Mendocino County Today: June 28, 2013

by AVA News Service, June 27, 2013

MENDOCINO COUNTY CLERK ready for same-sex marriages

Mendocino County Clerk Sue Ranochak said Wednesday morning that she is fully prepared to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples in Mendocino County as soon as she gets the go ahead from the state. Ranochak said she has already received a letter from the state explaining how it will proceed to reinstate same-sex marriages. According to Ranochak, the state will need to wait until the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifts the stay it had placed on same-sex marriages in California while the Supreme Court considered the case. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has let stand the California Supreme Court's ruling declaring Prop. 8 (the ballot measure making same-sex marriage illegal in the state) unconstitutional, that stay will be lifted. Ranochak says so far, her morning has been quiet, no calls coming in from people wanting to know when they could get married. Ranochak recalls June 2008 when gay marriage was declared legal statewide and the rush for gay couples to get married. “There was more of a movement in 2008. We were having contact with people prior to that decision that June, we had phone calls from people wanting to know Can we sign up? Can we be first?'” Ranochak said. Between that month and November of that year when the ballot measure banning gay marriage passed, Ranochak thinks there may have been about 50 marriage licenses given to gay couples in this county. “We did quite a few that June and then it became pretty normal after that, both heterosexual and same sex pretty much proportional,” she said. She's not expecting the same kind of rush this time. “After years of struggle, the U.S. Supreme Court today has made same-sex marriage a reality in California. In light of the decision, I have directed the California Department of Public Health to advise the state's counties that they must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit confirms the stay is lifted,” said Brown in a statement as soon as the Supreme Court decision was announced. In preparation for this outcome, Governor Brown sought an opinion from California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris on whether the state, through the California Department of Public Health, can advise county clerks and registrar/recorders that they are bound by the federal district court's ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. The Attorney General concluded that the California Department of Public Health “can and should” instruct county officials that they “must resume issuing marriage licenses to and recording the marriages of same-sex” couples. The Department will issue another letter to county officials as soon as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals confirms the stay is lifted. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the Supreme Court decision itself will take 25 days to become official. The Mercury News also reports that some anti-gay marriage groups may still go back to court to try to convince a state judge that the California ruling allowing gay marriage should only apply in two counties, Los Angeles and Alameda. — KC Meadows (Courtesy, Ukiah Daily Journal)

MICHAEL HICKEY WRITES: Phyllis Lyon walked down the steps in the rotunda of SF City Hall, supported on one side by Mayor Lee and on the other by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who had kicked off the gay marriage argument in California after making a secret deal with the SF gay community, by which the gay vote was split, allowing him to defeat the progressive candidate for mayor who had been favored to win. Newsom promised the gays that he would find a way to start gay marriage, and he kept his word. At the lectern, Mayor Lee blathered for a while, then Newsom added more blather, then the current head of a big time lezbean organization got in front of the mike. “Fuck you, Prop 8!” she shouted, then added, “I looked around the room to see if there were any kids here first, but I will put a dollar in the bad word jar anyway.” There was a lot of hurried whispering behind the scenes in the studios of the local TV stations carrying the event, and the audio link was cut. No seven second delay here, and you'll never see this on the news tonight! Righteous indignation, gloating, and HARD partyin' goin' on in the Castro. Our enlightened and benevolent Supremes dropped their love bomb right in the middle of Pride Week! I guess we can get married now.

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WE’RE FOR JOAN RAINVILLE, whom we know as the friendly and helpful lady at the Mendocino Book Company. Yes, Joan has five DUIs since 1996, the latest one occurring on May 26th when she plowed through a Westside Ukiah fence into a backyard barbecue. But the DA is charging Joan with assault with a deadly weapon for the May episode, which doesn’t seem reasonable since Joan did not deliberately aim her car at either the fence or the people on the other side of it. Considered rationally, the May event is another DUI. Which is certainly worrisome by itself, but the case is really misdemeanor, not a felony. Joan’s got a lot on her plate, and without getting into it and making excuses for her — there’s no excuse for driving drunk — it would be a travesty to send her off to prison for five years on an inflated misdemeanor. Impounding Joan’s car seems reasonable, prison doesn’t. She’ll be back in court on July 9th for a preliminary hearing represented by Justin Petersen.

