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The Big Burton Restructure

BURLINGTON, VT (October 23, 2012) Burton Snowboards today announced that its senior management team has elected to alter the structure of Burton owned brands to better position the company, its retail partners and stakeholders for the future. The current family of brands includes Analog, Gravis, RED, anon, Foursquare, Forum, Special Blend and Channel Islands. During a company-wide meeting today at its headquarters in Vermont, Burton Founder and CEO Jake Burton explained the new structure and how it will allow Burton to focus on what it does best: make and support products that set the bar for snowboarding development and further progress the sport and lifestyle.

Specifically, Burton announced the following changes to its structure and subsidiaries. Over the next year, Analog will return to its roots of being a pure snowboarding brand based at its original home in Burlington, Vermont. Analog has a deep heritage in snowboarding from the day when Greg Dacyshyn (Burton Chief Creative Officer) and the late Jeffy Anderson (Team Rider) gave birth to the brand in Burlington, and as such, will revert back to being a winter-only brand. Burton’s Gravis brand will ultimately move its headquarters to Tokyo, Japan and moving forward will be solely distributed in Asian markets selling lifestyle shoes and bags. Gravis was established in 1998 as the company’s first independent lifestyle brand, and since then, Asia has been by far its most successful region. As a result, Gravis will now focus purely on this market and opportunity. Further, in a move that Burton has been planning for several years, the company will also start developing protective headwear under the anon brand name. Burton will continue to offer its RED helmets on a limited basis, but the bulk of helmet and optics product lines will be combined under the anon brand, which has become synonymous with quality riding accessories.

Also part of today’s restructure, Burton announced it will transition out of its Program brands (Foursquare, Forum and Special Blend), which were purchased in 2004 with the intent to keep snowboard companies in the hands of snowboarders. Burton has supported these brands for eight years and will continue to support them over the next year through warranty service, dealer support, marketing and inventory. The company will exit out of The Program brands in winter 2014, in order to better focus on and invest in Burton.

Finally, Channel Islands, which was acquired by Burton in 2006, will be unaffected by this brand realignment and will continue to design, develop and manufacture best-in-class surf hardgoods products in Carpinteria, California.

In addressing all of these changes, Jake Burton had this to say: “Burton has experienced several years of income growth since the recession and paid out bonuses to employees over the last two years,” said Jake. “That said, the economy has a voice of its own that we all have to listen to, and the message is clear: do what you do best and focus purely on it. In our case, that means to narrow our focus to the sport and lifestyle that got us here — snowboarding. We will continue to support Channel Islands in its endeavor to make the best surfboards in the world and Gravis in its new home in Japan, but when you walk through the front door here in Burlington, Vermont, it will be all snowboarding and snowboarding lifestyle all the time — driven by the Burton, Analog and anon brands.”

Jake went on to share that one of the key factors that led senior management to these decisions includes the success of Burton’s entry into the apparel and bag/pack business on a year-round basis, which has grown significantly in all seasons. The message Burton has taken from the marketplace is that for long-term success, this is the direction that the company should be pursuing, along with its core hardgoods and outerwear business.

Increasing the company’s focus on Burton has also been demonstrated by recent significant investments in Burton’s headquarters and infrastructure. These include the acquisition of the building next door to its Burlington, Vermont headquarters where the company not only built Craig’s, a new 10,000-square-foot R&D and prototype facility, but also Area 13, a 6,000-square-foot Burton/anon/Analog wholesale showroom. Craig’s (named after the late Craig Kelly) is known as the most advanced and sophisticated snowboard prototype facility in the world where ideas are conceived, built and on-snow in less than 24 hours. Area 13 is Burton’s marquee showroom where retailers from all over the world can come to Vermont to see future product lines. Like today’s announcement, both of these examples demonstrate the company’s commitment to the long-term growth, progression and success of the Burton snowboard brands.

In closing, Jake went on to state the following: “I take full responsibility for the decisions that led to the creation (or acquisitions) of these ancillary brands, and I similarly am the individual ultimately responsible for the decision to realign and focus more purely on what made this company from the start. Clearly, the most difficult aspect of this decision and transition is the people affected. The employees and team riders associated with these brands have poured their guts into making it happen. Their level of commitment has been extraordinary, and we will do everything we can to help support them through this transition. There is never a good time for moves like this, and we could have delayed the announcement, but it isn’t our style to perpetuate a myth. Clearly this transition will pose challenges along the way, but in the long run, everyone will see the results of our commitment to our core business.”

