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Neighbors

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 zebra25 (original poster member #29431) posted at 4:32 PM on Friday, May 13th, 2022

I have neighbors that are nice people but not good neighbors. We've lived in our home for almost thirty years and never had a problem until the current neighbors moved in.

They decided to get chickens and roosters. They never asked if we minded if they free ranged in our yard. They poop on our patio. The roosters make noise all day and last night at 2:30 am. It's not as bad when the windows are closed but for now we are able to open windows and go without airconditioning. My husband has to sleep during the day due to his work schedule. He moved into a room on the opposite end of the house with a noise machine. They know he sleeps at odd hours. Our other neighbor works from home and let them know the noise bothers her. They don't care.

They have a child with special needs. He has walked into my house a few times. He does not communicate so I have to go get his parents. If I am home alone that leaves him in the house with my dogs and he could get hurt.

I try to keep my doors locked but I have dogs and am constantly in and out all day. I'm afraid he is going to open the door and let my dogs out. It is also very unnerving to have somebody walk into your house unexpectedly.

I have extremely bad anxiety and I feel like I am constantly on edge worrying about the doors being locked at all times.

We are also having some home renovations done this summer. We will not be living in our house so I will not be able to monitor door locking all day and there will be tools and things left out.

I am not unfamiliar or unsympathetic to their situation. I just want to be able to come and go and live in my own space without having to worry so much about this happening. A peaceful nights sleep would be nice too.

How would you handle this? Thanks!!

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 2761   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8735141
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DragnHeart ( member #32122) posted at 4:44 PM on Friday, May 13th, 2022

I'm cranky today so tske this with a grain of salt.

I'd make it clear to them to keep a close watch on their child, that anymore visits woukd be reported to CAS and police. You have every right to feel safe and secure in your own home,on your own property.

Check local bylaws about the chickens. Here they were banned for years and only recently was that lifted BUT no roosters!

If you don't already have them set up cameras. I set out ours and my phone gets a notification any time there is movement. Kinda annoying at times since a fly will set it off but it's nice to habe that peace of mind. I can also watch thr camera love when not home.

Do not put up with this. Put a stop to it now or you'll be dealing with it forever.

Me: BS 46 WH: 37 (BrokenHeart911)
Four little dragons. Met 2006. Married 2008. Dday of LTPA with co worker October 19th 2010. Knew about EA with ow1 before that. Now up to PA #5. Serial fucking Cheater.

posts: 24066   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2011   ·   location: Canada
id 8735143
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wifehad5 ( Administrator #15162) posted at 5:24 PM on Friday, May 13th, 2022

Good fences make good neighbors blink

Is that a possibility?

FBH - 50 FWW - 51 (BrokenRoad)2 kids 15 & 20
The people you do your life with shape the life you live

posts: 55314   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2007   ·   location: Michigan
id 8735153
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 6:05 PM on Friday, May 13th, 2022

I would also talk to them first about getting child services involved. "I love your little Johnny and understand he's not accountable for how he behaves. HOWEVER, if I'm not home and he enters my house with the dogs, I don't want one of them biting him. This is unsafe for him, and there's no telling whether he will wander into someone else's home at night and get hurt."

Then make it clear that if it happens again, that you will need to call child services as it is a LEGIT dangerous situation for their child.

This sort of action isn't petty. They won't like it, but they also don't have a safe living situation for their child. They need more help managing him and he's not getting the help he needs if he's allowed to wander.

My sister has a highly autistic kid. Mine has mild Asperger's. My nephew (autistic) will likely need supervision his entire life and need to live in a group setting or with my sister his whole life. If your neighbor's child is in a similar condition, I have great compassion for how much raising a child like that can take out of a parent. HOWEVER, if the living situation is unsafe for the child (and this is), they need to consider the options for changing their living arrangements (door locks, door dingers, or even moving).

Also, what will happen as he grows into his teen years? Is he going to wander into your house while you're showering? shocked

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 656   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8735166
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leafields ( member #63517) posted at 7:43 PM on Friday, May 13th, 2022

For the rooster/chicken issue, each city seems to have their own ordinances. Each chicken is usually given a certain number of square footage, and specifics about the size of the coop. There are varying regulations, such as only 1 rooster to no roosters allowed. Mainly, you'll need to also check your noise ordinances. When the chickens are noisy at night, I'd call the police because it will start a record of the noise ordinance issues that come from their property.

