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Don’t drink the water

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Phoro of chocolate lab in water

By Steve Whitlock; photo by Carin R. Kirkegaard Just like with people, pets need vaccinations. August is pet vaccination awareness month, which represents a nationwide effort to increase knowledge about vaccines and the importance of immunization for our furry friends. It is a significant topic. Late last year, a dog named Copper died in Highlands…

Cerney Circle Cinema

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Cinema Circle Art

By Carin Kirkegaard; Photos courtesy of Julie Lamb The families of Cerney Circle celebrated a beautiful summer evening with a pop-up cinema on the circle. Becca Causey planned the event as part of “Flamingo Fridays” a tradition in the neighborhood that allows families to gather and jump-start the weekend.

A random experience in exploring

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Photo of Haley Cranney, Abby DeNezza, Hannah Stephenson, Sarah Mendus, and Sarah Bermingham try Randonautica app

RANDONAUTICA By Lisa Nicklanovich Randonautica is an app with more than one million downloads that is trending on TikTok and seems to be a global phenomenon. It is advertised on their website as “The world’s first quantumly-generated ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ reality game.” Randonauts share their experiences with the Randonaut community online after playing the…

On letting go …

By CPC | August 1, 2020

By Stacie Chadwick I’m a creature of habit – an early morning workout, avocado toast for breakfast, and then? Too much sugar late at night. And, I’m more than a bit of a control freak. I like to craft my personal narrative, plug in the variables and chart my course on any given day. Predictability…

August Crossword

By CPC | August 1, 2020

Mediterranean Avocado Dip

By CPC | August 1, 2020

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Combine avocado, feta, and olive oil in a food processor and blend for about four minutes, until the mixture is fairly smooth. Scrape sides of the food processor as needed to incorporate ingredients. Serve immediately with veggie dippers.

Sourdough in Castle Valley

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Photo of homemade sourdough.

25 years in the making By Celeste McNeil; photo courtesy of Bob Vick With the slower pace of life the past several months, Bob Vick was looking for something to fill his time. He started gardening and built raised beds in the yard, and tried his hand at baking bread. With a shortage of commercial…

Sweet on sourdough:

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Photo of sourdough scones with berries

a baker’s saga Article and photos by Lisa Crockett Sourdough is very on-trend right now. Everyone, it seems, is whipping up their own starter (or getting some from a friend) and then turning out artisan loaves worthy of the cover of Bon Appetit magazine. Upon deciding that I too would partake of this particular fad…

Investing in their future

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Photo of pink piggy bank

By Bryan Goodland Paying for college can be a daunting task for any family. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, during the 2017/2018 academic year, undergraduate private nonprofit institutions cost an average of $46,014 per year, with undergraduate public institutions costing $17,797 per year. Of course, prestigious colleges can cost much more. Those…

Bringing a taste of New England

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Photo of Brenda Bushey New England to Castle Pines

to Colorado By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Brenda Bushey Although the annual Maine Lobster Festival has been canceled this summer, the Bushey family of Hidden Pointe is bringing the experience of a New England seafood cookout to Colorado. Having grown up in East Weymouth, Massachusetts, Brenda Bushey is familiar with seafood cookouts on summer…

Feeling Groovy in their VW Bus

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Photo of front 1965 VW bus

Article and photos by Lynn Zahorik You don’t have to be a member of the flower power generation to be in awe of the 1965 Volkswagen (VW) Bus that is cruising the neighborhood. It is a stunning automobile painted in classic turquoise and white and adorned with the traditional silver VW badging on the front.…

Enjoying the best of Colorado…

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Photo of Tom and Judy Pecsok traveling together.

…and the world By Nancy Koontz; photo courtesy of Judy Pecsok Judy and Tom Pecsok, residents of The Village at Castle Pines since 1999, love their Colorado home, but equally enjoy their time traveling the world. As a couple, the Pecsoks have traveled often, particularly enjoying ski trips to Austria and Switzerland – so much…

Hello butterflies, bees and birds

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Photo of Leigh and Eric Houston relax in front lawn that is xeriscaped.

