Thursday, February 27, 2020


A still shot from the promotional videos that will be released soon.
If you're wondering. The series of promotional videos are being donated by Third District City Councilman, Joseph Morabito.

APPROVED FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BY: Gary Nordquist, City Manager Date: February 27, 2020 

WILDOMAR, CA – ‘Where is Wildomar?’ is a question all too familiar to its residents and businesses. Nestled in between Lake Elsinore and Murrieta and only 11 years old, this fantastic city is getting ready to let the world –or at least Interstate 15 travelers– know just where Wildomar is. 

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is in the process of updating and installing new freeway signs on the I-15 from Rainbow Valley Blvd. (just south of Temecula), heading north through Wildomar. Part of this process will include Baxter Rd changing its name in the city of Wildomar to “Wildomar Trail.” 

The idea has been a long time in the making, but the timing of its execution could not be better. Originally, replacing the freeway signs alone was going to cost Wildomar over $300,000. However, city staff worked with Caltrans’ predetermined schedule to replace aging freeway signs and was able to have the signs created and replaced at no charge. 

“Timing is everything,” said Wildomar Mayor Dustin Nigg. “This change will really help to put Wildomar on the map, literally, and at a very minimal cost to the city.” 

With the freeway signs taken care of, Wildomar still had to figure out the cost to replace street signs and applied for various grants to do so. The Public Agency Risk Sharing Authority of California (PARSAC) offered a grant to update and replace non-reflective street signs within city jurisdiction and so Wildomar took that opportunity. PARSAC will be paying $14,500 to replace the street signs throughout Wildomar, with only $19,000 coming from the city’s general fund over the past several years. 

The name change will affect five contiguous, differently named streets within Wildomar and combine them into a consistent name that will take you from one end of the city to the other uniting the east and west sections of the city. Shopping Center, George Ave, Porras Rd, Baxter Rd and Central St will all be changed to Wildomar Trail; not only adding to the consistency, but also increasing public safety by alleviating the confusion that the I-15 Baxter Rd freeway exit in Wildomar is somehow related to the “other” Baxter Rd in Murrieta, which is east of the I-215 Freeway and the location of Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta.  
“Any time we can take advantage of an opportunity to increase our brand identity, create more consistency and improve public safety in the city, that is something we want to do,” Mayor Nigg said. “Council and staff are very excited about this change.” 

So, as you head out on the I-15 freeway, keep your eyes peeled for the “Baxter Rd” that was once between Clinton Keith Rd and Bundy Canyon Rd; when you see “Wildomar Trail,” you will know the answer to that all-time question, ‘Where is Wildomar?’ 

For more information regarding the City of Wildomar, visit For additional information, please call Kimberly Davidson at 951-677-7751, Extension 215, or email

Monday, February 17, 2020

• Better Know a Candidate: Kelly Seyarto 67th Assembly District 2020

This year's primary is about two weeks away, March 3rd instead of it's usual June date. If you've been keeping up with our local electeds, you already know that there is a wide open seat for the 67th Assembly District. 

I've already done a similar blog for another candidate in this race, and have a third one tentatively lined up. 

This blog is about longtime Murrieta city councilman Kelly Seyarto. He graciously met with me after a recent Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce breakfast at The Shamrock (love that place... please open a second location in Wildomar ☺) where I peppered him with about a dozen questions.

Disclaimer for those that aren't sure, Wildomar Rap isn't in the business of looking for a gotcha moment, and is just looking to get the basics out to the readers. Is this a borderline puff piece? Probably, but I'm telling you that up front. If you're looking for mudslinging, you've found the wrong blog. 
Kelly Seyarto, the basics:

• 60 years old, married 32 years (Denise), three adult daughters
• Murrieta resident since 1991
• Elected to Murrieta city council in 1997 (to 2006), and again in 2016
• 35 year career firefighter, retired in 2015 from LACFD
• Associates of Arts Degree in Fire Science from Mt. San Antonio College
• Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Fire Administration and Technology from California State University Los Angeles
• Master’s Degree in Public Administration, California State University Long Beach
• Running for 67th District Assembly Seat
 WR  How long have you lived in the district?
 KS  I've been here in 1991. Twenty-nine years, and I've lived in Southern California all my life.

