May 6, 2015
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Unseen but Everywhere: Plankton & Particles, May 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 06, 2015 

Harry Nelson, Fluid Imaging Technologies, will speak. At Bowdoinham Town Offices, May 13, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Lethal Seas, May 13
Announcement - Wednesday, May 06, 2015 

NOVA: A deadly recipe threatens the survival of countless creatures throughout Earth's oceans. With carbon emissions sharply rising, carbon dioxide is entering the seas at a staggering rate raising the oceans' acidity. As a result, the skeletons and shells of marine creatures that form the foundation of the web of life are dissolving. Can experts crack the code of a rapidly changing ocean - before it's too late? Maine Public TV, May 13, 9 pm.
Unseen but Everywhere: Plankton & Particles, May 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 06, 2015 

Harry Nelson and Heather Anne Wright of Fluid Imaging Technologies in Scarborough will present the results of a survey to measure the size and shape of microscopic life in Merrymeeting Bay water samples. At Bowdoinham Town Office, May 13, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Monday, May 04, 2015 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news stories and events. I have posted links to more than 35,000 news articles and announcements. I also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to my attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. Will Sugg is the website developer. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
President Obama must release full text of TPP
Action Alert - Monday, May 04, 2015 

The campaign to pressure the Obama Administration to immediately make all secret trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) just got a boost. President Obama is lashing out at activists and our elected representatives who have called for transparency around secret negotiations, calling us “dishonest.” In response, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown added their voices to Senator Bernie Sanders’ call for the Obama Administration to immediately release the full text of the TPP. ~ CREDO Action
Nequasset Fish Count
Announcement - Monday, May 04, 2015 

Alewives are anadromous fish that spend the majority of their lives at sea but return to freshwater to spawn. They have been an important cultural and economic component of Maine for centuries. Because of continued careful stewardship, Nequasset is considered one of the top alewife runs in the state. Volunteer to count at new fish ladder is on the Nequasset alewife run in Woolwich. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Invasive Upland Plant Identification and Control, May 12
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 02, 2015 

This training will help participants identify common upland invasive plants common to Maine’s forests, and discuss mechanical and chemical control strategies. At USDA Service Center, Farmington, May 12, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm. Registration Fee.
Protect Maine from mining pollution; reject LD 750
Action Alert - Saturday, May 02, 2015 

Weak mining rules are back. The Maine Legilature's Environment and Natural Resources Committee has worked for the last month on a bill to require changes to last year’s mining rules, but the recommended changes are still not protective. The ENR Committee has placed these into LD 750. Public hearing May 11, 9 am, Cross Office Building, Room 216, Augusta. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
A History of Nature and Landscape Photography in Maine, May 12
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 02, 2015 

Illustrated presentation by Jym St. Pierre at River Arts Gallery, Damariscotta, May 12, 7 pm.
Women and Our Woods Woodcock Workshop, May 12
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 02, 2015 

The American Woodcock is a Maine bird whose population has seen long-term declines in the eastern U.S. This evening workshop starts with a potluck discussion of your woodland management questions. Then as sunset approaches, walk to an excellent spot for observing the amazing courtship display of this special bird. Open to women woodland owners and bird enthusiasts alike. At Talmadge, May 12, 6:30-9 pm.
Why Do We Need Carnivores Anyway? May 12
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 02, 2015 

Conservation biologist Geri Vistein presents "Cougars, Coyotes, Bears and Wolves! So, why do we need large carnivores anyway?" At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 12, 7 pm.
Aroostook Birders Outing, May 9
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 02, 2015 

At Nordic Heritage Center, Presque Isle, May 9, 7:30-9:30 am.
ANWR Vernal Pool Workshop, May 9
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 02, 2015 

A short hike to view salamanders, frogs and their egg masses, and discuss the importance of vernal pools in northern Maine. At Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge, Limestone, May 9, 10 am - 12 noon.
Learning Light Photography Workshop, May 8
Event - Posted - Friday, May 01, 2015 

Learn how to capture the beauty of nature and people in photographs. Cate Wnek will begin with a 20-30 minute lesson in outdoor photography techniques, including light, composition and shadow. Participants will then have time to practice what they've learned and ask questions. At Harpswell Heritage Land Trust's Pott's Point Preserve, May 8, 7-8 pm.
Water Bodies, May 8
Event - Posted - Friday, May 01, 2015 

