- West Milford, New Jersey
official_name = West Milford, New Jersey
settlement_type = Township
mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Map of West Milford Township in Passaic County. Inset shows Passaic County's location in New Jersey
mapsize1 = 250x200px
map_caption1 = Census Bureau map of West Milford, New Jersey
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Passaic
Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council-Administrator)
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Bettina Bieri
leader_title1 = Administrator
leader_name1 = Antoinette Battaglia (Interim) [ [http://www.westmilford.org/Cit-e-Access/webpage.cfm?TID=11&TPID=2148 Administration] , Township of West Milford. Accessed
July 1, 2008.]
established_title = Incorporated
March 10, 1834
unit_pref = Imperial
area_total_km2 = 208.3
area_land_km2 = 195.4
area_water_km2 = 12.9
area_total_sq_mi = 80.4
area_land_sq_mi = 75.4
area_water_sq_mi = 5.0
population_as_of = 2006
population_total = 28144
population_density_km2 = 135.2
population_density_sq_mi = 350.1
timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
elevation_footnotes = [Gnis|882315|Township of West Milford,
Geographic Names Information System. Accessed June 13, 2008.]
elevation_m = 263
elevation_ft = 863
latd = 41 |latm = 7 |lats = 7 |latNS = N
longd = 74 |longm = 23 |longs = 1 |longEW = W
postal_code = 07480
area_code = 973
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 34-79460GR|2 [ [http://mcdc2.missouri.edu/webrepts/commoncodes/ccc_nj.html A Cure for the Common Codes: New Jersey] , Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed
July 14, 2008.]
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0882315GR|3
website = http://www.westmilford.org
West Milford started out as New Milford in western Passaic County in the 1700s, having been settled by disenchanted Dutch from Milford, New Jersey (later renamed by the British as Newark). These same Dutch also built a town of New Milford in eastern Bergen County. By chance both New Milfords applied for a post office in 1828. As the traditional story goes, a clerk in
Washington, D.C.saw New Milford in eastern Bergen County and approved their application for a post office. Next seeing a second New Milford in western Bergen County, the word "NEW" was crossed out and the word "WEST" was written in, then the application was approved. Thus, the town found out when they received their approval and New Milford in western Bergen County had became West Milford with the stroke of a quill pen.
West Milford became a municipality by an Act of the
New Jersey Legislatureon March 10, 1834, when it was formed from the westernmost portions of both Franklin Township and Saddle River Township, while the area was still part of Bergen County. On February 7, 1837, Passaic County was created from portions of both Bergen County and Essex County, with West Milford as the western end of the newly formed county."The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968", John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 211.]
There are old name places in the township like Postville, Utterville, Corterville, Browns, Awosting, Echo Lake, Macopin, Charlotteburg (named after King George III's wife,
Queen Charlotteand the town is now under the Charlotteburg Reservoir), Clinton (or sometimes called Clinton Furnace, now under the Clinton Reservoir, and the furnace still stands), Moe Mountain, Oak Ridge (a nameplace, but town is under the Oak Ridge Reservoir), Newfoundland, Apshawa, New City, and Smith Mills. Newfoundland is divided by the Pequannock River, which divides Passaic and Morris Counties; a small part of Newfoundland lays within Jefferson Township. A large part of the township is reservoir property owned by the City of Newark in Essex County for their water supply. Prior to the Second World War, the township was a resort area with trains coming from New York City to stations at Charlotteburg, Newfoundland, Oak Ridge in the south and Hewitt (also known as Sterling Forest station) and Awosting in the north. Railroad service in the south was from the New Jersey Midland starting around the 1850s and in the north around the 1870s from the Montclair Railroad, out of Montclair, New Jerseyand later the Erie Railroad(before their merger with the Lackawanna Railroad). Greenwood Lakeis an interstate lake approximately 9 miles long lying in both New Jersey and New York State. It was originally called Long Pond. It was dammed up to increase the size of the lake for water power down stream. During the resort era, several steamboats operated on the lake, the most famous and grand was the two deck steamer, "Montclair". These steamboats met the trains and took passengers to the various resorts around the lake in both states.
