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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, June 24, 2014

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AS A CARAVAN of dusty Winnebagos pulled out of Boonville all morning Monday, carrying off the rasta brigades, we checked in with Deputy Walker for an assessment of the big event from the law enforcement perspective. “Attendance,” Walker said, “seemed pretty far down from previous World Music festivals, especially the Friday [first] night of the festival.” (Knowledgeable people told us that the Friday night music was the best of the entire weekend.) The Deputy praised the organizers as “people who really know what they're doing. They handle almost everything themselves, including security.” He said there were a total of five arrests, two tweekers, two drunks, one molesto who was groping women dancing in front of the stage. Two of the drunks were arrested at 4:30 Monday morning when they broke into a rasta-camper containing a crew of even drunker rasta-juicers. The intruders shoved the rightful occupants of the camper out the door and locked themselves in. Deputies broke through the door to arrest two of the intruders.

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RENEE LEE of Boonville is the person responsible for the spiffy, new-look AVA. She has quickly mastered the techno-maze via which the paper is now assembled, and it all magically appears at Healdsburg Printing early Wednesday morning.

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SIGNS OF LIFE at the long vacant Yorkville Market. The premises are being converted to a combination tasting room and, we understand, a kind of high end deli. Yorkville can definitely use some commerce. Years ago we had Maggie's beer and sandwich shop with Maggie herself often posted at the door guarding against a repeat performance by the sole naked hippie who strolled in one day, shocking poor old Maggie ever after into constant vigilance. Down the street there was Leo's Tacos, where the inimitable Leo himself served up the food and the jokes. Leo was hippie-friendly, Maggie was not.

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ALWAYS WONDER if people know when Lemons Market has the “Fresh Salmon” banner flying just how fresh their salmon is. The only way it could be fresher is if you hijacked Tommy, Tommy Jr. and Wade Lemons between Noyo Harbor and Philo. The fish and the crab are straight off the Lemons' fishing boat, and straight to the meat counter at Lemons Market, Philo.

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RAN STRAIGHT into Mary Aigner at Lemons’ the other day. She didn't seem pleased to see me. In fact, she looked downright aggrieved. (Maestro, the nostalgia music, please.) I remember when Aig was the local FedEx girl. She'd bound through the door of our production room with a merry pirouette as she sang out, “Special delivery, boys, from me to you!” Then she moved into management at the local public radio station and, well, the joy seems to have gone right out of the old girl. Go back, Mares, back to the days when you sang our telegrams!

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WE TRIED to post a link to this website — — but darned if the government (I guess) didn't bust in and disable it. Apparently they don't want us reading about cryptography. In any case the blocked site is, I'm e-informed, a “bad gateway” (502 error) and only bad people go there. Computer experts tell us that a lot of sites dealing with government snooping are mysteriously shut down. Big Brother is bigger than ever, it seems.

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SPEAKING OF BIG BRO, I had assumed my preferred state of prone indolence one recent afternoon opposite a television screen, a television screen in a house on my nephew's property here in Boonville. I was reading. The TV was off, but I was startled by the sudden appearance in the lower left corner of the screen by a real time young man with a camera of some kind looking back at me. The image of this expressionless person faded in and out. But he occasionally moved a little, especially when I pressed my unwelcoming mug flat up against him and his camera. I watched, fascinated, as he appeared and disappeared until I began to get eerie vibes and pulled the plug on the set. I know these people working overtime “to keep America safe” can break into our computers, and can also use our cell phones to spy on us, but are they also holed up inside our television sets?

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THE SUPERVISORS knocked $800,000 off the annual funds allocated to Redwood Children's Services last week. Redwood Children's Services, along with Mendocino County Youth Project and Tapestry Family Services, has been providing children's mental health services for about 15 years with no major complaints. Of course you are unlikely to hear complaints because we're talking about the children of the poor here, upon whose doomed necks are fastened whole apparatuses of well-paid middleclass persons, all of whom claim to be helping. The County used to place and fund disturbed children directly, but essentially outsourced that function to the vultures of the Ukiah non-profits.

