Thursday, December 31, 2015

• Wildomar Man Awaits Liver Transplant

Do you know Scott Rux? He's a Wildomar resident that many people know. He's been a regular at park events at least as long as I have, and last year he hosted a BBQ for the fire fighters at station 61.

He's part of the Wildomar Facebook page known as WFAC (Wildomar Friends and Community). Many of the regulars meet for Taco Tuesdays at various local eateries.

Scott Rux.
I had heard that he may be in need of a liver transplant back in Summer... what a daunting thing to be facing. I didn't ask him about it because, well... that's a tough thing to bring up to someone.


A look at one of the shirt styles
available, and  a coffee mug too.
He was selling some Straight Outta Wildomar merch at the Trunk or Treat event, and was also manning the snack bar with procedes going to his GoFundMe page.

Then last week I saw a facebook post regarding his GoFundMe page, and I thought I'd ask him if he'd be interested in being featured in a WR Blog. He responded quickly and we met at The Landing Zone for breakfast a couple of days later.

This kind of blog is tricky, because on the one hand he has a compelling story to tell, and on the other hand that means sharing personal things with strangers. He understood that but let me know that he's been pretty open about the whole thing... so here goes.

I asked him how he first became aware of his liver troubles. I was expecting to hear about severe pains, like appendicitis perhaps, and an emergency trip to the hospital, but that's not how he found out.

About five years ago I was in the hospital in Indiana. I was told then that my liver enzymes were up. I went to the doctor and he wanted me to get some tests done, but I didn't have them done. 

After [coming] here [Wildomar] I was in the hospital and my [current] doctor told me, "You need to come see me, your liver is not looking good," but blew that off [too].

I was in the hospital again and he [the doctor] said, "I know you, I told you to come see me in my office." 

I told him, "I know. I promise, I promise, when I get out of here I will."  


— Scott Rux

He sounds like I do when it comes to doctors. Let me rub some dirt on it, and it'll be fine... right?

The only real signs he had at the time were abscesses, in various spots on his body, that needed treatment. He told me that the surgery for those was very painful. His main symptoms today include low energy and fluid retention. I could see that his complexion was on the yellow side too.

Scott has one more test to do, then he's put onto the waiting list.

Once officially on the list, he'll need to able to get to the hospital (Loma Linda, Redlands) in under three hours or he'll lose that opportunity and have to go back on the list.

He does have medical coverage, and estimated that his share of the surgery would be about $4000. Based on the costs I found on the net for such a surgery —which are sky high, it seems like a sum that is well within reach.



Unlike other transplants, like heart or kidney, that can be from congenital issues. Many people on the new liver list got there due to their own habits. Scott didn't shy away about how he got into the situation he's now in.  

Next month'll be a year that I'm sober so I'm showing that I really wanna be sober. I know I messed up and I knew what I was doing when I was doing it. It all goes back to me. it wasn't anyone's fault. It wasn't that I was depressed. I'm not crying wolf. It's one of those things in life that happened and I did it [to myself] and now I'm going to fix it, and not drink anymore. I was a heavy drinker. 

The last time I went to the hospital I told myself, "You've gotta quit drinking," and I did from that moment on.
— Scott Rux

Interesting things I learned during the chat with Scott.
• Scott has to be ready to get to Loma Linda Hospital (Redlands area) in three hours after he gets the call.
• It's a twelve hour surgery.
• Recovery is anywhere from a month to six months in bed.
• Post surgery medication is about $10,000 per month.
• Pre Surgery medications are costing between $3700 and $4000 Per month.

Link to Scott Rux GoFundMe page.

Scott has been a worker since his was 12 years old when he started working at a nearby 7-11. He looks forward to getting through the transplant process and hopes to be able to go back to work.

He was telling me how he'd owned two restaurants back in Indiana, and that he'd love to do barbecue again... because there's no good barbecue here. 

BBQ's not my thing, so I told him I'd defer to his expertise on the matter.



He'd mentioned to me that he doesn't want to be a burden on others, and though he lives with his parents, he doesn't want to burden them with his costs.