ANALOG
Heritage
Following Burton’s outerwear legacy, Analog was created in 1999 as a more progressive, style-conscious outerwear collection led by a handful of top pros at the time, including Trevor Andrew, Jeffy Anderson and Gigi Ruf. Since then, Analog has continued to drive many of snowboarding’s outerwear style trends, and in 2003 Analog added a streetwear component to its line, followed by surf apparel, a surf team and an Analog skate platform.

Key Facts
Burton has made the decision to ultimately transition out of Analog surf and skate apparel by next fall.
Analog surf and skate apparel will be shipped through Spring/Summer ‘13, and will be marketed and supported.
After the spring season, Burton will continue to design, develop and distribute Analog as a winter-only brand, operating out of Burton’s headquarters in Burlington, Vermont, with points of distribution around the world.
The new Analog will only design and distribute Analog outerwear and tech apparel, called “ATF”, along with basics.

Team Update
The Analog snow team, made up of Danny Davis, Mikkel Bang and Zak Hale will continue on as Analog riders. Regarding the Analog surf and skate teams, we will be working with each team rider individually on an exit plan to transition them out of the brand.

GRAVIS
Heritage
Gravis was started by Burton in 1998, as the company’s first independent lifestyle brand. From the start, Gravis was focused on creating casual footwear, bags and softgoods built on an action sports lifestyle platform. Today the brand is still rooted in footwear, with the addition of a skate shoe collection and team, launched in August, 2008.

Key Facts
Gravis will ultimately become an Asian-only brand, which will result in the wind down of the brand in North America, Southern Hemisphere and Europe.
With this decision, Gravis’ headquarters will be re-located to Tokyo and run out of Japan, in order to best serve the Asian market where Gravis is the most established and where it has its most viable business.
Gravis product will be shipped through Spring/Summer ’13 in all regions. Gravis will become an Asian-only brand in the fall of 2013.

Team Update
With this move to be a primarily lifestyle brand, the Gravis team will be restructured to accommodate the lifestyle market in Asia.

RED & ANON
Heritage
RED was started by Burton in 1996 as its first protection brand. Since then, RED has designed, developed and manufactured helmets and protective wear for pros and consumers alike. Anon was established as Burton’s eyewear brand in 2001 and focuses on goggles.

Key Facts
Burton will be developing and manufacturing protective headwear (helmets) under the anon name. Anon has become synonymous with quality riding accessories, and it is a natural extension to add helmets to its mix.
RED helmets will continue to be sold on a limited basis. Anon helmets will be launched for Winter 2014 for all channels.

Team Update
We will be working with each RED and anon team rider on an individual basis regarding this announcement.

THE PROGRAM (Foursquare, Forum, Special Blend)
Heritage
Burton purchased The Program brands in 2004 from Four Star Distribution. At that time, Burton felt an obligation (and an opportunity) to slow the trend of ski companies buying up snowboard brands. Consequently, when these companies went up for sale, Burton purchased them and they became ‘The Program’ brands for Burton.

Key Facts
The intent from the beginning was to keep snowboard companies in the hands of snowboarders and keep these brands thriving. As the world’s leading snowboard company, Burton felt there would never be a better home for these three brands.
But even under Burton’s wing, after 8 years, the businesses have failed to be viable. Consequently, Burton has realized it’s time to exit out of them, in order to better focus and invest in the Burton brand.
Therefore, Burton will be transitioning out of Foursquare, Forum and Special Blend globally after this season.
Current winter 2013 product will be supported over the next year, via warranty, dealer, marketing and inventory support.

Team Update
We will be working with each team rider on an individual exit plan to transition them out of these brands.

CHANNEL ISLANDS
Heritage
Burton acquired Channel Islands Surfboards in June, 2006 after the founders of each company, Al Merrick and Jake Burton, forged an agreement over the fact they shared a similar mindset and passion for their respective sports. With their shared vision for putting the sports in the hands of the team athletes and shared philosophies on hardgoods product development, it was a very natural partnership.

Key Facts
Channel Islands is not affected by the announcements today. Burton will continue to support the CI operation in Carpinteria, California, as usual.
Burton is very happy with and committed to our relationship with Channel Islands. 

Team Update
There will be no team riders affected, as there are no changes to the Channel Islands operating or marketing structure.

BURTON SNOWBOARDS
Burton will continue to do what it does best: make and support products that set the bar for snowboarding development. The most graphic change will be increased resources and investments made available to Burton to further progress our sport and lifestyle. Outside of our renewed focus, it will be business as usual.

