Old Town Hall (Directions)
611 Old Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
Sullivan Independence Hall
725 Old Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
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2/4/2022 - 2.4 TOWN UPDATE
Today kicks off the 2022 Winter Olympics, and I am excited we have two Fairfield natives competing. I hope you will join me in wishing Kristen, Mac, and Team USA all the best as they compete on a global stage.
FAIRFIELD GOES TO THE OLYMPICS!
Fairfield's own, Kristen Santos, found her love for the sport of short-track speed skating at a very young age. She committed herself to the sport and trained full time while attending the University of Utah for Kinesiology, for which she graduated with a degree in Spring 2021. Kristen's impressive track record has found her competing at numerous World Cups, and she is now on the U.S. National Team for the 2022 Winter Olympics. I couldn't be more proud of Kristen's accomplishments and wish her the best of luck on her Olympic journey. You can learn more about Kristen and her goals here.
Another Fairfield native, Mac Forehand, is competing on the U.S. National Team in Freestyle Skating at just 20 years old. His passion for skiing began at the young age of 6, which was largely influenced by his older sister, Savannah. By 17, Mac had made the U.S. Free Ski Team after committing his high school years practicing on the slopes. In 2019, Mac won the Men’s Slopestyle Crystal Globe during his first full World Cup season. I am so impressed by Mac's dedication to the sport and wish him all the luck on his road to winning an Olympic Gold. You can stay up to date on Mac's success here. Be sure to tune in to the Beijing Olympics, which starts February 4, to watch both Kristen and Mac compete for Olympic medals.
As part of our continued initiatives to modernize Town government, I am excited to announce the launch of our new online Building Permitting system. This will allow residents and businesses to apply and pay for permits online, which will make the process much more efficient. Eventually, all permitting departments including Zoning, Conservation, Engineering, Health, the Fire Marshal, and Sewer will be included, but as of now, we are testing the system before we bring all departments live. I want to thank our IT Department and our Building Official, Shawn Reed, for working so hard to bring this project to fruition. You can read more or apply here.
At Monday's Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting, the board voted to approve a settlement in the Federal lawsuit brought by Monroe RE, LLC., (a.k.a. Newport Academy). Before the Selectmen took up the item, Town Attorney Jim Baldwin provided history on the case and the rationale for settling it, followed by information from our outside legal counselors, James Tallberg and Douglas Varga. Public comment was then offered before the BOS went into executive session. The BOS then returned to the public session, where the Selectmen shared their thoughts and then unanimously voted to approve the settlement, as presented by legal counsel. Part of the agreement includes a financial settlement, which will be covered by the Town’s liability insurance. I want to note that according to the attorneys, the settlement amount is far less than what was claimed, not withstanding the punitive damages that were being sought by Monroe RE, LLC.
My goal has always been to maintain local control of our zoning laws, whether through my advocacy when I was a State Representative in Hartford working to modify the 8-30g statute, or over the last two years, fighting for control of our local zoning laws regarding the Newport case. I understand the community's frustration with this settlement. However, in both circumstances, whether it be the 8-30g state law, or federal laws, the Town cannot easily override those authorities.
To listen to the portion of the meeting where Town Attorney, Jim Baldwin, walks through the history of the Town's interactions with similar applications, including the Newport Academy item in greater detail, please click here. You can also read the history and how the Town intends to move forward with future applications at www.fairfieldct.org/newportacademy.
RACIAL EQUITY & JUSTICE TASK FORCE BLUEPRINT
I want to thank the commission members for their time and dedication to this important and difficult work. I read the task force's blueprint prior to Monday's Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting. Before the Task Force's presentation, I shared that I felt it was important the Town's department heads also review the plan and provide feedback. I also suggested the BOS extend the task force past the January 31st end date so that department heads and members of my administration could direct questions towards the authors of the document, and assist the Town in firming up actionable items. Members of the task force did not feel their end date should be extended but instead asked the BOS to establish a new permanent task force. I believe that once my administration and I have more time to take a deeper dive into the blueprint, we will have a better understanding of what the next steps should be. The end result of the meeting was an agreement made among the REJTF members that they would poll their membership for interest in working with me and my administration. My vision is that one member of the REJTF would assist with answering questions, and with the new diversity consultant the Town intends to hire with designated federal funds, to come up with actionable items that address the recommendations in the blueprint. I look forward to continuing these conversations and the work ahead.
