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Community News - 6


Sports - 12


Reviews - 14


National News - 21 XIAO HAN

Student Editors:


Faculty Advisor: MS. SKOLNIK

Design Editor:


NOTE: The opinions expressed in the following articles DO NOT represent the opinions of the administrative staff at GCHS, merely those of the writers themselves.


Although to many the presidential race has acted as a source of entertainment, what most do not realize is that we are experiencing the creation of history. What some have called the “most monumental election of the modern era” has been infiltrating our news, family dinner conversations, and even our social media. But although it may seem that figureheads, such as Clinton and Trump, are controlling our nation’s fate, we have the power to influence it. With all the negative comments coming from both sides, it is important to remember that hate can not help our nation grow stronger, but only hold us back. As students, it’s frustrating to see an election go by without being able to vote. To compensate, we talk about our opinions, both in a social setting and on social media. This is a great way to exercise our First Amendment right and also expand and push our views. However, although we should always stand our beliefs, we also run the risk of polarizing ourselves. As seen throughout history, when we work together, our nation grows stronger. This past election brought out the worst in not only the two candidates but also the public. The anonymity of social media mixed with the controversial candidates gave the 2016 election an inhumane aftertaste. As both students and citizens, we should rise up above the cruelty and nullify the animosity originating from the election by coming together and acting as an example of how we should treat one another. Something as simple as being respectful and kind to a fellow classmate can have reverberating effects. It may seem that we, as students, don’t have an important role in our government--but by being an example of an upstanding citizen, we are doing more than we know.


ALEXIS VARANO Have you ever ordered cupcakes from Cupcake Couture Sweets? Alexis Varano, a current junior at Garden City High School, began the business back in 2013, baking and catering cupcakes for various events. She makes cupcakes for every size event including birthday parties, holidays, family events, and simply just pure enjoyment. Cupcake Couture Sweets is customizable and can easily work with a customer in order to provide whatever he or she wishes in regards to cupcake size, flavor, and decorations. Alexis first nurtured her love for baking by helping out her mom on holidays making pies, cookies, cakes and of course, cupcakes. An avid watcher of the show Cupcake Wars, Alexis had always been amazed by the artistry of the bakers on the show and aspired to be like them, baking her own creative cupcakes just for fun. Upon the suggestion that she try selling her cupcakes, she took the idea and developed it into her very own business. She first initiated the process by creating a name, logo, business cards, email account, and official Instagram for her business. Eventually, she designed her very own website (CupakeCoutureSweets. com). Alexis states that the most effective way of promoting her business has been by giving out

her business cards and spreading word about what she loves to do. Furthermore, Alexis created an income and expense chart in order to keep track of her earnings; eventually, she also created a portfolio of her cupcakes. Motivated by her firm goals of running her own cupcake business, Alexis exclaims that she constantly conducted research on how to become a better baker and decorator in order to increase the overall quality of her product. All of her exquisite cupcakes are made completely from scratch, and she exclaims that she had to become proficient in this process through her experience. She considers the decorating “the fun part,” using chocolate, fondant, and various frostings. She describes the whole process as “extremely rewarding in the end; although other people may see it as just a cupcake, I know how much work went into making it.” Alexis expresses that each order presents a challenge: whether it’s accidentally forgetting the timer and overcooking the cupcakes, running out of an ingredient last minute and using a substitute ingredient, or at-

tempting a difficult request for a specific decoration. However, her main challenges usually come in her struggle for absolute perfection in the cupcakes: “When I’m looking at cupcakes for so long, I begin to see the little things, like the crooked frosting or off center decoration, and although this can sometimes be frustrating, it always ends up working out.” Her favorite memory is one of her first orders in which she was given the task to make baseball cupcakes. She says, “I remember how stressed I was at first because I had no idea what I was doing and just winging the whole thing. I just went along with it and had so much fun, and in the end, they came out looking amazing.” Outside of making cupcakes, Alexis is a member of the the Varsity Kickline Team, a gymnastics instructor, a community service volunteer, and a member of three school clubs: Student Council, Italian Club and Miracle Club. She also enjoys hanging out with her friends, skiing, and traveling. Alexis describes herself as “motivated, compassionate, and responsible.” There is no doubt that this bright student will have great things in store for her in the future.


