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Issue Home August 26, 2009 Site Home

100 Years Ago
From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Library Chitchat
Veterans’ Corner
What’s Bugging You?
Dear Dolly
Earth Talk
Barnes-Kasson Corner

100 Years Ago

SUSQUEHANNA: Benjamin F. Pride, for 30 years editor of the Susquehanna Journal has accepted the position of managing editor of the Honesdale Citizen. Mr. Pride is an experienced newspaper man and since going out of the newspaper business for himself, a few years ago, has been engaged principally in an editorial chair on the Binghamton Republican.

MONTROSE: There will be an exhibition of water color sketches of Montrose and vicinity, by Mrs. Theodore Woolsey Johnson and Miss Mary Hamilton Hadley, and of tooled and burnt leather work by Miss B. M. Shafer, at the public library, tomorrow and Monday. AND The big double program at Steine’s Nickelet called out packed houses, and the pictures were of the very best. The Wright aeroplane maneuvers gave a comprehensive insight as to how airships move through space. The funny picture, portraying “Billiken,” the little merry god who says: “I am the god of better things - my presence always laughter brings,” was particularly good. Mr. Lloyd Calby’s song was well received. We have been informed that Roosevelt in Africa will be presented soon.

DIMOCK: When you want to see a good garden look over the fence on the lot of T. B. Williams, near the forks of the road. ALSO George Miller, who was 85 years old on Saturday last, Aug. 21, walked a long distance from his home to Dimock, and while at the store remarked to the writer that he had green corn for dinner on his birthday, which was planted in his garden June 15.

SHANNON HILL, AUBURN TWP.: Everybody is glad to hear that our old supervisor, S. L. Overfield, has been appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of supervisor of Auburn south district. He is the right man in the right place. ALSO Two interesting games of ball were played here last Saturday between the Auburn nine and the Pickups, the score being 12 to 2 in favor of Auburn. The other game was between the Bunnell Hill boys and Shannon Hill Juniors, the score being 10 to 18 in favor of Shannon Hill.

LYNN, SPRINGVILLE TWP.: The Lyman reunion will be held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Lyman on Saturday, Sept. 4. All relatives by blood or marriage are requested to be present. ALSO The cemetery bee last Saturday was largely attended by three men.

FOREST LAKE: A. J. Baldwin, of Groton, N. Y., spent the latter part of last week with his brother, E. C. Baldwin, at Forest Lake. Mr. Baldwin attended the reunion of Co. F, 141st Regt, P. V. I., at New Milford, in which company he served during the Civil War. While here Mr. Baldwin stated that in October he and his wife were planning to visit their daughter, who resides in Chino, Calif., near Los Angeles. If they like that country, they may decide to reside there.

THOMPSON: The Potter reunion was held at the home of Ernest Potter last Thursday.

LATHROP: The Johnson family reunion was held at Ross Park in Binghamton, Aug. 21. Fifty persons were in attendance. It was a joyous occasion and hearts were more firmly bound to each other by the meeting. Next one will be held at Hubert Johnson’s at Dalton.

AINEY: On Wednesday, Sept. 1, the annual reunion of Battery H, 1st Pa. Cavalry, will be held at the home of Comrade Frank Taylor. A cordial invitation is extended to all old Civil War soldiers and their families. A table will be set in the grove nearby, if pleasant, and a real picnic dinner will be served.

OAKLAND: Henry Brush of the grocery firm of Brush and Toubey, of Susquehanna, through his attorney, Thomas A. Doherty, has brought an action against Oakland township in the Court of Common Pleas, to recover damages for injuries he received in that township, August 11, 1909. Mr. Brush was badly injured by going over an embankment in his automobile at a dangerous point where, it is alleged, that no guard rails of any kind were placed.

