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Messages - SandyMansel

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General Discussion / Re: Are Elections safe from tampering?
« on: November 09, 2020, 04:57:24 AM »
PAPER BALLOTS would be more reliable, verifiable and cost less.  So why is our SCEC Administrator pushing for a certain touch screen system.

Contrary to what Ms. Phillips and other members of the SCEC assert, paper ballots are more secure, more economical, more voter-friendly, and with fewer and shorter lines at the polls. Purchasing BMDs is a prescription for disaster built on misleading information. AUDIT USA letter to Shelby County Board of Commissioners, Citizens, and Media of June 1, 2020t that predicted these findings of bid-manipulation: Respectfully, John R Brakey Here are the links to the 3 actual bids to Shelby Co Elections RFP 20-008-09 Jan 23, 2020, made into a PDF:

Article in Commercial Appeal, November 8, 2020

Magazine fraud scheme busted by FBI, Department of Justice

The scheme involved dozens of fraudulent magazine sales companies located across the United States and Canada. The 60 people indicted are located in 14 states and two Canadian provinces.

Randy Hutchinson - Special to Memphis Commercial Appeal USA TODAY NETWORK – TENNESSEE

The U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, and Postal Inspection Service collaborated to bring down the largest elder fraud scheme in the nation. That’s the good news. The bad news is that during the 20 years it operated, over 150,000 mostly elderly, vulnerable victims lost $300 million paying for fraudulent magazine subscriptions.

The scheme involved dozens of fraudulent magazine sales companies located across the United States and Canada. The 60 people indicted are located in 14 states and two Canadian provinces. Six operated from Oxford and Abbeville in Mississippi.

The Department of Justice cites two tactics defendants used to defraud people. Some employed a “renewal script” in which telemarketers falsely claimed to be calling from the consumer’s current magazine subscription company.

They also made a bogus offer to reduce the cost of a current subscription, but in reality signed victims up for new, expensive subscriptions. One consumer went from having one subscription to 12 .

Other defendants used a “cancellation” script to target people who had previously fallen victim to a magazine scam and were desperate to stop the subscriptions. Telemarketers claimed to be calling from a magazine’s “cancellation department” and offered to cancel the subscriptions and pay off outstanding balances for a large lump-sum payment. They weren’t actually affiliated with any magazine and consumers didn’t really owe the money they paid.

The indictments describe the different roles of defendants:

Company Owners operated the call centers and provided lists and scripts to the Telemarketers, who were trained by Call Center Managers.

Scheme Leaders provided a variety of services, including software programs that tracked orders and other customer information. They also sent invoices and collection letters to victims.

Lead brokers furnished the call lists. They charged premium prices of as much as $15 per name because many people on the lists were elderly and susceptible to fraudulent sales tactics.

In bringing the indictments, the U.S. Attorney said, “Unfortunately, we live in a world where fraudsters are willing to take advantage of seniors, who are often trusting and polite.”

The FBI special agent in charge said the scam artists left many victims financially devastated in their retirement years.

It appears all of these defendants conducted their schemes via telemarketing, but other magazine scammers go door-to-door. Over the years, we’ve issued consumer alerts about six local companies that victimized consumers here and in other states.

A common tactic is for young people to falsely claim they’re selling subscriptions to fund a school trip or earn a scholarship. People who fall for their bogus story often never receive their magazines.

The BBB offers these tips to avoid becoming the victim of a magazine sales scam:

Check out the company with the BBB.

Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics that rely on emotion.

Ask to see, or have sent to you, the terms and conditions of your subscription. Legitimate magazine companies will have and give them to you; crooks likely won’t.

It’s okay to hang up.

Pay with a credit card so you’ll have some recourse if something goes wrong.

Be wary if you can only pay by cash or check.

Remember that the FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule gives you three days to cancel a sale over $25 made in your home. But also recognize that getting a refund from a scammer will likely be impossible.

Randy Hutchinson is the president of the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South. Reach the BBB at 800-222-8754.