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WPinCraneTHE HAWK has been re-supplied. Will Parrish, aka Red Tail Hawk, has been locked down half way up a crane at the Willits bypass for a week now to protest the Willits Bypass boondoggle. An attempt to hoist water and food to Parrish last Saturday was foiled by police. But under the cover of darkness Wednesday night, an agile anonymous comrade scaled nearby equipment to get Parrish another few days of supplies.

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THE ANNOUNCEMENT this week that Ukiah will again have to dip into dwindling city reserves to keep basic services limping along comes as no surprise. Ukiah perfected the art of siphoning off redevelopment money to pay for administrative salaries, to the tune of $1 million annually by the time the state pulled the plug on redevelopment. The million dollars in admin salaries that are no longer covered by RDA explains the nearly million dollar projected deficit. But in the wake of losing the RDA cash cow, no one on the City Council, and certainly no one in city admin, has even suggested making any cuts to the city’s bloated administrative overhead. The topic has never even come up. In fact, the city council has been giving the city manager extra perks that were never discussed publicly. Since when does a city manager get an extra $8,000 for “executive pay”? Wasn't she hired to be an executive? And $16,500 for “merit” pay? Isn't that really just a back door way to increase her pay while pretending that her pay has been frozen at the original $150,000 she was originally hired for? But give the city manager credit – she’s converted the people who are supposed to be supervising her into her slaves, not that slavery is in the long term interests of Ukiah.

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SIERRA NEVADA WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL DRUNKS/ARRESTS

DrunksJed Kimball-Hiat, Drunk; Kaicee Griffin, Drunk; Jason Cass, Drunk; Arthur Streb, Drunk;Travis Benevich, Drunk; Erik Mohan, Drunk.

And Mark Weatherly, Dirk or Dagger & Indecent Exposure

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WAY TO GO, MIKE (THOMPSON)

June 27, 2013

Dear Friend,

With student loan rates set to double on Monday, July 1st, I called on the House yesterday to immediately bring up legislation I co-authored, HR 1595, the Student Loan Relief Act. This bill would allow college students to benefit from historically low interest rates by freezing the current 3.4% rate on subsidized Stafford loans for the next two years. Unfortunately, the House Majority wouldn’t allow my bill to come to up for consideration. Students and the thousands of hardworking families across our nation already carry $1 trillion in student loan debt. Allowing these rates to double undermines our economy, weakens our middle class, and puts college out of reach for millions of students. Congress needs to act now. Time is running out. The House Majority recently passed legislation, HR 1911, which would make college more expensive for students and families by forcing them into loans with interest rates that fluctuate year by year. Under HR 1911, interest rates on loans would be reset every year. So, the interest rate on a loan taken out next year by a freshman may start off low, but she doesn’t get to keep that interest rate for the life of the loan. It will change every year, potentially skyrocketing. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bill would charge millions of students and families $3.7 billion over the next decade in additional interest payments relative to current law. The CBO also found that HR 1911 is even worse for students and families than allowing interest rates to double on July 1st as currently scheduled. Under HR 1911, students who borrow the maximum amount of subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans over five years would pay nearly $2,000 more in interest costs than if interest rates doubled. Our students and families deserve better than a bill that makes many students pay higher interest payments than they would if Congress did nothing and interest rates doubled. The one essential element to our nation’s long-term economic success is education. Instead of passing bills that would increase the debt burden for students and families, we need to work together to keep college costs down. The bill I’ve co-authored would do just that. Sincerely, Mike Thompson, Member of Congress

