ARAMARK OFFICIALS PROUD OF CLEAN UC KITCHEN

by James Aldridge

Daily Cougar Staff

Allowing me to take a look at ARAMark's UC kitchen area, Food Service Director Frank Trazzera and Production Manager and Executive Chef Kevin O'Loughlin said they have no problem with reporters or anyone seeing the cleanliness of their kitchen.

They have allowed groups like the Food Advisory Committee inspect the kitchen area before.

ARAMark will disclose its Food Facility Sanitation Inspection Reports to The Daily Cougar today with Bob Bowden of the Environmental and Physical Safety Department, who handles the inspections.

ARAMark gets inspected by this university agency about three times a year, O'Loughlin said, usually just before every semester.

The visit to the kitchen was unplanned, and ARAMark's kitchen area was clean. The 1991 National Association of College and University Food Services Professional Standards Manual was consulted.

Overall, there seemed to be no problems with the $5 billion corporation's UC kitchen area, according to the manual's standards.

However, at a grill, raw chicken was left unattended for the 20 minutes I was in the kitchen. I did not see anyone near the grill cooking, and the grill was not turned on.

The manual said perishable food items are to be kept at temperatures below 40 degrees.

The floor was mopped and swept, and Trazzera said the floor is cleaned about three times a day. The food preparers wore gloves, women wore hair nets and men wore ARAMark caps.

The kitchen had no garbage lying around, and no full garbage bags were kept inside.

Cooking and serving utensils were washed and hanging; the manual indicates it is acceptable to

store utensils in a self-draining position.

Nettles Extermination sprays the kitchen for pests once a month, and if anyone sees a roach in the kitchen, Nettles comes out that day, Trazzera said.

O'Loughlin said, because of his background in the hotel industry, he makes sure health and safety standards are kept. "Keep the food fresh. Keep the kitchen clean," he said.

O'Loughlin said ARAMark purchases and sells its supplies as fresh as Sysco, its chief food distributor, and other local companies deliver them. Trazzera said ARAMark receives 95 percent of its food products from Sysco.

In the walk-in refrigeration units, the freezer and the storeroom, all of the food was labeled properly, stacked on the shelves properly and sealed properly. All the food items were labeled and the floors were clean in accordance with standards.

ARAMark is the food vendor for the University of Houston dining facilities. They operate, franchise and staff the American Cafe, Whataburger, Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Blimpie and the eating facilities at Oberholtzer Hall and Moody Towers residence halls.

 

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UH TO SPEND $74 MILLION ON MAINTENANCE

HALE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT 'PROGRAM PACKAGING'

by Bobby Summers

Daily Cougar Staff

Newly installed University of Houston senior administrators have a novel plan for dealing with $74 million in deferred repairs on campus, according to James Hale, senior vice president for Administration and Finance.

Hale said a Spring 1995 audit of UH buildings, initiated by former UH President James H. Pickering, identified 1,690 deferred maintenance projects on the UH campus. He said the estimated cost of these repairs was at least $74 million.

Hale said the final audit report, which filled 54 volumes and included a 300-page executive summary, identified needed repairs ranging from $1,000 projects to ones that will cost millions of dollars.

"To be able to address this in a timely fashion -- and the board has said they want this addressed, and we want to address this -- we have come up with a concept of doing something that has never been done before in Texas. And that is called 'program packaging,' " Hale said.

"What I have come up with is a plan of which we will invest in the next five years, $74 million in deferred maintenance on the campus," he said.

Hale said the unique concept will bring major savings to the state.

"By us packaging contracts, there will be such an advantage, we're looking at a minimum 3 (percent) to 5 percent savings just right off the top. That doesn't even include the packaging savings. That's just from not having to have general contractors. Then when you look at the multiple packaging we will do and the packaging savings, it will be in the millions of dollars that we will be able to save on a $74 million budget," Hale said.

In the past, UH normally approached repair contracts in a traditional manner. The university identified a project, or a group of projects, then called for competitive bids from general contractors.

"Program packaging" operates much differently, Hale said.

