Dennis Howard: Vote ‘no’ on 700

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— Can we please all stop abusing and overusing the phrases “affordable housing” and “attainable housing”? First of all, the definitions are way out of whack with what is really affordable for most people in this town. How many people do you know making $20 an hour on a year-round basis? How many young couples do you know who are making $80,000 a year or more? If you are, then consider yourself blessed, because if you look around town, a majority of the jobs are in the retail, restaurant and lodging sectors. Store clerks, housekeepers, front desk agents, maintenance people, waiters and waitresses, shuttle drivers, cooks and others who work in this town are not making $40,000 a year. A lot of these are unfortunately only seasonal jobs. These are the people on the front lines who give Steamboat Springs our great reputation for being a friendly town.

It was recently said that “Steamboat 700’s draft attainability program would require 30 percent of about 1,600 homes in the annexation to be marketed for one year to buyers or households earning between 120 percent and 200 percent of the area median income.” This translates to about $96,000 to $160,000 a year in income. By the way, this in no way guarantees that locals will buy these houses. These are houses on the open market. What does this mean? It means that second-home owners will be getting a great deal on houses for the next 20 years. These are homes in the half-million-dollar range. How many locals are going to be buying these homes? Steamboat 700 will possibly benefit a handful of people in the future, while burdening the rest of us with an increasingly overcrowded small town.

What is going to happen to the supply of houses over the next 20 to 30 years as the baby boomers pass away and leave their homes to their children? They will either be sold or put on the rental market, causing a glut in the real estate industry. Where will all the growth be then?

We can only hope there are enough people left in Steamboat Springs who care more about their town than about money. Money is not what makes Steamboat a great place. We have a treasured jewel of a valley with great people here. More, more, more does not make something better, it only dilutes it. Don’t be fooled by advertising, think about what makes Steamboat special. Vote “no” on Steamboat 700.

Dennis Howard

Steamboat Springs

Comments

greenwash 4 years, 1 month ago

You could always move to Hayden,OakCreek,Stagecoach,NRoutt all beautiful places.

This isnt all about affordability its about smart growth,new urbanism,our future.

Vote yes or move on.

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John Fielding 4 years, 1 month ago

Exactly what or who is a local?

Do you have to live here year round or can you spend a couple of months away each year like some folks I know who were born here and still work their ranches? Well sure.

How about the many who return year after year for their seasonal work, then live 6 months somewhere else for the work they do there? Maybe so.

Is a full time job a requirement, or can you have been on unemployment since 2008 or living on a pension or trust fund. Not sure.

What about owning property and paying taxes even if you spend only your vacation time here and let the kids and friends use your place when they can? Probably not.

The point is we are all locals except for those who make casual visits, staying in rented lodgings. The thing that makes this town great is that we are welcoming and accepting of all of the above. We always have been, and hopefully always will.

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1999 4 years, 1 month ago

it's decidedly NOT about our future...it's about selling real estate.

it's about a guy who overpaid for a parcel of land who NOW finds himself in deep doo doo and needs to have the parcel and develpoment annexed so he can sell it to someone else and still make some money.

THAT is what it is about.

smart growth doesn't have to happen 5000 houses at a time.

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1999 4 years, 1 month ago

how about approve 200 houses and lets see how that goes.

lets see how fast they sell.

or heres an idea. since Danny wants to claim all kinds of affordable housing perks....build the affordable housing 1st. see how fast those sell.

then if Danny is really interested in our community and growth he'll stick around to finish the project and get a return on his investment.

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1999 4 years, 1 month ago

or maybe build the school, grocery store, bike path etc etc first.

all that nifty 'promised land' stuff

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John Fielding 4 years, 1 month ago

The parcel of land known as 700 should be annexed regardless of who owns it or whether they will make much from it, as long as the plan they present is in substantial compliance with the requirements.

That is the dedicated purpose for this land as well as 360 and all within the urban growth limits. That is the only thing that will be considered at this point. It has been the intent to allow urban development ever since the water main for SB 2 was run through there, its in the easement agreement. How can we prohibit other development but not allow them to do what we asked them to do?

The pace of construction will be based on demand. If there is high demand won't that be a good thing for the many who will be employed there and the local economy in general? Even if there is low demand, the property taxes on annexed land must reflect their value, that could help the county and schools somewhat.

Investment in roads and utilities will begin almost immediately. It is reasonable to expect some early interest in the commercial property as well. This may be our best shot at working our way out of this economic stagnation.

