City of Milwaukee offers recycling and “e-cycling” tips after the holidays 

December 30, 2014

The holidays usually mean lots of leftovers, cans, bottles, gift boxes, wrapping paper and of course, the tree! The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works encourages all City residents to recycle the usual bottles, cans and cardboard boxes, but what about those unique holiday items?

What holiday items can be recycled? 

  • Greeting cards and wrapping paper can be recycled as long as it is free of ribbons, foil, and other non-paper items
  • Cardboard gift boxes and packaging can be flattened and recycled, or save them to re-use for other gift-giving opportunities or for storage
  • Gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons and bows are NOT recyclable. Re-use them next year and save money and room in the landfill

How about old electronics? 

  • The City of Milwaukee does not accept old TVs, computers, tablets, scanners, printers, cell phones and other electronics in either the garbage cart or the recycling cart.
  • “E-cycle” your old electronics at no charge by taking them to a City Self Help Center. They also may be dropped off at other E-Cycle Wisconsin locations. Visit dnr.wi.gov – search for “E-Cycle”
  • The “e-cycling” process recovers valuable materials from old electronics and keeps hazardous pollutants out of the environment
  •  Go to city.milwaukee.gov/electronics to learn more

How about disposing of a real Christmas tree and old lights? 

  • After the holidays, take your real tree to one of the City’s Self Help Centers to be composted or mulched. Be sure to remove all lights and decorations first
  • Or, place the tree at your regular garbage collection site (alley or curb) for pick-up by DPW crews
  • To recycle old Christmas lights, go to holidayLEDs.com for more information. Get a coupon for 15% off HolidayLEDs Christmas lights

Which containers are recyclable? 

  • Milk, juice and soup cartons
  • Plastic containers marked with “#1, #2, #4, and #5” are all recyclable
  • All food and beverage containers should be emptied and rinsed before placing them in the recycling cart

What about metal pots and pans, plus aluminum foil and baking pans? 

  • Worn out metal pots and pans can be recycled
  • Aluminum foil and baking pans can be recycled as long as they are clean

Recycling cart full? 

  • Place your extra recyclables in a clear bag and set them next to your recycling cart for pick-up
  • Or bring your extra recyclables to a City Self Help Center

Go to MilwaukeeRecycles.com for more information on acceptable materials for recycling in the City of Milwaukee.

For information on the City’s Self Help Centers (hours, locations, what is acceptable, etc.), go to www.city.milwaukee.gov/mpw. The centers will be closed on December 31 and January 1.

City residents can use mpw.milwaukee.gov/services/garbage_day to determine their next scheduled garbage and recycling dates. There will be no garbage or recycling pick-up on December 31 and January 1.

Residents can also call (414) 286-CITY (-2489) for more information.

 


DPW New Year’s holiday schedules: garbage, recycling, self-help centers, parking, tow lot and water works

December 27, 2014

 City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works Schedules Over the New Year’s Holiday 

City of Milwaukee government offices will be closed Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 and Thursday, January 1st, 2015 for the New Year’s holiday. However, some Department of Public Works (DPW) services will be available for limited hours of operation and certain parking restrictions will be lifted.

Garbage, Recycling, and Self-Help Centers: 

  •  There will be no garbage or recycling pick-up on December 31 and January 1. For information on your next scheduled collection days, go to the DPW website at www.city.milwaukee.gov/mpw
  •  Self-Help Centers will be closed on December 31 and January 1

Parking Enforcement: 

  • No parking meter enforcement on Thursday, January 1
  • No overnight parking enforcement on Wednesday night into Thursday morning (January 1 from 2:00-6:00 a.m.) and on Thursday night into Friday morning (January 2 from 2:00-6:00 a.m.)
  •  Overnight parking enforcement resumes on Friday night into Saturday morning (January 3 from 2:00-6:00 a.m.)

