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NCOM Biker Newsbytes for January 2020

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From Helmet Laws to the Freedom to Race
By Bill Bish, NCOM

  • ALL MOTORCYCLE RIDERS URGED TO SUPPORT FEDERAL ANTI-PROFILING MEASURE
  • RPM ACT TO PROTECT RACING HAS BEEN REINTRODUCED IN CONGRESS
  • CONGRESS EXTENDS TAX CREDITS FOR ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES
  • HELMET REPEAL EFFORTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
  • NEW DRIVER ACCOUNTABILITY LAW IN OREGON
  • WASHINGTON STATE ENDEAVORS TO MAKE ROADS SAFER
  • MOTORCYCLE MARKET TRENDS
  • HONDA PATENTS VERTICAL AIRBAG FOR MOTORCYCLES

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Hero Motosports rally rider Paulo Goncalves dies at Dakar Rally

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from https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com
from https://www.theguardian.com/

Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves made his Dakar debut in 2006 and finished four times in the top 10 including a runner-up finish in 2015.

Riyadh: Tragedy struck Hero MotoSports Team on Sunday as its Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves met with a fatal accident during the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally. Paulo, aged 40, passed away from a fall sustained 276 kilometers into today’s special zone.

“The organisers received an alert at 10:08 and dispatched a medical helicopter that reached the biker at 10:16 and found him unconscious after going into cardiac arrest. Following resuscitation efforts in situ, the competitor was taken by helicopter to Layla Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead,” Hero Motosport said in a release.

Fondly known as ‘speedy Goncalves’, it was 13th Dakar for the Portuguese, one of the most experienced riders on the field.

He made his Dakar debut in 2006 and finished four times in the top 10 including a runner-up finish in 2015

He has had an illustrious journey in the rally-racing world, including a series of remarkable performances at the world’s most prestigious rallies. He was crowned 2013 FIM Cross Country Rally World Champion.

“Words cannot describe our shock and loss at this moment. It isn’t just a team, it is a family for us and we are devastated with the passing away of one of our members, Paulo Goncalves,” Wolfgang Fischer, Head of Hero MotoSports Team Rally said.

“He joined the Team in April last year and within no time became an integral part of the Hero MotoSports Team family. He will be dearly missed and always be fondly remembered by us.

“Paulo was a true champion, gentleman, reliable friend to everyone in the racing world and a role model as sportsman and personality. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” he said.

The Portuguese motorcycle rider Paulo Gonçalves died after a crash in the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, organisers said.

The 40-year-old Hero Motosports entrant, taking part in his 13th Dakar Rally since making his debut in 2006, fell after 276km of the special stage from the capital Riyadh to Wadi al-Dawasir.

“The organisers received an alert at 10:08 and dispatched a medical helicopter that reached the biker at 10:16 and found him unconscious after going into cardiac arrest,” organisers said in a statement.

“Following resuscitation efforts in situ, the competitor was taken by helicopter to Layla Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead. The entire Dakar caravan would like to extend its sincere condolences to his friends and family.”

Gonçalves was the first competitor to die in the gruelling endurance event since the Polish motorcycle rider Michal Hernik in Argentina in 2015.

The Portuguese finished in the top 10 at the Dakar Rally four times and was runner-up in 2015 to the Spaniard Marc Coma, who is competing this year as co-driver to the double Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Gonçalves suffered mechanical problems on Friday, having to change his bike’s engine to stay in the race, and dropped to 46th overall after the sixth stage.

“The target now is to do my best, because the result at the end … there is no way to get a good result. Instead I’ll try to do good stages every day possible and that’s what I’m looking for,” Gonçalves said then.

The experienced Portuguese had competed in the Dakar on three continents, from its origins in Africa to South America and this year’s debut in the Middle East.

The 2013 cross-country rallies world champion was representing the Indian Hero Motosports team, along with his brother-in-law Joaquim Rodrigues, after five years racing with Honda.

Gonçalves crashed out on the fifth stage in Peru last year. Rodrigues broke his back in a Dakar crash two years ago but returned after extensive surgery and was 27th after stage six.

Sunday’s 546km stage, the longest of the event, was won by the Spaniard Joan Barreda with the American Ricky Brabec extending his overall lead in the category.

The Australian Toby Price, the defending champion, finished an hour and 20 minutes behind Barreda but organisers said he stopped to try to help Gonçalves and will have his position recalculated.

The Spaniard Carlos Sainz, a two-times Dakar winner driving a Mini buggy, took his third stage win of the event in the cars category to extend his lead over Toyota’s reigning champion, Nasser al-Attiyah of Qatar, to 10 minutes. Mini have now won six of the seven stages.

