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Community Connection

Issue 72

City of Sumner Newsletter

Autumn 2012

Should the City Continue in the Golf Course Game?

Is it time for the golf carts to ride into the sunset or not?

With the budget showing few “treats,” the “trick” is going to be looking at things differently.

Sumner Takes a Different Look at Budget Four years ago, the analogy was that the City was going from a steak budget to a macaroni and cheese budget. It’s time to permanently become a vegetarian budget. When hard times come, most governments balance the budget by cutting expenses or increasing revenue. For over four years, the City has saved millions in cuts. Efforts range from leaving vacant positions open to building a sandbag machine out of scrap metal. While the City has not wanted to raise property taxes, it has sought to increase sales tax revenue by encouraging visitors to shop here and building Orton Junction to capture spending you are currently doing in King County. Besides, raising the property tax rate or continuing to

Getting Grants to Keep Taxes Low With tight budgets, grants become very important to keep a city running. Sumner has done almost embarrassingly well in earning grants over the past few years. See the graph for a comparison of cities receiving transportation grants. This graph only evaluates 2000-2010. It doesn’t include the State grant from the Recreation and Conservation Office to build another portion of trail. It also doesn’t include the $4,090,937 that Sumner was awarded in June for improving 136th/Valentine Road, or the grant received last year to install flashing lights at key crosswalks for schools. And those are just the transportation grants. The Sumner Police Department heads the list in receiving grants to hire officers, support commu-

nity-oriented policing, and participate in the regional auto theft task force. What is the secret to Sumner’s success? It’s having well-designed projects that make sense to benefit you and the others who live, work and visit here. It is also thanks to Sumner’s partnerships. While many of the other communities have themselves received

less grant money, they actually helped Sumner fight for its latest road grant in June because the project benefits the region. It helps to have good projects and great friends. It also helps to have grant funds to keep the City moving and functioning while keeping taxes low.

Federal Grants 2000-2010

cut are only temporary solutions. Rising costs always catch up to tax rates, and cuts often only defer the issue because at some point, the City still has to spend to do the work you expect it to do. In the past, governments have assumed that the economy will grow out of any budget challenges. While predictions vary regarding the economic forecast, the common theme is that it’s time to make major changes for government to be sustainable in the long-term. What does this mean exactly? Stay tuned through this fall as the City answers that question with the budget process. It may mean running the senior center differently. Maybe it’s time to no longer support a golf course (see related story).

Change is always a challenge, but it can also be an opportunity. This is Sumner’s chance to once again set the standard of excellence for a progressive small city. “Progressive” now means doing things smarter and leaner. Partnerships will play a big role in this process, whether they are public-private or with other jurisdictions. The first partnership, however, is with you. This is your city and your budget. Do you want a golf course? Enough to pay higher taxes or cut services? Take the golf course survey, watch the budget process, and tell us what you think. Council meetings are available on PCTV, on demand, or online at Agendas and minutes are also posted online.

Community Connects with 17th Fires Brigade Sumner has recently made a new connection with the 17th Fires Brigade, stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). The purpose of the Community Connections Program is to build closer ties between JBLM units and local cities. Sumner gets to learn more about the troops, and the troops get to be

17th Fires Brigade

As many people know, in 1993 the City purchased land in the north end and developed a golf course now known as Sumner Meadows. While at the time the City saw the potential of preserving green space with the added potential of bringing revenue into the City, the golf industry has been in decline for a number of years; new courses have opened; and competition to attract golfers has stiffened. The decline in revenue from the golf course, coupled with the ongoing debt payments, has been significant enough for the Mayor and Council to discuss whether or not continuing in the golf business is the best use of the City’s limited resources. Over the last two years, citizens of Sumner have had to subsidize the golf course over $1.5 million, half of which came from the same account that funds police, parks and other essential services. Mayor Enslow has pointed out that the City can’t continue down this path without serious consequences to the services on which citizens rely most. With only three percent of those who use the course living in Sumner, the Council is considering its options. They could keep the course, which could involve significant changes and very likely require an increase in property tax rates. Or, they could sell the property with the idea of using the proceeds to buy other green space closer to town and more usable by more citizens. Mayor Enslow and the Council would like to hear from you. Each answer has its own pros and cons. Please fill out the enclosed survey and return it to City Hall by mail or in the utility drop box by September 30.

welcomed “home” to Sumner while stationed here. The 17th Fires came to the Art & Rhubarb Pie Festival (left) and the Salute to the Troops (above) at The Old Cannery. This is just a start, and Sumner is very excited to continue building connections to the men and women of 17th Fires. In transportation grants alone, Sumner (red) has received a lot.

