Washington State News Archive
Below are archived news items for the current month. To view a previous month, choose it from the list below.
"Report raises questions about number of fatal cases of child abuse" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
A new report suggests that far more children die in Washington state of abuse and neglect than was previously thought.
The report from the state’s Office of the Family and Children’s Ombudsman
found that seven of every 10 children who died in the state’s child welfare system in 2004 suffered from abuse or neglect that might have contributed to their deaths. The annual report
, which recommends changes in state laws and policies to reduce child fatalities and improve child protection in Washington
State, are based on the Ombudsman’s work over a two-year period, from 2004 to 2005.
"Agency mulls NSA spy inquiry" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
A state investigation into a federal spying program that might use phone records of Washington residents would be a waste of time, telephone companies said Wednesday.
The Utilities and Transportation Commission
met to discuss whether it has the authority to investigate allegations that the National Security Agency
has been eavesdropping on U.S. residents' phone calls without a warrant and that three major phone companies provided the spy agency with massive amounts of data on their customers.
"Wells in Deep Creek area tainted [pollution suspected from missile site]"--Spokane Spokesman-Review - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
[Registration required. Older articles available to State Library cardholders via ProQuest
]. The Environmental Protection Agency
is investigating pollution in drinking water near Spokane. The source might be a FUDS
(Formerly Used Defense Site) that was a Cold War Nike missile battery. - 06/01/2006
"Corps [ of Engineers] wants to dredge the Cowlitz"--Longview Daily News - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Army Corps of Engineers
is proposing to dredge sediment deposited in the Cowlitz River
by Mount St. Helens. - 06/01/2006
"Poll: Blacks, Hispanics back WASL" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
A majority of black and Hispanic residents statewide support the Washington Assessment of Student Learning or a similar test as a graduation requirement, shows a poll
released Thursday by the Partnership for Learning
"New fire forecast expects busy season for Western ranges"--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The National Interagency Fire Center
predicts a growing danger for rangeland fires later this summer due to heavy growth of grasses this year. - 06/01/2006
"BPA finalizes plan to help aluminum companies"--Longview Daily News - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
"Aluminum mills in Washington, Oregon and Montana will get millions of dollars from the Bonneville Power Administration
to buy cheap electricity over the next five years, the federal power marketing agency said Thursday."
"Transit taxes could spread" -- Everett Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Regional transportation leaders on Thursday announced that they will try to get the region moving again by marrying an extensive roads tax package with an equally large transit tax package.
If all goes well, the wedding will be on Election Day in November 2007, when voters in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties will be asked to approve a super-size transportation tax package of at least $10 billion. The roads package, called the Regional Transportation Investment District/a, would generate up to $1.5 billion in Snohomish County by increasing retail sales taxes and car tab fees. Sound Transit estimates it could collect as much as $1 billion in Snohomish County by raising sales taxes.
"Oregon uneasy with Hanford study "--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Oregon's Congressional delegation has sent a letter to the Department of Energy about their concerns about a study of cleaning up nuclear waste at Hanford. A summary
of the enviromental impact statement for this study appears in the Federal Register. - 06/04/2006"Child-support amnesty offered: 5 days to reduce debt, avoid jail" -- Seattle Times
Parents who owe some of King County's most overdue child-support debts will have a chance to tackle their delinquency and avoid jail during a special amnesty program this week.
The program, sponsored by the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office
, is geared toward those who owe hundreds or thousands of dollars in back child support and have warrants issued for their arrest.
If delinquent parents come forward before 4 p.m. Friday, they can pay a small amount of money — about 10 percent of the bail amount listed on their warrant, which goes directly toward their debt — and have the warrant quashed. In addition, King County Family Court
will help the parents create a child-support payment plan that works with their financial situations, according to the prosecutor's office. - 06/05/2006"Timber-salmon plan gets federal go-ahead" -- Seattle Times
In one of the most sweeping deals of its kind in the nation, federal officials Monday agreed to shield timber companies and forest landowners from provisions of the Endangered Species Act for 50 years if they follow new state rules to protect salmon when logging. The rules will require loggers to leave more trees near streams, reduce timber harvest on unstable slopes and control runoff on private land across the state.
In exchange, the government will give the state's thousands of participating landowners assurances that they won't be required to further restrict use of their land to save fish.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources Forest Practices Habitat Conservation Plan
(FPHCP) is online with links to the Final Plan
, Final Environmental Impact Statement
, and contact information.
