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Friday February 21st 2020

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WANTED: Male Mentors

By Raymond Jackson

Not only is Minneapolis in dire need of mentors for children, but cities throughout America are too. This is a need for all children, especially children of color and young boys. On Thursday December 10th, former editor of Essence magazine and founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement, Ms. Susan Taylor, visited the Twin Cities to help launch the Minneapolis CARES Mentoring Movement. The Minneapolis CARES Mentoring Movement, founded by V.J. Smith, President of MAD DADS, an organization that reaches out to teens and young adults who are seeking alternatives to negative social interaction, is reaching out to the Twin Cities for help in locating mentors for the many parentless youth, searching for a brighter and more positive future. MAD DADS, Minneapolis Chapter, has existed for over ten years and has been very successful in turning lives around for the better! Mr. Smith says, “We are saving lives by helping young people not succumb to the negative forces around them! But we do need help in this effort, especially from men of color who have overcome the odds of not being successful. We need people to give just a few hours each month mentoring some of our children.”

Collaborators with Minneapolis CARES include, Big Brothers Big Sisters Greater Twin Cities; Bolder Options; Kinship of Greater Minneapolis; The City of Minneapolis and Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota. Together they will host seven more mentor recruitment events in 2010.

The initial event, held on December 10, took place at The International Market Square, and featured Ms. Taylor as the keynote speaker. She spoke eloquently of the need for male mentors, most particularly, mentors of African American decent. She solemnly spoke of that loss in her life, and the struggles she faced as a result of it; a void that was very hard to fill. I later spoke with her during her book signing and she said, “we loose too many men to violence and incarceration, which leaves way too many children fatherless. The children are then swayed toward anything they see as a possible filling for that void in their lives. Often that turns out to be a negative void replacement. We need positive void replacements and black men must stop loosing their children through violence and incarceration.”

When speaking with Ms. Taylor you can sense the earnest concern she has for the children and the parents; which is why she started, The National CARES Mentoring Movement. America is seeing an alarmingly high rate of African Americans being incarcerated. Families being torn apart and children being left parentless. The vision for Ms. Taylor and Mr. Smith is to invite African Americans in Minneapolis to reach out to the African American children waiting on the collective list of local mentoring organizations. To get involved call: Big Brothers Big Sisters @ 651-789-2447; Bolder Options @ 612-379-2653; or Kinship @ 612 588-4655.
The next recruiting event will be February 12th, 11-5pm at the IDS Crystal Court, in downtown Minneapolis. The public is invited.

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The Alley is Bound for the Future

30 Years of Alley Newspapers in One Set of 13 Volumes awaits trip to Franklin Library to be available to the community; printed on good, book paper and bound hard-covers.

30 Years of Alley Newspapers in One Set of 13 Volumes awaits trip to Franklin Library to be available to the community; printed on good, book paper and bound hard-covers.

Bound for the Future has two meanings for the Alley Newspaper in 2010: First, it means that the first 30 years of The Alley Newspaper’s issues are now reprinted on good quality book paper instead of lower quality newsprint paper, and the over 4,000 pages are bound into two sets of 13 hardcover volumes. One set is available to the public at the Central Library downtown on Hennepin Avenue and the other is available at the Franklin Library on Franklin Avenue. This making of The Alley’s into hardcover volumes was initiated by the Hennepin County Library. Alley Communications, the nonprofit that produces The Alley Newspaper, began raising money to have another set at the Franklin Library. An Alley volunteer spent a couple of hundred hours compiling a complete set for the Library to use for reprinting. Subsequent to the printing completion, the Library was able to use some left-over funds to pay for the Franklin Library set. This allowed The Alley to redirect the funds donated to date and, instead, broaden the public accessibility effort. The next tasks are to have the whole set microfilmed for availability at the Minnesota Historical Society and then to pursue having the first 34 years of The Alley digitized for the ultimate accessibility and ease for reproduction in subsequent issues or for research use. Simultaneously, Sue Hunter Weir, is beginning the task of indexing all past Alley Newspapers. So, keep those cards and letters coming with donations for the Alley archiving project because we are certainly Bound for the Future!

