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Liz Writes Life 8-15-17

Liz Writes Life

Aug. 15, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Two Early Girl tomato plants, outside of the cold frame, made a liar out of me as they have each produced more than a handful of ripe tomatoes this week. They are fairly small, but tasty. It is so nice to enjoy ripe tomatoes in early August!

The sumpter cucs slowed down and I didn’t make any dill pickles. I blame the previous week of over 100-degree heat. So, when I made a closer check this weekend, I found lots – about 10 pounds worth. I took them to church for giveaways and still came home with six.

Ate our first corn on Friday. Yum!

Ran into Denny Fleck at the fair, who bragged on his Medford tomatoes that have been putting out ripe ones for a few weeks. Medfords used to be quite popular here, but now the variety is hard to find, which is why he saves the seed for planting. They are an early 80-day heirloom variety developed at Oregon State University.

Denny said he had a terrible earwig problem. They were devouring young vegetable plants. He solved it by putting out empty tuna cans with vegetable cooking oil and soy sauce. Earwigs like the soy sauce, but the oil makes their body slippery and they can’t climb out of the can. Yep, they die in there. Now that is tricky.

I appreciate learning about your successes. Sure wish someone would come up with a cure-all for aphids!

It was a nice Siskiyou Golden Fair. Congrats to Lynne Bryan for her Best of Show flower display. We do need to keep entering our agriculture, vegetables, crafts, flowers, cooking, quilts and sewing projects as it gives the fair a local flavor.

Gotta brag a bit and say “thank you!” My grandson, Bryce Bowen, won Grand Champion Market Turkey. The tom weighed 43 pounds. Bryce walked it and practiced showing for weeks before the fair. His trophy was a belt buckle. Oh, he is proud of it and put it on his belt to wear. Thank you to those who decided that a gorgeous belt buckle was a great prize.

It seemed a little odd when he sold his turkey at the Jr. Livestock Auction as his turkey sold the lowest of all the turkeys at $20 a pound. (That is quite a lot for a turkey, don’t get me wrong.) But, when it was noticed that the grand champion sold so low, a good fair supporter decided Bryce should get at least as much as the Reserve Champion Turkey — and added another whopping $20 per pound! What a kind thing to do. Wow! I would like to thank his two buyers and all of the supporters of the many junior market animals. It is appreciated! These are good life lessons for our kids: some are good and some not-so-good just like life.

Etna

A group of concerned citizens, from outside city limits, attended the Etna City Council meeting last week. The council discussed the cannabis ordinance that must be updated by Dec. 31, 2017 or the city will have to abide by the new state cannabis laws. Mayor Erik Ryberg did not start out in a happy mood. Recently, he had been yelled at by Etna residents who think he may be pushing for commercial grows and for dispensaries. He said he is not and was trying to be neutral.

In my opening comment, I offered to send the council members the extensive researched report that the county Planning Dept. did on the subject. The county supervisors voted 5-0 not to allow commercial growing or dispensaries in county areas. I teased the council asking if they had a Planning Dept. They were “it” was their answer. I didn’t want them to have to re-invent the wheel doing research.

Mayor Erik Ryberg permitted a lot of discussion from the audience. No one yelled. Two council members are against commercial grows and dispensaries. One is possibly for it, because of taxes and one I don’t know. But the mayor told the audience commercial grows or dispensaries will probably not be allowed.

The situation, then, comes down to how to meet the state’s new decree that allows six plants to be grown — in a residence or outside? A significant number who spoke said the smell of maturing plants from their neighbors’ properties, even with a tall fence, is over-powering. So the decision for the Etna Council will be if the six plants should be grown indoors or allowed outside.

Representation

Herve Leconte finished up his 510 mile run on Wed. Aug. 9, 2017 in Yreka. He began his trek 12 days earlier down in El Dorado County and ran through 15 counties finishing in Siskiyou, because we were the first county to begin this latest push for the State of Jefferson. Herve’s wife, Julie, drove his pilot car.

I got to talk to Herve several times and found him, and his wife, to be great fun. Oh, did I mention that Herve is 57 years old? Yep. This was to raise awareness and fundraise for the lawsuit Citizens for Fair Representation have brought against the State of California. It claims rural counties do not have enough elected officials to give them fair representation in the state legislature.

Herve ran 35 to 45 miles per day in that terrible heat. It was quite the adventure and many people did stop to ask about his State of Jefferson flag, which he was happy to explain.

Gaines

It was great to see our California Senator Ted Gaines visited Siskiyou County. He met with several county supervisors over the Klamath dams issue, then cattlemen and farmers about difficulties from the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife over water rights and permits. Thank you Senator Gaines for listening and helping us.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 8-8-17

Liz Writes Life

August 8, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Garden

Started picking green beans last week and made four more quarts of dill pickles. The two pumpkin plants are spreading out and trying to cover up the new spring-planted rhubarb, so I am pounding in wooden stakes to protect them.

The tomato plant in the cold frame produced a handful of small ripe ones this week, so I think it is two to three weeks ahead of the other tomatoes. All are Early Girl. Several bell peppers are nearly ready to pick.

Aphids are horrible on the broccoli and the heads are not maturing evenly, so I decided to pull up these six plants. Several red cabbages could be harvested and the one that I put the homemade spray on still has aphids, but doesn’t look quite so sad.

More POW

At the July 29th Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting, Louise Gliatto said the threat of Smart Meters is back! She talked with a technician at Pacific Power and he admitted the company plans on replacing the old analog electricity meters on homes in Siskiyou County with new “Radio Frequency Meters”. They are wireless, digital and contain a Radio Frequency Chip that allows them to be read and controlled remotely. Meter readers will lose their jobs.

