In Search of Certainty Regarding the Aquarius Architectural Structure

In Search of Certainty Regarding the Aquarius Architectural Structure

 

Hollywood, June 30, 2021

 

I was very impressed with the note of June 28, 2021 from the Board. It shows concern for the adoption of immediate measures to make sure Aquarius is not subject to the tragedy of the Champlain South Tower in Surfside.

My enthusiasm suffered a rude awakening when I read the third paragraph. It mentioned that our “Engineer of Record” would participate in meetings for an evaluation of the structural integrity of Aquarius. From now on this company will be referred as “The Firm.”

The City of Hollywood has finalized the inspection of Aquarius and accepted the project of the 40-year recertification. This represents a closure of this project and the relief of the Firm in charge of technical aspects as well as project management responsibility. It is a natural conclusion that Aquarius and the technical engineering firm have ended their relationship. But it seems that this disastrous partnership continues.

When we review the assistance provided by this firm several points deserve to be taken into consideration:

  1. The budgetary proposal/estimate for the 40-year recertification done by the Firm was 10 million dollars. This budgetary specification was prepared from May 2016 until the end of the year. Late October the Aquarius Association was surprised with the need to hire an Architectural firm to complement the budgetary document. The Board and the Management scrambled to search for such support. The firm assured the Board that the project would not exceed this term because it was very conservative and reflected their long experience with projects like this. The final cost was in excess of 15 million. To this we have to add their pro labore of 8% and the recent work done in the West Deck and Garage.

 

  1. The project as proposed by the builder (Structural) was for the completion of the work on both towers in 80 weeks. Included here were 50 weeks for the East Deck. As we all know, even considering that there were no changes in the initial scope, 80 weeks became more like 150 weeks of dust, noise, and inconvenience for all Aquarius Residents. So, the lack of project management skills becomes evident, to say the least. Considering that the firm was in charge of project management it is evident the great amount of responsibility of the firm for this long delay.

 

  1. The West Deck and Garage that had been the subject of recuperation in 2016 was given as certifiable by the firm. Several inquires from the Board to the firm were always answered that the West Deck and Garage were fully certifiable. The leaks, the spalling of some areas were considered minor issues deserving no attention and it would not delay the 40 year recertification. The result was an additional 24 weeks for repairs and the loss of some warranty privileges Aquarius had with the constructor of that area: CSI, because the 5 years were close to expiration. Again, the technical punctuality and conscientiousness of the firm may come under scrutiny.

 

  1. Complaints about fissures in the brand-new balconies and mortar separation remain unanswered by the firm.

 

  1. In addition, the water penetration in several units in both towers remains an enigma. Also, the question if the external walls of Aquarius have been properly waterproofed is not clear. It sure does not look like it.

 

For all these reasons, having the firm participate in any future endeavor at Aquarius seems to be NOT a good idea.

 

The Board should be congratulated by the prompt initiative to reassess the integrity of the Aquarius Condominium but to have the firm involved seems a great problem. We all know Albert Einstein’s words: “To do the same thing again and again and expect different results is…”

 

One item that should be part of the assessment of the structural integrity of Aquarius is its soil. All of us are familiar with the phenomenon of sink holes. They seem to be caused by subterraneous flows of water known as aquifers. Do we have any of these under ground rivers? A quick geological inspection could reassure us and eliminate one of the many variables that affect concrete structures.

.o0o.

_____________________________________

Can you identify all these musical genres?

Viewer discretion advisable.

 

Almost 50 million views. I love this comment of one of the viewers: “I will find you … and i will marry you … the three of u!
Keep up the great work!””

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A Letter to Aquarius Management and Members of the Board

A Letter to  Aquarius Management and Members of the Board,

I am the daughter of Nilufer Tarhan who resides in 2751 S Ocean Drive, PHS6 S 33019. I have a couple of concerns after what happened to the Surfside building:

1- Being on the top floor, my unit has suffered from roof damage in the last few years. I have notified the building and repair people have come and checked after I raised my concern. They replaced the drywall that was damaged but I’m afraid there were no repairs done to the structure that was inevitably damaged by salt and rain water.  I was staying with my mother when we experienced severe water damage. The leak filled the light fixture and was actively and rapidly dripping into the unit and we had to use a bucket to collect the water and empty it every couple hours. If we were not living in the unit full-time, I cannot imagine the damage it would have caused us and the unit below.