It's not all about money, but if there was none on the table we would not even consider it. It seems to be about how much of that money has to be given to local demands over and above the actual costs of preparing land for construction. That is what keeps prices high.

Lets play by the rules we made. They gave us pretty much everything we asked for. To vote it down would show bad faith on our part.

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Bergie13 4 years, 1 month ago

So the argument of this article seems to be 'The affordable housing isn't affordable enough.' So shooting down the only viable plan for creating affordable housing on the table is going to fix that? All of the 'vote no' folks can talk about is 'we'll find another way'. Well how about you enlighten us on what that way is? All of the ways that have been explored before now haven't gotten us anywhere. And don't tell me infill because that way has been around the longest and its not exactly fixing our situation.

The fact of the matter is that injecting 2000 new homes over 20 years, regardless of their price point, into the Steamboat housing market will make EVERYTHING more affordable. That's just supply and demand.

And this statement defies logic: 'Steamboat 700 will possibly benefit a handful of people in the future, while burdening the rest of us with an increasingly overcrowded small town.' Uhh, so our increasingly overcrowded town should keep its city limits smaller? How does adding 500 acres to the town limits plus the retail and roads that we pretty much already need make our town MORE overcrowded? This is just another 'no growth is good growth' article with no real solutions and no real logic.

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housepoor 4 years, 1 month ago

Bergie13, The market is addressing affordable housing as we speak.......they are selling now cheaper than you could build them.........SB700 will not offer cheaper homes than are already on the market. The baby boomer wave of wanting a second home has dried up and that was the one of the major contributing factors in the increases in the past 5 years. The demand is just no longer there. I still am wondering what the definition they use for GROWTH? Population, jobs, units sold???

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TWill 4 years, 1 month ago

So Bergie, by making EVERYTHING more affordable by flooding the market with more inventory, your supply and demand suggestion means that EVERYTHING will continue to lose value. That’s “Good 4 Steamboat”? I don’t think so.

Do you really think that EVERYTHING declining in value is good for this community? Do you realize how, not so indirectly, our local and national economy is based on appreciating property values? I’ll be the first to say that appreciation rates like we saw from 2005-07 were out of control and the root of why we're where we are now. But without positive gain in most people's largest investment (their home), the stagnant economic trend we've had for the past two years will persist.

I don't think many people are claiming to "find another way" regarding affordable housing, but rather question the feasibility of AH in general. Without the jobs to support even the lowest possible unit price based on AMI standards, the affordable housing theory doesn't work. Considering how much SB700 has already invested in this project, (with millions more to be spent before the first foundation is dug) the thought that homes will be “affordable” is nothing short of delusional. Don’t let Danny and his cronies convince you otherwise. They’re the ones that are in over their head- not the community and they’ll do and say anything to save their a$$.

The story about the nurse, teacher, waiter, etc. being able to afford a home in SB700, that we so often hear about, is nothing more than propaganda. The fact of the matter is that those jobs simply do not pay enough to buy a single family home in the Yampa Valley- it doesn't matter if that home is "affordable" or not.

The "Yes" crowd should be promoting good jobs and real career opportunities before worrying about housing. You've got to crawl before you can walk.

Vote NO on SB700! !

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TWill 4 years, 1 month ago

So Bergie, by making EVERYTHING more affordable by flooding the market with more inventory, your supply and demand suggestion means that EVERYTHING will continue to lose value. That’s “Good 4 Steamboat”? I don’t think so.

Do you really think that EVERYTHING declining in value is good for this community? Do you realize how, not so indirectly, our local and national economy is based on appreciating property values? I’ll be the first to say that appreciation rates like we saw from 2005-07 were out of control and the root of why we're where we are now. But without positive gain in most people's largest investment (their home), the stagnant economic trend we've had for the past two years will persist.

I don't think many people are claiming to "find another way" regarding affordable housing, but rather question the feasibility of AH in general. Without the jobs to support even the lowest possible unit price based on AMI standards, the affordable housing theory doesn't work. Considering how much SB700 has already invested in this project, (with millions more to be spent before the first foundation is dug) the thought that homes will be “affordable” is nothing short of delusional. Don’t let Danny and his cronies convince you otherwise. They’re the ones that are in over their heads- not the community and they’ll do and say anything to save their a$$.

The story about the nurse, teacher, waiter, etc. being able to afford a home in SB700, that we so often hear about, is nothing more than propaganda. The fact of the matter is that those jobs simply do not pay enough to buy a single family home in the Yampa Valley- it doesn't matter if that home is "affordable" or not.

The "Yes" crowd should be promoting good jobs and real career opportunities before worrying about housing. You've got to crawl before you can walk.

