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Webster community mailbag

19 Oct

Get your flu shot HERE! TODAY!

The Webster Public Library is hosting a flu shot clinic TODAY, Tuesday Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the library, 980 Ridge Rd. All vaccinations will be administered by a registered nurse, and no appointment is necessary. Please remember to bring your insurance card!

Registration is not necessary.

Pumpkins on Parade is this weekend!

The Webster Recreation Center’s second annual Pumpkins on Parade is this Saturday night.

This is an amazing, family-friendly Halloween-time event, when the Chiyoda Trail is lined with creative, scary, and downright funny Jack-o-lanterns. Community members and businesses are invited — no, encouraged — to carve up some pumpkins, and then bring the family that evening after dark to look for them along the mile-long trail which winds around the Rec Center. Afterwards, everyone gets free donuts and cider.

Community members are invited to come and walk the trail from 7 to 8:30 p.m. This year there’s also a shortened path option for seniors and small children.

There’s still time to carve a pumpkin (or several pumpkins) for the trail. The more the merrier! Drop your finished creations off at the Rec Center Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or Saturday between noon and 2 p.m. For every pumpkin you deliver, you get a raffle ticket for a chance to win a fun prize.

The Rec Center is at 1350 Chiyoda Drive (right off of Phillips Rd.).

UPK-5 Parent-Teacher Conferences to Span Four Days

A reminder to parents that Webster’s UPK to grade 5 students will have parent-teacher conferences this week and next.

All seven elementary schools will host conferences over four days: Thursday Oct. 21, Friday Oct. 22, Thursday Oct. 28 and Friday Oct. 29. This means a half-day schedule for UPK-5 students. Students in grades 6-12 have their normal, full-day schedule.

Elementary parents/guardians, please watch your school newsletters for the bus schedules. UPK families, individual schedules will be communicated by your child’s teacher.

Got drugs?

It’s time to clean out your medicine cabinet and get rid of all of those expired and unused pharmaceuticals that have been hanging around for years. You especially want to do this if you still have children at home; the statistics about children abusing prescription drugs and overdosing are frightening, and much of that is happening because they can often easily find these drugs in their own bathrooms.

WHEN, the Webster Health and Education Network, is joining forces with the Webster Police Dept. to sponsor an event this weekend to make it easy for you to clean out your cabinets. It’s the Fall Drug Drop-off on Saturday Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Webster Wastewater Treatment Facility, 226 Phillips Rd.

Please note that needles, sharps, syringes, and biohazards CANNOT be accepted; only pills, liquids, and ointments. No appointment is necessary. Registration is not required, but it will allow the organizers to email you a reminder in advance of the event.

To sign up, click here.

And remember, there’s a pharmaceutical drop-box at Town Hall, 1000 Ridge Rd., just inside the doors to the police station, where you can drop off your unused pharmaceuticals any weekday during regular business hours.   

Visit the Village Quilt Shoppe yet?

If not, here’s a great excuse to do so.

The Village Quilt Shoppe, 21 E. Main St. in the Village of Webster, has announced they’ll be hosting their Holiday Open House on Friday Nov. 12. They’ll be demonstrating how to craft a quick and easy holiday ornament, will have their famous Hot Chocolate Bar set up, and have cookies and gift ideas for all.

The Open House will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the demo will take place on the hour, every hour.

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Webster community mailbag

14 Oct

Some news from the Webster Public Library to start out this week’s mailbag.

The Artist’s Wall display this month highlights the Greater Rochester Peep Show, an annual fund-raising event which benefits the Webster Community Chest and other participating charities.

The event features hundreds of whimsical and creative works of art made almost entirely of Peeps marshmallow candies. Next time you’re at the library, stop by the wall to read more about the event and see photos of some of the entries from previous years.

Two very interesting programs are coming up just for adults:

On Tuesday Oct. 19, Webster resident Rosemarie Cook-Manley will present a travelogue from her recent trip to Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks. The program will run from 2 to 3 p.m. Click here to register.

