California

Teachers Are Not the Problem, They Are the Solution – So Work With Them

February 10, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Time to be blunt. Teachers, students and children are the new electoral battering rams amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just as I wrote in June of last year, the 2020 Presidential election it was “not Biden v. Trump, but COVID-19 v. Trump).” And the GOP’s own confidential postmortem report (as quoted on Politico), confirms it.

“The autopsy says that coronavirus registered as the top issue among voters, and that Biden won those voters by a nearly 3-to-1 margin. A majority registered disapproval of Trump’s handling of the virus.

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Meet California’s New Senator: Alex Padilla

January 19, 2021 by Source

5 Things to Know About Alex Padilla

By Ben Christopher / CalMatters / Updated Jan. 18, 2021

After Joe Biden picked Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate in August, the parlor game of choice for California’s most politically plugged-in was: Who will Gov. Gavin Newsom pick to fill her vacant Senate seat?

Alex Padilla — California’s secretary of state, a Democrat from Pacoima, loyal Newsom ally and a Latino in a state that has never had a member of that largest ethnic group serve as senator — was a top pick among the predictions of insiders. The governor announced his choice in late December and made the appointment official today.

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Gov. Newsom Deploys National Guard to Protect State Capitol

January 15, 2021 by Source

From 13CBS-Sacramento
Gov. Gavin Newsom has deployed the California National Guard in Sacramento to protect the State Capitol ahead of the presidential inauguration. In the week since the attacks on the U.S. Capitol, the FBI has warned capital cities around the nation of potentially armed protests as inauguration day nears.

On Thursday, Newsom announced a series of actions the state is taking to “bolster security.” The governor said California’s State Operations Center is working with federal, state and law enforcement to assess threats and share intelligence “to ensure those disgraceful actions are not repeated here.”

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Trump-Voting Faulconer Joins Recall Newsom Effort Funded by ‘Dark Money’

January 5, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Could Faulconer Really Represent 11 Million California Voters Who Voted for Biden?

By Frank Gormlie

Well, your former mayor didn’t take long to get back into the political spotlight.

Kevin Faulconer has established his mandatory exploratory committee to make a run for governor of California. And at the same time, he has jumped onto the “Recall Newsom” bandwagon, a bandwagon being pushed by “dark money”, it has come out.

So, Kevin has his feet in both pots: a gubernatorial campaign and getting ready to benefit if the recall effort is successful (unlikely however).

Now, don’t forget, our Republican mayor recently admitted he voted for Trump in November 2020.

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More Diversified Juries on Deck for California in New Year

December 9, 2020 by Source

By Jerry Wallingford / San Diego Union-Tribune Op-Ed Page / Dec. 3, 2020

A new law that takes effect in California on Jan. 1, 2022 will make it difficult for lawyers trying criminal cases to exclude people of color, or members of other specified groups such as those related to gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or religious affiliation, from sitting on trial juries.

Historically, trial lawyers have been permitted to use a “peremptory challenge” to keep a prospective juror off of a jury, without providing a reason for the exclusion. In the 1970s and 1980s, first the California and then the United States Supreme Courts devised rules known as the Batson rules, which were intended to keep lawyers from using peremptory challenges to strike jurors because of their race.

The Batson rules have been ineffective. A recent study by the UC Berkeley Law School, entitled “Whitewashing the Jury Box,” found that California prosecutors “still disproportionately exercise peremptory challenges to exclude African Americans and Latinx people from juries.”

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California Curfew Comes Saturday Amidst Highest Daily Coronavirus Case Rate Ever – Applies to Purple-Tiered San Diego County

November 19, 2020 by Source

Starting this Saturday, November 21, most Californians will be under a curfew from 10 pm to 5 am outside the home, unless activity is essential. It will apply to those counties in the strictest tier – the Purple Tier. San Diego County is in the Purple, so the curfew will apply to San Diegans.

California is right now in the highest daily case count ever, even higher than last summer’s surge. The coronaviris is spreading so fast that health officials say the next few days and weeks are critical to stop the current surge. There have been more than 10,000 new daily cases on four days since last Thursday.

The curfew restrictions will be similar to those imposed state-wide in mid-March, a part from the limited nigh hours.

From LA Times

Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced a mandatory overnight stay-at-home order that will be instituted throughout most of California to combat a surge in new coronavirus cases, a measure that comes just days after the governor enacted a dramatic rollback of reopening in much of the state.