There is a seaplane area on Greenwood Lake, a few large marinas and lakeside restaurants with docks. There is a public airport called
Greenwood Lake Airportjust south of the lake on top of a mountain ridge and has two landing strips; one is long enough to handle small jets. Plus there is one private airport in the township on a private estate.
World War IIand for the next 20 years the area underwent a major change from a resort area to year round residences. Before there were year-round houses, the summer residence of Cecil B. Demillewas West Milford. Road maps of the 1950s showing the population on the backside said 2,000 winter and 10,000 summer, now say 26,485 [Source: Hagstrom Maps] .
West Milford Township is covered by five postal
*07438 Oak Ridge
*07480 West Milford
Stockholm, New Jersey(Hardyston Township, in Sussex County). [ [http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/MapItDrawServlet?geo_id=86000US07460&_bucket_id=50&tree_id=420&context=saff&_lang=en&_sse=on Map for ZCTA 07460 Stockholm, New Jersey] , United States Census Bureau. Accessed March 31, 2008.]
There are a number of residential lake communities, now converted over to year-round, that had been summer resorts. Some of these lake communities include Greenwood Lake, Upper Greenwood Lake, Pinecliff Lake, Gordon Lakes, Kitchell Lake, West Milford Lake and Lindy Lake.
West Milford is also the home of "haunted"
West Milford has many housing developments within the township, including Rockburn Estates, Maple Ridge Estates, Olde Milford Estates, Village on Ridge, Castle Rock Estates and Fieldstone Estates.
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 208.3 km² (80.4 sq mi). 75.4 square miles (195.4 km²) of it is land and 5.0 square miles (12.9 km²) of it (6.18%) is water.
estref= [http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/SAFFPopulation?_event=Search&geo_id=16000US3407750&_geoContext=01000US%7C04000US34%7C16000US3407750&_street=&_county=deal&_cityTown=deal&_state=04000US34&_zip=&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=geoSelect&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=160&_submenuId=population_0&ds_name=null&_ci_nbr=null&qr_name=null®=null%3Anull&_keyword=&_industry= Census data for West Milford township] ,
United States Census Bureau. Accessed July 24, 2007.]
footnote=Population 1930 - 1990. [ [http://www.wnjpin.net/OneStopCareerCenter/LaborMarketInformation/lmi01/poptrd6.htm New Jersey Resident Population by Municipality: 1930 - 1990] , Workforce New Jersey Public Information Network. Accessed
March 1, 2007.] As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 26,410 people, 9,190 households, and 7,186 families residing in the township. The population densitywas 350.1 people per square mile (135.2/km²). There were 9,909 housing units at an average density of 131.4/sq mi (50.7/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 95.08% White, 1.23% African American, 0.60% Native American, 1.02% Asian, 0.61% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.38% of the population.
There were 9,190 households out of which 39.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.3% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.8% were non-families. 16.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.23.
In the township the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 33.6% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 100.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.4 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $74,124, and the median income for a family was $80,264. Males had a median income of $51,105 versus $37,159 for females. The
per capita incomefor the township was $28,612. About 2.6% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.1% of those under age 18 and 2.9% of those age 65 or over.
Newfoundland and Green Pond
Newfoundland is a
neighborhoodof West Milford located along the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway(NYS&W Rwy, formerly NYS&W RR) tracks (freight service only) and Route 23. It is also a mailing address for Green Pond (just north of the Picatinny Arsenalin Rockaway Township, Morris County), a private lake community owned by Green Pond Corporation and Lake End Corporation, which lays in Rockaway Township where the Pequannock Riverdivides Passaic County from Morris County.
