WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Andy Brownfield 10.09.2012
 
 
jesse jackson

Jesse Jackson Rails Against Voter Suppression in Cincinnati

Appears on same day Husted petitions Supreme Court to strike down in-person voting

Speaking to about 60 people at the Rockdale Baptist Church in Avondale, the Rev. Jesse Jackson talked about the many “schemes” used to disenfranchise voters while encouraging Cincinnatians to register to vote and take advantage of Ohio’s early voting days. “Dealing in this state, for example, you think so much about the painful days in the deep South — the overt schemes to deny the right to vote,” Jackson said on Tuesday, the last day to register to vote in Ohio. “We saw Ohio as a kind of beacon of light, the beacon of hope once we ran across the river coming north. This year we’ve seen Ohio and Pennsylvania take the lead in trying to purge voters and suppress the vote to determine the outcome.” Jackson’s comments came on the same day Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court the Six Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to allow early in-person voting on the three days before Election Day. The three days had previously only applied to military personnel and their families. Republicans like Husted have cited cost as the reason to not allow in-person voting on the three days before the election. But in an Aug. 19 email to The Columbus Dispatch, Franklin County Republican Party chairman Doug Preisse said “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine.” Pennsylvania, meanwhile, tried to require voters take a photo ID with them into the polls. A state judge blocked the law from going into effect for the 2012 election. Jackson said restrictions as to who can vote when and where undermine the purpose of democracy.  “Open access, free, transparent voting makes democracy real,” he said. Flanked by a tapestry portraying President Barack Obama, Jackson touted the president’s accomplishments in his first term and urged those assembled to give him a second. Jackson was in Toledo Oct. 5 pushing early voting. He said he was in Cincinnati because “Ohio matters” and he saw it as a way to penetrate Appalachia because “poverty is not just a black problem.”
 
 
by Iain McDavid 10.05.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Reviews, Local Music at 01:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 
25519_med

REVIEW: The National at Emery Theatre

Cincinnati, for me, has always been contradictory and confusing. After living here for so long I’m still ambivalent as to how I feel about it. The National certainly pushed me in the more positive direction with their show Oct. 4 at Emery Theatre. The Cincy-bred band summoned fans with a free show in support of President Obama and filled the historic venue, front to back.The National’s set was evidently well thought-out, opening with the powerful "Mistaken for Strangers," with the vocals and drums seemingly soaring through the theater.  If you haven’t had a chance to catch a show at Emery Theatre (my first experience was last week), you should certainly make that a priority. The theater, coupled with a band like the National, truly makes for an unforgettable experience. The venue alone creates a sense of intimacy between audience and act, something that is usually sacrificed to see your favorite bands.From the very start of the set, the audience was completely engaged with the boys on stage, bursting into cheers and applause at the every songs beginning and end (and even during songs at times). The only drawback for me was the fact that Matt Berninger would simply not let me forget that the show was political. It seemed as if in between every song some sort of Democratic rhetoric (not that the other side’s rhetorical strategies are any better) was interjected.  Something about the importance of voting, or how privileged we are, which is somewhat obnoxious at that point. It’s highly doubtful that anybody was suddenly converted by The National, and even more so that anyone in attendance last night was slightest bit unsure about their vote. I suppose that’s mostly my fault, though — I should expect such from a campaign concert. All that aside, the audience was left in a state of bliss by the concert's end, as The National closed out their set with an unplugged version "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks." Earlier in the night, I had spoken to a friend who had said the venue was acoustically pure, meaning that even without any sort of amplification, the sound would still resonate throughout the entire theater — and he couldn’t be more right. The sound was not hindered in any way (I was a few rows back) and it carried through the historic site as if I was the only one there. The closer truly unified the entire show into a ecstatic experience that I will certainly not forget.  Click here for more photos from the concert.
 
 
by Stefanie Kremer 10.05.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, Barack Obama, Music, News at 12:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
25523_med