Then on Wednesday Oct. 20 from 3 to 4 p.m., Webster Museum president Tom Pellett will present a program on Civil War Veterans of the Five Webster Cemeteries. Click here to register for that one. Space is limited.

Other events coming up this month at the library:

  • Monday Oct. 18: Make it Monday, from 6 to 7 p.m., a craft night for adults and kids grades 4 and up. This month’s craft is a DIY Sharpie mug.
  • Tuesday Oct. 26: Spooky Storytime from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Feel free to wear your Halloween costume.
  • Friday Oct. 29: After-hours Halloween Party for grades 4 to 12, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Features snacks, crafts, games, a costume contest and more.
  • Sunday Oct, 31: Library Trick-or Treat Night, for the whole family. Slots are available between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to trick-or-treat through the library.

For more information about all the programs and to register, visit the “Library Events” tab at the library website. The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back side of the plaza.

One last reminder about this Saturday’s Webster Village Family Games Night/Beer Garden.

This time the evening will have an Oktoberfest theme, featuring The Krazy Firemen Oktoberfest band. The event begins at 5 p.m. on West Main, with the live music all evening, street games, a dance party with Dancing With Denise, crafts, food and games, and more. It should be a great night to get together with family and friends. There’ll be something for everyone.

St. Martin Lutheran Church on Bay Rd. will host a pulled pork drive-through BBQ on Saturday Oct. 23, from 4:30 until they sell out.

The take-out dinner includes pulled pork, roll, salt potatoes, cole slaw and cookie for just $10. Proceeds will support the church’s annual Christmas Stocking Project reaching over 500 children and teens in Monroe and Wayne counties.

Pull into the parking lot, place your order using exact payment, and the dinner will be delivered to you as you drive up in your car.

St. Martin Lutheran Church is located at 813 Bay Rd.

Here’s a fun note that came from the schools.

Last Friday, Webster Thomas High School Assistant Principal Jeremy McBride and students Jacob Loveland and Jacob Bieg went “Bald for Bucks.” The trio had their heads shaved tor raise money to fight cancer.

Each of the newly bald men has had at least one person they care about affected by cancer, so they decided to raise funds in the fight to eradicate the disease. The donations they collected will be donated to 13thirty Cancer of Rochester and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Here’s a sneak peek at at few things I’m working on (stay tuned!):

  • Yoga at the greehouse
  • Pumpkins on the path
  • A very Irish anniversary
  • Ghouls in the streets
  • Leaves at the curbs

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Webster community mailbag

6 Oct

The Village of Webster is hosting its third Family Game Night/Beer Garden on Saturday Oct. 16, and this one will be extra fun — it’s going to be an Oktoberfest, complete with a top-notch Oktoberfest band, the Krazy Firemen.

Activities start at 5 p.m. with lots of street games, food and drink. Dancing with Denise will be on hand to get the whole family up and dancing, there’ll be crafts for the kids and lots more. The Krazy Firemen will provide live music from 5 to 8 p.m.

This is a great chance to gather with friends and neighbors in a family atmosphere with something for all ages.

The Friends of the Public Library’s Fall Book Sale is returning next week.

This is one of the library’s biggest book sales, held over three days, Oct. 14 through 16. Not only will there be TONS of books to choose from, the Friends will have two special raffles to celebrate the return of this bigger book sale: one for a gorgeous handmade quilt and another for a pink Apple Watch SE. Tickets will be $5.

Click on the flyer for details about hours and specials.

Shoppers are asked to follow CDC guidelines while at the library sale, including masks and social distancing.

You definitely want to get your flu shot during these Covid times, and here’s an easy way to do it.

The Webster Public Library is hosting a flu shot clinic on Thursday Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the library, 980 Ridge Rd. All vaccinations will be administered by a registered nurse, and no appointment is necessary.

Please remember to bring your insurance card!

The biannual Webster community blood drive returns next week.

