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Push to nix California vaccine law enters crucial stretch — Signed into law this June after a ferocious political fight, Senate Bill 277 requires that children – unless they have a medical exemption – receive all their shots before enrolling in public or private school. Opponents who could not halt it in the Legislature hope voters will rally to their cause by overturning the law at the ballot box. Sacramento Bee article
George Skelton: Bicyclists shouldn’t get a free ride when it comes to repairing roads – Californians take an estimated 2 million bicycle trips each day. They should start kicking in for the roads they use. Bicycle riders have been freeloading off motorists who pay gas taxes. Skelton column in LA Times
Joel Fox: The theologian and the politician — A theologian would not think this way but a politician might—if you have two contrasting bills on the subject of life and death perhaps the middle ground would provide a solution. Governor Jerry Brown—part theologian and all politician—is facing that kind of decision when determining whether to sign or veto the bill tabbed “Right to Die” and another labeled “Right to Try.” Fox in Fox & Hounds
Justin Ewers: Governor signs local infrastructure financing bill in win for Summit – As part of a high-profile effort to provide local governments with more economic development tools, the governor signed a package of bills that includes a major new expansion of local infrastructure financing authority supported by the California Economic Summit. Ewers in California Forward
CD 21: Local Democrat switches allegiance — Democrat Connie Perez has yet to say whether or not she’ll get into the 21st Congressional District race, but already, she’s won an endorsement. Matt Rogers, chairman Fresno County Young Democrats, says he’s backing Perez. In doing so, Rogers is pulling his endorsement of Fowler Mayor Pro Tem Daniel T. Parra. Fresno Bee article
Former Congressman Radanovich puts his career on the vine — What’s easier, selling wine as a vintner or getting votes as a politician? George Radanovich, usually quick and facile with answers, pauses as if calculating the consequences of casting the tiebreaker vote on an especially contentious piece of legislation. Then he takes the long view: “Selling wine is a little tougher than getting votes, historically.” Sacramento Bee article
Immigration agents allowed back in LA County jails, with limits — Federal immigration agents have returned to Los Angeles County jails to seek out deportable inmates under a new policy by Sheriff Jim McDonnell that has prompted criticism from immigrant advocates who say it could lead to racial profiling. LA Times article; New York Times article
Steve Lopez: A call for compassion as End of Life Option Act heads to Gov. Brown – Dear Gov. Brown: Three years ago, my father died in a fairly typical manner. His heart and his body had given out, he could barely move, he couldn’t feed himself and he was in diapers. Lopez column in LA Times
Carly Fiorina just another politician? Views shift to sway more conservative crowd – The former Silicon Valley business executive has become a serious contestant in the Republican race largely on the strength of her recent debate performances, in particular last week at the Reagan Presidential Library, where she was crisp, authoritative and unequivocal in stating her views. But some of her current positions, on global warming, immigration and the 2008 Wall Street bailout, differ from her earlier stances, moving more in line with conservatives who hold great sway in selecting the GOP nominee. LA Times article
Robin Abcarian: At Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina snuffed out a beloved tech culture — In 1999, Carly Fiorina arrived. Hewlett-Packard, arguably, has never fully recovered. She was the company’s first outside CEO, a whip-smart rock star of a businesswoman. She was hired to restore a sense of urgency to HP, which was becoming known more for its printers and cartridges than its innovative products. Abcarian in LA Times
Jilted Yosemite National Park concessions suitor goes to court – The company that lost the lucrative concessions contract at Yosemite National Park has now brought its beef to federal court. In a high-stakes fight over famous names, the Delaware North concessions company claims it was owed big-time for its intellectual property investments at Yosemite. These include the historic Ahwahnee hotel, Curry Village and Badger Pass, names for which the company holds trademarks. McClatchy Newspapers article; Jeff Jardine column in Modesto Bee
Fresno officials head to Spain on high-speed rail study trip — On Saturday, a group of Fresno politicians, businessmen, education, labor and economic development officials will leave on a nine-day trip to Spain, where they will look at various aspects of the Spanish high-speed rail system and how some of its best practices can be used for California’s bullet train. Fresno Bee article; Sacramento Bee article
