| May, 2018

CLERGY CORNER: Commencement Inspiration

Posted on 24 May 2018 by LeslieM

I was privileged last week to attend two commencement events at which the speakers offered inspiring messages for the graduating students. A recurrent theme among the speeches was the fact that we can accomplish far more than what some may expect based upon perceived limitations or barriers. Just because you may be at a disadvantage doesn’t mean that you cannot succeed. A challenge will demand one of two responses from you: fear and resignation or courage and determination. We get to choose and thereby control what the outcome will be.

One of the events was a graduation ceremony for students involved in an entrepreneurial program that is designed to give them the necessary skills to bring their product or service ideas to reality. The keynote speaker was impressive. She has been suffering from seizures since childhood but has not allowed it to stop her from excelling in business and entrepreneurship, leading several organizations, and winning awards along the way. She currently serves as president of a foundation that aims to help children succeed in school and in life. She encouraged the aspiring entrepreneurs to be mindful of others as they strove for their dreams.

The other event was a high school commencement at a packed Palm Beach County Fairgrounds auditorium. One of the valedictorians challenged her fellow graduates to not allow anyone to limit their potential. She referenced a fellow student who was told early on that his unfamiliarity with the English language would prevent him from graduating. That student did indeed graduate, with honors! The valedictorian drew inspiration from her grandfather, who had come alone to America as a young man from Panama. He worked hard to establish himself and was able to produce a family and pass along strong values of faith, commitment and dedication. He would have been proud of his ivy-league university bound granddaughter.

It is encouraging to hear such optimism and hope directed to and arising from our youth. A steady diet of news headlines can lead to depression if you allow the world to be defined by media alone. Yes, there is evil and sadness around us, but there is far more good and joy to be found as well. Consider the laughter of an infant, the smiles of a bride and groom, or the excited chatter of graduating students. There is hope and expectation and promise all around us. The challenges that confront us should not be allowed to produce fear in us. They should serve to stimulate the courage to change the outcomes. We can do better as individuals and society, and we should strive to do better.

Jesus challenged His followers to live their lives with a focus on the good. They had turned to God and embraced His light, and, in turn, Jesus proclaimed them to be the light of the world. As they lived in simple faith and followed His instructions, they would be an example and inspiration to others. He further urged, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). God is well pleased when we seek to develop the potential that He has placed within all of us. We should all be inspired to be our best, to live our best, and to produce our best. God stands ready to assist us if we will yield to His way. The wisdom of Proverbs 37:5 advises, “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.”

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2018. May God’s hand guide you, and His grace surround you as you pursue your dreams.

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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Crockett Foundation welcomes First Tee program

Posted on 17 May 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Crockett Foundation recently partnered with the First Tee of Broward for a nine-week session at the Pompano Beach Golf Course.

Out of all the value-added programs we offer,” said Courtney Kambobe, director of programming from The Crockett Foundation, “the First Tee class is the No.1 program that the students love the most.

There were 14 middle schoolers that participated and learned the nine core values offered through First Tee. The coaches were T.J. Ziol and Karen Michaels, while the volunteers included Jillian Bourdage and Ted Drake.

Jillian is the most humble kid,” said Michaels, 65, of the teen who has won four straight Carol Mann championships and helped American Heritage-Plantation School to the Class 2A Girls state championship this past year. “She does so many clinics and things to help the game of golf that it just rolls off her shoulders.

Michaels shot an 87-97-186 total to finish 8th in the Championship Flight of the Broward Women’s Am., the recent Broward County Women’s Amateur Golf Tournament at Ft. Lauderdale Country Club in Plantation, which was a decent finish considering she was coming back from a hand injury and hadn’t spent much time on her game.

This was the first year that I played in the Broward Amateur and I challenged myself to get to know women who could play golf,” said Michaels, who has been a coach with the First Tee for 5 years. She is a Level 1 certified coach.

This tournament was great because there were women who were 80 years old and at least 65 percent of the women in the field were seniors.

The Crockett Foundation has positively impacted the lives of thousands of children since its inception in 2002. The after-school programs focus on math, reading, health and technology for middle-school students.

The middle-school kids are bused to Pompano Municipal and it is a great group,” Michaels said. “They listen. They learn, and we can make a big difference in their lives.”

The Foundation (spearheaded by former Pompano Beach residents and NFL football players Zack and Henri Crockett), has helped more than 1,000 students in our local community graduate from high school with better grades and a more positive outlook on life,” Kambobe added.

