NOW LIVE: Eyewitness News

Government Gridlock Leads To Toilet Paper Shortage In Trenton

By Robin Rieger

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – Trenton’s Health Department could shut down some city buildings if a toilet paper shortage isn’t resolved soon.

“It could be an inconvenience for anybody, young, old, male, female,” said Maryann Wooten of Hamilton Township.

The toilet paper and paper towel supply for at least 11 buildings, including City Hall, are dangerously low.

“We have one box with about 15 rolls of toilet paper and that’s it,” acting Public Works Director Harold Hall said.

Hall says a City Council resolution to order more paper supplies, including paper cups, was voted down. Some council members didn’t think the cash-strapped city needed to buy the cups.

“I told them I would take the cups out and re-submit the request,” Hall said.

City Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson said that she isn’t sure it was a legal request.

“Once you bid and give in a contract, you can’t remove something from a bid. You have to pull it back, you have to cancel it and then you have to re-bid it,” said Caldwell-Wilson.

The city’s legal department reviewed her concern before Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

“I think some council members are so full of blank. They can’t even pass a resolution to purchase toiletries. By putting their agenda before the public’s agenda, they are jeopardizing the city’s ability to keep open senior and rec centers and city buildings,” said Mayor Tony Mack.

Trenton Police Department’s PBA President says he filed complaints with the State and Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offices for his building, which has no supplies and operates 24/7. He says many employees are forced to bring their own rolls.

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One Comment


    so let me get this straight, you have companies who bid out the custodial supplies for the state bid, won the bid and now cannot supply the products to the state/government buildings?! Somebody needs to look at the contract and figure out who to sue first

  2. Murphy says:

    Just like a bunch of conservative republicans. Too busy stealing from the poor to get anything accomplished not to mention waiting for handouts with never a thought to bringing thier own. Tack onto the resolution a 20k a year raise for the republicans involved and it will get passed lickety split.
    Democrats would bring thier own rolls and continue to work to serve the public.

    1. AJ says:

      Yeah. Right.

  3. Kathryn Flaim says:

    Nice Job playing the “senior center” card. Heck with that, close the admin offices for ONE DAY, city wide. The (ineffective) administrators, having that one UNPAID day (this would include the full days worth of perks and benefits ~ of course) off will fund the “toilet paper drive”…it also may make them more effective administrators in the future.

    1. Murphy says:

      Dont forget that each of the “senior staff” makes over a hundred grand a year on the paycheck alone.

  4. Mary Greeley says:

    Those who work there all have homes, they all have toilets… tell them to bring in one roll each!!! I am sure they can spare it with the money they make!

  5. joe says:

    City Council should not be involved, in each contract. Mafia rules.

  6. Osamas Pajamas says:

    Democrats wipe their bxtts with the US Constitution and I wipe mine with pictures of “famous” Democrats.

    1. Murphy says:

      lol, too funny. Trust a republican to wipe themselves with money.

  7. E Soldat says:

    Oh, S#!+ – what now? Is it BYOTP ?

  8. Stan Dover says:

    Just substitute 40 grit sandpaper – that’s what federal employees use.

  9. Winkycat says:

    When I visited Sri Lanka in 2009 just when the civil war ended I noticed in the hotels I stayed ( Galle Face Green, The Club, etc) all had a flexible water hose with a shower head to clean oneself after using the Toilet. After returning home I installed such a gadget next to my toilet. It is far more hygienic especially for women and by the use of water I use less toilet paper.

  10. ma67 says:

    NJ is managed by incompetent, dirty a@#holes!!

    1. PO'd P.O. says:

      Now thi s I agree with!

  11. Michael says:

    Ah, it’s all Bush’s fault.

  12. Doc says:

    Maybe they can cut a deal with Nebraska for a car load of corn cobbs.

    1. Cebes says:

      That’s because they are worried Chris Christie may make a visit.

  13. Ranger01 says:

    Let me get this right…the City Council is so incompetent, it cannot supply toilet paper in order to keep buildings open? The council could vote an emergency allocation and run some dude down to Costco or Sams club to keep the buildings open. The council Voted down the cups, that was in then tied in with the toilet paprer?. OK, now you literally have a mess in your hands! This is an example of Incompetent bad Government.