Jobs and the Economy
San Joaquin County economy slowed in 2014 – San Joaquin County economic growth slowed sharply in 2014, as the metropolitan area’s gross domestic product increased 0.3 percent, compared to 1.7 percent growth in 2013, federal officials reported Wednesday. Stockton Record article
Mayor Lee defends efforts to improve city’s economy – While Mayor Ed Lee said Wednesday that his priorities for his second term in office will be alleviating homelessness and building housing, he defended the economic policies critics say directly contributed to the city’s worsening problems of homelessness and housing affordability. San Francisco Chronicle article
Group of UCSF scientists comes out against Warriors arena plan – The battle over the Golden State Warriors’ plans to build an arena at Mission Bay flared Wednesday with a collection of prominent UCSF scientists calling the facility a threat to the university as supporters gathered at a bar and posed with the NBA championship trophy. San Francisco Chronicle article
NBA’s Lopez brothers donate $25,000 to Fresno’s Storyland — Brook and Robin Lopez — twins, Fresno natives and professional basketball players — have together donated $25,000 to help save Storyland. The donations brings the effort to save Fresno’s Storyland/Playland children’s attractions closer to an $850,000 goal. Nearly $500,000 has already been raised, making it possible to reopen Storyland earlier this month since its closure in March. The Business Journal article
Stockton bus station targeted as future retail center – The Greyhound bus station in downtown Stockton opened with fanfare 47 years ago as a hub that could handle up to 10 buses at a time. That bus traffic has dwindled and so has the bus company’s need for most of the facility. Real estate agents now hope to attract a mix of retail shops and eateries to operate alongside the bus depot, which could revitalize the high-visibility block at Center and Washington streets. Stockton Record article
Why LA’s homeless camp cleanups seem to be futile – As the city embarks on a $100-million initiative announced Tuesday to combat homelessness, the failed attempt to dislodge Torres from the median shows that in addition to legal and budgetary issues, there’s a moral quandary that inhibits the workers sent out to deal with the problem. LA Times article
Mystery surrounds existence of Modesto beer festival – A festival set for this weekend promised to bring craft beer, nationally known bands and even jet ski races to downtown Modesto. But the organizers of the Modesto Beer and Bites Festival can’t be reached and have acquired no permits, officials say. It’s not clear just who is behind it. Modesto Bee article
Kleiner Perkins drops request; Kao will not pay legal costs — Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers dropped its request for Ellen Pao to pay its legal costs, after she failed to convince a jury that the venture firm retaliated and discriminated against her, according to a source familiar with the case. San Francisco Chronicle article
Have an idea for improving your city? Knight might fund it — What do efforts to repaint polling stations, spruce up community pools and hand out community conservation kits have in common? All were initiatives proposed by nonprofits, government employees or other people that received money from the John S. and James. L Knight Foundation’s Cities Challenge last year. Governing article
CALPIRG calls for full rebates, stiff penalties in VW scandal — The California Public Interest Research Group, the Sacramento-based public advocacy organization, on Wednesday called for full rebates to nearly 500,000 U.S. Volkswagen customers who bought diesel cars equipped with technology to pass smog tests but emit pollutants in excess of government standards during normal operation. Sacramento Bee article
Dan Morain: A lonely voice speaks out again — As the dimensions of the diesel scandal become evident and disgraced Volkswagen executives apologize for their lies and resign, Paul Wuebben feels vindicated though not particularly happy. Morain in Sacramento Bee
The big California milk fight: Where there’s whey, there’s swill – An exciting courtroom drama began Tuesday in the Central Valley, with teams of lawyers, reams of evidence and what could be weeks of testimony from experts. But it’s not a murder trial. It’s actually a USDA hearing about the price of milk. KQED report
No more warnings for water scofflaws in Modesto – There will be no more warnings for those who violate Modesto’s drought watering restrictions. Utilities director Larry Parlin said the city has started issuing citations – which start at $150 and top out at $500 – and skipping the warnings because it keeps falling short of the state mandate to reduce its water use by 36 percent. Modesto Bee article
Porterville biggest water saver in Tulare County – Porterville has a 35 percent cumulative water conservation record over a three-month period, making it the highest water-saving municipality in Tulare County. Visalia Times-Delta article
