BlogaBarbara

Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Protesting the Linares Case, Hip Hop and Star Wars

The Daily Sound is reporting that a group of high school students are planning to protest the District Attorney's decision to try Angel Linares' assailant as an adult.

The protest is organized by a new non-profit student-run newspaper called Shape of Voice. Their web site/blog has a resource center, a page for "shout outs" and a link for a coming media kit.

The blog itself is worth delving into as it has entries from several students -- an anonymous blogger posted the following:

I am disappointed with Ms. Stanley’s hasty decision on trying my friend, 14 -year old Ricardo Juarez as an adult. They don’t know this kid; he’s a hard working, honest, young boy. He’s not a killer - the reason I know this is because I’ve known this kid for 3 years now.

I'm not sure the decision is that hasty or that our DA has much choice the way things went down. Juarez' defense, according to the article above, is pointing the finger elsewhere...act like an adult, get tried like an adult? Can a 14-year old ever make an adult decision? or fully understand the consequences?

A little less controversial is another entry on the relationship between hip hop and Star Wars -- replete with a nice illustration of Yoda holding a mike. I'm wondering if there is any connection between Flava Flav and the Jedi; and, how does he turn that clock into a light saber?

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54 Comments:

Anonymous city watcher said...

Good there is a youth publication! I had seen it in the Goleta library and it looks good.

As for Juarez, it's understandable his friends would be supportive --- I read that his teacher at McKinley (?) found it stunning and upsetting to hear Juarez's taped conversation with the police where he said he had stabbed Linares. Sounds like the main issue is whether that stabbing was the actual cause of death. A not-insignificant legal question.

There's no challenge apparently that Juarez did have a knife and did stab the other student and was part of a gang.

Whether or not Juarez should be tried as an adult is a different issue. It seems to me wrong, except in truly exceptional circumstances, that any 14-year-old should be tried as an adult, barring extensive testing showing that his understanding... is that of an adult. Laws allowing such a charge without testing should be changed.

11/04/2007 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully these students will truly analyze all of the issues involved in reaching a decision to try a youth as an adult--- what are the available sentencing options; will the youth still be eligible for housing/treatment in the Youth Authority once he is sentenced, if convicted; the advantages--yes, advantages--- to the youth in being tried as an adult in a high profile case--eg trial by jury; public scrutiny, etc; the fact that often "time served" is far less when tried as an adult.
So much to research. I hope they truly do that, and don't just knee-jerk "protest" something of which they truly haven't studied

11/04/2007 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the last commentator, who invites others to study the "issues", there is no "time served" possibility should Juarez be convicted and sentenced as an adult. While he could be sent to CYA, as was a seventeen year-old who suffered a conviction for second degree murder for the the Markowitz "Alphadog" homicide, (who served about 4 years), that was truly exceptional. Judge Bill Gordon, who made that courageous decision (to send him to CYA instead of prison for life) is not the judge on the Juarez case. The point of the protest, it seems, is to save Juarez's life. I don't think that requires a lot of study, personally. That is largely an emotional concern.

11/04/2007 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Fred & Lamont Sanford said...

While the DA may have good reason for her decision if you look at the kid (and it sure looks like he WAS a little kid at the time this happened) it's tough for us to believe that its appropriate to charge him as an adult. That's a legal issue and there may be other facets to it.

THe real issue is do you really care about your community or will you let it be torn down by opportunism and sloganeering?

1. WOULD YOU KNOW A GANG MEMBER IF YOU SAW ONE? How many of you have ever PERSONALLY had any kind of interaction with a real "gang" member that you had to report to the police here?

2. One of the biggest jokes of this Campaign cycle is Hotchkiss' "If your a gang member... get out of town." Ask a Cop: many, if not most, of the "known gang members" here are on probation or parole, which generally would prohibit them from moving out of town as suggested. Frank, are you really that dense?

3. If the City is SO CONCERNED ABOUT GANGS, then why doesn't the City require the immediate clean up of graffiti and enforce it?

Or, DO WE WANT TO RAISE THE FEAR of the public and embolden the taggers (who are rarely violent gang members, but ruin the aesthetic of the town,) simply to allow fear to rise? It begs the question: Are there powers in SB that see increased fear among the population as potentially profitable?

4. Note to CHAMBER OF COMMERCE / CONFERENCE & VISITORS BUREAU: Let the current wave of Gang Threat opportunism proliferate INSTEAD OF INVESTING IN THE CHILDREN OF YOUR COMMUNITY and you may actually get real gangs driving around shooting at you, selling drugs and commiting crimes openly... WHICH WILL KILL THE GOLDEN GOOSE OF TOURISM.

4. Santa Barbarans are simply too caught up in themselves (to care about kids who do not arrive in their own German car or the kids in the more expensive car in the parking lot. The attitude is something like:

"We certainly dont want to mix with "those" eastside or westside kids, and we wouldnt even let them NEAR our car because they might tag it...unless the kid is a ringer who can assure our kids come home with a trophy from a soccer tournament."

..Is this really what we want?

5. As has been said here before, there are working class towns in this country that find a way to endow significant education, sports, and arts opportunities for ALL CHILDREN regardless of income, color, parent or neighborhood.

6. You are known as one of the richest towns in the world. So... WITH ALL YOUR SO CALLED WEALTH AND CHARITY DOLLARS, WHY DOESNT EVERY WESTSIDER AND EASTSIDER HAVE THE SAME OPPORTUNITIES AS KIDS FROM MONTECITO AND HOPE RANCH???

THE CURRENT SITUATION IS SHAMEFUL. AND IT SEEMS LIKE ITS SIMPLY BECAUSE SANTA BARBARA DOESNT CARE. LET'S WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE SURE ALL SB KIDS GET MONTECITO LEVEL OPPORTUNITIES!

11/04/2007 10:10 AM  
Anonymous eight santa barbara said...

While I love the idea of a youth-oriented publication, I do have some deep-seated reservations about this particular publication. It may not be the focus Sara's post, but I'm gonna take a look at Shape of Voice on a larger scale and then take it back to this protest.