Updated thru November 1, 2020

Local Politics / Re: McCreery-$81, 675 Campaign Donations
« on: November 02, 2020, 05:48:48 PM »
TV Ads -- $30,050 to WestRogers -- When you have $$ to burn to run for a part-time alderman position that pays $1,000 a month.
Expenditure on 10-27-20 Campaign Finance Disclosure

Local Politics / Re: McCreery-$74, 975 Campaign Donations
« on: October 28, 2020, 07:45:29 PM »
Clothiers Buy Prime Germantown Office Building ----
Memphis Invest plans to spend several hundred thousand dollars renovating the property, especially the unusually large lobby with its atrium and skylight, other common areas and landscaping.
Construction contractor Chamberlain & McCreery, which renovates many of the houses Memphis Invest and its client-investors purchase, will make the improvements to 1900 Exeter, too.
BTW, this Ezon building is absolutely beautiful and a great commercial building within our Smart Growth Central Business District. Certainly hope that any renovations retain the charm befitting Germantown.  Would hate to see it morph to a Smart Growth high rise.

Phil Chamberlain served on the Tennessee  Housing Development Agency

12 Foreclosure Notices Filed Against Chamberlain & McCreery

Homes Still Heart of the Matter for Builders - Posted in Boyle header

Interesting -- Lakeland also puts in a second moratorium -- yet they recognize that their citizens have no "taste" for apartments. 
Does not matter if they are standalone or part of mixed use.

“I believe the citizens have spoken very loudly, especially in the last few weeks,” Cunningham said. “There’s just no taste in Lakeland for apartments right now.”

In other action, the board tabled an amendment for the long-considered Lakeland Commons development but approved a pair of residential projects.

In supporting the moratorium, the mayor echoed concerns that 800-plus multifamily units already approved for Lakeland Commons and The Lake District will strain the city’s infrastructure from sewers, schools and other services.

“It just behooves us at this point to hit the brakes a little bit on multifamily development as a whole,” Cunningham said. “I believe that could be something that could really crush us over time.”

The board agreed with him, voting 4-0 in favor of the moratorium.

The city last instituted an 18-month moratorium on multifamily developments in October 2019, but Cunningham believed some people could interpret that resolution as dealing only with stand-alone multifamily structures. The new prohibition encompasses all multifamily developments including mixed-use projects.

Local Politics / Re: McCreery-$74, 975 Campaign Donations
« on: October 24, 2020, 08:47:48 PM »
2 articles that reference the developer, Laurynas Petrauskas, who donated $1,000 above.  Jon McCreery, as chair of the Memphis -Shelby County Land Use Control Board, cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of this developer, despite extremely vocal opposition by surrounding neighbors and citizens.

Fox 13 - This article has video embedded that you really should watch.

The developer Laurynas Petrauskas said he is surprised by the opposition because he spoke to nearby residents and owners who told him they were okay with the townhomes being built.

Will Muller also lives in the neighborhood and said the townhomes are blocking the view from outside his home.

“We aren’t against things coming in, we want more people in the neighborhood but its just gigantic,” Muller said.

During the meeting, chairman Jon McCreery spoke in favor of the townhomes and how it could increase the property value of the neighborhood.

“I like the idea of a guy trying to do something different and re-energize the block,” McCreery said.

The townhome's construction will move forward but residents plan on stopping it.

Commercial Appeal -
Margaret Pritchard, one of the Land Use Control Board members who voted against the development, said she agreed with the concerns brought forth by residents.
"This structure is way out of character for the neighborhood," she said before voting. "It's way too tall. It's just inappropriate."

Jon McCreery, chairman of the board, said he thought the project could be fuel that drives vibrancy back into the neighborhood where deferred maintenance is visible on some of the homes.
"I don't see what's wrong with some change," he said before casting the tie-breaking vote in favor of the development. "I don't think we should be unabashed and be the next Nashville, but I don't see what's wrong with some development."
Jon McCreery, chairman of the board, said he thought the project could be fuel that drives vibrancy back into the neighborhood where deferred maintenance is visible on some of the homes.
"I don't see what's wrong with some change," he said before casting the tie-breaking vote in favor of the development. "I don't think we should be unabashed and be the next Nashville, but I don't see what's wrong with some development."