Hosted by Spindleworks, Water Bodies is meant to draw attention to our living planet both to celebrate, and to raise awareness of the diversity of species, all of which are affected by our actions and inactions. The exhibit will feature work by artists from around the state and region who have submitted artwork inspired by and focusing on bodies of water, or the bodies that dwell in our waters. Opening reception at Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, May 8, 5 pm.
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News Items
Letter: Bottle bill threat
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 06, 2015 

I found the title of LD 1204, “An Act to Increase Recycling and Composting by Creating the Maine Recycling Fund,” intriguing. Here potentially was a combined approach to increasing recycling while simultaneously improving composting in Maine. Unfortunately, the bill actually would harm our state’s highly successful bottle bill. LD 1204 would remove larger containers from our deposit law, reducing the rate at which they are recycled. Maine has the strongest bottle return program in the country. We recycle about 90 percent of our bottles and cans, which is more than double the state’s recycling rate for other items. Why weaken such a successful program? ~ Rep. Mick Devin, Newcastle
Letter: Carbon tax
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 06, 2015 

Lee Chisholm wonders in his April 28 BDN letter to the editor what to tell his young students when they ask what we’re doing about climate change. Given our governor’s lack of support for any efforts to improve our environment, many Maine residents are bypassing him and trying to persuade Congress to enact carbon-pricing legislation. Kudos to the students for being concerned about this issue. When they become voters, I’m sure they very carefully will screen candidates’ backgrounds regarding the environment. ~ Fern Stearns, Orland
PUC turns down commissioner’s move to release energy forecasts
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

Two Maine Public Utilities Commission members voted against the motion of outgoing commissioner David Littell to release energy forecasts the PUC will use to assess long-term contracts for wind power and natural gas capacity. Chairman Mark Vannoy and commissioner Carlisle McLean, both LePage appointees, voted against the recommendation, arguing the commission does not release its forecasts to bidders and should not release those forecasts to the public. “I think it would be beneficial for the public to see those,” Littell said at the April 14 meeting. Littell also expressed concern Monday about being able to see through the long-term wind contracting case to its end after Gov. Paul LePage’s announcement he nominated University of Tennessee economist Bruce Williamson to fill Littell’s seat on the commission.
Maine lawmakers consider taking away wind power’s expedited permits
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

Critics of the wind energy industry urged lawmakers on Tuesday to gut the 2008 law that encouraged development of wind power projects, a move that opponents warned would cost jobs and undermine one of the bright spots in Maine’s economy. The bill, L.D. 1329, would eliminate the “expedited permitting” that industry supporters say has been key to making Maine the top wind power state in New England. Critics contend, however, that the law has forced Maine taxpayers to subsidize a costly and unpredictable energy source that mars the landscape while offering few, if any, environmental benefits.
Bill Would Reverse Maine's Course on Wind Power Development
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

The future of wind energy in Maine is up in the air, as lawmakers consider a comprehensive bill that would ease the state's original goals for wind energy generation. Republican Rep. Beth O'Connor says her bill provides the kind of changes that are long overdue for opponents of wind turbine farms who feel their concerns are ignored. But supporters of wind power say O'Connor's bill threatens clean energy initiatives and Maine jobs.
Wardens: Husband Shot by Wife While Hunting Turkeys
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

Game wardens say they're investigating a hunting incident in which a wife shot her husband in the town of China. Wardens say the two were hunting for turkeys when 60-year-old Reginald Jacques of Waterville was hit by a shotgun blast late Tuesday morning. Cpl. John McDonald said both were cooperating with investigators.
Maine PUC Clashes Over Releasing Market Projection Models
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

Republican Gov. Paul LePage's appointees to the Maine Public Utilities Commission have declined to make public the growing number of "grading schemes'' used to judge energy projects. David Littell, the sole former Gov. John Baldacci appointee, sought Tuesday to release price projection models used to decide contracts in the name of transparency.
Game Officials Hike Reward for Information of Deer Killings
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

The reward has again been increased for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the shooting deaths of four doe deer, some of them pregnant. The deer were found less than 20 miles from each other in the Franklin and Androscoggin County towns of Chesterville, Jay, Livermore and Leeds. The first doe was discovered two weeks ago in Chesterville, and was carrying twins. Maine Warden Service spokesman Corporal John MacDonald says three more dead deer were found over the next five days. MacDonald says the reward being offered for information about the deer deaths has been increased to $3,500, thanks to donations from concerned citizens.
Are Koi a serious threat to Maine’s native fish?
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