Unless your area is dubbed a "free range" area, I doubt that the chickens are allowed off of the person's property. Usually, it's posted that this is a "free range" area. This can be important because if you kill an animal in a free range area, you are liable for paying damages to the owner of the livestock. If it isn't a free range area, then it is the owner's responsibility to pay for damages - or potty patrol, in this case.

Of course, please double-check with the laws in your area. Roaming chickens may not be allowed within your city/town limits.

For the autistic boy, that is a tough one. Can you let the parents know that you will have construction going on & you won't be there to see that their son isn't injured? (If he is, there's a possibility that you'd be responsible for the injuries.) You could also say that you have a medical condition that is worsened by instances where he startles you be showing up & you are also affected by trying to figure out ways to keep their child safe? Maybe the parents think he's safe with you, so it's no problem - not realizing it is a problem. But, I think that CPS may need to be involved if the parents won't step up.

BW, Dday 1: 2/18, Dday 2: 8/19, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1080   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8735181
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 9:42 PM on Friday, May 13th, 2022

Ugh, sorry about the neighborly encroachment. I'm not as nice as the other posters. Unless you have a deal worked out with them where the chickens are welcome to your yard and you get some eggs out of the deal, then their animals are trespassing and damaging your property. Chicken poop will leave a nasty ammonia smell over time, and it draws flies. Unacceptable and surely there is an ordinance you can invoke or an agency you can call. They need a coop or movable tractor or a fence.

As to the wandering child, special needs or not, I would not bother with an excuse or reason, just a rule. I can't have children or anyone for that matter stopping by unannounced. Please keep an eye on your child. That your husband works shift work is reason enough, let alone trespass, liability issues and child neglect if no one is watching the child.

Hopefully you have been keeping track, or start to take pics of the chickens, in case they want to deny what is happening.

The hardest part is just saying it: I have two problems I need to discuss with you. I need your chickens and your child to stay in your yard unless invited. Period. Just say it nicely and smile and if they don't comply then start making phone calls. Good luck.

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 371   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8735208
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 9:55 PM on Friday, May 13th, 2022

You can complain to them forever and it won't work. Delivering ultimatums to recalcitrant people is rarely effective. Plus, antagonizing your neighbors can backfire. They know how to annoy you.

1. Check your local laws about chickens and roosters. If they're prohibited, report them.

2. Build a privacy fence around your backyard and put a lock on it.

3. Keep your front door locked (the back entrance will be secure from casual intrusion due to the locked privacy fence). I was a bit taken aback that you don't already do this. For insurance reasons at the very least (particularly with a disabled child wandering the neighborhood, but even aside from that), you need to train yourself to keep your exterior doors locked.

Those actions will keep the child out of your house, and the chickens usually out of your yard. There is nothing to be done about noise beyond reporting them for exceeding noise limits during noise curfew hours.

It isn't fair that you have to build a fence to improve the situation, but think of it as an investment in keeping bad neighbors off your lawn in the future, as well.

If you prefer open-concept, well, open-concept requires you to be really flexible with the neighbors, unless you live out in the country and have a lot of land.

Since this stuff (understandably) bothers you and you have close neighbors, a locking privacy fence and a locked front door are the way to go.

[This message edited by morningglory at 11:03 PM, Friday, May 13th]

posts: 173   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8735209
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 zebra25 (original poster member #29431) posted at 1:10 AM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

Thank you all for taking the time to reply.

I feel better hearing that I am not asking too much of them to keep their animals in their yard and that their child coming in my house is also a concern.

They said they were most likely going to put up a fence years ago in order to keep their child safe. That hasn't happened.

We discussed putting up a fence but we live in the country and our well and pipes are in the back yard. Large equipment has to be able to access it when the pump needs to be replaced or other repairs are necessary.

Even though we are in the country we each only have one acre and our houses were built close to each other.

I don't think they understand the concept of personal space and neighborly consideration. I could say more but I don't want to write too many details. Trust me there is more.

