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OPEN HOUSE - Sunday, August 25 from 2-4pm - 2353 Franklin Drive, Winterville NC

Come and see this lovely 2 story traditional brick home in Canterbury Subdivision.

Located at 2353 Franklin Drive, this home features 3 big bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a huge fenced yard.

New price of $169,900 - includes stainless kitchen appliances.  Truly a must see!

Visit and register for the $50 Lowe's gift card drawing.

 For more information, call Laura Maser, Century 21 The Realty Group, Tel: 252-258-0967.

MOVE-IN READY! LOVELY HOME IN QUIET AREA CLOSE TO HOSPITAL AND ECU!

Looking for the right home?

And, specifically, the right home in a great neighborhood - in a convenient location - at an affordable price?????

Priced to sell at $159,900 - take a look at this property - 107 Carol Court, Greenville NC:

This home features 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a fenced yard, mature trees and landscaping, all on a quiet, cul de sac lot.

http://www.greenvillencrealtors.com/gre/maildoc/masela_1347466511-Sep-12-2012-12_15_11pm.html

 

Call to schedule a showing - LAURA MASER, REALTOR, Century 21 The Realty Group, Tel: 252-258-0967.

Helpful Link to City of Greenville North Carolina - Do You Need a Relocation Packet?

Planning a move to Greenville North Carolina?

Take a look at this interesting website courtesy of the City of Greenville - lots of helpful information to get things started...

http://www.greenvillenc.gov/

And, if you need more information - like brochures, local business guides, and so forth, email me for a free relocation package:

LAURA.MASER@CENTURY21.COM     

Looking for 100% Financing to Buy a Home?

Greetings! 

Depending on your financial status, there are mortgage loan programs available that may be able to help you buy a home with 100% financing.

 

One good product to consider is the USDA/Rural Housing Loan program.  Typically, the property would be located outside city limits.

The link below has some basic information to help you get started.  It's always a great idea to first meet with a mortgage loan professional to see if you are eligible to participate.  Then, you can house shop for that perfect dream home!

http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do?NavKey=home@1  

Not sure about how to get the ball rolling? 

Give me a call - I enjoy coaching first time buyers as they move forward through one of their biggest  financial decisions.   Like anything else worth doing, a little planning goes a long way!

Laura Maser, Realtor/Broker, Century 21 The Realty Group

Tel: 252-258-0967

Email: laura.maser@century21.com

NEW PRICE -107 Carol Court in Tucker - Greenville North Carolina

Click on the link below to see 107 CAROL COURT in Tucker Estates - a wonderful neighborhood in Greenville.  Amazing value at $165,000!

This home features 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a fenced yard, mature trees and landscaping, all on a quiet cul de sac lot.

http://www.pittcountyncproperties.com/Listing/VirtualTour.ashx?ListingID=54699703 

Call to schedule a showing - LAURA MASER, REALTOR, Century 21 The Realty Group, Tel: 252-258-0967.

 
Looking for Current Housing Sales Information - from an Appraiser's Perspective?

Then check out this informative blog, courtesy of Rasberry and Shackelford Associates, an appraisal group in eastern North Carolina:

http://www.rsares.com/ShacksCorner 

Interactive Median Home Price Map

Here's an interesting tool that gives information about home prices in various areas, courtesy of the National Association of Realtors.

It's fun to click on the map and see the different median home prices.

http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/interactive-median-home-price-map 

Now is a great time to buy - interest rates are at record lows!!   

Need help finding your way through the real estate process?  Give me a call!

Laura Maser, REALTOR/Broker

Century 21 The Realty Group

Greenville North Carolina

Tel: 252-258-0967

Let's plan ahead for your next move!

Looking for a Perfect 3 Bedroom Condo Near ECU with Great Amenities?

 

THEN, look no more.  This lovely first floor condo is close to everything yet in a quiet area, convenient to the pool and tennis courts... and an easy drive to ECU or the hospital area.

Contemporary decor, sunroom or office area, simple access to the courtyard if you have a pet, and a great floor plan!