Check out those cupcakes, made by Alexis herself!


Website: E-mail: Instagram: CupcakeCoutureSweets

Dear Freshmen, I know how you feel. Everything seems new: new school, new people, new teachers, new friends and a new perspective. As a freshman, you’re introduced to a more rigorous and demanding workload. If I could somehow communicate with my freshman self I would tell her not to procrastinate, not to worry about other people’s opinions, and to get involved in extracurricular school activities, no matter how much it may be tempting just to take the bus home some days. We polled the student body to get different takes on advice for freshmen. Here’s what some of the members of the Garden City High School community had to say: the to walk in w o h n r lea n need to “Freshma faster pace!” ta hallway a


“Respect the faculty (and upperclass

“Make a time-managem

ent schedule!” “Get invo y!” nd facult lved!” a s r e h c a ith te nships w !” io t la e r e t anized g “Crea r o y a “St “Clean out your bi nders--and don’t ov ershare!”


Sincerely yours, Echo Staff



COLLEGE APPLICATIONS: THE GRAND FINALE As a senior myself, I can personally attest to the overwhelming nature of the college application process. Deciding where to spend the next four years is intimidating. So much preparation goes into the process that heads may spin! One of the crucial components is narrowing down the college list in preparation putting in applications. When selecting a college, factors include the size of the school, the academic rigor, the location, the student population, and infinitely more. We asked the guidance counselors what they believe are some of the biggest mistakes that students often make when crafting their college applications. According to Mr. Casale, “ Students often tell a great story but fail to explain how that story has affected who they are today. Admissions reps want to read something that’s not only interesting but also tells them about the student.”

The other guidance counselors further expounded upon other mistakes that students often make; “One of the biggest mistakes students make is applying to a college/ university for the prestige and not for the fit. Students have to find the right fit for them and not because the bumper sticker is impressive. There is no such thing as the perfect school, but there is a school for everyone.” As a senior currently undergoing the process, my biggest advice is to be wary of procrastination and keep on task. Start during the summer going into senior year! The longer one spends time on the college application, the more positive the results are. As some may say, applying to colleges is a course within itself and proper preparation makes way for your performance in the next chapter of your life.


DO OR DRIVE: GETTING BEHIND For many high school students, junior year is their first experience in “putting the pedal to the metal”, so to speak. The idea of driving a car is frightening to many, and exciting to just as many others--but the universal truth is that the freedom of transportation also comes with the responsibility of one’s own safety and that of others on the road. Naturally, with this responsibility comes an adolescent rite of passage: driver’s education. In the Garden City area, students have a few options for enrollment, the most popular of these being the programs at Sacred Heart, the local Catholic all-girls school, and

the Hebrew Academy in Uniondale. Class days, some on weekdays and others on weekends, vary with student schedules. One common theme amongst students is that of the inconvenience; in the busiest academic year of their school careers to date, driver’s education often ends up another item on the seemingly endless checklist of dayto-day drudgery that students are obligated to wade through. (For some programs, homework and even presentations are required atop the mandatory midterm and final written assessments.) It is important, however, that driver’s education not be

pushed to the wayside in terms of dedication, for despite the inconveniences, it teaches skills that have very real applications and informs about rules that have very real consequences if broken. Failure should not be the only concern, since the abilities and positive driving habits taught and reinforced in these classes can potentially mean the difference between safety and an accident out on the road. Crucial to the experience as well is dedication outside of the classroom, in students taking the initiative at

D THE WHEEL home when parents allow it and practicing their driving skills wherever and whenever they can. True, this can potentially mean more time lost to the vacuum of junior-year obligations, but better that than years lost to an easily-preventable accident that occurred because someone didn’t pay attention in driver’s ed. Whether you’re a junior in the thick of learning how to manage a vehicle, a sophomore looking with equal parts excitement and dread toward events to come, or a senior looking back

on the experience with a wry smile and a sigh of relief that it’s finally over, it is important to give driver’s ed the proper attention. Driving is not a just fleeting chapter in your life--the skills learned and habits formed early concerning behavior behind the wheel may very well influence your future through adulthood. So put aside the complaints about timing and any urges to blow it off and give your safety behind the wheel the respect it deserves.