The two-day drive will be held Wednesday Oct. 13 and Thursday Oct. 14, from noon to 7 p.m., both days at the Firemen’s Exempt Building, 172 Sanford St.

Appointments for this drive usually fill up pretty quickly, in large part because this is the Bruster’s drive; every presenting donor will get a coupon for a free ice cream cone at Bruster’s. Every donor will also get a $5 Amazon e-gift card.

Appointments are required to assure social distancing, so Click here to set one up, or call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).

You’ll also want to mark your calendars for Oct. 16, when Webster’s very own Rochester Challenger Miracle Field will be featured in a half-hour program on Channel 8 at 7:30 p.m.

The special, which will feature highlights of Miracle Field, their programs, and many of the players and families, will double as a fundraiser. Stay tuned for more information about this exciting event.  

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Tacos for juniors, legal assistance for seniors — the library has it all

26 Sep

A couple of great programs are coming up this Tuesday Sept. 28, sponsored by the Webster Public Library.

You might already know about the library’s Tuesday night outdoor storytimes at the Harmony Park amphitheater. But this week the program is even better. It’s TACO TUESDAY NIGHT.

Beginning at 5 p.m., the Bay Vista Taqueria food truck will be there for anyone who wants to get dinner. Plus, Webster Parks & Recreation will be setting up lots of lawn games for family fun. After dinner and games, you can settle in for storytime at 6 p.m.

The Harmony Park Amphitheater is located at 10 Foster Drive (off Phillips Road) in the Village of Webster. There’s no charge, and registration isn’t required but is requested so they know how many people to expect. So sign up here and bring the whole family!

Legal Assistance for Seniors

This great program for seniors is also happening on Tuesday Sept. 28, but earlier in the day.

From 1 to 3:30 p.m., seniors are invited to visit the library and check out the Center for Elder Law & Justice’s Mobile Legal Unit.

Following a brief presentation, participants can meet one-on-one with an attorney/paralegal team member from CELJ. It’s a free, but brief “done-in-a-day” legal consultation for seniors which may cover civil legal matters such as:

  • debt harassment and consumer billing concerns
  • obtaining and/or reviewing credit reports
  • health care proxies
  • tenant’s rights and foreclosure
  • reviewing medical bills and health insurance documents
  • financial exploitation and elder abuse

Registration is required, and participation is limited. Click here to register.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of Webster Plaza.

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Webster community mailbag

13 Sep

Busy weekend coming up, starting with the HUGE Webster Jazz Festival, which hits the pubs and streets on Friday and Saturday. Check back here tomorrow for more details about that, but here are a few other events coming up this weekend as well which might interest you:

The Webster Museum’s annual Barn Sale takes place this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 394 Phillips Rd.

This really cool sale features vintage farm goods and furniture, toys, books, holiday goods, household goods, jewelry, glassware and more. You’re sure to find something to love.

The sale will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each of the three days, and on Saturday, everything is half price — or you can fill a bag for $5. This is the museum’s biggest operating expense fundraiser, so stop on by, find a treasure, and help them out.

ALSO, the Webster Museum’s outstanding Ward Mann exhibit, highlighting one of Webster’s most famous artists, will be closing soon.

The museum is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 2 to 4:30, and the last day you’ll be able to see the exhibit is Saturday Sept. 25.

The Webster Public Library has a very cool poster exhibit of its own right now. It’s called “September 11, 2001: The Day That Changed The World.”

The posters are provided courtesy of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, which explains,

“This educational exhibition recounts the events of September 11, 2001, through the personal stories of those who witnessed and survived the attacks. Told across 14 posters, this exhibition includes archival photographs and images of artifacts from the Museum’s permanent collection.”

The exhibition is on display through during normal library hours. You can also download the exhibition digitally see it online. The library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the rear of Webster Plaza.

The library, by the way, is conducting a search for a new director, and they’d like the community’s input. Click here to complete a short, three-question survey to let your voice be heard.