Vote NO on SB700!

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Bergie13 4 years, 1 month ago

@TWill: I never said decline. I think the increase in property values with 700 will be at a lower rate, keeping pace with increases in wages and therefore making a better market for everyone. But if you restrict the city boundaries you are going to restrict supply right? How can we ever get affordable if we don't expand the city limits? It sounds to me like you've given up on affordable housing. I'm sorry but I'm not ready to do that.

@housepoor: yes, the market is addressing it now. But how long with this last? Is your plan just to wait for the Great Recession every 5 years so you can buy a house? The greatest housing collapse in history is not a plan to make housing more affordable. And don't you think the Echo Boom or Millennials (the boomers kids) want to buy houses too? You really believe the demand for housing will decline over the next 20 years? It's just not rational.

One thing that bothers me about the growth haters is that they seem to think that Danny and his boys forced the whole proposition on us. The area plan developed by the members of this community said we want smart growth, and we want it on the west side. Did 700 force us into that decision? I dont remember those guys being around back then. Are they evil because the community said 'we want the growth here' and they said 'ok we'll buy the land and develop it'. What am I missing?

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 1 month ago

Bergie, "Growth haters" just doesn't work. And what you are missing may be a critical read of the annexation agreement. There are a dozen areas on which one could base a yes or no vote.

"Growth should pay its way" is hardly the reasoning of the fringe. Nor is "This is exactly what we asked for". The devil, for better or worse, is in the agreement's details.

I appreciate the tone in this blog is vastly better than a year ago. Just a few more days... and either way, we will move forward and make the best from this decision.

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housepoor 4 years, 1 month ago

Bergie, I hope the decline doesn’t last much longer but it’s certainly not over yet. But when we do hit bottom I don’t expect the real estate market to recover anytime soon, no V shaped recovery, especially in a market where there is no fundamental demand(i.e. jobs, population). The core belief that you can’t go wrong in real estate is dead. You said this was “The greatest housing collapse in history” , you’re right and it will have an influence generations. At this point if I were looking at buying a home, I would concentrate on making more money, the housing will be there. I am not anti-growth, I would like nothing more to see demand return to even 2002 levels but I don’t see that happening.

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jaded 4 years, 1 month ago

Bergie There are alot of people out there who agree with you. Hopefully they are allowed to vote and are doing it. The anti 700 movement contradicts itself in so many ways. We don't want more houses because it will lower property values but we want more houses that are affordable. What?!?! We want the developers to have more AH and give us more $ but having the developers put up more $ won't allow for the AH we want because they want to make $ too. Again, what?!?!?! It's kind of like their campaign signs: more boat + no 700 (circle slash) just doesn't add up.

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kjmbff 4 years, 1 month ago

i am wounder if any of the no voters on steamboat 700 have looked at the citys in colorao that have tryed the no growth way of livng i.e. the republic of boulder, the price of real estate went though the roof, the surrounding areas boomed, and yes there sales tax and property tax also boomed, and bussines in the republic struglged, and so did the local people.

So remember when you yote to look at the bigger picture, is your son or daughter, trying to live and work in steamboat? If your picture is not that big, wonder what your world wold be, if we had vote don wether not fair view shoud have been a part of steamboat back in the day, every one knows who i am referring to, I think the founding father running the city then where put there to do there job, want to change things? run for city counsel, don't use the back door for change.

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kjmbff 4 years, 1 month ago

windle

why would you let you son run up that much det ??????????????????

live with in your means ,pryer planning pervents piss pour performance or product you pick

my son has no collage to pay of work work work work both of us

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flyguyrye 4 years, 1 month ago

Painting the picture that the "no voters" are anti growth is not accurate. I liked the idea of expansion in to west Steamboat. I voted no. I did a bit of research before my vote looking at all sides of the issue. My biggest concern is attainable housing. I live and work full time in the resort industry and want to buy a condo in the next few years once I have saved enough. As an employee in the life blood of our little mountain town that is extremely difficult as a single guy. I have an education I am doing what I love and love what I do and working my way up in a local company. The idea that you would need to be %120 to %200 AMI is not attainable for someone in my situation. Based on the 2000 census that would be anywhere from $62,000 to over $100,000. From trying to find more current figures the numbers only get higher. Average income for someone in my position is $35,000. As I continue up I may cap over $50,000. So I learned as a single guy I am SOL on Affordable housing as it stands right now. Sure I could work three jobs{which I have two already} and scrap to get by and get an affordable home but why would someone want to work 80+ hours a week to live here but then not get to enjoy the reason why you live here? Yeah the view is nice but I also like making turns and tossing flies into the Yampa. A stay-cation during mud season is not that much fun. So that leads me to which is harder to find in Steamboat.......Affordable housing or a wonderful woman to share it with?

