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La Grande Observer 11/28/14

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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FROM JANUARY 21 TO FEBRUARY 9

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FROM JANUARY 21 TO FEBRUARY 9

Keep schools small

To the Editor:

I agree with The Observers Jan. 15 editorial stating that we need to consider what is in the long-term interests of both students and taxpayers in making the decision on La Grandes schools.

However, when I try to do that, I come up with a different solution then The Observer does. Namely, I am forced to agree with the majority of the poll respondents that Willow and Island City schools should be renovated rather than building a new school.

First lets consider the taxpayers. The projected cost of renovating Willow and Island City schools is $3.3 million, while the cost of constructing a new school is $6.3 million. Im sure that costs of operating one large new school would be less than the costs of two old ones.

However, the interest saved from not having to borrow the extra $3 million to construct the new school should amount to more than $150,000 a year, and we would also have some additional savings through reduced busing costs.

It is also likely that when schools are taken out of neighborhoods the property values will drop, thereby costing both the school district and the city property tax revenue, not to mention the losses of the property owners.

That leaves the question of whether elementary students are better off in large schools or small neighborhood schools.

Certainly it is easier for a small school to appear friendlier and less intimidating to a young child. Further, students know a larger portion of the kids and they are more apt to be neighbors. Its also easier to get to school and to play on the sports teams.

Im sure there are also some advantages to larger schools but frankly, for a young child, I dont know of any. I believe that, for the kids sake, it is important to keep the schools as small as possible.

Jon Norem

La Grande

Enter contest, earn cash

To the Editor:

These are turbulent times. But difficult times put things in perspective, allowing us to recognize and set priorities. Oregon high school students can use this opportunity to earn a cash award by answering this fundamental question: What is the proper role of government in a free society?

A total of $5,000 is available for the best answers submitted to the eighth annual Independence Essay Competition, organized by Cascade Policy Institute.

The competition is open to all Oregon public, private and home-schooled students in grades 9 through 12. Students should refer to www.cascade policy.org/essay.asp, or call 503-242-0900 for essay guidelines.

The entry deadline is March 15.

Lets challenge high-schoolers to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to live in a free society. Encourage students to enter the Independence Essay Competition.

Angela Eckhardt,

director of publications

Cascade Policy Institute

Portland

Animals cant call police

To the Editor:

Theres a killer loose in La Grande. Hes broken several hearts already.

A young lady about 2 a.m. let out her best friend, a cat, and after a few minutes was going to let her back in, but before she could do that the killer struck drove into this persons yard, ran over and killed the cat, and drove away. This was on a dead-end street here in La Grande.

FBI profilers have stated that most serial killers have this killing and torturing thing about them in their makeup. They progress. What will be next? A child?

When are we finally going to do something about this mess? Keep a watch and get license numbers, then call the police. Animals cant speak for themselves.

C. Ransom

La Grande

More donations appreciated

To the Editor:

The Christmas pet-food drive for the Wallowa County Humane Society brought in 50 pounds of dog food and 90 pounds of cat food.

This is less than half of what we usually receive. But for the time being we have enough to take care of our foster animals. If you would like to donate something, please call us at 426-4170.

Also we would like to remind you that spring is coming. Now is the time to spay or neuter your pets so the population can be kept under control.

Coupons worth $5 are available if you need help in paying for this surgery.

Mary Pillar, secretary

Wallowa County Humane Society

Enterprise

Viewers partially informed

To the Editor:

Vicki and Nelson Correll responded Jan. 17 to the Pathways to Peace mission statement that was published as a community comment on Dec. 21.

Without addressing each of their remarks, I do feel the most blatant misrepresentation must be pointed out.

The Corrells apparently failed to process the word reduce when reading, How do we reduce terrorism? 1) While ensuring freedom of the press, reduce repeat media coverage of terrorist acts. They concluded from the above quote that Pathways supporters are championing media censorship. Absurd!

Please read, reduce repeat media coverage. I feel repeat coverage of select segments of news more closely meets the definition of brainwashing than reporting.

While viewers were exposed to incessant replays of the falling towers, they were not being informed about other critical events. Keeping informed necessitates availability to broad ranging information from around the world, not repeated exposure to traumas and scandals.

