December 17, 2014  
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Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Wanted: brook trout anglers
Announcement - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 

Maine Audubon, Trout Unlimited and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, are seeking new volunteers to explore remote ponds with their rods and reels before the end of this year’s fishing season Sept. 30. The partners are looking for anglers willing to survey a total of 187 remote ponds for previously-undocumented populations of wild brook trout.
UMaine Center for Research on Sustainable Forests
Publication - Tuesday, August 30, 2011 

The University of Maine's Center for Research on Sustainable Forests has released its 2011 Annual Report.
Free Trees
Announcement - Monday, August 29, 2011 

Through the generosity of Dutton’s Greenhouse and Nursery, more than 1,000 trees, representing 75 different species, are being offered free of charge to municipalities, schools and non-profit organizations for community planting, according to Project Canopy officials. Two distribution dates in Sep and Oct will be set aside to pick up trees at Dutton’s Nursery in Morrill.
Most State Parks, Historic Sites Open
Announcement - Monday, August 29, 2011 

Maine state parks and historic sites sustained some damage to trees and shorefronts during Tropical Storm Irene, with no buildings or facilities damaged, according to officials with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. All but three parks opened on Monday.
Maine closing state parks and beaches
Announcement - Friday, August 26, 2011 

All coastal Maine state parks and several inland parks will be closed for day use on Sunday in anticipation of Hurricane Irene's arrival in the state, officials announced today.
White Mountain National Forest Closing
Announcement - Friday, August 26, 2011 

The USFS is issuing a closure order for the White Mountain National Forest due to potentially dangerous conditions caused by Hurricane Irene. The WMNF will close at 6 PM on Saturday, August 27 and will remain closed through Monday, August 29. All WMNF facilities will be CLOSED to the public including the trail system. This includes all backcountry shelters, which are being vacated. The Appalachian Mountain Club will also close all eight White Mountain Huts, Joe Dodge Lodge, and Highland Lodge.
Acadia National Park closing campgrounds
Announcement - Friday, August 26, 2011 

The National Park Service announced today that it will close the Blackwoods and Seawall Campgrounds at Acadia National Park at 10 a.m. on Sunday because of the predicted path of Hurricane Irene. The campgrounds will reopen when the storm has passed. In addition, the Duck Harbor Campground on Isle au Haut will close on Saturday at 11 a.m. and will reopen when conditions are safe.
Maine State House Watch: New EO mandates Gov. approve all new rules
Action Alert - Thursday, August 25, 2011 

On Aug 25, Gov. Paul LePage issued an executive order, which mandates that the Governor's Office sign off on each and every proposed rule change.
Woodcock Q&A, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 

Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, will lead a public question-and-answer session hosted by the Moosehead Lake Fisheries Coalition. Woodcock will answer questions about hunting, fishing and outdoors-related topics in Maine. At the Rockwood Community Center, Aug 26, 7-9 pm.
PRRT photojournalism workshop, Sep 17 & Oct 1
Announcement - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 

The Penobscot River Restoration Trust is offering a free conservation photojournalism workshop Sep 17 and Oct 1, allowing a two week period in-between to go on a “photo shoot” focused on the river and the anticipated community benefits of the PRRT Project.
Pesticide Notification
Announcement - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 

On September 28, the Maine agricultural pesticide notification registry will cease to exist. The law that created this registry was repealed by the Legislature in June. However, state law provides other options for notification about nearby pesticide spraying: (1) Self-Initiated Request for Notification; (2) Non-Agricultural Pesticide Notification Registry.
Lessons from puffins, terns, Aug 31
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 

Susie Meadows, manager of Project Puffin, will discuss some of the factors limiting Maine seabird populations and will discuss how techniques developed by Project Puffin have led to the restoration of puffins and terns to historic nesting islands in the Gulf of Maine. At the Project Puffin Visitor Center, Rockland, Aug 31 at 5 pm.
Donn Fendler talk, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 

On Aug 30, 5-6 PM, the Gardiner Public Library will host Donn Fendler as he discusses his experiences, which led to the book Lost on a Mountain in Maine by Joseph Egan.
Wildflowers, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 

Local botanists will talk about a variety of wildflowers appearing around the state this time of year and discuss their importance. At Cathance River Education Alliance, Topsham, Aug 30, 6:30 pm.
Wilton meeting to discuss open space, Aug 23
Event - Posted - Monday, August 22, 2011 

Wilton residents are invited to participate in a discussion about municipal conservation commissions and their role in assisting towns to develop open space plans. It will be facilitated by conservation resources advisor, Marcel Polak, a land conservation consultant who is working for the Maine Association of Conservation Commissions. At the Wilton Town Office, Aug 23, 7 pm.
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News Items
Rally scheduled for Bucksport mill employees on final day of work
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 

