Winter Storm Thurs/Fri 1/17/18

Winter Storms Expected to Impact Sierra Motorists
Forecast for series of winter storms to bring snow to lower elevations

MARYSVILLE – Caltrans District 3 is alerting motorists to be prepared for winter driving conditions as a series of storms start to line up to impact the Northern California area.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the first storm expected to arrive mid-day Thursday and continue through Friday. Up to two feet of snow is expected above 5,000 feet on the Interstate 80 corridor and over a foot is expected on the Echo Summit – U.S. Highway 50 corridor. The storm’s cold front could lower snow levels to 2,500-3,000 feet Friday morning. A return to dry, cold weather is forecast with below freezing overnight temperatures through Sunday and Monday when another, weaker storm is expected to bring more snow accumulations to the Sierra passes. A mid-week storm is also on the horizon.

ChainControlStopI80WBThese winter storms will result in winter driving conditions for much the foothill and mountain areas. High winds are also forecast, which may result in low visibility from white-out conditions and greater wind chill factors.

Chain controls on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit, on U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit and on other Sierra mountain roadways should be anticipated Thursday through Friday and Sunday night into Monday. Caltrans permitted and trained chain installers on Interstate 80 can be identified by a reflective sign with their bib number.

Severe weather may slow motorists, resulting in roadway congestion. Wet and slippery roadways reduce tire traction, especially at high vehicle speeds. Hydroplaning caused by vehicle speed and rain accumulations on the roadway can result in loss of driver control. Motorists are encouraged to slow down and observe the following winter driving tips, which can also be found at

· Check your tire pressure and tread depth to minimize sliding and/or hydroplaning.
· Replace the wiper blades and fill the windshield wiper fluid reservoir; be sure to use a winter formula to help de-ice windshields.
· If traveling to higher elevations, carry tire chains that are the correct size for your tires, and practice installing the chains before needing to use them.
· Have a full tank of fuel before traveling.

· Have blankets, extra clothing, food and water, towels, a shovel, a flashlight, an ice scraper, a small bag of sand or kitty litter and road flares.
· Have a fully charged cell phone before leaving and carry a car charger.

· Reduce speeds during winter weather and allow for additional stopping time.
· Turn on headlights to see and be seen and turn off cruise control.
· Watch for snow removal equipment. Only pass snow removal vehicles when a safe, legal passing area is available and sight distance is good.
· Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, and shaded areas; they may freeze first.
· If your vehicle begins to skid, steer in the direction of the slide and slowly remove your foot from the accelerator.

· Check out Caltrans’ “QuickMap” for current road conditions and chain requirements at A mobile version is also available.
· Motorists also can use the California Highway Information Network automated phone service by calling 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).
· Motorists can see real-time conditions before they hit the road by using our map of traffic cameras in the Sacramento Valley, up Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 50 and around the Tahoe Basin.
· Follow Caltrans District 3 on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and Facebook to receive the latest information about current roadway conditions.
· For forecast information, visit the National Weather Service website.

· Understand that winter weather and road conditions can change rapidly and allow for extra travel time.
· Make sure you share the route you intend to take with friends or family.
· Exercise patience and respect for other motorists.

Caltrans crews will be working around the clock to keep the roadways open and clear. Motorists are urged to be “Be Work Zone Alert” and to “Slow for the Cone Zone.”

Wednesday January 17, 2018


The Burning TreeFest in Downieville last Saturday was a flaming success with lots of Festers in attendance. The Downieville VFD and Downieville Improvement Group (DIG) did a great job keeping everyone safe and filled with hotdogs, snacks and treats, great community fun at Gold Rush Park.  Thanks to all the wonderful volunteers, you are special!

Taking a trip to Nevada City might be a fun thing to do with all these upcoming events. Especially this one on January 26th.

I write this on Sunday morning after reading Trump’s latest tweet “DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military.” What an awful man. I wonder what happened to him to have him grow into this spiteful man lacking in any compassion for other humans who share our planet. Carol gave me a book, biographies of First Mothers, Trump’s mother is not there, it might have given us some insight. Rumor is she was under the thumb of a domineering abusive husband, it is possible this was Trump’s role model. But who knows what lurks in the heart of a man.