The articles in this latest issue leave me shaking my head. Whether or not social and political beliefs are aligned with those writing the articles, there is a lot to be desired in the quality and substance of the articles.

And no, I won't give them a break because they are students or teenagers.

The article Sara mentions on Hip-Hop and Star Wars is just ridiculous. Painting the entire story of Hip Hop over the last 30 years in those terms is typical of those who feel as though they are in the middle of a Revolution. But why doesn't the article mention Lauryn Hill's comment upon winning the 'Album of the Year' Grammy: "This is crazy because this is Hip Hop music." Hill is not, nor was she ever, the mainstream, money/drugs/sex, shiny or grimy blend that sells to youth Black or white. Is this an example of the 'Jedi' being underground only? And what of the responsibility of the Hip Hop moguls like Russell Simmons, Sean 'Diddy' Combs, Jay-Z and the rest? Have they done what they can to change the art and how it is presented and perceived? The comparison is incomplete, at best.

It also neglects to mention a few things about the relationship between those who control the music and those who listen and buy the music-- the racial component involving stereotypes of Black folk, and how this is what is produced and bought.

This oversight shows a glaring example of why this publication needs not just open opinion, but sourcing, editorial and fact-checking controls before it goes to print.

Then there is the article on equality of education. The author points to racial and ethnic makeups of Franklin Elementary and Montecito Union (there is no 'Montecito Elementary' as the author writes). It relates this to testing performance and school funding.

The biggest error of the article? Assuming that local property values are the sole source of funding for schools. If you were to accept that concept as a given, it would be easy to see how a Montecito school would be better prepared to educate children than would Franklin in the heart of the East Side. Were only it true, it would be easy to fix that problem.

California's schools are funded by property taxes, in part. However, local property taxes are sent to Sacramento and redistributed on a per-student basis. Every student, regardless of where they live, what race or ethnicity they are, and no matter the neighborhood they live in, has the same amount of funding from property taxes. Why didn't anyone correct that error for the author?

There are many reasons why overall funding is disparate between schools. One is fundraising. Back when the News-Press was an actual paper, they did an article on this difference. They had yearly fundraising for Montecito Union in the neighborhood of $100,000 or more, and noted the credit card machines at bake sales. The figure for Franklin (and isn't it interesting that the same two schools were used in the NP article of 10 years ago and the SoV article last month) was not even $20,000 from car washes, bake sales, holiday catalog sales, etc. That's a large difference, and one that no doubt contributes to disparities in what a school can provide for its students.

Like I said earlier, I am glad that there is a an outlet for young people to express themselves, and for information to be presented that caters to the interests and concerns of our City's youth. But this isn't a free-pass to putting word to whatever opinion and pre-conceived notion that comes to mind. There's got to be more analysis, more research, and more guidance to these young writers.

When there exists such a publication, and when it is supported by not a few prominent groups and individuals, there is a responsibility to make sure that this isn't like open-mic night on politics and social issues. What if young people who read these articles, especially those of more consequence, as in the article on school funding, and believe these items as presented? Is it okay to have influence, even when the influence is based on articles that are factually incorrect?

This is why I would personally disagree with the protest. It's being organized by those who aren't fully aware of the debate on the larger issue, and who are demonstrating one point of view throughout the publication. I am concerned that these kids are not being challenged in their beliefs-- does anyone meet with them and play the devil's advocate in a debate in order to make them think about what they hold to be true and right? Or are they given latitude to just do as they please? Involvement is fine, but this smacks of the Children's Crusade, and the 'Vote or Die' campaign. Acting on feelings with no thought or facts is a disappointing introduction to political and social activism-- even if I agree with them.

By the way, the comments on all of the articles are disabled, and there doesn't seem to be a page to allow for feedback or communication to those associated with the publication. That's a shame, because it seems that they don't want discussion on what they say. A press conference, and no questions.

Wow. That was a long comment. Apologies, folks.

11/04/2007 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The People of California voted to make it possible to try this person as an adult, it is the will of the People that certain actions merit it.

And so it is!

11/04/2007 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My question is...
Since people are protesting for Juarez, who the heck is protesting for Linares? Oh.. thats right - you can't protest if you are dead.

Talk about "hasty decisions".
Was the fact that Juarez stabbed Linares a "hasty decision"? Whether or not the stab that Juarez proceeded with was the "fatal" stab wound... Juarez made the "decision" to "stab" Linares.

Usually, when someone stabs another person, it is with the intent to kill them. So far, the justice system has not been effective enough to deter any future incidents. The stabbings have continued to happen.

City Council striving for a "green" city that uses more public transportation has not done much to make sure the people who do use the bus system feel safe at the MTD station.

Opening up a new teen center is not always the answer.

11/04/2007 1:00 PM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

I am glad that Angel has supportive friends, but I do hope that one lesson they learn from this experience is that when the word in the schools is that a big fight is planned, you do not get your gloves and your knife and head for the action. Smart people head the other way.

As for the decision to try him as an adult, I will let better trained legal scholars debate it.

11/04/2007 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was the fact that Juarez stabbed Linares a "hasty decision"? Whether or not the stab that Juarez proceeded with was the "fatal" stab wound... Juarez made the "decision" to "stab" Linares.

Good to see you're waiting for the actual trial before making up your mind.

I'm sure your wonderfully informed opinion has nothing to do with the color of Juarez's skin. Nope, not one bit.

11/04/2007 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes, "the will of the people". I remember when proposition 21 was on the ballot in 2000, and I voted and campaigned against it. Albeit absolutely futile. Any time a group wants to pay to gather enough signatures to put a new "get tough on crime" referendum on the ballot it handily passes by with about 66% of the votes. Is it the "will of the people" or the knee-jerk reaction of the people orchestrated by powerful lobbying groups such at the prison guards and prison builders? Direct democracy is a dangerous proposition (or, as here in a California, an endless series of them!).

11/04/2007 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh c'mon. A 14 year old is old enough to get a girl pregnant and take on the role of fatherhood. They are old enough to paint graffiti because they want to be recognized.

A 14 yar old is plenty old to make independent decisions and to make the choice to carry a knife (a sharp instrument that can wound), put it in one's hand, and deliver this sharp instrument into one's body and know it can cause grave bodily harm.