GOODBYE LAWN… By Lisa Nicklanovich; courtesy photos Community residents Leigh and Eric Houston have a front yard that looks a bit different than most of our front yards; while most of us have grass lawns, the Houston’s recently replaced theirs with a xeriscape yard. Xeriscape refers to a landscape that is meant to save water,…

Vintage Car Club awards scholarship

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Photo of Jacob Skelton with his $2,500 scholarship

By Carin Kirkegaard; courtesy photos The Vintage Car Club (VCC) of Castle Rock awarded Jacob Skelton a $2,500 automotive technology scholarship to attend the Lincoln College of Technology. For the past three years, the group has partnered with Ponderosa High School and its automotive program to select a Douglas County senior with plans to academically…

Camping – perfect summer vacation

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Photo of son and father backpacking

By Shaun Kernahan; photos courtesy of the Zales family Camping in Colorado’s high country is perhaps the perfect 2020 summer vacation. Bryan Zales, Castle Pines resident, has always loved all the adventures being out in the mountains offered. He learned from the best, his dad. When Dr. William Zales retired after more than 30 years…

When lightning strikes

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Photo of lightening app

By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Michelle Barton Michelle Barton was out biking when she was caught in a thunder and lightning storm last month. “It was the craziest thing I’ve ever been through,” Barton said. After hearing thunder, she decided to turn around. When it continued, she decided to get off her bike and…

Cycling spins in a new direction

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Photo of Michelle Stutler on her Peloton bike

Article and photo by Lisa Nicklanovich Closed gyms and finding ways to exercise at home were good for the stationary bike market, and Peloton is leading the pack. The high-end indoor bicycle enables riders to have a challenging, competitive, high-tech pedaling experience at home. With its Wi-Fi enabled touchscreen tablet that streams live and on-demand…

Lifelong golfer hits a hole-in-one

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Photo of Kurtis Klein

By Carin R. Kirkegaard; photos courtesy of Kurtis Klein Many people look at 2020 as a year they hope to leave in the rearview mirror. That’s not the case for resident of The Village at Castle Pines and lifelong golfer Kurtis Klein. For him, two very important life events took place in 2020 – the…

Intern writer off to college

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Photo of CSU freshman Sarah Bermingham

By Lisa Nicklanovich; courtesy photo The Castle Pines Connection would like to thank Sarah Bermingham for her contributions as an intern writer the last five years. We wish her well as she heads off to college. Sarah began writing as an intern when she was a student at Rocky Heights Middle School and contributed articles…

Safe2Tell replaces Text-A-Tip

By CPC | August 1, 2020

By Patte Smith At the start of the 2020-21 school year, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) will streamline how concerned individuals report anonymous tips. Rather than operating both the Text-A-Tip and Safe2Tell programs, the District will only be using Safe2Tell moving forward. Safe2Tell is a state-funded initiative of the Colorado Department of Law, Office…

Seeking intern writers

By CPC | August 1, 2020

The Castle Pines Connection is seeking student writers and/or photographers for our internship program for the 2020-2021 school year. Interns will have the opportunity to create community related content on a monthly basis. They will work closely with the editor of The Connection to develop and enhance their journalistic skills and produce a body of…

Child is leaving for college leaves empty seat at table

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Graphic of Thoroughly Modern Manners

Mrs. Abramovitz, our child is leaving for college and we need some encouragement around the empty seat at our family table. Could you help us? I would be honored. Our youngest just left for the Air Force Academy in June, and we’re left with an odd number of seats and dare I say, an odd…

College packing tips for freshmen

By CPC | August 1, 2020
Photo of college freshman off to school

By Sarah Bermingham, RCHS intern writer; photos courtesy of the Mendus family As an incoming college freshman, I know how overwhelming it can be to choose what to take to school, especially when move-in day is so different this year. With time restraints and a lack of volunteers to personally help with move-in day, efficiency…