Check out the link below for pictures and details... and then give me a call to see the property! 

LAURA MASER, Realtor, Century 21 The Realty Group, Tel: 252-258-0967.

http://greenvillencrealtors.com/gre/maildoc/0eLOsm7048.html 

RENT VS. BUY? Some Helpful Information for YOU

 

Have you been thinking about making your first home purchase?  Need some more information or food for thought?  Mortgage loan interest rates are at an all time low - so it's definitely worth thinking about this idea.

 

 

The link below has some helpful information for those prospective buyers thinking about moving forward with a purchase.... Enjoy!

 

 

 

http://www.realtor.org/library/library/fg301 

 

 

 

And,when you are ready to take that first step, call me. I love coaching buyers through the entire real estate transaction.  It helps to have someone working for you to make sure you have a successful outcome!

 

LAURA MASER, Realtor, Century 21 The Realty Group, Greenville, NC 27858  TEL: 252-258-0967

Another Good Update from Calvin - Greenville City Council

 

 




  
  

 

DON'T VOTE out of fear!

 

DO CAST A THOUGHTFUL VOTE, well informed about the candidates.  

 

CONSTITUENT COMMUNICATION (CC) 126

--Fiscal Misinformation Spread by Some Candidates   

--The City is Prepared

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT SOME MYTHICAL "LOOMING" FISCAL CRISIS THE CITY IS SUPPOSEDLY UNPREPARED FOR 

 

"A lie can travel half way around the world before the truth can put its shoes on." Mark Twain, a century before the internet.

 

Political rhetoric can often stretch the facts to suit a candidate's case.  However, one misrepresentation reflects on the current City Council, on which I serve, and I feel I need to set the record straight.

 

I have based my service in municipal government on honestly informing citizens

about the issues, and so I am speaking out about a myth that continues to be pushed by Mayoral Candidate Allen Thomas.

.

The myth goes something like this:

The county's property reevaluation is coming, and the city is woefully unprepared for it.

In public statements, the following language has been used: "potential looming budget crisis," "face a budget shortfall," "blow a hole in the budget," "the city is nervous," "the city has had no real foresight in planning for this shortfall," "we have not planned for the large hole," and "the budget problem coming up is not being discussed."

 

These statements are not accurate.

 

I have served on the City Council for four years and I have been in the middle of much discussion--with staff, with other Councilmembers, with business leaders, with other citizens--in private and in public--about the budget, about the county's property reevaluation, and about getting prepared for that.

 

I have been very public about my opposition to a majority of Councilmembers who too often have taken Land Use votes--sometimes against the wishes of a Council Chamber-full of citizens--that serve narrow special interests and compromise our quality of life and ability to attract business and jobs.  However, this City Council has on balance made prudent fiscal decisions.  We have NOT ignored some coming fiscal challenge.

 

THE CITY IS PREPARED

Staff and Council are acutely aware of the coming property re-evaluations, of sales tax revenues, and of other factors that will impact our budget decisions in the next two years.  Some candidates who may not know the facts themselves have been alarmist.  Just keep the following points in mind as you vote. 

 

We have taken prudent actions to date, and we are primed to get the facts as they unfold and respond appropriately.  Just recently, I have learned from County Manager Scott Elliott that the property value decrease is going to be an estimated 5-6 percent, much less than many of us were expecting.  This is excellent news for the city and for property owners. 

 

Here are some prudent fiscal steps we took, even before we knew the property value decrease was going to be an estimated 5-6 percent:

 

--We increased our fund balance ("savings account" or "rainy day fund") to more than two times what the state requires

--Last budget year, just ended, we increased revenue 2 percent and decreased expenses just under 1 percent.

--We took months to carefully refashion the complicated retiree benefits (OPEB) in ways that will save the city millions going forward.  (I have detailed this in many past newsletters)

--During my years of service, this City Council has a record of no tax increases and no cuts in essential services

 

I can elaborate on any of the above items, and, indeed, have done so in past newsletters.