The National Plays Cincinnati Show to Support Obama

GottaVote concert drew hundreds of Obama supporters and opponents alike

Members of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Cincinnati natives The National knew they could lose fans if their band became vocal supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama back in 2008. “When we publicly started supporting Obama, we did have a lot of fans that were upset about that and just thought, ‘you should keep your political opinions to yourself,’ ” lead singer Matt Berninger told reporters before their Thursday GottaVote concert sponsored by the Obama campaign. “And I actually totally understand that and in many ways almost agree. I don’t want to be preached to by the Rock bands that I like.” The band drew a mixed crowd of 750 people to the intimate show at The Emery Theater on Thursday. The concert’s purpose was to encourage attendees to vote for Obama in the Nov. 6 election and encourage Cincinnatians to take advantage of Ohio’s early voting. While the band’s support for Obama has drawn some vitriol (fans made comments like “fools” and “shame on you” on Facebook posts announcing the shows in support of the president) it didn’t stop everyone who didn’t plan on voting for Obama from coming to the concert. Adam Kesee, 25, is not an Obama supporter. He explained that he was at The Emery to see The National perform anyway — just as long as they didn’t devote the whole show to politics. "I do not think music and politics should mix," Kesee explained. "It's OK if you play to support a candidate you like, but don't expect everyone to share your views and do not bog down the concert with political views."  The National plays a GottaVote concert for the Obama campaign in CincinnatiCatie Viox [Photo gallery: The National plays in Cincinnati Oct. 4]Despite their recent outspoken support of President Obama and their series of shows dedicated to rallying support in 2008, 2010 and 2012, Berninger and guitarist Aaron Dessner said they never saw their band going in such a direction. “We didn’t want our band to be a political band … most of our songs are love songs or songs about drinking — we don’t think of ourselves as socially conscious songwriters or anything,” Berninger said. He said that during the George W. Bush administration, they started to feel a responsibility to get involved — even if their band took a hit. He cited his 3-year-old daughter as the context through which he sees politics — he’s worried about the way her world will be shaped. "Where our country is now is more important than our Rock and Roll band," Berninger said. "If it hurts our band, that's OK with us."  Although some of The National's songs seem to hold political themes, including "Mr. November," the majority of the songs performed were rock songs written about love and loss including the popular "Bloodbuzz Ohio" and "Fake Empire."  An intense performer, Berninger didn’t get so enthused about performing for Obama that he slipped "Vote Obama," into the lyrics, or devote the majority of the performance to campaigning. Aside from two young campaign volunteers speaking at the beginning of the concert, the president was not even mentioned until introducing the third song, "I'm Afraid of Everyone," written, Berninger said, about a desperate plea for the truth.  In exchange for free tickets to see The National, attendees were expected to volunteer their time for the Obama campaign.  Many concertgoers explained that they would gladly offer their time to support the campaign. Others said that they were strictly in attendance to see The National and do not plan on knocking on doors or making phone calls to support the president.  "I don't really have the time and I don't really care about politics that much," said Kedharhneth Sairam, 24. The crowd may not have been full of Obama supporters, but they were still supporters of The National. The band’s GottaVote tour included a  Wednesday stop in both Columbus and Cincinnati. Along with performing for fans, the band took to the streets with clipboards encouraging students on the campuses of The Ohio State University, Xavier University and Berninger’s alma mater, the University of Cincinnati, to sign up to vote. CityBeat staff writer Andy Brownfield contributed to this report.
 