Good ol’ days of summer

By CPC | August 1, 2020
DCS Montesorri Summer Camp

By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of Rebecca Jones Eating popsicles in the hot summer, chasing the ice cream truck and playing in the sand and water are all staples of good old summer fun. DCS Montessori (DCSM) summer campers enjoyed a lot of summer fun playing at local beaches while learning more about Colorado’s wildlife…

Roundup Riders of the Rockies

By CPC | July 1, 2020

By Carin R. Kirkegaard; photos courtesy of Chip Bromfield, Pro-Motion, Ltd. Western heritage, the cowboy way of life and being on the range with a horse and a pack string may be a dying tradition – a lost art – to some, but for the select group of men that make up the Roundup Riders…

Journey Church expansion approved

By CPC | July 1, 2020

By Patte Smith; graphic courtesy of Douglas County Planning On May 12, Douglas County Commissioners approved the site plans for the expansion of Journey Church located at 9009 Clydesdale Road between the Surrey Ridge and Oak Hills neighborhoods. The church opened in August 2017, and the congregation has continued to grow over the past few…

DCL delivers…

By CPC | July 1, 2020
BPhoto of backyard BBQ package from DCL

…at-home experiences and celebrations in Douglas County Information and photos provided by Douglas County Libraries Douglas County Libraries (DCL) continue to innovate new ways to connect with the community. The DCL’s newest endeavor, “DCL Delivers Good Times,” provides customers in Douglas County entertaining new ways to enjoy library services and materials through at-home experiences and…

DCSO helping the homeless

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of DCSO Corporal Brian Briggs carries a sleeping mat

By Terri Wiebold; photos courtesy of the DCSO In May, The Connection introduced readers to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) Community Response Teams (CRT). We caught up with them this month to share one way they are having an impact on the homeless population in Douglas County. The CRT partners with the community to…

STAGE 1 Fire Restrictions

By CPC | July 1, 2020

Information provided by Douglas County Stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect for Douglas County. Prohibited activities include open burning of any kind and use and sale of fireworks. Allowable activities include 1) fires within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves, fireplaces within buildings, charcoal grill fires within developed residential or commercial areas, and fires within wood…

Independence Day Fireworks in Douglas County

By CPC | July 1, 2020

On July 4, residents in Douglas County will have a choice of three professional fireworks shows, in Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch and Parker – all starting at approximately 9:30 p.m. All three fireworks displays were designed, and locations determined, while working closely with law enforcement and fire protection agencies. All displays will be broadcast live…

The Charters of Freedom

By CPC | July 1, 2020
The Charters of Freedom artwork

By Lisa Nicklanovich When we think of July, we often think of Independence Day. In addition to all the celebrations, fireworks and barbecues, July is a great opportunity to remind ourselves about the Charters of Freedom, the three documents which are considered instrumental to the founding and philosophy of the United States of America. The…

Frozen Raspberry Lemonade

By CPC | July 1, 2020

Adapting and innovating

By CPC | July 1, 2020

Submitted by Castle Pines Chamber of Commerce Welcoming new business Ziggi’s Coffee to the community, the Castle Pines Chamber of Commerce hosted its first ever VIRTUAL ribbon cutting ceremony. Adhering to social distancing guidelines, chamber board members and Ziggi’s staff participated on site, while fellow chamber businesses joined in online.

