Dec 212012

An image of Buck Horton from an online commercial for his restaurant, Finger Lick’n Wings.

With the City Council campaign trail behind him, Marlon “Buck” Horton has returned his focus to his Finger Lick’n Wings restaurant on Jackson Avenue — and is hoping for better results for his latest request to sell beer and wine with his chicken.

Horton’s previous application for a conditional use to sell alcohol at his restaurant was denied unanimously by the City Council on June 28. The City Planning Commission staff had recommended denial, saying the building’s long counter could easily be converted into a bar and that its takeout operations are suggestive of fast-food restaurants, which are not allowed to sell alcohol. Finally, city officials also noted the opposition of the Coliseum Square Association — the neighboring Irish Channel Neighborhood Association was more receptive to the proposal, but deferred to Coliseum Square since the building is technically in their boundaries.

At a council meeting on Nov. 30 — after Horton was eliminated from the District B council race, but before the Dec. 8 runoff — interim Councilwoman Diana Bajoie recommended that Horton’s request be sent back to the City Planning Commission for a second review, this time for a permit that would allow only beer and wine — not hard liquor. Such a request by the City Council would have accelerated the process for Horton and spared him from having to pay the filing fees a second time.

City Councilwoman Stacy Head, however, objected to the move, saying it would set a “dangerous precedent” of allowing people multiple chances to request changes that neighborhoods object to. It is difficult for residents to galvanize themselves into action on an issue, she said, and it is unfair to force them to return to City Hall so many times for something that has already been dealt with.

“It is problematic, in my opinion, to allow people multiple bites at the apple in a short time period,” Head said.

If beer and wine is all Horton wanted to sell originally, that’s what he should have requested the first time, Head said. Bajoie said her understanding was that Horton didn’t realize that the permits would be different, but said she didn’t oppose tabling the discussion until later.

“It’s no big deal to me one way or the other, because I didn’t vote on it the first time,” Bajoie said.

The council deferred the Finger Lick’n Wings agenda item at its Dec. 6 meeting, and did so again without comment on Thursday, which was LaToya Cantrell’s first meeting as a councilwoman. Dan Rauch, chief of staff to Cantrell, said that after only two days in office, Cantrell has not yet had time to evaluate the issue.

“We really want to make sure we hear from all the stakeholders, from Buck, and from the community before we make any sort of decision on it,” Rauch said.

The issue is now scheduled for Jan. 10 meeting. Horton said in an interview Friday morning that he believes the fate of his request rests with the Coliseum Square Association. On one hand, he said, it is an unfair burden, because his restaurant literally sits on the association boundary line, far from most of its members.

“Ten steps away, and I’m out of Coliseum Square,” Horton said. “If I walk out to the neutral ground, I’m not even in the Coliseum Square Association anymore.”

On the other hand, the vote at the association was close last spring, 8-7 against Horton. With the connections forged by his council campaign (Horton said he’s enlisted the help of both his former opponents Dana Kaplan and Eric Strachan, who have ties to both neighborhoods) and a request for a less-intensive alcohol permit, Horton said he hopes he can win over the association when they next meet.

To watch the Nov. 30 discussion between Head and Bajoie about the request, see the video below:

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  50 Responses to “Former council candidate seeks another shot at beer sales at chicken-wings restaurant on Jackson”

  1. Fact check: River Garden lead the charge against the Conditional Use application (to allow an ABO). Mr. Horton has asked the citizens of New Orleans to wave the laws to accommodate him. By law, he must wait 2 years to reapply for an ABO unless Council takes the unprecedented step of overriding the law. This action reeks of favoritism and corruption and it is disappointing that the interim (non-elected) representative for District B disrespect the time and effort that neighbors have put into this matter and into improving the quality of life in the neighborhood. As a resident of the immediate neighborhood, I trust that Cm. Cantrell will withdraw this motion.

    • Unprecedented? Is there really no precedence for a person asking the council to allow him to reapply early? I can’t imagine that’s the case, and in any event, the substance of his application has changed insofar as Mr. Horton is only asking for an ABO license for beer and wine.

      As I noted above, I’m also skeptical about the River Garden / St. Thomas Residents’ Council. They have no website and I can’t find any public announcements from them online. Who are these people? I at least have some feel for other neighborhood groups. That’s not the case here. You say that you live nearby so perhaps you can enlighten me. Is this a homeowner’s-only group? A broader residents group, as the name suggests? How representative is it? It could certainly afford to be more open.

