MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS
MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924
LETTERS by submission
Critical Time To Get Involved
We are kidding ourselves if we think that there are too many citizens and no time for the President to wiretap our calls and our e-mails. While it would seem logical that there are too many citizens for any one of us to be an incident, and it is understandable that many people think that way, all we need to do is to stop and think about former Communist Russia.
This republic fell for good reason. Can you imagine being kidnapped and murdered just for expressing your thoughts about the government? If it happened routinely in that huge republic, why wouldn't and couldn't it happen right here?
Why, in fact, has the Quaker Peace Movement been dubbed a terrorist organization? Are their members at risk? Denial is THE most dangerous dynamic there is. It is the greatest enabler. Do we really want to sit silently and let it all happen, or do we want to get involved and do something about it?
If so, please write your local politicians and let them know what you think. Sitting and talking will not do us much good, either. Never in our country's history has there been a more critical hour to be actively involved. Dynamo, let's go!
Unfavorable And Disapproved Democracy
How can Arab countries be expected to risk becoming democracies when they see the punishment that can result if their democracy should turn out to be unfavorable to the US, as has happened in Palestine?
The plan to end funding to the Palestinian government should be reconsidered, especially since Hamas has now said it will recognize Israel if Israel will recognize the rights of the Palestinian people. Surely, that is a reasonable offer.
Saving Junk Mail
Last year I saved up all of the junk mail that I received from charitable organizations. Here is a list of the folks who sent me the most junk mail.
The overall winner for creating junk mail is Greenpeace, with twelve donation requests. That's at least one a month. They even have some telemarketing outfit called Donor Services Group calling me at home requesting donations.
The big problem with this method is that DSG usually scrapes off at least 50% of the donation into their own pockets. To get an idea of where your money goes see the "Actual Per Cent to Charity" list from the Vermont Attorney General office website at: http://www.atg.state.vt.us/upload/1136292734_Data_from_Paid_Fundraiders.pdf.
Next up is the "Consumer Reports Foundation Donor Service" with eleven appeals for cash.
The Marijuana Policy Project sent ten requests, but maybe they were too stoned and couldn't remember that they had already sent one.
The Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics (FSEEE) and Project Vote Smart sent nine letters each; Oxfam, the US Fund for UNICEF, and the Democratic National Committee sent seven letters each;
TURN (The Utility Reform Network) sent six letters;
Planned Parenthood", the ACLU and the National Resources Defense Councilā each sent five letters.
With three requests each were Doctors Without Borders, the NAACP, Feed the Children, the International Rescue Committee and the "Sonoma County Library Foundation.
Even local charities sent multiple requests for cash, including SPAWN, MALT, the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin, Friends of Susan Adams, the Marin Conservation League, and the Marin County Library Foundation. There were also numerous single requests and double requests from other charities, with almost two hundred requests total for the whole year. Needless to say, I couldn't possibly satisfy them all, but I'm sure that won't stop them from filling my mail box with even more paper in 2006.
Open Letter To The Park About The Land Swap
Gregory F. Gress
Chief, Pacific land Resources Program Center
This letter is to request an additional 30 days for public comment on the proposed exchange of Federally owned GGNRA Land for private land (Giacomini Trust). At this time, the deadline for public comment is February 26.
The reason for this is that serious questions remain which need to be asked and answered before such an extraordinary trade is finalized.
Does this trade appear fair and economically equitable when two swaths of land bordering Sir Francis Drake Blvd., near Inverness Park (one currently under water and the other 80% wetlands) are to be traded for pieces of land which will effectively join the small individual parcels of Giacomini land, (held back by them in the Wetlands sale), into one contiguous 8 acre parcel worth millions? This new prime piece of real estate borders the southern edge of Pt. Reyes Station and will become a barrier between the town and the new Wetlands.
Is the decision of the public to buy the Giacomini Ranch for over five million dollars being honored? The reasons for this purchase were primarily based on the desire of the local community to return this property to Wetlands rather than have it remain as a dairy ranch. This appears to be violated by the Giacomini's wish to develop this new contiguous 8 acres into either a multiple home project, or continue on with a small intensive, concentrated feed lot on the edge of town. Either possibility is unacceptable to the vast majority of townspeople.