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Comments (92)

  1. At least its not k2 capita or airblaster, still a major bummer though i loved the special blend and forum guys. :/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  2. Soooo if I need a replacement part for my forum bindings am I pretty much fucked?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
  3. anyone have technine’s number?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0
  4. This makes my scallywag that much more special to my little old heart. Rip

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  5. Would it not be better to put the brands on the market so they can live on?? Even if they are bought by a ski company, does it really matter? Thought the entire divide between skiers and snowboarding was a thing of the past.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5
  6. I can’t say for sure whether this is a “GOOD MOVE” for business, but it’s an AWFUL move for snowboarding. It’s hard to belive Burton has the tenacity to say they bought those brands to keep them in the hands over snowboarders when they are focusing on developing outerwear to market to outdoor/backcountry retailers…putting their product in the hands of NON SNOWBOARDERS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  7. There’s no way this is the end of the Forum brand name. It’s just going to bum a lot of people out when someone buys the rights and makes it a big-box brand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  8. Jamie salters has such a huge horny boner right now

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  9. I was done with forum Before it was cool.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
  10. you’re confused.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  11. @eastcoasting if you are talking about their AK line it is designed for riders who like style but with an emphasis on function. Hard charging outerwear that can handle all you can throw at it but still look good while doing it. it is some of the best outerwear on the market. mt core shop carries it and i don’t think that rei carries AK stuff, and don’t fool yourself all snowboard outerwear companies except for the really small companies sell to non-snowboarders in box stores. i’ve seen holden, volcom, quiksilver, etc at ross and tj maxx on sale before also. and it was 10,000mm/10,000g+ waterproof rating not that low end shit either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  12. drop TRJJ and save some real money.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
  13. “…it seems like the message we get from people is ‘we want Burton.’ So we’ve got to be responsive to that.” – Jake Burton (http://business.transworld.net/113535/features/burton-overhauls-corporate-structure-pulling-out-of-the-program/)

    gross

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  14. In good news, Dylan just signed a 2 year deal with John varvatos and dior hommes. So psyched for him

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  15. Good thing Niko got picked up by GBP

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  16. wake up kids…capitalism is striking back!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  17. Worry more about supporting your local shop and the pros will take care of themselves. This move makes sense. And get ready for Burton Denim, just not in your skate shop that sold the Analog Denim (which was good stuff, IMO)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  18. Alright, let me weigh in on this –

    Some people are claiming Forum was this and that, I am bummed they are gone, I’m bummed that a snowboard company got shut down that’s had influence like they had. However – from the early days – the highlight of the company has ALWAYS been the team. When the boards first came on the scene, they were Option boards, the die-cuts were falling out and the “warranty” department was the TM’s basement. Forum failed to establish its customer – they relied on teams to push their products, and anyone who says their “tech” was progressive was just drinking the kook-aid. Tweaker boots? Hinge base plates? It’s a gimmick, a marketing story over actually innovation. I too dislike Burton, much prefer the Lib’s and Rome’s of the world – but Forum will be made as an example.

    And another thing – this whole “give Forum to Peter” thing? You’re asking someone to put someone in so much debt, it’s almost a disservice to Peter. Do you guys know what it takes to run a snowboard company? Now that Burton is going to shut down their access to their factories, boards will need to be outsourced – and with shipping and the patents that Burton has now acquired – the Forum boards and tech that some of you claim to love will be trademarked and unusable by the mighty Burton. Also – you would need investors – Peter can’t have that kind of money – and there is nothing more exciting in a sales pitch as “well, we were headed for bankruptcy before, and then 8 years later – we still weren’t making any money”. Maybe instead of sending their team to Cancun for cut-scenes in their movie – they should have invested in different strategies.

    Wake up people – snowboard is a business. Everyone loves to bitch when things go bad – and no one wants to dog anything it while its happening. I’m not going to turn this into some skier / snowboard bullshit – but I agree with one dude above – quit buying that Nike and Salomon shit – those guys don’t need your money. And don’t say the “good people in snowboarding, I have friends there” – they stole them from SNOWBOARD COMPANIES to give insight and reputable experience in this industry. It’s a battle for your bucks – the next question you get to ask yourselves – is who’s the next company that gets their name in the tombstone?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2
  19. Rather see these brands die (somewhat gracefully) like this, than get bought and turned into zombie brands much like Morrow, Lamar etc. The people behind all the good things we loved about those brands will keep creating even better things we can love for days to come. Much respect and thanks for all the inspiration over the years… RIP

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  20. #giveFORUMtopeter

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4
  21. how stupid is that #giveFORUMtoPeter idea? who ever came up with this AND whoever forwards this is as short sighted as the rest of US mainstream people. Think 2 or 3 steps further and you’ll notice that this is contra productive, especially for Peter himself. I hope that your guys election is not gonna be affected by some dumb # just for a few likes on your insta. #thinkbeforeaction

