West Seattle, Washington
Since so many people use the 4th Avenue South route to get between downtown and the West Seattle Bridge, here’s a heads-up about a closure next weekend:
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) advises travelers that crews will be closing Fourth Ave S between S Washington and Jefferson streets from Friday, June 30 through Monday, July 3. This closure is needed to complete work as part of the Yesler Bridge Rehabilitation Project.
From 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., Friday, June 30 through Monday, July 3, travelers can expect:
• Fourth Ave S to be closed to all traffic between S Washington and Jefferson streets
• Noise and construction activity
• Detours for pedestrians, bicycles, vehicles, and buses
SDOT would like to thank the public for its patience while this work is completed.
The Yesler Bridge Rehabilitation Project will improve the safety and reliability of the Yesler Bridge while preserving its historical elements. For more information, please visit the Yesler Bridge Rehabilitation Project webpage.
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Lots of questions about the police and fire response for an “assault with weapons” call in the 4500 block of 48th SW, near Ercolini Park. We have just talked to responders at the scene, and they tell us a person died by suicide inside a home.
As we always mention in coverage of suicide: If you or someone you know is contemplating self-harm, the Crisis Clinic‘s 24-hour hotline is 206-461-3222.
Last night we published a reminder about calling Seattle Public Utilities if your tap water is discolored – 206-386-1800. Just heard from a resident west of The Junction who says she called because of brown water, apparently resulting from nearby fire-hydrant use she saw earlier.
Semi-quick reminder: While the public-comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda‘s proposed rezoning is only about halfway over, the biggest public event is just three days away: A public hearing and open house at City Hall downtown (600 4th Ave.). As announced when the DEIS went public earlier this month, the event starts at 5:30 pm Thursday (June 29th), with public comment to follow a short briefing at 6:30 pm. The full document is linked from this city webpage, which has information on other ways to comment until the July 23rd deadline. If you haven’t been following the process until now, the rezoning would affect commercial/multifamily property throughout the city, as well as single-family property in urban villages (West Seattle has four – Admiral, Morgan Junction, West Seattle Junction, and Westwood-Highland Park), some of which would see expanded boundaries. The DEIS looks at two options for rezoning – you can use this interactive map to see whether/how each would affect your neighborhood.
4:17 PM: Thanks for the tips and photos. Police and SDOT are at the spot where you head to the eastbound West Seattle Bridge from Avalon – a semi-truck is stuck. Police tell us it could take up to an hour more to clear.
4:25 PM: And … the intersection is clear, according to Twitter and scanner traffic. Sorry to have missed early word on this one. Harbor SW was also blocked for a bit while the damaged trailer was moved to the tow yard just north of the intersection.
Late last year, we reported on SDOT‘s plan to replace the SW Thistle stairway in Upper Fauntleroy. At the time, the work was expected to be done this year. Now, project manager Greg Funk says it won’t happen before next year:
We’re now planning to replace this stairway in 2018. We had originally scheduled this stairway replacement to happen this year, but our engineering cost estimates came in too high for our maintenance crews to construct (the steep hillside and narrow right of way add to the project scope). This means we need to go through a formal design and bidding process. We are also going to look at the possibility of rehabbing the existing stairway rather than doing a full tearout and replacement.
Two other updates – first, a survey:
Our 2018 stairway survey is now live. This map shows the stairways we’ve prioritized for improvements in 2018. The survey closes on July 10, 2017 and we will use the input to inform design and better communicate with the stairway neighbors during construction.
You can answer that survey by going here – note that it includes three West Seattle stairways, two in the north, one in the south. And we have one other update:
Update on SW Holly St & Beveridge Pl SW: This stairway was scheduled for replacement last year; however, there were concerns about the project, so we have decided to re-hab this stairway and put it on our list of stairways that we will keep for historic purposes. We will reset the existing stairway and upgrade the wood rail to standard steel rail. We may have time to complete this work in 2017, if not 2018.
