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In this issue: Miss Commerce 2018, Young Man of the Year, Autism Awareness and more!

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Published by City of Commerce, 2018-03-26 18:32:19

Commerce Connetion April Magazine

In this issue: Miss Commerce 2018, Young Man of the Year, Autism Awareness and more!

Keywords: Commerce Connetion April magazine

It’s springtime in the City of Commerce, Pageant. We are incredibly proud of all
which means it’s a great time of the year for
you basketball and baseball fans. For the participants as they show great courage and

are determined to grow into strong, mature

Council and for City staff, spring means women, ready to become great leaders

budget season is about to within their community.

start. Budgeting is always One of the upcoming

a challenge since it is diffi- events is the Earth Day

cult to balance priori- Celebration hosted by the

ties. However, thanks to Sanitation Districts of Los

our robust economy, the Angeles County, on Satur-

City of Commerce is ex- day, April 14 from 10 a.m.

pected to enjoy another to 2 p.m. at the Sani-

balanced budget with a tation Districts’ Parking Lot,

strong surplus. We will 1955 Workman Mill

provide updates on Road, Whittier.

the upcoming budget as The Commerce Public

soon as it is finalized later Library is hosting two new

in the year. workshops for Money

The deadline for the 2018 Smart Week. The first

Commerce Scholarship workshop on April 23 at

Program is rapidly ap- Rosewood Library at 6

proaching on Thursday, p.m. will discuss ways to

April 19 at 5 p.m. Last year build good credit. The sec-

scholarships ranging from ond workshop on April 30

$250 - $5,000 were at Rosewood Library at 6

awarded to 52 Commerce p.m. will provide tips for

residents. Interested first time home buyers.

residents can only apply online via the Com- Starting this month, road work will begin

merce Library’s website at or on the following streets: Marianna, Ferguson,

the Library section of the City’s website at Garfield, Ayers, Bedessen, Connor and Dennis, and last though the summer.

Congratulations to our new Miss Commerce Last but not least, remember that the IRS

Is a monthly magazine published by the and Royal Court as well as our new Young deadline for your patriotic contribution or
City of Commerce and mailed to
Man of the Year. We have full in depth refund is April 15.
Commerce residents. The Connection is
also available at all City facilities. articles in this issue introducing them. We The City of Commerce wishes everyone a

Editor would also like to acknowledge all 17 young a Happy Easter!
Lena Shumway
women who participated in the
Staff Writers/Photographers
Daniel Larios FEBRUARY 20
Marie Hovik
Approved a Resolution reviewing and adopting the policy for the investments of the City of
Graphic Design Layout & Illustrator Commerce funds.
Anthony Aguilar Received and filed a presentation and report from Davis Farr LLP on the Comprehensive
Annual Financial Report (CAFR).
To submit a story idea or a high Awarded a contract to KOA Corporation for the preparation of a bicycle and pedestrian master
definition digital photo for plan.
publishing consideration,
please contact the MARCH 6
Public Information Office
323-887-4453 Authorized the release of plans and specifications for construction of a new drinking water
[email protected] well. Approved funding for the 2018 Commerce Summer Youth Education and Service (Y.E.S.)
Leadership & Mentoring Program.
2 Connection Amended the Annual Operating and Capital Budgets for Fiscal Year 2017-2018.
Received and filed a written report describing the measures taken to alleviate the condition
which led to the moratorium on rent increases.

Different, Not Difficult
April is Autism Awareness Month. Autism Speaks, an organiza- people assume her son is being a brat because he isn’t disciplined.
tion dedicated to autism support and advocacy, describes Daniel can also have a meltdown over something seemingly
autism “as a broad range of conditions characterized by mundane to her, but to her son, it’s not. She explains, “Children with
challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors and nonverbal autism get sensory overload.” For this family, it means the TV
communication as well as by unique strengths and differences.” Two volume is kept low and some songs can’t be played because they
mothers, whose sons were diagnosed with autism, have kindly have too much noise. “If you don’t experience it, you don’t have any
shared some of their vast knowledge and experiences with the idea,” she asserts.
Connection in order to promote awareness.
According to research, common signs of autism are social
Mairim Madrigal’s eight-year-old son Andres was diagnosed with impairment, communication difficulties and repetitive and
autism when he was about 3 ½ years old. It started when his grand- characteristic behaviors. Autism is considered a developmental
father, who he is quite close to, became ill and was hospitalized. disorder that limits a person’s ability to communicate and relate to
Andres was distraught, but had trouble expressing his emotions. other people.

