April 23, 2014  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news stories and events. I have posted links to more than 30,000 news articles and announcements. I also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to my attention a few days after they are published. Will Sugg is the website developer. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
Maine Rivers Conference, May 10
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

A full day event focused on diadromous fish. At Hathaway Creative Center, Waterville, May 10. $40/adult, $10/student prior to May 1; $50/$10 after May 1.
Maine Butterfly Survey, Apr 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Scientists estimate the royal Monarch Butterfly population has declined 80% since 1990. Learn more about the ecological importance of our butterfly and moth populations, and how citizen scientists in Maine have partnered with MDIFW to track sightings of these winged jewels. State Biologist Philip deMaynadier will share the latest on this 7-year study. At Topsham Public Library, April 29, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
The Meaning of Wild, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 20, 2014 

This half hour documentary film takes viewers on a journey through one of our nation’s wildest landscapes, the Tongass National Forest of Southeast Alaska. A post-film discussion will be led by Ken Cline, a Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at College of the Atlantic. At First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, Kennebunk, April 25, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Sierra Club Maine.
Horseshoe Crab Count Needs Volunteers
Announcement - Saturday, April 19, 2014 

Horseshoe crabs are amazing creatures. Each spring, from the end of April through mid-June, volunteers spend an hour or so during high tide counting the crabs they see along the rocky shore in the Great Salt Bay. If interested in participating in the horseshoe crab count project, contact the Damariscotta River Association.
East-West Corridor Art Show, Aug 13-19
Announcement - Friday, April 18, 2014 

Defending Water for Life in Maine is sponsoring an art exhibit to provide a public venue for art which showcases the beauty and diversity of Maine along the route of the proposed East-West Corridor, to support artists who create this art, and to raise funds to continue critical organizing to stop the East-West Corridor project. At Sam Shaw's Main Street Art tent, Northeast Harbor, August 13-19; opening reception August 14, 5 pm.
Feathers over Freeport, Apr 26-27
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 17, 2014 

“Feathers over Freeport” will highlight special birding opportunities at Bradbury Mountain State Park, Pownal, April 26, 8 am - 5 pm; and at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, Freeport, April 27, 8 am - 4 pm.
HOPE Festival, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 17, 2014 

The HOPE Festival celebrates our connections to the earth and to each other and affirms the power of our united efforts. At University of Maine, Student Recreation and Fitness Center, Orono, April 26, 11 am - 4 pm.
Reject and Protect, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 17, 2014 

Thousands of people will meet in Washington DC to stand with pipeline fighters from the front lines to send a final, unmistakable message to President Obama that it’s time to Reject Keystone XL and Protect our Land Water and Climate. At National Mall, Washington, DC, April 26, 11 am.
Casino to give away 1,000 trees, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 17, 2014 

In celebration of National Arbor Day, Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway in Bangor will be giving away 1,000 trees to patrons who present a Club Hollyood card and ID, starting at 5 p.m. on April 25.
Years of Living Dangerously, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 17, 2014 

The new Showtime documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously, examines the impacts of worldwide climate disruption. The series follows Hollywood stars on journeys across the world to meet the people affected by, and seeking solutions to, climate change. After the screening of the first episod, there will be a panel discussion to talk about what we can do to fight climate change in Maine. At Frontier, Brunswick, April 24, 7 pm.
Neighborhood Bird Walks, Apr 19-May 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 

The Penobscot Valley Chapter of Maine Audubon and Fields Pond Audubon Center have scheduled a dozen spring bird walks.
Rebels with a Cause, Apr 22-26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

This stunningly beautiful new film spotlights a group of citizens from many walks of life who fought to establish public parks beginning in the 1950s. At Frontier, Brunswick, screenings April 22-26.
A Fierce Green Fire, Apr 22
Announcement - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

This film is an exploration of the environmental movement — grassroots and global activism spanning 50 years from conservation to climate change. Inspired by the book of the same name by Philip Shabecoff and informed by advisors like Edward O. Wilson, A FIERCE GREEN FIRE chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st. Maine Public TV, Apr 22, 9 pm.
Kennebec River Fisheries, Apr 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Maine Fisheries Biologist Scott Davis will discuss Kennebec River fisheries management. At Margaret Chase Smith Library, Skowhegan, April 22, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Somerset Woods Trustees.
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News Items
Is Plum Creek moving toward mining in Maine?
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, April 23, 2014 