After six years without a permanent rector, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church will have one starting this fall. And she has served this church before, according to the official announcement:
The Vestry of Saint John the Baptist Episcopal Parish today announced that the Reverend Kate E. Wesch has been called to serve as Rector of the parish. Rev. Wesch will join St John’s on October 2, 2017 and will deliver her first sermon as Rector on Sunday, October 8, 2017 during services at 8 and 10:15 a.m.
Rev. Wesch is no stranger to St John’s; she was ordained at this parish in 2007 and served as Associate Priest alongside the parish’s former Rector, the Very Rev. Peter DeVeau. Rev. Wesch and her family have called West Seattle home since moving to Washington State in 2006. Most recently, Rev. Wesch has served at Epiphany Episcopal Parish in Madrona in the capacity of Associate Priest.
Of her new parish, Rev. Wesch notes, “According to its history, St. John’s Parish was established ‘for a broad-minded and liberal churchmanship, which should not only develop the spiritual side of life, but also encourage the social welfare in the most thoughtful and progressive minds of this community.’ This parish has done that now for generations in a community that continues to grow and thrive on this peninsula across the bay. The holy ground at the corner of California Avenue and Hanford is a gracious and serene place to gather to praise God, share your lives, do good works, and study the Gospel.”
The community is invited to meet Rev. Wesch at a special welcoming event on Sunday, October 8, 2017 (details will be made available closer to the date). St. John the Baptist is an Episcopal Parish is celebrating its 125th anniversary in West Seattle, and is a member of the Diocese of Olympia of the Episcopal Church.
The previous rector, Rev. DeVeau, left in late 2011 for Kansas City.
Thanks to SBRE for today’s in-bus photo – as we remind you again that Seattle Public Schools are getting out an hour early today, last day of classes. Summer vacation continues until the first day of classes, September 6th (for kindergarteners, September 11th). And schedules will be different next year, as announced on June 15th, including weekly early dismissals on Wednesdays. Happy summer to all!
We heard it – and others saw it: A dozen-plus Seattle Police units (per three readers’ counts) pursuing a car southbound on West Marginal Way just after 2 pm on Saturday afternoon. And today we know why. We also know it started outside West Seattle, thanks to this video from Patrick O’Connor:
He sent that to us on Sunday, explaining that it was recorded on 1st Avenue South in Pioneer Square, but we suspected it was the same incident, given the ~2 pm time frame and proximity to West Seattle. At the time of the pursuit, we heard the sirens from Puget Ridge, where we were covering the Seattle Chinese Garden Kite Festival. We opened a scanner app just in time to hear that whatever it was, was ending, with the pursued vehicle apparently having crossed the city-county line.
We couldn’t find out anything more over the weekend, so today we followed up with SPD’s media-relations team. Det. Mark Jamieson tells WSB, “This was a pursuit of a stolen car involved in several robberies from different jurisdictions. The pursuit was called off as it went across the county line.” He also sent the narrative, which has these additional details:
The officer who wrote the report was on patrol with his partner at Rainier and Graham (map) when they saw a silver Nissan Sentra pull into a gas station. The officers noted that the car resembled one to which they had been alerted the day before, with information from Bellevue Police saying the car was stolen and linked to thefts and robberies in Bellevue and Kirkland. They started to follow the car and then sought authorization for a pursuit, which the report says was eventually ordered terminated by a sergeant.
The officer writing the report noted that he felt a pursuit was warranted because, “Based on recent crime statistics, there has been an increase in robberies (strong-armed and armed) and other violent crimes in the Seattle area. Based on my training, experience, and research of the recent calls, I know that robbery suspects are commonly armed or threaten to use weapons during the commission of these crimes. Knowing that this vehicle was stolen and used in prior robberies and thefts, I felt that if these suspects were not immediately apprehended, they would be a greater danger to the public than if we had let them drive away.” The officer also wrote that further research suggested the same vehicle was linked to four Seattle incidents too.
(Photo by Jamie Kinney – humpback encountered between Alki and Bainbridge on Sunday)
Highlights for the rest of your West Seattle Monday:
WADING POOLS OPEN TODAY: Seattle Parks says Lincoln Park will be open 11 am-8 pm and Delridge will be open noon-6:30 pm. Highland Park Spraypark is open 11 am-8 pm, too. (Addresses are here)
LOW-LOW TIDE: Not quite as low as the weekend’s low-low tides, but still very low, at -3.1 feet at 1:12 pm, with Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists out at Constellation and Lincoln Parks from 11 am to 3 pm.