Andres and his grandfather share the same interests: math and Motivating individuals with autism is a difficult challenge, but we
baseball, especially the Dodgers. Andres’ other passion is going to can help them become members and victors in the community. One
the “We Rock the Spectrum” kid’s gym in Whittier to ride the zip line way is by structuring a supportive environment that will support and
at least 50 or 60 times. encourage successful task performance, accentuate the positive
and disempower the negative. Active engagement and shared
Like many children with autism, Andres thrives on schedules; attention can help build communication skills. The more children
spontaneity upsets him. Even getting a haircut requires a schedule with autism are engaged with other people, the more they will build
with frequent reminders when the day is approaching. When Andres important social interaction.
is uncomfortable in a social setting, he goes off by himself to practice
baseball. Madrigal explains to other children that Andres needs his Bojorquez is glad to see that children with special needs are no
space and when he’s ready to talk to you, he will. longer hidden away, that the erroneous belief that they can never
be contributing members of society, have been dispelled. She thinks
Madrigal said there is nothing wrong with her son; he just thinks available resources, including the City’s Special Needs
different and his perspective is different. Commission (both she and Madrigal are commissioners), help
educate society and cultivate compassion. She is grateful for the
Erika Bojorquez describes her six-year-old son Daniel as a picky City’s programs; Daniel has participated in sports and other
eater who favors chicken fingers, pizza and strawberries. Daniel is programs as well.
very organized; even while playing, he lines up his toys with military-
like precision. However, having friends over creates anxiety. He has The Special Needs Commission meets on the third Wednesday
been heard to tell them, “You guys are going to mess everything up!” of the month at 6:30 p.m. For more information, please call the
Social Services Division at 323-887-4460.
When Daniel has a tantrum, Bojorquez said all she can do is to
ride it out. Those instances cannot be dealt with in the same ways Connection 3
that are used with a child without autism. It’s hard, she says, when

Long Live the Queen!

Commerce resident Emily Valle was Miss Commerce and her proud parents happily pose for a “The pageant process was exciting and nerve
crowned Miss Commerce 2018 at the quick photo at the Pageant. wracking,” said Valle. “Looking back, it was a
58th annual Miss Commerce Pageant process that also sparked the journey to self-
in front of a packed ballroom at the Commerce discovery.”
Casino and Hotel on March 10. Valle was one
of 17 contestants vying for the title. The 18 year-old Valle is a freshman at
Pasadena Community College and is studying
Joining Valle as part of her Royal Court is to become an FBI profiler. She urges all
Miss Dodgers/Miss Friendship Michelle Ibarra, young women in Commerce to enter the miss
Miss Clippers Pauline Viesca, Miss Fourth of Commerce Pageant next year.
July Mayra Olivas and Miss Cinco de Mayo
Shandell Espinoza. “Sign up even if you think you aren't ready
or if you’re shy,” she said. “It’s okay; just DO
“My heart was beating so fast and loud I al- IT! It’s all worth it in the end. Just remember
most wasn’t sure if I had been announced as to be yourself and be confident and you can
Miss Commerce 2018,” Valle said. “Then I do anything you set your mind to.”
was so ecstatic I wanted to cry. I remember
being extremely thankful and honored.” As Miss Commerce, Valle will receive a
$2,500 scholarship from the Commerce
The participants drew numbers from one to Casino and Hotel, clothes and gift cards to
seventeen to establish a presentation order. A Citadel stores along with other items donated
panel of celebrity judges individually rated by local Commerce businesses.
each participant on a scale from 1–10, in the
categories of beauty, poise, personality, The Miss Commerce pageant is deeply
grooming and the ability to communicate ef- rooted in tradition and began with the City’s in-
fectively. corporation in 1960. The Queen and Court
serve throughout the year as City ambassa-
dors at various functions and social events.