Now it is Tuesday and Dr. Ronny says Trump is in excellent health and he scored 100% on a Montreal Cognitive Test…. 30 questions such as a photo of a lion, rhino and camel and he knew what they are, he was also to name as many words beginning with an “F” in a minute…okay okay, I won’t beat this to death….so he has excellent cognitive skills…which takes me back to him just being an awful, narcissistic, selfish man child. The most exciting news is since I passed this test I now can be President.

This week read the news, the places to go the things to do and Carrie’s Corner, columnists Tom Hastings and Robert Koehler, Board of Supervisors and information on the Tax Initiative headed for the ballot in June to support our local emergency medical care and advanced life support.

The photo this week was taken by Ski Bum Mark Fisher at Alpine Meadows, the good news is this will be the sticky base for powder this weekend that is as long as Jenny continues to dance…

Mountain Messenger (SensitivityFirst) 1/17/18


Someone wondered if the Don had banished me from the Mountain Messenger due to political sensitivity of his readers… I mean how can anyone who reads From this Crackpot’s Desk have any sensitivity. I remember many moons ago when a headline in the Mess was titled “Chickenpoop Sheriff” actually it wasn’t “poop” but the real thing, I don’t remember the issue, I don’t know anyone who does, but no one has forgotten the headline on –the front page no less. The Sheriff served four terms, is now a county Supervisor and he and the Don often break bread together as friends. The question about banishment came because this Mess page was missing out of last week’s Prospect…what happened?? simple…. my cognitive process experienced a blip and I just forgot, so much for being President. Meanwhile regardless of how you feel about life in general I am begging you to support the Mess, renew your subscription, buy a gift subscription, place an ad, buy gift cards for Milly, Jill and Penelope  at Coyoteville and be kind to Ingrid.

1/17/18 Don Russell listens attentively as candidates for Congressional District 1 vie for his favor.

Send anything you need published to Milly, the CEO and most important person in the office, at or you may call directly to 530 289-3262 and talk to Don, (and suggest he give a raise to Jill, Milly’s secretary). For a subscription: send money to Mountain Messenger at P.O. Drawer A, Downieville 95936 or call 530 289-3262 with credit card in hand.. Write to Don Russell at and tell him you subscribed because you read about it on Sierra County Prospect….. Subscriptions cost –In Sierra County $30 1yr- $50 2yrs / Out of county $35 1 yr -$60 2yrs

Wednesday January 10, 2018

Get ready for the Burning TreeFest in Downieville at the Gold Rush Park at noon Saturday January 13th, Hot chocolate, hot dogs, cookies and community fun. Contrary to rumor we are not roasting goats. The goats are safe.

Make your reservations for the Sierra City Crab Feed, tickets go quick, call Mary Ervin at 862-1173 for reservations, tickets.

Check out the Bridgeport News SYRSP Newsletter right here.

I’ve been thinking about the #MeToo movement over the past few weeks and although I applaud the women who are speaking up, it does give me an edgy feeling of trepidation as all these male “scoundrels” lose their jobs, reputations, lives without any sort of due process. Yes, some of the allegations and charges border on criminal behavior and there is a legal process and we are all innocent till proven guilty… aren’t we? I am a woman and I have been in the midst of misogynism behavior and inappropriate behavior in the workplace, it’s happened to me and I have seen it happen to female co-workers. I’ve also seen women tell inappropriate jokes and act in ways to cause inappropriate response. I worked for a telephone company in the 60’s where the female supervisor required her group of clerical female workers to raise their hands for permission to go on a bathroom break. I think through everyone’s life you can be a victim or a survivor, I chose survival. I did speak up for myself. I also told an employer in the construction industry that he should not give me the same Xmas bonus as a male co-worker but I should get less, because I knew in that industry at that time (70’s when often at Pre-job conferences with agencies I would be the only woman in the room), it would only cause me grief working with the male employees if I was given the same bonus as them. Yes, it is time for men to adapt but this shouldn’t be done out of fear, or the need to treat us with kid gloves. It should be done out of equal treatment for all and respect. Equal pay, yes but don’t forget the seniority, experience and production that allows for different scales of pay. Just because I am a woman does not make me worthier… it depends on the individual and a fair employment workplace.

