GET OUT! Youth need to move more, confirms new study unveiled in White Center

September 11th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Health, White Center news No Comments »

(WCN photos, video)

A new report unveiled Tuesday in White Center is aimed at getting more activity into more youths’ lives. Our photos and video are from the event at Steve Cox Memorial Park that accompanied this King County announcement:

Too many young people in King County – particularly in communities of color – face barriers to physical activity even in a region famous for outdoor recreation, a new study conducted by the University of Washington’s Center for Leadership in Athletics in partnership with King County Parks and the Aspen Institute found. A new coalition that will include local professional sports teams and community-based organizations will implement the report’s recommendations.

A new study found that less than 19 percent of youth in King County get the amount of physical activity recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a figure that is below the national average and declining.

The study – conducted by the University of Washington’s Center for Leadership in Athletics in partnership with King County Parks and The Aspen Institute – recommends empowering local schools to be community hubs for physical activity and improving transportation options that connect youth to parks and playfields.

King County and the UW Center for Leadership in Athletics today launched the Play Equity Coalition – a partnership of community-based organizations, school districts, local governments, and professional sports teams, including the Mariners, Sounders, Seattle’s NHL team – will help partners implement recommendations.

“We are doing more than ever to ensure that every child and youth in our rapidly growing region enjoys the proven physical, mental, and academic benefits of exercise. It is ingrained in the work we do with land conservation, Best Starts for Kids, the renewed Parks levy, and more,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “The report recommendations will help us create an unprecedented alliance of local governments, schools, community organizations, and professional sports teams, uniting our efforts so more kids can play.”

Authors of the study, called State of Play: Seattle-King County, found that while screen time may play some role in declining rates of physical activity there are many other barriers keeping youth from being physically active.

A key challenge, researchers say, is that access to physical activity in King County is inequitably distributed on multiple levels, including race, language, affluence, and physical ability. Among other findings in the report, youth who do not speak English at home are both less active and less likely to participate in organized physical activity than their English-speaking peers.

“In the report, we tried to prioritize the voices of youth and families most disenfranchised from physical activity in our region. Now we have to collectively commit to taking that data seriously. It’s time for King County to recognize the vital role that physical activity plays in community health and educational outcomes and do something bold to address the inequities in who plays sports, who has recess, and who has access to outdoor play spaces,” said Julie McCleery, research associate at the UW Center for Leadership in Athletics and the report’s principal investigator.

In addition to improving physical health, exercise promotes social and emotional learning that supports whole childhood development. Research also shows that physical activity improves school attendance and academic performance.

Researchers at the UW Center for Leadership in Athletics – based in the College of Education – conducted the eight-month study, which involved more than 1,600 parents, K-12 students, and coaches through surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

The Play Equity Coalition will unite the efforts of school districts, and community partners such as Baseball Beyond Borders and Congolese Integration Network as well as Seattle Children’s Hospital and the YMCA, in addition to professional sports teams. An example action the coalition will take is to develop an equity toolkit to help programs, investments, and agencies evaluate how existing programs and policies impact access.

Removing barriers to physical activity throughout King County

While King County is famous for its outdoor recreation opportunities, many young people do not have easy access to parks, trails, and greenspace. Executive Constantine’s Land Conservation Initiative – an ambitious plan to protect 65,000 acres of the last best open spaces within a single generation – is accelerating the protection of greenspace in urban areas.

The authors of the study cited Trailhead Direct – transit-to-trails service co-led by King County Metro and King County Parks – as a successful example of improving access. The service added a new route this season that starts and ends at Sound Transit’s Tukwila International Boulevard Station and connects to all hiking trails in the Trailhead Direct network.

Other examples of King County promoting physical activity include:

The King County Parks Levy – which voters recently renewed – will provide about $110 million in grant funding for a variety of park and recreation-related programs and capital projects, which will advance many of the recommendations included in the report.
King County Park’s provides funding for youth sports through a recently expanded program that now annually provides $2.5 million for programs and capital projects through a competitive process along with $1 million in discretionary grants awarded by King County Councilmembers.
Executive Constantine’s Best Starts for Kids initiative strategically invests in health and safe environments, including $640,000 for physical activity programs.
Still, researchers say more needs to be done to overcome the barriers to physical activity that many young people face, particularly in communities of color in South King County.

The study, for example, says programs should do more to provide information about activities in multiple languages. The study also recommends more innovative transportation partnerships similar to Trailhead Direct and free ORCA Opportunity cards for youth in less-affluent communities.

