August 28, 2015  

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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
The irreplaceable Andrea Erskine retires from Fish and Wildlife Department
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Friday, August 28, 2015 

“She’s irreplaceable.” That was the comment of one of my friends after he heard that Andrea Erskine, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, is retiring. And I agree. Some people thought Andrea was too quick to defend members of the agency’s staff, whenever they came in for criticism, but I think her personality, her experience, and her deep love and respect for the agency and its work, has to be respected.
Column: Gulls may bore birders, but their sheer numbers are impressive
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 28, 2015 

The channel between Eastport and Campobello features the largest whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere. Gulls make me yawn, an opinion shared by many birders. But what happens in this channel is astounding. There is the usual complement of Maine’s common gulls: herring, great black-backed and ring-billed. These are joined by countless Bonaparte’s gulls and black-legged kittiwakes. By countless, I mean I am too lazy to count them. I’d estimate 20,000. ~ Bob Duchesne
Maine summers are magical for BDN readers
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 28, 2015 

Summer in Maine is, quite honestly, something different to everyone who’s fortunate to spend one here. And though summer isn’t over, even though some view Labor Day as the unofficial end to the magical season, here’s a sampling of what our readers had to say … and what they chose to show us in their photos.
Opinion: Clean Power Plan a step toward sunshine for Maine’s economy
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 28, 2015 

The solar industry is growing fast. Partly because costs of installation are falling across the nation with each new investment, another home or business is going solar in the United States every 2.5 minutes. Since 2010 alone, prices have fallen by 46 percent. That rapid growth is being felt right here in Maine, where 3.5 megawatts of solar capacity were installed in Maine in 2014, a 43 percent increase over a single year. Even sunnier news: Solar energy is poised to play a major role in Maine’s transition to a cleaner future. That’s exactly why we need the Clean Power Plan, which was released last month by the Environmental Protection Agency. ~ Sam Zuckerman, Maine Solar Solutions, and Mike Curran, Environment Maine
Despite pending appeal, work to begin on Downeaster train shed in Brunswick
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 27, 2015 

Crews will start work on an Amtrak train layover facility in Brunswick next month even though the Board of Environmental Protection could kill the project if it rules in favor of a neighborhood group that is appealing a decision to allow construction. Clearing of the site will start as early as Sept. 14 and the superstructure is scheduled to be built this fall, said Matt Tonello, project executive with Consigli Construction, which is building the $12.4 million, 60,000-square-foot train shed. Company officials will meet Friday with state Department of Environmental Protection staffers for a final review of plans to handle stormwater runoff and contaminated soils on the site during construction. The site is an abandoned rail yard polluted with coal ash.
Maine Farmers Sail to New Markets the Old-Fashioned Way
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, August 27, 2015 

A 90-year-old, twin-masted schooner sailed into Portland harbor Thursday morning. The "Adventure," as she's called, arrived to pick up three tons of Maine-grown farm produce. She'll then depart for Boston at first light on Friday. The project is called Maine Sail Freight, and while it's part of historical re-enactment, organizers say they're also out to make a serious point about food systems and regional economics. The idea is to educate people about local food systems and how relevant they are, even in a globalized economy.
Colby freshmen to create temporary downtown Waterville parks
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, August 27, 2015 

Colby College freshmen typically do community cleanups as part of orientation, but this year they will take part in an entirely different community service activity — creating temporary parks downtown. While the project’s goal for the college is to have students interact with each other and collaborate, it also could have implications for downtown and is the latest installment in the college’s continuing effort to help revitalize the city’s center.
Harpswell land trust promises action after neighbors complain about activity at beach
Forecaster - Thursday, August 27, 2015 

Neighbors of Stover’s Point, a sand-and-gravel spit of land jutting off of Harpswell Neck, are not happy. They say the Stover’s Point Preserve, owned by the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, has become a hotbed of late-night parties, drug use, bonfires and off-roading. The land trust convened the meeting at the Harpswell Coastal Academy to address what Executive Director Reed Coles called “considerably intensifying” complaints about the property. Residents spent nearly two hours documenting abuses on the piece of land that they say has figuratively, and literally, “gone to the dogs.”
At 30, Cape Elizabeth Land Trust hopes to make connections
Forecaster - Thursday, August 27, 2015 

The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust is celebrating its 30th anniversary this weekend and is hoping to gain new members. CELT will hold its free celebration on Saturday from 4-7:30 p.m. at Turkey Hill Farm. Executive Director Chris Franklin, who has been with the organization since 2003, said he is very pleased with the work it has done over the years. “We have been exceedingly fortunate to have preserved some of the town’s most iconic and most loved properties,” he said. “The land acquisitions are the focus of our work and our biggest achievements.” Another big accomplishment for CELT is its number of volunteers. Franklin said around 200 people dedicate their time to the land trust in various ways.
Pingree picks ticks and deer get sprayed with chemicals to kill them
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, August 27, 2015 