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Faulconer and Republicans Pile On Over Gov. Newsom’s Screw-Up But Should Look to the White House for the Real Problem

November 19, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has emerged as Gov. Newsom’s chief critic and was the first one out of the gate to come down on Newsom’s screw-up of attending an indoor party with people from more than three households. Faulconer tweeted:

“His kids can learn in person. But yours can’t. He can celebrate birthday parties. But you can’t. He can dine on a $350 meal at one California’s fanciest restaurants during the worst recession in generations. But you definitely can’t. Can you believe this? I can’t.”

Faulconer’s tweet came out the same day as the news of Gavin’s party. This means he’s taking the gov on and has added fuel to the speculations that he is running for the office next time around.

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School Board Elections 2020: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

November 17, 2020 by Source

School Board Results From Los Angeles, Oakland and Indianapolis

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

Los Angeles, Oakland and Indianapolis are routinely targeted by pro-public school privatization billionaires. Local school board races that a decade ago required less than $10,000 in order to mount a credible campaign now require ten times that amount. Billionaires again spent lavishly to take control of school boards in these three cities.

The Good

For two decades Oakland has been California’s petri dish for school privatization. Eli Broad has placed four superintendents in Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). Mayor Jerry Brown between terms in the Governor’s mansion helped establish the first charter schools in Oakland.

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Open Letter to Governor Newsom: Pick Two New Senators, Not One

November 16, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Dear Governor Newsom:

You are wading through a recall signature collection petition. Also, a difficult COVID-19 escalation in California infections, hospitalizations and deaths; with more to come.

Add to this, the huge financial strains on the state’s revenues, due to the catastrophic fire season; the strain on the state’s health care systems; huge tourism declines; massive job losses; school shutdowns; and an iffy stimulus rescue package that could rescue states and cities.

So, here is a diversion that might help you in the interim.

California needs you and the best two Senators you can choose to take office on January 21st.

Not just one. Not just the one replacement for Vice-President elect, Kamala Harris, but a second Senator. A Senator to replace Diane Feinstein. At 87, she is ready to retire. She deserves to retire. And she needs to retire.

Feinstein and Barbara Boxer came to the Senate at the same time.

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California Calls for 14-Day Quarantine After Out-of-State Recreational Travel – As State Hits 1 Million Covid Cases

November 13, 2020 by Source

The state is taking aim at non-essential travel amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the country.

By Courtney Teague / Patch Staff / Nov 13, 2020 8:53 am PT|Updated Nov 13, 2020 9:12 am PT

Gov. Gavin Newsom and state public health officials issued a travel advisory Friday morning, November 13, asking anyone arriving in the Golden State after recreational travel to self-quarantine for 14 days. This comes after California just reported a “sobering threshold” of 1 million coronavirus cases.

This advisory includes Californians returning home after traveling outside of their home state and visitors from elsewhere who are arriving in California. Travelers are asked to interact only with their immediate household. The advisory does not apply to those who are traveling for work, school, medical care, health, safety and security, and economic services and supply chains, state officials said in the advisory.

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Results of Ballot Propositions in ‘Not-So-Blue’ California

November 12, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / WordsandDeeds / Nov. 10, 2020

Results for the dozen propositions on the 2020 general election ballot haven’t been finalized, but at this point it’s a safe bet to assume not much will change when it comes to the pass/fail question.

There are two types of electioneering for ballot measures, massive ad/publicity campaigns and door-to-door canvassing. Even though California is an expensive ad buy, thanks to its size and population centers, flooding public consciousness with messaging has always been the preferred technique for big bucks campaigns.

By the time election day rolled around, I’m sure many Californians took it as gospel that Uber drivers thought the labor rules written for them by their bosses were a swell idea.

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Prop. 17 Will Restore Voting Rights to 50,000 Reformed Californians

October 29, 2020 by Source

By Niki Martinez / Times of San Diego / October 29, 2020

Every second of every day since I completed my prison sentence, I have done everything I can to live my life with purpose, to help others, and to make amends for the mistake I made when I was 17 years old.

I work four jobs, helping other formerly incarcerated individuals overcome obstacles we face related to earning a degree, securing a job, or finding housing. I do this because I know how challenging and discouraging these obstacles can become, but also how important they are to our successful reentry to society. But under California law, many of us can’t rejoin society — not fully.