I reminded him that friends and neighbors won't mind doing errands, like picking things up from the store or pharmacy. Before he could tell me that he didn't like taking charity, I told him that once he's back to health he can pay it forward, since his friends wouldn't want to be paid back.

If you'd like to help out, you can purchase some of the Straight Outta Wildomar merchandise (Shirts or Mugs) drop a message over at Scott's facebook page.

After a short time with Scott it was obvious to see why he's well liked in the community. For those that aren't comfortable with donating to large organizations, with large overheads, you may consider donating a few dollars to a local man that is eager to return the favor to others.

Here are a couple of links to read more about liver issues and those that need a transplant.

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Wildomar is an awesome community, I've never seen such outpouring. The people are wonderful.  I love doing things [in the community], being involved, I just wish I had more energy. ― Scott Rux

Wildomar Rap tip of the day: maybe it's time to stop putting off that checkup your doctor has been after you about.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

• New Turn Arrows For Hidden Springs/Clinton Keith Intersection

Christmas comes early for Windsong Valley.

Anyone that has had to deal with the light at Hidden Springs and Clinton Keith know how frustrating it can be turn left headed for the freeway. Or should I say... used to be. 

There are now dedicated signals for turning left. Both heading south and heading north at this intersection.

This improvement had been on the drawing board for awhile, but now the new turn arrow is in, and the guessing game of will a car heading north broadside me as I turn left or not is in the past. It wasn't much safer to cross from the south side of Clinton Keith on Hidden Springs Rd either.

The topography of the intersection made for poor visibility on the brightest days... due to the fact that Hidden Springs Rd slopes down from Clinton Keith Rd on both sides.

Thanks goes to Public Works Director/City Engineer Dan York for seeing this to completion.
Check out those arrows. I'm guessing it's going to make the morning commute a bit safer now.




But that's not the only present from Santa Windsong got this year.

There is now a new shortcut from Windsong to Renaissance Plaza, where Barons, Natalie's Rascals and Stadium Pizza are. Watch the brief video for step by step directions.

I tried it out a few times a couple of months ago, but it was still predominately a construction zone then. Now the barricades are down, and though I doubt there'll be any ribbon cuttings for this, the short cut is up and running. Thanks Lennar Homes... just what we wanted. ☺

For those that prefer to read, or hate Super Mario music, here is the rundown. From Catt Rd, turn south on Arnett Rd, left on Crystal Way, right on Stable Lanes Way, right onto Clinton Keith Rd.

To get back to Windsong, just reverse the order... pretty basic really.

You've just saved yourself three minutes, and the hassle of the light at Hidden Springs Rd and Clinton Keith Rd (even if it is now improved or not).

Some people may think it's not very nice —using a new neighborhood as a shortcut. Too bad, welcome to what many people in Windsong have been dealing with on a daily basis for the last 20 years. (Try living on Cervera or near the park... not to mention Frederick, Charles or Catt).

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Fortune is like glass, the brighter the glitter, the more easily broken. ― Publilius Syrus

Wildomar Rap tip of the day: If you have a temperamental uncle, that hates Christmas, just smile and keep your good cheer. He may just get a visit from three ghosts during the night and be a new man in the morning.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

• VFW Christmas Baskets 2015

A year's worth of fundraisers, comes down to two days of work, to provide Christmas cheer for 50 local families at Wildomar VFW Post 1508.

Merry Christmas from VFW Post 1508.


Operation Santa's Wrappers, or so I'm calling it, as seen at about 10:30am Saturday. The bags in the center are of the unwrapped gifts for each family. Many of Santa's helpers work long hours to get them all wrapped. Afterward the room was all dolled up... Christmas style.
Gift wrapping for 50 families, was an all day task for many volunteers. 

The room that usually is home to hungry diners at steak night, or crooners when they're having karaoke, was transformed into a cornucopia with several large tables holding the food for many local families.
The food was distributed to various stations, awaiting teams of volunteers to get them ready for the families.