COLMAN POOL: Noon-7 pm, the outdoor saltwater pool on the shore at Lincoln Park is open – here’s the schedule. Access via foot/bicycle.
LADIES’ NIGHT STAND-UP PADDLEBOARDING: 6-8 pm on Monday nights from Alki Kayak Tours at Seacrest Pier – details in our calendar listing. (1660 Harbor SW)
ALL-AGES QUIZ: 7:30 pm Mondays at The Skylark, all-ages quiz, with prizes. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
Independence Day is just one week from tomorrow, so we’re working on the annual WSB West Seattle 4th of July page. Got a public event planned? Will your business be closed, or open special holiday hours? Please let us know (if you haven’t already) ASAP so we can include it when we publish the page late tonight – email@example.com – thanks!
(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)
7:02 AM: Good morning. No incidents reported in or from West Seattle. If you see trouble, let us know when you can do so safely (when you get to where you’re going, unless you’re a passenger) – text or call 206-293-6302.
LAST DAY OF SCHOOL: Seattle Public Schools‘ last day of classes is today, with one-hour early dismissal.
7:14 AM: Emergency crews have been dispatched to a “heavy rescue” on the westbound bridge at Delridge. No other details yet.
7:18 AM: The camera shows a pickup truck across all lanes of the westbound bridge just west of the Admiral exit. So you won’t be able to get to Fauntleroy from the westbound bridge, TFN. The eastbound side from Fauntleroy is also affected, down to one lane.
7:32 AM: SFD has left the bridge-crash scene just as SDOT arrived to clean up what was described on scanner as a fuel spill and debris.
Tow truck and @seattledot cleanup crew just arrived at bridge crash scene pic.twitter.com/5Y83gT41xZ
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 26, 2017
As our video of the SDOT feed shows, tow truck has arrived too. We haven’t heard yet about injuries, if any.
7:44 AM: The SDOT crew, by the way, also is there for the jersey barrier, which is the major reason why this is affecting the eastbound side too. Again, this is all from/to the Fauntleroy end, so if you are getting onto the EB bridge from some point further east, this won’t affect you – aside from heavier volumes from people detouring.
8:05 AM: All eastbound lanes from Fauntleroy are open again.
8:14 AM: Progress in getting the wrecked truck hooked up and towed, too, as you can see on the top-left “live” camera on this page.
8:40 AM: SDOT reports that the westbound bridge is open again.
(Photo by Kevin Callahan, from Seaview)
Thanks for the sunset photos! Not only is the first weekend of summer 2017 concluding, so is the record-setting heat – hottest June 25th on record at Sea-Tac, 96 degrees (old record 92 in 2006).
(Photo by Don Brubeck, from Upper Alki)
The “heat advisory” has expired, and the high tomorrow is expected to be in the 70s. And if that’s still too warm for you, take solace in the fact we are now just six months from Christmas.
In our first year of reporting West Seattle news full time via WSB, we received a calendar announcement from First Lutheran Church of West Seattle Pastor Ron Marshall, about a class he had been teaching for years:
Not a class about the Bible, nor anything related to his denomination. It’s a class about Islam’s holy book, the Quran (or Koran).
As far as Rev. Marshall knows – and, he says, others have researched to verify this – he’s the only Christian minister in the U.S. regularly teaching a course on the Quran.
So we interviewed him about it in 2008, and since then, we’ve included the quarterly announcements in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar. With nine years having passed – and Islam remaining much-discussed – we decided to talk with him again before the next four-session class begins July 6th (one week from next Thursday). First, here’s the entirety of our half-hour interview, recorded on video, unedited:
As Rev. Marshall explains, this is a class he’s taught for 14 years now, in this format – he first took an interest in Islam in the ’80s, but getting people interested in a class didn’t happen until after 9/11, and since 2003, he has taught it quarterly. It’s now a four-Thursday format, usually taught four times a year, 7-9 pm each session, this time starting July 6th, $50 for the course, which includes a book and handouts.