 WR  How long have you considered running for this seat?
 KS  It's always been a consideration since I got done with my second term, but it's not particularly this seat, it's anything that I think we need leadership with in the valley. I would never have thought to run against Melissa Melendez, and I thought she was going to be around awhile, and when she decided to run for senate, [running for this seat] became a consideration because I thought it was an opportunity to provide leadership.
Link to facebook page.

 WR  Why are you the best candidate for the job?
 KS  The first thing is experience. I have more experience at the local government level than all of the other candidates that are running against me, Democrat or Republican, put together. Over the years I've been engaged as a council member, and a lot of the regional boards and commissions; I've chaired most of them. 

I've also been involved at the state level with the League of California Cities, currently their president of their mayors and councils department. I also sit on the Public Safety Committee, and one of the western directors for the Riverside County Division of the League of Cities
At the January League of California Cities Riverside County Division dinner in January 2020 where he received the Outstanding Public Service Award. The award recognizes a public official from one of 27 member cities in Riverside County for outstanding service to government, leadership, activism with the League of Cities, and high personal character. 
So, all of those things combined have given me a really good background in what are the issues that face —not only our community, but also in California and how laws that are being passed down from [Sacramento] are affecting local government and affecting our quality of life. 
 WR  It's a big district, how do you plan plan on reaching out to/learning about the areas you aren't familiar with?
 KS  The same way I do everything, the same way I learned about what a conservation area was. Same way I learned about what transportation corridors and how the transportation network works. There are a lot of things that you learn [as an elected official], but more than anything I get out into the district. I've already been out walking in numerous areas, and that's the only way you really learn, is to get out there and see people.

As an assemblyperson you start attending the MACs in the various areas that are not incorporated. Also, you go to the city council meetings yourself. [Assembly members] have staff available to attend [local meetings] but there's nothing like trying to be there yourself. 
Fellow longtime Murrieta resident, April Vidal proudly sports one of Kelly's signs in her front yard.
 WR  What will your social media policies be?
 KS  Social media has become a commonplace tool for people to interact. There are times when people get a little out of control on it, you've got to be careful with that. It's not the place to have lengthy discussions about controversial subjects. I would rather sit down and talk with people when they have those types of subjects that they want to address. 

It's important to use social media to provide updates for people. Melissa does that really effectively. Whenever you come in and are the successor to someone else, you take all the great things they're doing and you continue those. Then you look for opportunities to do other things that can enhance your communication efforts with people. 
 WR  How do you envision your district outreach to be? 
 KS  There are two factors to this. One of them is, where [you] go up to Sacramento and you're in session. Usually that's a Sunday through Thursday venture. [The other] part is the part I have big huge advantage over the people that are running for the same seat. 

Kelly and Denise.

I have the ability to get into the district and actually go visit with people. I don't have as many competing interests, because I'm past that stage of my life where I'm going to [children's] sporting events, and those things are more important [to a family]. 

The competing interest is the political part, [my family] isn't a competing interest. At this stage of my life it's my wife and I, and she has a business, and she can participate with me. It doesn't affect what we're doing and it doesn't affect our life with our kids because now they're pretty independant and they do their own thing. It's a really good time for me to get out because I like to get out and interact with people personally, not via telephone or facebook, etc. 
The next question was a fun one... sort of. I wanted to see where Kelly slotted himself on the GOP spectrum. The original wording of the question was "to the left of Mitt Romney or to the right of Rush Limbaugh" or anywhere in between.. 
 WR  You're a Republican. Slot yourself on the GOP football field where in one endzone is Mitt Romney, and the other end zone is Rush Limbaugh. 
After a moment of trying to figure out what I was talking about... lol... he answered it this way.
 KS  If it's a football field I'd probably be about on the 35 to 40 yard line on the conservative side. 

 WR  With that in mind, Sacramento is decidedly liberal to progressive, how will you operate successfully in such an environment?
 KS  The same way you operate successfully in a diverse environment in a city council, you establish relationships based on the human part of it and don't let the ideology part of it get in the way of solving problems that have nothing to do with [political] ideology or principles. 

