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Archive for March, 2010

Very Vintage Boulder City Hosts “The Green Energy Expo”

Green Energy Expo - Boulder City NevadaIf you’ve never taken a drive or a stroll thru Boulder City, it’s something you really ought to do. It’s got lots of very well preserved pre war houses, and mid century modern hotels and offices.

This Saturday would be a great day to do it, and you can spend much or some of the day at the Green Energy Expo at the Boulder City Rec Center, 900 Arizona Ave. The event is SATURDAY, MARCH 27, 2010 from 9 AM to 4 PM — which would leave plenty of time for stroll thru downtown Boulder City, and thru the surrounding neighborhoods. There’s plenty of interesting antiques shops, boutiques and great architecture.

Event Name: Green Energy Expo
Event Type(s): Boulder City, NV
Member Event
Description: When it comes to the renewable energy issue, are you wondering what’s new under the sun? Well, March 27 is your chance to find out. The Nevada Green Team is sponsoring its second Green Energy Expo that last time included exhibits and information on solar cookers, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles and other head-spinning technologies. Find out how to save money on your energy bill and qualify for free or reduced cost energy retrofits. So, if you’re not doing anything March 27, visit Boulder City and see what’s new under the sun. 
Event Date: 03-27-10
Event Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Parks and Recreation Bldg. at Bicentennial Park
900 Arizona Avenue
Boulder City, NV 89005

click here for map…
Contact Person: Lynn Goya
(phone: 702-281-8686)
Details: The event and seminars are free and open to the public.

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The Mystery Mid Century Modern Homes Of Las Vegas –


8222-33 500x600Anyone recognize this building? It would be a very cool Mid Century Modern home, but maybe it an office building? I don’t have any idea.

The address is 1391.

It’s one of the mystery pictures from February 1960. All of the pictures in this series are from a single roll of film that our anonymous historian dug up. Some are houses, but there’s also apartment buildings, commercial buildings, and a strip hotel. I’ll be sharing them all with you in the coming days, and perhaps you can help us identify the locations. The whole series will be categorized as “Mystery House Series”, in the left column.

The decorative concrete block sunscreen is a fairly common pattern that we’ve found in Las Vegas. The blocks are a staple of Mid Century Modern architecture. . This pattern was number 44 in the series that we ran of all the various patterns that I’ve ever found in Las Vegas.

8222-34 600x600

8222-34 sun screen








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Mesquite Club To Hold Rummage Sale

Mesquite Club - Las Vegas Nevada“Established in 1911, the Mesquite Club is the oldest non-profit women’s club in Nevada. The club’s formal debut took place just six years after the emergence of early Las Vegas on building lots put up for auction by the railroad in 1905.

The Mesquite Club took it’s name from the indigenous mesquite trees which, at that time, provided most of the shade for the Southern Nevada desert.Once established, the club immediately set to work addressing the civic, cultural and general welfare needs of the community.” (from the Mesquite Club website).

Their clubhouse, at 702 St. Louis Avenue achieved historic property designation from the City of Las Vegas in 2009. Additionally, they’ve just finished the first remodel and updating in many years. In this post from January, 2009, I showed a few interior photos from before the remodel. I was excited to see that the decorative concrete block wall in the entryway was preserved. If you’ve never seen the inside, make sure you stick your head in the door when you’re there.

Mesquite Club Rummage and Parking Lot Sale In Downtown Las Vegas

Rummage Sale FlyerIt’s time once again for their annual Rummage Sale on Saturday, March 27th from 8am till 2pm. Should be a great place to do some spring time bargain hunting. Maybe you’ll even find some real treasure, after all – many of their members are from some of the oldest families in Las Vegas.

 You can rent a parking space yourself if you’d like to sell some of your stuff, or donate items for them to sell. Details are in the flyer.





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The Bonus I Promised You – The Paradise Palms Community Of Las Vegas

I said “But, wait– there’s more”, and here it is.