Some places, worried about Lyme disease, are spraying deer with chemicals to kill the ticks that carry the Lyme virus. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree is bringing much-needed focus and attention to the Lyme disease problem spreading throughout our state. Pingree has been working for the past year to make Lyme and other tick-borne diseases a higher priority at the federal level. She was able to increase research funding on Lyme disease, as well as enact legislation that pushes relevant federal agencies to bring more attention to the disease. She has also requested more funding for tick management through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, asked the FDA to support the development of more accurate Lyme disease tests, and urged that the patient perspective be included in the development of new guidelines for treatment.
Bangor volunteer builds high-rise ‘condos’ for imperiled bats
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 27, 2015 

Towering 15 feet in the air, two giant bat houses stand sentinel over a Bangor field. These new constructions, built and donated to the Bangor Land Trust by Bangor resident Bill Childs, recently were erected at BLT’s West Penjajawoc Preserve. Each “bat condo” can hold up to 2,000 bats and was designed to be the perfect home for bat maternity colonies, where baby bats are born and raised each spring. “It’s really important to have these condos right now because bats are in extreme peril in the U.S.,” bat biologist Katelin Craven, chairperson of the BLT programs committee, said.
Consortium plans ‘marine cluster’ similar to Iceland’s on Portland waterfront
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 27, 2015 

The University of New England is teaming up with Southern Maine Community College and a Portland startup on a proposal to develop marine-related products and bring them to market. The coalition, which also includes two Washington County organizations, the Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research & Education and the Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott, is preparing to bid on a $7 million state bond earmarked for creating marine-related jobs. At the center of the group’s proposal is a plan to establish a privately run business incubator to work with Maine companies, marine scientists, college students and laboratories to develop new products and bring them to market. Talks are underway with Portland officials to transform the vacant second floor of the transit shed on the city-owned Maine State Pier into office space for as many as 36 marine-related businesses.
Editorial: Maine has good reason to scrutinize deal involving DeCoster
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 27, 2015 

Regulators should make sure that the infamous egg magnate Austin “Jack” DeCoster, despite what his new leaseholder says, won't be involved in farms he owns here. “He is a serial lawbreaker. He seems not to even understand the purposes of the laws,” James Tierney, a state legislator in the 1970s and state attorney general in the ’80s, said after DeCoster’s sentencing in April. “It’s not like he hasn’t been caught and punished, but the problem always comes right back. That’s just who he is.” That’s a man who belongs behind bars, not running a farm in Maine.
Letter: Protect our forests – bring back Civilian Conservation Corps
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 27, 2015 

Re: “Maine steps up monitoring as emerald ash borer encroaches on state” (Aug. 19): Bring back the Civilian Conservation Corps. They will take care of the emerald ash borer and any other insects that destroy our trees. In the 1930s and ’40s, the primary function of the camps in Alfred, Lewiston, Bridgton and Jefferson, plus a few other places, was forest protection with disease and insect control. They still could be used to clean up our recreation areas. ~ John J. McLeod, Portland
Letter: Organics and pesticides
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 27, 2015 

Jody Spear, who wrote the Aug. 13 OpEd about spraying blueberries with pesticides, should read the national organic program regulatory text and she will find that many pesky pesticides can be used in certified organic production. The pesticide I’ve used on my certified organic wild blueberries is Entrust SC, produced for Dow AgroSciences LLC. I am pro-organics but also anti-misinformation. ~ Cary A. Nash, Camden
Letter: Climate change reversal
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 27, 2015 

Among several pie-in-the-sky ideas Connie Potvin put forth in her Aug. 21 letter to the editor is the “rapid migration of sugar maples northwards,” which is an actual fact. Some time ago there was an opinion piece bemoaning the fact that the Maine moose were losing their habitat and would suffer as a result. I suggest that the forest service should tie the moose to the sugar maples and they would then be pulled along as the maples move north. Potvin wants to reverse climate change. Seems like this past winter is enough reversal for me. ~ Jim Miller, Pittsfield
Letter: Opportunity for Millinocket
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 27, 2015 

Have people heard about the meth lab in East Millinocket? How about the hundreds of homes that just had tax liens placed on them in Millinocket? Or the fact that our communities can’t balance their school budgets? I’m tired of all the negative headlines, and I’m tired of the leaders in our government turning their backs on our region. The economy in southern Maine and along the coast is booming. But we’re hurting. We need jobs and new opportunity for our towns. I think a national park offers just that, and I’m asking U.S. Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins get involved. If not a national park, then what? I don’t see anyone else proposing a $100 million investment. ~ Paul Renaud, Millinocket
Letter: Act as loving parents when making decisions about environment
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 27, 2015 

