Letters (Jan. 18, 2017)
by AVA News Service, January 18, 2017
NO NEED FOR NEW SPEED
I find myself baffled by the idea that Caltrans would want to raise the speed limit through Philo based on a survey that finds most drivers travel through town faster than the posted speed of 30 mph. If they found that most traffic accident deaths were caused by drunk drivers would they repeal the DUI law? You would think that one death in Downtown Philo would be warning enough to keep the speed limit low.
It is true that the post office is no longer on the opposite side from Lemons’ Market creating a pedestrian hazard but we now have wine tasting rooms on either side of the road. Is that less troublesome? And what about cumulative impacts from impending development? Rumors say that Gary Island is planning mixed use commercial/residential at the old mill site across from Lemons’ and Jim Roberts of the Madrones is developing the redwood grove between the old mill site and Indian Creek Camp into a tourist stop called The Brambles. Shenoa, accessed by Rays Road which runs south from the gas station, is just beginning to activate with possible use permit entitlements of up to 200 people that will be slowly going in and slowly pulling out onto the highway. People routinely walk the shoulderless gauntlet along the highway from Indian Creek Camp grounds to Lemons and it would be reasonable to assume that they will from the Brambles as well.
The death we had in front of Lemons' was caused when a car stopped to allow an area resident woman and child to cross the street and then another vehicle plowed into the one stopped and shoved it into mother and child. The Hispanic community, teaching the rest of us to courteously stop for pedestrians and traffic heading towards Boonville, often stops in the middle of the road for oncoming traffic before turning into Lemons'. A few years back I was standing with a grandchild waiting for the school bus when a logging truck barreling down the highway avoided collision with a car waiting to turn into Lemons' by using, with brakes squealing, the space between us and the road where the bus would soon be parked. Imagine the results if timing had been different.
I do agree with that part of the proposal that would slow to 45mph traffic on either side of the 30mph through Philo town. On the East side there is Goldeneye, Domaine Anderson, Balo and Indian Creek Camp. On the West side there is multiple residential access plus Jack's Valley Store, the Farm Supply and Gowan's Oak tree where accidents routinely happen.
I don't know if it will be officially posted but the County is requesting community input at the BOS meeting to be held this coming Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 9:00 am. Please join me with your concerns.
HOBBLED & WOBBLED
When the AV Health Center lost chiropractor Jim Young we lost a lot! The guy was the Mendocino basketball coach, a gentleman surfer and a wonderful guy. He was punctual and a terrific chiropractor. So if you see me wobbling down the street it doesn’t mean I took up the bottle — it means my chiropractor is gone.
FUNDRAISER FOR PANCHITO
I'm organizing a fundraiser for my brother in law who has a brain tumor and undergoing treatments pretty soon. It's gonna be on the 28th — food and dance!
Sábado, 28 de enero!!!! se organizará una kermés en nombre de Carlos Ojeda (Panchito) en el Grange! Se comenzará la comida de las 3 a 6 de la tarde y después comenzará el baile de 7 a 12!!! Acompáñenos y diviértanse comiendo rica comida y un buen baile para comenzar el año bien!!! Difundan este mensaje a tanta persona pueda y cualquier pregunta aquí estamos para contestarla!!!
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Saturday, January 28 we will have a fundraiser for Carlos Ojeda (Panchito) at the Grange! Food will start from 3 to 6 and dance from 7 to 12!!! Come and have fun and enjoy good food!!! Start your new year te right way!!! Please share this post to all you can!!! Any questions, let me know and I should help!!!
Thank you once again!!!
WE'VE GOT OLLIE ONAN ON IT
I'm very concerned by that "One Taste" thing in Philo. Perhaps you should send a reporter up there to find out what is going on!
THIS, THAT & ROUNDABOUTS
First: How about a roundabout (or something similar) in downtown Philo to slow down traffic and provide safe pedestrian passage. Roundabouts are rad!
Second: I'm no expert, but wouldn't our rural votes be overshadowed by the cities with the elimination the electoral college system? I like the suggestions of a proportional electoral college vote as well as a ranking system (not just one choice only).