Maine currently forbids the possession of Koi fish, and Koi lovers arrived at the legislature today to argue that Koi should be allowed here, without a permit. Allowing anyone in Maine to own Koi would “create jobs and revenue for Maine,” Phil Roy of Waterville testified at the hearing on LD 833, which would repeal the law forbidding possession of Koi in Maine. Roy said that Koi, “will not threaten our local fisheries,” but he didn’t help his case much by comparing them to Goldfish, which he said, “are also on the aquarium list and have been sold in Maine for 50 years with no measurable impact on our local fishery.” DIF&W has had lots of problems with Goldfish released illegally in local ponds. When they find them, they take action to kill them, usually by draining the pond.
Maine wind energy advocates unveil study touting industry’s benefits
Sun Journal - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

Proponents of Maine’s wind-power industry Tuesday touted a new study that reportedly shows positive impacts on health and the environment from the industry’s growth in the Pine Tree State. The study found carbon dioxide emissions in 2013 decreased by 490,000 tons because of wind-generated power from Maine. The study also determined wind power reduced the sulfur oxide emissions, typically associated with fossil-fuel fired energy plants, by 201 tons and nitrogen oxide emissions by 123 tons. Rep. Beth O’Connor, R-Berwick, told the committee she sponsored the bill for the advocacy group, Friends of Maine’s Mountains, which staunchly has opposed the industry in Maine.
Regulators Approve Increase in Menhaden Catch Limits
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Atlantic Menhaden Management Board voted to raise catch limits from 170,800 metric tons per year to 187,880 metric tons per year. The limits apply this year and in 2016. A spokeswoman for the board says it also committed to developing an amendment to revisit state allocations. The fish occur in coastal and estuarine waters from Nova Scotia to Florida. Conservationists applauded the board's decision to back off calls for higher catch limits. The fish are an important food source for whales and seabirds and are sometimes used as bait for lobster traps and in other fisheries.
Maine Proposing Urchin Swipe Card System, Rules For Season
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

Maine fishery regulators are proposing a sea urchin fishing season that would establish rules for a swipe card system to record transactions when urchins are bought or sold. Regulators say the rules would cover the 2015-16 fishing season, which begins in September and concludes in March. The southern coast would have a 15-day season for divers, trappers, rakers and draggers of urchins. The season for most of the northern coast would be 38 days long. Regulators are proposing the same number of days as last year for both zones. Maine regulators say the state's urchin fishery was valued at nearly $5.4 million in 2014.
Editorial: Why the Legislature so often punts on crucial issues facing Maine
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

The November 2016 election is more than 18 months away, but it already looks like the ballot will be packed with questions. This highlights two problems: It is too easy to get questions on the ballot in Maine, and the Legislature consistency punts on big issues, especially in the face of vetoes from Gov. Paul LePage. The first problem is the easiest to solve: Increase the number of signatures needed to get an initiative on the ballot and require an even geographic distribution of signatures collected. To fix the Legislature’s structural problems, political scientist Mark Brewer recommends ending term limits, hiring more staff for the Legislature, increasing lawmakers’ pay (coupled with a longer session), lengthening Senate terms, and shrinking the size of the House.
Letter: Don’t cut larger bottles from Maine’s deposit law
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

Four days after your April 19 editorial supporting LD 1204 several dozen citizens lined up in Augusta to testify otherwise. LD 1204 is the beverage industry’s proposal to remove 32-ounce-and-larger containers from Maine’s deposit law and instead create a temporary fund to subsidize other recycling. In return for this expenditure – about $371,000 a year for six years – Maine’s beverage distributors will net $1.1 million a year in avoided handling fees, label registrations and the like. Meanwhile, Maine municipalities must absorb an estimated $2.3 million in new costs for waste collection, processing and disposal. LD 1204 is no bargain. ~ Marge Davis
Letter: Amend vulnerable parts of economic development tool
 - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

As a Millinocket-region business owner and resident who sits on the board of directors for Maine’s New Markets practitioner CEI Capital Management, I have a unique view of the program’s demonstrated success. I find it deplorable that anyone would abuse this powerful economic development tool, whether in my hometown or anywhere else. The series “Payday at the mill” illuminated vulnerable parts of the program that need to be amended. The New Markets program has helped Maine compete for business on a global scale. While this is not true in a case like Great Northern Paper, which ceased to operate, St. Croix Tissue and Mölnlycke will more than repay our state as they grow and prosper. ~ Matthew Polstein, Millinocket
Letter: ‘Payday at the mill’ series sparks comment, commendation
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