I'm sure that if I say anything to them they will somehow spin it that I am unreasonable and be unpleasant which is not what I want for neighbors.

They have a chicken coop but I guess they let them out.

I can't imagine calling cps or anyone on them. They do really seem to love their children and care for them. I am very sympathetic to the challenges they have but at the same time worry about my dogs getting lose and hit by a car and also the difficulties of keeping my doors locked at all times.

I get very very anxious and stressed worrying about keeping my doors locked and figuring out how to take my dogs out and keeping the house secured but at the same time am very stressed about talking to them.

Does everybody lock their doors every time you go outside? I am in and out all day long with the dogs, doing yard work and going for walks. It would be very inconvenient for me to constantly lock and unlock the doors.

I do have security cameras but there is a little lag between detecting the motion, alerting my phone and accessing the video. He is in before I can pull up the video.

Sorry this was all over the place. I am running on very little sleep.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 2761   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8735242
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 1:55 AM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

Does everybody lock their doors every time you go outside? I am in and out all day long with the dogs, doing yard work and going for walks. It would be very inconvenient for me to constantly lock and unlock the doors.

Your door should be locked when you leave the property, or are far from the entrance. You don't need to lock it to go to the mailbox, or to lock the front door if hanging out with your dogs on your front lawn, or if you're downstairs not far from the entrance, and are alert to what is going on. Coincidentally enough, you'll notice that the child is not getting into your house in those situations, because you're right there and able to stop him.

But if you're working in the back of the house, your front door should be locked, yes. If you take the dogs for a walk, you should lock the doors, yes. If you go to the store, your doors should be locked, yes. If you're taking a shower or a nap inside, the doors should be locked, yes. These are the times when the child can get inside, and a locked door will stop him. Again, insurance companies do take notice of whether or not an entrance had to be forced when deciding on responsibility/payouts. They expect a home to be secured with locked doors when the owner isn't around.

It is very doable to create a large gate in the fence for the large equipment that must get through. You seem to just not want to build a fence. Again, of course it's totally fine to have that preference, but if you do, then you have to accept that not all neighbors are going to act as if a fence is there. "Good fences make good neighbors" is a saying for a reason. You can wish and wish that these neighbors were like your old neighbors, but they simply aren't. They aren't being good neighbors, and you can't turn them into good neighbors. Unless they violate the law or an HOA, the only thing you can address is your own property and your own behavior. Being proactive and taking steps to protect your property will improve the situation significantly.

[This message edited by morningglory at 2:04 AM, Saturday, May 14th]

posts: 173   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8735249
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Gottagetthrough ( member #27325) posted at 2:25 AM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

I’d call child services asap. My neighbors were yelling at their then 2 year old so loudly that we could hear in our yard. I mean, screaming and cursing.

Hubby said should we call someone and I said no, shes nice, just stressed out.

Her kids ended up like your neighbor- wandering, letting our dog out… id tell the dad and he just didnt care.

His son would literally walk in my house and up my stairs. duh

I always lock my doors except when my kids were younger and played outside so were in and out. And thats when the kid would come in.

He did it to other neighbors too.

The parents wed been friendly with for 5 years started saying my son was bullying their daughter. The hadnt seen it, but it was happening. Ok. Sure. The real story was that they emotionally abused their kids and
The daughter wanted to get my son in trouble. Would taunt him and say my mim loves me so much shes going to Call the cops on you.

The kids have come in my driveway and said hey loser! With their dad standing right there 10 ft away. Dad said nothing.

My son was walking our dog one night and dog sniffs their maklbox. Dad… who didnt discipline his kids when they run over to is and say hey losers, comes OUT OF HIS HOUSE, yells at my son, "Get that dog away from the mailbox!" laugh

Daddy didnt know my hisband abd I were outside and heard this. My husband ripped him a new asshole and I have never seen a man so scared. Literally. Men have been in war and not as shit scared at this tool. laugh

About a year later i ripped him a new one (rightfully so) and havent had problems with them since. I think us being nice for years backfired.