This week we have Carrie’s Corner, Sheriff’s Log, news, events, words of wisdom from Tom Hastings, Robert Koehler, Kevin Martin, Gabe Murphy and a letter from Afghanistan.

So this weeks photo is of a painting by local artist B.J. Jordan, this doesn’t do it justice so make sure you check out B.J.’s paintings at the Gallery when it reopens this Spring.

Crab Feed Soon 1/10/16

The Sierra City Fire Auxiliary will be holding their annual Crab Feed on Saturday, January 20th at the Sierra City Community Hall. There will be a no host cocktail hour starting at 5:30 pm with dinner served at 6:30 pm. The cost of the tickets is $40 per person. There will also be a raffle. Please join us for this fun evening and help support the SCVFD and Auxiliary. I have tickets available so please feel free to contact me at 862-1173. Thank you for your support.   Mary Ervin

Generous Donations 1/10/18

P.O. BOX 254

Dear Editor:

The Western Sierra Food Bank and Volunteers wish to thank all who made such generous donations of food and monies to make this Christmas Holiday so very meaningful to those in need.

There was indeed an outpouring of giving to Western Sierra Food Bank. Donations include the giving of one’s spirit to those in need in western Sierra County. Again, thanks so much to all who participated in this endeavor.

Sincerely,  Bette Jo Lang., Chairperson

Wednesday January 3, 2018

Scientists are descending on Downieville to research how the local bear who knows how to dismantle bear proof bins, and has graduated from breaking out car windows to just opening the doors to check for food and has left the local humans wondering whether it is best to lock the car doors or leave them unlocked so windows don’t get broken. One suggestion which appears to work is leave no food or food wrappers in the car, if you must leave food in the car leaving the door unlocked so the bear has easy access is probably not a good idea. The bear has been seen using both his mouth and a paw on the door latch, however it is unknown if there is one or more bears involved.  Monday morning there was a report of six cars on upper Main St with doors open on both driver and passenger side.  So far no damage to the vehicles with open doors, people not really upset but more amazed at the ingenuity of our local bear… smarter than the average bear…

Burning Tree-Fest is scheduled for Saturday January 13, 2018 at noon at Gold Rush Park in Downieville. DIG will provide hotdogs, chili, hot chocolate, cider and marshmallows for roasting, cookies, chips etc are welcome.Family fun for an old-fashioned end of holidays tree burning bonfire.

Mark your calendar for Tuesday January 16th at 6 PM for the Congressional Candidate Forum in Sierraville. Looking for a representative who really represents our District 1.

Happy New Year, work for the best, pay attention to the world and be kind, helpful, compassionate, nice and did I mention kind…. think about what government’s role is in society. I’ve always seen the government as us.. you and me… our government is of, by and for the people. One thing that irks me is someone stating proudly, “I don’t vote… I’m not even registered to vote”… my immediate reaction to the statement (in my head of course) is ” OMG what kind of idiot are you???”  Yes, voting is the easiest way to be involved in your life, then of course volunteering for community responsibilities and there are many local governmental committees, boards, commissions both appointed and elected to begin really having a voice in government, there is nothing special about people in government, they stepped up and offered to be involved, learned more about the job and found being involved is not a bad thing.

My view of governments role is helping everyone have their basic needs and rights, like food, shelter, education, transportation, infrastructure, medical resources, these are common basic needs that a government can help insure for all, not just the CEO’s who can afford whatever they want privately, but everyone, the school lunch lady, service workers, mechanics, teachers everyone has a place in this world. If you make it financially and can buy boats or toys and fun vacations, more power to you… if you are struggling financially for whatever reason having food, shelter, medical care and education must be a given for all… so get involved, volunteer, do what you can to make all of our lives as great as they can be…we are all we got.

Are you getting ready, for the winter storms? Here is the FEMA Guide to help you prepare. Jenny is dancing…  winter will be here any day.

Carol’s Movies, Carries Corner and the Board of Supes, Tom Hastings, Kathy Kelly, Lawrence Wittner, Wim Laven,  are all here along with Mountain Messenger page and lots of local news and things to do.

