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Letters (March 20, 2019)

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The Paula family would like to thank the Anderson Valley Volunteer Ambulance and fire crews for their help during our resent time of need. We are extremely grateful for their quick response, professionalism and utmost compassion.

Again, thank you.  

Buffy Paula


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I cannot tell you how thankful I am that Coast hospital provides an immediate care walk-in clinic. I had to use their services twice in the last three months. If you are a self-pay as I am, it is really very inexpensive. If you pay cash you get a 30% discount. Had I used the emergency room my bill would have been well over $1000, but at the immediate care clinic it was $70 and $66.

Remember, the clinic is there waiting for you and your "minor" health problems. I don't know the ultimate fate of our hospital, but I do know this clinic has exceptionally fine nurse practitioners and is a much-needed addition to the health-care options here on the coast.

They are open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM. Long may they live and prosper.

Louise Mariana, RN


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I saw the blurb last week about the Willits High School Principal.  Unfortunately, I was not reelected last November as a school board member and I have no official information about this case. 

I have no knowledge first hand, or otherwise, as to what the administrator knew and when he knew it, but there is one glaring fact that that is missing from all of this and which is known to me to be a fact. The  allegations against the principal’s son can be documented to have been reported by Willits Unified School District to Child Protective Services who then referred the matter to Sheriff’s Office, and then presumably to the young lady’s parents.  There was absolutely no effort to sweep this under the rug by the District it being the District’s report which triggered the investigation.  

I do not know Mike Colvig personally but I do know him by reputation and his reputation in the school district has been one of effective leadership which has led to the turnaround of Willits High School on a number of different levels.  His being placed on administrative leave is now damaging to the school and his prosecution would likely lead to the end of his career which would be devastating not only to him personally, but also to the district’s positive momentum.

Although I have not discussed this matter with District Attorney Eyster I predict that he will not take this case to trial after he becomes aware of the very basic fact that the school district was the first reporter of the incident. If the matter goes to trial it will be seen that the school district was placed in a difficult position over off-campus events, and it will be seen that the District embraced rather than avoided its statutory duty in this matter.

Chris Neary


ED NOTE: You're probably lucky you weren't re-elected, sparing you responsibility for this one. I've also heard that Colvig does a good job as principal, and I hope he isn't drummed out of the profession, especially if it develops that he did his required duty in reporting his son's crime.

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I have high hopes that Tai Abreu is doing well and that his court case is being resolved. We have been on the same yard for over three years. He’s been out to court in Mendocino for a couple of months now. He is a good friend and he always carried himself in a happy, positive manner, even though he was LWOP’d for doing basically nothing.

My prayers and thoughts are with you, brother, and I hope things go your way.

Your friend,

Walter Miller 

High Desert State Prison /PO Bo 3030 

Susanville, CA 96127

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Hello AVA,

I was wondering if you had a chance to view the video taped killing of Steve Neuroth? As I recall the last time you mentioned Steve’s death you were of the opinion that he was largely to blame or something like that. I apologize if my paraphrasing is incorrect but thats kind of what I came away with. Anyway, just wanted to know if your feelings had changed after seeing the video.


Hugh McAvoy


ED REPLY: Yes, I have changed my mind. The first video I saw didn't include unnecessary punches, and I was unaware that Neuroth, in a total meth paranoid state, had been taunted by the arresting officer as he was driven from Willits to the County Jail. I think the judgement is deserved. Cops and jailers ought to be able to do an eight hour shift without resorting to the kind of sadism we see here with Neuroth.

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I doubt many readers of the AVA have studied in Ethiopia. I had the remarkable experience to visit that country 45 years ago as a member of the Kellogg Fellowship Program. We were treated to the most basic of human existence. We flew in from South Africa. The tour director and group professors were so concerned about our safety in Ethiopia they sent the tour director ahead to observe the political situation and determine if it was safe for 30 white guys to visit the country and study their culture.

We did fly right into Addis Ababa. Our tour director who had gone ahead to meet us personally as we exited the airport thru individual one on one security booths covered with black plastic. Can you imagine my fear at 5’ 10 “getting into a both with a big black six foot plus security man and being frisked?