Id say call cps regarding the kid (i have called on these neighbors. Not to be mean- I thought long and hard about calling. I came to the conclusion that if something happened, i would be at fault because I knew they neglected to keep tabs on their kids. )

Fun fact: guess who i saw ru no through neighbors yards tonight- their daughter. No parents in sight. Shes 9 and has autism.

I hate that I have to tell my kid to stay away from her and her brother… but they will get whoever they are with in trouble. Mom has some serious anger issues and wants everyone as miserable as her

[This message edited by Gottagetthrough at 2:27 AM, Saturday, May 14th]

posts: 3743   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2010
id 8735255
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 zebra25 (original poster member #29431) posted at 2:46 AM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

My house is locked when I am inside. Occasionally somebody is going in and out and forgets. It happens.

My back door is a sliding glass door and does not lock with a key so if I go out that door to work outside, visit my neighbor I can't lock the door behind me. If I walk the dogs and can see the house I don't lock it or if somebody is home and I go out I don't lock it.

He tried to come in the house while I was standing in front of the locked door.

We have discussed the fence. It is not something that can be done easily and it will cost a lot. We mow and trim our acre and our relatives acre. Putting up a fence would also make that a lot more time consuming and difficult. We have been saving for years to do some badly needed home renovations. We don't have the money for a fence too.

I understand I can't change their behavior. I'm trying to decide if it is worth it to nicely talk to them and if so how to do it.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 2761   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8735258
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 zebra25 (original poster member #29431) posted at 2:59 AM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

I really don't want to call cps. I think they are outside and he wanders away from them. Our yards are large but the houses are kind of close together.

Otherwise from what I have seen they are good with him and seem very loving with him.

I don't want to add to their hardship.

Gotta, your neighbors are in a whole different category.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 2761   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8735259
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DragnHeart ( member #32122) posted at 4:01 AM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

And this is why I don't want to give up my farm. Need binoculars to see my neighbours and we are separated by roads...

Not sure where you live but snow fencing is relatively cheap and will keep the chickens off your property. All you need is the T posts.

Still, find out what the laws are for your area. Knowledge is power.

As a mother I cannot understand allowing a child to roam so far out of sight that they can enter a neighbours house. Add to that a child with special needs....OMG no! Geez I have rules for where my kids can and cannot go within the fenceline around the house. Nevermind beyond that point. They go one step past where the limits are and oh boy do they get shit! So yeah I think it's their responsibility to make sure their child is within eye shot if he tends to wander off.

Me: BS 46 WH: 37 (BrokenHeart911)
Four little dragons. Met 2006. Married 2008. Dday of LTPA with co worker October 19th 2010. Knew about EA with ow1 before that. Now up to PA #5. Serial fucking Cheater.

posts: 24066   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2011   ·   location: Canada
id 8735266
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 zebra25 (original poster member #29431) posted at 4:11 AM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

I'm not sure how much the kid understands. He is totally non communicative when he comes here. That adds to my stress. I can't communicate with him and he won't let me take him home.

I hope you are able to keep your farm!!!

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 2761   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8735269
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DragnHeart ( member #32122) posted at 4:34 AM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

I often wonder if it's that they can't understand language or if it's a speech issue.

Teaching dd to sign early on when she couldnt speak was a life saver for us. Of course she's not autistic so I have no idea.

I've got a bit if an issue with thr land next to us. Always rented for cattle. Across from us rented for cattle. Ong I've had people show up all hours of day and night yelling at ME that MY cattle are out. I swear farmers need to be made to post their numbers on thr fields they have cattle on.

Anyways, cattl3 have been out on across the road. Next to us the farmer was here with ATVs checking the fences. Unfortunately MY goats seem to think their field is tastier than MY fields....I find them over there all the time. So I HAVE to get the electric up this weekend and get them contained.

Also they have shit on my side deck so much since they sleep there now that it's going to need to be power washed, stripped and resealed dammit.

In this case I'm the bad neighbour blush

Me: BS 46 WH: 37 (BrokenHeart911)
Four little dragons. Met 2006. Married 2008. Dday of LTPA with co worker October 19th 2010. Knew about EA with ow1 before that. Now up to PA #5. Serial fucking Cheater.

posts: 24066   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2011   ·   location: Canada
id 8735272
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 zebra25 (original poster member #29431) posted at 4:48 AM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

Lol. You're not a bad neighbor if you recognize a problem and have a plan to fix it.

