Newsletter

Morning Notes

FCPS Schedules Virtual Town Halls on Masks — Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand reaffirmed the system’s plans to continue requiring face masks in a message to the community on Friday (Jan. 21). FCPS will hold a virtual town hall on the subject in English at 7 p.m. today (Monday), followed by a Spanish town hall tomorrow. Both events will stream live on Facebook. [FCPS]

Abduction Reported in Merrifield — “2900 block of Caribbean Court, 1/18/22, 7:51 p.m. A man approached the victim, displayed a firearm, and demanded to be driven to a residence in D.C. After dropping the man off, the victim reported the incident to police. No injuries were reported.” [FCPD]

Route 7 Widening Still on Track — The $313.9 million project to widen seven miles of Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive remains on schedule to finish in July 2024, despite supply and labor challenges. Light traffic in 2021 enabled the project team to extend lane closures, the Virginia Department of Transportation says. [Reston Now]

Wren Stands Out Among Tysons Dining Spots — The Washington Post’s food critic calls Tysons “one of the least interesting places to find yourself for a meal,” but Wren is an exception. The Japanese restaurant-bar, which opened in The Watermark Hotel in September, earns praise for its artfully crafted food and interest in providing a personal experience for both guests and staff. [The Washington Post]

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Musician David Ryan Harris performs at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, Los Angeles, in 2017 (via Justin Higuchi/Flickr)

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday, Nov. 9

  • On Deck with Mercury — 6-7 p.m. at Great Harvest Bread Co. (136 Church St. NW) in Vienna — For his monthly public forum, Town Manager Mercury Payton will be joined by other Vienna officials to talk about upcoming holiday events and how participating can help the town.
  • David Ryan Harris with Justin Kawika Young — 7:30 p.m. at Jammin Java (227 Maple Ave. East) in Vienna — Accomplished guitarists share easy listening vibes. With Young’s multilingual singing and Harris’ performing ties to John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, and others, the show should delight listeners’ ears. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $15, plus fees, for general admission.

Wednesday, Nov. 10

  • Parking Reimagined (Online) — 7-8:30 p.m. — Weigh in on the future of off-street parking in Fairfax County at this virtual town hall hosted by the Hunter Mill District Office, one of four scheduled town halls with additional dates planned. Community feedback will inform updates to parking rules in the county zoning ordinance.

Thursday, Nov. 11

  • John Lloyd Young’s Broadway! — 8 p.m. at The Barns (1635 Trap Road) — Originally scheduled to perform at Wolf Trap a year ago, the Tony and Grammy Award winner brings together songs from several shows, including “Chicago,” “Dreamgirls,” and “Jersey Boys.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $37, plus fees.

Friday, Nov. 12

  • Tea Okropiridze — 6-9 p.m. at McLean Textile Gallery (6819 Elm St.) — The art gallery holds an open house and reception to celebrate its new exhibit featuring the work of a Northern Virginia artist Tea Okropiridze, who specializes in tapestry, fiber art, and more. The exhibit opens Tuesday and runs through Dec. 7.
  • The Blessing Tour — 7 p.m. at Capital One Hall (7750 Capital One Tower Road) — Grammy-nominated singer Kari Jobe and special guest Cody Carnes, both Christian musicians, bring “a full worship experience” to Tysons. Tickets start at $25.

Saturday, Nov. 13

  • The Boro’s Gambit — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sandlot Tysons (behind The Boro at 1640 Boro Place) — Watch Grandmaster Rashad Babaev, who lives at The Boro, play 30 games of chess at once. Proceeds benefit United Charities for Azerbaijan. Cost is $20 plus fees to compete. Free for spectators.
  • 4th Annual Veterans Day Salute — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Falls Church Distillers (442 S Washington St. Suite A) — After going online last year, the distillery’s block party is back in person with live music, alcohol tastings, food, and more. Tickets for food and alcohol are $5 each, and donations are encouraged to support partners Northern Virginia Veterans Association (NoVA Vets) and George Mason University’s Veteran Initiatives.

Sunday, Nov. 14

  • McLean Antiques Show & Sales — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — The final day of a weekend event features a variety of antique dealers. Proceeds benefit the high school arts-focused James C. Macdonald Scholarship Fund. Cost is $10 with a discount available. Free for children age 17 and younger.

