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    Del Mar Racetrack undergoing modifications prior to opening day, Breeders’ Cup
    Apr 23, 2017 | 18045 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Del Mar Racetrack’s upgrades will be completed before opening day.
    The Del Mar Racetrack’s upgrades will be completed before opening day.
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    Under the direction of its new director of track maintenance, Dennis Moore, Del Mar has begun a process designed to modify its main track with an end result of having it replicate the banking and grading of its sister track to the north, Santa Anita Park. Crews began their work on the track on Wednesday, March 29, and the stripping and grading activity is expected to take several weeks. The plan is to adjust the seaside oval’s main track banking to 5 percent (from 4 percent) on the turns and 2.5 percent (from 2 percent) in the straightaways,as is the case currently with Santa Anita – well in advance of the opening of Del Mar’s 78th summer season on Wednesday, July 19. “Our priority, of course, is safety,” said Joe Harper, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s president, and CEO. “One of the key elements in safety is consistency and this adjustment will give our horses and horsemen that consistency when it comes to the two main racing surfaces on our circuit. Once again we salute the folks at Santa Anita for working with us on this.” Moore, who is considered one of the top track surface experts in the world and is presently the track superintendent at Santa Anita, took on his additional role at Del Mar earlier this year. “We’ve got the same El Segundo sand from the same batch at both Santa Anita and Del Mar,” Moore noted. “That’s a good step on the road to consistency. Then we’re adding another by bringing the banking at Del Mar right in line with what already exists at Santa Anita, therefore giving our horses the same experience on both tracks, which has to prop up their confidence and make an easier transition between the two. This change isn’t a drastic one, but it’s the little things that can make for big differences.” Del Mar has put in place a series of adjustments for its 2017 meetings that are aimed at increasing safety for horses and riders at the popular shore track. Among the changes for the summer session is a return to a seven-week season (instead of eight) with a later start, thus allowing horses and horsemen more time to get acclimated to new surroundings. The revised calendar also allows for incremental days to prepare the track in advance of racing and training. Additionally, there will be fewer horses (by approximately 10 percent) allowed to stable on the grounds, therefore reducing the traffic issues during morning workout times. Further, adjustments to the track flow during the morning work period were experimented with last year and found to be very effective. That rule will be employed throughout 2017. Del Mar continues to work with the California Horse Racing Board and, in particular, its executive director, Rick Baedeker, as it ensures that all avenues are explored in its search for more and more safety. Additionally, it employs and calls upon one of the industry’s premier track experts, Dr. Mick Peterson, for advice and counsel in its various projects. “I am pleased to see that there is a coordinated effort with Del Mar and other industry stakeholders to create consistent track surfaces in Southern California on a year-round basis,” said Peterson. “I look forward to continuing to collect and analyze all pertinent data with the goal of creating the safest possible environment for horses and riders.”  “When the horses shift between races after Los Angeles, some then race at Los Alamitos in Orange County, but some shift directly to Del Mar,” said Mac Macbride, director of media for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. “Consistency is a big deal for these animals.” Following the track’s 36-day summer meet, it will hold its fourth fall meeting, a 16-day run between Nov. 1 and Nov. 26. Highlighting that gathering will be the presentation of the 34th edition of the Breeders’ Cup on Friday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 4 – the first time the sport’s championship events have come to the iconic racing grounds alongside the blue Pacific.  “Although this process is ongoing, we are making major headway,” said Macbride. “Initially, we were talking about a six-week process. Currently, we are estimated to finish in early May.” More updates The Breeders' Cup also announced its Challenge series schedule on April 12. This series will consist of 81 automatic qualifying stakes races into corresponding races of the Breeders' Cup World Championships. This year’s series, which includes 62 Grade/Group 1 events, will have 49 Challenge races held in the U.S. and Canada, and 32 races to be run outside of North America. Horses from around the globe will be qualifying for the 34th Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held, for the first time, at the Del Mar race track, on Nov. 3 and 4, and televised live by NBC Sports. For more information, visit www.dmtc.com.
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    SeaWorld to end nightly fireworks; theme park set to debut new shows and rides
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Apr 18, 2017 | 42088 views | 3 3 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    SeaWorld plans to cease its nightly fireworks over Mission Bay during the summer. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    SeaWorld plans to cease its nightly fireworks over Mission Bay during the summer. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Orca Encounter will debut this summer with temporary seating around the orca underwater viewing area pool.
