River Vale, New Jersey
|River Vale, New Jersey|
|Township of River Vale|
Map highlighting River Vale's location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of River Vale, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||April 30, 1906|
|• Type||Faulkner Act Mayor-Council|
|• Mayor||Glen Jasionowski (R, term ends December 31, 2018)|
|• Administrator||Gennaro Rotella|
|• Clerk||Karen Padva|
|• Total||4.275 sq mi (11.072 km2)|
|• Land||4.011 sq mi (10.389 km2)|
|• Water||0.264 sq mi (0.684 km2) 6.17%|
|Area rank||288th of 566 in state
17th of 70 in county
|Elevation||39 ft (12 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Estimate (2014)||10,021|
|• Rank||247th of 566 in state
37th of 70 in county
|• Density||2,408.1/sq mi (929.8/km2)|
|• Density rank||256th of 566 in state
51st of 70 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0882310|
River Vale is a township in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. River Vale is the most eastern town in an area of the county referred to as the Pascack Valley. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 9,659, reflecting an increase of 210 (+2.2%) from the 9,449 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 39 (+0.4%) from the 9,410 counted in the 1990 Census. The township was ranked #29 on the 100 Best Places to Live 2007 survey published by CNN/Money magazine.
River Vale was formed as a township on April 30, 1906, from portions of both Hillsdale Township (now Hillsdale Borough) and Washington Township. The township was named for its location along the Hackensack River.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Government
- 5 Emergency services
- 6 Education
- 7 Transportation
- 8 Notable people
- 9 Historical Sites
- 10 Other points of interest
- 11 References
- 12 Sources
- 13 External links
Before 1841, the area comprising River Vale was part of Harrington Township. It used to be known as the "Over Kill Neighborhood" or just "Over Kill" — it being over the kill (Hackensack River) from Tappan. Its southern part, known as Eastwood (named in contrast to Westwood), became an independent borough in 1894, but was dissolved and re-absorbed into Washington Township in 1896.
River Vale was incorporated as a township in 1906, formed from portions of both Hillsdale and Washington Township. On July 15, 1929, part of River Vale was ceded to Park Ridge. On May 20, 1959, territory was acquired from Montvale.
In 1967, a mass grave site was discovered in River Vale from an event in 1778 during the American Revolutionary War, the Baylor Massacre. This became widely known due to a February 1968 report to the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders, "1778 - The Massacre of Baylor's Dragoons." The burial site was made into a county park that was dedicated on October 15, 1972.
On July 28, 1994, the residents of River Vale voted to recall Mayor Walter Jones, Councilwoman Patricia Geier and Councilman Bernard Salmon, following a battle between residents and the mayor and some council members over the mayor's plan to merge River Vale's 9-1-1 center to a regional dispatch location in Park Ridge.
A River Vale resident, Henry Hoffman, directed the scrapping of the USS Enterprise in Kearny from 1958 to 1960. Following Hoffman's death in 1965, the stern plate of the Enterprise was placed on a Little League baseball field as a memorial. The field was later named Hoffman Field. On October 2, 2000, the stern plate was moved to the township's Veterans' Memorial Park.
In March 2004, the township became the first municipality in the state to be placed on probation by the Municipal Excess Liability Joint Insurance Fund, a fund that covers legal expenses of member municipalities and government agencies. The issue was due to the number and scope of legal cases against the township, its employees and its governance, plus what David Grub, chief executive of the fund, called "a general environment of personal attack". The fund urged the township to update employment practices and better train managers to avoid liabilities. As a result of these issues, The New York Times called the township "small but litigious".
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 4.275 square miles (11.072 km2), including 4.011 square miles (10.389 km2) of land and 0.264 square miles (0.684 km2) of water (6.17%).
The township is bordered by Montvale to the northwest, Park Ridge, Woodcliff Lake (a very small section) and Hillsdale to the west, Westwood to the southwest, a small section bordering Emerson to the south, Harrington Park to the southeast, Old Tappan to the east, and Pearl River, New York to the north.
Its borders are defined by the Hackensack River to the east, which was dammed to form Lake Tappan, and Pascack Brook to the south. The northern border is defined by the New York-New Jersey state border. The western border has several sections, including a section defined by an unnamed creek and a section defined by Cedar Lane.
The southern portion of the township lies between the Hackensack River and Pascack Brook, and is relatively flat. The northern portion slopes down from rolling hills in the west into Lake Tappan to the east. Much of the land is developed as suburban single-family residences, but there remain some undeveloped areas. The undeveloped areas are mostly wooded and are south and west of Lake Tappan, following the Hackensack River watershed. In 1996, plans to develop watershed land received resistance from the community. In the southwest of the township, the Pascack Brook County Park also preserves a wooded area. There are three golf courses in the township, two 18-hole public courses, and a private 27-hole course.