Sacramento region conservation efforts dip slightly in August — Sacramento-area residents continue to conserve water in response to the state’s epic drought, with August cutbacks registering just slightly lower than the previous two months. The Regional Water Authority announced Wednesday that water usage dropped 33.5 percent compared to August 2013, the benchmark year. Sacramento Bee article
Milk Advisory Board launches new ‘Get Real’ ad campaign — The industry that invented “Got milk?” is rolling out a new promotion encouraging consumers to “Get real.” The new ads, designed to draw more people to the dairy aisle, follow reports that one of the most critically acclaimed campaigns in modern advertising history was apparently not all that successful in helping moo-ve milk. The Business Journal article
Sudden loss of water in Lassen County reservoir — A Pacific Gas & Electric Co. official blamed four years of drought for last week’s sudden loss of water in Mountain Meadows Reservoir and the accumulation of dead and rotting fish near Indian Ole Dam. Local residents are not so sure. Sacramento Bee article
Newell Bringhurst: ‘Cadillac Desert’ a stark look at water politics – The retired professor of history and political science at College of the Sequoias writes, “Given California’s ongoing severe drought Marc Reisner’s all-important ‘Cadillac Desert: TheAmerican West and Its Disappearing Water’ is a must-read.” Bringhurst in Visalia Times-Delta
New video raises questions of police, citizen actions – Another video has surfaced showing Stockton police officers making a forcible arrest just days after a viral video of a teenage boy’s arrest garnered international attention. Stockton Record article; Stockton Record editorial: ‘The need for body cameras’
Mendocino County sheriff raids Native American pot farm that tribe says is legal – An Indian tribe’s plans to harvest and distribute medical marijuana in Ukiah was nipped in the bud this week when Mendocino County sheriff’s deputies seized hundreds of plants at two properties, officials said Wednesday. LA Times article
CDCR opens second round of rehabilitation grants — The first time the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation distributed funds for its Innovative Programming Grant program, inmates in prisons throughout the state were offered classes in art, theater, literacy and technology. Now, following reports of the program’s success, a second round of the special funding was announced Wednesday by the CDCR. Bakersfield Californian article
Billboard aims to save human trafficking victims — The coalition of groups fighting human trafficking in Kern County and throughout the San Joaquin Valley gathered in a dirt lot on Brundage Lane Wednesday morning to bless a billboard. “What happens on Union Ave. doesn’t stay on Union Ave.,” the billboard reads. “Women sold for sex aren’t prostitutes, they’re victims.” Bakersfield Californian article
Warnke expected to name new undersheriff in two weeks — The search for a new Merced County undersheriff has narrowed to two finalists, and Sheriff Vern Warnke on Wednesday said he expects to announce the appointment within the next two weeks. Merced Sun-Star article
Turlock man identified as possible robbery suspect shot by Stockton officer — A 29-year-old Turlock man was identified as the potential bank robbery suspect shot by a Stockton Police Department officer on Highway 99 in Salida on Tuesday night, authorities said. Modesto Bee article; Stockton Record article
Hate crimes edge higher in LA County in 2014 — The incidents were among 389 hate crimes reported in Los Angeles County last year, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations. After trending downward for six years, hate crimes rose 1% in 2014 from the previous year. LA Times article
Fresno Unified paying criminal defense attorney $400 an hour – Fresno Unified is paying a criminal defense attorney $400 an hour to provide counsel for school district officials involved in a federal investigation of no-bid contracts. Fresno Bee article
Bakersfield City School District superintendent announces resignation – Bakersfield City School District Superintendent Rob Arias announced Tuesday night he will retire from the district in December and move into a role with the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office. Bakersfield Californian article
Sacramento Bee: Preschool must be a priority for all California kids – California should be doing everything it can to put this next generation on the right path. The first step is to increase access to preschool for disadvantaged students – the ones most likely to fall through the cracks. Sacramento Bee editorial
Jacob Jackson: College readiness and the new state exams — For the state, the new test provides a benchmark by which to measure future progress and a way to compare across states. Of the eight states that have released test scores, California is 4th and 5th in the proportion of students who are at least conditionally ready for English and math, respectively. As more states release their scores, California will have a clearer picture of how well it is preparing high school students for college on a national scale. Jackson in PPIC blog