The 2003 film "
The Station Agent" was set, and filmed, largely in Newfoundland. There was an early non-talking movie produced in the township at the Mine Hole in the Hewitt section of the township. A still photo of that movie is published in the township's Sesquicentennialbook entitled "The Day the Earth Shook and the Sky Turned Red", copyright 1984.
For decades, West Milford was rural with only a couple service stations, a couple small eating establishments, and a bank or two. The community was mostly residential. In the mid 1960s a then-average-sized 20,000 square foot A&P Supermarket was built. In 1972,
Warner Brothersopened up a wildlife theme park called Jungle Habitat. Initially this brought huge tourist revenue to the township. Jungle Habitat was a mixed blessing due to the amount of summer and weekend traffic into this rural area made up of small two lane roads. Jungle Habitat wanted to expand and become a huge amusement park, but residents concerned with excessive traffic voted this proposal down in 1976, which resulted in an abrupt closing and exit. The wildlife park was subsequently moved to Jackson Township, New Jerseyand became home to Six Flags Great Adventureand Wild Safari. The former site of Jungle Habitat, in recent years has become a location for various Township activities such as the annual Fourth of July Fireworks display.
With the loss of tax revenue and the needs of the residents in mind, the township did approve the addition of more businesses to the township. In the late 1970s, a 45,000 square foot ShopRite supermarket was built, and was expanded in the mid-1980s. Shortly after other businesses joined the area. Near the ShopRite are several restaurants and fast food establishments were built including
McDonald'sas well as a four-screen movie theater.In the late 1990s, A & P closed its obsolete store and built a 60,000 square foot supermarket a few miles away from the town center, but next door to their former store.
West Milford businesses are represented by the [http://www.westmilford.com West Milford Chamber of Commerce] , an organization of business men and women that has been in existence since 1949. Its mission is to improve and enhance the business community in West Milford.
Law and government
The Township of West Milford operates under the Faulkner Act: New Jersey’s Optional Municipal Charter Law, Mayor-Council-Administrator Plan as of
January 1, 2004. This plan is described as a "Faulknerized" version of the borough form of government. The Legislature accepted the recommendation of the commission, and added the Mayor-Council-Administrator plan to the Faulkner Act as the fourth optional form of municipal government in 1981. [http://www.westmilford.org/Cit-e-Access/webpage.cfm?TID=11&TPID=8545 Government] , West Milford Township. Accessed July 1, 2008.]
The voters of West Milford Township adopted the Mayor-Council-Administrator Plan at a Special Election held on
December 10, 2002. Under the mayor-council-administrator plan, West Milford is governed by an elected mayor and council, with an appointed municipal administrator. The government consists of a Mayor and a Township Council made up of six council members, with all positions elected at large. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Township Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year."2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book", Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, April 2005, p. 121.]
The Mayor holds executive power under the mayor-council-administrator plan. The Mayor presides over meetings of the Township Council but does not vote except to break a tie. When the Township Council passes an ordinance, the Mayor has ten days upon receiving it to exercise one of three options: 1. sign the ordinance into law; or, 2. veto all or any part of it by delivering it to the Township Clerk with a written statement of his objections for return to the Township Council; or 3. let the ordinance become law automatically by neither signing nor vetoing it within the ten days of receiving it.
If the Mayor vetoes an ordinance, the Township Council can override it by a ⅔ majority vote. The Mayor’s veto, however, in the mayor-council-administrator plan, as in the borough form, is rather ineffectual. In both forms of government the four vote simple majority needed to pass an ordinance is also the ⅔ extra-majority needed to override the Mayor’s veto. In both forms, the Mayor’s veto is more of a symbolic gesture.
The Mayor appoints, with the advice and consent of the Township Council, the Township Administrator, the Township Clerk, the Township Attorney, the Tax Assessor, the Tax Collector, the Treasurer and such other officers as may be provided by ordinance.