As a show of gratitude to workers who have helped sustain the town’s largest employer and taxpayer, local town officials and residents have scheduled a rally outside the Verso Paper mill’s main gate for 3 p.m. today. The final shift at the mill, which Verso plans to sell to AIM Development, is expected to end at that time. Verso announced Oct. 1 that it planned to shut down the mill and then early this month reached an agreement to sell the mill to the scrap metal firm for approximately $60 million.
Agreement reached on alternative snowmobile trail in Moosehead Lake region
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 

The ongoing problem with snowmobile access in part of the Moosehead Lake Region took a step toward being solved this week, according to an agenda item on the Dec. 17 selectmen’s agenda. An agreement has been reached between the Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club and the Wilson Pond Association to allow the snowmobile trail to run the outer Scammon Road for this winter.
Big Squaw Mountain ski area set to open this weekend
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 

On Dec. 20 Big Squaw Mountain ski area officially opens for its third season as a nonprofit entity. The mountain originally opened in 1963 and went through a host of changes and operators during the past five decades until Florida businessman James Confalone purchased the ski area in August 1995. In August 2010, Confalone offered to lease the facility to Piscataquis County for $1 per year for 30 years. The county did not accept the offer, so Confalone shut it down. However, Confalone later agreed to lease the property to the Friends of Squaw Mountain for $1 a year for the 2012-13 seasons and recently renewed the agreement through 2015.
Tom’s of Maine to award $500,000 to nonprofits
Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 

Tom’s of Maine is gearing up to award more than $500,000 to nonprofits for this year’s “50 States for Good” initiative. This is the second year in which the Kennebunk-based natural personal care products company has donated to projects that benefit communities in all states and the District of Columbia. Since it was founded in 1970, Tom’s of Maine has donated 10 percent of its profits back to the community. It also encourages employees to use part of their paid time off to volunteer.
Opinion: Government has become subservient to business in critical debates
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 

It is virtually impossible not to despair of the future after yet another political campaign in which candidates for Congress, in Maine and elsewhere, ignored or shortchanged the most critical issues. We may not survive more such abdications. Science deniers notwithstanding, the foremost societal issue is the fossil fuel decimation of our natural world and threat to our only habitat, which, as carbon emissions continue to rise, will starve us, turn shores to ocean, our grandchildren to toast. Maine’s congressional delegation provides no leadership in addressing this ominous challenge. No wonder. Congress is owned by corporations and fossil fuel industries. ~ William H. Slavick, Portland, was an independent U.S. Senate candidate in 2006
Letter: DEP and phthalates
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 

As a teacher, I believe strongly that we owe it to our children to keep them safe from harm, and that includes protecting them from toxic chemicals that can cause serious health threats. The potential exposure to phthalates from multiple sources is a big problem. Manufacturers don’t disclose which products contain phthalates. So we’re all left in a toxic guessing game, unable to use our purchasing power in the healthiest way possible. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has until Jan. 27 to decide whether to act or to do nothing; I believe it is the duty of the DEP to require big companies to disclose their use of phthalates. ~ Joelle Bouchard, Bucksport
Study: Toxic stream pollution from road salt doubles
Summit Voice - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 

Many streams in the northern U.S. are polluted to toxic levels by salt deicers, the U.S. Geological Survey said in a new study that found the frequency of these occurrences nearly doubling in two decades. Chloride levels increased substantially in 84 percent of the urban streams analyzed, the researchers said, using data going back to 1960 and ending as recently as 2011.
L.L. Bean board of directors, employees give $3 million to nonprofits in 2014
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 

L.L. Bean announced Tuesday that the company will donate $1.9 million to nearly 80 organizations, plus the company’s employees donated $1.1 million to the United Way. The program, which focuses on “engaging young people in healthy outdoor activities and ensuring access to recreational opportunities for all,” will provide funding to such programs as Maine Audubon, Teens to Trails, Maine Huts and Trails, Student Conservation, Maine Island Trails Association, The Nature Conservancy, Appalachian Trail Conservancy and sporting groups such as Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and the Carrabassett Valley New England Mountain Bike Chapter. The company also provides $200,000 annually to support the Island Explorer propane bus system at Acadia National Park.
Maine PUC approves $25,000 fine for Summit Natural Gas safety violations
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 

