Rally for Immigrant Children

When: Friday, June 22, 2018 at 11:00am

Where: Front steps of 148 Martine Avenue, White Plains

Following remarks, those gathered will walk to the MLK Jr. Statue in front of the County Courthouse for closing remarks.

Who/What: The Westchester Women’s Agenda, elected officials, nonprofit leaders, clergy, and immigrants’ rights activists will call for an end to the policies that jeopardize the welfare of children and their families.


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 WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER From the Westchester County Department of Communications. with reporting by John F. Bailey June 21, 2018;

With immigrant children separated from their parents at the southwestern U.S. border arriving without notice in Westchester County, a Westchester County spokesperson, asked by WPCNR if the county was mobilizing the resources of the County Health Department to participate in some way with the immigrant children said the county was in the process of investigating what the Department of Health could provide.

Carolyn Fortino,  Associate Communications Director told WPCNR, “We are looking into that now.” She said the county would issue details when particulars are available.

This may be hard to do. Because the government is prohibiting local agencies from providing services at this time.

Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry was reported to have some immigrant refugees in its care, but did not answer New York Times inquiries on what was happening to them, and was referred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Governor Andrew Cuomo in an op-ed piece in The New York Times this morning alleged “the federal government is prohibiting New York from providing health and mental health services to the hundreds of children who have already been placed by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement in centers around the state–even though the state (NY) regulates those centers.”

The Office of Refugee Resettlement has not told New York City officials how many children have been sent to New York and where they are being housed according to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, quoted in an article bylined reporter Liz Robbins in the New York Times today, as saying:

“How is it possible that none of us knew that there were 239 kids (immigrant refugees) right here in our own city? How is the federal government holding back that information from the people of this city and holding back the help these kids need?” 

By coincidence, the county has announced it has located and helped 130 runaway and sexually trafficked youths with its “Safe Harbour” program.

The county is uniquely qualified to help the Office of Refugee Resettlement in helping traumatized children.

Coincidentally, County Executive George Latimer announced today that the Westchester County Department of Social Services (DSS) is tackling the issue of sex trafficking head-on, by implementing the “Safe Harbour” Program.

To date more than 130 runaway and sexually trafficked youth have been recovered in Westchester, Latimer said.


The Safe Harbour Program identifies youth who have been trafficked, sexually exploited or are at risk of victimization, and ensures that they are removed from dangerous situations.

Westchester was one of 5 original counties to have been selected by New York State to implement the Program in 2013, to develop expertise and provide guidance on preventing sex trafficking to neighboring counties.

Latimer said: “I am proud that Westchester County is taking the lead to combat sex trafficking in our communities. We must continue to support and work closely with our local departments and community partners, to help raise awareness on this important issue, and ensure that fewer youth are falling victim to sex trafficking.”

DSS works in partnership with a number of different County Departments on sex trafficking cases to ensure that all needs are met, including Public Safety, Probation, Community Mental Health, the Office for Women and a number of community service providers.

The County also received a $25,000 grant from the State to safeguard and protect youth that are aging out of foster care. Two private investigators have been tasked with seeking out missing youth from the County’s foster care system, and trauma response services have been provided.


Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Social Services Kevin McGuire said: “As one of the five original New York counties to begin Safe Harbor work in 2013, the Department has become a model throughout the State, providing intensive trauma focused services to nearly 500 Westchester youth who have been trafficked or are at risk for trafficking, and have partnered with two private investigators to recover missing youth who are at greatest risk for trafficking.  Through this program, we work closely with law enforcement, do not give up on these youth, and provide youth and their families with the specialized services they need to escape the perpetrators.”

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Governor Cuomo Demands Information on Immigrant Sent Clandestinely Without Notice to Be Housed in NY

WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. June 21, 2018:


WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar requesting information on the immigrant children being housed in New York to ensure that appropriate services are being provided.