Home owners with the new RFC have reported their electric bill actually went up or even doubled. Apparently, the electric company will know when you use your appliances and those that are used during peak hours will be charged more. Might need to start doing your wash at midnight and using oil lanterns!

Many folks object to the radio frequency in homes and the monitoring by the electric company. Numerous health issues have been reported from the pulsed RF radiation into the home every 3-6 seconds. Pace makers are affected by the RF, but mostly there are complaints of more headaches, dizziness, nausea, earaches and insomnia after the RFCs are installed.

You can opt out by doing two things: Placing a sign on your electric box that says you do not want the Smart Meter and sending a certified letter to Pacific Power headquarters saying the same thing. There is a law that you don’t have to have it, but you must tell them ahead of time or it will cost you. I’ll share more later.

Ray Haupt, our Dist. 5 Siskiyou Supervisor, said The Nature Conservancy now wants to sell the ranch it purchased several years ago to the CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. TNC claimed it acquired the ranch to show how cattle could be raised without water! – allowing its water right to be left in the Shasta River for the coho salmon. Yep, it didn’t work. Ray said the ranch is now a giant weed patch.

In 2009, TNC purchased the Buske Ranch near Big Springs in Shasta Valley for $14.2 million. In 2011, TNC sold its water right to DFW obtaining $10.3 million from the state. So now, TNC believes their land is only worth about $2 million, which is likely true as the value of the land is greatly reduced without any water rights. Anyway, the county will receive fewer taxes and there will be significant loss of ranch-type revenue and work for locals.

Currently, Ray said California owes Siskiyou Co. over $500,000 for Payment in Lieu of Taxes. This is for the Iron Gate Fish Hatchery, Shasta Fish Hatchery and 1,000s of acres of land that is now in refuge-type or deer management. Unfortunately, I don’t expect Gov. Jerry Brown to turn over a new leaf and pay the rural counties what is owed them. Ugh!

Also, I believe this is a scam that TNC and other conservancy non-profits have perpetuated for several decades. It is definitely changing the idea, availability and viability of “private property” as state and federal governments are certainly ending up with more land that is no longer available to the private sector.

Michael Kobseff, who is chairman of the Siskiyou Co. Board of Supervisors, and Ray met with Assemblyman Brian Dahle, last month, to explain the problems with conservation easements, TNC and issues with DFW. A local farmer tried to get an emergency permit from DFW to stop erosion during the high-water from Moffett Creek last February. That has been a nightmare as eventually the Regional Manager, Neil Manji, finally gave the go-ahead yet the local game wardens have still been difficult. The farmer followed the “rules” and is still being hindered. So frustrating.

Assemblyman Dahle was also shown the fish barrier that DFW created in the Scott River at the diversion for the Farmer’s Ditch near Callahan. It was pointed out that the fish barrier is in violation of the CA. Endangered Species Act, since it harasses coho salmon that may be trying to swim upstream. A farmer wouldn’t be able to do that! (DFW is not looked upon favorably here in Siskiyou Co.)

Ray also mentioned that he took the CA. Water Quality Control Board member, lawyers and staff to task at the July 11th county supervisors’ meeting. He had received a letter from the Control Board saying he should not attend meetings the state agency holds with the Shasta Nation. Betty Hall, one of the Shasta leaders, asked Ray to attend a meeting where the agency was consulting with the Shasta on removal of the four Klamath dams.

In a quiet, but frank manner, Ray told the control board and staff that he will be at those consultation meetings, if the Shasta invite him, because they are his constituents. Oh, that was fun!

Erin Ryan, staff for Congressman Doug LaMalfa, explained that things are complicated regarding the Heath Care bill. The House Spending bill has money for the border wall and that it was sent to the U.S. Senate.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 8-1-17

Liz Writes Life

Aug. 1. 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Finally, the zucchini are starting to grow more than four-inches long. The plants look good, but I decided to give one plant a shot of Miracle Gro to see if it made a difference. Yep, it did as we just picked a 10-inch zucchini. I am thinking our soil just doesn’t have the oomph it used to and some plants need another shot of fertilizer about the time they are putting on fruit.

I decided to pull the rest of the onions as the tops were falling over and it is one less batch of plants to keep irrigated. The lemon cucumbers are really pumping out and I found enough pickling cucumbers to made two quarts of dill pickles. Luckily, the dill plants were starting to put on heads and I used the new garlic that has been drying.

The second crop of corn really took off. It also got a shot of Miracle Gro. I harvested mint and it is drying in big paper bags. The basil was starting to bloom, so I harvested it as well.

Aphids have attacked the broccoli and one red cabbage. Ugh! The broccoli is weird this year and is trying to make big heads, but they are not maturing evenly. I made a spray of one/sixth vinegar, a squirt of Ivory dish soap and two cups of water and sprayed the aphids. I hope it does the trick. Aphids are yucky!

The sunflowers are over six feet tall and have just started making heads. We should have our second ripe tomato this week. Sure hope this week’s hot temps bring on more red ones. “Ugh” on the heat that is expected this week!

Siskiyou County Supervisors Lisa Nixon, Dist. 4, and Brandon Criss, Dist. 1, attended the Siskiyou Co. Republican Central Committee meeting this month. They were asked to speak about serving on the cannabis ad-hoc committee. I need to correct my statement from last week, the county supervisors voted 5-0 to ban commercial grows in Siskiyou Co. I had claimed it was 4-1, which was wrong.

Lisa said their job, as a committee, was to present all options and the two supervisors were asked to facilitate the meetings. Commercial and medicinal growers served on the committee as well as those who were against any growing.

Both supervisors said they have taken a lot of heat from all sides, including the public-at-large. Brandon clarified that he and other farmers in Butte Valley like raising strawberry plants and that their area is “golden” when it comes to growing the healthiest plants, which are sent all over the world. He did not appreciate the gossip that claimed he was changing from strawberries to grow pot. That is a lie. It was quite an informative discussion.