With little comment, the Maine Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to fine Summit Natural Gas of Maine $25,000 for alleged safety violations. The fine, reduced from $100,000, involved charges that employees of contractors working for Summit had not passed a written test to certify that they were qualified to install pipelines, and that the company falsified a test to make it seem like the workforce had the required certifications. Following negotiations, Summit agreed to pay the $25,000 fine and take various steps to assure proper training and installation procedures.
Hike: Birch Mountain Ledges
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 

Peaks-Kenny State Park, located on the sandy south shore of Sebec Lake, is a popular outdoor destination year round. In the summer, people tent out at the parks 50-plus campsites, sunbathe on the sandy beach, swim and fish in the lake and explore more than 10 miles of trails. In the winter, the park is more quiet, but it’s a favorite spot for a handful of ice fishermen, cross-country skiers and snowshoers. One of the longest trails in the park is the Birch Mountain Trail, a 2.3-mile loop trail that travels to the one of the high points of Birch Mountain.
PERC part owner, Orrington official seek continued negotiations with backers of regional solid waste processing plant planned for Hampden
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 

Aside from expected hikes in tipping fees, missed deadlines and failures to communicate were among the problems that prompted a group formed to meet the region’s trash disposal needs to begin making plans to strike off in a new direction. The Municipal Review Committee, a group representing the trash disposal interests of 187 Maine communities, announced Monday night that it plans to develop a $60 million state-of-the-art solid waste recycling and processing facility in Hampden’s “triangle” area. The group voted in January to pursue the Fiberight technology for its new facility, which is being planned to replace the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co., a waste-to-energy plant in Orrington where member communities’ trash is sent to be burned and converted into electricity.
Landowner Penalized for Liquidation Logging Violations
Maine Government News - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 

The Maine Forest Service has reached a settlement regarding two violations of Maine’s Liquidation Harvesting rules on properties owned by Dillon Investments, LLC of Anson, Maine. The violations occurred on two separate parcels of land in Madison and Norridgewock. The liquidation harvesting plans developed by a licensed forester for the parcels were not in compliance with Maine’s rule, and the parcels were either sold or offered for sale before Dillon Investments owned them for a period of five years. Dillon Investments agreed to pay a $6,200.00 civil penalty for the Madison property and not to sell the Norridgewock parcel before August 16, 2017 in order to resolve the situation.
That all-electric car may not be so green after all
Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 

People who own all-electric cars where coal generates the power may think they are helping the environment. But a new study finds their vehicles actually make the air dirtier, worsening global warming. The key is the source of the electricity all-electric cars. If it comes from coal, the electric cars produce 3.6 times more soot and smog deaths than gas, because of the pollution made in generating the electricity. They also are significantly worse at heat-trapping carbon dioxide that worsens global warming. Ethanol isn’t so green, either.
Conservation trust raises over $21,000 on Internet
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 

Even after the Freeport Conservation Trust was approved for nearly $200,000 in federal and state grant funding, board members knew they would have to raise a bit more for their Winterwood Farm project. It decided to try something new this time: crowdfunding. The trust opted for a lesser-known site called Worthwild that is geared directly to supporting environmental or sustainable projects. In about 45 days, the trust has raised more than $21,000 from 101 donors for the Winterwood Farm project.
Letter: Bear confusion
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 

Everyone in Maine thought they were voting to ban bear hounding, baiting and trapping. Not so. Am I the only one who read what the ballot actually said? It clearly said “or” not “and.” If the “yes” vote had won, who would have had the authority to decide which one of the three would have been banned? Makes me wonder who drafted the wording. Was it malice aforethought or just stupidity? ~ Tyler H. Thompson, Hancock
Is the Greenland Ice Sheet melting faster than we think?
Summit Voice - Monday, December 15, 2014 

The most detailed look yet at the dynamics of the Greenland ice sheet suggests that current climate models may not be capturing the full extent of melting. A team of scientists tracking the behavior of the ice sheet said they found unexpected shrinking in southeastern Greenland, and other signs suggesting that current models may underestimate ice loss in the near future. “With the help of NASA satellite and airborne remote sensing instruments, the Greenland Ice Sheet is finally yielding its secrets,” said Tom Wagner, program scientist for NASA’s cryosphere program in Washington. “These studies represent new leaps in our knowledge of how the ice sheet is losing ice. It turns out the ice sheet is a lot more complex than we ever thought.”
Trash disposal group, town officials unveil plan for solid waste processing plant in Hampden
Bangor Daily News - Monday, December 15, 2014 

A town with a long history of dealing with solid waste from around the state may become the home of a new processing facility that will turn trash into biofuel. The Municipal Review Committee, a group representing the trash disposal interests of 187 Maine communities, announced at Monday’s Hampden Town Council meeting that it plans to develop a $60 million state-of-the-art solid waste recycling and processing facility in the town’s “triangle” area between Ammo Industrial Park, Interstate 95 and Coldbrook Road. The proposal must receive a solid waste processing permit from the state and approval from the Hampden Planning Board before proceeding, with a target operational date of 2018.
Solar Advocates: Maine Lagging Nation in Tapping Sun Power
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, December 15, 2014 

