Post image for Black Breastfeeding Week 2016

By South OB Girl

San Diego based photographer Vanessa Simmons has attracted quite a bit of attention nation wide with her “Normalize Breastfeeding Tour.” She has previously been featured in Vogue, The Huffington Post, and here at The OB Rag/San Diego Free Press.

Vanessa started Normalize Breastfeeding in 2014 – a project intended to bring awareness to breast-feeding through photography.

And August is National Breastfeeding Month (which many of us may not have known). And August 25 – 31st is Black Breastfeeding Week.

Black Breastfeeding Week (BBW) was created because for over 40 years there has been a gaping racial disparity in breastfeeding rates. The most recent CDC data show that 75% of white women have ever breastfed versus 58.9% of black women.

BBW is intended to focus on the racial disparity and draw attention to the issue. Here are the top 5 reasons behind BBW :

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Geological_time_spiral-for-HOP-for-web_0

By Jim Miller

One of the more thought-provoking books I read this summer was Love in the Anthropocene, a collection of stories by Dale Jamieson and Bonnie Nadzam. As the title suggests, the tales in this volume are about what the world is becoming and will be as a result of climate change.

Interestingly the world Jamieson and Nadzam depicts is not a Hollywood-style apocalyptic landscape, but an earth largely bereft of natural environments, where zoos house the last animals, natural food is rare, cities have adjusted to catastrophic weather, and those fortunate enough to live inside the bubble of “civilization” are surrounded by vast discarded populations who are left to tough it out on the outskirts of “normal life.”

What is striking about this scenario is that it is not necessarily dystopian for the characters who inhabit it because they have simply come to accept a world we might be horrified by as “the way it is.” Put another way, for these future humans the demise of nature has been naturalized as a simple fact of life, just like the brutal inequality and the blithe replacement of the real with the simulation that defines their social landscape.

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By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

Centaur and nymph, Tuileries Garden, ParisWhat is it about brute force and macho swagger that mesmerizes so many people?

Picture this: you’re at a crowded carnival. See that big beefy guy up on stage – the one with bulging pecs and thighs like a steel vise? Watch as he picks up that mallet, swings it high overhead, and smashes it down – smack on target. The bell at the top almost shatters with a ringing endorsement of this big tough guy. We all cheer.

Picture another carnival. Onstage is an international lineup of muscle-flexing politicians. See the iron-fisted man of steel Vladimir Putin? the vicious hanger-on Bashar al-Assad? how about the take-no-prisoners Kim Jong-un? And whoa! there’s a joker in the pack – the one with a muscle-bound mouth. Could it be the Donald, our very own wild card? Even he gets cheers.

Now picture a different carnival setting. Let’s make it city hall in sunny San Diego. Man-o-man, the politics on this stage are a feminist fantasy come true – not a grandstanding, fulminating, intimidating, testosterone-laden blowhard in sight (at least, not since Papa Doug Manchester pulled out at the U-T).

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San Diego Unified School Board meeting, July 26, 2016

By Anne Marie Tipton / SanDiego350.org

The San Diego Unified School District’s (SDUSD) Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution on July 26th calling on the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (STRS) and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) to divest their investment portfolios of stocks in fossil fuel companies.

Recognizing the threat of global warming, the resolution also supports last year’s state legislation, SB 185, which requires PERS and STRS to divest from coal stocks. Most of SDUSD’s employees belong to these huge retirement systems.

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OB Torrey protest ed goodtree dist

Some of us who were involved in the unsuccessful effort to save the Torrey Pine at 4652 Saratoga Avenue, thought it necessary to develop a written account of the saga of the Torrey called “Esperanza” – or “Hope”.

A chronicle was needed telling the story of how it came to be that the city and its contractor cut down the 90-year old, 80-foot tall on Monday, August 22nd.

The following, then, is a chronology of the Torrey Pine and its removal. (Much is taken from an anonymous “Critique of Saratoga Torrey Pine Chronology”, some is from a “Fact Sheet” from the city’s Transportation & Storm Water division, the remainder from this reporter’s notes and memories.)

________________

Unusually strong storms, beginning in the winter of 2015/2016, brought down a number of widely-reported trees and large limbs around the city, and as a result, there was a city-wide heightened awareness of large trees and their vulnerability.