HOPBOTTOM: On August 7, 1909 the descendants of Isaac Rynearson started for the home of Mr. F. W. Payne, sure of a hearty welcome and a jolly good time. At noon about 60 sat down to a sumptuous dinner, spread on long tables near the harvest apple tree, where we found delicious apples earlier in the day. After dinner all gathered in front of the house and were photographed. Afterward an interesting programme was presented of songs and recitations

ELK LAKE: H. T. Fargo, Elk Lake’s well known Justice of the Peace, was at Montrose Thursday, and the Squire recounts the catch of some large fish in the waters of Elk Lake and as his reputation for veracity is so good we had to accept them, though they were literally “fish” stories. He delights in angling for the gamey fellows and evidently is well versed in the little arts that lure them to the hook. He remembered one of his friends at the Democrat office with a fine bass, weighing about four pounds, as fine a specimen as we ever saw, and words are lame to express its exquisite flavor. It was fine!

HARFORD: On Saturday last Leland Williams moved the silo which was connected with his barn in the village, to his farm on the hill. It was a curious sight to see it lowered upon a wagon, which was done without accident, and it was also safely moved to its destination.

ARARAT SUMMIT: Mr. and Mrs. William Bechtlofft, gave a party in honor of their daughter, Lila’s, 16th birthday, Tuesday evening, August 17. About 50 guests were present and a fine time enjoyed. Miss Lila received several gifts including a purse of money containing about $13.

FOREST CITY: The Frank E. Griswould Company, in the great temperance drama, “Ten Nights in a Bar Room,” will show in Forest City on Tuesday evening, August 31. The large tent will be erected on the vacant space adjacent to the #2 school building. Prof. Hayworth’s military band will give two open air concerts, one at noon and the other at 7.

NEWS BRIEF: Chewing gum and peanut venders have a genuine grievance against the new Lincoln cent. They declare that it does not work in the penny-slot machines, and that its coinage is a plot on the part of the government to put them out of business.

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From the Desk of the D.A.
By District Attorney Jason J. Legg

I am a long-suffering Philadelphia Eagles fan. As such, I have no great affection for the New York Giants (but I probably dislike the Cowboys more, though admittedly it is a very close call). When Plaxico Burress was playing wide receiver for the Giants, the Eagles generally could not stop him - and he single-handedly destroyed the Eagles on more than one occasion. I make these disclosures to let you know where I am coming from with this column - I am neither a Giant Fan nor a Burress fan.

In November 2008, Burress went to a nightclub in New York carrying a loaded pistol apparently concealed near the waistband of his pants. There is no dispute that Burress owned the pistol. At one time, he had a Florida license to carry the pistol concealed - but that license had expired in May 2008. Burress did not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon in New York. At some point, the pistol slid from his waistband and accidentally discharged with the bullet striking Burress in the right thigh. After the incident, a variety of individuals attempted to cover it up - but eventually Burress was indicted by a grand jury for criminal possession of a weapon and recklessly endangering another person. As a result of negotiations with prosecutors, Burress entered into a plea agreement and pled guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon with a 2 year period of incarceration. With good behavior, it is expected that Burress could be released within 20 months.

What would have happened to Burress if this conduct had occurred in Pennsylvania? First, the offense would have been a misdemeanor offense for carrying the firearm without a license. It would be a misdemeanor because Burress was eligible to obtain a license, but simply failed to do so. Because the weapon was loaded at the time it was improperly carried, this would have increased the punishment. In reviewing the Sentencing Guidelines, Burress would have been looking at a sentence somewhere between probation and a minimum period of 3 months incarceration.

If Burress had not been eligible to obtain a license to carry the firearm, then the offense would have been a felony and the punishment would have increased significantly. Under those circumstances, Burress would have been looking at between a minimum of 1 to 2 years incarceration - which is closer to the sentence he will be receiving in New York State. If Burress had been a person not eligible to even possess a firearm, i.e., a person with a prior felony conviction, then the potential sentence would have increased substantially to a minimum period between 3 and 5 years.

As to the count relating to recklessly endangering another person, this offense also would have been a misdemeanor offense under Pennsylvania law. Because the conduct involved the discharge of a deadly weapon, the Sentencing Guidelines would have included a sentence enhancement, i.e., an increase in the period of incarceration. But even if with the weapon enhancement, Burress would have received no more than a minimum of 6 to 7 months of incarceration under the Sentencing Guidelines.