You can watch the BOS meeting discussion here and you can read the Blueprint here.
By way of background, on June 11, 2020, I hosted a Community Conversation via Zoom with local elected officials to discuss Racial Injustice & Equality, largely in response to the death of George Floyd, and the subsequent protests and riots. During that forum, I announced I would establish a task force and appoint Selectwoman Nancy Lefkowitz as a co-chair. In September of 2020, the BOS approved the mission and establishment of the Racial Equity and Justice Task Force (REJTF).
The mission, part of a 2-page charge approved by the BOS, "is to identify any racial and ethnic inequalities and injustices in the Town governance and operations and to provide the BOS with proposals and improvements to effectively minimize or eliminate them. Using measurable data, interviews, and any other means deemed appropriate by the BOS, the REJTF will analyze, examine, and document these injustices – past and/or present – to promote, support, and identify equitable opportunities and outcomes for all residents of Fairfield. The REJTF will make formal recommendations for consideration to the BOS towards the implementation of Town policies and procedures that benefit all residents."
The charge goes on to say the REJTF will use metrics and quantifiable data to evaluate and analyze Town services, policies and, practices through the lens of racial equity will engage with the community and review Town policies. The term of the REJTF was set to expire on January 31, 2022, or once a plan has been adopted by the appropriate Town bodies, whichever comes first. At that time, it goes on to say, the task force will either transition its charge and the execution of its recommendations to other appropriate Town of Fairfield Departments, or have been replaced by a yet to be constituted task force or steering committee.
CHARTER REVISION COMMISSION
During the January 27th meeting, Fairfield’s Charter Revision Commission invited expert guest speakers included Joe Delong, Executive Director of the CT Conference of Municipalities (CCM), Professor of Political Science, Gary Rose from Sacred Heart University, and Assistant Professor of Politics, Gayle Alberda from Fairfield University. All three are well known and respected authorities on forms of government in Connecticut. I found the conversation fascinating and hope you will take some time to also listen to the discussion. The next meeting will be February 10th, featuring an additional conversation on the Town's governance featuring representatives from other Connecticut municipalities.
I want to thank the dedicated individuals on the Commission who have already spent many hours reviewing the Town Charter and listening to input from the community. I look forward to following their continued progress and hope our residents will too. When they make their final recommendations, the Board of Selectmen will vote whether or not to put those recommendations on the ballot for voters to ultimately decide.
COVID RECOVERY FUND
Thanks to funding provided through the American Rescue Plan Act, the COVID Recovery Fund is now live. This fund will provide limited, one-time assistance to Fairfield residents who continue to be adversely impacted by the pandemic. I proposed ARPA funding be used for this purpose after seeing the COVID Relief Fund set up during the pandemic be such a needed resource and knowing there is still a great need for assistance.
For information on who is eligible and how to apply, please visit fairfieldct.org/covidrecoveryfund.
BURR GARDENS GRANT
I would like to proudly announce the Town secured a grant for Burr Homestead Gardens under the America the Beautiful grant program. Our historic gardens are located behind the Burr Homestead, with four acres of greenery and flowers, open to the public. The goal of obtaining this grant is to continue the preservation of the 250-year-old gardens. The grant will allow the Town to inventory the trees on the grounds, implement a scheduled maintenance plan, and identify future planting sites within the property. It was proposed that the project would inspire greater forest management and is a step towards arboretum accreditation. The arboretum will create more interest on the property allowing schools and other civic groups to use it as a teaching device. Our hope is to deliver a map of the site with notable trees for our residents to learn about and enjoy. Jeffrey Minder, our Town's Tree Warden, has done a wonderful job maintaining Fairfield's forestry, as well as overseeing the "Burr Gardens" grant proposal. I am excited to see what lies ahead for the gardens. I also want to thank our new part-time Grant Coordinator, Teri Brown, who spearheaded the efforts to obtain this grant.