This week the photo is from  Carol and David Marshall  who took a trip to Brandy City where they find the Pond is forming ice….hmmm all we need now is some snow.

Carrie’s Sickly Corner 1/3/18

by: Carrie A. Blakley

Happy 2018! Now that the party has worn off a bit, and you’ve come to the realization that it’s still cold outside…let’s get back on our feet and get stuff done! As most of you know, there has been a bout of illness going around the area that can best be described as ‘there appears to have been some type of Twilight Zone effect that took place at some point’. One moment, you’re going about your day, perfectly fine. Nothing is wrong. You feel great, save for a bit of a chill in you from the cold weather. The next moment, you feel as if you’ve just been body slammed into the Twilight Zone, where your surroundings are no longer familiar, and you suddenly seem to have accumulated a stupid amount of Kleenex, and pain medication. Then, you’re all right again.

Picture, if you will, an extremely noisy neighbor. This neighbor also likes to party, and make a huge mess, all the time. They will not stop with the noise, and the mess, and the partying, until they are darn good and ready to stop. You have no choice in the matter. All you can do is try to muffle the noise, and somehow get on with your day. This is how colds work. You have around 198 different colds to pick from, all in varying shapes and sizes. Once you have obtained a cold, you can then choose your weapons to help you fend off the symptoms of the cold. The cold virus itself isn’t going to leave your body until it’s good and ready, so be sure to choose your weapons carefully. Clear liquids, lots of tissues, extra vitamins, a bit of extra Zinc and lots of rest are the best weapons. Then again, to each his/her own, as every person is different.

Be smart! Do not hesitate to see your health care professional if you need to. We all know that your condition can worsen very quickly if it wants to, so be sure to do everything you can to keep yourself on the right track to getting better. Yes, yes, I know. We all hate taking medications. I have never met one person who enjoys taking medication. That being said, sometimes, it is necessary in order to help our bodies start to heal up, and feel better. Just take it slow, and give it some time. If you are sick, stay home. Really. I’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why someone goes out when they’re sick. I get it. Chances are, you didn’t get sick at home. Therefore, it’s best to stay there until you’re feeling better, instead of going out….and getting sick all over again, or more sick than you already were when you left the house. Have a safe, happy…and healthy, new year everyone! Hope your celebrations were great!

Christmas in Sierra City 12/20/27

Reported by Mary Davey

December 16th 2017 Sierra City had the wonderful Family friendly non – denominational Christmas Celebration potluck. Hosted by the Methodist Church in Sierra City. It has been a custom in our family for 14 years – Other folks a lot longer. It starts out with visiting and food ..Lots of great stuff to eat. This year we had the “String Alongs” helping with our Christmas Carols lead by Miriam Dines who really keeps this thing going. The Wise Men made it to the stage, as the Nativity Story was being read. Then just as everyone was in their places the power went out . Thank goodness Santa arrived with The Sierra City VFD and shed some light on the whole event.  It was great , Thank you everyone for the best Sierra City Christmas Party ever !

Grand Jury 12/20/17

Want to find a way to contribute to our community,?Stepping up and volunteering to serve on the Sierra County Grand Jury is a great way to help keep our county healthy and the best it can be… the 2016-17 Grand Jury has only a feel months left and yet due to illness and other personal matters a few of the original members have had to step down and the quorum necessary to conduct business is endangered. Now is a good time to help out and discover the inside workings of your local government. Please call 289-3698 or go here

Wednesday December 20, 2017

Enjoy Carols and Candlelight in the Mountains Friday Evening, December 22, 2017 7:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sierra City Community Church

Gradations in case you wonder what Tom Hastings gradations mean..

The Downieville High School Basketball Schedule 2017is available right here, just click on the blue to go to the website.

So five days away will be Christmas and I really want everyone to have a happy, merry, safe holiday with family and friends. It’s a good time to take a breath and relax. Somehow we must pay attention to what is happening around us with healthcare, larger deficits and loose regulations in the health, pharmaceutical, environment and work places. We all hope for the best and believe sanity and democracy will reign just don’t forget it is up to us, you and me, to keep our country great and not let it trickle down the drain drip by drip. And amazingly after writing this I found this article and thought… yep it ain’t good.