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5
  22. Coming from a retailers point of view this was a poor poor move on Burtons part. To me Burton wanted to make themselves look like heros back in 2004 when they bought the program saying they saved them from ski companies. In reality they knew they could take Fourms ilock system and turn it into the now channel and est Burton systems. Burton used Forum guinea pig to try new technology. It doesn’t make sense why Burton would spend so much on marketing this brand then just dump them. Yes, maybe the graphics are not as strong as others, but what other companies are today? Not many. Being in retail Burton is not only our biggest supplier but also our biggest competitor with selling direct online. This is what bothers me the most because if Burton cared about the little guys who’ve supported them the longest they could easily belong to a site called Shopatron and give all the online business right back to the retailers. Also what is with the timing, and whose smart idea for announcing all of this to the public was that? All retailers are now sitting on THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of dollars in dead equipment. Once again Burton not looking out for the small guys best interests. And its beyond me how they can kill of the program but keep a collection in Pottery Barn which has NOTHING to do with anything in the snowboard industry, not to mention keeping Channel Islands around. So pretty much Burton bought them out, used them up, and now spit them out. Burtons big business motto: If it don’t make dollars then it don’t make sense. Well, theres a ton of small brands out there making great products being successful without selling out like Burton (Yes, DWD, Niche,Jones,Lobster,Signal, etc). Burton got greedy, lost it’s core values, and now they have to pay for it at the expense of what used to be three great brands. Thats sad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
  23. #GiveFORUMtoPeter

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  24. yea man i just dont get it do I i just work at one of the best shops on the east coast and have no idea what happens in snowboarding or the business aspect because its not like im a bussiness student in college or work at a shop im just some gaper fag….Hey fuck you asshole

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  25. We are just trying to get Peter the rights and trademark to the name. Not all the baggage. Let him figure out how to come up with something later that brings Forum back to how it was in the very beginning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  26. buck furton. if there is not another forum movie. i will cry as simple as that. burton has really always tried to put a stick in my ass and all i have to say is fuck you. im gonna go buy five forum boards ride them till the break. spray paint them flat black and write

    FUCK
    YOU
    BURTON
    EAT
    COCKS

    and then send them in to get my warranty boards.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2
  27. Next up : DC Snow….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  28. Should have gotten rid of everything but the actual snowboards Forum made and made it so their only non EST boards be under the “Fourm” name, just an idea

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  29. I love the official statement; “In addressing all of these changes, Jake Burton had this to say: “Burton has experienced several years of income growth since the recession and paid out bonuses to employees over the last two years,” said Jake. “That said, the economy has a voice of its own that we all have to listen to, and the message is clear: do what you do best and focus purely on it. IN OUR CASE, THAT MEANS TO NARROW OUR FOCUS TO THE SPORT AND LIFESTYLE THAT GOT US HERE – SNOWBOARDING.. We will continue to support Channel Islands in its endeavor to make the best surfboards in the world and Gravis in its new home in Japan, but when you walk through the front door here in Burlington, Vermont, it will be all snowboarding and snowboarding lifestyle all the time – driven by the Burton, Analog and anon brands.”

    Does this mean Jake feels “The Program” was not a part of that snowboarding lifestyle?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  30. Everyone saying that Forum was dying out before being bought by Burton and that Burton saved them from going under 8 years ago: Why do you think Forum was suffering? It was because of Burton! Burton completely monopolized snowboarding years ago and is still destroying the industry today. I dunno about you guys, but I’d rather go shredding with Peter Line than sit inside playing monopoly with Jake Burton any day, even if he paid me what he pays Shaun White…

    And to everyone saying Forum’s tech recently has been nothing special or just lame gimmicks, take into account the awards some of it has won and the fact that Burton takes the tech and puts it in their own products. The Program more or less WAS Burton’s R and D for the past 8 years but now they have a new big fancy building so i guess they don’t need Forum, etc. anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  31. This is real disappointing, but I’m not surprised on the decision. Correct me if I’m wrong but Burton does the majority of their manufacturing in China. Which is characteristic of a strictly profit based business, they are cutting the fat. For me its removing companies that have been a staple in snowboarding as long as I’ve been doing it.

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  32. So how do we deal with the situation now Dylan? I won’t let you ride those DC x Skullcandy tech shoes, that’s for sure

    -sb

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  33. @TCE – great point, my shop just bought a shit ton of Forum and I hope to god people buy it either cause they still love Forum or cause they have no idea whats going on.