THE COUNTY'S Department of Health and Human Services says the non-profits are spending too much money per child. HHSA fears the County is at risk of an audit by the state and that is why they want to continue ratcheting down the funding. Redwood Children’s says the County is instead at risk of losing matching state and federal dollars that could be used to “grow” the system. Which would also grow the profits for RCS, whose upper staff, natch, benefit directly in bigger salaries.

DAN HAMBURG, champion of the poor and oppressed, sided with staff in knocking back Redwood Children's annual take, while McCowen and Gjerde wanted to take more time to make sure the County was not leaving dollars on the table that could be used to provide increased services to the mentally ill. After scolding RCS for questioning staff's motivations, Hamburg made the motion to approve the Mental Health Services Act plan as presented. The motion passed 3-2 with McCowen and Gjerde dissenting.

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Arnold, Bennett, Capralis, Gill, Jones
Arnold, Bennett, Capralis, Gill, Jones

KRISTY ARNOLD, Hopland. Drunk in public.

KENNETH BENNETT, Willits. Arrested in Ukiah for domestic violence.

GEORGE CAPRALIS, Laytonville. Drunk in public.

AMANDEEP SINGH GILL, Healdsburg. DUI. He's listed as "other Asian," as we wonder: Other than what other Asian? Singh. He's a Sikh, originally from India.

SHANE JONES, Kelseyville. Drunk in public.

Love, Nishihira, Olivera, Raborn, Townsend
Love, Nishihira, Olivera, Raborn, Townsend

BRETT LOVE, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

GAVIN NISHIHIRA, Rohnert Park. Drunk in public.

DAVID OLIVEIRA, Ukiah. Drunk and doped in public.

ERIKA RABORN, Cloverdale. Trespassing.

RICHARD TOWNSEND, Ukiah. Under the influence of a controlled substance.

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Every time I see or hear Cheney, War Pigs by Black Sabbath comes to mind. If ever there was a human being that deserves a special place in hell and the day of judgement...

"Generals gathered in their masses,

just like witches at black masses.

Evil minds that plot destruction,

sorcerers of death's construction.

In the fields the bodies burning,

as the war machine keeps turning.

Death and hatred to mankind,

poisoning their brainwashed minds...Oh lord yeah!


Now in darkness, world stops turning,

as you hear the bodies burning.

No more war pigs of the power,

hand of god has struck the hour.

Day of judgement, god is calling,

on their knees the war pigs crawling.

Begging mercy for their sins,

Satan, laughing, spreads his wings...Oh lord, yeah!

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by Emily Hobelmann

Last Sunday I attended the Church of the Eel River in the hills of Southern Humboldt to hear the good word of water flowing in the hills and to savor the psychedelic offerings of Planet Earth in a beautiful place. (Disclaimer: “LoCO On The Pot” does not condone the use of psychedelics and other mind altering substances.)

At one point, as I sat by the river, processing psilocybin, my perspective started to broaden until I had a bird’s eye view of my immediate surroundings. It was an out-of-body experience, if you will, an “astral projection.”

I zoomed out until I was able to take in the broader curves of the Eel. I could see the various homesteads, trailers, green houses, houses, and water tanks in the vicinity. I could see many weed farms. It was like I became the eye of Google Earth, and my perspective was basically the Green Rush Google Earth Tour.

It was pretty crazy, zooming in and out, from pot farm to pot farm. I saw humans at work — leafing, staking, transplanting, feeding, watering, planting. I saw trucks coming and going, with soil, with fuel, with supplies. People working, working, working. Made me realize that Humboldt is kinda like the LA of marijuana — it’s all go, go, go, grow, grow, grow.

And then I zoomed out even further until I could see the whole floating ball of Planet Earth. At this juncture in my astral journey, I was not surprised to see that the continents were arranged in the form of one giant cannabis leaf — “Cannagaea” or “Marijuanagaea.”

