Friday, May 14, 2021

Salish Sea News Week in Review May 14 2021


Aloha Fintastic Friday!

Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice celebrates and raises awareness for sharks, and is geared towards children. It encourages them to get involved in shark conservation efforts and to help change public opinion about sharks—from fear to appreciation and from hate to love. Not only is the day dedicated to sharks, but to other elasmobranchs like rays and skates as well.

Scientists seek to understand increase in grey whale deaths on West Coast
The recent sighting of an emaciated grey whale off Vancouver Island and the discovery of a dead whale washed up on a B.C. beach highlights concerns that the marine mammals are dying in increasing numbers.

Songhees teaming up with other nations to remove derelict boats
 The Songhees First Nation is spearheading a drive to take more derelict boats out of the water while providing jobs and training for other nations on the South Island.

The Big Melt
This is Klinaklini, the largest glacier in Western North America beyond the Alaskan border. As this giant melts, so go B.C.’s more than 16,000 other mountain glaciers — and the pace is fast accelerating. In mere decades, Klinaklini will be gone.

Expect longer wait times: Washington ferries to use smaller-capacity vessels after boat fire
Washington State Ferries (WSF) announced last week that it would be forced to make service changes on several routes after an engine room fire took the MV Wenatchee out of service in late April.

Interior drops Trump proposal easing rules for Arctic offshore drilling
The U.S. Interior Department said Friday that it would not pursue a Trump administration proposal that critics feared would have weakened rules for exploratory oil and gas drilling in Arctic waters.

Thousands of salmon fry released in B.C. river to restore populations devastated by Big Bar landslide
Thousands of salmon fry have been released in a river west of Prince George, B.C., in the hope they will help restore the salmon population devastated by the Big Bar landslide.

B.C. auditor general flags province’s inadequate management of lands, fish and wildlife
An audit of the province’s conservation program shows how B.C. is failing to address a biodiversity crisis, including monitoring and enforcement gaps and a lack of collaboration with First Nations.

Interior Department approves first large-scale offshore wind farm in the U.S.
The Biden administration on Tuesday approved the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the United States, a project that envisions building 62 turbines off Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and creating enough electricity to power 400,000 homes.

BLM will revisit sage grouse protections after Trump’s attempt to open habitat for mining
The Bureau of Land Management announced Tuesday that it will revisit a key provision of sage grouse protection plans that would limit mining and drilling on the birds’ habitat.

B.C. ‘shouldn’t have approved’ plan that failed to protect Nahmint old-growth forests: watchdog
A three-year review by the forest practices board found the provincial government did not meet its legal objective to protect ecosystems and ancient forests in a treasured Vancouver Island watershed.

Community Voices / Local team launches innovative approach to help curb climate change
We must act, not just worry, and use as many solutions to curb climate change as we can, say a team of professors, graduate fellows, student interns and sustainability professionals working on one solution for Whatcom County — that can be replicated anywhere.

Stakeholders: Proposed Skagit River dam studies "inadequate"
Despite Seattle City Light expanding its study plan associated with the relicensing process of its Skagit River dams, at least 17 commenting government agencies, tribes and nonprofits wrote in letters last week that they remain dissatisfied.

‘They never said a word’: DFO told B.C. salmon farmers, but not First Nations, about mouth rot infestation
Documents released under access to information legislation show federal scientists raised the alarm about a bacteria that causes potentially deadly lesions in Atlantic salmon, saying migrating Fraser River salmon were at risk.

Gov. Inslee, Washington state’s U.S. senators reject GOP congressman’s pitch on Lower Snake River dam removal
Washington state’s U.S. senators and its governor have joined forces against a proposal from U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Lower Snake River and replace their benefits as part of a multitrillion dollar infrastructure bill being crafted by the Biden administration.

These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe at no cost to the weekday news clips or to this weekly compilation, send your name and email to mikesato772 at Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, May 7, 2021

Salish Sea News Week in Review May 7 2021



Aloha International Tuba Day!
Joel Day founded International Tuba Day in 1979 while attending high school in suburban Philadelphia. Being one of only two tuba players in the band and finding a lack of respect from his fellow classmates, he decided to set a day aside for our recognition as reputable musicians. Joel went on to study at Millersville University, where he established very popular International Tuba Day celebrations that continued for close to twenty years. Since its inception, International Tuba Day has been celebrated around the world.

Deadly air pollutant ‘disproportionately and systematically’ harms Americans of color, study finds
Nearly every form of the nation’s most pervasive deadly air pollutant disproportionately affects Americans of color, regardless of their location or income level, according to a peer-reviewed analysis published Wednesday.