Photo via Justin Higuchi/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Woman Dies After Seven Corners Crash — Alexandria resident Maria Pascoe died on Oct. 15 from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash that occurred in Seven Corners at 9:27 a.m. on Sept. 29. Fairfax County has seen 14 non-pedestrian deaths from traffic incidents so far this year, compared to 10 over the same time period in 2020. [FCPD]

How to Celebrate Diwali Safely — The Fairfax County Health Department encourages people who celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, by gathering virtually, with members of their household, or outdoors. While festivities last for five days, Diwali itself takes place today (Thursday), with participants performing a Lakshmi Puja ritual to bring good health and fortune in the new year. [FCHD]

Spring Hill Apartment Building Sold — “Greystar sold the 404-unit Ascent apartment building in McLean for $150.5 million in a transaction that closed Oct. 1, according to Fairfax County records. An affiliate of Brookfield Properties was the buyer…Brookfield has begun marketing the property by its address, 8421 Broad, with rents that start at $1,900 a month.” [Washington Business Journal]

County to Hold Town Halls on Parking Changes — Fairfax County will hold four virtual town hall meetings starting on Monday (Nov. 8) to discuss its “Parking Reimagined” initiative, the first full review of the county’s rates and regulations for off-street parking in more than 30 years. The review will include an “extensive analysis” of parking supply and demand as well as local, regional, and even national trends. [Fairfax County Government]

Vienna Police Awarded for Saving Life — “About this time last year, George Hunt went into cardiac arrest and collapsed on Maple Ave. following a traffic accident, and these Vienna Police officers immediately provided CPR. With gratitude for their life-saving actions, Mr. Hunt presented certificates of appreciation to officers Kenny Smith and Chip McElhattan at last night’s Vienna Town Council meeting. Because of them, he says he was able to celebrate his 60th birthday.” [Town of Vienna/Facebook]

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Morning Notes

Two People Displaced by Vienna Townhouse Fire — A townhouse fire in Vienna that closed part of Church Street for about two hours on Wednesday (June 9) displaced two people and resulted in about $148,750 in damages. Investigators say the fire was accidental, started in a wall between a bedroom closet and second-floor bathroom by an “open flame device (torch) that ignited nearby combustibles.” [FCFRD]

Police Hold Town Hall on Vehicle Pursuit Policy — Community members raised concerns about drunk driving and car thefts at a town hall that the Fairfax County Police Department held yesterday (Thursday) to discuss proposed revisions to its policy for vehicle pursuits. Among other changes, the new policy eliminates traffic violations, misdemeanors, and non-violent felonies as situations that can justify a pursuit. [WTOP]

School Bus Crashes in Annandale — A school bus and car collided at the intersection of Gallows Road and Surrey Lane in Annandale yesterday afternoon. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said “several” kids on the bus were transported to hospital “as a pre-caution for a check-up” and the car driver was transported with non-life-threatening injuries. [FCFRD/Twitter]

Classroom Modular Coming to Kilmer MS — Kilmer Middle School will get 10 new classroom spaces with the construction on a modular facility that will also have a staff workroom and restrooms. The Fairfax County School Board is scheduled to award a contract for the project on June 17 with on-site work expected to begin in July and finish by the end of this calendar year. [Hunter Mill District School Board Community Update]

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (June 8)

  • Democratic Primary Election — 6 a.m.-7 p.m. — The Virginia Democratic Primary for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General will be held on June 8th. Check your polling location. Voters must be registered to vote and can present a valid photo ID. View a sample ballot ahead of time. More information can be found on the Virginia Department of Elections.
  • On Deck with Mercury — 6-8 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Vienna (450 Orchard St. NE) — For his monthly community forum, Vienna Town Manager Mercury Payton will discuss upcoming events for Liberty Amendments Month with guests. The talk will be filmed and aired later on the town’s YouTube channel, but members of the public are also invited to come and watch.
  • Duck Harbor (Online) — 8 p.m. — A heartwarming web series about a bi-coastal love story written by E.M. Lewis and Bob Bartlett, this online, live theatrical performance from 1st Stage will air for free every Tuesday at 8 p.m. for 12 weeks. All aired episodes and bonus content will also be available through Duck Harbor ALL ACCESS for $15.

Wednesday (June 9)

  • Fish Suncatcher Crafternoon (Online) — 3-3:30 p.m. — Pick up a Grab and Go Craft kit from the Mary Riley Styles Public Library in Falls Church, and join Ms. Meredith on the library’s Facebook page for an afternoon of stories and songs about fish while learning how to make a suncatcher. Kits are currently available via curbside pickup, and the instructions video will remain online after the event.
  • COVID-19 Remembrance Ceremony — 6 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center ellipse (12000 Government Center Pkwy) — The Northern Virginia Regional Commission is holding a ceremony to honor and remember the more than 2,350 residents of the region who have died from COVID-19. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay, Fairfax Health District Director Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, Fire and Rescue Chief John Butler, and Police Chief Kevin Davis will speak.

