October 2004 - Edition No. 22

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FEATURED HISTORY -- Menu | History | Featured Websites | News | Bay-Journal Updates |


Annie Taylor made history in 1901 when she become the first person to go over the Niagara Falls in a barrel and survive. A feat that remains amazing to anyone who has seen mighty Niagara Falls.

Annie was a teacher living in Bay City, Michigan at the time when she came up of with her desparate plan to go over the falls, and a means by which to dramatically change her failing financial position. One way or another, Annie expected her feat to bring an end to her financial misery. You can read the full story at:

  • Heritage/People/{Anna Edson Taylor}
  • FEATURED LOCAL & REGIONAL WEBSITES -- Menu | History | Websites | News | Bay-Journal Updates |

    Bay City Public Schools [Visit Website]

    "Lighting The Way," is the motto of the Bay City Public Schools which is symbolized in the logo containing a lighthouse with a silhouette of children in front.

    On their website you find links to the schools that comprises the district, and this is broken down by high schools, middle schools and elementary schools. In addition, are standard information about Departments, Parent Information, Staff Services, Calendar/Events, District Information, Board of Education, Community Information, Phone Direct, and The Beacon, a publication about and for district employees.

    Bamberger's Studio 7 {Visit Website]

    If you like pictures, this is a website that is sure to please you. Shown are some excellent examples of their photography capabilities covering subjects such as, Seniors, Children, Portraits and Weddings.

    They also offer a photo restoration service. The results are quite amazing as evidenced by an example of before and after views of an anitique photo of firemen.

    FEATURED NEWS & COMMENTARY -- Menu | History | Websites | News | Bay-Journal Updates |

    BAY-JOURNAL NEWS SEARCHER -- Select a "counties" below to list all related current news item.
    (The information appears a "new window" -- Close when done!)
    Select County: Arenac Bay Midland Saginaw

    Index to news items ...
    B-J - Introduction.
    Oct. 1 - Presidential Debate Was Exhange Of Rhetoric.
    Oct. 1 - New Developer Surprises Portsmouth.
    Oct. 3 - Veterans and VA System Struggling.
    Oct. 6 - Good News May Be Parking Problem Downtown.
    Oct. 6 - Congratulations Sugar Beet Growers.
    Oct. 9 - New Library Director Starts October 13.
    Oct. 9 - Frankenmuth Contending For Beer Hall Of Fame.
    Oct. 11 - Native Bay Cityan Amy Green Wins Championship.
    Oct. 13 - Last Presidential Debate Sets Stage for Final Run.
    Oct. 14 - Televised Piston Games to Valley in Works.
    Oct. 15 - Mayor Katt Providing Leadership To Reduce Costs.
    Oct. 16 - Factcheck.org May Be Helpful To Voters.
    Oct. 20 - Red Soxs Stun Yankees and Baseball World.
    Oct. 22 - Dignitaries Gather For Boathouse Condominiums Ceremony.
    Oct. 26 - Economic Studies Confirm Poor Performance of Past.
    Oct. 27 - Library Construction Workers Unearth History.
    Oct. 27 - Study On James Clements Airport Is Positive.
    Oct. 28 - Take Survey And State Your Opinions On Bay City.
    Highlighted Topics in the News and
    Editorial Comments of Bay-Journal.

    News Icons...
    Local &
    & World
    Other Online Local News Sources ...
    Arenac Co. Independent
    Bay City Times
    Bay-Journal Headline News
    Midland Daily News
    My Bay City (local articles)
    Saginaw News
    Bay-Journal Special Features ...

    Around & about snapshots



    NOTE: Local news highlights is provided as a service to our out of town viewers. The content is selected from various sources of public news. For more complete coverage, refer to "Other online local news sources" referenced above.

    ^ Introduction - Bay-Journal Commentary.

    BAY-JOURNAL - This month history in 1901, history was made by a former school teacher from Bay City when she became the first person to go over the Niagara Falls and survive. It’s hardly a feat that any of us would consider doing -- for good reasons, the consequences could be fatal. The story of Annie Taylor is that of a financially distressed person who had reached a disparate state that pushed her to do whatever was required to change her condition.

    Annie successfully accomplished her feat, but it proved not to be a long-term solution to her financial problems. At best it kept her going, but the final years of her life were live in poverty. However, her moment of fame assured her a place in history books for all long as water flows of the Niagara Falls.