The Corrells ask rhetorically, Who decides what should be censored? My opinion is that censorship in American media is becoming inherent through the rapid consolidation of media ownership into the hands of very few individuals. These individuals have profit motives and personal philosophies that supersede dedication to truthful reporting. Democracy depends on an informed citizenry. In a very real way, control of media is control of the democratic process. Therein lies the censorship.

The current selection and slant of mainstream news insidiously creates public support for military activities over peaceful alternatives, resource depletion over conservation and alternative technology, unregulated world trade over worker and environmental protection issues, and large corporate interests over societal and planetary health.

Increasingly, uncensored news is becoming something that must be searched out through alternative news sources dedicated to truthful reporting rather than power and profit.

Mary McCracken

La Grande

Collins vest upgraded

To the Editor:

My name is Lindsey Lankford. All of your readers who read our Jan. 19 letter to the editor know about the Faith Lutheran Church Confirmation Group raising money for Collin, the police dog.

We have got all we needed for the bullet-proof vest. However, we reached our goal with more money than we needed.

So we are buying a bullet- and stab-proof vest for Collin so he could be more protected. We have not raised all of the money, but we are working toward our goal!

We appreciate all of the community help that we have got.

Thank you.

Lindsey Lankford, 11

La Grande

Tell us about your state

To the Editor:

Our fourth-grade class from Gifford Grade School is studying the United States. We would like your help.

We would like your readers to send us postcards or letters telling us about your state. Thanks for your help.

Please send the information to:

Fourth Grade U.S.A. Project

Gifford Grade School #188

P.O. Box 70

Gifford, IL 61847

Taylor Franzen

Gifford, Ill.

Bombing not revenge

To the Editor:

To the persons who want peace and the bombing stopped:

I agree with and commend you on your view of forgiveness. We must forgive those who wrong us in order, among other reasons, to preserve our own health. The confusion comes when you equate retaliation and revenge with punishment and consequences.

If you truly believe that we should forgive the terrorists and ask them to please not do that again, then you have to be willing to live with that philosophy in every area of your personal lives.

What if someone cut every tree on your property, raped and murdered all of your children, poisoned all of your pets, burned your office and stole your car? You would have to forgive them and plead with them not to do it again. You couldnt have them arrested. In your view, that would be retaliation or revenge. Your world wouldnt need court systems, attorneys, prisons, jails or insurance.

I know that you would want them punished and face the consequences of their behavior. Would their families suffer in the process? Without a doubt, but thats life.

The bombing is not revenge. The bombing is a consequence for harboring terrorists and a consequence of the punishment that is yet to come. Please dont confuse retaliation and revenge with punishment and consequences and certainly not with patriotism.

We are all patriots.

Bob Martin

Summerville

Provide closer monitoring

To the Editor:

The state of Oregon has created a safety corridor between Pendleton and Baker City due to the amount of accidents within this area.

The states solution to fixing this problem includes:

1. Increase the size of fines.

2. Increased law enforcement on the chain-up law.

3. Hold the truck speed down and continue to let cars drive at the higher rate of speed.

I feel there are more constructive ways to enforce the safety corridor:

Lighted and wider chain-up areas closer to where the problem lies.

Lighted and wider unchaining areas. These two suggestions would keep the truck drivers from having to chain and unchain their trucks on the freeway with cars flying by 2 or 3 feet from them.

When the chain law is in effect the whole freeway should be slowed down to the same rate of speed as in construction areas, in the chain-up area.

Put out more sand.

Take the chain-up law off when not needed.

This goes back to the little boy crying wolf. The state needs a closer monitoring system when the chain law is in effect. And take the chain law off when there is bare pavement and chains are not needed.

Richard Clark

La Grande

Send cards, pictures please

To the Editor:

I need your help. My fifth-grade class is studying the United States and its geography.

Will you send me a postcard, pictures, posters, maps, magazines or anything else that will help me learn more about your state and its people.

I will learn much more about our country and its people this way. I am looking forward to anything you can send.

Send to:

Patrick Endy

Grandview School

Grandview Avenue

Catskill, N.Y. 124143

Patrick Endy

Catskill, N.Y.