  14. woody says:

    If Christie were to get caught short it would trigger an EPA hazardous cleanup

  15. Smitty says:

    That could be a serious problem when you figure all NJ public employees are full of doo-doo. THat includes the legislative and judicial branch as well.

    1. PO'd P.O. says:

      I think that you’re full of doo doo. Dont lump all of us together. There is good and bad in every sector of society. There are some bad eggs but the majority of us are dedicated hard working people. STFU jerk.

  16. Big Guy says:

    Gee, I was a district manager for a large county parks department.Toilet paper is considered an essential commodity. At the same time I was a union representative and the most common disciplinary actions were employee theft of – toilet paper and light bulbs. Now if a manager can’t administer a janitorial supply account, keep proper inventory records and log of use patterns to identify theft, they need a demotion or firing. Philadelphia seems to be one of those cities too long in the control of incompetents at all levels, and the first sign is an inability to stock toilet paper. Wonder what else is disappearing?

  17. Saggy Panties says:

    Just tell them BYOTP (bring your own toilet paper)… just like we in San Jose, CA have been forced to bring our own bags to bag any retail purchase made in the city. If not, you can just walk around with a stinky bottom.

  18. Matt says:

    This is what happens in communist countries. Ask anybody who grew up in the Soviet Bloc… They brought toiletpaper with them everywhere. This is what Communism does… It commands, and redistributes wealth to the point that there is none anymore. Poof!

    1. deafduck says:

      Right on Matt. One of the first sign that the dirty commies are marching down Maple street is a shortage of a$$ wipe! Good call Buddy!

  19. Roy says:

    Get the government out of the Paper business and we’ll have all the paper we need. The Gov’t will destroy anything it touches.

  20. Gdog001 says:

    I have an idea. They could use the Constitution, since Obama and the NE libs have been using it for that for years now.

  21. Anon says:

    Just install some bidets

  22. retired says:

    We need to be discussing more serious issues.

    Free condoms for all

    Condoms prevent unwanted pregnancy and protect women’s health by preventing STDs.

    The Obama administration is guilty of sexual discrimination.

    Free condoms for all.

  23. SaintLo says:

    They could always use the New York Times.

    1. Akron says:

      That’s one way to get people to actually buy the NY Times.

  24. Jason Talbott says:

    I am making a telephone call
    From the men’s room of old City Hall.
    I don’t know what to do;
    I just went number two
    And need TP… there’s none in the stall. :(

  25. Fredx says:

    I could spare a square.

  26. hankering says:

    Since we are now a third world nation, just do what the other third wolrd nations do. Have an attendent who will issue out lets say four squares of tissue for a dollar. This will not only generate income for NJ but will make the enviornmentalists Very Happy!

    1. Vicky Bevis says:

      You got that 4 sheets idea from “Elaine” on “Seinfeld.” But love the post.

      BTW, I noticed that the article rambled on about the shortage w/o suggesting WHY it occured. Personally, I think many of the Seniors in the Sr. Centers are swiping them. A friend who heads up the Sr. Center here is the person I’m going to ask to see if it happened to them. We are in a very poor part of the country & I can tell you that our S.S. checks are getting smaller & smaller as to purchasing power.

      1. Saggy Panties says:

        Actually, the article does say how it occurred. The TP was part of a paper supply order that was rejected due to items on the order the council felt they didn’t need to buy, i.e. paper cups. The order is a contract bid that needs to be rewritten before the the requisition can be approved… no line item vetoes allowed.

  27. Mike L. says:

    We are turning into Europe finally. Over there you have to take paper with you.

  28. ouldbollix says:

    Who cares? Please shut them all down.

  29. Marla says:

    If this was a school, they wouldn’t shut down the school. They would ask the children’s parents to provide a few rolls each month. Problem solved.

  30. marishka says:

    they could use newspaper. . . . .

  31. sirandrew says:

    What a great way to reduce the bloated bureaucracy
    No longer supply toilet paper to half the buildings,both state and federal,.
    We also ban bringing in your own toilet paper. . If they can ban home prepared lunches in schools the can also ban toilet paper. from home.