Third: All this fake news nonsense (why not just call it propaganda?) is driving me nuts. When I sincerely inquire about how to navigate the murkiness, I get suggestions from both the far left and far right and the FAR OUT to just "do my homework and follow the money".. but then they all come to completely different conclusions based on their personal biases. So I decided to start up a subscription again to the Christian Science Monitor...that's what we read in my journalism class in high school.
Fourth: Seems like all the rain dancing is working. Keep it up so it keeps coming down!!
from the Deep End (Navarro)
TAKEN TOO SOON
Thank you for re-running—all these years later—the wonderful piece by Eric McMahon, “They Said I’d Never Make a Fortune” (AVA, 1/4/2017). Superb writing; a delight to re-read. Sadly, we lost McMahon a dozen or so years ago at age 49. It’s not fair that such talent as McMahon and Clay Geerdes are taken from us too soon. (For readers who don’t go back that far, Geerdes was a major contributor in the early days of the Anderson Anderson Valley Advertiser.)
Keep on keepin’ on.
THE GREAT SNOW OF 1989
Below is a photo of "White House West" on Ten Mile Ranch on the Mendocino Coast of California which is ten miles from the Noyo River in Fort Bragg. It was taken in February 1989 and the snow melted off by noon.
A happy time was had by all on the Ranch and elsewhere in Mendocino County and no injuries were reported except I almost fell out of my sleeping loft retrieving my camera after sliding open the curtains to my windows downstairs and discovering the white stuff. I was living in the former hay loft of the barn to the right in the photo and the loft had a sleeping loft accessible by ladder. Stores on the Mendocino Coast reported they were sold out of film in record time. A few years later there was an exhibit in a gallery in Fort Bragg of snow photos taken that day on the Coast. I exhibited a framed copy of the photo below which may still hang in the "Big House" as most Rancheros call it. But that name sounds too much like a prison. Yes, snow is a drug for me. But so far it's still legal in the USA. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Cluny, France (Formerly Ten Mile)
SHOEMAKER STRIKES AGAIN
Couldn’t make it to Boonville to work on the big rain day last week. Drats!
First Point Arena City Manager Richard Shoemaker gave misinformation to the press saying that the Garcia had been flooded all morning, so I took Fish Rock. Then, Shoemaker called the radio station to say the Garcia was still open and he simply didn’t understand what he was told about the status of the road(!). $50,000/year for that?
So took Fish Rock instead. Trees were going down left and right along Fish Rock to the Valley as well. At least half a dozen with the root ball still attached, having slid down to the road from the cliff above. Men with chainsaws working and a payloader coming to clear, but, as the County worker said, “It’s going to be a long day!”.
Indeed. A long week!
WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!
Subject: Bad boy Bruce!
Well, well somebody called you out! Your last online statement had so many factual errors, I was amazed! Four hundred dogs and cats at the shelter? Wrong! Twenty five dogs to be killed? Wrong! Volunteers blaming, whining, "anthropomorphing". Wrong, wrong, wrong! Volunteers are working very hard trying to find fosters, rescues and adopters, and making financial contributions for the animals that need to get out of the shelter.
RAILROAD GULCH THP APPEALED
Sierra Club Redwood Chapter filed an amicus brief today in support of legal action against a plan to harvest 758 acres of forest in Railroad Gulch.
The lawsuit was filed by the Forest Preservation Society, a local nonprofit, to challenge the Timber Harvest Plan (THP) approved by CalFire and to be carried out by Mendocino Redwood Company.
The destruction of the forest will cause many ecological and water quality problems and enhance fire danger. The lawsuit was initiated with a single litigant, and our group is very happy to have the opportunity to add Sierra Club's voice and support to their efforts.
Tucked in a valley within the coastal range, Railroad Gulch sits between commercial forests and neighborhoods about six miles southeast of the city of Mendocino. It is a major tributary to the Albion River which flows west toward Albion.
The legal opposition challenges that CalFire failed to address cumulative impacts of the plan on greenhouse gas emissions and the habitat of the Northern Spotted Owl, a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The lawsuit also outlined failure to comply with watershed rules.
Mendocino County Superior Court ruled against a temporary stay, and the case is now in District 3 of the Appellate Court. Sierra Club and Forest Preservation Society hope this case will set legal precedent on environmental regulations.