Local Politics / McCreery-$81, 675 Campaign Donations
« on: October 22, 2020, 08:36:00 AM »
Chamberlain and McCreery website names the following people as "Owners and Leadership Team"
Jon McCreery, President
Phil Chamberlain II, Vice President
Phil Chamberlain III, VP, Residential Division
Trina Chamberlain, Real Estate Sales Manager
Helen Hargest, CFO
Barry Jernigan, VP MultiFamily
Lance McKee, VP, Commercial
Tara Taylor, Project Manager Residential
Roger Bishop, VP, Capital Improvements

$15,550 in donations to "The Builder's" campaign from just CCMC owners and Leadership and their close relatives, assuming the last names indicate relationship
$1,600 6/18/20 Bradley McCreery, MW Construction
$1,600 6/30/20 Phil Chamberlain II, Eads, Vice President
$1,600 6/30/20 Trina Chamberlain, Eads, RE Sales Manager
$ 500 6/30/20 Jessica Chamberlain, Arlington
$1,600 6/30/20 Helen Hargest Germantown – CFO, CMCC
$1,600 6/30/20 William Hargest, Germantown
$ 250 6/30/20 Barry Jernigan, Paragould, AR
$1,600 6/26/20 Lance McKee, Collierville
$1,600 6/26/20 Meredith McKee, Collierville
$ 250 6/18/20 Tara Taylor,Personal Trainer, In Balance Fitness
$ 150 6/24/20 Roger Bishop, VP Bishop & Associates
$1,600 6/30/20 Brandon Bishop, Collierville
$1,600 6/30/20 Lacey Bishop, Collierville, Atty, Glassman, Wyatt, Tuttle
But please verify for yourself. Links to the 2Q and 3Q CFD are posted here. If any assumed relationship is incorrect, please advise.

$22,150  Remainder of Donations from Business Partners or Vendors who donated before 6/30/20.
$   150 6/22/20 Agriscapes, LLC, Collierville
$1,600 6/24/20 Scott Ballard, Germantown, Pres, Apex Flooring
$1,000 6/19/20 Cary Califf, Memphis, Attorney (RE Closing)
*1,600 6/24/20 CIG Investments GP, P O Box 382566, Germantown 38183
*1,600 6/24/20 CIG Properties GP, P O Box 382566, Memphis 38183
$   150 6/25/20 GAR-DEN Properties, Piperton
$   150 6/22/20 Healthy Lawn Irrigation, LLC, Collierville
$   150 6/22/20 Johnson Road Farms, Rossville
$1,600 6/29/20 Kimberly Martin, Germantown, Ex Asst, Phoenix Assurance, LLC
$1,600 6/29/20 William Martin, Germantown, Trader, Bondurant Futures
$1,000 6/18/20 Puentes Brothers Inc, Memphis
$   250 6/19/20 RKA Construction, LLC, Memphis
$   150 6/12/20 Richard Whaley, Collierville, VP Commercial Lending, First Capital Bank
$   500 6/12/20 Charlotte Wheeler, Germantown, Homemaker
$1,600 6/12/20 Amber Williams, Hernando, MS, IT Manager, FedEx
$   250 6/29/20 Charles Yukon, Germantown, Physician, Yukon Clinic Pediatrics
$1,000 6/30/20 Andrews Investments, LLC, Germantown
$   250 6/26/20 Germantown Homebuilders, Memphis
$1,000 6/30/20 Steve Hodgkins, Bartlett, Owner, Oak Tree Homes
$1,600 6/30/20 Philip Jaynes, Arlington, Air National Guard
$1,600 6/30/20 Samantha Jaynes, Arlington, Physical Trainer, The Yard
$1,000 6/30/20 M Michael McLellan, Germantown, Site Supervisor, RJ Young
$1,000 6/30/20 Judy McLellan, Germantown, RE Agent, Crye-Leike
$   500 6/29/20 Charles Smith, Germantown, Principal, Sandler O’Neil Mortgage
$   250 6/30/20 James Wingo, Germantown, EVP, First Capital Mortgage
$   600 Unitemized ($100 or less from each source)

$37,700 reported through 6/30/20 - 2nd Quarter Campaign Finance Disclosure.

