Page 1

o h c E Ways to be Green Eating Healthy

Protecting the Environment


Issue 1 May 29, 2009


Dear Readers,

Features: 1. Dependences by Kelvin R..........1 2. Keeping Austin Beautiful by Stefan H..........5 3. First Base by Asia L..........10 4. Pursuit of Change, The by Jenna L..........12 Opinions: 5. From Fairytale to Horror by Asia L..........8 6. Pass the Fruit Leathers by Stefan H..........14 7. Daylight Savings Time is a Crime by Kelvin R..........24 8. Green or Mean by Jenna L..........33 The Rest: 9. Littering Causing Traffic Accidents by Kelvin R..........4 10. Healthy Eating Time by Asia L..........16 11. 10 Ways to Become Green by Stefan H..........18 12. Evolution of Whole Foods, The by Jenna L..........20 13. “Buy, Sell, Trade� by Asia L..........22 14. Snow Beach by Stefan H..........27 15. Ten Things to Buy That can Make You Greener by Kelvin R..........29 16. Memories from the Omelettry by Jenna L..........32




Welcome to the first ever issue of Echo magazine! This magazine is a look at the environment, Austin, and the world. At the beginning of this semester we were given the challenge to make an electronic magazine and post it on the Internet at the end of the semester. We decided to do an environmental magazine because coming from Austin we have grown up at the forefront of the green movement. Inside you will find reviews, features, opinions, and other stories from four different writers. For example, we have a feature about the president of Save Our Springs, an opinion on organic fruit leathers, a review on the movie Coralline, and a timeline of the organic grocery giant Whole Foods. We have put a lot of work, time, and effort into this magazine and hope that it pays off. Enjoy the stories that you find inside and make this Echo last for a long time. Sincerely, The Echo Editorial Staff LASA Ezine Spring 2009




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itting at a red light in his hometown of Ft. Worth, Bill Bunch’s cell phone starts to vibrate fiercely in his pocket. He gives a sigh and decides to answer the phone. Even when Bunch is on the road he can’t escape that powerful vibration. This is to be expected after all Bunch has been in charge of Central Texas’s biggest environmental protection project for 15 years. Bill is the executive president of the Save Our Springs Alliance (SOS), a private, non-profit charitable organization working to protect the ecosystem and water of Central Texas. This wasn’t where Bill pictured he would be as a young teenager, he though he would live a more normal life as a lawyer, but the environment just kept calling to him.

By: Kelvin R.

Who would of thought that the heart of Texas would depend on three letters.


A girl dives into Barton Springs, while a endangered Barton Springs Salamander swims in the springs.

“There were two things that lead me to doing environmental protection work and advocacy,” he says. “I was a competitive swimmer so I always was connected to water. Then I was a Boy Scout and was introduced to the concept of protecting our land, water, and wildlife.” Boy Scouts helped Bill learn the importance of our environment and why we need people to protect it. Like any child, what he learned as a young boy carried on to what he was going to be even though he didn’t know it at the time. “There was never a point were I decided this is what I wanted to do,” Bill recalls , “I just kept on drifting this way and never drifted any other way.” Bill wasn’t a native austenite, but his reason for coming was something that could only be found in Austin. “I think I came to Austin for the same reason as everybody else. Our holy trinity is our water, our music, and our Tex-Mex.” Bill attended law school which many people would not expect the leader of a large environmental alliance to do but it has help him greatly lobbying for protection of our most important Texas resources. His career at the head of SOS started at a very famous, “All night showdown,” at the city council. In 1990, the historic Barton Creek of Austin was threatened by a mining company wanting to develop 4,000 acres. When it came time for the City Council to vote, SOS and citizens of Austin expressed their love for Barton Springs ultimately stopping the development of the land. Bunch was hired to argue for the spring and after that he rose through the SOS food chain until his current position as the big fish. Bunch now faces the challenges of having to be the leader of an important organaztion. “One of the things we have tried to have done over the years is find public and private money to buy more watershed and protection land,” Bunch says. Today, SOS is still fighting against pumping of the Edwards Aquifer and promoting safe development on the karst, mostly underground aquifer. Pumping, Bunch says, is very dangerous because with a karst aquifer the ground becomes less stable over time because the lime stone dissolves from acidity of rain. “We are now worried about the quantity (of the water) as much as quality of spring flow. There is now much more pumping from the source of

There was never a point were I decided this is what I wanted to do,” Bill recalls , “I just kept on drifting this way and never drifted any other way.”

Below: Bill Bunch stands in front of Barton Springs


the springs,” Bill explains. “Given teria levels tend to drastically rise unless we get people involved the pumping we have now many causing unsafe conditions for many on the local level.” people relying on Barton Springs consumers and users of the water. The problem with trying to section of the aquifer for their basic Keeping these levels down are key drinking water.” to protecting local wildlife like the promote environmental protection and proper use is the Because Texas currently faces a Barton Springs Salamander. fact that many people don’t pretty serious drought, quantity With the election of president becomes even more of a concern. Obama, Bill wants the environment love and feel for the water as The worst drought in history lasted to become a much more looked much as they once did. seven years. If this current got that after topic in everyone’s eyes. In “We have lost the sense of severe we could be left in a dire these hard times, people have to situation. depend on the land more and more. community; people are not rooted to the place where they “If we have a serious drought, the Being able to have people rely on live. They are basically homesprings could literally stop flowthe environment could bring huge ing,” Bunch says. support to the economy. less, even if they have a home This may seem extreme, Bunch they view it as a place says, but more people than many The ultimate challenge is to stay temporality until realize are depending on the their next job or they are aquifer and its springs for water to integrate our economic so overwhelmed by the of all kinds. Most of Central system with our natural work place or the famTexas depends on the aquifer as its’ main source of water. To resources and earth sys- ily they have forgotten prevent the aquifer from runabout the community ning out of water, SOS has now tems,” says Bill. family.” To break this started many outreach programs motion and raise awareto educate people about conservness for the problems going water. ing on today, Bunch encourages “The ultimate challenge is to in“Our biggest concern for water is people to spread the word about those peak days in summer where tegrate our economic system with water conservation. “Many people we waster huge amounts of waour natural resources and earth who live in Austin have never gone ter on our lawns,” says Bill. “We systems,” Bunch says. “This is a to the springs.” If water keeps on are trying to promote and teach prime opportunity to integrate our being a hidden subject, than people cleaner, more efficient ways to do environment into our banking and may not realize the problems that activities that waste large amounts financial system.” There may not we face before it is too late. of water.” be anything that a regional group With all the problems that we face Watering lawns is currently the like SOS can do about this today, it can be very tough to try biggest waste of water in the US huge problem but Bill has and support water conservation. and promotes other problems for own thoughts on how to help But Bill Bunch is still fighting. For water as many people use fertilpresident Obama. “President better or for worse, Bill is supportizers which can run of back into Obama started out as a coming conservation so Texas can have the source causing unsafe drinking a dependable water source. Whethwater and possibly lethal to aquatic munity organizer, because er you know it or not, the water life. he saw that it was critical of Central Texas depends on three “It is much more severe in urban for people to be involved in letters and its’ leader. From Barton areas were also have all the trash, the community for change in Springs to water you drink; it is all all the pet waste, and sewer lines their neighborhood. President in need of an SOS. that tend to leak a lot after a big Obama won’t be successful rain,” Bunch says. After rains bacPhotos from