4 Connection

Child Abuse Antonio Montes

We all play a role in creating the safe, stable and nurturing re- 2018 Young Man of the Year
lationships and environments that are central to the great
childhoods that all children deserve. The month of April has The City of Commerce is proud to introduce the 2018 Young
been designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month gives Man of the Year Antonio Montes. Montes attends California
us a time to recognize that child abuse and neglect is a problem seen State University, Fullerton and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree
in every community in every state in our country. But it’s also a time in Kinesiology with a minor in Criminal Justice. After he graduates,
to recognize that child abuse and neglect can be prevented. Montes plans to apply to the California Highway Patrol Academy.
This April, we’re specifically highlighting three ways that you can
make a difference in your community and help prevent child abuse. “I am honored and humbled to be the individual selected as the
Young Man of the Year 2018,” Montes said. “Being given this
The first way to help prevent child abuse is to mentor a child or a opportunity will help me grow as a person and gain more knowledge
parent in your community. You can do this through a number of ac- and experience.”
tivities: coaching a recreational sports team, offering assistance to a
new parent, volunteering to help staff at pre- and after-school pro- Montes is passionate about Commerce’s numerous programs for
grams, and much more. When children and parents get the support residents of all ages, and said he would like to help residents by es-
and help they need, good things happen. tablishing a fitness and nutrition program.

Another way to help is to let your elected officials know you support The City thanks all participants of 2018 Young Man of the Year:
programs that make a difference for families in your community. From Mark Anthony Arroyo, Christopher Baker, Sonny Lopez, Kevin
home visiting to prevention services, you can call or write your federal, Roach, Miguel Torres and Joseph Anthony Valverde.
state and local legislators to tell them you want to make child safety
a priority. The Young Man of the Year program, now in its 19th year, provides
young men ages 16 to 21 years with an opportunity to represent the
The last way to help is to donate your time or money to local City alongside Miss Commerce and her Royal Court.
organizations and charities that focus on serving children. The
following organizations serve the Commerce area: Connection 5
Child Abuse Hotline: (800)540-4000
Parenting classes in Commerce: (323) 887-4460
Spanish - Tuesdays, Bristow Park 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.
English- Thursdays, Community Services Conference Room
5 p.m.- 7 p.m.
Farmer Jones Family Parent Education Preschool
Ages: 2 ½ yrs.- 5yrs. (323) 724-9190
Plaza Community Center: (323)268-3219
St Francis Medical Center: (310)603-6949
West Advisory Christian Counseling: (323) 588-5971
Los Angeles County Children & Family Services: (323) 725-4401

For more information on how you can help, contact the Public Safety
and Community Services Department at (323) 887-4460.


More than just

Penny Marougas and her
husband Chris opened Xris Burgers 22 years ago, they
were not familiar with the area, but that did not stop them from taking
advantage of the opportunity to start their business in the City of
Commerce. Since the beginning, the proud owners have kept their
business model simple: They would concentrate on making good-
tasting, fresh food, hire friendly staff and make their customers their
main priority.

Throughout the years, the combination of good food and top-notch
customer service has served the restaurant well, helping them acquire
many longtime, loyal customers. Visit Xris Burgers early in the morning
or at lunchtime and the place is filled with customers who live or work
nearby. Being situated on Washington Boulevard and close to the 710
Freeway means they serve a fair amount of truck drivers at the eatery.

Marougas appreciates and thanks all her customers, especially
those who have been coming to Xris Burgers regularly.

Marougas boasts that they are on a first name basis with
most of their customers which is always a great way to
establish a connection while also helping business flourish.
Most customers learn about Xris Burgers via word-of-mouth.

One such customer is Sarah Bonner who, thanks to a
coworker, visited the restaurant for her first time a year ago.
While Bonner was recently ordering lunch, she was quick
to dispel the notion that Xris Burgers is mainly a burger

joint; she favors the salads. What Bonner failed to mention
was how generous the portions are; when her salad
arrived, it was hard to believe that she would be able to
eat more than half of it. The restaurant’s menu includes

10 salads.
Customers tend to favor breakfast burritos (there are

seven on the menu), chicken sandwiches, chicken
salad and pastrami sandwiches, but Marougas is quick
to mention that the eatery’s menu is extensive. A quick
glimpse at the numerous options proves her point:

they offer eight omelets, shrimp, fish, Mexican food
and more than a dozen sandwiches.