I am requesting you to send the building inspectors and engineers and/or city officials that will be sent out by the city to check the structure of the building. Our unit has substantial damage what seems like cracks and leaks. I am in no way trained to detect the damage, and I cannot assure if there is more damage –my expertise is not going further than an eye inspection. Yet, the fact that I can see the damage is frightening to anyone regardless of their engineering training.

2- The building has had long running issues with the pool deck, similar to the issues in Surfside Towers. I would like to know if the pool has ever damaged or leaked to the garage or anywhere else before. Did the pool structure ever leak? If so, where did it damage. If it did not damage anywhere else, then why?

3- Our parking garage is in a constant state of DISREPAIR with LARGE CRACKS and supports holding up the beams. I would like to know if any of those beams are actually supporting the building itself or if they are damaged by salt water since the steels have been exposed to air for such a long time.

4- I would like to know, if 2-3 years ago when they re-did the balconies, if there were any safety assessments done. For instance, how much damage would it cause to the structure of the building, did they ever assess that, do we know the current state of the building?

5- When was the last time our building got inspected?

Please share any documentation and a detailed and understandable answer to each question above.

Thank you,

Melisa Tarhan

.o0o.

Short live abstinence

.o0o.

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Aquarius Condo’s Best Kept Secret

Aquarius Condo’s Best Kept Secret:       The Library

 

The Aquarius Library is one of the best kept secrets of the Aquarius Condominium. It holds more than 2000 titles with a great variety of genres. The Fiction section is over half the collection. There one will find bestselling authors like:

  • David Baldacci
  • Michael Connolly
  • Clive Cussler
  • John Grisham
  • Dean Koontz
  • Robert Ludlow
  • James Patterson
  • Stuart Woods

And these are just a few of the books by good writers available.

The Non-Fiction section is also very rich. It will be object of another post in the future. It is important to mention that in addition there are special sections like Judaica (Hebrew and English books on Israel and many Jewish traditions), a robust variety of books in the Russian language, and other areas of interest that you must discover.

Also available are recent issued magazines. Magazines are kept from three months of publication date.

How can you enjoy this treasure? 
Just visit the Aquarius Library and take what you wish. The Aquarius Library does not have an assigned staff and is maintained by volunteers. The library is based in the honor system.

How you can help?

  • Making donations of books and magazines you don’t need anymore.
  • Returning books and magazines as soon as possible.
  • Keeping the Library in its best shape. Leave it better than you found it.
  • Make sure to return a book in the proper alphabetical order, by author’s last name. Also, please, be sure to observe if the book is Fiction or Non-Fiction. In doubt deposit in the table destined for returns and donations.

Where is the Aquarius Library? 
It is in the South Tower. Enter across the Mail Room and turn right.

Why not give Netflix a break and get a good read this Summer? The Aquarius Library is there for your enjoyment!

.o0o.

This toddler knows every thing!


Vincent Paul Billington and son Patrick.

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Roni Komie offers support services

Our neighbor Roni Komie offers support services

 

Roni Komie

All of us have had a difficult time coping with the pandemic in one way or another. If you find yourself feeling lonely, anxious, depressed or just needing to talk to someone, I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who lives in the Aquarius. I am a Medicare provider who can make home visits. There would be no cost to you. Feel free to call me at either number for further information.

Home: 954 929 5797 or 

cell:      305 733 3610

Roni Komie, LCSW

 

.o0o.

.o0o.