The power of print media when businesses need it most

By CPC | July 1, 2020

By Terri Wiebold Thankfully for businesses, doors are beginning to reopen and revenue streams are slowly starting to return. Businesses have been doing all they can to stay afloat, so advertising budgets and marketing dollars have been dramatically reduced. It’s times like these that customers need messaging the most, and reminding them that your business…

A new cup of Joe on the east side of town

By CPC | July 1, 2020

Article and photos by Terri Wiebold The Exchange is a new public coffee house and gathering place on the east side of the city in The Canyons development. Stop in for a handcrafted coffee, freshly made pastries, gourmet salads, soups, sandwiches and more. Mention The Connection and receive a free pastry with your purchase of…

A furry farewell to a treasured employee

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of Richard Danforth

Article and photo by Carin R. Kirkegaard Throughout the past month, customers of The Pet Stuff Place in The Village at Castle Pines have been coming to purchase items for their pets and to say goodbye to long-time employee Richard Danforth. Danforth has been a staple at the store for many years, greeting customers and…

Brandon Nudd, Castle Rock Adventist Hospital

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of Brandon Nudd

At the hospital helm By Kathy Fallert; photos courtesy of Brandon Nudd     Relative newcomer to Douglas County, resident Brandon Nudd moved to Colorado in 2018 to become the CEO of Castle Rock Adventist Hospital. Nudd was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  He met his wife, Maria, while in elementary school and they…

You’re a grand old flag

By CPC | July 1, 2020

Courtesy photos Driving throughout the Castle Pines community, the American spirit is evident – even when it is not a holiday. We canvassed the community on a random day in June and captured these photos. If you see your flag pictured in the photos below, email to receive a surprise gift.

Sensitivity for sensitive ears

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of dog chewing on another dog's ear

Article and photo by Kathy Fallert It starts with Otis sounding the alarm, “Rooo! Rooo! Roooooooo!” The rumble of thunder is faint, but it’s enough to get his attention. So much so that he interrupts his relentless chomping and grooming of Tebow’s ears. Otis looks at me. He looks at my husband. He looks at…

The Nicksons: Another Plum Creek seduction

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of George and Sarah Nickson

Article and photo by Joe Gschwendtner; courtesy photo To study Douglas County’s early history is to dig into events around the headwaters of Plum and Cherry creeks. Nowhere is it more colorful than the upper Plum Creek basin, where John Perry, Ben Quick and John Kinner harnessed their lives to the spectacular high-country meadows. In…

Amazing Grace

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Reading between the Pines

By Stacie Chadwick Long before I understood if I would, should or could have children, I knew that my firstborn daughter would be named Grace. And so she was. Prior to that, before my husband and I had yet to lay eyes on each other, I further knew that “Amazing Grace” would be the cornerstone…

School’s back in session

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Disney SchoolHouseRock art

By Terri Wiebold This month we go retro with our pop culture, and for good reason – everything old is new again. The award-winning animated musical and educational series Schoolhouse Rock! was released on Disney+ last month, sharing the magic with a whole new generation. Admit it – you are singing, “I’m just a bill,…

July 4th

By CPC | July 1, 2020

By Lisa Nicklanovich Whether you say The Fourth of July, Independence Day or simply July 4th, the day includes celebrations that go back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. In 1776, on July 2, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from Great Britain. It was two days later that delegates from…

Note from a reader:

By CPC | July 1, 2020

A reader sent in this note in response to our “Castle Pines Rocks” story from the June issue.  

Spanish Triple-header: Barcelona, Bilbao and San Sebastian

By CPC | July 1, 2020

Article and photos by Joe Gschwendtner; courtesy photo One absolutely, positively cannot oversell northeastern Spain. The environs of Barcelona, Bilbao and San Sebastian are simply exquisite with cultural, gastronomical and urban attractions among the finest in all Europe. It was in 1979 that a friend insisted I visit his birthplace, Barcelona. The 1888 World’s Fair…

A simpler summer

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of Mendus family enjoys spending time outside.

