Archive by Date

June 30, 2011
As part of the official choreography of publicity for the 405 freeway shutdown next month, the LAPD asked Ashton Kutcher and other celebrities — Lady Gaga among them — to...
Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan says the happiest thing for a Boston sports fan these days is that Frank McCourt is L.A.'s problem now.
NIgerian flies to LAX on fake boarding pass, Getty House wall is only a fence, Villaraigosa tweets to Conan, plus more.
June 29, 2011
Metro has posted a six-page fact sheet on construction of the Westside subway extension, a project whose future is still tied to decisions yet to be made in Congress.
The latest news and gimmicks on the coming 405 shutdown, including the LAPD asks a favor of Lady Gaga.
Here's what leads the lists at Southern California independent bookstores through last weekend's sales. All but the last category are different in New England indie bookstores, by the way.
In the new issue of the Wall Street Journal Magazine, the LA Weekly's Jonathan Gold escapes from the San Gabriel Valley's Asian dives he frequents to profile the Copenhagen restaurant just voted the best in the world for the second year in a row.
Brand X, the Times' somewhat youthier culture and events publication, is ceasing publication with today's issue.
"Clarence doesn’t leave the E Street Band when he dies. He leaves when we die."
A brief roundup today.
June 28, 2011
A zoning variance will allow Getty House to add a six-foot wall.
Revjsed concept maps for redistricting of congressional districts in California may have moved San Gabriel Valley Republican David Dreier out of the Democratic strongholds where the first round of maps appeared to place him
Ben Westhoff, a New Yorker who has written for the Village Voice, NPR, Pitchfork, Spin and XXL has been named the LA Weekly's music editor.
Bob Daly, the Dodgers' managing partner when Frank McCourt got to town, rues the day.
Fire chief to retire, new harbor commissioner, Villaraigosa to Aspen, reviews of Jim O'Shea's book and New York Times teams with USC.
June 27, 2011
In their first game as a legally bankrupt club, the Dodgers on the field went out and just had some fun tonight against the Minnesota Twins
Jean Harris. a former Deputy Mayor of San Francisco and an icon of the lesbian political community in California, died Sunday in Palm Springs.
Jeff Blair, a columnist in Toronto, briefs readers of the Globe and Mail on WTF's going on down in Los Angeles.
Today's radio column was inspired by the film, "Page One: Inside the New York Times and the Future of Journalism."
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig released a statement in reaction to today's bankruptcy filing by the Dodgers.
Make that "very, very sad," says the woman who as a young city council member in the 1950s played a key role in closing the deal to bring the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.
Stadium snookerage, A.J. Duffy prepares to yield, Stelter to write a book, AP hiring, Zocalo announces a poetry prize and a petition for Vin Scully. Plus more.
The Dodgers' bankruptcy filing this morning lists Manny Ramirez as the club's leading creditor, owed $21 million.
Here are the L.A. Press Club's journalists of the year from Sunday night's awards banquet.
June 26, 2011
This popped up tonight on Facebook: Leonard Cohen, Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen in San Sebastian in 1988, singing about Janis Joplin.
Steve Harvey walks us through the various eras before we end up at Loss AN-ju-less.
New York Times media reporters have takes this weekend on two L.A.-based fixtures on the current media scene.
Shawn Hubler writes in her Orange Coast magazine column that she senses more openness toward Orange County from her Los Angeles friends.
Caitlin Barron, a Riverside County Animal Services officer who rescued an injured red-tail hawk from the 60 Freeway in May, released the healed bird a couple of days ago on Jack Rabbit Trail in the Badlands west of Beaumont.
Topics include L.A.'s children's museum, LudoBites, Westside Pavilion parking, the 405, Los Angeles magazine and more.
June 25, 2011
Civic leader Steve Soboroff was brought in as vice chairman of the Dodgers two months ago and became, for a short time, Frank McCourt's most vociferous public defender.
June 24, 2011
The question, Patrick Goldstein asks, is why?
The Wrap is bringing in Fred Schruers as a senior writer and Lucas Shaw, a recent Columbia grad, as media writer.