17th Fires Brigade


Autumn 2012

Sumner Community Connection

Mayor Column This summer, acting legend Andy Griffith passed away. Sumner constantly gets compared to Griffith’s mythical Mayberry. Why is that? Our Main Street bears a passing resemblance, but honestly, I couldn’t tell you what Mayberry buildings looked like. When someone says “Mayberry,” I picture Griffith along with Barney Fife, Aunt Bea, Opie, and all the other cast of characters. I’ll bet you did too. I think it’s the same with a real town. The people are the true community, not the buildings. Buildings are important. I am all for historic preservation, good planning and design guidelines. But, sometimes I worry that we put more energy into those than we do into relationships. In the end, people are our greatest resource, and relationships are not disposable. Building the relationship side of community can be hard. I made a conscious choice when I entered politics that I wasn’t going to dislike anyone because that just becomes baggage that weighs you down. I have kept that promise, and it’s helped me through some sticky situations when people mistakenly mix up an issue with me personally. On the other hand, relationships can be the easiest part because they’re simply fun. They get built over slices of rhubarb pie and the melodies of Music Off Main. They get built when we save a 40-year festival and gather for Friday night football games. People loved Griffith because he seemed like anyone. He wasn’t slick and polished. He led with an “aw shucks” attitude and common-sense style of humor. He showed us that each of us are leaders in our community. We just need to listen to each other, share our thoughts, want the best for our neighbors and be part of this community. Thank you, Andy Griffith, for reminding us what is important in any town! Mayor Enslow enjoys the personalities of Sumner at the Homecoming Parade

Sumner’s Sales Tax Rate Goes Down! There’s something you don’t hear every day! Starting October 1, Sumner’s sales tax rate decreases by 6/10 of a cent. That means, if in a year you spend $25,000 in Sumner, you will save $150. The rate reduction comes as a result of Sumner no longer being part of Pierce Transit’s taxing district. Pierce Transit wanted to continue to collect $2 million in sales

tax revenue each year in Sumner while only providing a bus from the Sounder Station to Portland Avenue in Tacoma and shuttle service to the disabled in only 25% of the town. (Over a year ago, Pierce Transit already pulled shuttle service from the other 75% of the town, including areas around Franklin House and Stafford Suites.) Instead of continuing this payment,

Council Column

City of Sumner 1104 Maple Street, Sumner, WA 98390 253-863-8300 253-863-2850 FAX 299-5790

CITY COUNCIL Steve Allsop Curt Brown Nancy Dumas Cindi Hochstatter Randy Hynek Ed Hannus Mike LeMaster

299-5793 299-5796 299-5794 299-5795 299-5792 299-5791 299-5797

CITY OFFICES Administration 299-5500 Cemetery 299-5510 Finance/utilities 863-8300 Golf course 863-8198 Inspection line 299-5530 Recreation 891-6500 Permit Center 299-5530 Police (non-emergency) 863-6384 Senior Center 863-2910


Timothy A. Jenkins 863-7635 Judge, Court Offices Cathy Pashon, 299-5621 Court Administrator


John Galle 299-5501 City Administrator

Terri Berry City Clerk


Brad Moericke 299-5641 Interim Police Chief

Carmen Palmer 299-5503 Communications Director

Bill Pugh 299-5701 Public Works Director

Paul Rogerson 299-5521 Community Development Dir.