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A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO, searching for a Ukiah room to rent for our ace crime reporter, Bruce McEwen, we posted an ad on Craig's List. Inresponse, we received three versions of the following message: Subject: Need Room For Rent $300

From: “Loren Manchini”

Date: Thu, June 27, 2013 9:53 am

This message is about a meet up for later on. I’m from Las Vegas, 28 years of age and last time I had a boyfriend was in December, so honestly I haven’t got laid since then :D So much is not known while you meet someone online, and this will be the first time that I will be doing this. I have tried many things before with my sexuality, except anal. So this is what I am looking for today, is someone who is experienced and wouldn’t mind teaching a girl how to do it. I heard it is really fun actually. My picture is also attached, and another little secret about me is I do like facials. You can see more pics of me underneath within the link. I am also aware that ladies probably send you response in their links, but I know you remember the killing in Boston, and also the issue in New York. So it is advised that once ladies get interest in classifieds, we send the guy to our profile on dating sites. Sorry but some of you guys are psychos. Lol You don’t need any card or anything, and I have more flicks on there. Im real about this, please be so also. P.S. When you enter code: 36472 in the second page, it goes direct to my profile. — Linda

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ROBERT MICHAEL SHERIDAN

Robert Michael Sheridan, born in Chicago on August 24, 1948, died unexpectedly May 26, 2013, at age 64, of a heart attack He lived in Philo for 17 years in the 1970s and 1980s, and always returned thereafter to the land he loved on Clow Ridge. He played with the valley Clams baseball team and was a member of local band Wood Heat, which performed on the coast and at The Oaks near Yorkville. His lifelong passion for music and singing culminated in the recent release of his CD “Late in the Day” with Red Sky.

Robert graduated from Oberlin College in 1970. There he met Jennifer Thiermann, the love of his life, and they moved to Mendocino and became part of the community that lived together on the mountain top. Robert eventually took over the family business in Chicago, producing and directing major events, including corporate conferences, two Presidential Youth Inaugural Concerts, the Canada Pavilion for the Winter Olympics in 2010, and the opening for the Modern Wing of the Chicago Art Institute. Friends here knew him in overalls cutting wood and building cabins, but saw pictures of Bob in formal wear with major musicians and entertainers.

Robert is survived by his wife Jennifer and his sons Devin and Robin; his siblings Marion, Ana, James, Charles, and Francis; and his beloved in-laws, nieces, nephews, aunts, and cousins. He loved being with family and friends; dancing, singing, and playing his guitar. He was an avid reader, film-goer, sports-watcher, and conversationalist. He left his magnanimous persona to inspire us all.

Donations in Robert’s honor may be made to American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102, or to Chicago Food Depository, 4100 W. Ann Lurie Place, Chicago, IL, 60632.