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brian ferguson 4 years, 1 month ago

In todays paper, an ad for sbt 700 said its good for workers.....what is a worker.....at what pay scale does an EMPLOYEE of a local buisness become a worker....are realtors workers,there at work,working. Are teachers workers? Who exactly is a worker?

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jaded 4 years, 1 month ago

So flyguy... what do you propose instead? This is the same structure for AH currently within city limits - I'm just taking qualifications here. You choose to close the door on everyone else just because it doesn't fit for you. You have the right and obligation to vote however you want, but that is a pretty selfish reason to vote no. Why help others if it won't help me?

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flyguyrye 4 years, 1 month ago

Exactly Jaded As a resident of Steamboat, CO USA I am entitled to My Vote for My reason. Welcome to democracy. Once the city comes up with a better plan for AH I will be glad to here it out but for know they are forcing people to either rent or buy property out of town and commute. AH and SB700 should be encouraging more people to live here in town and for an individual in my situation {and there are a few of us resort employees here} it is not attainable so I voted against it. I also voted against it due to there is no guarantee of the AH in the first place and the economy has changed dramatically since this plan was drawn up. I think Danny has a great opportunity to take the concerns that have been beaten in this debate and come up with a better plan more palatable to all residents. We will see what the results bring and I stand by my vote

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jaded 4 years, 1 month ago

As I said as well, you can and should vote your opinion. Don't pull the CO USA My Vote thing on me, that's just rude. But it seems that your gripe is with the AH policy as a whole, not with 700. You voted no because it didn't help you personally, without any regard to the other people it might help. Seems to me that you need to become more involved in how AH policy is made.

Such a shame you can't/won't see the upside for others. This plan doesn't fit your situation and doesn't help you, but not having 700 does nothing to help you or anyone else. Just helps to raise property values in town, (which the current home owners like) but won't get you or anyone else into an "affordable house" anytime soon.

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TWill 4 years, 1 month ago

Good for you, flyguy! You used common sense and big picture perspective with your vote. Many people in your situation could easily be convinced to "drink the kool-aid" that AH and SB700 has been serving about solving all the housing woes of our “workers” (good question bakrodr- I've wondered about that many times before).

You have seen through all the propaganda thrown at you recently and realize the shortcomings of AH and SB700. Hopefully, you have a lot of voting friends that are as insightful as you are.

The nicer we keep this valley for the tourists that visit our world-class resort, means the more tourists (and the $$$ they bring) that will keep coming back to this wonderful place. Which will then provide more opportunity for you, and those like you, to save and EARN your way into homeownership. Keep up the hard work- it will pay off!

Instead of falling victim to the sense of entitlement that is so prevalent around here and waiting for a hand-out that most likely will never happen anyway, you put things into perspective and made the right choice.

Enjoy the turns, the trout and all the other reasons you live here!

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flyguyrye 4 years, 1 month ago

No mean to be rude but you are not seeing the point. I feel a part of the lifeblood of Steamboat's economy, the ski resort. If the employees in the resort industry cant afford to "settle down" it will be harder and harder to find that Genuine attitude that keeps people coming back. We will become souly based on imported seasonal employees.They can be fantastic but they are not the people to communicate the heart of this community.

More and More of the people I work with are buying out of town and commuting in. That prevents them from becoming a bigger part of the community.

Furthermore what went into the decision was not only my own situation and opinion of AH. Based on the 2000 census the average income of any single man in the boat could not qualify neither the average income of a couple. and again

I also voted against it due to there is no guarantee of the AH in the first place and the economy has changed dramatically since this plan was drawn up. I think Danny and the City have a great opportunity to take the concerns that have been beaten in this debate and come up with a better plan more palatable to all residents.

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jk 4 years, 1 month ago

jaded, "Don't pull the CO USA My Vote thing on me, that's just rude." Did you really type this? Give me a break please!!

I am curious as to who you think will be moving into these affordable/attainable homes? As flyguy has said it's not the local workforce that will be able to afford them. Who is going to supply the jobs in the $70,000 range that will keep our children in town to afford these homes??? Not to mention do you really think Danny is going to build a bunch of homes there is no market for??