According to a news release that reads as though it was written in Newspeak from George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, on Wednesday a company based in Vancouver, Canada, called Spatial Dimension announced excitedly “the production go-live of the FlexiCadastre Land & Agreement Compliance solution for lease management with one of the largest private landowners in the United States, Plum Creek Timber Company.” Cutting through the nonsensical, ungrammatical corporate verbiage, the announcement suggests that Plum Creek is looking to get into leasing land for mining. Irving, Maine’s biggest landowner, wants to develop a massive copper-zink-gold-silver mine in Aroostook County. Studies of the site suggest a mine there could contaminate surface and ground waters for generations. Plum Creek too may have visions of mining on some of its lands in Maine.
Complaints rising over unleashed dogs in Portland's Baxter Woods
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, April 23, 2014 

On Tuesday afternoon, dozens of dogs romped through Portland’s Mayor Baxter Woods, some sprinting down the trails, a few fetching balls in a field and others ambling by their owners’ sides — almost every one without a leash. Complaints that loose dogs have chased and frightened children, among other things, have thrust the popular park into the recurring conflict between dog owners who want their pets to run free and people who prefer them on a short leash. There’s no mention of dogs in the terms laid out by Percival Baxter in 1946, when he conveyed the 30-acre park to the city in honor of his father, James Phinney Baxter, a former Portland mayor. Rather, he deemed it a place for recreation and education, as well as a sanctuary for birds. “There’s no question it’s probably not a place that birds are going to find inviting right now,” said Jeff Tarling, the city’s arborist.
Couple charged by moose under investigation by Maine Warden Service
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, April 23, 2014 

The Maine Warden Service is investigating the conduct of a couple from New Hampshire who posted a YouTube video of themselves following a moose on snowmobiles, and wardens say they could be charged with a misdemeanor for harassing wildlife. The couple maintain they were not chasing the moose. According to the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Northeast has never had a human fatality from a moose attack, although 33 people have died in Maine in collisions between vehicles and moose since 1995. David Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, said he has no idea what the couple might have intended to do, but after watching the video, he said it appeared that they erred by riding too close to the moose. “They got very close to a big, wild animal, and the big, wild animal didn’t like it,” Trahan said. “These wild animals are unpredictable."
Kittery and York Land Trusts awarded $700K; MCHT gets $300K
Seacoast Online - Wednesday, April 23, 2014 

The Kittery Land Trust has been awarded $400,000 in federal funding earmarked for the 150-acre Brave Boat Headwaters conservation project. The funding is included as part of a $1 million federal North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant that also includes $300,000 toward the purchase of two properties near the York River, through the York Land Trust. The remaining $300,000 will be used by MCHT to purchase an island in Hancock County.
Maine DEP presents EPA Environmental Merit Awards
Maine Government News - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho presented the EPA’s annual Environmental Merit Awards to four Maine recipients on Tuesday. Awards went to Scott Williams of the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program; the ‘Save Your Pipes: Don’t Flush Baby Wipes’ campaign by the Maine Waste Water Control Association, the Portland Water District and the INDA, the national association of non-woven fabrics; Dr. Samuel Merrill for his 12 years of service to the New England Environmental Finance Center at USM and the New England Communities and the Environment; and the Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech).
Not a Single Republican Has Mentioned Earth Day in Congress Since 2010
Other - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

National Journal - For years, mentions of Earth Day have sprung up each April from members of both parties. In April 2010, Democrats spoke of Earth Day over 150 times, mostly in commemoration of its 40th anniversary. But no Republican has uttered the words "Earth Day" on the House or Senate floor since 2010. What explains the apparent Republican aversion to talking about Earth Day, and Democrats' eagerness to do so? In 1971, only 17 percent of House Democrats received LCV scores higher than 80; in 2013, 83 percent scored 80 or higher. In 1971, just 16 percent of House Republicans received scores below 20; in 2013, virtually the entire House Republican Conference—97 percent—received LCV scores below 20, and most of those Republicans received scores below 10. No wonder that House and Senate Republicans don't talk much about Earth Day anymore.
Essay: The New Abolitionism
Other - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

The Nation - Averting planetary disaster will mean forcing fossil fuel companies to give up at least $10 trillion in wealth. The last time in American history that some powerful set of interests relinquished its claim on $10 trillion of wealth was in 1865 — and then only after four years and more than 600,000 lives lost in the bloodiest, most horrific war we’ve ever fought. The comparison I’m making is a comparison between the political economy of slavery and the political economy of fossil fuel. More acutely, when you consider the math, you must confront the fact that the climate justice movement is demanding that an existing set of political and economic interests be forced to say goodbye to trillions of dollars of wealth. It is impossible to point to any precedent other than abolition. ~ Christopher Hayes
Opinion: Let’s Rename Earth Day
Climate Progress - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