 
by German Lopez 10.04.2012
 
 
120413_obama_romney_4x3.photoblog600

Morning News and Stuff

In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here. The first presidential debate took place last night. Most of the “liberal media” says Mitt Romney beat President Barack Obama, but the impact of the relatively dull debate is probably being overstated as the media tries to sensationalize some sort of comeback narrative for Romney. Although the debates are important for capturing a candidate’s policies and speaking ability, they don’t matter much in political terms. Policy-wise, it seems Romney ran to the center last night.  If last night’s debate wasn’t enough debate for you, here are the three most awkward presidential debate moments in history. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus held a conference call with Ohio reporters yesterday in response to Vice President Joe Biden’s comments that the middle class has been “buried” in the past four years. Priebus claimed the Republican ground game in Ohio will “crush” Democrats. But that’s going to require a lot of work. As it stands, Obama and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown are beating their respective Republican opponents pretty badly in aggregate polling.  PolitiFact says Republican claims that Issue 2 will create a redistricting commission that will “have a blank check to spend our money” are false. While there is no cap on spending designated in Issue 2, that does not mean the redistricting commission will get infinite funding. If Issue 2 is approved by voters, redistricting will be handled by an independent citizens commission. If Issue 2 is rejected by voters, redistricting will continue being handled by politicians that commonly use the system in politically advantageous ways. A Republican majority redistricted the First Congressional District, which includes Cincinnati, to also include Warren County. The new boundaries give Republicans an advantage by putting more emphasis on rural voters, which typically vote Republican, instead of urban voters, which typically vote Democrat. CityBeat previously covered the redistricting process and Issue 2 here. An analysis by the Ohio Office of Budget and Management found Issue 2 would cost the state about $11-$15.2 million over eight years. That’s about $1.4-$1.9 million a year, or about 0.005-0.007 percent of Ohio’s budget for the 2013 fiscal year. To put the cost of Issue 2 in further context, state tax revenues were $39 million above estimates in September. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) and the Cincinnati-based Ohio Justice and Policy Center (OJPC) have settled out of court in a case involving health care in prisons. OJPC brought the case forward with a lawsuit in 2003, arguing that inmates were not receiving adequate health care as required by the Ohio Constitution. Courts agreed in 2005, and they created an oversight committee to ensure medical standards rose. Today, health care in prisons is much better. With the settlement, OJPC and ODRC will continue watching over medical policies and procedures for the next two years, but courts no longer have an oversight mandate. City Council unanimously approved six projects for historic tax credits yesterday.Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank reclaimed its top spot for local bank deposits this year, although data released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) shows it might never have lost the top spot to U.S. Bank.U.S. service firms, which employ 90 percent of Americans, grew at their fastest rate in six months. The boost was brought about due to rising consumer demand.  Ever curious about why politicians use similar body language in all their public appearances? The New York Times has an explanation.A new, strange dinosaur was recently identified.
 
 

Shades of Blue

DNC executive director discusses Ohio’s importance in 2012 and beyond

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Patrick Gaspard, executive director of the Democratic National Committee, sat down with CityBeat for an exclusive interview during which he previewed his remarks to Ohio steelworkers and talked about Hamilton County’s importance to the presidential race.   
by German Lopez 10.03.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, News, Economy, Republicans, Democrats, Courts at 08:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
josh_mandel headshot

