Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Santa Maria repeals H-2A housing ordinance to avoid federal fine, litigation

Posted By on Wed, Jun 16, 2021 at 4:00 PM

The Santa Maria City Council reluctantly voted to repeal its employee housing ordinance on June 15 after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said it may be discriminatory and that the city could incur a $400,000 fine if the council did not repeal it.

Director of Community Development Chuen Ng said at the meeting that HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity first opened its investigation into the city’s ordinance in April 2020. This was followed up by a HUD secretary initiated complaint in August 2020.

“The complaint alleges that the city unlawfully discriminated because of race, color, or national origin by restricting housing for H-2A farmworker visa holders within the city, in violation of the Fair Housing Act,” Ng said. “After further investigation and review, the city received in May 2021 a consent proposal … from HUD, which had determined that the city must repeal and not enforce its employee housing ordinance.”

First adopted in June 2019, the ordinance permits employee housing in multi-family zones, but requires a conditional use permit in single family zones. HUD alleged that regulating which zones H-2A workers can live in amounts to a “restriction of housing for people from a specific foreign country or national origin, defined as a federally protected class, and may be discriminatory,” Ng explained.

HUD offered the city a voluntary compliance agreement, which the city council voted in favor of 3-2 on June 15. This agreement means the city will no longer enforce its employee housing ordinance, and HUD will not levy a fine or pursue legal action against the city.

Ng said that the agreement does not act as a “final finding or a determination by HUD that the city intentionally engaged in unlawful practices.”

City Attorney Thomas Watson said he does not agree with HUD’s initial determination that the city’s ordinance may be discriminatory. But, he cautioned, if the city didn’t sign on to the voluntary compliance agreement, the fine might have been even steeper than $400,000.

If the city hadn’t repealed it, there was “potential that a court would make a finding that the city inadvertently or intentionally was discriminatory, which I do not believe and which we deny emphatically,” Watson said. “And this agreement does not make such a finding.”

For this reason, he and city staff supported adopting the agreement. During the public hearing portion of the meeting, former Santa Maria City Attorney Philip Sinco, the principal author of the ordinance, said he does not believe it is discriminatory as it “only applies to employers who provide housing to their employees,” not individual persons.

“I’m not speaking in support or opposition to staff’s recommendation. I fully understand the recommendation and the reasons for it,” he said. “I’m only speaking as to my personal position that the city’s ordinance does not violate any state or federal laws.”

Councilmember Michael Cordero said he does not agree with HUD’s discrimination allegations, but he voted to repeal the ordinance because, in his words, “We don’t have much of a choice in this matter.”

“I disagree in the sense that there’s anything that we did as a council that represents anything remotely close to being against any segment of the community, of which the H-2A workers are a very important part of,” Cordero said. “We took input from all the stakeholders over a long period of time in various places in the community in order to do the best job that we possibly could.”

Cordero and Councilmembers Gloria Soto and Carlos Escobedo each voted to repeal the ordinance and adhere to HUD’s voluntary compliance agreement, while Mayor Alice Patino and Councilmember Etta Waterfield voted no.

“We live here,” Waterfield said before the vote. “We understand our neighbors, we understand what they’re going through, and when we make a decision, it gets undermined by the state or by the feds. And so I’m just really disappointed with this action.” Δ

—Malea Martin

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Santa Maria high school student elected as state FFA's president

Posted By on Thu, Jun 10, 2021 at 1:05 PM

Despite the challenges of distance learning, especially for a hands-on program like agriculture, Santa Maria Joint Union High School District’s agriculture students won awards and recognition in state-level career development events, and Pioneer Valley High School students excelled at the California State FFA Leadership Conference.


MAKING HISTORY Pioneer Valley High School senior Marc Cabeliza is the first Pioneer Valley High School FFA member to be elected president of the California FFA Association. - PHOTO COURTESY OF TYLER DICKINSON
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF TYLER DICKINSON
  • MAKING HISTORY Pioneer Valley High School senior Marc Cabeliza is the first Pioneer Valley High School FFA member to be elected president of the California FFA Association.
“This whole year has been such a great challenge, having to transition nearly everything that we do in our programs into a virtual format,” PVHS agriculture teacher Tyler Dickinson said. “FFA is a very hands-on, experiential learning type of program where students have the ability to get their hands dirty and learn some skills that translate into a career.”