Why has the National Park Service not given the community full public notice of their intended trade? The Park has up until now held endless, extensive public meetings on every part of this project. It is thus surprising that this transaction, which will have such a major impact on Pt. Reyes Station, has had so little publicity. Three legal notices in the back of the Point Reyes Light and a meeting with the Village Association (which has at the most 10 active members) can hardly constitute adequate public notification! The end result in that the now-confused public has less than a week to make written comments to Oakland.
To avoid any accusations that either the National Park Service is trying to 'slip one by', or the Giacomini family is seeking to 'put one over' on the local community, should help you come to the conclusion that at least an additional 30 days for public comment is needed, and that a public meeting at the Dance Palace should be held.
Janet F. Schlitt
Point Reyes Station
This Is Not Tam District Money
Knowing that a bond repayment is four times the amount of the initial bond, why would a politician burden a taxpayer with any unreasonable expense?
San Anselmo Mayor Barbara Thornton and former mayor Peter Breen, Tamalpais Union High School District Board Trustee John Wright and Bob Walter, and Ross Valley School District Board Trustee Lori Lopin are the taxpayers' Joint Powers Authority representatives for the proposed Red Hill Community Park in San Anselmo.
TAM Trustee Wright has added the Red Hill Park project to the list of projects to be completed with the $79 million Tamalpais Union High School District Bond. The intent of this bond is to complete modernization for the Tamalpais, Redwood, and Drake campus sites.
On June 6, tens of thousands of voters will decide the fate of Tamalpais District-owned schools. The Joint Powers Authority members are betting that the voter willingness to improve these educational facilities can equally prosper their plan for a Red Hill Park sports program.
Additional beneficiaries will be a "free" multi-million dollar upgrade to the surplus property owned by Ross Valley School District at the former Red Hill Middle School. Town of San Anselmo will also benefit by having the Town Recreation Department manage the Red Hill Park, a service designed to boost its current million dollar budget with increased revenues for services charged for administration and park use rentals.
For three years the local politicians in San Anselmo have clearly stated that the Red Hill Community (four picnic tables and a bike rack) Park will be paid by donations, grants, state park bond revenues, and in-kind contributions. Maintenance would be funded by user fees. No General Fund dollars would be used.
Fund-raising has been slowed to a stall and the recent failure for San Anselmo taxpayer support for Measure B have resulted in an idea from TAM Trustee John Wright: Attach the million cost to develop Red Hill Park to the TAM District Modernization Bond.
This is not a new idea from Trustee Wright. In 2003, Tamalpais School District attorneys opined that TAM District bond money could be spent on any public school ( open or surplus) located within the jurisdiction of the Tamalpais District.
Recently, the Red Hill Community Park Joint Powers Authority received less than half of the $300,000 promised by Trustee Wright from the 2001 Measure A Modernization Bond.
What is this process? It was by coincidence that this bond funding mechanism for Red Hill Park became noticed by anyone other than a few principals. Trustee John Wright did not disclose his idea at the November 2005 Red Hill Community Park Joint Powers Authority public hearing.
Correspondence uncovered under the Public Records Act confirm Trustee Wright was contacting school district and town officials in October about having discussions to have the TAM Modernization Bond pay for the community park in San Anselmo.
This bond funding mechanism has never been made public by the elected officials, other than the Tamalpais Union High School District Board of Trustees which is moving swiftly to finalize the process to meet the deadline mandated for placement on the June 6 ballot.
On February 28, the Tamalpais Union High School District Board of Trustees will approve the bond language that will incorporate the cost to develop Red Hill Community Park. The Agenda allotted fifteen minutes for this process.
Take your fifteen minutes and respond to your local elected representatives at the school and town level. Question the $79 million TAM Modernization Bond and its function.
The TAM Modernization Bond ballot can be withdrawn any time until mid-March. Encourage your elected representatives to act ethically and with your full knowledge of their actions beforehand.
I had to remind TAM trustees Wright and Walter several time that "this is not TAM money." THIS IS TAXPAYER DOLLARS.