Thursday (June 10)

Friday (June 11)

  • American Red Cross Blood Drive — 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — MCC is hosting a blood drive for the American Red Cross. All donors will receive a Red Cross T-shirt and a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Make an appointment online or call 1-800-733-2767. For more information, contact Melanie Hurley at [email protected] or Meosha Hudson at 410-375-5190 or [email protected].
  • Wolf Trap Salon Series (Online) — 7 p.m. — A series of online opera recitals curated by the artists in the show. The virtual performance gives “an intimate look into artistry…providing a unique glimpse into how they interpret art, songs and the world around them.”

Saturday (June 12)

  • UFC 263 Social Mixer — 7 p.m.-12:30 a.m. at Highgate at the Mile (7915 Jones Branch Dr., Apt. 206)UFC DMV, a local group of UFC and martial arts fans in the D.C. area, invites fellow enthusiasts to meet new people, eat, and drink while watching Saturday’s title fights. Admission is $10, and food will be provided, but attendees should bring their own drinks.

Sunday (June 13)

Photo via Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church/Facebook

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Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn hosted a town hall on Tuesday (April 20) to talk about public places in Fairfax County named after Confederates.

The discussion was based on the Fairfax County History Commission’s 539-page inventory, which was first released in December and details the history and context of each place named after a prominent Confederate figure.

The project traces its roots to last summer, when the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors directed the commission to study the legal and financial implications of possible name changes throughout the county.

The commission determined that, out of about 26,500 total named places in the county, approximately 157 streets, parks, monuments, subdivisions, and public places in Fairfax County bear names with ties to the Confederacy.

“This research confirmed…that Fairfax County was a crossroads of war,” Fairfax County History Commissioner Barbara Naef said. “Combatants of both Union and Confederates flourished, camped, marched, clashed, and suffered both victory and defeat here.”

In addition to cataloging sites, the report provides appropriate context, history, and narrative for possible name change discussions, including a dive into “Lost Cause” ideology, its pervasiveness in Fairfax County, and how it influenced the naming of places.

The Lost Cause ideology encompasses myths used to rationalize Confederacy sympathy, mainly that the Civil War was not fought over slavery, the pre-war Southern way of life is to be celebrated, and that prominent figures like Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee didn’t believe in slavery.

“There was an urging by some to exclude it from the report altogether or soften its tone,” Naef said. “These reactions prove the point. The perspective of the Lost Cause has been embraced by generations.”

In its report, the History Commission recommended making the inventory available to the public via the Fairfax County Public Library, which is currently the case, and using the report as a guide for “a robust public process for considering future actions.”

The Hunter Mill District town hall is one of the first steps in that process, members of the commission at the meeting noted.

Within the Hunter Mill District, there are believed to be four places named after Confederates: Fort Lee Street, Lee Manor, the Mosby’s Landing condominium complex, and Wade Hampton Drive.

Fort Lee Street in Herndon and Lee Manor along Lee Highway near Vienna both derive their names from Robert E. Lee.

Fort Lee Street was named in the mid-1970s when Fox Mill Inc. developed the Folkstone subdivision, while Lee Manor is directly tied to Lee Highway, which is in the process of being renamed.

The Virginia General Assembly passed a bill in February, allowing Arlington to rename their portion of Lee Highway.

Mosby’s Landing in Vienna takes its name from John Mosby, a Confederate commander who was also known as the “Gray Ghost.” The condo complex was built on the site where legend says that Mosby and his horse hid out from Union soldiers.

Vienna’s Wade Hampton Drive is named after a Confederate lieutenant general who reportedly led a unit of 600 men and horses down the road in 1865. After the war, Hampton criticized Reconstruction and worked to suppress the vote among South Carolina’s Black population when he became governor of the state.

According to the history commission, the Town of Vienna named the street after Hampton in recognition of the Civil War’s 100th anniversary. The town is currently in the process of having the road’s name changed.

“The town has appointed an ad hoc group to look at this street name and consider alternatives,” Fairfax County History Commissioner Anne Stuntz said.

While the Commission’s charge was to examine places named after Confederates, several residents suggested that places named after individuals involved in the “Mass Resistance” movement opposing school integration should also be re-examined.