Obviously [a person] will have their conservative principles or their liberal principles, if you're on that side, but those don't have anything to do with solving the water problems in the state. The homeless problems in the state, that's probably the biggest crisis we have right now is the homeless problem. 

Appealing to those that are seeking to be good leaders in the [Assembly], whether they're Democrat or Republican, because someday, twenty/twenty-five years from now that's what their legacy is going to be. They're going to look back over twenty years ago and say, "Who were the people that turned this state around? Or, who are the people that took it down?" And you don't want to be in the group that took it down. So you need to challenge people. 
 WR  How will you define "success" after your first term as an Assemblyman?
 KS  I would define success by the amount of relationships that you can build that are good working relationships. After the first year you're not going to solve all the world's problems. Certainly not all of California's problems, but if you've turned the boat in that direction and it's starting to gain that momentum, then to me, that's success. 

Also, when we have bills that are onerous on small businesses, encroachment into cities and their ability to deliver services to their communities —if we can blunt those efforts, to me that would be a success also.
 WR  Realistically —or not— what are your key issues that you'll be championing?
 KS  Public safety is a big deal to me. I think we're going backwards on law enforcement, big time. I feel as I go out and talk with people and have my meet and greets I get people that are extremely frustrated [...] at the lack of ability to deal with the petty crimes that some of our lawmakers don't see as a big deal, but everybody else does. They feel it, and they're sick and tired of it, and to the point of wanting to move out [of California]. Wanting to close their businesses and taking their substantial net worth and leaving our state. We can't have that. We can't have communities that don't feel safe. 

Kelly got into other issues too. California fires and environmental groups regarding defensible space; attacks from Sacramento on small business 'needing to stop'; the homeless issue and the real issues behind it (drug addiction and mental illness); and over taxation in the state... but those items would have taken up more space than this entire blog. If you have particular questions on those, reach out to Kelly directly.

 WR  Voters will want to know your views on Prop 13, both of them. Go!
 KS  The first Prop 13 (on the March 2020 ballot) is the school bond and while I have, in the past considered them on a local level, I don't support school bonds —or any bonds at the state level, ever again. 

In the last thirty years you'll see that California creates an environment that makes it three times more expensive to build anything. So we're only getting a third of the bang for our buck that we should be getting. Until they change that we can't trust California with that kind of money [...] They have done this over and over and at some point you've gotta learn. I'm voting no on the school bond. 

[On the 1978] Prop 13, I actually met Howard Jarvis one time when he was doing the original Prop 13, and understand what was going on at the time. I was only twelve but my grandfather had an apartment building in LA and so he'd go to these meetings [...] I don't see going back to that dynamic [of ever increasing property taxes. Which] is not going to be helpful.

So the assault on the commercial portion of [property taxes] is just the first bite of the apple in my opinion, and we absolutely should not allow them any bites at that apple. [The 1978] Prop needs to stay, and it needs to stay forever. 
 WR  What are some of your hobbies or ways you like to spend personal time?
 KS  Number one, I love spending time with my family. Sometimes that's just hanging out, sometimes we're playing games, and that includes my inlaws, my wife and my kids. 

I also enjoy more physical type sports. I like skiing. I used to like [playing] basketball, and the other sports, but I find that body doesn't like to do it as much as I do (I chuckled at that from first hand experience). I've replaced that with working out, staying physically fit and being active. I like working around the house [...] putting things in order and stuff.
 WR  Any last thoughts you'd like to get to the voters?
 KS  The reason I'm doing this is because I like to help people. I've helped people throughout my career as a firefighter. That's kind one of the other things that this experience in life brings you is you kind of figure out who you are and what makes you tick, and what makes me tick is being able to help people. Whether it's in emergency situations or it's in a political situation where they're frustrated with the system and you're able to get in and help them get through that system.

A second variation of a Kelly Seyarto campaign sign.
I'm honored to be endorsed by Melissa Melendez, the seated Assemblywoman, also the California GOP, the Riverside County GOP, the Riverside County Sheriff's Association, and California Professional Firefighters and the Murrieta Fire Department and Murrieta Police. 