Tow Lot: 

  • Open – Wednesday, December 31 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
  • Closed – Thursday, January 1

Milwaukee Water Works: 

  • The Customer Service Center will be closed on December 31 and January 1
  •  24-hour drinking water service and Emergency Control Center: (414) 286-3710
  •  Customers can pay their Municipal Services Bill online at www.city.milwaukee.gov/water. For automated account information, please call (414) 286-2830

In addition, residents should call 414.286-CITY (2489) for other requests. For more information on DPW services, go to www.city.milwaukee.gov/mpw.


Red Arrow Park decision demonstrates need for additional reforms

December 22, 2014

Joint Statement from Common Council members  Ashanti Hamilton, Russell W. Stamper II, Milele A. Coggs,  Willie C. Wade and José G Pérez  

With the district attorney’s decision today not to pursue charges in the police shooting of Dontre Hamilton in Red Arrow Park, we once again offer up our deepest condolences to Mr. Hamilton’s family. They have suffered great pain in their eight-month wait for answers, and today’s decision provides them with no comfort.

We have discussed it as members of the council, and while we are frustrated, we are not entirely surprised by the decision not to move the case to a jury. This process did not meet the standards of transparency that the public deserves, and it took entirely too long. It’s yet another unfortunate example of the need to improve relations between police and the community.

Many members of our community will rightfully object to the DA’s conclusions, and we would urge them to continue to maintain the peaceful nature of the demonstrations. We support the right to protest and express public disagreement. Peace is more easily obtained when justice is served.

As local leaders in the City of Milwaukee, we will do our part in the pursuit of justice that must continue well beyond this day and place. There are steps that we can take to try and prevent incidents like this from occurring in the future, and we will pursue them. And while there are some matters that are beyond our control, we will aggressively lobby for action at a state and federal level to help the Hamiltons in their quest for justice.

We support the Hamilton family in their request for a federal investigation into the death of their son, and we urge federal authorities to promptly take up their case.

We implore state legislators to re-evaluate the new process that has been established for investigating police-involved deaths and make it more responsive and transparent.

And we are working actively to enact local reforms that will ensure that every life is protected by the men and women of the Milwaukee Police Department. These include:

  • The creation of a community advisory council to advise the Milwaukee Police Department on better strategies for maintaining community-police relations.
  • Re-evaluating the diversity training that is provided to police officers. We will pursue the issuance of a Request for Proposals to seek a new provider for such training.
  • Expanding the Fire and Police Commission that governs the Milwaukee Police Department from seven to nine members. It’s often forgotten that the Milwaukee Common Council has no direct authority over MPD policies or the discipline of MPD officers. That responsibility is delegated to the Fire and Police Commission, which needs to be expanded in order to make it more inclusive. Starting with the new FPC executive director who must be hired, we will ensure that all new members of the commission will not be confirmed without a comprehensive public vetting.
  • Equipping every Milwaukee Police officer with a body camera to record their interactions with members of the public. We will seek funding for this initiative through asset forfeiture or any other avenue we can identify.
  • The creation of a comprehensive and effective early warning system to monitor individual officers on the police force for indicators of violent or aggressive tendencies. Complaints against individual officers, performance reviews and other metrics must be used to identify officers who may pose a threat to the public and provide those officers with the retraining and counselling that they need. The ACLU has recommended the enactment of such a policy.

These proposals are only a beginning, and we look forward to a productive dialogue with our colleagues on the council and the public about these important matters.

Source: Press Release Milwaukee  Common Council members  Ashanti Hamilton, Russell W. Stamper II, Milele A. Coggs,  Willie C. Wade and José G Pérez  


BBB warns of IRS scammers

December 22, 2014

Source: BBB Press Release
The Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin continues to receive calls from consumers stating they received a call from the “IRS” saying they owe money which needs to be paid promptly. The BBB has also received calls from local accountants calling to report such calls on behalf of a client.

“Do not become a victim,” says Ran Hoth, CEO and President. “This is an aggressive phone scam in which callers use scare tactics in an attempt to get your money. They may sound convincing when they call, but it’s a scam. Don’t fall for it.”

The scam has been making the rounds throughout the country, including Wisconsin. Typically, callers use fake names, may leave “urgent” voicemail messages and use “caller ID spoofing”, which deliberately alters or disguises the identity of a caller.

