Bergenfield, New Jersey
|Bergenfield, New Jersey|
|Borough of Bergenfield|
Map highlighting Bergenfield's location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Bergenfield, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||June 25, 1894|
|• Mayor||Norman Schmelz (term ends December 31, 2015)|
|• Clerk||Colleen Naumov|
|• Total||2.885 sq mi (7.473 km2)|
|• Land||2.876 sq mi (7.448 km2)|
|• Water||0.009 sq mi (0.024 km2) 0.33%|
|Area rank||344th of 566 in state
30th of 70 in county
|Elevation||66 ft (20 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Estimate (2014)||27,406|
|• Rank||89th of 566 in state
7th of 70 in county
|• Density||9,306.5/sq mi (3,593.3/km2)|
|• Density rank||39th of 566 in state
11th of 70 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0885157|
Bergenfield is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 26,764, reflecting an increase of 517 (+2.0%) from the 26,247 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,789 (+7.3%) from the 24,458 counted in the 1990 Census.
Bergenfield was formed on the basis of a referendum held on June 25, 1894, from portions of Englewood Township and Palisades Township. The borough was formed during the "Boroughitis" phenomenon then sweeping through Bergen County, in which 26 boroughs were formed in the county in 1894 alone.
New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Bergenfield as its 211st best place to live in its 2010 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey. The magazine ranked Bergenfield as its 231st best place to live in its 2008 rankings of the "Best Places To Live".
NeighborhoodScout named Bergenfield as the safest municipality in the nation in 2012 with more than 25,000 residents and in both 2013 and 2014 they named it as the 2nd safest town in the USA only behind Franklin, Massachusetts.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Demographics
- 3 Government
- 4 Emergency services
- 5 Education
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Community
- 8 Notable people
- 9 Corporate residents
- 10 In popular culture
- 11 References
- 12 Sources
- 13 External links
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 2.885 square miles (7.473 km2), including 2.876 square miles (7.448 km2) of land and 0.009 square miles (0.024 km2) of water (0.33%).
Bergenfield has been called the "Little Manila" of Bergen County. Of the 14,224 Filipino population in the county as a whole enumerated in the 2000 Census, 3,133 (22% of the county total) lived in Bergenfield. By the 2010 Census, 4,569 Bergenfield residents (17.1% of the population) listed themselves as being of Filipino ancestry.
At the 2010 United States Census, there were 26,764 people, 8,852 households, and 6,816 families residing in the borough. The population density was 9,306.5 per square mile (3,593.3/km2). There were 9,200 housing units at an average density of 3,199.1 per square mile (1,235.2/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 52.42% (14,029) White, 7.70% (2,060) Black or African American, 0.31% (84) Native American, 25.60% (6,851) Asian, 0.05% (13) Pacific Islander, 10.12% (2,709) from other races, and 3.80% (1,018) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 26.52% (7,097) of the population.
There were 8,852 households, of which 35.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.7% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.0% were non-families. 19.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.02 and the average family size was 3.46.
In the borough, 23.9% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 28.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.0 years. For every 100 females there were 91.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $82,546 (with a margin of error of +/- $6,568) and the median family income was $99,963 (+/- $5,602). Males had a median income of $52,891 (+/- $2,058) versus $50,443 (+/- $2,598) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $35,034 (+/- $2,133). About 3.9% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.2% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 26,247 people, 8,981 households, and 6,753 families residing in the borough. The population density was 9,065.4 people per square mile (3,494.5/km2). There were 9,147 housing units at an average density of 3,159.3 per square mile (1,217.8/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 62.90% White, 6.90% African American, 0.24% Native American, 20.41% Asian (5,357 Asian), 0.02% Pacific Islander, 6.47% from other races, and 3.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.05% of the population.
There were 8,981 households out of which 36.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.8% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.8% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.41.
In the borough the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $62,172, and the median income for a family was $71,187. Males had a median income of $42,074 versus $35,137 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $24,706. About 2.6% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.6% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over.