We gain nothing making excuses for 14 year old intent. It is shamefully patronizing to let these young adults off the hook.

11/04/2007 4:08 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Please note that I have edited this post as I made an unfortunate error this morning that was just pointed out to me in a mean spirited way...

I didn't publish the person's comment but have edited the post to correct a mistake I had made. Serves me right for blogging at 4:45 AM and serves me right to get grief for the mistake...

11/04/2007 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A 14 year old is old enough to get a girl pregnant and take on the role of fatherhood.

This is California, not Alabama.

A 14 yar old is plenty old to make independent decisions and to make the choice to carry a knife (a sharp instrument that can wound), put it in one's hand, and deliver this sharp instrument into one's body and know it can cause grave bodily harm.

If 14 year olds are so smart, then give them the right to drive, to drink, to serve in the military, to have consentual sex with someone over 18, to vote, and to rent a car.

Maybe then, I'll understand trying Linares as an adult. Otherwise, it's nothing but a double-standard.

And I still maintain that those advocating for this are doing so because of the Linares' race, not out of any sense of "justice".

11/04/2007 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Challenge yourselves said...

When I hear or read someone say "can a 14 yr old ever make an "adult" decision" in relation to a premedidated violent crime, it tells me many things--- the person has little understanding of criminal law. The commission of a crime is not tantamount to "making an adult decision"...most adults who commit violent crimes can hardly be said to have made "adult" decisions. Secondly, it tells me that the person making such a sweeping statement is very sheltered from the ages and types of crimes committed by youthful offenders. By the age of 14, many of the more serious offenders have been apprehended for various crimes for several years. At 14, they are often "elders" among the 8, 9, and 10 year olds just being jumped into gang life. A tragic reality yet one that has been true for generations and crosses all racial lines. If there is one common denominator it is a combination of economic status and parental guidance--- the less of each, the more likely the youth is to be drawn to gang life by age 9 or ten.

Sadly, awareness of these facts doesn't penetrate the larger community until a crime such as the murder of Angel Linares hits the front page. Folks in larger cities have been aware of these facts for a long time.

Finally, one must ask: How many murders does one get to commit before he or she runs out of "chances"........whether the suspect is 14, 18 or 40.....lots of heady stuff.

I hope the Face of Voice grown-ups encourage their youth to challenge one another and themselves as they ponder the larger, more sensational question of "being tried as an adult".....and perhaps channel some of that energy into building a youth culture that discourages participation in knife fights and stabbings.....

11/04/2007 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No point playing the race card here unlesss you play it both ways. Would it be more unlikely to try the alleged perpetrator as a child, if the victim had been white?

What is the race issue? Prove it is more likely the alleged perp would have been tried as a child if he had been white?

Prove he would have been tried as an adult, only had the victim been white?

Sounds like justice equitably distributed here regardless of race. So don't play that issue because it does not fly.

11/04/2007 6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the race issue? Prove it is more likely the alleged perp would have been tried as a child if he had been white?

That wasn't the point at all.

Their would not be the support of trying to try this kid - who is not yet through puberty - as an adult if Linares wasn't Latino.

Oh, and your ignorance of our criminal justice system is pretty profound.

11/04/2007 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Responding to Eight Santa Barbara's comments on how all property taxes are re-distributed on a per-student basis: that is true for 90% of the school districts in California. But it's not true for Basic Aid districts--districts where the property tax per student is higher than what the state would give each child. They get to keep all their money.

Locally, those districts are currently Montecito Union, Cold Spring, and Goleta Union. A Montecito student gets almost double the funding that a Franklin student gets.

I think that's why nobody bothered to correct the Shape of Voice article.

11/04/2007 9:20 PM  
Anonymous eight santa barbara said...

Prop 21 was targeted at street gangs. That being said, it shouldn't surprise people that when the definition of a street gang more accurately depicts criminal minority youth, it is likely to lead to more minority youth being charged as adults in accordance with Prop 21.

The problem is that there is no guidance on how to apply such a standard on groups and types of crimes more in tune with white youth. That is, if Prop 21 is intended to target gangs, and criminal minority youth tend to fall into the definition of gang-related crimes, then what is the law or guidance that would also tend to target white youth and crimes tied to criminal white youth? That's not very clear or easy to understand, I know.

Prop 21 = gangs = criminal minority youth

??? = ??? = criminal white youth



Though there are more things to consider than are available in this short article, here's one analysis of Prop 21 and the disparity between charging Black/Latino youth defendants as adults and charging white youth defendants as adults:

http://www.montereyherald.com/ci_7114147


According to that article, in California in 2004:

Latinos were 45.43% of 'serious felony' arrests of youth, and were 52.7% of all youth tried as adults.

Blacks were 23.15% of 'serious felony' arrests of youth, and were 26.9% of all youth tried as adults.

Whites were 24.44% of 'serious felony' arrests of youth, and were 7.8% of all youth tried as adults.


In 2005:

Latinos were 46.35% of 'serious felony' arrests of youth, and 50.1% of all youth tried as adults.

Blacks were 23.28% of 'serious felony' arrests of youth, and 33.8% of all youth tried as adults.

Whites were 23.67% of 'Serious felony' arrests of youth, and 9.6% of all youth tried as adults.

11/04/2007 9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Piaget's finding that males' brains don't fully develop until they are in their twenties has not been seriously challenged in the scientific community (but undoubtedly will be in the blogosphere). Abstract thought and principles of formal logic are just beginning to be incorporated into males' thought processes at 14. To say that the criminal law is about ignoring basic questions regarding the development of the human brain in favor of some theory that 8 year old gang-bangers are the indians and 14 year olds gang-bangers are the chiefs is ridiculous. The Anglo-American criminal law is about measuring mens rea (i.e., criminal intent). It supposes that you have to completely understand the consequences of your actions in order to be completely blameworthy . The act of stabbing another does not, in and of itself, prove that the stabber knew it would actually kill the person stabbed. I know you're mad and scared, but don't lose your bearing on human nature. Occasionally a 7 year old kills someone. Should we go after them as adults too? The line drawing is difficult; and unless it were based in science (which it clearly is not), we should only drop it down where there is some clear deterrent benefit AND when doing so doesn't betray our values as a civilized society. 14 year olds are not usually students of the law, and even if they were, wouldn't likely be thinking about the specific consequences in court during their commission of the act. What does the way we treat our children say about us?