There is a small commercial district surrounding the intersection of Rivervale Road and Westwood Avenue in the southern portion of the township.
At the 2010 United States Census, there were 9,659 people, 3,421 households, and 2,709 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,408.1 per square mile (929.8/km2). There were 3,521 housing units at an average density of 877.8 per square mile (338.9/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 88.85% (8,582) White, 0.70% (68) Black or African American, 0.04% (4) Native American, 8.42% (813) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 0.53% (51) from other races, and 1.46% (141) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 4.98% (481) of the population.
There were 3,421 households, of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.2% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.8% were non-families. 18.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.24.
In the township, 26.6% of the population were under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 19.1% from 25 to 44, 32.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.2 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $120,820 (with a margin of error of ± $7,009) and the median family income was $135,612 (± $8,972). Males had a median income of $100,594 (± $8,458) versus $61,516 (± $11,658) for females. The per capita income for the township was $49,586 (± $4,018). About 0.7% of families and 2.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 2.4% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 9,449 people, 3,275 households, and 2,675 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,317.7 people per square mile (894.2/km2). There were 3,312 housing units at an average density of 812.4 per square mile (313.4/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 92.33% White, 0.58% African American, 5.89% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.22% of the population.
There were 3,275 households out of which 40.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 74.1% were married couples living together, 6.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.3% were non-families. 15.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.22.
In the township the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 4.8% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 28.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $95,129, and the median income for a family was $105,919. Males had a median income of $77,794 versus $39,732 for females. The per capita income for the township was $40,709. 2.8% of the population and 2.4% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 2.1% of those under the age of 18 and 5.3% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
River Vale is governed within the Faulkner Act (formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law) under the Mayor-Council system of municipal government (Plan E), implemented by direct petition as of January 1, 1979. The Mayor-Council plan consists of two separate and coequal power centers, each directly elected by voters, with the Mayor serving as Chief Executive, while the Council is the municipal legislature. The Township Council consists of five members elected at-large to four-year staggered terms on a partisan basis, with either two seats (plus the mayor) or three seats coming up for vote in even-numbered years as part of the November general election.
As of 2015[update], the Mayor of River Vale is R Glen Jasionowski, whose term of office ends December 31, 2018. The members of the Township Council are Council President Mark Bromberg (D, 2018), Vice President Paul J. Criscuolo (R, 2016), John Donovan (R, 2016) and Denise Sieg (Democrat, 2018).
In February 2014, the Borough Council selected John Donovan from among a list of three candidates recommended by the Republican municipal committee to fill the vacancy of Noel Matos, who resigned from office in the previous month due to work commitments.
Federal, state and county representation
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 39th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Gerald Cardinale (R, Demarest) and in the General Assembly by Holly Schepisi (R, River Vale) and Robert Auth (R). 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 6,881 registered voters in River Vale Township, of which 1,607 (23.4% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,889 (27.5% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 3,381 (49.1% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 4 voters registered to other parties. Among the township's 2010 Census population, 71.2% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 97.1% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 2,962 votes (55.6% vs. 43.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 2,303 votes (43.2% vs. 54.8%) and other candidates with 33 votes (0.6% vs. 0.9%), among the 5,330 ballots cast by the township's 7,189 registered voters, for a turnout of 74.1% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 2,963 votes (53.2% vs. 44.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 2,529 votes (45.4% vs. 53.9%) and other candidates with 33 votes (0.6% vs. 0.8%), among the 5,573 ballots cast by the township's 7,088 registered voters, for a turnout of 78.6% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 2,946 votes (54.4% vs. 47.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 2,424 votes (44.8% vs. 51.7%) and other candidates with 29 votes (0.5% vs. 0.7%), among the 5,414 ballots cast by the township's 6,646 registered voters, for a turnout of 81.5% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 68.3% of the vote (2,067 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 30.5% (922 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (38 votes), among the 3,083 ballots cast by the township's 7,027 registered voters (56 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 43.9%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 2,017 votes (56.0% vs. 45.8% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 1,369 votes (38.0% vs. 48.0%), Independent Chris Daggett with 174 votes (4.8% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 12 votes (0.3% vs. 0.5%), among the 3,604 ballots cast by the township's 7,009 registered voters, yielding a 51.4% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
The River Vale Police Department is a full-time department that has provided police services to the township since 1930. As of 2015, there were a total of 21 members of the department: one Chief, two Lieutenant, five Sergeants, 11 Officers, and one Dispatchers.
The force is responsible for all aspects of policing in the township, 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.