Brett Vinson City Attorney

Golfers Take Swing at Cancer The City of Sumner Relay for Life team sent $9,200 to the American Cancer Society, thanks to the businesses and individuals who helped make Golf for Life another success. Thank you for your support! Denny’s Valley Autobody & DM Disposal Branks BBQ, Puyallup/Sumner Chamber of Commerce Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., BergerABAM, Sumner Meadows Golf Links, KPG, The Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse, Sumner Lawn & Saw, Whispering Firs, Gray & Osborne, Harborstone Credit Union, Parametrix, UW Tacoma Milgard School of Business MBA Beth Anne Wroe, Cascade Blood Center, Cascade Ice, Chambers Bay, City of Sumner Administration Dept., City of Sumner Community Development Dept., City of Sumner Finance Dept. , City of Sumner Legal Dept. & Municipal Court, City of Sumner Police Dept., City of Sumner Public Works Dept., Dixon Golf, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Sumner, The Home Course, Kellogg’s, LeMay Family Collection, Mount Si Golf Course, Pam St. Martin, Patricia’s Creations, Popchips, ProGolf, Ross Widner, Shannon & Associates LLP, Sumner Downtown Association, Tacoma Concert Band,YMCA of Pierce & Kitsap Counties

City Council Action June-August 2012

Councilmember Randy Hynek declined to provide a column for this newsletter. He prefers that you read his postings online, as found by searching for “Randy Hynek.”

MAYOR Dave Enslow

Sumner pulled out. It may not seem like a big savings, but the impacts are lasting. Not only is it cheaper for you to shop in Sumner, but that also means Sumner businesses get an advantage over neighboring businesses who still must charge the higher sales tax rate. In this economy, any advantage is a great thing for Sumner businesses.

City Expresses Concern for Trains

There is a proposal in Whatcom County for the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point. This terminal would ship coal overseas. Why does it matter to Sumner? It is estimated that the terminal would bring an additional 18-20 coal trains, each over a mile long, on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line every day. The Washington State Department of Ecology is already taking the lead on a full Environmental Impact Statement of the proposal. Mayor Dave Enslow has already sent Ecology and regional legislators a letter expressing concern that the impact of such train traffic to Sumner’s environmental and economic health be included in the assessment. Many cities and counties throughout the State are expressing similar concerns, so this proposal will likely receive a long and thorough process.


Beth Anne Wroe 299-5541 Financial Operations Director

Steve Zamberlin 299-5591 Human Resources Manager EAST PIERCE FIRE & RESCUE Main Number 863-1800 Jerry Thorson, Fire Chief

Approved an interlocal agreement with City of Auburn for East Valley Resurfacing Project Approved Resolution 1350 amending the Metropolitan Development Council Lease Agreement Confirmed Mayoral reappointments of Donna Hardtke, Norman (Rom) LaVerdiere) and Judy Kimball to the Arts Commission and Thomas McDermott to the Planning Commission Adopted Ordinance 2393 imposing a tax on commercial parking transactions Adopted Ordinance 2394 amending code related to truck parking in the Interchange Commercial zone Authorized the Mayor to execute a Memorandum of Agreement with Pierce County for street striping Awarded bid for East Valley Highway Resurfacing Phase I to ICON Materials Awarded bid for White River Trail construction to Lloyd Enterprises, Inc. Awarded bid for construction of Parker Road and Puyallup Watershed Culvert Improvements to R.S. Underground, Inc. Adopted Ordinance 2395 extending Stewart Road interfund loan repayment

Adopted Ordinance 2396 amending required floor elevation for residential structures in the flood plain Authorized contract with FCS Group for update to the Rate Revenue Study for the water, wastewater and stormwater utilities Adopted Ordinance 2397 authorizing natural gas franchise agreement with PSE Approved Resolution 1352 amending the Metropolitan Development Council Lease Approved Resolution 1353 authorizing a memorandum of understanding with the Sumner Police Guild to add the animal control shelter position as a represented non-commissioned employee Adopted Ordinance 2398 amending the development and design guidelines Approved Resolution 1354 for LID 67 segregation for Sumner Business Park Approved Resolution 1355 for LID 70 segregation for Sumner Business Park Authorized the mayor to enter into an employment contract with John Galle for city administrator Adopted Resolution 1356 authorizing a lease agreement with the Sumner School District at the Multi-Purpose Center