  32. Denise says:

    BYOTP. Detroit Public Schools went thru this a number of years ago.

  33. blue.mutt says:

    An EPA mandate……..Simple, TP is a pollution source

  34. tdrag says:

    Welcome to Obama’s Democrat Green Society. You don’t need toilet paper. Do it the Muslim way wipe with your left hand!

    1. Dan says:

      Haha. I was unfortunate to become “friendly” enough with a cuban in Miami quite a few years back and was informed by him that cubans wipe their butts with their left hand as well. I informed him that here in America, we use toilet paper. When available, that is. I also asked him why he didn’t register to become an American citizen. He scornfully replied that he was a cuban first. The clear implication was that cubes are better than Americans. He wasn’t too proud to take our welfare. GO BACK TO STINKING CUBA!!!!!

  35. seenbetterdaze says:

    Another sign of Gov. Waste fraud and abuse of the poor overTAXED tax PAYERS! Unsustainable expenses break the Nation.

  36. R.A.Bullseye says:

    People will need to bring their own toilet paper and paper products….it’s as simple as that. That way they will be forced to be careful when using paper.

  37. RevDrMarkSr says:

    I have some ‘slighly’ used TP I would be willing to send to them

    1. smokehouse says:

      Where do you keep it stored at home?

  38. American Man 2012 says:

    State workers are illogical , and incapable of their jobs. Ship the toilet paper and delay the cups. If the company contracted to supply the state doesn’t like it , black list them , no more business. They make a project out of common sense. Some state workers just will make a public display of arrogance because they are told to stop spending tax payer’s money.

    1. S Koch says:

      State workers make more money than those paying their salery (taxpayers) The workers should buy their own toiletries and take them where ever they go so as not to burden the tax payer any more. Remember it is called “public service”!…..Bhahahahaha

      1. SUSANM says:


      2. ExposingTheCoverUp says:

        This story proves even more how much of the news is made up after the coup and cover up. Unelected officials took over Washington and the media. They think you can’t handle the truth. Fact of the matter is we have no democracy, president, and freedom of press is an illusion.

        Our next election is shaping up to be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin’s bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she’s not running? Know what leaked out? Sarah Palin and Cain aren’t in the race for the same reason, the truth leaked out. Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret for the biggest cover up in history

  39. Barry bin Inhalin says:

    Proving once again that po0p doesn’t get done in a Gubmint building….

  40. Miguel says:

    This is embarassing. Obozo takes million dollar vacations and this city can’t afford toilet paper? Even more embarassing is the Harold Hall, Acting Public Works Director even saying they can’t afford toilet paper.

    Can’t the moron say something else, like copy paper or office supplies. How stupid is this guy to think we believe they don’t have enough money for TP?

    This is the problem all over the country, we have morons running the govt.

  41. KN says:

    Seems Trenton can’t get their s%@*t together.

    1. smokehouse says:


  42. jvon says:

    Quick! Put these people in charge of the health care system!

    1. IronmanAtl says:

      Trillions wasted to their union buddies, and now they want to run health care so they can ration it? Government can even stock a WC with toilet paper. To hell with them all.

  43. CW Orange says:

    Inspiration! Could this work in DC? Shutting it down would only help the country!

  44. Crosscut says:

    Tell your state employees to quit stealing it. There will be plenty.

    1. Marjorie Swift says:

      Isn’t that truth, my boss used carry bags of stuff out of our office–anything that was not nailed down was –at least to him available.

    2. Seriously? says:

      You have to be a real dou$che bag to steal government toilet paper. As a government employee, you’re making enough to buy the good stuff. I hope it game him massive hemorrhoids.

  45. Locke says:

    Turn the water fountains into bidets.
    Problem solved.

    1. Marjorie Swift says:

      OMG that’s hilarious.

      1. Jean says:

        Not hilarious at all. The whole world (except the US) uses them.

    2. Seriously? says:

      Tell them to sit on the toiilet and take a few courtesy flushes. Some of those toilets have enough more water pressure than a car wash.

      1. ouldbollix says:

        Jean, I have traveled the world and the whole world does not use bidets and those that do only use them every day because they only shower every other week.

        Americans are probably the cleanest people in the world.