The full text of the letter is available below:

Alex M. Azar II

Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services

Dear Secretary Azar:

I am writing with deep concern regarding immigrant children that are being housed in New York State. I contacted your office earlier this morning with an urgent request to speak with you to offer immediate services to support children who have been separated from their parents and are being housed in New York State. I have not received a response from you.

The New York Constitution places an affirmative obligation on the State to provide for the health and welfare of everyone within our borders and ensure that the due process rights of all inhabitants are protected. Accordingly, as Governor of New York, I am requesting that you provide information on the number of children that have been sent to New York, where these children are being housed, and whether any children have been discharged from federal custody to the state foster care system or to family members in the community. New York State certifies residential facilities and we have an obligation to ensure that appropriate services are being provided. The information that I am requesting is essential to the proper discharge of our responsibilities to those who are within our borders.

The New York State Department of Health has raised significant concerns about the deeply traumatic effects and life-altering consequences of separating children from their parents. The experience of multiple stressful and unpredictable events during childhood is cumulative and can have negative impacts on health and well-being throughout the child’s life and into the next generation. When the developing brain is chronically stressed, it leads to poor health outcomes and negative health behaviors throughout the life span.

The President’s plan to setup detention centers for children and their parents pursuant to his Executive Order violates the terms Flores Settlement and will likely never come to fruition. As a result, the State’s concern is further heightened that services need to be provided immediately to these children.

Earlier this week I announced that New York intends to file a multi-agency lawsuit against the administration, and we are moving forward with this lawsuit to protect the children and ensure our country remains true to its values. But we cannot wait to provide and verify that the separated children with the care they need. To date, we know of at least 345 children who have been separated from their parents, and according to news reports more children continue to arrive in our state.

These children are in urgent need of health and mental health services that the State is uniquely positioned to provide. It is imperative that you provide the State with information requested without delay. The health and safety of these children are at stake.


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo


President Donald Trump




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The following statement is attributable to Héctor Figueroa, President of 32BJ SEIU, one of the largest unions representing immigrant workers in the country.
“After thousands of immigrant children have been detained and traumatized without their parents in “tender age” facilities across our country, the president’s executive order formalizes this horrific treatment of children into law and sentences them into chains.
Moving them from kennels to jails, with their parents, is not a real solution to this problem. Children belong in communities, not in chains. This is cruel policy is not a solution to our immigration crisis.

“From TPS holders, to DACA recipients, to asylum seekers at the boarder we have watched the Department of Homeland Security and ICE follow this administration’s directives and routinely tear families apart, at the boarders and in communities across our country.

As the administration continues its attacks on immigrants families in our country and Congress moves to vote on wildly harmful immigration bills tomorrow, the voting public remains in consensus: Families belong together.

“As a union representing thousands of immigrants at work, we will continue to advocate for the wellbeing and unification of all families.

This is what is best for for our communities, our economy and for our country as a whole. We look forward to standing up for true American values as we continue to demand that Congress works towards fixing our broken immigration system.”
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Like many Westchester residents I am heartbroken and outraged over the mistreatment of immigrant families at the border – especially the children who are being separated from their parents.

While we, as a County, are committed to tolerance, transparency and keeping families together – this Country currently is not.

Earlier we were informed that some of these children, who are being ripped from their families, are being placed in facilities in Dobbs Ferry, Irvington and Yonkers.  They do not belong here – they belong with their mothers and fathers.

I am calling on the Federal Government to halt this practice of breaking up families and ripping children away from those who love them immediately.

I applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo for taking this matter to the Courts for redress.  Let us all remember that Westchester County, along with New York State and the United States, was built on the backs on immigrants.  They are part of the fabric of our home and they deserve to be treated humanly.”

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WPCNR VIDEOS OF THE DAY: White Plains Bus Company Acquires 5 Electric School Buses to Begin Service to WP Schools in Fall — At No Cost to the School District. Prototype Purrs at Ridgeway School.