Churches are limited

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to a Jan. 19 article on the religion page titled, Pro-life bishops plan ad campaign. In the large print in the middle of the article was a quote by the Rev. Carlton Veazey, president of Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The quote said that its not a right of any religion to impose its doctrine on others.

Id like to make a few things clear. We live in a society where there is a separation of church and state. It is not a theocracy where the church has legal authority to make people do things, which is what impose its doctrine on others means. The Catholic Church has no such power. About 1,000 years ago the Catholic Church did have that kind of power. Then there were various political intrigues and social movements over the course of hundreds of years, including the Protestant Reformation that ultimately led to the separation of church and state.

In others words, our culture evolved out of the idea of theocracy. That idea is still the moving force in many Islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (which by the way is called the Islamic Republic of Pakistan similar in nature, as far as church and state are concerned, to The Holy Roman Empire).

The only kind of authority the Catholic Church has is moral authority. It cannot make anyone do anything, even Catholics, and moreover it has no wish to. Promoting an ad campaign for pro-life issues is no different than any other group that has a public policy issue, be they environmentalists, conservatives, labor, etc., which tries to get their message out and convince people to think about things in a different way.

The last time I looked it was called freedom of speech.

Vicki Correll

Summerville

Grant significant here

To the Editor:

Removing a drop from Oregons fiscal bucket is like causing a fiscal drought in La Grandes economy, with no rain in the forecast.

Proposed cuts in the states budget include the Oregon Opportunity Grant. Approximately 150 students attending Eastern Oregon University receive this grant of $1,254 a year. Although $188,000 is almost insignificant in the vastness of the Oregon state budget, to La Grande this money alone is equivalent to half a dozen family-wage jobs.

Each full-time student at Eastern brings about $10,000 a year into the local economy through tuition, fees, room and board, etc. To put it another way, every three students at Eastern bring the equivalent of one family-wage job to the local economy. La Grande needs every student it can get to attend Eastern.

Whether you think of the potential financial loss to the area as $1.5 million annually or 50 family-wage jobs, city and county leaders should be proactive and minimize such drought conditions.

Aeron Lester-Blackman

La Grande

Get things back to way they were

To the Editor:

I am a 21-year-old from La Grande who has spent time studying problems and how to build the economy around La Grande and still keep this little country towns integrity.

I am sure many have noticed all the new development the La Grande City Council is trying to get away with, including when they added a new section of houses. This has had a huge impact on traffic, which I feel has made it unsafe for drivers.

They are trying to add some more sections of houses. When they do, they are going to demand even more space and conclude that all of this county and its little cities are in the way of progress.

If they try this, there will be those who are opposed to growth and want things back the way they were. But these people will be told La Grande is bigger and we just cant do that.

So if you love this county and do not want it like Portland or just packed everywhere you go and fast-paced, then I ask you to get some cowboys and men to move to La Grande and legally take over the city council and start getting things back to the way they were.

Jason Hill

La Grande

Everyone wins at Willow

To the Editor:

I write in response to the lead article in the Jan. 23 Observer expressing concern for safety and traffic at Willow School. Several options were listed as being considered to relieve the problem. I write to suggest another on a larger scale.

A few years ago I was a member of the ad hoc committee to study the feasibility of Eastern Oregon University and the city sharing a combined library facility. The committee met with university president Phil Creighton specifically to discuss the possibility.

It became apparent that the university had neither a specific future plan for, nor foreseeable expectation of building a new library facility.

I suggest that Willow School be the chosen site for the much-needed and overdue city library. The school site could be purchased from the school district by the city or possibly obtained through a property exchange to provide the district with a place for a needed new facility. There was and I believe there continues to be a private donation of approximately $1 million for a new library.

The money would do much if not all to accomplish necessary remodeling of the school for use as a library. The rear portion of the existing property could be retained by the school district, subdivided and sold off as residential building lots, thereby providing needed funds for school site construction elsewhere. The proximity of the Willow School site to the new Safeway is likely to increase library usage.

Everybody wins. The school district reduces its burden and takes a step in the direction of a new facility. The city gains a desirable and well situated facility which lends itself to comparatively low-cost remodeling, perhaps fully borne by a private contribution. The problem that you called to your readers attention of student safety at Willow School is abrogated.

