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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Terex Posts Weaker-Than-Expected Results

Westport-based Terex Corporation today posted weaker-than-expected quarterly results that were pulled down in part by a drop in its off-highway truck business.

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The company, which makes construction and material handling equipment, reported a first-quarter net profit of $539.9 million, or $4.98 a share, compared with a net loss of $74.9 million, or 79 cents a share, last year.

But those results included $620.4 million, or $5.72 a share, in proceeds from the sale of its mining equipment business.

Terex reported a net loss from continuing operations of 73 cents a share on sales of $935.9 million.

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04/21/10 10:28 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

All Gone: DeRosa’s and Riverside Barber Shop

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The building that housed the former DeRosa’s Restaurant at 577 Riverside Ave. (see WestportNow, June 16, 2009) and the Riverside Barber Shop (see WestportNow. Aug. 28, 2009) at 579 Riverside Ave were demolished today to make way for Saugatuck Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/21/10 08:27 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, April 19, 2010

Comings and Goings: Indeego Day Spa Debuts on PRE

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Indeego Day Spa is opening this weekend at 979 Post Road East in Westport.  Trained in China in specialized body massage, co-owners Christine Wu and Nancy Wang said that their skills “combine Asian and western massage and body treatment methods.” They were students at Body Concepts Wellness in East Rutherford, N.J. and later served as masseuses in Stamford. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/19/10 11:33 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Blumenthal Sues Westport Bank in Madoff Ponzi Scheme

UPDATE Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said today he has sued Westport National Bank and a Westport-based money manager for “effectively aiding and abetting” a fraud by convicted Ponzi scheme operator Bernard Madoff.WestportNow.com Image
Blumenthal said his office is seeking to recover $16.2 million in fees paid to Westport National and an investment advisor. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com/file

In a statement, Blumenthal said his office, in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Banking, is seeking to recover for investors $16.2 million in fees paid to Westport National and Robert L. Silverman, a Wilton resident whose Connecticut actuary and investment advisory firm is based in Westport.

Blumenthal also is seeking a $100,000 fine for each violation of state banking laws and legal costs.

The attorney general acted two weeks after Gov. M. Jodi Rell said the bank allegedly received $2.5 million in fees for managing pooled investments for Bernard Madoff and that she had referred results of a preliminary investigation to Blumenthal’s office.

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04/19/10 06:20 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Comings and Goings: 4@1 to Open on Post Road East

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A new apparel and home accessories store, 4 @ 1, will open soon at 141 Post Road East in Westport, according to owner Akram Emany. Prior to owning this retail business Emany was the manager of “& Company” located in Norwalk and Westport, the Westport shop having occupied the same location where 4 @ 1 will soon operate. Emany describes the new store as one that specializes in “high end apparel for men, women and children as well as household accessories such as towels and linens.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/19/10 01:31 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Comings and Goings: Rahelia Evening Wear Opens on PRE

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A “high end” women’s apparel shop, Rahelia Evening Wear, has opened at 125 Post Road East across from the downtown post office.  According to owner Rachel Durrani, the family has been in business for 32 years starting in Mount Kisco, N.Y. and then Fairfield before relocating to Westport. Durrani, a resident of Easton, describes the shop as one that caters to “mothers of brides and grooms and mothers of Bar Mitzvah boys.”  She said that she opened the shop in Westport because so many of her client base are Westporters. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Comings and Goings: Four Brothers Opens on PRE

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Four Brothers Pizza, formerly located at 43 Saugatuck Ave., has opened at 621 Post Road East in the shopping center anchored by The Fresh Market.  Owner Westporter Casandra Arcano will continue to conduct business at the Saugatuck Avenue location which has been converted to a delivery and take-out Mexican food enterprise, Cuatro Hermanos (Spanish for four brothers) which opens next week. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/16/10 08:52 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Comings and Goings: Saab Closes, Property Available

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The property available sign went up today at 176 Post Road West which was home until earlier this month of Saab of Westport. After almost 30 years, The Ryan Auto Group closed its Saab dealership and merged it into its sister dealership, Cadillace-Saab of Greenwich. The Westport property, which includes a 14,000-square-foot building on slightly less than two acres, has been listed for lease with the Stamford office of Cushman & Wakefield. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/15/10 07:49 PM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Comings and Goings: P&Z Considers The Bar Car Application