Marougas invites everyone to experience the serv-

Xris Burgers

5243 E. Washington Blvd.
Monday: 6 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday: 5 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturday: 5 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sunday: 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.

6 Connection

Rosewood Park April 21

Volunteers dedicate their time and efforts volunteerism that the City urges residents to refuse drop offs. With the exception of
towards helping their fellow citizens take time from their busy lives towards helping hazardous waste and construction debris, most
without the community. One way to do this is through types of refuse will be accepted, including
expecting a reward or recognition for their the City’s Annual Spring Clean Up, which will bulky items and electronic waste. If you have
actions. In the Model City, we recognize the re- be held on Saturday, April 21 from 8 a.m. to 12 waste such as paint, pesticides, household
markable individuals during the month of April, p.m. at Rosewood Park. Volunteers will help cleaners, used motor oil, batteries, etc., check
which is celebrated throughout the country as beautify the Rosewood Park neighborhood by the L.A. County Department of Public Works
National Volunteer Month. Being a volunteer cleaning up tree wells, painting red curbs, re- website for hazardous waste events. Tires will
doesn’t just benefit the community, it also ben- moving graffiti and bulky items and much also be accepted at Rosewood Park; however
efits the volunteer by making new friends, ex- more. there is a limit of four tires per household.
panding your network, providing career SAFESHRED will be providing free document
experience, teaching valuable job skills and At the same time, the City is urging residents shredding at the event, so feel free to bring in
boosting your social skills. Volunteering can to do some spring cleaning of their own by get- sensitive documents that need to be disposed
also deliver a healthy boost to your self-confi- ting rid of large, bulky items that clutter around of.
dence, self-esteem and provides a sense of their properties. Cleaning up can be messy
purpose. and difficult when getting rid of large items, Spring Clean Up is a great way for the City
which is why the City will be providing large and residents to come together to do some
It is with this spirit of public service and dumpsters at each neighborhood for good for the environment and for each other.

Connection 7

Dinner with the Director National Library Week: April 8 – April 14

Come enjoy a meal with the Director of the City of Commerce Public Library Snack and Chat with the Director
on Monday, April 9, 5:30 p.m at Rosewood Library.
Come enjoy a snack and spend some time with the Director
Library Scholarship Applications Due of the City of Commerce Public Library.
Tuesday, April 10, 3 p.m. @ Veterans Library
The Commerce Scholarship application deadline is Thursday, April 19 at 5 Tuesday, April 10, 4:30 p.m. @ Bristow Library
p.m. Applications are available only on the Commerce Libraryʼs website at Thursday, April 12, 3 p.m. @ Bandini Library or the Library section of the Cityʼs website at The application requires two letters of recommendation, an au- VIP Behind the Scenes Library Tour
tobiographical essay, financial need analysis, school transcripts, a
Commerce resident card, and proof of admission to an approved college, Get to know your library a little better! Come see of the back
university or trade school. Interviews will be scheduled for June. offices of the Rosewood Library for a special behind the
scenes tour on Thursday, April 12, 5:30 p.m. at Rosewood
8 Connection Library.

Escape the Library!

Join us for a special library escape room after hours at Rose-
wood Library on Friday, April 13, 6 – 8 p.m. Get locked in
and see if you can solve the puzzles and find the clues so
you can escape the library! For ages 16 and older.


The Wild Lives of Wolves & Coyotes
What is the difference between wolves, coyotes, and dogs?
Come learn all about the fascinating lives of wolves and coy-
otes on Saturday, April 20 at 12 p.m. at the Rosewood Li-

Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros Program

Come join us for a special program to celebrate children and
books on Monday, April 30 at 6 p.m at Rosewood Library.

Comic Creator Jules Rivera

Learn to create comics with comic creator Jules Rivera on
Saturday, April 14 at 11 a.m. at Rosewood Library.