Amos Bruce Ferguson

La Grande

Ivins writes political comedy

To the Editor:

Regarding Molly Ivins, whose column was introduced on this page Wednesday:

I rather doubt that Ms. Ivins columns will receive a very enthusiastic reception here in Northeastern Oregon. Judging from her occasional columns published in The Oregonian and other newspapers, and infrequent appearances on political talk shows, it is my impression that she has never met or heard of a Republican who ever did anything right. Furthermore, the only Democrats to have erred are those she believes have acted like Republicans.

Her column published Jan. 30, 2002, in The Observer is probably one of her more lucid efforts and she did refrain from referring to our president as Dubya.

In my opinion most of what she usually writes is in the realm of political comedy, kind of like Doonesbury but without the pictures.

Dwight Matthews

Imbler

Find better things to do

To the Editor:

Oh yes, the railroad line to Joseph is just what Union County needs.

Just like we needed the Super Fantastic Garbage Recycle Center that never worked and cost the county a bundle a number of years ago.

Then there is the economic development grant Union County helped get for the long-gone Peacock Lumber Company and ended up picking up the tab.

I would think our county commissioners could find better things to find grant money for.

Ray Burgett

Cove

Agency overstepping authority

To the Editor:

In the column Word and water rights that ran in the Jan. 28 Observer, Tim Sheehy makes it clear that it is important to look at the actions rather than words of environmentalist groups like the Oregon Water Trust.

As one of the farmers involved in the case, I would also like to add that Andrew Purkey of the OWT has tried to belittle us on Little Creek by claiming that the only reason we are complaining is that we have a difference in philosophy. He seems to have a hard time believing that farmers and ranchers are smart enough to recognize when someone is taking advantage of them.

One key point about the case we filed in court that is not discussed in the column is that we, the farmers, believe that the OWT and Mike Becker are attempting to change fundamental things about water rights for their own benefit in ways that are not permitted by the 1925 Union County Court decree that established the water rights system.

In our case we are claiming that the Water Resources Department, in responding to pressure from the OWT and Mr. Becker, is overstepping its authority by considering a change in the way water is used on Little Creek.

The right to change how water is used is retained by the Union County Court, and has never been delegated to the Water Resources Department. This means our case is about proper jurisdiction and the real harm to farmers if OWT and Becker succeed in getting their way. To diminish the case to a difference in philosophy or a meaningless definition of injury should be recognized for what it is: Mr. Purkey is trying to divert attention away from the fact that his actions harm farmers.

Gloria Kleck

Union

Think about increased traffic

To the Editor:

An Observer editorial on Jan. 23 suggested that the road through Pyles Canyon could be improved for freeway traffic when Interstate 84 is closed due to snow and blowing wind.

My response is if you lived where you had to drive through Pyles every day and you consider your children, some of whom will just be getting their drivers licenses and driving permits, would you still want to improve Pyles so the freeway traffic can go speeding down the highway that has packed snow and ice on it most of the time in the winter?

Julie Thurston

Union

Transparency in business needed

To the Editor:

Vice President Dick Cheney is refusing to identify to Congress the business executives he met with or the subject of conversions they had when formulating the administrations energy policy.

In defense of his position, Cheney told Fox News Sunday that if he were to disclose such information it would make it virtually impossible for me to have confidential conversations with anybodyYou just cannot accept that proposition without putting a chill over the ability of the president and vice president to receive unvarnished advice.

I reject this argument. It implies that business leaders are saying things to our elected officials that would be a political or public relations embarrassment if it were divulged to the public.

What would a business official be saying to our representatives that require such secrecy? If the Enron scandal has shown us anything, its that more transparency in business and politics is needed now, not more behind-closed-doors shenanigans.

If business leaders are talking to our elected representatives, they are in fact talking to us, the citizenry. No harm can be done to our democracy if the nature of these conversations is disclosed.

After all, it is not as if the energy policy is an issue of national security where secrecy is paramount. Nor is Congress seeking the records of internal deliberations within the administration, as the White House says; its investigators want only the names of the company officials or lobbyists and the subjects they brought up.

By refusing to cooperate, the American people get the sense that the administration is hiding something.