In papers filed in L.A. Superior Court, the Laker requests to change his name to Metta World Peace.
June 23, 2011
I don't know what's going on at Roy Romer Middle School in North Hollywood, but after watching this video posted today at YouTube, if I were on the school board or a news assignment desk, I'd get somebody out there tomorrow.
Here's a report by Los Angeles theater types who aren't fans of the Center Theater Group model.
The Google street view glimpse of the Santa Monica apartment house where Boston crime boss James Bulger was living shows a unit for lease sign up.
Enviro review for AEG's stadium idea, upset over Autry and Southwest Museum, a local Knight Challenge winner, LAT's editor plays photog and more.
June 22, 2011
Bulger, a fugitive since 1994, was reportedly arrested tonight in Santa Monica, the L.A. Times says citing "multiple law enforcement sources."
A robber hit the Fast Fix jewelry store in the Westfield Century City outdoor shopping mall about noon today, and while running to a waiting car he fired one shot in the air as a security guard gave chase.
Former L.A. Times sportswriter Lonnie White has posted a remarkable first-person story for Fox Sports disclosing for the first time how he accepted a brown bag with $5,000 cash — and took a total of $14,000 — while he was a star wide receiver and kick returner for the Trojans in the 1980s.
Guarded good news out of San Francisco on Bryan Stow, the victim of that brutal assault at Dodger Stadium on this season's opening day.
Abby Sunderland, now 17, is taking flying lessons and talking about going around the world.
Philips, whose story about an attack on Tupac Shakur, was "fully retracted" by the L.A. Times in 2008, says new information corroborates his original story.
Problem is on Mount Wilson. The Pacifica station remains live on the web.
LAX food concessions awarded, county CEO's challenge, Rizzo lists his home, Crenshaw High snags Kareem for graduation and more politics and media notes.
June 21, 2011
Curbed LA, Eater LA and the sites they share ownership with are off the air because the FBI raided their server host in Virginia — looking for info on someone unrelated to Curbed — and grabbed their machines too.
Controller John Chiang will be a guest on KCRW's "Which Way, L.A.?" at 7 p,m, to talk about his decision earlier today that legislators continue to forfeit their pay due to Gov. Brown's veto of the budget.
John Miller and his wife are moving to Kuwait to teach, per today's memo from Executive Editor Carolina Garcia.
Metro reporter Scott Gold will focus on stories about "the scientific and technological breakthroughs of the modern era" — and also earthquakes. The challenge of the beat will be to...
DiFi approval sags, stadium questions remain, right turn cameras in Council today, harbor commissioner quits, plus media notes and more.
June 20, 2011
Nice interview by The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf with Rob Long, the Emmy-winning writer on "Cheers" who lives in Venice, does his weekly Martini Shot column for KCRW and continues to write for TV.
The New York Times media blog says Al Jazeera trails BBC in the ratings but beats both the Japanese and Israeli newscasts.
Many kudos on baseball websites today for blogger Larry Behrendt's detailing of the case against Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.
Today's column on KCRW: Is Los Angeles a theater town?
A Chinese restaurant in Brentwood has teamed up with UCLAMunchies, a service that matches students with late-night eats, to offer Ching-Chong-Ling-Long Gourmet Takeout. That is, assuming it's not a joke.
As Mark noted earlier at LA Biz Observed, baseball commissioner Bud Selig has rejected Frank McCourt's longterm deal with Fox Sports for the future broadcast rights to Dodgers games. Here's a statement from lawyer Steve Susman on behalf of McCourt
The left-side activist group Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy is being targeted by an anonymous foe who has, apparently, paid a Sacramento opposition research firm to pummel local officials with requests for any documents or contacts with the group and its director, Madeline Janis.
California Republicans favor Mitt Romney so far, Villaraigosa takes a stand on wars, LAT backs AEG's stadium, plus more politics and media notes from the weekend.
Here's one minute of Sunday afternoon traffic looks and sounds like on the 405 freeway in Sepulveda Pass. No wonder there's talk of carmageddon.
June 19, 2011
Not everyone's happy, but Councilman Krekorian is willing to play along.