      The Coliseum Square Association’s decision-making process was dubious and insulting, and the River Garden Council is downright shadowy — why should I respect this process? Neighbors who put “time and effort” into thwarting the investment-backed projects of others don’t command my respect unless they actually represent valid interests, and I see no evidence of that here.

  2. I agree with Constance Southerland that a Conditional Use permit that was rejected by City Planning and the City Council with no support in River Garden or Coliseum Square Associations should have never been brought back to life by an interim Council Woman. It is my desire along with others in my neighborhood that Council Woman Cantrell withdraw this motion.

    • Don’t count me in on that. I was at the meeting of the Coliseum Square Association that denied support for Mr. Horton’s application; some of the comments were insultingly patronizing, suggesting that the people living nearby were too irresponsible and boozy to have an ABO nearby. It was frankly comical that the Association would even presume to represent the area around Finger Lickin’ Wings; from what I gather, it has a dwindling membership south of Magazine.

      The River Garden Association (or whatever it’s called) also supposedly opposed Mr. Horton’s application, but I’ll be damned if I can figure anything out about them. I’ve heard rumors that they’re dominated by HRI, but then their lack of openness invites speculation. I also understand that they basically have a blanket policy of opposing new ABO licenses anywhere nearby, an arbitrary and extreme policy that does not merit the council’s deference.

      Even then, the vote in the Coliseum Square Association was close, and now Mr. Horton is coming back and requesting a more restrictive license that would only allow beer and wine. The idea that he doesn’t even deserve to be heard again is silly and borders on vindictive.

      • You mentioned,
        “some of the comments were insultingly patronizing, suggesting that the
        people living nearby were too irresponsible and boozy to have an ABO

        Are you suggesting the people nearby are then “RESPONSIBLE” people?

        If there were actually responsible people nearby, why is there a need for mixed income, Section 8, Food Stamps, EBT, or for that matter social services?

        New Orleans has the highest poverty rate in the nation due to many of those so-called “responsible” people nearby who do NOT show up for work in the Quarter working the food or tourism services and get FIRED for not even calling in cause they are too drunk the night before.

        There is a reason why New Orleans is called the “BIG EASY”…something that rhymes with the “BIG EBT”.

        • AhContraire,

          I’m not suggesting that anybody in particular is “responsible” but there was a undercurrent of wealthy people from north of Magazine arguing that the lower classes are too intemperate to have an ABO nearby, and I found that to be patronizing if not downright bigoted. This “protect them from themselves” mindset is wrong and has been waged at the expense of Mr. Horton’s business.

          You are correct that many people in New Orleans are poor in large part because they are irresponsible. However, it might also be that part of the reason they’re poor is because of years of wealthier, supposedly “responsible” New Orleanians ratifying corruption, rent-seeking and crushing regulations that protect their own interests at the expense of the wider economy.

          • Well, on one hand you agree with me and say that many in New Orleans are poor because they are responsible.

            However, you add 1 possible exception. You mention:

            “wealthier, supposedly “responsible” New Orleanians ratifying corruption, rent-seeking and crushing regulations that protect their own interests at the expense of the wider economy.”

            So, are you saying the “less wealthy, and less responsible New Orleanians” should be allowed to put up trouble making, social service and tax draining business establishments and rentals?

            What would the “less wealthy” and poor build?

            We have already seen minority contractors and landlords cut corners in Louis Armstrong Park as well as a number of Section 8 rentals. All this tax payer funded “fairness” was abused by these disadvantaged businesses and not to mention a host of “black” ministers and politicians.

            Does all this “crushing” regulations by the wealthy really hurt the poor? If that was they case, why not drop the City Master Plan then?

            HAD THEIR CHANCE
            Basically, the less wealthy, poor and irresponsible was giving plenty of tax payer money, freedom to do what they pleased before Hurricane Katrina, and what did they do with it?

            Well, some call it the Big Easy,

            but many call it the “GHETTO”.

        • You’re confusing ‘poor’ with ‘irresponsible’, and the reason for your reaction to the immediate area’s residents rhymes with ‘basest’.