In the eyes of the state, neither best intentions, nor hard work, nor good deeds can earn me back my full citizenship. That’s because of a 19th century law that’s still part of California’s constitution that bars individuals who’ve completed their prison sentence from voting.

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So I Went to the Chump Protest in Orange County …

October 19, 2020 by Source

By Green Asteroid / Daily Kos / October 18, 2020

And we found a place on one side of the bridge that goes over Newport Harbor and takes you onto the Newport Peninsula.

Little did I know that it would be a major wildlife crossing for that most dangerous of animals — the Trump fanatic — for over two hours as they made their way toward Lido Isle.

So what kind of species behaviors did we see? I’ll tell you.

The toxic male — One guy for no reason starts spouting off expletives like they’re going out of style, yelling at us, while mothers with strollers walked behind him.

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Behind the Ad Wars: Why You Should Ignore the Fear Mongering and Vote Yes on Proposition 15

October 12, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

By now you’ve seen them all: the litany of ads and mailers against Proposition 15 featuring worried small business owners, angst-filled barbers, and other advocates for hire trying to scare you that Proposition 15 is aimed at small businesses. You’ve even seen a handful of craven local politicians parroting corporate talking points and throwing their communities under the bus in an effort to court the Chamber of Commerce set during campaign season by opposing a measure that would bring billions of dollars into education and vital social services.

What does Proposition 15 actually do? It will require that commercial property valued at more than $3 million be reassessed at fair market value every three years.

  • This closes a loophole that large corporations have used for decades to avoid paying their fair share of property taxes.
  • The richest 10% of corporate properties will provide 92% of the revenue.
  • Prop 15 specifically exempts all residential properties and agricultural land, maintaining full Prop 13 protections for homeowners, renters, and agriculture.
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‘Best Education Improvements Come from Teachers and Classrooms’

October 6, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / Oct. 1, 2020

For more than two decades, bureaucratic style top down education “reform” has undermined improvement efforts by professional educators. For budding teachers, beginning in college with the study of education and their own personal experience as students, an innate need to better education develops. However, in the modern era, that teacher energy to improve education has been sapped by the desperate fight to save public education from “reformers,” to protect their profession from amateurs and to defend the children in their classrooms from profiteers.

Genuine advancements in educational practices come from the classroom. Those edicts emanating from government offices or those lavishly financed and promoted by philanthropies are doomed to failure.

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OB Rag’s Progressive City, County and State Ballot Recommendations for November 2020

October 5, 2020 by Staff

Here are the OB Rag 2020 Election recommendations. Basically, we took Doug Porter’s recommendations – which we generally agree with – but reversed three of his recommendations. We recommend a “No” on Measure E which would erase the 30 foot height limit in the Midway District. We recommend Barbara Bry for Mayor and in the toss-up for City Attorney for San Diego, we recommend incumbent Mara Elliott. But thanks to Doug, who did a lot of research work, most of the other candidates and proposals we agree with are also outlined below.

San Diego Ballot Measures

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Vote Yes on Proposition 15: Ignore the Corporate Lies and Put Our Schools and Communities First

September 28, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

With the economic and budgetary crisis in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are anxious about upcoming budget cuts at the state and local levels that will harm education and local services. It can be a helpless feeling waiting for the shoe to drop, but, in this case, with Proposition 15 on the ballot this November 3rd, there is something we can do about it—pass Prop 15 and bring billions of dollars of new, ongoing revenue into the system.

Proposition 15 will require that commercial property valued at more than $3 million be reassessed at fair market value every three years.

  • This closes a loophole that large corporations have used for decades to avoid paying their fair share of property taxes.
  • The richest 10% of corporate properties will provide 92% of the revenue.
  • Prop 15 specifically exempts all residential properties and agricultural land, maintaining full Prop 13 protections for homeowners, renters, and agriculture.
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7 Billionaires Pouring Money into Pro-Charter School Candidates for Los Angeles School Races and California Legislature

September 25, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / Sept. 20/ 2020

Unlike 2018, fewer of the wealthy class appear to be spending so freely to control California school policy, but their spending still dominates campaign spending.

Large amounts of money are being spent in an attempt to regain political control of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and there appears to be a concentration of money directed at key county school boards. They are also spending liberally on California state senate and assembly races.