Louise L. Mathews
Hates Jew Haters
Throughout history, there have been people who, for various reasons, have found the presence of Jews uncomfortable, and have sought their destruction. They find Jews threatening, and attribute horrendous, fictional crimes to them. They usually see some kind of grand, shadowy, Jewish conspiracy that controls events behind the scenes, and that seeks world domination. Sometimes Jews are demonized to the point of actually being called demons and devils. Even when these people gain power and murder Jews by the millions, they continue to feel somehow persecuted by Jewry.
Your writers are one link in this long chain of Jew haters stretching back to ancient Egypt. Edward Miller and Frank Scott have made blatantly anti-Semitic charges including: Jews control American foreign policy; Jews control American courts; Jews control American universities; Jews seek domination over Arabs; today's Jews aren't the real Jews of history; and that we need to "look further" into the Holocaust, suggesting that it wasn't as bad as history has documented.
The main difference between "classic" Jew haters and the Miller, Scott and Kate Hart variety, is that the latter have some sense that raw Jew hatred is politically incorrect, and "Zionist hatred" offers them a socially acceptable facade. They must assume people are ignorant of the fact that Zionism has always been an integral part of Judaism, that most Jews are Zionists, and most Zionists are Jews. Still, since they clearly feel threatened by Jews, and believe Jews are responsible for such terrible evils, why can't they be honest and acknowledge their hatred, as their Arab compatriots do?
One more question, are your advertisers aware that they are supporting vicious Jew hating columns that could have come directly from Der Stuermer in Nazi Germany?
Perhaps your readers could tell them.
Editor's Note: Wrong on all counts, but you are entitled to your opinion and being a bit of a bully about it.
The recently reported accidental shooting by the Vice President of a hunting buddy during a quail hunt in Texas has brought into focus a situation that most knowledgeable political observers have already known for some time. The incident itself should not raise any serious concern, considering the fact that the victim was not a fatality and the Vice President is unhurt. Yet it has caused quite a stir in media because of how the episode was handled by the Vice President after the fact.
First, there was the matter of protocol. In such cases, the first person to be informed should be the President who is the Vice President's direct boss. This however was not done. Even if we should assume that the Vice President was emotionally unprepared to tell his boss of the accident, it was incumbent upon his security detail to do so, unless the Vice President ordered them not to.
Why the matter was kept a secret even to the president for over 16 hours is curious if not suspect. It was further reported that the Vice President's men kept the local police away when the latter learned of the shooting accident. Why such a secrecy? Who was the Vice President protecting? Protecting from what?
If it was a simple hunting accident which is common place in Texas, why should the police be kept from investigating this one? Who did the Vice President expect to investigate the case, his security men? They are not police officers. Besides, that responsibility-- by law, falls on the shoulders of the local sheriff.
Pulling rank on some rural law enforcers to prevent them from doing their job is being above the law. Such a behavior smacks of an attempt to cover-up. Cover-up what? The Vice President withholds making a statement for four days and when he does, simply admits that he alone is responsible for the accident. Of course he alone is responsible. He shot the poor guy.
Was the delay in issuing his statement because of any possibility that someone else could take the blame? It is an unfair and cruel assumption but his track record of secrecy and bunker mentality could raise such wild assumptions. Had he been more prompt and forthright in communicating to the public about the accident, no one will suspect of any effort on his part to put a spin on it.
The Vice President claims in his statement that one of the reasons he did not see the man he shot is because same was on his west side and the sun could have blinded him. One however wonders if the sun will not be below the horizon at 5:30 p.m. in Texas at this time of the year?
In our age of sophisticated communication systems and with the advent of cell phones, it is unthinkable that the Vice President of the most technologically advanced country in the world will inadvertently shoot a man in a hunting trip, who is less than thirty yards away from him, because he did not know that same was there. What were the three security agents reportedly guarding him doing at the time? If the Vice President was unknowingly able to shoot a man who approached him unannounced, what would prevent that same man from shooting the Vice President, instead? Thank Heavens the man turned out to be Mr. Whittington, rather than a professional assassin.
As it is, the Vice President invited all kinds of speculation and negative assumptions on the matter. If any of his subordinates would have done to him what he has just done to his immediate boss, it is natural to assume that he will
take it as an affront to him and would deal with that subordinate accordingly. Why the president has not done anything as a reaction to his vice-president's discourteous and improper behavior could be because he has gotten used to it or because he does not consider the Vice President as his subordinate.