The River Vale Police Department serves as the 9-1-1 call center for River Vale as well as neighboring Old Tappan. The department has Enhanced 911 service, and is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Two certified dispatchers are on duty from 8:00am to 11:00pm Monday through Friday, and dispatching duties are handled by patrol officers on weekends and overnights.
The River Vale Volunteer Fire Department (RVFD) is an all-volunteer fire department. Started in 1923, the department consists of one Chief, one Assistant/Deputy Chief, two Captains, and five Lieutenants (one for each apparatus). In addition, there is also a Fire Official who is in charge of the River Vale Bureau of Fire Prevention with 2 Fire Inspectors under his direction. The department is staffed by fully trained firefighters, junior firefighters, and fire police. The RVFD is a municipal-run public volunteer fire department that is funded by taxes. It is a member of the Pascack Valley mutual aid.
The department has two stations. The North Firehouse is located at 620 Rivervale Road, and houses one pumper, Engine 56 and the Fire Prevention Bureau. The South Firehouse is located at 334 Rivervale Road, and houses two pumpers, Engines 57 and 58, one tower ladder, Ladder 59, and one rescue unit, Rescue 54, and one rescue boat, Marine 5. There is also a vehicle for the Chief, a vehicle for the Assistant Chief, both Ford Expeditions and known as 55 and 551 respectively, and two vehicles for the Fire Prevention Bureau. Dispatching is provided by the River Vale Police Department's 9-1-1 center.
Begun in 1956, and formally incorporated in 1957, the River Vale Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. (RVVAC) is located at 333 Rivervale Road. The corps is run by an executive board, consisting of the business officers and the line officers. The business officers are the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and the line officers are the Captain, 1st Lieutenant, and 2nd Lieutenant. The RVVAC is an all-volunteer independent public emergency medical service. As such, they do not bill for services, and their equipment is not directly paid for by the township. Funding is provided by donations and support from the township.
The corps provides basic life support, and is staffed primarily by certified Emergency Medical Technicians. CPR-trained drivers are also sometimes on duty. They have two Type III ambulances, Ambulance 50 and Ambulance 60, and three first responder vehicles that on-duty members use to respond to emergency calls. Dispatching is provided by the River Vale Police Department's 9-1-1 center.
The primary jurisdiction of the RVVAC is the Township of River Vale, but the corps also regularly responds to requests for mutual-aid from the neighboring First Aid Squads of Old Tappan, Emerson, Washington Township, Westwood, Hillsdale, and Tri-Boro (Park Ridge, Woodcliff Lake, and Montvale).
The RVVAC is a member of the New Jersey State First Aid Council, the Pascack Valley Volunteer Ambulance Association and the Pascack Valley Mutual Aid Group.
The River Vale Public Schools serve students in pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's three schools had an enrollment of 1,331 students and 96.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.74:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Roberge Elementary School with 391 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten to 5, Woodside Elementary School with 452 students in grades Kindergarten to 5 and Holdrum Middle School with 488 students in grades 6 - 8.
River Vale's public high school students attend Pascack Valley High School in Hillsdale, together with students from Hillsdale, as part of the Pascack Valley Regional High School District. The district also serves students from Montvale and Woodcliff Lake at Pascack Hills High School.
Public school students from the township, 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 township had a total of 47.34 miles (76.19 km) of roadways, of which 37.66 miles (60.61 km) were maintained by the municipality and 9.68 miles (15.58 km) by Bergen County.
Main roads in River Vale include Westwood Avenue, Rivervale Road and Prospect Avenue.
Daily bus service is provided by Rockland Coaches (Red and Tan Lines) on routes 84 and 14K to the George Washington Bridge Bus Station and on route 14ET to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan.
While there is no rail transport in River Vale, the New Jersey Transit Pascack Valley Line is available in adjacent communities to the west. Daily service is available to Hoboken and Secaucus Junction from the Montvale, Park Ridge, Woodcliff Lake, Hillsdale, and Westwood stations.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with River Vale include:
- Mike Bajakian, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks coach, former offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Volunteers football team.
- Chris Eliopoulos (born 1967), cartoonist.
- Peter Enns (born 1961), author, former professor of Old Testament and hermeneutics at Westminster Theological Seminary.
- Arthur Feuerstein (born 1935), national chess champion.
- Dan Fogelman, Hollywood screenwriter.
- Stewart Krentzman (born 1951), former President and Chief Executive Officer of Oki Data Americas, Inc.
- Florence Lawrence (1886–1938), the first ever "movie star" lived in River Vale from 1913 through 1916.
- Bill Maher (born 1956), comedian and actor.
- Daniel S. Nevins (born 1966), rabbi, Dean at Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
- Ian O'Connor (born 1964), sports columnist and ESPN radio host who wrote the books Arnie & Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus & Golf's Greatest Rivalry and The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter.