Items of food that each family got included a good sized turkey, a ham, eggs, bread, milk, butter, potatoes, stuffing, essentially everything you need to make a great Christmas dinner. Then there were even a few extra items like tuna, peanut butter, cereal, among other things.
Bridgette Moore and Janna Vicario busy wrapping gifts the day before.
I had the privilege of wrapping gifts for one family on Saturday. What a delight it was to put faces to the names Gianni, Mikayla and Lila when I saw family #4 walk into the Santa Room.


The families are chosen through the school district's SAFER (Student And Family Essential Resources) program. They interview every family and make sure they only go to one organization for donations. Two families nearly made it all the way through the vetting process before they were disqualified due to improper paperwork (no signatures, which is a red flag).

Sadly, one family had an emergency where there had been a gas leak in their home and an explosion occurred injuring the father. The VFW is holding their gifts, and food, for them and they'll still be getting them in time for Christmas.
Sunday morning before the first family arrived. You'll notice the 47 bags of wrapped gifts lining the wall.

is *
To get the money for this event,  there were various fundraisers throughout the year, put on by the Men's Auxilliary. They included a bus trip to Harrah's Casino, several steak nights and Monday Night Football BBQs.
A look at a happy family having their picture taken photographer Richard Deskin, with their food in the foreground.

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Ina Schieffer was the driving force of this event, and she shopped for every individual family. Each child got at least two gifts and each family got a group gift, usually a board game or something else they could all do together. They also got a group shot with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
About half way through the day there was a lull in the action, and we were able to get a snapshot of the volunteers.
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There were about 25 volunteers who either helped wrap gifts, organize the food, pack the food, greet the families, help with photos, bake cookies, pour chocolate milk, and about a dozen other things.
Hands down the cutest of the volunteers. ☺

*
What a great honor to volunteer alongside many members of the VFW. Things really went very smoothly, which is a testament to how much planning was involved. 

Many hands made the work a breeze... except for where I made one of the tables collapse that had a family's food on it. Luckily, no harm came to the food... not even a single egg broke.

In no time flat they replaced the table that had the trick leg with a sturdier one.

I was given a copy of the list of volunteers and sponsors that each family got. I'd love to name each and every one of them, but they didn't do it for the accolades. Plus, it's a very long list. You know who you are, and you all showed such great teamwork.

If you'd like to help sponsor this event next year, either as a business or an individual, or you'd like to donate time or money, please get in touch with Ina Schieffer at 951 265-9026.

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Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

• Two New Wildomar Businesses Victims of Smash and Grab

I was just here yesterday, and again this morning to drop my dog off at Natalie's Rascals for a grooming, when I saw the Wildomar police car parked across several parking spaces.

I thought to myself, "Hey, that's not the way to park a car."

But then noticed that the officer was in the process of investing a crime.
China One and Yogurt Valley storefronts on the morning of the burglary.

At first I saw the broken glass at Yogurt Valley. Then I saw the same had happened to the China One. I looked to Stadium Pizza's doors and windows and they appeared to have been spared. As were the other nearby businesses in the Renaissance Plaza center.

Far left: China One's glass door is completely shattered. Near right: Yogurt Valley's door is only smashed at the bottom.

China One still has it's grand opening sign up. 

Closer look at the exterior damage done to China One.
I can't imagine what would be valued by a burglar in either establishment. Stealing some woks or some m&m toppings perhaps?

Actually, the cash registers, from both establishments, were taken. Not sure of the take from China One, but Yogurt Valley had a busy Friday, and most of the money was in the till at the 5:30am break in.

I asked the officer what was up, and at that time it was just a smash and grab with no leads. If you hear of anything, or know something about it, be sure to call the police at (951) 245-3300.

If you're out and about maybe you can head over to those businesses and show your support for them by getting a meal or a yogurt. 'Tis the Season... after all.

•        •        •


I've always hated criminals and crime. Life is hard enough without someone walking into your life on purpose and making it worse. 
— Pauley Perrette


• When Is Yellow Basket Opening?

You may remember back in early August that I told you that Yellow Basket was on it's way to town. It's at the front of the parking lot where Barons Market and Stadium Pizza are.

In the same blog I mentioned Natalie's Rascals (Pet Spa), and China One restaurant too. Today my shih tzu Vinny has a date with Natalie.