Solar energy expansion in Maine continues to lag behind the rest of the country, despite a 25 percent increase in sales, and a decline in the cost of installation. Solar power advocates in Maine cite poor policy for the problem, and are calling for changes in Maine state law that will further encourage homeowners and businesses to invest in solar energy. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar is producing 36 percent more power in the U.S. than it did a year ago. Even small states, such as Vermont, are taking advantage of tax incentives designed to spur solar growth. But Maine, says Dylan Voorhees, is not among them. "Maine is falling behind the surge in solar, compared to our neighbors, and losing out on many of the opportunities to make solar accessible to more Mainers," Vorhees said Monday.
A Look Back in Time
Bangor Metro - Monday, December 15, 2014 

Maine's Ice Age Trail offers sweeping views of what the glaciers left behind.
Union Representing Verso Workers Seeks to Block Mill Sale
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting - Monday, December 15, 2014 

A union representing some of the workers at the Verso Paper mill in Bucksport has filed a federal lawsuit that aims to block the sale of the mill to a scrap-metal company. The Bucksport chapter of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers has filed a complaint seeking an injunction that would temporarily prevent Verso from selling the 84-year-old mill to AIM Development, based in Montreal, and require Verso to market the mill for sale to a bona fide buyer willing to continue to operate it as a paper mill.
Hundreds of Maine Bird Watchers Help Collect Data for Scientists
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, December 15, 2014 

The Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count is underway. It's an annual tradition going back more than 100 years, but the findings could bring new and important information. Here in Maine, as hundreds of bird watchers brave winter weather over the next few weeks, they'll collect valuable data that should help scientists get a clearer picture of how climate change is impacting the environment. There are 32 bird counts occurring across Maine over the next three weeks.
Union officials sue Verso, AIM in federal court to block sale of Bucksport mill
Bangor Daily News - Monday, December 15, 2014 

Union officials Monday sued the owner of the Bucksport paper mill and the salvage firm buying the now idled facility in an effort to block the sale. Verso Paper announced on Dec. 8 that the company had reached an agreement to sell its Bucksport mill and related power generation assets to a subsidiary of the Montreal-based American Iron and Metal in January for about $60 million. The complaint alleges the sale violates antitrust laws.
Free-market Climate Expert Reacts to Approval of Lima Accord
Other - Monday, December 15, 2014 

Over the weekend, climate negotiators from nearly 200 nations approved the “Lima Accord,” an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cutting back on the burning of coal, natural gas, and oil for energy starting in 2020. But the pledges are non-binding, meaning the enforcement mechanism amounts to nothing more than applying peer pressure. John Coleman, founder of The Weather Channel and a policy advisor to the rightwing Heartland Institute, said, “The Lima Accord would be the ultimate in humor if it weren’t so expensive for all of us. Imagine 10,000 very important people meeting for more than 10 days to solve a massive problem that is going to end life as we know it on planet Earth – and all they agree to do is the best we can, country by country."
U.S. Solar Installations Surge in 2014: Maine Losing Out
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Monday, December 15, 2014 

A group of business people and clean energy experts gathered today to report on the year in solar energy, both nationally and in Maine. More than 4,000 megawatts of solar had been installed in the U.S as of October 2014. The year-end forecast is for 6,500 MW, 36% greater than 2013. That’s enough solar energy installed in one year to power more than one million homes. So far in 2014, solar power represents 36% of all new energy installations in the U.S.making it the second largest source of new power for the second year in a row. Dylan Voorhees, Clean Energy Director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine, said “Compared to neighboring states, and the nation on the whole, Maine is lagging behind because it is the only state in New England with no policies to help homeowners or businesses invest in solar energy."
LePage Dismisses Concerns that He Might Block Bonds
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, December 15, 2014 

Gov. Paul LePage is dismissing concerns raised in a trade publication last Friday, The Bond Buyer, that he may block the sale of $50 million in bonds voters approved in November. Last spring LePage threatened to block sale of bonds as part of budget negotiations with the Legislature. He had blocked the sale of bonds from February of 2011 to June of 2013, as leverage to get lawmakers to approve his plan to pay off debts owed to hospitals. When asked by MPBN News Monday if he had any plans to block the sale of the bond package voters recently approved, he said, "No," and dismissed the report. “These people want to sell bonds; I have to run a state.” he said, “So I am going to run the state to the best of my ability and if they can’t get Maine bonds, tell them to go to Oklahoma.”
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