We hope the litigation will result in more accurate methodologies to assess and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our timberlands and allow the forests to play their very effective, critical role in sequestering carbon and helping meet California's goals in combating climate change.
For more information, please contact Linda Perkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 937-0903.
Linda Perkins, Sierra Club Redwood Chapter
PAY-OR-DIE HEALTH CARE
The Republicans are having trouble with the “replace” part of their promise to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. One of their solutions, health savings accounts, is not insurance and benefits those who already have money to set aside for health insurance. If you have medical expenses that exceed your savings, you’re on your own in the GOP’s Darwinian world.
DEAR NEW KZYX HONCHO
Letter to new general manager at KZYX.
(Reading time: 5 min.)
Hello, shiny new manager, fifth one in two years, but who's counting?
I'm Marco McClean. I've applied over and over. I've patiently jumped through all the hoops again and again. I've been ignored by the hierarchy there, and when I finally complained about being ignored I was treated like a bug. I have the skills, the dedication, the following and audience from print publications and on other radio stations, and from my teevee show and the grownups that I taught when they were little at the Mendocino Community School and the Albion Whale School in the 1980s, the theater companies I've worked for, etc… And, from any objective point of view, the people who run KZYX have no right to stand between me and my medium. I deserve to use the three frequencies MCPB squats on, just as much as if not more than anyone there deserves it. I am exactly the sort of person KZYX should have been actively recruiting all along, rather than being maliciously turfed out 27 years ago and even more maliciously shut out ever since, where genially-stoned-sounding sycophantic slackers who mumble the station ID and press a button to play a random-sounding playlist get ushered in past me and stay for fricking ever.
I have built whole radio stations from parts. I have worked in commercial and noncommercial radio. I have a long record of local media accomplishments (including twenty years of my current show, Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio, where I have never missed an airdate). And I'm writing today mostly because I want a grievance addressed and made right; I've been blackballed from KZYX from just after its inception in 1989 to the present day. Will you look into that, please? And kick whoever you have to kick in the ass, to get my show scheduled on KZYX at long last? Because I have been waiting, lately, literally for FIVE YEARS for action on this. If I had planted a tree every day for those five years, that would be about as many trees as KZYX has paying members. But, instead of planting trees, in addition to juggling several part-time jobs I have put twenty-plus hours of concentrated prep every week into each one of my weekly six-to-eight-hour shows, where I read on the air local writing and stories and articles from the web and from books and magazines, and I play old music and old-time radio drama and ephemeral films from my collection and new music that catches my ear. It's science and poetry and music and art and politics and health and public announcements and a swap shop and more, and it's more diverse and information-intensive and educational than any show anywhere. Compare it to a cross between BBC Radio 4, Travis T. Hipp, Jurgen Gothe, Jean Shepherd, and Firesign Theater.
Get on it. And get back to me with your progress. You should find a stack of applications and resumes and material from me there, as well as material in my favor from others I've worked for and helped. And if you don't find it, that's part of what I need you to get to the bottom of. I'm copying this to the kzyx-talk listserv to make sure you see it (I hope you're subscribed to that), because a few months ago I was told by the chirpy new program director that everything I sent to previous program directors had been going directly into the trash without being read. Also you should know - probably nobody there will tell you - that Stuart Campbell was filtering what got to the board and dealing with the board's email account as his own playground since he was board president and that continued when he was named manager, and he probably still has the keys to the entire system; he shouldn't - you need to change all the passwords; put it on your list of things to do. And I asked the program director for the names of members of the committee that decides who's on the air and who's not, because I'd heard it was chaired by Stuart Campbell (!), and that information was not made available. On the website the programming committee members are listed as Jane Futcher, Mary Aigner and Tim Bray. Jane Futcher isn't even on the board anymore, so. And if it's right about Mary and Tim - the idea of Mary Aigner and Tim Bray standing in judgment over me, or anyone, is an outrage. Who is really on that committee, and how often and when do they meet, and where, so I can invite people to show up and watch?
Speaking of the KZYX website, read it sometime. Important information is effectively hidden, and where it's not hidden it's out of date or obfuscated. And there's no contact info for the individual boardmembers nor for you, and there's no web forum so listeners and airpeople and boardmembers and staff can communicate on issues where everyone can see the same durable information. Fixing that and setting that up would be the work of fifteen minutes for your webmaster. If you have no webmaster, spend an hour taking a tutorial and learn to do it yourself. Just get the keys away from whoever lies to you that it's too hard. Meg Courtney nixed the idea of real, open communication by saying, "No! That would be a free for all."