Biden administration to propose first rule requiring cut in climate pollutants
The Environmental Protection Agency proposed on Monday a rule that would sharply cut the use and production of  hydrofluorocarbons, powerful greenhouse gases used widely in refrigeration and air conditioning.

More than 1 million residents added to Metro Vancouver by 2050, planners project
Despite limited population growth since the pandemic, Metro Vancouver planners project the region will have more than one million additional residents by 2050.

NOAA unveils new U.S. climate ‘normals’ that are warmer than ever
Drawing from the latest decade of weather data, the new normals are a reflection of climate change. Bob Henson and Jason Samenow report.

Old-growth logging approvals nearly doubled over the past year, report suggests
 Old-growth logging approvals have gone up over the past year despite the B.C. government promising to protect old-growth forests, according to new research from an environmental group.

Key salmon populations cross alarming threshold — and more are nearing that line
Nearly half of the wild spring chinook populations in the Snake River Basin have crossed a critical threshold, signaling they are nearing extinction and without intervention may not persist, according to analysis by the Nez Perce Tribe.

So small, yet so deadly. Investors force plastic industry to reveal pollution
Investors are forcing the world’s biggest plastic manufacturers to reveal how many harmful plastic pellets they are leaking into rivers, lakes and oceans worldwide.

King County Council takes big step to combat climate change
The King County Council has solidified a plan for dramatic action against climate change. Councilmembers unanimously approved the Strategic Climate Action Plan, which paves the way for sweeping changes by 2030.

HollyFrontier expects Puget Sound synergies with renewables projects
HollyFrontier's first quarter results took the backseat to an earlier announcement it was buying Shell's Puget Sound refinery, as analysts peppered management with questions about purchase on May 5 call.

Seabed Mining Opponents Off WA Coast Find Win in Legislature
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a seabed mining ban into law Monday. The measure prohibits mineral extraction within three miles of Washington's coastline.

Feud breaks out among GOP lawmakers over Snake River dams
Some Republican members of Congress from the Northwest are accusing an Idaho lawmaker of conducting secret negotiations with the Democratic governor of Oregon over a controversial proposal to breach four dams on the Snake River to save endangered salmon runs.

BC Hydro, province ordered to release secret Site C dam docs to West Moberly First Nations
Reports and internal records, which will be released as part of a landmark Treaty Rights case brought by the nation, will shed light on the escalating costs of the project, now billed at $16 billion.

These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe at no cost to the weekday news clips or to this weekly compilation, send your name and email to mikesato772 at Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, April 30, 2021

Salish Sea News Week in Review April 30 2021



Aloha Bugs Bunny Day!
On April 30, 1938, a cartoon character known as "Happy Rabbit" made his debut in a short Warner Bros. cartoon titled "Porky's Hare Hunt." He was the prototype for Bugs Bunny, having a similar personality, but looking a bit different. It is on the anniversary of the release of this short film that we celebrate Bugs Bunny Day. Bugs Bunny is an anthropomorphic gray hare with a relaxed and passive personality—but he is also a trickster. He became a cultural icon and is best known for starring in Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, short films that were made by Warner Bros. from the 1930s through the 1960s.

New tsunami maps show how water could reach Seattle, Everett, Tacoma after an earthquake
Bellingham, Olympia, Seattle, and Tacoma could see anywhere from six inches to 11 feet of water from a tsunami off the Washington coast.

Little estuary to see big restoration investment
Restoration plans call for establishing a fish-friendly estuary at Little Squalicum Park on Bellingham Bay, where currently the stream is routed through the confines of a concrete culvert.

Washington Legislature approves caps on carbon pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, giving big win to Inslee, environmentalists
The Washington Legislature has passed a new carbon-pricing bill, handing a major win to Gov. Jay Inslee and making the state only the second in the nation to have such an extensive climate-change reduction policy.

Navy, Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe dispute past, future of oyster beds in Bangor
How to measure the success of a recent oyster harvest by the Port Gamble S'Kllalam Tribe within the security fence of Naval Base Kitsap on the shore of Hood Canal? It depends on who you ask.

Ghost shrimp, humpbacks, tiny plankton: See Puget Sound surge with springtime life
Now is the sweet season, with its lengthening days and warm radiance of spring on Puget Sound. The return of the light is rousing the natural world from dormancy. Puget Sound is on the rebound, not only in the turn of the season, but in a resurgence of life.