Now, the Yreka City Council is holding a meeting this Thursday night about their cannabis ordinance – if commercial growing should be banned in the city and if dispensaries should also be banned. That meeting will be held at the Yreka Community Theater at 6:30 p.m. Concerned voters should show up and ask questions. Voice your opinion.

Fire Tax

The Howard Jarvis Tax Association recently announced its huge disappointment in the political “deal” that was struck to extend California’s “cap and trade” law. The state legislature passed AB 398, which will increase our gas taxes in California. The trade-off is that the State Responsibility SRA fire (tax) fee will be suspended. This is the fire tax many of us in rural areas have been paying to Cal-Fire and was touted to be a prevention fee, but we learned that the funds went into Cal-Fire’s general fund.

So, the good news is that the annual fee/tax is going away and Howard Jarvis is continuing its lawsuit against the state and actually hoping for a decision by the end of the year. This would return the monies paid by rural folks, who sent in a protest/redetermination petition. Sure would be nice to get those funds back, but I am not holding my breath.

The bad news is that our gas prices will be increased up to 71 cents per gallon. Don’t know how fast that will happen, but now the state is “taxing” everyone on their so-called carbon footprint.

POW

Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor Ray Haupt said the state approved the county to serve as the manager for the Groundwater Sustainability Act. This is good news, because the county can be flexible in dealing with the groundwater basins and their individual issues compared to the state, which typically does one-size-fits-all approach and regulations.

Ray also attended the Scott River Groundwater Advisory Committee meeting on July 24, 2017. Thomas Harter, Ph.D. was in attendance. He has directed the groundwater study on the Scott River and found scientific facts that disprove Greenie myths. Last year, CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife funded a project that flooded east side fields in early spring with a finding that indeed early flooding does significantly increase flow in the Scott River in the summer.

Unfortunately, this year the DFW did not approve the funding to continue the study.

Felice Pace, a long-time agriculture-antagonist sent a letter to DFW complaining that the study helps farmers. Unfortunately, DFW officials sided with Felice and pulled the funding — using six of the eight bullet-points Felice cited. Well, isn’t that just great. A project that is showing an agriculture practice actually benefits the fish. And the Greenie and state agency shut it down!

Dr. Harter believes the study needs to continue. The committee will be reapplying for funding, so the program can be reinstated next year for 4,000 acres. Now that the county is the GSA manager, it will likely weigh-in as well. Sure do hope DFW sees the light and approves the funding.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 7-25-17

Liz Writes Life

July 25, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Dialy New, Yreka, CA.

She was sitting on the highest wire of the new deer-fence extension that Jack built. Knowing she might be skittish, I began talking in a soft voice asking how life was treating a hummingbird in our dry area. She had been sipping from the red bee balm flitting from one to another. Now she was checking me out. Instead of wearing my typical turquoise t-shirt, I had chosen a pink-patterned one this morning.

When I finally stopped talking, she took up the chatter. Chirp chirp gurgle gurgle chirp. It was a very long response. When she stopped, I asked more questions: How are your babies doing? Where is your nest? Again, she responded with a pretty long story. We conversed like that for several minutes. Honest, we did! Then she took flight and flew towards me hovering about two feet away and then decided I was not a giant flower. Sure wish I could have understood her. Two days later, we had another, though, shorter visit. Life is sweet in unexpected ways.

Jack picked our first small ripe tomato. It was getting bottom-rot, so he cut off the bottom and divided the top in half. Just enough for us each a nice bite and it was delicious, but too-short lived!

On Friday, I irrigated twice as long as we have been and the plants sure needed it. I spent time making new furrows in the corn and re-hoeing the irrigation-bowls for the cantaloupe, watermelon, zucchini and sunflowers. The giant bottom leaves on the cabbage were interfering with their watering, so I broke those off and re-did their irrigation bowls too. While I gave the potatoes extra water, I saw the tops of red ones, so I hand-dug a handful. This week we will have fried-red potatoes. Yum!

One evening, I transplanted the one to two inch-tall flat-head cabbages, pre-soaking the soil really well. They looked good the next morning and should be ok.

Oh, something ate another whole big onion and chewed on another. Maybe it is the possum that started coming at night eating the cat’s left-over food. I make sure there is no food left-over now. Anyway, I decided to pull the onions as most were quite large — got about 30. I left 19 smaller ones in the ground. Had planned to lay them out under the pine tree to dry, like I did the garlic last month, but I figured some would likely get eaten. So I put them in two plastic tubs in the garage up about five-feet high.

PCT

I’ve talked with the nicest folks and foreigners that are hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, when they come down to Etna. Last week, I chatted with a man from the Netherlands and this week one from Scotland. Yes, he started at the bottom of California and is pretty much on schedule, but the still-deep snow in the Sierras slowed him down. He figured the snow was 12 to 15 meters high and the tops of trees stuck-up looking like short Christmas trees!

I looked it up and a meter is 3.2 feet. So, even at his lowest estimate, the snow is 36 feet deep. Amazing!

J-H update

Friends of French Creek continue their concern of alleged unpermitted activities at the J-H Guest Ranch. Apparently, the new bigger-top tent also has a new and improved sound system affecting neighbors throughout the day and into the night. Friends said that when J-H is confronted with the fact they are doing unpermitted construction, like the recent new neighboring houses, the leaders claim they are working on a solution – yet they just keep on.

A major concern by those opposed to the proposed expansion of J-H Guests is the very real threat of fire and the campers being trapped. The recent Fay Fire on S. Hwy 3 forced an evacuation notice for French and Miners Creek Roads, including J-H Ranch. Cal-Fire stated the narrow dirt road into J-H on French Creek cannot accommodate fire engines that would be needed to fight fire and opposes any expansion from the 387 guests. J-H has sued the state agency over the issue.