As we exited the terminal our director told us to go straight outside and get into the waiting bus. Forget about our luggage, he would secure it later.  We were immediately transported to a very respectable hotel in the middle of town. 

Coming from white controlled South Africa we were not prepared for what we saw.  We soon learned what it was like to be a minority. Everything was named Haile Selassie, streets, buildings, colleges, everything.

I had not given much thought to this experience until last Sunday when Ethiopian Airlines flight 302   crashed killing all passengers and crew. My memory kicked in and I remember that when we left Ethiopia, years ago we took exactly the same flight to Kenya. It was a different airplane and flight number, but I remember our tour director telling us to get on the plane and not to give up our seat no matter how good looking she was. Sure, to his word the plane was overbooked, as we soon found many times as we made a complete tour around the entire continent on our 21-day trip.

I find myself reading every word about this crash. I know there were only eighteen Ethiopian on the flight. The more personal side is that we have had an exceptional woman in our household from neighboring Eritrea for the past 35 years. I had to meet her at the front door last week. She knew families who had relatives on the flight. The world is so small.

Bob Dempel


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To the Editor:

Regarding the Colorado Supreme Court's mere censure of former appellate court judge, Laurie Booras, the disgraced judge got off easy. 

Instead of merely accepting her resignation, the Colorado Supreme Court should have formally "removed" Booras for cause. As things now stand with a simple resignation, Booras is rewarded for her racism with generous monthly retirement checks from Colorado PERA.

Being removed from the bench for cause would have made Booras ineligible as a PERA member. She would have received a lump sum distribution of her contributions instead of monthly defined benefits checks for the rest of her life. 

The moral of this story?

For judges and other political insiders, crime pays.

John Sakowicz


ED NOTE: Really, John, it's not like you've brought down the Grand Kleagle. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you met the judge on-line while you were married. She makes a couple of lightweight impolitic characterizations of colleagues during your lovey dovey relationship which you then caddishly reveal in a snitch complaint to the Colorado authorities. I'd say between the two of you you are the far more villainous.

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Dear Infirmary Informer,

If you have not already heard, the Low Gap prisoners are due to get the educational tablets program back. That's right. The same tablets which Sacramento and Trinity counties have been providing to their beloved jail populations for a couple of years now. We had them for a brief run but a few model inmates kept taking them apart.

So in anticipation I want to bring your attention to a very peculiar book called Youth In Revolt by CJ Payne. Payne I guess is an Oakland native originally from Ohio and upon first look over Youth In Revolt appears to be your average scholastic booktruck mindrot amongst the likes of Maze Runner, Captain Underpants and Artemis Foul. It's got a silly cover depicting a road trip through Puppies, Mardi Gras and explosions. Why is this thing over 400 pages long again?

Strain through a couple of bends and you will realize that this is an hilarious teen angst version of Dennis the Menace. It's a comedy about a coming of age boy whose promiscuous mother is moving between Lake County and Oakland and then back as she dates truckers and cops. During one of his mom's honeymoons at the KOA campground in Lake County the writer meets the girl of his dreams and later sets off a chain of events when he adopts a chocolate pug nobody wants to win her over. Before you realize it he is in Ukiah where he secretly got his office worker father a Craigslist job at a lumber mill owned by the Italian mafia.

Ukiah alumni, put down your pitchforks but the Wildcats are now the Beavers and the captain of the football team, Bruno Majalaski, takes a stint at the Mendocino County Jail for stabbling a student with a fork. Always a surprise when the book you pick up name drops the jail you are in! Mysteriously the only event that goes on in the jail is alluded to in this odd subliminal line: "Bruno came out of those jail showers extra-porous."

As a two time resident of the Mendocino County Jail spanning almost 4 years, I was shocked. How did this author from the 1990s predict that I would have two district court class-action and my Faretta motion in criminal court dropped preemptively after filing for water quality experts? The lawsuits were even supposed to entitle me to indigent (free) civil rights lawyers pursuant to precedents set by recent cases like Greeno versus Daly. Author CJ Payne was not the only one to try warning me. A year prior when Sheriff Tom Allman himself punched my cell door even he gave me the cryptic statement: "Better have a good lawyer."