Littering Causing Traffic Accidents


By: Kelvin R.

he hidden danger of driving is one that you don’t notice until it is too late. Litter distracts your eyes on the side of the rode and then… Wham! Your bumper is lodged in another car’s rear window. This year, litter passed drunk driving as the number one accident producing road problem. Many drivers are easily distracted by colorful pieces of trash on the side of the road, which leads to drivers losing control of their cars and crashing. “ My eyes are just pulled to those colorful Big Mac wrappers on the side of the road,” said Joey Daskin, a recent survivor of a litter caused accident. “I can’t control my body when my eyes are drawn to all those chip bags. I’m lucky that I was able to survive my accident intact. If someone doesn’t clean up the roads soon, I might not be so lucky next time.” People have started to take initiative to solve this problem. Groups have been formed to clean up highways so no more deaths occur.

“We’re saving peoples lives here control also. Her death has given man,” says Janu Majulick, a mem- me a reason to purge the earth of ber of Save the Humans from their litter and destroy all of its’ kind.” own destruction foundation!!! “We have been preaching the “Over 100 people die each day danger of litter for over 10 years from various litter caused accinow,” says Johnny Hotkins, the dents. This work is hard and sucks, spokesman for Don’t mess with but then I think about the lives Texas, an anti-litter organization. that I have saved by just bending “We have known for a long period down several thousand times and I of time that litter was dangerous, smile. “ but nobody believed us. HopeIt is people like Janu who may fully now someone will notice that save us from the silent genocide Americans are killing ourselves that is occurring around the US. here and someone needs to change Without a cure for the problem, this litter problem!” the only thing that can stop milLet’s hope that laws are passed lions of deaths is hard work. to change the current situation or “ Yeah it sucks, but someone deadly Taco Cabaña bags may kill needs to fight Just last week my many more people. this cancer, With or without the best friend Summerhelp of the govern“ says Janu. “Just last Sault, died when ment, you can still week my best save lives by propshe took her eyes off the friend Sumerly dispensing of mer Sault, road to look at a Taco your trash. In the died when memory of Summer Cabaña bag,” she took her Sault, “Don’t litter, eyes off the it saves lives.” road to look at a Taco Cabaña bag, it was so beautiful in it’s pink and turquoise tint, I would have lost

Top 5 Dangerous Packaging






Photo Courtesty of

1. Mcdonald’s Wrappers-Appealing to the eye and the stomach 2. Taco Bell Take-out Bags-Good color scheme = dangerous litter 3. Target Bags-Red is a very attaractive color which has the same effect on drivers as bulls 4. Wendy’s yellow containers-Frosty cups have the power to make drivers dream dangerously about licking the remants of it 5. Coke Cans-Americas favorite drink, also one of America’s deadliest drinks


All the facts, people, and organzations execpt for Don’t mess with Texas are fake. This story is entirely made up.

Keeping Austin



By Stefan H.

ea u ti f u l

ancy Arrigona pulls her pick-up into a deserted parking lot and steps out into the peaceful morning drizzle. She walks on the sidewalk for a couple of feet and then stops abruptly, turning her head to look into a creek bed running alongside the road. Flash flooding the previous day wreaked havoc on the City of Austin and what lies in the creek bed is only a little taste of what’s to come. Arrigona


Keep Austin Beautiful sign at Austin High School near Johnson Creek

Tire in the Creek


navigates to the rear of her car, uncovers her equipment, straps on her gloves and prepares her seven enormous trash bags. One by one, she places pieces of garbage into her bag, slowly but surely cleaning the decimated creek bed. Through a non-profit organization known as Keep Austin Beautiful (KAB), Arrigona has adopted a segment of Shoal Creek known as Johnson Creek. She and her “Without a Paddle” volunteer team work together with approximately 10,000 other volunteers to beautify Austin and educate individuals about the dismal future the environment faces if action is not taken. Arrigona’s persistence and enthusiasm not only fuel her own work ethic, but also those of her fellow patrons — her friends, family and son Andy. “I was speaking with friends who had kids older than my son Andy who were stressing the need for community service for kids involved in the National Honor Society and prior to going to college. Volunteer opportunities were limited for pre- and young teens – especially if they weren’t free Saturdays,” Arrigona says while distributing “picker uppers” to her team of volunteers. In fact, Arrigona’s friends and her son were two of the biggest reasons she became interested in community service volunteering in the first place. All the talk about helping the environment and teenagers receiving volunteer credit excited Arrigona and she began researching. However, coming up with the right volunteer projects became difficult because Andy had a very busy schedule with dance and high school so his free time was very scarce. Andy was the only one who needed volunteer hours for college, but Arrigona thought it would also be a good idea to involve their family as well as other families. “I learned from an acquaintance that it was possible to adopt a creek through the Keep Austin Beautiful organization,” Arrigona says. “You could help the community and the environment while setting your own volunteer schedule. It was perfect!” For almost two years, Arrigona has been volunteering, and every three months, she calls up her Without a Paddle team and sets a time to work depending on everyone’s schedule. She contacts KAB prior to the clean-up and sends a list of materials that she and her group will need. Once equipped with the necessary gear, Arrigona and Andy drive to Austin High School where the creek is located. Once all of the group members arrive, the team walks about a quarter of a mile upstream, navigates through a maze of poison ivy along the creek bed and then begins the clean-up. “Creek clean-ups need to occur four times a year,