Morning News and Stuff

In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here.Josh Mandel, state treasurer and Republican U.S. senatorial candidate for Ohio, is denying he physically confronted a campaign tracker. According to Mandel, the tracker approached and confronted him, not the other way around. But the video of the confrontation shows Mandel approaching and getting really close to the tracker first. Ohio Democrats, who said Mandel’s campaign is a “campaign of unending dishonesty,” were quick to jump on another example of Mandel possibly being dishonest. CityBeat covered Mandel’s notorious dishonesty here. Mandel is running against Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown.  The presidential debates are tonight at 9 p.m. A full schedule of future debates can be found here. Whoever does better, keep in mind debates rarely influence elections. Michelle Obama was in town yesterday. She spoke to a crowd of 6,800, asking them to take part in Ohio’s early voting process and encourage friends and family to do the same. Grocery store competition could soon be bringing lower prices to the Greater Cincinnati area, according to analysts. JobsOhio chief Mark Kvamme is stepping down. The high-profile venture capitalist, who was originally from California, was originally recruited by Gov. John Kasich to lead the Ohio Department of Development. But soon Kvamme hopped onto JobsOhio, a nonprofit company established by Kasich and the state legislature to bring investment into Ohio. Under Kvamme’s leadership, JobsOhio, which is supposed to replace the Department of Development, has brought in 400 companies to invest in Ohio, leading to $6.1 billion in capital investment, according to a press release. But the nonprofit company has been heavily criticized by liberal groups like Progress Ohio, which say JobsOhio is unconstitutional. Lower courts have generally legitimized Progress Ohio’s claims, but the Ohio Supreme Court recently turned down a case dealing with JobsOhio. The court said a lower court would have to give a declaratory judgment first. William O’Neill, former judge and Democratic candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court, is asking Republican justices Robert Cupp and Terrence O’Donnell to “recuse or refuse.” O’Neill says the Republican justices are sitting on cases that involve FirstEnergy, an Akron-based energy company that has contributed to the re-election campaigns of Cupp and O’Donnell. O’Neill says the conflict of interest diminishes faith in the highest court of Ohio’s justice system. A new study on Taser use in Hamilton County found local law enforcement have some problematic policies on the books and in practice. The study was put together by a local law firm that’s demanding policy reform. Americans United for Life (AUL) is celebrating a federal court ruling against Planned Parenthood that maintains Ohio regulations on an abortion drug. The regulations require physicians to administer the drug in a clinic or physician’s office, and the drug may only be taken within 49 days of gestation. AUL says health groups like Planned Parenthood want to avoid sound health regulations, but Planned Parenthood argues the regulations make it too difficult for women to use the drug. Natalie Portman is in a new commercial in support of President Barack Obama. In the ad, she touts Obama’s support of women’s rights. It seems most Americans are avoiding or can’t afford as many trips to the doctor as before. One of the most lucrative criminal enterprises in the world is wood.It turns out the vampire squid is not a lethal ocean predator. Still, who wouldn't run away from that?
 
 
by Andy Brownfield 10.02.2012
 
 
Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Visits Cincinnati on First Early Voting Day

First lady urges Ohioans to vote early; Romney campaign launches Ohio early voting bus tour

While the presidential candidates prepared for Wednesday’s debate, Michelle Obama urged Cincinnatians on Tuesday to take advantage of the first day of early voting, before leading a group to the board of elections to cast their ballots. “I’ve got news for you: Here in Ohio it’s already Election Day. Early voting starts today,” Obama told a crowd of 6,800 inside the Duke Energy Convention Center. She urged everyone to reach out and encourage their friends to vote after they had cast their own ballots. “Twitter them. Tweet them. What do you do? It’s tweeting, right? Tweet them,” she joked to the crowd. Earlier in the morning, the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney kicked off its “Commit to Mitt Early Vote Express” statewide bus tour in downtown Cincinnati.  The tour started in Hamilton County before moving through Butler County and is scheduled to end the day in Preble County. The bus is scheduled to make its way through every region of Ohio during the early voting period and will serve as a mobile campaign headquarters, dispensing voter contact materials and featuring Romney campaign surrogates, according to a news release. At the convention center, Michelle Obama avoided some of the direct attacks employed by her husband or the Romney campaign, but used her 30-minute speech to counter some of the criticisms from the GOP nominee, recapping some of her convention speech. “Our families weren’t asking for much,” Michelle said of her own and Barack’s families. “They didn’t begrudge anyone else’s success, you know, they didn’t mind if others had much more than they did, in fact they admired it. That’s why they pushed us to succeed.” Her comment seemed to come in response to an attack that the Romney campaign levied against Barack Obama after his infamous “you didn’t build that” comment, where the GOP candidate argues that Obama and Democrats are fostering enmity among the middle class by stoking jealousy of rich, successful Americans like Mitt Romney. “Our families believed also that when you work hard and have done well and finally walk through that doorway of opportunity, you don’t slam it shut behind you,” Michelle Obama continued.  “No, you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed. You see, that’s how Barack and I and so many of you were raised. … We learned that the truth matters – you don’t take shortcuts, you don’t game the system, you don’t play by your own set of rules.” She went on to say that Americans are part of something bigger than themselves and obligated to give back to others, counter to the Republicans’ narrative of the individual pulled up by his or her own bootstraps. Danielle Henderson, 40, a teacher’s assistant from Cincinnati, said she was a fan of the first lady’s and joked that she wanted to know if Michelle was running for president in 2016. “Behind every good man is a good woman,” Henderson said. “Honestly, a woman is a backbone of the family.” She said she thought the first family was a good model for the rest of the country. Henderson’s mother-in-law Barbara joked that she was excited to see what the first lady was going to wear. “I see trends she sets trickle down to other politicians’ wives,” she joked.
 
 
by Mike Breen 10.01.2012
Posted In: Local Music, Live Music, Music News at 11:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
mrnovember

Wanna Work for Tickets to See The National?

