Category Archives: Scotch Plains NJ Community Information

Move Over, Hallmark …… These Locally Made Greeting Cards Are Sure To Delight!

The Paper Cicada

Oh. Em. Gee. I recently found the most ADORABLE and clever stationery while I was browsing on Instagram, and it turns out that a Scotch Plains resident is the talent behind it all!

Gabbie Sosnowski owns The Paper Cicada, which is a line of her hand-drawn cards that would bring a smile to anyone’s face. She lives in Scotch Plains and graduated from Rutgers with a BA in French Literature, but despite not formally studying art, Gabbie said, “I’ve been fiddling with paper and drawing since I could hold things in my hands.”

Gabbie started making cards for friends and family back in elementary school. “I always preferred personalized cards to anything I could find at the store. Usually my cards would just be an illustration of our inside jokes. I still give handmade cards to my boyfriend and family for most occasions.”

Every one of Gabbie’s cards reveals her wry humor (and I love the idea of framing them for a touch of wit and whimsy in a home). She said,I’m inspired by anything that makes me laugh or think. I spend most of my time thinking about food, so I suppose that is why the majority of my work is food puns.” I can’t get enough of those food puns! 

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Gabbie officially launched The Paper Cicada in September 2016, though the idea had been on the back burner for years. I asked her about the company name, and she replied, “The Paper Cicada name comes from the folklore of the region of France in which I spent time studying and working while an undergraduate at Rutgers University. In Provence, cicadas are viewed as a symbol of ease and affability. They take the time to enjoy life, singing and playing, without working themselves to death. Despite their relaxed attitude, they still manage to thrive. I am inspired by this philosophy — I hope to make my life and my business mostly play, and to enjoy all the small moments.” 

I suspect there will be much growth with The Paper Cicada now that Gabbie’s designs are attracting such a following. She said, “I would love to see my cards and prints in brick-and-mortar stores, and to continue making people laugh at the markets I attend.”

It’s not too late to buy the best Valentines you’ll ever send. You can shop The Paper Cicada line directly through Gabbie’s website: Send her a private message to arrange for local pickup!

Make sure to follow Gabbie’s biz on instagram (@thepapercicada) and Facebook (, both of which she updates daily with new designs, markets she’ll be attending, and special deals!

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For Sale! 338 Warren St, Scotch Plains

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Look no further than this 4-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath colonial in Scotch Plains that has the curb appeal, living space, and location you’re looking for! Gorgeous hardwood floors highlight the open floor plan of the first floor, with large living room, updated kitchen with center island and breakfast area, formal dining room, bedroom/office, and powder room. The second floor boasts a spacious master suite with full bath, two additional large bedrooms, and second full bath. The partially finished basement offers exceptional recreation space and laundry room. A parklike backyard, quiet corner lot location, extra deep attached garage, and central air complete this move-in-ready home. Conveniently located close to NYC transportation and within 1 mile of vibrant downtown Scotch Plains!

Priced to sell at $659,000 Fill out the form below for more details and to schedule a private tour!

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As soon as I saw a photo of the lovely Scotch Plains Fanwood Community Garden, I just knew I had to blog about it. When I see people come together to make a difference in their community, it gets me right in the feelies. 

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LynnSusan Wurzburger of Scotch Plains is a retired attorney and avid gardner, as well as the chairperson of the SPF Community Garden Committee. Along with several other invaluable committee members (Billy Malone, Joyce Johnson, Wanderlan Silva, and Patrice Barth), LynnSusan has put her blood, sweat, and tears into this project of launching a community garden. After their original site location fell through, the Community Garden found its current (and perfect!) home on the grounds of the historic Frazee House in Scotch Plains. 

According to LynnSusan: “The Frazees always treated their property as a gathering place, even hosting meetings during the Revolutionary War. We want to salute them and bring people back to the land. With the Community Garden, we’ve returned part of their land to its original purpose, which was a farm.”

