May 29, 2015  
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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
Letter: Bald mountain mining
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 29, 2015 

In the last several weeks I have read a number of letters and opinions in the BDN about mining rules in Maine. None of them were in support of these new rules. I believe there is a reason for this: The majority of Mainers do not want irresponsible mining to destroy Maine’s environment. The most recent bill, LD 750, sponsored by Rep. Ralph Chapman, D-Brooksville, was well written and in the interest of the public but unfortunately was gutted and re-written to once again weaken Maine’s mining rules. It is urgent that Mainers contact their representatives to let them know this bill ought not to pass. ~ Carol Gorecki, Orneville
Scarborough couple warn neighbors about bobcat
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 28, 2015 

A Scarborough couple who photographed an animal that looks like a bobcat in their backyard this month says they are concerned that it may pose a threat to their neighbors’ pets and children. Penny and Ken Kacere, who own a home and 10 acres on Spurwink Road, near the Higgins Beach Market, said they wanted to go public with the photographs to alert residents. They filed a report with Scarborough police on May 16 but were told there was nothing the department could do unless the critter was endangering lives. They were advised to contact the town’s animal control officer.
Legislative committee scuttles LePage’s energy initiatives
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 28, 2015 

Several initiatives by Gov. Paul LePage, including a proposal to use money from timber harvesting on state land to help low-income residents with heating costs, appear to be dead for this year, following action late Thursday by the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. Besides the logging bill, L.D. 1397, the committee voted not to endorse several late proposals from the governor that would have made sweeping changes in longstanding state energy policies meant to encourage renewable energy development and fund efficiency programs. L.D. 1400, which would dismantle “net metering” – allowing homeowners to sell excess power generated from their solar panels back to utilities – and made changes to renewable energy contracts, was shot down on a party-line vote by Democrats, 7-6. Another bill, L.D. 1399 which would have utilities provide a credit “backstop” to help large businesses expand natural gas pipeline capacity, also was voted down by the committee. L.D. 1398, which would cut money for conservation programs by returning a larger share of revenue from a regional carbon credit auction will be carried over until next year.
Vote on Williamson's Nomination to PUC is Delayed
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, May 28, 2015 

Gov. Paul LePage's nominee to fill a post on the Maine Public Utilities Commission drew no opposition Thursday. But, on a party line vote, Democrats tabled a vote on Bruce Williamson's nomination, saying they need more time to consider the six-year appointment of the University of Tennessee economics professor to the post. Republicans on the panel say the delay is purely politics. It's a charge Portland Rep. Mark Dion, the Democratic co-chair of the Energy, Utilities and Technology committee, dismisses.
Maine Farmers Closely Eyeing Proposed Honey Bee Protection Rule
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, May 28, 2015 

As part of a years-long federal effort to address a die-off of honey bees, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a new rule to crack down on the use of pesticides whenever working bees are present on a farm. With about 90 percent of all honeybees now living not in the wild but in hives maintained by beekeepers, the rule is aimed squarely at protecting a pollinator population that has, itself, become a farming commodity. "Maine is second only to the almond crop in California in the amount of imported hives," says John Rebar, executive director of the Maine Cooperative Extension. Maine's wild blueberries rely heavily on these traveling bees. Apples, and other crops, are not far behind. A new EPA rule under development seeks to limit the risk that a colony will come into contact with a poison by prohibiting a farmer from leaf-spraying when a crop is in bloom, and hired bees are actively working on it.
LePage nominee for Maine PUC stalled amid ‘crisis of confidence’
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 28, 2015 

Democrats stalled action on Gov. Paul LePage’s nominee for the Public Utilities Commission on Thursday after raising concerns about the objectivity of his two previous appointees, Mark Vannoy and Carlisle McLean. In the unexpected vote, Democrats on the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee tabled the nomination of Tennessee economist Bruce Williamson to fill the third seat on the commission.
York Land Trust buys 74 acres on Mill Lane
Seacoast Online - Thursday, May 28, 2015 

The York Land Trust has secured two parcels of land located within a 3,975 acre unfragmented block of forest in the greater Mt. Agamenticus region. YLT purchased the 24-acre Marden property and the 54-acre Kittery Water District property on Mill Lane that it abuts this week as part of the Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative.
Maine kids younger than 10 may be hunting soon
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, May 28, 2015 