11/04/2007 10:14 PM  
Anonymous eight santa barbara said...

9:20pm, good times and thanks for clarifying that for me!

The article didn't make the distinction in Shape of Voice, and wrote from the perspective that this is how ALL schools are funded. That's why I took issue with it. Still, I would assume the writer didn't know the specifics you cited.

11/04/2007 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the DA is totally understandable... prosecute the 14 year old as an adult, then they'll be incarcerated and *really* learn how to be a hardened criminal... probably they'll have to be some hard core MM guy's girlfriend and they'll be a totally dangerous twisted recidivist when they get out.

That is what prosecutors really want... lots more scary criminals to keep us all in fear and allow the prosecutors self aggrandizement. The last thing prosecutors want is to really fix up recidivism... that might reduce prosecutor's importance.

On top of that... in our messed up society going after a 14-year-old actually looks `tough'. To me it is one step short of criminal child abuse. What resources does a 14 year-old latino kid have to defend themselves? A white kid from Montecito would have the best defense available and by the end of the trial have the jury shedding crocodile tears for them. After the acquittal the jury would all go the kid's parents house for cocktails.

But a impoverished latino kid is going to be demonized by the prosecution, the full and glorious power of the state used to turn the kid into a monster.

I think this kid is seriously messed up and needs a whole lot of straightening out and counseling, and needs to be incarcerated for a healthy period. But tried as an adult and demonized in court by our own government? What the heck has this country turned into? Have we become such WIMPs and paranoics that we are afraid of a 14 year-old kid?

11/04/2007 11:10 PM  
Anonymous civics 101 student said...

eight santa barbara said...
The biggest error of the article? Assuming that local property values are the sole source of funding for schools. If you were to accept that concept as a given, it would be easy to see how a Montecito school would be better prepared to educate children than would Franklin in the heart of the East Side. Were only it true, it would be easy to fix that problem.

California's schools are funded by property taxes, in part. However, local property taxes are sent to Sacramento and redistributed on a per-student basis. Every student, regardless of where they live, what race or ethnicity they are, and no matter the neighborhood they live in, has the same amount of funding from property taxes. Why didn't anyone correct that error for the author?


Yes, local property taxes is a source of income for schools but since Proposition 13, the state had to jump in and also provide funds to school districts. Before you start talking about the biggest error you ought to figure out how schools are really funded. Property taxes don't go to the state, did you ever notice who the property tax collector is? Did you vote in the County election that named Joe Holland to that position? Anyway, the state kicks in the difference between what's collected in property taxes and the minimum amount that the State Department of Education has determined to be the minimum amount each student is to receive in public funding for the school year. This amount is passed on to the school district based on each school's average daily attendance (ADA).

Montecito Union is a basic aid district because Montecito property taxes generate a lot more income than the state minimum amount. That being the case, each student at Montecito Union probably gets between two to three times the amount of funding that a student at Franklin receives. They're called a basic aid district because they only receive a basic aid amount from the state which amounts to maybe one or two hundred dollars per student. When Arnold became governor, he proposed spreading these property taxes among all school districts so that children in basic aid districts would not receive such a disproportionally high amount of funding. The poorer school districts loved that proposal but then, the wealthier school districts were dead against it and very vocal. That proposal sort of slowly faded into oblivion, my guess is because residents of basic aid districts are probably more articulate and have better political connections and fought that issue. So Arnold gave in and let it die a slow and quiet death.

So before calling it biggest error you might try to check things out so that you're not the one who is actually making the biggest error and before getting self righteous with your statement of Why didn't anyone correct that error for the author?, you ought to correct yourself first.

Then you go on to say The author points to racial and ethnic makeups of Franklin Elementary and Montecito Union (there is no 'Montecito Elementary' as the author writes).

c'mon dude. There's only one school in that district and it happens to be an elementary school. Nailing the author for calling it 'Montecito Elementary' is a little bit of nit-picking isn't it?

So maybe I should ask the same question of you, Why didn't anyone correct that error for the author? -- but in this case, I'm considering you as the author of the post. If you ... won't give them a break because they are students or teenagers you should expect the same level of perfection from yourself -- unless of course, you're only an elementary or middle school student yourself.

11/05/2007 12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, the DA should charge all young teenagers as adults. That's why I think the ten year old who started one of the fires last week should be tried as an adult and put away for the rest of his life -- just don't let him near matches so he can't play with them. That ought to teach him a thing or two and I bet that's the last fire he'll ever set.

Think of all the money we'd save by eliminating the juvenile justice system. Those savings could be applied as a small partial payment towards building more and bigger prisons and higher pay for prison guards too. We can even convert juvenile hall to a large prison. Then the prisoners can all look out at Hope Ranch and use that as inspiration to mend their ways when and if they ever get out.

Anonymous 11/04/2007 5:32 PM -- I like what you say. If we try 14 year olds as adults, they should be allowed to drink, drive and rent cars, vote, join the military and even have consenusal sex with partners over 18. If we hire them as police and firemen, we could probably get away with paying them minimum wage (that ought to calm the unions down) and we'd save a lot of money there too. One blogger said a 14 year old is old enough to make an independent decision to carry a knife, so we shouldn't have any problems hiring them on the police force and giving them guns. Just think of that nice retirement system too, a kid could draw a pension by the time they're in their mid-30s and continue to draw it for at least the next 50 years.

If they can drink and smoke, we wouldn't even have to pay for enforcement of those laws. Then we can apply those savings towards more and bigger prisons.

Just think, let's charge all teens and pre-teens as adults and lock 'em up and throw the keys away. Just think of the boost to the economy, we'd be able to build a lot of prisons. We can call it the building contractor's relief act.

I was told it costs close to a $100k to house a prisoner for a year, we could hold a lot bake sales to pay that because I'm against raising taxes too.