    And as much as I hate them for supporting that red haired butt pirate, Burton gave it a shot and I commend them for keeping a reputable brand in the hands of snowboarders. But the fact is… it did’nt sell. The best thing about Forum has always been their team. And I think they’re just as sick today as they’ve ever been. The team shouldn’t have anything to worry about, other companies should be chomping at the bit to get Pat Moore, Nic Suave, Jake Welsh or Cam Pierce on their team.

    Also, keep The Streets at 7Springs under the Forum name, Pat and Nic did a fucking amazing job and it should be remembered that way!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  34. Ok – “SteveTheCracka” – I can tell that you are emotional about this situation, and that’s totally fine, as many of us are. However – remove your emotions from the situation and let me show you the snowboard industry as I know it – someone who has been a dedicated rider, shop employee, and fan of snowboarding since the early 90’s.

    Forum has been suffering for much longer than what you’re aware of. As a shop employee who used to stock their boards along with Atlantis, Division 23, Option – their boards have never been anything special. The “awards” you are talking about are gimmicks as well – the “Tech of the Year” and the “Good Wood” awards that exist in magazines are simply pats on the back and favors from the magazines to companies that keep them in business. There was a time when there was no bias, however, you will notice that companies who don’t advertise…never get “good wood” because they don’t give money to the magazines. Oh – you pay for 5 of our employee’s salaries with your print and online ads? Sure, you get 5 boards in the top 10. Wake up bud – if you feel like you’re being lied…you probably are.

    The ICS system was a bit of a train wreck, and yes, Burton eventually changed it to the EST system everyone knows todays. But you’re focusing on the wrong parts of “bad” snowboarding – your “rather ride with Peter Line than Shaun White” line is irrelevant. There isn’t a person who comes to the website that would disagree with you – but you have to understand that it is BUSINESS. Yes, Peter Line is a legend – but clearly his legendary status isn’t selling boards anymore. It’s tough to admit – but we’re all getting old, and the days of thunder and backside 7’s off cliffs haven’t closed video parts in over 10 years.

    The closing comment for your aggression towards Burton is this, and everyone who is reading this – Burton is the jock, they are the law, and they will get in bed with anything that will make them money. If you are ok with this – as some people don’t care about the “core” aspect of snowboarding (newsflash everyone – snowboarding “sold out” a long time ago) – then keep purchasing Burton. As “Suits” said – these companies want your money. Mark Frank Montoya wants you to hate on Energy Drinks so he can sell you his bullshit pyramid scheme berry drink, The “Frends” crew want to milk their “yo-snowboard bro” fame by having you buy some low-quality headphone bullshit, and Shaun White wants your kids to buy his sweatshirts at Target.

    However, though these people do snowboard – the fact that on the message boards I see a “Forums Dead, RIP – The Best!” post and a “How do Nike boots fit?” is a clear sign that people don’t give a fuck about who shows up to the party anymore. Buy what products you want – but for fucks sake – don’t get bummed when a big move like this happens.

    Sorry to all the people who are involved with Forum, the Forum 8 was monumental in getting my stoke every year – eventually the view becomes the background.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  35. to better position the company, its retail partners and stakeholders…….So basically what they are saying despite the rest of the news release is that it’s no longer about snowboarding, it’s all about the money. Corporate garbage.

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  36. Just goes to show that burton cares more about its money than the customers

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  37. True Life will always be THE classic Forum movie in my eyes.

    I get tingles from that film. What a team…

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  38. If you don’t understand why lay-offs happen start your own brand. Good luck, you’ll find out soon enough that this game isn’t all about being cool.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  39. I’m an old guy and I haven’t been on a snowboard since riding one of those Wintersticks in the 80s lol. Still, it sounds like you kids really liked these brands and it’s a shame to see them go.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
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  42. Marketing Edinburgh chief Alan Gibson steps downThe former director of marketing at underfire tourism organisation Marketing Edinburgh has left to take up a position with the National Galleries of Scotland To compare the price of the jerseys now and then, a fan that could afford buying a dozen of jerseys in the past can only afford buying one or two jerseys today For the best up to date information relating to Leeds and the surrounding areas visit us at Yorkshire Evening Post regularly or bookmark this page after that it was too late for waffles by literally seconds WTVM (Channel 9) is owned by Raycom, while WXTX (Channel 54) is owned by American Spirit Media and operated by Raycom as part of a service agreementSo does bringing in mom help? As many moms would say about chicken soup, it can’t hurt, noted veteran political consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who worked on Mayor Bloomberg’s 2005 campaign Many production facilities had already been shut down, and rolling blackouts were expected to occur for the next several days A bit of emotional distance made it easier to write about those influential people in my life’ I was begging them,” she said

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