But PVHS students found a way to make it work, and still get that hands-on ag experience outside of the classroom.

“Before the reopening, [Chapter President] Marc Cabeliza and the rest of the leadership team, they’ve worked really hard trying to engage the community with drive-through events and giveaways, and providing fresh produce to over 1,000 families in the community,” Dickinson said. “At The Patch, Marc had given out over 500 boxes of strawberries to the community.”

Cabeliza, along with three other PVHS FFA students, won recognition for their Specialized Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects at the California State FFA Leadership Conference last month. Cabeliza has worked with The Patch Santa Maria, which gives local students leadership and agricultural opportunities through pumpkin and corn growing programs, for the last three years. He was named the state winner in the SAE area of service learning for his dedication to The Patch, and also elected to be the California State FFA President.

“He will be taking a year off [before] college, and he will be kind of an advocate for the agriculture industry and working with the industry, and putting on leadership conferences,” Dickinson said of Cabeliza’s presidential role. “He’s going to be a representative for the entire state association, which is over 95,000 FFA members here in California.”

PVHS, Santa Maria High School, and Righetti High School students all placed in various career development events at the state level as well. PVHS student Hannah Limon was the state champion for soil and land evaluation, the team that Dickinson coaches.

“Despite the societal challenges that we’ve had,” Dickinson said, “Pioneer Valley has definitely soared over this past year and has become resilient, and embraced those challenges.” Δ

—Malea Martin

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Marian hospital opens behavioral health unit

Posted By on Tue, Jun 8, 2021 at 4:20 PM

On June 8, Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria opened its first behavioral health unit, which hospital leaders say fills an urgent and unmet need in the community.

The eight-chair behavioral health unit will be open 24 hours a day to provide “intervention, assessment, evaluation, therapy, and support for those experiencing a mental health crisis,” according to a Marian press release.

NEW UNIT Marian Regional Medical Center added a behavioral health unit, which hospital leaders say is urgently needed. - FILE PHOTO BY ZAC EZZONE
  • FILE PHOTO BY ZAC EZZONE
  • NEW UNIT Marian Regional Medical Center added a behavioral health unit, which hospital leaders say is urgently needed.
Because of the unit, which will be staffed by psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses, Marian says it can now quickly transfer patients there from its emergency room, rather than wait for openings at out-of-area mental health facilities.

“With one out of every eight emergency department visits being behavioral health or substance abuse related, the behavioral health outpatient unit will fill an incredible void in local health care,” Marian’s press release read. “[The unit] will see patients as soon as they are medically cleared, providing early treatment initiation.”

For now, Marian’s new unit will only serve patients at the Santa Maria hospital, but it could potentially expand in the “near future” to serve those in San Luis Obispo County, according to spokesperson Sara San-Juan.

The hospital’s press release stated that Santa Barbara County currently has only four inpatient mental health beds for every 100,000 residents, when the medically recommended number is 50 beds per 100,000 residents.

David Ketelaar, an emergency physician at Marian hospital, said that the need for services is growing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Mental health conditions were increasing in all age groups prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has accelerated this increase dramatically,” Ketelaar said. “We are committed to supporting local behavioral health services to meet the needs of our community.” ∆

—Peter Johnson

Monday, June 7, 2021

Skipper’s rallies to help GALA replace sign stolen as Pride month started

Posted By on Mon, Jun 7, 2021 at 10:16 AM

Skipper’s Brew Coffee House in San Luis Obispo is donating 100 percent of its sales today, June 7, to the GALA Pride and Diversity Center.

Skipper’s posted their efforts on Instagram, calling on its customers to support the GALA center after its office sign was stolen sometime between May 30 and June 2.