Researchers also recommend establishing schools as hubs for physical activity, launching a public health education campaign promoting the benefits of physical activity for youth, and providing program staff and policy-makers with an equity toolkit to help them make access to physical activity more equitable.

The research was guided by an advisory group of 27 representatives from Public Health – Seattle & King County, school districts, park agencies, nonprofits, professional sports teams, community recreation providers, and businesses.

The study was funded by the UW Center for Leadership in Athletics, King County Parks, Kaiser Permanente, Seattle Mariners, Bezos Family Foundation, YMCA of Greater Seattle, evo, and Seattle Children’s Hospital with in-kind donations from Amazon.

Among those at the announcement, local football legend Sonny Sixkiller:

And Highline Public Schools superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield:

She also declared that regarding making the study’s recommendations reality, Highline is “all in.”

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White Center scene: Greenbridge health fair

June 29th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Greenbridge, Health, White Center news Comments Off on White Center scene: Greenbridge health fair

Thanks to Gill Loring for the photos from the sun-graced Greenbridge health fair that kicked off the weekend.

As previewed here earlier in the week, a variety of partners joined forces to present the fair.

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Health fair Friday in Greenbridge

June 25th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Greenbridge, Health, White Center news Comments Off on Health fair Friday in Greenbridge

You’re invited!

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1 WEEK AWAY: Learn about local successes in fighting youth substance abuse

May 1st, 2019 Tracy Posted in Health, White Center news Comments Off on 1 WEEK AWAY: Learn about local successes in fighting youth substance abuse

You’re invited to this big event in White Center one week from tonight:

(See the invitation in full-size PDF here.)

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From April’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting: What you need to know about local health

April 21st, 2019 Tracy Posted in Health, North Highline UAC, White Center news 2 Comments »

We weren’t able to cover this month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting but NHUAC has shared with us, so we can share with you, a slide deck with some important but troubling information:

(You can also see it here in PDF.) You can read more about the CHNA process at the CHI Franciscan website.

P.S. NHUAC has a new website – same address – where there’s a link to video of part of April’s meeting. The next meeting will be first Thursday in May – May 2nd – 7 pm at North Highline Fire District HQ (1243 SW 112th).

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‘Rocktoberfest’ benefit at Company Store on September 9th for cancer-fighting documentary

August 28th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Fun, Health, How to Help, White Center news Comments Off on ‘Rocktoberfest’ benefit at Company Store on September 9th for cancer-fighting documentary

Coming up in White Center in less than two weeks!

ROCKTOBERFEST: A Benefit Event
Supporting production of the “Circle of Cells” Documentary

Rocktoberfest is an age 21+ Oktoberfest-themed event benefitting Circle of Cells: a unique, autobiographical documentary about international stem cell donation and cancer survivors. Rocktoberfest takes place on Saturday, September 9th at Company Store in White Center, starting at 6:00 pm.

“Rocktoberfest is a fun way for people to contribute to cancer survival methods,” says Sara Rose Hansen, producer of the Circle of Cells documentary.

“The mission of my film is to increase awareness of the simple, yet often misunderstood, process of stem cell donation; and bolster registration on the National Marrow Donor Program.”

As Zoe Mandels, the owner of Company Store, said, “I am so excited to help Sara Rose get this information out there; her documentary will have such a positive impact on people helping people.”

Rocktoberfest boasts many attractions, including:

“Be The Match” registration and information booth for potential stem cell donors.
Bavarian beer garden, bratwurst and pretzels open at 6:00 pm.

Four talented, local bands starting at 8:00 pm:

Tripp Rezac Band
Snaketopus
Cartoon Heart
Valerie Cavell

Silent auction and raffle prizes from Seattle businesses and artists.

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BURN BAN: Now in effect, countywide

August 2nd, 2017 Tracy Posted in Environment, Health, White Center news Comments Off on BURN BAN: Now in effect, countywide

With pollution from wildfire smoke continuing to increase, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has put a Stage 1 burn ban in effect countywide. Here’s what that means.

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Health, safety on the agenda for North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s June 2017 meeting

May 28th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Health, North Highline UAC, Safety, White Center news Comments Off on Health, safety on the agenda for North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s June 2017 meeting

Thursday night, join your area’s community council to talk and hear about health and safety. From the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, the agenda for the June meeting, coming up Thursday:

When: Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 7 pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station at 1243 SW 112th Street in White Center (Parking and Entrance in the Back of the Station)

Please join North Highline’s volunteer community council at our June 1, 2017 meeting.

