Posted on 08 October 2015 by L.Moore

Thank you to DB’s Will Reed

Dear Editor:

Gardeners were cutting the median along Hillsboro Blvd. when a sharp object flew onto the road in front of my car. A lane change was impossible due to heavy traffic. Hence, I went over it and “POP” went my tire. My car limped into the shopping center where I called AAA.

After a whopping $232 for a new tire, my husband, who I have to give credit to, said, “Call the city and see what they can do.”

I would’ve just blown it off.

I spoke with Mr. Will Reed, who I would like to thank for expediting a check from the city. Thank you, Will.

Lorraine Barsher

Deerfield Beach

Dog enforcement on the beach

Dear Editor:

This is in regard to the Sept. 24 Talk to the Mayor article about dogs on Deerfield Beach. Some points to consider:

1. The current regulation is not enforced at all by the Deerfield Police or code [enforcement] officials. In 20 years walking the sidewalk, I have never seen a single stop by police for walking dogs on the beachside walkway. Not one. In fact, I have seen police in patrol vehicles look away seemingly on purpose. So what data-based evidence does the police chief have to know what he is saying is true? Maybe one well-publicized infraction would help violators obey. Enforcement is important because the personal injury risk to people and their dogs from larger dogs on the beachside walkway is enormous and the cost will fall to taxpayers because of lack of enforcement.

2. The old signs said “No Dogs” on the sidewalk. The new signs say “No animals” on the [sidewalk] and the wording is, at the least, confusing. The signs are not at the entrance spots or the parking pay stations, or the walkway egress to the parking lots. Maybe better more frequent better-placed signage would help with voluntary compliance.

3. Research shows that 38 percent of dog owners scoff at the dog feces pickup duty. As the EPA puts it, “If you think picking up dog poop is unpleasant, try swimming in it” – or additionally, in the case of our beach, lying and walking in it. All dogs currently walking on the Deerfield Beach beachside walkway urinate on the light standards, benches and lawn. Children who crawl will put anything in their mouths; 20 percent of kids get roundworm from dogs and cats.

4. People walk their dogs to the beach for the express purpose of defecating there versus their own residence. Fenced dog parks, a cheap solution, should be considered with collection containers to avoid the adverse conditions that allowing dogs on the beachside walkways bring.

George Cherenack

Deerfield Beach



Posted on 30 September 2015 by L.Moore

Long live the Mayor

On Tuesday night, Sept. 15, Mayor Robb held her second “Talk to the Mayor” forum. During the 12 years I have attended commission meetings, no mayor took the initiative to actually to hear what residents think. Right out the gate, the first speaker criticized the mayor unnecessarily. Rather than applaud the mayor for her years of contributions to this city, she choose to malign her.

Most resident concerns centered on problems BSO needs to address, but, due to lack of boots, as stated by Chief Schnakenberg, these problems don’t get resolved. Rather than spend over a million dollars to purchase unbuildable beach lots, which residents do not want bought, the prudent move would be to add additional police officers to make our city safer … rather than being concerned about a couple of signs which are unnoticeable and a RV that doesn’t block one’s ocean view.

What should incense the citizenry of Deerfield Beach is paying a group of lawyers over a million dollars for property that cost them $4,000 twenty years ago. Yes, you read that correctly. Four thousand dollars annualized and compounded for 20 years, if invested in the stock market would bring a fair investment return. Even an unusually high 19.85 percent would be $150,000, not a million and a half dollars, which is more in line with what the lawyers are seeking.

Questions to ask: “Why didn’t the city buy these parcels a few years back when they had the opportunity before our city leaders made the horrendous mistake of giving Boinis an additional $200,000 for a beach lot the state was giving $200,000 for?” “Why didn’t the City allow a Sweet 16 for a lawyers’ daughter when the lawyers were always generous when the city would request using their land for events?” And, thus, the ensuing problem. The answer to these questions are mismanagement by our City Manager and the department heads under him, plus the City Commissioner who “expedited” the last beach sale by giving that owner an extra $200,000.

There is a public referendum procedure in place when it comes to selling city property above a specified dollar amount. Likewise, a public referendum is warranted before the city goes forward with purchases in excess of a million dollars.