To put this into a better context, if Burress had committed a burglary of a personal residence, which is a felony offense, the sentence in Pennsylvania would have been somewhere between probation up to a minimum period of incarceration up to 9 months. If Burress had actually shot someone with his pistol and caused bodily injury to that person, the Pennsylvania Guidelines would call for a minimum period of incarceration of between 9 and 16 months. Burress shot himself with his own pistol which he was carrying illegally and he will be incarcerated for 2 years. Thus, you can see how dramatically the consequences for criminal behavior vary between the different states.

Burress probably now wishes he had remained with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He still would have gotten a Super Bowl Ring - perhaps more than one. And if he had committed this stupid act in Pittsburgh, the criminal consequences would have been substantially different than the punishment he received in New York.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801 or at our website or discuss this and all articles at

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. I’m concerned that I may not be seeing as well as I used to. What should I do?

There are many signs that indicate possible vision loss. Under normal circumstances, do you have trouble recognizing faces of people you know? Is it difficult for you to read, sew, match the color of your clothes? Do lights seem dimmer than they used to?

Vision changes like these could be early warning signs of eye disease. Usually, the earlier your problem is diagnosed, the better your chances are for successful treatment and maintaining your vision.

Regular eye exams should be part of your routine health care. However, if you think your vision has changed, you should see your eyecare professional as soon as possible.

Devices and rehabilitation programs can help you adapt to vision loss. They may help you maintain your lifestyle.

These devices include: adjustable lighting; large-print publications; magnifying devices;

closed-circuit televisions; electronic reading machines; computer systems with voice-recognition; telephones, clocks and watches with large numbers.

Q. I’m beginning to have trouble with my hearing. Is there anything I can do short of getting hearing aids?

There other “hearing aids” you should consider. There are listening systems to help you enjoy television or radio without being bothered by other sounds around you. Some hearing aids can be plugged directly into TVs, music players, microphones, and personal FM systems to help you hear better.

Some telephones work with certain hearing aids to make sounds louder and remove background noise. And some auditoriums, movie theaters, and other public places are equipped with special sound systems that send sounds directly to your ears.

Alerts such as doorbells, smoke detectors, and alarm clocks can give you a signal that you can see or a vibration that you can feel. For example, a flashing light can let you know someone is at the door or on the phone.

Q. Recently, my pharmacist told me to take my statin before bedtime. She said that was the best time. It made me think what other information she has that I should ask her about. What questions should I ask?

Don’t be afraid to throw a lot of questions about your medicines at your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. Here are some good ones:

When should I take it? As needed, or on a schedule? Before, with or between meals? At bedtime?

How often should I take it?

How long will I have to take it?

How will I feel once I start taking this medicine?

How will I know if this medicine is working?

If I forget to take it, what should I do?

What side effects might I expect? Should I report them?

Can this medicine interact with other prescription and over-the-counter medicines - including herbal and dietary supplements - that I am taking now?

And, ask your pharmacist to put your medicine in large, easy-to open containers with large-print labels.

If you would like to ask a question, please write

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

We wish to extend a great big “blueberry” thank you to all of those whose support made the 30th annual Blueberry Festival a great success. This event, the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association’s largest fund raiser, has raised over $60,000 annually for operating expenses in recent years.

Literally, thousands of hours were spent by many, many volunteers preparing for and running this event. News of our little party on the Green has reached far beyond our area and regularly attracts additional visitors to our region. For all this, we are very appreciative.

However, we are still uncertain about funding from the State for the coming year and we are still living in hard economic times. Even though the word “free” appears in our name, operating the main library, three branches, the historical society, and the outreach department cannot be done for “free.” If there were massive cuts in State funding, which makes up approximately one-third of our support, it would not be possible to continue services as usual.