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FLICKS: The Florida Project & free Star Wars fun

Posted on 17 May 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


Recently released on DVD, the award-winning film The Florida Project tells the story about disenfranchised people who live at the Magic Castle Hotel in Kissimmee, Florida. At a distance, the hotel looks like something out of a fairy tale, but upon closer inspection one cannot miss the dirt and the filth of a decaying society. It is managed by Bobby Hicks (Willem Dafoe).

We are introduced to Moonee (Brooklynn Kimberly Prince) and Scooty (Christopher Rivera), two children whose mothers are single. When caught spitting on Grandma Stacey’s car, Moonee and Scooty befriend the granddaughter Jancey (Valeria Cotto) while cleaning up the car. The three friends play and go on many adventures, while the parents desperately find money for food, clothing and shelter.

The end credits to The Florida Project acknowledge the debt to Hal Roach and Our Gang/Little Rascals. The children are wild, yet natural and innocent. As reality comes crashing down upon Moonee’s mom, the tragedy is sadly seen through a child’s eyes, making the situation more heartbreaking.

While Dafoe (who was Oscar-nominated) is the most recognizable actor from the film, the actresses portraying the single mothers — Bria Vinaite, Mela Murder and Josie Olivo — seem so real that they do not appear to be acting.

Politically, much has been made about lack of tax incentives for Florida film production. While most big studio ventures are based in Atlanta these days, one must acknowledge the financial creativity of these Florida film productions like Moonlight and The Florida Project. While necessity is the mother of invention, it must be noted that these films do not promote Florida tourism. There is a darkness to The Florida Project that is all consuming.

[Speaking of the dark side], free Star Wars fun awaits this weekend at Deerfield Beach Percy White Library. They will be screening a free Star Wars movie this Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. There will be a costume contest for Elementary, Middle and High School students with a prize for each respected age group. There will also be a random drawing for the DVDs and the first 30 people in costume will receive a comic book from CJ’s Comics.

CJ’s Comics also contributed to ‘the lost museum of the Jedi’ display, which materialized in the Youth Services section of the library. The display features a variety of artifacts. Patrons will be able to see the first paperback version of Star Wars, before the film was released. When the second trilogy was released in 1999, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace featured promotional items from Taco Bell, like Yoda sippy cups. While co-op marketing is a given with a Star Wars movie, one forgets that in 1977 (when the first film was released) the only way to get a Star Wars toy was via mail order.

The lost museum of the Jedi’ will dematerialize Memorial Day weekend to make room for the’ Libraries ROCK! Summer Reading Program,’ so, for Deerfield residents, the fun is just beginning! The library is located at 837 E. Hillsboro Blvd. in Deerfield Beach.

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Posted on 17 May 2018 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

May 1: Someone entered a Ford F150 parked at 580 Deer Creek Jefferson Dr. and stole $1,500 worth of power tools.

May 1: A man reported that his Ford F550 work truck was stolen from 1200 SW 11 Way.

May 1: A woman reported that $5,823 worth of jewelry was stolen from her home at 1866 Deer Creek Wildwood Tr.

May 4: A woman reported that $10,000 worth of jewelry was stolen from her bedroom at 1025 SE 8 Ct. She said that several people have access to her home.

May 5: A man was observed stealing a pair of shoes from Bealls at 1079 S. Federal Hwy.

Lighthouse Point

April 18: A Verizon account was opened in the victim’s name and a charge of $178.04 was made at 4200 block of NE 22 Terr.

April 20: A loss prevention officer observed a subject take $79.99 in fragrances and leave the store at 3722 N. Federal Hwy. without paying for them.

April 21: A subject stole $1,736 in cash that was hidden under a mattress at the 4200 block of NE 22 Avenue. The victim is moving into a condo and said there were several strange occurrences happening and was unsure how the money disappeared.

(This is a partial list. For Deerfield Beach Crime Watch in full, visit www.DFB.City and click on “Sign Me Up” to receive the city wide report.)

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Posted on 17 May 2018 by LeslieM

Royal Casino

Friday, May 18, 7 p.m.

Waterstone Resort

999 E. Camino Real

Boca Raton, FL 33432

Play games of chance with Deerfield Chamber. Live DJ, strolling magician, hors d’oeuvres, dinner stations, silent and live auctions. To register, visit www.deerfieldchamber.com.

Ocean Brews & Blues Festival

Saturday, May 19, 3 to 8 p.m.

Main Beach Parking Lot

149 SE 21 Ave.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

This festival is a great opportunity to spend a day at the beach while joining the city for an exciting craft brew festival, where you will have unlimited sampling of an assortment of 100+ beers from some of America’s best craft breweries while listening to a variety of Blues music entertainers. There will be an assortment of local foods, as well as arts & craft vendors. For more information, see Pg. 1, call 954-480-4429 or visit www.dfb.city/oceanbrew.