By Sarah Bermingham, RCHS intern writer; photos courtesy of the Mendus family While summer 2020 is unlike anything anyone anticipated, the community is having no problem coming up with enjoyable replacements to the usual, fast-paced break from school. From enjoying the outdoors to hanging out with family and friends, this summer gives many the time…

Castle Pines parks open

By CPC | July 1, 2020

Article and photos by Loryn Wallbridge, intern writer Parks in the Castle Pines community are open for play from dawn until dusk. The splash pad at Elk Ridge Park is also open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The water feature allows kids and adults to play in water fountains and cool down. Due to…

Roundup Riders of the Rockies Heritage and Trails Foundation

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of volunteer for Roundup Riders of the Rockies

By Carin R. Kirkegaard; photos courtesy of Roundup Riders of the Rockies Heritage and Trails Foundation Colorado is known worldwide for its picturesque outdoor living. Whether white water rafting down river rapids, camping in remote areas, mountain biking rocky trails or riding horses through beautiful vistas, love for the state’s wilderness is shared by many.…

SUP – a water sport or greeting?

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of paddleboarder

Article and photos by Julie Matuszewski SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) is both a cool term to greet another and a popular water sport that all ages and fitness levels can enjoy. Unlike traditional surfing where the rider waits until a wave comes, SUP boarders stand on boards and use a paddle to propel themselves through the…

Aspen shoots

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of Aspen shoots

Article and photos by Carin R. Kirkegaard The aspen is arguably the state’s most recognized tree. From the crowd-drawing vibrant yellow leaves that quake in the breeze topping showy white trunks, the groves of aspens throughout the state are considered part of the largest singular organism whose life force is found underground in the extensive…

Reasons to build

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of building house

By Carin R. Kirkegaard; photos courtesy of the Manley family Homeowners in the Castle Pines community don’t keep a for sale sign in the yard long; many don’t even have to stake a sign before interested buyers come looking to purchase. Add in highly-rated public schools and amenities like trails, parks and pools, and buyers…

July Crossword Puzzle

By CPC | July 1, 2020

Grilled chicken to beat the summertime heat

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of grilled chicken

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett A few days ago, a near-tragedy struck our household. I had my taste buds set for something light and tropical. I marinated some chicken, sliced up a pineapple, and then put everything back in the fridge for a quick marinade. The beauty of a meal like this is twofold.…

Wading through a lifetime of memories

By CPC | July 1, 2020

It happens to all of us. After years of acquiring items to make a home and a life, you realize there’s too much stuff. What can you do with it all? The first place to start is family, think mementos and memorabilia. These items can be passed on to the next generation, whether that means…

Outstanding grad who loves the outdoors

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of Rachel Powner

By Lisa Nicklanovich; photos courtesy of Rachel Powner A Rock Canyon High School alumnus and recent CSU graduate, Rachel Powner is looking forward to starting her job with Lockheed Martin Space in the subcontracts divisions. Her area of specialty, supply chain management is a hot topic right now. Consumers have seen empty shelves in the…

Classic wheels passed down through generations

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of Mark Clingman enjoys sharing his great-grandfather’s 1929 Ford

Article and photos by Lynn Zahorik When the Clingman family heads out for a spin in their 1929 Ford Model A, they often get a lot of stares. Mark, the proud owner of the heralded Henry Ford classic, appreciates all of the attention the car receives and the memories it evokes. It’s not often one…

A “Rare Sisters” Fun Run

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of the Fries family

By Patte Smith; photos courtesy of the Gormley and Fries families A small group of Surrey Ridge friends joined together for a Rare Sisters Fun Run and barbecue on May 31. The hosts, Jeanne and John Gormley, raised their incredibly close-knit and devout family in the neighborhood where they have lived for 42 years. In…

Elise Kemp working to make a change

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of Elise Kemp

By Carin R. Kirkegaard; photos courtesy of Elise Kemp In May, Elise Kemp, who grew up in the Castle Pines community, graduated from Whitworth University. While finishing her bachelor’s degree in political science, Kemp cultivated her vision for making an impactful and meaningful difference in the lives of men, women and children caught in a…

Changing the world, starting in Ghana

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of Ghanaian boy adding handprint to school

By Celeste McNeil; photos courtesy of Carly Markowski Twins Will and Carly Markowski have spent the past seven years volunteering with Colorado To Ghana, a locally-based nonprofit organization founded by area teacher and tennis coach Ben Wolfe. The siblings started volunteering while in the sixth grade and continued through middle and high school. They have…