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cindy constantine 4 years, 1 month ago

Remember, Danny's original plan was ONLY getting the project annexed. After approval the "plan " was to sell off up to 7 pods to other builder/developers. We don't know anything about these other potential buyers who may have to take a pass on the project considering the economy. Who is giving land loans these days to builders in resort towns? After the vote results on Tuesday perhaps a new/updated prospectus will be available to the investors and public.

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1999 4 years, 1 month ago

no vote does not mean no growth.

so quit with that silly line.

no voters are not no growth.

hey Danny...more lies coming from you????

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AGM 4 years, 1 month ago

Bergie,

Good for you attempt to discuss something constructive. You asked/wrote:

"So the argument of this article seems to be 'The affordable housing isn't affordable enough.' So shooting down the only viable plan for creating affordable housing on the table is going to fix that? All of the 'vote no' folks can talk about is 'we'll find another way'. Well how about you enlighten us on what that way is? All of the ways that have been explored before now haven't gotten us anywhere. And don't tell me infill because that way has been around the longest and its not exactly fixing our situation."

Bergie, you haven't received one constructive response. You've been torn down, ripped up, but not once during this ENTIRE campaign has anyone in the "vote no" group bothered to get to the heart of your questions. Instead they continue to instill fear in the hearts of voters (my favorite ad was the wolf-type animal allegedly eating a steamboat patriot). But, of course they won't admit to fear-based advertising.

The vast majority of those voting no have not produced anything constructive as to better ideas during this entire 2 year process - they've simply come out from under their rocks over the past few months and bad-mouthed anything and everything they can attack. It has simply been disgusting.

Yes, I know Steve Lewis will write that he has attended this and that and been engaged since the beginning - and you have (I'm not talking about you here, so breathe easy).

The vast majority of the rest of you have done nothing constructive, just simply been obstructionists. I'll happily call out Cindy Constatine because I specifically asked her earlier if she'd find any scenario in an annexation acceptable. Her answer - absolutely not. Disgusting and selfish.

VOTE YES on annexing some land into our city - where we haven't had one acre of land annexed under the WSSAP even though it was drafted by our community over 16 years ago.

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jk 4 years, 1 month ago

AGM, No one has answered my questions either. Why is it that, when the vote no crowd raises sensible questions regarding the annexation, our questions/concerns are labeled as spreading fear?? I am sure if I was to continually wear my Rose Colored Glasses this would seem like a wonderful oppurtunity to me also. However when you look at this realistically it just doesn't add up. Especially for those people it is supposed to be benefiting!

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cindy constantine 4 years, 1 month ago

AGM .....sigh..... Once again you are getting the eye-roll. PLEASE dont misquote me. I said I was not for an annexation of THIS SIZE without a diverse economy. Go back and look at our interchange on 1/31. I am like so many of the people who voted no--I would be comfortable with a PHASED annexation so we could have an opportunity to make adjustments to the plan before the next "pod" is annexed. Haven't you found it interesting how silent the downtown business owners have been regarding this annexation? Why would they support a project that proposes more commercial square footage than ALL the commercial square footage in downtown? Development is what put my kids thru college and is what will support me in my senior years--I am the furthest thing from a no-growther you can get!! The fact that council did not table the annexation request for a least a year in light of the economy and the election of a new council is the # one reason I heard from residents why they were glad of a vote and planned to vote no. I really cannot name one no-growther in my circle of friends and neighbors. With supporters of your ilk, Danny does not need opponents. You are doing a fine job of encouraging voters to just say NO.

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AGM 4 years, 1 month ago

jk,

Thank you so much for so clearly making my point. How many hours of public meetings have been held over the past two years about SB700? How many times did you bother to go to 10 minutes of those meetings and ask your questions?

But now....after an agreement has been made and agreed to by our elected political officials, so many that didn't spend one second as part of a very open process become vocal.

I have no problem with someone having a differing opinion based on the facts.

I have a big problem with a lack of morals, obstructionists and fear-based preying - especially when a very fair and open process existed for two years and those most active today spreading such untruths didn't bother to even be part of the process originally. That's disgusting.

I keep hearing the message of...."there's a better plan out there." Well, what is it????? Problem is that those spreading this message is that they don't have a better plan - they'll just say anything to not allow a well thought out plan come to fruition. They have nothing constructive to add - nothing.

And yes, using a wolf biting a patriot in an ad is fear - please recognize that.

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Clearsky 4 years, 1 month ago

Angry people have angry opinions! ERRRRR!! I don't want to pay for a developer's profit by paying for the necessary infrastructure. Steamboat needs to develop what it has properly before going out and doing more. Sorry man, take care of what we have first.

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