Alexis Arnold performs

Saturday, May 19, 8 p.m.

The Wick Theatre

7901 N. Federal Hwy,

Boca Raton, FL 33487

Local singer Alexis Arnold is getting national buzz with her iTunes hit Take Me Back. Join her for an exciting night of new music and covers of her favorite hits from artists she admires, including Adele, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. Tickets are $25-$35. For more information, call 561-995-2333.

Especially For Kids event

Saturday, May 19, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Sugar Sand Park

300 S. Military Tr.

Boca Raton, FL 33486

Celebrating its fourth year, this is a free event for kids with special needs and abilities, and their families. Enjoy exclusive access to the park “after hours,” including carousel rides and the Children’s Science Explorium, art activities, glitter tattoos, dancing, resource fair exhibitors, a petting zoo, food and more. Sound modifications, limited registrations and a quiet room will be available. This event is free; however, pre-registration is required for all family members. For more information on these events, call 561-347-3900 or visit www.sugarsandpark.org/special-needs-programs.

Spike Out Stroke Day

Wednesday, May 23, 8:30 to 11 a.m.

Broward Health North

201 E. Sample Rd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

Screenings will be from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and screening for Blood Sugar & Cholesterol, Memory Test, Stroke Risk Assessments, Pharmacy Consults and Sleep Apnea Risk Assessments. The lecture will be held from 10:30 to 11 a.m. about “Stroke: Signs & Symptoms,” presented by Celso Agner, MD, MS, MSC. To R.S.V.P., call 954-759-7400 and choose option 5.

Celebrate Shavuot

Sunday, May 20, 4 p.m.

Chabad of Deerfield Beach

Century Plaza

1874 W. Hillsboro Blvd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

Enjoy a Shavuot dairy dinner and ice cream party, which will follow the reading of the Ten Commandments. A free event but sponsorship is appreciated. To RSVP or for more information, call 954-422-1735.

Save The Date:

Pineapple Jamboree

Friday, June 8, 6 to 10 p.m.

Sample McDougald House

450 NE 10 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Locally crafted pineapple beer, food, tequila and rum tastings and a Caribbean buffet. There will be the Steel Drum Band, raffles, prizes and games. The attire is casual Caribbean. All new this year is their “Pineapple Queen.” This year, Debbie McCarty will be crowned at the event and given a sash, a bejeweled crown, a dozen yellow roses and a gift basket. Next year, everyone gets to nominate someone that they think best exemplifies this spirit, and the winner will be crowned by this year’s queen at next year’s event. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. For more information, contact Connie Davis at 954-941-2940 x205 or visit www.pineapplejamboree.com.

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CLERGY CORNER: Lessons “on the course”

Posted on 17 May 2018 by LeslieM

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:43-45)

I was fortunate to have within my last parish a parishioner who owned a golf shop. Not only did he line me up with a new set of clubs, but he gave me some free lessons from his computer-simulated golf course.

Jack was an accomplished golfer and it had been years since I had picked up a club, so he let me take a practice swing. I lined up on the ball, adjusted my grip and swung. I felt this wonderful sensation of a true connection. I thought to myself, “Jeff, you are a natural.” And then Jack shared with me the results. I sliced it and I sliced it good. The ball landed on a fairway alright, but not the fairway in front of me.

Then Jack adjusted my stance, my posture, my grip, my swing and then I swung. Everything about this felt awkward. There was nothing that felt right. But, when I completed my swing, Jack applauded, saying, “Congratulations, you are a chip and a put away from a par.”

I know that if I practiced and practiced, and spent a lot of time on the course, there may be a day when awkward would feel natural and natural would feel wrong. My muscle memory would be sound and I would have a completely different game. Alas, parish ministry doesn’t afford me a lot of opportunities for golf. But I never forgot that experience. When I did what felt good, it turned out to be wrong; and, when I did what felt wrong, it turned out to be right. Wouldn’t it be nice if every good action had a corresponding sensation? In life, that doesn’t always happen.

So what is a good example of this happening in life? I can paint a scenario that is all too familiar, unfortunately. There is the peaceful community disrupted by a random act of violence. Perhaps a gunman or a bomber unleashes a wrath of hatred that brings death and destruction to innocent bystanders who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The perpetrator is identified and quickly becomes, in the eyes of the public, Public Enemy No 1. And, as a pastor, I know that my faith community is shaken to the core and it is obvious that the pain we are all feeling calls us to prayer.