Whether we oppose Shell Oil Arctic drilling or laud it, we have something significant in common: Most of us are parents. Yes, we must live in the present, but always with an eye on how our behaviors and choices will affect the future in which our children, grandchildren and beyond will live. The Interior Department has estimated that Arctic drilling in the Chukchi Sea will result in a 75 percent chance of a major spill. The U.S. Coast Guard cautions that response to such a spill would be ineffective. Given the research, the likelihood of a significant spill and our inability to effectively clean up the resulting mess, I appeal to President Obama to reverse the permitting process. Let’s all think and respond more like loving parents. ~ Sally Loughridge Busch, South Bristol
Governor of Maine Implores Legislature to Help Trim Power Prices
Other - Wednesday, August 26, 2015 

Energy Manager Today - Maine Governor Paul R. LePage (R) sent a letter on August 21 to his state’s legislative leadership, calling for action to reform obsolete and costly energy policies that, he said, are making it difficult, if not impossible, for local businesses to remain competitive. The letter was prompted by an announcement from Verso Paper about the loss of 300 jobs at its Jay-based mill – a step the company was forced to take just eight months after closing its paper mill in Bucksport and displacing 570 workers in that town.
Project, three companies recognized for protecting Maine’s environment
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, August 26, 2015 

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Gov. Paul LePage selected three companies and one municipal project to receive awards for environmental excellence. Paris Autobarn LLC of Paris won the award for a small business. INCON, which designs and manufactures electronic monitoring products for the electric utility market, won the award for a medium-size business. Waste management company ecomaine, in collaboration with public safety partners, won the award for a large business for developing a process to dispose of unused pharmaceuticals. The award for a community project went to the team behind the Presque Isle landfill cover project.
Bangor admits violating Clean Water Act, will continue separating sewers
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 26, 2015 

The city has entered into a second consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice outlining a continuation of the separation of stormwater and sewage lines that began in the 1990s. The agreement stipulates that the city has violated the Clean Water Act by allowing stormwater mixed with sewage to run into the Kenduskeag Stream and the Penobscot River. Bangor is not being fined for those violations. Bradley Moore, director of water quality management and superintendent of Bangor’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, said, “We understand this is an important public health issue. We are doing our best to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act.”
After more than a decade, Harpswell coves open for clamming
Forecaster - Wednesday, August 26, 2015 

Five coves that were closed to shellfish harvesting for more than a decade reopened July 30. The Maine Department of Marine Resources had previously prohibited harvesting at Dog’s Head Cove, Gun Point Cove, Indian Rest, Oakhurst Island and Ridley Cove, and Quahog Bay. The areas were closed for two reasons. Some had been shut down due to pollution issues that have since been remediated. But others were closed because sanitary surveys the DMR is supposed to do every 12 years were out of date.
Fishing managers taking comments on local depletion of Atlantic herring
Associated Press - Wednesday, August 26, 2015 

Federal fishing managers are looking for comments about the issue of localized depletion in Atlantic herring fishing. The request for feedback comes as the New England Fishery Management Council is working on an amendment to make sure future Atlantic herring catch limits take into account “scientific uncertainty,” the status of the herring stock and other factors. Atlantic herring are used as both bait and food. The potential rules changes come at a time when the herring fishery is strong. Federal figures say it was valued at about $31.9 million in 2013. That is the second highest figure since at least 1950. The council is taking comments until Sept. 30.
Environmental agencies sue city of Bangor to stop pollution from wastewater system
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, August 26, 2015 

Federal and state environmental agencies filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the city of Bangor on Wednesday as a formal step toward stopping pollution that overflows from the city’s wastewater collection system into the Penobscot River and Kenduskeag Stream. The lawsuit filed by attorneys on behalf of the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Protection aims to get a proposed agreement between the agencies and Bangor officials to comply with the federal Clean Water Act. The city could face $37,500 in civil penalties for each day it’s found to be in violation since Jan. 12, 2009. Lawyers included a proposed consent decree that would have to be vetted before the public and approved by a judge to settle the case.
Blog: LePage’s wasted energy on energy
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 26, 2015 

Gov. Paul LePage has talked about the need to lower energy costs a lot. It’s good politics. But the governor’s policy initiatives have not matched his words. When 300 workers lost their jobs at Verso Paper in Jay, following the loss of 500 jobs in Bucksport, the governor used the devastating news to push his agenda to prop up fossil fuels and import power from Canada. The company is laying off 37 percent of its total national workforce. Along with the workers in Jay, 310 workers are losing their jobs as the company idles a plant in Wickliffe, Ky. With demand for coated paper declining, Verso is shutting down paper machines to reduce production to better match demand. LePage has also promoted a myth that there is cheap hydropower available from Canada and all we have to do is ask for it. It’s simply not based in reality. The governor’s concern for high energy prices evaporates when it comes to renewables. ~ David Farmer
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