Bill’s Bikes

By | General Posts

Four Decades of a Dedicated Rider’s Rides

Here’s some of the bikes I’ve had since the late ‘70s. There were several more, but they were just something to roll over and make a few bucks. I am currently buying a ‘98 1200 Sportster slightly wrecked for $1000. I’ll send pictures of what I am doing to it to make money to build my rigid project.

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS PHOTO FEATURE AT BIKERNET

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Canton veteran who lost leg rides again thanks to customized motorcycle

By | General Posts

by Kelly Byer from https://www.cantonrep.com

Challenge America: Makers For Veterans helped Charles Zollicoffer get back on the road.

Challenge America: Makers For Veterans helped Charles Zollicoffer ride a motorcycle for the first time in eight years.

More importantly, he said, the fall program renewed his faith in humanity.

“I was left for dead on the side of the road,” he said. “So, during my time in this last seven or eight years, I have lost a lot of faith in people. A lot.”

In 2011, a drunken driver pulled in front of Zollicoffer’s 1995 Kawasaki motorcycle on state Route 800. The now retired U.S. Marine Corps and Army National Guard veteran had completed three tours in Iraq and was scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan.

Another person came across the early morning wreck and stopped to help. Zollicoffer, a 53-year-old Canton resident, spent months in a coma and had his left leg amputated at the hip.

This past Veteran’s Day, he received a modified trike at the Makers For Veterans closing ceremony. His family’s safety concerns had kept Zollicoffer from pursuing a costly trike, but they talked and accepted what it meant to him beforehand.

He’s taken a few rides.

“I can’t even describe the feeling, when you get that wind blowing through your hair,” joked Zollicoffer, who has a shaved head.

Makers for Veterans

The Colorado-based nonprofit Challenge America began the Makers for Veterans program (CAMVETS) in 2019. It brought together volunteers with various expertise to solve challenges posed by veterans.

Dallas Blaney, executive director of Challenge America, said the inspiration came from a similar initiative in Israel. Challenge America members participated in the international program and wanted to recreate the experience in the United States.

Blaney described it as “human-centered design applied to the veterans space.” The process begins by asking participants, selected from across the nation, what they want to do that they haven’t been able to.

“That forces the veterans to frame their challenges in a positive way,” Blaney said.

A team — built “from scratch” — with skills relevant to the individual’s challenge then meet at a kickoff event. That is followed by about eight weeks of planning and work culminating in a three-day workshop.

CAMETS then works with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other partners to identify prototypes to patent and undergo additional product development.

“So that we can get those promising solutions out to market where other veterans and civilians, too, can benefit from these things,” Blaney said.

CAMVETS coordinated a spring and fall program. From 17 total projects, Blaney said, the partners produced 15 working prototypes and, so far, filed for five provisional patents.

Blaney said a digital service dog application designed to help a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder is expected to be the first product ready for market.

Both programs were held in the Cleveland area, not far from where Blaney grew up. He said the region has a great blend of medical, manufacturing, entrepreneurial, academic and innovative institutions.

The Cleveland Clinic, Bio Enterprise and St. Edward High School are some of CAMVETS’ partners.

“It just seemed like such an amazing fit, and it’s a very friendly place to do business,” Blaney said.

The nonprofit likely will host another program in Northeast Ohio this year, but only one. He said CAMVETS plans to expand to a new city.

Zollicoffer’s custom trike

De Ann Williams, executive director of the Stark County Veterans Service Commission, heard about a CAMVETS opening during a conference and nominated Zollicoffer. It was the first she’d heard about the organization, but she thought the program might produce a longer-lasting prosthetic leg.

Zollicoffer used to play basketball and entered the program thinking he’d leave with a prosthetic for athletic activities.

“With the level of my amputation, that was close to impossible,” he said. “So they started asking questions.”

Zollicoffer, who grew up riding motorcycles, then told his team he’d like to ride again.

“As a motorcycle enthusiast myself, I understood and respected that,” Williams said.

Zollicoffer worked ’hand-in-hand” with his team as the plan evolved — from modifying his prosthetic leg to modifying a three-wheeled motorcycle. However, he said he wasn’t privy to the end product until the Veteran’s Day reveal.

When he was asked to visit a Harley Davidson store as the project wound down, Zollicoffer began to wonder if he’d get a new trike. He later learned that sitting on a $35,000 motorcycle was more for measurement.

The engineers, students and other makers on Team Z turned a two-wheel 1972 Harley Davidson into a trike by replacing the rear portion with wheels from a 1978 Mustang. They also moved the typical, left-side motorcycle gears to the right.