so every quarter I contact the group to check schedules and try to arrange for a clean-up on the day that the most people can attend,” Arrigona says. “It’s fun to be with my friends and other families, but sometimes it’s tiring and very unpleasant if it’s really hot.” She then carefully maneuvered around a pool of water, and balancing on a skinny cliff ledge, she retrieved a beer can lodged in some tree branches. This job is actually much more dangerous than people think – both from an environmental standpoint as well as the safety hazard. Exposed skin is constantly threatened by broken glass bottles and sharp protruding objects from the banks of the creek. Poison ivy, thorns, and uncomfortable sticky-grass are abundant in the creek and the surrounding area. Arrigona however is constantly prepared, bringing gloves, special tools to pick up the garbage, and sunscreen. “We have been lucky that we have never scheduled a clean up on an extremely rainy or cold day,” she says. “The summer is especially difficult because you have to start really early in order to avoid the extreme heat and even then it is very hot during the clean-up.” Noticing an inner tube from a car tire imbedded in the dirt, Arrigona prepares herself for a struggle. She pulls hard, and after nearly falling over from yanking at it, the stubborn inner tube comes free and she deposits it into her bag. Ironically, rain helps plants grow and wildlife thrive, but it also washes all the trash upstream into Johnson Creek and sometimes even Lady Bird Lake. Arrigona believes that the hard work she puts in every three months is absolutely worth it order to protect the lake and ultimately the environment as a whole. “I have also considered contacting Austin High School about cleaning up the banks of the creek since the vast majority of the trash is coming from Austin High students. If we were to encourage Austin High to take care of their area, we would have to adopt a different section of the creek.” Arrigona is nearing her second and last year on the job and she is already making future plans. She has already made arrangements to speak with Austin High School officials and she has also volunteered to help clean the creek for an additional year. “Even when that year is over, I will continue to clean up the creek because it does not take much effort on my part but does a lot of good for the community and environment,” she says.

I also hope that it sets a good example for those that see us removing trash from the area. Maybe they will think before they throw trash on the ground!” - Arrigona



Fairytale Coraline wants. All of the settings in the movie are made up of colorful animation. In one scene where Coraline visits her parallel world and goes to her “other father’s” (again, a kinder, gentler John Hodgman) garden is filled with bright red, white, blue, and yellow flowers with bright green stems. This contrasts perfectly wih the dark blue night sky. Later, Coraline’s “other father” rides on a humungous praying mantis and reveals that the whole garden is Coraline’s face. This scene is filled with bright, vibrant colors, and animation that is absolutely stunning.


ith vibrant colors and fairytale events, Coraline is a fantastic movie that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Director Henry Selick brings to life a stunning animation about a girl named Coraline (Dakota Fanning) who moves to a new home. Her parents (Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman) have to work all the time, so Coraline feels very lonely, walking around the new creaky old house by herself. While exploring the house, she stumbles across a small door in the wall under the staircase, and her adventure begins. Every night, the door opens and she crawls in through a green tunnel, much like Alice in her own Wonderland. When Coraline gets to the other end of the tunnel, she finds a strange parallel world to her own, except she has an “other mother” (an on-the-surface more soothing Teri Hatcher) who does whatever


Designers incorporate each character’s personality into their looks; Coraline’s elderly next-door neighbors Miss Spink (Jennifer Saunders) and Miss Forcible (Dawn French), who reminisce about their old show biz days and live in a house full of dogs. Miss Spink is a cute old lady with curly red-pink hair that was put into two small buns on each side of her head. Ths old lady’s big eyes and round face gave her a sweet old personality. Miss Forcible, on the other hand is always holding a monocle, which adds to her skeptical personality. Then there’s Mr. Bobinsky (Ian McShane), a retired gymnast and who has an exaggerated typical French mustache and bald head that tied into being a man ready for action. The movie is spooky; it can probably give some children a bit of a scare while watching it. When Coraline steps out of the tunnel and into the “other world” kitchen, she sees the back of her



mother; but when the mother turns around, viwers see the buttons in place of the eyes, a scene that would surely scare your children. In one scene, when the “other parents” try and convince Coraline to sew buttons into her eyes to be like them, they present her with a little button kit, all shiny and gleaming. This gives off a creepy vibe becuse of the eerie musice and the expectant, grim smiles on the “other parents’” faces. Some critics complain that Coraline is inappropriate for children under ten years old because of the

spooky events that occur--the creepy button kit or the scary transformation from “other mother” to gangley spider-maybe children under the age of ten can’t handle those images. Still, kids should know that all fairytales aren’t as sweet as Disney movies and can be a little scary at times. Perhaps seeing your mother having buttons for eyes is out of the ordinary, but even then, children should be exposed to more movies like Coraline to make sure they know that not everything is as happy-golucky as Bambi.

Asia L.

Coraline deserves its 8.2 rating out of 10. After all, the animation along with the voices and the colors is great, and the creepy “other world” definitely must have given viewers a good shudder. There’s noting like adding a little thriller to a children’s story to givt it more meaning.

Key Facts: Rated: PG Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Ian McShane, Jennifer Saunders Original Story by: Neil Gaiman Rating: 8.2/10 Approx. Running Time: 100 min.


B t s r i F


Asia L.