Friends of French Creek also said an Etna business owner was recently harassed for having a “Stop J-H Expansion” sign and was told they would no longer patronize the store if the sign was up. It was taken down. Several other signs have gone missing and a game camera actually caught one thief on video.

The Friends will attend the Siskiyou Co. Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Aug. 8 at 10 a.m. to update the board of these concerns and more. I am for businesses in our valley, but the expansion of J-H guests from 387 persons does not fit the Scott Valley Zoning Plan, is unsafe for various reasons and adds tremendous traffic and noise for those living on French Creek Road. For more info on the Friends concerns, attend the board meeting.

Water meeting

The Siskiyou Water Users Assoc. will hold its annual meeting on Monday, July 31 at the Guild (was Greenhorn Grange) at 300 Ranch Lane in Yreka. Time is 6 p.m. Board members will be elected and there will be updates on the Klamath dam destruction issue. Bring a dessert to share. President Richard Marshal and board members Rex Cozzalio and Bob Rice addressed the Siskiyou Supervisors at the July 11, 2017 meeting regarding the California Water Quality Control Board and its Water Quality Certification process and bias for Klamath dams removal. More will be discussed at the meeting.

POW

Scott Valley Protect Our Water will meet this Thursday, July 27, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Siskiyou Co. Dist. 5 Supervisor Ray Haupt will provide info on a variety of issues.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 7-18-17

Liz Writes Life

July 18, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Yep, I shouldn’t try to predict the weather. I just checked accu weather and NOAA – both show it will cool down a bit this week and heating back up to 97 or so for the weekend; then cooling down again. As long as we get some reprieve from so many hot days in a row that will be great.

Gotta admit that I am jealous. Three different people told me they are eating red tomatoes out of their garden! Ours are about a month off. Ugh! So I asked their secrets and here is what I could get out of them. One uses a small green house of plastic over a raised bed — next to a south-facing solid fence that radiates heat  –to start growing early and no over-head irrigation. Another said to back off on the watering at the right time. And the other puts them in the ground in April with a wall-o-water around them. She trims them back to just a few vines and also cuts off the tops when the vines start to get too tall.

Typically, I do this last suggestion, but had not done it, cuz it was so nice to see the tomato plants finally take off. But, I whacked off the tops to about four feet.

We did eat our first cucumber and the first crop of corn is over five feet tall.

The bright yellow yarrow and blue thistles are blooming together and a coneflower just opened up. The doe got in and ate the purple phlox that were blooming and an amaranth. So far, she hasn’t eaten the Alberta Skillen double tiger lilies that are about to bloom. Sure hope she ignores them.

Supervisors

I went to the Siskiyou Co. Supervisors meeting last week. Long day, but I liked the decisions they made. First the State Water Resources Control Board’s Vice President Steven Moore and staff, including lawyers, gave a presentation on the Water Quality Certification process the state agency must follow in order to remove the Klamath dams. It is the WQCB’s responsibility to address all environmental, economic and other impacts that would result from the destruction of the four Klamath hydro-electric dams. Under the law, the WQCB is also required to consider alternatives to dam removal, which it has not done.

First, Supervisor Chairman Michael Kobseff took the WQCB staff to task asking why the County of Siskiyou was not listed in the presentation as a coordination entity. WQCB staff admitted it was an error. He also said local landowner groups must be included and added the new draft Environmental Impact Report must be updated and include new information.

Supervisor Dist. 1 Brandon Criss asked where the needed number of salmon – currently produced by the Iron Gate Fish Hatchery — and cold water supply will be found if the dams are removed? He said ocean conditions are a major factor related to the returning number of salmon and Siskiyou cannot be blamed for problems occurring in the ocean.

Supervisor Dist. 4 Lisa Nixon said the WQCB must develop alternatives to dam removal and referred to the tremendous environmental mess that will occur if the dams are destroyed.

Supervisor Dist. 5 Ray Haupt wanted to know who will be the ultimate decision maker on dam removal. In previous meetings, including with the Shasta Nation, the WQCB insinuated it was the lead. Ray questioned their authority. He also stated that decisions were being made without the necessary analysis required under National Environmental Policy Act and a NEPA decision has not been published creating what looks like prejudice. At that point, some of the WQCB staff looked a bit uncomfortable.

Under the previous 2012 Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydro-electric Settlement Agreement, a decision had been authorized allowing for the “take” of ESA species, such as the sucker fish in Upper Klamath Lake and coho salmon in Klamath River. Ray said that entire analysis is now unusable, because the KBRA is defunct. But, it sounded like those 2012 mitigations were being forwarded into the new WQCB Water Quality Certification, which is not acceptable to the new 2017 document.

Ultimately, WQCB staff admitted NEPA will be completed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which will then publish the decision regarding dam removal.

Finally! The tightly-held secretive process is no longer a secret and the county will know who and why to sue, if NEPA is not legally followed.

Marijuana

There was discussion on the county cannabis ad-hoc committee’s report suggesting the possibility of a limited pilot program for Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivation. A mother and son from the Green Box cannabis group spoke with frustration that Sheriff Jon Lopey’s dept. had raided their 198 plants just 10 days earlier. Supervisor Nixon strongly rebutted the verbal attack. She said in the ad-hoc meetings the Green Box group had held themselves as commercial industry leaders, who followed the law, but were now “openly violating the letter and spirit of the current ordinance.” Oops, guess they couldn’t wait to start a commercial grow.

Discussion quickly moved to the explosion of the Black Market pot industry within the county. Nixon mentioned stats from the State of Colorado showed that even with legal commercial grows, the Black Market industry still skyrocketed.

