July 31, 2018






Nunes’ spat with Twitter just latest battle in war for his message

Fresno Bee

After spending the weekend battling against Twitter on Twitter, Rep. Devin Nunes has made clear that his war on the mainstream media has now been extended to social media.

See also:

     ‘Deep State’ isn’t Nunes’ first conspiracy theory. Guess who he blames for the drought Fresno Bee

     Nunes upset at Twitter, threatens court action, but blocks constituents himself Visalia Times-Delta

      Nunes suggests possible legal action against Twitter for 'censoring' conservatives The Hill


The Truth About Carter Page, the FBI, and Devin Nunes’ Conspiracy Theory

Weekly Standard

In September 2005, I sat in a small, windowless office with musty carpeting on the eighth floor of the Ops2B building at the National Security Agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. I’d been working at the agency for two years, a career shift that I, like so many others, made after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.


Congressman Denham was denied entrance to a child detention facility. Now he’s praising it

Fresno Bee

Rep. Jeff Denham was so pleased with a California immigrant detention facility Monday that he said he’d be willing to have his own children stay there. It was a big contrast from earlier this month, when the California Republican was denied access to the facility.

See also:

       Opinion: Denham ally that farmers need to combat state water grab Modesto Bee


Jose Gonzalez officially files for District 4 Supervisor

Bakersfield Californian

Lamont Chamber of Commerce president Jose Gonzalez has officially filed the paperwork to run against 4th District Supervisor David Couch in the November election. He joins Delano Mayor Grace Vallejo, who filed to run last week.




It took nearly 2 months, but Travis Allen backs John Cox for CA governor

San Francisco Chronicle

Nearly two months after he finished a distant fourth in the California gubernatorial primary, Assemblyman Travis Allen endorsed his fellow Republican John Cox for governor.


Feinstein Leads in Polls but Fails to Attract Voters

New York Times

The good news for Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat seeking re-election, is that she is leading her opponent Kevin de León by a lot in a poll released last week: 46 percent to 24 percent. The perhaps not-so-good news is that once again, Ms. Feinstein has failed to attract more than 50 percent of the electorate in a poll.


Kamala Harris' challenge in a 2020 presidential bid? Defining herself before her opponents do
Los Angeles Times

Kamala Harris has embraced a high-profile role in confronting the Trump administration, from her sharp questioning of Cabinet officials in public hearings to fiery speeches on the National Mall. In January she’s releasing a book about her political vision.




Trump joins nervous GOPers in pouring money into House races

San Francisco Chronicle

With just 100 days to go before the Nov. 6 election, Republicans are preparing to pour millions of dollars into tight congressional races in California and across the nation in an effort to block Democrats from flipping the 23 seats they need to take control of the House.

See also:

       EDITORIAL: Trump’s Lose-the-House Strategy Wall Street Journal

       EDITORIAL: Trump’s losing battle with a compliant Congress San Francisco Chronicle


Donald Trump’s attacks on the media may have backfired


Trust in mainstream American newspapers has grown, even among conservatives.


In Case of Shutdown, Most Border Security Staffers Would Keep Working

Roll Call

The two federal agencies tasked with enforcing President Donald Trump’s evolving immigration policies wouldn’t be hamstrung in the event of a partial shutdown of government operations, which is perhaps partly why the president has said repeatedly he’d be just fine with that outcome.

See also:

     Congress to Trump: We Don’t Want Another Shutdown Roll Call


Senate Dems have plan on Brett Kavanaugh nomination: Stall

San Francisco Chronicle

Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to fill a crucial U.S. Supreme Court seat is headed toward a Senate confirmation vote — but how fast it gets there will be determined by whether outnumbered Democrats succeed in a tactic that could postpone a decision until after the midterm elections.

See also:

     Kavanaugh's Confirmation Progress The Wall Street Journal

     Kavanaugh Meets With Key Senate Democrat The Wall Street Journal

     Rand Paul Says He’ll Support Kavanaugh National Review


Robert Wilkie sworn in as new Veterans Affairs secretary


Vice President Mike Pence swore in Robert Wilkie as secretary of Veterans Affairs on Monday. Before Trump nominated Wilkie for the position at Veterans Affairs he worked for the Department of Defense as under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.