    Orca Encounter will debut this summer with temporary seating around the orca underwater viewing area pool.
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    SeaWorld San Diego is transforming its decades-old business model. Recently scrapping its heretofore trademark Shamu shows, the marine mammal theme park is also silencing, for now, its nightly summer fireworks displays. “This summer we are debuting our new summer nighttime extravaganza called Electric Ocean,” said SeaWorld spokesman David Koontz. “At dusk, we will transform the park into an underwater world of colorful vibrancy immersing our guests in a glowing sea of bioluminescent-like lighting, music and pathway entertainment, and a dance club.” Koontz noted Electric Ocean “will be a nighttime version of our Cirque de la Mer show (a summer daytime show the last 12 years), which will be take place in our Cirque Stadium on Mission Bay. Complementing Cirque Electrique will be another new nighttime show featuring overhead laser lights and an interactive RFID (radio frequency identification) experience, acrobats and live musicians and an illuminated parade.” Koontz added SeaWorld's “Putting our fireworks on hiatus, other than on the summertime three-day holiday weekends, and for a handful of other special events. This new nighttime spectacular will have no impact on general aviation in that area, nor will it impact air traffic departing and arriving at Lindbergh Field.” The cessation of SeaWorld's summertime pyrotechnics was hailed by long-time opponents as a major step forward. Martha Sullivan, spokesperson for SeaWorld fireworks opponents, who launched a successful online petition drive garnering more than 11,000 signatures against summertime displays, labelled SeaWorld's announcement shelving them as a victory. “It's an evolution that we've been encouraging them to do,” Sullivan said. ”They're using new technologies and adjusting their business model to the current conditions of their customer base.” Sullivan added the marine park is “realizing they need to be good neighbors.” Asked why fireworks became an issue, Sullivan replied, “I think it was just people being really fed up with it.” SeaWorld fireworks detractors claim research shows “noise pollution from nightly fireworks causes harm to humans and other animals. … Effects of noise pollution to humans include (damage to the) physiological and psychological health of human beings: hypertension, annoyance, high stress levels, aggression, hearing loss, tinnitus, sleep disturbance, etc.” Meanwhile, SeaWorld is transitioning from theatrical orca shows to a more educational presentation reflecting natural behaviors of the whales. The final "One Ocean Shamu" show was conducted Jan. 8. The first of these live documentary-style presentations, called Orca Encounter, will debut at SeaWorld San Diego this summer with temporary seating around the orca underwater viewing area pool. Patrons will learn how killer whales behave in the wild, how they move, hunt and navigate, what they eat and even how they communicate. Orca Encounter will also look at broader themes such as research, rescue, conservation, habitats and distribution, husbandry and care, and social structures.  “This will inspire as well as educate guests about the majesty of these complex animals and reinforce the company’s commitment to provide educational experiences with the park’s resident orcas,” Koontz said.  Other game-changing developments at SeaWorld San Diego include development of the Electric Eel, 150-foot high ride roller coaster debuting summer 2018, and Submarine Quest, a submarine-inspired attraction.  Both attractions are coming to SeaWorld as part of the park's new Ocean Explorer area. Participants will experience digital technology and can interact with the ride to "save" ocean creatures.   Through Ocean Explorer, debuting later this year, guests, through an interactive mini-sub, can get up close to some of the ocean's most fascinating creatures, then take a spin on three new family friendly rides. With three new attractions, this is SeaWorld's biggest roll-out in 53 years.  For more information, visit seaworldparks.com.
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    Bay Park Resident
    |
    April 23, 2017
    @Justbetweenyouandme

    Do you really think 3 minutes of nighttime fireworks has a bigger noise impact than jets flying overhead every 15 minutes all day or motorboats and jetskis on bay? I agree that one cannot make an argument for the utility of fireworks, but we happen to enjoy seeing them every night and I would challenge anyone to show me data that the biggest environmental threat to the area is a 3 minute fireworks show rather than the parade of cars on 5, motorized transport on the bay, people's slovenly habits in the park, jets flying overhead OR the periodic dumps of human waste into the bay. Not to mention the desire for increased "densification" along the Morena corridor.

    How people assess risk continues to be an absolute mystery to me.
    Fireworks Loving Guy
    |
    April 18, 2017
    You've gotta be kidding me. The killjoy levels of the vocal minority are out of control. What's next? No more ice cream shops? GET A F&*^% LIFE PEOPLE.