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OUR DEEP SEA GARBAGE DUMP: 18,000 hours of footage shows Pacific seafloor heaped in man-made trash Seafloor along the west coast and all around the Hawaiian Islands is covered in refuse A massive study of the Pacific Ocean floor shows it’s a huge underwater garbage dump. On over 18,000 hours of footage from deep sea remotely operated vehicles, researchers at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) looked at seafloor as deep as 13,000 feet and found manmade trash items in every place they looked. Deep sea vehicles viewed dive sites all along the West Coast from the Gulf of California to Vancouver Island and all around the Hawaiian Islands, with the worst accumulation of plastic, metal, fishing debris, and other trash in Monterey Canyon off the California coast. Researchers found that Monterey Canyon, where MBARI conducts 200 research dives per year, had more trash than anywhere else. In the deep sea ravine off the coast of California alone, the researchers noted over 1,150 pieces of debris on the seafloor. Researchers did not find random spatterings of trash all across the Pacific seafloor. Instead, they discovered that debris accumulates in deep sea slopes and rocky areas. There was more garbage found in deeper areas than in more shallower spots. ‘I was surprised that we saw so much trash in deeper water. We don't usually think of our daily activities as affecting life two miles deep in the ocean.’ Said lead author of the study Kyra Schlining. ‘I'm sure that there's a lot more debris in the canyon that we're not seeing. A lot of it gets buried by underwater landslides and sediment movement. Some of it may also be carried into deeper water, farther down the canyon.’ Most of the debris, about a third of it, is plastic. Because there is no sunlight on the sea floor, these petroleum-based objects can take hundreds of years to degrade. And as they do, they often turn brittle and break into tiny pieces. As this happens, it becomes more likely that tiny sea floor creatures will consume the toxic substances. This can harm the animal and introduce foreign substances into the food chain. Of the plastic items, about half were plastic grocery bags. These increasingly controversial items can choke and smother animals. Los Angeles became the biggest city in the country to ban free plastic bags in grocery stores following a city council vote this past Tuesday. About $2 million a year is spent to clean up plastic bag litter in Los Angeles. Sanitation authorities estimate more than 228,000 bags are distributed in the city every hour. But clearly many of the bags are ending up deep down on the sea floor. Metal objects were the second most common. Of them, about two thirds were aluminum, steel, or tin cans. Discarded fishing equipment was also commonly observed. As were glass bottles, papers, and cloth. MBARI researchers hope to do additional research to understand the long-term biological impacts of trash in the deep sea. Working with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, they are currently finishing up a detailed study of the effects of a particularly large piece of marine debris—a shipping container that fell off a ship in 2004. Inside the container are over 1,000 steel-belted tires. Researchers believe such a large item, to which many organisms have attached despite being in a habitat devoid of solid objects, can seriously disrupt a deep sea ecosystem. There is no way to cost-effectively remove the trash, so education about preventing further accumulation is a major goal of the project. For now, though—or at least up until now—the problem has only worsened. ‘The most frustrating thing for me is that most of the material we saw—glass, metal, paper, plastic—could be recycled,’ said Schlining. ‘Ultimately, preventing the introduction of litter into the marine environment through increased public awareness remains the most efficient and cost-effective solution to this dilemma.’ (Courtesy, the London Daily Mail)

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YOU THINK the Mendocino County Jail is rough? Try China. “At the Chongqing Municipal Public Security Bureau Investigation Center, also known as the Song Mountain Investigation Center, the cell bosses devised an exotic menu of torments. A few samples: Sichuan-style smoked duck: The enforcer burns the inmate's pubic hair, pulls back his foreskin and blackens the head of the penis with fire.

THEN YOU HAVE, Noodles in clear broth: Strings of toilet papers are soaked in a bowl of urine, and the inmate is forced to eat the toilet paper and drink the urine. There's also the relatively wholesome Turtle Shell and Pork Skin Soup: The enforcer smacks the inmate's kneecaps until they are bruised and swollen, like turtle shells. Walking is impossible.” (Ian Buruma, A Chinese poet's memoir of incarceration.)

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When I was a child / I played by myself in a / corner of the schoolyard / all alone.

I hated dolls and I / hated games, animals were / not friendly and birds / flew away.

If anyone was looking / for me I hid behind a / tree and cried out “I am / an orphan.”

And here I am, the / center of all beauty! / writing these poems! / Imagine!

— Frank O'Hara

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WHILE JAMES TEMPLE writes a reasoned defense against the pillorying of techies, he seems to have forgotten that, starting with the dot-com boom of the 90s, any kind of real bohemian art scene has been priced out as well. The hippies would have bypassed San Francisco; the same with the beats before them. Too expensive. But my beef against most techies is just that they seem to be so friggin' boring. Maybe it's because they're too functional or too well adjusted. Where are the charming drunks and lotharios, the Don Sherwoods, the Don Drapers? I'm sure there are a few sloppy, booze-oozing techies, but for the most part, they seem like a sort of Stepford People; clean, trim, and barren. (— Armando Lagunas Jr.)

