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Wildfires in Southern CA


Guest Tristan
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Guest Tristan

There's a significant number of members from Southern CA on this site. I thought it would be nice to hear from people how they're doing and how the wildfires are affecting them. I assume that some members can't get online for one reason or another. But for those who can post, we'd rather hear from you than CNN. How are things in different parts of LA? San Diego? Is the air bad everywhere?

 

I sincerely hope that everyone is safe and out of harm's way.

 

- Tristan

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While I don't live in an area directly threatened by flames, I am in an area (as is all of southern California) that is affected by the air quality and smoke.

 

Air quality today is unhealthful for everyone, not just those with respiratory ailments. Those with respiratory diseases have been advised to remain indoors today.

 

In another thread it was mentioned that the main fire at the time was threatening homes that were built in repeated fire areas (read remote areas usually only affordable to the wealthy). At the time that was written, the Malibu fire was the main threat.

 

As of today, there are no fewer than 8 MAJOR fires burning in southern California from Lake Castaic and Magic Mountain (about 30 miles north of Los Angeles) to the fires down in the San Diego area. Of the over 1,200 homes and 102 business structures destroyed, some of these were not in remote areas, they were in housing tracts and commercial strip malls. Over 300,000 people have been evacuated and well over 300,000 acres have burned.

 

The geography in this area is that of major cities surrounded by mountains. As the cities grow outward, areas of the low hills are excavated and built up into housing tracts.

 

The simple fact of life in southern California is when High temperatures combine with low humidity, high drought and even higher winds, there is going to be fire. While some of these fires have been determined to be arson, many have been natural causes. Paradise comes at a cost. Just like those in Florida and the southeast who face hurricanes each year, we in California face quakes, fires and soon mudslides (if we ever get some rain)

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Thanks for your concern.

 

I had to evacuate my place on the southern fringe of Del Mar in San Diego County last nite at 9pm when I got a reverse-911 call.

They lifted the order this afternoon.

The winds have started to shift here on the coast to cooler onshore flow instead of the high, dry desert winds of the last 2 days. This will help a lot and give the brave firefighters a chance.

The air is very smokey with poor visibility and poor breathability.

LaJolla and downtown are fine......so far.

About 300,000 people are estimated to have received a mandatory evacuation order.

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>The simple fact of life in southern California is when High

>temperatures combine with low humidity, high drought and even

>higher winds, there is going to be fire. While some of these

>fires have been determined to be arson, many have been natural

>causes. Paradise comes at a cost. Just like those in Florida

>and the southeast who face hurricanes each year, we in

>California face quakes, fires and soon mudslides (if we ever

>get some rain)

 

 

And people tell me they move to SoCal for the weather. :+

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The most desirable places to live in Southern California are along the coast or in the foothills. These areas are also the most expensive places to live. The most desirable places of “ALL” are where the coast and the foothills come together, that is, places like Malibu, Laguna Beach or La Jolla. In the fall it is a fact of life that we will have devastating fires in the foothills. It is NEVER a question of if, as with earthquakes, BUT rather when and where the fires will appear. What is worse this year is that a series of typical fall circumstances have come together all at once – an unparalleled dry spell, a series of stronger than usual Santa Ana winds and an extreme heat spell.

 

A number of years ago, after a serious fire in the Berkley Hill of Northern California a State Blue Ribbon Committee was formed to study what needed to be done to prevent such devastating fires in the future. The Committee made a series of recommendations, the majority of, which were not enacted by the State Legislature. Many of the recommendations would have been extremely expensive and the legislature, in the final analysis, had other priorities. Thus now with, at latest count, sixteen separate fires raging at once there simply is not enough manpower and equipment available to fight them effectively. The Orange County Fire Chief isn’t even attempting to be diplomatic. He has stated during interviews, point blank and in very plain English, that because of the state government’s refusal to act in the past he simply does not have the resources to protect all of the homes he is required to safeguard. Now if things go as usual shortly there will be a lot a hand wringing and finger pointing. A new Blue Ribbon Committee will be appointed, extensive testimony will be taken, and detailed recommendations will be made. The State Assembly and the State Senate with introduce bills addressing these recommendations and then proceed to discuss them ad infinitum and in the end do little or nothing. At that point the whole cycle will begin all over again. No god damnit I am NOT cynical. I am a realist who knows how state government in California works – it doesn’t.