Caryl Berner

Deerfield Beach

Thanks for community input

It is my pleasure to let you know that the budget for fiscal year 2015-2016 was passed at our last meeting on Sept. 21. I want to thank those of you who came out to give us your input and those of you who contacted me directly to share your thoughts and views on how your tax dollars are being spent.

Friends, I am proud that we are moving the city in the right direction, financially. We are fiscally stronger today than we have been since the economic downturn we all experienced a few years ago. I am pleased to let you know that we [the commission] voted to lower the millage rate in this budget, from a rate of 6.7688 to 6.6688, which is approximately one-tenth of a mill.

This decrease in the millage also resulted in a decrease of about $500,000 to the budget. While it isn’t as much as I would like to have seen, this rate reduction still provides tax relief while maintaining service levels and a healthy reserve.

Our next commission meeting is scheduled for Oct. 6, 2015 in City Hall Chambers located at 150 NE 2 Ave. The meeting begins at 6:45 p.m. and I hope to see you all there!

If you have any concerns or questions for me, you can always email me at bganz@Deerfield-Beach.com

Bill Ganz

Vice Mayor



Posted on 24 September 2015 by L.Moore

Ugly trailer marring beach views

Dear Editor:

I live on NE 20 Avenue, one block from the public beach access that is located at 4 Court and A1A. I have always enjoyed waking early and walking to the beach to appreciate and thank God for yet another sunrise. It doesn’t matter whether the sunrise is extraordinarily spectacular or whether it is diminished by clouds. It DOES matter, however, that the sunrise is now and has been, for a few years, obscured by an unoccupied, unsightly trailer with an EXPIRED Florida license plate.

The signage around the trailer states “private property.” I have no objection with people owning beach property; however, I do object that there seem to be different rules for different people.

A few years ago, I purchased a small, pop-up camper. I parked it on the property (behind our hedge line) for three to four days until I was able to tow it to its final destination that coming weekend. The camper was legally registered and out of sight of neighbors. Within a day after parking the camper behind the hedges, the camper was tagged by the city with a warning to either remove the camper or face a fine. I complied with the warning, in accordance with the law. Problem solved!

It is beyond my comprehension how an unsightly, unregistered trailer, can remain on the beach, for every nearby neighbor, visitor and/or passerby to see. The location of this unsightly, unregistered trailer poses a threat not only to the public, but, also to the public beach property surrounding it. It is an eyesore on the beach of Deerfield, which prides itself on the beauty of its beaches.

Lorraine S. Kelly

Deerfield Beach

[Editors Note: The commission is working to find a solution to this issue. It is currently in litigation. “It’s an on-going problem we are hoping to resolve in the coming months,” said a city representative.]

Thank you, Thomas Roofing

Dear Editor:

Twenty-five years ago this past January, I needed a new roof on my home. I contacted a Deerfield roofing company. A new roof was put on and it looked great. This past January, Citizens Insurance stated that my current roof would have to meet certain qualifications. Ultimately, it meant I would have to have a new roof. I called Steve at Thomas Roofing who put the roof on in 1995. Steve also replaced the back patio roof after Wilma. (Incidentally, I wrote Steve to replace that back roof as I had left town to get away from the hurricane. He called me and, in three days, he had replaced the patio roof. I paid him when I returned to Deerfield a couple weeks later.)

When it came to this past January, I called Steve again. He was no longer in the business of putting roofs on homes, but he still had a business to repair, clean, pressure clean, etc. any roof. He gave me names of two Deerfield roofers. I phoned them. They came and [each] gave me an estimate.

I phoned Steve who helped me make a decision between the two companies. At the time it was being replaced, Steve came over and confirmed the work this roofer was doing was the best. Steve went out of his way to be a good neighbor, Deerfield business man and just a very nice guy.

Thank you, Steve, for being my friend.

J. M. Harte

Deerfield Beach



Posted on 17 September 2015 by L.Moore

Thanks to Post Office rescuer!

Dear Editor:

I am a newcomer to this area and, today, I found the Deerfield Beach Post Office. I had two large envelopes to send – one unsealed, to show the clerk the Tic Tacs [that] were making the noise, as I was sending them along for the 94-year-old lady Veteran’s Honor Flight from Denver to Arlington, next week.

O.K. I did not have my debit card or enough cash. From the back, a man’s voice asked how much my bill was. The clerk said $8 and he said “I’ll pay it.” A tall, wonderful man came forward and paid my bill. I thanked him three times, and others did also.