In our tradition, we pray the prayer of the church with each petition ending with “Lord, hear our prayer.” And we pray the prayer out loud: “Lord, we pray for the victims of the most recent act of violence, for those who were killed, those who were injured, as well as their family and friends …Lord, hear our prayer … Lord, we pray for our community as we witness another act of violence. We pray for peace … Lord, hear our prayer.” And then I name the name of “Public Enemy No. 1.” I pray that God be merciful and comfort his or her family and friends in this time of crises. I can assure you, though the words “Lord, hear our prayer” are spoken, there are a few audible gulps and moans.

From the perspective of the one leading the prayers I must admit, it felt natural to pray for the victims. It did not feel natural to pray for Public Enemy No. 1. Yet, my faith dictates that this must be done. In spite of any feelings I may have, I am called to love my enemy. Like an awkward golf swing, it does not feel right but it is the right thing to do. It doesn’t feel comfortable. I must admit, if I prayed for God’s wrath to smite this perpetrator of violence it would have felt very comfortable. The problem, of course, is I would have “sliced it.”

I know that many people rely upon their feelings when they make a decision, saying or thinking, “It just felt right at the time.” Comfort can be deceiving and, oftentimes, we find ourselves facing ethical dilemmas calling us to do the right thing, not the comfortable thing.

It may not feel right to pray for our enemies, but it is the right thing to do. May God give us the strength to do the right thing, even when it doesn’t feel comfortable.

Pastor Gross is a pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, located at 959 SE 6 Ave., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-421-3146 or visit www.zion-lutheran.org.

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THE THERAPY ROOM: Mental Health and Medical Dementia Advances

Posted on 17 May 2018 by LeslieM

(Part 3 in our series on Dementia)

The good news is that there are many advances being made in both the mental health and medical fields when it comes to dementia. Let’s examine some of these new advances.

Dementia and Mental Health advances:

The Dementia-Directive

Dr. Barak Gaster, an internist at the University of Washington School of Medicine, spent three years working with specialists in geriatrics and devised a dementia specific mental health advance directive (https://dementia-directive.org). This directive provides a map for mild, moderate and severe dementia and asks dementia patients to decide what medical interventions they want and do not want at each phase of their dementia.

It is estimated that between 20 to 30 percent of us at some point will develop dementia. As patients turn 65 and qualify for Medicare, which covers a visit to discuss advance care planning, the dementia- directive can be a useful tool that acts as a supplement to other directives.

The dementia-directive has many positive aspects. We know that many patients move into advanced stages of dementia prior to anyone identifying it and, therefore, being able to discuss with the patient what exactly is happening to them and asking them how they would like their dementia managed is beneficial. It is difficult for dementia patients to express their wants and needs as their dementia progresses and the dementia-directive can be a helpful tool for better management as the disease progresses.

Dementia and Medical advances:

Medical Devices

Neural Devices are electrodes that penetrate top layers of the brain and act as mini-microphones to record brain activity. Some neural devices are currently being tested to diagnose Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s based on what is called a fingerprint or activity patterns recorded directly from the brain. It’s interesting to note that Facebook and Elon Musk’s company Neurolink are currently looking to invest in neural device companies.


Cholinesterase inhibitors, such Aricept, Exelon, Razadyne and Memantine or Namenda, are used to treat the common cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s, such as memory loss, confusion and problems with thinking and reasoning. There is also a Namzaric that combines one of the cholinesterase inhibitors Donepezil with Memantine.

As Alzheimer’s progresses, brain cells die and connections among brain cells are lost causing cognitive symptoms to worsen. Current medications cannot stop the damage Alzheimer’s causes to brain cells, but they may help lessen or stabilize symptoms for a limited time by affecting certain chemicals involved in carrying messages among the brain’s nerve cells.


According to Neurology Times, a study of over 1,400 women over age 44 years were observed to determine a correlation between midlife cardiovascular fitness and the risk of developing dementia. It appears there was a 9.5 year delay determined by using an ergometer cycling test and this study supports research that exercise is a reliable strategy to prevent dementia.

Dementia Series summary:

We have explored dementia in our three part series over the past three months. Dementia is a complex condition with many possible causes, but what many people want to know is can dementia be cured? Recent developments and understanding of how the disease progresses have been encouraging. Researchers believe more effective treatments will continue to be realized.

Additional information is available to you online at www.Alz.org. This website will help you find your local Alzheimer’s chapter, direct you to a 24/7 helpline (800-272-3900) and provide you with access to a virtual library with over 5,000 library books, journals and other Alzheimer’s resources.

Dr. Julia Breur is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private clinical psychotherapy practice in Boca Raton. Further information available at www.drjuliabreur.com.