Unless halted soon, this growing lack of trust could cripple the administration.

Frederick Monzyk

La Grande

Lunatic killer running loose

To the Editor:

This is in response to the letter from the Ransoms published in the Jan. 26 Observer.

An ugly act of hatred was committed against them. Whoever you are, you need counseling and charges brought against you.

How could you run over an innocent animal that was not doing anybody any harm? Not only did you run over and kill this poor creature, you drove into a yard to do it. You were trespassing on private property. Whoever you are, you must realize that what you did is

an act of violence that cannot and will not be forgotten.

I call on all of the good citizens of La Grande to keep an eye out for whoever did this horrific act and help bring them to justice. May our law enforcement see this letter and know that somewhere in our community there is a lunatic killer running loose.

Whoever you are, may this haunt you for years to come that you killed somebodys pet just to see how it must feel to kill an animal that cannot fight back.

You have no backbone; you must be a coward. Have you had so much ugliness in your life that you can do this kind of an act and feel good about yourself?

You need some serious psychiatric counseling. It may not be long before this person or persons run over an innocent child or a grown-up just to see how that feels to kill a human being.

Our beautiful city does not accept people like you, and we do not want you here.

I pray that justice finds you and gives you just what you deserve. You must be related to bin Laden or some of his bunch of killers.

David Carrillo

La Grande

Angels out there serving

To the Editor:

Im grateful to some very special people here in La Grande.

Hospitalization became necessary last week because of a life-threatening situation.

First responders (EMTs) were so professional and Im grateful for their care. From there, the emergency room doc, nurses and staff treated me with the utmost respect. Because of their care and skills I am here today to write this.

Attending doctors, nurses, dietary and all the staff, including housekeeping, should be proud that they work at Grande Ronde Hospital.

I have worked in hospitals and other care facilities across Oregon and have never seen the professionalism and care that I had while a patient at Grande Ronde Hospital.

I feel like Ive been where angels walk.

Roger Morin

La Grande

Fight wilderness proposal

To the Editor:

Do you know that there is a bill reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last year that would convert a large part of Eastern Oregon into wilderness? This bill before the Congress, HR 488, plans to make a minimum of 632,069 acres in the Malheur, the Umatilla and the Wallowa-Whitman national forests into wilderness.

This bill is sponsored by Christopher Shays, a Connecticut Republican. I find it amazing that someone from Connecticut knows what is best for Eastern Oregon.

Here is a partial list. Not all sites are represented. Greenhorn Mountain, 35,076 acres; Jump Off Joe, 9,493 acres; Twin Mountain, 59,066 acres; total: 103,635 acres.

North Fork Wilderness, Horseshoe Ridge, 5,887 acres; Hell Hole, Mount Emily, 68,882 acres; North Mount Emily, 5,562 acres; Beaver Creek, 12,972 acres; Upper Grande Ronde, 11,723 acres; Marble Point, 6,874 acres; Joseph Canyon, 24,276 acres; Tope Creek, 9,236 acres; total: 327,126 acres.

Baldy Mountain, 6,456 acres; Dixie Butte, 12,907 acres; Murderers Creek, 24,631 acres; Flag Creek, 7,264 acres; Fox Creek, 6,083 acres; Glacier Mountain, 24,637 acres; Malheur River, 12,936 acres; McClellan Mountain, 21,738 acres; Myrtle Silvies, 11,280 acres; Nipple Butte, 11,501 acres; North Fork Mal-Pine, 13,580 acres; Shake Table, 6,926 acres; Utley Butte, 11,070 acres; Monument Rock, 5,398 acres; total: 201,308 acres.

So now you know the facts. We the people of Northeastern Oregon are about to lose a large chunk of our land to more wilderness.

Now is the time to call, write or e-mail your congressman and let him know how you feel about HR 488 before its too late.

J.R. Kaufman

La Grande

Woman not responsible for actions

To the Editor:

We have noticed a new pro-abortion ad campaign on television sponsored by Planned Parenthood. The ad is narrated by a woman who says she is fully responsible for her actions. If her actions are that she has sex and then gets pregnant and then has an abortion because she believes in her right to choose abortion, then that is proof that she is not responsible for her actions.