June 18, 2011
Clemons, a beloved member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band since 1972, couldn't survive the massive stroke he suffered a week ago. He died Saturday at a hospital in Palm Beach, Florida.
June 17, 2011
I can't remember the last time I mentioned Beyonce, Wes Studi, Nastassja Kinski, Rooney Mara and Bradley Cooper in the same sentence. They are among the 178 actors, other artists and executives on today's list of newly invited members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Sharon Waxman of The Wrap calls out The Hollywood Reporter under Janice Min for lifting scoops and calling them "exclusives."
Lawrence Wayne Fischer, known for a long time as Wild Man, was a musical partner of Frank Zappa until the two had a falling out, and the "spiritual godfather" of Rhino Records.
Mitchell tells IndieWire's Dana Harris that in his new role as curator for the Film Independent/Los Angeles County Museum of Art film series, "The first thing I want to do is not alienate people who have been coming to LACMA to see movies.
For some reason the initial news this morning was that longtime KCRW music force Nic Harcourt was leaving the station where he used to be music director (he still hosted a weekend show) to concentrate on work at MTV. Now comes a release from KCSN.
Scott Jones, an Australian, and Alex Thomas, a Canadian, had been at the Stanley Cup finals seventh game and were caught in the post-loss rioting in downtown Vancouver.
Brown's veto, a local Republican supports tax extension vote, Molina denies sexting, reviews of "Page One" and Nic Harcourt leaves KCRW.
Frank and Jamie McCourt have reached a divorce settlement, according to three people familiar with the case, says the LAT's Bill Shaikin. They are in court this morning to inform...
An anonymous donor in Bellingham, Washington sent Los Angeles County a casher's check for $10,000 with a handwritten note: In this time of economic difficulties, governments need all the...
Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon on Thursday rescinded his finding that Frank and Jamie McCourt were at an impasse in their settlement talks, and he set a hearing for later today to determine if a deal had been reached.
Los Angeles magazine gathered quite a crowd Wednesday night in the lobby of 5900 Wilshire, the tall office tower across from LACMA that the magazine shares with Variety, the New York Times and other media outlets.
June 16, 2011
Conan O'Brien has sweetened, so to speak, his request for the city of Los Angeles to rename a segment of West Raymer Street beside the train tracks in Van Nuys....
Anne Thompson notes that Mitchell lands on his feet again, but she suggests the museum be aware of issues with his "skills as an administrator/manager/organizer."
Sexting and Mike Molina, Villaraigosa on 'Meet the Press,' Hefner's runaway bride, Jim O'Shea's book, Huffington makes Rita Wilson an editor and accusations against Shaq. Plus more.
Reader Daniel J.B. Mitchell has noticed more newspapers using the Captcha service to prevent abuse of the forwarding option on stories. Sometimes the words it comes with are amusing. Or in this case, from the L.A. Times website, just unintelligible.
Rep. Anthony Weiner reportedly told House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi last night at the White House that he would step down today.
June 15, 2011
Radio Bilingüe announced today it is halting Los Angeles Public Media and LA>Forward "for the foreseeable future."
William and Kate will be Downtown, Wilshire bus lane, Prop. 8, Rick Caruso and more.
Tyler Hamilton, the former bike racer who said on "60 Minutes" that he took banned substances with then-teammate Lance Armstrong and knew of a positive drug test that was covered up, had words with Armstrong at a bar in Aspen on Saturday night.
Political consultant Michael Trujillo disagrees with writer Joel Fox on the comparison between the Los Angeles of 1993, when Republican businessman Richard Riordan was elected mayor, and the condition the city will be in when voters choose again in 2013.
June 14, 2011
In the small world of the Hollywood trades, Tuesday began with the former L.A. Times advertising exec Lynne Segall quitting MMC to become publisher and senior VP of The Hollywood Reporter. Then Nikki Finke posted a 1,300 word screed against Segall.
Craig Huey, the Republican running against Janice Hahn in the 36th congressional district, says he had nothing to do with it and called the video "inappropriate [and] highly offensive."