    Website Happenings.

    I am expecting to add a considerable number of histories about local people during the month of October thanks to permission received from a couple of other websites. A few were added during the month of September. Most of these stories are focused on the maritime history of our area, the people and times when schooners, tug boats and shipbuilding dominated the Saginaw River. There is a backlog of histories yet to be compiled and in some cases, such as the 1940 Bay City school history pages, to be completed. And, of course, I still have the task of preparing for the winter season.

    Competing with the time I spend on Bay-Journal content, is my other website, Ancestry - The Polish Connection. Recently I’ve spent some time adding a few new articles. This website, as the name implies, is focused on Polish history and genealogy. It’s this subject that stimulated me into creating a local history website. If you have a Polish connection, you might enjoy the information available at {Ancestry - The Polish Connections}.

    ^ Oct. 1 - Presidential Debate Was Exchange Of Rhetoric.

    NATIONAL - Maybe I’m the only one, but I thought a debate was suppose to be an exchange of ideas. After watching the debate last night I wonder what purpose it served other viewers. For me it was a complete dud! The format reminded me of two people auditioning for role in a play and not the possition for President of the United States.

    The format the two party agreed to last night used a moderator, Jim Lehrer of PBS news, who asked each of the candidates a question. The candidate was given two minutes to reply and the opponent a minute and a half for a rebuttal. What is said, could have be covered just as easily in an polical ad, because that is what it sounded like to me. I had heard it all before. About the only moments of fresh air were when President seemed upset at his opponent’s ranker.

    I think the two parties have gone too far. The format used last night was far too weighted in favor of what the candidates wanted to say and do, and lacked an exchange which is what I thought a debate was all about. It was like watching a live presentation of a taped video presentation.

    While they didn’t know what questions that Mr. Lehrer was going to ask, it was clear they had been schooled well in their patent responses. Since the moderator wasn’t allowed to probe the rhetorical replies, it really boiled down to who was the best actor. John Kerry, seemed better schooled for the debate and he got the edge in my opinion. I will give President Bush credit and higher marks for sincerity. At least he had some moments that showed emotion to Kerry’s looseness with the facts. I suspect it was Kerry’s goal to shake him up – if so, he was successful, however, sincerity is one of the reasons that I prefer President Bush over Kerry.

    ^ Oct. 1 - New Developer Surprises Portsmouth.

    PORTSMOUTH TWSP. - The folks in Portsmouth township opposing a current ordinance request to commercialize property on M-15 must be doubly upset. Diversified Property Group LLC headquarters in Bloomfield township have voiced their desire build a multi-tenant commercial center on 80 acres on the opposite side of M-15 from where Wal-Mart is proposed locate a new store. The township board has delayed action on the original rezoning request until an impact study is complete sometime this month.

    ^ Oct. 3 - Veterans and VA System Struggling.

    NATIONAL - According to a Washington Post article, the Veterans Administration (VA) is unable to cope with the needs of veterans on a timely basis. Adding to their woes are an increasing number of soldiers from the country’s war on terror. The VA has a backlog of about 330,000 disability claims which takes about 160 days before they are reviewed for a determination. The delay is said to be caused by the volume of applicants exceeding the capabilities of current VA staffing.

    I think everyone can agree that veterans, especially those maimed as a result of service related duties, should be treated with great urgency. I hardly believe that our government officials feel otherwise. The big difference for them is that they are in a position to affect a satisfactory resolution to this problem – and they should act with the same resolve of duty they expect of those that are sent into harms way.

    If you agree, I encourage you to learn more about the facts then write your representative often until our military sons, daughters, mothers and fathers who are in need are properly taken care of. There is no bridge, roadway, library, or other national budget item that is more important than meeting the needs of our veterans.

    Internet related resources:
  • [Influx of wounded soldiers strains VA - Washington Post] - Article referenced.
  • [GAO 2000 Report to Congressional Oversight Committee on Veterans Affairs (pdf)] - Background on systemic problem.
  • [VA testimonies before Committee on Veterans Affairs] - VA Home page listing of reports.
  • [House Committee on Veterans' Affairs] - Congression oversight committee.