Sheriff Lopey said there are more than 2,000 illegal grows in the county. He does not have the resources to bust them all. Likewise, Chairman Kobseff said the county does not have the resources or staff to create an entire sub-department dedicated to administering commercial cultivation with permits, fees, fines and enforcement. The supervisors voted 4-1 not to pursue commercial cultivation.

POW

The Scott Valley Protect Our Water will meet Thursday, July 27, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 7-11-17

Liz Writes Life

July 11, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Garden

Surprise! Surprise! Quite a few of the flathead cabbages did germinate and are surviving this heat wave. Some are a half-inch tall. I don’t want to transplant them in this heat. So I checked Mt. Shasta accu weather forecast and it said July 21st (of this year!) it should cool down to high 80s or maybe a few low 90-days for several weeks. Can hardly wait! These nights are just too warm and don’t cool down the house. So hopefully, the cabbages will not grow their roots into too much of a tangle.

Knowing that I shouldn’t transplant the rhubarb in this heat, I decided to do it anyway last week. This is the one I cut-off from the mother plant back in April. I had planted it too close to the mother plant and it needed more space. Using the shovel to dig around it, I took it out of the ground with a big shovelful of wet soil. It was a six-inch wad of roots. For several days, I soaked it morning and night and although it was really sad at first, it is looking better and should survive. It was only about eight-inches high with three or four stalks. But, lots of water saved the day.

I pulled and used the bok choy, old spinach and weeds – where the carrots and beets didn’t grow — for mulch on the green beans, sunflowers, zucchini and cantaloupe. Most of you likely already have zucchini, but ours should produce this week.

I thinned the second crop of corn that is 10-inches tall and used Miracle Gro on it and nearly everything in the garden last week, except the older onions. They seem to be making nice bulbs, so I figure they are doing OK.

The tall Shasta daisies are in full bloom along with bright magenta lambs ears, orange day lilies, red bee balm, pale pink anemones and a fever few. But, the gorgeous blooms on both rose bushes are curling up at the ends of the petals and withering. It may be the heat or could be the fact that I actually gave them a good shot of fertilizer two weeks ago. Oops.

More POW

Richard Marshall, President of the Siskiyou Co. Water Users Assoc., spoke at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting on June 29. He said the group has filed a Freedom of Information Act on the CA. Dept. of Natural Resources regarding the use of Liane Randolph, who is a member of the CA. Public Utilities Commission, because of her apparent bias towards removal of the four hydro-electric Klamath dams. Randolph has been appointed as the oversight person on the Klamath dams on the CPUC. Members of CPUC are expected to be unbiased.

Water Users also filed a response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in opposition to PacifiCorp and the new non-profit Klamath River Renewal Corp. Apparently, KRRC has requested FERC approve the transfer of dam ownership from PacifiCorp to the KRRC with the not-so-secret goal of destroying the dams.

This makes one wonder what the purchase price is? And where the funds are coming from? Congress did not approve dam removal or the funding of dam removal under the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, which greatly irritated the pro-dam removal people, Tribes and agencies.

Another opposition by the Water Users is to the federal Dept. of Interior’s environmental reports, which were written in 2012 under the Klamath Hydro-Electric Settlement Agreement and the now defunct Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. The state of California wants to adopt this deficient document to be used as a response for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Water Users allege the environmental reports are not adequate referring to the economic analysis section that was not done regarding environmental damages and impacts that will occur below Iron Gate Dam if the dams are demolished. Richard said these issues were not addressed in the 2012 DOI report.

The controversial TMDL or Total Maximum Daily Load of possible pollutants in California rivers raised its ugly head recently as a meeting was held in Siskiyou County by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board staff. Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor for Dist. 5., said that every 10 years the agency must analyze the rules and or make new rules. This is the review year for both Shasta and Scott Rivers. Interestingly enough, the state agency has acknowledged there has been improvement in the state-claimed impairments of sediment and water temperature in the Scott River. Shasta River is not so lucky, but I am not sure what the situation is. I will look into it.

Ray said the county will hire another code enforcement officer specifically to address property that is being abused, affecting neighbors’ as a health and safety hazard and or creating a public nuisance.

The state put a monkey-wrench in the ordinance the county was writing regarding cannabis as the state recently changed its regulations stating there is no difference between recreational or medicinal use of cannabis. So the county had to go back and rewrite its ordinance.

Today at 2:10 p.m. the county supervisors will discuss and provide direction regarding the local cannabis regulation and potential for a Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivation pilot program. That meeting is at the county courthouse, second floor, in the supervisors’ board room.

Ray did mention that in the latter-half of June, 17 search warrants were issued on illegal pot grows and the sheriff’s dept. led the raid that found 16 gallons of honey oil, which is processed marijuana bud made into a concentrated syrup. State law enforcement was brought in, because the honey oil lab was the largest ever busted in the state. Yep, a lot of pot is being grown illegally in the county.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 7-5-17

Liz Writes Life

July 5, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Garden

Can’t believe how fast the garden is growing. With pride, I would like to announce our first crop of corn is well-past “knee-high-by-the-Fourth-of-July” even if I am short!

I did plant the flathead cabbage, but I keep forgetting to give them some water late in the afternoon. So with this heat, I am not giving enough care and I doubt if they make it. I should have tried putting the seeds in a pot of soil under the pine tree to see if the seeds and soil would stay more moist.

Bok choy: Well, I did pick some and ate several stalks raw. It is a bitter to me, so I didn’t stir-fry it; and the next day, it started sending up tall stems with yellow flowers. I don’t think it likes the heat and should have been planted in late April.

The red onions that were planted late are doing well. They are still small, but have perked up and are looking pretty hardy. Small green tomatoes have started on several plants – yay! I had to thin the basil plants this week and the peas are turning yellow. They need to be pulled.