Instead of calling for bids for each repair project, or for groups of projects, Hale said, under the "program packaging" concept, the school will hire a single corporation to oversee the entire $74 million repair project.

He said the difference is the corporation would be actively involved in doing some of the work on the project.

"In doing the project management approach, in a lot of the areas we will eliminate the general contractors," Hale said. "They (the corporation) will be doing contract packaging."

Hale said general contractors hire subcontractors and usually don't do much of the actual work on the contract.

"A general contractor usually takes the specs (specifications) on a job, takes bids on it and then sub-contractors build the product," he said.

In the program packaging concept, Hale said, the project manager will have to help build the project. "They are going to have to help write the specs. They are going to have to do the bidding. They are going to have to work the whole project, in addition to overseeing the project."

According to Hale, the program manager will turn the repair project into several large projects, rather than a number of small projects.

"For example, let's say we have 14 roofs that need repair over five years," he said. "Instead of bidding every roof, or bidding a year's worth of roofs, we will do a multiple contract for five years to address all the roofs on campus."

Hale said this approach will be much more efficient than bidding each individual project. "It's not only more efficient, it is the only way we will get there from here in five years," he said.

Hale said the UH administration hopes to win approval of the concept from the UH System Board of Regents when they meet Aug. 23 to discuss UH's fiscal year 1996 budget.

"We are going to be going to the Board of Regents to request a 10-year (Higher Education Assistance Funds) plan," Hale said.

"If all this is approved," he added, "what we will do is go to the (Texas) Coordinating Board and instead of asking for a $700,000 roof for the Agnes Arnold Building, we will have 1,600 projects totalling $74 million. We will say, 'Here is how we want to address deferred maintenance at the University of Houston, and here is why.' "

Hale said UH will also be asking the coordinating board for more than $700,000 to repair the elevators and escalators in Agnes Arnold Hall.

Possible corporate candidates to oversee the $74 million repair job as "project manager" are already under consideration, according to Hale.

Although he did not reveal any names, Hale said UH hopes to introduce the candidates to the board this month.

Gaining permission from the Board of Regents and the Texas Coordinating Board, and then securing a "program manager" and implementing the program will take some time, Hale said.

"It's going to take a year to literally gear this project up," he said. "But, what we are trying to do, and it's really a very exciting project, is to try and bite off $74 million of these projects in a four-year period. This coming year, we are probably only going to spend $4.5 million. We will be spending an average of $18 million a year for four years starting in fiscal year 1997."

The building audit report listed the repairs by categories, such as: roofs, external, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, interior, site, compliance with the American Disabilities Act, fire alarms and health issues. The report also weighted the projects by importance with the most critical projects, labeled Priority 1, to be handled first, with less critical problems to be addressed later.

If the "program packaging" concept is implemented at UH, Hale said, logistics and communications will be very important as some of the work will require major temporary relocations of personnel and students.

"We're talking about going into whole buildings and moving people out. We're talking about classrooms, faculty and staff," he said. "And as we go in and do various projects, the logistics alone are going to be a nightmare. We're going to need directional people out here on the corner to tell people which way to go.

"But we've got to do that to meet the energetic schedule that we've got. We're looking at transitional space. We're looking at where we can put laboratories, classrooms and all. Obviously, we still have to have classes. Obviously, we do all the things we have to do (as a university)."

The only caveat Hale offers about the final repair figure is that the building survey was a "what-you-see" kind of survey.

"They didn't do what is called destructive sampling, where they drill a hole in the wall to see if there are fixture problems," he said. "They didn't do asbestos testing. One of the things we will do the first year is a serious asbestos survey.

"So the $74 million is just what they saw. It didn't address structural issues. We know there are a couple of buildings that have some problems there. That dollar mark, even though it is an estimate, it is estimated just on the things they saw."

The new senior administration at UH-Main Campus hopes to utilize some of its philosophies from UH-Clear Lake, Hale said.

"I was there (at Clear Lake) 22 years," he said. "I built that campus. I started that campus. So the grounds and the facilities themselves, I had a major role in doing that. And that's what we are going to do here."

