creed.” We need answers, not more hate and agitation to add to the crime that is keeping O.B. and other beautiful beach communities from thriving economically in all facets of love that is good for society. My hope is that we encourage one another kindly to do the right thing, all of us. Home or Homeless, keep the old but true adage within arms reach so if you need it you can use it: “You can give a fish to feed someone for a day or you can feed them for a lifetime by teaching them how to fish”. If we injure another, we injure ourselves in some way. Just feeding the homeless without teaching them to feed themselves does no one any good and only stimulates the economy of hunger and poverty. Again, I am not giving away any answers here or even advice, but I cannot help but share my thoughts and values based upon the biblical teachings I grew up with and learned that have set the foundation for how I live my life.

I am however interested in being of assistance in some way. I am inviting anyone who is close to the situation of homelessness in O.B. and would like to say something about it to write back to me at daphnethomp@gmail.com. I produce a show for radio called “Morning Coffee & Health” that gets aired on Wellness Radio and is streamed online via iHeart and TuneIn. Right now, I have one man who is willing to make a guest appearance that has chosen the lifestyle of being homeless in O.B. I would like to hear from all sides and points of view regarding the complaints of this issue, but more importantly about ideas in which to move forward to resolving this problem so that people can live in peace and honesty without being rude or disruptive to one another (by this I mean both sides). If you would like to participate, send the following information to this email: daphnethomp@gmail.com

Name:
Email:
List your complaint, comment, concern and or solution:
If selected, would you be willing to participate in an interview for our show, “Morning Coffee & Health”?

This is a problem everyone would like to see go away, and it will take everyone therefore to participate in some way in order for that to happen.

Regards,
Daphne T.

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