“So, it was a totally customized job,” Zollicoffer said.

Community comes together

After he saw the trike, Zollicoffer saw the executive director of the Stark County Veterans Service Commission.

“I turned around and there’s De Ann standing there,” he said. “That’s when it became clear to me that the whole outreach team got together and they did this thing.”

CAMVETS has paid the “lion share” of most projects, Blaney said. The local commission, though, was tasked with raising $5,000 to buy the bike, which was complemented by donated parts.

Williams said she believes the plan to have the bike donated didn’t work out, so the commission reached out to area service organizations. They had the money within a few days.

“I was just beside myself,” she said. “I couldn’t believe the community came together like that.”

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 38 was the major donor. Others were American Legion Post 548, American Veterans Post 124, and Coyote Motorsports.

DAV Commander David May said the project aligned with the group’s mission to assist disabled veterans.

“We’re happy to do it,” he said.

Those involved with CAMVETS said they were glad to learn of the program and plan to volunteer or recommend it to other veterans in the future. Zollicoffer said he made “lifelong friends.”

“We’ll definitely stay in touch with CAMVETS,” Williams said. “I think that that’s definitely going to be a partnership that I hope lasts for a long time.”

How Oakland’s first African-American motorcycle club helped inspire a new TV show

By | General Posts

by Aaron Pruner from https://www.sfgate.com

“So I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area, and I just kind of thought, well, what do I know?” showrunner Nichelle Tramble Spellman (“The Good Wife,” “Justified”) explained during Apple TV+’s press junket for “Truth Be Told,” the newest drama to hit the fledgling streamer’s lineup.

What does Spellman know? A lot, to be honest. And, while “Truth Be Told” examines the impact of media on public opinion and the ripple effect true crime leaves in its wake, the showrunner delves deeper, using the character of Poppy Parnell (played by Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer) as an in-road to pay homage to her real-life hometown, Oakland. In the show, she examines big topics, like the class differences that exist in cities separated by a few simple bridges, and tells stories based on the nonfictional locals, like the real-life storied motorcycle club, the East Bay Dragons.

Parnell is a fictional journalist who begins questioning her role in the incarceration of Warren Cave (Aaron Paul). As her posh lifestyle and public reputation get threatened, demons from Parnell’s past bubble up, leading Parnell to venture to her old Oakland stomping grounds. Spellman found this locale to be perfect for reminiscing on her childhood, in effect highlighting the profound influence a long-running regional African American motorcycle club, the East Bay Dragons MC, had on her forming identity.

Now in its 60th year of existence, the East Bay Dragons are one of America’s first-ever all-black motorcycle clubs. The group, which initially started out as a car club in the late 1950s, rides customized Harley Davidson motorcycles (also known as choppers) and is a well-loved fixture of West Oakland. In “Truth Be Told,” Spellman illustrates the juxtaposition of that kind of East Bay and North Bay life.

“I like the idea of driving across the [Golden Gate] Bridge,” she says. “So it’s just like, you know, money Marin and then you go over [the Bay Bridge] and it’s funkier, more bluesy Oakland. So we played with that, visually. When we’re at the family bar, it looks different than it does in Marin, where it’s very crisp. The music and the soundtrack are different … just to kind of show all the facets of this one character with Octavia.”

Part of Parnell’s character is rooted in her father’s life. Parnell’s father Leander “Shreve” Scoville, played by “This Is Us” star Ron Cephas Jones, is a former Black Panther who has put all his energy into family — both his biological one as well as his thriving biker community which, according to Spellman, is directly inspired by the East Bay Dragons.

“I remember them fondly as a little girl because they used to have this black family day picnic every year up in Nolan Park, and that was huge,” Spellman explained. “You look forward to it all year. So they were like all these tough biker guys and everything else, with all these kids around and it was a big Bay Area event and they were kind of the backdrop of my childhood.”

The East Bay Dragons formed in 1959, during a time when the image of a black man riding a motorcycle could provoke a strong reaction. They nevertheless built up a positive reputation in the neighborhood, supporting the Oakland area while giving voice to the oppressed during a time before the civil rights movement really took off. Their friendship with the Black Panthers may have caused confusion for law enforcement, oftentimes putting the bikers in contention with police, but that bond placed the crew in the spotlight which energized members of the East Bay community.