Also just a half-dozen people in the office, including you, are together being paid a quarter of a million dollars a year while none of the local airpeople are paid at all, not even the ones who work hard at it, and that's clearly an injustice. And it's hard to enjoy what there is to enjoy about supposedly noncommercial KZYX when listeners are constantly bombarded with requests for money, and with advertisements for fundraising events that claim "all proceeds go to KZYX" when that is always a big fat lie. All proceeds in fact go to the bank accounts of the handful of people in the office. The annual tax-derived $120,000 to $190,000 CPB grant easily pays to keep and operate the station. You'll find that out when you look at the books. (In contrast KNYO's entire budget, including main studio, performance space, electricity, fees and paperwork, phone, internet, everything, comes to $10,000 to $12,000 a year, and Bob Young by himself manages everything you and all the people in your office are responsible for, but in a lazy afternoon per month, and he isn't paid. He does it because he loves radio. Talk to him; maybe come up with a few improvements and simplify the way things are done at KZYX. I'm sure you'll find a way to free up enough money to get the worthy airpeople properly paid.
These are only a few of the things you can easily and quickly deal with in your position. And you should do them now because, you know, if not now, when?
You'll find airchecks of hundreds of my radio shows from KMFB and then KNYO and KMEC at my weblog, so you can hear what my show sounds like. Pick something there and skim it.
Really, on KKUP in 1985 I had my radio kids at the Whale School on the air live through the phone for weekly radio drama shows three days after I contacted the station. At KMFB my show was on the air within a week of my contacting manager Bob Woelfel, and the underwriting I brought in paid for my airtime from the first day and throughout the almost fifteen years I was there. My show has always paid for itself. At KNYO, same story. At KMEC it took a little longer because Ed Nieves had to make a few telephone calls, edit the schedule page and move some shows around to make room, but they were courteous, enthusiastic, fast and real. Over the years people I encouraged got shows on all the radio stations I ever had anything to do with. In my newspapers in the 1980s and 1990s I gave a regular column to everyone who sent in their story on time, whether they were on their meds or off. My public access teevee show welcomed everyone who walked in the door and signed up on show nights, no matter what they smelled like or wanted to do with the camera. Every time I do my current show (KNYO/KMEC) in Fort Bragg the door is open and people can come in off the street and sit down at a microphone. I show up early, fully prepared, I do my superlative show, I fix anything that's broken that I know how to fix, I tidy up the studio behind me, normalize the board, and I leave. I solve problems and provide equipment for the station. I bring in underwriters. I am deserving of airtime.
Every radio station, commercial or noncommercial, that I have ever been part of has been more free and open and honest and transparent and welcoming of constructive dissent in its operation and decision-making process and finances than KZYX has.
Think of expediting scheduling my show on KZYX as an opportunity for you to address an unconscionably delayed repair ticket. I know you just got there, but everyone before you just got there once, too, and they, like you, accepted a princely salary equal to 1,200 yearly $50 memberships, but they faked their way through the job, accomplished nothing and fled.
Be different. Be better than them. I know you can do it.
Ed note: Unless the new manager at KZYX has been handed the ancient enemies list, it really is outrageous that Marco continues to be non-personed, having first been blackballed by Mendo Pseudo-Public Radio's mercenary founding father, Sean Donovan, twenty years ago. Marco offers a lively, often funny, mostly locally-based radio program. Much of the station's present programming, especially the locally-generated talk programming by junior varsity academics interviewing their equivalently tedious friends on Very Big Think Issues, now offered by KZYX constitutes a form of audio torture. To keep Marco out, the station's tiny cadre of "toxic personalities," in the apt description of a recently departed staffer, ignores his applications without even the courtesy of a reply, let alone a reason for shutting him out. From what we hear at Boonville's beloved weekly, the new manager is a decent person (as was his predecessor) with real media bona fides. We hope he at last gives Marco a break, or at least a fair hearing.