During the week, the Fairfield Firefighters practiced drills on ice rescue skills at Lake Hills. They want to remind all to use caution while near the many bodies of water in Town this winter.
NEW HIRES TO THE FAIRFIELD FIRE DEPARTMENT
Pictured are Chief McCarthy, new Firefighters Mckenzee Juratovic and David Campbell, and Assistant Chief Scott Bisson at the Fairfield Regional Fire School. We all welcome Mckenzee and David, wish them success in their careers with Fairfield, and that they will stay safe during their service to our community.
FAIRFIELD POLICE CADETS
The Fairfield Police Cadets initiated a Lock Your Car! campaign as an educational learning point for the community to take note of. They hope to reduce thefts of and from personal vehicles. Over the next month, the Cadets will be placing flyers on car windshields in public parkning lots as a reminder. So, Fairfielders, always remember...lock your cars!
If you are a middle or high school student, Fairfield Social Services is looking for your help. We are jump-starting our Snow Shoveling for Seniors program. Help homebound seniors and people with disabilities in Fairfield have a safer winter! This is a wonderful opportunity to volunteer with a work team, church group, school, or other groups to help our neighbors.
We connect homebound seniors and people with disabilities with student volunteer shovelers in their neighborhoods (neighborhoods based on elementary school location). The program relies on help and support of students who are interested in volunteer community service, or simply want to help their neighbors. This is a flexible opportunity – help when you can, as often as you are able. If you are a student interested in shoveling, please click here for the parental permission slip and registration information. For homebound seniors and people with disabilities interested in help with snow removal, when we have a list of available volunteers, we will let you know how to register. At this time, we do not have a list of shovelers. Please be patient while we recruit volunteers.
For more information please call Social Services at (203)-256-3166.
MORE SNOWSTORM INFORMATION FROM DPW:
Sidewalks – Per Town ordinance, Fairfield property owners are responsible for removing snow and ice from the sidewalk along their property line within 24 hours after the storm and keeping the sidewalk clear of snow and ice. Heavily used sidewalks near schools and public buildings, and the commercial areas are particularly important. Property owners may be fined and/or charged the cost of removal if the property owners do not comply. Please remember to shovel around fire hydrants.
Mailbox Damage – The Town repairs or replaces only mailboxes and/or posts that are actually struck by a plow blade. Usually a paint mark or truck tire track will serve as evidence of a direct mailbox strike by a Town plow. The Town does not repair or replace mailboxes and/or posts that fall from the force of plowed snow. Mailboxes and supporting posts must be installed to withstand the rigors of snow removal, including the force of snow pushed from the street onto the roadside.
Plow Damage – Damage to lawns, curbs, and driveways are to be reported as soon as possible so that it can be documented and inspected by DPW. Please note that it may not be repaired until Spring. Timely notification allows us to address these issues and make corrections to prevent reoccurrences.
Re-Plowing/Snow Removal Concerns – If you have snow removal concerns or would like to request a street be re-plowed, please enter a Citizen Service Request and select 'Snow Removal Issues' or call the Town Garage at (203)-256-3177.
Private Plowing – The Town of Fairfield prohibits plow contractors from pushing snow from driveways or parking lots onto Town streets. This practice is dangerous and impedes the Town's snow removal efforts. If there is no other alternative to pushing snow into the street, the plow driver must plow off the windrow left across the street by re-plowing until the road is safe. This may not necessarily mean bare pavement, but certainly it should be no worse than when the driver began work.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
On January 17th, we celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This week kicks off the start of Black History Month, allowing us the time to reflect on influential individuals who have made a positive impact on our country. Throughout the month of February, it is important to remember historic events and figures who have played a prominent role in American history. Constance Baker Motley was one of the many important people that was born in our home state of Connecticut. Motley was born in 1921 in New Haven, and was the first African American woman to argue a case before the state court and to serve as a federal judge. To learn more about the historic Black individuals who called CT home, you can read this article.
Beginning on May 15th and ending on September 25th, our Fairfield Museum and History Center will have an exhibit created by Allison Minto that explores the ideas of history, particularly for Black communities and the Black diaspora. To learn more about the exhibit and Allison, please visit our Fairfield Museum website. I hope you will take the time to read some of the inspiring stories of not only the lives of historical figures, but also the lives of the people right in our community.