Former Hanford coach, business owner among dead in crash that killed former Lemoore mayor

Fresno Bee

The Madera County coroner’s office has released the names of three of the five people killed Saturday in a fiery crash at a rural intersection.

See also:

     Former mayor Billy Siegel died in Madera crash Hanford Sentinel


How evil happens
Los Angeles Times

Why some people choose to do evil remains a puzzle, but are we starting to understand how this behaviour is triggered?


As Twitter deals with woes, user numbers take a hit

San Francisco Chronicle

Twitter might have packed in more characters per tweet — but the move hasn’t helped it assemble more users.

See also:

     Is There a Political Social Media Bubble? Weekly Standard


Tom Steyer’s $110 million plan to redefine the Democrats

Tom Steyer has set plans to spend at least $110 million in 2018, making the billionaire investor the largest single source of campaign cash on the left and placing him on a path to create a parallel party infrastructure with polling, analytics and staffing capabilities that stand to shape and define the issues the party runs on in November.

See also:

     Why a Democratic Wave Looks Likely National Review


How to Bring the Ballot to Aging Americans

Pew Charitable Trusts

Just this year, Henry registered 72 residents as new voters. If a resident doesn’t have an up-to-date government form of identification — as is the case for 18 percent of citizens over 65 — Henry works to bring in a county official to take their picture to comply with Virginia’s voter ID law.


States Try to Silence Robocalls, But They’re Worse Than Ever

Pew Charitable Trusts

Robocalls — those nettlesome autodial telephone calls from both scammers and legitimate businesses — skyrocketed in the first half of 2018, and have prompted the most complaints to federal and most state enforcement officials of any consumer topic in recent years.


The Coming Constitutional Storm
Weekly Standard

We are having a “constitutional moment,” so to speak, in two parts. The first is obvious and momentous; the second is less obvious, but perhaps even more significant. For the first, we are mainly spectators; the second will call ultimately for our own deliberation and decision.





Sunday, August 5, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report“Fake News & Info Illiteracy” – Guests: Senator Bill Dodd (D), Renée Ousley-Swank, President Elect - CA School Library Association, John Myers,Sacramento Bureau Chief – LA Times and Dan Walters, Reporter of the Sacramento Bee. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, August 5, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report - Valley Views Edition: “Alt Facts & Lies:  A Lie By Any Other Name?” – Guests: Paul Hurley, former editorial page editor of the Visalia Times Delta and Mike Dunbar, Editorial Page Editor with the Merced Sun Star and the Modesto Bee. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, August 5, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “CA School libraries: are we failing our kids?”  Guest: Margarita Fernandez, PIO State Auditor's Office. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.


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The Almond Price Crash Worrying California

Financial Times

U.S. almond farmers are braced for more fallout from global trade tensions, although they appear better placed to withstand any escalation than their soy-producing peers.


Why Crackdown Fears May Keep Legal Immigrants From Food Stamps

PEW Trusts

It’s that time of the week — food pantry day — and before the doors even open at the Spanish Catholic Center, the patrons begin queueing up, lugging roller carts and empty grocery bags, the line stretching out onto the hot sidewalk.


Reducing food insecurity among households with children is still a challenge for the United States


For many low-income American children, the summer break from school means losing access to breakfast and lunch—meals critical to their physical and cognitive development.




Trump says he's looking at 3D-printed guns issue after eight states file suit

Los Angeles Times

President Trump says he is consulting with the National Rifle Assn. over whether it makes sense for a Texas company to publish downloadable blueprints for a 3D-printed gun.




California’s intense wildfires are creating clouds like those over erupting volcanoes

Fresno Bee

More than a dozen wildfires are burning in California right now — some with so much intensity, they’re creating cloud formations usually seen over erupting volcanoes.