s Jenny Wong checks off her attendance list for the day, Jenny and her fellow staff members struggle to hlep the she sighs. Only five students out of thirteen came to children in any way they can, but they just don’t get the response that school that day. Four were passing. And it isn’t because they want. The parents aren’t much help. they skip class, have medical issues, or just don’t try. It’s “We feel like we’re working really hard, but there’s not because these kids are in the first grade, and their parents can’t take much of a response from the parents [helping with their children’s them to school. homework],” she says, “We also feel like we’re the In October of 2008, paents, because we’re tutoring them [the kids] while volunteers from Austin Chinese the parents aren’t really doing much.” Church (ACC) Lighthouse Youth The church has made a difference, Wong admits. Group went to Rodriguez Elemen “One kid, he was retained in my class last year,” tary and tutored the students of Jenny says, “and he was really happy and excited Jenny Wong, a First grade teacher. for tutoring. He seemed really happy to come here The volunteers mostly read to the and learn more.” 5-6-year olds and review their There’s also a little girl whose mother actually math. They also help grade some helps her with homework after school. of the papers and tests. This ses Yet, problems still remain. sion goes on for two hours and “There are attendance issues, lack of parent suphappens every first Saturday of port,” she says. “The students don’t practice reading every month. at home because there’s no one to help them. Some Only about one-fourth of kids have parents who are in jail. It’s really easy for Ms. Wong’s students are passing them [the kids’ families] to stay in poverty, because at the beginning of the year, and their parents didn’t pass high school.” it was hard to get parents of the Because of these problems, Jenny may still need students to help and engage with to retain up to five or six of her students this year. their school activity. Since there is too big a number of her students who “Parents have to work... aren’t passing, she can only choose a small number the kids mostly stay home with to balance the school grade levels out. their brothers and sisters, and “In my class, there are still a lot of kids behind. some of them don’t have time to Right now in my class, there are probably four kids help them,” Wong says. passing.” Jenny Wong talking among members of the While the church has Still, the church has helped out a lot with the kids, ACC. Taken by Asia Lu helped the students make some progress, Jenny admits, many volunteers read to the students the academic level of the class is low. On and review the alphabet. When there is spare time one spelling test, Wong’s students, who are after tutoring the students, the volunteers will somesupposed to know how to spell words such as “know,” “like,” and times help out the schol librarian. “love,” made up symbols such as triangles or stars for the letters that “The librarian stays ‘till 7:00 after school and it’s really tirthey did not even know how to write. ing for her,” Jenny explains. “When they [the kids] get to the third grade, it’s hard for The librarian’s job is to shove and label bookds, and, knowthem to pass TAKS,” she says. ing little kids, everyday there is a ile of books waiting for her to put It isn’t just the first grade class of Rodriguez Elemtnary back in their rightful place. School; it’s the whole school that’s having trouble. “It’s helped me too--because of lack of parent support, I To further complicate the situation, none of Jenny’s students was discouraged, but the church has really helped out,” Jenny says,”I were passing first grade last October when the church was helping really thank God for that, and it’s because of God’s grace that the out. They were all on the kindergarten level of reading and writing. church is helping out.” The problem was the same in third, fourth, and fifth grade. Most of these kids performed below grade level. Hardly any of the students in each grade could pass the TAKS test. Most of the Rodriguez Elemt nary School students speak Spanish at home, and most of the time, that is the only language they know.


thePursuit ofChange

Austin has adopted a new eco-friendly lifestyle; how have major grocery suppliers reacted and acted?

By: Jenna L.


he room is filled with delight -- cheerful employees slip food items into green re-usable sacks and hand them to satisfied customers with a warm smile; florescent light beams down on a toddler who squeals, running playfully from his mother; organic fruit sits atop the shelves of isles; all while the ice caps of the Arctic continue to melt away every day. Whole Foods Market, which originated in Austin and gradually expanded into a chain, is one of the many successful companies that contribute an effort into being more ecologically friendly. “The more we recycle, the better it will be for the next generation. We don’t have unlimited resources, so we can’t just go around wasting them,” says Richard G, a faithful member of the eco-friendly part of Austin and an employee at Whole Foods Market, “I’ve been recycling since I was eight. It’s just the way I was brought up, and I’ll always remember to do my part in this world, like most employees in this business.”


“The more we recycle, the better it will be for the next generation. We don’t have unlimited resources, so we can’t just go around wasting them,” says Richard Gabaree, a faithful member of the ecofriendly part of Austin and an employee at Whole Foods Market, “I’ve been recycling since I was eight. It’s just the way I was brought up, and I’ll always remember to do my part in this world, like most employees in this business.” Richard, however, is not the only member of this ecofriendly lifestyle at the company. Whole Foods has recently adopted a new “Green Mission,” an action-based idea that swears by the “Three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” By adopting this, they have sworn to implement paperless ordering systems, support carpooling for employees, use biodegradable supplies in the store, compost in order to reduce waste, ban all use of plastic bags, save packing peanuts and recycle them, provide recycling receptacles, and a number of other significant changes in the business. Although Whole Foods admits to the fact thatthey do not have a perfect track record in reducing pollution, they also admit to the fact that they are passionate about creating a more environmental friendly community. Gabaree explains that the most harmful product of companies like such is the plastic, and the affect it has on our habitat when it clogs landfills. “We now give a ten-cent discount off every item a customer buys if said customer is using our reusable bags,” Richard says, “we want little use of paper bags, also.” The company tries to keep the environment healthy as a daily life style, but the entire business of Whole Foods was created with eco-friendly roots. One of the core values is to reduce the amount of toxic waste produced by customary building machines and materials. This waste comes in the form of volatile organic compounds, or VOC’s, which have chemical structures that have significant vapor pressures, which enable it to enter the atmosphere and thicken it, which has proven to damage our environment and support global warming. So, Whole Foods now builds everything with recycled and natural materials.

One might think that during the process of eliminating harmful products, the business would take a fall. In fact, being friendly to the environment has lead to a wider spread of eco-awareness and has improved the success of Whole Foods. “Being ‘green’ is not over-fishing,” Gabaree states, explaining the recent trend, “people in Austin want to allow the population to re-grow, and it’s not asking too much to just chip in a little.” And Richard is completely right. According to the Whole Food’s website, “doing the green thing” can be as simple as reusing a water bottle or bag, avoiding heavypackaged items, using eco-friendly home cleaning supplies, or buying items in bulk. And if every person in Austin contributes, we could significantly improve our environment. However, buying the right products and reusing our supplies alone will not significantly improve the condition. One must dispose of their trash and waste properly. Whole Foods is a large company, meaning that they produce a large amount of waste. Seventy percent of the materials used are composted and recycled. Continued on page 34


s! her

t h e s s Fruit a P Lea t By :






am quietly reached into his backpack and withdrew a strip of plastic. The boy sitting in the desk across from him noticed, and the look on his face was priceless. His eyes and mouth twisted in an odd sort of way and it was clear he had no clue what was going on. Licking his lips in anticipation, seemingly ready to shove the plastic directly into his mouth, Sam tore the plastic in half, releasing into the air a mahogany rectangle approximately 4 inches long and 2 inches wide. Masterfully, Sam tucked the plastic wrapper


Why eat one fruit when you can suck for hours on countless flattened, flavorful fruits?

