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Archive for Tuesday, October 9, 2012

South Lawrence Trafficway legal fight ends with passing of deadline

Jason Hering, of Lawrence, with the Wetlands Preservation Organization and KU Eco Justice, works Tuesday morning at the Haskell Eco Walk area, just north of 31st Street and across from the Baker Wetlands. Hering and various organizations and volunteers are creating ramps, walkways and trails through the wetlands areas on the north side of 31st Street. The Wetlands Preservation Organization was an unsuccessful plaintiff in the lawsuit to stop the South Lawrence Trafficway.

Jason Hering, of Lawrence, with the Wetlands Preservation Organization and KU Eco Justice, works Tuesday morning at the Haskell Eco Walk area, just north of 31st Street and across from the Baker Wetlands. Hering and various organizations and volunteers are creating ramps, walkways and trails through the wetlands areas on the north side of 31st Street. The Wetlands Preservation Organization was an unsuccessful plaintiff in the lawsuit to stop the South Lawrence Trafficway.

October 9, 2012

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Timeline

Click here to see a timeline of events about the South Lawrence Trafficway.

The more than 20-year legal battle to stop the South Lawrence Trafficway from running through the Baker Wetlands is now officially over.

The deadline for opponents of the roadway to seek a Supreme Court review of a federal appellate court decision clearing the way for the road came and went on Tuesday. Representatives for plaintiffs in the case confirmed they did not file the paperwork seeking a Supreme Court review of the decision, which means the appellate court victory for the roadway is final.

“We weren’t able to do anything with the Supreme Court,” said Cleta La Brie, president of the Wetlands Preservation Organization, which was a plaintiff in the suit. “Once again, it will be a story of land being stolen from the Indians.”

While the legal battle may be done, all signs point to continued opposition efforts to stop the bypass project from traveling through the Baker Wetlands, which are considered a sacred area to many students and staff at adjacent Haskell Indian Nations University.

But trafficway opponents acknowledged that with the project’s defining lawsuit now closed, the effort to stop the road from being built will become more difficult.

“I think there is kind of a resignation, but there is also an enduring hope through public consciousness and public education that there could be some rethinking about this idea to pave over wetlands,” said Bob Eye, an attorney who represented the plaintiffs. “But it will have to come at the elected level. I don’t think the decision-makers at KDOT or Federal Highway suddenly will see the value in saving wetlands.”

It also will have to come relatively quickly. Kansas Department of Transportation officials have said construction on the final leg of the road — which will connect Interstate 70 west of Lawrence with Kansas Highway 10 east of Lawrence — could begin in the fall of 2013. The road could be open by the fall of 2016.

A Supreme Court review of the case was not widely expected by attorneys. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in July unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling that said all the necessary permits for the wetlands portion of the project had been properly obtained. Even if plaintiffs had filed for a review from the Supreme Court, the court rejects most requests for appeal.

La Brie said her group was advised it would cost “several thousand” dollars just to file the appeal.

But La Brie said her group does believe the trafficway project may still face some funding problems that could prevent its construction.

The state has included funding for the approximately $190 million project in its comprehensive transportation program. But La Brie said wetland supporters will be watching to see if approved state tax cuts will erode the amount of money available to fund the highway project.

“Construction of the road seems like a real possibility now,” La Brie said. “But they thought it was a done deal 20 years ago too. With the way government is going in Kansas, they may not have the money to do it.”

Comments

Benjamin Roberts 2 years, 2 months ago

"The more than 20-year legal battle to stop the South Lawrence Trafficway from running through the Baker Wetlands is now officially over."

Centerville 2 years, 2 months ago

Thank you for posting this, Magnificent!

Bill Lee 2 years, 2 months ago

Finally! More wetlands can be built, just like the current ones.

Kerry Putthoff 2 years, 2 months ago

Let's see... Oh that's right, we already paid to replace twice the man made wetlands! Oh, and it's not so wet right now.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Hmm, by that logic, you should ask someone to knock all your teeth out so that the dentist can make you some nice new ones.

mrkuwick 2 years, 2 months ago

I think actually the proper analogy would be asking someone to knock out your false teeth so that the dentist can make you nice new false teeth.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

The more important point is that this is Haskell's land, regardless of the form it's currently in.

Beth Ennis 2 years, 2 months ago

they have already started building the new wetlands. Thirty years ago, those current wetlands were corn fields. They were man made to start with. This was not only a waste of money for the city/state, but all the pollution and waste of gas from cars having to go on 23rd street and hit all those stoplights and traffic. The new road will be a great thing and we will have new wetlands to boot.