Arsenic and Old Lace by JULIA FOXEN

This year’s fall production, Arsenic and Old Lace, was the perfect mix of mystery and comedy. It seemed that attendees spent the play perched on the edges of their seats, while also laughing the whole way through. The play takes place in Brooklyn during the 1930s. Abby Brewster, played by Alexis Grace Spera, and her sister, Martha Brewster, played by Gabriella Montanaro, are two elderly ladies who live together in a quaint Victorian home. Their nephew, Teddy, played by Andrew

Braun, lives with them and is convinced that he is Teddy Roosevelt. Their other nephew, Mortimer Brewster, played by Michael Malaszczyck, is engaged to the minister’s daughter, Elaine, played by Alessia Arianas. One ordinary day, Mortimer discovers his aunt’s dirty little secret. They kill lonely old men by giving them poisoned wine and then proceed to bury them in their cellar. Teddy builds this cellar, thinking he is digging in the Panama Canal. Abby and Martha believe they are helping these old men by putting

them out of their misery! Mortimer tries to protect his aunts from the cops, but when his older, criminal brother, Jonathan, played by Anthony Boccia, returns along with his creepy sidekick, Dr. Einstein, played by William McLuaghlin, things get flipped upside down. This complex plot kept the audience members’ minds spinning-but the characters’ over the top antics kept everyone laughing, too!


This past November, a select few AP Government students got the pleasure of going to Hofstra University to see politician Howard Dean and political consultant Ed Rollins speak. With only a handful of schools invited, students got to engage one-on-one with the speakers and ask them questions about both past and present political strategies. With the election over, the topic of president-elect

Trump and his administration came up multiple times . The two men expressed their views and opinions on issues such as the Trump’s cabinet picks, the electoral college, and the future of health care. With Dean as a Democrat and Rollins as a Republican, the two’s contrasting political ideals created a beautiful balance. After the event, the students all felt lucky to have had the experience

and were excited to tell others about it. Lauren Treanor, an AP Government student who hopes to major in political science, summarized the field trip by saying “It was so interesting to have such major figures on the national stage give us their insights into the current political atmosphere. It’s an opportunity not many people get”. Another student noted how inconceivable it was that she got to interact with men she watches on Fox News and MSNBC. With Rollins as Ronald Reagan’s former campaign manager and Dean as Governor of Vermont, both men spoke from experience and gave political insight that evoked critical thinking among the AP Government students. This experience for many helped to cultivate their interest in politics while also proving that what their learning is relevant outside the classroom.





After a disappointing loss to Wantagh that ended the Trojans’ 2015 season, all 60 members of the 2016 team wanted to get to work. They all had one goal in mind, that being the county championship game. The program hadn’t won it since 2012 and it was an obvious necessity to establish Garden City’s dominance over the conference once again. The season started with a solid 44-14 win against Calhoun followed by a 59-0 blowout win against Manhassett in front of a full house on homecoming. The storyline was set for the big rivalry game against Carey which would come next. It was a defensive showdown first half as the teams went to the locker rooms tied up 0-0. The Trojans would prevail in the 2nd half moving onto a 28-12 win thanks to long touchdown runs by senior captains Chris Mixon and Jamie Atkinson. The team would stay perfect heading into a Friday night game at Macarthur High School. Andrew Desantis, dominating the first half, would have two touchdowns off blocked punts, one punt being blocked by Desantis and another blocked by senior Timmy Gormley. All this and yet again

another dominant performance by the defense allowed Garden City to pull out a 28-0 win. The Trojans would stay undefeated throughout the rest of the regular season and roll past Calhoun and Long Beach in the first two rounds of the playoffs to meet up with Carey yet again. With Carey being the team that shut the door on Garden City the last two times they were in the county championship game, it was time for revenge. Carey struck first to jump out to an early 7-0 lead but Garden City responded with a great rushing attack that included an 86 yard touchdown run by Jack Bill, just one of his two touchdowns on the ground and a 6 yard touchdown pass caught by Harry Blair from sophomore Colin Hart. Garden City would move on to a 42-14 win and be named county champs, a goal that hasn’t been accomplished in years. But they weren’t done yet as there was more work to be done in order to come out on top, which involved a trip to Lavalle Stadium at Stony Brook. Garden City would meet the Colts of Half Hollow Hills West in a matchup that everyone was excited for. Billy Rousakis would convert two field goals in