Secondly, Bound for the Future means that The Alley has survived for 34 years and is setting a course to continue publishing this community owned and governed newspaper on into 2010 and into the future while many small and large newspaper are ceasing production. This community governed media vehicle continues to follow its mission to allow neighbors to “talk to each other,” “inform and engage” local residents and workers,” advocate for causes of peace and justice, and invite everyone to “tell me a story.”

We’re excited and cautious about this continuation. While there is great encouragement to continue publishing and to find the means to provide the financial support of this endeavor, it is a daunting task. We’re strengthened to do the job knowing it is a valuable resource and that so many people read the paper and depend on it to be available to fulfill specific, respective purposes.

We invite others to help continue in this task by doing jobs attractive and appropriate to them as we expand our coverage of stories important to our current readers and, indeed, bring along other readers by including additional topics of interest. Please help The Alley to continue holding a vision of the future for the Phillips Community and beyond and to implement that vision. We are still looking for Board Members to help to guide our work, donations of money and articles, advertisers, and constructive critique. We appreciate hearing from our readers. You can reach as at alleynews.org or 612-990-4022. All of us at Alley Communications wish you times of hope and joy in 2010.

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January Phillips What? Where? Contest

Photo #1: It’s a sign? Yes, that’s obvious. The question remains a sign of what? by whom? for what? Tell it all and your name goes in the drawing. It was a Model project in the 60’s, closed, then opened, closed then?

Photo #2: It’s a building? Yes, that’s obvious. What building? Where is it? Whose building? What’s it for? What’s rising out of the top? A long, notoriously substandard sidewalk belonged to this property which certainly was a contradiction of its Owner.

Tell us the What and Where of these 2 photos correctly and win a chance for a drawing of a $20.00 Gift Certificate at Welna Hardware 2438 Bloomington Avenue.
See the captions on the photos to the right for the January Hints.
Get all of the answers of #1 correct and you’re in that drawing.
Get all of the answers of #2 correct and you’re in that drawing.
Get all of the answers of #1 & #2 correct and you’re in both drawings.
So, you may win a $10 gift certificate or possibly 2 $10. gifts certificates to Welna Hardware 2438 Bloomington Avenue
Winners from the December Contest:
Lisa Donovan-Larson, Eloise Funmaker, Geralyn Little Wolf, and Brenda Morrow. All got the two photos correct in December. The top photo is one of two tipis with symbolic turtles, eagles, and flowers, recently erected at 25th and Cedar at Little Earth of United tribes. Here is what Little Earth leader, Bill Ziegler, says about them.
The Winner of the Drawing is Geralyn Little Wolf
“The idea concept was the vision of the Residents of Little Earth. Little Earth is the only Indian Preference housing community in the nation that is located in an urban setting, yet, when driving by there was really nothing visually that showed that. The Tipi sculptures are our effort to 1)show, through the most universally recognizable traditional home, that this community is Native, 2)foster internal pride, and 3)they just look good. “The designer/architect was Dennis Sun Rhodes from Great Horse Group architecture firm. Built and installed by one of Dennis’s sub-contractors.”
The juxtaposed photo beneath the tipis in December was the same photo that no one guesse3d in November. It is roof framework at the NE corner of the new Open Arms Minnesota building at 25th and Bloomington. (See December Alley page 1 Open Arms MN article and photos. These two locations are exactly four blocks apart and each are the skeletal framework inherent in two distinctly different types of shelter.