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

Natural Resources Are Vital to a Healthy Community: Surroundings that don’t encourage daily exercise or provide clean air and nutritious food too often lead to depression, obesity, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. King County’s Land Conservation Projects Manager, Charlie Governali, will tell us about the County’s Land Conservation Initiative. The Initiative is an effort to conserve 60,000+ acres, including natural areas, trails, urban greenspaces, farmlands, and forestlands. Which natural resources around North Highline should be protected? Should they be used for walking trails, garden areas, parks or ???

Our Neighborhoods Matter: Carlos Marquez, a Community Service Officer with the KCSO, will be joining us to share two important ways we can help deal with some of the issues facing North Highline. Carlos will explain the importance of Block Watch, how Block Watch works, and the fundamentals of organizing a Block Watch. He will also educate us about the upcoming Citizen’s Police Academy and the different topics it covers. Don’t miss this chance to learn how you can be empowered to help our community!

Our community certainly matters to Deputy Bill Kennamer. Deputy Bill will join us once again to help increase our awareness of what is happening in North Highline.

Good of the Order: Do you have something of community import on your mind? Join us and share!

See you Thursday, June 1st at 7 PM – Because Knowledge Is Power!

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TODAY/TONIGHT: Noble Barton is your White Center stop for Dining Out For Life

April 27th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Health, How to Help, Restaurants, White Center news Comments Off on TODAY/TONIGHT: Noble Barton is your White Center stop for Dining Out For Life

Lifelong‘s annual Dining Out For Life fundraiser is today/tonight, and there’s one White Center restaurant on the list: Noble Barton (9635 16th SW).

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Start the New Year with free boot camps at FitBody Solutions

December 30th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Health, White Center news Comments Off on Start the New Year with free boot camps at FitBody Solutions

If fitness is in the plan for you for 2017, here’s an irresistible offer: FitBody Solutions in White Center (a new advertiser on our partner site West Seattle Blog) has free bootcamps coming up next week:

January 2nd, 4th, 6th, at 5 am, 6 am, 7 am, 45-minute classes. Call or e-mail to save a space – 253-642-7179, info@fitbody-solutions.com – FitBody Solutions is at 1521 SW 98th, next to Bok-a-Bok.

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SURVEY: The Coalition for Drug-Free Youth needs a few minutes of your time

October 26th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Health, Online, White Center news Comments Off on SURVEY: The Coalition for Drug-Free Youth needs a few minutes of your time

Can you spare a few minutes? If you’re 18 or older, this survey is for you:

The Coalition for Drug-Free Youth – a community-based alcohol, tobacco, and drug prevention organization – is conducting a short community survey. This survey asks about one’s perceptions of drug and alcohol use and abuse in youth and in the community. The data from these surveys will be used to implement evidence-based prevention programs in middle and high schools in the community.

Adults ages 18 and over, who live, work or frequent the North Highline and Burien areas are eligible to take this survey. Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey!

Survey link (English): surveymonkey.com/r/KIWHON2016

Survey link (Español) es.surveymonkey.com/r/KIWHSP2016

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White Center businesses: Sloth Around Community Acupuncture now open

August 17th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Health, White Center news Comments Off on White Center businesses: Sloth Around Community Acupuncture now open

Looking for acupuncture treatment? A new community clinic is open in White Center – Sloth Around Community Acupuncture. Proprietor Lynn Bondi says, “Sloth Around Community Acupuncture exists to provide high quality, affordable, and accessible acupuncture to as many people as possible, and as often as necessary. It’s easy for friends and family to heal together in our comforting, calm, and relaxing community space. Our sliding scale fee of $20-$50 allows you to choose a fee that best fits into your budget.” You can make appointments online at slotharoundtogether.com, where you’ll also find the days/hours; the clinic is at 10223 17th Ave SW.

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Grand opening today for Pacific Muay Thai in White Center

July 31st, 2016 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Health, White Center news Comments Off on Grand opening today for Pacific Muay Thai in White Center

A new White Center business is having its grand opening this afternoon. Pacific Muay Thai (9654 16th SW) says it’s “one of the few schools in Seattle offering Authentic Muay Thai, (which) combines Muay Thai technique with a strength and conditioning program to help students achieve their goals and prepare them for competition.” Their classes all have multiple instructors, and “provide a comprehensive program that offers pad work, clinch work, heavy bag work, sparring sessions, and experience training in a ring.” Daily hours will be 5-9 pm; today’s grand opening starts at 1 pm, and, says proprietor Kim, “local grub is provided.”