 

 

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STUDENTS IRATE OVER UH EXECS

by James V. Geluso

Senior Writer

Some students were less than thrilled by news that the administration is having the executive offices in E. Cullen renovated while some colleges are in danger of having to cancel some classes because of a lack of funds.

The $219,000 price tag comes on top of a $500,000 cost to the university in salary increases for new administrators and paid leave for those departing.

"They are bleeding students while classrooms are falling down around us," said Dee Kurtzen, a senior education major.

"I'm a graduating senior and I'm glad to be getting out of here," she said. "I will never give another penny to this university."

Kelly Nine, a junior English major, said, "You would think that after hiring new coaches and giving them more money than the people they're replacing, and then having them win so few games, they (the regents) would know better." (Nine was referring to the 1993 hiring of basketball coach Alvin Brooks and football coach Kim Helton, whose salary and benefits packages stirred controversy.)

"As long as they're renovating, I wish they would renovate my room in Law Hall," said Meredith Patterson, a sophomore education major who lives in the residence halls.

Students' Association President Giovanni Garibay seemed less upset about the renovation, saying that the expense will be justified in the long run.

"It's easy to say, 'I wish they'd spend the money in other areas of the building, like down in financial aid,' " he said.

"I guess we have to trust them and see if it makes the offices more efficient. If it's better for the university in the long run, then it's money well-spent," he said.

Susan Coulter, assistant vice president for Institutional Advancement and Development, said that threats like Kurtzen's don't really affect fund raising.

"In terms of fund raising, we've established a strong constituency in Houston that gives to programs that they know are important to the city. That rises above any interest they might have in matters like administrative raises," she said. "They're more interested in seeing leadership than in how much the salaries are."

"Businesses are more patient about things like renovations because they see that all the time themselves," she said.

 

 

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nCougar names new student

ad manager

by James V. Geluso

Senior Writer

Sobana Varghese took over as Student Advertising Manager of The Daily Cougar Friday.

Varghese, a native of India, came to Houston when she was four years old and has lived here ever since.

She came to the Student Publications advertising office by chance, she said.

"It was the beginning of the semester and I needed a job, so I applied everywhere," she said. "I didn't hear from them until the next semester, so it was kind of odd."

Varghese began working in the Student Publications advertising department in Spring 1995, and took over as Student Advertising Manager effective Aug. 5.

She was very enthusiastic about the opportunities and challenges her new job presents. "I'm gaining some great experience here," she said. "I'm getting to know more about the behind-the-scenes of advertising."

Varghese said she would like to be involved somewhere in advertising after she graduates from UH. "I want to be the one buying the ads," she said.

"I'd like to do public relations for a large company or maybe a hospital," she said. "I'd like one that has branches all over the world because I'd like to travel.

"I'm looking for one with branches in India. I'd like to go back home to work, and put my U.S. education to work."

 

 

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VOLLEYBALL PREPARES TO DEFEND TITLE

by Dominic Corva

Daily Cougar Staff

Last year, this Cougar team won both the regular season SWC title and the postseason tournament, tied for fifth in the nation at the NCAA Tournament, had an All-American star and only lost two starters to graduation.

Often overlooked by Cougar fans in favor of big-time men's sports like football and basketball, University of Houston volleyball is long overdue the credit and fan support it deserves.

The UH netters begin their season Sept. 1 in Hofheinz Pavilion, hosting Pepperdine, Southwest Missouri and national powers Arkansas and Wisconsin in a kickoff tournament.

The Cougars are led by two juniors: setter Sami Sawyer from California and middle blocker Marie-Claude Tourillon from Canada. They are also the last two SWC Newcomers of the Year.

Sawyer earned second team All-SWC conference last year and is a dynamic presence on the court. This is her third year starting for the team.

Tourillon will be asked to fill the shoes of departed All-American hitter Lily Denoon-Chester. She showed flashes of dominance last season and was named SWC Newcomer of the Year as well as first team All-South Region.

Outside hitter Nashika Stokes is one of the best athletes on the team. The junior from Washington, D.C., is a terrific leaper at only 5-8.

Emily Leffers is the fourth starter returning for the 1995-96 campaign. A junior outside hitter from Tampa, she earned second team All-SWC last year.