        By the way have you ever swam in the Ghanges river?

  46. Jolly Muhammed says:

    Liberals, socialists and communists are merely people without intellectual hygiene, which results in intellectual colostomy bags that leak or explode and splatter a $hitty mess all over the place.

  47. treas54 says:

    Sheryl Crow says four sheets and if it’s yellow let it mellow, brown flush it down.
    Yep that’ll do it, prblem solved

    1. Seriously? says:

      I’ll never shake hands with her.

  48. dirtydog1776 says:

    What is the problem? With the economy collapsing soon, we will be able to use money for toilet paper. Obama is leading us to 3rd world status, like Zimbabwe with its billion dollar bills.

    Kind of rough but better than corncobs.

  49. Foggy World says:

    But I bet you were not a civil “servant.” They expect things done FOR them.

  50. mac says:

    well that’s pretty sh1tty

  51. george says:

    There shouldn’t be a toilet paper shortage in any government building. The enviros have long been claiming that we should never use anything but single-ply TP, right? So, here’s the obvious solution. Grab hold of the two-ply rolls, pull apart the layers, and you’ll have doubled the supply. Enviros happy, government workers ecstatic, and trees feeling all hugged and loved.

    1. Foggy World says:

      And We the People should pay them to separate the two ply into one ply? You must be a civil “servant” to dream that one up. What a great time waster for us to pay for.

  52. ZTEBYLLEK says:

    No TP? Cornholio would be upset!

  53. Ralph Ware says:

    Now is the time for the Obama administration to relieve New Jersey. I’m sure Barak has lots of copies of the U.S. Constitiution that aren’t being put to any other use.

  54. Jasonn says:

    Just send Benny the janitor over to Walmart with some petty cash. Problem solved. HEY, how come I have to solve New Jersey’s problems?

    1. dirtydog1776 says:

      Sorry, the Union won’t let Benny buy toilet paper, it is not his job and it is not in his contract.

      Unions…….last protection of the working man against evil, capitalist exploiters.

    2. Seriously? says:

      Yeah, and you can’t buy squat without a contract. I guarantee you there was more paper wasted on the contract than on the rolls they bought.

  55. Foggy World says:

    Why do I think that lesser paid folks who work in the private sector with no job security or the same big State pensions, paychecks and benefits would solve this one on their own?

    Like how about eeryone bringing in a couple of rolls of paper towels and a package of toilet paper from home or the supermarket. Or pass an envelope around for would be users and charge them a flat fee for the month or the week and rotate the shopping duties.

    Now those folks would arrive at that solution quickly because they would want to keep going to work to get paid so they could pay via taxes for all of these paper free “civil servant” offices.

    Too easy.

    1. David Kramer says:

      Does it remind you of another country? USSR comes to mind.

      1. truthinpravda says:

        Yeah, they used the pravda.

      2. seenbetterdaze says:

        CUBA had this same problem just as the Won took office…They ran out of other people’s money as predicted. They told tourists to bring their own TP.

    2. Emilee says:

      I would not be surprised to learn that this is all politics to make some kind of point. I once had a “civil servant” in CA who worked for parks and recreation tell me that they deliberately stopped stocking the public restrooms with toilet paper when the voters refused to give them another tax increase.

      They figured people would see how they “couldn’t even afford toilet paper” and understand that they needed more money. He seemed very pleased with himself. I was disgusted.

  56. BethW says:

    I’ve travelled to many third world countries. People bring their own toilet paper with them if they want it. Maybe that is where we are headed.

    1. Sheepleherder says:

      I used to read articles about this sort of thing happening in the old USSR before they went under.

      1. Texasgal2 says:

        True–that is what i thought of first–then I thought that is those people would have done what Sheryl Crowe pleaded for-using only one sheet, they probably wouldn’t be in this…uhm..mess!

    2. Ursus Magnus says:

      That’s EXACTLY the plan of the “elites”.

  57. jimbo says:

    Income Tax. Sales Tax. Property Tax. Yep – when you realize what the Goverment Worker gets in salary and benefits, you understand why there is no more room for toilet paper. Yes, I am so happy to give away over 50 percent of my income to someone else that enjoys living on a gravy train that I could only dream of having…well, if you cannot beat them, join ’em…I would love to tell my boss that I cannot do my job because toilet paper is not available – and then sit around and collect a fat salary and plush benefits on the back of working people.