DAMAGE GALA’s Pride and Diversity Center office sign was broken off its stand at the start of Pride month. - PHOTO COURTESY OF GALA PRIDE AND DIVERSITY CENTER
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF GALA PRIDE AND DIVERSITY CENTER
  • DAMAGE GALA’s Pride and Diversity Center office sign was broken off its stand at the start of Pride month.
“We are all family, and we are all in this together,” the post read.

The incident occured at the start of Pride month, celebrated during the month of June.

GALA board president Doug Heumann said the organization is disappointed that someone “would feel the need to act out in this way.”

“The LGBTQI-plus community feels supported in this county, but the vandalism is a reminder that we’ve still got work to do,” Heumann said in a statement.

Located at 1080 Palm Ave. in San Luis Obispo, GALA shares a building with the Herring Law Group. While the law group’s sign is intact, only pieces of GALA’s sign remain attached to the screws that once held it.

GALA Coordinator Serrina Ruggles is asking the community for help in making temporary yard signs and colorful banners to decorate the building during Pride month.

“We’d like to have the colors of Pride filling the front of our building. I’m hoping we can make this a rallying point for solidarity and support,” Ruggles said.

Community members who are interested in donating towards a sign replacement can visit GALA’s Facebook page for a Paypal link to leave monetary support. ∆

—Karen Garcia

Friday, June 4, 2021

Santa Barbara council member selected to represent Central Coast on Coastal Commission

Posted By on Fri, Jun 4, 2021 at 3:17 PM

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently selected Santa Barbara City Councilmember Meagan Harmon to represent the South Central Coast on the California Coastal Commission, beating out several other well-known elected officials from the tri-counties region. 
REPPING THE CENTRAL COAST Santa Barbara City Councilmember Meagan Harmon was appointed to the California Coastal Commission on May 4. - PHOTO COURTESY OF MEAGAN HARMON
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF MEAGAN HARMON
  • REPPING THE CENTRAL COAST Santa Barbara City Councilmember Meagan Harmon was appointed to the California Coastal Commission on May 4.


On May 4, Newsom’s press office announced Harmon’s appointment to the Coastal Commission, a decision that came after Harmon was nominated for the position by groups of elected officials in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties.

“I want to congratulate Commissioner Meagan Harmon on her new role,” Grover Beach Mayor Jeff Lee wrote in a statement to New Times. “I feel that she has an understanding of local issues important to Grover Beach, such as the Oceano Dunes and Diablo Canyon closures. Regarding the dunes, we look forward to working with her, Coastal staff, State Parks and the entire Commission to ensure that the beach is available for the safe enjoyment by residents and visitors to Grover Beach.”

Harmon is a Lompoc native, a Democrat, and has served on the Santa Barbara City Council since February 2019. She’s been a real estate law associate for years, and she works with the California League of Cities, where she serves as the first vice president of the Channel Cities Division and as a member of the Housing Community and Economic Development Policy Committee.

"As a real estate and land-use lawyer, I do understand how challenging it can be to work at the intersection of the Coastal Act and private property rights, and I understand how important it is that we're sensitive to both," Harmon said at a SLO County Board of Supervisors meeting on March 16. "I love our coast. I'm committed to protecting it, but it's also vital that we move beyond entrenchment to all the problems of our time. I wrote about this in my letter, but issues like affordable housing, like job creation, these are connected to the Coastal Commission."

The California Coastal Commission is made up of 12 voting members and three non-voting members charged with regulating land and water use on the coast. All voting members are appointed to the Coastal Commission by the governor, the Senate Rules Committee, or the speaker of the Assembly, and half of the voting members are local elected officials in specific coastal districts.

In 2014, former Gov. Jerry Brown appointed former Pismo Beach City Councilmember Erik Howell to the commission to represent the South Central Coast, which consists of SLO, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. Howell served on the Coastal Commission until he lost his bid for reelection to the Pismo Beach City Council in November 2020, leaving the South Central Coast seat up for grabs.

Harmon was chosen for the position out of several other nominees, including Morro Bay Mayor John Headding and Santa Barbara County 1st District Supervisor Das Williams. ∆
—Kasey Bubnash

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Santa Barbara County to get $86 million from American Rescue Plan

Posted By on Thu, Jun 3, 2021 at 10:41 AM

From long term projects, like building a strong child care network, to urgent capital improvements, such as replacing an elevator in the Santa Barbara Main Jail, Santa Barbara County has plenty of issues it could address with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.