Photo by Mike Lauterborn of Fairfield Hamlet Hub
SALSA FRESCA GRAND OPENING
This past Tuesday, I had the pleasure to join in the ribbon cutting of Fairfield's new restaurant, Salsa Fresca. I wish them the best of luck in their new endeavor. You can find this new Mexican grill-style eatery at 2222 Black Rock Tpk to try their delicious food, or visit their website to learn more.
CT'S BEST FOOD TRUCK
LobsterCraft, a locally run food truck, was named Best Food Truck in CT by Eat This, Not That. Captain Mike Harden founded LobsterCraft about 10 years ago, and has been serving Connecticut's best buttered lobster roll ever since. The food truck also serves lobster mac and cheese, lobster bisque, as well as lobster grilled cheese. You can find them located at 1814 Post Road, Fairfield, or visit their website here to satisfy your cravings.
Eight of Fairfield's organizations were recently awarded about $400,000 combined in state grant funds. CT Humanities awarded nonprofit museums and organizations these funds to aid those who were financially impacted by the pandemic. By aiding community-based organizations, it not only helps them invest in their projects, but it brings members of the community closer together. I am thankful to CT Humanities for awarding these grants that will allow our businesses and organizations to continue to thrive. Among those awarded:
Connecticut Dance School: $21,000
Fairfield Center Stage: $14,800
Fairfield County Children's Choir: $21,100
Fairfield Museum and History Center: $79,300
Fairfield Theatre Company, Inc.: $161,700
Fairfield University Art Museum: $5,000
Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras: $27,700
Pequot Library: $79,500
Fairfield Ludlowe student, Aryan Maheshwari, committed his summer toward a project for the Town of Fairfield chosen for his Eagle Scout Project, where he built the first public outdoor fitness center at Veres Park. Aryan was only 15-years-old at the time of the project, and he continues to encourage his peers to get involved in their community in any way they can. He spent months of fundraising, planning, and gathering residents to take part in the community project. To get the project started, Aryan worked with Anthony Calabrese, Director of the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Department of Public Works to formulate blueprints and designs. He also worked with George Kaczegowicz and his crew, from Highway, on the installation. I am so impressed by Aryan's dedication to the project and for being an active member of our community, and I want to thank everyone who was involved in making this project happen. Aryan is an example for all who want to get involved, but are unsure what the beginning steps are. You can read more about Aryan's wonderful addition to our community here.
QUILTING FOR A CAUSE
At 91, Cecily Zerega, a Fairfield resident, is paying it forward with the goal of knitting more than 70 quilts by September. These quilts will be donated to the students of the Adam Lewis Academy in Bridgeport to snuggle up to during nap time. The students, who range from pre-school to elementary level ages, have sent Cecily thank you cards to show their love and appreciation for these one-of-a-kind quilts. Cecily has a life-long dedication towards volunteering, which spans from freelance artwork to teaching art to those interested in the craft. Her passion allows her to work around 2 hours a day in support of these young students, which is truly admirable. You can read more about Cecily's impressive mission here.
Tomorrow marks one-year since a beloved family in our community, the Kuczo's, lost their incredible son, Kevin. Their family has experienced everyone’s worst nightmare, yet they have found the strength, determination, and resilience to spread their son’s light through it all. Jim Kuczo, Kevin's father, asks that our community come together in remembrance of his son. I hope we can all spread Kevin’s Afterglow tomorrow by bringing his light and love to our community through acts of kindness, generosity, compassion, and empathy.
Feel free to post #KevinsAfterglow so that we can honor him together. Kevin’s family also is also starting a non-profit in his name, Kevin's Afterglow. Please follow for updates on their Facebook page.
NATIONAL WEAR RED DAY!
The Town Clerk’s Office participates in National Wear Red Day each year to raise awareness for women’s heart health. This year, this heart-conscious day is today, February 4th. Go Red in support of women who are experiencing heart health complications, and visit their website to stay informed on cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke symptoms in women, and other heart-related issues. Together, as a community, we can raise awareness and save lives. The Town Clerk's Office will also continue to wear red every Friday throughout February in support of this cause. You can donate here.