"'Life raft' may help keep millworkers afloat"--Yakima Herald Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Yakima Resources plywood mill is closing on August 5 due to increased competition from imported wood products. The Western Council of Industrial Workers is seeking funding from the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program
to help laid off workers. This program, which aids workers whose jobs are lost due to foreign competition, will spend over $14 million in helping unemployed workers in Washington state
in fiscal year 2006. - 06/06/2006"Group wants county penalized: It claims lack of adherence to Growth Management Act"--Spokane Spokesman-Review
"A Spokane neighborhood group is calling for economic sanctions to be imposed against Spokane County due to what it says is blatant disregard for the state's Growth Management Act
." They are submitting their claim to the Eastern Washington Growth Management Hearings Board
"Spawning confusion: 'Naturally raised' salmon adds new layer to the debate over wild vs. farm-raised"--Spokane Spokesman-Review - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
(This article requires registration. Older articles can be accessed by Washington State Library cardholders via ProQuest
.) Washington state law
says farm-raised salmon must be identified as such unless it's "minced, pulverized, coated with batter, or breaded". But is "naturally raised" farmed salmon the same as "organic" salmon? Not according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
. More information can be found at the USDA National Organic Program
. - 06/07/2006
"Stolen IDs exceed 2 million veterans" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Personal data on about 2.2 million active-duty military and Guard personnel - not just 50,000 as initially believed - were among those stolen from a Veterans Affairs employee last month, the government said Tuesday.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
has information has an announcement on their website, as well as contact information for veterans to learn more about the issue.
"Referendum effort fails" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
A referendum effort to repeal Washington's new civil rights protections for gays and lesbians
A last-minute push Tuesday by religious groups and initiative veteran Tim Eyman fell short of the 112,440 voter signatures needed to send Referendum 65 to the November ballot. Eyman claimed he had 105,103 signatures, a shortage that lets the new rights law take effect today.
You can learn more about the initiatives and referendum process
from the Office of the Secretary of State's Election & Voting Division
"Hearing on farm bill set for Saturday "--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
"Members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee
plan a field hearing here, one of a dozen scheduled across the country, to gather feedback from farmers in planning federal policy for the next farm bill. The current farm bill expires in 2007."
"DOE [U.S. Department of Energy]says Bechtel should repay fees"--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
"The Department of Energy intends to ask Bechtel National to repay $48 million in preliminary fees it has received for construction of Hanford's vitrification
plant." In 2004, the Government Accountability Office wrote a report
critical of the project's management. The report is summarized in in its highlights
"FDA approves vaccine" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Women for the first time have a vaccine to protect themselves against cervical cancer.
The Food and Drug Administration
on Thursday approved use of the vaccine, Gardasil
, for girls and women ages 9 to 26. It works by preventing infection by four strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV
, the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease.
"Dome District roadwork information" -- Tacoma News Tribune - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Tacoma officials announced today that they’ve created a Web site
and a 24-hour hot line to let drivers know why they're sitting in traffic around Tacoma's Dome District.
Both have information about delays caused by construction of the D Street overpass.
- 06/08/2006"WASL math results disappoint" -- Seattle Times
The first look at how the Class of 2008 scored on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning shows strong gains in reading and writing, but painfully small improvement in math.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
has create a Resource Center
to assist students and parents. The Resource Center includes sample tests, strategies for specific grade ranges, and preparation timelines. - 06/09/2006
"Black WWII soldiers' convictions may be reviewed" -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The 1944 convictions of 28 black soldiers for a riot that resulted in the death of an Italian prisoner of war at Fort Lawton, now one of the city's largest parks, could be up for review.
In a statement late Thursday,
Rep. Jim McDermott
, D-Wash., said he'd reached agreement with Rep. Duncan Hunter, Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, to look into the World War II convictions. Four of the soldiers are still alive.
You can read the text of McDermott's bill, HR 3174
, as well as accessing an update of congressional action, related bill details, and amendments to the bill.
"EPA official leaving regional post [for national post]"--Spokane Spokesman-Review - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
"One of his last deeds as EPA administrator was to announce a controversial deal with Teck Cominco Ltd
. that allows the Canadian company to sidestep U.S. Superfund cleanup laws and contribute $20 million plus oversight fees for a "voluntary" study of smelter pollution
in the upper Columbia River behind Grand Coulee Dam." Here is the EPA press release
summarizing the deal. The Washinglton State Department of Ecology has mixed feelings
about the deal.