  58. IrateNate says:

    It may soon become cheaper to just use dollar bills. Time to say goodbye to the FED…

  59. chuck says:

    it was a created problem. they cause it to happen, instead of cutting excess spending, they plan a shortage of toliet paper.

    They should shut the building down, and not pay the employees for the day. They could have a multi year supply after that the saving of the wages for a day.

    1. Ursus Magnus says:

      They could just make it a felony to poo.

      1. george says:

        You sound like that Italian official who made it a capital offense to die.

  60. Pete838 says:

    In most of Europe there are pay toilets. No big deal. Insert .75 I’ve never seen such clean bathrooms here.

    1. roadrunner says:

      If the problem is that dire, then I suggest that those workers take their own toilet paper to work with them. They can certainly afford a cheap roll. I strongly suggest your Gov. Christy make sure he does this because by the looks of him, he certainly could fill up a bowl. I understand that the average property tax on the average sized home in NJ is around 7000 per year. Where is the money going??????

  61. F Stagg says:

    I get it.
    This is got to be an Onion article because it’s not yet April 1st.

  62. Traveler says:

    Simple solution here, bring thier own toilet paper! They made the sh** let them clean it up ;)

  63. Bongo says:

    As a hot dog vendor I say don’t mess around with the health dept! They have rules you don’t know exist if they want.

    1. Foggy World says:

      Well then there’s a department that has way too many employees and every town could save by cutting back on the hiring of tioliet paper roll counters.

  64. aa says:

    the prisoners don’t have this problem? why?

    1. YaRight says:

      Prisoners are some of the few people in Jersey who actually have jobs.

    2. george says:

      A huge proportion of the prisoners are illegal aliens. In case you hadn’t been noticing, they call the shots.

  65. george kolter says:

    lol to funny no wonder the gubimint totally inefficient, incapable of any minor function, let alone cut spending….RFLM@O

  66. yorkie01 says:

    New Jersey has an abundance of wipers!

  67. jeremy says:

    good work trenton…as anj resident i say shut the whole thing down, the whole state government. we will get on just fine without you

  68. Chris says:

    I have a solution. Use Federal Reserve debt paper notes also known as the dollar, it will be worthless anyway soon. A new free supply of toilet paper for everyone.

    1. jockomofo says:

      This is a totally made-up story, just another daily load of trash, to deflect attention away from obamma’s failed economic policies.

      1. Chris says:

        Hardly, all money created is debt. I dare you to look up fractional banking and what happens when the Federal Reserve buys bonds…. Obama and politicians (both sides) are just sock puppets of the real masters of the nation….the money changers.

      2. Foggy World says:

        No, you are just so wrong. These are the civil “Servants” who will be running the huge State portion of Obama-care coming our way conveniently after the November election.

        I think this is a perfect example of why people are concerned about how government seems to not function very well and why aspirin may be all we soon will be able to get our hands on.

        The federal folks like Ms. Pelosi said they would get around to reading the Plan but I wonder if they or the State civil “Servants” who will be administering our health care could actually sit for (maybe on a throne) a four hour exam to prove that while toilet paper is beyond them, they will keep us all alive if not heathy.

      3. jockomofo says:

        “Flood you, big River, and I’m gonna sit right here until I die”
        Jerry Garcia

  69. mike says:

    do you mean to tell me men, women the young and old all need to use restrooms? not sure about that. I think you need to check your facts.

    1. jockomofo says:

      that’s right, the women are, smarter, that’s right the women are smarter, the women are smarter that’s right (that’s right).
      Bob Weir

  70. jim6037 says:

    Third world here we come. Left hands taboo in many parts of the world…you can figure it out.

    1. j R says:

      I do not know who you are, but what a great post. I actually laughed out loud. And by the way, I wished I would have thought of it and posted before you. And on point as well, that is rare. Good job Sir.

      1. ExposingTheCoverUp says:

        If only they could use our Constitution like the government does. So much of the news is made up after the coup and cover up. Unelected officials took over Washington and the media. They think you can’t handle the truth. Fact of the matter is we have no democracy, president, and freedom of press is an illusion.