 

Now as regarding my circumstances. I live in the flat lands near the border of Orange and Los Angeles Counties. Areas like mine though not nearly as desirable are, in situations like the present one, MUCH safer. All I have to do is stay inside avoiding the smoke filled outside air. I do, however, have friends who have lost their summer home in Running Springs. Although a tragedy for them it certainly is not the disaster it is for those, poor souls, who have lost their primary residents.

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I was visting Topanga Canyon in Malibu during the 2003 wildfires.

 

Those fires were nothing compared to what is happening now. In fact, the closest wildfire to Malibu was in Simi Valley. Yet, there were times,

particularly at night, when I had trouble breathing. At one point, my only way to get fresh air was to breath into the freezer.

 

Those who have never been in California during major wildfires have no idea how devastating they are, even for people who do not lose personal property. The image much of the nation has is rich people in Malibu and San Diego who can afford to rebuild. Believe me, these awful fires have a horrible health effect on many, many people, rich/poor and in between.

 

A hope and prayer for the best for everyone in southern CA!

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I thought the Orange County Fire Chief's interview was incredible.

He said it the way it needed to be said and I admire him for it.

 

I agree with you that the current political climate in the state will probably have the same result with BLUE RIBBON findings as the last time a blue ribbon panel was convened.

 

As for the conditions here, the air has gotten 100% worse in the valley the past few hours. The color outside reminds me of tornado weather in the Midwest.

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Well if the fires get big enough, they can create a small weather system of its own, and that creates problems too.

I have been watching it on the news. While its true we get a lot of fires in Canada, not all the time, but for the most part they are in remote areas, with minimal population. California fires are just so different, and IMHO more deadly.

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The latest numbers I've seen say that >950,000 people have been evacuated. That's a larger displacement than Katrina.

 

Here in Ventura county, we had a lovely clear day most of today but as the winds changed the smoke from Malibu was pushed back on us. We're in no immediate fire danger, although there's a fire pushing into Ventura county that is following a similar path to the Simi Valley fire in 2003. That one caused evacuations in my neighborhood. We're watching it closely, but it seems to be laying down.

 

It's just something you live with in California. I have emergency "stuff" (and cat carriers ;-)) at the door ready to go any time.

 

And just think... we're at the BEGINNING of what is traditionally considered fire season. There's two more months to go. :-(

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Although the wind has been blowing fiercely here in Palm Springs for the past week and the humidity is only 8%, this part of southern California has been spared the fires altogether. The wind blows through here from the northeast, so the air is clear and the skies are cloudless and smoke-free. With so many evacuees from coastal areas, however, I expect to see hordes of people swarming over the mountains and through the Banning Pass soon. My greatest fear is a major earthquake occurring during these wildfires, because that would completely overwhelm emergency services and make people believe in Armageddon. Even so, I'd rather live in California than anyplace else in the USA (unless I could afford a 10 room penthouse on Central Park West).

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There is an interesting difference in the locations of the destruction caused by the current rash of California fires from those in the past. In the past the areas most affected where: 1.) extremely pricey neighborhoods like Malibu, Rancho Santa Fe, Bel Air, and La Jolla, and 2.) second home mountain neighborhoods like Big Bear, Arrowhead, and Idyllwild. Some of these areas are very involved in the current fires others are not.