- Holly Schepisi (born 1971), member of the New Jersey General Assembly who has represented the 39th Legislative District since 2012.
- Garrett Zablocki (born 1985), guitarist in the band Senses Fail.
- Baylor Massacre Burial Site, site of the 1778 incident where the British captured 54 Americans and killed 15 Americans.
- River Vale Veterans' Memorial Park, located on Madison Avenue. It has statues where people can pay tribute to those who died for their country.
Other points of interest
- River Vale Country Club is a country club that has an 18-hole golf course and a restaurant.
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- Lipman, Harvy; and Sheingold, Dave. "North Jersey sees 30% growth in same-sex couples", The Record (Bergen County), August 14, 2011, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 3, 2013. Accessed August 21, 2014.
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- Spear, Lisa. "River Vale Council welcomes new member", Pascack Valley Community Life, February 13, 2014. Accessed January 8, 2015. "'I believe in this town," said newly appointed Councilman John Donovan in the days after Monday, Jan. 27, when the River Vale Council unanimously voted to install him as a member of the governing body.... Former Councilman Noel Matos resigned from his post on the council in January, citing work obligations that prevented him from continuing to fulfill his role."
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- Brown, Patrick. "2013 College Blitz - Can they score?", Chattanooga Times Free Press, August 25, 2013. Accessed June 16, 2015. "Though he majored in history, Bajakian taught a variety of math classes, from algebra and geometry to trigonometry and pre-calculus, at the Delbarton School in Morristown, N.J., less than an hour east of New York City and 40 miles northwest of his hometown of River Vale, N.J."
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- O'Donnell, Chuck. "Comic book artist Chris Eliopoulos publishes first graphic novel", Pascack Valley Community Life, April 5, 2012. Accessed August 19, 2013. "If you want to make comics kids will love, it helps if you can sometimes think like them. That’s not a problem for River Vale’s Chris Eliopoulos."
- About Peter Enns, a time to tear down | A Time to Build Up. Accessed June 11, 2008.
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- Youngmisuk, Ohm. "Derrick Ward goes from movie gofer to Giant attraction", Daily News (New York), September 30, 2007. Accessed August 19, 2013. "Dan Fogelman has a movie debuting this Christmas called Fred Claus starring Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti and Kevin Spacey.... Now the kid who used to run to get coffee and sandwiches is the starting running back for the New York Giants. 'It blows my mind,' says Fogelman, a lifelong Giants fan who grew up in River Vale, N.J."
- "Oki Data Americas Promotes Stewart Krentzman to President and Chief Executive Officer.", Business Wire, October 2, 2003. Accessed June 24, 2007. "Oki Data Americas, Inc., a leading manufacturer of printers, fax machines and multifunction products, today announced the promotion of Stewart Krentzman, 52, of River Vale, N.J., to the post of president and chief executive officer."
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Florence Lawrence ... lived at 565 Rivervale Road in River Vale from 1913 through 1916. (the house is still there)
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- Leichman, Abigail. "North Jerseyan named JTS dean", The Record (Bergen County), February 8, 2007. Accessed August 19, 2013. "River Vale native Rabbi Daniel Nevins recently was named the next dean of the Rabbinical School of The Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan, the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide."
- Staff. "River Vale's O'Connor to sign copies of new book", Pascack Valley Community Life, May 12, 2011. Accessed November 5, 2013. "River Vale resident Ian O'Connor, a nationally acclaimed columnist and author of "The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter," will sign copies of "The Captain" and speak about Jeter's career at Bookends in Ridgewood, 211 E. Ridgewood Ave., on Thursday, May 19 at 7:30 p.m."
- Harris, Chris; and Gartl, Michael. "Bergen Freeholder Hermansen withdraws from Assembly race", The Record (Bergen County), August 31, 2011. Accessed November 5, 2013. "Others Republicans vying for Vandervalk’s open slot include Scott Mooney of Emerson and Holly Schepisi of River Vale."
- Dietsche, Erica. "Storefront: Belle Cose in Woodcliff Lake", The Record (Bergen County), May 29, 2007. "River Vale resident and Senses Fail guitarist Garrett Zablocki will promote his self-designed new line, Auric Apparel, at 1 p.m. Saturday."
- Staff. "Senses Fail performs two area shows", The Record (Bergen County), November 23, 2010. Accessed July 18, 2013. "Thus began the successful post-hardcore outfit founded by Nielsen, guitarist Garrett Zablocki of River Vale, drummer Dan Trapp of Ringwood and former members Dave Miller and Mike Glita in 2002 (the band now includes newer members Zack Roach and Jason Black)."
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