Post image for Use “San Salvador” Replica to Tell the True Story of What Happened to Native Americans in San Diego and California

Continuing the Debate: Is the San Salvador Replica a “Symbol of Genocide” or a “Marketing Tool for San Diego”? or can it be used to tell the true story?

In the interests of continuing the debate of the controversy that has arisen over the current construction of the San Salvador , the replica of Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo’s flagship, which is being built at Spanish Landing in San Diego Bay by the Maritime Museum, we offer the following comments.

We’re certain that the building of the replica of the San Salvador, is widely known around town by now, and many even know that most of the construction is being accomplished by volunteers using the “original” tools and methods of the 16th century. There are tours, displays and some PR by the San Diego Maritime Museum.

In fact, the Museum is planning to stage the official launch of the vessel in late February 2015.

As it is a local story of interest, the OB Rag has covered the building of the ship several times, with photo essays, a focus on the volunteers – particularly the women volunteers, the craftsmanship, tools and imported wood.

Yet, our coverage has encouraged discussion, and because of our posts here and at our online media partner, San Diego Free Press, a debate has arisen – as the construction of the replica of the 500-year ship has run into a wall of controversy.


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Post image for Historical Society Takes Trip Through Time With New OB Book

By Matthew Wood

Take a beach stroll through time in our fine neighborhood with a new book from the Ocean Beach Historical Society.

The publication, part of the “Images of America” series, shows rare photos from the beginnings of OB, following through its growth into a destination spot as it finally settles in as the sleepy beach community we know and love.

Knowing that it is part of a number of publications highlighting neighborhoods throughout the country gives the book a bit of a cookie-cutter feel. But you can’t argue with the content, which is mostly photographs with sparse but descriptive captions that give bits of history along with explaining what you’re seeing.

Most of the focus is on the first half of the 20th century, but it manages to give a glimpse into the future that will be with a smattering of updated pictures to show a contrast between past and present.


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Post image for Nuclear Shutdown News, December 2014

by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear power industry. As nuclear power reactors approach or surpass their planned operating life of 40 years, they have become less and less reliable and more and more threatening. What to do about this? A complete and immediate shut down of them all! NO NUKES!

Here’s our December report.

On December 3 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that central Missouri’s 30 year old Callaway nuclear reactor had experienced a sudden unplanned shutdown. As the Dispatch-Post stated,“Power in the [nuclear] core went from 100% to 0” right away.

The 1200 megawatt Calloway nuke plant supplies 20% of the electricity produced by its owner and operator, Amergen—when it’s at full power.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission commented, “No safety relief valves opened that would have exposed the [nuclear] core to the outside.” This means the nuclear fuel in the reactor supposedly didn’t release any of its radiation into the environment because of the accident.

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Post image for Cuba Sí! Decades of Failed Foreign Policy Come to an End

By Doug Porter

A mutual release of prisoners Wednesday, Dec. 17, marks beginning of the end of the United States embargo against the island nation of Cuba. Cuba released jailed American Alan Gross along with an unnamed non-American intelligence ‘asset.’ The US released three Cubans accused of running a spy operation in the South Florida expatriate community.

The Associated Press reports the two governments are starting talks on normalizing full diplomatic relations; trade and banking ties are will be at the top of the agenda. Observers expect each country to attempt to open embassies in each other’s capitals during 2015.

While these actions are not part of any overall shift in US foreign policy, the repercussions throughout the hemisphere will be reminiscent of the establishment of normalized relations with China in the 1970’s. It’s a big deal. A really big deal.


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Post image for Call for Volunteers by OB Town Council for Food and Toy Drive

Daily Sign Up Links (inside)

The Ocean Beach Town Council has put out a call for volunteers to assist in the annual Food & Toy Drive.

Beginning Tuesday, Dec. 16, volunteers are asked to join the Town Council and other residents as they receive, sort, wrap and distribute care packages for 80 and more local families and senior citizens. It begins at 5pm and runs to 9. And it keeps happening through every day this week into Saturday.

The center of all this holiday giving is at the Masonic Center -1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

The call includes volunteers helping them in delivering the donations.

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Let’s say “No More” Violence Against Women

December 18, 2014 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Stop Violence Against Women

It’s sad that there’s such a notion as “violence against women,” but it’s heartening that, seemingly, we, as a society, are now looking into such an unsavory practice as though we want to do something about it.

