A Martínez

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I don't know about you, A, but when I'm at the grocery store recently, I am getting major sticker shock in the checkout line. And I'm buying all the same stuff I usually buy.

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We're 18 months into dealing with this pandemic. And if you're feeling worn out and off balance, you're not alone.

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Duane "Yellow Feather" Shepard stands at the top of a narrow park that slopes downward toward a lifeguard training center and panoramic views of the Pacific coast.

"We're looking over the horizon at a beautiful, beautiful ocean," Shepard says. "It's blue, serene — it's quiet. It's just a gorgeous, gorgeous view."

For Shepard, this oceanfront park known as Bruce's Beach — located in Manhattan Beach, Calif., just south of Los Angeles — holds a painful history. "This is the land that our family used to own," he says.

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A lot rests on the shoulders of Congress today. Keeping the government from shutting down at midnight is just one item on the big to-do list.

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