Mildred Baena and her 13-year-old son by Arnold Schwarzenegger sat down with Hello magazine, and she describes crying with Shriver.
Mark Willes, the CEO who lost Times Mirror (and the Los Angeles Times) to Tribune, says NBC's "The Playboy Club" won't air on his LDS television channel.
Carl Gardner was singing in the Los Angeles R&B group The Robins in 1955 when he and other musicians formed The Coasters, the first vocal group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Lawmakers without degrees, Wilshire bus lanes, how is HuffPost actually doing, returning to Dodger Stadium and more.
June 13, 2011
"It's how we live on the Westside of my 80 bucks for six things and get the heck out."
This warning has popped up just off the Mulholland Highway segment in upper Hollywoodland, east of the Lake Hollywood reservoir.
Small business advocate and politics writer Joel Fox, the name partner behind the Fox & Hounds Daily website, checked out mayoral candidate Austin Beutner and possible candidate Rick Caruso last week at separate appearances in the Valley.
Tonight's weekly column features obits: Laura Ziskin, Joan Luther, Allen Levy.
Mark's got new ticket prices at Disneyland, bankruptcy for Marie Callender's, boffo ratings for the Mavericks and Heat, analysis on Facebook going public and Conan O'Brien's life lesson from losing 'The Tonight Show.'
Mehserle gets out of jail, Brown takes to YouTube again, a resignation at Airports, Michelle Obama and Republicans come to town, HuffPost hires again and much more for a Monday.
June 12, 2011
Ziskin died at home tonight after a long and public battle with breast cancer.
Live Talks Los Angeles is presenting a conversation between authors Ann Patchett (her new novel is "State of Wonder") and Maile Meloy with tickets set aside for LA Observed readers.
Willman, a Pulitzer winner for the paper in 2001, is the author of the recent "The Mirage Man," about the suspected perpetrator of anthrax attacks that killed five. Read the memo.
They had a really good lineup of stories on Saturday's "Off-Ramp" on KPCC, plus a search for Wahoo, Calif.
As part of the deal NBC agreed to with the International Olympic Committee last week, NBC says it will start with the 2014 Olympics to make every event available live on one platform or another.
Mr. and Mrs. LA Observed announce the graduation of our cherished and super-cool Sean from the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture. (Phew, glad that's over.)
A season after seeming to lose his focus, the Dodgers' Matt Kemp leads the National League in home runs.
The L.A. Times has been reporting all weekend that anonymous "law enforcement sources" are contradicting NBC 4's report that blood stains on a Dodgers jersey match Bryan Stow's blood.
Next to go from the L.A. Times blogroll is apparently The Daily Mirror, copy editor Larry Harnisch's look back at stories and photos out of the Times archives.
Here's 54 seconds of video from the Los Angeles entry in World Naked Bike Ride on Saturday. Looks like about 100 riders in different stages of nudity turning off...
June 10, 2011
NBC 4 reports tonight that police have a jersey with blood stains that was dropped off at a cleaners.
Today was the last day for longtime Los Angeles Police Department media relations spokeswoman Mary Grady.
The servers are reportedly jammed, but here's the link for the draft maps of congressional and legislative districts put forth this morning by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Banksy will sponsor free admission at The Geffen Contemporary every Monday for the duration of the Art in the Streets exhibition. Thierry Guetta, the other star of "Exit From the Gift Shop," takes a big loss in court.
Redistricting, police budget politics, the football stadium and more.
June 9, 2011
Levy was working for CBS Newspath out of Los Angeles covering the Arizona wildfires when he failed to show up this morning to produce a live shot for "The Early Show." He was found dead in his hotel room, apparently of natural causes.
Flying and filming over the beach and skate park.
Los Angeles' Archbishop José H. Gomez joined with other California bishops in issuing a "statement of moral principles to help legislators and citizens find a just solution to California's budget dilemma."
Ron Rapoport, the author and former sportswriter and columnist, stops in as an LA Observed visiting blogger on the occasion of Dick Ebersol leaving NBC and the network getting the rights to keep airing (on delay) the Olympic Games.
L.A. Times media columnist James Rainey tweets an open question about AOL Patch.