When a good person steps forward to help out, more people should hear of it. Thanks again, Sir.

Dora Gabe

Deerfield Beach, FL

City excesses evident in proposed budget

Dear Editor:

Our City Manager presented a budget for the new fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 that increased the millage rate, proposed a new stormwater tax, and introduced a new Capital Improvement Plan that calls for $96 million in new spending programs over the next five years! The millage rate is now where it was in fiscal 2010 the year before our new public service tax began and the promise of lower millage rates were made.

But the city is now taking in $8 million per year from the public service tax and the rise in non-homesteaded property values in Deerfield Beach brought in an additional $2.1 million in revenue for the new fiscal year. However the City Manager believes our finances are so bad we need an additional new tax called the Stormwater Tax.

Let’s take a look at where this extra $10.1 million in added revenue is being spent by our City Manager:

1) The general fund balance (rainy day fund) has increased by $11 million since 2013 and is projected at $18.7 million this new fiscal year representing a 143 percent increase in just three years. On top of this the City Manager in 2014 created three new rainy day funds called the water and sewer replacement fund, the water and sewer emergency fund and the solid waste emergency reserve fund. These funds now have a balance of $4.5 million for the new fiscal year. The City Manager believes this $23.2 million in reserve is necessary on a proposed budget of $99 million.

This is the HIGHEST amount of reserves that the city has ever had. The City Manager is under the misguided belief that it’s better that the city hold on to this money than you the taxpayer in the form of a lower millage rate.

2) The self funded health plan for city employees is expected to increase by $1.1 million to $7 million, a 19 percent increase from last year. The city pays 90 percent of the medical premium for its employees. The employees also received average merit increases of 2 percent this year.

This and other examples of excess have been pointed out to the city commissioners over the budget process. Their response at the Sept.9 first reading was to roll back the operating millage rate by 1.5 percent so they could claim they did not raise the operating millage rate this year. They fail to realize the citizens of Deerfield Beach are seeing no tax reduction from the $8 million public service tax revenue nor [from] the $2.1 million in added revenue [due to] the increase in property values.

We have one last chance this budget cycle to tell our commissioners our displeasure with our tax-and-spend City Manager and demand that a meaningful percentage of that $10.1 million be returned to the taxpayers in the form of a lower millage rate. Please show up at the Sept. 21 meeting (at 6:45 p.m.) and speak to them during the three minutes they must give you. Go to the city’s website under the financial services section where you can read a copy of the proposed city budget.

Dan Herz

Deerfield Beach FL

[Editor’s Note: According to the City, the millage rate was not increased; in fact, the tentatively approved millage rate is that of 6.6688 mills. A stormwater fee is not included in the proposed budget. The fee has also not been imposed on any property. Proceeds from the fee, if deemed necessary in the future, cannot be used for General Fund operations.

The Water & Sewer and Solid Waste Emergency Reserve Funds, as well as the Water and Sewer Renewal and Replacement Funds, have no bearing on a property owner’s tax bill. The funds are fueled by user charges, which cannot be comingled with General Fund dollars.

The reserve balance has been higher than the proposed amount in the past. Neighboring cities with similarly-sized budgets have significantly more in reserves; some even have more than 3 ½ times Deerfield’s level of reserves.]



Posted on 10 September 2015 by L.Moore

Proposed Blue Water Hotel

Dear Editor:

Over-development can be detrimental to an area and no amount of tax revenue to a city or increased profit margin for the landowner can justify the negative impact it has on an area.

The 3-dimensional concrete high-rise hotel/garage [proposed Blue Water hotel in The Cove] will tower over the Hillsboro Bridge by over 20 feet, higher yet with its A/C units, etc. on the roof, and change the skyline forever. Not a pretty view for the gateway to our award-winning beach, a sight that will be bare of landscaping at that height.

It will set a precedent for other landowners in The Cove to follow suit and ask for code deviations and special consideration for the plans they may have. Parking is already a community nightmare.

There were many public workshops regarding the “look” the residents wanted for the Cove Shopping Center and overwhelmingly the consensus did not include high rise construction.