 

The difference this time is that several large developments of medium priced track homes are heavily involved. Many of these tracks were built abutting large areas of open country where heavy scrub brush was allowed to come “almost” right up to the houses. In the constant quest for relatively inexpensive land on which to build “affordable” housing developers and builders have moved out into what were once remote areas of Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties. Most of the city councils and county board of supervisors in these areas are, through campaign contributions, virtual tools of the housing industry. Zoning changes, necessary to build in these areas have flown right through these local city councils and board of supervisors. Up to this point I haven’t heard much said about the faulty zoning which has allowed these circumstances to arise. Interestingly Stevenson Ranch appears to be a major exception to the above. It seems the developer/builder (The Lennar Corp. of Miami, Florida) built their development with the possibility of future fires in mind. The homes were built and roofed with fire retardant materials and brush was kept at great distance from the homes. Now understand that these preparations were the conscious decision of a responsible developer/builder not something required by any public agency. Thus the Stevenson Ranch development was able to withstand the onslaught of fire while other nearby developments were not.

 

I have always believed that the brilliance of the English language is easily demonstrated by the fact that the words prostitute and politician both begin with the letter “p”. Let’s all give a hearty cheer for the responsible actions of locally elected prostitutes, oops I mean politicians.

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> not something required by any public agency

 

It's actually required by law. (At least in Ventura county, and I thought in LA county as well.)

 

One of the reasons last year's fire in Malibu (the one where Suzanne Sommers lost her house, and several other homes in the Colony burned) was so bad is the adjoining land is state-owned, and they're not required to abide by the same brush clearance regulations. Had the required clearance existed, the fire likely wouldn't have jumped PCH in the first place.

 

When I was looking at houses last year, I was struck by the large "mow zone" surrounding ALL housing developments in this area. It actually looks very odd and unnatural, but they sure proved their worth in places like Stevenson Ranch, as you've pointed out.

 

If I owned one of those homes "on the edge" in Stevenson Ranch, I'd be tempted to buy the adjoining land and PAVE IT! ;-)

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>One of the reasons last year's fire in Malibu (the one where

>Suzanne Sommers lost her house, and several other homes in the

>Colony burned) was so bad is the adjoining land is

>state-owned, and they're not required to abide by the same

>brush clearance regulations. Had the required clearance

>existed, the fire likely wouldn't have jumped PCH in the first

>place.

>

>

 

 

First, I'll start with a disclaimer. The views that I am about to express are mine and not that of my employer - an environmental organization. Yep, I am a "tree hugger" as it is derogatively known.

 

However, the group I work for is not what would be called a radical environmental group. Actually we train the firefighters for the feds and run a "Burn School" for controlled burns. It sounds oxymoronic to set fires in order to prevent fires but it’s true. Fire, natural fires, is an important part of the ecosystem and necessary for forest health.

 

Unfortunately there are some in our movement who don't understand the need for these burns and it can take years to get approval for a controlled burn on state or federal lands due to regulations and law suits. On average it's about two to three years of planning before public land can even be cleared and prepared. And sometimes that can stretch to five or more with regulations and protests.

 

Due to encroachment by people who want to live in nice bucolic settings the process gets even more complicated. Imagine the reaction of residents when you tell them "hey we're about to set a fire over here next to your land but trust us it won't burn your house down, maybe." That usually means lawsuits in some areas to stop the states and feds from cleaning up the brush and deadwood.

 

Interestingly, lands held in private conservation and that are properly managed tend not to be subject to the level of fire damage as public lands. My group owns hundreds of such preserves and there's a regular proscribed burn plan for much of this land. Even then it takes a couple of years to do it. One year of getting the plans down on paper and a year of permitting. Then choosing the season and timing the weather, i.e. low wind conditions, then burning begins. (Imagine our insurance costs by the way.)

 

So I would be hesitant to state that the California state authorities are exempt from having to clear brush etc from state lands. More the challenge is dealing with the process and beau racy involved. By the time government inertia gets moving the situation often becomes too late.

 

Unfortunately a few misguided souls who mean well have taken the environmental movement to levels that present a distorted picture. That's why I actually prefer the term conservationist.

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  • 9 years later...