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What’s Up at the Franklin Library-January 2010

By Erin Thomasson
Children’s Programs
Cuentos y Canciones/World Language Storytime: Spanish
Thur., Jan. 7–Feb. 25, 6 p.m. Para niños de 2 años en adelante. Comparta y disfrute con sus niños libros, cuentos, rimas y música en español. Ages 2 and up. Share books, stories, rhymes and music in Spanish.
Origami Fun!
Sat., Jan. 9, 3:30 p.m.
Grades 1 and up. Learn this nifty paper-folding art from local master Daniel Kluver. Leave with your pockets full of animals!
Sheeko Caruur Af-Soomaali ah/World Language Storytime: Somali
Tuesdays, Jan. 12, 19 & 26, 6:30–7:30 p.m. La wadaag bugagga, sheekoyinka, jaan-gooyada maansada iyo muusikada Soomaalida. Waxaa lagu maalgaliyey deeq ay For children ages 2 and up. Experience the world in other languages.
Celebrate Winter
Fri., Jan. 15, 4 p.m.
Kindergarten and up. Join us for winter-themed stories and crafts!
Minnesota Rocks!
Fri., Jan. 22, 3 p.m.
Kindergarten and up. Granite, slate, sandstone… oh, those rocks! What are they like? Where are they found? Are there fake rocks? Solve rock mysteries and create a piece of rock art to take home. Materials provided.
Kids Book Club
Fri., Jan. 29, 4 p.m.
Grades 4-6. Join other kids to talk about a great book! No pre-reading required! We will share a story and discuss.
Read the rest of this entry »

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James Womack and Frances Collier Womack “Happy Trails to You, Until We Meet Again”

James Womack was the grand-uncle of Roy Rogers. Roy Rogers, born in OH, to Andrew and Mattie Womack Slye and named Leonard Franklin Slye; went west in 1931 as a would be musician. In less than two years, he’d co-founded the greatest Western singing group of all time, the Sons of the Pioneers, and four years later, he’d started a career as a movie star with a new name, Roy Rogers. Apparently, a cowboy hero couldn’t be known as Slye. The name “Rogers” came from Will Rogers and “Roy” came from a list. He made his debut in “Under Western Stars”; with Roy Rogers as a new star, and his horse, Trigger.

By Sue Hunter Weir

Those of us who grew in the late 1940s and 1950s, in the age of black and white movies and television, are all familiar with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, King and Queen of the West. At the end of their weekly television show, they signed off by singing “Happy Trails to You,” a song written by Dale. Even now, most of us can still sing the song by heart. Believe it or not, that song has an interesting connection (albeit a somewhat remote one) to Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery.

James Tignal Womack was born in Louisa, Lawrence County, Kentucky in 1835. During the Civil War, on October 15, 1861, he enlisted in the 14th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry. He was forced to resign his commission as a 1st Lieutenant a year later due to poor health. In a letter written to his colonel, Womack wrote that he had “been labouring under a disease of the Breast for the last six months, and which has been so severe of late as to Render Me totally unfit for duty…” He was given an honorable discharge for disability on October 10, 1862.

It is not clear exactly when Womack moved to Minnesota, but by 1870, he was living and farming in Hennepin County. He married Frances Elizabeth Collier, and they had at least seven children, one of whom died at the age of two and is buried next to his parents in the cemetery.

Womack was only one of at least eight men from the 14th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry to settle in Minnesota, although he was the only one to settle in Hennepin County. Marlitta Perkins, Regimental Historian of the 14th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, speculated that, because Womack arrived in Minnesota either during, or soon after the end of, the Civil War, it is likely that he had “Union sympathies in a family who had also Confederate leanings.” Two of James Womack’s cousins, who were brothers, fought on opposite sides during the war, something that was not all that uncommon for families living in border states. Archer Womack fought on the Union side, and Egbert Womack fought for the Confederacy; their father, William, was jailed for his secessionist views.

Over the years, the two branches of the family seem to have continued going down separate paths. There are a lot of Womacks on the internet looking for family connections; the majority of them are descendants of Egbert Womack and are connected to the Sons of the Confederacy. But, both branches of the family trace their lineage back to a man named James Tignal Womack, who was not “our” James Tignal Womack, but his grandfather.

Whatever the differences that divided the family so many years ago, there is one family tie that transcends those differences. Archer Womack, James’ cousin, was the grandfather of Roy Rogers, a connection is a considerable source of family pride. “Our” James Womack was Roy’s grand-uncle. James Womack is buried in Lot O, Lot 31, next to his wife Frances, and their son, Roland. And, since many of you are probably thinking it anyway, it seems fitting to sign off with the Womack family’s farewell song—“Happy Trails to You.”