 

The nation and the state are struggling with a major economic downturn.  This presents a challenge to Greenville, as it presents a challenge to all cities and counties.  We will have some tough decisions to make, but this Council's record is that we have been preparing well for a long time for this challenge and are well-positioned to guide our city through it.  Anyone who tells you differently is not aware of the facts or misrepresenting them. 

 

I urge voters to critically evaluate the rash rhetoric of some of the candidates, and vote on the basis of solid information.

 

 

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  

I have a vision of Greenville as a vibrant business, educational, health, and cultural leader in North Carolina; a powerful economic center with many biotech, green, ecotourism, and other industries; a beautiful, walkable, bikeable, inclusive, safe city with a dynamic uptown; and a city famous for its towering oak trees, flowered parks, clean air, and healthy citizens who know their neighbors.  A beautiful city, serving our region, does not just happen.  We must act today to make sure our city is a place where we and our children and our grandchildren will enjoy living, working, and serving.   --Calvin 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

 

CONSTITUENT COMMUNICATION (CC) NEWSLETTER
This Constituent Communication (CC) email newsletter is sent about twice-monthly to anyone who has expressed interest in Greenville city government or my service on Council, regardless of where they live.  The city maintains an excellent and informative website (www.greenvillenc.gov), where City Council meeting videos, upcoming agenda items, government services updates, city cable channel programming, and other information can be readily accessed.  A useful adjunct to the city website, this CC mailing will provide, among other things, my commentary on controversial and/or important issues.  I intend for it to be useful, without overwhelming anyone's mailbox.  If you know someone who would like to receive these occasional mailings, send their email address to me (mercerc99@yahoo.com), and I will send them a sample newsletter.  This CC list is separate from a regional newsletter, posted about once every couple of months, where I discuss efforts to promote, for economic and quality of life purposes, nature-based eco and other sustainable tourism in eastern North Carolina.  I also produce an occasional newsletter about religion-related academic and/or cultural events in the area.  If you would like to be on either of these lists, let me know.  I write a column for the Greenville Times (www.mygreenvilletimes.com), a free newsprint magazine covering Greenville and Pitt County that is published monthly and distributed in high traffic locations in Greenville and Pitt County.  Encourage the retail businesses you patronize to carry this popular magazine.  To access some archived columns, google "Calvin Mercer Facebook" or go to www.facebook.com/MercerCalvin.  My website is www.CalvinMercer.com.  Expenses for this newsletter related to my public service are paid for by the "Calvin Mercer Campaign."  

 



  
  

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for 100% Financing on a Single Family Home? Consider USDA Rural Housing1

 

 

Many buyers have successfully purchased a home in a rural area, usually outside city limits, using USDA 100% financing.  This type of loan may be an option for you and your family.

 

Check out the website for more information - http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do 

 

 

 

Just type in a property address to see if that location qualifies for USDA financing.

 

 

 

 

When you are ready, give me a call! Laura Maser, Realtor/Broker, Tel: 252-258-0967.   I can connect you with a loan officer to help you make that next move!

Interesting Commentary from Calvin Mercer - Greenville City Council

 

 HERE IS HIS NEWSLETTER:



  
  

 

CONSTITUENT COMMUNICATION (CC) 124

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPER IDEA 

A candidate for mayor has said the city needs to hire an economic developer.

 

"(Allen) Thomas said it is time to create a position within the city to handle industrial and business development." (10/5/11, Daily Reflector, reporting about the previous night's Candidates' North of the River Forum)   

 

"He (Allen Thomas) advocates for the hiring of someone dedicated to economic development and selling Greenville." (10/23/11, Daily Reflector, page A7)

 

At best, this is a questionable idea because it would cost taxpayers an estimated quarter of a million dollars, and it is not clear it would contribute to job creation and economic development in any significant way.

 

I have not publically endorsed specific candidates. However, I follow very closely their platforms and public statements, because ideas they promote for good or bad may very well gain traction and be offered as policy initiatives during my next two years on City Council.

 

This particular idea is major, and for about three weeks I have been researching it, because I am certainly a proponent of taking effective action to promote jobs in Greenville. I have come to the conclusion that this idea is at best problematic, at least in the very simple and general way it has been proposed. Here are some considerations.