Maine local food movement inspires credit union focused on small farms
By Darren Fishell - Whitefield: The 100-acre organic farm that Rufus Percy and his wife started working a decade ago is mix of leased land, family land and mortgaged land. He’s one of the young farmers leading a resurgence in the industry that aims to re-establish more local food systems in the state, where Maine is leading the way. But before that really takes off, he said, more accessible funding needs to be available to the folks who grow food that Mainers put in their mouths.
12/14/2014 11:00:00 PM

Shedding Light On The DARK Act
By Mary Ellen Kustin - America needs a national labeling law for genetically engineered foods. That was the consensus of a majority of the members of Congress from both sides of the aisle during a well-attended subcommittee hearing Wednesday on the Food and Drug Administration’s role in regulating genetically modified food.
12/11/2014 11:00:00 PM

Organic Certification System Experiences Growing Pains
Bursting at the seams, the $35 billion organic food industry has tripled in size over the past decade, severely outpacing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) ability to monitor the more than 25,000 farms and other organizations that sell organic crops and livestock. As a result, certifying agents, or USDA-accredited entities that inspect and certify organic farms and suppliers, have increasingly fallen out of compliance, according to a piece in the Wall Street Journal.
12/11/2014 11:00:00 PM

KVCC wraps up first year of sustainable agriculture program
By Rachel Ohm - An organic certification, harvest of 6,800 pounds of produce and the addition of livestock to the farm on the school's Harold Alfond Campus mark the first year of a new farm-to-table program.
12/11/2014 11:00:00 PM

The Largest Seed Exchange in the World Inspires Change
By Bezdomny - Ethical consumers in the US are increasingly concerned with the seeds used in the production of their food. However, this has been an issue in Europe for many years. In fact, there are several transnational seedsaver networks, like Arche Noah, which have become policy reform experts on heritage seeds.
12/11/2014 11:00:00 PM

House Holds Hearing on Bill To Block State GE Labeling Laws
Washington saw an active week on the genetically engineered (GE) crops front, as GE labeling proponents and activists flooded a Wednesday morning hearing on a controversial labeling bill.
12/10/2014 11:00:00 PM

Final Budget Bill Guts Conservation Funding and Farmer Protections
Late on December 9, Congress released their final annual appropriations bill to keep the government running for the rest of the fiscal year, and while there is some good news, overall it's bleak news for sustainable agriculture - complete with drastic cuts to critical conservation programs and anti-farmer policy riders that favor big livestock integrators over actual farmers. The bill emerged after a couple of weeks of behind closed doors meetings of House and Senate leadership and appropriations leaders.
12/10/2014 11:00:00 PM

Investigation: “Factory Farms” Producing Massive Quantities of Organic Milk and Eggs
In what has been called one of the largest fraud investigations in the history of the organic industry, The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based farm policy research group, announced filing formal legal complaints against 14 industrial livestock operations producing milk, meat and eggs being marketed, allegedly illegally, as organic.
12/10/2014 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

Keeping Warm with Style
Accessorizing for warmth can help you keep the thermostat down, saving money and reducing pollution. Try a col...
12/17/2014 4:00:07 AM

Trash Disposal Group, Town Officials Unveil Plan for Solid Waste Processing Plant in Hampden
By Dawn Gagnon and Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff Bangor Daily News news story HAMPDEN, Maine — A town with a long ...
12/16/2014 2:04:57 PM

Unplug for the Day
If you choose to decorate with lights, remember to unplug them during the day. Better yet, use a timer so they...
12/16/2014 4:00:11 AM

Maine Lagging Behind in Solar Energy
WCSH-6 TV news story SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — According to the Natural Resources Council of...
12/15/2014 5:12:13 PM

Business Talks Solar Panels, Savings
Hotel has more than 400 new solar panels WMTW-TV news story Watch full news video here. SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine ...
12/15/2014 5:08:39 PM

Maine Birders Fan Out to Begin Annual Count
They hope for rare avian sightings as Audubon’s three-week continental canvass kicks off. By Michael She...
12/15/2014 12:18:36 PM

Solar Advocates: Maine Lagging Nation in Tapping Sun Power
By A.J. Higgins MPBN news story SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine – Solar energy expansion in Maine continues to lag...
12/15/2014 11:45:11 AM

U.S. Solar Installations Surge in 2014: Maine Losing Out
“There is no question that Maine businesses and people want to go solar,” said Dylan Voorhees, Clean Energy Di...
12/15/2014 10:01:44 AM

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