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Engineer warned of ‘major structural damage’ years before Florida condo building collapsed

Engineer warned of ‘major structural damage’ years before Florida condo building collapsed

By  Jon Swaine, Joshua Partlow, Antonio Olivo, Aaron Gregg and Beth Reinhard
June 26, 2021 at 6:42 p.m. EDT    The Washington Post

 

An engineer warned in October 2018 that he had discovered “major structural damage” to a concrete slab below the pool deck in the section of the Champlain Towers South condominium building that collapsed Thursday, killing at least four and leaving scores trapped, according to records released by local authorities late Friday.

The engineer, Frank P. Morabito, said in a structural survey report that waterproofing below the pool deck and entrance drive had failed, allowing damaging leaks.

“Failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially,” Morabito wrote. He said a “major error” had been made in the construction of the building when waterproofing was laid on a flat slab rather than on a sloped surface to allow water to run off.

His firm, Morabito Consultants, said in a statement Saturday that the damage he found “required repairs to ensure the safety of residents and the public” but that the repairs had not been started when the collapse occurred.

Morabito’s firm has offices in Maryland and Florida.

Morabito said in his inspection report that he also found “abundant cracking” and deterioration in the concrete columns, beams and walls supporting the parking garage under the pool deck, along with damaged and exposed rebar.

The report said that the necessary repair work, which would be aimed at “maintaining the structural integrity” of the building, would be “extremely expensive” and would create significant disruption for residents.

According to the consulting firm’s statement, after the firm gave the condominium association an estimate of costs for the repairs, about 18 months elapsed before the association hired the firm to prepare detailed repair plans. An 84-page draft of the plans from April this year also was released by Surfside.

Previous repairs to the slab supporting the pool above the garage, including the patching of cracks, had been done “less than satisfactorily” and needed to be completed again, according to Morabito’s inspection report.

Other problems detailed in the report included “significant cracking” in the stucco facade of the building, flooding in some apartments because of failed seals on doors and windows, and damaged balconies.

The detailed repair plan was aimed at ensuring that the building, which was completed in 1981, passed a mandated 40-year recertification process.

A separate inspection report on the building by Morabito, completed around the same time as the structural survey report, was also released by the town of Surfside, along with a note that said: “This report was not formally submitted or authorized by the property owner Champlain Towers South Condominium Association, Inc., as required by Section 8-11(f)(iv) of the Miami-Dade County Code.”

It is unclear why Morabito did not submit the 2018 report to the city until 5:35 p.m. Thursday, after the collapse. Morabito did not return calls, and his firm’s statement did not directly address the issue. Neither the town nor condo association responded to requests for clarification.

For the complete article with pictures and videos use this URL:    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/champlain-towers-south-surfside/2021/06/26/a509519a-d5de-11eb-a53a-3b5450fdca7a_story.html

Also in the New York Times:

Three years before the deadly collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium complex near Miami, a consultant found alarming evidence of “major structural damage” to the concrete slab below the pool deck and “abundant” cracking and crumbling of the columns, beams and walls of the parking garage under the 13-story building.

The engineer’s report helped shape plans for a multimillion-dollar repair project that was set to get underway soon — more than two and a half years after the building managers were warned — but the building suffered a catastrophic collapse in the middle of the night on Thursday, crushing sleeping residents in a massive heap of debris.

The complex’s management association had disclosed some of the problems in the wake of the collapse, but it was not until city officials released the 2018 report late Friday that the full nature of the concrete and rebar damage — most of it probably caused by persistent water leaks and years of exposure to the corrosive salt air along the South Florida coast — became chillingly apparent.

For the article in its entirety: Collapsed Building Near Miami Had Serious Concrete Damage – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

.o0o.

Don’t let the old man in!

Why did Toby Keith wrote Don’t let the old man in?

Out on the green, Eastwood shared that he’d be starting work on The Mule in two days, which also happened to be his 88th birthday. Struck by Eastwood’s relentless energy at an age when many are content to sit and reflect, Keith asked how he keeps going.

“He said, ‘I just get up every morning and go out. And I don’t let the old man in,’ ” Keith recounts. “And I thought, I’m writing that.”

When Toby Keith wrote “Don’t Let the Old Man In,” inspired by a conversation with the legendary Clint Eastwood, he probably never dreamed it would go on to be recorded by another hero: country music legend Willie Nelson.