  • ^ Oct. 6 - Good News May Be Parking Problem Downtown.

    BAY CITY - Early indications are that downtown Bay City may have a parking problem. At least a number of conference attendees staying at the new Double Tree Hotel think so. The new 310 parking facilities that was built primarily to handle parking for the hotel was tapped to it's capacity during a couple of recent conferences held there. Let's hope the Double Tree Hotel continues it's job of filling its rooms and bringing more people into Bay City. However, it's becoming clear that downtown parking will be woefully inadequate to meet the desires of merchants and shoppers. As more people live downtown and visitors come to shop or sight see, inadequate parking will limit the success that is possible of this consumer and business oriented community.

    ^ Oct. 6 - Congratulations Sugar Beet Growers.

    MONITOR TWSP. - Sugar beet growers of this area have teamed up to take ownership of the Monitor Sugar Company from Illovo Sugar Company Ltd. of Durban, South Africa. The deal was made possible by an agreement between sugar growers of Monitor Sugar Company and Michigan Sugar Company to combine their resources and form a single sugar beet cooperative. The new business will operate under the name of Michigan Sugar Company and become the third largest sugar beet cooperative in the United States. No change will be made to the existing brand names of Big Chief Sugar and Pioneer Sugar will continue. A ceremonial signing is planned for Friday at 9:00 am, by several dignataries will be attending, and further details of the sale will be provided. - Congratulations are extended to the sugar beet growers of Saginaw Valley for returned local control to these historical businesses.

    ^ Oct. 9 - New Library Director Starts October 13.

    BAY CITY - Frederick J. Paffhaussen will officially report to work this coming Wednesday as the director of the Bay County Library system. Mr. Paffhaussen will fill the position which was vacated by Linda Heemstra this past June. He has been director of Redford Township District Library in Wayne County since 1991. -- He will taking over at a time when the new Central Library building is under construction and will no doubt find his hands full right a way. We welcome him to our community and wish him the best.

    ^ Oct. 9 - Frankenmuth Contending For Beer Hall Of Fame.

    FRANKENMUTH - Michigan's Little Bavarian community located in Saginaw County is making a strong bid to Leisure Technician LLC located in Severena Park, MD, owners of the U.S. Beer Drinking Team, that are researching locations locate a Beer Hall of Fame. The small community of Frankenmuth has surmount an effort to make it to the list of six finalist. It is facing heavy weight competition from cities such as; Baltimore, Pittsburg, San Diego, Milwaukee and St. Louis. Frankenmuth has somehow been able to overcome one of the original requirements, which state host cities are to be within 20 miles of one of the top 100 cities by population. -- The attraction of Frankenmuth to the selection committee may be it's well defined Bavarian culture which has been put good advantage by the community making it one of the top tourist destinations in the Midwest. Locating the Beer Hall of Fame in Frankenmuth would give it a primary focus as opposed to just another attraction in one of the metropolitain cities.

    The following link is to the original press release which include other related links on the subject.
  • Press Release - Mar. 30, 2004 - PR Wire Services.
  • Unites States Beer Drinking Team - located in Annapolis, MD.

  • (click to enlarge)

    ^ Oct. 11 - Native Bay Cityan Amy Green Wins Championship.

    (Submitted by viewer.)

    LAKE HAVASU CITY, AZ - Amy Green, current National APBA Women's ProAm 1200 Watercraft Racing Champion, won the 2004 Open Women's 1200 World Championship Title at the International Jet Sports Boating Association World Finals held in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., October 4-10, 2004. Amy faced competitors from all corners of the world, including Thailand, Japan, Latvia, Canada, and New Zealand. On a Neptune Factory Racing Yamaha built by world renowned watercraft builder Bo Dupriest, Amy won the fastest qualifying heat with a time of 8:19:53, and easily won both motos of the main event, lapping back into the field after 4 of 8 laps on the 1.6 mile closed course.

    Amy has been racing watercraft (aka jetskis) since 1998. She races not only in the ProAm Women's division, but also with the men in the open divisions. Amy set the ProAm 800 Stock slalom world record in 2001, which still stands today. At the 2004 APBA Nationals, she not only earned the ProAm Women's championship title, but also took third in the Expert 1200 Limited division, and won the Veterans 1200 Superstock championship. -- (Amy currently resides in Escondito, CA, and is the daughter of Bert and Karen Green of Bay City.)