Here’s a reminder about a super-fun event coming up this Saturday at the Rec Center. It’s the first-ever Family Mud Run, obstacle course and fitness trail. The flyer with all the information is above, but basically, we’re talking a non-competitive, untimed, half-mile slog through water and mud, with some challenging obstacles. It’s only $5 per person, and there’ll be giveaways and snacks afterwards.

Can you imagine how delighted your kids will be if you tell them, “Hey guess what? Why don’t we all go down to the rec center, run through some mud puddles, and get super dirty…just for fun?!?!” Bonus points when they find out you’re going to do it with them.

Click here to see a little teaser video giving you an idea of what the Rec has planned.

You’ll want to register ahead of time, and choose a time slot between 10 a.m and noon. Register for program #301202 on the Parks and Rec website.

Finally, here’s a useful tidbit from our friends to the south.

Penfield Rotary and Penfield Recreation will sponsor the annual Community Bike Drop on Saturday, October 2 at Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd. from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Keep those old or unwanted bikes out of our landfills by donating them to a good cause. All bicycles collected will be donated to R Community Bikes, Inc. for repair and redistribution to needy children and adults in the Rochester area. All types of bikes are needed, including children’s tricycles, toddler plastic bikes and bike parts. Receipts will be available.

R Community Bikes, Inc. is a grassroots 501c3 organization that collects and repairs used bicycles for distribution, free of charge, to Rochester’s most needy children and adults. Its mission is to meet the basic transportation needs of those in the community who depend on bikes to get to work and training sessions, as well as for recreation.

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A Webster bike route mystery solved (mostly)

10 Sep

Sometimes the most interesting journey can begin with a simple question.

The journey I want to tell you about today began for me in July, when I’d stopped by the Webster Museum. I noticed a blue and yellow metal sign in the exhibit right inside the front door, next to the tall antique bike. It read, “James W. Carnevale Bike Route.”

I asked one of the Museum Ladies, “Who’s James W. Carnevale?” She thought for a second, then responded, “I don’t know.”

Thus began my quest. I knew I had to find out who Carnevale was, why a bike route was named after him, and where that bike route was. It’s been a journey that’s stretched over two months and involved almost a dozen other inquisitve folks who helped me along the way by poking into genealogical records, tracking down old newspapers, and asking around to those who might have known Carnevale.

I started by doing some quick internet research on my own, with little success. At the suggestion of the Museum Ladies, I reached out to the Webster Public Library to see if their research professionals could do a little digging.

With help from the NYS Historic Newspaper Database, in no time, my friends over there — Laureen Anthony-Palmer, Doreen Dailey and Sarah Hodges — had unlocked all sorts of articles and photos. We learned that:

  • Carnevale was born in April 30, 1930 and died suddenly in Syracuse on Jan. 22, 1977
  • he graduated in 1950 from RIT
  • he enlisted in the Army in 1951, served in Korea as an intelligence officer, and was awarded the bronze star for his work in photography
  • he worked as an engineer at Kodak
  • he served as Webster’s Recreation Commissioner and was an active member of the town’s Democratic Party
  • he’s buried at Webster Union Cemetery

Perhaps the most interesting photo we found was one from Nov. 5, 1986, which appears to show the Town of Webster presenting Carnevale’s widow Nancy with the exact Bike Route sign which now hangs in the museum. The caption mentions that the new signs would replace ones on the “established bike route.”

Another clue.

The pieces were coming together, but we still didn’t know where the bike route was and why it was dedicated to James Carnevale. But I was undaunted.

Knowing that Carnevale was a former Recreation Commissioner, I got Webster Recreation Director Chris Bilow on the case. Chris checked with some of the Rec Center’s long-time employees to see if they knew anything about Carnevale, with no luck. BUT, in another email that same day, Chris sent two photos someone had snapped of a James W. Carnevale Bike Route sign which is still standing at the corner of Drumm and Herman roads.

That was exciting news. But the trail seemed to have reached a dead end there (no pun intended).