Map0001It’s the hand drawn rendering of Paradise Palms from 1963. It was also handed out at the sales office, which I now know had a Desert Inn Address, though it was the last lot at the end of Dakota Circle. Was it in the house that’s there now? A trailer? A different building that was replaced with house?

Having stared at this map for hours over the last few weeks, it’s also created all kinds of new questions. I’m trying to put together all the pieces of the puzzle. I’ve had to go back into the county records to discover that the unlabeled segment containing Aztec and Cayuga are really “unit 2”. The west half of Sombrero, Raindance and Scout Street (which doesn’t exist, and is called Raindance now) are really unit 15. Sombrero Avenue goes straight thru from east to west from La Canada to Eastern. Where’s La Canada?

Obviously, this wasn’t the final version of the map. The Unit 15 homes were built in ‘64 and ‘65. They’re mostly ranch styled mid mod’s. Someday I’ll figure out the whole puzzle. If anyone has any clues…..please send them my way.


The map does help us see where the park once was. And you can see in the bottom left hand corner, that there was another whole group of homes that never materialized. That area is now apartments.

Unfortunately, the map was printed on 11×17 paper which didn’t fit in my scanner, so I did it in 2 parts. In retrospect, I should have taken it somewhere with a bigger scanner. Maybe someone with some photo shop skills will do us a favor and put it back together as one full map.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the 1963 brochures and newsletters as much as I have. Now it’s time for some coverage of some other neighborhoods…..and some Mystery Pictures.

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Where Is It? Number 2

Susanne and Gary, who will be residents of Vintage Vegas next month, guessed right on our first mystery photo. They were the only ones who ventured a guess. (I was right, myself, as well.) It’s on the NE corner of Franklin and 7th in the John S. Park Historic Neighborhood.

8222-21 cropped2Today’s installment is one that I’ve figured out already as well. Anyone else want to take a stab at it?

It’s clickable to see a larger version.




Tomorrow’s won’t be easy, and I have absolutely no clue.

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Can You Help Us Identify The Location Where This Pictures Was Taken?

Vintage Mid Century Modern Homes - Las Vegas 1960

Now that we’ve (almost) wrapped it up on Paradise Palms, I’d promised you a new series.

I think John will recognize this. It’s the only house that I recognize in the new batch of pictures that I’ve obtained from our anonymous Las Vegas historian. Or, I could be wrong, since it’s had some changes over the years. Anyone (besides John) want to take a stab at telling me the address to this home? Send an email [email protected] or use the comments section.

The only thing on the envelope is “February, 1960”.

Our anonymous Las Vegas Historian dug them up. He provided a different batch that we published at least a year ago.

I just spent an hour trying to find some of them in the old archives. I hadn’t categorized them, and even I’m baffled. I tried all kinds of keywords in the “search field” that’s in the left column. No luck. I did have a good time revisiting some of the posts that came up under the various keywords that I tried. So that’s another mystery. Where on the 3 years of blog archive are they?

This time, I created a new category called “Mystery House Series”. I’ll make sure to assign a category to all of these as I publish them. If any of you can find some of the old ones, send me the date or the link.

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The Last Of The Paradise Palms Newsletters From 1963

SEPTEMBER 630001Alas, the last of the 1963 Paradise Palms Desert-News newsletters. I sure was hoping more of them would surface. No luck!

Today we find babies, children, a Jackie K hairdo, and a very fabulous dinette set.

I’ve also picked up another clue as to the which were the Secrest Construction Company “Americana Series” homes that were mentioned in the first edition that we published. In that February 63 newsletter, the unit 12 Americana Series was erroneously described as Tioga, Cochise and Geronimo, west of Spencer. Those streets are East of Spencer, and are actually Unit 10, The Tioga finger which runs westward from Eastern. Yes, I was confused by their error, and the swimming pool picture below helped to clear that up.


But wait.

There’s one more piece of Ephemera that came in this collection, but you’ll have to wait for tomorrow!























SEPTEMBER 630004And some football, And then there’s…….
