Three redshirt players will be called on this year: junior Stacy Craven (out with an injury last year) and freshmen Debbie Vokes and Cortney Williams.

Head coach Bill Walton, known for his aggressive national and international recruiting, has four newcomers (three six feet or above) to draw on this year. Kristin Guidish (5-9) and Crystal Kubena (6-1) are outside hitters. Jillian King (6-0) is a middle blocker, and Bethany Hill (6-0) can hit or set.

Walton's team will play four Conference USA teams this year: away at Tulane, and Marquette, Memphis and Louisville in Hofheinz. National powers Stanford, Florida and Florida State are also scheduled.

 

 

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TAKE A FLYING LEAP

THRILL OF FLYING WITHOUT THE DANGER

by Valérie C. Fouché

and Frank McGowan

Daily Cougar Staff

Have you ever dreamed of flying -- but are too scared to actually jump out of a plane? You're in luck. A new sport facility for simulated "Body Flight" recently opened to accommodate the adventurous and timid alike.

Body Flight is a recreational activity that simulates the sensation of skydiving, and Blue Skies America Inc. will provide Texans with the first opportunity to experience the new sport of Body Flight acrobatics.

At Blue Skies America, body fliers float on an upward surge of air that is generated by an airplane propeller mounted on a powerful motor. When the tunnel is in operation, body fliers lie down and float on an upward stream of air that reaches speeds of 100 to 120 miles an hour. Blue Skies' wind tunnel is eight-sided and 50 feet tall, with an interior flying area of 20 feet across and 20 feet high.

Blue Skies' Body Flight facility in College Station is the first of its kind in Texas and only the second in the United States. (The other one is located in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.)

To ensure safety, all Body Flight customers must complete a mandatory training session before experiencing their first flight. All fliers are equipped with a flight suit, goggles, helmet, ear plugs and knee and elbow pads. Although Body Flight is a sport for all ages, a flier must weigh at least 40 pounds and not more than 200 pounds to qualify to fly.

"Our new sport -- Body Flight -- is fun, safe and so exhilarating," said Michael J. Moore, president of the company. "After I experienced Body Flight in Tennessee three years ago, I started working on opening a center in Texas. We are centrally located in the heart of Texas.

"Once people experience the sensation of Body Flight, they will be hooked. It's the next best thing to sky diving -- and you don't need a parachute or airplane."

UH RTV graduate Jorge Franz said, "I'm not stupid enough to jump out of a plane. This idea (Body Flight) is great for that common sense adventure freak."

Comparatively, Body Flight is much cheaper and less time consuming than sky diving. Most sky diving facilities will expect you to train for an entire day at a cost of up to $200. Each time you jump after that can cost you as much as $100 or more.

UH senior vocal studies major, Celeste Martin, said, "I had a friend who went sky diving last semester, and I was shocked at how much money it cost. She must have paid over $200, and it took her a whole day to train. If it were more reasonable, I might try it."

Blue Skies offers thrill-seekers the sensation of sky diving in a safe environment without airplanes and parachutes. Blue Skies was founded by Michael J. Moore and Teddy J. Hirsch of Texas A&M University. The staff has many years of experience in the sport of Body Flight, and instructors provide expert training and the equipment needed to experience the thrill of Body Flight.

Phil Henderson, the facility manager at Blue Skies, has more than 13 years experience teaching everyone from beginners to experienced sky divers. He has taught sky diving to the military's special forces, and has worked at Body Flight facilities in Switzerland, Japan and Hawaii.

Blue Skies is open Wednesday through Sunday. Ticket prices are $16 per person for the initial flight, which includes an annual mandatory training class, and $14 per person for the following flights. The time required for the adventure will vary from one and a half hours for beginners and one hour for repeat fliers.

 

 

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CONFERENCE USA SIGNS WITH PRIME SPORTS NETWORK

by Dominic Corva

Daily Cougar Staff

The University of Houston's conference-in-waiting announced a contract with Prime SportsChannel Networks last week.

Starting in 1996, Prime will broadcast 14 regular-season Conference USA basketball games and the conference tournament (except for the final game) to be held March 6-9 from the Pyramid in Memphis.