The subject of renaming Earth Day remains more relevant than ever in light of the world’s ongoing inaction on climate change, the over-running of Congress by climate zombies, Obama’s multi-year fecklessness on this gravest of threats, and the amazing climate silence of the U.S. media. How about Nature Day or Environment Day? We have fiddled like Nero for far too long to save the whole earth or all of its species. Now we need a World War II scale effort just to cut our losses and save what matters most. So let’s call it Triage Day. And if worse comes to worst, at least future generations won’t have to change the name again. ~ Joe Romm
Two Degrees: How The World Failed On Climate Change
Other - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Vox - It was the early 1990s. Climate scientists had long known that humans were warming up the planet. But politicians were just beginning to grasp that it would take a huge coordinated effort to get nations to burn fewer fossil fuels and avoid sharp temperature increases in the decades ahead. An advisory council of scientists proposed a stunningly simple way to think about climate change. To be on the safe side, we should prevent global average temperatures from rising more than 2° Celsius (or 3.6° Fahrenheit) above what they were just before the dawn of industrialization. Two decades later, the idea that the world can stay below 2°C looks increasingly delusional.
Portland to give Baxter Boulevard to pedestrians, bikes on Sundays
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Part of Portland’s Baxter Boulevard will become a car-free zone on Sundays starting next month, giving the city a mile-long paved park for bicycling, roller-blading, skateboarding or just hanging out next to Back Cove. Sundays on the Boulevard, as the weekly event is being called, got its start last summer by accident. The city had to close Baxter Boulevard for an extensive sewer improvement project intended to clean up the water in Back Cove. While city officials braced for traffic backups and angry neighbors, they found instead that drivers got used to going around the area, and that residents took advantage of the closure to use the street for recreation and socializing.
Water shut off to Richmond mobile home park to prevent contamination
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Nine households lost their water Tuesday when the Richmond Utilities District shut the tap to prevent possible contamination of the town’s drinking water. Sewage is overflowing from a private pumping station at Meadowbrook Trailer Park, and there are leaks in the water pipes. Richmond Utilities District Superintendent Frank Talbot said those problems could threaten the water supply for the district’s other 580 customers.
Hike: Brown Woods
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Surrounded by residential neighborhoods outside the busy city of Bangor, Brown Woods is 28 acres of beautiful forestland, filled with giant white pines. Owned by the City of Bangor, the land is maintained as a place for public recreation. The main walking trail is a little less than 1 mile long.
Vassalboro’s Duratherm has found green by going ‘green’
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

A Vassalboro manufacturing company has gone “green” by banishing oil, opening the windows at night and feeding its workers fresh organic beef from a small herd of cattle raised behind the factory, the company president told a group of business leaders on Earth Day. Duratherm, which makes wooden windows and spiral staircases, has reaped large energy savings from most of the changes Tim Downing, president of Duratherm, told members of a group that is seeking to help mid-Maine adapt to climate change.
Seafood study: Up to 32 percent imported to US is caught illegally
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Washington Post - A new study that examined illegal and unreported marine harvests brought to the United States from around the globe says up to 32 percent of imported wild shrimp, crab, salmon, pollock, tuna and other catch was poached. Illegal fishing is a major concern of scientists because the world’s oceans can barely sustain legal seafood harvests. Eighty-five percent of the world’s commercial seafood grounds “are fished up to their biological limits or beyond,” the study said.
Wildfire danger high in central Maine
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