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SEARCHING – a Serial Novelle: CHAPTER 10: Abuela

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

“Mr. Bussey, I never used to believe in ghosts”, Angel said, as he wiped up his coffee with the napkins the waitress had brought. The other patrons at Maria’s had gone back to their meals.

“Oh, I’d listen to my abuela when she told us stories about the spirits” he went on, “and when she made her special bread and chocolate for El Día de los Muertos. She always said that our family was descended from Aztec warriors and Spanish conquistadors, and that the blood in us was really angel fire. Crazy stuff like that. But I didn’t think much about it until these last couple of weeks.”

“What happened to change your mind?” Mr. Bussey asked.

“All this weird stuff has been happening to me. First I heard an owl calling from the cemetery…”

“The sign of death”, Mr. Bussey interrupted.

“Yeah—but whose? Then I met this girl named Luz, who I think likes me too. I almost got killed by…well, I don’t know who did it, only that I was beaten unconscious, and Luz’ uncle Jaime, and some guy named Ahmed carried me to this house where a woman named Mother Light lives.”

“Mother Light—who lives over by Cedar, a healer I think.”

“Yes! How do you know that?”

Mr. Bussey smiled and ate a piece of his corn pancake. “Oh, you’d be surprised what I know”.

“So anyway, Mother Light tells me not to go see Luz yet, but to search for who wants me dead, and who wants me alive. And somehow I run into you, and you tell me about a ghost who’s half Mexican wandering around my old neighborhood, a ghost of a boy who has an owl birthmark on his neck. What is all this?”

“What do you think?”

“I think it has something to do with this strange word I’ve heard. Twice now, I’ve heard this word, once when no one was there, and once said by a funny looking guy.”

“What’s the word?” Mr. Bussey asked.

“Lotten. I have no idea what that means”, Angel said.

“Sounds German to me. Or maybe Swedish” Mr. Bussey laughed. “There are a few old Swedes still hanging around here.”

The waitress came over and filled their coffee cups.

“It is Swedish”, she said. “It means ‘let’”.

“Let?” Angel and Mr. Bussey said, simultaneously. They both thought they should pinky swear, for good luck, but neither mentioned it.

“Yes, ‘let’, like ‘let it happen’, or ‘let there be light;”, she answered, and walked away.

Mr. Bussey and Angel looked at each other for awhile. Finally the teacher spoke: “There’s the light again: Luz, Mother Light, let there be light”.

“Yeah”, Angel replied, “but where do I go looking for light?”

“Is your grandmother still alive?”, he asked.

“Yes. She lives in Guanajuato.”, Angel said.

“Maybe you should talk to her”.

“I’d like to, but…well, I’m kind of not staying with my folks anymore, and I don’t have a phone.”

“You can buy a phone card cheap”, Mr. Bussey said, as he stood up from the table and stretched a yawn out. “I get mine at that little store next to Taco Taxi.”

“How do you know about this stuff?” Angel asked, amazed.

“I’m a history teacher, remember?” he laughed. “By the way, what’s your abuela’s name?”

“Socorro…Socorro Cruz”, and then Angel’s lip trembled a little. “Soccorro Cruz Hidalgo”.

“I thought so. Looks like you and our little ghost Mateo Kelly Hidalgo might be related. Good luck”, he laughed. “Or should I say ‘lotten luck to you’?”

“Shut up!” Angel replied, and headed south again, towards the winter sun.

Patrick Cabello Hansel, creative & amiable poet, author, dramatist, and pastor (and so, too, Luisa Cabello Hansel) St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – 28th Street and 15th Ave. in Midtown Phillips. Writes a new Chapter for Novelle Searching in each month’s The Alley. *A new chapter appears every month in The Alley. You can influence the story by contacting the author with your ideas and comments.