Maine may soon join 39 other states to allow kids younger than 10 to hunt, with adult supervision. Legislation to eliminate the state’s hunting age limit sailed through the House of Representatives without debate, but got hung up in the Senate where the some members had concerns about the bill. With an extra push, and an amendment that assured close supervision of the young hunter, the bill won the support of Senators by a vote of 26 to 6. This morning the bill was back in the House, where it once again won support without a recorded vote. Now, the bill goes to the governor. I have heard he is not supportive, but will let it become law without his signature.
Opinion: Burning wood for power pollutes more than coal. Angus King’s biomass bill ignores this
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 28, 2015 

What if someone told you that the best way to slow global warming is to pollute even more over the next 40 years? You’d say he was crazy, a climate change denier or worse. Yet this is exactly what legislation introduced by Maine Sen. Angus King would do. King’s bill, S. 1284, which clarifies “the treatment of carbon emissions from forest biomass, and for other purposes,” promotes cutting forests and burning wood to generate electricity as a replacement for fossil fuels, primarily coal. Promotion of home state industries is understandable, although less than inspiring. But in this case the legislation goes much further and legislates bogus scientific “findings” about the climate impacts of burning wood, specifically defining wood-burning power plants as having zero carbon emissions. ~ Mary S. Booth, Partnership for Policy Integrity
EPA proposes temporary pesticide ban to protect honeybees
Associated Press - Thursday, May 28, 2015 

If honeybees are busy pollinating large, blooming croplands, farmers wanting to spray toxic pesticides will soon have to buzz off, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing. A federal rule to be proposed Thursday would create temporary pesticide-free zones when certain plants are in bloom around bees that are trucked from farm to farm by professional beekeepers, which are the majority of honeybees in the U.S. The pesticide halt would only happen during the time the flower is in bloom and the bees are there, and only on the property where the bees are working, not neighboring land.
Proposed sea urchin rules to track fishery
Associated Press - Thursday, May 28, 2015 

Friday is the final day for fishermen and others to comment on a proposed rule change for the coming fishing year that would create a mandatory swipe card system to record transactions where fishermen sell urchins. Maine regulators say the proposal could help bring added flexibility and better data collection to the fishery. Maine’s urchin fishery is valuable, but has tailed off considerably since the boom years of the 1990s. The high year was $35.6 million in 1995. Last year’s value was slightly less than $5.4 million.
Column: Here’s a simple solution to frustrating holdup of land conservation funds
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 28, 2015 

Gov. LePage argues: People in rural Maine, who have wood stoves or furnaces, don’t have enough wood to stay warm. So we should give them some wood from state lands. And unless everyone agrees to that idea, LePage won’t release the money from the land bonds. LePage has no business ignoring the voters. How are we going to cut, split, store and dry that wood over a year or so, then deliver it to households in far-flung parts of Maine? Are we talking about – heaven forbid – a massive new state government bureaucracy to help poor people? Finally: What in the world does any of this have to do with land conservation? Here are my suggestions to the governor. First, investigate what’s going on at MDOT's ruthless tree cleansing along Interstate 295 and do what you love most, which is to root out waste, fraud and abuse. Then, find the tons of wood they’ve already cut and give it to people in rural Maine who need it. Finally, leave the parks alone and free up the bonds. ~ Alan Caron
Letter: By invoking nuclear genie, what is LePage thinking?
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 28, 2015 

Remember when the nuclear industry told us about electricity that was going to be “too cheap to meter”? The general public is still on the hook for their waste stream. Yet our governor wants to repeal Maine’s law that requires a public referendum on new nuclear power plants. Not content with invoking the nuclear genie, LePage also seems bent on killing off Maine’s growing solar energy movement by revoking the current net metering law. This is a technology that allows the harvest of clean, free energy from the sun and creates hundreds of jobs for skilled workers. Go figure. ~ Thomas Kircher, Biddeford
Letter: Invasive alewives
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 28, 2015 

Natural waterfalls are known to be barriers to upstream fish passage. Alterations of these natural falls by man has allowed native Maine fish to become invasive fish species into previously unoccupied habitat. These invasive fish, though native Maine species, will compete with the existing fish populations for food and space in their new habitat. Such may be the case with sea-run alewives into West Grand Lake. Shouldn’t we be more concerned with protecting one of only four original historic populations of landlocked salmon than increasing habitat for sea-run alewives and the non-native landlocked alewives and largemouth bass? ~ David Basley, retired state fisheries biologist, Ashland
Letter: Power of wind
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 28, 2015 

I read with care and interest all BDN pieces about wind power. I have never seen a report on the actual power generated by the wind. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the annual output of wind turbines in Maine was 1,048 thousand megawatt hours in 2013. When the Maine Yankee nuclear plant was having a bad year, it was capable of producing 5,000 thousand megawatt hours. If we keep slogging away at this wind business and increase the present number of turbines by a factor of five, we may eventually reach the level of electricity once delivered by Maine Yankee. ~ Richard C. Hill, Old Town
LePage administration’s timber harvest proposal meets resistance
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