Naaaah! Just kidding. The dose wasn’t that strong. It was more medicinal, as opposed to intergalactic.

But anyway, the weed thing is wild around here, even from the sober on-the-ground perspective — there’s endless marijuana hustle-and-bustle. Everything you need for the weed, you can get it here in Humboldtia: trim machines, clones, seeds, pollinators, extraction tubes, compost teas, automated greenhouse covers… You name it! Weed farming remains on, and hopefully this year’s outdoor crops are bomb, world’s finest.

Just in the last two months, since LoCO - OTP last graced the interwebs with a very Unhappy 420, tons of cannabis stuff has gone down at the local level. Here’s a sampling of the cannabis hustle-and-bustle that’s happened ‘round here since 420:

SoHum’s own community radio station KMUD went buck wild back toward the end of April with its Cannabis-themed pledge drive. They ran hella cannabis programming for two weeks straight, including shows like “Confessions of an Accidental Dope Grower,” “From Monocrop to Diversified Farm,” the “Medicine Making Roundtable,” “Cannabis Healing Qualities and Warning Label,” “Impacts of Legalization on Community Infrastructure,” and “California Cannabis Politics and Growing Green in 2014.” And they totes raised some cash… Cheers!

This was uncool: On May 11, a burglary was reported at Trim Scene Solutions, an incident which called attention to the lack of law enforcement in Humboldt County. (LoCO coverage here.) The dude that broke in triggered the store’s alarm system, but oops! no sheriffs deputies were available to respond to the alarm. So the burglar and his burglar homey that eventually joined him just straight hung out in the store for a few hours. They took about $3Gs in merchandise. Bummer. However, one suspect turned himself in just a few days ago when he learned that investigating deputies were hot on his trail. (More LoCO coverage here.)

(Note: Sparse law enforcement coverage remains an issue in rural Humboldt. There is an upcoming town hall meeting about this issue set for June 26 in Redway with Sheriff Mike Downey, Undersheriff Bill Honsal and Supervisor Estelle Fennell. Follow that link for more info…)

On May 12, two decomposing bodies were found at a grow site in Laytonville. (Santa Rosa Press-Democrat coverage.) According to the article, Mendo Sheriff’s Capt. Greg Van Patten said the bodies were estimated to have been there for about a week. At the time, homicide was suspected. Definitely the dark side of the dank trade.

This is the party side of the dank trade: Duuude, the Secret Cup came to Mendo’s Area 101 on May 29-30. What? Yah. It’s like the cool kids club extract competition. Who was there? Wow.

Then on June 3, local Congressional candidate Andy Caffrey held a “Caffrey for Congress Election Day Patriots Smoke-In” at 4:20 p.m. at his campaign headquarters in Garberville. Cool. Caffrey did not make the Congressional cut in this open primary. But nothing can deter Caffrey: he’s going to try to nab the 2016 Democratic Presidential nom from Hillary, nab it with a phatty in hand… I foresee many politically stoney events like this in the U.S.A.’s near future.

The NORML Women’s Alliance Emerald Triangle NorCal chapter had its second meeting on June 11 in Garberville. (Their first meeting went down in May.) From their Facebook page:

The NORML Women’s Alliance is a nonpartisan coalition of socially and geographically diverse women who believe that marijuana prohibition is a self-destructive and hypocritical policy that undermines the American family, sends a mixed and false message to our young people and destroys the cherished principles of personal liberty and local self-government.

Right on. Surely there are Emerald Triangle women that can identify with that statement. I hear these ladies have some more events in store. Connect with that crew through their FaceB.

And all the while, the dear Humboldt County Board of Supervisors has been stuck like a fly in honey oil with pushing through its proposed outdoor medical marijuana ordinance for parcels up to five acres in size. It’s like dra-ma with the BOS and the Planning Commission over this.