Examples include former Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent W.T. Woodson, who opposed desegregation and still has a high school bearing his name, though schools were overall not included in the history commission’s inventory.

Commenters also mentioned Carter Glass, a state senator who developed laws intended to prevent Black people from voting, including Virginia’s poll tax.

For years, the library at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston was named after Glass. Today, that building is now the Reston Museum.

Photo via Fairfax County/YouTube

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Morning Notes

J.R. Stockyards Inn for Sale — The 1.18-acre property that currently houses one of the oldest restaurants in Tysons hit the market in early March, with a new owner expected to be chosen by the end of April. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a redevelopment of the site in October that would replace the Stockyards with a 26-story mixed-use building. [Washington Business Journal]

Connolly Urges Congress to Follow Virginia’s Lead in Legalizing Weed — “Another big progressive win here in Virginia,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) said after the Virginia General Assembly voted yesterday to legalize marijuana starting July 1. “I hope my colleagues in the House and Senate will join me in supporting the MORE Act to legalize marijuana nationwide.”[Gerry Connolly/Twitter]

Falls Church Schedules Town Hall on Gateway Development — Falls Church City staff and the developer of the West Falls Church project will present updates and answer questions on April 14 at noon. The city will also hold a town hall meeting on April 15 to discuss its proposed FY 2022 budget and new capital improvements program. [City of Falls Church]

Clemyjontri Carousel and Train Among Facilities Reopening This Spring — Fairfax County Park Authority facilities have started to reopen for the spring, with hours expected to expand further into the summer. Visitors are encouraged to buy tickets in advance, because amusements will operate at reduced capacity, though drop-in tickets will be available on-site if they do not sell out online. [FCPA]

Proof of Job Searches Will Soon Be Required for Unemployment Benefits Again — “The Virginia Employment Commission says it will start notifying unemployment benefit recipients of the return of job-search requirements starting in May. To qualify, or continue to qualify, for unemployment benefits in Virginia, those filing claims must provide evidence…of at least two job applications each week for VEC review.” [WTOP]

Photo by Joanne Liebig

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Morning Notes

Virginia Extends Tax Deadline — Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Friday (March 19) that the state taxation department will extend deadline for filing and paying individual income taxes from May 1 to May 17. The move came shortly after the IRS and Treasury Department pushed the deadline for federal income tax filings and payments from April 15 to May 17. [Virginia Governor’s Office]

Bicycling Still Hazardous in Tysons, Study Finds — A market study commissioned by the Tysons Partnership found a lack of the protected bicycle lanes and connections between neighborhoods and streets needed to make the area friendlier to cyclists. Nearly 10 miles of road in Tysons rank in the Fairfax County Department of Transportation’s most dangerous category, compared to just two miles receiving the highest bikeability rating. [Greater Greater Washington]

Vienna Police Arrest Man Suspected of Burglary — The Vienna Police Department arrested a 58-year-old man on March 15 after receiving calls about a man “pulling on doors, possibly trying to enter businesses in the area” and later entering a resident’s home while they were sleeping. Police are looking for assistance in identifying jewelry and other property that the man allegedly stole. [Vienna Police Department]

CDC Updates Social Distancing Guidance for Schools to Three Feet — “Fairfax Superintendent Scott Brabrand said Friday in a message to parents that the new guidance was “very encouraging,” but under review. He said he will meet with principals and county health officials next week to work on the issue.” [The Washington Post]

Dranesville District Budget Town Hall Tonight — Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust is holding a virtual town hall at 7 p.m. to discuss Fairfax County’s proposed fiscal year 2022 budget. The meeting will be televised on Channel 16, streamed online, and streamed live on Foust’s Facebook page. [Supervisor John Foust/Facebook]

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The Providence District Council will co-host a town hall for community members to learn about and discuss Fairfax County’s advertised Fiscal Year 2022 budget on Monday (Mar. 8).

Scheduled to run from 7-9 p.m., the budget town hall will feature:

  • Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik
  • School Board Providence District Representative Karl Frisch
  • Fairfax County Chief Financial Officer Joe Mondoro
  • Fairfax County Public Schools Department of Financial Services Assistant Superintendent Leigh Burden
  • Providence District Council Jeff Agnew

The meeting will be streamed live online and on TV through Fairfax County’s Cable Channel 16. It will also be live-streamed on Palchik’s Facebook page.

Community members can email questions in advance to [email protected], or submit queries during the event by using the Facebook Live chat or calling a phone number that will be provided the day of the town hall.

Fairfax County will hold town halls throughout March to get public input on the county government and FCPS budgets for the next fiscal year, which starts on July 1.