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FLICKS: “Scream Queen” Linnea Quigley to be at Savor Cinema

Posted on 10 May 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


What the record breaking Black Panther did in two months, Avengers: Infinity War accomplished in two weeks at the box office. With the exception of the documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, RBG, which opens this weekend, there are no movies opening with any kind of buzz to stop the Infinity War juggernaut this Mother’s Day Weekend. For those who do not want to see this Avengers film for the fourth time this weekend, there will be a unique South Florida experience this Friday evening at 10 p.m.

After three years at O Cinema Wynwood, co-founders & co-directors Igor Shteyrenberg and Marc Ferman are moving their Popcorn Frights Film Festival to Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival’s (FLIFF) Savor Cinema. The Southeast’s largest gathering of horror films and fans alike, Popcorn Frights and Savor Cinema promise a year-round experience of the best in international genre cinema and cult film favorites.

The Return of the Living Dead kicks off this collaboration. Released during the summer of 1985 and directed by the late Dan O’Bannon, The Return of the Living Dead took the seriousness of George Romero’s zombie classic (Night of the Living Dead) and mixed it with dark humor.

The film opens with Frank (James Karen) talking with his prodigy Freddy (Thom Matthews) and explaining that George Romero’s The Return of the Living Dead movie is based on a true story. To prove his point, Frank takes Freddy to the basement to view these federal government canisters. After a bumbling accident, the canister releases a gas and inanimate objects come alive. The boss Burt (Clu Gulager) is called.

Freddy’s friends plan to pick him up after work. To kill time, the friends hang out at a nearby cemetery and seek refuge from the zombies. One of the friends, a punk rocker named “Trash,” performs a strip tease on a tombstone when the Living Dead return. Linnea Quigley, the local actress who played Trash, will be hosting the Friday night screening at Savor Cinema for Popcorn Frights inaugural film there.

Long time Observer readers are familiar with Linnea Quigley, one of the first actresses I interviewed for our Halloween issue in 2002. Since we met on the set of Jose Prendes’ Corpses Are Forever, Linnea has been involved in 52 independent film productions, co-wrote two books, including Night of the Scream Queen:Kiss of the Gator Guy with author Michael McCarty, and held a reunion concert for the band she was in —The Skirts — with bassist Haydee Pomar with special guest drummer Joey Image from the legendary punk rock band The Misfits.

While embracing her “Scream Queen” moniker, Linnea’s costars like Clu Gulager and Gunnar Hansen have spoken with respect to her acting talent. Who knows, with the right make up, perhaps Linnea Quigley could play Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in a rock ‘n comedy version of RBG.

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Posted on 10 May 2018 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

April 24: A man reported that someone entered his home at 71 SE 4 Ave. and stole five televisions.

April 24: Two individuals were arrested and charged with stealing $318 worth of clothing and jewelry from Target at 3599 W. Hillsboro Blvd.

April 24: A man reported that someone stole $1,500 from his bank account. The incident was reported at 1007 S. Federal Hwy.

April 24: A man reported that someone tried to steal a wheel from his car. The incident was reported at 1080 S. Military Tr.

April 28: A man was reported for throwing a television remote at his wife after she served him with divorce papers. The incident was reported at 3800 NW 6 Ave.

Lighthouse Point

April 13: The victim said she may have left a fanny pack on the roof of her vehicle and drove away after purchasing gas at the gas station at 4900 N. Federal Hwy. It contained $5,349.50 worth of property.

April 17: A resident called the police to tell them there was a snake inside the residence at 3941 NE 31 Ave. Police came and removed the reptile.

April 17: A neighbor found a loose dog at 2140 NE 42 Ct. and it was brought into the department and placed in a kennel until the owner could be located.

(This is a partial list. For Deerfield Beach Crime Watch in full, visit www.DFB.City and click on “Sign Me Up” to receive the city wide report.)

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Posted on 10 May 2018 by LeslieM

RE: Mobility Improvements

Dear Editor,

This is in reference to the Observer article on Mobility Improvements on May 3, 2018. Once again, Deerfield Beach and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) put forward a nonsensical plan to spend money. While the Hillsboro Bridge, the most hazardous roadway in Deerfield, goes unimproved, money flows to inconsequential projects not acceptable to some residents that are impacted. After writing every local official, state reps. and FDOT, the only response is from FDOT Safety, who recognizes the hazards for pedestrian and bikers that are trapped between a high speed road with zig-zag drivers and the guardrail. Vehicles have already jumped the curve, and check the tire marks on the curb to see the daily hits. This needs attention by Deerfield Beach and FDOT. Bridges in Pompano have been improved and are now safe. Eventually, there will be a disaster. Who to hold responsible?

George Cherenack

Deerfield Beach, FL


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