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FRIDAY: Health Fair @ Greenbridge

June 14th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Greenbridge, Health, White Center news Comments Off on FRIDAY: Health Fair @ Greenbridge

Just out of the inbox today:

Come to the annual Greenbridge Health Fair this Friday, June 17th from 4-7 pm. It will be held at Greenbridge Plaza, 8th Ave SW & 99th Ave SW. There will be free health services and resources to help your family stay safe and drug free! There will also be free healthy food, prizes, entertainment, and giveaways. Don’t miss this fun, healthy, and family-friendly event! For more information, contact Mike Graham-Squire at mikegs@nhwa.org or 206-353-7945.

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Stage 1 burn ban now in effect for all of King County

January 2nd, 2016 Tracy Posted in Health, Weather, White Center news Comments Off on Stage 1 burn ban now in effect for all of King County

(Graphic from Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website)

With another day of stagnant air, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has announced a Stage 1 burn ban for all of King County, in hopes of keeping the air quality from getting any worse. That means: “Use of fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves and inserts prohibited. Pellet stoves, EPA certified wood stoves and inserts are allowed. Outdoor burning prohibited.” You can find out more here.

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‘Best Starts for Kids’ levy campaign launched in White Center

August 9th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Election, Health, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Photo courtesy Best Starts for Kids campaign)

Though the August ballots are still being counted, the November campaigns are on, including a countywide levy that will be on your ballot: Best Starts for Kids, aka King County Proposition 1. The campaign for your “yes” vote began with a Thursday media event in White Center – here’s the news release shared by the campaign afterward:

The proposed six-year levy would invest in prevention and early intervention strategies to increase the number of children in King County who reach adulthood healthy and ready to contribute to the region’s prosperity

King County Executive Dow Constantine and other elected officials and community leaders from throughout King County urged voters to approve the Best Starts for Kids initiative that will appear on the November 3rd General Election ballot.

Best Starts for Kids is an initiative to improve the health and well-being of King County by investing in prevention and early intervention strategies based on the latest brain science that identifies key developmental milestones.

“Best Starts for Kids is our opportunity to transform the way we invest in our children’s future by focusing on what works,” said Executive Constantine. “This is how we will transition to effective upstream solutions that can prevent negative outcomes, including mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and incarceration – and put every child in King County on a path toward lifelong success.”

Executive Constantine was joined by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, campaign co-chairs Matt Griffin and Michelle Sarju, and many more. The event was hosted at Educare School of Greater Seattle, an innovative Head Start program in the White Center neighborhood of unincorporated King County.

“Investing in children early in their lives provides the best opportunity to help them make the right choices and achieve their full potential,” said Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus. “The earlier the investment, the greater the return. Healthy kids are more likely to become productive adults, avoiding issues that can put them into the criminal justice system.”

Best Starts of Kids is informed by research by James Heckman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist who found that investing early in a person’s development – starting with prenatal services – delivers the greatest return.

Heckman, Director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development at the University of Chicago, has devoted his professional life to understanding the origins of major social and economic problems related to inequality, social mobility, discrimination, skill formation and regulation, and to devising and evaluating alternative strategies for addressing those problems.

“The aim is to make the latest research and tools available to every parent and caregiver, and ultimately to produce talented, creative and successful adults who will help us remain a prosperous region,” said campaign co-chair Michelle Sarju.

The Metropolitan King County Council voted overwhelmingly across party lines to support Best Starts for Kids and place the issue before the voters this November. Approval of the initiative would make King County one of the first metropolitan areas in the nation to adopt a unified, comprehensive plan, based on science, to ensure all children can develop the cognitive, emotional, and social skills necessary to succeed in life.

“This is a great investment opportunity not only in kids but in our community,” Councilmember McDermott said. “Increasing the percentage of healthy children who become successful adults can help reduce spending on criminal justice, reduce homelessness and enable us to target mental-health and drug-treatment options to those who need them.”

Best Starts for Kids will complement Seattle’s preschool program and similar efforts by increasing the number of children who arrive at school each day healthy and ready to learn.

Half the proceeds from the levy will be invested in early childhood development, from birth through age 5 when 92 percent of brain growth occurs. That includes early intervention services that can prevent developmental delays from becoming lifelong disabilities and nurse home visitations that help at-risk mothers deliver healthier babies.