into his bag and retrieved the rectangle with two fingers as it fell to the classroom floor. Then instantly, he silently began sucking on what looked like a flattened strawberry. As Sam indulged himself, the boy read the label written so elegantly across the face of the plastic: Stretch Island Fruit Leather. Ordinarily, healthy people enjoy eating fruit. Who could blame them? Hundreds of fruits shelve our local grocery stores and almost all of them are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibers. It has never been difficult to find them because

they are practically everywhere. But sometimes people are looking for alternatives, finding some fruits impractical to transport and store. In a secluded section of your grocery store, curiously far from the fruit section, live the Fruit Leathers. As you may have guessed, Fruit Leathers and related to the well known Fruit Roll Up, but Fruit Leathers are different in taste and unfortunately, are not nearly as popular. The biggest reason Fruit Leathers haven’t gotten the attention the Fruit Roll Ups have is because it is so difficult to find them. Despite their peculiar name and odd location in local grocery stores, Fruit Leathers provide consumers with almost identical nutrition to natural fruits; even better, they are tastier, you can suck on them for longer periods of time, they are ideal when taking up as little room as possible and they are cheap. The taste of a Fruit Leather is difficult to describe because the heavenly combination of texture and flavor is just so out of this world. But one thing is for sure – they are fun to eat. They are rectangles that you can literally suck on for hours and experience little loss in flavor. Fruit Leathers are made from real fruit and contain no added sugar, additives or preservatives meaning the only sugar comes directly from the fruit from which Fruit Leathers are made. This means that each individual Fruit Leather is a half serving of real fruit made from a variety of different fruit concentrates. But why some people may ask, would anyone consume these rectangles of wanna-be fruit when they could just eat real, fresh fruit? The answer lies in the taste. With a chewy surface, juicy core and sweet aftertaste, Fruit Leathers strike big among children and adults alike. Storing fruits such as watermelons and pineapples is certainly an inconvenient task as they are extremely heavy (especially the watermelon) and take up a vast amount of space. The preparation of natural fruits can also be exhausting and time consuming – not to mention annoying when they end up spoiling. Other fruits such as grapes and strawberries are easy to get squashed in a refrigerator. Wouldn’t it be more ideal to have something light, easy to transport, tasty and nutritious in your pantry? Because Fruit Leathers are flat and relatively small, it is possible to store a large number of Fruit Leathers in a tiny place without worrying about them getting crushed by bulkier items. And for all you spelunkers and vacationers out there, Fruit Leathers are the perfect food to bring along on your travels. They are lightweight, easy to pack and

will replenish and energize you. Bet you can’t say the same thing for a pineapple! Ten totally unique and delectable Stretch Island Fruit Leather flavors including Harvest Grape, Autumn Apple, Pineapple Coconut Paradise and Mango Sunrise can be found in local HEB’s and Randall’s nationwide. If you’re looking for quality, Stretch Island Fruit Leathers are sold individually for an entire, but well spent dollar. At this value, an entire Fuji apple is cheaper than these individually sold Fruit Leathers. However, there is a cousin of the Stretch Island Fruit Leather known as the FrutaBü and FrutaBüs come in packages of eight for only $2.49. It’s quality or quantity. What’s your pick? All the different flavors, varieties, and bargain deals target a wide variety of people and give them a chance to enjoy flattened fruit made from natural fruits. The small size of the Fruit Leather gives people a chance to save space and its tight plastic packaging keeps it from spoiling like natural foods. Most importantly, Fruit Leathers supply similar nutrients to fruit. Who says you can’t eat something healthy for desert?


Heathy Eating Time!


G R N Y U Make your own Cold Sesame Noodles along with.... A green tea frap!! Recipes from HungryGirl! By: Asia L.


Ingredients For Cold Sesame Noodles, you will need: 1 package House Foods tofu shirataki, spaghetti shape 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. reduced fat peanut butter; room temp. 2 tbsp. light soymilk 2 tbsp. chopped scallions 1/2 tbsp. light/low-sodium soy sauce 1/2 tbsp. sesame seeds 1/8 tsp. minced garlic 1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda) You can also add salt if you want ! :] Step _1 Rinse & drain noodles thoroughly Step _2 Pat them dry w/ paper towels Step _3 Place noodles in microwave safe bowl & heat in microwave for 1 min. Step _4 Dran excess liquid from the noodles & pat them dry THOROUGHLY

Step _5 Cut noodles into spaghetti length pieces, then set them aside


Step _6 In separate dish, put together peanut butter, soymilk, soy sauce, sesame seeds, garlice, and sweetener. Mix them well! Step _7 You can also season this mixture w/ salt if you like Step _8 Pour the sauce over the noodles & stir well! Step _9 Top your dish w/ the scallions & mix again!

Image taken from HungryGirl

Step _10 Keep it chilly, so put it in the fridge. :) Nutrition Facts: Serving size: 1 Calories: 198 Fat: 10 g Sodium: 494 mg Carbs: 19 g Fiber: 6 g Sugars: 4 g Protein: 9 g Compared to restaurant recipes, this recipe is so much healthier w/ only 198 calories

...And you might want to a dd a green tea frap for the perfec t meal!

From 490 calories (yikes!) to 75 calories!

Step 2

Combine matcha green tea powder & powdered creamer w/ 2 oz. of warm water & stir until powerders have completely dissolved.

Step 3

For a Green Tea Frap, you will need: 4 oz. light vanilla soymilk 1 oz. Torani Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup 2 tsp. Coffee-mate Sugar free French Vanilla powdered creamer 1 heaping tsp. matcha green tea powder (found in tea shops, supermarkets, etc.) 2 no-calorie sweetener packets (like Splenda) 1 1/2 cups crushed ice 2 tbsp. fat-free Reddi-wip

75 calories

Blend on high speed for about 30 seconds. Then, pour the mixture into a glass topped w/ Reddi-wip and you’re ready to go!!

Nutrition Facts

Step 1


490 calories

Serving size: 1 Calories: 75 Fat: 2.5 g Sodum: 96 mg Carbs: 8 g Fiber: 1 g Sugars: 4 g Protein: 3 g

Place mixture in a blender along w/ the soymilk, syrup, sweetener, & ice.