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SPORTS TALK

By Ray Jay and Young Dex

It is with great sorrow that we start this edition of Sports Talk announcing the death of 26 year old wide receiver Chris Henry, who’s Cincinnati Bengals, had just recently been thrashed by our MN Vikings 30-10. Mr. Henry did not play in that game, in that he broke his forearm November 6, and was still rehabilitating to return to action. After a troubled start in college and professional sports, Chris Henry had started to turn his life around, and had he kept pace, would have been an excellent role model, that no matter what you have done in the past, your future can be better. What a tragedy!

As one Minnesota team, The Wild, (NHL), got a little hot; the hot Minnesota team, The Vikings (NFL), got a little cold; and the cold Minnesota team, The Timberwolves (NBA), started to warm up. The only consistently good professional sports venue currently, are The Minnesota Timberwolves Dance Line. Since the NBA season start, they have at times shown better on the court moves than our T-Wolves, however, that may continue to change for the better, now that Kevin Love has returned to the line-up, and Al Jefferson is playing with more virility. Still early in the season, we both think the T-Wolves have a chance to stir some stuff up, come play-off time. NO, we are not exactly picking them to be in the playoffs, but we think their play will continue to improve and that they will be a determining factor as to who makes the playoffs. They must stay healthy to have any chance at all! Did you know that Young Dex’s favorite player, Allen Iverson, has come out of retirement, and is playing for his old team, The Philadelphia 76’ers, who will be here on January 18th, for an afternoon MLK holiday game? Bring the family to this one, and see one of the most prolific point guards ever. GO TIMBERWOLVES, VIKINGS, WILD and DANCELINE!!

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Ninja Assassin

Ninja Assassin

By Howard McQuitter II

Demon from Hell surprises Raizo (Rain) and his party of men and some women in a warehouse suite slaughtering the men except Raizo, of course, the main character. From the opening scenes, the body count begins to soar and so does the martial arts in conjunction with sanguineous displays.

Raizo is raised in an orphanage where the caretakers treat the children like slaves even murdering children deemed as traitors. The orphanage is run by a cruel master Lord Ozuni (Sho Kosugi) to whom Raizo becomes his archenemy. Raizo strikes out on his own but one thinks Lord Ozuni instills in him: hate all weakness. Raizo rents a large apartment with spare furnishings where he can practice his martial arts

Raizo, unlikely ally Agent Mika Coretti (Naomi Harris), find themselves in dangerous circumstances as ninjas seem to be coming from all directions. Her cohort Agent Ryan Maslow (Ben Miles) reluctant to believe early in the goings Raizo is the “good guy.”

The ninjas Raizo is up against are unconscionable hired killers to steal 100 pounds of gold. (Why not go for gold the dollar is nearly worthless nowadays?] Raizo is a stealthy character who will face his nemesis, Lord Ozunu. Rain shirtless (remember Sylvester Stallone’s excellent physique “First Blood,” “Rocky, “ “Rambo:First Blood, Part 2,” etc.) packs an impressive physique with a nice six-pack of abs to go. Lots of kicking butts (literally) largely what martial arts pictures are about but do not expect anymore than a whimsical story.
Howard may be reached by email. Check out his website.

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Building’s Foreclosure Threatens The Stevens Square Center for the Arts!

Matt Wells and Eric Mattheis create a mural for The Stevens Square Center for the Arts at 1905 3rd Ave. So.

Matt Wells and Eric Mattheis create a mural for The Stevens Square Center for the Arts at 1905 3rd Ave. So.

By Trish M. Brock

Two artists worked on unusually cold October days to create a mural on the outside of the Stevens Square Center for the Arts without realizing that the building had been foreclosed by the bank.

2009 has been the most successful year to date for the Stevens Square Center for the Arts. The beautiful gallery space, transformed 6 years earlier from an essentially derelict building by a group of dedicated artists, presented the artworks of emerging artists from the city and the country in nine exhibits. Included was the “Neighborhood Show”, a non-juried exhibit that showcased the talents of artists from the Stevens Square Neighborhood and ran in conjunction with the annual neighborhood “Red Hot Art” event in the Stevens Square Park. 2010 promises to be another stellar year. Nine more shows have been chosen from twenty-three proposals including an open call show to high school students.