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Tonight’s Westport Planning & Zoning Commission agenda includes hearing a pre-application for a new restaurant named The Bar Car at 20 Railroad Place in the Saugatuck area formerly occupied by Bedroom Matters. Applicants Mimi McLaughlin and Jerff Marron describe the business as “a wine and beer bar with a small food menu.” They say it will be geared toward “experienced drinkers” and have a “quiet speakeasy-esque atmosphere.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/15/10 06:12 PM Comments (4) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Comings and Going: Abbondanza Ends 15-Year Run

By Dave Matlow

Abbondanza, the specialty food store and catering service and its Bonda Restaurant at 30 Charles St. in Westport’s Saugatuck area for the past 15 years, has closed. WestportNow.com Image
Jamie Cooper, owner the vacated Abbondanza specialty food store and Bonda restaurant, will reopen Bonda in Fairfield. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Saturday night’s closing was announced by Abbondanza owner Jamie Cooper in a letter sent to customers last week.

“It is both with sadness and excitement that I am writing you this letter,” he said. “The typical sadness that accompanies the end of something great and the excitement that accompanies something new.” 

Cooper said that he plans to open a restaurant, retaining the name “Bonda,” in Fairfield in late June or early July. He chose not to identify the address until negotiations are concluded. 

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04/14/10 06:05 PM Comments (2) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Report: Jet Blue to Fly From Connecticut

JetBlue Airways and Bradley International Airport are close to announcing the discount carrier’s plans to start flying from Connecticut, most likely to and from Florida or San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Hartford Courant said today.

The report quoted “a source familiar with the plan.”

On Monday a JetBlue spokesman acknowledged that the airline is “evaluating” Bradley’s market, but refused to offer details, the newspaper said.

From Bradley, which is New England’s second biggest airport, JetBlue would most likely serve Florida or San Juan due to the airline’s existing interest in those destinations, which do well from the Northeast, the source said.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Comings and Goings: Karate/Kung Fu Studio Opens on PRE

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The latest addition to the Westport landscape for physical fitness is the arrival of the Shaolin Studios for karate and kung fu training at 1019 Post Road East in the shopping strip behind Carvel. According to studio manager Kristin Tanski, the Westport location is their sixth in Fairfield County, with others in Newtown, Wilton, Norwalk, Ridgefield and Greenwich. She said all instructors including herself have achieved black belt status. Tanski said that the Shaolin Studios training helps both children and adults achieve martial arts prowess. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/13/10 03:07 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Comings and Goings: The Boat House Debuts This Week

By Dave Matlow

The restaurant at Westport’s Saugatuck Rowing Club debuts this week under new ownership and a new name.  WestportNow.com Image
It’s the first restaurant for experienced chef John Holzwarth. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

John Holzwarth, former chef at Westport’s Dressing Room restaurant for the past two years, is the owner of the new restaurant, The Boat House at Saugatuck.

“I’ve always been looking for the right opportunity and this is it,” he said. “It’s the first time I’ve been a restaurant owner and it’s a good feeling.” 

Holzwarth who spent 13 years as a chef although he graduated from the University of Buenos Aires with a B.A. in economics and Spanish literature, said that the menu will be seasonal and the food will be acquired from local and artisan producers.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Comings and Goings: Massage Envy Goes to Playhouse Square

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A new business, Massage Envy, is opening at 275 Post Road East in Playhouse Square. Owner Ram Ahuja said the business is membership-based like a fitness clinic and includes one massage each month with reduced prices for additional massages in the same month. “Ours will be the sixth Massage Envy in Connecticut,” he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/10/10 12:33 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Comings and Goings: Thali Indian Restaurant Opens on PRE

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The Thali Indian cuisine restaurant has opened at 376 Post Road East in the Compo Acres shopping center location previously occupied by the Taipan restaurant. The newcomer to Westport is the fifth Thali location in Connecticut run by Indian chef Prasad Chirnomula. The others are in New Canaan, Ridgefield, and two in New Haven.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/07/10 04:44 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Rell Says Westport National Got $2.5 Million in Madoff Fees

UPDATE Westport National Bank allegedly received $2.5 million in fees for managing pooled investments for Bernard Madoff, Governor M. Jodi Rell said today as she referred results of a preliminary investigation to the state’s Attorney General.WestportNow.com Image
Gov. M. Jodi Rell referred preliminary findings involving Westport National to Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com/file

In addition, she said a Westport-based pension consultant firm and its founder and owner allegedly received clients’ fees in excess of $14 million and failed to properly disclose to clients how those fees were calculated.