Basketball is widely considered to be the strongest sport in the new conference, composed of UH and the following 11 institutions: Alabama-Birmingham, Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, North Carolina-Charlotte, Saint Louis, South Florida, Southern Mississippi and Tulane.

Prime will air a football game of a future C-USA member school this year when Michigan plays Louisville on Sept. 16 of this year. Other than that, no announcement has been made concerning broadcast of any other C-USA sports.

 

 

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LEWIS DOUBTFUL FOR LONG JUMP

by Dominic Corva

Daily Cougar Staff

Former UH track star Carl Lewis is still recovering from a hamstring pull suffered on July 29 in Colorado.

Lewis is doubtful for long jump competition at the World Championships in Goteborg, Sweden.

If Lewis had been healthy, he would have been called upon to replace an injured Dennis Mitchell in the 4x100 meter relay.

Since Lewis is not healthy, U.S. coaches will rely on either Jeff Williams or Tony McCall, although Michael Johnson has offered his services.

"(Michael) has enough to do with the double and the 400," said head coach Harry Groves. "We have other plans, but we'll keep that in the back of our minds."

Groves talked to Santa Monica Track Club manager Joe Douglas on Saturday and was told Lewis felt only 75 percent recovered from his injury.

 

 

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GET WARPED WITH SPORTS AND MUSIC TOUR

Photo courtesy of Katherine Wessel/Island

Quicksand (pictured) and L7 will be headlining the Warped Tour, a sports and music event, Wednesday at the Astrohall.

by Chris Stelmak

Daily Cougar Staff

One of the former organizers of Lollapalooza wanted to make a tour that emphasized sports along with music, a tour that would be something different from Lollapalooza and would not necessarily be in competition with it. His product is the Warped Tour.

The tour's main-stage acts will feature Sublime, No Use for a Name, Orange 9mm, Fluf and headliners L7 and Quicksand. Seaweed will be a special guest for Houston. Sick of it All, Into Another, CIV, Dime Store Hoods and Wizo will perform on the second stage.

The music, however, is only a part of this all-day event. The tour will also include a half pipe, a street course, a climbing wall, a simulated mountain climbing and surfing machine and a skating competition between the best skaters in Houston. Touring professional athletes are another feature. Athletes like Mike Frazier, Remy Stratton, Steve Alba, Angie Walton, Neil Hendrix, Tom Fry, Rene Hulgreen, Keith Traenor, Arlo Eisenlberg and Jaya Bonderou will be demonstrating their skateboarding, in-line skating and BMXing ability that made them famous.

Quicksand, who headlines the event, is finally getting its much-deserved popularity after releasing "Thorn in my Side" for radio airplay and MTV. With the vocalist's voice sounding similar to Perry Ferrel, the band's rough, abrasive hardcore sound is hard to mistake. Quicksand will be grinding out songs from its latest release, <I>Manic Compression<P>. The band is returning again after hitting Houston with Offspring earlier this year.

With L7 subheadlining Quicksand, it is hard to go wrong. After headlining UH's Perpetual Park Party, in '93, L7 toured main stage last October for Lollapalooza '94. L7 is still promoting its latest album, <I>Hungry for Stink<P>. "Andre," its latest radio release was played on both local stations and on MTV. It also re-released "Shit List" for the <I>Natural Born Killers<P> soundtrack.

The fast and wild music will mix well with the day's sporting events. With tickets priced at a mere $15 for this all-day sporting, two-stage, 12-band event, this is obviously not an overpriced Lollapalooza. Tickets are $17.50 the day of the show. The Warped Tour starts at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Astrohall.

 

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BULLOCK MAKES <I>THE NET<P> A THRILLING COMPUTER-VIRTUAL REALITY FILM

SANDRA BULLOCK IS PERFECTLY CAST AS ANGELA BENNETT, THE CYBER-NERD WHO FINDS HERSELF RUNNING FROM THE LAW.