Late January – early Feb – Strong winds brought down a large pine tree on Talbot Street in Point Loma – that caused some damage – and reportedly a 100-year old Torrey pine tree in the courtyard at OB Elementary School fell with no damage or injuries.

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A Sneak Peek at the 35 (!) Local Measures Appearing on San Diego Ballots

August 26, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for A Sneak Peek at the 35 (!) Local Measures Appearing on San Diego Ballots

By Doug Porter

Labor Day used to be the traditional start of the Fall Election season. That’s no longer the case with the increasing popularity of mail-in ballots driving endorsements and campaigning further backward on the calendar.

August 24th’s endorsement session of the San Diego Democratic Central Committee proves the point. Dozens upon dozens of candidates and ballot measures were considered. The really big deals were the top four ballot measures.

In a nutshell, the Dems opposed SANDAG’s Measure A and the Lilac Hills Measure B, stayed neutral on the Chargers’ Measure C, and supported the Citizens Plan Measure D.

In fairness to the partisans for and opponents of these marquee measures, the final vote tells just part of the story. The opposition came up just one vote short in the Democrats meeting of opposing the Chargers’ stadium proposal.

If this all seems like gibberish to you, you’re at the right place. Here’s your first peek at the 35 (!) ballot measures to be presented to voters in various parts of San Diego County for the 2016 general elections.

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Women’s Equality Day – August 26

August 26, 2016 by Source
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From National Women’s History Project

At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.”

The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York.

The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with Women’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities.

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OB Town Council Gets an Earful – Complaints about Torrey Pine, Candidate Statements, and Ideas About Newport Ave

August 25, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OBTC meet 82416 council

From expressions of anger about the recent Torrey Pine removal, to impassioned statements by Board candidates, to studied brows deep in thought on how to improve Newport Avenue, the Ocean Beach Town Council meeting last night, Wednesday, Aug. 24th, exhibited a gamut of emotions and “passions”.

Anger of Residents on How City Handled Torrey Pine

Anger at how the City handled the Torrey Pine on Saratoga came out among residents during the non-agenda public comment period at the opening of the meeting. The Masonic Center community room filled up with sixty people, at least one news camera and reporter, as acting chair Gio Ignolia attempted to guide the at times contentious forum.

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It’s the National Parks’ 100th Birthday! Get Thee Out to the Cabrillo Lighthouse – Free Thurs. – Sun.

August 25, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for It’s the National Parks’ 100th Birthday! Get Thee Out to the Cabrillo Lighthouse – Free Thurs. – Sun.

It’s the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, today, Thursday, August 25th.

And the Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of Point Loma is free today, Thursday through this Sunday, August 28th.

The Monument has a full schedule of events Thursday to celebrate this great anniversary of the National Parks.

On this day in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act that created the National Park Service, which to this day, serves as caretaker for more than 400 sites.

Local events are scheduled to begin at the monument at 9:30 a.m.

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Drugs – the Human Epidemic – Part 1

August 25, 2016 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

Drugs SexMoney ArtworkAmericans are using drugs of various kinds at an increasing rate. Of course drugs have been around for a long time, since the beginning of time in fact.

In 5000 BC the Sumerians used opium.

The earliest record of alcohol production was in Egypt in 3500 BC. Tea in China was used in 3000 BC.

Humans have used various substances to manipulate and alter their mood levels for millennia.

In the category of drugs I include any mood altering substance such caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, prescription drugs such as opiods and other pain killers, amphetamines etc.

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Del Mar Races: Cruel As Ever

August 25, 2016 by Doug Porter

Martha Sullivan

By Doug Porter

There’s disagreement over how many horses have died at the Del Mar races this year. Animal rights advocates say it’s 18. The Union-Tribune says 16. The Daily Racing Form says 14. Some of the variance, no doubt, comes from the time frame from when it was reported.

Regardless of the final number–and it’s likely to increase by the time the summer season ends on Labor Day–more horses have died this year than last. Betting is down, and purses for the last two weeks of the season have been reduced by another 5% on top of the across the board 10% reduction from 2015.