the first half to help put Garden City up 6-0 heading into halftime. Chris Mixon’s touchdown would put the Trojans up 13-0 and all was looking good until a late push by Hills West made it 13-6. Tensions rose as they had possession with little time remaining. Great defensive line play made it hard for Hills West to gain any yardage leading up to that point and it stayed the same for the final drive. Pressure on the quarterback made it hard for the Colts to complete a pass and eventually injured the quarterback after a hard hit by Trevor Yeboah-Kodie. This led to a trick play thrown by their star wide receiver. The throw was tipped by Matt Granville and intercepted by Yeboah-Kodie to seal the deal. The Trojans were Long Island Champions! The hard work of the players and coaches paid off. The leadership of the 30 seniors paved the way for the team’s success and helped the team walk out on top. Congratulations to the 2016 Garden City Trojans.


One of the less celebrated teams in Garden City High School’s athletics program, Girls Varsity Tennis, ended its season in October with a victory against Great Neck North, securing the Conference III title with a twelve-to-one win-toloss record. Coach Crystal Boyd closed out the season with her congratulations to the girls and a farewell to the graduating se-

niors, who made up twelve of the team’s eighteen players. The conference victory could potentially mean an elevation in the ranks for the Garden City team, bumping them up to Conference II. Regardless of their placement next year, however, Coach Boyd and the Girls Varsity team will have enough of a challenge in filling the empty spaces left by the

graduating class. The team would like to extend its congratulations to seniors Ann Ambach (2 yrs), Kristen Andron (2 yrs), Stephanie Tarian (4 yrs), Meghan Creaven (1 yr), Dorothy Durnan (2 yrs), Shannon Sproul (1 yr), Olivia Alfaya (1 yr), Joanna Humbert (1 yr), Johanna Geevarghese (1 yr), and Hannah Ardito (2 yrs).


by MEGHAN GALLIGAN In early September, all fall sports teams were lucky enough to be visited by Duke University’s sports psychologist, Dr. Greg Dale. Dr. Dale works with many sports and leadership organizations providing team building services for athletic teams and leadership training for athletes and coaches. When the sports teams of GCHS were visited by Dr. Dale, they listened to and participated in his presentation which stressed the importance of always trying your best and showing a positive attitude towards the things you do. Dr. Dale had the students engaged by doing a variety of team building exercises, which the athletes had a ball participat-

ing in. The exercises were beneficial in teaching the student-athletes how to control negative emotions on and off the field. Throughout the presentation, Dr. Dale provided the athletes with a variety of helpful techniques to make the most out of their athletic experience. Not only did he teach the athletes to focus on the success of the team as a whole and not just one player individually, he also stressed the importance of making the most out of practice and how to take criticism in a positive way; all of these lessons helped the teams to succeed in their seasons. Senior and captain of the girls varsity soccer team, Kate Far-

rell, said, “Dr. Greg Dale changed the way the team and I think about going to practice.” Kaitlyn Larsson, also a senior on the girls varsity soccer team, said the most influential piece of advice Dr. Dale gave was that each player is like a puzzle piece and to see the bigger picture, each player must work their hardest in order to benefit the team as a whole. Dr. Dale was a fantastic motivator for the athletes before they all went out to practice that day. Many student-athletes had great things to say about Dr. Greg Dale and his presentation and would love to see him come back to talk to teams in the future.

by JACKIE BRATTAN Every few months or so, in the world of Netflix, a new show comes along and instantly becomes everyone’s favorite. Recently, a Netflix original series did just that. “Stranger Things”, a drama series created by Ross and Matt Duffer, came out on June 15th and grew in popularity throughout the summer. The show follows the story of three young boys: Mike Wheeler, Dustin Henderson and Lucas Sinclair, as they search for their friend, Will Beyers, who mysteriously vanished. During their hunt, they have several encounters with government agencies, monsters, and an odd girl named Eleven. Because of the popular cast and contrast with other shows, “Stranger Things” attracted many different viewers, even some who aren’t typically interested in science fic-