The Township Council’s responsibilities include enacting ordinances and resolutions, establishing policies, preparing the annual budget with the assistance of the Township Administrator and the Treasurer, and levying taxes. Additionally, the council makes appointments to both the policy and decision-making boards and various advisory committees in accordance with general law and Township ordinances and resolutions.
The Township Administrator in the mayor-council-administrator plan supervises the administration of each of the departments established by ordinance, may investigate the organization and operation of any municipal department, prescribe standards and rules of administrative practice and procedure, and consult with the department heads. The Township Administrator also directs the business affairs of the Township, and has, as provided by ordinance, such powers and performs such duties which are not required by the mayor-council-administrator plan or by general law to be exercised by the Mayor, Township Council or other officer, board or body. The Township Administrator serves during the term of the Mayor appointing him, however the Township Council may remove the administrator by a ⅔ majority vote. [ [http://www.westmilford.org/Cit-e-Access/webpage.cfm?TID=11&TPID=2944 West Milford Township Government] , West Milford Township. Accessed
February 26, 2006.]
Mayorof West Milford Township is [http://www.westmilford.org/Cit-e-Access/Mayor/?TID=11&TPID=1436 Bettina Bieri] , whose term of office ends December 31, 2011. Members of the Township Council are [http://www.westmilford.org/Cit-e-Access/TownCouncil/?CID=107&TID=11 Marilyn Lichtenberg] (2010), [http://www.westmilford.org/Cit-e-Access/TownCouncil/?CID=108&TID=11 Robert Nolan] (2010), [http://www.westmilford.org/Cit-e-Access/TownCouncil/?CID=89&TID=11 Carmelo P. Scangarello] (2008), [http://www.westmilford.org/Cit-e-Access/TownCouncil/?CID=180&TID=11 Salvatore Schimmenti] (2009), [http://www.westmilford.org/Cit-e-Access/TownCouncil/?CID=85&TID=11 Joseph Smolinski] (2009), and [http://www.westmilford.org/Cit-e-Access/TownCouncil/?CID=84&TID=11 Philip H. Weisbecker] (2008). [ [http://www.westmilford.org/Cit-e-Access/TownCouncil/?TID=11&TPID=1437 West Milford Township Council] , West Milford Township. Accessed July 24, 2007.]
Federal, state and county representation
West Milford Township is in the Fifth Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 26th Legislative District. [ [http://www.lwvnj.org/pubs/CG06.pdf 2006 New Jersey Citizen's Guide to Government] , New Jersey
League of Women Voters, p. 66. Accessed August 30, 2006.]
Many problems are currently facing the town. Due to the fact that a majority of the town resides in wetlands, consists of state owned land, or is protected by the
Highlands Act, it is near impossible to build or make new roads. Buildings that do get put up require a lengthyperiod of time.
Also, the township of West Milford is responsible for preserving the various bodies of water around town. This water cannot be used by the city as it is protected by the state and used primarily by the city of
Newark. West Milford is forced to use its own revenue to fund forthe preservation whilst Newark is paid for the water for usage by Budweiser. For years, the township has fought the state to no avail at receiving tax benefits and/or payment by the city of Newark.
West Milford Township Public Schoolsserve 4,500 students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade. West Milford has six elementary schools (grades K-6), one middle school (grade 7-8), and one high school (grades 9-12). Further, the district supports a Center for Adult/Community Education. The school system has 361 certified staff members, over 50% of whom have a master's degree or higher.
Schools in the district are
West Milford High School(known for its kilted pipers and Scottish-themed marching band, the Highlanders), [http://www.wmtps.org/macopin/main.html Macopin Middle School] , and the six elementary schools: [http://www.wmtps.org/maple/main.html Maple Road School] , [http://www.wmtps.org/westbrk/main.html Westbrook School] , [http://www.wmtps.org/apshawa/main.html Apshawa School] , [http://www.wmtps.org/ugl/main.html Upper Greenwood Lake School] , [http://www.wmtps.org/pk/main.html Paradise Knoll School] and the [http://www.wmtps.org/marshall/main.html Marshall Hill School] .