SEPTEMBER 630002“Giovannella”. Anyone have any clue about her later years? Nothing on Google under Giovannella, but searching “Joan Marks” got to me to a 1957 article in Time Magazine, as well as a 1957 article from the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

How about it art history guys/gals. Who can did up some more?


 (UPDATE: 10 minutes after publishing this last newsletter, new Paradise Palms resident Clay put this link into the comments section. A 1970’s painting by Giovannella of Linus Pauling. Thanks, Clay! 









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Plan 8 – The Last Of The William Krisel Designed Models Of Paradise Palms

PLAN 80001This is the last of the series showing the original 1963 sales brochures of the William Krisel designed homes of Paradise Palms.

I’m just intelligently guessing that about 300 of the 1044 homes in Paradise Palms were Krisel designs. Irwin Molasky’s Paradise Development Company developed the entire master planned community, and directly built the Krisel homes. There were other construction companies that built some of the “units” of Paradise Palms.

For example, in the first of the newsletters, we learned that the whole section north of Desert Inn, between Camelback Road and  Eastern Ave. were built by Miranti Homes. These 83 homes in Unit 11 were concrete block, ranch style homes with pitched roofs or flat roofs, and sunken living rooms.

The same article told us that “Unit 10” (which is the Tioga finger into the golf course), and “Unit 12” (the first few homes on the streets west of Spencer) were the work of Secrest Construction, who dubbed a group of 77 homes as the Americana Series. I think these were the ranch houses west of Spencer.  

I have no clue if Irwin Molasky’s Paradise Homes actually built the rest of the homes in his development. If anyone else has a clue or some history for me, please email or call me.

Plan 8 back0001Plan 8 was the largest of the Bill Krisel Designs. It was 1900 square feet. The fireplace was the centerpiece of the home as it was an island which served as a divider between the family living room and the dining room. The other distinctive feature was the screened front courtyard in front of the kitchen window, which stretched over to the carport.

Almost all of the model 8’s have had the carport converted to garage. Unfortunately, many of them have had the screen walls removed. 

A good (bad – fixer upper) example of the Model 8C just sold as a foreclosure at 3419 Seneca, and a terrific well kept and beautifully painted example of the model 8B can be found at 3522 Pueblo Way, which is 3 or four houses west of the “Revision House”.  

I don’t recognize the 8A at all. I don’t recall any that have an extended facia providing shade to the bedroom windows. Nor do  I recognize the shadow block design on the left front of the house. Am I wrong?

There’s at least 3 people/couples that I know of who have been driving around Paradise Palms with these brochures trying to identify all the houses of each model. I wish I had the time to do it lesiurly as well. Perhaps one of them will spot an 8A that I’m not remembering.

The prices, which were rubber stamped onto the back of the brochures is a little harder to read on the the model 8, but they were:

Lot B $31,900 and

Lot C $34,500

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The Downtown Issue From Las Vegas Weekly Magazine

Downtown Issue - Las Vegas WeeklyThe other day we told you about a PR piece from Fox 5 news featuring Sarah Feldberg of Las Vegas Weekly.

Turns out….once the magazine and the online addition appeared…. that it’s a whole “Downtown Edition”.

8 feature articles ask and mostly answer:

Who are some artists I should know? I concur! And there’s a whole lot more that didn’t get mentioned.

What’s There To Do Downtown? (I thought this was all there was going to be based on the Fox5 piece) It’s an embedded google map of everything downtown. I’ve embedded it below, or you can see it at Las Vegas Weekly.  

What Can I Do On A Saturday Downtown? An excellent itinerary.

Can A Suburbanite Feel Welcome? Too bad he missed the best parts, and the biggest smiles.

How Dangerous Is It – Really? Not at all if you’re not venturing off the well beaten path.

What Should I Know Before I Go? A poetic group of recommendations from some of Downtown’s finest folk.

What’s Up With Neonopolis? They neglected to mention the Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art which is, granted, one of the only other tenant. The current exhibit of International Artists is wonderful, and should not be missed.  

What’s on The Drawing Board? With no mention of the Smith Center For The Performing Arts, The Ace Transit System, A new City Hall, and New Transit Terminal and a few  others.