Here’s the latest on the ongoing saga (as of June 19): At this past Thursday’s meeting, the Planning Commission voted to recommend that the BOS approve the proposed ordinance with modifications. (Thanks to Will Houston for his Times-Standard coverage.) So the proposed modifications are removal of the ban on outdoor cultivation on parcels less than a half-acre, removal on the number of plants restriction, an increase in the canopy restriction from 50 to 100 square feet and some number crunching to see how much it will cost to beef up enforcement (there is but one county code enforcement officer…). Here’s some Burnsy LoCO coverage too.

Still, the growers keep growing. Shoots… Deps anyone? And always, always,busts, more busts, and big ass grow site clean ups.

On the BOS note, the June 17 episode of KMUD News had epic coverage of the hazards-of-hash-making discussion at the latest Mendocino Board of Supervisors meeting. (KMUD News always has epic cannabis coverage.) In the news segment, there is audio of Mendo’s hazardous waste specialist talkin’ seven explosions and fires in the past seven weeks, all supposedly stemming from people doing the solvent-based hash extraction process. Dude explains how to make BHO (dabs). Then he tells hash lab horror stories — apparently one Mendo hash maker showed up at the hospital post-explosion with dripping skin. Cold water bubble hash was promoted as a safer alternative…

But that cold water hash ship is sailing, sailing away. Dabs may be the best thing that’s ever happened to caramel-like but sometimes crumbly or glassy and clear substances, at least I’ll bet that’s what some dab super-fans might say. Yes, dabs, dabs all day, dab, dab away at the upcoming San Francisco High Times Cannabis Cup. Yup, the HT Cup returns to NorCal this coming weekend, June 28-29. Guess where…? The Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa (not quite SF)! Sounds like 2013 Emerald Cup deja vu. Go Rosa, get your dabbage on.

Oh, so much cannabis…

Here’s another biggie: The political action committee (PAC) happenings. The California Cannabis Voice (CCV) PAC is officially active within the Triangle. Money = influence. In that respect, PACs are where it’s at. Cannabis peeps totes need some influence right now with the uncertain future of legalization and all that. Luckily, cannabis peeps have tons of money. But maybe not really. Anyway, CCV provides a vehicle for farmer unity in these uncertain times. The CCV crew has already raised some decent bucks for their cause, a cause which Grant Scott-Goforth articulates so well in his June 19 North Coast Journal article: “PAC a Bowl.” (I’m more of a joint person, myself.)

A potentially influential PAC with roots in the Emerald Triangle, eh? Intriguing. It will be interesting to see how the CCV influence manifests.

And that’s just a sampling of local cannabis news from the last couple months, without even getting into what’s going down at the state, national and global levels. Marijuanagaea, yo.

More from the HT Cup next weekend…

(Courtesy, Emily Hobelman and

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by Dan Bacher

Proposed new regulations governing fracking and other dangerous oil well stimulation techniques in California would “do little” to protect the state’s air, water and public health, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

The Center said Draft rules unveiled on June 17 by Governor Jerry Brown’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, authorized under Fran Pavley's Senate Bill 4, also allow regulators to rubber-stamp multiple fracks and include a “well maintenance” loophole permitting oil companies to conceal dangerous chemical use.

“Governor Brown’s weak fracking rules are a huge gift to oil companies using dangerous chemicals in California communities,” said Hollin Kretzmann of the Center for Biological Diversity. “State officials are simply refusing to protect people from fracking pollution or even ensure we know what hazardous substances are used in our neighborhoods. That’s why cities and counties are moving to safeguard their residents by halting fracking and other risky extraction methods.”

If you have any doubts that these weak regulations are a “huge gift to oil companies,” just ask Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association and former chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast, who praised the governor’s signing of Senate Bill 4 for creating the “environmental” platform to expand fracking in California. (

“With the signing of Senate Bill 4, California has the toughest regulations of hydraulic fracturing and other energy production technologies in the country,” said Reheis-Boyd. “While SB 4’s requirements went significantly farther than the petroleum industry felt was necessary, we now have an environmental platform on which California can look toward the opportunity to responsibly develop the enormous potential energy resource contained in the Monterey Shale formation.”