11/05/2007 1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The author's main goal was to make clear the injustices involved in school funding. Obviously there are multiple sources of funding, but for the sake of avoiding extended discussion, he focused on the main factor that creates a major difference: property tax. And it's kind of sad how "eight santa barbara" wants more facts, yet in the process of criticizing, forgets theirs.

As for the Hip Hop and Star Wars article, it makes no claim of positive Hip Hop being underground only. In fact, he mentions De La Soul, Common, Nas, The Roots, and Wu-Tang Clan as keeping "the force alive". He also makes a reference to mainstream CEOs (the people you mention), pointing out that they "intentionally try to keep the music catchy and easy to understand" (meaning they failed). The author has more than enough to make this comparison clear.

And when the world is being affected by youth violence as much as it is (see: Linares), you cant ignore the fact that the music they listen to can influence them majorly and is therefore very important. While not all those who listen to gangster rap are gang-affiliated, those who listen to positive Hip Hop are definitely more likely to not only stay out of gangs, but also to become more positive-oriented (try going to Rock the Bells, meet the people there). I'm sorry, but it really does not sound like you know what you are talking about, it sounds like you are just trying to downplay the importance of Hip Hop music.

All your claims seem like a very low attempt to discredit the youth, almost as if you hold a grudge against them (jealous of their new-found voice, maybe? well I kind of expected that to happen). You should not choose to focus on the little issues (especially the false claims you make), and instead focus on the ones that matter (the ones the SOV writers are pointing out). Seriously though, you sound like a Fox News contributor.

11/05/2007 1:36 AM  
Anonymous eight santa barbara said...

12:32am and 1:36am, thanks for explaining the school funding, again. Looks like there are quite a few people who know about the 'basic aid' districts. I knew there were supplemental sources of funding from the State, and that certain districts did derive funding from extremely localized property taxes. What did not know is the local schools that derived their funding from such processes.

The comment I posted was not meant to be exhaustive, so I hope you'll forgive me for writing without editing for content and clarity.

There is no intent to discredit these youth. There is no intent to nail anyone. And no, there is no jealousy.

This is a publication targeted not at adults over 25. Rather it is intended for teenagers. Teenagers won't analyze the content, go to others to ask if the content is completely true. They'll take it as fact, because, well, why wouldn't it be the complete truth? Armed with an incorrect truth, they might take on beliefs, and take up action based on some incomplete information.

The author of the SoV article didn't make it clear that they understood the nuances of school funding. Everyone keeps pointing out things the author did not mention.

I agree with the author's point, that Montecito enjoys privilege and that there are variations in need and funding for schools at the extreme ends of the spectrum. Montecito Union at one end being wealthy and white, Franklin at the other being poor and Latino. I simply would hope that the author was able to make the article bulletproof and rock-solid, so that there wouldn't be questions as to the information presented.


1:36am, I am not trying to downplay the significance of Hip Hop. What I am critiquing is the tool for comparison, the author using Hip Hop and Star Wars as parallels. While elements from both can be depicted as similar, I take issue with the chosen imagery with positive Hip Hop on one hand and the evil empire of Viacom (MTV, BET, VH1), Cumulus/Clear Channel (every good-gawd, sweet holy mother of Jesus radio station), and the Sony/EMI/Warner/Universal group, on the other.

I suppose I wanted more discussion on the factors in the development in Hip Hop: things like why the major moguls and players have not created their own labels and distribution channels and chosen to remain under the rule of the Majors, how most of the buyers of mainstream Hip Hop are white, how what sells happens to be stereotypes some folk believe Black folk to be (drug users, drug dealers, violent, irresponsible with money, flashy and loud fashion, pimps, hyper-masculine 'Jack Johnsons' and untrustworthy 'Jezebels', etc).

I just have a personal issue with the comparison the author chose, and some of the parallels cited seemed tenuous.

Though the content isn't updated often, there are some articles on the subject at seeingblack.com that go into depth on Hip Hop. Here is one article I read a few years ago that shares a lot of the same themes as the SoV article:

http://www.seeingblack.com/2003/x022803/graying_hiphop.shtml


Folks, there is not hate here. It is criticism in an effort to make sure the information and product they put out can withstand scrutiny. I was not picking nits. I was trying to point out how the kids should make sure their points are solid, and backed up by complete information.

If the kids protesting the DA are armed with information and understanding as to why Juarez should not be tried as an adult, then it may have an impact. I don't want this to end up as easily dismissed, as a group of kids who don't know what they do, and don't know why they do it. I would hope that if the DA walked out and asked the kids questions, they would be able to answer her confidently and with some great information.

Thanks for responding. The discussion helps flesh out the little things that make the big things more clear.

11/05/2007 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

14 year olds do drink, have sex, drive and smoke. And there is little we do about it even if it is against the law. When that is part of their M.O., they already made the choice to be treated as an adult for those various offenses, legal or not.

If they choose to murder, they again made the choice to be treated as an adult for this particular crime, also illegal.

They still have to be convicted so there is still this appropriate escape valve for the wrongfully accused perpetrator, adult or child. The burden is still on the state to convict, adult or child.

However, in no way did this person if convicted not choose to put themselves into an adult situation - in this case the taking of the life of another.

Just as much as if they chose to act like an adult by smoking, drinking, having sex and driving while illegally underage. What is the difference if they also choose to murder? This is an act with adult consequences under the appropriate circumstances.

In this case, the DA felt the circumstances were appropriate. We elected her. Let's not undermine her. Chaos and emotion are no substitute for the rule of law, justly dispensed.

11/05/2007 9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are all the protesters when these kids hit the streets and join gangs and tag buildings and buy weapons?

11/05/2007 11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the author did discuss the same factors you are describing: "They spend what little money they have on rims, jewelry, and whatever else attracts women, instead of owning a house, a reliable vehicle, an education for themselves or their children, and whatever else helps to better build a close-knit family."

The author could definitely write a book on Hip Hop (there's plenty of subject matter), but this is a short publication. The articles arent meant to be the end-all. They are meant to spark discussions. Yet your discussions are rooted in negativity towards the publication and its authors.