Thousands of baby sea stars born at UW lab are sign of hope for endangered species
Just a few days shy of the first day of spring, scientists at Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island had reason to celebrate.

Jordan Cove on ‘pause,’ pipeline company tells court
The development of the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas terminal [Coos Bay OR] is on pause, those behind the project told a court last week.

Satellites show world’s glaciers melting faster than ever
A new study of the world’s 220,000 mountain glaciers finds that they are melting faster now than in the early 2000s Glaciers are melting faster, losing 31% more snow and ice per year than they did 15 years earlier, according to three-dimensional satellite measurements of all the world’s mountain glaciers.

B.C. government puts $9.5M toward removing more than 100 derelict boats
Environment Minister George Heyman says the province is spending $9.5 million to address the "massive'' problem of marine debris along the coast.

WA climate cap bill fractures alliances on its way to Inslee’s desk
A sweeping climate proposal from Gov. Jay Inslee has both fractured existing alliances and sparked new ones — among activists and oil refineries alike — on its way to becoming Washington state law. The divisive bill, now awaiting Inslee’s signature after passing the state legislature, puts a cap on how much carbon dioxide the state’s biggest polluters can spew into the air and makes it more expensive for them to do so. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Can Canada reach its emissions targets while still producing so much oil and gas?
Last week, the federal government vowed that Canada would reduce its carbon emissions by 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Climate researchers say that can't happen, however, without significant changes to Canada's oil and gas production, including the elimination of the industry subsidies that help support it. (CBC)

These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe at no cost to the weekday news clips or to this weekly compilation, send your name and email to mikesato772 at Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Salish Sea News Week in Review April 23 2021

"Me at the zoo!"

Aloha 'Me at the zoo' Friday!

"Me at the zoo" is the first uploaded video available to YouTube. It was uploaded on April 23, 2005 at 8:31:52 p.m. PDT by the site's co-founder Jawed Karim, who uploaded the video onto a channel with the username "jawed", which was created the same day. It was recorded by his high school friend Yakov Lapitsky at the San Diego Zoo, featuring Karim in front of the elephants in their old exhibit in Elephant Mesa, making note of their long trunks. (Wikipedia)

Early start to Washington’s wildfire season has officials worried
The state Department of Natural Resources responded to 91 fires last week and is gearing up for what could be a bad season with a temporary burn ban on state lands in some parts of Western Washington and the Puget Sound area.

First Nations on Vancouver Island celebrate B.C. Court of Appeal fisheries ruling
The British Columbia Court of Appeal says it expects Canada to remedy problems in commercial fishery regulations arising from a legal battle that was first launched in 2003 by a group of Vancouver Island First Nations.

Interior head Haaland revokes Trump-era orders on energy
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Friday revoked a series of Trump administration orders that promoted fossil fuel development on public lands and waters, and issued a separate directive that prioritizes climate change in agency decisions.

Washington salmon seasons tentatively set for 2021-22
Despite a strong projected coho return to the state’s ocean waters, this year’s Washington salmon seasons largely reflect continued low runs of some wild Chinook and coho stocks, especially in Puget Sound, state fishery managers announced yesterday.

No New Money for Old Growth Protection in BC’s Budget
Despite calls to end old-growth logging in B.C. and government promises to overhaul its forestry practices, there is no new funding for that transition in the budget announced today.

Biden commits the U.S. to cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030
President Biden on Thursday declared America “has resolved to take action” on climate change and called on world leaders to significantly accelerate their own plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or risk a disastrous collective failure to stop catastrophic climate change.

Carbon emissions on track to surge as world rebounds from pandemic
Global carbon emissions are expected to surge this year as parts of the world begin to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic. They are on track to reach the second largest annual rise on record, according to a new projection by the International Energy Agency.

Tacoma bans use of fossil fuels in new city buildings. Are commercial, residential next?
Tacoma is prohibiting all new city-owned buildings from using natural gas and other fossil fuels energy sources for heating, lighting and power and will explore a similar rule for new residential and commercial buildings.

Jamestown S’Klallam tribal councilmember dies
Kurt Grinnell, a Jamestown S’Klallam tribal council member and tribal aquaculture manager, has died. The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said he died in a single-vehicle wreck on Mount Pleasant Road at about 4:12 p.m. Tuesday.

Biden taps ocean scientist Rick Spinrad to run NOAA
President Biden has picked Rick Spinrad, an oceanographer with decades of science and policy experience, to run National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the government’s leading agency for weather, climate and ocean science.

