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yes, all ribs should have that removed (unless you like chewing on paper).
not sure if you can get it in Calif. but a good alternative to your sauce would be Stubbs bbq sauce, not sweet at all and has a good hardy flavor. I will try yours tonite. the store I get mine is Tom thumb, this store is owned by Safeway. google this to give you a store near you ( tom thumb/Safeway locations in California )