Bergenfield is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Bergenfield, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2015[update], the mayor of Bergenfield is Republican Norman Schmelz, who was sworn in on as the new mayor in November 2013 and will serve until his term ends, on December 31, 2015. Schmelz was elected to fill the seat of Timothy Driscoll, who had died in office in March 2013, defeating Carlos Aguasvivas who had filled the seat on an interim basis since being appointed by the council in April. Members of the Borough Council are Council President Ora C. Kornbluth (D, 2016), Arvin Amatorio (D, 2017), Thomas A. Lodato (D, 2015), Hernando Rivera (D, 2015), Charles K. Steinel (D, 2016) and P. Christopher "Chris" Tully (D, 2017).
Federal, state and county representation
Bergenfield is located in the 5th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 38th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Bergenfield had been in the 37th state legislative district.
New Jersey's Fifth Congressional District is represented by Scott Garrett (R, Wantage Township). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).
The 38th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Robert M. Gordon (D, Fair Lawn) and in the General Assembly by Tim Eustace (D, Maywood) and Joseph Lagana (D, Paramus). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Bergen County is governed by a directly elected County Executive, with legislative functions performed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders. As of 2015[update], the County Executive is James J. Tedesco III (D, Paramus; term ends December 31, 2018). The seven freeholders are elected at-large in partisan elections on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year, with a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Chairman Pro Tempore selected from among its members at a reorganization meeting held each January. Bergen County's Freeholders are Freeholder Chairwoman Joan Voss (D, 2017; Fort Lee), Vice Chairman Steve Tanelli (D, 2015; North Arlington) Chairman Pro Tempore John A. Felice (R, 2016; River Edge), David L. Ganz (D, 2017; Fair Lawn), Maura R. DeNicola (R, 2016; Franklin Lakes) Thomas J. Sullivan Jr., (D, Montvale, 2015; serving the unexpired term of office that had been occupied by James Tedesco before he was sworn in as County Executive) and Tracy Silna Zur (D, 2015; Franklin Lakes). Countywide constitutional officials are County Clerk John S. Hogan (D, Northvale), Sheriff Michael Saudino (R) and Surrogate Michael R. Dressler (D, Cresskill).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 14,083 registered voters in Bergenfield, of which 5,139 (36.5% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 2,151 (15.3% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 6,782 (48.2% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 11 voters registered to other parties. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 52.6% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 69.2% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 6,665 votes (62.7% vs. 54.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 3,773 votes (35.5% vs. 43.5%) and other candidates with 91 votes (0.9% vs. 0.9%), among the 10,624 ballots cast by the borough's 15,285 registered voters, for a turnout of 69.5% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 6,410 votes (57.6% vs. 53.9% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 4,561 votes (40.9% vs. 44.5%) and other candidates with 70 votes (0.6% vs. 0.8%), among the 11,138 ballots cast by the borough's 14,721 registered voters, for a turnout of 75.7% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 5,768 votes (54.8% vs. 51.7% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 4,657 votes (44.3% vs. 47.2%) and other candidates with 57 votes (0.5% vs. 0.7%), among the 10,523 ballots cast by the borough's 13,954 registered voters, for a turnout of 75.4% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 59.2% of the vote (3,576 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 40.0% (2,416 votes), and other candidates with 0.8% (47 votes), among the 6,214 ballots cast by the borough's 14,629 registered voters (175 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 42.5%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 3,463 ballots cast (53.9% vs. 48.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 2,599 votes (40.5% vs. 45.8%), Independent Chris Daggett with 276 votes (4.3% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 29 votes (0.5% vs. 0.5%), among the 6,420 ballots cast by the borough's 14,488 registered voters, yielding a 44.3% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
The Bergenfield Police Department provides police services to the Borough of Bergenfield. As of 2010, there are a total of 46 sworn officers in the department, 8 civilian telecommunicators, and three civilian Records Bureau employees.
The force is responsible for all aspects of policing in the borough, including responding to fire and medical emergency calls. Each patrol car is equipped with a first aid kit, oxygen tank, and an Automated external defibrillator.