David Albertson 2 years, 2 months ago

3 years seems like a really long time to build a road.

Kerry Putthoff 2 years, 2 months ago

it fits with the length of the court case. When you have to put in the multitude of bridges that are required because of the tree rattling going on.

Kerry Putthoff 2 years, 2 months ago

I would think the amount of money spent on the legal battles could have been spent more wisely on other avenues of conservation. How many other acres could have been bought and made into wetlands, or trees planted, etc, etc. Three years is a long time to build a road, but because of the "low impact" methods that the State is forced to use, it takes longer. Many, many extra bridges with spread footings instead of piers.

LawrenceTownie 2 years, 2 months ago

I lost a cultivated farm field to the Dept. of Transporation in southern Kansas. They paid me a low amount of money for the "steal", then turned it into a wetland. When I went to court to try to keep my property, I showed stats paperwork from the county proving my field out produced all others in the county. But since KDOT was redoing the highway, they decided it was too dangerous for me to pull my tractor out onto the road, which my grandfather, father, and I had been doing in the rural setting for over 60 years. I tried to get them to put me a road from the field to my pasture, which would have only had to go over a ditch the highway water runoff had created over the last 40 years. But they would not. What KDOT wants KDOT gets, no matter the cost to properties or people. The good of the many outweigh the good of the few. It's called life. And I forgot to tell you, where the highway sits used to be the family farm too, KDOT took it in the 1950's and split the farm into 3 pieces, 1 large and 2 smaller pieces. That could not be stopped either.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

“Once again, it will be a story of land being stolen from the Indians.”

I thought Baker U owned the land.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 2 months ago

We're all living on land stolen from Native Americans. You, me, Baker, that road. We can't un-ring that bell.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

That was stolen more than a century ago. This was stolen in your and my lifetimes, and could have easily been returned.

But that would set a bad precedent.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 2 months ago

If it's precedent you're looking for, then relinquish the land you're occupying and go back to the land of your ancestors. Or do you conveniently fall into that category where the statute of limitations absolves you, but not the holders of these lands. That would be entirely too self-serving, so I assume you'll come up with some other reason why others need to behave in certain ways while you have no such obligation.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Haskell was established as partial compensation for the theft of Indian lands all over the country, including the lands you and I currently live on.

Now you want to justify the theft of that land based on previous thievery. Sorry, but I fail to see the logic in that.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 2 months ago

If it were only partial compensation, then if you were to relinquish your holdings, that compensation would be more complete. A wonderful gesture and a damn good precedent, if you ask me.

Of course it's always easier to ask of others what you are unwilling to ask of yourself. While you condemn thievery based on previous thievery, you're making self-serving arguments based on self-serving arguments.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Should I just call you Mr. Dreidel?

Answer me this-- when is theft no longer OK? Is it still OK now? (apparently so.) Can I steal your house?

JackMcKee 2 years, 2 months ago

How do you steal from someone that doesn't have a concept of property ownership?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

There's about a 500-year history upon which to see how it can be done. And the theft was carried out by those who profess to have a concept of property ownership, which, by their own definitions and philosophy, makes them thieves. And they're still at it.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 2 months ago

Bozo, I watch public television a lot and listen to NPR a lot. It's my main source of information, one that you praise. So from memory, I'll tell you a story that I heard on public television many years ago. They were telling the story of lands that were seized by white settlers near Wounded Knee. The lands had been in the hands of the white settlers for about a century and the Native American tribe that had been displaced was wanting that land returned to them and to have the settlers removed. What I found interesting was that the tribe in question had possessed that land for only about a century, having displaced another now defunct tribe from that land. Basically, the people that stole the land and then had it stolen, wanted it returned to the original thief. Interesting logic, if you ask me. Or is it logical, simply because they were the same race?

I don't know the answers to all these questions. For all of man's history, we've all been stealing from each other. At some point in time, it's become wrong. When and where did that happen is open to debate. No group's hands are clean in this. If anyone condemns someone for stealing their land, they need look in the mirror, because they benefitted from a previous theft. You benefitted from theft, Bozo. I benefitted. To condemn someone else's theft while holding on to your own holdings, is wrong.

BTW - When you say they're still at it, the "they're" to whom you are referring is you and I. Welcome to America.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

What an enlightened view. Did you go the Attila the Hun School of Public Administration?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

So are you saying that this is a "Christian" roadway, or is this just very thinly veiled racism?

(I vote for the latter.)