Hecho a Mano

Adults, join us to decorate a plastic flower pot for
your spring garden! All supplies will be provided.

Tuesday, April 3, 11 a.m. @ Rosewood Library

Wednesday, April 4, 6 p.m. @ Rosewood Library

Thursday, April 5, 5:30 p.m. @ Veterans Library

Wednesday, April 18, 6 p.m. @ Bristow Library

Thursday, April 19, 5:30 p.m. @ Bandini Library

One of the recent improvements to the City’s transporta- to his physical therapy appointments twice a week. “I like it a
tion services was the replacement of the City’s Medi- lot,” he said of the service. He also likes being able to go to
Ride services with a Dial-A-Ride service to
provide free curb-to-curb transportation service to other places. “It opened up a whole new avenue of
qualified special needs patrons or senior cit- places I can go.”
izens who are 50 years or older. While Clara Talavera, who uses the service to go to
the Medi-Ride service was limited to her doctor’s office in Downey, said without
providing transportation to and from it, she’d have to take two buses and also
medical appointments only, Dial-A- walk part of the way.
Ride service allows qualified resi- Personal Care Assistants can accom-
dents to travel to a variety of other pany passengers who require them; as
places such as stores, malls, East long as they are included in the reser-
Los Angeles College and various vation and are going to the same desti-
other destinations. nation. “The new transportation option
better serves the diverse needs of
To qualify for the program, passen- Commerce seniors and the disabled
gers must reside in Commerce, regis- community.” McFerguson explained.
ter for the service, have a Resident The Dial-A Ride service is available
Activity Card and travel destinations Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5
must be within 12 miles of City Hall. p.m. only, and it does not operate on holidays
or weekends. Reservations are accepted up to 30
“Many residents have used the new service to
try new restaurants, take a trip to the grocery store, or days in advance. Users need to be mindful that due to
visit a friend,” said Transportation Director Claude the popularity of the service, drivers do not wait longer than
McFerguson who reports that the service has exceeded five minutes to pick up riders as waiting any longer would
his initial expectations. “The ridership has increased by disrupt the schedule.
55% within the first month of launching; and it continues
to grow. Residents have praised the service and have As happy as residents are with the service, McFerguson
spread the word to their friends and family.” encourages them to let him know what they think.

The 40 or more passengers who use the service on a “We enjoy striving to meet the needs of the community
daily basis still depend on the CNG, wheel-chair equipped and will continue to solicit feedback on ways to improve
vans to take them to their medical appointments. Luis Benitez service,” he said.
uses it to go to his dialysis treatments three days a week and To register for the Dial-A-Ride service, visit the Transporta-
tion Department. Forms are also available online.

Connection 9

Royal Tea Party

Paint Night

Women veterans paint while enjoying each other’s company during Women Veterans Paint Night
hosted by the Library and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The City’s youngest royal residents attend a Royal Tea party dressed in Book Festival
their regal finery.
Commerce Loves Reading Book Festival attendees select free samples.

Celebrating Dr. Seuss Read Across America

Children at Veterans Library find the Cat in the Hat’s antics amusing. Commerce resident Claudia Ramirez reads the Giving Tree to Rosewood Park School chil-

10 Connection dren during Read Across America.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Easter Youth Advisory Hecho a Mano Senior Citizens Hecho a Mano Video Games “Strive not to be a
Commission Rosewood Library Commission Veterans Library Rosewood Library success, but rather
7 p.m. 12:30 p.m.
11 a.m. 5:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. to be of value.”
Video Games —Albert Einstein
City Council Meeting Bandini Library Parks & Recreation
6 p.m. Commission
3:30 p.m. 6 p.m.
Bristow Library

3:30 p.m.