The real tragedy of the California wildfires:

The California wildfires have left numerous marijuana farmers wondering how they will recover without the help of federal aid.

 

At least 34 cannabis farms in northern California were either partially damaged or completely destroyed in the blazes and unlike wine and agriculture farms, marijuana growers don't qualify for loans or federal aid because the drug is still illegal on the federal level, CNN Money reports.

 

The state is preparing to legalize marijuana on Jan. 1, but some businesses are not likely to be able to open by that date.

 

"We might be facing a much smaller harvest than we were anticipating, which could potentially drive the price up" a spokesman for the California Cannabis Industry Association told the Washington Post. "We still don't know how much has survived, how much has been lost."

 

To help offset the cost of saving farms Hezekiah Allen, the executive director of the California Growers Association, launched a YouCaring page hoping to raise $25,000.

 

Allen told CNN Money that more than $13,000 had been donated before the page was shut down. The money is being refunded to people who donated.

 

YouCaring said its payment providers, WePay and PayPal, are not permitted to accept funds being used for marijuana-related purposes.

 

"Our payment providers are unable to process payments connected to the production or sale of cannabis, even in situations where such payments would be permitted under State Law," YouCaring's Camelia Gendreau said.

 

Farmers are now left to come up with the funds on their own.

 

"I'm not going to sit here in my burnt-down house and cry about it," Ashley Oldham, the owner of Frost Flower Farms, told Rolling Stone.

 

Oldham's farm wasn't completely destroyed by the fires, but she said she's worried how the ash will affect her product.

 

"The only thing I can do is keep my chin up and put one foot in front of the other," she said. "This will be like starting over but I think with the support of my community, I can pull it off."

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The real tragedy of the California wildfires:

The California wildfires have left numerous marijuana farmers wondering how they will recover without the help of federal aid.

 

At least 34 cannabis farms in northern California were either partially damaged or completely destroyed in the blazes and unlike wine and agriculture farms, marijuana growers don't qualify for loans or federal aid because the drug is still illegal on the federal level, CNN Money reports.

 

The state is preparing to legalize marijuana on Jan. 1, but some businesses are not likely to be able to open by that date.

 

"We might be facing a much smaller harvest than we were anticipating, which could potentially drive the price up" a spokesman for the California Cannabis Industry Association told the Washington Post. "We still don't know how much has survived, how much has been lost."

 

To help offset the cost of saving farms Hezekiah Allen, the executive director of the California Growers Association, launched a YouCaring page hoping to raise $25,000.

 

Allen told CNN Money that more than $13,000 had been donated before the page was shut down. The money is being refunded to people who donated.

 

YouCaring said its payment providers, WePay and PayPal, are not permitted to accept funds being used for marijuana-related purposes.

 

"Our payment providers are unable to process payments connected to the production or sale of cannabis, even in situations where such payments would be permitted under State Law," YouCaring's Camelia Gendreau said.

 

Farmers are now left to come up with the funds on their own.

 

"I'm not going to sit here in my burnt-down house and cry about it," Ashley Oldham, the owner of Frost Flower Farms, told Rolling Stone.

 

Oldham's farm wasn't completely destroyed by the fires, but she said she's worried how the ash will affect her product.

 

"The only thing I can do is keep my chin up and put one foot in front of the other," she said. "This will be like starting over but I think with the support of my community, I can pull it off."

http://2dopeboyz.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/smh2.gif

 

 

california-fires-maps-photos-1507615817130-facebookJumbo-v7.jpg

 

California_Wildfires_68068-850x478.jpg

 

636432210306187887-AP-APTOPIX-California-Wildfires.jpg

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http://2dopeboyz.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/smh2.gif

 

5/6/16

 

Wendell Pierce, the 52-year-old actor best known for playing Detective William “Bunk” Moreland on HBO’s “The Wire,” was arrested Saturday morning in Atlanta. Police have confirmed that Pierce was charged with simple battery and released that same day on a $1,000 bond, the Associated Press reported.