By Stefan H.

c Trans i l b p

io tat



a reusabl y u

Each day the United States throws away enough trash to fill 63,000 garbage trucks.

h o p p ng b es

U.S. public transportation saves 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.



10 Easy Ways to


Along with nitrogen fertilizer runoff, pesticides and her bicides are the three major water pollutants.

About 33% of U.S. carbon emissions come from cars and trucks burning gasoline.

Don ’ t u

No car for a day



Don’t let faucets run, take low flow, short showers, let grass grow longer, etc.

Co n

pestici e s



a te r w e rv

o Become Green Volunteer

cle when y c e


ree t a

A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.

A typical compact fluorescent light bulb saves you about $30 and uses 75% less energy than a normal light bulb.


bik a e


Reducing car emissions is essential when striving for a greener future.


all our newspaper was recycled, we could save 250,000,000 trees each year.

u ca n

R If


Keep Austin Beautiful is a great organization that can help get you started....

Light Bulbs!


The Evolution 1920 British and American writers publish news stories that introduce the idea of organics, by introducing the thought of not controlling the environment.


Growing as a community...

1940 Synthetic pesticides were introduced to American agriculture. Chemical formulas used in farming was looked down upon.

We support organic farmers, growers and the environment through our commitment to sustainable agriculture and by expanding the market for organic products.�


by Jenna L

1953 1973 NFA (Natural Food Association) was formed in Texas to link organic farmers.

Pesticide DDT was banned in all American agriculture, triggering the modern environmental movement and nation-wide awareness of earth-friendliness.

of Whole Foods 1989 1990 The National Resources Defense Council released a report on a growth factor for apples.


Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, which led to the creation of National Organic standards.

2000 The United StatesDepartment of Agriculture released a study showing that crop land that is organic had doubled in the previous decade. It was said that eggs and dairy grew even faster.

2001 The United StatesDepartment of Agriculture released a study showing that crop land that is organic had doubled in the previous decade. It was said that eggs and dairy grew even faster.

We respect our environment and recycle, reuse, and reduce our waste wherever and whenever we can.� 21

Image by Augapfel

Image by (nutmeg)

Image by nateOne

“Buy, Sell, Trade” ardrobe? w w e n a Need Tired of your clothes? Wanna get rid of them... ent? m n o r i v your en p l e h ...AND By: Asia L.

Image by thelastminute

Image by beeeezer

Image by warriorgirl

Image by Around the World Journey


3 Ways to Put Your Clothes to Good Use!

1: Buffalo Exchange At Buffalo Exchange, you can buy, sell, and trade your clothes! How handy is that? But be careful, this store kinda only takes designer clothing and vintage! So if you’re looking for a place to just donate clothes and have those bought, you should go to #2 of the list! Locations in Austin, Texas: 2904 Guadalupe St. Austin, Tx

2: Goodwill

Image by roland Image by roland

Image by beeeezer Image by eob

3: Garage Sale! Image by Jon Beagle

Nothing like having your very own garage sale to gain money AND lose your old clothes! This way is fun and exciting, plus you get to be your own boss.

Unlike Buffalo Exchange, Goodwill accepts pretty much everything you’re wanting to donate, and even if you can’t get any profit from donating, satisfaction comes from the heart and knowing that someone will be buying your old former favorites. Locations in Austin, Texas: 2800 S. Lamar Blvd. Austin, Tx 2001 Rosewood Ave # B2101 Austin, Tx 916 Springdale Rd, Austin, Tx 701 Newman Dr. Austin, Tx


Whaty Tim v gh H



11 5

7 \



i l a D y h

t Sa i

umans are possibly the dumbest living animal on earth. We make up stupid rules and laws that only confuse us more, thus accomplishing nothing. The epitome of this is Daylight Savings Time. People may argue that it is a way to save energy by cutting down on incandescent lighting, but with

me is it? n i

i g s t m e is a C ri m e




modern technology, no energy is actually saved. In effect, we are left with a useless waste of time that just makes everybody spend a lot of energy changing their clocks every half year. If we have a useless system, is there really a point to keep it? Daylight Savings Time needs to be abolished because it can lead to accidents, causes scheduling

By: Kelvin R.


2 25

mishaps, and hurts our interaction with the environment. Mornings are a tough time for many Americans. On the first day of Daylight Savings Time, I usually sleepwalk through the first quarter of the day. The act of setting our clocks forward an hour doesn’t register with our bodies at the beginning of each switch. This, of course, can lead to people being extremely drowsy in the early hours of the morning. Those who have to drive under this state face an increased risk of encountering problems while driving. While we change our clocks, the earth does not- causing it to be much darker later in the mornings. Many drivers will say that it is hardest to drive when it is dark. So why then should we help the cause of having accidents by making people drive when it is dark? Is an extra hour really worth the higher chance of an accident? Missing a big meeting in the morning is not a good way to keep your job. And in these tough times, you don’t want to get a pink slip because you woke up an hour late. The change at the very beginning of savings time is obviously the hardest because there’s not a good source of information to tell you when these time changes are occurring. Radio and television stations usually announce some warning to set your clocks forward or back, but many people don’t receive this information. The result of this dilemma is late, rushed people trying to scramble to get to work, causing congestion in the streets and more accidents.


As far as I know, humans are the only animals that have working clocks to keep track of time on a 24-hour system. Because of this, having to work early in the morning when it is still dark can negatively impact major jobs of people around the world. Farmers are forced to get up early to make sure that they finish all of their chores, commuters have to travel in the dark, and newspaper boys have a higher chance of face planting into a car when it is dark. Waking up at the same time when it is still dark in the morning causes decreased productivity and working hazards. On the other hand, having the sun stay up later allows consumers to go to retail stores after work. Giving shoppers the opportunity to drive to a retail store after work promotes sales and increases the profit of struggling businesses. This, however, releases CO2 into the atmosphere, further promoting global warming and bringing the end of the world closer. To slow down the day of reckoning, taking a nice bike ride on the weekends to the store doesn’t harm the environment and promotes weight loss and healthy living, and also allows people to buy whatever they need. Because people continue to drive to the store, Americans continue to be the fattest nation because we won’t change our ways and get some exercise. Face it. Daylight Savings Time is a horrible idea and nothing good comes from it. People die and become fat because we are too stubborn to keep our clocks the same for a year. Why are we unable to see the horrible position we are leaving ourselves in? The truth is out. It is time to change something else besides our clocks.