Recipients of these calls and victims alike report that the scammers state you have unpaid taxes and demand immediate payment in the form of a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. They threaten arrest, deportation, or loss of a business or driver’s license, if payment is not made.

Rosemarie Bosch of Rosie’s Tax & Bookkeeping Services, LLC, Franklin tells the BBB that she has received calls from clients of all ages since June.

“I’ve been receiving reports from clients saying they’ve received unsolicited calls from people with thick, foreign accents misidentifying themselves as being with the IRS and stating they owe money”, says Rosemarie. “They’re told that if they don’t pay up, there will be a warrant out for their arrest. I tell my clients this is a scam, they shouldn’t worry, and the IRS would never call them on the phone.”

Being called the “largest ever” telephone fraud scam targeting innocent taxpayers, the IRS has been posting warnings for months alerting the public about callers posing as Internal Revenue Service representatives in an effort to defraud.

The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment, or request payment without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe, It also does not ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer, and doesn’t make threats such as deportation or arrest.

Report IRS impersonation calls immediately to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 or http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml

For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), 608-268-2221 (Madison) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin). Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on TwitterFacebook and You Tube.

A G JB Van Hollen announces national $90 cramming settlement with T-Mobile

December 19, 2014

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that his office, along with his counterparts in the other 49 States and the District of Columbia, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, have reached proposed settlements with T-Mobile USA, Inc. that will resolve allegations that T-Mobile placed charges for third-party services on consumers’ mobile telephone bills that the consumers did not authorize – a practice known as “cramming.”

T-Mobile is the second mobile telephone provider to enter into a nationwide settlement to resolve allegations regarding cramming.  Attorney General Van Hollen announced a similar, $105 million settlement with AT&T Mobility LLC in October of this year.  Like the previous settlement with AT&T, the proposed settlement imposes a comprehensive set of requirements on T-Mobile designed to address cramming problems, and requires T-Mobility to make payments, credits, and debt forgiveness amounting to at least $90 million. T-Mobile and AT&T were among the four major mobile carriers — in addition to Verizon and Sprint — that announced they would cease billing customers for commercial PSMS in the fall of 2013.

The Complaint filed today by the Wisconsin Department of Justice alleges that T-Mobile, until at least sometime in late 2013, charged many of its consumer customers for other services offered by third-party merchants that were unrelated to the mobile telephone services T-Mobile provides.  According to the Complaint, the charges involved monthly subscription fees, typically $9.99 per month, for content such as ringtones and wallpaper, and for third-party “premium” text message subscription services (“Premium Short Message Service” or “PSMS”) such as horoscopes, trivia and sports scores.  It further alleges that in numerous instances, T-Mobile placed charges on Wisconsin consumers’ mobile telephone bills for third-party services without the consumer’s knowledge and which the consumers did not order or authorize.  The Complaint alleges that billing consumers for consumer goods or services that the consumer has not agreed to purchase violates Wisconsin consumer protection law.  In addition to filing a Complaint, the Wisconsin Department of Justice has filed a proposed Consent Judgment for the Dane County Circuit Court’s consideration.

Under the terms of the settlements, T-Mobile has agreed to a consumer redress program that is set forth in the proposed Stipulated Order for Permanent Injunction and Monetary Judgment filed in Federal Trade Commission v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., (Case No. 2:14-cv-00967-JLR), which requires T-Mobile to provide full refunds to consumers who have been charged by T-Mobile for unauthorized commercial PSMS charges since June 1, 2010, who file a claim under T-Mobile’s Premium SMS Refund Program.  The settlement terms require that T-Mobile to make payments, credits, and debt forgiveness of no less than $90 million. The $90 million minimum payment includes $18 million that T-Mobile will pay to the States and $4.5 million to the Federal Communications Commission. Under the settlement, Wisconsin will receive $278,094.97, in addition to any amount received by Wisconsin consumers under the refund program.

Consumers can submit claims under the Program by visiting http://www.t-mobilerefund.com.  On that website, consumers can submit a claim, find information about refund eligibility and how to obtain a refund, and can request a free account summary that details PSMS purchases on their accounts.   Consumers who have questions about the Program can visit the Program website or call the Refund Administrator at (855) 382-6403.