Watch First White Plains Students get first tour of the Electric School Bus Here:











WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. By John F. Bailey. June 19, 2018 UPDATED 4:45 P.M. EDT WITH Details of the Deal in BOLD:

A prototype of one of 5 electric school buses to be delivered in about two weeks to the White Plains Bus Company, was introduced at Ridgeway School in White Plains this morning.

Dr. Joseph Ricca said the 5 eLion manufactured electric school buses would be in service this fall. The buses have a range of 65,100,125 abd 155 miles. Each carries 4 large batteries under the chassis of the bus which deliver 400 volts of power to run the bus.

According to a technical specialist, the bus eliminates the standard stick shift transmission, and runs like an automatic. It accelerates power smoothly to drive in snowy conditions when extra power is needed, with to shift for more power.

The costs of the buses (approximately $250,000 to $300,000 each) and maintenance will operate the buses and pay the energy (electric charging cost during the school year).

WPCNR has learned from Tony Watkins, Vice President of Sales, the Lion Electric Company,  the buses were purchased from The Lion Electric Company by First Priority Group a National Lion dealer and purchased  from First Priority Group by National Express, the White Plains School District bus company contractor.

National Express acquired White Plains Bus Company two years ago.

According to Sergio Alfonso, Transportation Manager for the White Plains School District, National Express added the 5 electric buses to their fleet of buses servicing the City School District as part of National Express practice  of replacing aging buses in their fleet.

Alfonso said there was no increase in the National Express contract for the purchase of the electric buses, and the electric buses would be maintenance free for 3 years.

Alfonso noted that Nation Express acquired White Plains Bus Company two years, and is currently on the old White Plains Bus Company contract that began in 2014,, which provided for Consumer Price Index increases each year.

First Priority GreenFleet is Lion’s dealer in California, New York and New Jersey. Alex Cherepakhove, CEO of First Priority said: “We have helped many school districts secure grants and deployed more electric school buses in the United States than the rest of the industry combined, supported by the largest independent commercial electric vehicle service organization in the country.”

Lion has supplied 150 all-electric school buses in the last two years across the country.

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Jobs Waiting Recognizes 300th Hire in 3 years. Major Effort to Train Skilled Health Care Workers to Fill Westchester Gap in Skilled Health Care Workers

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Maribel Valencia-Barajas, at Monday News Conference, (holding plaque) is flanked by County Executive George Latimer, and Congresswoman Nita Lowery. Left to right are William J. Mooney, Jr., Westchester County Association, Thom Kleiner, Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board, and Eric Saidel, ENT and Allergy Associates. Photo, Westchester County Department of Communications.

Watch the full news conference.

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Department of Communications. (Edited) June 18, 2018:

After being out of work for over a year, Maribel Valencia-Barajas  has a new job as a medical assistant/medical records specialist at Westchester Neurological Consultants in Yonkers.

Her position is thanks to Jobs Waiting, a federally-funded regional job training partnership which trains long-term and short-term unemployed individuals for jobs in the region’s fastest growing sectors. Valencia-Barajas is the 300th individual to obtain employment through the program.
According to County Executive George Latimer, Jobs Waiting addresses key challenges faced by Westchester businesses—a workforce skills gap, and the need to fill thousands of vacant positions in healthcare, which is an economic engine in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

For her part, Valencia-Barajas says the Program has made a profound difference in her life.

“I worked a lot of retail jobs but wanted more,” said Valencia-Barajas, one of four cousins who have all participated in the Jobs Waiting program (three of the four are already employed). “Then I had my son, and looked back at what I had done with my life so far and thought, I can do more with my future. This Program made me feel like I had something to offer employers. It gave me the confidence to put myself out there.”

Valencia-Barajas completed her Jobs Waiting job readiness boot camp during the summer of 2017, then enrolled in a five-month, 900-hour medical assistant program at the Westchester School for Dental Assistants. After completing a six-week paid work tryout at Westchester Neurological Consultants, she was offered a permanent, part-time position there.