      • I read the minutes from the Coliseum Sq. Assoc meeting as documented on Uptownmessenger. In reading, it sounded like many speaking on the topic supported an alcohol permit for Finger Lick’n Wings despite the nearby River Garden residents adamantly opposing his request. As Mr. Horton noted he is barely in the jurisdiction of Coliseum Sq. (but in the River Garden backyard). I found Coliseum Sq. Assoc. support despite River Garden opposition fascinating! If he had proposed the same restaurant (MUCH LESS AN ALCOHOL LICENSE) at a location on the Coliseum Square Park – Every single resident in the area would have shown up to oppose it! Everyone! But since it was well outside of their area of concern – they supported it because it was not in their backyard.

        • uptanons,

          Nobody seems to be in a hurry to say exactly what the River Garden Association is or who it really represents. I’ll agree that the Coliseum Square Association should have had little to say in the matter, but I don’t see why anybody should be deferring to any group that is less than transparent.

          • I don’t believe there is a formal River Garden association. There is HRI that voices their interests in managing their property. And there are renters and home owners who all have their own opinions on issues in the neighborhood. There have been loosely organized meetings in the past. But there is no formal association – hence your difficulty with transparency.

          • Updated comment: There is no formal River Garden Association. HRI speaks in their interests as the landlord. The homeowners purchase agreement from HRI lays the groundwork for a River Garden homeowners’ association. However, the bylaws state that HRI maintains majority rule until the last home is sold. HRI neglected to build all the houses and many lots sit empty. They only built 1/3 of the homes. The last 2 built were about 2 years ago and there is no indication they plan to build more anytime soon. So HRI retains formal control of the alleged homeowners’ association for many years to come. There is just a loosely organized group of homeowners who all have their own opinions. Renters have had their own meetings in the past as well to discuss various neighborhood issues.

      • Owen, instead of being on your high horse and using this website to rip into other people, why dont you act as part of the solution, and actually get on the board of the coliseum square association. I dont disagree with some of your assessments of that organization, but if you are just going to criticize and not participate, then you should keep your mouth shut. Otherwise get involved.
        Also, are you paid by Buck Horton? You seem like you are strngly defending someone who has legitimate reasons to be criticized for past actions.

        • Richey,

          I’m not sure I’d be welcome back at Coliseum Square, and I’ve know other people who have tried reform from the inside but wound up quitting in disgust. The problem is that I disagree with the basic premise that neighborhood groups should effectively have a de facto veto over development and land use proposals. They will always tend to lend themselves towards a membership base that views development with suspicion, i.e., busybodies. Me joining the Association and trying to get on the board won’t change that one bit.

          And no, I’m not getting paid by Buck. I agree that he has good reason to be criticized regarding the past block parties; I just don’t think that’s a reason to deny him a hearing on a more restrictive ABO license. I see it this way — he’s the only real commerce in that corridor, and he’s been struggling to stay afloat in part because people tend to want beer with their wings. Thus, complaints regarding the need for greater investment, in my view, ignore the fact that an ABO licence would likely increase his profits and lead to those investments. It would also provide a more ready forum for complaints with the ABO board.

          • I pride myself on being “up on the latest” neighborhood organization and how they are run. Never heard of “River Garden Association”, so would encourage someone to post their information here.
            If you refer to the comprehensive list or organizations at — and visit the resources under “Coliseum Square” — you will find their website is almost never updated. One gets the feeling they are a very small, cohesive (read: insulated) group who once exerted pressure on the City to get the Bridge on-ramp removed in the 1980’s, and (I’m sure) are reluctant to give up holding those reins.

  3. If the City Council wants another Washington Ave-Annunciation St corner or another Richard St-Magazine St corner go ahead and approve it. Living about a block away from this place I can see it being a problem corner with alcohol in the mix.

    • NOLATheBeautiful — I give Marlon Horton more credit than that. At the very least, I don’t see why you would assume there would be problems before he’s even gotten a license.

      • Mr. Horton has already caused enough trouble from his restaurant. I personally witnessed the near riot that started at one of his block parties and spilled over into River Garden. He regularly had unpermitted block parties that caused more trouble nearby. He extorted the surrounding neighborhood to support his alcohol permit or else he would continue to throw unpermitted block parties out of spite. He lied to the Coliseum Neighborhood Assoc claiming he had no outside seating while there were 2 large picnic tables sitting right in front of his restaurant at that time. Simply not a good neighbor.

