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by Chris Teale August 16, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Clarendon restaurant Don Tito will host a viewing lunch and happy hour on Monday, August 21 for the solar eclipse.

The watering hole at 3165 Wilson Blvd will begin the festivities at noon, with the eclipse viewing expected to begin at approximately 1:21 p.m. The eclipse is anticipated to be at its maximum around 2:47 p.m., and the viewing and the eclipse itself will wrap us around 4 p.m.

To mark the occasion, the first total eclipse visible in the continental U.S. in decades, Don Tito will offer what it described as “eclipse-inspired refreshments” and taco specials.

Those interested in attending must RSVP online. Anyone that does RSVP will receive a pair of protective ISO-12312-2 glasses for viewing the eclipse.

This year’s eclipse is expected to be seen by more than 500 million people. The total solar eclipse will cross from Salem, Ore. to Charleston, S.C., with the rest of the country able to see a partial eclipse.

“This is truly a historic event and a wonderful opportunity to view one of nature’s stunning displays,” the Don Tito event’s organizers wrote.

So far, no other viewing events in Arlington have been widely announced, but The Connection pop-up library in Crystal City (2100 Crystal Drive in the Crystal City Shops) gave out hundreds of free glasses with which to watch the eclipse, supplied by PBS. The free glasses proved to be popular and the supply quickly ran out.

by ARLnow.com August 16, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

A man of short stature walked into a Crystal City office building, stole a purse, and almost immediately starting using the victim’s credit cards, according to police.

The Arlington County Police Department is investigating the burglary, which happened Monday at the Consumer Technology Association in Crystal City. The department released surveillance camera images of the suspect at ARLnow.com’s request.

“At approximately 2:30 p.m. on August 14, police were dispatched the 1900 block of S. Eads Street for the report of a grand larceny,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Upon arrival, the victim reported that between 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., her purse had been stolen from her cubicle and her credit cards had been fraudulently used.”

“During the investigation, several employees reported seeing a suspicious male subject in the building,” Savage continued. “The subject is described as a black male, between 40 and 50 years old, approximately 4 ft tall and weighing 130 lbs. He was wearing dark clothing at the time. The investigation is ongoing.”

An employee who works at the association said the man “walked right into our building and stole a purse from someone’s desk,” then “immediately began using her credit cards at a gas station on Route 1 and then later in D.C.”

“It is very frightening that someone is going around to different office buildings like this!” the employee said.

by ARLnow.com August 16, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Hundreds Ticketed for Passing Stopped School Buses — Last year, 618 drivers in Arlington County received a $250 fine for illegally passing a stopped school bus. A police spokeswoman said it was “very alarming” that so many drivers were ignoring the lights and stop arm on buses. [WJLA]

Firefighter Places Fourth in Bodybuilding Competition — An Arlington County firefighter, Capt. Tiffanye Wesley, finished fourth in the 40+ figure bodybuilding competition at the 2017 World Police and Fire Games in Los Angeles. [Twitter]

Arlington Bishop’s Statement on Charlottesville — Bishop Michael Burbidge released a statement earlier this week about the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. Burbidge condemned “racism, bigotry and self-proclaimed superiority,” writing: “For Christians, any form of hatred, no matter who it is against, is an offense — a sin — against the Body of Christ. Each person is created by God and bestowed with His unyielding love.” [Catholic Diocese of Arlington]

Hate Groups in Arlington — The Southern Poverty Law Center lists three hate groups as being headquartered or having a presence in Arlington, though the local connection is questionable for at least two of them. ProEnglish, an anti-immigrant group, is listed by the SPLC as having an Arlington headquarters, but it has a Washington, D.C. office address listed on its website. The National Policy Institute, headed by white nationalist Richard B. Spencer, lists an Arlington P.O. box but its headquarters is in Alexandria, according to news reports. The Center for Perpetual Diversity, a white nationalist organization that is fighting immigration in Europe and pushing for African Americans to return to Africa, is listed as having an Arlington headquarters. It has an Arlington P.O. box with a 22204 ZIP code. [Southern Poverty Law Center, Patch]