LOVE LOCAL BINGO
The Town of Fairfield’s Department of Community & Economic Development is pleased to announce the return of Love Local Bingo! Beginning on Monday, February 7th, play BINGO to help bring even more love to our small businesses this winter!
Love Local BINGO is easy to play! Download your BINGO cards here, or pick up a card at participating Fairfield businesses. You may choose to play either or both cards. Visit and make a purchase at one of the participating Fairfield business establishments anytime from February 7th through March 4th to make BINGO. Keep your receipts. Once you have BINGO, take and upload a picture of your winning game card and your receipts via the link at Bingo — Experience Fairfield CT and complete the online entry form for a chance to win great prizes.
I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.
Brenda L. Kupchick
Fairfield First Selectwoman
Important steps recommended by health professionals include:
Get vaccinated if you are not or get a booster if you are eligible
Check yourself for COVID-like symptoms each day and stay home and get tested if you have any
If you are in isolation or quarantine stay away from others and limit your activity to only what is essential
Wear a mask when indoors in public, especially if you are unvaccinated
Limit activity involving groups especially where others vaccination status is unknown
Wash your hands frequently
For vaccination, there are numerous sites available in Fairfield and nearby as well as daily walk-in clinics in many towns.
There are 10 COVID testing sites in Fairfield under contract to offer no-cost testing to CT residents.
Fairfield's Positivity Rate: 10%
State of CT Town Rating: Red
Fairfield County Hospitalizations: 209
Vaccine First Dose: 83.66%
The current requirement is for all unvaccinated to wear masks indoors and the Town supports the CDC recommendation that all individuals wear masks indoors due to the “High” transmission classification of Fairfield County.
FAIRFIELD COVID RESOURCE PAGE
PARK & RECREATION
Registration IS OPEN! Please visit www.fairfieldrecreation.com for more information.
RENEW YOUR 2022 BEACH/TRANSFER STATION STICKER
PURCHASE YOUR 2022 GOLF ID
BIGELOW CENTER FOR SENIOR ACTIVITIES
Fairfield senior center's mission is to provide services and programs for older adults that promote well being, support independence, and encourage involvement in community life. To become more involved with local activities and stay informed on news surrounding the Senior Center, you can view their Newsletter.
Are you signed up with Aquarion to receive Alerts when there are water problems in your area, like a water main break? You must sign up to be notified online at the link below or call Customer Service to sign up at: (800)-732-9678
FRAUD ALERT | NEW TOOL TO HELP HOMEOWNERS
With the launch of the Town of Fairfield’s Fraud Alert, property owners can now sign up to be notified of new transactions regarding their property. With Fraud Alert, you can sign up to receive alerts whenever a document, such as a mortgage, is recorded under your name. Documents can be viewed online at: Town of Fairfield, CT - SearchIQS. Please remember that there may be other property owners in Town that have the same name.
Town Clerk Betsy Browne shared that this new tool provided by IQS is an easy way for homeowners to have peace of mind, especially with the increase in scams recently. You can sign up now at: Fraud Alert - SearchIQS
The Town of Fairfield Transfer Station is proud to announce that we have added a GLASS ONLY collection bin along with our mixed recycling bins. I hope residents will take advantage of this opportunity which will help save the Town money in recycling costs – but also will help our efforts to be a more environmentally conscious community. I want to thank DPW, and all the volunteers on the Sustainable Fairfield Task Force and Solid Waste & Recycling Commission for working to bring this new initiative forward.
We would like to encourage residents to separate their glass containers and drop them off at the Transfer Station. As always, recycling is at no charge to residents with a valid beach sticker. You can read more information here.
Ceramic Cup & Plates
The hardest part of getting help is reaching out. We are here to help. Please call us at (203)-256-3170 Monday through Friday between 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM for more information or to schedule an appointment.
For more additional information and resources, social services offers a comprehensive newsletter with various programs addressing career development, service members, and housing here.
FAIRFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARIES
Both branches of Fairfield Public Library are open the following hours: Monday – Thursday, 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM; Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, and Saturday & Sunday, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM. The Library will closed on Monday, February 21st, for Presidents Day.
Meeting rooms at both libraries have reopened for outside rentals beginning this month. Reservations can be made online via the Library’s website.
Current mask policy: Patrons over age 2 MUST wear masks in all programs, during meeting room use, and when entering the Children’s Room. Social distancing is advised.
Scott C. Jarzombek, Town Librarian, is currently hosting “community office hours” once per month, where patrons are invited to drop in, share observations, and have their voices heard. Location will alternate monthly between Main Library and Fairfield Woods Branch. This month’s session will be Tuesday, February 15th, from 10 AM – 1 PM at Woods Branch.
Free tax assistance is once again being offered at Main Library on Tuesdays until April 12, 2022. IRS-certified counselors will meet with residents between 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM on a first-come, first-served basis; no appointment is necessary. This service is intended for low- and middle-income households and those over age 60, although all individuals will be assisted.
Join the Library in a Town-wide reading of this year’s One Book One Town selection, The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. Copies are available to borrow at both branches of Fairfield Public Library. Please check our website for related programming!
The Bruce S. Kershner Art Gallery at Main Library will host an opening reception for its new show, “Color Play,” on Thursday, February 10, from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM. The public is welcome to attend. The exhibit features the work of Earl Grenville1 Killeen, Dionne Pia, and Emily Teall and l runs from February 5th – April 2nd during Library hours.
Adults, teens and children are encouraged to participate in the Library’s Winter Reading Challenge, going on now. Explore new genres, discover new authors, and be entered to win prizes while you enjoy reading. Check the Library’s website for information on how to get started.
The Library continues to offer a mix of in-person and virtual programming at both locations for children, teens and adults. Please view our online calendar of events on our website (Fairfield Public Library | You Belong Here!) to see the offerings and reserve your spot!
Fairfield Public Library offers 24/7 access to its digital collection of books, music, magazines, movies and databases. Information services are available in person, by phone (203-256-3160), by email at email@example.com, and via text messaging (text askfplct to 833-232-4100).
Pequot Library: We're Here, We Care – We are open for browsing! Visit Monday-Friday, 10 AM – 6 PM, Saturday 10 AM – 4 PM, and Sunday Noon – 4 PM. Drop in during browsing hours to check out items from our circulating selection, see our latest exhibit in the Perkin Gallery, or view treasures from our Special Collections.
Now on view: Magic, Mayhem, & Maturity: The Growth of Youth Fantasy Literature
Drawing on materials from the Children’s Historical Collection and the modern circulating collection, this exhibition examines the emergence and evolution of youth fantasy literature. Oftentimes, stories from this genre use magic as a metaphor for the turbulent transition from childhood to adulthood. Spanning fairy tales to 19th century works like Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz to more modern stories like Harry Potter, Children of Blood and Bone and The Gilded Ones, this exhibition further explores how these stories have evolved to tackle this transition in a more frank manner and, significantly, to embrace all voices.
For more programming, visit Upcoming Events – Pequot Library
Get details on our website and social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Sign up for Pequot Library's Digital Digest eNewsletter or contact our Chief Librarian for personalized book recommendations.
A number of community classes are to be held at the Fairfield Regional Fire School, 205 Richard White Way. If you have questions regarding any of these courses, please contact (203) 254-4708, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BLS Healthcare Provider
Thursday Morning, February 10th
9 AM – 12 noon
$90 per student
CPR/AED - FIRST AID Certification
Sunday Morning, March 13th
9 AM – 4 PM
$100 per student
Thursday Evening, April 21st
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
$50 per student
Struggling to make ends meet?
Reminder: Operation Hope’s Food Pantry is here to serve all Fairfield residents. We are open at 636 Old Post Road Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM and Thursday from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Please let them help you with groceries and other basic necessities!
The American Red Cross is holding a blood drive in the Fairfield area. If you are interested in donating, you can attend on February 9th from 2 PM to 5 PM at the Gaelic American Club, located at 74 Beach Road.
2021 Year in Review
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