FAIR PLAY FOR MENDO COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYERS
To the Editor:
An Open Letter to the College Trustees and President Reyes:
The stated mission of Mendocino College is to “partner with a dynamic community of diverse students to help them achieve their educational goals.” In the case of its football players, the college has failed to be a good partner. Therefore we ask, what is the College’s goal in having a football program?
Thanks to pressure from us, at your January meeting you’ll decide whether the crisis surrounding the College’s football program should be discussed — at yet another meeting. Only two of our group urged you to address the football program issue at your December meeting, and our remarks were necessarily brief. We’re writing again to communicate more thoroughly and to offer more voices. We urge you to examine this issue sooner than later, because the problem might have been at its worst and most visible this past semester, but it’s been happening for many years and won’t go away on its own.
To recap the crisis for others reading this: Mendocino College welcomes football players from out of town and often out of state without adequately describing the expense of living here and the difficulty of finding housing in Ukiah. The College says it cannot do anything to help these young men in need of housing because the rules of CCCAA, the association that governs athletics at California community colleges, requires member schools not to do anything for athletes that it doesn’t do for all of its students.
Since Mendocino College has no dorms and the rental market here is very difficult, in the past many of these young men paid for rooms at a Ukiah motel, which became the equivalent of a makeshift dormitory where there was no supervision or organization but there were prostitutes and drug dealers and bed bugs. Forced to leave the motel this past summer for being noisy, 30 of them next found housing with the help of their coach, crowded into a large rental house meant to sleep no more than 24 on Ukiah’s west side. Again, lacking supervision and structure and even hot water for a period of two weeks, they were forced to leave this second sort-of-dorm for making noise that disturbed the neighbors. It’s easy to believe the students were noisy in both cases; colleges that house large groups of students wouldn’t think of grouping them together without set rules, on-site supervision, and established organizational structure. The landlord of the large westside rental house also reported that the 30 were behind on rent, although many of the young men paying $250/month each claimed that they were current on rent payments and were shocked to learn than no rent had been paid.
A local church came to the rescue, offering to house the students free in a building not designed as a residence; understanding this but desperate, 20 of them moved in early October to the church, where they had no kitchen and two tiny bathrooms with no showers. Of the ten remaining students, we heard that four found housing in Willits and at least one returned home, having given up on the idea of playing football or pursuing higher education.
As the story of these events reached local newspapers, members of the Ukiah community stepped forward to help the students staying at the church. Twenty-five people communicated via email and phone to organize contributions of air mattresses, bedding, towels, a refrigerator and other kitchen tools and supplies, groceries, prepared meals, and even spiritual help if desired. South Ukiah Rotary, various religious groups, and many individuals made generous donations. A woman in Lake County created a web page to coordinate food and meal donations and herself brought the students a complete meal at Thanksgiving.
Still, the stay at the church was rocky at times; again it was a makeshift dormitory without adequate supervision, and the pastor suspected that some students were entertaining girls on the premises and one was smoking weed; he was also displeased with general lack of cleanliness and failure to adequately dispose of the large amount of garbage generated by the necessary use of disposable dishes and utensils. (The students could not use real dishes and utensils since there was no kitchen sink in which to wash them; it was tricky enough to wash up the pots and pans used on a donated cooktop.) Late in October the pastor evicted the 17 remaining students and a day later invited back nine of them. Seven chose to return, two of the others talked their way back into his good graces, and the others found housing through the end of the semester with people who’d been among the volunteers supplying food to the church — apart from two students who returned home.
Once the students were living in smaller groups, the situation stabilized. Families hosting students reported that their guests did beautifully. There were no further dramas at the church. In spite of all their difficulties, the team had a winning season under Coach Frank Espy, tying for second in their league. Six of the players were chosen for an all-conference team. Who knows how well they might have done if their lives had been less fraught.
However, when the semester drew to a close on Dec. 15, the volunteers, the students, and the College Foundation executive director had been unable to locate rental housing for the coming semester for any of the young men who’d lived at the church. One host family continued to offer a space for one young man; other host families needed to free up their extra bedrooms for family and friends. As a result, we advised the students to make plans elsewhere for the coming semester. Fortunately, nine of them had invitations from other community colleges in California, Kansas, and North Dakota that could supply housing and in at least one case, a meal card. Another three who are sophomores will be attending four-year colleges. Others who stayed after the 15th hoping to find housing are now talking about approaching community colleges elsewhere for the coming semester or the coming football season.