        • My 911 call on that evening should be public record. I give you permission to publish the transcription. In light of the (eventual) plentiful police response, many others called 911 as well. I recommend you delve into these calls further to determine the root of the problem with his restaurant.

  4. It’s not much of restaurant. On election day after voting I went in Buck’s place and ordered some wings. The rude guy behind the counter didn’t even have change for a ten dollar bill, there was no ice for my coke, and more than anything else he seemed surprised that I’d ordered some chicken. Buck has never painted over the graffiti on the property. I’d say he wants a crummy nightclub on the property, and that’s what the liquor license is all about.

    • Wow Louis, I sure hope you enjoyed your wings. Let me say that I didn’t even have plans to open Election Day. As far as a night club, it’s amazing you would pitch that out there. This is the reason for a neighbor agreement, Anyway Louis I don’t serve ice, my drinks are in cans. And the green you see on the yellow is not graffiti but I have it covered. I see its bothering you.

      • The key is not whether I liked your wings -I did, but the portion is too small for the price you charge, and you have poor selection of sauces, and your so called dining room is a dump- but whether food critic Tom Fitzmorris will be impressed. Try to learn how ice works before he comes. A heads up: It’s used to keep the drinks cold. If you pass muster with Tom, maybe your next step is Top Chef or even a cookbook. The graffiti on your property and on the raggedy phone booth is too graffiti, Bucky. Will this be a fake clean-up, cover-up, like you did with your hair (or is it as rumored, a Hair Club for Men weave?) and suit from Barry Manufacturing for the election?

  5. Mr. Horton has had several years to prove himself to be a responsible business owner and a good neighbor. Sadly, he has failed.

    uptanons is correct. Mr. Horton has held several block parties without going through the proper permitting process. Traffic was unable to pass on Jackson Ave. because of the massive crowd. The music blared above permitted levels well into the night. Many fights broke out along Jackson, in River Garden and in the Irish Channel by my home. One of the illegal parties can be found in a story on the Gambit website. Video of the parties can be found on YouTube and in Mr. Horton’s own music video (also on YouTube).

    I should clarify that Mr. Horton technically is not the applicant for the Conditional Use — his landlord is the applicant. Unfortunately, his landlord has been dismissive of the neighborhood’s concerns. The landlord has nothing to lose here as if Mr. Horton is unsuccessful in his business enterprise because the landlord surely can lease the place to someone else.

    • Thank you for doing the research on my business. I’m glad to have had the interest by someone like you. Marlon “Buck” Horton 2014

    • constance,

      I understand about the complaints regarding block parties, but those could have been dealt with separately. And you are wrong in assuming that the neighborhood has nothing to lose. There is very little commerce in that corridor; you might not have anybody chomping at the bit to lease that spot.

  6. Thank you all for the comment however when you don’t know you just dont know. Day in and day out I’ve noticed citizen of our own city question what one person will do because of previous activity. I don’t want to address anyone personally however I will say state facts #real facts, without even knowing the whole case of what’s really happening its foolish that we as people would get on a social network and drill others because of what they heard. It’s hard for me to imagine some of y’all living near by as stated because my restaurant has no problems check the records.

    Understanding that there are people in this world that just like to say what every and not state facts I forgive most of this crap I’m reading. Let me say this is another reason for our city problems #judgement.

    • Mr. Horton: this is the Uptown messenger link to the minutes to the Coliseum Square Assoc. in October 2011.

      At 7:28 mark you told the association you had no outside seating. At that time did you not have 2 large wooden picnic tables outside the front door of your restaurant in the parking lot?

      This is the link to a City Business article referencing the huge melee that started at one of your block parties. Did this not occur as reported?

    • Mr. Horton, you may recall that you attended a meeting regarding your block party in 2010. Many of us residents, unfortunately, were not invited to attend the meeting so we could discuss our concerns with you directly. Below is an email from the NOPD announcing that, directly because of your and Mr. Anderson’s disruptive events, a 6th District-wide moratorium on block parties was put in place.