Started in 1905, the Bergenfield Fire Department (BFD) has three independent fire companies and a career staff.
The Bergenfield Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. (BVAC) was formed in 1941 as the "Bergenfield Volunteer Firemen's Ambulance Corps." Renamed the "Bergenfield Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc." and established as an organization independent of the Bergenfield Fire Department in 1981, BVAC is located at 1 Froelich Street in Bergenfield. The BVAC is a volunteer independent public emergency medical service. As such, they do not bill for services. BVAC is funded by donations from the public as well as limited funding from the borough.
The corps provides basic life support, and is staffed by certified Emergency Medical Technicians. BVAC has three ambulances and one fire-rehabilitation unit. Dispatching is provided by the Bergenfield Police Department's 9-1-1 center.
The BVAC is a member of the New Jersey State First Aid Council.
Students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade are educated by the Bergenfield Public Schools. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's seven schools had an enrollment of 1,371 students (in K-8, data for middle and high schools wasn't available) and 269.6 classroom teachers. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are five elementary schools serving Kindergarten - 5th grade — Franklin Elementary School with 336 students, Hoover Elementary School with 182 students, Jefferson Elementary School with 234 students, Lincoln Elementary School with 350 students, and Washington Elementary School with 269 students — Roy W. Brown Middle School for grades 6 - 8 (NA) and Bergenfield High School grades 9-12 (NA).
Public school students from the borough, and all of Bergen County, are eligible to attend the secondary education programs offered by the Bergen County Technical Schools, which include the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, and the Bergen Tech campus in Teterboro or Paramus. The district offers programs on a shared-time or full-time basis, with admission based on a selective application process and tuition covered by the student's home school district.
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the borough had a total of 60.50 miles (97.37 km) of roadways, of which 54.75 miles (88.11 km) were maintained by the municipality and 5.75 miles (9.25 km) by Bergen County.
Main roads include Washington Avenue, Main Street and New Bridge Road.
New Jersey Transit bus service is available to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 166, 167 routes and the George Washington Bridge Bus Station on the 186 route; and to other New Jersey communities served on the 753, 756 and 772 routes.
Until 1959, the New York Central Railroad operated passenger service through the borough on the West Shore Railroad. Service operated north along the Hudson River to Albany, New York and points west; and south to Weehawken Terminal.
Bergenfield is one of a growing number of districts to form a SID (Special Improvement District). Bergenfield’s Special Improvement District stretches a mile along Washington Avenue from Teaneck to Dumont has been promoting the local businesses for several years. Its mission is to inform people about Bergenfield's shopping district and its over 50 international restaurants and food stores within one mile.
On May 4, 2006, the ABC show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition came to Bergenfield to build a home for the Llanes family on New Bridge Road. The episode aired as the pre-season two-hour special originally broadcast on September 17, 2006. The Llanes sold their home in 2012 and went to live with relatives because their taxes increased beyond their ability to pay, having risen from under $6,500 in 2007 to more than $15,000 five years later due to the increased assessed value of the home following the renovation.
On July 22, 2007, the Team Bergenfield Roller Hockey Club, won the NARCh National Roller Hockey Championship defeating the Nor-Cal Patriots 6-5 in Estero, Florida. Team Bergenfield went 6-0-1 in the tournament en route to winning the Men's Silver Championship. The team formed in Bergenfield in 1994 and is currently one of the longest running roller hockey clubs in the United States.
Several scenes for the Harlem Globetrotter 1954 film Go, Man, Go! were filmed at Franklin School, and along nearby Prospect Avenue. The actors Dane Clark (Abe Saperstein) and Patricia Breslin (Sylvia Saperstein) were involved. Many of the school's 5th grade boys were used as extras.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Bergenfield include:
- Jack Antonoff (born 1984), guitarist of Fun.
- Chris Brantley (born 1970), former NFL wide receiver.
- Walter Christie (1863-1941), founder of Bergenfield who was the borough's second mayor in 1897.