Stockton Record: Proposed San Joaquin Delta College bond would need exacting sales job – It’s premature to consider the merits of a San Joaquin Delta College bond issue that may face voters in 2018. But this is certain: The college is going to have to do a yeoman’s sales job. Stockton Record editorial
Plan to boost charters splits LA Unified board — Dividing lines quickly emerged on the Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday over an ambitious plan to double the number of charter campuses across the city, with two members vowing an all-out fight and two others applauding the expansion of choice for parents. LA Times article
Racial slur against USC student leader spurs campus debate – Lola Fajinmi and Precious Nwaoha were both A students in high school. But once they got to USC, the African American women were repeatedly asked if they were athletes and told they probably got in because of affirmative action. So when they heard that a USC fraternity member had cursed the school’s student body president, Rini Sampath, with a racial slur and thrown a drink at her last weekend, they said they were appalled but not too surprised. LA Times article
Sac State celebrates new School of Music — Music fills the rehearsal rooms at California State University, Sacramento, as students and faculty prepare for a milestone gala. School is back in session for Sacramento State’s 200-plus music majors. For the first time in the university’s history, the emphasis is on “School.” Sacramento Bee article
Panelists say fracking debate districts from bigger issues in oil production – Fracking emerged as a less-polluting alternative to burning coal at a well-attended discussion Tuesday night in Santa Monica, where panelists called California’s debate on the controversial oil well stimulation technique a distraction from more environmentally impactful activities within petroleum production. Bakersfield Californian article
Oliver L. Baines III, Buddy Mendes, and J. Steven Worthley: Revision to Clean Air Act is good for Valley air and businesses – The Valley elected officials and board members of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District write, “Failure to correct the structural deficiencies in the act will lead to economic devastation for San Joaquin Valley residents and businesses without commensurate benefit in improving the region’s air quality.”Baines/Mendes/Worthley op-ed in Fresno Bee
John Chiang: Low carbon fuel standard is a boon for California – California’s treasurer writes, “Since its implementation, the low carbon fuel standard has reduced carbon emissions by about 9 million metric tons – the equivalent of removing nearly 2 million passenger cars from the road for one year. Its re-adoption by the air resources board is critical to reinforcing our state’s leadership role in the clean fuels market and ensuring Californians a vibrant, healthy environment for generations to come.” Chiang op-ed in Sacramento Bee
Rob Lapsley: Balanced policies are key in reaching emission-reduction goals – The president of the California Business Roundtable writes, “The solution to greenhouse gas emissions reduction is not demonizing the 98 percent of our economy that provides more than 15 million jobs. The solution is developing balanced policies that reduce emissions while keeping costs affordable. That’s a winner for Californians and a winning model for the rest of the world to adopt.” Lapsley op-ed in Sacramento Bee
EPA denies telling former regulator governor’s oil program was illegal – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency denies telling a former oil regulator fired by the Brown administration in 2011 that the governor’s plan to “fast track” oil well reviews violated federal law. Bakersfield Californian article
Fourth victim found in ruins of Lake County’s Valley fire — The death toll in Lake County’s Valley Fire climbed to four on Wednesday as authorities announced the discovery of a body, even as firefighters increased containment on the blaze to 80 percent. LA Times article; KQED report
Rough fire containment grows to 75 percent — The Rough fire in the Sierra east of Fresno has now burned 143,559 acres and is 75% contained, fire officials said Wednesday. Fresno Bee article
PG&E solicits feedback on local transmission project – Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is asking for public comments on a multimillion-dollar plan to improve local electrical infrastructure by building a new substation in southeast Bakersfield, improving six other stations around the city and upgrading local transmission lines. Bakersfield Californian article
Are we done with 100-degree days for the year? — If this were an average September, Bakersfield residents could have said goodbye and good riddance to temperatures of 100 degrees or higher as of last Friday. According to Jim Dudley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford, the final 100-degree day of the year for Bakersfield is, on average, Sept. 18. Bakersfield Californian article