The investigation into the securities activities of the bank and PSCC Services Inc., and its founder-owner Robert L. Silverman of Wilton is an outgrowth of the Madoff fraud scheme that resulted in losses of almost $65 billion to investors.

“Bernie Madoff perpetrated a fraud that has created a landslide of misery for thousands upon thousands of innocent people,” Rell said in a statement.

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04/06/10 08:19 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Old Westport Town Hall Sold for $2.3 Million

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Westport’s Old Town Hall at 90 Post Road East, most recently a branch of TD Bank, has been sold to a Westport developer for $2.325 million.  Built in 1908, the building served as Westport’s municipal center until the current Town Hall opened in 1983 in the former Bedford Elementary School at 110 Myrtle Ave. The sale by TD Bank, N.A., was to Old Westport Town Hall, LLC. A check of the Secretary of the State’s database showed the principal is Westport developer Robert Haroun, who has built numerous homes in the community. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow file photo by Dave Matlow

03/31/10 09:20 PM Comments (4) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Comings and Goings: Oreck Coming to Post Road East

By Dave Matlow

An Oreck store selling and servicing vacuum cleaners, air purifiers and home cleaning appliances will open in mid-April at 1801 Post Road East in Westport.WestportNow.com Image
The Oreck store at 1801 Post Road East opens mid-April. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The owner, R. J. Bunch, said he owns four other Oreck shops in Connecticut—North Haven, Milford, Clinton, and Canton.

As far as the timing for opening in Westport, Bunch said, “There’s no recession in our business and there’s opportunity in the down economy – good people who need work – landlords who need tenants.” 

He added that many of his customers in his Milford store come from the Westport area.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Barnum Financial Tops List of State’s Best Places to Work

The Barnum Financial Group, with offices in Westport and 17 other locations statewide, was chosen as one of the 25 “Best Places to Work in Connecticut for 2010” by the Hartford Business Journal at its annual awards ceremony Thursday evening in Waterbury.

Barnum, located at 265 Post Road West, topped the list of the top five large companies, followed by Comcast Cable in Berlin, Yale-New Haven Hospital, the Henkel Corporation in Rocky Hill, and Robinson and Cole LLP in Hartford.

According to the HBJ, the listing was determined by an independent survey company, Best Companies Group, which works to identify and recognize companies “which have been successful in creating and maintaining workplace excellence.”

“Best Places to Work continues to be one of our most exciting events,” said Gail Lebert, HBJ publisher. “We are honored to celebrate these winning companies and aim to give them well-deserved recognition for their perseverance and drive in these times.”

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03/26/10 02:16 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

New Sign Heralds Saugatuck Center Development

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A new sign went up on Riverside Avenue today heralding construction of a new retail, office and residential development in Westport’s Saugauck area. The posting of a sign for phase one of what is called Saugatuck Center features the “Marsh” and “Tide” waterside buildings that will house 4,000 square feet of retail space on the street level, as well as 5,000 square feet of office space overlooking the water and six residential apartments on the second floor. Backed by the Gault family, the development’s initial buildings are scheduled to be completed by early 2011. The developer is promoting Saugatuck Center as a “plan to bring neighborhood back to Saugatuck, Westport’s historic waterfront community.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Comings and Goings: Three Bears Building for Sale

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The Three Bears Restaurant, 79 Newton Turnpike at the corner of Wilton Road is for sale.  According to John Zervos of DVB Realty, Norwalk, who represents the Vazzano family, the sellers, the asking price is $2,350,000.  According to the Westport assessor’s database the structure has 9,108 square feet, is situated on 2.73 acres and was built in 1900. The Three Bears Restaurant closed in February 2009 and was followed briefly by Tiburon Restaurant. (See WestportNow Feb. 3, 2009 and July 27, 2009) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

03/21/10 02:12 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Storm Was Bonanza for Some Westport Eateries

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Xeni Tzolis: “We started to run out of things.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com
By James Lomuscio

Today, Xeni Tzolis, owner of Westport’s Sherwood Diner, is catching his breath. So, too, is Carmelo Mioli, owner of Westport Pizzeria on Main Street. A few doors down, Lee Papageorge, owner of Oscar’s Delicatessen, also feels a return to normalcy.

Last weekend’s nor’easter that left thousands of Westporters without power brought an increase of as much of 50 percent in customers to eateries that had electricity.

They came in search of food, warmth and a place to relax amidst a backdrop of downed trees, wires and blocked roads. “It was definitely nonstop Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,” said Tzolis whose family has owned the diner for 33 years.