The SPF Community Garden occupies an 80′ by 80′ plot that is fenced in, plus another 20 feet beyond the fence line. The organization Groundwork Elizabeth: Come Grow with Us provided materials for the first 14 beds and set up a helpful irrigation system for the Garden. The remaining 14 beds were built by the committee and volunteers using materials that were donated or purchased using rental fees. In addition to the 28 beds, there are six “demonstration gardens.” 

The Garden officially opened in late July 2016, and already the beds are flourishing! Tomatoes, eggplant, squash, cucumbers, pole beans, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, beets, onions, garlic, parsnips, and a variety of flowers (specifically those that attract pollinators) all are growing in abundance. But the Garden is about more than just plants. LynnSusan said, “We’ve built a sense of community here, and it has been so gratifying to see the gardeners who ordinarily would not have met each other in day-to-day life come together and be so welcoming and helpful to one another.”

LynnSusan went on to tell me about some of the goals of the Garden. “We hope to demonstrate how easy it is to grow your own food. We also want to inspire a sense of charity as we try to establish a giving garden to donate to El Centro in Plainfield. We encourage our gardnerers to ‘grow a row,’ meaning grow an extra row of a vegetable or fruit for donation purposes.” 

I loved hearing about how children are welcomed in the Garden. “We have a lot of young families who bring their kids with them. They children learn valuable lessons on how to plant, nurture, and harvest as well as eat what they grow. It’s essential to give kids an appreciation of the earth and teach them how to take care of it.”

Residents of Scotch Plains and Fanwood as well as local organizations (one bed is currently being tended by a Girl Scout troop!) can rent a garden bed for $40 for a year. According to LynnSusan: “Next year we’re hoping to add 10-12 additional garden beds. We also plan to incorporate special gardens accessible to the elderly and disabled children.”

In October, the Community Garden will begin accepting applications for spring 2017. Current gardeners have first choice of beds, then it opens up to all the local residents and organizations on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

If you’d like to see the beautiful SPF Community Garden in person, visit the Harvest Homecoming fundraiser on October 1st from 11 am to 3 pm! This fun-filled family event is being cohosted by the Community Garden and the Rotary. There will be live music, food trucks, a petting zoo, face painting, children’s crafts, square dancing, games/prizes, and more! Although admission to the Harvest Homecoming is free, donations are welcomed that will benefit both the Garden and the Frazee House. 

The SPF Community Garden is located at the Frazee House: 1451 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains. If you would like to learn more about the Community Garden, visit their website at, or donate to this wonderful grassroots organization through their GoFundMe page:

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Scotch Plains’ Tiki Love Farm Is A GREAT Place To Visit!

Many of you are familiar with Dreyer Farms in Cranford and Watchung Stables in Mountainside, but did you know there’s another farm in our area that has BOTH a vegetable farm and horses? It’s called Tiki Love Farm, and it’s one of those hidden gems that I just love discovering!


Located on Raritan Road next to Ashbrook Park in Scotch Plains, Tiki Love Farm is owned and operated by David and Lucy Pritzker, along with their sons Abraham (Abe) and Ben. Several of the Pritzkers had experience with farming and animal husbandry before starting Tiki Love. Lucy lived on a horse farm in Upstate New York after college. Abe went to a boarding school that had a working farm, and he gained considerable experience with sustainable farming and holistic agriculture. Ben has been horseback riding since he was about eight years old. With their shared love of horses and farming, the family started Tiki Love Farm in mid-2015.

But why start a farm of all things? According to Abe: “It has always been a family dream to live in the countryside on a small farm, so when the opportunity presented itself to us without having to move out of the area away from all of our friends, we swiftly took it. Our mission is to teach sustainable farming and to share our love of it.”

You might be wondering how an animal farm co-exists amid suburbs and right next to a county park. Abe said, “Tiki Love Farm is lucky to be situated in such a beautiful area in New Jersey, but we don’t take it for granted. We are meticulously careful about how we use our land. Part of sustainable farming is not taking more from the land than it can handle. The animals fertilize the fields by grazing on the them all day (if the weather is permitting). All of the manure from the horse stalls goes to our garden, so as not to pollute the gorgeous forest with harmful fertilizers.”