The MC previously inspired the fictional motorcycle club The Grim Bastards in Kurt Sutter’s wildly popular FX series, “Sons of Anarchy.” However, the representation of the biker group featured in the new Apple TV+ series feels further developed. Instead of getting a passing look at Sutter’s all-black biker gang, “Truth Be Told” gives audiences a nuanced understanding of the familial connection this motorcycle club has with Parnell. That conflicted bond she has with her father and his crew makes this story component resonate. They aren’t called The East Bay Dragons in the show, but the group inspired by the real-life MC deeply anchors the plot.

For Jones, playing the biker and bar owner not only provided him a fully developed character to sink his teeth into — something he refers to as “a dream role” — the subject matter helped him tap into his own New Jersey upbringing.

“I grew up with the same exact story, and there were the same black biker movements going on,” he revealed. “My dad had a little bodega restaurant in Paterson, New Jersey, and he would keep it open because there was a bar across the street where they all would congregate and celebrate. There would be black bikers from all over the country that would drive all the way to the East Coast. I remember staying up late making hamburgers and hot dogs for these cats into the wee hours of the morning to feed these guys after they would come from the club.”

“Soul on Bikes,” a book written by East Bay Dragons’ founding member Tobie Levingston, provided insight for both Spellman and Cephas Jones, who acknowledge their shared memories of the club as all positive. And for an MC, especially one featuring all black men during a notorious time of civil unrest in America, the representation given to this East Bay community is an uncommon one. Add in the cultural differences between regions separated by a few simple bridges, and Spellman found a personal formula that ticked off all the narrative boxes for her.

“I hadn’t seen it on screen and I just thought it was such an interesting flavor to add,” Spellman continued. “Meeting the Poppy character, and if we stayed with her an entire episode just in that environment in Marin, you would just have no idea.”

New episodes of Truth Be Told drop every Friday on Apple TV+.

Join the Bandit’s Cantina

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JOIN BANDIT’S CANTINA—It’s cheap. It’s packed full of interesting and motivational content, projects, rides, you name it. We’re not trying to get on TV, we did that. We’re not trying to make a movie. I’ll leave that to the experts.

We just love women, the freedom to build anything we want and the freedom to ride forever. What could be better.

I’m working on Cantina Episode number 88 right now. Tons of content is archived every week.

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House introduces Motorcycle Advisory Council Reauthorization Act

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressmen Mike Gallagher (R-WI) along with Reps. Chris Pappas (D-NH), Harley Rouda (D-CA), and Troy Balderson (R-OH) introduced bipartisan legislation, Motorcycle Advisory Council Reauthorization Act.  The bill reauthorizes the Motorcycle Advisory Council (MAC) for six years and ensures national motorcycle organizations regain seats on the council.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), along with our partners ABATE of Wisconsin, ABATE of Ohio, Harley-Davidson, and American Motorcyclist Association, have been hard at work over the past month ensuring the future MAC membership is representative of the riding community.  This legislation clarifies the membership of MAC which now will include five highway engineering experts from state or local governments, one state or local traffic safety engineer who is a motorcyclist, one roadway safety data expert on crash testing and analysis, and one representative from each of the following groups: a national association of state transportation officials, a national motorcyclist foundation, a national motorcyclist association, a national motorcycle manufacturing association, and a national safety organization.

“As the feds address the vast roadway infrastructure issues and emerging technologies surrounding vehicles and roads, there isn’t a more appropriate time to re-establish the Motorcycle Advisory Council,” said Kirk “Hardtail” Willard, President of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.  “It was originally and effectively designed to give motorcyclists a voice with regards to the unique challenges we face on two and three wheels when it comes to roadway design.”

The MRF is encouraged that this legislation will ensure that motorcyclists will continue to have an open dialogue with government officials about the unique characteristics and challenges that motorcyclists face when they are not adequately considered or accounted for as infrastructure programs are being discussed and implemented. We want to acknowledge and commend the relationships that our state motorcyclist rights organizations (SMROs), specifically ABATE of Wisconsin and ABATE of Ohio, established with their elected officials through attending events such as our annual lobby day, Bikers Inside the Beltway.  This event, along with active engagement with members of Congress in their home districts,  helps the MRF identify the champions of motorcycle issues and achieve our goals.

“We are pleased that our elected representatives from the state of Wisconsin continue to lead the charge in advocating on behalf of the motorcyclists in the country,” said Steve Panten, Legislative Director for ABATE of Wisconsin, Inc. “I am encouraged that years of building relationships, both in our State and by coming to Washington, D.C., every year, continues to elevate our issues on Capitol Hill. We urge other SMRO’s to take the opportunity to do the same.”