Arlington Near Top of Va. SOL Results — “Pass rates for Arlington Public Schools students on Standards of Learning tests taken last spring were up in 11 cases, down in 12 and unchanged in six from a year before, according to new state data. The county school system met or exceeded statewide passing rates in all but one of 29 exams, and exceeded the statewide rate by 5 points or more on 17 of the assessments.” [InsideNova, WTOP]

by ARLnow.com Sponsor August 16, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Just Reduced banner

Each week, “Just Reduced” spotlights properties in Arlington County whose price have been cut over the previous week. The market summary is crafted by licensed broker Aaron Seekford of Arlington Realty, Inc. GET MORE out of your real estate investment with Aaron and his team by visiting www.arlingtonrealtyinc.com or calling 703-836-6116 today!

Please note: While Aaron Seekford provides this information for the community, he is not the listing agent of these homes.

According to a new study, “contemporary” is now the décor style of choice here in Virginia.

The furniture company Joybird, recently analyzed search data on the most popular décor type in each state and while Alaska goes the Bohemian route, Michigan prefers an industrial vibe and Wyoming is all about a Western look, apparently we like to keep things pretty modern in the commonwealth.

Looking at the contemporary construction elements that are becoming more omnipresent with Arlington County abodes and the way many homes are being staged, this totally makes sense. From chic condos to renovated townhouses to modern single-family homes, a lot of families are opting for “modern” over a more traditional feel. And contemporary decor complements these spots perfectly.

As always, when you’re ready to explore the Arlington real estate landscape, give me a shout. We’ll GET MORE out of your search and transaction, regardless of how you ultimately decide to decorate your spot.

As of August 15 there are 239 detached homes, 57 townhouses and 270 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 34 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week.

Here is this week’s selection of Just Reduced properties:

Please note that this is solely a selection of Just Reduced properties available in Arlington County. For a complete list of properties within your target budget and specifications, contact Aaron Seekford.

by ARLnow.com August 15, 2017 at 5:45 pm 0

A driver suffering some sort of medical emergency crashed his SUV into a utility pole and at least one other vehicle in Rosslyn this evening, according to scanner traffic.

The crash happened around 5 p.m. on the 1600 block of Fairfax Drive.

The man was transported to a local hospital via ambulance. His condition is unknown. The pole and the other vehicle appeared to suffer only minor damage.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor August 15, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Arlington Travel Baseball (ATB) is a 501(c)3 non-profit youth baseball organization that provides an opportunity for players ages 9-12U to acquire superior skills through higher levels of competition. ATB is seeking head and assistant coaches who have a passion for the game and want to join a “winning” team. Ideally, we are in search of former college baseball players who want to teach the game they grew up playing

Coaches will be compensated a competitive wage and required to pass a background check. Coaching experience is a plus but not required and training is available as needed. Coaches will report to the Director of Player Development, who will set team goals and assist with practice plans and specific skills development.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Manage the day to day field activities of the team. Teaching relevant skills, tactics and techniques.
  • Arrive on time and have a practice plan for each practice.
  • Lead the team at all regular season, playoff and tournament games.
  • Coach in a positive manner. (Coaches will have coach of conduct form)
  • Communicate with Team General Manager with administrative needs of team.
  • Prepare the players for the physical and mental challenges of competitive baseball.
  • Identify player strengths and weaknesses and provide progress reports at end of summer season.
  • Attend annual tryouts in June and July

If you’re interested or know someone who might be please contact us at [email protected] or call 703-801-6297.

by Chris Teale August 15, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

More than 2,000 local children benefitted from a summer program sponsored by the company that manages highway toll lanes in the region.