The wildfire danger is high for inland areas in Maine ranging from York County to Piscataquis County because of dry brush, low humidity and windy conditions, according to the Maine Forest Service.
LePage nominates PUC alternates to overcome stalemate in Poland Spring case
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Gov. Paul LePage has nominated three retired judges to serve as alternates on the Maine Public Utilities Commission in an effort to move forward consideration of a 25-year water sales contract between Nestle Waters North America, the owner of Poland Spring, and its Fryeburg water supplier. The appointees are John Atwood, Francis Marsano and Paul L. Rudman. The appointees will require confirmation before the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, which is expected to meet when lawmakers return to the State House on May 1. If the appointees are confirmed, the PUC then would select one or more of the former judges to serve as an alternate in the case that recusals leave the commission without a quorum, as happened in the Nestle case.
Four men arrested on elver charges in two incidents
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Paul Parsons, 59, and Cory Parsons, 29, both of Westport, Mass., were arrested Saturday in Portland. Marine Patrol officers found 31 pounds of elvers in their vehicle but neither man had a license to possess them. On the same day, two men from Brooklyn, N.Y., were arrested after Marine Patrol officers found five pounds of elvers in their vehicle. Tommy Water Zhou, 39 and Han Xiongchou, 24, were charged with purchasing elvers without a dealer’s license and taken to the Two Bridges Jail in Wiscasset.
On Earth Day, Michaud takes digs at LePage’s environmental, energy record
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud on Tuesday took several shots at Republican Gov. Paul LePage regarding the incumbent’s record on energy and environmental issues. Speaking during an Earth Day event in Yarmouth, Michaud said LePage has stood in the way of efforts to boost clean solar and wind energy and dragged his feet on preparing the state to deal with the effects of climate change. LePage’s campaign chief, Brent Littlefield, said that “Michaud’s policies would force seniors citizens, families and small businesses to pay more” for energy. Crystal Canney, Eliot Cutler’s campaign spokeswoman, criticized Michaud for not including detailed, specific plans for funding his energy initiatives.
Fewer Maine baby lobsters could mean end to high catches
Associated Press - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

The number of baby lobsters settling off the rocky coast of Maine continues to steadily decline – possibly foreshadowing an end to the recent record catches that have boosted New England’s lobster fishery, scientists say. A University of Maine survey of 11 Gulf of Maine locations indicates that young lobsters have declined by more than half of their 2007 levels – significant since lobsters typically take about eight years to reach the legal harvesting size. The downward trend has lobstermen, retailers, state officials, and ocean scientists concerned that the impact could soon be felt on dinner tables nationwide. Maine lobsters were 85 percent of the nation’s lobster catch in 2012.
State fisheries officials plan to meet with public on aquaculture programs
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

The Department of Marine Resources has scheduled a local meeting about its aquaculture program for Wednesday, April 30, at Penobscot Community School. The purpose of the meeting is to provide the public with information about Maine’s aquaculture laws and regulations and to give people a chance to provide feedback to state officials about the program.
Opinion: Caring for Mother Earth
Times Record - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

The climate is a complex system, and the carbon we have put into our atmosphere since the Industrial revolution will take generations, at least, to work its way through. We didn’t begin the work 20 years ago, when climate change became a consensus. Now, we’ve used up all of our lead time, and corrective action will cause some pain as industries — and jobs — must change quickly. We must act NOW, both on a personal level, and in the realm of government policy. ~ Barbara Clark, Brunswick
Column: Energy and planet Earth
Times Record - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Our world is heating up and the rate of warming has been accelerating. To find out why, scientists have examined the three factors that could be responsible: (1) The sun, (2) Earth's reflectivity, and (3) Greenhouse gases. The sun accounts for only a small portion of warming since 1750 and changes in the sun since 1985 should have cooled the planet. Yet global temperatures have been rising. It's not Earth's reflectivity either. Human-produced particulate pollution has had a cooling effect on the climate. That leaves the greenhouse effect from increased CO2 as the only remaining scientific explanation. Sadly, none of this is news. That continued fossil fuel use would increase atmospheric carbon concentrations and warm the planet, was first predicted in 1896 by Svante Arrhenius. In the end they make our economic system — or life on Earth — unsustainable. ~ Paul Kando
Michaud Calls for Maine to Cut Heating Oil Usage
Associated Press - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Maine Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud is calling for the state to cut heating oil usage in half with a plan that involves mandatory energy ratings for new homes and initiatives to promote wind power and solar panels. Michaud says his plan to help towns and residents install new technology serves the dual purpose of cutting energy usage while reducing environmental impacts. Michaud is in a three-person race with Republican Gov. Paul LePage and independent candidate Eliot Culter. LePage has criticized solar and wind energy policies and says Maine must reduce its high energy costs.
Maine elver dealer: Season starts late with lower prices, ‘saner’ system
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Maine’s short but lucrative elver fishing season has started slowly and prices are down dramatically from the 2012 peak of more than $2,000 per pound. But two weeks in, the annual frenzy surrounding the netting, selling and shipping of the translucent baby eels to Asian markets seems safer, according to one elver dealer and his employees who attribute the “saner” sales climate to changes that include a new electronic swipe card system implemented by the state to track the volume of elvers each fisherman catches.
Foam packaging ban heads to Portland City Council, plastic bag fee still under discussion
Forecaster - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Portland city councilors will vote on a proposed ban on food and beverage containers made of polystyrene foam, but an ordinance to charge fees for plastic take-out bags at supermarkets and convenience stores remains on hold.
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