11/06/2007 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Hardnose said...

The murderer of Angel Linares should be EXECUTED for committing murder.

We need to send a message to the gangster low life types that stabbing someone to death is unacceptanble in Santa Bartbara, and if they are caught that we are going to execute them!

Even if they are 14!
Age is no excuse for murder!!

If they are old enough to do the crime they are old enough to pay the price. And the price is an eye for an eye, and a death for a death!

If someone murdered you ( or your wife or your child) would you want them to get off with a slap on the wrist?

11/06/2007 3:58 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

The People of California voted to make it possible to try this person as an adult, it is the will of the People that certain actions merit it.

"the People" didn't vote on whether Ricardo Juarez should be tried as an adult. That's the issue here, and talk about what is "possible" is disingenuous.

It is also possible to impeach George Bush, Dick Cheney, and every other civil officer of the federal government, but somehow I doubt that you would be so willing to treat that as a settled matter.

Since people are protesting for Juarez, who the heck is protesting for Linares?

Well of course we all protest his murder. This too is disingenuous.

So far, the justice system has not been effective enough to deter any future incidents.

Yes, because the goal of the penal system is retribution, not crime prevention. The sort of folks who favor trying Juarez as an adult seem to thrive on the violence -- it gives them additional opportunities to blame the city council and people of a certain ethnicity.

Opening up a new teen center is not always the answer.

Perhaps you should take it up with Michelle Giddens. At http://www.noozhawk.com/news/election-07/city-council-election-michelle-giddens.html
she wrote

"We need to work with children at risk beginning around third grade. This would include a variety of activities including guest talks, tutoring, participation in sports as well as opportunities for East and West side children to come together frequently at a young age. In later years, job training and employment/scholarship opportunities should be provided. Education with a focus on health, physiology and sociology are essential. All youth require opportunities to build self-esteem."

I'm inclined to vote for her just for her sane approach toward gangs.

Oh c'mon. A 14 year old is old enough to get a girl pregnant and take on the role of fatherhood.

This too is disingenuous. Of course a 14 year old boy is physiologically able to impregnate a girl, but he isn't emotionally mature enough to make that decision, or to be a father.

Perhaps if blatant dishonesty were punishable by the death penalty, we would see more rational debates.

11/06/2007 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

response to anon 5:32

The line between being treatred as a child and treated as an adult should be drawn at age 14. Where 13 and under is a child and 14 and over is an adult and tried as an adult ( for all crimes).

This is because at age 14 a person is adequately developed both mentally and physically (beyond puberty), and certainly by that age knows the difference beween right and wrong and certainly by that age knows that stabbing someone wilth a knife can kill him.

Also, a 14 year olds should be treated as an adult in all things, and should have the right to drive, to drink, to serve in the military, to have consenting sex with someone over 18, to vote, and to be tried as an adult for all his crimes including murder.
Maybe if we treated people as an adult at the age of 14, gave them responsibility, and informed them that we expected them to act responsible, that we would get responsibe behavior from them in return,

I cannot believe that anyone actually believes that any 14 year old does not know that its not right to stab someone with a knife and I can't believe that anyone believes that any 14 year old does not know that stabbing somepone with a kinife can kill him.
Proof of this is that there is not a 14 year old in town how did not hear that a 14 year old was killed by someone who stabbed him with a knife. So they have to know that its possible for someone to be killed by stabbing them with a knife.

11/06/2007 4:29 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

If they choose to murder, they again made the choice to be treated as an adult for this particular crime, also illegal.

So if a 5 year old girl stabs her baby brother to death with a scissors, she has chosen to be treated as an adult? How about John Wayne Bobbitt -- by abusing his wife, did he choose to be emasculated?

This claim about choice is utter nonsense; by committing an act, one does not thereby choose the consequences of the act. In the case of children, one issue is whether they have the emotional maturity to recognize the consequences of their actions -- we know that, physiologically, their brains are not fully developed. Beyond that, there are questions about the perpetrator's history, general behavior, rehability, etc.

The sort of devaluation of life displayed by those reflexively call for the harshest penalties is likely to lead to more violence, not less.

11/06/2007 4:30 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

@1:15am

Excellent snark, but I'm afraid more than a few people are nodding their heads in agreement.

11/06/2007 4:34 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

The comment I posted was not meant to be exhaustive, so I hope you'll forgive me for writing without editing for content and clarity.

Really, that's not good enough. You claimed that someone else made a big error that they didn't and wondered why no one corrected it. You owe a direct apology to the SoV author, and a huge mea culpa for speaking authoritatively on a subject you clearly know nothing about and didn't bother to verify before charging someone else with an error.

11/06/2007 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Under California law, a minor can apply to become an emancipated adult at age 14. Consider Linares de facto application accepted.

11/06/2007 6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You heard jqb, all you hip shooters better straighten up and write right...(my rebuke was gonna go something like:)

"The comment I posted was not meant to be exhaustive"

Really? It was pretty exhausting for me.

or
When you feel like getting exhaustive, you and CS should hire an out o work editor to spare some electrons...waste not, want not.

or
There' an hour of your life you'll never get back...

now don't sulk 8SB, just get back into the game and tear em up!

"Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler"

11/06/2007 6:54 PM  
Anonymous civics 101 student said...

eight santa barbara said...

The comment I posted was not meant to be exhaustive, so I hope you'll forgive me for writing without editing for content and clarity

Forgive you for what? When teens make a comment you blast with ... The biggest error of the article then go on and rebut them with an error that showed your lack of understanding of the process and laziness in not researching what you said and then you ask for forgiveness for for writing without editing for content and clarity .

So why is it a mere "content and clarity" when it comes from you but "biggest error" when written by teens?

Maybe I've missed your point since you have a level of expectation from a youth publication than you yourself can produce. If that's the case, the point that I'm finally beginning to understand is that a 14 year old just might be a bit more mature than a blogger like yourself. If you're an adult, then that would tell me that you're expecting a 14 year old to be an adult.

I guess I should ask forgiveness for being so slow on the uptake and that your real point is that you expect a 14 year old to be better than you. Now I'm beginning to get it.