      ———- Forwarded message ———-
      From: Matt
      Mon, Apr 5, 2010 at 10:00 AM
      Subject: Moratorium on Block Party
      To: NOPD 6th District Email Blast

      the past week, Major Bardy along with members of his Administrative Staff have held several meetings with business owners, representatives from Councilwoman Stacy Heads office, and have corresponded with members of the community regarding block party permits within the 6th district.

      Members of the business and residential community have voiced
      concerns over the vulgar language being played by DJs at block parties, fights occuring by patrons of the parties, left over trash not being picked up afterwards, and the crowds growing to hundreds of people causing the party to spill over into areas other than the permitted block.

      This past Thursday a meeting was called by Barbara Lacen-Keller, the director of constituent services for Stacy Head, who is the council person that represents the 6th District. The meeting was attended by Major Robert Bardy and Officer Matt Patin of the 6th District, Marlon Horton, owner of Finger Licking Wings (usually host parties at his venue on Annunciation and Jackson) and Eldon Anderson (Promotor of several block parties within the district) Ms. Keller informed the attendees that her office has received several complaints from neighborhood associations regarding the events, and she was there representing these associations. As a result of this meeting, the following action was taken:

      1- A moratorium was introduced and supported by the neighborhood associations and business owners prhibiting block parties district wide.

      2- Community based events will still be allowed, but will not be
      approved to be held on city blocks. Events will be held on NORD
      properties (city owned parks) These events MUST be family
      oriented in nature, and provide some type of service to the community. If a DJ is present at these events, the music will be kept at a reasonable and legal level, and will be appropriate for people of all ages. Proper permits must be obtained through NORD. The host of the event will hire a specific number of off-duty NOPD officers to maintain safety at the events, and this must be coordinated/approved through Major Bardy’s

      Permit request which do not meet this criteria will be denied.

      Major Bob Bardy
      Commander – Sixth Police District

      • This was 2 years and 8 months ago, I see people just don’t let go. Nothing has happened in nearly 3 years. Wake up people, let got. It’s clear that I’m being punished. 3 years?

        • Mr. Horton, your last block party was in 2011, AFTER the moratorium was issued. Again you are only telling part of the story. There were several fights and the NOPD was called out. Here is video of the 3rd block party, in case you forgot about this party.

          • Constance, maybe you can be my historian. You do a wonderful job. Can you find the article when I ran with the Olympic touch me and sister Helen, I need it. Tks

  7. I was at the Coliseum Square meeting referenced, and I witnessed actual neighborswho live acrossthe street from finger Lickin Wings practically in tears because of the quality of life issues they have dealt with over the last few years
    I have sympathy for Mr. Horton, he seems like a decent perrson and he is trying to be a businessperson. The problem I see is that he is not an experienced restaurant owner and he has been learning everything the hard way. If you open a business and immediately alienate your neighbors, you are screwed. You can never recover from that. If you don’t have the funds to operate a professional operation you are doomed. If you don’t have the experience to run the restaurant, you will fail.
    Additionally, his business is a low budget operation, with not very good service, and he is trying to be a rapper, actor, politcian, and restaurant owner at the same time.
    If he started over, got some investors, remodeled the property, got an experienced restaurant partner, and changed the concept, I think he could get what he wants. As long as it is Finger Lickin Wings and it is what it is now, he does not deserve the license

    • Paul, what has happened at my location in 2011 and 2012? You need to rethink what I deserve. Your post clearly show a sign of hate for what I want to do and accomplish. As i said before your kind, people that think like you are forgiven. I’ve done more good to people and my community than you and 734 Jackson is given me.

      #dont fault me for going for what I believe in. Mr. Paul

      • Mr. Horton, why have you NOT met with the neighborhood associations? If you were interested in being a good neighbor, you would have met with the neighbors BEFORE calling in a favor to City Council.

        • C.S., Mr. Horton most definitely HAS been meeting with various neighborhood groups, and I’m pleased to report those meetings went quite well. So well, in fact, that I was astonished when people showed up to speak so vigorously against Mr. Horton’s plans before City Council.
          I’m confident that such experiences have left a sour taste in his mouth, and I would quickly join him in believing (as I suspect he now may) that many other proprietors — without ties to things the Coliseum Square neighborhood doesn’t understand, like bounce and rap and chicken wings — might have sailed on through unopposed.
          He wants to expand sales … and improve his little corner of the world as a businessman. Should it really be this hard to bring one’s vision to life?