Since launching in 2015, the Jobs Waiting Program has achieved remarkable results: over 460 individuals have undergone career readiness training and 300 unemployed individuals now have jobs in healthcare.

This milestone was announced today by Westchester County Executive George Latimer at a press conference in White Plains.

Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17), who was instrumental in securing the grant for Westchester and six other Hudson Valley counties, joined Latimer in congratulating Valencia-Barajas and the entire Jobs Waiting partnership, composed of employers, training providers, career coaches, job developers and others.

“What this program does for people who have a drive and a determination to have a better life, is close the skills gap,” Latimer said. “The ability is there, but there are skills that are needed in order for someone to be hired in a particular job. This program builds a bridge between the individual who is talented, but needs that extra training to secure a job.”

Latimer also had an urgent message for businesses in the region seeking qualified workers: businesses that hire Jobs Waiting candidates may receive up to $40,000 in incentives for training.

To date, over $2 million has been disbursed to employers for paid “work tryouts,” customized training for existing employees, and on-the-job training (OJT), he noted.

Businesses have until October 31 to take full advantage of the incentives provided by Jobs Waiting, a Ready to Work Initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.

According to Latimer, Jobs Waiting addresses key challenges faced by Westchester businesses—a workforce skills gap, and the need to fill thousands of vacant positions in healthcare, which is an economic engine in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

According to Congresswoman Lowey, the program represents a critical federal workforce investment. “Our ability to lead in an increasingly globalized economy depends on our commitment to investing in and building up a 21st century workforce of highly-skilled individuals across growing industry sectors.

“Training individuals to fill these jobs right here in the Hudson Valley is exactly the type of smart, federal investment that our nation should be making. As Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to ensure that Westchester and other Hudson Valley communities receive the resources they need to boost job growth, spur innovation, and grow their economies.”

According to William M. Mooney, Jr., president and CEO of the Westchester County Association, which is the project manager for Jobs Waiting (under the leadership of Jason Chapin), the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board’s Ready to Work grant program is among the most successful in the nation.

More than 250 of the 463 participants have enrolled in occupational skills training, with 150 earning healthcare certifications and credentials — more than any other Ready to Work grantee in the nation. In addition, more than 200 employers have hired over 300 participants, and 79% of the employed participants are now working full-time.

“But it’s much more than statistics,” explained Mooney. “For those out of work, this Program has been a life-saver. Jobs Waiting has given people hope for their futures,” Mooney said. “It’s also a model of collaboration, with benefits for everyone involved.”

A Resource for Business

Thom Kleiner, Executive Director of the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board, which initiated the grant application and oversees the program, said: “According to the Labor Department, for the first time in 20 years, there are more job openings than people looking for work. This Program not only helps employers find qualified and motivated candidates, it offers incentives to train them with the skills needed to succeed.”

Major healthcare employers from across the Hudson Valley have hired Jobs Waiting graduates. Several attended the press conference today, including ENT and Allergy Associates and Crystal Run Healthcare, who have each hired 12 candidates from the Program, more than any other in the region.

Eric Saidel, Director of Human Resources at ENT and Allergy said: “The incentives have helped us tap into a pool of enthusiastic and vetted candidates, with less financial risk. We have taken advantage of the OJT funding to train our hires in proprietary software, customer service training, corporate structure and systems and industry-specific skills. The training helps them get up to speed faster, and employees know what is expected of them as well. It helps build confidence on both sides.”

Mary DeFreitas, Chief Human Resources Officer at Crystal Run Healthcare noted that theProgram takes less effort than traditional recruitment methods. “So it saves our recruiters time in the vetting process,” she pointed out.

“It has provided us access to a pool of pre-screened applicants who have demonstrated a desire to work in healthcare, and the Program staff is in touch with us long after the candidate is hired to ensure that we have a good fit. There’s a lot of competition for talent in the region, and Jobs Waiting has helped us find qualified employees.”