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The Billionaire Bonanza Amidst the Pandemic Exposes Greed and Political Cowardice in Washington, D.C. and California

September 21, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

As the bad news keeps rolling in for ordinary Americans with the pandemic dragging on with no real hope in sight for months at best, and any new economic relief stalled out in Congress with the Republican majority refusing to move on “blue state bailouts,” it is abundantly clear whose interests our leaders in Washington actually care about—not yours. Indeed, the wrecking crew in the White House and the Senate have never been more openly honest about their disdain for the well-being of the majority of Americans.

When it comes to emergency aid for the suffering, the response from the Republicans is resounding: F**** off and die.

Why should they be worried? 200,000 dead and counting? Big whoop. Their real base is doing just fine. As the Guardian reported last week, the rich have never had it better:

The already vast fortunes of America’s 643 billionaires have soared by an average of 29% since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which has at the same time laid waste to tens of millions of jobs around the world.

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A History of Mexico for Gringos

September 16, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

Most gringos don’t know too much of the history of Mexico – our southern neighbor – even though Mexico is so much part of the culture of Southern California. U.S. public schools don’t really teach about its history. For instance, September 16 is Mexican Independence Day – the commemoration of the defeat of the Spanish colonialists – akin to our July 4th – when Americans defeated British colonialists and their German mercenaries.

This then is an attempt to bring Mexican history to our readers – it covers Mexico’s story through the Revolution.

Long before the European colonialists landed on the shores, native civilizations flourished in the Americas, building large cities, establishing trade and industry, exhibiting high levels of science, technology and art. By the time Cortes arrived in 1521 to seize land and riches for Spain, the Aztecs ruled over a highly complex society in Central Mexico. Employing the old method of ‘divide and rule’, the Spanish conquered the Aztecs and other peoples

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Law Enforcement Blocks Police Reform in Sacramento While Cops Keep Shooting Black People

September 3, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

When the California legislation closed up their session for the year the other night, and after press reporters described the “chaos” at the Capitol, it became clear that state law enforcement had helped block any police reform bills that had been initiated in the shadow of the Black Lives Matter protests. Meanwhile, police keep shooting and killing Black people.

On the day that the legislators ended their business, LA County Sheriffs shot and killed Dijon Kizzee in the South Los Angeles neighborhood of Westmont. Najee Ali, a community activist, was quoted by the LA Times: “The deputies essentially executed a man riding his bicycle.”

“They’ll say he had a gun, but what they won’t say was that he was not armed with the gun. He did not point the gun. … There was no reason for deputies to shoot a running man.”

After the killing, deputies said that Kizzee was riding his bicycle in violation of the vehicle code.

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Blackout Blackmail Behind Mid-August Power Outages?

September 3, 2020 by Source

by Thomas D. Elias / The Coast News / September 2, 2020

Never before in California’s long experience with power blackouts have systematic, preplanned outages been as short as the 20-minute to 30-minute electric shutdowns inflicted on about 3 million homes and businesses around the state in mid-August.

Without doubt these blackouts were pre-planned. “(We will have) excessive weather conditions and a persistent shortage of electric supply for the California grid,” said a warning texted to electric customers hours ahead of the first outages.

There was a lot odd about this, aside from the short span of the blackouts. Gov. Gavin Newsom said later he didn’t learn of the shutdowns until just beforehand,

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California Fires: Want to Control Blazes? Start More, Experts Say

August 27, 2020 by Source

Why one of the most feasible solutions for worsening wildfires is doing more prescribed burns.

By Jill Cowan / New York Times / Aug. 26, 2020

As Californians brace for more bad news about what is already shaping up to be one of the state’s most intense fire seasons ever, and as we watch as firefighting capacity is stretched thin, I keep coming back to one question: What is California supposed to do?

This question isn’t new, and neither are many of the answers experts and policymakers routinely offer.

For one, they say, too many people are moving into the wildland-urban interface, the transitional zones between denser areas of human development and vegetation, which makes them more vulnerable to damage in the event of a wildfire.

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New Threat to Coastal Communities: Sea Level Rise Will Push Groundwater Up

August 18, 2020 by Source

By Rosanna Xia / Los Angeles Times / Aug. 17, 2020

Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, yet a world away from San Francisco, in an unincorporated and oft-overlooked area known as Marin City, sea level rise is rarely the first worry that comes to mind.