Until just two weeks ago, when I received an email from museum volunteer and research goddess Cherie Wood, who had the bright idea to consult Esther Dunn’s Webster Through the Years, a comprehensive guide to Webster’s history. Sure enough, Cherie found a huge piece to the puzzle.

The article Cherie found explained that the bike route was originally established in 1968 to, in part, “create additional interest in healthy recreational activity that can be practiced as a family group.” The 14.5-mile route took riders (in general) west from Holt Rd. to Klem, then along Bay, Volk and Dewitt roads, ending at Inspiration Point. There riders would turn around and wind their way back. (An image of the whole article with route details follows this blog.)

While there’s nothing in the article about this being that “established route” referenced in the caption above, I think we can assume so. And perhaps we can also infer that naming the bike route after Carnevale was a way to honor his service to Webster as Recreation Commissioner.

So that’s where we are right now. It’s been fun unraveling the mystery, and I deeply appreciate the help that I got from the library, the museum, and the Rec Center folks in tracking down all these details. I feel like I’ve gotten to know James pretty well; I even visited his grave at Webster Union Cemetery to pay my respects and thank him for his service to the town. (And for providing such a fun mystery.)

If made it all the way to the end of this very long blog, thank you for your interest. And if you happen to know anyone who knows anything about James Carnevale, or if you see one of the signs in your travels (rumor has it there might be one at Klem and Five Mile Line), please snap a photo!

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A few notes of interest:

News from the library

1 Sep

This month’s Webster Public Library Artist’s Wall features some good friends of mine and the incredible, life-changing nonprofit they have built from scratch, Bella’s Bumbas.

Marty Parzynski and Rebecca Orr began their business back in 2017. Their neice Bella had been born in 2015 with spina bifida, which caused paralysis of her lower limbs. Troubled by Bella’s inability to move around and interact with other children, they did a little research and found how to make a toddler-sized wheelchair using a commercially-available “Bumbo” infant seat and a child’s bicycle tires. Marty got to work, and before long had built one for his niece. He called it “Bella’s Bumba.”

When word started spreading about what Marty had done and how it had changed Bella’s life, he and Rebecca started getting requests for Bella’s Bumbas from other parents. So they set up a workshop in the garage and started to mass-produce the wheelchairs, using mostly donated parts. They asked families only to cover the shipping costs.

To date, Marty and Rebecca and their army of volunteers have built and shipped more than 2000 chairs to 46 countries, and counting.

Next time you’re at the library, stop by the wall, read more about their story, and check out the photos of some of the thousands of children whose lives have been changed by Bella’s Bumbas.

The display will be up through September.

Kindergartners and first graders and their favorite adults are invited to celebrate the end of summer with a Back-to-School Storytime on Thursday Sept. 2 at 11 a.m.

Listen to some special books and do a school-related craft to get into the school spirit! Please register each child individually so the library can keep the number small. Caregivers should not register but are required to attend with their children. Please remember your masks!

Speaking of storytimes … as long as the weather is being so nice, outdoor storytimes are continuing.

Every Thursday at 10 a.m. through October, storytimes will be held at the Harmony Park amphitheater, 10 Foster Drive (off of Phillips Rd.). PLUS, Tuesday evenings in September are family fun nights. Bring the whole family on Sept. 14, 21 and 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. for music and games with Webster Parks & Recreation, with storytime at 6 p.m. On the 14th, Bay Vista Taqueria food truck will be there, too.

Registration is not necessary but requested for the outdoor storytimes so they have an idea how many to expect. Click here to register for Sept. 14 and visit the Webster Library website to register for the others.

Now that the kids are back in school, how ’bout we adults take some time for ourselves? Check out these adult programs coming up at the library in September:

  • Sept. 14, 2 p.m.: Travelogue- Beautiful Medieval Towns of Brittany and Normandy, France
  • Sept. 15, 7 p.m.: Creating Paper Flowers with Linda & Katrina
  • Sept. 28, 1 p.m.: Legal Assistance for Seniors
  • Sept. 30, 3 p.m.: Libby Tips & Tricks via Zoom

Descriptions and registration links for these programs and more can be found on the library website.