Kleiner also announced the launch of a new advertising campaign designed to promote the Jobs Waiting business incentives, which include up to $40,000 in funds per hire, depending on the size of the organization. The campaign debuts in local media outlets and via social media channels this week. “With the grant soon to expire, we want to ensure employers who are looking for qualified candidates know about these resources and how to access them,” explained Kleiner.

About Jobs Waiting

Jobs Waiting is a federally-funded regional partnership which helps Hudson Valley residents and employers; the program helps employers hire and train employees while connecting residents to high-wage, high-skill jobs in fast-growing industries in the region.

Funded by federal Ready to Work and Tech Hire partnership grants from the U.S. Department of Labor, the program is led by Westchester County in partnership with the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board, employment centers throughout seven Hudson Valley Counties, and the Westchester County Association, which manages the Ready to Work federal grant program. The program aims to prepare a pipeline of talent for jobs in the region’s fastest-growing industries including advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, healthcare, and information technology.

Jobs Waiting includes a rigorous six-week boot camp, which provides specialized career readiness training and support services to prepare candidates for work, with ongoing training opportunities and career support services for program graduates.

Since Jobs Waiting launched in October 2015, 463 participants have participated in 21 boot camps, with over 300 placed in jobs throughout the Hudson Valley.


boasting a highly educated workforce, competitive colleges and universities, Fortune 500 companies, world changing non-profits, and cutting-edge research centers.  Westchester is led by County Executive George Latimer, who took office in January 2018 as the ninth County Executive. Using inclusion and openness as a foreground, Latimer is fighting to make Westchester a destination for all people to live, work and enjoy. Learn more about Westchester County by visiting www.westchestergov.com(

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The sun is blazing. Humidity rising now at 29.7 inches of mercury and downright uncomfortable to be out there with 51% humidity. Wind is out of the southwest at 10 to 15 with gusts predicted this afternoon to 25.

There is a 20% chance of a thunderstorm late this afternoon and a chance of thunderstorms this evening with rain heavy at times.

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The Real Personal Trainer: My Dad

2016619fathersday 004

Father’s Day Breakfast–Blueberry pancakes and coffee and no nags

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Coffee and the papers — No errands


 2013616fsathersday 005How to Celebrate Father’s Day: A Parisian Martini and Bluepoint Oysters.

White Plains CitizeNetReporterWPCNR THE SUNDAY  BAILEY. By John F. Bailey. Republished from The CitizeNetReporter of June 17, 2007:

My father gave me four pieces of advice in life: Always drive an air-conditioned car. Always centrally air-condition your home. Stay out of court.

And don’t sit in traffic.

Always take the service road on the Long Island Expressway. (He would have loved a Garmin.)

In retrospect, his advice has served me well.  I am always comfortable. I sit out traffic delays in comfort. I have not made lawyers rich.

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Charles F. Bailey

My Dad

Pleasantville, NY


He was not an emotional man. He was a banker and always wore suits to work. I have fond memories of going to meet him when he got off the train in Pleasantville – when  the train tracks were at grade with Manville Road.

I was most impressed as a young child by how he always smelled of coal cinders when he got off the train – like commuter’s cologne.

Sadly on today’s electric trains you do not get that. And you always heard those steam engines coming. You could see them: Clouds of very busy and industrious black smoke streaming at the horizon down the line. He’d get off the train.

My mother would move over and he’d drive the old Hudson Hornet home. He always spoke quietly. Never raised his voice. Drank scotch and soda in the winter. Gin and Tonics in the summer and he smoked Philip Morris’s, Marlboros, then Kents.

He set up a Lionel train set in our basement – perhaps our unspoken connection. When I was sent in by train for the first time to meet him at the office during Christmas time, He’d have his secretary greet me at Grand Central Terminal which still is a very big and scary place.

He would take me to lunch at Jack’s Monte Rosa restaurant on 49th Street – which I thought was a very great place. When I first went to it with him, I was a little disappointed that it was not more glamorous but I was really impressed that Jack the owner greeted him by name. I thought that was great that my Dad was greeted with respect.