Oh, I finally got oregano harvested. It was about to bud out, which I don’t like. The cut stems are in two paper bags in the extra bedroom drying. Now to harvest the lemon balm that is also about ready to bloom. Both rose bushes are blooming. I just love the deep red one with its fabulous fragrance. Yep, it smells like a rose!

Gun law

Luckily, I was wrong! Well, I reported correctly last week that a new gun law was going into effect on July 1st making it illegal to possess a high-capacity detachable magazine that holds more than 10 bullets.

But, on Thursday, a federal judge temporarily blocked that CA. law by issuing a preliminary injunction and stating the law was likely unconstitutional because it prevented people from using firearms that employed “whatever common magazine size he or she judges best suits the situation.”

There is a federal lawsuit Duncan v Becerra, supported by several gun associations, which challenges the package of CA. gun control laws passed last year — and became known as “gunmaggedon.” Remember the lengthy petitions that were available to sign!

Apparently, things are looking fairly good regarding this injunction as the judge explained the plaintiffs are likely to succeed because “public safety interest may not eviscerate the Second Amendment.” Wow!

So, those of you who did not want to become an outlaw and had planned on relinquishing your illegal magazines – don’t need to! (Cheshire smile!) This is good news.

POW meeting

Erin Ryan, representing Congressman Doug LaMalfa, said Doug was on the GOP baseball team for the charity event held in June. But, he was not at the early-morning practice, where the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise and several others occurred. Doug was attending a breakfast meeting, but was part of the team that played the next day.

Erin told us threats and constant disruptions by anti-Republican and anti-President Trump activists are still a problem. The staff has to keep the office door locked and even the telephone lines are over-loaded at times. If you need to stop by the office, call Erin and make an appointment. You will be let in. The situation is frustrating for the congressman’s staff as aggressive people are making it difficult to get their work done.

Actually, Erin first reported about the federal judge’s injunction on the CA. magazine gun law. The congressman’s staff is also on the cutting-edge of issues and legislation occurring in California. Doug has voted on several significant bills that passed the House, now if only the Senate would get their act in gear and approve the bills, so President Trump could sign them into law.

Doug has been actively trying to improve the lazy bureaucracy and misconduct in the Veterans Administration and is pleased the V.A. Accountability Act of 2017 passed the House. He voted to streamline permitting for water infrastructure establishing the Bureau of Reclamation as the single lead agency; and for tort reform in the health care industry that would lower insurance costs for doctors by reducing the high-risk malpractice lawsuits.

Also, Doug introduced bipartisan legislation with Rep. Kurt Schrader, a Democrat from Oregon, to streamline processes for removal of hazardous trees and vegetative overgrowth near power lines on BLM and USFS lands to reduce risk of forest fires and electrical grid blackouts.

Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor for Dist. 5, shared “happy” news. He met with the EcoTrust Forest Management and found the group is looking to provide economic improvements in the county and to thin for forest health. This group purchased much of the Timbervest lands that reach from Sugar Creek in the south end of the valley and go north in back of Etna and continue on the west side below Marble Mt. Wilderness and into some of the area west of Fort Jones.

EcoTrust wants to create local jobs and are looking for small industrial sites to set up small mills with the goal of reducing fire hazard trees. The group even wants to work with Fruit Growers whose lands that are adjacent to EcoTrust properties.

Ray has received concerns that EcoTrust Forest group will sell its water rights, but Ray said there are no water rights on the properties that would be sellable and these are not diversions for irrigation.

It is the Western Rivers Conservancy that has purchased the Bouvier Ranch and another timber piece near Callahan that is trying to flip the properties and to sell the water rights. These do divert from the Scott River and will affect irrigators downstream. It is confusing, who now owns what properties.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 6-27-17

Liz Writes Life

June 27, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

POW

Scott Valley Protect Our Water will meet this Thursday, June 29, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Please bring a dessert to share. Ray Haupt, our Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, will be speaking on issues facing our county. Richard Marshall, president of the Siskiyou Water Users Assoc. will also update up on the Klamath dams issues.

I believe Erin Ryan, who works for Congressman Doug LaMalfa, is planning on attending. She will give us the inside scoop on the shooting of the GOP congressman, security officers and staffer at the annual charity baseball game held June 14, 2017 in WA. D.C. When Doug first went to Washington, he practiced with the GOP team and was on the roster for this year’s game.

Last week, I complained about the fact that The Nature Conservancy is looking to sell its Buske Ranch property near Big Springs to CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife adding that the state has not paid its taxes on lands it owns in Siskiyou County. I asked Ray how much this tax now totals. After at least 12 years of non-payment, it totals over $800,000. That is without the Buske Ranch thrown into the mix. Sure is frustrating when our state ignores its counties.

Garden

Hot, hot hot! Soon after the first day of summer, June 20th, the heat hit. Sure makes the garden grow as long as we keep pouring the water to it. I planted the second crop of corn on Wed. and Sunday morning I saw several starting to poke up. Now that’s a fast germination. I’ve had several friends say their corn came up extra quick this year. The first watermelon and pumpkins didn’t make it, so I planted another batch and they are up.

I forgot that I wanted to plant some flathead cabbage from seed, but didn’t want to do it during this heat spell. Will do it this week and hopefully they will get big enough before the cooler weather hits in the fall. I noticed the last time I planted a late crop of cabbage, which was in early June, their growth started slowing down by September. I figured it was because of the loss of light as the sun is moving back into winter mode.

I hope the cabbages reach full term at 110 days, before it freezes as I want to see how well they handle the cold. A friend had good luck pulling back the yucky leaves, in February, and found the cabbage underneath had survived cold December and January.