  • Competition results may be seen at: [International Jet Sports Boating Assoc.]

  • ^ Oct. 13 - Last Presidential Debate Sets Stage for Final Run.

    NATIONAL: The last of the three dates concluded yesterday evening and we are withing a few weeks of election day at last. I don't know about the rest of you, but I tire of the long race leading up to the Presidential election and all of the misleading information by the parties that comes with it.

    Last night’s debate returned to the original format, both candidates standing at podiums and a single questioner. I much prefer the format used for the second debate where an audience of voters asked the questions and the candidates were more or less free to move around and somewhat interact. It would be good if somehow the debates were taken out of the control of the two political parties. I’d like to see the two debates, one in September and the other in October, each lasting two hours, with the top four candidates appearing. The candidates for the debate being picked by the electorate a month before the scheduled debate. Questioners for the September debate would be done by a panel of six from the news media, and the October debate by an audience of individuals not registered with a political party. The audience would be made up of an registered voter from each state. Each would be given a number which would be drawn randomly from a hat to ask a question of the candidates.

    I would even suggest that each of the candidates include the person they chose for their vice-president and a third person of their choice. The candidate would be required to give a two minute answer directly to the question without deviating to a preferred subject. A two-personal panel chosen from Supreme Court justices would moderate the responses and implement a buzzard whenever the candidate deviated from the subject, turning off the micron phone and immediately going to the next the candidate. This would eliminate the common answer, “but, before I answer your question, I would like to comment on” which allows the candidate to insert what they want to talk instead of responding directly to the subject. Each candidate would be allowed a one minute rebuttal which may be given by any member of the candidates team.

    I would also enforce a rule that requires TV cameras to show only a close views of the questioner, the initial response of the candidate, or an action by the moderate. A single broad view of all of the candidates would shown during rebuttals. The point is to eliminate any subjective influence of the camera catching a candidate's visual appearance that may or may not be an indication of their opinion or how they feel. The fact that one smiles and another seemingly frowns, doesn't speak factually to what they are thinking at the moment. I've often expressed a frown at the thought that I wish I had said something differently after the fact, and have done so while someone was talking about a completely different subject.

    The whole point of televised political debates should be to help voters understand the facts regarding the positions of the candidates on important subjects, and their validity as reasonable expectations. It shouldn’t be based on looks, debating skills, or whatever is in the best interest of the two major political parties.

    ^ Oct. 14 - Televised Piston Games to Valley in Works.

    CLIO - Barrington Broadcasting, owners of WEYI-Channel 25, has come to the rescue of Piston fans in mid-Michigan, including the communities of the Saginaw Valley. The Pistions did not renew their contract with Detroit's UPN-Channel 50 and instead chose WDWB-Channel 20 of Detroit. The moved jeopardized broadcasting of Piston games to this area until Barrington came up with a solution. Barrington's WEYI will carry the Pistons games on a new affiliate which starts Nov. 1. They are working out arrangements with digital and cable carriers, including Charter Communitications that is expected to carry the games to their local audience. In addition to 28 Piston games from WB, WEYI will also broadcast six games from NBC affiliate WDIV in Detroit. Let's hope arranges are made with Charter Communications by Nov. 5, the date of Barrington's first televised Piston game.

    ^Oct. 15 - Mayor Katt Providing Leadership To Reduce Costs.

    BAY CITY - Robert J. Katt, Mayor of Bay City, believes city, township and county governments need to look at merging some services to reduce the cost of government. It is a theme that Mayor Katt has consistently raised in recent times to counter the erosion of state funding being experience by local governments. He would like to lead a task force that to look at the type of services that could be combined. Then, he recommends proceeding slowly by trying it first on a service that minimizes political opposition which will demostrate the merits of going this direction. He believes the concept has the potential to provide a substantial reduction of costs for government services.

    Mayor Katt's vision of a more metropolitan approach to providing government services is consistent with what businesses have been doing for many years to reduce their costs of operations in the face of international competition. Unfortunately, moving that direction for government services in a political arena isn't as easy to do as in the private sector. A business manager can order it done, but in the politics of government, one must be gently persuasive to gain cooperation.

    ^ Oct. 16 - Factcheck.org May Be Helpful To Voters.