3Q Contributions
$   200 8/28/20 Keith Allen, Germantown, Custom Home Builders
$1,000 9/13/20 Aventador, LLC, Germantown
$   500 9/10/20 Allyson Avera, RE Agent, Crye-Leike
$   200 9/25/20 William Dike Bacon, Germantown, Principal, HBG Design (Planning Commission)
$   200 8/28/20 Robin Blankenship, Collierville, Retired
$   500 9/28/20 James Breazeale, Germantown, Chairman, Valley Products Co
$   250 7/1/20 Brookfield Properties, Memphis
$1,600 8/27/20 Blair Brown, Germantown, Owner Operator, Blair Brown Homes, LLC
$   250 8/27/20 Scott Burnett, Germantown, AAA Pest
$1,000 7/28/20 Alyce Burr, Germantown, Retired
$1,000 8/21/20 Steven Chandler, Germantown, Retired (??Tower Ventures)
$  750 8/21/20 Greg Christopher, Germantown, CEO, Mueller
$   500 8/10/20 Nick Clark, Memphis, Asset Management, Clark & Clark, LLC
$   200 9/3/20 William Compton, Germantown, Dentist
$   200 8/25/20 Richard Cox, Germantown, Owner, Memphis Tile & Marble
$   250 7/21/20 Kent Davis, Southaven, CEO, First Capital Bank
$   500 7/22/20 Durbin Diversified Builders, LLC, Memphis
$   500 7/20/20 Rick Ferguson, Germantown, Retired
$   500 9/15/20 Rick Fogelman, Memphis, Real Estate, Fogelman Properties
$1,600 8/16/20 Rob Fossett, Collierville, Owner, Fossett Paving Co
$   200 9/10/20 Scott Franklin, Germantown, President, Top Rx
$   500 7/3/20 Germantown Homebuilders, Memphis (Aggregate $750)
$1,000 8/14/20 Steven M Gilmore, Germantown, Exec Dir, XPO Logistics
$   250 8/21/20 Joel Henry, Germantown, Logistics, IMCG
$1,600 8/29/20 Bowen Horton, Germantown, Accountant, Sedgewick
$1,600 7/7/20 Martha Horton, Germantown, Asst Office Man, Self Employed
$1,600 7/7/20 Thomas Horton, Germantown, Investment Manager, Self Employed
$   200 8/27/20 Mary Marcom, Germantown, Retired
$   250 9/10/20 Richard Marsh, Germantown, Comm Banking, Trustmark Natl Bank (Planning Commission)
$   300 8/21/20 Tim McCaskill, Germantown, Engineer, McCaskill & Assoc
$1,600 7/27/20 Terry McFarland, Memphis, Principal, McFarland & Co
$   500 9/3/20 Norris McGehee, Germantown, Owner, McGehee Clinic for Animals
$1,000 8/24/20 Michael McLaughlin, Germantown, CFO, Tower Ventures Management
$   500 9/13/20 Van Menard, Memphis, Insurance Agent, Insight Risk Management, LLC
$   250 8/31/20 David Miller, Germantown, Construction, Top Homes, LLC
$1,000 8/6/20 J Michael Murphy, Memphis, Attorney, Self
$   150 9/8/20 Mary Newman, Germantown, Homemaker
$   250 8/30/20 Les Owens, Germantown, Contractor, Owens Construction Services
$1,000 7/2/20 Laurynas Petrauskas, Memphis, Construction, Self (See article below)
$   200 8/26/20 Don Powell, Germantown, Regional Director, Contech Engineered Solutions
$1,000 9/4/20 Spence Ray, Memphis, Real Estate, MCRE (Thornwood, GCC)
$   500 9/1/20 Rew Materials, Lenexa, KS
$   250 9/10/20 Ron Sklar, Germantown, Real Estate, Self
$   200 8/31/20 Larry Scroggs, Germantown, Attorney, State of TN (Campaign Treasurer, Sherrie Hicks)
$   250 9/10/20 Phillip Smith, Germantown, Attorney, Ferris Smith Tuck
$   400 8/27/20 Ralph B Smith, Germantown, Retired
$   200 9/10/20 Mike Tierney, Germantown, COO, Umansky Auto Group
$   500 9/29/20 Eric Tucker, Germantown, Owner, Inglewood Homes
$   500 9/7/20 Barry White, Germantown, Retired
$   500 9/10/20 Lara White, Germantown, Manager, Self
$   200 9/28/20 Earl Williams Jr, Germantown, CFO, Fogelman Properties
$   350, 9/16/20 John Williams, Germantown, Executive, Avionics Specialist
$1,600 8/27/20 Steve Woodyard, Germantown, Realtor, Woodyard Realty Corp
$1,000 8/21/20 David Wright, Germantown, Veterinarian, The Pet Hositals
$   500 9/23/20 Frank Bowman, Oakland, TN, President, Bowman’s Works
$   250 9/30/20 Richard D Bennett, Germantown, Attorney, Farris Bobango
$3,425 Unitemized ($100 or less from each source)