The articles in the recent series by Whit Richardson, “Payday at the mill” (April 19 and 26), are excellent pieces of investigative journalism. Mr. Richardson states that “Advantage Capital threatened to pull its more than $30 million investment from Maine, which included $7 million to Putney Inc., a Portland-based pet pharmaceutical company,” to force the Finance Authority of Maine board to approve a financing deal for JSI Store Fixtures in Milo that included a one-day loan of $15.8 million. Since I launched the company in 2006, we’ve hired over 60 team members. We’ve raised over $50 million in equity from investors as well as plowing all of our proceeds from over $30 million in revenues last year back into the business. ~ Jean Hoffman, Putney, Inc., Portland
Maine Nonprofits at Work
Other - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

Did You Know? Nonprofits…
• Employ 1 in 7 workers in Maine.
• Contribute $10 billion per year to the economy through wages paid, retail and wholesale sales, and professional services contracted.
• Pay $3.6 billion annually in wages, which translates to approximately $206 million in personal income tax revenue.
• Mobilize 350,000 volunteers each year to improve communities.
Prescribed Burn planned for State land in Rome
Maine Government News - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has scheduled a prescribed burn for May 6th at 10:30 am on state land in Rome in the area known as “Blueberry Hill,” which is about fifteen miles northwest of Augusta. Forest Rangers from the Maine Forest Service will be in charge of the controlled burn and will use the opportunity to train several civilian wildland firefighters. The benefits of the burn include: control of brush and maintenance of the scenic vista; enhancement of blueberry bush propagation for recreational, non-commercial use; and improvement of field nesting bird habitat.
Opinion: Let’s hope cooler heads prevail in GMO label debate
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

While the scientific consensus says that products containing genetically modified materials are entirely safe to eat, some food producers have chosen to label their products to appeal to the niche of consumers who prefer non-GMO ingredients. Two years ago, the Maine Legislature considered legislation requiring that all foods sold in Maine come with labels as to whether the product contains genetically modified ingredients. If Maine were to mandate these labels unilaterally, food manufacturers would have to produce labels specifically for Maine, driving up the cost to Maine consumers of many popular foods, and jeopardizing the very availability of some of these products in our state. One national special interest group is now targeting Maine’s new law, seeking to unravel the compromise. ~ Ben Gilman, Maine State Chamber of Commerce
White groundhog spotted in Stockton Springs
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

Mother Nature is full of surprises, and it’s not uncommon to see wild critters that just don’t seem to look like their peers. That was the case recently, as Lynn Nickerson of Stockton Springs saw an animal waddling around near her house. Her friend snapped some photos, Nickerson sent them to me, and asked the obvious question: “I think this is a white groundhog. What do you think?”
Invasive Plants in Your Woods?
Maine Government News - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

Now is the time when many invasive plants in Maine are most easily detected because they tend to green up or “leaf out” before many native species. Take a walk in your woods to see if invasive plants might be present. These plants are much easier to control when just a few plants are present, before they are established throughout your woods.
Hike: Thorne Head Preserve in Bath
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

BDN reporter Aislinn Sarnacki joins Glenburn resident Greg Westrich, author of two FalconGuides hiking guides to Maine, to explore the trail network of Thorne Head Preserve, the signature property of the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust in Bath, on April 30, 2015. [video]
Opinion: Mega Transmission Being Shoved Down Our Throats Based on a Lie
Citizens Task Force on Wind Power - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

As recently as last week, at the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee public hearing, Maine's "Public Advocate," Timothy Schneider, denied the fact that increased transmission expenses in wind are due to wind power proliferation after Friends of Maine's Mountains correctly made such an assertion. Schneider amazingly said FMM's assertion was false and that we are building for reliability. However, following Schneider's outrageous statement, Tony Buxton of Preti Flaherty's Energy & Utilities Practice Group got up and said FMM's assertion was in fact very true, that more than half of the MPRP was to accommodate Maine wind.
Nominee for PUC disagrees with LePage on some issues
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

One of the biggest and broadest challenges ahead in the electricity world is how to pay for the grid upgrades expected to cost about $1.5 trillion nationally between 2010 and 2030, an estimate developed by consultants at The Brattle Group. Bruce Williamson, the economist that Maine Public Utilities Commission Chairman Mark Vannoy recommended Gov. Paul LePage nominate to fill a vacancy on the three-person regulatory panel, said that’s one of his largest concerns. Williamson views the grid upgrade challenge and other regulatory questions as matters of economics. The LePage administration’s pick comes from a different arena than most recent PUC commissioners and with few connections to Maine, an apparent effort to cool some of the political heat on the PUC.
Portland in the running to host Arctic conference
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 