Overall….an upbeat and enthusiastic overview of Downtown Las Vegas. Too bad they didn’t mention the TERRIFIC HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOODS and Mid Century Modern homes that surround downtown. But that’s my job, so I’ll forgive them.

View What’s there to do Downtown in a larger map

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Brian Paco Alvarez Speaks His Mind About Culture In Las Vegas

Brian Paco Alvarez was interviewed this week at our favorite Las Vegas history blog – Classic Las Vegas.

Paco’s one of my closest friends, and he’s taken up the mantle of blogging all things cultural in Las Vegas –  Enculturate Las Vegas. Besides, VeryVintageVegas, these are the other two local blogs that you should be reading regularly.

The interview with Brian Paco Alvarez is far reaching, with questions about culture in general, the myth of “there’s no culture in Las Vegas”, the neon museum, the arts district, and the question that’s most important to us at VVV:

4) Aside from a core group of supporters, Historic Preservation still feels like it is under-rated and under supported not only by the City and the County but by the residents of Las Vegas as well.  What suggestions do you have for making historical preservation more important to the local municipalities and the community at large?

The solution is very simple, “education.” The preservation groups must be willing to step forward and work closely with our community leaders to educate them about the treasures in which we as a society have been entrusted to care for. Las Vegas is a new city therefore we must find novel ways of explaining to the public that the buildings that were built 40 and 50 years ago are relevant to history because of the context in which they were built.

This community has a spectacular ephemeral past and we must use those collections whether they are from UNLV Special Collection, the Nevada State Museum or the Las Vegas News Bureau to educate the public about preserving our past. Unfortunately we do not have many large commercial buildings left to preserve but we have thousands of historic homes in dozens of historic neighborhoods that we should be preserved. Demonstrating to the public the importance of preserving these neighborhoods is key, not to mention it helps sustain property values. We must demonstrate to the public the economic value of historic preservation. Economics always resonates with the American public no matter what community you may live in.

Please take a moment to read the entire interview. It’s short, but full of insight into creating a better Las Vegas through culture.


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Paradise Palms Residents Enjoy Exclusive Privileges – at least they used to

AUGUST 630001Our Paradise Palms 1963 series is coming to an end soon. There’s only one more floor plan brochure, an after this, the August 1963 edition of the Paradise Palms Desert News, there’s only September left to show you.

I was hoping someone else would surface that had other editions stashed away, but, alas, it hasn’t happened.

We’ll continue with some more 1960’s fun with a new series of photographs from our secret historian. He just delivered a whole cache of 1960’s pictures, and we’ll need your help figuring out where they are.

Today’s edition of the Paradise Palms Desert News features smuggled art, more hair, a new gas station, and lots of furniture that we’d all love to have now.

 AUGUST 630003

My mother used to “let” me lick the S & H Green Stamps. There’s actually 3 full books of them in a box in her store room. All that licking, and they never got turned in for valuable merchandise.

Anyone know when the “flying A” got torn down?

AUGUST 630004

 AUGUST 630002

In the early 70’s, the Paradise Palms Community voted to abolish the homeowner’s association. I’ve been told that it happened both in 73 and 74.

With the HOA defunt, the community park was closed and the land was re-developed for the last homes to be built in Paradise Palms. Those homes are distinctly different and have the feel of the 70’s and 80’s. You can find them on the south side of Nakona, just west of Spencer.  

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Three Articles Of Interest In KNPR’s Desert Companion

Desert Companion - KNPR- Nevada Public Radio March 2010If you’re not a supporter of KNPR – you ought to be. One of the benefits, besides great radio programming is their companion magazine –aptly named– “Desert Companion”.

There’s FOUR articles this month that I thought would be of interest to you as devoted readers of VeryVintageVegas:

Westleigh Neighborhood

The first is about the Westleigh Neighborhood, and it’s disappointing (to me and many others) effort to gain “official” historic designation. I’d covered the story before, but it’s a very good cautionary tale for all the other historic neighborhoods that might want to one day take the plunge into official recognition.