The settlement also requires T-Mobile to stop making available to consumers the option to purchase products or services through commercial PSMS — the platform to which law enforcement agencies attribute the lion’s share of the mobile cramming problem.  T-Mobile must also take a number of steps designed to ensure that it only bills consumers for third-party charges that have been authorized, including the following:

–          Beginning no later than March 1, 2015, T-Mobile must obtain, or implement reasonable practices to confirm consumers’ express informed consent is appropriately collected and documented before a consumer is billed for any third-party charge;

–          Beginning no later than April 1, 2015, T-Mobile must implement a system where the consumer will be sent a purchase confirmation separate from the bill for every third-party charge that will appear on the consumer’s bill;

–          Beginning no later than April 1, 2015, T-Mobile must inform its customers, when they subscribe for services, that their mobile phone can be used to pay for third-party charges, and must inform consumers of how those third-party charges can be blocked if the consumer doesn’t want to use their phone as a payment method for third-party products; and

–          Beginning no later than April 1, 2015, T-Mobile must present third-party charges in a dedicated section of consumers’ mobile phone bills, must clearly distinguish them from T-Mobile charges, and must include in that same section information about the consumers’ ability to block third-party charges.

The State is represented by Assistant Attorney General Phillip D. Ferris.

Copies of the Complaint and Consent Judgment submitted to the Court are available at the following links:

Summons and Complaint

Consent Judgment

 


City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works Christmas holiday schedules 

December 19, 2014

Over the Christmas Holiday 

City of Milwaukee government offices will be closed Wednesday, December 24th and Thursday, December 25th for the Christmas holiday. However, some Department of Public Works (DPW) services will be available for limited hours of operation, and certain parking restrictions will be lifted.

Garbage, Recycling, and Self-Help Centers: 

• There will be no garbage or recycling pick-up on December 24 and 25. For information on your next scheduled collection days, go to the DPW website at www.city.milwaukee.gov/mpw

• Self-Help Centers will be closed on December 24 and 25

Parking Enforcement: 

•  No parking meter enforcement on Thursday, December 25

• No overnight parking enforcement on Wednesday night into Thursday morning (December 25 from 2:00-6:00 a.m.) and on Thursday night into Friday morning (December 26 from 2:00-6:00 a.m.)

• Overnight parking enforcement resumes on Friday night into Saturday morning (December 27 from 2:00-6:00 a.m.)

Tow Lot: 

•  Open – Wednesday, December 24 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

• Closed – Thursday, December 25

Milwaukee Water Works: 

• 24-hour drinking water service and Emergency Control Center: (414) 286-3710

•  The Customer Service Center will be closed on December 24 and December 25

• Customers can pay their Municipal Services Bill online at city.milwaukee.gov/water. For automated account information, please call (414) 286-2830

In addition, residents should call 414.286-CITY (2489) for other requests. For more information on DPW services, go to city.milwaukee.gov/mpw.

 


Housing Trust Fund grants totaling $600,000 will help the homeless, create jobs and boost neighborhoods affected by foreclosures 

December 12, 2014

Press Release: Office of Alderman Michael Murphy 

Homeless vets, children would get boost from Housing Trust Fund awards 

The Milwaukee Housing Trust Fund (HTF) Advisory Board is recommending $600,000 in funding for six projects that will construct new homes for those in need, rehabilitate existing housing stock and make foreclosed homes more attractive to new buyers.

The projects will leverage an investment of more than $4.03 million in local construction and rehabilitation work over the next year, said Common Council President Michael J. Murphy, chair of the advisory board. All of the projects will be reviewed by the Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee next month.

President Murphy said the largest 2014 project would fund the Center for Veterans Issues, Ltd. Veterans Gardens Project, an initiative to create permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans and homeless veterans with children. “The men and women who have given of themselves and served our nation deserve respect and should not suffer the indignity of homelessness,” President Murphy said.

“And this project not only provides housing for the veterans in need, it also makes sure that their children have housing and it restores vacant and foreclosed homes in a city neighborhood,” he said.