Armored_One 2 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Overt racism is never polite, no matter what euphemism is used-- and you appear to be equally impolite.

rtwngr 2 years, 2 months ago

It was never land owned by American Indians. Through their own admission, they never owned any land. They were caretakers of it. Now modern society is the caretaker of it and modern society says, "Let's build a road!"

justforfun 2 years, 2 months ago

“Once again, it will be a story of land being stolen from the Indians.”

OHHHH Please you make me want to puke!!!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Hmm, I'd think that that the theft of Indian (heathen) land would please you.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

So, are you going to channel Attila the Hun all day?

Random56 2 years, 2 months ago

Again Bozo is injecting racism into the conversation. I'm sure Justfornow was talking about the environmentalists that turn to vandalism to get their point across. Not native Americans in general. What a joke

newmedia 2 years, 2 months ago

Mother always said good things come to those who wait!

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

It will be good to see people at work builing somthing Lawrence needs.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Yea, that five minutes of convenience for less than 1/4 of the population is a really dire need.

KS 2 years, 2 months ago

Five minutes for those on the east side. It is twent to thirty minutes for those on the west.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Hmm, what about the millions of tons of petroleum products it'll take to build that road, and then maintain it?

Sorry to point out the inconvenient facts.

chootspa 2 years, 2 months ago

Glad you support the redistribution of taxpayer money and embrace the idea that the government can, indeed, create jobs.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

Chootspa - you are a pyromaniac in a field of straw men, but please keep it up. It gave me a hearty chuckle.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

What was unhinged about my comment? Are you ignorant of the word's meaning, as well? Or do you just share the inherent racism embodied in justforfun's comment?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Actually, the original route selected for this highway was well south of the river, well south of the Haskell Wetlands.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

You're referring to a totally different road at at much earlier time.

The original proposal for this bypass was sometime around 1959, and it was well south of the river. It wasn't until the movers and shakers met in (illegal) secret meetings in the 1980's that the route was changed because it was better for their real estate holdings and development plans.

MarcoPogo 2 years, 2 months ago

Oh yeah? Well, I know where 20th Terrace is and that's one higher, so step to that!

MarcoPogo 2 years, 2 months ago

Nope, not that old. Though I definitely know where Clifton Court is. It's no Owens Lane. (Whatever the hell that means.)

50YearResident 2 years, 2 months ago

I think if Bob Eye had won his bid for elective office this story would be far from over. The new objective seemed to be to attack the road from inside the Kansas Legislature as hinted about in this story..

Correction: Bob Eye was running for U.S. Congress where he would more authority to hold up or stop the Trafficway.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Umm, Bob Eye was not running for the Kansas Legislature.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

It's clear that many people here have no idea what "heathen" means.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

A weak apology for thinly veiled racism is itself racist.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

I use the definition "uncivilized" for heathen. There are other definitions that involve gods, but there are no gods so that definition is a non-starter for me.

sturgen 2 years, 2 months ago

Oh yea..."victory" sheesh. A "rebuilt" wetland has on average 300 species. A "natural" wetland has on average over 3,500, no comparison. So the victory here is to hire an out of state company to build a road through one of Lawrence's treasures that saves people from Topeka 10 minutes on their drive to KC, all this for the marginal price of 190mil. Yet we take away the arts, stopped funding to keep the main streets in our small towns alive. How is this victory?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

It's the same issues as it's ever been. Racism, greed, environmental destruction. And you come down in support all of them.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, only beige people will be allowed on the road, and it's gonna be a $20 toll. As for the environment to be destroyed, nobody except a few anti-car crazies care about that little empty spit of farmland.

Heather Perry 2 years, 2 months ago

this particular wet spot is home to many animals!!!

Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Doug Harvey 2 years, 2 months ago

The battle, in many ways, was lost when the initial route around SW Lawrence was approved. I was struck by the dead-end on Hwy. 59 when I first moved here 12 years ago. They knew they'd get their way in the end. Kind of like Wall Street making loans to people who can't pay them back -- they know the government will bail them out.

50YearResident 2 years, 2 months ago

Sorry you missed out on the first 8 years of the Highway to Nowhere. The road was approved to be built, but funds were short and that is why the work was not completed. It wasn't because they had no approval to finish the project.

brutus 2 years, 2 months ago

The really sad thing here is that a very vocal and determined minority can cause delays that push the cost to double or even triple the original estimates. This was voted on and passed a long time ago.

chzypoof1 2 years, 2 months ago

@Bozo...gotta luv ya. Thanks for providing today's fun...