Hey, we're on the LA Weekly's list this year.
Robbery-Homicide takes over Bryan Stow case, 29,398 fewer state cellphones, John & Ken OK a tax vote by Republicans, Times and Daily both say no on red-light cameras, and more.
June 8, 2011
Todd DeStefano, who resigned in January as the Coliseum Commission's long-time events manager, "collected tens of thousands of dollars in private payments from liquor and soft drink companies, television and...
In the 1964 comedy Sex and the Single Girl, Tony Curtis (a womanizing tabloid reporter) and Natalie Wood (who plays Helen Gurley Brown) gallivant around Los Angeles — including on the new 405 freeway and its Mulholland Drive bridge.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gets third billing on the list of signators to an ad in the New York Times calling on President Obama to extend a ban on uranium mining claims near the Grand Canyon.
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show will air live on Friday from the campus of Crenshaw High School — starting at 3 a.m. to reach the East Coast audience.
Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman, Gidget herself, will be a guest of honor at Saturday's Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race and Ocean Festival.
Anthony Brooklier has been in the news recently as the lawyer for Giovanni Ramirez, the parolee who the LAPD thinks is a top suspect in the Bryan Stow beating at Dodger Stadium.
Patt Morrison will do her KPCC show on Thursday live from the United Nations in New York. Here's the guest list.
Three months before Rep. Weiner sent a photo from his Twitter account to a 21-year-old Washington State college student, the conservatives were warning young women on Twitter to be wary and speculating about a sex scandal.
KPCC's John Rabe seems a little perturbed that the police commission has overruled the LAPD staff and voted to discontinue the red-light cameras that spew out dubious tickets at 32 intersections around Los Angeles. It's moire about L.A. drivers though.
Budget, prisons, Villaraigosa's newest deputy, Garcettis at the White House, KNBC's new channel, the worst actor and actress and an exciting new Dodger. Plus more notes.
June 7, 2011
The Los Angeles Police Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to reject a new contract the LAPD wants with the firm that runs the city's 32 red light cameras.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center calls it "the most significant document in its 34-year history," a four-page letter signed by Adolf Hitler six years before the publication of "Mein Kampf."
Joan Luther, called by some the first lady of restaurant PR in Los Angeles, died yesterday.
The number of full-time journalists that Arianna Huffington now oversees is more than the staffs of the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post. Still, all's not well in the merger of Huffington and AOL.
New Weiner disclosure involves a porn actress, Loretta Sanchez may lose her district, Lacey makes a campaign video for DA, plus Schwarzenegger, Frank Buckley, Marc Cooper, D.J Waldie, Ron Kaye and more.
Richard Bloom is getting in the race to succeed the terming-out Julie Brownley. Torie Osborn, the onetime adviser to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, is also in.
June 6, 2011
Christina Villacorte of the Daily News has the more human story of the pain caused by thefts by a trustee.
Kristy Edmunds, who comes to UCLA from Australia, talks about programming the performing arts and how she intends to get to know what Los Angeles audiences want.
Andrew Gold, who died Friday at home in Encino, had serious roots in the Los Angeles music scene. His father, Ernest Gold, won an Oscar for his score on the...
Scott Pelley took the anchor chair on the CBS network's flagship news program tonight, and the only real suspense was how would his show cover the Anthony Weiner sex scandal.
Andrew Breitbart, the Westside-based conservative activist and website mogul, doesn't always hit the targets he aims for on the left. On Monday, though, he leveled New York Rep. Anthony Weiner with a clean check.
In tonight's column I visit Pacific Palisades, one of the city's richest corners, and hang around the bookstore the community could not keep open.
The lactation consultant and self-described “children’s rights advocate” who was behind the anti-circumcision effort says she'll drop the bid before beginning to collect signatures.
The Associated Press made calls to some top executives in Hollywood looking for quotes to freshen up the prepared obituary on Apple's Steve Jobs.
A quick roundup of news and notes.
I guess things are looking up financially for Los Angeles magazine, after winning a couple of National Magazine Awards last month.