He clarifies that he doesn’t promote the Quran’s message – “I’m a Christian minister” – but neither does he “bash the Quran.” The point of the class is to “compare and contrast between the Bible and the Quran … we’re on a fact-finding mission.” Questions explored include whether one part of the Quran means that it is intended to replace the Bible – scholars disagree, and it leads to “spirited discussions” in his classes, says Rev. Marshall. The class uses one of three authorized English translations of the Quran. The class is not “what (he) thinks about the Quran” – he points to “this is what the best Muslim teachers say the Quran is saying.”
He summarizes, “I want to try to provide a way to appreciatively, kindly, rationally approach a book that you may not like. Is there a way to do that? … I don’t think we have many models for this today.”
MORE INFO … is on his church’s website. He says the class has been taken by people aged 12 to 90+, and the students teach him as well as vice versa. “I have never taught the class without learning something.”
P.S. For groups interested in an abbreviated version, you can contact him about setting up an all-in-one-day course, as long as you have at least 20 people (who will be charged $20 each) – he’s done this all around Puget Sound.
(Photo courtesy New York Dog Film Festival)
Another special movie event to look forward to this summer: The second annual New York Dog Film Festival will stop at West Seattle’s Admiral Theater on Sunday, August 6th. And part of the proceeds will benefit West Seattle-based Furry Faces Foundation. Here’s the announcement F3 shared today:
Following its overwhelming success last year in Seattle, and its national tour to 10 cities in 2016, the NY Dog Film Festival will be traveling to 48 cities this year. The 2nd Annual NY Dog Film Festival™ is returning to Seattle on August 6, 2017, at the Historic Admiral Theater, with two programs of completely new films at 3 PM and 5 PM. Dogs will be welcome in the theater, once again delighting the avid dog lovers of Seattle and proving the Festival’s own mission of showing how remarkable the bond is between dogs and their people.
Perfect for dog lovers of all ages, the NY Dog Film Festival™ will feature two programs, each of which features a different medley of documentary, animated and live-action short canine-themed films from around the world. The films illuminate human-canine love and are uplifting, with happy outcomes. Each program runs approximately 70 minutes.
3:00 PM – “Outdoor Adventure with Dogs” (77 minutes)
5:00 PM – “Who Rescued Whom?” (74 minutes)
NY Dog Film Festival™ Founder/ Director Tracie Hotchner, a well-known pet wellness advocate and author of The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know, will bring local dog aficionados together with their dogs as “their movie dates” to share a communal experience of watching short films that celebrate the remarkable bond between people and dogs.
Tickets are $12 for humans and $5 for dogs (service dogs are free). A portion of every ticket will go to Furry Faces Foundation. Purchase advance tickets online by going here.
The Admiral is at 2343 California SW.
That’s the photo an Arbor Heights resident sent earlier today, wondering why their tap water was discolored. First thing to do if this happens to you: Call the Seattle Public Utilities hotline at 206-386-1800. We suspected it might have been related to hydrant testing, since Seattle Fire had tweeted this back on Friday:
Station 37 firefighters are out testing fire hydrants along 35th Avenue SW today. Join in by checking your home smoke alarms today. pic.twitter.com/ZBvMvYUJSJ
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) June 23, 2017
And that indeed is what the resident was told. But there could be other causes, so they want to hear from you any time there’s something unusual with your water supply.
The West Seattle Garden Tour continues until 5 pm – a self-guided tour of 11 very different gardens – and we’ve just visited three (after first publishing a contributed report about Garden I in Arbor Heights). Above (sea holly) and below (lettuce), the Solstice P-Patch across from the north end of Lincoln Park is Garden H.
The P-Patch is also where we found Willard Brown from Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association and Yeggy Michael from Nature Consortium, talking to people about the ongoing Delridge Wetlands Project and upcoming Arts in Nature Festival (August 26-27).