Caring for Tiki Love Farm takes a LOT of work and many hands. There are a lot of local folks–young ones especially–who are just dying to lend a hand and learn how to care for animals and farmland. Abe said, “We have a quite a few farm hands who range in age from eleven to sixteen. They are learning how to take care of animals in safe, sustainable, and loving ways. At Tiki Love Farm, we have three priorities: the safety of our human friends, the safety of our animals friends, and the long-lasting safety of our big friend mother nature. To ensure the safety of our farm hands, we have at least one responsible adult present at all times when there is someone at the barns, as well as numerous other safety measures. While many of the farmers at Tiki Love have critical experience with animals, if any of our horses are looking sick or are acting odd or unusual, we give a call to our veterinarian.” 

Abe went on to assure all the animal lovers out there: “I cannot stress enough how imperative the issue of animal well-being is to us here at Tiki Love Farm. I can completely assure you that our animals have the highest quality of life possible.” Hence the word LOVE in the name of the farm! 

So what does a typical day look like at Tiki Love Farm? To be sure, it’s a labor of love, but in the very best sense! Abe ran through their typical day for me: “First, we feed and water the horses, barn cats, and rabbits. Then the horses are let out to the fields where they peacefully graze all day. We have two miniature horses, one mini donkey, and two standard horses at the farm. The two standards are ridden practically everyday to get proper exercise and to give our riders practice. If it’s been a dry few days, we give the garden a quick spritz. We also pick any ripe crops. Since it’s still pretty early in the growing season, we haven’t gotten too much yet, but we are so excited for when we do! After all of the daily chores are done, we do odd jobs like fixing the fences, or building a new hutch for our three rabbits. Oftentimes we take the mini horses (and donkey) for a walk around the property. In the evening, we do our night chores, which typically are the same as the morning, just in reverse. We bring the animals in, make sure they are all doing well, give them night grain and water, and say good night!” 

TikiLove4Would you ever have thought that a suburban family was living this kind of simple yet hardworking farm life right in our neck of the woods? The Pritzkers are a fine example of how we all can get back to nature and find joy in getting our hands dirty.

Visit the website and go to the “contact us” section to schedule a visit to the farm, or email [email protected]. The Pritzkers hope that more children and adults alike will want to volunteer on the farm. Abe said, “We will bring in anybody who wishes to put in the work for the most satisfying opportunity in the world.”

Don’t forget to follow Tiki Love Farm on Facebook for announcements of upcoming events on the farm!

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GORGEOUS Scotch Plains Home For Sale!


Click HERE to Contact us now for a private showing, or come to the Public Open House at this amazing home on Sunday, May 15 from 1-4pm! Priced to sell at $600,000

We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 3305726 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.


Broker of Record: Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage (Harold Maxwell) 908-233-0065
Privacy Policy & Terms Of Service – Copyright 2014, Sharon Steele, All Rights Reserved
Sharon Steele – Licensed Realtor® #0789515 – 600 North Ave. West, Westfield NJ, 07090

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Creative Kids in Scotch Plains Can Help INSPIRE your Child!

image1If you’re still looking for summer activities for your kids, why not consider some CREATIVE classes to spark their interest? Creative Kids in Scotch Plains has a great assortment of classes to inspire your kids, and you won’t have to worry about them getting overheated in the hot sun, because all classes are held in their air-conditioned facility.

Creative Kids is owned by Lisa Goldenberg. She first opened in Westfield in 2008, and after two moves the business has found its perfect location and partnership with Let’s Play in Italian Preschool in downtown Scotch Plains. According to Lisa: “What’s exciting about the new location is that we actually have more space to expand the type of and number of programs we offer. I’m thrilled to be sharing space with the Let’s Play Italian Preschool. We share very similar ideals about children’s education and they have been a wonderful new partner!”