The McLean Citizens Association already hosted a budget meeting on Monday (Mar. 1), but the Dranesville District will also get a live-streamed town hall at 7 p.m. on Mar. 22. For Vienna residents, the Hunter Mill District town hall will take place on WebEx and YouTube from 7-9 p.m. on Mar. 29.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will also hold public hearings on the advertised budget on Apr. 13-15 before marking it up on Apr. 27 and adopting a budget on May 4.

The Fairfax County School Board, which approved an advertised budget for the public school system on Feb. 18, will hold public hearings on May 11 and, if needed, May 12 after the county’s budget is adopted.

Released on Feb. 23, County Executive Bryan Hill’s advertised budget proposes a one-cent decrease in the county’s real estate tax rate but largely holds back on new spending. The Board of Supervisors will determine an advertised tax rate, which can be equal to or lower than the final adopted one, on Tuesday (Mar. 9).

Palchik says the drastic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all aspects of life, including public health, education, mental health, equity, and the economy, makes it especially important for the public to share its thoughts during the budget process this year.

“In the Providence District, where we have an almost equal split between residential and commercial real estate, we saw a decrease in the commercial assessments with the increases in residential rates,” Palchik said. “Your voice is critical in helping us fully understand the needs of our entire community before the budget is finalized.”

Photo via Google Maps

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Mar. 1)

  • Unruly Theatre Project Auditions (Online) — 7-9 p.m. — (the) Unruly Theatre Project, a professional teen improv company run by The Alden, is holding its first-ever winter auditions for new company members. The pool of eligibility has been expanded this year to include kids in eighth through 11th grade. Open auditions will be held today and on Wednesday (Mar. 3) with callbacks scheduled to take place on Thursday (Mar. 4). Register for an audition date through the McLean Community Center.

Tuesday (Mar. 2)

Thursday (Mar. 4)

  • Bruce Holsinger: The Gifted School (Online) — 7 p.m. — The Mary Riley Styles Public Library in Falls Church is hosting a Zoom discussion with author Bruce Holsinger about his novel “The Gifted School,” which NPR named as one of its best books of 2019. Email Pete Sullivan at [email protected] for a link to the chat.
  • Islam: The Religion and Spiritual Traditions (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — In the first part of its “Great Discussions” series about religions, Fairfax County Public Library will hold a discussion with academic and former McLean Islamic Center board member Osama Eisa, who will provide an overview of Islam. Register in advance to receive an invitation to the event.

Friday (Mar. 5)

  • Meet the Mayor — 9-10:30 a.m. at Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry St. SE) — Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert will hold her monthly office hours. She’s available for a simple “hello” or for questions and concerns. Check back on the Town of Vienna website and Mayor Colbert’s Facebook for the time and place of this meet-up.
  • Jammin Java Show: Christian Lopez — 6 p.m. & 9 p.m. at Jammin Java (227 Maple Ave. E) — Jammin Java is hosting folk rock/Americana musician Christian Lopez and his band. Lopez is releasing a new album titled “The Other Side” this spring. The concert will be held inside, but with very strict social distance guidelines. Tickets are $25, and there is a two-item purchase minimum per table.
  • Passport to the World: Jake Blount (Online) — 7:30 p.m. — Creative Cauldron’s 2021 “Passport to the World” series continues this week with a performance by banjoist, fiddler, and singer Jake Blount, who is part of the folk duo Tui. He will be followed on Saturday (Mar. 6) by singer Susan Derry, who will perform with pianist Howard Breitbart. All shows start live-streaming at 7:30 p.m. and cost $15. The recorded concerts are available to rent afterwards.

Sunday (Mar. 7)

  • The Fast and the Flavorful — 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Rd.) — Tysons Corner has teamed up with the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce and Capital Auto Club for a car show accompanied by a food tasting. Located in Garage E, the car show has free admission, while tickets for the food tastings will cost $1 each. The Tysons Chamber of Commerce, which will be selling the tickets by La Sandia, says the event will feature 15 to 20 restaurants.
  • Capital Harmonia’s 6th Annual Women’s Choral Festival (Online) — 4 p.m. — The Capital Harmonia women’s choral group is hosting its sixth annual Women’s Choral Festival. The festival honors Women’s History Month, which begins Mar. 1, and features work exclusively by women composers. There will also be interviews with two female composers and a conversation with House of Ruth Director of Development Elizabeth Kiker. The event is free and can be watched on Youtube or Facebook Live.

Image via City of Falls Church

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