tion. A major character in the show is Joyce Wheeler, Will Beyer’s mother, played by Winona Ryder. Her character goes through a great amount of emotional trauma during the search for her son, and Winona Ryder is amazing at portraying those feelings. Another extremely popular character is Eleven, or “El” as the boys call her, played by Millie Bobby Brown. Although she is one of the more quiet characters, she is a vital part of the series and is super popular among viewers. “Stranger Things” has been recognized for its unexpected originality and sudden appearance on Netflix. Set in the 1980s in Indiana, the show is quite unique in comparison to any others currently on television or Netflix. The vintage setting draws viewers because it’s re-

freshing while also making it more interesting than it would be in today’s world. Also, while the show is praised for its homage to horror, it has may other facets to it that help make it much deeper than just another scary series. Through outside relationships and the solid bond between the boys and Eleven, “Stranger Things” focuses on love, loyalty, and friendship while also making you flinch quite a few times. If you haven’t binge watched the series already, you should get started because “Stranger Things” has recently been renewed for a second season. With a huge fanbase and stellar reviews, the new season is highly anticipated, and is sure to take over the media this fall/winter just like the premier season did this summer.

THE RED QUEEN by FRANCES BROWN The Red Queen books are an in-the-works series of fantasy novels written by Victoria Aveyard. The first book, for which the series is named, is called Red Queen, It was published in February of 2015 and follows a girl named Mare Barrow. Mare lives in a world divided by blood and power. In the book, people who have red blood are powerless and people who have silver blood are powerful. “Silvers” as they are called, have magic powers such as controlling metal and fire,speed and strength and reading minds. On the other

hand, “reds” are treated like second class citizens compared to the silvers. They are sent to war to fight the Silver king’s battles which is basically a suicide mission. When Mare is in the wrong place at the wrong time, she and the Silver royal family discover that she possesses powers of electricity. The royal family dresses her like a Silver and pretends she is one of them but they know just as Mare does that her blood is red. Mare learns more and more about life as a Silver and eventually joins the Red Dawn, a rebel faction that had popped up

in the kingdom earlier that year, in hopes of achieving equality for the Reds. This book and its sequel, Glass Sword, were full of plot twists and absolutely exquisite writing. There were some common tropes in the books but overall both were fun, interesting, and thought-provoking. The Red Queen series is made up of two books currently (with a third and fourth to be published) that stay with you long after you finish reading them.












Among other things, I’ve heard art be called impractical, and in comparison to some of the more utilitarian subjects, (see math, science, foreign languages...) it’s nothing less than true. But when I hear that criticism from individuals perplexed by my creative tendencies, I’m not at all bothered. What those people have missed is the fundamental tenet of art itself: it doesn’t have to be practical. It doesn’t need a purpose. Simply put, it doesn’t have to do anything except be whatever the creator wants it to be, and that concept is incredibly freeing. Art is the mediator between the soul and the world; each medium has a different tone, each shade elicits a different emotion, and each brushstroke conveys the difference between scattered thoughts and a one-track mind. It’s a realm in which broken rules have no real consequence, where someone who has always carefully toed the line can rebel and revel in the feeling. Art is both a moment and an eternity, depending upon who

you ask, a series of contradictions that altogether seem to make perfect nonsense. It’s not a thing, but instead a way, in the words of Elbert Hubbard, an American philosopher. The ultimate goal of the artist is to leave the world just a little more fascinating for having been in it. If a person lives, and the world is unchanged by their presence, have they really lived at all? Yes, perhaps devoting my time to becoming a doctor or surgeon would be a more practical pursuit, and perhaps that path has a clearer purpose and plainer value. But the fact of the matter is, regardless of how many medical professionals there are in the world, there will always be individuals that they can’t save. Maybe their lives will be cut short--but who’s to stop an artist from making the world just a little bit more beautiful for the brief time that they’re here.


URTIAN . The new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus do not have a headphone jack, which makes it necessary to use Bluetooth, a function that often offers lower-quality audio. However, elimination of the jack allows Apple to make space for a better camera, a re-engineered home button, and a longer battery life, while also making the device water resistant. Apple also provides an adapter with the device in one has invested in corded headphones and would like to continue using them.


The cell phone also has a water resistant feature, faster processing chip, larger battery, a new home button, and a new jet-black color in gloss and matte. Although the phone is not completely waterproof, your phone is safe from getting damaged from not only just a splash, but from a full dunk in water, too. Like many other innovations of the iPhone, it includes a faster chip; in this case, it is an A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture Embedded M10 motion coprocessor. This chip is two times faster than the iPhone 6. In addition, the phone contains a new home button, which does not need to be pressed, but instead is activated by fingertip pressure on the button.