Other concerns are traffic pattern changes with only one egress and ingress on Hillsboro Blvd. that is already bottle-necked on weekends, holidays, and every 30 minutes when the bridge opens. One egress and ingress onto 15 Avenue, a residential street, will result in cut-through traffic in The Cove Residential Home Development. Fourth Ct., 7 Court, 10 Street, 12 Avenue, 13 Court (any street with access to Federal) will become avenues for people headed south or west. Some streets have no sidewalks and speed humps already installed to slow traffic. Tenth Street that leads to Federal Hwy, I-95, and the Sawgrass Expressway is a residential street (two lanes) and residents are now asking the city for more speed humps.

The city has already tried to slow traffic and discourage cut-through traffic with roundabouts and islands (narrowing the roads more). How effective? Perhaps a little now, but with added traffic, [results are] very questionable.

The 15 Avenue bridge also narrows and has no sidewalks. It is not what this one hotel will bring; it is what will be brought by future development as codes are changed and variances awarded.

Impact will escalate safety problems for the families in this development. At any given time you see parents and grandparents walking their children by hand or in strollers, their dogs on leashes, walking and jogging on the narrow streets with too few sidewalks and curbs.

As codes change and some proposed uses are permitted uses or conditional uses, the city will face many dilemmas and perhaps legal challenges by all landowners in this area desiring to increase their profit margins by use of high rise development and other deviations from the building codes.

I ask our Commission to please be very cautious with permitted/ conditional use changes and in approving variances in this small shopping center.

I live in the Cove Residential Home Development and want it to remain as quiet, safe, and traffic free as possible. Our quality of life and that of future generations depends on decisions made now.

Marti McGeary

Deerfield Beach, FL

The Cove meters

Dear Editor:

It’s Sunday afternoon and we’re heading to The Cove shopping center for happy hour and it made me start thinking about the parking meters again. Will I go somewhere else because of them? Probably not, but it just boils my blood.

If this is just a maintenance issue that only costs about $80,000 a year, so I’m told, what are they going to do with other $1.2 million of the projected income of $1.3 million? Is it going to be like the utility tax and supposed to lower our taxes? Because we all know how well that worked for us. It sounds like just another revenue [stream] for [the] city to me.

Steven J. Fabrizio

Deerfield Beach, FL



Posted on 03 September 2015 by L.Moore

Cove Parking Lot Suggestion

Dear Editor:

There has been much discussion of the Cove [Shopping Center] parking lot. I am going to suggest something that I wish the commission would consider at the Sept. 9 meeting.

Please just listen. We model the parking after the public parking garage in the beach area. We close off all entrances and exits to the parking garage, and the main entrance will be off Hillsboro Blvd. where there is a traffic light. A guard house would be set far enough back to avoid stacking up traffic on Hillsboro. At the entrance, there would be a mechanism to provide a parking ticket.

In the public garage, at the exit, tickets are collected. Each of the businesses has a mechanism that validates the parking ticket. At the end of the month, the city will send a bill to the business that has validated the ticket, and that business will pay one dollar for each validated ticket. That way the businesses that utilize the most parking are being assessed according to their usage, and the smaller businesses are not assessed since the first two hours will remain free. After that, the hourly $2 rate becomes effective.

I have been told by the people that run the public garage that, in all probability, the company that supplied our meters would also be able to provide the validation mechanisms for those merchants who request them. This is an equitable way to have those who use the most parking spaces pay the assessment that they claim they are willing to pay.

Mayor Jean Robb

Deerfield Beach, FL

Cove Parking Workshop Short of Ideas

Dear Editor:

Last Tuesday, August 25, I attended the Public Workshop at City Hall regarding parking meters for The Cove Shopping Center. I expected to see an exchange of ideas, suggestions and/or solutions. This was not what anyone would call a “workshop.” The city has one solution: parking meters. It is not in the best interest of the residents or merchants, but it produces revenue for the city.

How about you get a ticket going in, get a free [validation] stamp from a merchant (or if you only park, you pay) and leave? Why not put this on the next ballot and see if the people want parking meters? There are many ideas/suggestions/etc. out there, but you have to have an exchange at a workshop.

Better yet, why don’t we remain one of the few “nice little cities” in Florida? That’s why we settled in Deerfield Beach, not Miami or Ft. Lauderdale.