These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe at no cost to the weekday news clips or to this weekly compilation, send your name and email to mikesato772 (at) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, April 16, 2021

Salish Sea News Week in Review April 19, 2021

Aloha Garlic Friday!

Garlic is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, Welsh onion and Chinese onion. It is native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran and has long been a common seasoning worldwide, with a history of several thousand years of human consumption and use. 

Echoes of B.C.’s War in the Woods as Fairy Creek blockade builds on Vancouver Island
Tensions are on the rise as hundreds of activists prevent fallers from accessing work sites in the old-growth forests of the Caycuse watershed near Port Renfrew.

‘It’s collapsing’: B.C. First Nations, Pacific Wild warn of herring population decline amid commercial fishery
Advocates are calling for a moratorium on the province's last-remaining commercial fishery for herring, a declining food source for at-risk chinook salmon which, in turn, feed endangered killer whales.

Washington’s Water Quality Assessment offers insights into status of pollution
More than 2,000 segments of streams, lakes and marine waters have been added to the state’s massive list of water-quality data, allowing more Washington residents to take stock of pollution levels near their homes.

The fight over Tacoma’s liquified-natural gas plant continues. Will permits be upheld?
Attorneys made opening statements Monday in front of the Pollution Control Hearings Board about whether the board should overturn permits for the liquefied natural gas facility on the Tacoma Tideflats.

‘A Win for Whales’-Court pauses Cherry Point refinery expansion
Hailed as a victory for orcas, Whatcom County Superior Court rejected a project application from the Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery to install a 300,000-barrel crude oil storage tank and an 80,000-barrel floating storage tank for fuel oil in a tank farm within the refinery at Cherry Point.

Revised toxic-cleanup rules will increase focus on environmental justice
Support for environmental justice is being carefully woven into new toxic-cleanup rules for prioritizing and carrying out cleanups at thousands of contaminated sites across Washington state.

Japan To Dump Wastewater From Wrecked Fukushima Nuclear Plant Into Pacific Ocean
Japan's government announced a decision to begin dumping more than a million tons of treated but still radioactive wastewater from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean in two years.

Tracking Orcas with Tech: ‘The Images Took Our Breath Away’
UBC scientists attached cameras to drones, and the whales themselves. Here’s the result.

Billy Frank Jr. in, Marcus Whitman out as part of U.S. Capitol statue swap 
...A bill signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday begins the process of putting a statue of the late tribal treaty rights activist Billy Frank Jr. in the U.S. Capitol.

Vancouver Aquarium sold to U.S. tourism company
The Vancouver Aquarium has been sold to Herschend Enterprises, a privately owned tourism company based in the United States, to avoid shutting down as a result of financial losses over the past year.

Washington sets ambitious goal: All new cars sold will be electric by 2030
In less than a decade, all cars and light-duty vehicles sold in Washington will be powered by electricity, not fossil fuels. That’s the goal set within legislation that has passed the state House and Senate.

These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, April 9, 2021

Salish Sea News Week in Review April 9 2021

Aloha Gin and Tonic Friday!
The gin and tonic is a simple cocktail that consists of gin, tonic water, and more often than not a lime wedge garnish.  During the seventeenth century, Spanish explorers found the inhabitants of present-day Peru treating fevers with cinchona bark, which has quinine as its active ingredient. They brought the bark to Europe to treat malaria and found it prevented the disease as well. India became a British colony in 1857, and colonists, soldiers, and passers-through often had to deal with malaria there, so they took quinine to help them survive. A precursor to gin is genever, which was created in seventeenth-century Holland and made with juniper, as well as with botanicals like coriander seed and star anise. The British became aware of it when fighting on Dutch land during the Thirty Years' War. They brought it home and the creation of gin followed. During the late nineteenth century, when gin was rising in popularity, British colonists and soldiers in India mixed it with Schweppes Indian Quinine Tonic and the gin and tonic was born.

Legislature approves bill seeking Billy Frank Jr. statue at U.S. Capitol
A measure to honor the late Billy Frank Jr. with a statue at the U.S. Capitol cleared the Legislature Monday.

Skagit River's Britt Slough wetlands to be restored this year
Just southwest of the Mount Vernon city limits, along the south fork of the Skagit River, restoration of 7.8 acres of wetland habitat critical to threatened chinook salmon is planned for this year.

National laboratory in Sequim planning facilities expansion
Broadening their organization’s scope with a new name, leaders with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are promoting expansion and refurbishment at the Marine and Coastal Research Laboratory along Sequim Bay.