Face it. Daylight Savings Time is a horrible idea and nothing good comes from it.”

By Stefan H.


The Friends, the Foes, and the Flavors

erfection in a cup. Yes, it is possible to find perfection straight from a small white trailer on Barton Springs Road. No matter what flavor you get, Sno-Beach is sure to give you an amazing snow cone. From cherry to dulce de leche, your taste buds are sure to be shocked. Sno-Beach is known for its’ local Austin feel and the best damn snow cones you will ever taste. With over 40 flavors and the choice of cream or caramel on your snow cone, you can come everyday of the year that Sno-Beach is open and get a different flavor or mixture of two flavors. I try to get new flavors every time I go and have never found a mixture that I don’t like. When you try to compare Sno-Beach to other snow cone joints, you can’t even provide an argument for how a rival can top Sno-Beach. Close to Sno-Beach exists a newer brighter snow cone trailer called South Austin Sno. At this trailer you can only find about three fourths of the flavors you can at Sno-Beach with less goodness than a Sno-Beach snow cone. South Austin Sno is like a bad sequel to a great movie which everyone may go too but nobody will like. You may ask, “Don’t all snow cones taste the same?” and my answer is Hell No! South Austin Sno’s snow cones lack many of the qualities that make Sno-Beach so good. First, Sno’s ice is much more chunkier and icy than Sno-Beach’s ice. The difference is like drinking a real coke and a cheap knock off brand of coke, it is the same drink but just isn’t the real thing. After adding the cream to the snow cone I ate at South Austin Sno, I found that the cream didn’t mix with the ice and created an unequal spreading of cream and snow cone flavor. This did 27

not occur when I added cream to my snow cone at Sno-Beach as the cream blended in perfectly with the delicate, smooth pieces of ice creating a perfect collection of cream and flavor. When you put aside the other factors to a good snow cone, you should realize that what really matters is the flavor itself. Even when examing this subject Sno is below Sno-Beach as Sno’s flavors taste just like a bunch of sugar and all of the syrup slips to the bottom of the cup, making you eat a bunch of horrible ice and then chug sugar. Sno-Beach on the other hand has the perfect ice to hold all the syrup, allowing for an even taste, with flavors that actually can be called flavors. Next time you taste a snow cone, try to find what is really good about it. If you are having problems, I would suggest going to Sno-Beach to find what a snow cone should really taste like. For less than 5 dollars, you can get every size with a topping, except for an extra large with a topping which costs $5.50. Even if South Austin Sno sells their cones for a little less, you almost always have to pay more if you want the real thing over the wanna-be. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you for your investment. Photos by: Stefan H.

Ten Things to buy that can make you greener (Pratical and Unpratical) By: Kelvin R.

1 2

Changing the World one Bag at a Time


o help protect the environment, Sun Chips has decided to start producing the world’s first compostable chip bag. This would allow people to place their leftover bags in their compost creating good dirt and cutting down on littering. The release date for the new bags are Earth Day 2010. Already Sun Chips has taped into renewable energy by making their chips with solar and wind energy.

The Chevy Volt: Moving towards the Future


hevy plans to relase the Chevy Volt in 2010. Unlike the cars before it, the Chevy Volt will be able to go 40 miles on a battery without using any gas. This is the first step towards luxury cars running on just electrictiy.


Human Hair for the Earth



Florida Company has come out with a revoluntinary food growing product called Smart Grow. Smart Grow is made entirely out of recycled hair from China, so not only does it grow, it helps recycle. It is only currently avaible across the


If it’s yellow, you can flush it down


uying water saving toilets allow you to flush whatever you excrete while saving up to 80% of water from one flush of a normal toilet. By using recycled purifed water, you can cut down on your water bill while saving water. Who knew that the call of nature could help nature itself?

Natural Water = Good Water


5 6


f you live in a place where it rains alot think about purchasing a rain barrel. you may not be able to drink rain water that is unpurifed, but you can use rain water to water that dry lawn of yours. This both cuts down on your water bill and save one of the resources that is becoming more scarce by the day.

No Water Required


ired of watering your lawn? Convert your brown lawn to an arid gravel lawn. By planting desert plants in an arid environment, you can cut down on watering and keep your lawn lookiing shick and sexy. Gravel instead of grass looks appealing and provides for shaoing of walkkways.

7 8

Putting the Apple back on the Tree


pple has released the series of MacBooks equiupped with new greener technogoly. The LCD displays run on 30% less energy than normal displays. They have longer charges for each battery, which allows people to use one battery for a longer time kepping batteries out of landfills.

Reusing what the Earth gave us


ew studies have came out saying how plastic water bottles are bad for you. So instead of drinking from an old Ozarka bottle, you can buy a cheap reuseable bottle that won’t hurt you. Nalgene a bottle company, will give you 4 more if you break one, which is almost impossible.

Put it in the big blue Bin


9 10

e are now able to recycle alot of our waste, in a lot of places. Many recycling plants are able to take the recycled paper pulp and turn it into more paper for use by consumers. By reusing this paper, you can cut down on the number of trees cut down.

Solar Energy even in the Sea?


wiss Company BKW is planning on releasing a Solar Powered Submarine cabable of holding 20 to 30 passengers and going down 300 meters. The Sub will have a field of solar panels with the actual houl of the Sub being 20 to 30 meters long. The Sub will have a huge “Living Room: style passenger


Memories from The Omelettry

Standing in line, waiting for a booth on a muggy Saturday morning, at six years old, I sat next to my father on the small wooden bench that lies right outside the old-fashioned glass door of the Omelettry. Time seemed so drawn out at that age. Like the time it took for the delicious buttermilk pancakes sliding down my throat, of course drenched with tablespoons of syrup and washed down with homemade chocolate milk. That amount of time was pure bliss, however, loving every bite of that short stack of pancakes and scrumptious sausages I could never finish. I end my meal with a tasty Dum-Dum lollipop from the bucket sitting by the counter.


Sitting in the booth, pretending to be a grown woman just like my mother, who sits across from me reading the business section of the Austin-American Statesman. But in my hands were the funnies, giggling at the little pictures and acting like it was something I did every day. Yet as soon as the waiter came, I would quickly fold up that darn newspaper and sit innocently, waiting for her to give me crayons and a blank sheet of paper to color on. And from that moment on, it would be a contest of who could draw a better breakfast plate of eggs and pancakes with cute smiling faces, between my older sister and I. But right when those pancakes came, away went the pictures, and in came the joy and happiness of consuming those delicious cakes.


by Jenna L.