Antonio R. Serna
Individual Responsibility For Torture
"This so-called ill treatment and torture in detention centers, stories of which were spread everywhere among the people, and later by the prisoners who were freed, were not, as some assumed, inflicted methodically, but were excesses committed by individual prison guards, their deputies, and men who laid violent hands on the detainees."
Sounds like another Bush administration spinmeister, no, it was Rudolf Hess, the SS commandant at Auschwitz. Some things never change.
Boycott Israeli Products
In Dec. 2003 Rainbow Grocery Cooperative the popular health food store in SF was feverishly grappling among the employee run and owned store, with whether or not to continue boycotting Israeli goods, it was discovered by an enraged Jewish shopper, Ian Zimmerman, that two departments had been participating in an on-going boycott of Israeli products. Zimmerman and Rabbi Doug Kahn of SF made it clear to the store that the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) had made it crystal clear that a boycott would be a very serious mistake.
Steve Berley, the JCRC's director of Israel Programs, warned that Rainbow's Boycott against Israel would be a public relation nightmare. The Chronicle after covering the story mentioned that they received more e-mails and letters about this issue than any other they've ever covered.( Jewish News Weekly, Fri. March 28 2003, Jews wary as Rainbow toys with another Israeli boycott).
Incredibly in the end on Dec. 20, 2003 defeated and demoralized Rainbow employees had worked out a retraction letter and apology. Zimmerman and his group "'Grass Roots for Israel" demonstrated outside of Rainbow market even though they said they would not if the store voted not to boycott.
The JCRC is a powerful Jewish lobby. In 2002 the JCRC sent out a standardized letter to every school superintendent in America ( including our Mary Butler) asserting that our public schools deny " Wheels of Justice" entry onto campuses across America because " The Issue is too controversial and divisive" [for Israel].
"Wheels of Justice" was a joint project of MECCA and The Right of Return Coalition and other Anti-war Human Rights groups to attempt to teach the uneducated public about the occupation of Iraq and Palestine using a friendly school bus which traversed across America with friendly dedicated anti-war activists who had just come back from Iraq and Palestine, these along with a family who with their young children lived on and operated the bus.
I personally tried to get permission from our school board members to allow this bus to stop at our school. I saw it as an opportunity for our school, The Open Class Room, that calls itself an "alternative school" to become evenly educated.
I hand submitted to the office on campus the signature of 20 other parents and community leaders who also wanted the bus to be able to stop at our school and teach us, Mary Butler never once returned my desperate e-mails requesting permission for the bus to come on campus. And the board never voted on the issue because it was never even brought up according to anti-war school board member Richard Sloan.
In Nov. 2004 while I was in Palestine with New College investigating the occupation, after three years of writing about the occupation to the Point Reyes Light. I was banned from writing to the paper unless I stuck to local issues. On Nov. 18, 2004 one week after Susan Sadowsky's daughter, Heather Richardson requested in her letter to the ed. that I be banned I was actually banned, and publicly humiliated penned "a Johnny One Note" by Dave (Mitchell) despite the fact that 28 days earlier on Oct. 21, 2004 a still sober Dave Mitchell wrote an editors' note at the end of Zionist Maury Ostroffs abusive letter, where Maury called for my censorship.
I quote Dave "In the main, it is better to publish most letters and then let rebuttals, ours and readers counter any prejudice." Heather Richardson is the adult daughter of Susan Sadowsky who organized the Jewish congregation called Gan Halev thirteen years ago in San Geronimo Valley. Susan is also the director of the Community Center formally called the Cultural Center.
When I first became involved in the Palestine Solidarity movement 5 years ago I was very naive concerning Israel's involvement in the United States the Middle East and the world. Since then I have become thoroughly informed concerning the Pro-Israel Lobbies that control public debate, including Palestine in our schools and elsewhere and the hold Jewish Power has over the infrastructure and mindset of our very society. Then I learned about the Seven Noahide Laws. These are the laws of the Torah that govern non-Jews.
In Brief the US congress officially recognized the Noahide Laws in Legislation which was passed by both houses. Congress and the president of the US George Bush [senior] indicated in Public Law 102-14 102nd congress that the USA was founded upon the Seven Laws of Noahide and that these laws of Noahide are the foundation upon which civilization stands, and that recent weakening of these laws threatens the very fabric of society and that justified preoccupation in educating the citizens of the US of America and future generations is needed. For this purpose, The Public Law designated March 26, 1991 as Education Day, USA.