        Our next election is shaping up to be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin’s bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she’s not running? Know what leaked out? Sarah Palin and Cain aren’t in the race for the same reason, the truth leaked out. Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret for the biggest cover up in history

    2. Seriously? says:

      It’s gonna make it hard to run for reelection. Who’s going to want to shake their hand?

  71. Cladue Hopper says:

    Christie can ask Iowa to send some of the corn cobs left over from the ethanol process. That’s a green solution and deserves an Obama loan.

    1. Seriously? says:

      You deserve a tax credit for that idea.

  72. David from San Diego says:

    This situation could not exist in the absence of corruption. We need a death penalty for bribes and kickbacks in government.

  73. Startex says:

    Democrats in dying city. Wonder how that happened.

  74. mewp says:

    I love this. welcome to the welfare state./ I hope all you liberals are proud of yourselves. On my first visit to Europe 40 years ago, I was amazed that in Germany you had to put coins in a machine to buy toilet paper. Maybe they should try that.

    1. Foggy World says:

      I was in Austria during the same time period and people where using torn up pieces of used newspaper to do the job. Green sort of before the rest of us. Give it a whirl oh “Civil Servants” and you, too, will survive this catstrophe.

  75. cas127 says:

    A society of “people” who can’t wipe their *ss without government “assistance”.

    Actually, the whole thing stinks of a put-up job by bureaucrats trying to ram through a wasteful budget by creating/broadcasting a phony crisis.

    Exactly the only thing public sector unions and co-opted MSM outlets are good for.

  76. luxomni says:

    If they do that, where am I going to steal toilet paper from?

    1. Seriously? says:

      The Texaco station down the street maybe?

  77. Larry says:

    Useless, inefficient gov’t, yet another violation of our rights. The gov’t constantly violates our rights.
    They violate the 1st Amendment by caging protesters and banning books like “America Deceived II”.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by allowing TSA to grope you.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars.
    Impeach Obama, support Ron Paul.
    Last link of “America Deceived II” before it is completely banned:

  78. ezflyer says:

    This displays the failure of government. Though it may seem to be funny that this is about toilet paper and the shortage of, the true meaning that this states is that there is no union or agreement between parties, there is no common sense way of thinking with regards to budgets. You have too many people with their own agendas, trying to get what they want passed and have no idea who to run government. It looks as if NJ is in a sad state of affairs. The politicians do not do the job that they were voted in to do as all they works towards is the next election.

    1. ImaHippyBurning says:

      Quick everyone! Run to your local government office building and steal all the toilet paper then maybe we can keep the libturds from going to work and giving away more money. Geez, I wish we thought of this before, “Yes We Can” Now reduce the size of government once and for. What better way to drain the cespool than shorting them on their TP? Maybe they should just freshly printed dollars instead as it has just about as much value! Completely ignorant Hiny Wipes…

      1. george says:

        Nice idea, but those deprived government workers will simply join their OWS comrades out in the public parks and relieve themselves on a sidewalk or on top of a car. Who needs toilet paper after an Oscar-winning gig like that?

  79. Carl says:

    And some people REALLY want these people involved with our healthcare??? Come on folks…open your eyes!

  80. Fuzzy says:

    Is it really to the point people are THAT dependent on government?!

    I’ll tell you what…if I knew my place of employment (even if it was the government) didn’t budget for toilet paper – guess what?! I’d take my own in for my own use! For crying out loud – what is WRONG with people now a days?! Shut down a building because people aren’t being coddled by “THE MAN.”?! Sheesh. Grow up!

    What do these people do at rest areas?!

  81. jacques_poutine says:

    Have you thought about going to wallmart and buying more?

    1. jacques_poutine says:

      its only a couple dollars, or do you need 100$/roll fancy government stuff? made from fur shaved off of kittens?

    2. Liberal_Stupidity says:

      Can’t find a union rep to ask permission. Helpless just plain helpless

  82. Zip says:

    This is unbelievable, and kinda funny. Shutting down, because of lack of toilet paper?….. thats all it takes.
    We are in some amazing times

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