Read every thing this week, the Mountain Messenger (paper version) where you will find the news about the Board of Supervisors but if all else fails listen to the recording of the meeting, it really tells us a lot about local government. Sooo…interesting. And of course Carrie’s Corner, Carol’s Movies, Sheriff’s Log. Are you ready for the Plumas Sierra Fair 2018 there’s news here In addition to reading Tom Hasting read Rivera Sun, Mel Gurtov and Kary Love for words that feed the brain and make us think.

Oh one last thing, are you new to Sierra County, just started work here, wondering how you got yourself into this reality or real rural life, we know how to help you, get involved, the volunteer fire departments need you as firefighters, dispatchers, EMTs, and the best thing is we train you, maybe you’ll discover you love the work and end as a professional, meanwhile it is a great way to get to make friends, meet neighbors and find out how lucky we are to be living in a place like Sierra County.  So for Downieville or Sierra City call 530 289-3333 and find out when the next training meeting is, come on now and make some friends, enjoy camaraderie and maybe save some lives

The photo this week is from Christmas with Blue Ellison at the Hennessy House in Sierra City, we miss you Tom Hennessy and here is a special treat just for you…

Wednesday December 13, 2017

Want to find a way to contribute to our community,?Stepping up and volunteering to serve on the Sierra County Grand Jury is a great way to help keep our county healthy and the best it can be… the 2016-17 Grand Jury has only a feel months left and yet due to illness and other personal matters a few of the original members have had to step down and the quorum necessary to conduct business is endangered. Now is a good time to help out and discover the inside workings of your local government. Please call 289-3698 or go here

Sierra City Community  Christmas Party Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Sierra City Community Hall Potluck, carol singing, Christmas Pageant and a special visitor, yes, you guessed… Santa Claus!!!  Turkeys, Ham, Punch and Bread Provided. You bring your favorite main dish, side dish,  salad or dessert. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! Sponsored by Sierra City Fire Department Auxiliary and Sierra City Methodist Church

On the second longest Night of the Year Come and Enjoy Carols and Candlelight
in the Mountains Friday Evening, December 22, 2017 7:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sierra City Community Church

All Sierra County Solid Waste Collection Sites ~ Alleghany, Ramshorn, Sierra City,
Sattley, and Loyalton~ will be closed for upcoming holidays. Additional Comments:
Sierra County Solid Waste Sites – Upcoming Holiday Closures.

We have agreement from all four candidates Congressional candidates for a forum. Tuesday, January 16, 2018  at 6 pm. in Sierraville at the old school. Please mark your calendar!

Speaking of volunteering, Downieville VFD would like to talk to you about becoming a volunteer. Don’t think you are too old, too young, or unskilled, volunteers are the most treasured in Sierra County, and the skills you’ll learn and the camaraderie of working with friends and neighbors is priceless, so give us a call at 289-3333 to find out when the next training meeting is, every week, you can start anytime or give Chief Lozano an email at, we want to hear from you and volunteer together.

Thinking of my brother today, his birthday was December 8th, and he would have been 80. So it is the 2nd night of Chanukah and I miss his Chanukah card which he faithfully sent me every year, he was a good brother. (well I spoke too soon, I just opened a message from my niece Princess Caroline, a Chanukah song with puppies) Happy Chanukah all!

Tom Hastings, Winslow Myers, Lawrence Wittner, Mel Gurtov have words this week, so much better than mine in terms of getting to the core of the issues. I must say Alabama is my hero this week, I knew some good things come out of Alabama… where I was stationed in the WAC, I met my children’s father and my oldest son was born there and he has turned out wonderfully. But what I meant to say was read Carol’s Movies, Weekly Warrior and all the other local news and events and continue to have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season.

The photo this week was taken by Mary Davey and has a great shot of the Bear on the Buttes, enjoy.

Wednesday December 6, 2017

Mark your calendars for Saturday December 16th for the Sierra City Community Christmas Potluck and Children’s Nativity Scene. Santa Claus has promised to once again attend.  Turkey and ham will be provided, bring a dish to share.

If you are looking for road information and/or what roads are not being plowed in Sierra County click on the link.