How long are we as a peaceful anti- war community willing to self-censor our feelings about the war in Iraq and Palestine because we are afraid to approach and criticize the dominant Jewish paradine and Leadership of our educators, our friends and superintendents and community leaders etc. concerning the pervasive pro-Israel, Holocaust enhancing stance Jewish Power has on Arab Palestine and civil society. Its time that we the people take back our community from the biased Pro- war, deceptively liberal Israel First crowd.
I would suggest that we can and should now morally begin the divestment and boycott because Israel is itself boycotting Palestine's democratically elected Hamas government, withholding over 50 million a month in taxes the Occupation Authority collects on behalf of Palestinians! It is their money for goodness sake you can't collectively punish the whole Palestinian population, its wrong and illegal. Boycott Jarrow Formulas at the Good Earth, Victoria's Secret their sexy wear is made in Israel. There are literally thousands of things one can boycott, including Starbucks, go on line for more ideas talk to each other don't be afraid.
San Geronimo Valley
Bush Should Stop Playing Cowboy
President Bush should take off his war paint and hang up his guns. He's no longer in Abilene. Washington DC is no place to play cowboy and Indians. International problems should be solved intellectually but he still insists in his "STATE OF IRAQ" speech Tuesday night that the US must continue its war and occupation of Iraq.
Of course he did mention a few pie-in-the-sky solutions to complex domestic problems later. For example, don't leave no child behind in education, as he mentions every year then cuts funding for same.
And he insists on spying on the American people to save them from terrorists and Congress must extend the Patriot Act. Why that gets stuck in his craw I don't understand as he does what he darn well pleases anyhow.
Bush also declared that the Americans are "Addicted to Oil" but I don't think his family and oil friends are weeping over the obscene profits under his watch. Exxon Mobil alone reported $36,000,000,000 (that's billions) in profit last year while commuters and airlines are having nervous breakdowns trying to stay solvent.
Until geologists can find more dinosaur tar pits he might persuade Detroit to produce fuel efficient cars? Other than that, Mr. and Mrs. America, "Goodnight and good luck."
David A. Whelan
Imagining Michael Morales' Last Moments
I am glad to know that Michael Morales' last moments in this world were peaceful and painless. It was also reassuring that two anesthesiologists were on hand to assure he suffered absolutely no discomfort.
I can only wonder if his seventeen year old victim Terri Winchell-who fought so fiercely for her own life that she broke the belt that Morales was strangling her with and was then bashed in the head twenty-three times with a hammer until her face was no longer recognizable and then dragged face down into a field where she was stripped, raped, and stabbed in the chest four times with a seven inch kitchen knife and then left for dead - would have also liked to die a peaceful and painless death.
Michael Morales should have been grateful that he did not have to endure the severe pain and suffering at the end of his life that he so savagely inflicted upon his victim.
San Anselmo, CA
Bolinas Group Selected By SF Garden Show
Regenerative Design Institute & Permaculture Institute of Northern California, based in Bolinas, has been selected to display an educational vignette garden at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show (March 15-19 at the Cow Palace) that will be geared toward permaculture and sustainable living. Contact James or Penny Stark at 415/868-9611.
The garden show actually subsidizes these vignette gardens, so that it's possible for non-profits to be able to be there and be seen by thousands of people. It's the sixth largest garden show in the world, so they are likely to get some excellent exposure and a chance to educate a lot of people! For more info on the show or tickets, see www.gardenshow.com.
If you're not familiar with this group, here's some info off their website: www.regenerativedesign.org
RDI emerged out of the work of the Permaculture Institute of Northern California (see below) and is committed to re-establishing a collaborative connection between humanity and the Earth.
Achieving this goal requires a new model of education. RDI's model of ecological education & training creates multi-disciplinary practitioners skilled in the art and science of regenerative design and construction practices and is offered through the Regenerative Design & Nature Awareness (RDNA) Training Program.
By providing skilled designers, farmers, trades-people, educators, facilitators & community leaders, our goal is to spread the awareness that we can design & build development models worldwide that address humans needs while simultaneously regenerating the surrounding environment to become more fertile and diverse in the process.