A catalyst for a big part of our interest in the subject has been the National Football League (who would have ever dreamed that?) with their “No” to violence against women television PSA’s, featuring present day and ex-pro football players, motivated by that horrible tape we saw of star running back, Ray Rice, punching his wife out in an elevator, one of the nastiest sights anyone could ever see.

“No more boys will be boys,” one of the athletes says.

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Ocean Beach Being Considered for National Surfing Reserve

December 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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We have just found out that Ocean Beach is right now being considered as a National Surfing Reserve.

Research is currently going on to identify iconic California surfing spots that could have the National Reserve status. It is being conducted by World Surfing Reserve cofounder Brad Farmer, who along with Michael Blum, are doing the research into the potential sites. It’s apparently a 10-year process.

Surfing sites at Malibu and Santa Cruz have already been declared World Surfing Reserves.

Just what are the criteria to being a National Surfing Reserve? They include historical and cultural significance, surf break quality, community interest, economic and recreational value, and the presence of environmental threats. Ocean Beach has all of these, doesn’t it?

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SeaWorld WATCH: CEO and 108 Workers Let Go, But No Orcas

December 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for SeaWorld WATCH: CEO and 108 Workers Let Go, But No Orcas

These are bad days for SeaWorld: plummeting ticket sales and profits. And worse – the CEO was fired, 108 workers at the San Diego theme park were laid off, part of 300 nation-wide.

Yet, no orcas have been let go or laid off. You know things are getting bad when even the U-T San Diego – a staunch supporter of SeaWorld – asks “Will SeaWorld free Shamu?“.

Amidst continuing protests at their front gate, SeaWorld announced a week ago that CEO Jim Atchison was resigning. At this point it’s fairly universally accepted that a lot of SeaWorld’s decline is because of changing attitudes of consumers about orca captivity – much of that prompted by the “Blackfish” documentary -which was highly critical of its treatment of killer whales.

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The Gun Death Capital of the World – United States of America

December 17, 2014 by John Lawrence

Lethal Weapons ChartBy John Lawrence

The US leads the world in deaths from firearms. Countries like Great Britain and Japan, which outlaw guns, have hardly any gun related deaths.

These countries don’t have the “freedom” to own a gun. We Americans are free to own a gun and free to go bankrupt from medical debts. In countries like Britain and Japan they are not free to go bankrupt from medical debt because they have national health care systems which prevent that from happening.

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Holiday Noir

December 17, 2014 by Source

Christmas-2011-Sale-Slider1By Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

I woke up early Bloody Wednesday. I could hear the alarm on my Sig Sauer Smartshot pleading for attention. It’s automatic loader had failed and the diagnostics were blinking error 1037, error 1037, error 1037…

Of all days, Bloody Wednesday, Christmas Eve, my companion gun’s auto-feed goes manual. I’m going to lose precious seconds loading and reloading manually at the mall.

I’ll have no advantage over the last-minute shoppers who’d put off shopping until the last minute for no good reason.

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Saratoga Condos Being Readied – Are All the Units Already Rented?

December 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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On site at the waterfront condos being built at Saratoga and Abbott in Ocean Beach, it’s clear that the 3-story building is nearing completion.

We were out there last week, and saw dozens of workers trying to get the 10-unit complex ready by January 2015. New cement had been poured at one of the entrances to the partial-underground parking area off Abbott, and workers were prepping the surface. A guy who appeared to be a foreman told me that his work had to be finished by that week.

Not far from them was a small team working on electrical lines, it appeared. Up in the second floor, white-collared men seemed to be dealing with high-tech equipment.


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San Diego Joins National Protests Against Police Violence

December 16, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Photo Gallery of Event Inside

Last Saturday, December 13th, San Diego joined the national day of protests held nation-wide against police violence. The largest demonstrations were in New York City and Washington DC.

Three hundred people gathered at the large fountain in Balboa Park during the late morning for a rally, die-in and march. A couple dozen curious tourists were nearby, snapping photos. It was a very mixed crowd, and as Doug Porter reports (below) some of the speakers were exceptionally passionate and persuasive.