See also:

      What you need to know about the 17 wildfires across California Los Angeles Times

      California lawmakers grapple with how to prevent deadly wildfires and who should pay victims Los Angeles Times

     California wildfires: How many fires are burning and where are they? Sacramento Bee

     Who must pay for wildfires CALmatters

     Overview of Wildfire-Related Funding Legislative Analyst’s Office


‘Hotshot’ leader killed in Ferguson Fire remembered as ‘one of the best’

Fresno Bee

Brian Hughes, a 33-year-old captain on an elite hotshot fire crew battling the Ferguson fire, was remembered Monday as “one of the best.”

See also:

     Firefighter struck by tree and killed while battling Ferguson Fire ABC30

     Sequoia firefighter 'wonderful person and friend' Visalia Times-Delta

     Here are the victims of the deadly California blaze Visalia Times-Delta

     Eight people have died this year in California wildfires. Here are some of their stories Los Angeles Times

     Firefighters gaining ground on Ferguson Fire, though problem areas remain Fresno Bee

     Ferguson Fire continues slow march forward ABC30

     Firefighters slow advance of Ferguson Fire, 57,846 acres consumed Modesto Bee


Carr Fire burning in Shasta County grows to 98,724 acres


The Carr Fire burning in Shasta County has grown to 98,724 acres and is 20 percent contained. Nearly 40,000 people have been evacuated from the devastating fire.

See also:

     Intense heat, 'firenadoes' fuel deadly Carr Fire in California Visalia Times-Delta

     Shasta County's Carr fire AP

     Guy Fieri feeds hundreds of Carr Fire evacuees ABC30

     Raging fire is 9th worst in state history Stockton Record

     Want to help fire victims? Don’t send any more stuff Sacramento Bee

     ‘All That Matters Is We’re Alive’: California Fire Evacuees Crowd Into Shelters New York Times


EDITORIAL: The Ferguson and Carr fires are terrifying glimpses into California’s future

Fresno Bee

As we face yet another summer of towering firestorms and overmatched first responders, it is becoming clear that we must radically improve emergency preparation in California. Summer has been a death march and August’s heat is just about to start.

See also:

     The common thread in the state's wildfires: heat like California has never seen Los Angeles Times

     EDITORIAL: When fire season lasts all year long Los Angeles Times

     California wildfires still ‘growing faster than you can imagine’ San Francisco Chronicle

     3 practical steps to reduce wildfires in California San Francisco Chronicle

     California wildfires: Thanks and appreciation pour in for firefighters San Diego Union-Tribune


Other jurisdictions pay Kern firefighters when they help fight outside fires

Bakersfield Californian

When California burns, Kern County firefighters sometimes must go where the flames are — even when that's outside the county of Kern. Other crews may have been dispersed to other locations as well.




U.S. government on course to borrow the most money since the financial crisis

Los Angeles Times

The Treasury Department predicted the U.S. government’s borrowing needs in the second half of this year will jump to $769 billion.


Consumer agency hated by Trump and GOP lawmakers has the backing of most Americans
Los Angeles Times

The Trump administration and Republican lawmakers have long viewed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a rogue agency, dedicated solely to preventing decent, hard-working businesses from creating jobs and growing the economy.


US-China 'trade war' numbers


Warning: this post contains estimates which could be off by billions of dollars. And it doesn’t matter. In technical terms, the good stuff is much, much bigger than the bad stuff. Current American economic gains are much bigger than the current and anticipated cost of the US-China trade dispute.

See also:

      Trump, once a hero in China, is now seen as erratic and unreliable Los Angeles Times

      US, EU Trade Officials Split Over Agriculture in Trade Talks Roll Call

      GOP free traders unload on Trump  AEI

      Trade war diary: July 30, 2018 AEI


EDITORIAL: Socialism is between capitalism and communism, and that’s where we’re headed

Sierra Star

Rarely does a person go from being a capitalist to being a communist. The bridge during that transitional phase is called socialism. It is a desire to have the state control the flow of certain items, goods and services to people and it is the means by which the government redistributes wealth.