So, I’m taking a deep breath this week and trying to pretend everything is okay. We all know it isn’t, but then sometimes it is good to take a break and just think for a minute of what can we do to make things better. There is no easy solution. It is apparent the current political makeup of our representatives is not good for the middle income, poverty stricken, elderly and the young starting out. Women have taken a giant step in taking charge of their lives in the workplace and it seems it would be good for everyone to learn how stepping up, speaking out and listening to what our politicians say would be a good thing and understanding what they mean and how it will affect us is critical. Because we are told something will be good for us doesn’t insure it will be,  I guess paying attention to who someone is buddies with is important, if all your friends are rich and greedy what does that say about you…. more importantly him…. darn it … where is that deep breath. get involved, make sure you are registered to vote, pass a petition around, gather people and plan some action, whatever we do we cannot continue to be passive as we (we being American citizens) walk compliantly down this road to ruin of the American way of life.

The photo this week caught my eye and I was given permission by professional photographer Jillian Mildred Singleton to publish it.  This link will take you to articles published this week

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Holiday on Main at the Downieville Community Hall is this Saturday, Santa will be coming around noon, lots of food, vendors, fun and then before you go home see the performances at the Yuba Theatre and Bake Goods Auction, which benefits the Artists in School program, starts at 5pm  this Saturday, December 2. Don’t miss it.  “The Christmas Carol” performed by Downieville students is showing on Saturday, December 2nd at 5:00pm in the Yuba Theatre.

Don’t forget the Annual Pet Parade at the Downieville Firehouse at 12 noon sponsored by the Sierra County Animal Relief Fund (SCARF)

Big changes in Social Security coming in 2018. Click the link for more information.

Need a wonderful friend? Here are some wonderful friends that need you.

Listening to the President of the United States of America talking to Native American Veterans about their unique contribution in WWII as “Codetalkers” and in this ceremony honoring Veterans he chose to take a moment to make disparaging remarks about Senator Elizabeth Warren… WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM?? Omg… words can’t say… he’s just disgusting, I am so ashamed of his representation of the USA. Okay, but is his real motive in playing the idiot to defer attention from the real damage to all of us… for instance, when Richard Cordray Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau resigned on Friday, the agency’s Chief of Staff Leandra English, was appointed Deputy Director, a natural and wise chain of knowledge. The position requires confirmation by the Senate, however Trump immediately thwarted the due process and appointed his own lackey, Mick Mulvaney, being more interested in pleasing lobbyists for the banking industry. it is apparent time after time that Trump is only interested in dismantling our government which was developed for “of the people, by the people, for the people”, to a government favoring the wealthy and the rest of us be damned. He himself personally has taken the position it is smart to declare bankruptcy to save his money rather than pay contractors, small business owners and laborers their rightful due. Please don’t listen to his words, although hard to ignore, but watch what he is doing to our country, he is doing away with all protection for the “common man”. Too tRUMP we are all “losers” and don’t deserve protection from people like him. We need to protect ourselves before it is too late.

So, read our columnists Tom Hastings, Robert Koehler, Kary Love and Kathy Kelly to try and make sense of the times…oh these times….. Carrie’s Corner, Be Encouraged, Carol’s Movies, news, events and things to do this week. This weekend will be fun in Downieville so lets get light and smile for a day.

The photo this week is by New Your Times photographer Tiffany Brown and depicts the loveliness of our Lakes Basin area. It was in the article about the San Francisco Opera Girls of the Golden West.

Bear, Darby, USFS 11/22/17

Who? Me?

Darby is out sick with the flu, to stay home doctors orders till at least Monday…but that did not stop him from answering the door and helping the Forest Service chap that is staying in the barracks last night.

In the middle of watching a scary crime drama late last night, we were startled by a loud very rapid banging on our door…Darby peeked through the drape and noticed the Forest Service worker standing outside our door holding a small hammer.

The bear had broken in the back door of the barracks and was tearing up the kitchen. Darby sick, still chugged out, grabbed his shotgun out of his patrol car and off the two went…they entered the kitchen only slightly torn up and the bear exited out the rear door….the one scared, hammer holding Forest Service worker went around the building to make sure a second door was open so the bear could exit all the way…as the bear did.

Fun times! Hungry Bear!

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