    Justbetweenyouandme
    |
    April 21, 2017
    There are many ways to celebrate without explosive noise.

    Japan’s Muroya wins Red Bull Air Race over San Diego Bay
    Apr 17, 2017 | 7451 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Kirby Chambliss (USA) flies through the course on Sunday. He finished fourth. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Kirby Chambliss (USA) flies through the course on Sunday. He finished fourth. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Reigning world champion Matthias Dolderer finished third after clipping a pylon on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Reigning world champion Matthias Dolderer finished third after clipping a pylon on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Peter Podlunšek from Slovenian stunned the field in capturing second place in his first-ever Final 4. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Peter Podlunšek from Slovenian stunned the field in capturing second place in his first-ever Final 4. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) flies past the USS Midway on San Diego Bay on Sunday. He finished seventh. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) flies past the USS Midway on San Diego Bay on Sunday. He finished seventh. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Yoshihide (Yoshi) Muroya of Japan on the course during his first run on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Yoshihide (Yoshi) Muroya of Japan on the course during his first run on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Kirby Chambliss (USA) zips through the course with San Diego as a backdrop on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Kirby Chambliss (USA) zips through the course with San Diego as a backdrop on Sunday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    One upset followed another at the second stop of the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship in San Diego on Sunday. Yoshihide (Yoshi) Muroya of Japan was the only pilot with the consistency to reach the top of the podium, dazzling a crowd of more than 40,000 fans across the race weekend, with a time of 58.529. Peter Podlunšek from Slovenian stunned the field in capturing second place in his first-ever Final 4, two seconds behind Muroya at 1:00.454. Reigning world champion Matthias Dolderer was third after a pylon hit, and American Kirby Chambliss finished fourth. Earning 15 World Championship points with the victory, Muroya jumped up 10 places in the overall standings, to third behind Martin Šonka of the Czech Republic (21 points) and Dolderer (16). The result was especially meaningful because the next stop of the season is in Muroya’s home skies of Chiba, Japan – where he earned his first Red Bull Air Race win in 2016. “I’m quite happy. We had a very hard time at the season opener in Abu Dhabi, and we’ve been working really hard for months,” said Muroya, who had an over-G penalty at the 2017 kickoff. “My crew and my family have been helping a lot to help us get more stable and consistent, and I thank them. “The next race in Japan is going to be a big one, and it’s an important step forward to win here as I head to my home country. It’s a huge crowd and pressure for me, but I will have fun there.”  In the day’s earlier action, 2016 Challenger Cup winner Florian Bergér of Germany earned his first Challenger Class win of the season. For more information on tickets and all the latest, visit www.redbullairrace.com. Results Master Class San Diego: 1. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN), 2. Peter Podlunšek (SLO), 3. Matthias Dolderer (GER), 4. Kirby Chambliss (USA), 5. Martin Šonka (CZE), 6. Petr Kopfstein (CZE), 7. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 8. Michael Goulian (USA), 9. Matt Hall (AUS), 10. Pete McLeod (CAN), 11. Juan Velarde (ESP), 12. François Le Vot (FRA), 13. Mikaël Brageot (FRA), 14. Cristian Bolton (CHI). World Championship standings after two races: 1. Martin Šonka (CZE) 21 points, 2. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 16 pts, 3. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 15 pts, 4. Juan Velarde (ESP) 12 pts, 5. Peter Podlunšek (SLO) 12 pts, 6. Pete McLeod (CAN) 10 pts, 7. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 10 pts, 8. Michael Goulian (USA) 8 pts, 9. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 7 pts, 10. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 5 pts, 11. Cristian Bolton (CHI) 4 pts, 12. François Le Vot (FRA) 3 pts, 13. Matt Hall (AUS) 3 pts, 14. Mikaël Brageot (FRA) 2 pts.