The various speakers did decry police shootings of Black men – including in San Diego, and other themes such as the lack of justice, the systematic racism of the system, white privilege, the need to come together, to love one another, to meet at the Malcolm X Library as part of a coalition, how reforms are not good, to not just come to a rally but take the struggle home, and more.

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The Season for Mindless Consumerism

December 16, 2014 by Source

mindlessThis Christmas, put your money to better use than thoughtless gift-giving.

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

‘Tis the season for mindless consumerism.

I love giving gifts when they’re from the heart. But I hate giving or receiving presents if they’re things nobody needs, given out of a sense of obligation.

Here’s a story that illustrates what I mean. Back in college, a friend of mine approached me and said, “I just want to give you a heads up, my new girlfriend bought you a gift.”

Uh-oh, I thought. I didn’t even get him a gift,

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A Call for Councilwoman Zapf to Do the Right Thing by Lori Saldaña

December 16, 2014 by Source

occupy-SD-lincolnclubinviteDear Councilwoman Zapf:

When you were elected to the San Diego City Council 4 years ago, to represent my Clairemont neighborhood, I was willing to give you a chance.

After all, you claimed to be sensitive to working class issues, as asmall business owner. And you have mentioned having Mexican-American family members, which made me hopeful you would find common ground with the growing Latino community in my native Clairemont.

But this week, your staff’s comments about how she “wanted to shoot” the “… idiot” protesters at a City Council event displayed a shocking lack of awareness about public safety, civil disobedience, efforts to achieve social justice, and the constitutional right of Americans to use peaceful protest to communicate with elected officials.

And what makes this latest situation even worse: it was the SECOND time a member of your staff displayed this tone deaf, cavalier disrespect towards public protest.

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OB Project Review Committee: 4950 Saratoga – Demolition of 2 Units and Construction of 4

December 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Project Review Committee: 4950 Saratoga – Demolition of 2 Units and Construction of 4

The Project Review Committee of the OB Planning Board is scheduled to review a demolition / construction project on the 4900 block of Saratoga Avenue at their monthly meeting this Wednesday, Dec. 17th.

The one-item agenda of the Committee, chaired by John Ambert, begins at 6 pm at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. The Project Review Committee holds a semi-hearing on each project that is to come before the Planning Board and then it usually makes a recommendation to the full Board, that most times considers the project at their next monthly meeting.

The project up for consideration this week is an application for a Coastal Development Permit at 4950 and 4956 Saratoga Avenue. The application is to demolish 2 existing residences and build 4 dwelling units – on a 2 lot plot of 0.16 acres.

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The Day School Shootings Became the Norm

December 15, 2014 by Annie Lane

By Annie Lane

cafeteriaThe 1999 Columbine High School shooting jolted me. I was 15 at the time. That is, I was still immortal and arrogant in the way that only a teen can be. Despite this, I remember being jolted by the violence of it, and the permanence. The kids killed were my age; they were essentially moments away from entering into the adult world, however unprepared, just like me.

The black-and-white cafeteria footage that ran on a seemingly endless loop across news stations nationwide was spell-binding. It was simultaneously real while perfectly mimicking Hollywood violence – or was it the other way around?

Columbine’s Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were outcasts, no doubt. But I distinctly remember gawking at the idea of that being their motive. Really? I was a Thespian for Heaven’s sake. If your adolescent goal is to receive near-constant ridicule, join the theatre.

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Vacation Rentals In San Diego Under More Scrutiny

December 15, 2014 by Source

Vacation rental property owners targeted for missing tax payments

meet-the-5-biggest-airbnb-hosts-being-targeted-by-new-yorks-top-lawyerBy John P. Anderson / San Diego Free Press

I have a small cottage that I rent out to visitors via the vacation rental website Airbnb. The cottage is on the same property as my home and I did not think that vacation rental taxes in San Diego applied to my situation.

The taxes in San Diego for vacation rentals are the transient occupancy tax (TOT) and tourism marketing district (TMD) assessment. The rates for a property like mine from these taxes total 11.05% of gross rent – 10.5% TOT and .55% TMD, there is also a higher 1.45% TMD rate that applies to lodging businesses with 30 or more units.