The old Newfoundland, two-room schoolhouse is now the Village Square Inn Restaurant. The old Hillcrest School is now the township's community center. The few one-room schoolhouses are all gone; the last one was the Hewitt School, destroyed by fire set by vandals (it had been the former
Methodistchurch before a new, larger church was built).
West Milford sports are overseen by the township department of Community Services and Recreation. The township has individual organizations that run each youth sports program, including West Milford
Little League Baseball(WMLL), West Milford Police Athletic League(PAL) Basketball, West Milford PAL Soccer, West Milford PAL Cheerleading, West Milford-Star Athletics Cheerleading, West Milford Midget Football Association (WMMFA) Football, WMMFA Cheerleading, West Milford Amateur Baseball Association (WMABA) Baseball, and West Milford Softball. These organizations work collaboratively to provide the best athletic experience for township residents.
West Milford also offers a variety of travel sports teams to offer selected athletes a higher level of competition. These teams include West Milford Xtreme softball, West Milford Wolverines baseball, West Milford Wolfpack baseball, West Milford Warhawks baseball, West Milford Wildcats basketball, West Milford competition cheerleading, West Milford/Jackson Elite-Hurricanes baseball, and the Connie Mack baseball program.
Some township athletic accomplishments are listed below:
Youth Sports: --Little League All-Stars (Baseball): In 2004, the West Milford 10 Year-Old National All-Stars placed second in the New Jersey, losing the state championship to the team from
Jackson, New Jersey. That team won the New Jersey District-2 title and the New Jersey Section-1 title en route to the state finals. In 2006, a team made up of most of the same players placed second in the state in 12 year old All-star play. They lost to the team from Livingston, New Jersey, who went on to place second in the Mid-Atlantic Region. This team again won the District-2 and Section-1 championships. Also in 2004, the 12 Year-Old American All-Stars won the District-2 championship.
In 2007, the West Milford 12 Year-Old and 10 Year-Old All-Star teams both won their respective District-2 championships.
--PAL Wildcats (Travel Basketball): In 2004-05, the West Milford Wildcats-4 travel team won the Morris County Boys and Girls Club League championship. That same team, after moving up to be the Wildcats-5, won the Lakeland Basketball League championship, the first in the West Milford PAL program's history, in 2005.
In 2006-07, the Wildcats-4 team finished the season undefeated in league play. The Wildcats-5 team won the Lakeland Basketball League championship. In 2007-08, both the Wildcats-5 and Wildcats-6 teams won the championship of their respective age brackets of the New Jersey Junior Basketball League.
--Pony Softball: In 2007, the West Milford 14U Pony softball team won second in the state and advanced to the National Tournament.
--Travel Baseball (West Milford Wolverines, West Milford Wolfpack, West Milford Warhawks, West Milford/Jackson Elite-Hurricanes, West Milford Connie Mack program): West Milford's travel baseball programs have combined to win over 100 league and tournament championships. These programs serve competitive young athletes of the township, and programs are offered at every age level.
High School Sports:
--Boys' Basketball: won conference championships in 1973-74, 2003-04, and 2007-08 seasons.
--Girls' Basketball: Won Group III state championship in 1995-96 season.
--Football: Won conference championship in 2003-04 and advanced to Group III state semifinals that year.
--Ice Hockey: Won county championships in 2001-02, 2003-04, and 2006-07 seasons.
--Boys' Cross-Country: Won county championship in 2007 season.
--Girls' Cross-Country: Won four consecutive Group III, North 1 state sectional championships from 2003-2006; had a record of 51-0 from 2005-2007.
--Wrestling: Won county championship in 2007-08 season.