Three officials from the U.S. State Department are in Maine this week on a scouting mission to determine if Portland should host an international forum for delegates from eight Arctic nations, possibly including Secretary of State John Kerry. It would be the first-ever such meeting in the United States outside of Alaska and would draw between 150 and 200 people, including government officials, climate scientists and leaders of indigenous people who live in the Arctic. The Arctic Council’s Senior Arctic Officials meeting is scheduled for Oct. 4-6, 2016.
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

3 Maine farmers markets to visit this spring, summer
By Kathleen Pierce - As the ground thaws and green shoots thrust through the earth, another rite of spring commences: farmers market season.
5/2/2015 11:00:00 PM

GMO labeling battle back before the Maine Legislature
By Matt Byrne - The latest proposal would require labeling of genetically modified foods in Maine without waiting for other New England states to act.
4/29/2015 11:00:00 PM

What does the ruling in Vermont mean for GMO labeling?
By Elaine Watson - While opponents of Vermont’s GMO labeling Act 120 suffered a major setback this week after a federal judge rejected many of their arguments, some attorneys predict the case could ultimately end up in the Supreme Court to settle a long-running debate over compelled speech on product labels.
4/29/2015 11:00:00 PM

Vermont law on GMO food to stand, for now
A Vermont law that could make the state the first in the country to require labeling of genetically modified food has been allowed by a federal judge to stand for now despite opposition by food industry groups.
4/29/2015 9:33:15 AM

Wanted: ‘Grow pair’ who love children, life on the farm
By Natalie Feulner - Last year, Sarah Smith, farmer and owner of Grassland Organic Farm in Skowhegan, found herself unexpectedly single; wrangling three kids ages 3, 6 and 9; and trying to manage the day-to-day of farm life. “I’m a great mom. … But in the end, I love to work and I love to work on my farm. I don’t want to sacrifice that, but I’m also not interested in putting them in day care all summer,” Smith said. “So, there is this balance that needs to happen.” This year, Smith is hoping to implement a unique solution: a “grow pair.”
4/26/2015 11:00:00 PM

Portland embraces Mayor’s Initiative for a Healthy and Sustainable Food System
By Meredith Goad - In Portland, it’s everything from goat mowing to more community gardens and a public orchard, as city dwellers sink their teeth into projects for the Mayor’s Initiative for a Healthy and Sustainable Food System.
4/25/2015 11:00:00 PM

Prominent Government Watchdog Asks Obama Administration to Remove Organic Leadership at USDA
The nation’s preeminent organic industry watchdog, The Cornucopia Institute, sent a letter today to the White House, and to USDA Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack, requesting a change in leadership at the regulator’s National Organic Program (NOP).
4/23/2015 11:00:00 PM

Seed to risotto: I visit the first rice farm in Maine
By Kate Cone - When I saw on the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners (MOFGA) website that Ben Rooney, a Colby College grad, was beginning to farm rice in nearby Benton, I got excited. Not as excited as I was about finding heirloom apples, since that involves detective work, but almost as excited, and you should be too.
4/22/2015 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

Bargain Hunt
Buying second-hand reduces demand for new items and raw materials.  Scout yard sales and thrift stores for clo...
5/6/2015 4:00:51 AM

Falmouth House Believed to be Most Energy Efficient in Maine
By The Associated Press MPBN news story FALMOUTH, Maine — A Maine entrepreneur has built a new home that’...
5/5/2015 7:22:43 AM

That “New Car” Smell
Instead of buying disposable, synthetic air fresheners for your car, try tying a small bunch of scented herbs,...
5/5/2015 4:00:39 AM

NRCM Testimony Neither For Nor Against LD 1366, An Act to Promote Recycling Program Integration and Efficiencies
Senator Saviello, Representative Welsh, and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural...
5/4/2015 9:50:20 AM

LePage’s Intransigence Threatens Key Efficiency Maine Programs
Rather than support a quick fix of a typo, he and Republican House Leader Ken Fredette are trying to use a man...
5/4/2015 9:25:38 AM

NRCM Testimony in Opposition to LD 1354, An Act to Improve the Maine Administrative Procedures Act
Senator Whittemore, Representative Martin, and members of the State and Local Government Committee. My name is...
5/4/2015 8:00:09 AM

Squirt It Clean
Use a trigger nozzle when washing your car.  You could save about 20 gallons of water. To view more tips, clic...
5/4/2015 4:00:46 AM

Rug Shuffle
Most carpets and rugs are made of synthetic petroleum-based substances and their manufacture contributes to ai...
5/3/2015 4:00:54 AM
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