How to heal a river
After more than a century of logging, agriculture and development, Vancouver Island's Koksilah River watershed and its salmon are in serious decline. A groundbreaking water sustainability plan that brings together diverse interests could not only restore the river, but point a new way forward for watersheds across B.C.

Court orders minister to rethink stocking fish farms in B.C.'s Discovery Islands
A Federal Court judge has suspended a ban on restocking three fish farms in B.C.’s Discovery Islands. Justice Peter George Pamel says in an April 5 decision that Mowi Canada West and Saltstream will suffer real and irreparable harm if they aren’t allowed to restock farms located at Doctor Bay, Phillips Arm and off Hardwicke Island.

Seattle City Light submits revised dam study plan to regulatory agency 
Seattle City Light announced Wednesday that in response to requests from the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe and other stakeholders it has broadened its study plan for the relicensing of its Skagit River dams.

Pacific Northwest ports unveil cross-border pact to cut emissions
The ports of Seattle and Tacoma, their Northwest Seaport Alliance container shipping joint venture, and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority in Canada are adopting a voluntary joint plan to phase out emissions by 2050.

Law to reduce plastic waste, ban Styrofoam statewide passes House floor vote
It looks increasingly likely that Washington will ban Styrofoam, reduce plastic waste and strengthen recycling markets. A bill to that effect is nearly through the Legislature. E2SSB 5022 passed a house floor vote Wednesday night, 73-24. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Friday, April 2, 2021

Salish Sea News Week in Review April 2 2021

Aloha Ferret Friday!

Ferrets are domesticated animals. It is believed they were bred from European polecats, or possibly from steppe polecats. They are in the Mustela genus and Mustelidae family, being related to minks, weasels, ermines, and wolverines. They are closely related to the black-footed ferret, which is an endangered wild animal and one of the rarest animals in North America.

Biden administration launches major push to expand offshore wind power
The White House said it would push to bring 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power online by the end of the decade, by speeding permitting for projects off the East Coast and funding changes to U.S. ports.

B.C. first in Canada to set emissions targets for industries, communities
Emission reduction targets range from 33 to 38 per cent in oil and gas, up to 32 per cent for transportation and from 38 to 43 per cent for industry.

Japan’s Kyoto cherry blossoms peak on earliest date in 1,200 years, a sign of climate change
The record bloom fits into a long-term pattern toward earlier spring flowering.

Alexandra Morton’s Book Should Galvanize Action on Salmon
‘Not on My Watch’ advances a devastating case against fish farms and compliant officials.

Chevron eyes deal for Shell oil refinery in Pacific Northwest
Chevron has emerged as a leading contender to buy Royal Dutch Shell's Puget Sound refinery in Anacortes, Wash., Reuters reports.

Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will lead to $11.9B in losses for Canada, study says
SFU team says rising construction costs, new climate change measures mean project should be shelved.

Is shoreline armoring becoming a relic of the past?
Close to 30% of Puget Sound's shoreline is armored with seawalls and other structures meant to protect beaches against rising tides and erosion. But science increasingly shows that these structures are ineffective and cause significant harm to salmon and other creatures.

Interest in hydrogen fuel growing in the Pacific Northwest -- and tax dollars following
More folks from Pacific Northwest government and industry are jumping on the hydrogen bandwagon to test if the alternative fuel could be a viable and green replacement for diesel and gasoline in some situations.

B.C. First Nations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada protect crab for Indigenous food, social and ceremonial purposes
A groundbreaking co-management decision by four First Nations and Fisheries and Oceans Canada will protect 17 crab harvesting sites on B.C.’s central coast for Indigenous food, social and ceremonial purposes starting April 1.

EPA dismisses dozens of key science advisers picked under Trump Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan will purge more than 40 outside experts appointed by President Donald Trump from two key advisory panels.

County approves spending $65 million for West Point treatment Plant upgrades

The King County Council last week approved dedicating $65 million to make important upgrades to the West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant in Magnolia’s Discovery Park to prevent untreated waste and stormwater from being released into the Puget Sound.

Group sues US over inaction to protect threatened species
Decisions by the Trump administration to withhold endangered-species protections for the northern spotted owl, monarch butterflies and other imperiled wildlife and plants could be set aside.

Last-ditch effort can’t save NOAA’s Mukilteo research center
A last ditch effort to get more money to rebuild the dilapidated Mukilteo Research Station failed, because bids came in above the $40 million that had been set aside for a new center run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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