When I first started working in Washington, D.C. in 1968 I ate regularly at a restaurant below the television station WMAL-TV where I worked, it was called Marty’s Italian Village.  Marty, the owner (who looked like Humphrey Bogart, the only thing missing was the white sport coat) started calling me when I came in around 7 PM, ‘Hi John, how are you?” People would look at me. They thought I was big.  I liked that. Feeling big in my small world.

When my father came to visit me in Washington where I worked. I took him around town. I told him when he got off the plane. “Hi, Dad, welcome to my town.” I wanted to impress him. We’re always trying to impress our fathers.

Another Father time was when my Dad came out for Dad’s Day at college. I mean this was a big thing to me. He watched me do play-by-play of a football game from atop the press box in 15 degree weather. It was cold. But he watched. Acted impressed. He hated cold weather.

Another time he impressed when I lost a job where I was working at the television station that I had been being considered for. And I told him how unfair it was, he put things in perspective: “Puggy, he said,  “The film manager wasn’t going to put you in as his Assistant if you were going to be bucking him all the time.” It put things in perspective. No false sentiment. No making me feel better, he was tough enough to teach by being realistic while telling me not to feel sorry for myself.

Then later in my career when I was fired out of a job completely blindsided. He again intervened, saying to me he thought what the agency head had done was a terrible thing. I needed that at the time.

He also, in a very supportive move, told me if I could make $1,000 a night writing a free lance direct mail package, I should keep trying to do that.

Dads are there to say the right things to you at the right time. Sometimes it is not always the right thing, but they try. Often, if you’re lucky, as I was, they say the right thing. And not the wrong thing.

With my father, who was not really my father, since I was an adopted child, it was never all about him, it was all about you.

When I bought my first house in White Plains. He never criticized the house. But when I sold it, he complimented me, “I think it’s great how you came out of it (the crummy first house).” They’re personal trainers.

The good ones  train you to run a race. If you stumble, no one hurts more than they do. When you succeed, no one is prouder.

They know what you should do, but they can’t tell you, because you won’t do it if you’re a kid.

But the more subtler of them tell you any way in hopes it will sink in to the rebellious offspring mind. My dad was subtle.

Another fond memory: My father took me camping once at a friend’s cabin in Pennsylvania. Funny thing was there was such a great comic collection we wound up sleeping in sleeping bags on the porch of the cabin. That was funny.

Another time when I was being threatened in college over a position at the radio station, I asked him if I should just abdicate and assign a play-by-play position to the person who was being forced on me. He advised me to “stick to your guns,” so I reported the threat to the Dean.

The position was compromised, but I was never threatened again.  He never shared my love for baseball and sports. In fact he never played catch with me all that well.

I mean I could have made the big leagues (pipe dream) if he played catch with me more. But that’s a small criticism.  I wish I had more of his financial acumen. But I do not.

As you grow into your 30s and 40s, little things they say to you you begin to understand. My father never struck me, but always disciplined me with quiet words. I have not always been that way as a parent myself, being somewhat volatile. I wish I had his even temperament. He always asked me to take care of my mother. And the only time he really got mad at me was when I had made my mother upset with me.

He was a little like John Wayne in the way he disciplined, I remember he would say admonitions quietly. Such as when I got an F in an English course at college. He told me, that was the last F I would get at Ohio Wesleyan, because the next one he would stop paying my tuition.

That had an effect. And that was when tuition was only $3,000 a year.

So, on Father’s Day, I think of him as I do every day of my life. I become more like him every day. He is always lingering in the background of my thoughts. I do not know what he would think of what I am doing now.  But, he’d say — “If that’s what you want to do. Do it.” He also would say, “You have to make yourself happy.”

I also think, even today of what advice (laconic as always) he’d give me in a situation. And I wish I could discuss property taxes with him.

I especially have to salute him, because I am an adopted child. That alone makes me appreciate his love and acceptance with a sense of awe to this day.

You never outgrow your need for Dad.

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