Awarded bid for Poole Road project to Rodarte Construction, Inc. Accepted the Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) Perimeter Wall Phase II Effluent Pump Station project Authorized the Mayor to execute an engineering services agreement with Gray & Osborne, Inc. for design of the WWTF Confirmed Mayoral appointment of Bob Johnson to the Arts Commission Adopted Ordinance 2399 updating the Shoreline Master Plan Adopted Ordinance 2401 adopting interim development regulations related to multifamily uses in commercial zones Authorized city attorney to file an appeal of the Growth Management Hearings Board Decision Awarded bid for Parker Road Sidewalks to Road Construction NW, Inc. Adopted Ordinance 2402 amending Chapter 3.26, entitled “Commercial Parking Tax” Adopted Ordinance 2403 imposing a moratorium on any business licenses for building or land use activities relating to a medical marijuana business

Autumn 2012

Sumner Community Connection


Two Long-Time Sumner-ites Accept New Roles ago as a patrol officer. He the Washington Association They are familiar faces earned a Certificate of Merit of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. around Sumner. Over the in 2000 for responding offGalle has been involved with years, they have lived and duty and apprehending a rape Sumner Rotary and Commuworked here, and now, two suspect and introduced the nities for Families. “Sumner-ites” are stepping School Resource Officer proThis change also meant a into new roles. gram in the Sumner School new role for Brad Moericke, John Galle (pronounced District. who is now the interim police “galley”) is Sumner’s new In 2007 he became the chief and will likely take on city administrator. Galle City’s police chief, overseeing that role permanently. Moerfirst moved to Sumner in the the department as it earned icke began as a firefighter in 1980s when he was a teachprestigious accreditation from Sumner before becoming a er. Tacoma Baptist School police officer here. quickly moved him into the He earned a law top administrator role. He degree and worked in supervised teachers and the legal field, includpersonnel and improved ing the Pierce County the organization’s health by Prosecutor’s Office, more than doubling enrollbefore returning to ment, stabilizing staffing, Sumner as deputy greatly reducing teacher police chief in 2008. turnover and establishing a Moericke recently solid financial footing. graduated from the Eventually, he was prestigious FBI Acadlooking for a change and emy. chose law enforcement. If you get a chance, After graduating with top be sure to say hello to academic honors from the both Galle and MoerWashington State Basic icke and thank them Law Enforcement Academy, he started working for Brad Moericke (left) and John Galle are both for their long service stepping into new roles in Sumner. and new roles. the City of Sumner 15 years

Write in the Valley, Chapter 4 Unfolds September 29, 10 am - 2 pm Sumner Senior Center, 15506 62nd Street Court East Join the discussion as local authors answer questions about writing and publishing. Cost is $10 at the door. Seating is limited, so come early! This Year’s Guest Authors: • Jason Black, editing and manuscript revisions • Megan Bostic,YA fiction • Jeanne Matthews, Dinah Pelerin mystery series • Rebecca Morris, adult nonfiction • Mike Lawson, the DeMarco political thrillers, top ten author of The Seattle Times • Karen Robbins, children’s picture books • Susan Schreyer, Thea Campbell mystery series and co-president of the Puget Sound Chapter of Sisters in Crime Writing Feedback: Get feedback on your writing. Critiqued works are reviewed in one-on-one appointments during the event. Submit up to 10 pages for critique. Deadline for submission: Friday, Sept. 14. E-mail to:, Subject: WITV4 Or mail: Sumner Arts Commission, Attn: Sally Abrams/Critiques 2012, City of Sumner, 1104 Maple Street, Suite 250, Sumner, WA 98390 Enter this year’s writing contest: Word limit: up to 750 words Deadline for submission: Friday, September 14 This year’s stories must be: • written in first person • have a main character plus two other characters in story • include dialogue Setting: your character is at a book signing in a large book store. The author is well-known (but may write under a pseudonym). The bookstore is crowded; music plays in the background.Your character has been waiting most of the evening to have his book signed; the store is about to close. It’s vital your character gets this book signed/meets the author because . . .??? Genre is open: mystery, romance, comedy, suspense, thriller, fantasy, paranormal, etc. Winner to be announced at the event on September 29.

Sumner’s Main Street includes buildings that could get help with a historic register process.

With Age Comes Wisdom, and Savings? Sumner’s new Historic Preservation Commission will be meeting to learn about what they will be doing to create a historic registry for Sumner. This registry will be designed to allow building owners to opt in or out of the program. By being on the register, however, they may be eligible for special grants and special codes that take a building’s age into account. The City is working to schedule someone from the State of Washington to explain the program this fall. Everyone is invited to learn about it, so please watch the City website at for specific date information. Come on in if you have any interest in Sumner’s old buildings or think you may be interested in applying a property yourself.