    ELECTIONS: For voters who have not made up their minds, Factcheck.org may be helpful to understand the truth behind the claims of the presidential candidates, and a useful tool for the important decision you will be making on November 2.

    Each of the political parties practices selective information in promoting their cause, that is, they pick and choose whatever information helps them appear the obvious choice. They seldom let the truth get in their way. It's kind of like taking a bit of truth, then padding it with the fodder that sells your point of view.

    Voters are left trying to sort it out on their own, the news media for whatever reason just passes it along and seldoms challenges the figures of either party. It's easy for voters to become confused when candidates cite information on the same subject that are dramatically different.

    Factcheck.org takes on these questions and does the hard research for you, giving the findings that quite often reveal both candidates were less than truthful in their statements. However, because they state their factual findings, at least you will know how much fudging has been done regarding a specific statement that is important to you.

    If you are voting a party line, Factcheck.org will not be useful to you. But for those in search of a source to help them reach a judgement, this website may be what you are looking. However, caution should always be exercised in search of the truth. Often the truth is more likely to be found by the preponderance of sources saying the same thing and citing different references. Factcheck.org is but one source that to that end.

  • FactCheck.org
  • Headline News - Our news page includes a Political Section.

  • ^ Oct. 20 - Red Soxs Stun Yankees and Baseball World.

    NEW YORK - The Boston Red Soxs soundly defeated the Yankees tonight, 10 to 3, to win the American League pennant in a stunning comeback string of four wins after three straight losses. They did so against the odds, the screams of Yankee fans, and in defiance of their own legendary jinx.

  • Full Story - Yahoo! Sports
  • Boston Red Soxs Team website.

  • ^ Oct. 22 - Dignitaries Gather For Boathouse Condominiums Ceremony.

    BAY CITY - Yesterday ground was officially broken marking the beginning of a $16 million dollar renovation that will convert the historic Jennison Boathouse from a storage facilities into 37 high end condos. When completed in 2006 it is expected to stimulate further development of the north end of Water street. Downtown Water Street will indeed become the business strip that it once was over 100 years ago. However, unlike its previous history as a hot strip for lumberjacks looking for relief from a long season in the woods, merchants will in instead be catering to growing population of citizens choosing to reside downtown.

    The Boathouse Condominiums is being built by a group of 23 investors, led by William D. Gregory and Paul A. Rowley who were able to successfully convert the old Jennison hardware building further south on Water street into condo complex. In spite of generally poor economic conditions of this area, they are convinced that the future is bright for Bay City and it's bordering communities. Reassurance of the project’s success is evidenced by 14 customers who have already indicated a desire to take up a condo residence when completed.

    The Boathouse Condominiums building will be plush, design to provide an up scale living style unique from anything in this part of Michigan. It is expected that most of it's residents will come from outside of the community, people attracted by the peaceful and beautiful surroundings along the Saginaw River and central location in Michigan. The amenities will be many including a deck that will stretch along the river with a docking pier to accommodate boats. There will be plenty of park space for residents and their visitors. Club rooms for socializing and other accommodations to meet most every desire. Details of the plan are available on their website.

  • www.boathousecondos.com

  • ^ Oct. 26 - Economic Studies Confirm Poor Performance of Past.

    BAY COUNTY - Another sobering study of the local economy recently completed for the Bay County Board confirms earlier studies on the subject. In a nutshell, the performance of the local economy has been eroding for decades and little has been done effectively to help ourselves. That the problem is more a result of our own poor performance than the state of the broader economy, and we are where we are, and will remain there until the people of our community rise above the self-interests of individuals and groups.

    As if to prove the point, are recent local news articles about the county and Monitor Township butting heads over the expansion of the the industrial park in Monitor. The county has threaten a law suit if Monitor proceeds without an agreement with the county over issues involving distribution of tax dollars collected under Monitor's present DDA arrangement. For whatever reason the two government bodies are unable to reach a compromise.

    The issue between Monitor and the county should be resolved quickly and peacefully. I don't know who is right or wrong, and at this point in time I do not care. I'm more concerned about the damage this "in fighting" may have on our biggest problem, the economy.