Youth from The Village at Castle Pines play tennis

By CPC | July 1, 2020

By Biz Hansen; courtesy photos For eight summers, Ben Wolfe, ‑local teacher, tennis instructor and coach, has been running The Village at Castle Pines youth tennis camps. With the purpose of promoting the sport of tennis, each year the numbers continue to grow. This June was no exception, as 40 kids signed up to play…

Pools are open

By CPC | July 1, 2020

By Carin R. Kirkegaard; courtesy photos For parents whose kids have been home since school let out for spring break, summer, in some ways, feels like it’s been in session for months. When summer swim team leagues were canceled, there was real concern that pools may not even open for the summer. Those same parents…

A life lived in America’s pastime

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo of Mike Timlin

By Lynn Zahorik, photos courtesy of the Timlin family As baseball fans, we long for a sunny day or starry night at the ballpark. We miss munching on a box of Cracker Jacks or a bag of peanuts. Most of all, we miss the boys of summer. In the absence of America’s pastime, we bring…

Simply Learning offers free tutoring to the community

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Photo left to right top row: Nihaar Gupta, Naman Kapasi and Nandan Murugesan; bottom row: Derek Chen and Charlie Fu.

By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Derek Chen When Derek Chen and Charlie Fu attended Rock Canyon High School, they were surprised to learn how expensive tutors for the SAT and ACT standardized tests could be. Knowing how important these tests were to a student’s future, and feeling it was unfair that tutoring was so…

Children need to learn manners from adults

By CPC | July 1, 2020
Graphic of Thoroughly Modern Manners

Mrs. Abramovitz, would you talk to us about good manners at home? -JL What a great question and what a great time to ask it. It’s interesting that we are often more polite to strangers than to our own family members. It might be that the people who are closest to us will love us…

Douglas County School District puts students first

By CPC | July 1, 2020

DCSD amid budget cuts By Carin R. Kirkegaard Annually, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) must have an approved budget by July 1, the start of the new fiscal year. Given the current economic and social environment, the budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year proved to be exceptionally difficult. As a result of shortfalls at…

Free electronic recycling

By CPC | June 30, 2020
Photo of recycling parking lot

Information provided by Douglas County Douglas County is sponsoring electronic recycling events this summer. On Wednesday, July 15 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., staff will accept electronics for recycling at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in the Town of Castle Rock. This opportunity is co-sponsored by the Douglas County School District and will be held…

Dedicated to country and family

By CPC | June 1, 2020
Photo of Solomon and Twilla Castleberry.

By Lynn Zahorik; photos courtesy of the Castleberry family With nine decades of life to his credit, Solomon Castleberry has led a storied life driven by his dedication to his country and his family. As we pause to recognize fathers of all ages this Father’s Day, we are especially proud to celebrate 94-year-old Solomon Castleberry…

No more lines at the DMV

By CPC | June 1, 2020

Information provided by Douglas County The Douglas County Motor Vehicle (DCMV) offices are currently offering online, phone and paperwork drop boxes for motor vehicle transactions like license renewals, registrations, titles, plates, permits, disability placards, identification cards and driving records. Follow these three steps to complete your motor vehicle transaction: STEP 1: Select one of the…

Crimes of opportunity

By CPC | June 1, 2020

By Patte Smith; crime prevention tips provided by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Vehicle break-ins are on the rise in Douglas County, and the Castle Pines area is not immune. From March 16, 2019 through April 12, 2019 there were 56 auto trespasses reported in Douglas County. In 2020, for the same time period, there…

Community Camera Partnership

By CPC | June 1, 2020
Community Camera Partnership logo

Information provided by the DCSO Do you use private video surveillance at your home or business that records video? If so, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) would like to partner with you to help solve crimes. Video surveillance is one of the best methods for apprehending criminals and convicting suspects who are caught in…

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