During a June 1 Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting, 1st District Supervisor Das Williams said that his priorities for the money are child care and housing.

ONE-TIME FUNDS The American Rescue Plan Act gives jurisdictions a unique opportunity to fund projects that might have otherwise sat on the backburner for years to come. These are a few of the big picture projects the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has in mind. - SCREENSHOT FROM YOUTUBE
  • SCREENSHOT FROM YOUTUBE
  • ONE-TIME FUNDS The American Rescue Plan Act gives jurisdictions a unique opportunity to fund projects that might have otherwise sat on the backburner for years to come. These are a few of the big picture projects the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has in mind.
“It is intimidating for this board to contemplate housing because of the scale of the problem, but when home values have risen 83 percent in one year in the South Coast, that is an existential threat to our community, from the perspective of having a workforce, being able to run a business, and having generational continuity,” Williams said. “And it is definitely an existential threat to people of color as they’re being pushed out of this community.”

The county is receiving a total of $86.6 million from ARPA that must be spent by December 2024. Half of the money will be available for fiscal year 2021-22, and the other half in 2022-23.

County Assistant CEO Jeff Frapwell explained at the June 1 meeting that there are two distinct buckets of ARPA money for the board to consider: restricted and discretionary.

The restricted dollars, roughly $25.3 million for 2021-22, must be used for response and recovery directly related to COVID-19 and its effect on the community. It could fund behavioral health services, housing relief, economic impacts, and more, though more clarification on what the funds can be used for is forthcoming from the U.S. Treasury.

Staff recommended that the county use $7 million of the restricted funds for a homeless shelter in Isla Vista. But, Frapwell explained, it’s possible that other funding might come down the pipe that could cover such a project—in which case staff recommended using that instead of ARPA dollars.

The board has the most say over discretionary ARPA dollars: the estimated amount of general revenue the county lost as a result of the pandemic.

This roughly $18 million can be used for general government services and to fund eligible capital and one-time projects. Staff recommended that the board allocate $4 million to transportation projects and nearly $5 million for Tier 1 priority projects. The latter includes things like replacing the boiler system in the Santa Barbara Courthouse or getting a new central elevator in the Santa Barbara Main Jail.

Frapwell said that while these projects are not as glamorous as other potential uses of the discretionary money, they’re urgently needed. Even with funding these projects, the board would still have just more than $9 million in discretionary ARPA funds to allocate to longer term projects.

Some of those larger scale projects the board is considering include building a strong child care network, open space acquisition, developing recreational trails, expanding camping opportunities, affordable housing, library construction, and more. During public comment, the majority of speakers advocated for funding to go to child care or housing.

“The challenge is, how do you make meaningful change in the long run, in a sustainable way, with one-time money?” 2nd District Supervisor Gregg Hart questioned after the staff presentation. “That’s just hard. But being smart at the beginning is the best way to make a difference in that regard.”

Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino agreed that a thoughtful approach is necessary.

“I know the pressure is on for people—‘let’s access this, let’s get to it, let’s fix problems,’” he said. “I think we’re going to be able to do more if we wait longer.”

Board members’ priority projects and issues will be discussed further at the June 8 and 10 budget hearings. Supervisors’ unanimously approved the staff recommendations to use discretionary ARPA funds for transportation projects and the Tier 1 capital projects.

“This is the beginning of a very long conversation over the next two years,” Board Chair and 4th District Supervisor Bob Nelson said before the unanimous vote. Δ

—Malea Martin

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Camp Roberts won’t be used to house unaccompanied migrant children

Posted By on Wed, Jun 2, 2021 at 4:49 PM

Camp Roberts is no longer being considered as a location to temporarily house unaccompanied migrant children.
NOT HOUSED The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has decided that Camp Roberts will not be used to temporarily house unaccompanied migrant children. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CAL GUARD MILITARY DEPARTMENT
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF CAL GUARD MILITARY DEPARTMENT
  • NOT HOUSED The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has decided that Camp Roberts will not be used to temporarily house unaccompanied migrant children.