Well, both of those establishments have been up and running for quite awhile now, but Yellow Basket is still more than a month away.

As the Yellow Basket site looked in early August 2015


In fact, in the time between the August blog (link) and now, El Pollo Loco has managed to open its doors in the same center. Granted, they didn't need to construct a building from the ground up, but still... they're there. Also a new yogurt place has taken over the old White Lime Frozen Yogurt spot, called Yogurt Valley, is opened for business.

Looking good from the outside, but the inside appears to have no upgrades in it yet.

I asked the super at the Yellow Basket construction office if they had an opening date in sight yet. He looked a bit beleaguered (perhaps it was the time of day) and said, "February" with a bit of hesitation.

When I asked back in August the guesstimate was mid October.
The outside is nearing completion. It'll be good once the entire parking lot is available again.

I didn't want to take too much of his time on a Friday afternoon, so I wished him good luck, and hoped they could finish ahead of the promised El Niño rains. He agreed, especially because they have a large open trench at the moment.

This trench was easily approaching five feet deep.
I'm not a big fast food guy, but I look forward to trying this place out when they open. I've checked out their online menu and they a staggering variety to choose from. (Link to their menu)

If you've ever eaten at a Yellow Basket, let me know what you thought of it.

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Friday, December 18, 2015

• Press Enterprise Takes Swing At "Local Activist" In Editoral

There I was, having my usual breakfast of champions (espresso, a wedge of dark chocolate and the Press Enterprise → hard copy no less), when what do I see in their opinion section?

Wildomar being discussed at the top of the page. 

The topic was the Martha Bridges sue crew and their recent "unequivocal" loss in Riverside County Superior Court, in regards to her quixotic battle against higher education in Wildomar.




Her contention, in the voter pamphlet against Measure AA, was all about money, and what a hardship it would be to the residents as they would be obligated to pay $26 a year (based on property values of $200k).



Rarely has a list of more dubious names
been all seen in the same list.
The Press Enterprise editorial writer basically called her a liar with this statement.

Indeed, the Prima Facie evidence that her true motive was the lawsuit she filed last month, along with fellow serial litigant and co-plaintiff John Burkett, challenging the district's proposed purchase of 80 acres of land owned by the county in southern Wildomar.

Here is a link to the 2014 blog that covered the city council meeting where Measure AA was discussed. 

The editorial writers seemed to be channeling their inner Wildomar Rap as they concluded the editorial with these choice words.

Such an unequivocal ruling by the judge ought to persuade Ms. Bridges and Mr. Burkett from taking their legal challenge against the county and the community college district any further. But we suspect that the plaintiffs cannot help but to continue their dubious litigation until the bitter end.

Wildomar Rap summed it up this way days earlier: 

Now let's hope that the message sinks in, and that she doesn't look to delay the building of the college again. However, if Las Vegas laid odds on such things, I'd be betting that she has already worded her appeal and typed it up in triplicate.

Reads the same to me. 

Link to previous blog on this topic.
Another look at my "Mean Spirited" editorial cartoon of
the outcome of Ms. Bridges battle against MSJC.

I'm still looking for someone to lay odds on this. I smell the makings of an office pool. It'll be more fun than March Madness.

Some people around town have suggested that Wildomar Rap is beating a dead horse when it comes to this topic (people frivolously suing the city). If the horse was dead, I wouldn't be bothering with it.

I've been told that I'm being vindictive, mean and engaging in character assassination by posting the truth about what our city has had to deal with from a small group of geriatric malcontents. I'm fine with such silly suggestions, now toss those same fatuous accusations at the Press Enterprise editorial department too... M'kay?

•      •       

And come he slow, or come he fast,
It is but death who comes at last. 
― Sir Walter Scott



Wildomar Rap tip of the day: 
once you get a bad reputation, the only way to fix it is to STOP doing the things that got you there in the first place.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

• Eastvale Keeps Pushing

If you've been following the saga of Riverside's newest four cities: Wildomar, Menifee, Eastvale and Jurupa Valley. You know that several years ago Governor Jerry Brown chose to withhold promised moneys to them.