11/07/2007 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DA Stanley is my hero!

She knows what the right message to send is.
Nothing short of this will get their "attention"

It's not about punishment but it's all about deterence.

Letting 14 year olds know that they have a "free pass" due to their age would have the effect of asking for more stabbing deaths.

there are only two solutions to gang violence:

1. deterence
2. holding the parents responsible. most gang members love their mother and would be less likely to commit gang violence if they knew that their action would send their mother to jail for 30 days.
State law already says that parents are legally responsibe for the acts of their minor children. This law is not being enforced.

I propose that every time the police arrest and put in jail a gang member who is a minor that they also automatically arrest and put in jail the parents.
this is the only thing that will gewt their ( both the ganster and the parent) attention.

It would work wonders! lets try it.

11/07/2007 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4.29 said...
Also, a 14 year olds should be treated as an adult in all things, and should have the right to drive, to drink, to serve in the military, to have consenting sex with someone over 18, to vote, and to be tried as an adult for all his crimes including murder.

As I see more restrictions placed by the state on under 18 drivers, I'm not so sure I want to have 14 year olds driving down the freeways next to me. Also, as a former military officer, I'm not so sure how comfortable I'd feel going into combat backed up by 14 year olds carrying the lethal firepower that soldiers have. Since a 14 year old can father a child, are you advocating more marriages by 14 year olds too?

11/07/2007 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:30pm said it's all about deterence.

We've had the death penalty around for a long time. If it's all about deterence, why do we still have people committing capital crimes?

11/07/2007 10:03 PM  
Anonymous eight santa barbara said...

I’ll stop after this so Sara doesn’t have to bring out her gloves and settle us all down with an old fashioned attitude adjustment.

The author charges that property taxes are at the heart of inequity in school funding, and from that says the disparities in academic success, and success in other areas of life, are the result of this. Meanwhile they gloss over the fact both schools have some de facto issues of segregation going on, only mentioning the racial/ethnic makeup of both schools in passing.

How many of Franklin’s students are English Learners? And this will have no effect on their success? Are students merely black boxes that we can throw money at and expect equal outcomes? Are they equal in background, circumstance, home life such that equal funding will change the outcome? And if we had all schools receiving the same money from the State, would this stop Montecito from creating a non-profit solely to fund special projects to their own kids? Inequity in opportunity is not simply the result of property taxes. So let’s take an intra-district look at schools. How do Franklin and Roosevelt compare in testing? Is it because of massive funding inequalities?

And who’s to say that if Santa Barbara School Districts were suddenly awash in money that the powers that be would put the money into the classroom instead of into facilities, administration, and the like?

I’m not saying I disagree with the article’s theme. And I did admit my errors. I just don’t like how property values are always the culprit, (“there you go again…”) when there are other issues contributing to the variance in school and student performance.


As for the Start Wars thing, I still think it is ridiculous. Comparing a musical culture to a story that is a metaphor for good versus evil? Why is it that young people in every generation think they are battling against some nemesis, against ‘the man’ in a glorious battle for recognition? The metaphor is a poor one. Call it what it is: Hip Hop matured, and went mainstream. Now it’s a market heavily influenced by powers and consumers that, by not-a-few-accounts, are white; and that are peculiar in their taste for historical stereotypes of Black folk that dominate the mainstream form of the culture. I don’t see a need to use grandiose metaphors calling it as though it were a struggle.

I don’t like the state of the culture either. Still, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes when I saw the headline. Don’t be so dramatic with the metaphor; don’t try to relate everything to Star Wars.

The author of both articles is 19. An adult, like me, like most of us, and open to criticism.

11/07/2007 10:37 PM  
Anonymous eight santa barbara said...

I question the deterrence factor, as well. It doesn't seem as though a 14 year old who considers carrying a knife for the sole purpose of stabbing another is going to take time to consider and reflect on whether they can beat the charges.

Even if to set an example, charging a minor as an adult isn't going to change much. How many stabbings after word came out that the DA was going to charge the kid as an adult?

And if we are to believe the analysis of Prop 21 from the Monterey Herald, it would appear that there is an unfair component to DA's choosing to charge kids as adults.

Patrols, enforcement, as well as programs for opportunity and activity, do more to deter crime. More laws, tougher laws don't deter people. If someone's going to act irresponsibly or immorally, no law is going to change that.

The DA has the duty to help enforce the law, but it is entirely within her discretion whether to try the kid as an adult or not. I've read that there isn't guidance for prosecutors on how to make that decision. That leaves it entirely up to one individual, kinda like pardoning your good friend Scooter..... just kidding.

11/07/2007 10:58 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

"I'm not so sure how comfortable I'd feel going into combat backed up by 14 year olds carrying the lethal firepower that soldiers have."

Try a vacation in Liberia or Angola...It might change your mind.

11/08/2007 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

eight santa barbara, you really are short-sighted. it would be wise to not comment on things you arent so knowledgeable on. you think (for some strange reason) that you have matured somehow, and know more than everyone else. yet in attempting to prove it, youve proved the exact opposite.

please, for the sake of everyone (and with all due respect), stop being so ignorant.

11/08/2007 1:13 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

The only attitude adjustment needed is for people to develop the backbone to admit their errors.

On deterrence, the anon who wrote "there are only two solutions to gang violence" displays immense ignorance and arrogance (much like yours on school funding, eight) -- there's no correlation between anon's claims and reality. Once again I recommend Michelle Giddens' enlightened comments:

As a community we must protect our children. I want to design a comprehensive plan that brings schools, teachers, police, business, volunteer groups, churches, etc. together in an organized effort to help our youth. Since I first proposed this early in my campaign, the City Council has finally taken steps in this direction. Action should have begun long ago. Ignoring the problem, in my opinion was a gross oversight. There are more inequities than I was previously aware of in this community, specifically in the qualities of schools and education.

It is true that it takes ... "more than a few months to get programs started, paid for, and having an affect," (according to Councilman Das Williams). That is why action should have been taken long ago!