Wildomar Rap opinion time

I first became acquainted with Kelly at the beginning 2019 when we both were on a "water tour" up at the delta (he was the master of making pizookies disappear ☺), and have crossed paths with him more frequently than I have with most of my fellow Wildomar city council members. 
I see him at the monthly Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber breakfasts, League of California Cities events, and had the chance to ride shotgun in his golf cart at a tournament late last year before he announced his candidacy. 
Kelly Seyarto and Joseph Morabito
at the 2020 Murrieta State of the City.
He shot a nice round of golf and more importantly, was a pleasure to spend the five plus hours with. For those that play adult sports, we all have been around "that guy" that may be a good player, but is an annoying human being... I'm happy to report that Kelly was NOT one of those. ☺

While out on the course I remember talking to him about the 67th district seat, and though he didn't come out and say he was running at that time, he did say something that indicated he was interested. 

I think that being retired, yet still full of vigor and vim puts him in an excellent position to represent the district if he makes it through the primary.
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Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
– Ambrose Bierce

Wildomar Rap is willing to make the easy assumption that if Ambrose was from our time he'd add "social media comment" right alongside "speech" when it comes to "regret".

This blog was produced for viewing on a desktop or a laptop. Though it's been optimized for smartphones, the formatting can look odd on a smartphone or if you get this delivered through email (such as missing video links). Link to proper format.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

• City Council Meeting February 2020

The February city council meeting was three hours long. 
First up was the proclamation for Eagle Scout Troy Woodfin. 
Troy Woodfin is flanked by the city council and representatives from the offices of other local electeds.
Other presentations included an update from Donald Graham Elementary, what's going on at the old Jean Hayman Elementary campus, an introduction to the new principal at David A Brown Middle School, an update by SWAG, a police department update (full blog at this link), a code enforcement update and an Economic Development update. 

Sorry, but I'm not going to break those down. Please watch the video which is linked at the bottom of the blog.

•                      •                      •
During public comments one especially stood out, partly because of the subject (another homeless encampment) and that resident Veronica Langworthy brilliantly offered her three minutes to speak when speaker Sheila Watson had run out of time.

She brought a signed petition by 31 of her neighbors

This subject is important to me, one of the things that I ran on was improved code enforcement, and I believe it is occuring. That doesn't mean it's a perfect model, as it's not something that can be switched on and off like a light.

Please don't hesitate to use the city page to report a code violation, but if nothing seems to be happening, email the city council members. If that doesn't do it, start attending city council meetings, and bring your neighbors until it's dealt with.

Our question to is, 'how unsafe does a situation have to become before the rights of vagrants no longer supercede the rights of the citizens of Wildomar?'
—Sheila Watson

As you'll see in the video, not long after the final syllables were leaving her mouth, Mayor Dustin Nigg asked a top staff member to meet with her outside so that she could be assisted. 
2.0 Wildomar Shooting Academy
The video below is NOT of the entire item. If you want that, please see the full item in the video. This 8 minute video is to highlight the developer's presentation along with the impressive 3d animation of what it will look like.
  The location of the shooting range/academy is at the southeast corner of Mission Trail and Bundy Canyon. 
Future home of Wildomar Shooting Range and Academy.
I'm very much in favor of it, and am hoping they start turning dirt before the end of the year... but no dates are even hinted at at this early stage in the process.

Here is a bonus video that came during public comments on the Wildomar Shooting Range/Academy portion of the meeting. It's Miss Miller giving her thoughts on it. 

I want to remind the readers that I was happy to accept her endorsement of my campaign back in 2018 (Thank You Again!)

For the record, the Press Enterprise endorsed the candidate that finished more than 15 points behind me. Which means Miss Miller ranks higher than PE in Wildomar. Stats don't lie! ☺

Item 3.1 WCE Update can be found at this LINK
Please watch the video below for the entire three hour meeting.

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“It is no use saying ‘we are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.”
– Winston Churchill

Wildomar Rap knows of many runners up that "did their best." Winners find a way to get things done.

This blog was produced for viewing on a desktop or a laptop. Though it's been optimized for smartphones, the formatting can look odd on a smartphone or if you get this delivered through email (such as missing video links). Link to proper format.