 

First of all, with regard to "economic developer," it is helpful to make a distinction between an industrial developer and a commercial/retail developer.

 

INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPER  

By a "gentleman's agreement," going back to the 1950's, our area has had an industrial park with the city agreeing it be located outside the city limits. To my knowledge, there is no interest or move to annex the industrial park.

 

We have a county economic development office, staffed by four people. City taxpayers help support that office with their county property taxes. That economic development team is focused on industrial development and, largely, their recruits come to the industrial park. "Industrial" recruitment, of course, has a broader meaning than in days past, and now can include what might be called "office-related activity" (e.g., data centers, call centers).

 

Since there is no move that I am aware of to annex the industrial park, then most industrial development that the city did would need to be recruited for our own industrial park inside the city limits, since we are not going to annex the existing industrial park. However, any industry would naturally want to go to the industrial park outside the city in order to avoid city taxes.

 

Hiring an industrial developer, probably a poor idea, is made even worse by the costs of outfitting such an office, as I discuss below.

 

COMMERCIAL / RETAIL DEVELOPER 

The other kind of economic developer would focus on commercial/retail. This is not a new idea; it has been discussed in Greenville in the past and never took hold, probably for good reason. In a city our size, commercial/retail business generally comes when a company's market analysis indicates it can make money here.

 

In addition, I would expect many business owners in Greenville to be concerned about their tax dollars likely going to recruit competition for their businesses.

 

Perhaps one could make some argument for attempting to recruit high end, niche type companies. We already do some of this in our uptown revitalization efforts. Any additional effort we made for these high end, niche type of companies would likely not merit a full-time person, in addition to what we now have.

 

The bottom line--if we grow a quality city where companies want to locate, the market will take care of traditional commercial and retail growth in accord with what can be sustained.

 

COST OF THIS IDEA

I have explained above why an economic developer for our city government is probably not a good idea--at least no carefully thought out case has been made that I have heard, and I am following the campaign platforms carefully. The cost of the idea only drives home this point.

 

My research indicates that to properly get an office up and running would cost an estimated quarter of a million dollars. To start an economic development office right requires staff, but it also requires databanks, a deep website constantly updated, travel, advertising, entertainment, and other costs. If this were a good idea, then the expense may be worth it, but at this point the case has not been made. In the current economic climate, I have a presumption against any additional staffing that isn't absolutely necessary.

 

OPTIONS

Our unemployment rate is lower than the state average and lower than most cities that are our size and/or nearby, as I reported in last week's newsletter. However, no matter how low our rate, we definitely need to do all we can to prudently promote job creation in our city. There are effective, reasonable things we can do, and I have discussed those in other contexts. And I am open to discussing any idea. 

 

No effective strategy for job creation will be the result of any one person; it will come from a sound, thoughtful plan that entails working with economic development initiatives and offices already in place in the county and region.

 

But with regard to this idea--the city hiring an economic developer-- the last thing we need to do is expand government bureaucracy at taxpayer expense without a good reason. I hope this idea does not get traction without a convincing argument, currently lacking.

 

One thing that can be considered is a research park. Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Winston-Salem, in connection with research universities in their areas, have such parks. This is not a new idea, however, and there are discussions that have been ongoing for some time about this idea. I will continue to follow these discussions and evaluate the appropriate role the city should play. However, even if this idea were to materialize, no one should expect it to be a magic bullet to the current economic woes. Experts suggest that it could take 7-8 years to get such a park up and running.