FINALLY we are completing the road that runs through a Rebuilt wetland that we tried to give to the Native Americans, that they didn't want to farm, so Baker University took it back and reflooded the area (man-made). This land is no more "stolen" than any other land in Lawrence. The land belongs to Baker University, who has sponsored DOUBLING the size of the original wetlands to mitigate the small area taken away by the project.

Bozo, I appreciate your dedication and enthusiasm, but your "facts" are weak. I "stole" my land as much as Baker did I guess. What happened a long time ago was bad, but delaying progress in the name of a Man Made wetland that the Natives didn't want to use is not the way to go IMHO.

Anyway, everyone have a great day. Viva La Bypass!

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

Uh-oh, I guess my house is stolen too. I bet wherever Bozo lays his head at night is stolen too. I wonder how he sleeps at night knowing he is on land taken from Native Americans.

Tell us Bozo, how well do sleep on your stolen land?

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

"I think there is kind of a resignation, but there is also an enduring hope through public consciousness and public education that there could be some rethinking about this idea to pave over wetlands,” said Bob Eye, an attorney"

You lost in court. Your role is played out Mr Eye. Don't hold your breath waiting for the public to give two cents about unused farmland.

whats_going_on 2 years, 2 months ago

*cue dead horse arguments over whether the wetlands are sacred or not, manmade or not.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

Somebody's thin skin is showing this morning.

FlintlockRifle 2 years, 2 months ago

I thought Haskell Nation didn't want this land several years ago and gave it away

riverdrifter 2 years, 2 months ago

No, you are wrong. Haskell gave it up, offered to KU, was refused, offered to Baker, who mulled it over and accepted. Nothing was stolen. No one at Haskell gave a rats rump about it. I was there and this I know. I've told you this a dozen times but you have your own version of facts.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Wanton destruction quite often begets other forms of wanton destruction.

Steve Miller 2 years, 2 months ago

WGARA , get it built and be done with it .

Richard Payton 2 years, 2 months ago

Shovel ready jobs - started 20 years ago.

nytemayr 2 years, 2 months ago

After 25 years I feel like my dog on this issue!

"Don't look at me! You threw it! You fetch it!"

Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

white people steal Indian lands....white churches forgive them.......white politicians and courts ignore the Native American Religious Freedom Act of 1978... a federal law.......Executive Order #13007 protecting Native religious freedom.... white scotus judges like William Rehnquist practice and preach racism against Native Americans from the bench and tutor judges antonin scalia, john roberts, and clarence thomas on states rights Indian hating. What a country....now if all the immigrants could go back to the mayflower.... american eyes....american eyes.....see the world through american eyes...steal the past....rob us blind.....and leave nothing behind.... zach de la rocca rage against the machine.....

Bucksilver 2 years, 2 months ago

So, let's go with the facts: - Add many many acres of wetlands to the existing man-made wetlands - Add substantially more acres of forested/treed area to the wetland fringe - Add more elevated walkways to the wetlands - Add concrete recreation paths to the SLT/wetland zone - Construct a 10,000 sf public environmental appreciation facility for the area - Commence a perpetual federally-funded escrow account for maintenance of all improvements - Resolve the age-old and persistent flooding problems which characterize the 31st & Louisiana Sts area - Reunite HINU with land that was taken in the 20s and 30s for construction of 31st St. - Open an unprecedented, speedy through way from east of JoCo to west of Topeka, reducing travel time of pass-by motorists and taking this pass-through traffic out of Lawrence's urban core - DRASTICALLY reduce the toxic gases/carbon footprint of the massive traffic that's for generations been forced to negotiate the highly signalized stop-and-go traffic along the 23rd St and 6th St corridors, adding unnecessary wear-and-tear to our streets and exascerbating the dangers of local street traffic - Implement the plan for the betterment of the community, its local motorists, visitors businesses, industry and commerce; the plan which has been altered many times at the behest of local amd outside agencies in the spirit of environmental sensitivity and responsiveness to public input

The time has come to sing one final "kum bay yah", wave the wheat, go somewhere and sulk about the whole thing BUT BUILD THIS ROADWAY for the benefit of Lawrence and the Eastern Kansas region.

After 25 years, peace! Build it!

alittlecurious 2 years, 2 months ago

Actually, to state a fact, the land for the construction of 31st was transfered to the county in the early 70's.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

When bozo is in bickering mode, there's no stopping him.

Alex Keiffer 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm not particularly fond of the South Lawrence Trafficway being built through the wetlands either, but it had to connected up somehow. Perhaps a better effort to save the Baker wetlands would have come in the long run had the western half of the SLT never been built. In my opinion, Highway 10 was probably just fine the way it was before, coming straight into Lawrence from the east as 23rd Street, and stopping at Highway 59 (Iowa Street). You may disagree with me, but that's just what I think.