A spokesperson from the U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal’s office (D-Santa Barbara) said the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) informed the office that it doesn’t plan to use Camp Roberts due to a decrease in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. border.

The spokesperson told New Times that there are significantly fewer unaccompanied minors being apprehended and placed in HHS custody, so there is less need for additional facilities to house them.

According to the HHS daily report, as of June 2, 439 unaccompanied children were in U.S. Customs and Border Patrol custody. The numbers have dropped from April, when 5,000 unaccompanied minors were in custody.

The #NotCampRoberts Coalition, which recently formed in opposition to using the facility as a temporary housing center, said it is relieved to hear the news that children won’t be housed at Camp Roberts.

“It has always been the Coalition’s intention to advocate in the best interests of the children. We recognize the challenges that the Biden administration faces as they move forward in their efforts to respond to this humanitarian crisis,” the coalition said in a statement. “The Coalition will continue to work toward comprehensive immigration reform that will include providing safe temporary housing for asylum seekers and advocating for children to be united with family or sponsors as soon as possible.” ∆
—Peter Johnson

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Dozens of SLO households given ‘boil water’ notice after main line break

Posted By on Wed, May 26, 2021 at 8:47 AM

About 100 households in San Luis Obispo are under a “boil water” notice until Thursday, May 27, following a main line break that occurred on Bullock Lane on May 25.

TESTING THE WATERS A boil water notice is in effect through May 27 for San Luis Obispo households that lie between the blue and purple boundaries. - MAP COURTESY OF THE CITY OF SLO
  • MAP COURTESY OF THE CITY OF SLO
  • TESTING THE WATERS A boil water notice is in effect through May 27 for San Luis Obispo households that lie between the blue and purple boundaries.
City Utilities Department Director Aaron Floyd said that while crews repaired the break the same day, it ended up entirely depleting the 400,000-gallon water tank that serves that region of the city—leaving some households at higher elevations without any water pressure.

“When that pipe broke, that’s what took the tank down,” Floyd said. “Typically we can backfeed water into the system. What happened is this one drained faster than we could get in front of it.”

As required by state law, SLO issued a boil water notice at 11 a.m. to all households that temporarily lost pressure—concerned that outside water and potential contaminants may have flowed back into pipelines. The city is now doing two separate tests of the water, 24 hours apart.

“We delivered notifications door-to-door, in both English and in Spanish,” Floyd said. “We totally feel for them.”

Affected residents are advised to boil their tap water for drinking and cooking purposes until the water is cleared, likely on Thursday morning. Bottled water will be available at the Sinsheimer Park swimming pool parking lot on May 26, between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Preliminary tests of the water indicated that chlorine was present, which is important for disinfecting, the city said.

“That is a good thing,” Floyd said.

While SLO has an aging water system that is no stranger to main line breaks, Floyd said that this is the first time a boil water notice has hit the city since he arrived in 2003.

“It is super unfortunate that it happened,” Floyd said. “We’re adding redundancy to [that water tank] so this won’t happen in the future.” ∆

—Peter Johnson

Monday, May 24, 2021

Dungeness crab fishing season ends four weeks early

Posted By on Mon, May 24, 2021 at 5:08 PM

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is ending the Dungeness crab fishing season early on June 1 because of an increase in humpback whales in the Pacific Ocean.

END OF SEASON The California Department of Fish and Wildlife called an end to the Dungeness crab fishing season four weeks early to prevent potential whale entanglement. - FILE PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM
  • FILE PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM
  • END OF SEASON The California Department of Fish and Wildlife called an end to the Dungeness crab fishing season four weeks early to prevent potential whale entanglement.
On May 18, Charlton Bonham, director of the state agency, announced that recent survey data indicated an increase in humpback whales returning from their winter breeding grounds to California fishing grounds.

In a press release, Bonham said that considering the data and recommendations from the Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group and other stakeholders, he assessed the entanglement risk under the Risk Assessment Mitigation Program (RAMP) and announced the early closure of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery.