California schools aren’t exactly leading the nation. What should we do about it?

Modesto Bee

Pay teachers better. Get rid of the least effective ones. Tell schools to make class sizes smaller. Let schools make their own decisions. Put parents in charge. Put teachers in charge. Go back to basics. Do something new. Just do…something.


Influencers: What should California do about its schools?

The Sacramento Bee

Pay teachers better. Get rid of the least effective ones. Tell schools to make class sizes smaller. Let schools make their own decisions. Put parents in charge. Put teachers in charge. Go back to basics. Do something new. Just do…something.


Native Americans push schools to include their story in California history classes


For decades, California 4th-graders have studied the Golden State: its geography, people and history. Now, historians and Native American teachers are pushing to broaden that curriculum to include more on the culture and history of the state’s original inhabitants.


Higher Ed:


California students flocking to universities in Arizona


Californians, including many turned away by public universities in their own state, are flocking to four-year state and private universities in neighboring Arizona.


Big changes coming to vital community colleges


California’s 114 community colleges are the Rodney Dangerfields of higher education, overshadowed by the state’s four-year universities and not getting much respect.


College Students Facing Hunger Need More School Support, Researchers Say


As students enter college this fall, many will hunger for more than knowledge. Up to half of college students in recent published studies say they either are not getting enough to eat or are worried about it.


Americans say colleges are headed ‘in the wrong direction,’ and they’re right


America’s colleges are losing support on both the left and the right and for precisely the reasons they should be. What does that mean for higher education in the future?






Fresno temperature may dip into the 90s by weekend

Fresno Bee

Fresno continues to be in the midst of a record-breaking heat wave. The city had its 25th day of consecutive 100-degree peak temperatures late Monday. Earlier in the day, the temperature hovered around the high 90s.

See also:

     How Record Heat Wreaked Havoc on Four Continents New York Times


Bakersfield prepares to change recycling program in response to market downturn

Bakersfield Californian

The City of Bakersfield plans to reevaluate its curbside recycling program with potential changes coming that could include rate hikes or limitations to what residents are allowed to put in their blue pickup bins.

See also:

      PHOTO GALLERY: Could your recycling costs go up? City ponders rate changes as costs rise Bakersfield Californian


Thick smoke blanketing Stockton, San Joaquin County

Stockton Record

Because of the unpredictable conditions, air quality could be impacted for several more days, improving at times or getting worse, very quickly, Public Health Services of San Joaquin County said last week.

See also:

     Map - Air Quality Purple Air


Supreme Court refuses to block youths’ climate suit

San Francisco Chronicle

The U.S. Supreme Court expressed qualms Monday about the scope of a climate-change lawsuit by 21 young people against the government, but rejected the Trump administration’s request to block a trial of the unprecedented suit that accuses federal officials of endangering their futures by failing to act against global warming.


Video: Californians and the Environment


Nearly all California likely voters say the candidates’ positions on the environment are important in determining their vote in the governor’s race, according to the July 2018 PPIC Statewide Survey


California’s Birds Are Testing New Survival Tactics on a Vast Scale

New York Times

Retracing the steps of a century-old wildlife survey, ecologists find that birds are making remarkable adaptations to climate change.




Washington Governor: California should collaborate on power grid

San Francisco Chronicle

Now, California has another opportunity to shape the energy future of the West, by joining neighboring states to design a regional electricity market that is fair, transparent and efficient.






Fresno celebrates breastfeeding while the U.S. debates the merits of infant formula

Fresno Bee

Fresno County has reached a milestone in breastfeeding, nearly matching the average in California, but advocates say a lot more mothers would choose to breastfeed if they had help and support.


Care At Saint Agnes ready to open new facility


It's all hands on deck at the newly redesigned cCARE Cancer Centre at Saint Agnes. In less than 24 hours cancer outpatients will begin treatment at the new facility.


This lawmaker blocked anti-vaccine activists on Twitter. Now he’s facing a lawsuit

Sacramento Bee

State Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, is being sued by anti-vaccine activists, who say he blocked them on Twitter in violation of their First Amendment rights. The lawsuit argues Pan’s Twitter account is a modern public forum because he is a government official.