Fall Clean Up Returns November 12-16 Got leaves? DM Disposal will once again pick up extra bags of yard waste, extra trash and/or one appliance the week of November 12-16. Watch your mail for coupons.

Community Supports Sumner’s Chief for a Day Nikki Kohn has been dealing with diabetes for most of her life. Diagnosed in 2004, she has learned how to educate her friends about what diabetes is. This year, thanks to the Chief for a Day program, she was able to deal with something fun instead. Throughout the year, she has been helping Sumner Police in parades and visiting the police station as well as local businesses. On August 16, she was Sumner’s Chief for a Day, joining with other children who have lifethreatening or chronic health conditions. They started at CenturyLink field and joined in a motorcade to the police

El Charro, Farrellis, Green academy where they enjoyed K9 demonstrations, police he- Mountain Coffee Roasters, licopter landings, lunch, and Inc., Koolit Trucking, Sabrinas Lunch in a Box, Sorcis, the pinning of their Chief’s badge. Nikki will now be fac- Starbucks and Walmart-Bonney Lake. ing a new challenge, entering Sumner Middle School. Thank you to all the businesses who supported this program including Applebees – Kent, Bank of America, Berryland Café, Buttered Biscuit, Dillanos, Nikki Kohn tries out being Chief for a Day.

ASK DR. SUMNER: Why did the light at Traffic & Main miss my turn? Our new light isn’t broken, and it’s not “ignoring” you; instead, an incoming train is causing the delay. Transportation rules dictate that we can’t have traffic signals encouraging you to drive or walk toward a moving train. As soon as the train crossing’s signals are activated by an approaching train, that automatically delays any walk signals or

protected left signals from turning green until the train has cleared the crossing. If you’re driving, the light will resume its full pattern after the train is gone. Do not turn on the red anyway, and do not “dart” into the other lane of traffic. If you’re walking, you may have to press the walk button again as soon as the train is gone to remind the signal that you’re still waiting to cross. A related question is why the signals to the West Valley Highway from Valley Avenue over by The Old Cannery seem to take a long time to

change. It’s a different circumstance but the same goal. In that case, the two lights are so close together that any vehicle cleared by one signal but stopped by the other would be trapped on the railroad tracks. To make sure that doesn’t happen, the signals must be timed to clear all vehicles (including large vehicles like buses and semi-trucks) between the signals before they change. It’s also why no turn on red is allowed on that signal.

Sometimes a train delays getting the green light.


Sumner Community Connection

Autumn 2012

SAFETY SALLY SAYS: Watch for Crossing Pedestrians One woman emailed us in August that she walks across Traffic Avenue at State Street and was nearly hit three times in the past five months by vehicles not only ignoring her but the red light as well! As kids start walking back to school as well, it’s a great time to remind yourself to carefully watch for pedestrians when you’re driving. Some common issues that put pedestrians in jeopardy:

your passengers as well as pedestrians. Walkers, you can help avoid this situation by wearing bright clothing and making your intention to cross a street clear to drivers. “They weren’t in a crosswalk.” Legal crosswalks exist at any intersection whether they are delineated by striping or not. However, even if a pedestrian is “jaywalking” in the middle of a block, that’s not a good reason to injure him or her!

“I was in a hurry.” We’ve all hurried to something important, but is anything important enough to endanger someone’s life? (Besides, if you hit someone, you’ll miss your appointment anyway.) “I didn’t see the pedestrian.” It happens, but do all you can to make sure it doesn’t. Driving distracted endangers you and

Please Do Not Feed the Animals They’re cute. They’re beautiful. They are experts at begging for snacks without saying a word. They are wild animals. No matter how pleading a look they give you, please refrain from feeding wild animals in Sumner. From geese to crows to raccoons, it may seem harmless. However, your indulgent snack creates nuisances ranging from increased begging to the inevitable deposits in yards, on walkways and in streets. The Council considered actually banning the feeding of wild animals, but that seemed a bit extreme. Instead, please do your part and avoid the urge to give into those expert beggars.