It was money that was factored into their very viability as cities at their time of incorporation. That being especially true for Wildomar and Jurupa Valley.

Brown did this in efforts to plug the holes in the state budget. That was years ago, when we were in the deepest part of The Great Recession. Fast forward to the eve of 2016 and California now has a bloated surplus forecast. Yet he allows the Riverside Four to struggle by keeping the funds up in the state capital.

At one point the budget deficit hit $26.6 billion, but since then...

This year
By the close of the fiscal year next June, California will have $7.9 billion in reserves, $3.3 billion more than expected.

Next year
In June 2017, the state could have $11.5 billion in reserves.

Governor Brown even has refused to return the pilfered funds, to the four cities, despite three pieces of legislation asking for it to be restored (the last two supported by 100% of the lawmakers in Sacramento).

However, there was another bill that made it to his desk (SB 107). This bill would pay off the start up costs the four cities incurred with the county. If you're not up on the back story here, please visit the blog written about it. Link Below.


Problem is, of the four cities, only Jurupa Valley still had a large debt, over $20 million. Wildomar owed about $1.2, Menifee a little over a million and Eastvale owed nothing. So when it came time to slice up the pie, Eastvale wasn't happy to be the one left standing in musical chairs.

The graph above shows that 90% of SB 107's money goes to Jurupa Valley.

Eastvale's attorney went so far as to say the following in a Daily Journal article.

There are few things less amusing than when a person leads off with the very statement they are just about to contradict. In this case, "It's not just sour grapes."

Oh sure, perhaps he's suggesting it's only 90% sour grapes by adding the modifier "just"?

At times like this, we need to look into Eastvale's eyes and say, "don't piss on us and tell us it's raining."

I have no idea if they actually will have a legal leg to stand on or not, but the very idea that they'd be willing for "everbody to lose as opposed to just three win[ning]" is very telling about the character of that city's leaders.

In a previous blog I compared Eastvale's actions to those of a bully with an "If I don't get any, you don't get any," attitude. It's almost scary how willingly their own officials admit to it. 

If I don't get any, you don't get any either!

There is a court date for this Friday. In the meantime, it's just more money going to pay for other people's greed. 
•      •       

“The buyer needs one hundred eyes, 
the seller can afford to be blind”
― George Herbert

Wildomar Rap isn't a fan of the Scott Farkuses of the world! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

• College Lands Haymaker on Activist's Glass Jaw

Wildomar's self appointed activist in chief got laughed out of court again. She wouldn't even give a comment about her recent drubbing to the paper of record (The Press Enterprise).

Who can blame her. As long as she stays safely swaddled in her cocoon of make believe, she'll be able to maintain the equilibrium that tells her she is doing the lord's work as the city's watchdog. Seeking to help the citizens as she slowly looks to bleed the anemic city coffers even dryer.


So this time her windmill of choice is Mount San Jacinto College.

Hey Lady, they aren't Li'l W'mar, with a sparse bank account. In case you've been Rip Van Winkling it lately, last year they got a cash infusion of $295,000,000 from the Proposition AA bonds. They aren't going to be blinking because you try to pull another dead rabbit out of your hat.

Round 1 goes to MSJC, as the Wicked Witch of Wildomar gets crushed.

Now let's all remember who this "activist" is.

She's the one that crusaded to keep the parks closed in the past and also the same one that publicly spoke against the Girl Scouts, and their cookie program, at the Patch website, for "training girls to do multi-tiered marketing of poor quality products using aggression, intimidation and overly emotional tactics to do fundraising."



From the PE article:

In their suit filed in November, Bridges and Burkett contended an analysis of the property should have been done in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act before the two agencies entered into the agreement. Also, the suit alleged the district failed to adopt procedures required by CEQA.

In his Dec. 4 decision, [Judge] Riemer denied both contentions. With the regard to the first, Riemer observed that the pact calls for the county to sell the property to the district contingent upon the latter having environmental clearance to use the property.
In the agreement, “the District did this and more,” Riemer wrote. “Rather than merely condition its use of the property as a campus on CEQA compliance, it conditioned its acquisition of the property on such compliance.”