Current community-based programs in King County that increase the likelihood a baby is born at a healthy weight and that help prevent developmental delays from becoming lifelong disabilities are limited in part because the vast majority of the County’s General Fund budget must pay for the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, courts and jails.

The six-year levy, at 14 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, would cost the average King County property owner an estimated $56 per year, or about $1 a week. The levy would be overseen by a citizen’s oversight board and generate an estimated $58.3 million in 2016 for the following allocations:

• 50 percent to early childhood development, from birth through age 5, when research shows that 92 percent of brain growth occurs.

• 35 percent to sustain the gain by providing early intervention services to address problems such as depression and developmental disabilities as the brain continues to develop through age 24.

• 10 percent to reinforce a child’s progress by improving the health, social, and economic outcomes in the communities where they live.

• 5 percent to pay for evaluation, data collection and program improvement.

The levy would immediately fund a program designed to help survivors of domestic violence from becoming homeless. It will be based on a successful pilot project created by the Gates Foundation.

“We all want to live in a place where every child has the chance to succeed,” said campaign co-chair Matt Griffin. “This is a chance to move our community forward and ensure that our children have the fair start to life that they deserve. It’s just the right thing to do.”

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White Center-West Seattle Health Center now open

January 13th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Health, White Center news Comments Off on White Center-West Seattle Health Center now open

(WCN photo from September 2014)
Four months after King County Executive Dow Constantine announced at Greenbridge that the public-health clinic there would be saved thanks to a partnership with Planned Parenthood, PP has officially merged its clinic into that location. Here’s their announcement:

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest (PPGNW) (has moved) its West Seattle Health Center to a new location at 9942 8th Avenue, just over one mile from the current location. The facility, previously the Public Health Center at Greenbridge operated by Public Health—Seattle & King County, will open as the new White Center-West Seattle Health Center.

In 2014, the Public Health Center at Greenbridge was proposed for closure due to a severe budget shortfall at Public Health—Seattle & King County. However, through partnerships with PPGNW and the City of Seattle the health center will be operated by PPGNW for the next two years, as local leaders pursue longer-term funding.

“We are thrilled to be opening our new facility in West Seattle,” said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of PPGNW. “Our important partnership with King County and Seattle Public Health will bring continued support and service to the local community by providing high-quality, affordable reproductive health care for the women, men, and teens who need it most in West Seattle and the surrounding area.”

The new White Center-West Seattle Health Center will be open five days a week and offer a full range of high-quality reproductive health care, including affordable access to birth control, well-woman visits, breast and cervical cancer screening, emergency contraception, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment, abortion services, and comprehensive sexual health education and information. Planned Parenthood educators will offer comprehensive sexual health education, youth development programming and parent education for schools and community agencies.

In addition, patients can schedule appointments, or receive mail-order contraceptives and test kits for sexually transmitted infections via webcam. This online tool serves as an opportunity to reach individuals living in remote communities across the region.

For more than 30 years, PPGNW has partnered with King County Public Health to provide comprehensive family planning services. PPGNW will continue its partnership and collaboration with the city and county to ensure a smooth transition of patient care.

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Burn ban’s over as of Saturday afternoon

January 3rd, 2015 Tracy Posted in Environment, Health, White Center news Comments Off on Burn ban’s over as of Saturday afternoon

Update from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, as announced earlier today – you can use your fireplace/woodstove again:

Effective immediately, all burn bans are being lifted in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, as well as Darrington. With the help of rain and wind, air pollution levels everywhere dropped to GOOD or lower Moderate last night.

While agency forecasters do expect only light winds during the day today and into tonight, an approaching weather system should increase winds and rain late tonight and into Sunday. This will again help disperse our air pollution and keep levels low for the next 2-3 days.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency would like to thank everyone who switched to alternative sources of heat instead of burning wood during these bans. Children, the elderly, and people with chronic respiratory health problems especially appreciate your efforts.

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No more burn ban in King County, for now

December 2nd, 2014 Tracy Posted in Environment, Health, White Center news Comments Off on No more burn ban in King County, for now

In case you were hoping to use your fireplace or woodstove sometime soon – it’s now OK again. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has lifted the King County burn ban as of this afternoon – no current restrictions.

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Stage 2 burn ban in effect for King County

November 19th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Environment, Health, White Center news Comments Off on Stage 2 burn ban in effect for King County

Until 6 am tomorrow, no fireplace or woodstove use unless it’s your main source of heat – a Stage 2 Burn Ban just took effect at noon. Details here.

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