The proposed regulations would go into effect Jan. 1, 2015, replacing temporary fracking rules now in place. Among the draft regulations’ biggest flaws:

• No protection for the air and climate: “The state's draft regulations don’t require operators to capture methane, a potent greenhouse gas,” the Center stated. “They don’t protect people living near fracked wells from air pollutants that cause cancer and respiratory illness. A recent Center analysis found that oil companies used more than 45 million pounds of dangerous 'air toxic’ chemicals in fracking, acidizing and gravel packing over the past year in Los Angeles and Orange counties.”

• “Well-maintenance” loophole continues to let companies avoid disclosure: “The draft regulations allow companies to avoid disclosing dangerous chemical use to the public by claiming to be using the fracking or acidizing chemicals for “well maintenance” purposes,” the Center said.

• Rubber-stamp approval for multiple fracking events: “The regulations’ ‘single project authorization’ provision might be interpreted by oil officials as allowing them to approve many applications with one rubber-stamp approval,” the group said.

• Weak water protection: “Testing to collect baseline water quality data and uncover fracking pollution will only be done at the request of people living within 1,500 feet of a fracked well. An apartment building would only receive one notice for all its tenants.”

• Rules unlikely to be enforced: “A Center analysis found more than 100 violations of current fracking disclosure requirements in the past several months, making it likely that such violations by state oil officials and oil operators will continue,” the group concluded.

“Nearly a third of California’s wells are fracked, according to a recent statement from the oil industry,” Kretzmann said. “Oil companies have also fracked hundreds of wells off California’s coast, and the industry has federal permission to annually dump more than 9 billion gallons of wastewater, including fracking fluid, directly into the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel.”

In one of the most blatant conflicts of interests in modern California history, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), chaired the MLPA Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast while the oil industry was fracking in the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel. She also served on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast — and currently sits on a federal marine protected areas panel. (

It is no surprise that the alleged “marine protected areas” developed under the “leadership” of Reheis-Boyd and other corporate operatives and political appointees fail to protect the ocean from pollution, fracking, offshore oil drilling, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.

A Freedom of Information Act and Associated Press investigation last year revealed that Southern California marine waters were fracked at least 203 times in the past 20 years. (

Much of the fracking took place while the Western States Petroleum Association president was overseeing the creation of the oil industry-friendly “marine protected areas” in a privately-funded “initiative,” a process that state officials, the corporate media and corporate “environmental” NGOs touted as “open, transparent and inclusive” when it was anything but.

Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of the green light to fracking bill that authorized the weak new regulations, as well as the recent defeat of a fracking moratorium bill on the State Senate Floor, are the result of the inordinate amount of the power and influence that the oil industry wields in Sacramento. Brown signed SB 4 after receiving at least $2,014,570.22 from fossil fuel interests since his race for Attorney General in 2006. (

A report released on April 1, 2014 by the ACCE Institute and Common Cause reveals that Big Oil has spent $143.3 million on political candidates and campaigns — nearly $10 million per year and more than any other corporate lobby — over the past fifteen years. (

But Big Oil exerts its influence not just by making campaign contributions, but also by lobbying legislators at the State Capitol. The Western States Petroleum Association, the most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento, spent $123.6 million to lobby elected officials in California from 1999 through 2013. This was an increase of over 400 percent since the 1999-2000 legislative session, when the industry spent $4.8 million.

In response to fracking’s spread, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and other California communities have begun moving forward with local measures that would halt fracking and other dangerous extraction techniques. Conservation groups, consumer organizations, American Indian Tribal activists and environmental justice advocates are challenging Governor Brown to ban these dangerous oil and gas activities in California.

Oil industry representatives have continually claimed that the expansion of fracking for oil in California will lead to the creation of many thousands of jobs and the influx of billions of dollars into the economy, but these claims were exposed as false when the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) officials downgraded Monterey Shale reserves by 95.6 percent on May 20. The EIA released new estimates for US shale oil reserves, reducing its previous estimate for technically recoverable oil in the Monterey Shale from 13.7 billion barrels of oil to just 0.6 billion barrels of oil.