Transurban, which manages the high-occupancy toll lanes on the Capital Beltway and will manage the soon-to-be-extended I-395 HOT lanes, donated $18,000 to its Outdoor Kids Fund.

The fund supported outdoor programs and environmental education for kids who attended summer camps at Upton Hill Regional Park in Arlington and Cameron Run Regional Park in Alexandria. Attendees learned about water safety and the environment, then celebrated the end of camp with a day at Upton Hill.

They were joined on their last day by officials from Transurban, as well as representatives from the parks’ managers the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation and Arlington County Board vice chair Katie Cristol.

“NOVA Parks is a tremendous regional asset, and kudos to Transurban for providing a grant that will benefit many kids in Arlington and Alexandria,” said County Board chair Jay Fisette in a statement.

More from a press release:

The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NOVA Parks), Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation, Vice Chair of the Arlington County Board Katie Cristol and Transurban – the Virginia Department of Transportation’s partner on the 395 Express Lanes project, today joined area children at Upton Hill Regional Park to celebrate the Outdoor Kids Fund which was supported by Transurban this summer. The program provides enhanced outdoor experiences and environmental education for two thousand children who attend summer camps in Arlington and Alexandria.

In addition to a day at the waterpark at the end of camp, the children learn about water safety, and many of them get to experience hands-on environmental education. The two main waterparks used for the program are Great Waves at Cameron Run Regional Park in Alexandria, and Ocean Dunes at Upton Regional Park in Arlington.

“NOVA Parks is a tremendous regional asset, and kudos to Transurban for providing a grant that will benefit many kids in Arlington and Alexandria,” said Jay Fisette, Chairman of the Arlington County Board.

“At a time of severe budget pressure, having Transurban partner with NOVA Parks to improve the summer experience of our children is invaluable. These types of partnerships create lasting memories,” said Alexandria Vice Mayor Justin Wilson.

“As the Virginia Department of Transportation’s partner on the 395 Express Lanes project, Transurban is committed to the safety and wellbeing of the Arlington and Alexandria communities near the Express Lanes project corridor.  Transurban is proud to support NoVA Parks as they continue providing outdoor experiences and environmental education for the community,” said Leigh Petschel, Vice President, Operations, Transurban.

“We hope this program will allow Arlington and Alexandria to serve even more of their youth with these savings,” remarked Stella Koch, Chairman of NOVA Parks. “With need high and budgets tight, this gift from Transurban is wonderful,” she continued.

“Transurban is demonstrating great corporate citizenship by supporting this program that will help some children in need have a wonderful experience,” said Eileen Ellsworth, President of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. “I love it when businesses and local and regional leadership come together to provide solutions,” she continued.

Photos via Facebook.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor August 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: I’m a bit nervous about moving into a condo and we’re expecting to receive the condominium disclosure documents (resale package) soon. I’ve heard these are pretty large packages. What sort of information can we expect to get and what should we pay the most attention to?

Answer: Fear of condos is real! Last week I had a client tell me he’d been warned against buying a condo because the Board can raise fees whenever and however much they want. First, keep in mind that the Board is made up of your neighbors who also have a vested interest in keeping payments low and the community in good health. Second, this is why the condo document review period is a critical step in the purchase process.

Your Rights As A Buyer

You have a non-negotiable right in Virginia (also in D.C. and Maryland) to receive a Condominium or Property Owners’ Association Disclosure Package (aka Condo Docs or Resale Package) if you are purchasing property that’s part of an Association such as condo ownership or Homeowners’ Association.

These documents can be provided to you as soon as you go under contract (ratification). You’ll want to start your review ASAP because you have three days from receipt to void the contract for any reason, without risking your Earnest Money Deposit.

What You’ll Get

The official list of required documents and statements in a condo resale package can be found here. It includes critical information like the by-laws, budget, rules & regulations, monthly or special assessments, reserve study, proof of insurance, pending lawsuits, unit violations, rental caps and much more.