‘My Soul and My Role Aligned’ — How Hospice Workers Deal With Death

Pew Charitable Trusts

As intense and exhausting as hospice care is, you seldom hear any of the doctors, nurses, aides, social workers and bereavement counselors at the Hospice of the Western Reserve describe the job as grim, sad or dispiriting.


EDITORIAL: Too many U.S. women die during childbirth, and California has a solution

San Diego Union-Tribune

An investigation by NPR and ProPublica discovered something stunning last year: America has a higher rate of women dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country — and​​ only in the U.S. is this death rate rising.


Why Americans Spend So Much on Health Care—In 12 Charts

Wall Street Journal

Prices are hidden behind insurance deals, hospital consolidation pushes up costs and the health sector is a growing power in the economy.


Beware of simple fixes for high drug prices


Conferring market exclusivity rights on important drug therapies will lead to high prices for purchasers or consumers in some circumstances. That’s basic economics. The challenge for policymakers is to minimize the number of monopolistic pricing situations and create the proper balance of financial burdens when supply competition is limited.


Human Services:


Feeding Tulare's homeless brings support from city officials

Visalia Times-Delta

This week, with financial backing from Tulare City Council and donations from community members, Miller plans to host an event where up to 80 people can get a free, hot meal.


Are housing costs to blame for California’s plummeting fertility rate?


Financial burdens, compounded by the high cost of housing, has knocked down the state’s fertility rate, according to experts. It is changing the shape of families, the potential tax base and labor force as people struggle to achieve the California dream.




Immigration judges turning down more asylum seekers, as Trump administration presses for crackdown

Los Angeles Times

The number of asylum cases in which immigration judges find that an immigrant has a “credible fear” of persecution has dropped sharply this year — a shift that leads to swifter deportations and provides an early glimpse at the narrowing path to refuge for many under the Trump administration, according to a report released Monday.


Real ID will divide us all into documented and undocumented

Los Angeles Times

If you don’t know about Real ID, you’re not alone. It was mandated in 2005 by Congress after the 9/11 Commission recommended federal standards for identification. But the whole notion of a national-type ID card was derided by civil libertarians and privacy activists — rightly, I’d suggest — as un-American.


California considers cutting ties to firms carrying out Trump’s immigration policies


Although California can’t do much to block the Trump administration’s controversial immigration policies, opponents in the “Resistance State” keep finding ways to chip away at their foundations.


Migrant Families Have Been Reunited. Now, a Scramble to Prevent Deportations.

New York Times

The federal government last week completed reunifications of more than 1,800 migrant families separated under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy, but immigrant advocates were set to be back in court Tuesday to block what they said was another imminent threat: plans to swiftly deport up to 1,000 of the newly reunited families.




Land Use:


Lorelei Oviatt, Kern County's number one planner, tells us the future

Bakersfield Californian

Lorelei Oviatt influences Kern County residents in myriad ways. As director of the Planning and Natural Resources Department since 2010, she has wide authority to steer the county in a certain direction.


Nearly century-old Buddhist temple in Fresno finds buyer

The Business Journal

The 98-year-old Buddhist temple in Fresno’s Chinatown district has been sold after seven years on the market.




Buying or selling a home? It's the right time to do it in the Fresno market


Home prices are up around 10 to 15 percent this year from last year. More than 5,100 homes have sold so far this year. Many are trying to get in before interest rates rise again.


Are housing costs to blame for California’s plummeting fertility rate?


Financial burdens, compounded by the high cost of housing, has knocked down the state’s fertility rate, according to experts. It is changing the shape of families, the potential tax base and labor force as people struggle to achieve the California dream.


California housing crisis collides with 2020 presidential race

A ballot initiative designed to tackle the prohibitive cost of housing stands to fracture Democrats here, pitting some of the state’s top elected officials against one another and placing some of the party’s most influential donors and interest groups at odds.



Will California schools pass their tough test on pensions?