Things happen. We all just need to be considerate of each other. I don't get worked up over little things, the occasional lose dog, some reasonable noise. It's the entitlement and lack of consideration that drives me nuts.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 2761   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8735274
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 9:43 AM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

You will feel much better when you establish some literal and figurative boundaries. There are only so many choices, but all of them would work:

1. Invisible fence
2. Short, inexpensive and decorative type fence (you can buy for cheap on Amazon and install yourself)
3. A one-side-of-your-yard fence that only faces or blocks that side of the yard
4. Bushes or shrubs on that side
5. Wood chip or rock beds as barriers
6. Flower beds
7. A polite conversation where you discuss how worried you are about the chickens as well as their son, and what is their plan for solving this? If you get no good answer, tell them it's very unsafe and/or scares you and you feel you need to let someone in authority know. They'll get a fence quickly but you'll lose their friendship. And just so you know--that's exactly what people with piss poor boundaries do, punish you when you don't let them take advantage. So don't be conflict avoidant or their inconsiderate behavior will continue. Very nice people are often very good at taking advantage of people. Just ask my WH! laugh

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5467   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8735280
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 zebra25 (original poster member #29431) posted at 12:18 PM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

Those are some very creative ideas.

Our patio is landscaped with bushes and Arbor vitae tress around it with an opening to the back yard. Their son came through all that. He can be very determined.

I'm not sure the other suggestions would work and would be more maintenance. Our property is an acre. The area next to them is very long. It is way too big for a flower bed. We can barely manage what we have to take care of.

Just curious, what would an invisible fence or flower bed do?

I don't think there is anything I can do about the chickens and roosters. I appreciate being able to vent.

You are absolutely right about people with poor boundaries. They behave like bullies. No matter how nice I am about their son and all the other stuff I put up with they are going to be angry because I am not just passively letting them roll over me. She (my neighbor) has a very strong personality and I don't deal with that very well.

Thanks for the input.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 2761   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8735288
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 3:02 PM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

So with the invisible fence, I thought maybe you could tag the chickens? But you are right, that's probably not possible. Is barbed wire out of the question? What about a short piece of barbed wire around the edges of your yard, just enough for people to get stuck? In terms of the neighbor's son, they'd have to agree to collar him. Ot you could. (Just kidding.) But I guess I was thinking the neighbors might be cooperative in training their son that way, but I fully admit that I don't know the pain level or cumbersome nature of an electronic fence. Or whether or not you would be able to attach tags. The neighbors would most likely find it extreme if you mentioned it, but maybe they would realize how serious you were?

With flower beds and other landscaping, I thought maybe obstacles--tall and dense plants and flowers--would deter the boy and the chickens from coming your way. Animals and people don't like to go through difficult paths, but I don't really know how much it would take or how closed off things would need to be.

Rose bushes?

What about a dog? A loud one.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 3:06 PM, Saturday, May 14th]

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5467   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8735305
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 zebra25 (original poster member #29431) posted at 3:26 PM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

The landscaping is a good suggestion. There area he came through is pretty dense with falling to tall bushes.I was surprised he went through.

My door was locked and he kept trying to get it open until his parent walked him home. He is very determined to get in here. I'm not sure why. We are older, boring empty nesters. Nothing exciting happening here.

We have two dogs and they also have dogs so he is used to them and just ignores mine as they are barking and jumping on the door.

His parents won't think my concern about my dogs getting lose is a big deal because one of their dogs gets out and runs all over including across the road. They know how she gets out but don't fix the issue.

I turned the AC on even though we don't really need it yet so I could close the windows. I still heard the rooster this morning but it wasn't as loud. I'm going to try ear plugs.

I would be horrified if I found out I was negatively affecting someone else's life this much. I don't understand people that just do what they want and do not cars how it affects others.

If you have any easy/cheap door locking ideas I'm all ears. My sliding glass door does not have a key. I guess I need to start locking if when I am working in the back yard.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 2761   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8735310
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