- Al Di Meola (born 1954), a highly technical, jazz fusion guitarist, attended Bergenfield High School.
- Frank Eufemia (born 1959), Major League Baseball, pitcher.
- Thom Fitzgerald (born 1968), filmmaker, The Hanging Garden, 3 Needles.
- George Gately (1928–2001), creator of the Heathcliff comic strip.
- Bob Gaudio (born 1942), from the Four Seasons.
- Bob Guccione (born 1930), founder and former owner of Penthouse.
- The Knickerbockers, 1960s band took their name from Knickerbocker Avenue in Bergenfield.
- Eugene Korn, Orthodox rabbi who has focused on Jewish-Christian relations.
- David Lat (born 1975), blogger.
- Jimmy Lydon (born 1923), who played Henry Aldrich in the movies, honored in the Bergenfield Hall of Fame.
- Mucky Pup (1985–1996; 2009–2011), hardcore and heavy metal band.
- Tom Reilly (born 1959), actor who played Bobby Nelson on CHiPs.
- The Royal Teens, 1950's rock and roll band.
- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky, Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University.
- Floyd James Thompson (1933–2002), America's longest held prisoner of war.
- Ron Villone (born 1970), Major League Baseball relief pitcher who played for the New York Yankees in the 2006 season.
- Jacklyn Zeman (born 1953), actress who has played Barbara "Bobbie" Spencer on General Hospital since 1977.
- Peter "Produce Pete" Napolitano (born c. 1941), grocer best known for his long-running television news produce segments and as a spokesman for the Pathmark supermarket chain who owns Napolitano's Produce in the borough.
- Prestige Records, a major producer of jazz recordings that was established in 1949, had its offices located here from the mid-1960s until its sale in 1972.
In popular culture
The infamous group suicide of the "Bergenfield Four" took place in March 1987 and received worldwide attention. The victims were four local high schoolers, ages sixteen to nineteen, and their mutual deaths by carbon monoxide were followed by a rash of copycat attempts. The suicides are examined in sociological perspective in Donna Gaines' Teenage Wasteland (1998). References in the arts include the Tom Russell song "Bergenfield" (1989), and the Alice Donut song "New Jersey Exit" (1988).
Snail Mail No More (2000) and P.S. Longer Letter Later (1998) take place in South Bergenfield, New Jersey. Ann M. Martin, the author of The Babysitters Club, found out about Bergenfield after a TV show and a movie for The Babysitters Club were filmed in Bergenfield, New Jersey instead of Stamford, Connecticut or Stony Brook, New York, and also met Amber Brown author Paula Danziger after 1990–1995. The two-book series takes place in 1998 and 1999, though P.S. was written in 1997 and Snail was published in 2000.
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- Stevens, Jean. "Popular roast pig finds a following in North Jersey", Herald News, September 12, 2007. "One might find more lechon in Passaic these days. The city may be North Jersey's next so-called Little Manila, following Bergenfield, Bloomfield and Belleville."
- Pizarro, Max. "Rivas and Soriano champion Corzine and Christie respectively in Bergenfield", PolitickerNJ, July 12, 2009. Accessed August 26, 2013. "'I think people see him as an everyday man who is upset about the situation we are facing in New Jersey,' the reverend said today as he made the rounds with Christie from one vendor's booth to the next in a town dubbed Bergen's little Manila, home to 15,000 Filipino-Americans."
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- Devencentis, Philip. "Republican elected mayor in Bergenfield", Twin-Boro News, November 6, 2013. Accessed November 19, 2013. "Republican Norman Schmelz defeated incumbent Democrat Carlos Aguasvivas by 347 votes - 2,832 to 2,485. In April, Aguasvivas was selected mayor by the Borough Council to succeed the late Mayor Timothy Driscoll.... Meanwhile, in a race for two three-year terms on the council, incumbent Democrats Ora Kornbluth and Charles Steinel turned back a challenge by Republicans John Long and Patricia Walsh-Nardini.... Finally, in a race to decide who will fill the one-year, unexpired council seat, which was vacated by Aguasvivas when he became mayor, Republican challenger Kathleen Sahlberg defeated incumbent Democrat Rafael Marte by 87 votes - 2,595 to 2,508."