“This amounts to a 95.6 percent reduction and is illustrative of just how much the Monterey Shale is misunderstood,” according to a statement from CAFrackFacts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding and scientific knowledge about unconventional drilling and well stimulation techniques in California. To put this figure in perspective, the EIA’s latest estimate of 0.6 billion barrels would only be enough to meet US oil consumption for 32 days. (

One Comment

  1. John Sakowicz June 24, 2014


    I read with interest your blurb in “Mendocino County Today”, June 24, 2014, about KZYX Program Director Mary Aigner having once been the “local FedEx girl.”

    You wrote that Aigner would “bound through the door of our [the AVA] production room with a merry pirouette as she sang out, ‘A delivery, boys, from me to you!'”

    It’s hard to believe. In the eight years I have known Aigner she has seemed nothing but grumpy, or “aggrieved”, as you say.


    It’s like Aigner always comes across like some put-upon drudge who slaves away for the radio station.

    But why? Why would Aigner feel this way? Aigner has the best job in the Anderson Valley. I’ll explain why.

    Aigner makes her own hours. I finish my bi-weekly show at 10 a.m. on Fridays, and Aigner is rarely, if ever, at work at that time.

    Also, the 100 or so programmers that Aigner presumably manages are solely responsible for the own content on their own respective shows, solely responsible for preparing for their shows, and are solely responsible for scheduling their own guests — in other words, they get no help from Aigner.

    And, Aigner’s salary is decent for the Anderson Valley — more than decent — where good jobs, professional jobs, are few and far between. Today, if not for her gig at KZYX, Aigner would otherwise be working with the true drudges at a wine tasting room or a bed & breakfast inn.

    Finally, and best of all, Aigner has job security. And she is her own boss. She has outlasted how many general managers at the station. Five? Six?

    So why is Aigner so grumpy?

    Maybe I’m missing something.

    Maybe throwing Doug McKenty and Norman De Vall off the air is harder work than I think. Maybe purging critics is harder work than I think. Maybe being a control freak is harder work than I think. Or maybe shutting the public out from giving some input on new shows is harder work than I think.

    Keeping the door shut at a private clubhouse must be exhausting work.

    Case in point? KZYX’s newest show, “The Discussion”.

    “The Discussion” will start to air on Thursday nights, and it takes the place of “Open Lines” when returning “Open Lines” to the air would have worked just fine.

    And guess what? The new hosts of “The Discussion” are insiders. Two of them are W. Dan Houck and Stuart Campbell.

    Yup. KZYX Head Cheerleader, W. Dan Houck, who is the master of banality, if not vulgarity, at the station. (Just listen to his show, “The Treehouse”.) The same W. Dan who once offered as a premium gift during a recent pledge drive an afternoon with W. Dan shooting guns at the range and drinking beer. (Only in Mendonesia!)

    And yup. KZYX Board Vice President, Stuart Campbell, who is everywhere at the station, doing everything.

    Campbell is truly all things to all people at KZYX.

    He is the number two guy on the KZYX Board. The host of the bi-weekly show, “Consider This”. The election coordinator. The recruiter of pro-management candidates for the Board of Directors. The recruiter of pro-management members for the Citizens Advisory Board. The reviewer of policies and procedures. The reviewer of the board’s by-laws. The reviewer of the programmers handbook. Stuart even has a KZYX table at the Ukiah Farmers Market.

    But wait. There’s more about KZYX’s newest show, “The Discussion”.

    Members of the public may only discuss station business on the months when there is a fifth Thursday. At that time, a board member or member of the station’s management team may be a guest on “The Discussion”.

    So much for putting the “public” back in public radio.

    The moral of this story??

    Keeping them public out of KZYX is hard work. And that is why, I’m guessing, why Aigner is seems so grumpy, so “aggrieved”, as you say. She is over-worked.

    John Sakowicz

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