Located at 1901 3rd Avenue South on “Arts Avenue”, SSCA provides Gallery exhibition opportunities and affordable studio space for emerging artists. With sixteen artists-in-residence, the studios are rented at 100+ percent capacity. Many or our residents are MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design) graduate students. Some run their art businesses from their studios. One of our residents recently returned from the International Alternative Press Convention in San Francisco where he was awarded the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-comics — the only award of its kind in the world. The house is packed every year with Zinefest attendees. Another of our alumni was awarded three prestigious awards for her book illustrations. SSCA has one of the only remaining darkroom facilities in the city.

SSCA is a 501 C 3 non-profit educational community arts center run by volunteer members/artists. People come from many parts of the city to be a part of our community here, a gathering place for artists and community members. Each year these artists have the opportunity to exhibit their artworks in the “Annual Member Show” along with the availability of the Members Gallery where they can show works throughout the entire year. The public is invited to attend the free art openings and everyone is welcome to attend the Gallery to view the artworks for free as well.

Following notice of the building’s foreclosure, we are exploring all options to preserve the Gallery and studios so they can remain accessible to emerging artists well into the future.

Trish Brock is Minneapolis Arts Commissioner for the 6th Ward, and Secretary on the executive board of the Stevens Square Center for the Arts. She is an exhibiting artist and has a studio at SSCA.

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First Year Anniversary Celebration January 30

by Janice Barbee

All residents of the four Phillips neighborhoods, Corcoran, Central, and Powderhorn Park are invited to a celebration of the first anniversary of the Backyard Initiative at the Cultural Wellness Center on Saturday, January 30, 2010. You will hear about the accomplishments of the past year, particularly about the assessment of the health of the people within these communities, as well as plans for 2010.

At the December dinner and dialogue meeting, we celebrated the commitment of residents throughout the past year. Participants gave feedback on whether they thought the meetings have been open, empowering, motivating, informational, and useful, and whether they felt that trust was building. The consensus was that the meetings were all of the above, and that trust was building. Several people reported that they had been to 20 – 30 meetings during 2009, including the large dinner and dialogue gatherings and/or the meetings of the Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs), the Assessment Team, and the Listening Circles Analysis Team.
Focus for December: Healthy Food

Molly Herrmann of Tastebud, a catering business at the Midtown Global Market, spoke to the group about the value of locally-produced food. Local foods are usually fresher, have more nutritional value, and are often less expensive because they have less distance to travel to get to your table. Many of the businesses in the Midtown Global Market sell locally-produced food. She said many small, local farms sell organic produce (no pesticides), but cannot label their foods as organic because of the lengthy and costly process for becoming certified.

A participant said that, because buying organic can be expensive, she has found out which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticides: bananas, potatoes, strawberries, for instance. These are the ones she buys organic.

Herrmann is a member of Kitchen in the Market, a cooperative kitchen in the Midtown Global Market. About ten individual businesses share the kitchen. She will be offering a family cooking class starting in January, as well as cooking classes for youth. The classes will include how to shop for inexpensive ingredients.

The vendors at the Midtown Global Market are committed to bringing healthy foods to the community as well as green practices. Efforts are now underway to have all the utensils and paper plates served with food to be biodegradable, and vegetable scraps are being sent to Little Earth for their composting project.

The participants discussed where they get their cultural foods. Many said it has become easier to find cultural foods. Herrman encouraged everyone to request a food from a vendor if they do not see it. Many vendors will order it for you.

At the end of the meeting, a new CHAT was formed with nine members to look at nutrition and healthy food. It was agreed that healthy food and a robust local food system are essential for a healthy community. Participants talked about the importance of holding on to cultural foods and food traditions, and how their people’s health suffers when they switch to an American, fast-food diet.

After the meeting, the participants shared cultural foods that they had brought, including Hoppin’ John (with black-eyed peas), Ethiopian dishes, Native American fry bread, and pico de gallo.

Call the Cultural Wellness Center at 621-721-5745 for more information about the Backyard Initiative and the January 30th community celebration.

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