President Murphy said the six 2014 projects selected by the advisory board for funding will also create jobs and valuable opportunities for construction workers, carpenters, and those in the trades. “The board takes its work very seriously and is cognizant that the projects selected are healthy investments for Milwaukee that bring critical economic activity and dollars into local businesses and into the lives of workers and their families,” he said.

This year, a total of 11 requestors proposed projects seeking $1.48 million in HTF funding. Alderman Murphy said that, if they had been fully funded, all projects would have leveraged approximately $7.67 million.

The 2014 HTF awards include: 

• $360,000 to the Center for Veterans Issues, Ltd. for the construction/rehabilitation of 30 permanent supportive housing units for homeless veterans and homeless veterans with children (Veterans Gardens Project). 

•  $94,500 to Milwaukee Christian Center-NIP for interior and exterior code-compliance repairs (roofing, painting, porch repair/replacement, gutter replacement, electrical, plumbing, furnace replacement, etc.), and for lead hazard reduction, security enhancements, and accessibility modifications. 

•  $51,200 to WestCare Wisconsin Foundation for construction related supplies and materials to rehabilitate and resell units in the Woodlands condominium complex. 

•  $50,000 to Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity for the rehabilitation of five properties in the Washington Park neighborhood. 

•  $40,000 to Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, Inc. for the acquisition, renovation, and sale of four blighted and foreclosed properties through LBWN’s Turnkey Renovation Program. 

•  $25,000 for the Sherman Park Community Association to replace deteriorating roofs on several homes. 

 


Terry Falk to run for reelection of his Milwaukee School Board citywide seat

December 10, 2014

Campaign Press Release

As a retired teacher, I know how important the decisions of the school board can be in the classroom.

We have accomplished a lot in the past four years, but we have so much more we can do to make Milwaukee Public Schools even better for our children. Therefore, I am running for re-election for the At-Large position of the Milwaukee School Board. I will continue my tireless support for a well-rounded, safe, and nurturing education at the classroom level for all children in Milwaukee Public Schools.

I encourage you to visit my campaign website at www.Falk4Kids.com, make a contribution, and get involved.

Thank you as always for your support,

Terry Falk

 


Brian Eisold to challenge Terry Falk for Milwaukee School Board citywide seat

December 10, 2014

Campaign Press Release

Today MPS parent and longtime Milwaukee resident, Brian Eisold announced his candidacy for the citywide seat on the Milwaukee Public School Board.

“I see opportunities to improve student results in the Milwaukee Public School system through the effective use of technology. To make that happen we must provide ample support and training for our teachers in how to use it in the classroom setting. I also find fault with those who view teachers as part of the problem. In fact they deserve our respect and full support as true professionals who work with our children every day. Our reliance on testing student achievement deserves a thorough review and future testing must focus on actual student achievement. Student evaluations from our teaching staff should also be given the full weight it deserves.”

“And there is no room for continued expansion of choice schools. We can’t afford to continue to rob the public schools of needed resources. It’s time that choice and voucher schools that currently rely on public funds be held to the same standards for achievement as our public schools. There is no reason that we shouldn’t see what we are paying for.”

Brian Eisold is an active member of the PTA, serving children at the local, city wide and state level. He grew up in Wauwatosa, attending public schools, and graduating from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee with degrees in Communication and Political Science as well as a certificate in conflict resolution.

He currently works as a senior sales consultant, and works to train and develop new consultants.

Brian currently lives on the east side of Milwaukee with his fiancée and his son, who attends Milwaukee French Immersion School on 52nd and North Avenue. He and his fiancée, Anna, are active members of the school community and volunteer in the classroom.

Authorized and Paid for by the Committee to Elect Brian Eisold. Zach Wisniewski-Treasurer – Labor donated.

 

 


“Seeds of Challenge” examines extreme weather impacts to Wisconsin agriculture

December 3, 2014

Dozens of Wisconsin farmers share stories about lower yields and higher costs

MADISON — Nobody feels the effects of drought, above-normal heat and flooding quite like Wisconsin’s farmers. According to a new survey of nearly five dozen farmers statewide, such extreme weather events are hurting crop yields, livestock and the bottom line.
 