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- La Gorce, Tammy. "fun. Fun. FUN; The multiple Grammy-winning band fun. (the period is part of the name) might be based in New York, but Jersey blood flows in its veins, thanks to lead guitarist Jack Antonoff.", New Jersey Monthly, July 18, 2013. Accessed November 8, 2014. "'It’s cooler to be a Jersey band than a Brooklyn band,' declares Antonoff, 29, who was born in Bergenfield and grew up in New Milford and Woodcliff Lake."
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- Park, Eunnie. "An original 'Jersey Boy' returns to Bergenfield", The Record (Bergen County), March 31, 2007. Accessed October 9, 2007. "Before "Jersey Boys" and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Bob Gaudio was a 15-year-old musical whiz from Bergenfield who had to decide between staying in school and touring with Chuck Berry."
- Rotella, Mark. "Straight Out of Newark", The New York Times, October 2, 2005. Accessed October 9, 2007. "Originally from the Bronx, Mr. Gaudio had, at age 15, written the hit "Who Wears Short Shorts," which he made up while driving with friends along the main drag in Bergenfield."
- "Caligula: Special 20th Anniversary - Cast and Crew of Caligula". Penthouse. Archived from the original on January 24, 2001.
Coming from a conventional background--he was born in Brooklyn, raised in Bergenfield, New Jersey, and educated at Blair Academy--Guccione became interested in less than conventional activities after he left school.
- Mr. G, where might you be? Nary a peep on Penthouse publisher's eviction, Media Life August 11, 2003, "Guccione, who is originally from Bergenfield, N.J., bought his 45-room, 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) mansion back in Penthouse’s 1970s heyday. Located on East 67th Street between Central Park and Madison Avenue, its décor includes a swimming pool modeled on a Roman bath and a collection of paintings by the likes of Picasso and Matisse."
- Staff. "Land of a thousand laments - So far, 1119 letters and e-mails", The Star-Ledger, June 13, 2005. Accessed October 25, 2009. "The Liverpool sound by way of Bergenfield, NJ, the home of the one-hit wonders the Knickerbockers."
- Rosen, Jane Calem. "Local rabbi new head of interfaith center", New Jersey Jewish Standard, August 9, 2007. Accessed July 13, 2012. "As commutes go, his daily trip to and from his home in Bergenfield to his job in Fairfield, Conn. isn't too bad, said Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn, the new executive director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding at Sacred Heart University."
- Miller, Jonathan. "He Fought the Law. They Both Won.", The New York Times, January 22, 2006. Accessed January 17, 2011. "The child of Filipino doctors, Mr. Lat grew up in blue-collar Bergenfield and well-to-do Saddle River, where his neighbors included former President Richard M. Nixon."
- Feldberg, Robert. "HOW WE HAD FUN", The Record (Bergen County), May 7, 1995. Accessed October 25, 2009. "And Bergenfield-bred Jimmy Lydon, who played the eternal teenager Henry Aldrich on radio and in B movies, had married his high-school sweetheart."
- Mucky Pup, last.fm. Accessed October 25, 2009. "Mucky Pup was a hardcore band formed in Bergenfield, New Jersey, USA in 1985."
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- Martin, Douglas. "F. J. Thompson, 69, Longtime P.O.W., Dies", The New York Times, July 18, 2002. Accessed May 16, 2012. "Floyd James Thompson was born in Bergenfield, N.J., on July 8, 1933, the son of a bus driver. He worked in a grocery store and graduated from Bergenfield High School in 1951."
- MARINERS TAKE EX-BERGENFIELD STAR -- VILLONE PICKED 14TH OVERALL. The Record (Bergen County), June 2, 1992. "The call came a little later than anticipated, but Ron Villone of Bergenfield got what he expected Monday afternoon."
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