$37,275 3rd Quarter Campaign Finance Disclosure - $74,975 Total Contributions through September 30, 2020

4Q Pre-General through October 27, 2020
$   250 10/2//20 George Hernandez, Germantown, CEO, Campbell Clinin (Planning Commission)
$   200 10/2/20 John Walker, Germantown, Real Estate, Self
$   200 10/2/20 Scott Fleming, Memohis, Architect, Fleming Architects
$   200 10/2/20 Andy Cowan, Germantown, VP, Rees-Memphis, Inc.
$   250 10/2/20 Chris McDermott, Memphis, Contractor, Grinder Hazlip Construction Co
$   500 10/6/20 Rob DelPriore, Memphis, Attorney, Mid-America Apartments
$   200 10/8/20 Susan Thomas, Germantown, Homemaker
$   250 10/9/20 Cindy Reaves, Memphis, Consultant, SR Consulting, LLC
$1,000 10/10/20 Terry Lynch, Memphis, Developer, Self
$   250 10/15/20 Kent Ritchey, Memphis, President, Landers
$1,000 10/16/20 Raymond Gill, Cordova, Developer, Gill Properties
$1,000 10/21/20 Brian Bendersky, Germantown, Retired
$   250 10/23/20 William Porter, Germantown, Civil Engineer, W H Porter Consultants
$1,100 Unitemized ($100 or less from each source)

$81,675 Total Campaign Finance Contributions through October 27, 2020

The City of Germantown prepared this 355 page report dated May 2019.  They presented it in August 2019, after the original moratorium expired.  But if you just want to see how many apartments they now think we could build out by 2028

From Page 9
*Apartment  Type  A.   A  vertically  mixed-use,  multi-family  residential  building;  or  a  multi-family residential   building   proposed   as   a  component  of   a  comprehensive  mixed-use  development application.  These  developments, similar in nature to Thornwood, are designed to incorporate a mix  of  residential  and  commercial  uses.  Based  upon  a  higher  average  monthly  rent,  the  study projects that this product type would result in 2.7 GMSD students per 100 two or more bedroom units.  Type  A  apartments  typically  have  a  50/50  ratio,  split  evenly  between  studio  or  one bedroom units, and two bedroom units.   
*Apartment Type B.  A stand-alone, single-use, multi-family residential complex.  Similar in nature to  the  proposed  Watermark  and  Viridian  developments,  these  developments  are  garden  style apartment  complexes  that  typically  have  a  higher  percentage  of  multiple  bedroom  units  and  are not  proposed  as  a  component  of  a  comprehensive  mixed-use  development  application.    Based upon  the  average  monthly  rent,  the  study  projects  that  this  product  type  would  result  in  15.3 GMSD  students  per  100  two  or  more  bedroom  units.  Type  B  apartments  typically  have  a  40/60 ratio, 40% one bedroom and 60% two or more bedrooms units.   New Residential Development Based on the report’s aggressive residential build-out scenario of an added 3,642 dwelling units by 2028, new  residential  development  is  projected  to  add 569  resident  GMSD  students.  Of  these  added 569 resident students, 123  are  projected  to come  from  the included  2,141  new apartment  units  (see Table  2 below), 423  are  projected  to  come  from  1,202  new  single-family  homes,  and  the  balance  from  a  small number of condominium-style attached homes

After the shell company pulled their plans in March of 2020, a new buyer later emerged.  here is the latest article in Daily Memphian with comments from all of our alderman candidates.

Local Politics / Re: 2020 Election Candidates...who's who
« on: October 19, 2020, 05:20:07 PM »
ShiningALightOnGermantown blog posted October 19 with info on all of the alderman candidate donations through September 30.