“Farmers are used to adapting and finding solutions, but it’s clear that climate change will put those skills to the test,” said Katy Walter, energy and climate specialist for Clean Wisconsin. “We’re seeing major challenges, ones that require more expensive measures like installing irrigation systems and building structures to protect livestock. These things can be a real burden, especially for small farmers.”
 
The report in brief, Seeds of Challenge: A survey of how extreme weather impacts Wisconsin’s agriculture, grew from 60 email responses along with 40 follow up phone conversations with Wisconsin farmers. Farmers provided numerous stories of how extreme weather events hampered production. Among the anecdotes: 
 

  • The drought of 2012 killed trees that took a decade to establish, lowered milk production and led to increased feed costs.
  • 2013’s heatwave lowered vegetable yields and led to problems with cow reproductive cycles.
  • General changes in weather have made it more difficult to know when to plant, with late frosts killing bees and early frosts freezing fruit on the trees.

“You would have to be oblivious to the world around you to not recognize that extreme weather events are making challenges for farmers that are off the charts,” said Greg Kosmeder, owner of Copper Kettle Farm in Colgate. “I can say that I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime.”

The numbers from the last few years tell a similar story. In 2012, Wisconsin farmers spent $800 million more on items like feed, seed and pesticides over the prior year. Then in 2013, excessive moisture and rain resulted in $61.9 million in assistance payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Wisconsin farmers, $52 million more than the year before.

“We’ve seen our share of challenges in recent years, and unfortunately it may be a taste of what to expect in years to come,” said Jim Goodman, owner of the Northwood Organic Farm in Sauk County in the Wisconsin Driftless Area.

For the full report, visit: http://www.cleanwisconsin.org/seeds-of-challenge.

Source: Clean Wisconsin, an environmental advocacy organization, protects Wisconsin’s clean water and air and advocates for clean energy by being an effective voice in the state legislature and by holding elected officials and polluters accountable. On behalf of its 10,000 members, supporters and its coalition partners,
Clean Wisconsin protects the special places that make Wisconsin such a wonderful place to live, work and play. 608-251-7020
www.cleanwisconsin.org.


LETTER TO EDITOR — Former resident found Compass

December 1, 2014

Just wanted to write to tell you how impressed I was with the November 2014 issue that I picked up while I was visiting Milwaukee in November.

I felt you did an excellent job in giving details in the stories. For example, in “Enthusiasm curbed in St. Francis,” [Kevin] Meagher not only played on the delicious human interest aspect of the two neighbors, but when he told about Charles Buechel and the City Council members considering changing the ordinance, he set out all of the many, many factors that Buechel investigated in considering the change. It was a beautiful way to show the complexity of the issues. Rather than simply stating the change wasn’t made, you explained why it could not be made. Very careful, detailed reporting.

And that held through in several of the stories that I read, whether it was the objective analysis of Urban Counter-Pose [by Jeffrey Zimmerman], or giving a detailed account of the planned upgrades for South Shore Beach [by Sheila Julson]. Congratulations.

I picked your newspaper up with the Shepherd and the Wisconsin Gazette. Let me say, you had the best reporting and reporters.  Keep up the good work. I lived in Bay View from 1986 through 1996, and it has changed tremendously.  Your paper is one of the happier developments.
Mary Ann Lutzen


LETTER TO EDITOR — Art Stop Symbolism? 

December 1, 2014

I’ve been trying to understand the symbolism behind this sculpture but unfortunately need help. Looking up the word “scalar” used in Jeffrey Zimmerman’s analysis of Art Stop/Urban Counter-Pose, I found it means magnitude not direction. Well, yeah, this piece has magnitude and not direction. I tried to think of what the ”unique character” of Bay View is but having lived here for 60 years I guess I missed the boat on that one.

Finally I asked a few business owners on KK, one with a full view of the sculpture, what they thought this art piece meant. No one knew.

Perhaps if a less existential explanation is given some of us may learn to understand its symbolism.

J. Mazur
Bay View
(Comment on the Compass website)


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