It's just good to see that The Sue Crew keeps getting a steady diet of knuckle sandwiches, courtesy of the same court system they thought they could use as a cudgel against the young city of Wildomar.

Now let's hope that the message sinks in, and that she doesn't look to delay the building of the college again. However, if Las Vegas laid odds on such things, I'd be betting that she has already worded her appeal and typed it up in triplicate.
•      •       

Almira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn't mean that you have the power to run the rest of us. For twenty-three years, I've been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now... well, being a Christian woman, I can't say it! 
― Auntie Em

Wildomar Rap reminds you: piss and vinegar aren't things that seventy year old women are supposed to be made of.

• Riverside County Blue Light Ceremony 2105

Monday, December 14th starting at 6:00pm Riverside County held a Blue Light Ceremony at the County Administrative Center on Lemon St (downtown Riverside), honoring all those that have died while serving the community, in the roll of a law enforcement officer.

It started with the pledge of allegiance and an a capella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

Sheriff Stan Sniff gave the formal address, reminding all those in attendance how brave officers go into the direction of danger, to help people they don't know, when others would be heading away from the scene.

The honor roll included the reading of 62 names of officers that have died while on duty since Riverside County's incorporation back in 1893.



The surviving families of several of the fallen officers were in attendance, and were each given a single white rose.


Before the ceremony officially ended, blue glow sticks were handed out to those in attendance. At the count of three, we all activated them and they turned out the lights for a moment. Not really long enough to get more than this shot, but it was stirring while it lasted.



Below are 2016 Mayors of Lake Elsinore and Wildomar, with their shared Chief of Police Captain Leonard Hollingsworth.
2016 Lake Elsinore Mayor Brian Tisdale, Captain Leonard Hollingsworth and 2016 Wildomar Mayor Bridgette Moore.




It was a great honor to attend this event and to shake hands with many of the people that have been elected to stand watch over our county. Including Sheriff Stan Sniff, and DA Michael Hestrin. I also met murdered officer Ryan Bonaminio's father.

I had followed his son's case back when it happened (2010) and though I was tongue tied (what does one say in such a situation) it was a privilege to shake his hand. Actually, it was his forefinger, because his hands were filled with plates of food at the reception following the ceremony. 


Many thanks to the officers that put themselves in the line of fire for our behalf. Even for those that are just as likely to say unfair things about them to their faces. May you always be safe.
•      •       

“Training should hurt, but never injure…if there is no pain, there is no fear…if there is no fear, then you’re not really training.”
― T. Blauer

Wildomar Rap tip of the day: when you encounter a police officer, even if it's to be handed a traffic ticket you don't deserve... just say, "yes sir" and "thank you", and you'll soon be ready to continue on with your day.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

• Breakfast With Santa 2015

A beautiful day, with perfect temperatures, greeted the people of Wildomar for today's Breakfast with Santa. It was five dollars for an adult's breakfast, three dollars for kids, and five dollars for a pic with Santa. Breakfast included scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage, and orange juice, milk or coffee.

Part of  the line to see Santa at about 10am.



This was a fundraising event cosponsored by the city and the Rotary Club. There were about 270 people that paid for breakfasts, which brought in about $1600.

Boy Scout Troop 332 was also represented, and they were selling hot chocolate, donuts, mistletoe and other decorations. You can still get some Troop 332 mistletoe at Dejong's Dairy... while supplies last that is. ☺

There were too many pictures to share, so I made video montage set to Deck The Halls. It gives you a good feel for the morning and runs about 6 mins long.



If you missed today's breakfast don't worry, next year's Breakfast with Santa is only about 365 days away. Mark your calendars now. You should also sign up for city email alerts, or get City by App for your smart phone.

Never miss another Wildomar event.
Never miss another Wildomar event.

•      •       

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and we are better throughout the year because we became children again during Christmas time.
― Laura Wilder

Wildomar Rap tip of the day: Remember that the best Christmas dinners are made by your grandmother. Not so much for the meal itself, but for the fact that she made it. If you still have a living grandma, be sure to give her a hug and tell her you love her.

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