.o0o.

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Tragedy in Surfside July 24 2021 2:00am building collapse

Tragedy in Surfside
July 24 2021 2:00am building collapse

Condo building partially collapses in Miami-Dade, killing at least one and prompting mass search-and-rescue operation

A large condo building along the beachfront in Surfside, Fla., partially collapsed early Thursday morning, killing at least one person, injuring at least 10 and prompting a mass search-and-rescue response from local authorities.

More than 80 units from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue rushed to the scene in the city just north of Miami Beach after 2 a.m., the agency said on Twitter, joining first responders from multiple other agencies. Champlain Towers South, a 12-story building that was built in 1981, has more than 130 units.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told reporters Thursday that in addition to at least one death and multiple injuries, dozens of residents have been displaced. He added that 50 hotel rooms located next door to the residential building were also evacuated. Burkett said people from at least 15 units need temporary housing.

The mayor told NBC’s “Today” show that it “looks like a bomb went off,” calling the partial collapse “a catastrophic failure of that building.”

“It’s hard to imagine how this could happen,” Burkett said. “Buildings just don’t fall down.”

Frank Rollason, director of Miami-Dade Emergency Management, said Thursday morning that first responders believe they have cleared all survivors from inside the condo, adding that more than 70 of the units had been either destroyed or badly damaged.

“Everyone who is alive is out of the building,” he told the Miami Herald.

Rescuers pulled one boy from the rubble, video shot by WTVJ shows, while firefighters used ladders to rescue other tenants from balconies in the still-standing portion of the tower. Nicholas Balboa, who lives next door to the condo, said he could see the boy’s hand waving through the rubble as he helped rescue him.

Champlain Towers South Condo, 8855 Collins Ave., Surfside, Miami-Dade, Florida 33154.

.o0o.

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Aquarius Gym Gets New Mirrors

Aquarius Gym Gets New Mirrors

 

In October of 2020 Buck, the President of the Board of Directors, accepted the suggestion to hang additional mirrors on the walls of the Aquarius Exercise Room.

After a good number of email messages and phone calls besides visits to the Management Office of Aquarius the mirrors were installed last week.

The mirrors were installed in the elevator landing on all Aquarius’ floors. They were removed when the hallways got a facelift. As it is easy to imagine the mirrors would, eventually, end in a landfill. So now the Gym has a new more professional look more like the commercial gyms.

Visit our Gym and see for yourself how the studio looks now. And the cost? A few work minutes by our maintenance team. A very good price for good results indeed.

 

 

Comment:

Hey Cecilio- (via email)
The Mirrors in the Gym look awesome👍, hopefully a lot more people, will come to the gym we need to
 replace the T.V. which needs to be sent to garbage terrible screen video and the sound system is awful
Joe Tejada

.o0o.


How many of these musicals can you remember?   

22 Musicals in 12 minutes!      21 million views and counting!

 

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Aquarius Gym Equipment Issues

Aquarius Gym Equipment Issues

The email message, bellow transcribed, contains important information provided by Orlando Herrera. Keeping up with developments in our Aquarius Condominium helps management to take care of problems at their onset. It does only make our home safer and beautiful as it saves money. After a while uncared for problems become expensive and it takes a longer time to fix them.  “The eye of the master fattens the horse.”

It seems that the new manager will look into the issue at hand.

Thank you Orlando for sharing:


Hollywood, FL  June 2, 2021

Dear members of the board and  Marie Goehl,

Your help is needed in guiding and instructing the housekeeping supervisor and the cleaning personnel in stopping the use of the spraying pistol device and the corrosive liquid being used to disinfect the gym equipment. Although the continuous use of this device and liquid has already done the damage in the metallic parts of both the new and old gym equipment (please see the attached pictures of before and after the use of the corrosive liquid), we can still stop the rust deterioration and maintain the gym equipment better

Last year after the cleaning personnel started to use a spraying pistol device to spray a liquid to disinfect the gym equipment.  I noticed that the liquid used to disinfect was damaging the gym equipment both the new one and the old one.  The cleaning personnel was spraying the liquid into the air and sometimes directly into the equipment.  As a result,  when the liquid fell on the equipment, it settled on the surface of each piece of equipment and left a corrosive film that has been damaging the equipment by creating corrosion everywhere the liquid touches the metallic parts of the equipment.