What To Review

Your purchase binds you to every rule, penalty, and fee detailed in the condo docs so you should take the time to read everything. Is Fido 70 lbs and your new building restricts pets over 25 lbs? Brutal. Spent $1,500 on a fancy new grill in a community that restricts open flames? Craigslist will take it for $400. If reading 300 pages isn’t your thing, here are some of the most important things to check:

  • Monthly/Special Assessments: Confirm they’re as marketed
  • Budget: Make sure expenses seem reasonable and look for any debt payments (ask questions if you find them)
  • Reserve Study: Condos should be inspected every five years with a resulting report (Reserve Study) of projected replacement and maintenance costs compared to projected/recommended reserve fund balances over the next 30 years. Find the financial summary to see if there are any projected shortfalls and cross-reference the current reserve fund balance with the projected and/or recommended reserve fund balance.
  • By-laws/Rules: If you have a pet, plan to rent, or anything else important to you, verify the by-laws and rules meet expectations
  • Meeting Minutes: Review the latest meeting minutes for any discussion of major expenditures/issues

Sellers should try to produce the resale package as quickly as possible because of the Buyer’s ability to void the contract within three days of receipt. As a Seller, the last thing you want is to delay the delivery of the package for weeks and watch your Buyer walk away close to the settlement date. In Virginia, Associations have 14 days to deliver the resale package from the date of request, although most turn it around in a few days.

Have a question about something you found in your condo or HOA disclosure package? Feel free to send me an email ([email protected]) or give me a call (703-539-2529) for help!

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at www.EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.

by ARLnow.com August 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

A dispute over a stop sign between two drivers led to one allegedly striking the other with a water bottle.

The road rage incident happened in Pentagon City, at the intersection of S. Hayes Street and Army Navy Drive near the Pentagon City mall, just after 10 a.m. this past Friday.

Police say a man was so enraged that he threw a water bottle at the other driver, striking him or her. The victim was uninjured by the projectile.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED VEHICLE, 2017-08110095, S. Hayes Street at Army Navy Drive. At approximately 10:11 a.m. on August 11, police were dispatched to the report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that following a verbal dispute between drivers over a stop sign, the suspect threw a plastic water bottle at the victim. The water bottle struck the victim but no injuries were reported. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 28-40 years old, with a larger build. He was driving a gray four door sedan. The investigation is ongoing.

Photo via Flickr

by Chris Teale August 15, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

Tuesday’s heavy rains caused some flooding around Arlington, especially in the northern reaches of the county.

An overflowing storm drain brought elevated water levels to the intersection of Military Road and 35th Street N., where drivers had to contend with significant standing water following a slug of heavy rain this morning. Police were on scene, but there were no road closures.

An earlier report suggested higher, more hazardous water levels along Military Road while the rain was still falling.

Other areas of reported flooding included the area of Glebe Road and Chain Bridge and the intersection of Yorktown Blvd and N. Harrison Street — though no standing water was observed there when an ARLnow.com reporter drove by.

The National Weather Service warned earlier today about flash floods in the region, with the threat running through early afternoon. The heavy rain that brought flooding to Arlington appeared to bring more severe conditions to Northwest D.C., where residents posted photos and videos (below) of roads turned into fast-moving streams.

Arlington’s Dept. of Public Safety Communications & Emergency Management, meanwhile, reminded residents to “turn around and don’t drown” when encountering flooded roadways.

by ARLnow.com August 15, 2017 at 11:20 am 0

(Updated at 11:35 a.m.) Much of Arlington and portions of Fairfax County, D.C. and suburban Maryland are now under a Flash Flood Warning.

The National Weather Service issued the warning around 11:15 a.m. It is in effect through 2:15 p.m.

Forecasters say heavy rain may produce flooding. Already, some flooding issues are being reported in part of the county, including along Military Road in north Arlington and in the area of Glebe Road and Chain Bridge.