This summer you can choose among the following unique classes and camps for children from toddler age to pre-teens: Lego Robotics, Storybook Art, Picasso to Pop, World Art, Little Foodies, Princess Camp, and Summer Science Camp, Rhythm Revolution, Kids Music Round, Academic Skills Groups, Theater, Kids Zumba, and more. Creative Kids offers sibling discounts, too!

There are also a few spots available in the Creative Kids Pre-Summer Mini-Camps in June for ages 3-6. You can sign up for as few or as many days as you like of the Mini-Camps–they will be running on June 9th, 11th, 15th, and 18th from 9:30 am to noon. Each day will feature art projects, games, and a nut-free snack.

And it’s never too early to start planning your kid’s next birthday party! Creative Kids offers a wide array of birthday party themes from pirate to Lego to dance and everything in between. Lisa and her staff will customize the party according to your child’s tastes, right down to their favorite song and favorite color. And you won’t have to worry about setup or cleanup when you have a party at Creative Kids. Lisa’s motto is: “we plan; you party!”

When I asked Lisa what she loves most about owning Creative Kids, she replied: “Hands down the kids! Whether I am celebrating a big birthday, watching them create something or just making friends–I love seeing smiles on all the kids’ faces.”

For more information, call 908-232-4949 or email [email protected]. Ask about their FREE storytime!

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Annual New Year’s Bash at Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains!

Who wants to end this year on a high note? Celebrate in style at the annual New Year’s Eve bash at Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains! You don’t have to be a member to enjoy the fabulous soirée at The Shack, as it’s affectionately known to locals.

The event begins at 8 pm on Wednesday, Dec. 31, and will continue into the wee hours. The cost to attend is $125 per person, which includes 5 hours of premium open bar, cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres and raw bar, elegant dinner, desserts galore, champagne toast at midnight (of course!), DJ entertainment, and dancing. What more could you ask for to say farewell to 2014 and kick off 2015?

Reservations and advance payment are required for this event: call Amanda Maloney at 908-233-1300 x1220. Please note that you are subject to a 50% cancellation fee if you cancel less than 48 hours before the New Year’s Eve party.

For those who’ve never been to The Shack, here’s a little history. The golf course was designed by the renowned Albert W. Tillinghast and opened in 1916, which means it is fast approaching its centennial anniversary! The Shack has been “home” to several well-known golfers who have served as head pros at the club, including Milton “Babe” Lichardus and Bobby Cruickshank.

Besides a gorgeous golf course, The Shack boasts a large clubhouse with banquet facilities, a pro shop, and al fresco dining. Construction is currently underway on a state-of-the-art, resort-style pool complex that is slated to open Memorial Day weekend of 2015. The finished complex will include an adult bar, cabanas, kid’s play area, locker room and snack shop. For more information visit

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Easter Events in the Cranford Westfield Area of NJ

When You SHOULD Put All Your Eggs in One Basket!

Easter Eggs


Easter is right around the corner, and after the brutal winter we’ve endured, we’re due for a warm one! That means the kiddies can hunt for Easter eggs outside without freezing their bushy tails off. Dig out your baskets from the basement and check out this list of some eggs-cellent local hunts that are sure to bring smiles to everyone’s faces. I strongly suggest you arrive early since parking can be tricky at popular hunts, and most of them separate age groups so you have to find your child’s appropriate section upon arrival.

When: April 5th

Where: Cranford Community Center

Featuring: Breakfast with the Bunny

What’s more exciting than lunch with a leopard, or dinner with a dingo?  Why, breakfast with a bunny, of course!

The Cranford Junior Woman’s Club is once again hosting the annual “ Breakfast with the Bunny,” on Saturday, April 5th,  at the Cranford Community Center at 220 Walnut Avenue.  Families can enjoy some breakfast with local neighbors and family, as well as some photo time with the Easter Bunny.  There will be two seatings to choose from, the first at 9:30 AM, and the second at 11:00AM. Tickets are $6.00 (plus a $1.00 convenience fee) online at the CJWC website , or can be purchased at the Cranford Public Library (224 Walnut Avenue) or at Periwinkle’s Fine Gifts (17 North Union Avenue), through March 31st. Advance tickets ARE required for both parents and children.