Tzolis said the Sherwood, open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. weekdays, averaged about 1,000 more customers per day since Sunday, “about a 30 percent increase, and we started to run out of things.”

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

State: Westport Unemployment Rate at 6.5 Percent

Connecticut’s Department of Labor reported Westport’s unemployment rate in January was 6.5 percent, up from 5.5 percent the previous month.

In its latest statewide survey of towns, the department said of Westport’s labor force of 12,751, there were 833 persons out of work.

The comparable figures for December showed 12,622 in the work force with 695 out of work.

A year ago, the state said Westport had 12,682 in the labor force with 693 unemployed, or 5.5 percent.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Westport’s Bridgewater Slips to No. 2 in Asset Management

JP Morgan Chase & Co is the world’s largest hedge-fund firm by assets, according to a new report from Pensions & Investments magazine.

JP Morgan, which owns Highbridge Capital Management LLC, managed a total of $53.5 billion at the end of 2009, according to a survey that the magazine published on its Web site. Highbridge oversaw $32.5 billion and JP Morgan’s Asset Management unit had $21 billion in hedge-fund assets.

Bridgewater Associates LP, based in Westport,  ranked second with $43.6 billion in hedge funds assets. It had been ranked No. 1 a year ago after dethroning JP Morgan. (See WestportNow April 23, 2009)

The magazine said Bridgewater was among the hedge fund managers that showed healthy growth during the period, rising 21 percent.

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03/08/10 09:07 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Inn at National Hall: No More Rooms With a View

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This was the view of the east bank of the Saugatuck River in central Westport today from one of the rooms at the Inn at National Hall as it closed down indefinitely. Checkout time at 11:30 a.m. passed without fanfare, according to hotel’s resident manager, and his orders were to turn off the lights and lock the doors. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

03/08/10 06:38 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Inn at National Hall Says Goodbye to Last Guests

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Westport’s Inn at National Hall said goodbye to its last guests today for the indefinite future. A sign in the lobby summed up the staff’s feeling about orders to close down the luxury hotel pending transfer of ownership. Marco Degl’Innocenti, the inn’s resident manager for 13 years, said the checkouts were without fanfare and the building will be closed at 4 p.m. today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

03/08/10 06:27 PM Comments (2) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Stop & Shop Workers Accept Contract Offer

Workers at Stop & Shop today accepted a new three-year contract proposal, ending the threat of a strike at the supermarket chain.

The 5,000 members of Westport-based Local 371 voted in New Haven while those of Local 319 based in Farmington with 10,000 members voted in Hartford.

The two sides had been negotiating for weeks and late Saturday company officials and union negotiators announced they had reached a tentative agreement.

The company employs 36,000 workers in New England.

03/07/10 04:47 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Heartbreak Hotel: Inn at National Hall Set to Close Monday

By James Lomuscio

Westport’s Inn at National Hall closes indefinitely on Monday and like the murals and tapestries adorning its high walls, wallpapered and framed with decorative cherry moldings, certain memories remain imprinted on the mind of Marco Degl’Innocenti, the inn’s manager for 13 years.WestportNow.com Image
Marco Degl’Innocenti, resident manager of the Inn at National Hall, looks over the Turkistan Room, the $695 per night, two-level, balconied suite where President Clinton stayed. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com

One easily recalled is the first of President Clinton’s several visits to Westport for Democratic National Committee fundraisers in 1998.

“We had Secret Service agents everywhere, a guy at every corner on every floor,” said Degl’Innocenti,  a native of Florence, Italy. The streets were also blocked off, and frogmen patrolled the adjacent Saugatuck River.

“We’ve had Clinton stay here, Al Gore stay here, and Monica Lewinsky stay,” he added, catching himself. “But not all at the same time.”

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Friday, March 05, 2010

Comings and Goings: 4 Brothers Pizza Moving to PRE

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Four Brothers Pizza, which has been at 43 Saugatuck Ave. since 2002, is moving to 623 Post Road East in the shopping center anchored by Fresh Market. It will take over space occupied for four months by Mike’s Pizza and before that by Martha Ristorante Pizza. (See WestportNow Jan. 25, 2010) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Comings and Goings: Taipan Makes Way for New Indian Eatery

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The Taipan Restaurant at 376 Post Road East in Westport has closed and a sign (inset) says it has merged with Little Kitchen across the street. The new tenant is Prasad Chirnomula, executive chef and owner of Thali Indian restaurants in New Canaan, Ridgefield and New Haven. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photos

03/04/10 11:21 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

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