"Health program for immigrant kids has more openings than anticipated" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
One in every five families that applied for state-funded immigrant children's health insurance this year was disqualified because they were poor but not in poverty.
When the Children's Health Program
restarted in January, there wasn't nearly enough room for all of the kids who could use it. The Legislature had provided money to cover about 4,000 kids this year, and in December there were 13,000 applications.
"Five [Everett] city schools to shift borders" -- Everett Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Everett School District
is redrawing attendance boundaries as it prepares to open a seventh elementary school in its growing south end.
A committee of staff and parents has come up with a proposal for a new map. The public is invited to comment at a hearing Tuesday.
"Proposed orca protections affect most of North Olympic Peninsula's inland waters plus Puget Sound, San Juans"--Port Angeles Daily News - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed designating 2,500 square miles of Washington state waters as critical habitat
for orca whales. This recommendation was made under the guidelines of the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has a website
about this act. - 06/11/2006
"U.S. agency holds sway on dam plan"--Vancouver Coumbian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has decided that an Oregon company will not have to follow state and local regulations when it removes the Condit Dam on the White Salmon River. Klickitat and Skamania County officials are concerned that blowing a hole in the dam will release a destructive outpouring of sediments. The Washington State Department of Ecology issued a draft supplemental environmental impact statement
critical of the removal plan in 2005. - 06/11/2006
"EPA plans to phase out use of apple, pear pesticide "--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing
to phase out the use of azinphos-methyl (AZM) over a four year period. Earlier this year the EPA reached an agreement
with the United Farm Workers in a lawsuit over the use of AZM on various crops. - 06/12/2006
"I-297 ruled unconstitutional "--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
A U.S. District Court judge ruled that I-297
, which barred the Federal government from shipping radioactive waste to Hanford, violated various clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Although I-297 paseed with 70 % of the vote in 2004, it was immediately challenged
by the Federal government. - 06/13/2006""Divisive" politics prompt King County elections chief to leave for new job" -- Seattle Times
King County's embattled elections
chief, Dean Logan, resigned Monday to become deputy elections registrar in Los Angeles County.
For more information about elections, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just published the Elections: 2005 Survey of Local Election Jurisdictions
. - 06/13/2006
"Economist: Employment picture flat"--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Employment Security Department
announced that nonfarm employment dropped slightly in the Tri-Cities area during May. Franklin County had an unemployment rate of 5.7% while Benton County's unemployment rate was 5.3%. - 06/14/2006
"WEA ruling faces court test" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Lawyers for the Washington Attorney General's Office
have appealed a state Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that struck down a portion of Initiative 134's
restriction on the use of union dues for political purposes.
- 06/15/2006"Cantwell supports special envoy for Iraq" -- Seattle Times
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell took to the Senate floor Wednesday for a widely anticipated speech that called for a special envoy to Iraq and a congressional investigation into reports of civilian deaths at the hands of U.S. troops.
You can read Senator Cantwell's remarks to Congress in the Congressional Record
. - 06/15/2006
"Sweep Nets Nearly 2,100 Illegal Immigrants"--Vancouver Columbian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
"A blitz by federal agents during the last three weeks captured nearly 2,100 illegal immigrants across the country in raids targeting child molesters, violent gang members and past deportees who re-entered the country." Meanwhile the Department of Homeland Security has issued an audit report
on its program for detaining and removing illegal aliens.
"Cantwell still among the Senate's millionaires"--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Members of Congress have to file annual financial disclosure statements on their earnings and wealth. Here are links to the reports from Representatives
. - 06/14/2006
"Spring chinook took their time coming upriver "--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The spring chinook salmon
run on the Columbia River started slowly, but finished with decent numbers according to the National Marine Fisheries Service. - 06/16/2006
"Bill would stop BPA ‘rate hike’"--Aberdeen Daily World - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Northwest Congressional delegations successfully turned back an Administration bid to raise power rates charged by the Bonneville Power Administration.