The solution was: 1. To stop using the corrosive liquid and stop spraying this liquid with the spraying pistol device.  2. The disinfection process of the equipment should be done by only wiping the parts each of equipment that is touched by the users.  There is no need to spray or wipe metallic parts that the users of the gym equipment don’t touch, common sense needs to be exercised.  3.Management should instruct maintenance personnel to remove the several layers of the corrosive liquid that has accumulated in the metallic parts of each piece of the gym equipment with a rust remover or WD-40 and where applicable use a very fine sandpaper to remove the rust.  I will be happy to direct maintenance personnel in how to perform these tasks.

I brought this to the attention of the previous manager Adrian on several ocassions and I also mentioned it to Buck.  Adrian said to me that the sales person that sold him the liquid and the cleaning equipment said to him that the liquid was not corrosive.  Well the PP presentation in PDF attached  and the pictures below say the opposite.  Nothing happened for several months last year, the cleaning personnel continued to use the pistol fogging device and the gym equipment both the new equipment and the old equipment continued to deteriorate.  After talking to Adrian several times, I spoke to the housekeeper supervisor, I also spoke to the cleaning ladies and finally I asked Buck to walk with me at the gym so he could see himself what I was talking about it, I finally saw that some cleaning personnel stop using the pistol fogging device.  However, during the weekend I saw some security personnel using the pistol fogging device.  When I asked they, they said that they were not aware that the device was not longer used anymore. So apparently the device was still being used on weekends.

The reason for this email is because last week, the cleaning lady that cleans the gym, stop wiping the equipment  and started to use the spraying pistol device again.  When I asked her why she started to use the device and a liquid  that has been damaging the equipment, she answered that she was following orders from her supervisor.

Please see attached PP presentation with pictures of before and after and how the equipment has been deteriorating and getting worse as time goes by.

I invite the board members and the new manager to visit the gym and see the deterioration of all of the gym equipment as a result of the use of this disinfectant liquid and this spraying pistol device.

It is really upsetting to see this damage and deterioration of the gym equipment especially when it could have been prevented if the previous manager would have done his job of following up on the severall complaints I mentioned last year and this year too.

I will be happy to meet with Marie and walk with her in the gym to look for a solution and a better way to disinfect the gym equipment and discuss the solution and what we can do to resolve this issue.  Let me know if you would like to do that Marie.

Best regards,

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COVID-19 VACCINE INFO

COVID-19 VACCINE INFO

It is easy to have updated information on the availability of COVID-19 in Broward County.  Please click here  or     MyVaccine (fl.gov)  and provide your information  so updates will be given to you concerning the vaccine.

You may also contact County Commissioner Beam Furr  954-357-7006/786-559-2306  or eMail him  bfurr@broward.org  for additional information.

Bellow the full message from Commissioner Beam Furr as provided by Frank DeRisi, President of HBCA.


 