Photo by Joyce Rudolph/Columbia Pictures

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

Okay, just what we all need. Another one of those computer-virtual reality-cyberspace-type action movies. The last time one of these was on the big screen was <I>Johnny Mnemonic<P>, and I'm still recovering from that monstrosity. I'm no computer genius, but I recognize a bad film when I see one.

So now we come to <I>The Net<P>, the latest film tagged as "a gripping techno-thriller." So what makes this one different from the others? How about a decent plot, considerable suspense and a convincing performance by Sandra Bullock? With all these ingredients, <I>The Net<P> does exactly what it sets out to do --entertain mass audiences as a fun summer movie.

Like all of us, Angela Bennett (Bullock) lives in the age of information, where it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. Everything is computerized, and this suits Angela's world perfectly. Ordering a pizza on-line and "cyber-chatting" are parts of her daily routine in Los Angeles. She is seemingly content living alone, with few friends and her terminal, which she works from every day.

As Cathedral Systems' top analyst, Angela spends her time ironing out bugs in programs or tracking down viruses hacked into systems. Her work is widely respected, and Dale Hessman (Ray McKinnon), one of Angela's colleagues, asks her to conduct a preliminary analysis of "Mozart's Ghost," a program that inadvertently accesses the IRS, Federal Reserve Board and other highly sensitive databases. Since the fault proves to be a puzzler, Dale offers to fly down from San Francisco and help Angela figure it out. He never arrives, though. His plane suspiciously crashes because of a technological malfunction.

When news reaches Angela, she begins to wonder if the bugged program was somehow involved. She quickly retreats to Mexico in hopes of relieving her stress and meets Jack Devlin (Jeremy Northam), a handsome, young businessman. After being sweet-talked and seduced by such a charmer, Angela soon realizes Jack is not what he seems. With this discovery comes the realization that the disk carrying the program is something much bigger than she imagined. Wall Street is in shambles, airport computers have gone haywire, and, using the Internet, someone has completely altered Angela's identity.

Now she is Ruth Marx, a woman wanted for drug possession and prostitution. Angela's house has been sold, her social security number has been deleted, and someone has taken over her job at Cathedral, using her name. With no proof of who she is, Angela must uncover the saboteur on her own and reclaim her true identity before she is erased completely.

Working from this plot, <I>The Net<P> manages to build up some reasonably tense moments within a flawed script by John Brancato and Michael Ferris. These scenes are not aided by explosives or machine guns, but by the excitement of Angela tracking down the hackers with her own technological skills. It's great to see her typing away at a keyboard accessing hidden systems or letting the bad guys have it in one of the final scenes. This gal uses her brain to stay alive, but it is good to have a fire extinguisher handy just in case she wants to finish off the last villain.

In that sense, the movie is pretty standard stuff. You have the obligatory chase-and-hide scenes, which always end with our heroine narrowly escaping. What's missing, though, is the omnipresent lover/strong male that a leading lady has to rely on. While this movie has drawn comparisons to <I>The Pelican Brief<P>, Bullock's character isn't nearly as passive as Julia Roberts in the earlier film. Roberts seemed to be hiding in motel rooms in most of her scenes, but Bullock's Angela uses her own devices to foil the bad guys. She has no Denzel Washington as Roberts did; every guy she turns to is either against her (Jack) or not around for very long (Dr. Alan Champion, Angela's ex, played by Dennis Miller).

Another factor in the movie's success is Bullock herself. She seems tailor-made for the role of the lonely but beautiful cyber-nerd. Her performance is understated but by far the most memorable part of the entire production. She has no movie star airs about her, and this enables her to come across very natural on-screen, much like she did in <I>While You Were Sleeping<P>.

Director Irwin Winkler has all the right elements, but it could have been wound just a bit tighter. Still, there is much fun to be found in <I>The Net<P>, and Winkler knows how to create tension. Along with Winkler, screenwriters Brancato and Ferris never play down to the audience, and they even add a few unexpected surprises. As for the supporting cast, they are all watchable, but the movie definitely belongs to Bullock, who takes what may have been another on-line laugh fest and makes it an often thrilling thriller.

<I>The Net<P>

Stars: Sandra Bullock, Jeremy Northam

Director: Irwin Winkler

*** stars

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