Following on the news about Village Books and Latitude 33 closing, Metropolis Books on Main Street near 4th Street was put up for sale recently.
June 5, 2011
Jennifer Ferro, the general manager of KCRW, writes at Zocalo about changes in her neighborhood near Western Avenue and Washington Boulevard.
Ted Soqui checks out the seven-mile stretch of Angeles Crest Highway above La Cañada-Flintridge that reopened Friday
June 3, 2011
Mayor names new DOT head, stadium suspect stays in custody, Greuel on TV, James Arness dies and more.
The 20-page bilingual tabloid, distributed to 22,000 homes in Boyle Heights, aims to educate residents about the culture, personalities and news of this vibrant neighborhood.
7 Days in LA bills itself as a web home for "the city's most interesting guided tours. We're not a tour operator, but a consortium of the region's best independent...
John Edwards indicted, Jack Kevorkian dies, Tim Leiweke threatens, Hector Tobar columnizes, Denise Hamilton reviews and more.
The independent bookstore on Ocean Avenue, open since 1996, will close by the end of summer.
June 2, 2011
How LAX is planning for the worst weekend ever. Isn't it weird how the best job of covering the 405 freeway construction disruption so far hasn't been by any traditional media at all, but by the websites of Metro and of Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky?
Elmer G. "Geronimo" Pratt, the former Los Angeles Black Panther Party leader who spent 27 years in prison before his 1972 murder conviction was overturned, died today in a small village in Tanzania.
Bill Keller started talking to Jill Abramson last summer about taking his place, says Gabriel Sherman in New York Magazine.
A sold-out house came to MOCA to hear five journalists talk about the challenges of covering Mexico.
The anonymous blogger at Ruth Bourdain has customized the government's new dietary plate to his/her own foodie taste.
Katie O'Laughlin announced today "with great regret and sadness" that she will close Village Books on June 30, after fourteen years in Pacific Palisades.
Outposts will drop from the L.A. Times blogroll due to "committee" decision, blogger Kelly Burgess says in her final post.
KCSN, the FM station from Cal State Northridge, has a new program director. Sky Daniels, formerly of the late KMET and other stations, has also been a label executive at...
Now the green band trailer for "Girl With a Dragon Tattoo," PPIC's poll and Jerry Brown's taxes, Greuel subpoenas, more.
Biller Keller steps down effective Sept. 6. Dean Baquet, the former L.A. Times editor, will succeed Abramson as managing editor.
June 1, 2011
It's April Fool's Day in June, or seems like it.
Armstrong's lawyers reportedly demanded that "60 Minutes" make an on-air apology for last month's report, and called the story "extraordinarily shoddy to the point of being reckless and unprofessional, or a vicious hit-and-run job."
California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye spoke out today in Beverly Hills on the remark that Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon made at a recent hearing on his bill to strip her of some powers to oversee the courts
Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement from basketball today, via the social media tool Tout: "We did it. Nineteen years baby."
Gjelina's no substitution policy has always been ridiculously amateurish, but this time the Venice hot spot did its Menu Nazi act on Victoria Beckham. And Gordon Ramsay.
Matt Fong, a Republican who served as California's elected Treasurer for a term in the 1990s, died today of skin cancer at home in Pasadena.
Los Angeles-based Bill Simmons is "the most prominent sportswriter in America," this Sunday's New York Times Magazine says in a profile pegged to Simmons getting a ton of ESPN cash to headline his own website.
Randall Roberts is moving over to fill the pop critic spot at the Los Angeles Times that was vacated recently by Ann Powers. Read the memo.
Ramirez a suspect in Nevada shooting too, Parks wants to split City Attorney office, what people don't know about Prop. 13, plus David Bergstein, Roger Ailes, David Folkenflik, Nikki Finke, Pandora Young, David Beckham, Charles Fleming and more.
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8:40 PM Thu | Every familiar building, landmark, roofline and mural is photographed by Ian Wood. The challenge has been thrown down for quad-flying urban videographers.
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2:07 PM Sat | The funeral for Mark Lacter will be held Sunday, Nov. 24 at 12 noon at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles 90045. Reception to follow.

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