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    La Jolla news and community briefs
    Apr 07, 2017 | 10153 views | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    La Jolla Shores beach as seen from above on La Jolla Village Dr. PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
    La Jolla Shores beach as seen from above on La Jolla Village Dr. PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
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    Rotary’s quintessential Craft Beer and Wine Festival to benefit multiple charities San Diegans are invited to attend La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary’s 4th Annual Quintessential Craft Beer & Wine Festival on Saturday, April 22 from 1-5 p.m. at the Nobel Athletic Fields on 8810 Judicial Drive near the 805. This dog-friendly event features access and unlimited samples from 18 craft brewers, five regional wineries and eight Southern California distilleries. Thrive Animal Rescue will also be on hand to showcase adorable adoptable dogs. Tickets cost $30 in advance, $40 at the door, and $15 for active duty military. 100 percent of the proceeds benefit 45 local and international humanitarian projects, which are stewarded by nearly 100 members of the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club. Attending this year are world-class craft brewers like Maui Brewing Company, Ballast Point, Coronado Brewing, Karl Strauss, Thorn Brewery and Kilowatt. Three wineries from the Guadalupe Valley of Baja will be on hand, as well as two Ramona winemakers. Southern California distillers will be sampling rum, gin, whiskey and vodka, as well as saki. The Quintessential Festival will offer cold coffee sampling and several food vendors including organic sausages, cheese balls, chocolate and cupcakes. Among the many beneficiaries of funds raised by La Jolla Golden Triangle and the Quintessential Festival are The Preuss School UCSD, the VA Hospital, Ronald McDonald House and projects benefitting local active military and their families. International efforts include the Rotary Jalalabad School in Afghanistan, and humanitarian projects in India, Africa, Israel and most recently, the provision of blankets for refugees arriving under emergency conditions in Macedonia. For more information and for tickets, visit www.lajollagtrotary.org. Springfest 2017 begins April 7 The UCSD Department of Music graduate students will launch Springfest, an annual graduate-run festival of experimental music, on Saturday, April 8. Featuring more than a dozen events held at the Conrad Prebys Music Center, on campus and at specified off-site locations, Springfest starts with the California Electronic Music Exchange Concert on April 8 and ends with the collaborative Encuentro at Bread and Salt on April 16, with graduate student Todd Moellenberg's Staycation enduring in the Conrad Prebys Music Center Experimental Theater through April 16. “Immersion,” the festival's popular collaboration with Birch Aquarium at Scripps, will take place this year on Sunday, April 9. Bass player and graduate student Kyle Motl recently spoke with UC San Diego's KSDTabout Springfest and played excerpts from the program he has planned for his solo Springfest concert on April 12.   UCSD Baseball Seventh-ranked University of California San Diego baseball program rounds out a stretch of six straight weeks against California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) North Division opposition when it welcomes top-ranked rival Chico State into Triton Ballpark for a marquee three-game showdown. The Tritons (22-6, 14-4 CCAA) and Wildcats (27-5, 20-1 CCAA) first contest a doubleheader on Saturday, April 8, beginning at 1 p.m. Both games are scheduled for the regulation nine innings, with about a 30- to 40-minute break in between. Sunday's single finale starts at 12 p.m. Chico State is the reigning CCAA champion and preseason coaches' favorite. The Tritons are 13-3 at home in 2017. For the third straight week, UCSD's series will pit two top-10 pitching staffs nationally in the NCAA Division II in terms of team ERA, with the 'Cats third (2.41) and Tritons eighth (2.72). They are 1-2 in the CCAA. The sides continue to maintain comfortable leads in their respective divisions, with the Tritons up 3.5 games over two-time reigning West Region champion Cal Poly Pomona (12-9), and the Wildcats a full seven games ahead of Cal State Monterey Bay (12-7). Chico State also holds a 4.5-game advantage over UCSD in the race for the top seed at the CCAA Championship, and thus the league's regular-season crown. La Jolla Half Marathon and Shores 5K Sunday, April 23 will be the 36th running of the La Jolla Half Marathon and Shores 5K. Over 5,000 runners are expected participate in the events. Half marathon participants start at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and run a scenic 13.1 miles down the coast to the finish line at Ellen Browning Scripps Park. Participants start near UCSD Mesa Housing on La Jolla Shores Drive, run the last 3.1 miles of the half marathon course and also finish at the Cove. All participants receive a top-quality technical fabric race shirt, souvenir cinch bag, B-tag timing, great course support and finisher medal for Half Marathoners. All finishers are also treated to a pre-stuffed bag filled with tasty post-race nutrition, coconut water, TruMoo chocolate milk and a complimentary Ballast Point beer along with Rubio’s chips, salsa and guacamole for those 21 and over. Both races start at 7:30 a.m. with