Saturday, August 20th, was supposed to be the biggest day of the racing season at Del Mar, the $1 million Pacific Classic, including big name horses Beholder, California Chrome, and Dortmund. It started with another death.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Late August 2016

August 24, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Late August 2016

* Fund Raiser for the Green Store – Wed., Aug. 24 at Raglan
* OB Sailor Family Helps Flood Victims in Louisiana
* OB Psych-Pop Band – Verigolds – on Most Bright Stage Lights
* Pt Loma Nazarene Grad Remembered
* Ocean Beach gets $3 million in grants to rebuild aging sewers…?
* Hearing Postponed for Pharmacist Charged with Murder of OB Roommate’s Boyfriend
* 4 Crawl Out From Flipped Car in Point Loma
* Analysis Shows Water Science Education Efforts Increased Awareness of Water Issues by 56 Percent –
* Police Search for Suspect in Assault on Homeless Man in the Mid-Way
* Drivers! Watch Out for Navy’s Pipeline Repair Projects Throughout Point Loma

* About the Repair and Relocation of the Miramar Fuel Pipeline

* Neighbors against PLHS lights, school district agree to mediation
* San Diego Refugee Project Got Its Start in Ocean Beach
* Turning Wabaska into a safe route to school Voltaire Bridge to receive improvements
* New league and challenges for Pointers football
* Is Spundoze’s “Point Loma Deep” Named After San Diego?

COME INSIDE FOR STORIES

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The Non-Death of the Drunken Man on the Library Plaza

August 24, 2016 by Source

Photo by h.koppdelaney By Micaela Porte

From a true event at the Pacific Beach Library
June 27, 2015, Saturday, 11 am
____________

The drunken man, his home under the acacia tree on the library plaza,
Last night, laid himself down to die after a few bottles.

Next morning around 11,
Al, the guard, noticed him,
And called Christina the Librarian,
Who called 911 and more,
Ran to get the defibrillator.

The Man was on his side, all grey
His clothes were grey,
His face was grey,
Sirens filled the air on their urgent way.

The brave Librarian, cell phone to ear, for CPR,
Pulled at the dead man’s shirt with thumb and finger,
His inanimate body to roll over.
His chest was grey, strangely inflated, but with no movement.

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Ocean Beach Murals

August 24, 2016 by Staff

OB murals Brittany B 1

All photos by Brittany Bailey

Here’s nearly a dozen and half of photographer Brittany Bailey’s photos of OB’s murals. She took these photos a number of years ago and so, not all of them are still up.

Click on the image for a larger version.

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Why Does Dean Spanos Hate the Homeless?

August 23, 2016 by Source

spanos cate adBy Bill Adams / UrbDeZine

“Why does Chris Cate want the Chargers to leave San Diego? Please call and ask him.”

That was the headline in an ad Dean Spanos, the Chargers owner, ran this past week targeting 2nd year City Council member Chris Cate, who is on the leadership committee of the No Downtown Stadium – Jobs and Streets First! coalition.

Nearly all of the City Council members have voiced opposition to Spanos’s audacious public money grab to fund a downtown stadium for his pro-football team (Ballot Measure C. – disingenuously entitled “Citizens Initiative” – full text).

But Cate has taken the extra step of being a leader on the coalition.

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OB Town Council Meeting: Visioning Workshop on Newport Avenue Plus OBTC Candidate Forum – Wed., Aug. 24

August 23, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council Meeting: Visioning Workshop on Newport Avenue Plus OBTC Candidate Forum – Wed., Aug. 24

The upcoming August 24th OB Town Council meeting could be very exciting and entertaining – and very invigorating – as the Town Council – in conjunction with the OB Planning Board – are both hosting what’s being billed as a a Visioning Workshop on Newport Avenue.

There will also be a forum to hear from the candidates running for election to the OB Town Council Board of Directors. (It’s now too late to submit letters to be a candidate for the Board. Click here and here for more details on OBTC elections.)

Newport Avenue – the street itself – is getting a make-over by the city. So, at the Visioning Workshop for Newport Avenue, community leaders will facilitate a 30-40 minute workshop focused on examining the challenges and opportunities for OB’s principle commercial avenue.