Her actions are that she got pregnant and then decided that she didnt want to be responsible for a child. Thats hypocritical and it is a lie when she says she is responsible for her actions.

St. Marys Catholic Church confirmation class:

Elizabeth Woody, Natalie McDonald, Kayla Grubaugh, Kristen Grubaugh, Miranda Griffin, Charlie Schumacher, Hailey Wiles, Katie Griffin and Emily Conell, Elgin

Recognize hospitalized veterans

To the Editor:

Americans are once again aware of the heroes among us the ordinary folks who do extraordinary things in service to others in times of danger and desperation.

We at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Administration Medical Center are privileged to care for many of our communitys heroes and want the rest of our citizens to join us in honoring them during the National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans Feb. 10-16.

This years program offers citizens an opportunity to share time and Valentines with our patients and to honor the veterans we serve.

The quality and level of care we provide our veterans is directly linked to community support. Our dedicated professional staff, our hundreds of caring volunteers and the other hospitals and schools we work with are all part of a community effort that contributes to the care we provide our patients. I invite every citizen to participate. You can start by visiting patients at our medical center during the national salute.

For information call toll-free 888-687-8863, extension 22458, or 509-527-3458.

Bruce Stewart, chief operating officer

Jonathan Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center

Walla Walla

Killing for pleasure accepted

To the Editor:

I am responding to David Carrillos Feb. 4 lunatic killer letter.

He seemed to be somewhat upset that somebody saw fit to run over an innocent animal that was not doing anybody any harm. He refers to the animal as this poor creature and goes on to mention killing an animal that cannot fight back.

I really like the part where Mr. Carrillo calls the killer a coward with no backbone and implies that this person has much ugliness in their life and should get some serious psychiatric counseling. I am in substantial agreement with Mr. Carrillo, but I think he overstated the case when he said that our city does not accept people like you, and we do not want you here.

Killing for pleasure is an accepted activity by a sizable subculture in our city. The Observer acknowledges the exploits of these people by publishing laudatory articles with pictures of the perpetrators and their victims. Euphemistically called hunters, these people kill and teach their children to kill for the pleasure it brings them.

From the casual weekend killers who drive around in front yards and forests shooting or crushing any creature that crosses their path, to the deer and elk season killers, they all practice the savage ritual of sport killing.

Please excuse me if I dont believe that eating your victims makes the whole process acceptable, though I suppose Jeffery Dahmer thought so.

I am curious if Mr. Carrillos righteous indignation extends to these sadistic killers too. Are they cowards with no backbone who need serious psychiatric counseling? Since hunters are notorious for trespassing and littering, lets give the lunatic killer his due, at least he didnt litter.

David Pickett

La Grande

Just who is our enemy?

To the Editor:

Now that weve patriotically consolidated our emotions and are prepared to kill all those purple striped enemies ...

What! They arent purple? Well, the point is we will always have enemies of some sort or another. Accuracy in identifying our enemies is vital.

The elements of being an enemy of our sovereign nation may not be as easily defined as some would like us to believe. Can we also define them by inactions or mis-deeds or un-American philosophies or creeds?

A fundamental purpose for uniting these states was to provide for their common defense.

Our national sovereignty will survive only if the federal government secures our international borders, builds up to-date defense systems, guards our defense secrets, keeps our military troops at the ready, strategically places our troops to protect our nation, encourages our citizens to be prepared for the inevitable hard times, disasters, and wars, encourages our citizens to defend themselves, their families and their property, sets a course of international diplomacy that instills trust and proves our honorable intentions among other nations and sets the highest principals of freedom as its unwavering beacon.

In each of the items above, I believe, our federal government has failed us. Can such malfeasance be excused? Is this proof of an enemy within? Have we been sold out? Can you explain it any other way? Can so many traitorous acts be excused as bureaucratic slipups or mere oversights?

Why would presidency after presidency continue to lead us away from freedom and sovereignty? Has someone decided it is time to make a change to global governance? Will our borders disappear? Will we become the American Union, a counterpart to the European Union?

Have we stopped striving to keep America free free from all enemies regardless of race, creed, color or un-American philosophy?

S. Reed Smith

Union

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