Locally-bred Indie Rock sensations The National give away tickets for volunteer support

Good news/possibly bad news for those hoping to attend the special appearance by Cincy-bred/Brooklyn-based Indie Rock stars The National Thursday at The Emery. The good news: tickets will be available on Wednesday. The (possibly) bad news (depending on your busy schedule and/or support for Barack Obama) is that you can only get one ticket and you have to agree to do some volunteering for the Obama campaign. To get details, sign up on the President's GottaVote campaign website here.Once you do that, you'll get this message: Get a ticket to see The National in Cincinnati To get a ticket, beginning Wednesday, October 3rd at 10:00 A.M. stop by an OFA-OH office listed below and volunteer. Tickets will be required for entry to the event. One ticket per person. Event Details: Location: Emery Theatre 1112 Walnut Street Cincinnati, OH 45202 Doors open: 7:00 P.M. Distribution Locations: OFA-OH Over the Rhine Office 1130 Main Street Cincinnati, OH 45202You'll also be able to get a ticket (according to the email you'll be sent) at the OFA-OH Woodburn Office, 2718 Woodburn Ave. Good luck!
 
 
by German Lopez 10.01.2012
 
 
Michelle Obama

Morning News and Stuff

It’s October. Tomorrow is the first day of in-person early voting in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth at the secretary of state’s website here. Michelle Obama will be in Cincinnati tomorrow to support an in-person early voting push in Ohio. The state is considered vital for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign against President Barack Obama, but while national polling is close, Ohio is looking very bad for Romney. The Romney team seems to be banking on the debates to regain momentum, but, historically, debates have little electoral impact. The first debate is Wednesday at 9 p.m. A full schedule of the debates can be found here.  In more good news for Democrats, a recent poll by The Columbus Dispatch found Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio is leading Josh Mandel, state treasurer and Brown’s Republican opponent for the U.S. Senate seat, by 10 points. The last Dispatch poll found the two candidates tied. The poll shows a long-term trend seen in aggregate polling of Brown gaining momentum and Mandel falling behind.   A former Republican Ohio state representative came out in support of Issue 2. Joan Lawrence came out for the initiative as part of Women for Issue 2, claiming the current system is rigged. If Issue 2 is approved by voters this election cycle, Ohio’s redistricting will be handled by an independent citizens committee. Currently, elected officials manage Ohio’s redistricting process, but the process normally leads to corruption in a process known as “gerrymandering” in which politicians redraw district borders in politically advantageous ways. In the First Congressional District, which includes Cincinnati, district boundaries were redrawn by Republicans to include less of Hamilton County’s urban population, which tends to vote Democrat, and instead include the more rural Warren County, which tends to vote Republican. CityBeat previously covered the issue and Republicans’ losses in court regarding Issue 2 here. Margaret Buchanan, The Cincinnati Enquirer’s publisher and president, left the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees Friday to avoid a potential conflict of interest in the newspaper’s reporting on the UC Board of Trustees. CityBeat and other media critics mentioned the conflict of interest in the past, particularly when former UC President Greg Williams suddenly resigned and Buchanan refused to comment on speculation around the resignation.  Cincinnati’s economic recovery is in full swing. For the second straight month, the area’s manufacturers expanded. The Cincinnati Purchasing Management Index, which measures manufacturing, went up from 54.6 in August to 58.8 in September. The index must be above 50 to signify growth; below 50 shows contraction. Cincinnati’s women-owned businesses are doing a lot more than some may think. They are responsible for 3,500 local area jobs. Ohio’s attorney general is devoting more money toward solving cold case homicides. Cold cases are old cases that have not been the subject of recent investigations but could be solved in light of new evidence. Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be filmed in southern and northeast Ohio. Nintendo’s Wii U is already looking like the top Christmas toy. Artificially intelligent gamer bots convinced judges they’re human more often than actual humans.
 