It all started in 2015 during a warrantless cultivation beef. Being raised in a household where I was punished for taking showers, I immediately set up camp in the four-man thing twice a day. It seemed a little odd at first that everyone was shelling out top dollar for the anti-dandruff shampoos when we have a South American apricot edition offered free with the stay. Rumor even said that when this was smuggled into prison that it maintained high trade value.

One day after discovering cracks from forming on my hands, feet and forehead post-shower, I began a couple week diagnostic of removing the cheap soaps and shampoos from the equation and then seeing if upon toweling off that my elbow still became wrinkly and dry. (A common side effect of skin cancer by the way.) After five months of reducing my shower scheduling I ran into a long friend of my grandfather in custody. His skin was worse. His knuckles were constantly peeling long flakes, bleeding and powdery white. We realized lotion significantly combated the detrimental effects, but never completely.

After getting released from my 500 pound cultivation charge the skin damage was barely noticeable but was enough to scare me into dropping all my friends and seeing the Army recruiter. I also reapplied for college and disability. The Army recruiters did laugh me out of the office when they heard misdemeanor marijuana charges came with the package. The college and disability mailings also both got thrown away (when they both approve me) by my Prozac infused father. I managed to take a couple of unofficial science and systems administration classes using a rogue cell phone. Then the self defense charges of my current 3+ year detainment sent me packing back.

I remembered grandpa’s friend’s battery acid hands and it wasn't long until it started happening to me too. Not only does it turn your skin into wrinkled leather without oil pores but it is like the skin warps to a permanent prune. Yes, just picture the swollen effects of skin pruning that normally happens upon prolonged contact with water only permanently mummified in place into a petrified stasis. The result is something like a raw chicken skin after the feathers are plucked with an armament of armadillo scales folding and peeling and bleeding.

It wasn't a surprise then later when someone such as myself (a health nut often accused of eating like a grandmother and exercising too much) and realized that I now had permanent piles of dandruff on my bunk every morning and digestion problems all of a sudden at 25 years of age in custody. The whole time deputies and lieutenants were hitting me with names like roly-poly guy, crow’s foot, and alligator. What hat were they pulling these names from?

I noticed it happening to other inmates maybe up to 40% of them although it advances too slowly on some people to be noticed between short flashes of repeated jail terms. It mostly seems to affect pale skin Scottish/Irish types of inmates from what I can notice but I have noted it in some African-American subjects as well.

A few issues back you guys posted an article about homelessness and how Ukiah may have something like the biggest population per capita rivaling only San Francisco. Well, after re-examining my feet and how they look like hardened, chipping, bleeding, caked up and pasture animal hooves and how they appear to have artificial jungle rot, the inner paranoid delusion in me seems to think that Low Gap is nothing short of a "homeless farm" for cultivating the best leprosy on trimmigrants foot ribbon at the Ukiah Fairgrounds every year.

I may have always hated everything hippies stood for and I may be having trouble on the front lines raising awareness of the "you can shower too much" movement, but I do seem to keep a constant population of people applying post-shower lotion even though it has dropped in quality since the new canteen company came in. I have to hand it to Suave, but they make a competent moisturizer!

Three years in though I was not prepared for one skin malady that I again watched slowly happen to me. This time I took too long to towel off the shower water. What happened was a clear viscous substance lingered on my finger (the index). My cellie distracted me with a cooked Raman. If you have never been to jail before the food is so mundane during meals that when someone rips a noodle seasoning packet the scent wafts through every neighboring cell and soon you will have six unannounced visitors to shoo away. The smell of these 80¢ bags makes everyone's stomach rumble. It's like drugs. When I remembered my finger, the mystery substance was now a bloody circular chemical burn. Two weeks went by and it was then infected with staph. Why do I have staph? I'm a germophobe. I have never had the drinking phase and I've never had enough sex to get hepatitis C. (I'm straight.)