The LePage administration made its case Wednesday for funneling money from logging on state-owned lands into home heating assistance, a proposal caught up in a larger political fight over a popular land conservation program. But conservation groups told members of the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee that the proposal could lead to more intensive timber harvesting on public lands while creating a dangerous budget precedent for future legislative “raids” on special funds. The bill is similar to a measure from Gov. Paul LePage that failed to pass during the last legislative session. This year, however, LePage is vowing to withhold more than $11 million in voter-approved bonds from the Land for Maine’s Future program unless lawmakers go along with his plan to divert timber revenues to programs aimed at helping Mainers heat their homes.
Maine tribal leaders assert sovereignty, call for probe of state’s actions
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

Leaders of three of Maine’s Native American tribes gathered on Wednesday on Indian Island to sign a joint declaration affirming their right to govern themselves — and calling for a congressional inquiry into state actions they say have hurt their cultures, rights and resources. “Let’s be clear,” Chief William Nicholas of Passamaquoddy Indian Township said. “We have no controversy within the Penobscot River. We enjoy our neighbors. We allow full and open access. We recognize that this river is important to a whole lot of people. What we’re saying is that the rights of indigenous people that live within this territory have to be respected. When you’re talking about a subsistence lifestyle, sustenance fishing rights, water quality has to be conducive to that. Fisheries and ecosystem have to be conducive to that. Those things need to be respected, and we have to be able to manage that [beyond] our own tribal membership.”
Three Tribes Officially Sever Relationship with State
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

Three of Maine's Native American tribes have officially severed their relationships with the state, a day after two of the tribes called their representatives home from the Legislature. The tribes have clashed with Republican Governor Paul LePage's administration over management of tribal waters, fishing quotas and other issues. LePage infuriated Native Americans elders last month when he rescinded a 2011 executive order promoting the special relationship between the state and the tribes.
Letter: Clean water loopholes may destroy state’s treasures
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

Right now, 25,000 miles of Maine’s streams are open to pollution. The waters that made me want to move to Portland from New York City – like Sebago Lake – are threatened. The cultural treasures of Maine, along with our drinking water, are at risk. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed the clean water rule Wednesday, giving Sen. Angus King a choice: to protect what makes Maine special, or cede to special interests. To me, it seems like a no brainer. Protect our lakes, and continue to make Portland a national destination for New York expats like me. ~ Dylan Kitts, Environment Maine
Maine lawmakers expected to vote Thursday on sweeping energy policy bill
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

No dramatic changes are likely this year in a state law that compensates homeowners with solar-electric panels for their power generation, but other provisions in a far-reaching energy bill submitted by Gov. Paul LePage remained undecided Wednesday, after more than two hours of testimony before the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. At issue is a set of policy changes initiated late in the session by the governor, which drew opposition from clean-energy advocates and solar installers, who said the measures would dismantle years of state policies that support renewable energy.
Elusive lynx photographed in Aroostook
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

A photographer who spotted a lynx in this tiny community near Caribou captured it on camera and shared the image with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on Wednesday. Department officials said Wednesday that lynx, while rarely spotted, are found throughout much of northern Maine. From 1999 to 2011, the department captured and radio-collared 85 lynx in one study area and documented the production of 42 litters of kittens, according to the statement. That study provided insight into what lynx prefer for habitat, what they utilize for a home range and how this impacts reproduction and survival. This past winter, DIF&W biologists conducted lynx track surveys in 25 towns.
Lyme disease down so far, but ticks are gearing up for summer
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

While Lyme disease cases are down so far this year compared to this time in 2014, the ticks that carry the disease did not die off during the winter and were merely dormant until the snow melted. Maine will likely still experience a tick-filled summer, as the voluminous snow that covered the state this winter merely acted as an insulating blanket for the ticks, experts said. Maine has experienced large increases in Lyme disease in recent years, with 1,388 cases reported in 2014.
Natural Resources Council: Climate Change Causing Rise in Ticks
WABI-TV5 - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

Environmentalists say climate change is causing an increase in dangerous pests and preventing Mainers from enjoying the outdoors. The Natural Resources Council of Maine says, according to a recent report, climate change is behind the rise in ticks. They say the tick problem in Maine is getting worse because of the warmer weather. “In 2014, there were nearly 1,400 cases of Lyme disease reported in Maine. That’s up significantly over past years. In 2005, we had something like 300 cases,” said NRCM Policy Advocate/Outreach Coordinator Todd Martin. Lyme disease experts encourage people planning outdoor summer activities to check their bodies for ticks often. There’s a greater chance you can get sick if a tick is attached to you longer than 24 hours.
Tribes will no longer recognize Maine’s authority to define their rights
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