a three-hour time limit for the half marathon. Southbound traffic will be affected on 101 in Solana Beach and Del Mar, along Torrey Pines Road, in La Jolla Shores, Prospect Place, and Coast Boulevard. After the race many participants will stay in the Village to enjoy the shops and restaurants. So Village merchants be on the lookout for the proud finishers sporting their medals and race shirts. The events are sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the race are donated to charitable organizations in the months after the races. Please pardon any inconvenience caused by the event. The money raised makes a huge difference in the lives of many deserving people. There is still time to register if you are interested in participating either as a runner or a volunteer. For more information, visit www.lajollahalfmarathon.com. Registration for both events will also be available at the Hilton San Diego/Del Mar on Jimmy Durante Boulevard on Friday, April 21 from noon to 6 p.m. and on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. UCSD softball The UCSD softball team returns to California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) action, hosting nationally ranked No. 1 Humboldt State for a four-game series in La Jolla. The Tritons (19-17, 10-14) sit in the seventh spot in the CCAA standings while the Lumberjacks (21-6, 16-4) are second. Cal State Monterey Bay (29-4, 17-3) is currently in first. Friday's doubleheader will begin at 1:00 p.m. The first of two games on Saturday is set to start at 11 a.m.  The Tritons played 10 games in the span of six days in their NorCal road trip. UCSD kicked off the week with a four-game series at Sonoma State. The Tritons started off strong, winning the first contest, 2-0, but dropped the final three games in the series by scores of 8-5, 2-1 and 6-2. SSU took the series 3-1. UCSD then headed to Turlock for the annual Tournament of Champions where it faced six GNAC teams over three days. The Tritons finished the tournament in 11th-place with a 4-2 record. UCSD fell to Western Oregon and Western Washington by scores of 4-1 and 1-0, respectively. The Tritons collected wins over MSU Billings, Northwest Nazarene, Concordia (Ore.) and Simon Fraser. For her efforts, sophomore Caitlyn Weisner was named to the All-Tournament Team. 
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    Rose of Sharon wins America’s Schooner Cup
    Apr 07, 2017 | 6080 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Rose of Sharon, skippered by Byron Chamberlain, passes Dauntless on the way to winning the 29th America's Schooner Cup. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Rose of Sharon, skippered by Byron Chamberlain, passes Dauntless on the way to winning the 29th America's Schooner Cup. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    The Californian dwarfs the other schooners in San Diego Bay. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The Californian dwarfs the other schooners in San Diego Bay. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    The San Salvador replica on the horizon. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The San Salvador replica on the horizon. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Schooners race in San Diego Bay with downtown San Diego as a backdrop. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Schooners race in San Diego Bay with downtown San Diego as a backdrop. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    In 1930, the schooners Rose of Sharon, Dauntless and Curlew were among 42 yachts that finished the 660-mile Bermuda Race from New London to Bermuda and lay at anchor at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Eighty seven years later, these same three schooners crossed the finish line along with 10 others in the 29th running of America’s Schooner Cup in San Diego Bay. With a fresh breeze and bright sunshine, Rose of Sharon captured the Cup, nosing out second place finisher Curlew, by a mere 48 seconds on corrected time. Each of these yachts have not only survived, but thrived. It is a testament to the loving care and dedication of their owners. Among our three oldest surviving schooners, owners Byron Chamberlain, Bob Harrison and Paul Plotts have continuously campaigned Rose of Sharon, Curlew, and Dauntless, respectively, and coincidentally, for a combined total of 87 years. Plotts founded the Schooner Cup with the Kona Kai International Yacht Club and has raced in all but four since. They’ve participated in races in such destinations as San Francisco, New York, Puerto Vallarta and Hawaii. “It’s not who wins, it’s the fun of seeing old friends and the warm welcome we always receive from the members of Silver Gate Yacht Club, our hosts. They make it such a joy to race every year.” Plotts said. Jerry Newton completed a five-month refit of Maid of Kent with two days to spare – just in time to enter his 25th Schooner Cup. But dedication to their beautiful boats is not what keeps them coming back. Silver Gate Yacht Club thanked the Maritime Museum of San Diego whose support enabled Californian to participate in the race, and the San Salvador to carry guests. Also, kudos to America and Bill of Rights for their participation and guest accommodations. “We’re indebted to the many local businesses and generous individuals whose donations benefit the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society,” said representitvies from Silver Gate Yacht Club.
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