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On Torture: Deeper into the American Heart of Darkness

December 15, 2014 by Jim Miller

torture bedBy Jim Miller

A couple of weeks ago I evoked Joseph Conrad’s classic critique of colonialism when discussing the disposability of black and brown lives in the wake of Ferguson and our collective ability to dehumanize or “thingify” black and brown people at home and abroad.

As I observed then, “in Conrad’s classic novel Heart of Darkness we are taken on a journey into the core of the European colonial enterprise. And while the naïve reader may expect an adventure in the ‘savage’ world of Africa, what one quickly discovers is that it is the ‘hollow men’ of Europe bent on the ruthless exploitation of the land and the people who are the real savages, whose moral emptiness and desire to ‘exterminate the brutes’ is the actual horror.”

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Zapf’s Aide Calls Protesters at Inaugural “F*cking idiots” and “I wanted to shoot them!”

December 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Zapf’s Aide Calls Protesters at Inaugural “F*cking idiots” and “I wanted to shoot them!”

A community representative of newly-sworn in Councilwoman Lori Zapf called protesters at Zapf’s inaugural “fucking idiots” and then said “I wanted to shoot them!”

Shirley Owen, an aide to Zapf, called the protesters “fucking idiots with their hands up” and said “I wanted to shoot them.” The protesters were there to protest police violence and brutality, and had rallied outside the Golden Hall inauguration in downtown San Diego on Wednesday, Dec. 10th. They were chanting “hands up, don’t shoot!”, and then went inside and had a silent protest and a “die-in”.

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OB Cat Adoption Center Looking for a Few Good Owners

December 12, 2014 by Matthew Wood
Thumbnail image for OB Cat Adoption Center Looking for a Few Good Owners

By Matthew Wood

Bone Appetit Ocean Beach Pet Supply owner Kelly Patri is looking for a few good cat owners. But be warned: She won’t give up her rescue kitties to just anyone.

“We have an application process,” Patri says about her cat adoption center in the back of the store on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. “We’ve definitely turned people away.”

The adoption center is approved by San Diego County, meaning it has passed their requirements as an “approved adoption facility.”

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San Diego March Against Police Violence – Sat., Dec. 13th

December 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for San Diego March Against Police Violence – Sat., Dec. 13th

Coinciding with a national march against police violence in Washington, DC, organizers have planned a march here in San Diego on the same day.

The national march is being organized by the National Action Network in response to the recent shootings by police of unarmed Black men and the failure of grand juries to indict the cops involved. Protest have erupted across the country on a daily basis since the most recent failure to indict last week by a New York grand jury.

The solidarity action in San Diego is on Saturday, December 13th, and begins at the Balboa Park Big Fountain at 10:30 am. Speakers are planned, as well as a “Die-In” and a march.

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Conversion to Renewable Energy is Going Too Slow to Avoid Catastrophe – Part 2

December 12, 2014 by John Lawrence

earthonfireBy Frank Thomas and John Lawrence

Part 1 can be found here

We are lucky to have advanced to a stage that scientists can determine the relationship between the rate of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere, the absolute value in tons of CO2 already in and projected to be in the atmosphere, the rate of increase of CO2 emissions and the relationship between amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface temperatures.

If we didn’t have this science, we might go right ahead destroying the earth’s environment to the point of extinction of human life without even understanding what was happening to us.

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Four Unit Complex on 4900 Coronado in Ocean Beach Sold for $1.5 Million

December 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Four Unit Complex on 4900 Coronado in Ocean Beach Sold for $1.5 Million

A four-unit complex on the 4900 block of Coronado Avenue in Ocean Beach has just been sold for $1.5 Million. The complex at 4947-4951½ Coronado Ave. consists of a main house with 4-bedrooms and 2 baths, plus one 2-bedroom, 2 bath house, and then a pair of one-bedroom units. “The Coronado Avenue Apartments”, built in 1951, at assessor’s parcel 448-161-09, is a 7,000-square-foot lot.

Of course, it’s not known what the new owner plans to do with this large lot close to beautiful Sunset Cliffs. Will the nearly 65 year-old buildings be rehabbed, or will they be demolished and replaced with a 3-story gargantuan? This property is in District 5 of the OB Planning Area, and Board members Jane Gawronski and Michael Nieto represent the district.