    The DDA authority which allows tax revenue in a district to be recycled to improve the district has been a successful approach to progress. The Monitor Township industrial park which is over a decade old represents the current largest track of land in place and available for industrial growth. It is ideally located between the Tri-Cities, it's close to MBS and the main highway systems of our area. The fact that it has now outgrown it's current acreage is good news. The issues that need to be addressed between the township and the county should not have to go to court to be resolved, at least not at this time.

    We have to make a decision about our community's future soon! Are we going to continue down the path of self-distruction that forces our youth to go elsewhere to enjoy the benefits of a good income, or are we going to do everything we can to keep them in the home town of their parentage? Failure to understand this basic issue will certainly be felt by future generations who will wonder what life was like for their grandparents who lived in Bay County.

    For related articles on this subject see:
  • Bay County Economy - Dynamic Change Required. (Oct. 2004)
  • Semiconductors and Saginaw Valley. (Jun. 2004)

  • ^ Oct. 27 - Library Construction Workers Unearth History.

    (Click to enlarge)

    BAY CITY - Construction workers at the site of Bay County's new Central Library unexpectedly found themselves do the work of archaeologists when they came upon old wooden pipes buried deep in the earth. The wood pipes dating back to around 1875 were made by the Michigan Pipe Works of Bay City. The historical significance of these wood pipes is that they were used for the city's first municipal water system. Wood was cheap in those days and was a popular choice for underground piping for various means through the 1940s. They were lighter and cheaper than iron piping which corroded, but as lumber prices became too expensive they disappeared. The Michigan Pipe company which had sales around the world remained in operation until 1955.

    For more on this subject, read:
  • Article by Dave Rogers. (MyBayCity.com)

  • ^ Oct. 27 - Study On James Clements Airport Is Positive.

    Airfest 2004
    (Click to enlarge)

    LANSING - An impact study done by the state of Michigan on Bay City's James Clements Airport finds the airport has a positive economic effect to local community. Figures released by the Aviation Division of the Department of Transportation report the airport has an income of about $939,000 while providing around $2.4 million in goods and services annually.

    The city owned airport has been a concern to some local citizens who see it as a burden to the city that has little value to the general public. This report may help ease some of that concern.

    For further reading on this subject see:
  • Article by Patti Brandy" (Bay City Times)

  • Oct. 28 - Take Survey And State Your Opinions On Bay City.

    BAY CITY - The Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau wants to hear from you! They'd like to get your input on what you think about Bay City whether or not your actually live in the city. They have posted a survey on their website to make it easy for anyone to give their opinion. The collective information by provided by you and others who take the survey will help them in deciding what on how to promote Bay City to the outside world. Take a moment, as I did, to visit their website and complete the short survey.

  • Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau - Survey is at bottom of their page.
  • BAY-JOURNAL WEBSITE UPDATES -- Menu | History | Websites | News | Bay-Journal Updates |

    Help us if you can! -- Contribute content to Bay-Journal.

    Oct 3 - Maritime Biographies from History of the Greak Lakes.

    Biographies written by J.B. Mansfield and published in this book in 1899. The focus of the book is on the individual maritime histories of the captains and engineers during a time period when shipping dominated commerce. Thanks to permission from "LinksToThePast.com" we are able to reprint the histories of the individuals that made their living navigating the ports of Bay City and Saginaw. This announcement will be used to list other biography additions throughout the month:

  • Oct. 3 - Smith, P.C. - Captain
  • Oct. 4 - Speir, James - Marine engineer.
  • Oct. 4 - Ward, Anthony - Marine engineer.
  • Oct. 4 - Wellman, James B. - Marine engineer.
  • Oct. 21 - Stone, Marshall - Captain.
  • Oct. 21 - Styninger, John A. - Marine engineer.
  • Oct. 21 - Wheeler, Frank W. - Shipbuilder.
  • Oct. 21 - Wilcox, Antem J. - Marine engineer.
  • Oct. 21 - Wilson, George B. - Marine engineer.

    Oct. 9 - Bay-Journal News Searcher

    New to this page! You'll find it in the News & Commentary section above. The "news searcher" will find all current news items related to the "county" you chose from the selection list. Give it a try!

    Oct. 19 - Fire Department Pictorial

    Some new firehouse photos have been added to this pictorial and it has been updated to a different viewer.

  • Pictorials/ {Fire Departments}
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