Alex Keiffer 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm not particularly fond of the South Lawrence Trafficway being built through the wetlands either, but it had to connected up somehow. Perhaps a better effort to save the Baker wetlands would've come in the long run had the western half of the SLT never been built. In my opinion, Highway 10 was probably just fine the way it was before, coming straight into Lawrence from the east as 23rd Street, and stopping at Highway 59 (Iowa Street). You may disagree with me, but that's just what I think.

Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

it was your White people's us supreme court doctrine of discovery from the 1823 Mcintosh V. Johnson case that promoted that nonsense about not owning the land. How many uninformed white people have spoken on this issue incorrectly over the years?

Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

better yet white people ran the bureau of indian affairs until the 1960's and gave away land to their white friends like baker until Indians in the 1970's once the white people let them have a say in court objected to this....white amnesia......

Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

make up american bull why you're at it and ignore the first amendment rights of others how american of you....

Brent Atwater 2 years, 2 months ago

Build the SLT ASAP and get the heavy semi-truck traffic off of 6th, 19th, 23rd, and 31st when they are trying to pass through town. What are numbers about how much the City has to pay for internal road repairs with the heavy trucks on the aforementioned streets and side streets that have been uses the past 20 years? How can not getting SLT Project not be good for Lawrence?

IdahoWinds 2 years, 2 months ago

I guess I have finally reached the point where I feel sorry for the SLT opponents. They don't lose gracefully! There are only 4 bloggers on here that are opposed to the SLT. That's compared to over 50 people that want it completed. Sturgeon, Keifferam and Tuschie really don't have much to say that is relevant to the topic of the SLT. But then there is Bozo. Basically, he is still claiming that Baker stole the land and that if you don't agree with him you are a racist. Socrates said "When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser." I feel sorry for Bozo that he doesn't realize he no longer has anything relevant to add to the conversation. I think I can hear the fat lady warming up, what about you Mike, er I mean Bozo?

Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

yes because your side brainwashed these people to begin with..... americans know little of history nor do they care....idaho... you sound as flippant as the rest.....oh wait......let's see what are science people always attacked for being like... cold....calculated......dismissive......heartless..... digging up native people out of the ground as specimans and not people.....gee.....someone must have the bedside manner of joseph mengele.....I found a Wakarusa Valley archaeological study from 1978 recently mentioning archaic, ceramic, and pomona phase cultures all up and down the Wakarusa. Meaning people were in the wetlands 800 to 2000 years ago. It's nice to know that we have to hide sites so that you and heartless nature don't dig them up and put them in museums. If you want to have a hooray lap for ignorance go ahead.....a scientist promoting ignorance to bully a race and get a road built....how boy scout and methodist of them......

Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

tucshie, what does your minister father think of your hate-filled life?

George Lippencott 2 years, 2 months ago

twenty years is a long time for an allegedly oppressive society to tolerantly allow dissent.

  1. I wonder what it cost?
  2. I wonder how many of the Kansas electorate participated (they pay the bills)

AzMdeezy 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm glad to see racism is alive and well in Lawrence. I'm pretty sure more than a few wish we could go back to the old days when the Indians got arrested and/or killed when they left the Haskell campus.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

Citation? Or is that what your "family lore" say?

George Lippencott 2 years, 2 months ago

Huh? First of all Native Americans are Caucasian so an act against them is not racist. Otherwise where is the racism?

Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

Are we going to get to see somebody flop down in front of the first bulldozer?

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

I sure hope so! What a great laugh that would provide. Jobs, productivity, increased efficiency, reduced traffic, fuel savings for people who can barley afford to drive in the first place, etc. What a great benefit to the community and surrounding area. I can't think of a better ROI for a man-made swamp.

Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

my father thinks people like you are ignorant snap....it's very cowardly to feebly attempt to flip the anger you deserve onto the people you offend....but that's what people like you do......troll and act cowardly....

Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

Does your father know how to use a comma, tuschie?

chiefsman1966 2 years, 2 months ago

Yes, thats right took more than 20 years. Though over 20 years ago it was put to a vote by the city and the community of Lawrence and the folk surronding lawrence passed it when it was put to a vote way back then. So much for your votes count!!!!!!!!!!!

chiefsman1966 2 years, 2 months ago

How can it be sacred land when there are photos of the land on the south side of 31 street, that clearly show the land as farmland for years!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

the same dumb uninformed non indian comments for twenty years.......

IdahoWinds 2 years, 2 months ago

Oh, I thought you were referring to yourself?!?

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