Gotta mention that the carrots that I thought were coming up – didn’t. Oh, there are a few, but the weeds came up so thick and so fast that I don’t think I can save the carrots. So, I need to decide if I want to plant another batch or not. The beets didn’t come up any better either and I had worked in steer manure to make nice seed beds. Guess there were lots of other seeds ready to pop up. Hum, if the cabbage seeds come up, I can plant the cabbages in that spot.

The bok choy is seven inches tall and I need to start thinning it. I have only grown it once and that was years ago. So I looked up recipes and I think I’ll take some thinnings to stir fry in peanut oil and minced garlic. I’ve been making stir-fry with the snow peas and broccoli from the garden – adding onion, celery and cabbage. I found a recipe that uses one cup of chicken broth, a teaspoon of brown sugar and a heaping teaspoon of corn starch to finish off the dish. I add teriyaki sauce as I am cooking and I love to use peanut oil. It sorta thickens up nice and is tasty. I’ll let you know what we think of bok choy.

We didn’t keep up with the first batch of spinach. It is now tough and going to seed. I should pull it up and use it for mulch. The new crop of spinach needs to be used while it is still young. Oh, the basil I planted from seed came up and now need to be thinned. Also, the dill is growing in the onions and cucumbers, so it should be just right when I need to make dill pickles.

Road kill

Believe it or not, Oregon legislature recently passed a bill and Gov. Kate Brown signed it, allowing the salvage of wildlife killed on the road for human consumption. So, if you hit a deer in Oregon you can stop and pick it up. If there are antlers, they must be turned into the Fish and Wildlife Dept. PETA, the animal rights group, even agrees with the salvaging of deer and elk carcasses saying it is healthier meat than animals under commercialization.

The only opposition was from a Republican official in Josephine County, who told legislators that people have been salvaging road kill meat for years without a permit and shouldn’t need one. Ha! I agree.

Those in power claimed they only want to make sure that people don’t try to kill wildlife with their vehicles as another form of hunting. Really?

Apparently, Pennsylvania tops the nation in road kills, which include turkeys with over 126,000 vehicle wildlife accidents in 2015. And I thought driving through Scott Valley was bad!

Gun law

This is ridiculous. Starting July 1st, some Californians may be violating a new gun law that goes into effect. In the election last November, voters passed the initiative that makes it illegal to possess high-capacity detachable magazines that hold more than 10 bullets. If caught, violation can bring jail time. Talk about creating a bunch of outlaws!

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 6-20-17

Liz Writes Life

June 20, 3017

Liz Writes Life

Last week was wonderful for gardening – warm, but not too hot! I’ve been harvesting spinach, but need to move a little faster as this first batch is starting to seed-out. Young lettuces are ready and I can’t believe how fast the radishes grow!

The carrots are coming up and will need to be thinned in a few weeks. Bugs must have eaten one of the watermelons and a major big leaf of the other. It doesn’t seem to be growing, so I planted more watermelon seeds. The five cantaloupes were only an inch high, so I decided to Miracle Gro nearly everything including the impatiens, vinca, zinnia, Sweet William, ice plant and the cosmos. Wow, the ice plants really like it here and are already putting out flowers. The vinca not so much as two plants have died. Ugh!

Pulled about 40 garlic bulbs and placed them under the pine tree to dry. About half are quite large. I did give them a shot of Miracle Gro in April and should have given them another in May.

The snow peas are producing well, but we don’t care for this variety as they are not very sweet and are stringy at medium-size. I usually plant the Oregon Sugar Snap Peas and didn’t this year. I can’t find the package, so I don’t know what variety these are, but I am definitely going back to the Oregon Sugar Snaps.

The corn really liked the Miracle Gro and seemed to shoot up overnight. They are about eight inches high. I better get the second crop in the ground.

More POW

Here is a bit more on the June 1, 2017 Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting. Ray Haupt, our Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, told us the Shasta Valley Buske Ranch that was purchased by The Nature Conservancy may now be sold to CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. Apparently, TNC claimed it was trying to raise cattle, but had sold its water rights to DFW for fish in the Shasta River. Ray said that cattle don’t do well without water for pasture. Yep, that is true. So, now TNC ranch is likely to sell at a greatly reduced price, because of the loss of property value of no water rights. Was this planned?

The situation is not good for Siskiyou County as there will be less county taxes from the sale and DFW has not paid taxes on its land holdings for at least 12 years. Several years ago, the state legislature did provide (in the budget) for the state DFW to pay taxes to counties, but Gov. Brown seized the monies for another project.

There are significant properties held by the State of California in Siskiyou County that include several large wildlife areas that used to be ranches, two fish hatcheries – Iron Gate and Mt. Shasta – and I can’t recall what else.

Erin Ryan, from Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s office, said they have been working to help farmer John Duarte, who is facing a $2.8 million fine. Duarte purchased 450 acres to plant wheat. He knew some areas were seasonal wetlands and had it mapped out. He planted the grain, but in Feb. 2013 the Army Corps of Engineers and the California Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board issued orders to stop work claiming Duarte had violated the Clean Water Act by not obtaining a permit to discharge dredge or fill material into seasonal wetlands that are considered “waters” of the United States.

Duarte then sued Army Corps and the state alleging they violated his right to due process and did not allow him to a hearing. The U.S. Attorney’s Office counter-sued and the U.S. district judge agreed with Army Corps, which is asking for the $2.8 million in civil penalties. Don’t know how they came up with that number?

An attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation is fighting for Duarte and says that this is the first time a farmer has needed a permit to plow fields. If this situation stands and Army Corp and the CA. regional water agency are able to flex their muscles, farming in California will be greatly affected. Permits are costly.

Erin said that Congressman LaMalfa is adamant Army Corp cannot regulate farming practices. Farming has exemptions from the Army Corp regulations and plowing a field is one of them.

Next POW meeting is June 29 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m.