Our patrons tell us they value the services we supply and we are happy to do so. Consider this. You do not question leaving a tip at a restaurant for service provided. We do not and are not going to charge you for our services, but we rely on financial support from the community year-round. Every little bit will help Susquehanna County Library to continue to be your resource for lifetime learning.

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Veterans’ Corner

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What’s Bugging You?
By Stuart W. Slocum

Flower Flies: Pollinators Without The Sting

Although there seems to be a general lack of pollinating bees and insects this year, there are still many flower flies (Family Syrphidae) hovering about our flower gardens. These flies are often mistaken for bees or wasps. Of the 870 North American species, most have the yellow and black striped patterns associated with their stinging counterparts. Some are large and fuzzy, reminiscent of bumblebees. As was the case with some of the other insects that I have previously written about, this also is an example of Batesian mimicry. Batesian mimicry is an adaptation by a defenseless organism to look and act like a “dangerous” one, causing most birds and other potential predators to avoid them. One species, known as the drone fly, is a very realistic honeybee look-alike. This can give observers a false notion of the presence and abundance of honeybees.

Unlike the insects that they mimic, flower flies do not possess a stinger. Although they flit from flower to flower gathering nectar and honey, like bees, they often momentarily remain in a stationary hovering position above a blossom. Sometimes they abruptly change their direction, earning them the nickname of “hover flies.” This is not a typical behavior for bees. A less obvious difference is the fact that as flies, they possess only a single pair of wings. Bees have two pair of wings velcroed together. Also, bees and wasps have a narrow constriction in their bodies between the thorax and abdomen, while these flower flies have no “waistline.” They have large eyes that nearly cover their head. When they land on a flower or leaf they often quiver their abdomens.

Adult transverse flower fly.

Different species of flower flies have different forms of mouthparts, thus allowing them to specialize in particular shapes of flowers. These mouthparts are extendible sponges designed for soaking up pollen or nectar. Some species have mouthparts modified into narrow tubes, allowing them to forage in plants with tubular flowers.

Rat-tailed maggot.

The immature forms of these flies vary greatly in their locations, shapes and behaviors. While some invade the nests of ants or bees, many are aquatic filter feeders. Known as rat-tailed maggots, the larvae of many common species live in stagnant water, wet carcasses or even manure. Their “tails” are actually long siphon tubes that are extended to the surface to breath air. The fully-grown larvae creep out into the soil where they pupate for 8-10 days. The adults emerge in late June. There are some flower fly species that are not only important as pollinators, but also as pest controls. There are many species whose maggots eat aphids, scales, thrips, caterpillars and other soft-bodied insect pests.

There have been a few cases of human intestinal myiasis (feeding on tissue) caused by the larvae. These were in areas of extremely poor personal hygiene or accidental consumption of contaminated water. As abundant efficient pollinators and biological pest controls, flower flies are colorful and useful insects to have around. Best of all, they don’t sting! Questions, comments and suggestions regarding this article, identifications or any other insect-related matters are welcome. Please email them to

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Dear Dolly,

Dear Dolly,

I have two teenage grandchildren who live across the country. I visit them a couple of times a year and send cards and gifts for special occasions. I am saddened by the fact that in the past few years, they no longer acknowledge the gifts or say thank you. I would be happy with a quick email. I have discussed this with my daughter and know they look forward to their cards and checks. What can I do to change this behavior? -Finn

Dear Finn,

The next special occasion that comes around , send your usual card but leave out the gift. When your daughter calls to see if you're getting "forgetful" - you know the empty card will cause a discussion - tell her to share the news with the kids that the gifts will resume when they learn to say thank you. This may take more than one special occasion. Don't let this important teaching moment slip away. Saying thank you and acknowledging kindness is a critical life skill. I can't think of a more precious gift for you to give a cherished grandchild.

Dear Dolly,

My pre teen has been known to meltdown when we're school shopping and I won't buy her what she wants. When we hit an impasse I put together two alternate outfits that are similar to her choice, but meet my needs as well. This has met with some success but the nasty behavior has ruined what should have been a fun day. -Lanna

Dear Lanna,

I think your solution is a really good start. You're giving your child options and letting her make a decision. If the meltdown continues, you need to stop what you're doing and exit the store. Remove him or her from the situation. You need to keep your cool. Go home. School shopping is over for the time being.