The MAC, initially authorized in the SAFETEA-LU in 2005, allotted four of the ten members to consist of representatives from the motorcycling community from various state and federal motorcycle associations. In the FAST Act of 2015, Congress re-established the Motorcyclist Advisory Council in the Highway Bill to advise the Federal Highway Administration on “issues of concern to motorcyclists.” However, the MRF was disappointed the re-established MAC only included one seat for a representative of a national motorcycle organization.

The Motorcycle Advisory Council provides the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with expert first-hand knowledge of motorcycle issues. “Motorcycle registration is at an all-time high, but this increasing popularity has brought with it increasing risks, such as fatal accidents,” said Rep. Gallagher. “Motorcycles require specific – and in some cases different – requirements of roads, and we need an open dialogue between the motorcycle community, infrastructure experts, and the federal government to discuss these challenges.”  The MAC serves as the only official forum for the motorcycle community to have an open dialogue with the federal government to discuss concerns with infrastructure design, issues with intelligent transportation systems, and other areas of safety affecting motorcycles on the road.

“With the number of motorcycles currently on the road, it is critical that the road designers and transportation engineers understand the way that motorcycles and motorcyclists interact with the roadways as well as other vehicles using those same roads,” said Ed Schetter, Executive Director for ABATE of Ohio, Inc.  “Motorcyclists need to be present to help recognize those needs and ensure that motorcycles maintain their place on the road and can be safely operated into a future where technology is creating more and more challenges.”

Senate Hearing – Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology

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November 20, 2019 – Senate Hearing – Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology

Today the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing entitled Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology. This hearing comes on the heels of a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) board meeting yesterday regarding the investigation of a March 2018 crash of an Uber Autonomous Vehicle (AV) that resulted in the death of a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

The NTSB released some startling revelations in their investigation of the 2018 deadly crash. Among those that the software did not properly identify the victim as a pedestrian, it did not adequately assess safety risks and the operator of the vehicle was watching a TV show on her phone and was not watching the road. Additionally, the NTSB cited an “inadequate safety culture” at Uber.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) applauds the NTSB and the U.S. Senate for holding public hearings on AV technology and safety concerns. The MRF is committed to fighting for the safety of motorcyclists as this new technology is deployed on our nation’s roadways. While we are hopeful that this technology can reduce accidents on our nation’s roads, we agree with the statement of Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) when he said of AV technology “I think a healthy degree of skepticism is a good thing.”

During today’s Senate hearing, it was especially important that two U.S. Senators specifically addressed the concerns of motorcyclists during the hearing. In a question directed to Joel Szabat, Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation Senator John Thune (R-SD) asked, “In developing a regulatory framework for AVs can you speak to how other roadways users such as motorcycles are considered?” The Assistant Secretary responded by saying “Motorcyclists are well incorporated in the development of policy in the department.”

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) echoed Senator Thune’s interest in motorcycles when he said, “I am avid motorcyclist. The number one reason for accidents is a car hitting a motorcyclist or a car pulling out in front of a motorcyclist.”

Other Senators include Sen. Cantwell (D-WA) raised concerns about the current deployment of AVs without minimum standards from the federal government, “We need some standards.” In response, Robert Sumwalt, Chairman of the NTSB agreed by saying that “Whatever is working now is not working as well as it should.” We at the MRF agree that minimum standards should be in place as this new technology becomes more and more prevalent on the roads we all share.

Chairman Sumwalt of the NTSB closed the hearing with this statement, “I think that AV technology holds great promise to improve safety, but it has to be done properly.” We at the MRF could not agree more.

MRF President Kirk “Hardtail” Willard stated, “As a motorcyclist it offends me when bureaucrats are discussing various inevitable, emerging vehicle and advanced roadway technologies they default to classifying us as vulnerable and in need some sort of protection. I would rather and especially in the specific case of Autonomous Vehicles we be thoroughly considered and fully recognizable and therefore not needing extra protection. As with anything affecting motorcyclists this is another example where the Motorcycle Riders Foundation will demand we remain a significant part of the strategy for roadway users.”

You can read the opening statements or watch the hearing by clicking the link below:
Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.

America’s First All-Female Motorcycle Club

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Meet the ‘Motor Maids’

Motor Maids of America worked to convey a different image and create a community of women riders.

Motor Maids Inc., was founded in 1941 by Linda Dugeau and Dot Robinson. It was the first all-women motorcycle club in North America. As described in a 1986 Los Angeles Times article, this club was founded to show that “women who ride motorcycles can be above reproach.”

Today, the Motor Maids count more than 1,300 members across the United States and Canada, as reported by their website.

READ THIS FEATURE ARTICLE IN THE CANTINA – CLICK HERE

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