Demand for locally raised meat increases in Maine
By Kathleen Pierce - Foraging for insects, tender roots and other delicacies in a 4-acre pasture, a passel of Berkshire and Tamworth hogs are happy – at least as happy as pigs in mud can be.
8/23/2015 11:00:00 PM

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association holds tomato talk
By Rachel Carter - A few weeks ago, a consortium of local vegetable growers gathered at the Albion, ME research farm of Johnny’s Selected Seeds with one task in mind, to discuss the obstacles and opportunities related to growing tomatoes in the New England region.
8/23/2015 11:00:00 PM

Pesticides in paradise: Hawaii's spike in birth defects puts focus on GM crops
By Christopher Pala - Pediatrician Carla Nelson remembers catching sight of the unusually pale newborn, then hearing an abnormal heartbeat through the stethoscope and thinking that something was terribly wrong.
8/22/2015 11:00:00 PM

Composting heats up in Maine
By Mary Pols - Plenty of Maine supermarkets, corporate customers, schools and other institutions have already embraced composting. (The University of Maine even has an on-campus composting facility.) The next frontier is municipalities, not an easy nut to crack.
8/22/2015 11:00:00 PM

Maine Senior FarmShare helps low-income seniors, local growers
By Meg Haskell - Newport, Maine: On a recent Friday morning, Debbie Bradstreet propped open the wide doors of her Newport farmstand and flipped over the sign hanging nearby, from “Closed” to “Open,” promptly at 10 a.m. Among the first to walk through the doors was Nancy Booth, 65, who lives in a nearby senior housing complex. She made a beeline for a quart of sweet blueberries before turning her attention to the big bin of corn picked earlier that morning.
8/22/2015 11:00:00 PM

Young couple’s Monroe farm takes root
By Gabor Degre - Early on a recent morning, Noami Brautigam and James Gagne sat at their kitchen table planning out their work for the day at [MOFGA-certified organic] Dickey Hill Farm in Monroe. It was about 6 a.m. With the list completed, Gagne headed to the barn to take care of the chickens, feed the pigs and make sure the cows had enough water.
8/21/2015 11:00:00 PM

Joel Salatin: Synergy between Nature, Science and Technology
By Karen Rybold-Chin, Greg David - On The Earth Productions: Joel Salatin, a keynote speaker at the Mother Earth fair, talks about “cow days” and the value of using technology as a co-laborer with nature. Just as “a carpenter uses inches, a wheat farmer uses bushels, and a water manager uses gallons, a cow day is a constant measure of what a cow will eat in a day.”
8/20/2015 11:00:00 PM

Central America issues alert as severe drought hits agriculture
San Salvador - Central American and Caribbean governments on Thursday issued an official alert as severe drought in the region damages the crops of some 1.6 million people.
8/20/2015 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

Clean Power Plan a Step Toward Sunshine for Maine’s Economy
The plan represents the beginning of a more sustainable economic and environmental future for our state. By Sa...
8/28/2015 8:11:21 AM

Share Your Thoughts
Let businesses know when you’re spending your money with them because of their environment-friendly policies—a...
8/28/2015 4:00:20 AM

Denmark has Climate Change Lessons for Maine, This Group Will Find Them
By Nancy Smith and Sue Inches, Special to the BDN Bangor Daily News op-ed If you saw a threat, would you avoid...
8/27/2015 9:52:43 AM

Environmental Agencies Sue City of Bangor to Stop Pollution from Wastewater System
Bangor officials and the environmental agencies have signed a proposed agreement that includes infrastructure ...
8/27/2015 9:34:28 AM

Beat the Battle against Soap Scum, Safely
Beat the battle against soap scum without using harsh chemicals. Try spraying the area with undiluted vinegar ...
8/27/2015 4:00:26 AM

You Can Benefit From Solar Even If You Don’t Have a Place to Put Panels!
Did you know Maine is the sunniest state in New England and in fact receives 33 percent more sun than Germany,...
8/26/2015 11:39:54 AM

Waterville Residents Overwhelmingly Uphold PAYT
This spring citizens in Waterville sent a resounding message when they voted by a margin of nearly two to one ...
8/26/2015 11:29:25 AM

Locally Grown School Food
Encourage your local school cafeteria to purchase locally grown food whenever possible. You may even be able t...
8/26/2015 4:00:11 AM

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