Later, when things have cooled down, talk about what happened. Let her know that back to school shopping is an option not a right. If she is willing to be respectful, cooperate, and participate with a good attitude, you would be willing to take her shopping again. Parenting isn't a popularity contest and this technique may take a few tries before your tween knows you mean business.

All Transcript readers are welcome to submit their questions to Dear Dolly at

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From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that military sonar exercises actually kill marine wildlife?

Unfortunately for many whales, dolphins and other marine life, the use of underwater sonar (short for sound navigation and ranging) can lead to injury and even death. Sonar systems - first developed by the U.S. Navy to detect enemy submarines - generate slow-rolling sound waves topping out at around 235 decibels; the world’s loudest rock bands top out at only 130. These sound waves can travel for hundreds of miles under water, and can retain an intensity of 140 decibels as far as 300 miles from their source.

These rolling walls of noise are no doubt too much for some marine wildlife. While little is known about any direct physiological effects of sonar waves on marine species, evidence shows that whales will swim hundreds of miles, rapidly change their depth (sometime leading to bleeding from the eyes and ears), and even beach themselves to get away from the sounds of sonar.

In January 2005, 34 whales of three different species became stranded and died along North Carolina’s Outer Banks during nearby offshore Navy sonar training. Other sad examples around the coast of the U.S. and elsewhere abound, notably in recent years with more sonar testing going on than ever before. According to the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which has campaigned vigorously to ban use of the technology in waters rich in marine wildlife, recent cases of whale strandings likely represent a small fraction of sonar’s toll, given that severely injured animals rarely make it to shore.

In 2003, NRDC spearheaded a successful lawsuit against the Navy to restrict the use of low-frequency sonar off the coast of California. Two years later a coalition of green groups led by NRDC and including the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the League for Coastal Protection, Cetacean Society International, and Ocean Futures Society upped the ante, asking the federal courts to also restrict testing of more intense, harmful and far ranging mid-frequency types of sonar off Southern California’s coastline.

In filing their brief, the groups cited Navy documents which estimated that such testing would kill some 170,000 marine mammals and cause permanent injury to more than 500 whales, not to mention temporary deafness for at least 8,000 others. Coalition lawyers argued that the Navy’s testing was in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Two lower courts upheld NRDC’s claims, but the Supreme Court ruled that the Navy should be allowed to continue the use of some mid-frequency sonar testing for the sake of national security. “The decision places marine mammals at greater risk of serious and needless harm,” says NRDC’s Joel Reynolds.

Environmental groups are still fighting the battle against the sonar, lobbying the government to curtail testing, at least during peacetime, or to at least ramp up testing gradually to give marine wildlife a better chance to flee affected areas. “The U.S. Navy could use a number of proven methods to avoid harming whales when testing mid-frequency sonar,” reports IFAW’s Fred O'Regan. “Protecting whales and preserving national security are not mutually exclusive.”


Dear EarthTalk: How does the microwave compare in energy use, say, to using a gas or electric stove burner to heat water for a cup of tea?

The short answer is that it depends upon several variables, including the price of electricity versus gas, and the relative efficiency of the appliances involved. Typically, though, a microwave would be slightly more efficient at heating water than the flame on a gas stove, and should use up a little less energy. The reason: The microwave’s heat waves are focused on the liquid (or food) inside, not on heating the air or container around it, meaning that most if not all of the energy generated is used to make your water ready.

Given this logic, it is hard to believe that a burner element on an electric stovetop would be any better, but an analysis by Home Energy Magazine found otherwise. The magazine’s researchers discovered that an electric burner uses about 25 percent less electricity than a microwave in boiling a cup of water.