All commercial crab traps must be removed from the fishing grounds by noon on June 1.

“It has been a very difficult year for many in our fishing communities and I recognize that every day of lost fishing further impacts families and small businesses,” Bonham said. “I acknowledge the sacrifices and resilience of California’s fishermen and women and look forward to continuing to work with the fleet and the Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group to minimize entanglement risk while maximizing opportunities.”

The closure shortens the fishing season by four weeks in the central management zone and six weeks in the northern management zone of the state.

RAMP regulations were designed by the working group and stakeholders to minimize entanglement risk and provide for a long-term viable commercial fishing industry.

Bonham also authorized the lost and abandoned gear program, which removes traps left in the water, to begin its work on June 7 at 6 a.m.

Geoff Shester—a campaign director and senior scientist for Oceana, a nonprofit ocean conservation organization and member of the Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group—released a statement on the closure.

“The new system of time and area closures is working; there have been no confirmed whale or sea turtle entanglements in California commercial Dungeness crab gear this season. We commend the Department of Fish and Wildlife for collecting and acting on real-time data showing when and where whales have returned to feed. We hope to see this successful science-based approach continue to allow fishing when the risk of entanglements is low and encourage further development of pop-up gear innovations to allow additional fishing opportunities. Thanks to strong science and collaborative innovation, we’re keeping our coasts safer for whales and sea turtles while still maintaining one of California’s most valuable fisheries,” Shester said. ∆

—Karen Garcia

Friday, May 21, 2021

Citizen-led survey aims to find trends in local catalytic converter thefts

Posted By on Fri, May 21, 2021 at 7:20 PM

Grover Beach resident Angela Henderson heard about the nationwide rise in thefts of catalytic converters last month almost immediately after she bought a Toyota Prius, the most common target of such crimes.

SWIPED Catalytic converter theft is surging due to the part's high-valued precious metals, like palladium and rhodium. The global push to lower vehicle emissions—which catalytic converters help do—is also driving up their value to record levels. - PHOTO FROM SLOPD FACEBOOK PAGE
  • PHOTO FROM SLOPD FACEBOOK PAGE
  • SWIPED Catalytic converter theft is surging due to the part's high-valued precious metals, like palladium and rhodium. The global push to lower vehicle emissions—which catalytic converters help do—is also driving up their value to record levels.
She heard about it on the news, from local police, and then her neighbors started posting about it on Nextdoor constantly, many saying they’d been hit overnight and detailing the thousands of dollars required to replace their stolen parts.

“It’s not a small thing,” Henderson said. “It could total your car.”

Henderson got so freaked out that she eventually paid around $200 to have a protective plate installed over her car’s catalytic converter. Then she launched an online survey aimed at finding trends among the thefts in Five Cities. If there’s a specific time or day when catalytic converter thefts are most common, Henderson hopes she can at least warn her neighbors to be on their guard.

“Well the police just sort of tell us what’s happening after the fact,” she said. “What I’m trying to see is patterns.”

In mid-March, the San Luis Obispo Police Department announced that citizens had reported 73 stolen converters since Jan. 1, or almost one per day. Ten were stolen in a single weekend in late April, all swiped from Priuses.

The problem isn't contained to SLO. Converters disappeared from six school vans in a Paso Robles Joint Unified School District vehicle yard in early March. Morro Bay police issued an alert in February about a local uptick. SLO County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Tony Cipolla said unincorporated communities have also been hit hard in recent months.

According to national news reports, catalytic converter theft is surging due to the part's high-valued precious metals, like palladium and rhodium. The global push to lower vehicle emissions—which catalytic converters help do—is also driving up their value to record levels.

Converters are an easy target for theft due to their exposed location under vehicles, and police say thieves are using hand tools like reciprocating saws to quickly remove the part.

Henderson’s survey can be completed online and includes just five questions. She hasn’t received many responses so far, but she’s hoping to get a clearer picture of the problem as more people find out about the survey.

“South Grover seems to be hit the hardest. But they’re coming into north Grover now too,” she said. “It’s disturbing.” ∆

—Kasey Bubnash

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