Here’s a teaser about a couple of other fun youth programs in the works:

  • Make it Monday, Sept. 13: Pom Pom Cacti Night
  • Family Friday Campout, Friday Oct. 1

Visit the library website for more information and to register

Finally, the library is updating its hours for fall.

Beginning Tuesday, September 7 the library will be open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and
Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of Webster Plaza.

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Do you know anyone in these photos?

31 Aug

I know, that really sounds like clickbait, doesn’t it? But I really am trying to find some good homes for these photos which were part of my Webster on the Web photo exhibit at the Webster Public Library in August.

I chose 24 photos for the exhibit, representing kids, community and events. It was fun having them up, but alas, a few days ago they had to be taken down to make room for September’s installation, featuring the awesome Webster-based nonprofot, Bella’s Bumbas (more on that in another blog).

(P.S., if you didn’t get to visit the library and see it, I’ve posted all the photos on a link you’ll find at the right side of this page.)

So now I have all these photos, most of them 8″ x 8″ or 10″ x 10″, which are going to get tossed if no one wants them. I’ve already delivered a handful of them to some proud parents and grandparents, but there are many more really cute ones that have gone unclaimed.

So, please take a moment and take a close look at all of the following photos and see if you can help me give them good homes. There are even a few which have no human subjects in them, but if you like ’em, they’re yours. If knowing the dates will help identify the children, you’ll find them in the photo link to the right.

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The photos are coming down

28 Aug

It’s been an eventful August.

Not only did I get a proclamation from the Town for outstanding community service (and had a day named after me!), I was honored to be the featured artist on the Webster Public Library’s Artist’s Wall for the entire month.

Well, today, those photos are coming down, and being replaced with photos highlighting the work of Bella’s Bumbas, an amazing Webster grassroots organization. (Click here to read more about them.)

Have no fear, however! If you didn’t have a chance to see my photos at the library, all is not lost. I’ve posted them all, complete with captions, to this blog page. You’ll find the link in two places: at the very top of this page, and in the gutter on the right. (Or you can click here.)

So, if you haven’t seen them yet, enjoy! If you DID stop by the library, here’s your chance as well to see all the photos again.

And, by the way, if you have a personal connection to any one of them and would like to have it for yourself, drop me an email.

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…and some positive business news

27 Aug

I know that yesterday’s blog about The Music Store closing hit some people hard. So perhaps this might soften the blow a bit:

Just across the street from The Music Store, Village HandWorks will finally open on Saturday Aug. 28 at 10 a.m.

This brand new shop, at 19 East Main St., will feature original hand-crafted goods, and supplies for weaving, knitting, sewing, and other handicrafts. Owner Jenn Ratcliffe will also be offering classes for anyone wanting to learn a new craft or practice their skills. A large comfy counch at the back of the shop will also welcome crafters who just want to sit and stitch and share their projects.

Even if you’re not a crafter yourself, how about poping in and saying hi to the Village’s newest small business owner, and welcome her to the Village family.

Village HandWorks is located at 19 East Main, right next door to the Village Quilt Shoppe.

While you’re out and about on Saturday, be sure to stop by the Webster Public Library for the Friends’ final Summer Pop Up Book Sale.

Weather permitting, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Friends will have tables in the library parking lot filled with all kinds of books for the entire family. This will be a Bring Your Own Bag Sale — fill your bag with gently used books for just $3, or two bags for $5. (Cash or check only please.) They REALLY need to get rid of these books to make room for more, so bring several bags!

BLOG UPDATE! Because the weather looks a little iffy on Saturday, the book sale has been moved inside the library. So do not worry if it’s a little rainy … the sale WILL GO ON!

The Friends of the Public Library would like to thank the community for their amazing support over this past summer. All funds raised from the sale will support library initiatives.

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