Stephen Welch

Deerfield Beach, FL



Posted on 27 August 2015 by L.Moore

RE: Blaise Leone resigns

Dear Editor:

[On August 18] the city honored Blaise Leone with a plaque for 16 years of service to the Parks and Rec Dept.

That doesn’t touch the contribution he has given to the youth in Deerfield Beach in 16 years.

Just to mention a few things: to mention a few things:

Blaise is our resident “Elf” at the [holiday] tree lighting ceremony each year.

He is also the official “Voice of the Bucks” as the Deerfield Beach High School football game commentator.

He was the creator and instructor for the “Boot Camp” program here in Deerfield and made it so successful that it, in turn, created a position for a trainer.

I have had the opportunity to work with Blaise for the past 11 seasons at Deerfield Beach Little League (DBLL).

His attention to all of Deerfield’s youth programs is endless. He knows most of these kids by name, can tell you where they live and go to school, and he truly cares about each and every one of them.

This was never a “job’ to him. It was [about] being part of a community.

The kids, as they got to be in high school, would often stop to speak with him about college, training techniques, etc. He was part of the family.

We at DBLL wish his family great success in Satellite Beach. Their gain is most certainly our loss. Our City will never find an individual that equals the character and integrity of Blaise Leone. We will miss him forever.

Kathleen M. Williams

Deerfield Beach

Property tax notice received

Dear Editor:

Just received our TRIM notice from Broward County.

Noticed that once again the City of Deerfield Beach has raised the property tax rate — in this case from 6.2745 to 6.2949.

The good news is this is the smallest rate increase from the city in several years.

However, I’m guessing that the city officials will try to tell you that the rate is the same as last year, just as they did last year compared to the year before.

The deception in that statement is that the city officials include the mandated reduction in the Deerfield Beach debt service to get to the “no increase” statement.

Check your TRIM notice and prior tax bills and you’ll confirm what really happened.

Consider that in 2010, the last year before the Utility Tax was implemented, the property tax rate was 6.2482.

City officials promised that with implementation of the Utility Tax, property tax rates would come down.

That happened in 2011 and 2012 when the property tax rate came down to 5.1865 and 5.1856, respectively.

However, 2013 brought an increase back to the pre-Utility Tax, property tax rate to 6.2317 in 2013 (a whopping 20 percent increase in the rate alone) and it has climbed each year since then. So much for the promises about the utility tax benefit.

The utility tax just became extra funding for the commissioners to spend.

Knowing that the city commission takes more from you in property taxes through rate increases each year should be remembered at the ballot box.

Unfortunately, this year, it wasn’t.

Dave Nace

Deerfield Beach



Posted on 20 August 2015 by L.Moore

RE: Metered Parking in The Cove Shopping Center

Dear Editor:

I am a resident of The Cove in Deerfield Beach and I am very concerned that the Deerfield Beach commissioners are considering metering The Cove Shopping Center.

I am concerned for the obvious reasons: it will have a detrimental effect on the Business of The Cove Shopping Center, the visiting public and the residents of The Cove.

If you are also concerned, please attend the workshop on this issue at 7 p.m. in City Hall Commission Chambers on August 25 and voice your concerns.

Margaret E. Hilton

Deerfield Beach

UPDATES for Deerfield residents

Dear Editor:

I hope you are well and enjoying what is left of the summer!

As we gear up for fall I am delighted to say that your City Officials are hard at work with the Budget and many other items coming before the Commission.


I have some very important news about the Hillsboro Canal Project.

As you may already know, in two weeks they will begin construction on the Hillsboro Canal between Powerline Road and just west of Military Trail.

All of those affected should have received letters back in May stating that the work would begin in mid-June, which is when that project was originally expected to begin.

I’ve included this information in the newsletter so that you are aware of what is happening, as you will begin to see the activity pick up.

This project will begin with tree removal and continue with bank stabilization construction.

I have expressed to SFWMD the extreme importance of notifying the residents affected.

If you are having any issues receiving notification from SFWMD, please contact their Community Affairs Director at 561- 682-6012.

Bill Ganz

Vice Mayor

Deerfield Beach



Posted on 13 August 2015 by L.Moore

RE: Bullying

Dear Editor:

I’d like to address a problem in my school (and many others) — tolerance of teachers bullying and harassing students.

While in most schools bullying is a very well-known problem between students, I, and many of my peers, feel that bullying between teacher and student is a major problem as well.