Mayor Enslow with crossing guards on Willow St.

“Building the fabric of friendship is key to building the capacity of any community.” ~Dr. Steve Moore, MJ Murdock Charitable Trust Sumner City Council INSIDE: Your Taxes Going Down Should Sumner Stay in the Golf Game? Steve Allsop

Sumner’s Chief for a Day Write in the Valley Returns Coal Train Concerns

Curt Brown

Nancy Dumas

Ed Hannus

Cindi Hochstatter

Randy Hynek


City of Sumner 1104 Maple Street Sumner, WA 98390

A Different Look at the Budget IMPROVE YOUR “CONNECTION” Get news between mailed newsletters with the e-newsletter. Sign up on the City’s website at


Postal Customer

City Hall Calendar

8-16 School House Rock! presented by ACT1 Theatre Productions, The Old Cannery 15 Sounder service from Sumner to Husky game, 10:35 & 11 am 15-23 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, ManeStage Theatre Co. at the PAC 16 Sounder service from Sumner to Seahawks game, 10:37 & 11 am 23 Sounder service from Sumner to Mariners game, 11:17 am 29 Write in the Valley, Chapter 4, 10 am - 2 pm, Sumner Senior Center 29 History Walk, 11 am, Sumner Downtown Association 30 Feed Your Muse, 4-6 pm, ACT1 Theatre Productions Studio

6 Planning Commission, 7 pm 10 Council Study Session, 6 pm 11 Parks Commission, 4 pm 12 Public Works Committee, 5 pm 13 Forestry Commission, 4 pm 13 Design Commission, 6:30 pm 17 City Council Meeting, 7 pm 19 CD/Parks Committee, 4:30 pm 20 Public Safety Committee, 5 pm 24 Council Study Session, 6 pm 25 Finance Committee, 5 pm 27 Arts Commission, 5 pm


Community Events september


1 City Council Meeting, 7 pm 4 Planning Commission, 7 pm 8 City Council Study Session, 6 pm 9 Parks Commission, 4 pm 9 Planning Commission, 7 pm 10 Public Works Committee, 5 pm 11 Forestry Commission, 4 pm 11 Design Commission, 6:30 pm 15 City Council Meeting, 7 pm 17 CD/Parks Committee, 4:30 pm 18 Public Safety Committee, 4:30 pm 22 City Council Study Session, 6 pm 23 Finance Committee, 5 pm 25 Arts Commission, 6 pm

Mike LeMaster



1 Planning Commission, 7 pm 5 City Council Meeting, 7 pm 8 Forestry Commission, 4 pm 8 Design Commission, 6:30 pm 12 Holiday, City Offices Closed 13 Parks Commission, 4 pm 13 City Council Study Session, 7 pm 14 CD/Parks Committee, 4:30 pm 15 Public Safety Committee, 4:30 pm 19 City Council Meeting, 7 pm 20 Public Works Committee, 5 pm 22-23 Holiday, City Offices Closed 26 City Council Study Session, 7 pm 27 Finance Committee, 5 pm 29 Arts Commission, 6 pm

1 Monthly test of the lahar siren, noon 6 Autumn Evening & Scarecrow Celebration, 10 am - 8 pm, Downtown 6 Come Walk With Me, 8:30 am, Old Cannery 14 Sounder service from Sumner to Seahawks game, 10:37 & 11 am 27 History Walk, 11 am, Sumner Downtown Association 28 Feed Your Muse, 4-6 pm, ACT1 Theatre Productions Studio 31 Street of Treats, 5-7 pm, Sumner Downtown Association


4 Sounder service to Seahawks game, 10:37 & 11 am 5 Monthly test of the lahar siren, noon 10 Hometown Holiday Celebration, 10 am - 7 pm with Living Art Windows, noon - 4 pm, Downtown 11 Sounder service to Seahawks game, 10:37 & 11 am 23 Annual Bridge Lighting, Cannery, 5 pm 24-Dec 16 White Christmas, ManeStage at the PAC 24 History Walk, 11 am, Sumner Downtown Association 25 Feed Your Muse, 4-6 pm, ACT1 Theatre Studio 28-Dec 9 A Tuna Christmas, ACT1 Theatre Studio


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