--Girls' Softball: Won 24 conference championships, seven county championships, and 8 state sectional championships; widely regarded as best public school softball program in the entire state of New Jersey; program has produced three All-American players and two of the top ten all-time winningest pitchers in the history of the state of New Jersey; Varsity head coach Jim Dransfield is winningest softball coach of all-time in North Jersey area (Bergen and Passaic Counties) with a career record of 475-98 (.829 winning percentage) over 20 seasons (20 consecutive 20-win seasons).
***For more about the athletic programs at
West Milford High School, please visit the "Athletics" section of that page.
Notable current and former residents of West Milford include:
Jasper Francis Cropsey(1823-1900), famed Hudson River School landscape painter, referred to as "America's Painter of Autumn". [Wikipedia. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasper_Francis_Cropsey] .
Lennie Friedman(1976-), offensive lineman with the Cleveland Browns. [DiTrani, Vinny. [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-26626206.html "FRIEDMAN WORKS HIS WAY BACK -- NFL IN SIGHT AFTER MAJOR KNEE SURGERY "] , " The Record (Bergen County)", May 14, 2000. Accessed July 24, 2007. "It was just another hurdle the West Milford native had to clear..."]
Sam Garnes(1974-), former safety for the New York Giantsand New York Jets.Fact|date=July 2008
*Giulia Griffith [http://www.suburbantrends.com/NC/0/926.html] (1991-), winner of 2008's
Miss Dance of the United States.
Samantha Czulada(1995-), original member of the broadway cast of Billy Elliot.Fact|date=August 2008
*Jeremy Glick (1970-2001), passenger/hero of
United Flight 93on September 11, 2001. [Sampson, Peter J. [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-46911319.html "W. MILFORD MAN TOLD WIFE OF PLAN TO STORM COCKPIT"] , " The Record (Bergen County)", September 13, 2001. Accessed July 20, 2008.]
Carol-Lynn Parente, executive producer of " Sesame Street" and winner of seven Emmy Awards for her work on the program. [Rohan, Virginia. [http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk3JmZnYmVsN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk3MTgwMTU5 "Former fan now in charge of 'Sesame Street'"] , " The Record (Bergen County)", August 13, 2007. Accessed August 13, 2007.]
*Kevin Walker (1965-), former linebacker for the
Cincinnati Bengals. [Fox, Ron. [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-22577395.html "WEST MILFORD'S WALKER STILL A FACE IN THE CROWD"] , " The Record (Bergen County)", February 25, 1991. Accessed July 1, 2008.]
Donna Weinbrecht(1965-), First woman to win the first gold medal awarded in the first Olympic mogul competitions. [Anderson, Dave. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE3D81530F935A25751C0A964958260 "Sports of The Times; The Olympics Don't Need Us vs. Them"] , " The New York Times", February 16, 1992. Accessed October 17, 2007. "That's what Donna Weinbrecht of West Milford, N.J., did in winning the first women's gold medal in a new Olympic sport, freestyle mogul skiing."]
Tom Wopat(1951-), actor who played Luke Duke in " The Dukes of Hazzard". [via Associated Press. [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11877869/ "‘Hazzard’ actor Tom Wopat faces DUI"] , " MSNBC", March 17, 2006. Accessed July 1, 2008. "Wopat, 54, of West Milford, was released into the custody of his girlfriend, Maer said."]
Reflist|2 Peter T. Kraft (1958-) Known as "the guy who fell in the 60+ ft. deep mine shaft and survived." Also has been nominated six times for "The Book of Most Important People in The World" But did not want to be aphiliated with it.
* [http://www.westmilford.org/ West Milford Township website]
* [http://www.wmtps.org/ West Milford Township Public Schools]
*NJReportCard|31|5160|0|West Milford Township Public Schools
* [http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/school_list.asp?Search=1&DistrictID=3417520 Data for the West Milford Township Public Schools] ,
National Center for Education Statistics
* [http://www.westmilford.com/ West Milford Chamber of Commerce website]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5067912.stm BBC News Article] - West Milford housecat chases black bear up a tree
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