Not only is it more common than most think, but it’s ignored in most schools. Our teachers can disrespect, talk down to students and even verbally abuse us and get in no sort of trouble except a slap on the wrist. The schools are constantly making excuses for teachers to abuse their students in the name of discipline.

A few years ago, I was a new student in my school. I was put in (let’s call him Mr. F)’s class. He seemed really nice and I was happy he was my teacher.

As the year went on, he proved to be different. While this stuff happened regularly in his classes, I’ll use my friend as an example. He was overweight at the time and insecure about his body. My friends and I loved him. He was such a great guy and fun to be around.

Mr. F. always made fun of his weight, saying he had “Man boobs” and would even go so far as to not let him eat his snack in class for his “ own good” and let the rest of us eat. He used to tell me how he hated going to Mr. F’s class because he was always ridiculed for his weight. He wasn’t the only one either.

Mr. F constantly made homophobic, sexist and racial jokes in class. I have a form of ADD and, sometimes, I can’t understand things as easy as others and get sidetracked in class. All I need is a little extra help and I understand, but he ALWAYS made a point to make me answer questions when I clearly was lost and not understanding the lesson.

I tried going to his class before school and at lunch for some extra help, but he never showed up to help me or my friends. Then, he made fun of us for not understanding in class.

He pointed out our flaws constantly, used horrible language and slurs toward us and always tried to make everyone look stupid and feel horrible about ourselves.

He went into fits and rages, throwing things (desks, chairs, books) and yelled so loud the teacher from next door would check on us.

I, and COUNTLESS others, have gone to the administration, principal, counselors and out of school directors trying to find help. I’ve talked to so many people and nobody does much.

I just found out he will be teaching this year and they aren’t going to fire him.

Teens my age have very low self esteem, as we’re going through puberty and we’re sensitive. We are insecure about our bodies and we don’t need anyone to make us feel worse about ourselves.

People are going through hard times and, at school, we need nothing but support from our teachers. We should be able to trust them and feel respected.

We might be teenagers, but we are people, too, and deserve respect at school, from our peers AND teachers.

Nobody should have to go through what me and my friends have gone through.

Alexandra Sullivan

Boca Raton



Posted on 06 August 2015 by L.Moore

Deerfield Beach Blacks Disrespected In Life and Death

Dear Editor:

How can distraught Deerfield Beach residents get a piece of private land that was once a cemetery/graveyard called the “Old Colored Cemetery” in some records turned into a historical memorial?

How can residents prevent townhouses from being built on top of dead African Americans’ remains?

This land could be made into a memorial to all the black Broward County residents who, because of segregation, were buried in odd lots and side yards and whose locations (if not their memories) are lost forever to their descendants.

Who can make this happen? Who should be notified about this? Who has the power/clout/resources to make this happen?

That is what a group of residents were discussing at the recent meeting held by former Deerfield Beach Commissioner Ben Preston. Other than a petition to preserve the site, nothing concrete was decided, but a lot of good ideas were aired.

It seems to me that the public is being kept in the dark about this, very little information has been released as to what is happening, what might happen, and what the rules and regulations are involving a situation such as this.

This meeting was not held by our representatives, it should have been, but it wasn’t. We haven’t heard much from them at all.

The site on a 5 acre lot at the intersection of SE 2 Avenue and SE 5 Court, Deerfield Beach, is owned by a private owner who, after being assured by test after test that all remains had been removed, is distressed to find that wasn’t the case. Now what?

And, why is the digging for remains continuing?

It seems to me that finding as much as they have is certainly an in-your-face-sign that there are many more, as many as 300 if anecdotal evidence is to be believed, after all the ones found were right where the relatives said they would be.

It’s time for the State/County/City to step in and declare it a historic site and shake loose some bucks to acquire the property.

There is no possibility of relocating all the remains. Sure, you could relocate the few skull and leg bones and teeth, but it would be impossible to find all the decomposed molecules and small scattered remains of the decedents.

Picture your precious relatives being treated this way. Picture only some of a loved one’s parts dug up and relocated. How would you feel?

Respect that was once denied can now be given to an entire group of people.

This is a perfect opportunity to create a memorial; there is no African American Cemetery memorial in Broward County.

The State/County/City should buy this land and turn it into a memorial park.

Bett Willett

Deerfield Beach


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