 

 

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  

I have a vision of Greenville as a vibrant business, educational, health, and cultural leader in North Carolina; a powerful economic center with many biotech, green, ecotourism, and other industries; a beautiful, walkable, bikeable, inclusive, safe city with a dynamic uptown; and a city famous for its towering oak trees, flowered parks, clean air, and healthy citizens who know their neighbors.  A beautiful city, serving our region, does not just happen.  We must act today to make sure our city is a place where we and our children and our grandchildren will enjoy living, working, and serving.   --Calvin 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

 

CONSTITUENT COMMUNICATION (CC) NEWSLETTER
This Constituent Communication (CC) email newsletter is sent about twice-monthly to anyone who has expressed interest in Greenville city government or my service on Council, regardless of where they live.  The city maintains an excellent and informative website (
www.greenvillenc.gov), where City Council meeting videos, upcoming agenda items, government services updates, city cable channel programming, and other information can be readily accessed.  A useful adjunct to the city website, this CC mailing will provide, among other things, my commentary on controversial and/or important issues.  I intend for it to be useful, without overwhelming anyone's mailbox.  If you know someone who would like to receive these occasional mailings, send their email address to me (mercerc99@yahoo.com), and I will send them a sample newsletter.  This CC list is separate from a regional newsletter, posted about once every couple of months, where I discuss efforts to promote, for economic and quality of life purposes, nature-based eco and other sustainable tourism in eastern North Carolina.  I also produce an occasional newsletter about religion-related academic and/or cultural events in the area.  If you would like to be on either of these lists, let me know.  I write a column for the Greenville Times (www.mygreenvilletimes.com), a free newsprint magazine covering Greenville and Pitt County that is published monthly and distributed in high traffic locations in Greenville and Pitt County.  Encourage the retail businesses you patronize to carry this popular magazine.  To access some archived columns, google "Calvin Mercer Facebook" or go to www.facebook.com/MercerCalvin.  My website is www.CalvinMercer.com.

END OF NEWSLETTER!

Are you facing forclosure? Check out this helpful state resource for some answers.

 

This website links the consumer to a North Carolina agency set up to help homeowners who may be facing foreclosure.

http://www.ncforeclosureprevention.gov/

 

 

Information provided courtesy of Laura Maser, Realtor/Broker, Century 21 The Realty Group, Tel: 252-258-0967, Web: www.pittcountyncproperties.com

 

Have You Heard about the LOW INTEREST RATES FOR MORTGAGES at NCHFA?

 

 

CHECK OUT THIS LINK - this agency helps first time home buyers with great rates to purchase your first home.

http://www.nchfa.com/Homebuyers

 

If you need help making the connection, call me at 252-258-0967, or email me at laura.maser@century21.com  and I'll help you get started!

 

 For home buyers:

http://www.nchfa.com/Homebuyers

 

 

Their main website:

www.nchfa.com

Mayoral Candidates and More About Greenville - Courtesy of Calvin Mercer, Greenville City Council




  
  

 

CONSTITUENT COMMUNICATION (CC) 120

 

FLASH!  Candidate debates are getting underway!  This is one opportunity for citizens to learn who is running for the 3 races at play.  I know there are a lot of candidates to accommodate, but I encourage forum/debate organizers to give candidates time enough to answer questions in some depth.  At all levels of government, we don't need politicians who can spout sound-bites; we need leaders who have an in depth understanding of the issues and can effectively guide us through difficult challenges.

   

FLASH!  GPATTV 23 is beginning to air candidate interviews, in preparation for the city election.  Dr. Tom Irons interviewed me, and we enjoy an engaging chat about critical issues that impact quality of life and job recruitment in our city.  Early voting begins in less than two weeks.

    

THIS WEEK'S CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS

Tonight, October 10, at 6 pm (20 items on the agenda)

 

Thursday, October 13, at 7 pm (10 items on the agenda)

 

To see the full agenda for this week's City Council meetings, go to the city website (www.greenvillenc.gov). 

  

CONTENTS

--Intermodal Transit Center Update (Monday, Item 19)

--What the Police are Doing in Kristen Drive--Police Community Relations Meeting 

 

INTERMODAL TRANSIT CENTER  UPDATE (Tonight, Item 19) 

One of the most important projects I've worked on in my years on City Council is the 21st century Intermodal Transit Center.  Most cities of our size that are economic regional hubs have a centrally located Intermodal Center.