Timber lands

Late last week, Ray Haupt told me that much of the rest of the Timbervest properties did sell. Escrow is closed and Ecotrust Forest Management has purchased lands ranging from Sugar Creek at the south end of Scott Valley, around behind Etna, below the Marble Mt. Wilderness and to Fort Jones. He has spoken to EFM and learned they do manage timber and have allowed grazing allotments in some of their other properties.

I looked up on the internet and this is how EFM described itself: Ecotrust Forest Management (EFM) is a forestland investment management and advisory services company. We manage land on behalf of investors and forestland owners to enhance forest health and productivity, and to produce a diverse array of forest products and services including timber, biomass, carbon, and improved habitat and water quality.

Good news

Recently, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue launched an Interagency Task Force with representatives from 22 federal agencies. This is in keeping with President Donald Trump’s executive order to make “rural” America great again. The task force must find ways to increase jobs, housing and education opportunities in rural communities, but even more importantly remove burdensome regulations. Well-known names like Ben Carson, Sec. of Housing and Urban Development, and Rick Perry, Sec. of Energy were in attendance voicing their commitment to the task at hand.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 6-13-17

Liz Writes Life

June 13, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

Fire tax

Yep, rural Siskiyou homeowners are receiving their “bill” to pay the controversial Fire Prevention Fee that some of us allege is a fire tax, because it was passed in the state legislature by a mere majority instead of two-thirds vote that is legally needed to create a tax.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc. has taken on the class action lawsuit against the state and recently announced it has reviewed and classified 12,000 pages of documentation obtained from CalFire through discovery. This information regarding inspections of property or lack of inspections or any particular service exchanged for the “fee” will be helpful in their case. Many people sent in written testimony that will also be used for the massive “Motion for Summary Judgment” based on the undisputed facts gathered from CalFire’s own documentation. Howard Jarvis is hoping for a decision this summer, but if the ruling goes against CalFire, you can bet it will appeal.

When this fire tax came down back in 2011, Howard Jarvis told us to send “protest” applications called “Petition for Redetermination” as a way to possibly retrieve back the fees we have been paying – if the class action lawsuit is successful.

For several years, we sent in the protest applications. Two years ago, Howard Jarvis said that if anyone had sent in the Petition for Redetermination, at any time, we no longer need to send in the form. Apparently, our name is on the “list”.  So, you no longer need to send in your form, but you must pay the “fee” within 30 days or interest begins to accrue.

Garden

Whew, good thing the cloud cover continued over Sunday night or we could have had a frost. Sunday morning, I was surprised at how low the snow line was on Mt. Bolivar. It turned cold. I had gathered, buckets, old pots, blankets, sheets and canvas to cover the five-inch tall corn, potatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, sunflowers, peppers, barely-up basil, radishes, bok choy, tomatoes, impatiens and several other annual flowers. Didn’t have to use them. Yay!

The garlic is starting to die back on its own. I pulled two and one was really good sized. It will be hot by next weekend, so I’ll wait ‘til then to harvest and put them out to dry under the pine tree.

POW

Here is more from the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting held June 1, 2017.

Mark Baird reported that 600 State of Jefferson supporters attended a Rally at the California State Capitol on May 31, 2017 to show favor of a lawsuit filed by Citizens for Fair Representation against the State of California. The lawsuit cites the fact that rural areas in California have far fewer elected representatives in the assembly and senate and thus have a huge lack of representation.

The lawsuit was filed the first week of May and the Citizens have received a response from the state claiming the lawsuit is frivolous and without merit, so California has filed a motion for dismissal.

Mark said the Citizens were ready for that move. Several motions will now go back and forth with a hearing set for August as the lawsuit does continue to go forward at this point.

Richard Marshall, President of the Siskiyou Co. Water Users Assoc., said his group filed a statement to the California Public Utilities Commission on a variety of issues. One of those issues is the fact that the new Klamath River Renewal Corp. is a non-profit and as such is not a valid organization to accept $450 million in government monies for destruction of the four Klamath hydro-electric dams.

SCWUA also questions the liability issue regarding PacifiCorp: After years of operation, how can PacifiCorp absolve itself of liability once the dams come out?

Richard also sent a letter to Dept. of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke asking him to meet with SCWUA, Siskiyou County and CA. Congressman Doug LaMalfa.

Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, announced that the county is again looking for a new county counsel. The recently hired, Brad Sullivan, has departed. Apparently, it was not a good fit.

Ray and Michael Kobseff, Chairman of the Siskiyou Supervisors’ Board, were asked by the board of the Farmers Ditch, in Scott Valley, to attend a meeting with CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife employees, including Neil Manji the Regional Manager. The Farmers Ditch members have been having problems with DFW allowing them to receive their legal water allotments.

Ray pointed out that the latest diversion “fix” by DFW included placing giant boulders across the Scott River, which he observed is actually a “take” of coho under the Endangered Species Act. “The fish can’t pass over the boulders,” said Ray, who added that State Assemblyman Brian Dahle and Senator Ted Gaines have been invited up to see the mess made by DFW. Wow, good move!

Ray, Michael and Natural Resources Specialist Elizabeth Nielsen were invited to a private meeting with a few KRRC board members. Michael explained the political fallout regarding the previous Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, where both Siskiyou and Klamath Counties held advisory measures and the voters overwhelmingly approved that the four Klamath hydro-electric dams should remain intact and functioning.

Then, Ray explained the KRRC is not immune from ESA violations and that no environmental impact studies or reports have been done correctly, which, in reality, will set the project on its heels. When questioned by KRRC why it didn’t know about this sooner, Ray said Siskiyou Co. has previously brought these same concerns up time and time again — and has been ignored. Apparently, the KRRC individuals seemed to finally “get it” that formidable government regulations have been ignored and that will truly be a problem. Oops, maybe they should listen better!

More next week –

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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