I use the term historic neighborhood all time. I use the term very loosely to describe ALL the neighborhoods of Vintage Vegas. But I guess I should always use it with small case letters. 

The story in Desert Companion starts on page 14 – “Who’s Afraid Of Big Bad History – When residents sought to secure historic status for downtown’s Westleigh neighborhood, they encountered opposition from…..their own neighbors?” by Andrew Kiraly

Commercial Center:

The second story is about Commercial Center, the sprawling complex of diversity that’s on Sahara Avenue, just west of Maryland Parkway. I personally love commercial center for being exactly what it is. I believe in it, and think of it as an important asset to the whole big picture of Vintage Vegas. I show it as a valuable resource to every home buyer that I work with.

Andrew Kiraly also penned the Commercial Center story that begins on page 26:  “SAVING (the other) CITY CENTER – How do you restore a historic shopping plaza like Commercial Center in hard times? Clean it up – without scrubbing away its soul”

Downtown Las Vegas Restaurants

Brooke Earnest gives us a run down and the low down of great food in Downtown Las Vegas. You’ll find it on page 54: “CHOW DOWN DOWNTOWN: A foodie craw of new hot spots (and old mainstays) reveals downtown never tasted so good.”

The “New Modernism”

In a valley full of cookie cutter stucco and tile roofs – even in the commercial buildings there’s some fabulous architecture that’s happening. From Brett Wesley’s new galley in the arts district, to a home in Summerlin to a motorcycle shop on Boulder Highway, there’s a new breath of fresh air,  with good old Mid Century Modern as it’s inspiration. Desert Companion gives us a glimpse starting on page 33: “WE BUILT THIS CITY – …..here’s a sampling of the hot architecture of the new Vegas cityscape….”

JUST A NOTE: The online version of the magazine opens in a flash player. It will take a few seconds to figure it out, but it’s fast and very readable – especially full screen.

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Gushing Over Downtown Las Vegas

Downtown gets some great PR on Fox 5 news.

Las Vegas Weekly Community Editor Sarah Feldberg has written a local’s primer to hanging out in Downtown Las Vegas. It’s really nice to see someone else all excited and enthused about what to do Downtown. Check out the video for a preview

The print article is in the edition that comes out this Thursday. I’ll add the online link to this post when it’s up, but you’ll want to pick it up and keep it around.

Paymon’s; Downtown Cocktail Room; Beauty Bar; Firefly; Trifecta Gallery; the Arts Factory, and Retro Vegas all get nods in the video. Hopefully Don’t Tell Mama, Griffin, Tinocco’s, and all the terrific free entertainment at Fremont Street Experience (as well as many others) will get their due.

This Thursday, you can check out the print or online version of Las Vegas Weekly.


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Glen Heather Neighborhood Affected By Project Neon

Neon_map_t652One of the great little neighborhoods in Vintage Vegas is Glen Heather. It’s located in the Southeast corner of Rancho Drive and Oakey Avenue, just west of the I-15 freeway. Glen Heather can be accessed via side streets off of both Rancho and Oakey.

It’s a charming neighborhood with a mixture of “Desert Modern” and “Ranch Modern” homes. All are on large lots and the entire neighborhood is dominated by huge trees. It’s a remarkably stable neighborhood, and has had very few foreclosures over the last few years. There’s currently only one home available (at $329k), and 4 in contract.

Some of the residents of Glen Heather are being threatened with an eminent domain taking for the I-15 Freeway expansion. The Project is called “Project Neon”. The entire huge project includes widening of I-15 from the Spaghetti Bowl to Sahara, as well as a complete new interchange for Charleston. I’d stayed up to date on pending takings for the Charleston Blvd Intersection project which threatened some of the homes just south of Charleston and West of MLK, but wasn’t aware till yesterday that Glen Heather was going to be impacted by the widening of I-15.

The Las Vegas Sun did a feature story yesterday about how the affected residents of Glen Heather are in limbo. Unlike efforts to expand casino and commercial districts into the historic neighborhoods, I don’t think there’s any way to stop a major public works project that will have such a huge impact on future traffic.  