 

The altercation, which took place in a bar in the Loews Hotel in Atlanta, reportedly arose from a conversation about politics. Pierce, an avowed Hillary Clinton supporter, allegedly began arguing with a Bernie Sanders supporter and her boyfriend at The Lobby, the hotel’s bar, around 3:30 a.m., according to TMZ. The site goes on to report the conversation became heated, and Pierce “became enraged, pushed the boyfriend and then went after his girlfriend … grabbing her hair and smacking her in the head.”

 

The Daily Beast offers a slightly contradictory account,reporting that the woman “stepped into an altercation already under way.”

 

Atlanta police released a statement, calling the incident nothing “significant,” according to WDSU.

The full statement:

 

Mr. Wendell Pierce was arrested early Saturday morning at Atlanta Lowes [sic] Hotel, where he was a guest. The incident did not rise to anything significant so no special notification was made … it was treated like any other arrest a patrol officer conducts. Mr. Pierce made no indication he was famous nor did the officer inquire. Once the incident report is complete we will be delighted to share the details. But at this time there is nothing significant to share with the media.

 

Pierce did not respond to a request for comment by New Orleans’ daily paper, The New Orleans Advocate. Police said more details will be released, potentially as early as Monday.

 

Pierce is also known for playing trombonist Antoine Batiste in “Treme,” the HBO series about his hometown New Orleans in the months following Hurricane Katrina. And, recently, he portrayed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in the HBO historical drama “Confirmation.”

 

Off-screen, Pierce is known for his political and social activism. For example, he recently used his substantial Twitter platform — more than 100,000 followers — to call attention to the search for Anign Jordan, an 11-year-old girl who went missing in New Orleans. She was found later that same day. He also uses Twitter to discuss his politics, which often includes disparaging statements concerning Bernie Sanders and his supporters.

 

He also has been a staunch supporter of President Obama. In 2013, the Associated Press named Pierce as one of President Obama’s top fundraisers, as he reportedly raised at least $500,000 for the president’s re-election campaign. And in 2012, he attended a White House state dinner with PBS journalist Gwen Ifill.

 

In his hometown of New Orleans, Pierce is known not only for his acting roles but as a community leader, particularly in the aftermath of Katrina. His family home in Pontchartrain Park, the city’s first African American post-war suburb, flooded in the storm, receiving 14 feet of water, according to the Hollywood Reporter. As Pierce wrote in “The Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, a Play, and the City That Would Not be Broken,” his family’s house was far from the only one in the neighborhood that flooded.

 

 

On the morning of Aug. 29, 2005, Katrina gashed the levee in two places north of the bridge, which traverses the Industrial Canal, the economically vital artery for shipping from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain and, via two other man-made canals, out into the Gulf of Mexico. Millions of gallons of water washed through the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. In a single morning, a historic black neighborhood of 14,000 souls, among them the city’s poorest, ceased to exist.

 

Days later, after the water receded, there was nothing left but ruins, and corpses.

 

In response to the storm, he founded the Pontchartrain Park Community Development Corporation, which was dedicated to building 125 new homes in the neighborhood, Al Jazeera reported. He was also a proprietor of the Sterling Farms supermarket, which sought to fill food deserts in New Orleans by offering the city’s economically disadvantaged residents easy access to a grocery stocked with healthy foods at reasonable prices. First lady Michelle Obama visited the store in 2013.

 

Though the company announced new locations, the flagship store closed after one year, NOLA.com reported. Still, for his work in the city, MSNBC has called him a “hometown hero.”

 

If proven, the allegations against Pierce wouldn’t be the first time political views have caused real world strife during this election season. Two weeks ago, a Trump-supporting tow truck driver refused service to a disabled Bernie Sanders supporter because of her political beliefs.