Michael Hiltzik: The little-known FDA program that’s driving drug prices higher — Consider the Food and Drug Administration’s unapproved-drugs initiative, launched in 2006. The program is well known to some physicians and hospitals and their patients, who blame it for huge increases in the price of drugs that have been in common use for decades — even, in one case, for millenniums. Hiltzik in LA Times
Kern Medical to open neuro ICU unit — Specialized care is the name of the game for Kern Medical Center’s new neurological intensive care unit. The center, reputed to be the first of its kind in Kern County, brings together doctors, staff and equipment specifically for the purpose of treating brain or spinal cord injuries, infections of the brain and other neurological diseases. Bakersfield Californian article
Toll payers will dig deep: Bay Bridge fix could top $15 million — A long-term fix for the waterlogged steel rods at the base of the new Bay Bridge eastern span’s tower will cost at least $15 million, much of which could come from toll payers, Caltrans officials said Wednesday. San Francisco Chronicle article
Michael Fitzgerald: The capital of chutzpah – I believe I have identified the capital of chutzpah in California: Kern County. There, a cheeky group called Coalition for a Sustainable Delta, a group of Kern County landowners, sued the city of Stockton for polluting the Delta. Of course, Stockton does pollute the Delta. All Delta cities do. But nothing Stockton does has a scintilla of the impact of Kern County landowners — farmers — who have drained the Delta to the point of collapse. Fitzgerald blog in Stockton Record
Fresno Bee: City is moving quickly to rebuild Romain Playground — As Mayor Ashley Swearengin puts together her final budget in 2016, she should consider installing security video systems in at least some parks. Cameras help identify lawbreakers and deter vandalism. Fresno Bee editorial
Joe Mathews: It’s your duty to go to your county fair – I feel guilty for having failed, as of this writing, to fulfill a central responsibility of California citizenship. I haven’t been to my county fair this year. Mathews in Sacramento Bee
San Joaquin County Judge Stephenson dies of apparent heart attack — San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Franklin Stephenson died after becoming ill while driving home from the Manteca Courthouse late Tuesday afternoon. Stephenson, 54, is believed to have suffered a heart attack, which possibly led to an automobile accident near Highway 99 and Jack Tone Road, Presiding Judge Lesley Holland said. Stockton Record article
Pope canonizes 18th-century California missionary; not everybody happy — An 18th-century missionary who brought Catholicism to the American West Coast was elevated to sainthood Wednesday by Pope Francis in the first canonization on U.S. soil. Francis canonized Junipero Serra during a Mass outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Catholic church in North America. AP article; LA Times article; San Francisco Chronicle article; Fresno Bee article
Valley Editorial Roundup
Fresno Bee – As Mayor Ashley Swearengin puts together her final budget in 2016, she should consider installing security video systems in at least some parks. Cameras help identify lawbreakers and deter vandalism; Vulture capitalists prey on patients.
Merced Sun-Star – Vulture capitalists prey on patients.
Modesto Bee – Vulture capitalists prey on patients.
Sacramento Bee –California should be doing everything it can to put this next generation on the right path. The first step is to increase access to preschool for disadvantaged students – the ones most likely to fall through the cracks.
Stockton Record – The police officer-teenager video from Stockton that went viral last week is a textbook example of why body cameras are needed on all law enforcement officers; It’s premature to consider the merits of a San Joaquin Delta College bond issue that may face voters in 2018. But this is certain: The college is going to have to do a yeoman’s sales job.
Sunday, Sept. 27, at 10 a.m. on Fresno ABC30 – Maddy Report: “Medi-Cal Providers: Is the Doctor In?” – Guest: California State Auditor Elaine Howle. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.
Sunday, Sept. 27, at 10 a.m. on KMJ (580AM and 105.9FM Radio/podcast) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “Medi-Cal Programs in the Valley: Too Many Patients, Too Few Doctors?” — Guests: David Pomaville, director of the Fresno County Department of Public Health; Oralia Gomez, Fresno County program manager for Medi-Cal; Pam Holiwell, assistant director of the Kern County Department of Human Services; Robyn Gonzales, associate administrator for Community Medical Centers; and Stephen Schilling, CEO of Clinica Sierra Vista. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.