Traditional flood maps for this predominantly Black and working-class community suggest that the area is safe until the sea-level rise reaches three feet or more.

But sea level rise is a lot more complicated than just waves breaking over seawalls and beaches disappearing.

Imagine the groundwater beneath your feet. As the ocean moves inland, it will push all this trapped water upward until it breaks the surface. Basements will heave, brackish water could corrode sewer pipes, toxic contaminants buried in the soil could bubble up and spread.

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Kumeyaay Sue Trump Administration to Block Border Wall that Desecrates Sacred Burial Sites

August 14, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The La Posta Band of Diegueno Mission Indians filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Trump administration in an effort to block construction of the border wall section that the band says will desecrate their sacred burial sites. The tribe’s ancestral lands cross the US-Mexico border.

The suit asks for an injunction to halt – at least temporarily – the erection of a tall, metal wall until the tribe can protect its cultural sacred areas. The La Posta band – one of 12 bands of the Kumeyaay people – also wants to monitor the installation work and be able to interrupt it if human remains and cultural artifacts are found.

The lawsuit was filed against President Donald Trump, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who oversaw military funds diverted for the border wall; acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf; and Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is in charge of building the wall.

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California Getting Ready to Overtake New York in the Most COVID-19 Cases

July 21, 2020 by Source

By Sara Sidner and Jason Kravarik / CNN / July 21, 2020

Nearly 12,000 New Cases in One Day

California looks set to surpass New York as the state with the most cases within days, according to numbers from Johns Hopkins University. It has recently been reporting about 9,000 new cases each day for a total of 397,870 on Monday.

New York, meanwhile, has been adding a little more than 700 cases a day in the last week. Its total number of cases Monday was about 404,000.

It was the first state to impose a stay-at-home order on March 19. Less than two months later, on May 8, the numbers had fallen enough that the state started the first phase of reopening.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom told his citizens,” You have bent the curve.” But then Memorial Day came around.

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Young Adults Now Make Up Largest Number of COVID-19 Cases in California

July 17, 2020 by Staff

Young adults between the ages of 18 through 34 now make up 44% of positive COVID-19 cases in California. The figure is up from 29% compared to one month ago. The age group represents the largest share of COVID-19 cases in the state.

In San Diego County, the age group 20 through 39 makes up nearly 45% of positive cases.

The new data is based on numbers provided by the California Department of Public Health. The marked increase in positive cases in these age groups coincide with the reopening of many businesses, including bars and restaurants in the state and San Diego.

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800 Hate Incidents Against Asian Americans in California During Pandemic

July 8, 2020 by Source

by Chris Jennewein / Times of San Diego / July 5, 2020

Asian Americans in California have reported 832 incidents of discrimination and harassment in the last three months as the coronavirus stoked racial tension, according to a summary by the coalition Stop AAPI Hate (Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate).

The incidents listed in the study released last week were self-reported and included 81 assaults and 64 potential civil rights violations.

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Genocide in California’s History

July 6, 2020 by Source

Junipero Serra1Originally published on August 15, 2008

by gjohnsit / DailyKos / August 14, 2008

What do you think of when someone says “California”? Beaches? Sunshine? Hollywood?

How about the largest act of genocide in American history?

“The idea, strange as it may appear, never occurred to them (the Indians) that they were suffering for the great cause of civilization, which, in the natural course of things, must exterminate Indians.”
– Special Agent J. Ross Browne, Indian Affairs

California was one of the last areas of the New World to be colonized. It wasn’t until 1769 that the first mission, Mission San Diego de Alcalá, was built.

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Disturbing Trends in San Diego County and California COVID-19 Cases

June 26, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Tracking coronavirus in San Diego County and across California

[Some of the following charts and graphs are by Los Angeles Times staff, and were updated June 26, 9:20 a.m. Pacific; others are from the New York Times]

San Diego County

Confirmed cases: 11,961
None yet today
+335 yesterday

Deaths: 352
None yet today
+5 yesterday

What we know

  • Over the past two weeks, San Diego County has recorded 2,963 new cases, failing one of the governor’s performance metrics.
  • In that time, it has reported 44 deaths.
  • Here are self-describing charts and graphs for San Diego County and for the State of California.

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