 
by German Lopez 09.28.2012
 
 
connie pillich

Morning News and Stuff

Ohio Rep. Connie Pillich, a Cincinnati Democrat, is asking the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees to explain former UC President Greg Williams’ $1.3 million severance package. Williams abruptly left UC on Aug. 21, citing personal reasons. Pillich writes in her letter, “I was disappointed to learn that the University agreed to continue paying former President Greg Williams a sum of $1.3 million over the next two years, considering the former president abruptly resigned six days before classes were to start this fall.  It is disheartening to see such a great deal of public money spent in a manner that is inconsistent with the financial realities many colleges, students, and families face in the current economy. … The University’s tuition increase of 3.5 percent this year means students and families must incur a greater financial burden at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet.  Certainly Mr. Williams’ payday will weigh on the minds of these students and parents, leaving them to wonder, ‘Does this kind of decision result in tuition and fee increases?’”The Cincinnati Enquirer gave some insight into what happened with Williams and the UC Board of Trustees the day before Williams’ resignation. Apparently, there was no sign of conflict in the correspondence and emails revealed under the Ohio Open Records Act, but anonymous sources told The Enquirer that the relationship between Williams and the UC Board of Trustees was breaking down prior to Williams’ resignation. The Enquirer could not get information from Margaret Buchanan, the publisher and president of the newspaper that is also on the UC Board of Trustees; instead, Buchanan referred reporters to Francis Barrett, another trustee.In-person early voting in Ohio begins Tuesday. Get ready to vote.A nonprofit group says Mitt Romney’s health care proposals are more expensive for Ohio than Obamacare. Families USA, a left-leaning group that lobbies on health issues, says Romney’s plan would make families pay about $10,100 a year on health care — almost twice the $5,100 paid under Obamacare. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction announced it will not be privatizing more prisons. The announcement came less than a week after CityBeat’s in-depth story on private prisons and the many issues they face.The state’s efforts to drive down prison recidivism rates saw some positive news. In total, the state’s recidivism rate fell by 21 percent from 2003 to 2008. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said Josh Mandel, state treasurer and the Republican candidate for this year's senate race, is only doing as well as he is in polling due to $20 million in pro-Mandel spending coming from out-of-state sources. But the money doesn't seem to be helping much; Mandel is currently down by 7.5 points in aggregate polling.To celebrate Mandel’s birthday, Ohio Democrats gave him a new pair of pants. Democrats said Mandel, who is Ohio’s treasurer and Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, will need the pants after earning “more ‘Pants on Fire’ ratings from Politifact Ohio than any politician in state history.” Cincinnati is working on rainwater harvesting codes. A task force has made progress on the issue in the past year, but Cincinnati has only had one rainwater harvesting system installed since 2009. A new manufacturer could be bringing 60 jobs to Northern Kentucky.Bill Ackman, an activist investor, has a few bad things to say about Procter & Gamble. The problem? The public doesn’t know what those criticisms are. Ohio’s exotic pet owners are acting slowly in registering their pets, putting themselves at risk for jail time if they don’t register before Nov. 5.In an interview with Cleveland's The Plain Dealer, President Barack Obama said he will go after China's unfair trading practices, but the United States will not “go out of our way to embarrass” China. Obama said the lighter approach typically produces better results. The Cincinnati Reds rode their great home season to a 6 percent attendance gain.Science says traveling into the future is technically possible, but traveling to the past “can only exist in the movies.”Speaking of the past and science, Popular Science posted an old article published in 1961 with predictions for the future’s family cars. The article predicted invisible, self-driving cars that could travel at 1,500 mph.
 
 

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