 

In a process that started years before I came on Council and that included many public meetings and input from Uptown Greenville, ECU, other entities, and citizens, a site was chosen on the two blocks bounded by Evans Street to the west, Cotanche Street to the east, Eighth Street to the north, and Ninth Street to the south.  The site was unanimously recommended by our Parking and Transportation Board, and the Redevelopment Commission has stated we want a site in the Center City.   

 

More recently, some concerns have been raised about this particular site.  Our staff is working to address the concerns, as much as is reasonably possible.  Fortunately, another site that meets critical selection criteria has become available; the site was not available during the earlier selection process.  This site is at the intersection of Dickinson Avenue and Reade Circle.  It is important that any site chosen have proximity to ECU, access to a developed street system, and convenient access to downtown and public offices and facilities.   

Thanks to the efforts of Congressman Butterfield,we have over two million dollars of federal money earmarked to help fund this project.  In Monday night's meeting, we will address this topic and hopefully move the project forward.

 

This Center will NOT be the "bus station from yesteryear."  It will serve buses as well as bikes and pedestrians, and discussions have been held with Amtrak about a shuttle seamlessly transporting riders to the Amtrak Station in Wilson. Many such centers include shops and restaurants.  I traveled with some Council members and Chamber members to visit Charlottesville a couple of years ago.  Their intermodal center is located downtown next to an outdoor pavilion and with their Convention and Visitors Bureau located on the second floor.  Two other excellent locations for intermodal centers in vibrant downtowns, with lots of pedestrian traffic, are in Greenville, SC and Spartanburg, SC.

 

It is critical that this project not be derailed by political or financial concerns that could hamper the growth and development of our city. 

 

In the case of this project, the city puts up 10% of the cost and the federal government pays 80% and the state pays 10%.  When it is a project that makes sense for our city, then I certainly do not want Greenville to lose our share of the federal and state dollars.

 

 

OPPORTUNITY FOR INFORMATION AND INPUT--POLICE ISSUES
"Crime and Crime Trends and What the Police are Doing in the Kristen Drive Initiative" is the topic for the Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 7 pm meeting (Koinonia Christian Center, 1405 SW Greenville Blvd.) of the Police Community Relations Committee.  This active committee is a wonderful opportunity for two-way communication between citizens and the police.

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  

I have a vision of Greenville as a vibrant business, educational, health, and cultural leader in North Carolina; a powerful economic center with many biotech, green, ecotourism, and other industries; a beautiful, walkable, bikeable, inclusive, safe city with a dynamic uptown; and a city famous for its towering oak trees, flowered parks, clean air, and healthy citizens who know their neighbors.  A beautiful city, serving our region, does not just happen.  We must act today to make sure our city is a place where we and our children and our grandchildren will enjoy living, working, and serving.   --Calvin 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

 

CONSTITUENT COMMUNICATION (CC) NEWSLETTER
This Constituent Communication (CC) email newsletter is sent about twice-monthly to anyone who has expressed interest in Greenville city government or my service on Council, regardless of where they live.  The city maintains an excellent and informative website (
www.greenvillenc.gov), where City Council meeting videos, upcoming agenda items, government services updates, city cable channel programming, and other information can be readily accessed.  A useful adjunct to the city website, this CC mailing will provide, among other things, my commentary on controversial and/or important issues.  I intend for it to be useful, without overwhelming anyone's mailbox.  If you know someone who would like to receive these occasional mailings, send their email address to me (mercerc99@yahoo.com), and I will send them a sample newsletter.  This CC list is separate from a regional newsletter, posted about once every couple of months, where I discuss efforts to promote, for economic and quality of life purposes, nature-based eco and other sustainable tourism in eastern North Carolina.  I also produce an occasional newsletter about religion-related academic and/or cultural events in the area.  If you would like to be on either of these lists, let me know.  I write a column for the Greenville Times (www.mygreenvilletimes.com), a free newsprint magazine covering Greenville and Pitt County that is published monthly and distributed in high traffic locations in Greenville and Pitt County.  Encourage the retail businesses you patronize to carry this popular magazine.  To access some archived columns, google "Calvin Mercer Facebook" or go to www.facebook.com/MercerCalvin.  My website is www.CalvinMercer.com.

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