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Two Teens Rescued at the Usual Sunset Cliffs Jumping Site

December 11, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Two teenagers had to be rescued today by lifeguards using a crane. And the rescue was at the usual “jumping” site along Sunset Cliffs, near Froude Street.

The two were apparently from of group of 7, out to see the big surf, skipping school, who decided to try the jump.

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“OB Time”: the Old OB Hippie – Proud of OB Coming Together

December 11, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for “OB Time”: the Old OB Hippie – Proud of OB Coming Together

But Not So Much of Other Things
Yup, kids, the Old OB Hippie is full of pride these days about OB (… but not so much from other stuff) and how the community came together around the annual OB Holiday Parade.

The OB Parades are always a gas, but this year was special, as the OB Town Council, who hosts the parade, named the OB Community Plan as the “Grand Marshal” of the parade! Wow! This is tremendous – and I’ve never in all my decades seen the local town council join up in solidarity with the local planning board like this. Plus I don’t think there’s ever been a Grand Marshall that hasn’t been an actual person. I could be wrong, and I’d love to know if I was on this. But this is / was very significant in this community’s history.

The OB Parade always has surprises and fun floats and entries. This year, the “OB Pause” was crazy great. They had a airplane outline in lights and then they all came to a halt. …

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The 7 Planning Districts of Ocean Beach

December 11, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Do you know which planning district you live in within Ocean Beach?

Here is a detailed and photographic tour of each of the seven planning districts within the OB Planning Area. These posts were originally written for the OB Planning Board election in March of 2014. Everything – except who the current District representatives are – is still up todate.

We begin with District 1 – the northwest sector of OB – a very important section of the community. It’s bordered on the north by Dog Beach, the San Diego River and Robb Field – which makes the district the gateway to two of OB’s parks. It’s the site of the most famous dog-friendly beach park in the city and due to the district’s proximity to the beach, it has a heavy impact from tourists and visitors. … MORE

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SDSU Students Fight Fraternity Rape Culture

December 11, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Students at San Diego State University participated in a march and sit-in on Tuesday, demanding the school take action in response to sexual assaults and harassment. The protest was triggered by reports of people associated with fraternity houses yelling obscenities, waving dildos and throwing eggs at a Nov. 21st anti-rape march called Take Back the Night.

Their demands included an open forum with SDSU President Elliot Hirshman during the spring semester, along with the resignations of fraternity members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon and Delta Sigma Phi from various posts on the campus.

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Conversion to Renewable Energy is Going Too Slow to Avoid Catastrophe

December 11, 2014 by John Lawrence

By Frank Thomas and John Lawrence

Part 1 of a Multi-Part Series


climate x johnA facile denial of reality sits in the DNA of human nature – and climate change is no exception. The inbred fantasy-culture of endless growth, technology, and a throwaway consumeristic lifestyle fueled by exploiting pollutive fossil fuels has reinforced the illusion that we can do so without destroying the environment and even life itself.

The threat to human life and the planet seems to need to be truly imminent before we humans can change our course. By then, however, it will be too late …

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OB Planning Board Calls for Annual Election: 8 Seats Up for Grabs

December 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Planning Board Calls for Annual Election: 8 Seats Up for Grabs

At their last meeting on December 3rd, the OB Planning Board announced that its annual elections will be held on March 10, 2015, and that half of its seats are up for selection. There are also currently 3 vacancies on the Board, so by our count, that’s 8 positions on the Board up for grabs.

Residents, merchants and property owners are eligible to serve on the Board, and anyone so interested must have attended one meeting of the Planning Board sometime between last March 2014 and their January meeting in 2015.


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Will there or will there not be a skate protest down Newport Ave on Sat, Dec. 13?

December 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Will there or will there not be a skate protest down Newport Ave on Sat, Dec. 13?

There’s fliers out here and there around OB of late that call for a “skate protest” on Saturday, Dec. 13. We’ve seen two variations – one calls for “Reclaim the Street”, and “Stop Skateboard Discrimination” and “End youth and homeless discrimination”.

The other says: “Support OB Culture”, and calls for “youth and homeless discrimination awareness”. Both call for a Skate down Ocean Beach’s Newport Avenue at 12 noon on Saturday. One asked “Please wear green for peace and solidarity”. Both fliers had been apparently printed off a xerox, and were gray with hand-written text and symbols.

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