 

http://2dopeboyz.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/smh2.gif

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5/6/16

 

Wendell Pierce, the 52-year-old actor best known for playing Detective William “Bunk” Moreland on HBO’s “The Wire,” was arrested Saturday morning in Atlanta. Police have confirmed that Pierce was charged with simple battery and released that same day on a $1,000 bond, the Associated Press reported.

 

The altercation, which took place in a bar in the Loews Hotel in Atlanta, reportedly arose from a conversation about politics. Pierce, an avowed Hillary Clinton supporter, allegedly began arguing with a Bernie Sanders supporter and her boyfriend at The Lobby, the hotel’s bar, around 3:30 a.m., according to TMZ. The site goes on to report the conversation became heated, and Pierce “became enraged, pushed the boyfriend and then went after his girlfriend … grabbing her hair and smacking her in the head.”

 

The Daily Beast offers a slightly contradictory account,reporting that the woman “stepped into an altercation already under way.”

 

Atlanta police released a statement, calling the incident nothing “significant,” according to WDSU.

The full statement:

 

Mr. Wendell Pierce was arrested early Saturday morning at Atlanta Lowes [sic] Hotel, where he was a guest. The incident did not rise to anything significant so no special notification was made … it was treated like any other arrest a patrol officer conducts. Mr. Pierce made no indication he was famous nor did the officer inquire. Once the incident report is complete we will be delighted to share the details. But at this time there is nothing significant to share with the media.

 

Pierce did not respond to a request for comment by New Orleans’ daily paper, The New Orleans Advocate. Police said more details will be released, potentially as early as Monday.

 

Pierce is also known for playing trombonist Antoine Batiste in “Treme,” the HBO series about his hometown New Orleans in the months following Hurricane Katrina. And, recently, he portrayed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in the HBO historical drama “Confirmation.”

 

Off-screen, Pierce is known for his political and social activism. For example, he recently used his substantial Twitter platform — more than 100,000 followers — to call attention to the search for Anign Jordan, an 11-year-old girl who went missing in New Orleans. She was found later that same day. He also uses Twitter to discuss his politics, which often includes disparaging statements concerning Bernie Sanders and his supporters.

 

He also has been a staunch supporter of President Obama. In 2013, the Associated Press named Pierce as one of President Obama’s top fundraisers, as he reportedly raised at least $500,000 for the president’s re-election campaign. And in 2012, he attended a White House state dinner with PBS journalist Gwen Ifill.

 

In his hometown of New Orleans, Pierce is known not only for his acting roles but as a community leader, particularly in the aftermath of Katrina. His family home in Pontchartrain Park, the city’s first African American post-war suburb, flooded in the storm, receiving 14 feet of water, according to the Hollywood Reporter. As Pierce wrote in “The Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, a Play, and the City That Would Not be Broken,” his family’s house was far from the only one in the neighborhood that flooded.

 

 

On the morning of Aug. 29, 2005, Katrina gashed the levee in two places north of the bridge, which traverses the Industrial Canal, the economically vital artery for shipping from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain and, via two other man-made canals, out into the Gulf of Mexico. Millions of gallons of water washed through the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. In a single morning, a historic black neighborhood of 14,000 souls, among them the city’s poorest, ceased to exist.

 

Days later, after the water receded, there was nothing left but ruins, and corpses.

 

In response to the storm, he founded the Pontchartrain Park Community Development Corporation, which was dedicated to building 125 new homes in the neighborhood, Al Jazeera reported. He was also a proprietor of the Sterling Farms supermarket, which sought to fill food deserts in New Orleans by offering the city’s economically disadvantaged residents easy access to a grocery stocked with healthy foods at reasonable prices. First lady Michelle Obama visited the store in 2013.

 

Though the company announced new locations, the flagship store closed after one year, NOLA.com reported. Still, for his work in the city, MSNBC has called him a “hometown hero.”

 

If proven, the allegations against Pierce wouldn’t be the first time political views have caused real world strife during this election season. Two weeks ago, a Trump-supporting tow truck driver refused service to a disabled Bernie Sanders supporter because of her political beliefs.

 

 

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