Six months later when I'm thinking I'm all healed it bled again and got reinfected from the circular scar two more times. You may recall an inmate letter from over a year ago complaining about frequent infections. I'm thinking, man, this place must really be a homeless farm. First staph like a cardboard alley type of problem? Isn't the STD rate a little high in the area as well? This isn't normal staph though. Mine completely healed, became a scar, completely painless with no gash, but somehow started bleeding again with water contact.

It seemed very unusual that none of my fellow inmates had heard of Youth In Revolt. But then again I do live in the butthole of Mendocino County right now and very well the only jail in wine country without walkmans at the moment.

If the denial of tech and stem educations sounds familiar please carefully know the fleeting quality of cell phone service when compared to the proximity of our location in San Francisco and also the collapse of cellphone service during a fire. The tablets for inmates will have music players. What they will not have is law or medical courses.

Jewel Dyer A#20559

951 Low Gap Road

Ukiah CA 95482

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What can one say when at least 49 innocent people, and perhaps dozens more injured, are mowed down for simply wishing to worship their God? President Trump had plenty to say, it now is clear. He states that there is no rise in white extremism on the very day the news of the massacre broke. If that were not enough, he also posted a direct threat to anyone who opposes his rule, stating that he has the military, the police, and the motorcycle men to go after anyone who disagrees with him. Of course, we have heard such talk from Trump for at least two years. So what happens now? 

My guess is that he will continue to sow hatred and division for however long he is president, and not doubt beyond. There are enough Philbricks out there to stoke his mania. Until such time as the so-called constitutional conservatives, such as GOP Senators, have had enough of this madness there will be no effective way to stop this nurturing of hate in this country. Because of our so-called freedom of expression, Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other web sites will continue to give facetime to fanatics, taking down their pages only after the fact of more violence. As a perversion of an old saying, better to let a handful of madness have their way than to muzzle the many innocent who want their access to the internet. The glorification of bomb-making, selling assault weapons, manuals on how to create mass terror are as free as cake recipes on the internet. Yell fire in a crowded theater and one could go to jail. But to fan the flames of hatred on the internet4? Ah, that’s freedom of speech! 

Oh, I’m sure there will be more congressional hearings on all this. Those running for office will put their markers down in speeches on how much the decry the violence. But in the end? Don’t hold your breath waiting for sanity to overcome our political elite, Democrat or Republican. Edward Abbey saw all this coming almost 50 years ago and wrote Desert Solitaire about just such threats to our way of life. Are we too far gone as a culture to step back from the brink? That may be what New Zealanders are asking themselves tonight. 

Franklin Graham


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Last week Governor Gruesome Newsom gave the death row inmates a pardon. Can you believe the stupidity? It's insane. What kind of human being would let death row inmates off the hook after they have killed and maimed and raped and tortured and choked little girls like Polly Klaas to death? Are you kidding me? This man is a maniac. That's just a taste of what he's going to do in office. When people asked him that about the voters voting down the initiative to end the death penalty, he basically replied, "Votes don't matter. I don't care. I just didn't like it." Why do we even vote then? He's a dictator. Like the guy in North Korea. 

People who want to do harm to our society are pouring into our country because of Newsom and Brown and our sanctuary state. People run rampant in filthy cities like San Francisco shooting people in broad daylight. Newsom is responsible. That's our governor. A joke. Insanity. The voters who voted him in are insane. Deputy sheriffs can't do a thing about it. 

Taxes are going to get a lot higher. Sales tax at 10%. Another 30 or 40 cents for gasoline. Newsom won't let us vote on it. It will be a done deal. That's the way things go now. Dictatorship. 

We have a crooked rotten Congress now including some Republicans. The rhinos just sit there and try to cause Donald Trump trouble voting against the border wall. We need it more than ever. But those rotten Republicans voted against it. The Democrats are insane anyway. Cortez, Pelosi, Waters and maybe 10 more are completely insane and they are in our Congress. 