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Open Letter to Mayor and San Diego City Council from OB Town Council on Short Term Vacation Rentals

August 23, 2016 by Source

STVR image Aug016 ed2

RE: Short Term Vacation Rentals

Dear Mayor Faulconer and City Councilmembers:

The object of the Ocean Beach Town Council (OBTC) is to express the will and represent the welfare of the OB community. The OBTC has hosted and held public meetings over the past year to gather community input as it relates to vacation rentals.

On February 9th 2016, the OBTC sent a letter to Councilmember Lori Zapf to formally respond to her short-term vacation rental (STVR) memorandum and to provide feedback from Ocean Beach on what a new STVR ordinance should encompass to protect our quality of life and community.

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SeaWorld is Guilty of Disturbing the Peace

August 23, 2016 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for SeaWorld is Guilty of Disturbing the Peace

For years the residents of the Point Loma and Ocean Beach areas have been complaining of the noise and air pollution spewed forth nightly by SeaWorld. Some people that own dogs have complained that the dogs are scared nightly by the horrendous percussion sounds while trying to hide from the shaking windows and doors. Some people that have children and babies complain that it wakes them up, usually crying, and has affected their everyday life.

Sunday night, August 15th, was one of the worst incidents of noise that I have heard in a long time. The noise reverberated for over two minutes; and as soon as one could relax another wave hit. And it wasn’t just here on the Point. Looking over the comments made on Facebook, Laura stated that she heard it in La Mesa. She said it wasn’t real loud; more like thunder but it was from Sea World.

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Gas Leak in OB Monday Night Forces Evacuations

August 23, 2016 by Staff

A gas leak discovered Monday night, caused about 200 OB residents to be evacuated from their homes.

According to the San Diego U-T:

Homes in the vicinity of Bacon and Cable streets and Santa Cruz and Del Monte avenues were expected to be evacuated throughout the night until at least 5 a.m. as crews worked to locate and repair the broken gas pipe, said San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Lee Swanson.

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OB Planning Chair on the Removal of the OB Saratoga Torrey Pine

August 22, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for OB Planning Chair on the Removal of the OB Saratoga Torrey Pine

OB Saratoga Tree: A Torrey Pine removed today builds a stronger community tomorrow

By John Ambert

If you have not heard yet: Today, the City of San Diego proceeded to remove the 85+ y/o Heritage Torrey Pine tree on the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue, affectionately named “Esperanza” ( translated to “hope” in Spanish) by the OB Community.

The City went forward with the removal of this tree regardless of the requests for a community forum, or for a formal review of the 3rd party Arborist assessment paid for by neighbors and community members. While I recognize and value the concern for public safety, I am disappointed there could not have been a more transparent and community engaged process. During this project, Ocean Beach community members exposed a number of issues which should be addressed for all future work.

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Why We Need to Pass Proposition 55 in November 2016

August 22, 2016 by Jim Miller

brown prop 30

By Jim Miller

As many of us in education circles remember, before the passage of Proposition 30 in 2012, the funding situation for schools and colleges in California was dire.

The question was not IF there were going to be cuts, but rather, how large they would be and how much damage they would do to our students, our profession, and to the communities we serve.

But fortunately, in the wake of the Great Recession and the Occupy movement, the questions of economic inequality and social justice were in the air and we in the California Federation of Teachers, along with our community allies, were able to muster a successful campaign first for the Millionaire’s Tax and then for the passage of Proposition 30, the compromise measure that was forged with Governor Brown.

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Torrey Pine: OB Asked for a Community Forum – Here’s the City’s Answer

August 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey cut truck
The Ocean Beach community had asked the City to hold a community forum on the health and dangers of the Torrey Pine in the middle of the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue.

Monday morning, bright and early, came the City’s response.

Out before 6:30 this morning – Monday – yellow police tape had been spread out, a dozen police officers stood their positions and Atlas Tree Service showed up and began cutting down the Torrey named Esperanza – Hope. By 9:30 a.m. all the branches were down – including one with a birds’ nest – and all that remained was the huge trunk.