They did this by inserting a clause in an emergency appropriations bill
that provided additional funds for hurrican relief and the war in Iraq. Section 2308
was one of many sections throughout the bill that had nothing to do with hurricanes or war. - 06/15/2006
"Supreme Court eases restraints on searches "--Spokane Spokesman-Review - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
(This article requires registration. Older articles can be accessed by Washington State Library cardholders via ProQuest
.) The U.S. Supreme Court loosened rules on police entering homes with a search warrant in its Hudson v. Michigan decision
. - 06/16/2006
"Want a say in future road tolls?" -- Tacoma News Tribune - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
If you’re a Narrows Bridge commuter who’s still seething over the fact that you and your neighbors are the only ones who will be paying tolls soon, now’s the time for you to help decide how others can share in your pain.
The Washington Transportation Commission
is putting the final touches on its recommendations for statewide policies for setting tolls on other highway and bridge projects and is holding a series of open houses this month to find out what the public thinks.
"Stevens County gets funding for drug taskforce "--Colville Statesman-Examiner - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
"Stevens County has been selected as one county in part of a multi-jurisdictional pilot area for a methamphetamine enforcement program."
This pilot project is part of the Attorney General's Operation: Allied Against Meth
which was written into law as Senate Bill 6239
. - 06/19/2006
"Park Service retirees irked over Olympic cutbacks"--Port Angeles Peninsula Daily News - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Coalition for National Park Service Retirees
has issued a report
highly critical of the effects caused by reduced staffing at America's National Parks. - 06/18/2006
"[Department of] Ecology to hold meeting on oil spill rules "--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
"The Washington Department of Ecology will kick off a series of statewide public meetings in Pasco on July 11 to collect comment on three proposed rules
designed to prevent oil spills in state waters and improve preparedness." More information can be found at the Dept. of Ecology's Spill Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Program
. - 06/18/2006
"Governor promises effort to limit property taxes" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.Gov. Chris Gregoire
pledged Monday to work with the Legislature to pass property-tax limits if the courts throw out the voter-approved Initiative 747
"Group says DOE should consider restarting FFTF [Fast Flux Test Facility]"--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Backers of restarting the Fast Flux Test Facility
point out it would use plutonium from spent nuclear fuel rods to generate energy. Thye point out this process is similar to one proposed by the Department of Energy's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership
. - 06/20/2006
"Gregoire: Medicaid rule costly for state" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Gov. Chris Gregoire on Monday blasted a new federal law
requiring almost a million Washington residents to prove they are U.S. citizens to keep their Medicaid health care.
Putting the plan into effect in Washington beginning July 1 will cost $5 million at the low end, and many Americans will not have documentation to prove they are citizens, she said.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has more information on requirements for proof of citizenship
"Official given big raises while under investigation "--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
"A former federal official who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a conspiracy to overcharge the U.S. government for natural gas not only remained on the payroll for four years while he was under investigation, but received raises that boosted his salary by nearly $22,000...." William Mitten was charged with taking bribes while he was Director of National Center for Utilities Management, a branch of the General Services Administration
that purchased natural gas in bulk for Federal facilities. - 06/21/2006
"McKenna says state workers can opt out of union dues on religious basis" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
State government workers can opt out of union membership because of their personal religious beliefs, even if they don't belong to an organized faith, Attorney General Rob McKenna
The Attorney General Opinion (AGO) 2006 No.14
is available. You can also link to the text of the cited Revised Code of Washington (RCW) here
. - 06/21/2006
"Plan for two-tiered Internet puts higher price on speed"--Seattle Times - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The U.S. Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee
is holding hearings on the Communications, Consumer's Choice and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006
. There is a major debate over whether the bill should support "net neutrality"
--the principle that telecom companies should charge the same rate to all internet users. - 06/22/2006
"Vit [vitrification] plant cost rises to $11.55 billion "--Pasco Tri-Cities Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Bechtel National, the prime contractor
for cleaningup nuclear waste at Hanford through a vitrification process, has announced the projected cost has more than doubled to $11.55 billion. The vitirifcation plant was supposed to open in 2011, but is now scheduled to open in 2019. The Washington State Department of Ecology
is unhappy about this delay. - 06/22/2006"Snatching personal data just 'playing the game'"--Seattle Post-Intelligencer
During a Congressional hearing
on how data brokers gain personal information on people, most of the data brokers pled the Fifth Amendment, but one sang like a canary. - 06/22/2006"Earth is hotter, 'supporting evidence' says"--Seattle Post-Intelligencer
The National Academy of Sciences released a report
finding that the Earth's average surface temperatures are rising, and human activities are at least partially responsible. This report was made at the request of Congress. You can read the report here
. - 06/23/2006"[Spokane] River among most polluted"--Spokane Spokesman-Review
"The Spokane River is contaminated with more of a potentially harmful fire retardant than any other waterway tested in the state, according to state studies
released Thursday." The Washington State Department of Ecology did the reports and maintains a website on the Spokane River water quality issues
. The website includes a frequently asked questions
section and health notices
in several langages.