• 2019 Fourth Quarter Police Update

The quarterly reports come in about a month after the quarter closes. Here are the latest stats regarding police activity in Wildomar as presented by Lieutenant Aaron Kent. 

This is a very basic blog type. Just the slides, and then the video of the presentation at the bottom. 

Here is a link to the 3rd quarter report if you're interested in comparing the stats

The trend went down as the year wrapped up.

The daily hours have steadily increased. Our target is 70 per day.
Last count had the Wildomar homeless population at 15.

If you use Facebook, be sure to like their page.
Use this link to visit their page.
Below is the 8 minute video.

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Whatsoever we beg of God, let us also work for it.
– Jeremy Taylor

Wildomar Rap isn't into begging, but doesn't shy away from work either.

This blog was produced for viewing on a desktop or a laptop. Though it's been optimized for smartphones, the formatting can look odd on a smartphone or if you get this delivered through email (such as missing video links). Link to proper format.

Friday, February 14, 2020

• City Council Meeting February 2020: WCE

This was a three hour city council meeting. Nearly one hour of it was for item 3.1 Western Community Energy Joint Powers Update.

This blog will give you the basics on item 3.1, the slides from the presentation and a link to a video of just the item and not the rest of the meeting; that will be in a separate blog shortly.

The presentation was given by Tyler Masters of WRCOG. Essentially he showed slides and described them as they appeared. I'll post the slides now, then add a few details afterward. 

There is a link to the video at the bottom of the blog. For those that are interested, the video itself is where you should head.

On February 14, 2018, Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) staff presented information about Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) and next steps to join Western Energy Joint Powers through Resolution and Agreement and adopt an Ordinance authorizing implementation of a Community Choice Aggregation Program. 

During City Council discussion, staff was directed to invite Southern California Edison (SCE) to present information about CCA’s at a future City Council meeting. 

On April 11, 2018 SCE staff presented i) key facts about CCA’s; ii) current status on power charge indifference adjustment (aka exit fees); and, other incentive programs for customers. 

Below is a video of the 12 minute SCE presentation from April 2018.
A code of conduct limited SCE to provide certain types of information pertaining to CCA’s. SCE and other investor owned utilities have filed request with PUC to modify code of conduct on outreach to allow additional outreach activities with stakeholders. 

On July 11, 2018, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 2018-39 approving membership in the Western Community Energy Joint Powers Authority. The city council appointed a Director and one alternate Director to act on behalf of the City of Wildomar within the powers of the WCE. 

On October 24, 2018, the City Council introduced the First Reading of Ordinance 160 authorizing the implementation of a community choice aggregation program and signed the 1st Amendment to the Western Community Energy Joint Powers Agreement.

I asked several questions that were put to me by the community either through email or on social media. 

The key complaint from the residents dealt with the Opt Out v. Opt In aspect of this. This is a law (AB 117) that makes it this way. Sacramento really has no concern as to what the people would actually desire or not, and they're the ones that came up with that one. 

WCE will not charge you for opting out, but there may be a charge from SCE to return to them. I emailed SCE for the particulars.

1) Provide 6 months advanced notice before returning to SCE bundled service and there is no difference in cost. The customer will remain a CCA customer for 6 months then transition back to SCE on the standard rate.

2) Return to SCE bundled service immediately and go on “Transitional Bundled Service” rate for 6 months. This is a special rate that is typically higher than the standard rate. It fluctuates over time based on market prices. The higher rate allows us to recover the extra costs for procuring power in the short-term market that we hadn’t anticipated. This is typically more expensive than our normal procurement process.

Here is the Q&A on our website: LINK
This issue is addressed in the “How Do I Opt Out of CCA Service?” question. You can find the PC-TBS information here: LINK

Customers who opt out within the 60 day grace period can return to SCE immediately at no cost.
The other thing that got the hackles of the community up was that the first they heard of it was in a mailer that looked like junk mail.
The shot heard round the W'mar.
I was told by many people that they tossed it out thinking it was campaign literature.
This was also my key complaint. To the point that many of my colleagues on the dais were less than pleased with my posts on social media in the lead up to this meeting (sorry about that).

To my colleagues that said something to the effect of, "But we have had it on the agenda, it's been on the agenda several times that we've talked about it." That's great for the handful of residents that are up on such things, but that's not how most people think. 