More from the National Weather Service:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A * FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR… THE NORTHWESTERN DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA… SOUTHEASTERN MONTGOMERY COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND… NORTHWESTERN PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND… ARLINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… NORTHEASTERN FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… * UNTIL 215 PM EDT * AT 1114 AM EDT, DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING HEAVY RAIN ACROSS THE AREA. UP TO ONE INCH OF RAIN HAS ALREADY FALLEN. FLASH FLOODING IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN SHORTLY. * SOME LOCATIONS THAT MAY EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE… ARLINGTON, BETHESDA, LANGLEY PARK, BLADENSBURG, MCLEAN, HOWARD UNIVERSITY, FORT TOTTEN, ROSSLYN, HYATTSVILLE, TAKOMA PARK, KEMP MILL, CHEVY CHASE, SOUTH KENSINGTON, RIVERDALE PARK, FOREST GLEN, MARTIN’S ADDITIONS, NORTH CHEVY CHASE, FRIENDSHIP VILLAGE, GEORGETOWN AND BALLSTON.

by Chris Teale August 15, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

(Updated August 16, 10:40 a.m.) With the summer almost at an end, several construction projects in Rosslyn and Clarendon are moving along.

In Clarendon, despite a small fire in May that prompted a major response from the Arlington County Fire Department, the Ten at Clarendon apartment building is open for business on 10th Street N.

A spokeswoman said the 143-unit luxury residential community was completed last month and residents are moving in. Also in July, the building added virtual reality tours for its new apartments .

In Rosslyn, a new six-story condo building is starting to rise in place of an aging low-rise apartment complex. The project, now called “Key and Nash” in signs posted nearby, will add 63 units at the corner of Key Blvd and N. Nash Street.

The project by Reston-based developer NVR, Inc., the parent company of homebuilder Ryan Homes, looks to be well on the way to completion.

Close by, demolition of the former Wilson School is over, and now workers have cleared the ground to start to lay the foundations for the new building.

The new school at 1601 Wilson Blvd, which will house the H-B Woodlawn and Stratford programs, is scheduled to open in fall 2019 and house 775 students across both programs.

But less than a block away, there appears to have been little progress as of yet on the proposed redevelopment of the 39-unit Queens Court apartment complex at 1801 N. Quinn Street.

The County Board approved in February a project by the local nonprofit Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing to bring 249 committed affordable units in a 12-story building.

And in Radnor-Fort Myer Heights, work is continuing on two new residential buildings and a rebuilt substance-abuse recovery facility. Crews and a variety of heavy machinery are on site at the project, known as Gables Pointe 14, at 1307 N. Rolfe Street. The 370 apartments in two buildings, underground parking and an 8,000-square-foot shared park are set to be complete in 2020.

by Chris Teale August 15, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Crews started moving in this morning (Tuesday, August 15) to begin work to give the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial — also known as the Iwo Jima memorial — a facelift.

The work will limit public access to the memorial and surrounding parkland until next year. In signs posted near the memorial and the Netherlands Carillon, the National Park Service said the revamp includes washing and waxing the memorial and re-gilding its lettering, repairing any parts of the granite plaza that have become damaged, improving lighting, and installing new signs, shrubs and trees.

The roadway and footpath around the memorial will also be repaved.

“The road will be rebuilt in its current configuration, but with materials to better support the heavy weight of the many tour buses that use the road daily,” NPS said in a press release.

As of Tuesday morning, crews were putting up detour signs for road and trail users, as the access road to the memorial’s parking lot will be closed. In an announcement of the work, NPS said the memorial will be surrounded by scaffolding for much of the project, but pedestrians can still access the memorial plaza from N. Meade Street. Buses will have a small area for pick-up and drop-off on N. Meade Street also.

The $5.37 million project is funded by a donation from local philanthropist David Rubenstein, who has also used some of his multi-billion dollar fortune to fund the Washington Monument’s post-earthquake repairs, enrich the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ endowment and gave $12.35 million to the Arlington House Robert E. Lee museum in Arlington National Cemetery.