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Save the Date! Sat., Sept. 10th – Celebrate 100th Anniversary of OB Library

August 19, 2016 by Source

OB Library Cent Notice

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Here’s Arborist Report that Concludes OB Torrey Pine is “Low Risk”

August 19, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Here’s Arborist Report that Concludes OB Torrey Pine is “Low Risk”

Here below is the arborist’s report on the Saratoga Avenue Torrey Pine. This is a significant report, as not only was it paid for by members of the Ocean Beach community, but the risk assessment performed by Mastor Arborist Bradley Brown, cites the tree at issue as “low risk”.

The report includes 3 pages of text and 2 pages that have the standard matrix that arborists use.

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Miramar Air Show Sends the Wrong Message

August 19, 2016 by Source

Editor: The following piece by Dave Patterson ran in the Op-Ed pages of the San Diego Union-Tribune, August 18, 2016.

By Dave Patterson

Given our quagmire in the Middle East it’s high time that we gave some thought to how our politicians and military contractors promote war as the answer to our problems. In San Diego the promotion of war is anchored in the annual Miramar Air Show.

According to the air show Web page, it’s the largest in the world, with as many as 500,000 people attending. What they don’t tell us is that the air show is designed to appeal to our senses, not our intellect, and when we participate we get an adrenaline high and exciting memories to take home. We also take home the potential burden of our military people and civilians being injured or killed just to provide us those thrills. We also forget that the very nature of war is about death and destruction, not fun and games.

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More Details Emerge in Shooting on Ebers Street

August 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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More details have emerged about the shooting that involved roommates on Ebers Street Monday, August 8th.

The man arrested for the shooting, Lance Touchstone, 40, a resident of Petaluma in northern California pleaded not guilty Tuesday, August 16, to the charges leveled against him: attempted murder and discharging a firearm.

Touchstone’s charges stem from the shooting of the boyfriend (or ex-boyfriend) of his sister Becky, one Jeff Renteria, 30 at their home on the 2100 block of Ebers Street.

Renteria was shot 3 three times and was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries – to his right side with at least one to his abdomen.

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Community Forum With City Representatives on Torrey Pine Requested

August 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

The folks working to save the Torrey Pine on the 4600 block of Saratoga have requested a “Community Forum” on the tree with city representatives to discuss the new arborist’s report and other information – before the city makes any move on the historic Torrey.

John Ambert, in his communication with city officials in which he attached Mastor Arborist Bradley Brown’s risk assessment, make the following:

We are requesting a community forum with City representatives to review the information presented and discuss the path forward, prior to any future work activities.

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San Diego Veterans to Protest Miramar Air Show

August 18, 2016 by Source

“Bannering” against upcoming airshow on August 18

By San Diego Veterans for Peace

miramarEach year, San Diego hosts the giant Miramar Air Show, which is attended by up to 500,000 people.

This air show is typical of many other air shows around the country in that it attempts to glorify and glamorize war and militarism, as well as being an excellent opportunity for defense contractors and the overall military industrial complex to sell products which lead to the deaths and injuries of so many people on earth.

The San Diego Veterans For Peace, with veteran members of all five services, is opposed to these “war shows” and is asking the public to stay home and to provide more wholesome entertainment to their children and families than the Miramar Air Show provides.

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The Day after San Diego Homeless Awareness Day

August 18, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Photo by Anne Haule

What has changed?

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Yesterday, August 17, twenty of San Diego’s media outlets participated in a focused effort to call attention to the tremendous human, financial and societal costs associated with homelessness in San Diego.

If we were writing about another country, we would be referring to the humanitarian crisis posed by a growing number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), but this is sunny San Diego.

It remains to be seen whether the well greased wheels of San Diego politics and commerce are altered in any way after yesterday’s concerted effort, but I can speak with some certainty about a few things that haven’t changed today.

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Why Do People Hate the Homeless?

August 18, 2016 by Doug Porter

anti-homeless-sticker-br-034-300x225By Doug Porter

They’ll say it’s the smell of excrement. Or the public intoxication. Or the aggressive panhandling. Or the intrusion on their public or private space.

People hate what they don’t understand. Lots of people translate their repulsion in hate.

Homeless people on the street are a stark reminder of the failure that could be lurking around the next corner in life. And in order to get along in life, the rest of us have to deny the possibility of becoming one of ‘them.’

All homeless people apparently lived great lives until they somehow fucked it up and ended up homeless. And “we” are better than that. Or so we think.

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