Six of this year’s gardens are in the greater Beach Drive area; we stopped by waterfront garden E shortly before this afternoon’s low-low tide:
Complementing the blue sea were purple seas of ground cover, including thyme.
Inland, garden A is at a corner house between Admiral and The Junction, with pockets of both in-ground and in-planter color:
Three more hours to tour – check West Seattle Nursery (California/Brandon) for last-minute ticket-book sales. The WSGT is a nonprofit that raises money for other nonprofits – here are this year’s beneficiaries. Besides ticket sales, money is also raised by raffle-ticket sales at stops on the tour, so don’t miss those!
(“Live” look at the crash scene. Refresh page for newest view)
12:43 PM: Thanks for the tip! SDOT verifies a crash midspan on the westbound West Seattle Bridge is blocking two lanes. Apparently no injuries, as there’s no SFD dispatch so far.
1:04 PM: SDOT just corrected its report to say, “Disabled vehicle on the West Seattle Bridge is blocking two right WB lanes on the mid span. Car lost a tire over the side.”
2:15 PM: It’s cleared, SDOT says, but beware of residual backup.
11:28 AM: The West Seattle Farmers Market is overflowing with fresh produce. But what to do with it? Cookbook author Kim O’Donnel is demonstrating that right now at the south end of the market, until 12:30 pm, presented by the Seattle Public Library. When we stopped by a few minutes ago, she was making a potato salad with ingredients you’ll find at the market today – including sorrel! Her new cookbook, PNW Veg, is available at Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor), steps away at 4540 California SW.
P.S. Kim is also the chef in residence at the West Seattle YMCA (36th/Snoqualmie; WSB sponsor), where you can see her improvise with produce from the weekly CSA farm boxes that people are picking up there after 4 pm on Thursdays.
The photo and report are from Greg Olsen, owner of an Arbor Heights home that’s one of 11 sites comprising today’s West Seattle Garden Tour – on now, until 5 pm – and father of the gardener:
Designing and enjoying your garden when suffering from a disability can be challenging.
Avery Armstrong, age 42, has accomplished that goal.
See today during the West Seattle Garden Tour … [Garden #I in the ticket book]
Due to a near-fatal blood clot in her leg at age 35, while studying Landscape Architecture at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, Ms. Armstrong is now partially disabled, forced to walk with a cane.
Being a garden lover and being on her feet is a challenge. Her four-year-young, sustainable garden features accessibility and beauty.
Greg advises visiting before 3 pm – “before it gets too hot!” – though the tour continues until 5. We’ll be stopping by several gardens later today. If you didn’t pre-purchase a ticket book, which is required for admission (and includes addresses and maps), go to West Seattle Nursery (California/Brandon), or, until 11, Metropolitan Market (41st/42nd/Admiral; WSB sponsor).
(Blood star, photographed by Peter Commons during Saturday’s low-low tide)
The hottest temperatures so far this year are expected today – lots of ways to get outdoors, but bring hats, water, etc.! From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
AMATEUR RADIO FIELD DAY: Continues until about 11 am on the south field at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), and you’re welcome to stop by until then. Here’s our Saturday coverage. (6000 16th SW)
TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Final day of the Pacific Northwest Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships at Southwest Athletic Complex. 8:30 am-3 pm; see the schedule here. (2801 SW Thistle)
WEST SEATTLE GARDEN TOUR: Today’s the day! 9 am-5 pm, tour a dozen gardens. Self-guided but you need the $25 ticket book to get the map, locations, and admission to any and all gardens. If you haven’t bought one in advance, they’re available 8-11 am at Metropolitan Market (41st/42nd/Admiral Way; WSB sponsor) and starting at 9 am at West Seattle Nursery (California/Brandon).
HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL: The West Seattle Summer Showdown wraps up at the WSHS Gym with 9 am games. (3000 California SW)
KIM O’DONNEL COOKS @ WSFM: 11 am-12:30 pm, best-selling cookbook author (and West Seattleite) Kim O’Donnel cooks at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market – recipes are from her newest book PNW Veg, which you can buy nearby at Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor). More info here. (California between Alaska and Oregon)
WADING POOL & SPRAYPARK: Keep the little ones cool at Lincoln Park Wading Pool (8011 Fauntleroy SW) and/or Highland Park Spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale), both open today 11 am- 8 pm.