The Cranford Junior Woman’s Club is a service organization of Cranford area women dedicated to the enhancement of the community and its residents. Since its installment in 1949, they have used multiple mean to support, aid, and promote public improvement for the benefit of the township and state.  And they are great friends with the Easter bunny.  Mention them, and he may give you some extra jelly beans.


When: Saturday, April 12th, 10:00 am SHARP

Where: Orange Ave. School Fields, Cranford

Cost: Free

Hosted by: Cranford Jaycees

Featuring: More than 3,000 filled eggs, contests, giveaways, and a visit from the Easter Bunny, all for ages 9 and under. Bring a canned or boxed food to be donated to Cranford Family Care.

More info:


photo 2When: Saturday, April 12th, 10:30 am sign-in; hunt begins at 11:00

Where: Cranford Historical Society, Cranford

Cost: $8 pre-registration, $10 at event (all proceeds benefit pediatric cancer research!) For advance tickets e-mail: [email protected]

Hosted by: Friends of Colin

Featuring: More than 1,000 filled eggs, games and raffles, face painting, tattoos, balloon animals, bake sale, and of course a visit from the Easter Bunny, for ages 10 and under.

More info:


When: Sunday, April 13th 7:30 am -12pm

Where: The Cranford VFW Hall

Featuring: A benefit breakfast to support the Cranford First Aid Squad

The Cranford VFW, at 479 South Avenue in Cranford, from 7:30 AM – 12:00 PM on Sunday, April 13th, will be offering a complete breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, and beverages, with the Easter bunny, once again, on hand.  (Man, that rodent really gets around!)  Cost is $7.00 for adults, and $5.00 for children, and all proceeds will benefit the Cranford First Aid Squad.


When: April 13

Where: The Office Bar & Grill in Cranford

Featuring : Easter Egg Decorationg for kids

Like Easter eggs, but hunting for them not your thing?  Well, how about decorating  them, instead, with the Easter bunny.  On Sunday, April 13th, families are invited to The Office Beer Bar & Grill (1 South Avenue East, Cranford) to enjoy some Easter activities.  Kids can decorate eggs with the bunny, and enjoy lunch, face painting, games, prizes, and even a balloon animal, for only $5.00 per child.


When: Saturday, April 12th,10:00 am SHARP

Where: Forest Road Park, Fanwood

Hosted by: Fanwood Recreation Department

Featuring: More than 1,000 eggs filled with goodies and hundreds of prize tickets, contests, and giveaways, for ages 10 and under. Kids: bring your own drawing of a bunny and your own decorated egg for more chances to win prizes!

More info:


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When: Saturday, April 19th, 2:00 pm SHARP

Where: Williams Nursery, Westfield

Cost: Free

Featuring: A whopping 5,000 filled eggs and a visit from the Easter Bunny, for ages 10 and under.

More info:








When: Sunday, April 20th, noon

Where: Bowcraft Amusement Park, Scotch Plains

Cost: Free (but amusement rides/games vary in prices)

Featuring: Thousands of filled eggs, many containing free ride tickets, and one golden egg that will be redeemed for the grand prize of a Nintendo Wii.

More info:

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How Scotch Plains and Fanwood NJ Got Their Names

Stage House in Scotch Plains


Did you ever wonder how Scotch Plains, and Fanwood, too, got their names?

In the late 1600’s,  a small village was created and  settled by Scottish immigrants who had landed at Perth Amboy under the leadership of George Scot.  Hence, the village was known as “Scot’s Plains.”   In these early days Scot’s Plains was part of West Fields (which is now Westfield) which was a suburb of Elizabethtown.

Scot’s Plain, (including what is now Fanwood), was a steadily growing farming community for many, many years.   In the 1720’s, William Darby, a Baptist, donated a portion of his land to build a meetinghouse and a cemetery, and it was on this land that a Baptist church was dedicated in 1747.  A few years later, he also gave land for the town’s first school, an academy standing next to the church on Park Avenue, which was then called Darby Road.