NPS said public access will be limited until February 2018. The memorial was dedicated in 1954 by President Dwight Eisenhower and receives 1.5 million visitors per year.

by ARLnow.com August 15, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Eastern Foundry Expanding Again — Government contracting startup accelerator Eastern Foundry is expanding once again. The accelerator is taking a 6,175-square-foot space directly below its Crystal City offices and dividing it into four suites “to attract larger companies that want a foothold in the co-working world.” [Washington Business Journal]

JBG’s Big Plans for Crystal City, Potomac Yard — The newly-merged JBG Smith sees an opportunity to transform its holdings in Pentagon City, Crystal City, Potomac Yard and North Old Town Alexandria into “24/7 environments” that “feel more like the [Rosslyn-Ballston] Corridor.” In Crystal City, the company wants to add new amenities. “What we want to do there is add retail amenities and residential to convince people who work there to live and play there,” said an executive. [Bisnow]

Real Estate Market Continues Upward Trajectory — “Year-over-year home sales and average sales prices across Northern Virginia were up slightly in July, leading to a 6.6-percent increase in total sales volume, according to new figures.” [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by Chris Teale August 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

A pair of recent Yorktown High School graduates were behind Sunday’s rally to condemn the weekend’s events in Charlottesville.

Julian Lopez-Leyva and Justin Wu, both 2016 Yorktown graduates who have just completed their first year of college, decided to put the event together late Saturday night to “actively condemn bigotry and racial hatred through a series of speeches, songs, actions, and a moment of silence.”

Lopez-Leyva is a Political Science major with a minor in Economics at Emmanuel College in Boston, while Wu studies Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech.

They said in interviews Monday that they did not fully expect to see 200 people and a slew of elected officials in attendance in Courthouse, all wanting to come together and heal.

“Initially I expected only 10 people to come out, but it ended up being around 200 people and that blew my mind,” Lopez-Leyva said. “But I think that also spoke to me understanding that it wasn’t only me that was fed up, it was so many other people, and that solidarity was an imperative. We just really have to speak up, and I think speaking up is the right move.”

The pair organized the event through Facebook, and also reached out to local grassroots political group Indivisible Arlington for help getting the word out. Attendance snowballed from that initial Facebook event post. (ARLnow.com also tweeted about it.)

“When we first started organizing this, I had reservations thinking it was too quick a turnaround and that we wouldn’t be able to get the word out in time since we started so late at night,” Wu said.

The rally included poetry readings and speeches by activist Gayle Fleming, Dels. Rip Sullivan, Patrick Hope and Mark Keam, as well as Arlington County Board vice chair Katie Cristol.

Wu said he was struck by how many people have connections to Charlottesville, whether through themselves or family and friends attending the University of Virginia in the city or in other ways.

“It was powerful to see that an event in Charlottesville had an effect all the way out here in Northern Virginia, and how everyone is all connected to this,” Wu said.

And while neither had organized an event like this before, they agreed it was heartening to see such turnout, especially among young people.

“I think students are really going to be the leaders of our world in the future, so I’m sad that I’m going to be leaving Arlington but I’m happy that I have the potential to speak up among so many other people who are like-minded, maybe not so like-minded, but regardless are around the same age range as myself and who have the duress to really say something,” Lopez-Leyva said.

The event ended with a period for conversation and asking questions, like the sorts of town halls hosted regularly by politicians and businesses. Lopez-Leyva said that kind of communication and understanding each other will be key to help unite the country again.

“People and conversations are some of the most powerful weapons in the world,” he said. “I think the voice is innumerably more powerful than any sort of physical weapon, any sort of fist, anything we saw in Charlottesville. I think the discussion on any side of the aisle, no matter where you’re coming from, I think that’s an imperative if you really want to bring this country back together.”

Photos by Peter Golkin

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