8 9 10 11 12 13 14

National YES Program Art-O-Matic Art Database Party Art-O-Matic Art Video Games Comic Creator
Library Week Applications available Bandini Library All libraries Bristow Library Rosewood Library Jules Rivera
2-6 p.m. Rosewood Library
Dinner w/ Library Director 3 p.m. 3 p.m. 3:30 p.m.
Rosewood Library Task Force Committee 11 a.m.
5:30 p.m. Snack & Chat w/ Library 3 p.m. Snack & Chat w/ Library Frightening Friday
Director Veterans Library Director Bandini Library Bandini Library 21
Education Commission Traffic Commission 5 p.m.
6 p.m. 3 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 3 p.m. Spring Clean Up
Escape the Library Rosewood Park
Measure AA Meeting Community Services Rosewood Library
6 p.m. Commission 8 a.m.
6:30 p.m. 6 p.m.
Wild Lives of Wolves
15 16 17 18 19 20 & Coyotes

“Nothing is impossible, Teen Craft Hour Hecho a Mano Student Government Day Rosewood Library
the word itself says Bristow Library Bristow Library 12 p.m.
‘I'm possible’!” Commerce Scholarship
—Audrey Hepburn. 4 p.m. 6 p.m. Due Garden Show
Rosewood Park 1 p.m.
City Council Meeting Special Needs Commerce READs Center
6 p.m. Commission 5 p.m.

6:30 p.m. Project Management
for Teens

Rosewood Library
4 p.m.

22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Earth Day Virtual Reality Teen Craft Hour Denim Day Children’s Art Workshop “You can’t use up Teen Art Workshop
Veterans Library Bandini Library Rosewood Library creativity. The more Rosewood Library
Virtual Reality 2 p.m. you use, the more
5 p.m. 4 p.m. Bristow Library 10 a.m.
Video Games you have.”
Money Smart Week: Video Games 5 p.m. Rosewood Library —Maya Angelou Video Games
Good Credit Veterans Library Bandini Library
Planning Commission 3:30 p.m.
Rosewood Library 4 p.m. Meeting 3:30 p.m.
6 p.m. 6:30 p.m.
I-710 Local Advisory
Library Commission Committee
6 p.m 6 p.m.

29 30 MAY JUNE

Money Smart Week: SMT W T FS SMT W T FS
First Time Home Buyers 1 2 3 45 12

Rosewood Library 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 345 6 7 8 9
6 p.m. 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
Dia de los Niños/Dia de 27 28 29 30 31 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
los LibCriotysHParllo&gram
6 p.m.

City of Commerce 2535 Commerce Way, Commerce, CA 90040
(323) 722-4805 Fax (323) 888-6841

Connection 11

2535 Commerce Way
Commerce, CA 90040 U.S. POSTAGE


Important Phone Numbers

Aquatic Center 323-887-4404
Public Safety 323-887-4460
Animal Control 323-887-4460
Weekend/Evenings 562-940-6898
Calmet 562-259-1239
SCE St. Lights Out* 800-611-1911

Mayor Oralia Y. Rebollo *Provide Light Pole # for Report
Mayor Pro Tem Ivan Altamirano
Councilmember Hugo A. Argumedo E.L.A. Sheriff’s Dept. 323-264-4151
Councilmember Leonard Mendoza
Graffiti Hotline 323-887-4444
Councilmember John Soria
Vector Control 562-944-9656

Union Pacific 888-877-7267

BNSF 800-832-5452


City of Commerce 2535 Commerce Way Commerce, CA 90040 • (323) 722-4805 Fax (323) 888-6841 •


Channel 3 City CABLE Guide

City Council Meeting
Tuesdays: 6 p.m. (Live every 1st and 3rd Tues.)
Mondays: 8 a.m., Wednesdays: 10 a.m., Thursdays: 5 p.m., Saturdays: 9 a.m.

“In A Council Minute”
Mondays: 4 p.m., Tuesdays: 9 a.m., Wednesdays: 1 p.m., Thursdays: 4 p.m.
Fridays at 3 p.m., Saturdays at 11 a.m., Sundays at 5 p.m.

“Pet Adoption”
Mondays at 12 p.m., Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m., Wednesdays at 4 p.m., Thursdays at 3
p.m. Fridays: 9 a.m., Saturdays: 6 p.m., Sundays: 8 p.m.

Commerce City News
Mondays: 6 p.m., Tuesdays: 12 p.m., Wednesdays: 8 a.m., Thursdays: 6 p.m. or after
City Council Meeting, Fridays at 6 p.m., Saturdays: 4 p.m., Sundays: 5:30 p.m.

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