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SELECT TV ANCHOR ESTIMATED ANNUAL SALARIES

(Courtesy, the Daily Beast):

Matt Lauer, $25 million. Bill O’Reilly, $20 million. Sean Hannity, $15 million. $Brian Williams, $13 million. Diane Sawyer, $12 million. Anderson Cooper, $11 million. Charlie Rose, $8 million. Al Roker (Al Roker!), $7 million. Piers Morgan, $6 million. George Stephanopolous, $5 million. $Chris Matthews, $5 million. Scott Pelley, $5 million. Wolf Blitzer, $3 million. $Erin Burnett, $2 million. Savannah Guthrie, $2 million.

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GOV. JERRY BROWN on Thursday signed into law a new state budget for the fiscal year beginning Monday, calling it a “momentous occasion” for California's finances, which have been on a roller coaster for years. “We have a balanced budget, not proposed, but actually actualized — the first time in probably a decade or more where the state's finances are in very solid shape,” Brown said. The plan outlines spending for $96.2 billion in the general fund — the state's main checking account, which pays for schools, colleges, health and human services, and public safety — and $49 billion in special funds and bonds. Brown did not make significant changes to the plan the Legislature passed earlier in the month, though he did use his line-item veto authority to cut about $41 million from the spending plan. Most of that — some $30 million — was cut from a Department of Education fund for special education. The governor and Democratic leaders of the Legislature gathered in his office at the Capitol for the bill signing, which included two other bills that will enable the state to further implement the federal Affordable Care Act. He and the legislative leaders were jovial, and among the crowd were many health care advocates. Democrats in the Legislature had hoped for more spending during the budget process, but Brown curtailed their enthusiasm by demanding limited growth in funding for various programs. Overall state spending through the general fund will grow by less than 1 percent in the new fiscal year, according to the Department of Finance. But Democrats did get some of what they wanted, with the creation of a tuition subsidy for students from families making less than $150,000 who attend University of California or California State University schools. The budget also provides $143 million in new funding for mental health services to create crisis and triage positions throughout the state. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, had pushed for the increased mental health funding, and said it was “the first time in state history” that the budget had the most new money — after education spending — going toward mental health services. Assembly Speaker John Pérez, D-Los Angeles, got his way in creating the tuition break for UC and CSU students from middle-class families. Starting in 2014, students from families that make less than $150,000 will get tuition breaks that will grow over four years to a 40 percent reduction of the overall cost. “We're in a position to focus on long-term planning,” Pérez said. The health care bills that Brown signed take California another step toward leading the country in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Diana Dooley attended the bill signing and said the national effort was something that “the president made possible, but we have to make real in California.”

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SANCTUARY FOREST PRESENTS a magical evening of mind-bending entertainment, featuring Brad Barton, Reality Thief. Brad is a versatile entertainer with more than 20 years in the business. His blend of magic, humor, and mind reading is a unique and unforgettable experience as he predicts your dreams, causes borrowed objects to levitate, and reveals your most cherished memories.

On Thursday, July 18th Sanctuary Forest is bringing Brad to the Garberville Theater. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with cocktails, prosecco, beer and wine available for purchase, as well as a delicious assortment of Asian appetizers and homemade cupcakes. The show will begin at 7 p.m., and will include an intermission. Recommend for those 10 years of age and up. Admission is $15 at the door. All proceeds will go to Sanctuary Forest to support the restoration and conservation of the Mattole River watershed and surrounding areas.

Brad Barton’s impact is immediate and undeniable, and his irresistible playful manner and mind blowing magic is both mystifying and motivational. Don’t miss out on what is sure to be a memorable event!

Sanctuary Forest is a land trust whose mission is to conserve the Mattole River watershed and surrounding areas for wildlife habitat and aesthetic, spiritual and intrinsic values, in cooperation with our diverse community.