Sunday, Sept. 27, at 7 a.m. on Univision 21 (KFTV) and UniMas 61 (KTFF) – El Informe Maddy: “Medi-Cal Providers” – Guest: Margarita Fernandez, chief of public affairs in the Office of the California State Auditor. Host: Maddy Institute Deputy Director Ana Melendez.
The Maddy Report airs throughout California on The Cal Channel. Check http://www.calchannel.com to find the Cal Channel and schedule in your area. You also can view previous Maddy Report programs in their entirety at http://www.maddyinstitute.org/policy-analysis/the-maddy-report-tv.
- CA Fwd will hold an event on “Money, Schools, Jobs and You – A Bipartisan Conversation in Clovis” at the Center for Advanced Research Technology on Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 6-8 p.m. Speakers are Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin; former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed; Pete Peterson, executive director of Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership; and Marshall Tuck, Educator in Residence, New Teacher Center. Event is free but registration is required. More information: www.CAFWD.org.
- IAP2NorCal and the Institute for Local Government will hold an event, “Public Participation for 21stCentury Democracy,” in San Jose on Thursday, Oct. 1, from 12:30-2:30 p.m. More information is available here.
- West Hills Community College District will hold an event, “Shifting Ground — Adapting the San Joaquin Valley Economy to a Changing Climate,” on Oct. 8 at Harris Ranch in Coalinga. Senior leaders from business, agriculture, government agencies and nonprofits will gather to launch immediate actions and provide near-term guidance to create next generation jobs in a region battered by drought and struggling with multiple challenges. Visit www.essentialelementsseries.comfor details of this no-fee policy series.
- The fourth annual San Joaquin Valley Affordable Housing Summit will be held at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center on Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration and additional information is available here.
- The 34thannual Agribusiness Management Conference will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center in Fresno on Wednesday, Nov. 4. The event will feature presentation on the economic outlook for agriculture, trade, water, and immigration. More information: 559.278.4405 or www.csufcab.com.
- The 2015 California Economic Summit will be held in Ontario on Nov. 12-13. Since its inception in 2012, the Summit has brought together hundreds of private, public and civic leaders from the state’s diverse regions in an effort to advance the triple bottom line: promoting a prosperous economy that respects environment and equity concerns. More information and registration is available here.
Next 10: UPDATED California budget challenge – For the first time in a decade, California’s budget is largely in balance. However, the state has outstanding debts of $28 million, not counting long-term pension and retiree health care costs. Budget choices affect us all. Take the Challenge and decide how much should be spent on programs and where the money should come from. Next 10 California Budget Challenge
Next 10: Federal budget challenge — The Federal Budget Challenge is based on The Concord Coalition’s Principles and Priorities budget exercise, which has been used in numerous town hall meetings across the country by members of Congress from both parties, as well as in hundreds of high school and college classrooms. Next 10 Federal Budget challenge at www.federalbudgetchallenge.org.
Next 10: California Water Challenge – As our state faces some of the most severe drought conditions in its history, Next 10 wants to issue a new challenge to Californians: can you create a plan to make sure there’s enough water for everyone? Next 10 California Water Challenge
LEGISLATORS’ VOTING RECORDS: How often has a California legislator broken party ranks, abstained or switched sides? The Sacramento Bee has a database of the voting records of every member of the state Senate and Assembly. Enter a lawmaker’s last and first names to see how he or she voted, or enter a bill number to see how every legislator voted on it. Check it out at this link. http://www.sacbee.com/votingrecord/
Please visit http://www.maddyinstitute.com/news/maddy-daily if you want to view the Maddy Daily with our comprehensive list of links to all federal, state and local government, public affairs institutes/regional entities, Valley media and public policy blogs. (Please note new website address.)
Maddy Institute Updates List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials – The Maddy Institute has updated its list of San Joaquin Valley elected officials. The list is available here.
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