If the good Republicans don't vote in the next election and get rid of the erratic, supersonic insane anti-American Democrats this country will turn into a socialist country like Venezuela or North Korea and others. The rotten people steal and lie and cheat and whatever else it takes to get a vote and we sit there on our asses doing nothing. So the maniacs stay in office. I hope you're happy. If you don't vote in six more years this country will be gone and be worse than San Francisco. 

God bless Donald Trump

Jerry Philbrick


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Letter to the Editor:

“When I was a child I thought like a child, I acted as a child. But when I became a man I put childish things away…"

Hello! I'm writing to you about SB 1437 and how it may allow me a second chance. As of January 28, 2019, I filed for SB 1437 relief. If you recall I was an alleged co-conspirator in the July 2011 Bushay Campground shooting that caused the death of Joseph Litteral and almost killed Brandon Hackett. I originally was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, attempted robbery, attempted kidnapping, gun enhancements, and allegedly using a baseball bat. 

A jury convicted me of first-degree murder, attempted murder and the gun enhancements as an alleged co-conspirator. But I was found not guilty of the attempted kidnapping, my alleged bat use. I was sentenced in late July 2012 to prison for 3-to-life. 

In June 2015 my appeal was conditionally reversed and District Attorney David Eyster was told to retry me on the first-degree murder or I would be resentenced to second-degree murder otherwise. After a year of District Attorney Eyster claiming he would retry me, he decided instead to let me be resentenced to second-degree murder instead and I was resentenced to 2-to-life. 

Then in June 2018 my appeal was limitedly remanded for records to be added to my case for an eventual SB 261 hearing (youthful offender) causing me to return to the Low Gap motel in early January 2019. While here on that I caused to be filed and endorsed an SB 1437 petition on January 23, 2019 at 3:06 PM. Since then by January 31, 2019 judge Ann Mormon made a prima fascie ruling meaning on the face of it I qualify. 

Now on March 18, 2019 at 9 AM there will be a status and scheduling conference to set timelines and court dates for District Attorney Eyster and Public Defender Aaron briefings followed by a hearing where the district attorney has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that I do not qualify. If he does not I am to be resentenced or have my charges vacated. 

So like Mr. Tai Abreu and many other California prisoners, I too may get a second chance at life! If I were to get that chance I know it would be the best choice made. I have matured a lot and now have my head and priorities straight! I'm going to go to college to obtain a bachelor’s degree in information technology and then an associate of arts in business management with the intent to open a small computer building and repair shop. I want to get my license for once and a car and apartment. I want to marry and take care of my family. Going to prison was a life-changing experience that I intend to use for the better! I miss sunrises, sunsets, swimming and so much more of freedom's little pleasures.

The things I've seen in prison (murder, rape, brutal assaults by inmates and abuses and excessive force and misuse of force and cruel and unusual punishment committed by the California Department of Corrections correctional officers are appalling and is not a world I wish to spend my life in. I would not wish such a world on anybody. I myself have been permanently injured (L5 partial defect, now it's L5 and S1 bulging discs with neuropathy in my legs) due to the misuse and excessive force used by the Department of Corrections correctional officers. 

I would rather be free and taking care of my mother and trying to be part of my seven-year-old daughter's life and being a productive citizen!

I invite any and all news outlets (newspapers, television or Internet) and feel free to come and see and talk to me if you are interested and also most of all on March 18, 2019 at 9 AM in Courtroom G come on down and observe the proceedings as my case unfolds.

Simon Thornton, A#524

Mendocino County Jail, 

951 Low Gap Road Ukiah, CA 95482-3797

PS. The Case is People v. Thornton, #SCUK CRCR-18259

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I found Sunday’s article in the Press Democrat about the “Gold Rush-type phenomenon” of smugglers targeting coastal plants very interesting.

I have surfed a lot in Sonoma and Mendocino counties since the 1970s, and while I consider succulents beautiful, they are just weeds like mustard flowers. I’m surprised that they have any economic value. Apparently the authorities in charge of protecting our beautiful coastline had the same opinion until recently. I find it amusing that this only became an issue when an Asian was holding up the line at a rural Mendocino post office.