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Short Sales Are About 65% Of The Inventory

Short Sales account for about 65% of the inventory in Las Vegas. Slightly over half of all the business that I do now involves the short sale.

The Short Sale occurs when the house can’t be sold for as much as is owed on it. Generally, the seller comes away with better credit than they would have after a foreclosure. The buyer gets a great deal, but has to wait a long time (sometimes as much as 4 months) until the seller’s bank approves the deal.

If you or someone you know is in trouble with their mortgage already, or is contemplating that they won’t be able to keep up with the payments, they should call me.

I can explain it to them in detail, and often help them to get the house sold. Now with the new program that’s part of the stimulous package, they can even get money from the government as an inducement to Short Sale the house instead of letting it go to foreclosure. The details are explained in the article below.

The article below explains a lot about the new program which will go into effect on April 5.

Call or email me if you’re in trouble with your loan. I can help. 

From The New York Times:


by David Streitfeld

In an effort to end the foreclosure crisis, the Obama administration has been trying to keep defaulting owners in their homes. Now it will take a new approach: paying some of them to leave.
This latest program, which will allow owners to sell for less than they owe and will give them a little cash to speed them on their way, is one of the administration’s most aggressive attempts to grapple with a problem that has defied solutions.
More than five million households are behind on their mortgages and risk foreclosure. The government’s $75 billion mortgage modification plan has helped only a small slice of them. Consumer advocates, economists and even some banking industry representatives say much more needs to be done.

For the administration, there is also the concern that millions of foreclosures could delay or even reverse the economy’s tentative recovery — the last thing it wants in an election year.
Taking effect on April 5, the program could encourage hundreds of thousands of delinquent borrowers who have not been rescued by the loan modification program to shed their houses through a process known as a short sale, in which property is sold for less than the balance of the mortgage. Lenders will be compelled to accept that arrangement, forgiving the difference between the market price of the property and what they are owed.
“We want to streamline and standardize the short sale process to make it much easier on the borrower and much easier on the lender,” said Seth Wheeler, a Treasury senior adviser.
The problem is highlighted by a routine case in Phoenix. Chris Paul, a real estate agent, has a house he is trying to sell on behalf of its owner, who owes $150,000. Mr. Paul has an offer for $48,000, but the bank holding the mortgage says it wants at least $90,000. The frustrated owner is now contemplating foreclosure.
To bring the various parties to the table — the homeowner, the lender that services the loan, the investor that owns the loan, the bank that owns the second mortgage on the property — the government intends to spread its cash around.
Under the new program, the servicing bank, as with all modifications, will get $1,000. Another $1,000 can go toward a second loan, if there is one. And for the first time the government would give money to the distressed homeowners themselves. They will get $1,500 in “relocation assistance.”

Should the incentives prove successful, the short sales program could have multiple benefits. For the investment pools that own many home loans, there is the prospect of getting more money with a sale than with a foreclosure.
For the borrowers, there is the likelihood of suffering less damage to credit ratings. And as part of the transaction, they will get the lender’s assurance that they will not later be sued for an unpaid mortgage balance.
For communities, the plan will mean fewer empty foreclosed houses waiting to be sold by banks. By some estimates, as many as half of all foreclosed properties are ransacked by either the former owners or vandals, which depresses the value of the property further and pulls down the value of neighboring homes.
If short sales are about to have their moment, it has been a long time coming. At the beginning of the foreclosure crisis, lenders shunned short sales. They were not equipped to deal with the labor-intensive process and were suspicious of it.
The lenders’ thinking, said the economist Thomas Lawler, went like this: “I lend someone $200,000 to buy a house. Then he says, ‘Look, I have someone willing to pay $150,000 for it; otherwise I think I’m going to default.’ Do I really believe the borrower can’t pay it back? And is $150,000 a reasonable offer for the property?”
Short sales are “tailor-made for fraud,” said Mr. Lawler, a former executive at the mortgage finance company Fannie Mae.

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