Dear All ( 2823 HBCA Recipients )
The following is a message from County Commissioner Beam Furr with the most important updates in Broward County regarding the Covid-19 vaccines issues.
” We continue to take a leading role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue to deal with the economic fallout of the pandemic and take steps to combat it with the vaccine, we are laying the groundwork for a very important year in Broward County. Along the way, my office is always here to assist you with any needs you may have.”
For a complete vaccine update including how to registered for an appointment , key telephone numbers, web sites and other resources please see full message below:
In the Loop January 2021 Edition
Greetings,
It is hard to believe that we are already a month into 2021! We continue to take a leading role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue to deal with the economic fallout of the pandemic and take steps to combat it with the vaccine, we are laying the groundwork for a very important year in Broward County. Along the way, my office is always here to assist you with any needs you may have.
Read on below to find out some of the most important updates in Broward County this month regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccine Update:
Residents throughout Broward have many questions about vaccine distribution. Rightfully so – medical experts agree that in addition to masks and social distancing, the best way to defeat this pandemic is the efficient and effective distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. There are currently two approved COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) which have been made available to Broward County hospitals. Florida’s vaccine plan is currently coordinated through the Florida Department of Health. Our Broward County Department of Emergency Management is working directly with the Florida Department of Health to assist in vaccine distribution within Broward County. We are making sure that we work closely with the state to facilitate effective distribution to our residents. My office is available to answer your questions or provide any assistance you may need when it comes to the vaccine.
The Florida Department of Health is currently vaccinating seniors 65 and over at five Broward County parks (Markham Park, Vista View Park, Tradewinds Park, Holiday Park, and Central Broward Park). Plans are in the works to add a site in southern Broward as soon as it is feasible.
Reservations can now be made using an easy appointment system. Appointments for COVID-19 vaccination sites operated by the Florida Department of Health in Broward can be scheduled using the State appointment system. Seniors age 65+ and frontline healthcare workers can call 866-201-6313 to request an appointment. Those who are eligible for the vaccine (65 and older and frontline healthcare workers) can pre-register and get in line for a vaccine at https://myvaccine.fl.gov.
If you have not already been vaccinated, we recommend doing so – the required two doses of the vaccine have been shown to be over 95% effective. You can click here to see a continually updating list of vaccination sites.
Moving forward, we have much work we must continue to do. This work includes moving as quickly as possible to vaccinate the essential frontline workers such as teachers, grocery store workers, bus drivers, and first responders that we count on to keep our society going. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Vaccinations for Senior Residents
Broward County is working to vaccinate seniors in communities throughout Broward County. This month, my office worked with Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo and State Representative Robin Bartleman to help bring a vaccination program to Century Village Pembroke Pines. Currently, we are attempting to bring similar programs to Hillcrest, Hollybrook, and other large communities in District Six. Additionally, the city of Hollywood has established a similar program at Carriage Hills. We need to have a plan to reach residents who cannot make it out of their home to get vaccinated.
COVID-19 Testing
While not everyone who wants it can get a vaccine right now, we can all make sure to get regularly tested to ensure we are not spreading the COVID-19 virus. There is a rotation of constantly updating sites with plenty of tests and appointments available. Wait times are usually relatively short, and results are usually available within a day or two. It is imperative that residents quarantine and get tested if they come into contact with someone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. For more information on testing, click here.
Contact Us
Our District office is conveniently located in the lobby of the Hollywood Branch of the Broward County Public Library at 2600 Hollywood Blvd, next to Hollywood City Hall. However, during the COVID-19 crisis, it has been temporarily closed. My staff is working from our office in Fort Lauderdale and from other remote locations within our District.
The Fort Lauderdale office is open for your convenience Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5PM. If you would like to schedule an appointment, or you have a great idea, suggestion or an issue that needs my attention, feel free to call me at 954-357-7006/786-559-2306 or send me an email at bfurr@broward.org.
End of the Message
Sincerely,
Frank DeRisi
President, On behalf of the HBCA Board.
 954 547 2828                          

Laugh time
r/CoronavirusWA - Don't be a Covidiot, Covid is no joke.
.o0o.
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Covid 19: Thanks Adrian!

Covid 19: Thanks Adrian!

Last Wednesday, January 20, 2021, Adrian Paredes, our Property Manager of Aquarius, shared the information that his brother Ivan Paredes manager of the Carriage Hills Condominium had obtained authorization from the Board of that Condo to give priority access to Aquarius residents to the COVID-19  vaccine. The registration was possible via a special HIPPA JOTFORM.

Many Aquarius residents were able to register and take the vaccine on Friday January 22. Unfortunately the number of shots was limited and not all willing to be vaccinated  were able to register. Let’s hope that the opportunities to get the vaccine in Florida are enhanced so all willing are able to do so.

 

 

 

 

 

.o0o.

A bit of enchantment

Maurice Jarre music composer.

.o0o.

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