The Permaculture Institute of Northern California (PINC) is an educational organization promoting sustainable technologies and methodologies and drawing on the tools and teachings of permaculture design.
Founded over 12 years ago, PINC has graduated more than 1500 students with permaculture design certificates in addition to offering a variety of other programs including cob construction, beekeeping, natural plasters, dowsing, nature awareness and more.
Sustainable Living Designs (SLD) is a professional permaculture design/build firm integrating landscapes and structures with water, soil, plants and energy efficiency.
Fund Propaganda With Forests
I should like to know which national forest will get axed, so that Rice may get her $75,000,000 to mount her propaganda campaign on Iran?
Unsafe, Old Nuke Plant And Dead Bodies
Palisades nuclear power plant is up for re-licensing. Although it is already extended 20 years beyond the original safe projection of the operating life of the plant, Consumers Energy has asked for a further extension of another 20 years, to 2031. CE has put the plant up for auction and there is a major concern that a mega nuclear corporation like Exelon will buy it and that the situation and threat of a nuclear disaster would be worse than ever.
I wonder if people realize what a melt down would mean? The town of Covert would no longer exist. Places like Kalamazoo, "downwinders" would first see their pets outdoors die, and anyone caught outdoors when the meltdown occurred would quickly die. Some would live to later die horrid, painful deaths from cancer. Any pregnant women would spontaneously abort their babies, or give birth to defective infants. People would see future generations born without eyes, without arms and legs, and with other severe abnormalities. There would never be any normal children born again to that lineage of people ever again. Corrupted and destroyed DNA is a predecessor to cancer.
Radiation is not easily detected. It is a faint tinge of metal taste in the mouth. People wouldn't even see it coming. How many first responders carry radiation suits in their vehicles or are trained for nuclear emergencies? Hospitals would be flooded with victims and would not be able to treat all those needing help. Most survivors would develop thyroid and other cancers within the year. Hair would fall out, skin would flake off, and the plague of nuclear tiredness would languish people once vital and alive, creating instead, a population of dead and dying.
The radiation would spread to other states and Canada. It would rise up into the atmosphere, traveling out to sea and around the globe, like fall out from Chernobyl did.
There is no safe haven anymore. People should take this threat seriously and demand that aging nuclear power plants be shut down, and no more built. Palisades is one of the worst.
You just can't get life back. However, you can try to stop disaster when you are warned. The embrittlement of Palisades is a warning. The burden and danger of the continual increase in nuclear waste along the shore of Lake Michigan at Palisades and other areas, is reality.
If people don't respond to this problem and demand Palisades be shut down, and that no more nuclear power plants burden citizens and future generations, we run the risk of destruction.
I would like to see everyone that reads this contact Congress (switchboard 202-224-3121) and the NRC (Safety issues: Mike Morgan 301 415 2232). Tell them to shut Palisades down, not to re-license it. Also, tell Congress to end the war. Tell them to stop making nuclear weapons and to stop promoting nuclear energy with tax dollars. Tell them you want a future people can live with not nuclear waste, terrorism, war, and the threat of melt-downs.
"What the Bush administration has been committing since 9/11 is just a good old-fashioned felony, pure and simple."
For the past several weeks now, we have had to deal, as a country, with the realization that the Pentagon, the White House, the NSA, the Justice Department, and who knows how many other federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been secretly tapping into untold thousands of telephone conversations by US citizens since 9/11, all without a warrant. President Bush has admitted these acts on national television and radio and has told us all repeatedly that he has both the legal and the 'moral' authority to do so. The congressional vote in 2001 for the president to use 'whatever means necessary' to protect America, as well as his role as 'Commander in Chief' give him that authority, Bush claims.
This week, US Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales is testifying before congress on the legal justifications the administration has for the warrantless wiretaps. Mr. Gonzales, a staunch Republican ally of President Bush and himself the subject of raucous confirmation hearings in late 2004, will try to explain why his DOJ feels that the federal government owes no explanation to anyone when conducting warrantless wiretaps on US citizens, as long as 'they', the feds, believe the citizens being illegally bugged, are in some way connected to terrorism. We need to just 'Trust them.'
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