The new iPhones still face competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Samsung’s phones offer similar features altogether with the addition of expandable storage and the headphone jack. The Galaxy S7 is priced at $670 and the iPhone 7 goes for $649.

. The iPhone 7 camera shows much improvement and the iPhone 7 Plus offers even greater benefits. While both include a 12-megapixel camera, the iPhone 7 Plus also features wide angle and telephoto capabilities. The phones also include optical image stabilization, six element lenses, face and body detection, wider color capture than ever, and, with the iPhone 7 Plus, increased zoom capability. If you’re someone who loves taking pictures, you’ll appreciate that the device allows users to capture beautiful photos in better quality and color than any previous iPhone.


The iPhone 7 contains few major changes. Although the changes are practical and useful, many potential buyers see no reason to invest in the phone with such minor changes. The device is still better than the previous models, but there is an overall disappointment in the lack of creativity that went into the new phone’s design.

THE POSTMORTALS The Postmortals is a sci-fi novel by Drew Magary. Drew Magary is a relatively new sci-fi novelist as he only has three novels under his belt. The Postmortals is about what would happen if the world found a cure to aging, also known as immortality (known as “The Cure” in the book). Based upon my impression of the cover, I expected a light and comedic read, but boy was I wrong. It seemed as if no good books have happy endings. The book was nominated for the Philip K. Dick award, which is given to the best sci-fi novel of the year. Overall, The Postmortals was a fair novel. It was Magary’s first book he has ever written. The book provides a creepy and morbid look at reality and the world around us. When people are put under pressure, they crack, and this is frequently shown in the book. Also, the premise of the book is pretty creative and unique. It tells the story of a discovered cure for aging and society’s reaction to it. Overall, the book takes a look at human nature under a microscope. The book had a good

start but it seemed that there was frequent filler added only to make the book longer. What could have been a fantastic 300 page book turned into a drawn out 400 pages. A valid analogy to the novel’s interest in the beginning yet dullness in the end is compared to as if someone stretched out a one foot piece of rubber and at the end it is left weak. By the end, it turned into a lazy dystopian book. It is merely just another book, piggy-backing on the fame of The Hunger Games. The format of the book is blog entries posted after the death of the main character, and this restricts the amount of detail the main character could go into, which is disappointing. The typical dystopian book like World War Z has long descriptive paragraphs that tell a lot, and you just don’t get that in The Postmortals. All in all, if I had five possible stars to use to rate a book, I’d give this one three.



The bombings that occurred in New York City and New Jersey in late September brought out strong feelings of fear as well as unity within the Garden City community. With Manhattan only thirty minutes away, the attacks felt more personal to most students and teachers than the previous attacks in places such as

Paris and Belgium. The aftermath of the bombings left many afraid to go on with their daily routines or to venture into the city, wary of the possibility of another attack. There was a general consensus among students that the media coverage of the incidences was not as frequent or helpful as it could have been; one

student felt she was better informed on the Paris attacks in November of 2015 than on the ones in her home state. Now months later, after the culprit has been arrested, talk of the attacks has died down. In spite of the horror of the situation, New York has proven to be resilient as its citizens move on from the bombings.


New York Fashion Week is one of the most anticipated and fascinating weeks dedicated to the diverse field of fashion, depicting trends that are predicted to become a hit for the upcoming season. This year, Fashion Week in New York City spanned from September 8th to September 14th. Several new ideas and trends were introduced for the upcoming fall season.

Among some of the new trends were tan clothing, off-theshoulder apparel, ruffles, chokers, floral prints, embroidered patches, and denim. Some of the commonly worn items at our high school seem to mirror those found on the runways during Fashion Week. For instance, some casual shoes (such as Adidas-brand sneakers) have

become staples for students’ outfits, and denim has been incorporated into many different styles. Chokers of all different kinds seem to be the most popular for adding that little “something extra” to complete many a look here at GCHS. Overall, the trends seen in New York City during fashion week seem to have made their way to students within our student body.


GCHS Echo: 2016-17 Issue #1  

Student reporting from Garden City High School.

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