Who are these young men? Each year mostly minority students from across the country come to Ukiah with the dream of playing football and getting an education, beginning at the Mendocino campus and then transferring to four-year schools if they’re fortunate enough to win scholarships. They want both to play football and to earn advanced degrees. As one young man on the Mendo team said, “Football is saving my life.” He said that football is an avenue to leave his community where he’s likely to be killed or become tangled in trouble that will land him in prison. Another student said that was true for most of the football players. All across America, the pattern is being repeated at other community college campuses. Fortunately for young men attending other schools, many of these schools can offer on-campus housing or off-campus rentals that are far more affordable and available than in Ukiah.
You cannot expect the local people who extended themselves for young men in emergency circumstances during these past months to repeat their efforts in the coming year. Above all, we are feeling bitter toward Mendocino College for having allowed this emergency to develop. We want to see young men offered a pathway toward success in higher education and athletics, but we want that path NOT to be fraught with the stress that young visitors to Ukiah have experienced these past months. Have no doubt, this experience has been traumatic for the students; some report that they still haven’t told their parents what happened here because their parents would be too upset.
The big question is why Mendocino College has allowed football players to arrive at its campus to face the same difficult situation over a period of some 30 years. Mr. Reyes, during the three and a half years that you’ve held office, you’ve known of this long-standing situation and done nothing to remedy it.
Former Mendocino College football coach, professor, and trustee Larry MacLeitch recently wrote about continuation of the problem-laden college football program in the Ukiah Daily Journal, “This is done primarily for one reason…. money.” Out-of-state students pay much higher tuition than California students. MacLeitch reported, “the college maximizes the money it receives (from these students) by minimizing the in house costs of the team to a thread-bare minimum. All of the team’s coaches are poorly paid part-time employees without benefits such as health insurance or retirement.” In talking with the students, we learned that their football equipment is ten years old and in many ways deficient, which is particularly concerning in a sport that requires brutal body contact. To make matters worse, there is almost no local support for the players at their games. Only the final game of the season was well-attended, primarily because many of the volunteers and their families plus some the players’ own families were in attendance. When the Board of Trustees finally and openly analyzes the costs and benefits of the Mendocino College program, it is likely to find that the financial benefits to the College are significant. What we insist you keep in mind is the cost in human suffering.
The second big question is whether there are remedies to this crisis that would justify continuation of a football program at Mendocino College. The only solutions we can envision are to build dormitories or find host families. Whatever path you choose, you must do it quickly and effectively so that this season’s remaining students and their coaches can wisely plan for the future — and so that a whole new group of football players are not misled into coming to Ukiah this summer. What you’ve allowed in the past you cannot do again to another group of young men with dreams of football and education. Either find a way to offer out-of-area students adequate housing in Ukiah or discourage them from traveling in some cases thousands of miles to pursue a dream that turns into a nightmare.
Do the right thing and make the community proud. The legacy of Mendocino College is in your hands.
Victoria Golden, Ukiah; Barry Vogel, Ukiah; Carrie Brigham, Ukiah; Berry Salinas, Lakeport; Margo Frank, Ukiah; Fran Saito, Ukiah; Janet Rosen, RN, PHN, Ukiah; Sharon Gorman, Ukiah; Alfred White, Ukiah; Catherine Woskow, Ukiah; Cassie Gibson, Ukiah; MaryLou Leonard, Ukiah; Susan Baird, Ukiah; Benj Thomas, Ukiah; Anita McAvoy, Ukiah.
POST NASAL DRIP
Re, Snot Therapy.
I don’t know who sits there and comes up with these fictitious aliases but I think thanstead [sic] of them focusing on a scale of rating nasal drip you should go set the standard for spelling the word about wrong. You had nearly a whole column droning on over me but you still somehow topped the last paragraph with a blemish! How hard is it to make a simple legible response? Clearly you woke up Jan 04, 17 and used the wrong nasal spray with your coffee. Go back to the city, flatlander.
Jewel Dyer, A#20550
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office,
Corrections Division, (Mendocino County Jail)
951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 95482