The documents incorporating Westfield as its own townships, separate from Elizabethtown, were actually signed at a gala event at the Stage House Inn in Scotch Plains, a popular venue along the stagecoach line.

In subsequent years, Scotch Plains saw a time of enormous growth, with the building of schools, homes, and businesses.  In 1867, the train station on Midway Avenue was named Fanwood,  and the 350 acres around it called Fanwood Park, in honor of  Fanny Wood, a daughter of a railroad official. And it was in 1877 that Scotch Plains divorced itself from Westfield and became Fanwood Township. In 1895 one mile of land in the center separated itself and became Fanwood Borough.  Although, to this day, Scotch Plains and Fanwood share a single school system . . . . as they always have.  SP Fanwood 002

Today, Scotch Plains retains its quaint, small town image.  Its location and proximity to the railway and transportation make it a desirable community . . . no longer for its farming plains, but for the wonderful suburban lifestyle it offers its residents.



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Classy Clutter Upscale Rummage Sale



          How can you NOT love the term “classy clutter”?  While this is NOT a term that comes to mind while visually scanning most of our own basements or attics, it is precisely the right description for the upcoming Saturday, June 9th rummage sale to be held at First Presbyterian Church in Cranford, in Bates Hall, from 9:00 – 12:00 noon. There will be no stained Tupperware, limbless dolls, or chipped dishes typical of yard or rummage sales here.  Past items have included such things as used furniture in excellent shape, brand new handcrafted items such as quilts and wooden toys, and upscale bags and jewelry.   All non-sold items will be donated to other local charities at the close of the sale.  All proceeds from the sale of these goods will benefit the various mission endeavors supported by the church, including the Cranford-Elmora Soup Kitchen. 

If you are not familiar with the Cranford-Elmora Soup Kitchen, it is a noble endeavor close to home.  A supervised group of eight or nine, mostly children ages 11 and above, come in each Sunday at 1 p.m., and start preparing meals for people who are grateful to have them. Guests are served from 3:00-4:00 PM, and volunteers then clean until 5:00 PM, then and go home and rest after both a physically and spiritually fulfilling day.  The guest number ranges from a low of 70 people at the beginning of the month to a high of 120 people, with an all-time high of 207 people.

The soup kitchen is built on a very basic idea – each person deserves and will have a full meal on Sunday. After serving their 100,000th meal on May 29, 2011, they have successfully fulfilled this mission and plan to continue to do so, helping to serve men, women, families and children. As many of the volunteers are children and youth group members, the soup kitchen fulfills an educational purpose, as well, as the volunteers learn how to cook, work as a team and, most importantly, how to serve their fellow man and pay it forward. All meals are made hot and fresh on site every Sunday, and served with humble respect.

When the Elmora Presbyterian Church closed in 2004, the soup kitchen almost closed with it.  In June 2005, the First Presbyterian Church of Cranford permanently adopted the program and it officially became the Cranford-Elmora Soup Kitchen. Volunteers now come from all over, including Connecticut Farms Presbyterian, St. Theresa’s of Kenilworth, The First Baptist Church of Cranford-Elizabeth, the Fanwood Presbyterian, the Korean Presbyterian, St. Anne’s, the First Presbyterian Church of Cranford and First Presbyterian Church of Westfield. The Fanwood Presbyterian Church and the First Presbyterian Church of Westfield also provide bagged lunches for guests. 

The soup kitchen also accepts donations of socks, full size bars of soap, tooth paste, toothbrushes, deodorant, wash cloths, face towels, other basic essentials, as well as financial donations. The First Presbyterian Church of Cranford acts as their drop point.  To donate to the Cranford-Elmora Soup Kitchen, contact the First Presbyterian Church of Cranford at 908-276-8440.  Consider donating some of these basic items to those who need it most, or donating some of your own “classy clutter” to the upcoming rummage sale.  Or experience the thrill of the hunt by doing some “upscale rummaging”’ of your own and picking up some new classy clutter at the rummage sale!  It’s a win-win deal.

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