A day after withdrawing their representatives from the Maine Legislature, three of the state’s four Indian tribes resolved Wednesday to no longer recognize the authority of state officials, legislators and courts to “define our sovereignty or culture or to interfere with our self-governing rights.” The three tribes also called on the federal government to intervene in their increasingly heated disputes with Gov. Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills over the meaning of the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980, asking for a congressional inquiry. The tribes charged that the state has repeatedly encroached on their sovereign powers, land and resources.
Obama, EPA Take Steps to Ensure Clean Drinking Water
Sierra Club - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

Today, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the Clean Water Rule safeguard to protect 20 million acres of America’s wetlands and the drinking water for millions of Americans. The Clean Water Rule safeguard eliminates confusion by clarifying which streams and wetlands throughout the country are protected by the Clean Water Act.
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

‘Ban this hazardous herbicide’
By Charles Chiam - Sri Lanka has banned the use of the herbicide glyphosate, and Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) wants Malaysia to follow suit.
5/26/2015 11:00:00 PM

Shoppers may get to know the backstory of their piece of fish
By Patrick Whittle - Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland and fishermen are working on a new tool that could be used with a smartphone in two years.
5/25/2015 11:00:00 PM

Big Food Tainting Its Organic Subsidiaries With Trust Problems
By Paula Roseblum - Massive conglomerates selling food, known as “Big Food” in the trade, have a problem. The constant drumbeats in social media against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), factory farms, chemical fertilizer and pesticides have had a real impact on sales and (perhaps more importantly) their long-term addressable markets. Millennials just aren’t interested in eating that stuff.
5/25/2015 11:00:00 PM

Hormel agrees to buy organic and natural meat maker Applegate Farms
By Mike Hughlett - Organic meat maker Applegate will be a stand-alone subsidiary after $775 million acquisition.
5/25/2015 11:00:00 PM

Grants will help organic dairy farm families survive
Helping to ensure the survival of New England’s organic dairy farms, two new grants provide much needed funding to address farm succession and land access challenges.
5/25/2015 11:00:00 PM

Taco Bell, Pizza Hut to Remove Artificial Flavors, Coloring
By Chelsey Dulaney - Yum Brands Inc.’s Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurant chains plan to remove artificial flavors and colors from most of their food, joining a host of other food companies that are opting for more natural ingredients in the face of changing consumer tastes.
5/25/2015 11:00:00 PM

Maine retailers phasing out some pesticides over concerns about honeybee health
By Eric Russell - But inconsistent store policies have confused some consumers who are trying to avoid chemicals that may harm pollinating bees.
5/25/2015 11:00:00 PM

Similac Advance Infant Formula to Be Offered G.M.O.-Free
By Stephanie Strom - The maker of Similac Advance, the top commercial baby formula brand in the United States, says it will begin selling the first mainstream baby formula made without genetically altered ingredients by the end of the month at Target.
5/24/2015 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

Maine Lawmakers Expected to Vote Thursday on Sweeping Energy Policy Bill
Policy changes proposed by the governor are intended to lower energy costs, but some provisions are opposed by...
5/28/2015 7:43:31 AM

LePage Administration’s Timber Harvest Proposal Meets Resistance
Environmental and conservation groups caution that the governor’s plan to fund heating assistance could ...
5/28/2015 7:35:22 AM

Federal Rule Will Safeguard Drinking Water for 500,000 Mainers
by Jackie Farwell, BDN Staff Bangor Daily News news story Drinking water for nearly 500,000 Maine residents wi...
5/28/2015 5:42:33 AM

Hike Lightly
On your next outdoor adventure, remember the old adage: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but fo...
5/28/2015 4:00:20 AM

Natural Resources Council: Climate Change Causing Rise in Ticks
By Nakell Williams WABI-TV news story Watch full news video. Environmentalists say climate change is causing a...
5/27/2015 7:57:19 PM

Climate Change to Blame for New England’s Growing Tick Population
Researchers say climate change is contributing to the increased tick population By  Danielle Waugh NECN news s...
5/27/2015 7:44:17 PM

As the Tick Population Expands So Does Lyme Disease
by Chris Rose WCSH-6 TV news story Watch full news video. AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — For the fourth year i...
5/27/2015 6:30:51 PM

The True Value of Solar Power
By Ronald B. Davis, Special to the BDN Bangor Daily News op-ed Emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels a...
5/27/2015 2:06:23 PM

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