- 06/23/2006""Exploring our Ice Age floods:Congress may establish hiking trails along route"--Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Tremendous floods of glacial meltwater roared out of Montana and Idaho, reshaped the Columbia Bain, left debris in the Williamette Valley, and didn't stop until they reached the Pacific. Congress is considering a proposal
to trace the route of the floods with a series of hiking trails. The Ice Age Floods Institute
is a driving force behind this proposal. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has a draft plan
that fits in with the Federal proposal. - 06/26/2006
"Clallam: Park service seeks aquatics permit for [Elwha] dams project"--Port Angeles Peninsula Daily News - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
"The National Park Service has submitted an 800-page permit application as part of the Elwha River dams project -- the biggest dam removal
in history which is expected to begin in about three years." - 06/26/2006"Congress, Bush tangle over whether he can ignore bills he signs"--Seattle Times
President Bush frequently uses "signing statements" to say how the Executive Branch will interpret bills passed by Congress. Many in Congress find this practice to be an abuse of executive power, and the Senate is holding a hearing
on it. Examples of signing statements can be found by going to the 'Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents'
and entering the phrase "Statement on Signing" in the search box. - 06/27/2006
"It's hot and getting hotter"--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Another summer, another wave of record breaking temperatures around the state. The National Weather Service has offices in Spokane
, and Pendleton
. The National Institute of Health has a factsheet
on the need to stay cool. - 06/26/2006
"Surgeon general: Only smoke-free places fully protect nonsmokers "--Olympia Daily Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
A new report
by the U.S. Surgeon General says any exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke is unhealthy. - 06/28/2006
"Medicare scams prey on senior citizens"--Anacortes American - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.Scam artists
are contacting Medicare recipients and claiming to be able to get them a new Medicare card for a fee. The Washington State Attorney General has a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
that investigates Medicaid and Medicare scams. - 06/28/2006
"Felons appeal prohibition against voting "--Spokane Spokesman-Review - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
(Registration may be rquired to read this article. State Library cardholders can access articles in back issues via ProQuest
.) The Washington Supreme Court is hearing a case brought by three felons who have been released from prison, but are unable to regain their voting rights
until they pay off their criminal fines
. - 06/28/2006
"House to reconsider offshore drilling" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Hoping that states will be enticed by billions of dollars in potential oil and gas royalties, lawmakers say they have a good chance to end a drilling ban that was enacted a quarter-century ago on most of the country's offshore waters.
Today, the House
plans to consider a bill ending the drilling ban, six weeks after a measure that would have allowed natural gas development in all coastal waters fell a handful of votes short of being approved.
"[Supreme] Court backs GOP remapping in Texas "--Spokane Spokesman-Review - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
(Registration may be required to read this article. State Library cardholders can access articles in back issues via ProQuest
.)The U.S. Supreme Court decided
in favor of a Texas plan for redrawing the boundaries of its Congressional districts. The new Texas plan replaced a districting plan that was put in place a few years earlier, and it was to the clear advantage of the dominant party in the legislature. Usually states redraw Congressional districts every 10 years based on the most recent Census numbers (see Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution
). - 06/29/2006"Supreme Court rules against Bush on trials for Guantánamo detainees" -- Seattle Times
The Supreme Court ruled today that President Bush overstepped his authority in ordering military war crimes trials for Guantánamo Bay detainees, saying in a strong rebuke that the trials were illegal under U.S. and international law.
The Court Opinion
is available. - 06/29/2006
"House says yes to offshore drilling" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The House voted Thursday to end a quarter-century offshore drilling ban and allow energy companies to tap natural gas and oil beneath waters from New England to Alaska.
The measure was approved 232-187.
The actions of the House are available to view through the Congressional Record Daily Digest
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