That said, the difference in energy saved by using one method over another is negligible: Choosing the most efficient process might save a heavy tea drinker a dollar or so a year. “You’d save more energy over the year by replacing one light bulb with a CFL [compact fluorescent lightbulb] or turning off the air conditioner for an hour - not an hour a day, one hour at some point over the whole year,” says consumer advocate Michael Bluejay.

Although a microwave may not save much energy or money over a stove burner when heating water, it can be much more energy-efficient than a traditional full-size oven when it comes to cooking food. For starters, because their heat waves are concentrated on the food, microwaves cook and heat much faster than traditional ovens. According to the federal government’s Energy Star program, which rates appliances based on their energy-efficiency, cooking or re-heating small portions of food in the microwave can save as much as 80 percent of the energy used to cook or warm them up in the oven.

The website reports that there are other things you can do to optimize your energy efficiency around the kitchen when cooking. For starters, make sure to keep the inside surfaces of your microwave oven clean so as to maximize the amount of energy reflected toward your food. On a gas stovetop, make sure the flame is fully below the cookware; likewise, on an electric stovetop, make sure the pan or kettle completely covers the heating element to minimize wasted heat. Also, use the appropriate size pan for the job at hand, as smaller pans are cheaper and more energy-efficient to heat up.

Despite these tips for cooking greener, Bluejay reiterates that most of us will hardly put a dent in our overall energy use just by choosing one appliance over another. According to his analysis, for someone who bakes three hours a week the cheapest cooking method saves only an estimated $2.06/month compared to the most expensive method.

“Focusing on cooking methods is not the way to save electricity [at home],” says Bluejay. “You should look at heating, cooling, lighting and laundry instead.”

CONTACTS: Home Energy Magazine,; Treehugger,; Michael Bluejay,

Send Your Environmental Questions To: EarthTalk, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; Read past columns at:

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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoskiw

National Children’s Eye Health Awareness Week

August 23 - 29

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is observing National Children’s Eye Health Awareness Week, August 23 through 29.

More than 600,000 eye injuries related to sports and recreation occur each year. Approximately 6,400 Americans go to the hospital for injuries to the eye from fireworks. Half of all these injuries happen to children under the age of 15, and 90% of all eye injuries could have been prevented.

During the summer months eye injuries escalate in children. Each year, thousands of children under age 5 experience eye accidents. Doctors encourage parents to keep a close watch over their children to prevent eye injury. The most common causes of eye injuries in children are misuse of toys, fireworks and everyday objects. Contact with harmful products, such as paints, glues or detergents can infect the eye and lead to blindness. Falls from beds, couches or stairs that create blows to the eye can damage the cornea.

Besides the cornea, other parts of the human eye can easily be broken. If something causes the delicate sections of the eye to break, a child might not be able to see well or at all. Vision problems affect one in 20 preschoolers and one in four children by age 6. If an eye problem remains untreated, the issue can worsen and eventually lead to other very serious problems. These problems range from distortion of a child’s personality, learning ability and blindness.

Most preventable eye injuries occur in sports. For all age groups, sports-related eye injuries occur most frequently in baseball, basketball and racquet sports. Prevent Blindness America recommends that athletes wear protective goggles for racquet sports or basketball, and wear batting helmets with face shields for baseball. According to the 2002 National Health Interview Survey, 84.6% of children do not utilize protective eyewear in situations that represent a risk of eye injury, even though more than 90% of all eye injuries could be prevented with the use of appropriate protective eyewear.

One survey conducted in Michigan, concluded that 97% of high schools do not have a Sports Vision Program, even though 98% of high school coaches would be interested in a program. Such a program would help aid in the prevention of eye injury, by educating and showing students how to protect their eyes and the risks that are at hand. The main cause for a lack of vision programs in schools is that 99% of schools have not been approached with the idea of establishing a Sports Vision Program.

The national Institute of Health is making a goal for 2010 to increase the use of eye protection in sports. Everyone who is active in sports can help meet this goal by helping themselves and getting the right protective eye wear. Almost all eye injuries in sports can be prevented. However, if you suspect that you or someone else is experiencing an eye injury, don’t risk blindness and go to the closest emergency room.

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