Illumination Library / Re: 2018 Election - Mayoral Race Results
« on: October 16, 2020, 02:55:52 PM »
And on another possibility of conflict of interest by the firm Watkins-Uiberall, that was brought to light in the 2018 race, reinforces our concerns that Watkins Uiberall is also the Campaign Address for the 3 City-backed candidates in our 2020 aldermen races.

Auditors are supposed to be neutral watchdogs, and federal standards for auditors require them to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.

Leaders of Watkins Uiberall said the election commission work isn't an audit, but rather "an agreed upon procedures engagement."

Illumination Library / 2018 Election - Mayoral Race Results
« on: October 16, 2020, 02:00:53 PM »
Statistics according to shelbyvote SOVD - page 774
31,963 Registered Voters
20,435 Total Votes Cast in mayoral race, but 41 were Write-in Votes
10,137 John Barzizza
10,257 Mike Palazzolo

The asterisk indicates this blog - The Aberrant Absentee Ballots, Some Statistics, Barzizza Files Complaint Against Election Commission

Then this blog brought a lot more to light - Sarah Freeman, Germantown Citizen, on Discrepancies at Shelby County Election Commission

Wrote this in 2018 before the Mayor and Aldermen election - Very thankful that we did have a win in one of those races -  Sad about the other 2, but that was then .. this is now.  Will write an update for 2020 that builds on this, so just posting for reference.
First bought property in Germantown in 1991.  Having been born and raised in Memphis, had the image of Germantown as being THE best place to live in Shelby County.
People made jokes about how restrictive Germantown was on signs, building codes, height restrictions, colors of Christmas light, and so forth.  But that did not really bother me, because although it might have felt a little too restrictive at times, felt that those things were in place to maintain Germantown as a great, almost idyllic, suburb – a bedroom community.  Might have resented getting a Code Enforcement Violation notice for some minor infraction, but recognized that was part of living in a community that cared about its appearance and safety.
Overall, I thought that the leadership of Germantown would continue as it always had and keep Germantown a great, safe and attractive place to live.  So, did not really pay enough attention to leadership.
When they first introduced the “Germantown Smart Growth 2007” in this document:
did not really care for the phrase   “all characteristics of a national land use planning and design movement called Smart Growth”.  It also said we needed to grow in a “sustainable way”  That reminded me of U.N. Agenda 21 Smart Growth buzzword “sustainable development”, but did not think we could go “fight City Hall” about it.  We were much too busy with jobs and taking care of aging, ailing family members to take the time to try to mobilize citizens against this concept.  Although it did not feel right, gave it the benefit of the doubt.  The concept of using “Smart Growth” to create a small area of “downtown Germantown” was pitched as being retail with condos above, still having height restrictions.  If it had been done as pitched and only within the “downtown” area, would not be bad.
When elections came around, just trusted the recommendations of neighbors without really checking deeper.  Began to have bad feelings when hearing about conflict of interest allegations, car allowance scandals, insurance policy scandals, etc.  But, didn’t take time to research, thinking:  “Well, people make mistakes and there are always complainers and nitpickers.”
Admit to being somewhat complacent for far too long.  Just trusted that our Germantown leadership had our best interests at heart.  Fully woke up about a year ago in 2017.  Started watching BMA meetings and reading
and found the site
Was shocked to realize it was a “rigged” system.  Automatic BMA 3-2 votes seem to be prepared ahead of time.  Barely tolerating the “Citizens to Be Heard”, not really listening or caring, some having a dismissive attitude, as if they are being forced to hear from the “unwashed masses”.  Realized that, under current leadership, only Dean Massey and John Barzizza care what citizens of Germantown think.  All the others have lost sight of the fact that they represent us, not rule us.  They probably all started out with good intentions, but as the saying goes:
“Power corrupts . . and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
We have ceded power to them to make decisions for Germantown for too long.  The current administration has lost my trust in them and I will be voting accordingly.

Local Politics / Re: 2020 Election Candidates...who's who
« on: October 13, 2020, 01:36:41 PM »
Jon McCreery - 2nd and 3rd Q Campaign Finance Disclosures and 4th Q through October 27, 2020
Combined summary of 2nd and 3rd Quarter Campaign finance Disclosures at this separate post within this forum.

McCreery - $81,675 Campaign Contributions

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