We need to work with children at risk beginning around third grade. This would include a variety of activities including guest talks, tutoring, participation in sports as well as opportunities for East and West side children to come together frequently at a young age. In later years, job training and employment/scholarship opportunities should be provided. Education with a focus on health, physiology and sociology are essential. All youth require opportunities to build self-esteem.

We cannot eliminate gangs. But we can reduce the gang population by creating alternatives and ideally refocusing gang activity in a positive, nonviolent direction. I propose a 50 percent reduction in gang population over the next 5 years.

11/08/2007 1:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sa1 said to try a vacation in Liberia or Angola.

That's what I was thinking about whenever I hear that a 14 year old is capable of making adult decisions.

I hope our values haven't changed that much since I left the military but I still would not trust going into combat with a bunch of 14 year olds behind me armed with the lethal firepower carried by our soldiers.

Anon 4:29 said "This is because at age 14 a person is adequately developed both mentally and physically (beyond puberty), and certainly by that age knows the difference beween right and wrong and certainly by that age knows that stabbing someone wilth [sic] a knife can kill him."

I didn't know we could define such a sharp break that on the morning of a child's 14th birthday that person has suddenly developed mentally to make adult decisions.

As far as mental development, maybe that's the problem I'm having with some of the bloggers here -- if some bloggers define 14 as adeqquate an age of making adult decisions, then that blogger may just be writing at the maturity level of a 14 year old. Myself, as a senior citizen, I'm beginning to understand why some of these blogs just don't make a lot of sense to me, at my age, it's really difficult to think like a 14 year old.

As far as physical maturity, I began puberty after I was 15, I thought of that when my children also matured late (my genes I assume) proof that not all 14 year olds are physically developed.

Anon 1:29 wants to throw the mother in jail too. I don't think that person has ever been the parent of a teen. If a child isn't deterred by jail as a result of his immediate action, I seriously doubt that getting his mother jailed would have that much of an effect. From what I hear, ending up in juvenile hall is a pretty shocking experience in itself for most children. I'm told it's humiliating, isolating, and it's really scarey. But for gangbangers, I hear that jail time is a badge of honor. Maybe because they can prove they're tough enough to go through that.

As far as the mother, as I saw my children grow and mature, we had less and less influence on them. I think that's a pretty natural thing that happens in the course of human development. As they matured into adults, their dependence on their parents became less and less. I was told it was a case of teens looking more to peers for self-validation and less to their parents.

11/08/2007 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On deterrence, the anon who wrote "there are only two solutions to gang violence" displays immense ignorance and arrogance

Sounds like an amazingly simple solution to a very complex problem. I wonder if it's a simple mind who can't handle complexity and therefore can only handle a simple solution.

11/08/2007 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By assuming that since the problem is complex that the solution has to be complex is faulty thinking.

It is possible that the solution can be either simple or complex.

part of the problem is that society has not figured out the solution yet.

But assuming that it has to be complex has the effect of us doing essentially nothing because we cannot know what the solution is in it's entirety.

So I suggest that the best thing to do is top put in place parts of the solution as they are thopught up, and not to say that these programs are too simple so surely cannot work. the thing to do is to put them into efffect and assess the results, instead of all this talking about it with no action.


Of copurse there are several thins that we could try and each will have varying effects.

The root of the gang problem is clearly the family life of the teen , or lack thereof.

It is not the fault of the school or the police or the city council. It is the fault of only the teen and their parents.

Therefore the solution must be focused not on the police, or school or the city council, but on the teen and the parents.

The police and school and city council can be the ones to put a policy or program in place but it must focus on changing the behavior of the parents and the teen.

The first step is to enforce the law on the books that says that a parent is responsible for the acts of the minor child. this will wake up some parents real fast if they have to spend a night in jail when their child is arested.

A child will not thibnk about this possibility oin advance of their initial actions but upon their first arrest when they see that their mother is put in jail behind bars and they have to visit her in jail I guaramnteee you that they will give this serious consideratiuon before they do it the next time.

It is well known facxt that 99% of ganster kids love and care about their mother very much and you would be surprised at what the results would be for them to come visit and see heir mother behind bars for an act that they did. This would wake thenm mup real fast.

And it would wake up the parents reaql fast and they would put their foot down and insist that their kids give up gang activity.

Why not try it and see if it works. As I saud the law ias already on the books all we have to do is tell the police and DA to enforce it.

A simple and very effective partial solition.

Why woulod anyone be afraid of at least trying it for one year.

11/09/2007 7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 7:50pm said "It is well known facxt that 99% of ganster kids love and care about their mother very much and you would be surprised at what the results would be for them to come visit and see heir mother behind bars for an act that they did. This would wake thenm mup real fast."

Can you cite a reference source for this statistic? 99% sounds real high and if it's a well known fact, it should be easy to find the source.

Also, at times I have met parents of gangbangers. Yes, I've met parents of teens who don't care but I've also met parents who did care and had no idea what to do. They love their child and want to do whatever they can but have no idea what to do. It's a pretty tough situation for them to be in. On the other hand, parents of gangbangers are easy to blame.

11/10/2007 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never met a gangbanger who didn't love his mother.
It is empirical kjnowedge and borne out by common sense.
Just try disrespecting a gang bangers mother and see the reaction.

I agree with the person who said that the mother of a minor should be put in jail for the acts of her son for a night, and have the son come and see her in jail for his acts.
They would definitely think twice the next time.

The law already says that parents are legally responsible for the acts of their minor children. Lets take advantage of this sound law and enforce that law.

11/13/2007 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 3:09
parents of gangbangers are easy to blaim because they are to blame.

11/13/2007 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 4:45pm "parents of gangbangers are easy to blaim because they are to blame"

Have you ever been the parent of a teen? Doesn't sound like it.

11/14/2007 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

answer to anon 9:25

Yes, I have been a parent to two teens and they were raised right.
Tough love.

They knew that there were certain limits.
they knew that certain activity simply would not be tolerated.

It worked.

11/14/2007 10:03 PM  
Anonymous uidge untill said...

Hip hop and star wars :) There exsists star wars gangsta' rap. I used to post it on my star wars russian web site. Not sure if it's still there

11/21/2007 6:12 PM  

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