I also find it interesting and ironic that the Press Democrsat used the term “Gold Rush-type phenomenon.” How do you think Native Americans felt when white people invaded what is now California in the 1840s and started to dig up shiny little rocks?

Mike Uttereback


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There are brief moments in my life when I wish I could be as clueless as our local Philistine Jerry Philbrick. Just to have a rest from the taxing endless responsibility of moving through a world full of lies while not giving up on what actually happens in the world, even when ugly. Facts do exist after all. 

How easy it would be to be just another fool parrot squawking out the repetitive brain washing slogans of the enemy of the month club. Without self education it’s just garbage in and garbage out with no historical context aside from the child like tantrums of manipulated emotional rage. 

“Down with socialism” the Comptche sage bellows. But clearly he knows next to nothing about socialism except for distortions that liars and fools in schools and media have installed in his confused mind. When your world view comes from conformist cowards and establishment shills, your brain becomes a stinking landfill full of all the same old shit from ruling class propaganda. Be ware! 

A wise man once said, “capitalism will never fail because it will always be bailed out by socialism.” Down with socialism is a worthy cry as long as we’re talking about the anti socialism that steals from the common working folk in order to sustain the welfare state of the ripoff ruling class. Get rid of this perverse US inverted socialism and watch the thieves of Wall Street, the banks, negligent General Motors, and the Republic destroying Pentagon and its death dealers dry up and blow away on a much overdue wind of justice. 

Stop socialism for the oligarchs and stand by to witness the end of the truly anti-American industries of Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Insurance, Big Healthcareless, Big Agribusiness, Big Education, and Big Incarceration. 

“Up with Americanism”, whatever the hell that means. I’m very certian that most of the world is sick to death of Americanism and its violent global domination and militarism. 

By the way. Did you know that our wonderful Pledge Of Allegiance was written by a SOCIALIST! His name was Francis Bellamy and he wrote it in 1889. He was the founding member of a society of Protestant ministers who were of the sane opinion that if the teachings of Jesus Christ were taken to heart and to action, a form of socialism would result. These men were not Mormons or any other sort of cultist. 

I personally quit saying the Pledge Of Allegiance in high school, because of the ripe odor of Hitlerite mass mob hysteria prevalent at the football pep rallies. I refused to even stand out of respect for our hapless lads in South East Asia, and the victims on the receiving end of our murderous mayhem. Here’s a very instructive quote from an anthropologist at Brown university who specializes in the history and current trends in political rituals. From David Kertzer; “Pledges of allegiance are marks of totalitarian states, not democracies. I can’t think of a single democracy except the United States that has a pledge of allegiance. 

If Americanism consists of national, racial, and religious supremacy, and lawlessness in high places and in international relations, and psychopathological militarism and corporatism, then to hell with Americanism! 

Here’s a brilliant quote from a true patriot who was used to fan the flames of belligerent US Imperialism and who was brutally murdered by our criminals in the state department and the evil Pentagon. All you shit brained fools who are too cowardly to question your own rampaging government have innocent blood on your brainwashed hands. Col. Mummer Gaddafi April8,2011: 

“Now I am under attack by the biggest force in military history, my little African son, Obama wants to kill me, to take away the freedom of our country, to take away our free housing, our free medicine, our free education, our free food, and replace it with American style thievery, called ‘capitalism,’ but all of us in the Third World know what that means, it means corporations run the countries, run the world, and the people suffer, so, there is no alternative for me, I must make my stand, and if Allah wishes, I shall die by following this path, the path that has made our country rich with farmland, with food and health, and even allowed us to help our African and Arab brothers and sisters to work here with us…I do not wish to die, but if it comes to that, to save this land, my people, all the thousands who are my children, then so be it…In the West some have called me ‘mad,’ ’crazy.’ They know the truth but continue to lie, they know that our land is independent and free, not in the colonial grip. 

Best of luck to a ship of fools! 

Ross Dendy 


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