Photos courtesy of


Staring straight down, my belly full to the brim, my mind determined and fierce. I am twelve, and I peer around the table, eyeing the empty plates and happy faces of my sister, mother, and father. Why is this so unfair? A half of a pancake stairs back at me from my plate, untouched. Must. Finish. My mom says with a chuckle, “can you finish it?” Ugh. This is so terrible. I sigh, disappointed in myself, and slowly slide the rest of my breakfast to my father, who quickly gulps it down. I envy him, and disappoint myself.


It’s the Spring of 2009, and I am fourteen years old. I think to myself, what would really satisfy me at this very moment? Some decilious pancakes from the Omelettry. We arrive and there is no line whatsoever, the laid-back staff tell us to sit wherever we want. At this point me and my mother choose a small booth off the corner and admire the exotic art that lines the walls, while the waiter pours us coffee, which I have taken up drinking daily. By the end of the meal, I have completed eating my short stack of blueberry buttermilk pancakes and sausages, and smile proudly. Mission accomplished. I grin at the waiter and she grins back. Oh, the happiness inside of my belly and my mind. On the way out, I grab a cherry lollipop and order a T-shirt. I will never forget this glorious day.


Green or...



by Jenna L.

h, yeah, Madonna, we should watch out for how we impact the environment? Chris Martin, we should become a part of Fair Trade just like you? And, John Travolta, I hear you speaking of how terrible global warming is; that is just wonderful of you to care so much. Let me ask you this, though: what are you doing with private jet planes flying multiple routes weekly, guzzling up energy and releasing harmful toxins into the environment? Celebrities are not being truthful to our population. They are lying to the faces of their admirers and even to them selves – by claiming to be ecofriendly, yet using excessive amounts of energy that adds up to five times more than the average human. Is this fair? Can our role models be, I must gasp at this word, hypocrites? Despite the fact that celebrities choose to lie to us, they are making some impact on the environment. It is clear that they are up for a change, even if that change is buying luxurious solar panels to account for a small fraction of the energy their billion-dollar houses generate. I just do not understand the logic of these “superstars.” When someone shows interest or concern in a topic as serious and generation-threatening as global warming, you would think they would eliminate the most hypocritical act of theirs. Yet still, John Travolta tells the public to do their part in tackling global warming, while simultaneously owning not one, but FIVE planes, according to London Today, and even his own runway? Someone is going to feel that wave of karma when global warming turns our world into complete chaos. These private jets, they serve no functional purpose except to house the high-standards of picky celebrities who get what they want, no matter how much damage it could cause on the environment and our future generations. On the other hand, Madonna, likes to play this game called dress-up. Or that’s what it should be called, anyways! Madonna claims to be ecofriendly, loving of animals and preserving our natural habitat, yet a single tour of her album “Confessions” used a whopping 651 tons of carbon. Ecofriendly, schmechofriendly! Some changes are truly outstanding, though, and outshine all effort. Sienna Miller admitted that she takes more baths than necessary. Her contribution to the environment? Fewer baths. It is time for these singers and actors to be true to their words, it is time to drop the high-maintenence attitude and consider what is really important. Stop using your dumb private jets and actually help the world.


Jump Page The foods that are composted include coffee grounds, green waste, eggshells, animal manure, fruit, and vegetables. Whole Foods composts all used and unused materials such as these to the Texas Disposal Service, according to Gabaree, which is an organization that transports compost materials. However, another product of machines used in the company is the leftover oil. “All excess oil gets picked up by EcoWise, and it’s then turned into biodiesel,” Richard says, “it’s so handy they’re right down the street.” Biodiesel is a non-petroleum-based diesel fuel (basically vegetable oil) that can be used for a number of other purposes, serving as an example of recycling.

Many other companies have recognized the importance of being eco-friendly, or have just seen the significant increase in business. These include REI, an outdoorsy store; Anthropologie, a high-class clothing store; and even HEB, a discount grocer that has a line of organic markets. “Our generation needs to re-evaluate the situation – basically if we don’t make changes, our population could die out!” Richard says, “we need to continue to make changes, one step at a time.” Pictures by: Jenna l..

Thak you for reading! We hoped you enjoyed this issue of Echo magazine!


Meet the Writers! Asia L is a fourteen-year-old girl who was born in New York City and moved to Austin when she was one year old. She started playing the violin when she was seven years old, and is still going strong with it. She is aspires to work in the entertainment business, joining acting and music production. But for now, she is content with playing the violin, listening to music, and watching dramas at home during her free time. The idea of going green was a good idea for Asia, since she pretty much already uses organic facial and hair products. She also occasionally posts to her blog on xanga, and that was her only experience with journalism up until now. She hopes that her feature, “First Base,” appeals to the readers.

Jenna L s a hardworking young female who aspires to help save the environment as she grows older. Not only as she served for the Austin Parks Association by planting trees and painting rails at Northwest Park in Northwest Austin, but she has also served for Ecology Action, a local recycling company that recycles as many materials as possible and also promotes ecological awareness. Although she has not completely switched to becoming “green,” she completely supports all decisions to promote awareness and strives to make improvements to her life daily. Yay!

Kelvin R was born in the middle of the woods in Northern Alaska. After being briefly captured by wolves, Kelvin was able to escape and return to his waiting family over 3,500 miles in Edinburg, Texas, when he was only 7 months old. Kelvin is stuck at LASA High School writing adventure stories instead of having them. But now Kelvin is returning to his former greatness as he tackles one of the most controversial topics of the modern era, Daylight Savings Time.

Stefan H is a prodigious magazine designer and a decent writer. His main loves, however, are soccer, basketball and caving. Stefan has been to many caves including Airman’s Cave which is located in South-Central Austin. Recently, Stefan as become involved in a volunteer job with Keep Austin Beautiful. Working with Nancy Arrigona and many of her friends, Stefan contributes to a monthly creek pick up near Austin High School. He has included an indepth account of Arrigona’s volunteering experience and work in a magazine called Echo created by Kelvin R, Asia L, Jenna L, and Stefan H himself.


Echo magazine  

A look at the environment, Austin, and the World, made by high school students

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