      • How does serving more “alcohol” and “liquor” in a poor neighbor do more good?

        You say you have “done more good to people and my community” than so and so”.

        Yet, how can this be?

        New Orleans is still one of the poorest cities in America and has the highest crime rate as well.

        I read and hear all these “black” politicians, community leaders and ministers talk about all the GOOD they have done for the community, yet the crime and poverty is still a lot worse than even pre-Katrina, and it’s been more than 7 years.

        Regardless, has serving “alcohol” and “liquor” ever been good to the black community in the long run? If so, perhaps you can name a few examples.

    • Paul,

      I recall the complaints regarding parties, but not anybody “practically in tears,” and believe Mr. Horton indicated that he would agree not to hold parties if he got the license. In any case, you seem to think that a major investor is willing to put a huge amount of money into that stretch of Jackson. That’s not the case, and besides, not every business in the city needs to be high end.

  8. Uptanons, please do not address me until you reveal yourself. With that being said contine your quest to make the 1 event be a black eye on my operation. It’s people like you, your job to make others look bad. Nothing that people like you do or say will effect me. Life goes on.

  9. Bucky, Do you have any plans to clean up the graffiti at your so-called restaurant? Wouldn’t we all want to know the name of your landlord, Bucky? On Monday I’m going to call Tom “Mister Food” Fitzmorris, the radio food critic, 1350 on your AM dial, and ask him to review your so-called restaurant. Maybe Tom will surprise me and want to hold one of his Eat Club dinners there. And, I am curious: Owen, has Bucky hired you as his attorney? A simple yes or no will do, thank you.

    • Louis, thanks for being a fan. My job here is done.

      • Bucky, I’m not a big fan of yours because you are a third tier rapper (that means you’re not any good at it) compared to Lil Wayne and Ludicris, who are my local favorites. If you know how to use a radio or the internet, listen this week when I call Tom Fitzmorris and ask him to review your restaurant. As for your being a comedian, I heard you on WWOZ during the campaign -maybe an illegal use of the airwaves- and you didn’t say anything funny. I’d be curious if you know the names of any comedians other than your dopplegangers Stubby Kaye and Charlie Weaver.

    • Louie Tks for the follow!!!!

  10. Might I add I’m also a comedian so I find these comments to be very entertaining, so if you goal is to make me look bad #it want. This just shows the hatred people have for one another.

    Maybe your right, I should just close and become a politician.

    Marlon “Buck” Horton 2014 District b or At large . Who knows..

    My job is done here, Constance write to Louie it seems he needs a social friend that do the same thing he do, try and harm a person rep!!! ✌️. I have more important people to entertain.

    • Manipulating the political process for your own personal gain is no laughing matter, sir.

  11. Mixed results: River Garden ruckus in New Orleans draws attention to project overhauls
    by Richard A. Webster
    Dolan Media Newswires

    NEW ORLEANS, LA — A post-funeral repast on Jackson Avenue a few blocks off Tchoupitoulas Street in March started as a small gathering of friends and family. But as the hours passed, it swelled and merged with a party down the street held by bounce rapper 10th Ward Buck.

    Soon several hundred people crowded Jackson Avenue.

    David Abbenante, president of HRI Management, developer of the nearby River Garden community, called police who broke the party up. It reformed a short time later, at some point someone screamed “gun,” and it turned into a melee, said Donald Gault, River Garden general manager.

    The crowd scattered with the majority seeking shelter in River Garden, where they reconvened in Boettner Park and kicked the party back into gear.

    “They just blew through the whole property and scared the hell out of a lot of people,” Gault said.

    Abbenante’s office was flooded with calls from confused and terrorized residents of River Garden, the mixed-income community built on the former St. Thomas Housing Development site.

    Continue reading:

  12. This buisness owner wants a liquor licence so he can get video poker. If he gets video poker, he can get a low interest loan from a VP company for improvements. Once again, this will get shot down, it will close down and it will be another vacant building in this city.

  13. I think Mr. Horton deserves a 6 month probationary period to sell beer and wine. If during the 6 months, there are no major issues, wild parties, fights, shootings, etc, and he manages responsibly he should then be granted the permit. If during the 6 month probationary period there are quality of life issues, then do not grant the permit.

    Most of this debate is dealing with speculation. Everyone deserves a chance.

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