Fresno Bee

Currently, under the “California rule,” public agencies can’t cut pension benefits without additional compensation. That’s why Brown was right to press the state Supreme Court this month to quickly rule on a lawsuit that challenges his pension reform law that reduced benefits for employees hired after 2013.

See also:

     Opinion: The California Legislature passes the pension buck – again Orange County Register

     The Pension Hole for U.S. Cities and States Is the Size of Japan’s Economy Wall Street Journal


California Competes Tax Credit

Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit available to businesses that want to come to California or stay and grow in California.


Trump administration considers new tax cut for the wealthy

Los Angeles Times

The use of executive power on such a change to the tax law would be highly unusual. The move was rejected during the George H.W. Bush administration because it was seen as outside the scope of Treasury's authority and only attainable via an act of Congress.

See also:

       Trump Administration Mulls a Unilateral Tax Cut for the Rich New York Times


Trump economic chief Larry Kudlow wrong about CBO report on tax cuts


Larry Kudlow, top economic adviser to President Donald Trump, pressed a point about the Republican tax cuts in the closing seconds of a CBS interview Sunday.




Update on Fresno's Bus Rapid Transit

FAX Q News

Thanks to new tickets with arrows and a thicker poly paper, the Q ticket machines are free from congesting when you validate your ticket.


Flight delays in Fresno? They can be lengthy, but less frequent than national average

Fresno Bee

Passengers taking to the skies aboard airlines to and from Fresno Yosemite International Airport have somewhat better odds that their flight will take off or arrive on time than nationwide averages.


BDP steps up parking enforcement downtown, issues 310 tickets in three weeks

Bakersfield Californian

For a while now, a car left in a posted one-hour parking spot in downtown Bakersfield was safe for an extra 15 minutes after time expired, or even longer. Sometimes a lot longer. Not anymore.


Lawmakers take aim at DMV

Sacramento Bee

California DMV offices are not happy places these days, and lawmakers are poised to look into it.

See also:

     EDITORIAL: DMV wait times are getting much slower. It's not your imagination. San Diego Union-Tribune


Fix California roads without the new gas taxes? Here’s what it would take
Sacramento Bee

Whether or not voters this November approve an initiative to repeal recent increases to California fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees, its proponents are already planning a sequel.


California high speed rail performance calculations: San Francisco to Los Angeles

Los Angeles Times

The California High Speed Rail Authority conducted computer simulations, know as a train performance calculator, earlier this year to show that it can meet the 2 hour 40 minute trip time between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

See also:

       A $100 Billion Train: The Future of California or a Boondoggle? New York Times


Uber to stop developing self-driving trucks


Uber will stop developing self-driving trucks that have been hauling cargo on U.S. highways, the ride-hailing company said on Monday, seeking to focus its autonomous-vehicle technology solely on cars.




Denham ally that farmers need to combat state water grab
Modesto Bee

Both the Stanislaus County and San Joaquin County farm bureaus have supported Jeff Denham in past elections and will do so in the upcoming election. The reason is that Denham supports and advocates for farmers and their rights.


No real worry that Hetch Hetchy will be drained after Zinke’s visit

San Francisco Chronicle

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke appears to be interested in the idea of draining Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park after meeting with a group that wants to tear down the century-old O’Shaughnessy Dam.




On The Road: 5 cool places close to home to beat summer’s heat

Stockton Record

Temperatures are forecast to regularly exceed 100 degrees for much of July and August in the San Joaquin Valley. So, where can a family get away for fun, adventure and cooling vibes in our wonderful state?


Stanislaus Fair a big disappointment. And what’s with $3 for a bottle of water?
Modesto Bee

Now that the Stanislaus County Fair is closed, I have to say what a disappointment the Fair was this year! The items that were displayed were not displayed well, nor were they taken care of.


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Maddy Institute Updated List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials HERE.


The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.


This document is to be used for informational purposes only. Unless specifically noted, The Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno does not officially endorse or support views that may be expressed in the document. If you want to print a story, please do so now before the link expires.



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