4 Responses to Mendocino County Today: June 28, 2013

  1. Harvey Reading Reply

    June 28, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Hey, Thompson, you’re just babbling in a self-serving way while avoiding the real issue: doing away with fees and tuition at public colleges, costs which have been increasing steadily since Reagan, who was out to get U.C, was elected governor in 1966. And, democraps went along with it. Since that time we have had nothing but mealy-mouthed bullshit from elected representatives, like you. And, you democraps always blame the “other” party, while jabbering about nonsensical bipartisanship — did you not learn in school that our political system, like our legal system, is adversarial by nature? That means you should be kicking rethuglican ass, not offering bullshit legislation that simply reduces student loan debt slightly, legislation that you know has no chance of passing.

    If you elected assholes actually would take some real stands, rather than spouting bullshit that won’t offend your corporate and yuppie scum donors, things might change. All people like you do is maintain the horrendous status quo for working people while accomplishing nothing of substance to help the Working Class.

  2. John Sakowicz Reply

    June 28, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Brilliant observations about the City of Ukiah and its city manager, Jane Chambers, into today’s “blog at “Mendocino County Today”.

    Absolutely spot on!

    Read related Grand Jury report on Ukiah’s RDA. The City of Ukiah played the RDA shell game like Jascha Heifetz played the violin. They were masterful. See link: http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/grandjury/pdf/1112-RDA_Successor_Agencies.pdf

    This blog post is so good that I think I’ll read it into the record. I’ll read today’s blog post verbatim during “public expression” at the next meeting of the Ukiah City Council.

  3. wineguy Reply

    June 28, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Harvey don’t pin all the blame on the Congressman or Obama et al…the colleges, espically private institiutions, have ratcheted up their tuition/fees/housing some 400% in the past 20 years, interest rates have increased too but nothing like the costs…public education was a bargain but has seen huge increases due to decreased taxpayer support and excessive administrative overhead and salaries…some college sports ‘coaches’ make seven figure salaries! they don’t even teach…we have a PROBLEM and nobody has the guts to deal with it…

    • Harvey Reading Reply

      June 30, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      “Taxpayer support”, excepting shop-owning, peddler-class taxpayer (you know, the so-called job creators – though it is demand, not peddlers that creates jobs) support for public higher education did not decline. However, monetary support did decline as legislators poor-mouthed their ability to generate revenue through raising taxes on the wealthy (as real Working Class wages stagnated or declined) to pay for public colleges and universities; this in the world’s eighth largest economy. Support for higher education continued its decline as both parties turned farther and farther to the right and legislators sought to make public colleges and universities unavailable to Working Class kids, in response to the will of their wealthy benefactors Those paragons of virtue and kaputalism, preferred stealing educated people from poor countries, who would work for much lower wages, screwing those countries as well as bright Working Class kids here.. As a result, the California Master Plan for Higher Education, though still on the books I believe, became, to paraphrase Bush II, just a piece of paper.

      All of this was part of the general scheme to marginalize the Working Class that has been going on since the late 1960s. Assholes like Obama and Thompson (Thompson was a CA state legislator in the 1990s) were not the causes of the problem, though neither has made a significant effort to reverse the trend of the ever-increasing difference between public college operating costs and state or federal support provided, so they are definitely deserving of blame for their crime of omission … and for being servants of wealth in general.

      By the way salaries for staff and faculty are NOT a part of the problem (college sports be damned) … especially when considered against the exorbitant salaries of corporate CEOs and upper management, that have skyrocketed as real income for most working people has declined over the last 40-plus years. Your argument in that regard could have been memorized from a list of rethuglican party talking points.

      It’s not a problem of guts. It is problem of will. And, under the current system of campaign finance, legislators will never have the will to buck their rich masters, except for symbolic, meaningless gestures, like Thompson’s. It’s past time to break out the nooses and rid the country of fascist traitors — and, to quit listening to yuppie-scum pseudoliberals who always preach, in a pedantic sort of way, conciliation and cooperation, not to mention political correctness. It’s far too late for that.

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