They don't think that they should need to consult a city council agenda to learn big news that's coming their way. I also don't think the idea of thorough community outreach should be met with resistance, or countered with saying there had been presentations at city events

One resident that spoke during public comments said, "Why didn't you send the notice out two years ago?" Which after he was met with, "If you signed up for emails, you get the agendas emailed to you and you can see what's on there and you can come to the meetings to get the information. Plus we had information at our city events."

I couldn't believe my ears when I heard that. Most people have never looked at a city council agenda, much less an agenda packet that can run well over 500 pages... they have more important things going on and they rely on us to spread the word when big things are on the horizon. 

If we can send out reminders about Coffee with the City (both email and on social media), isn't it likewise reasonable to expect reminders for something as big as being automatically opted into a new energy company? 

Eastvale is also part of WCE and they don't start for 30 days after Wildomar, but they've had an explainer video up since last August.

Why couldn't we have been sending out regular reminders since last Summer? Maybe sending out a different slide from the presentation every couple of weeks? 

The last part that I'll mention was where resident Donna Poland (sp?) was allowed to stay at the mic for about 8 minutes, instead of the usual 3 minutes, with a good back and forth discussion. I found that to be very helpful. 

Please look for that around the 27 minute mark of the video. 

Wildomar Rap opinion time

This first came about in 2018, and though lower utility rates are always more attractive than the higher variety, I didn't think it was worth the effort to save 4% (which is what it was back then)
My thoughts from the Feb 2018 blog

The thing I want to know is, if this is better than peaches and cream like it's described, then why aren't all the local cities beating a path to their door? Why the deliberation? Why does it sound like WRCOG would be sanguine if they could "amass five to six cities" when their organization has eighteen?
Now it's a 2% savings

It was said that the 4% is in there, but since SCE needs their cut, it's only a 2% net savings... which is what will be showing up on your bill.

I asked, "What's in it for WRCOG/WCE or the city?" 

And after a bit of a hesitation the answer came back, "Lower rates".

Then I attempted to give my view of it, which all too often doesn't hit the listener's ear the way it came away from my gray matter.

Let's see if I can succeed in writing where I failed at the dais.

In my mind, the impetus for a collection of cities (WRCOG) to embark on such a major undertaking has to be more than saving 2% for the rate payers. This undertaking that has taken years to get to this point, and a new entity had to be created to administer it (WCE). 

I suggested that it would make more sense if any savings were going to be split between WRCOG and the various cities (not the ratepayers). Then, with that pool of money, the cities would be able to do something valuable for the entire community, such as repaving roads. At the same time, WRCOG could put it's share toward regional projects.

It was suggested that such a thing would be an illegal tax. I countered with, I'm not actually suggesting we do it, but would understand the point of bothering better if something more was at stake than finding a way for me to pocket $30 at the end of the year. 

A key factor that wasn't mentioned in the meeting was that SCE is tied into long term contracts that will be expiring over the next several years. Contracts that have locked them into very high rates, but back in the aughts (that's what we call the years between 2000 and 2009) it was a gamble they took (thanks a lot) that ended up being costly (I hope that guy got fired).

Now, CCAs like Western Community Energy are not locked into contracts from the George W days and can buy energy at current rates, which are much better today... but that advantage isn't going to be around for all that much longer.

Again, I'd understand this better if all this effort was amounting to more than me (or you) saving 2% individually. 

I'm not going to opt out, but like Mayor Dustin Nigg said at the meeting, I'll be watching the rates and when they don't pan out, I'll be ready with an itchy trigger finger on the eject button. (Dustin didn't use that phraseology, that's my colorful prose.)
This was a Receive and File item, no vote was necessary here. It was just an update.

Below is the 50 minute video of the entire item 3.1.

•                •                •

An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.
– Benjamin Franklin

Wildomar Rap hears that menudo is a great cure if you forgot to take your ounce of prevention the night before.

This blog was produced for viewing on a desktop or a laptop. Though it's been optimized for smartphones, the formatting can look odd on a smartphone or if you get this delivered through email (such as missing video links). Link to proper format.

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