LOW-LOW TIDE: Again today, the tide will be all the way out to -3.6 feet (at 12:25 pm). Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists are back at Constellation and Lincoln Parks, too, 10:30 am-2:30 pm.
FREE BOOK SWAP: 1 pm-3 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club, free book swap – drop off books for any ages, after noon. Part of the campaign to save Reading Partners tutoring at Highland Park Elementary. (1116 SW Holden)
ALKI LIGHTHOUSE TOURS: 1 pm-4 pm (last group at 3:40 pm), tour the historic Alki Point Lighthouse, free, with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. (3201 Alki SW)
HAPPY HOUR(S) AT HEIDI FISH SWIMWEAR: 1-4 pm at the new storefront of award-winning Heidi Fish Swimwear, stop by for specials. Here’s our recent story about her move. (4141 California SW)
BYSTANDER TRAINING: 2 pm at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, as previewed here. If there’s no room left today, see our story for two more upcoming sessions. (3050 California SW)
MODE MUSIC STUDIOS OPEN-MIC FUNDRAISER @ SKYLARK: It’s the fifth month of the Get On Stage/Get Involved open-microphone session/fundraiser presented by Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor) next door at The Skylark, starting with signups at 3 pm, performances at 4 pm. This month’s beneficiary is Mary’s Place, which helps families experiencing homelessness. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
SILVER LINING BAND: Live music at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm. (5612 California SW)
MONTY BANKS WITH THE DRIFTWOOD TRIO: “A mix of Rat Pack swing, traditional jazz and New Orleans R&B” at Parliament Tavern, starting at 7 pm. No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
And if you’re headed off-peninsula …
PRIDE PARADE & MORE: Here’s the SDOT roundup of what’s happening elsewhere in the city, including hundreds of thousands of people gathering downtown for the 11 am Pride Parade.
(WSB video: Urban Homestead Foundation vp Kristen Corning Bedford announcing grant news)
Leaders and supporters of the Urban Homestead Foundation‘s vision for the ex-substation on Genesee Hill had big news to celebrate today. As you can hear in our video clip above, they’ve been recommended to receive a King County Conservation Futures $281,000 matching-fund grant that would get them to half of what they need to buy the land and transform it into a community learning and gathering place and urban-agriculture demonstration zone.
The grant recommendation was announced during a block-party potluck at the site. They’re also celebrating gifts of all sizes – earlier in the day, Girl Scout Troop 44428 stopped by with a $350 donation:
(Photo courtesy UHF president Katie Stemp)
While the grant recommendation is big news, the group is racing the clock, as they were given until the end of this year to raise the money they need before City Light sells the site on the open market; the utility is in the process of getting a new appraisal (the previous one put the site’s value at $530,000). Later this summer, UHF plans a Farm Dinner fundraiser at the site, 5 pm August 13th – more details to come but you can save the date now.
BACKSTORY: The site at 50th and Dakota, just north of Genesee Hill Elementary, is one of the six former substations in West Seattle that Seattle City Light declared were no longer needed, putting into motion a process to sell or otherwise dispose of them. Three of them – on Pigeon Point, in south Highland Park, and in Fauntleroy – have been or are being sold for housing; one in north Highland Park is proposed for mixed-use rezoning at the community’s request; and then there’s the one becoming the Delridge Wetlands Project. The UHF plan is described in detail in the application for the just-announced grant.
10:40 PM: Thanks for the tips. A crash at 41st and Fauntleroy [map], in Morgan Junction, is reported to have traffic down to one lane – a driver is reported to have hit a power/light pole. We’re headed down to find out more; avoid the area TFN.
10:54 PM: This was a one-car crash. Driver taken to hospital by private ambulance for evaluation. City Light is here – eastbound side of Fauntleroy is blocked because wires are down.
11:16 PM: Thanks for the update – one of the original tipsters says Fauntleroy is now back open both ways, though police are still on the scene.
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