Vermont GMO bill one step from law
By Terri Hallenbeck - Montpelier: With a 114-30 vote, the House on Wednesday propelled to the governor's desk a bill that could make Vermont the first state to require labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms.
4/22/2014 11:00:00 PM

Blue Hill raw milk case to be heard in supreme court
By Anne Berleant - Blue Hill farmer Dan Brown of Gravelwood Farm will have his day in court – again.
4/16/2014 11:00:00 PM

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners—Teaching Generations to Love Mother Earth
By Charlotte Warren - MOFGA led the charge to pass a GMO labeling law in Maine. In fact, they started off this year in the office of Maine’s Governor, Republican Paul LePage. They were there to deliver hundreds of postcards encouraging him to sign the bill previously passed by Maine’s legislature with near unanimous votes. Governor LePage signed the bill the next day, and Maine became the second state in the country to adopt labeling requirements for foods derived from genetically modified crops and animals. Well done, MOFGA!
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Fermenting Maine: Kombucha and Community
Daniel and Mirra of The Perennial Plate bring us the story of Urban Farm Fermentory in Portland, Maine. Watch to learn how Kombucha is made, but also to hear the story of an inspired community building man and organization.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Seed Money or Seed Sovereignty? Chile Beats Monsanto Law (For Now)
By Jessica Ramos - Chile has scored a major victory against ‘Monsanto Law’ – a bill that sought to privatize the country’s seeds and Monsanto Company – an almost unstoppable force. Indigenous communities, farmers and women beat one of the biggest seed giants on the globe.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Honeybees in East Africa Resist Deadly Pathogens
By Jennifer S. Holland - Researchers found hives infected with the Nosema fungus and with Varroa mites did not suffer from the pests. The hives – traditional wild nests in logs – had very low concentrations of only a few pesticides. Improving bee health through practices that reduce chemical use and give bees access to diverse flowering plants can make a difference in the insects' health, say the researchers.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Hormone-disrupting chemicals are a must for Maine DEP’s spring cleaning to-do list
Op-Ed by Heather Spalding - The season’s bright blue skies, sunshine, snowdrops, crocuses and longer days inspire us to tackle lots of dirty projects mounting around our homes, yards and workplaces. My spring cleaning to-do list gets longer by the day. Most of it feels manageable, but there is one thing I can’t tackle without the help of Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Maine Farmer to Speak at United Nations on International Mother Earth Day
Jim Gerritsen, a Maine organic seed potato farmer, has accepted an invitation to participate on a guest panel at the United Nations in New York City on April 22, 2014. The event will be the fourth Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature, which commemorates International Mother Earth Day.
4/15/2014 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

With Young Lobsters in Decline, Concern for Maine Fishery Rises
4/23/2014 8:25:38 AM

Sweeten the Pot with Syrup
When cooking, look for recipes in which you can swap in locally made maple syrup instead of using imported can...
4/23/2014 4:00:39 AM

Casco Bay High Students Confront Climate Change Challenge
Susan Sharon MPBN news story Today is Earth Day. But for the students at Casco Bay, every day is Earth Day. Th...
4/22/2014 9:11:43 AM

Making Personal Changes and Reducing Reliance on Fossil Fuels are Key to Amy Seidl’s Positive View of Stewardship of the Planet
Vermont writer tells UMF audience adaptation to climate change necessary By Doug Harlow, staff writer Kennebec...
4/22/2014 8:37:01 AM

Don’t Sweep Into the Street
Sweeping leaves, twigs, and other yard debris into the street can lead to plugged culverts and storm drains, w...
4/22/2014 4:00:51 AM

“Wild”-scape Your Yard
When choosing plants for your yard, include perennials that offer food for wildlife. Birds and small mammals b...
4/21/2014 4:00:22 AM

Squeaky Wheels
To lubricate non-specialized mechanical items (from door hinges to kitchen equipment) use canola oil instead o...
4/20/2014 4:00:20 AM

Good Clean Fun
Bored? Skip the movies and other energy- and budget-busting activities. Go for a walk at a nature area. #maine...
4/18/2014 4:00:06 AM

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