Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 50 / 14 December 2017
 

Lee to be 1st mayor to address SF Trans March

San Francisco Interim Mayor Ed Lee will become the first mayor to address the annual Trans March when he takes the stage at tonight’s event.

Now in its eighth year, the rally and march for transgender rights begins at 3:30 p.m. at Dolores Park today (Friday,  June 24). Its theme this year is  “Serving Up Human Rights Since 1966,” a reference to the Compton’s Cafeteria riot that took place that year at the now closed San Francisco eatery in the Tenderloin.

Lee is expected to speak around 6:30 p.m. before marchers head to UN Plaza. He does not intend to join the march.

Masen Davis, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, said he is glad to hear the mayor will be at the march this year.

“It’s incredible to see the trans march grow every year. It meant the world to us last year when [Senator] Mark Leno came” and announced the state was continuing its transgender program funding, said Davis. “I think the fact that more politicians are coming to the trans march shows that we’re growing in our visibility and power over time.”

The mayor’s office did not announce Lee’s appearance in advance; a City Hall source tipped off the Bay Area Reporter about it. The mayor’s public schedule released last night did not include any public events, and instead, only said he would be holding public meetings at City Hall.

Frances Tsang, a spokesman for Lee, said the mayor only learned today that he would be able to make it to the Trans March. He said organizers had told the mayor’s office that Lee would be the city’s first mayor to appear at the event.

It is the second Pride event this week that Lee will make an appearance at. He hosted the annual Pride flag raising ceremony off the mayor’s balcony at City Hall Wednesday night and honored Pride organizers and this year’s grand marshals.

In the photo at right he can be seen handing an award to Pride Board President Lisa Williams, with Pride interim executive director Brendan Behan standing behind them in the pink shirt.

The mayor will be the featured speaker at this year’s Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club’s annual Pride breakfast Sunday morning. Lee also intends to march in this Sunday’s Pride Parade.

There he will be greeted by the “Run, Ed, Run” campaign, an unofficial group of local leaders who are urging him to run for a full-term. Lee, so far, has insisted he has no desire to seek a full-term as mayor.

The group is opening a campaign office at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 25 at 1565 Mission Street at South Van Ness. The group will also have volunteers handing out “Run, Ed, Run” stickers and materials during the Pride parade and festival.

It is also asking people to sign its online petition urging Lee to change his mind.

“We are excited by the outpouring of support that our Run, Ed, Run campaign has received in its first week!” stated the co-chairs in a statement released Friday. “And we have much more planned to get the word out and to spread the message: We want Mayor Ed Lee to run in November!”

— Matthew S. Bajko, June 24, 2011 @ 2:30 pm PST
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Police: Man found dead at Buena Vista Park was gay

San Francisco police say the man found dead at Buena Vista Park two weeks ago was Freddy Roberto Canul-Arguello, 23 (seen at left). He was gay, according to police.

San Francisco Police spokesman Troy Dangerfield said homicide inspectors believe Canul-Arguello was killed early in the morning Friday, June 10 in the area of the tennis courts of the park. Dangerfield said the circumstances are under investigation. He didn’t know why investigators believe Canul-Arguello was gay.

The San Francisco Medical Examiner’s office hadn’t identified the body as of early this afternoon, according to a staffer there.

Dangerfield didn’t know whether Canul-Arguello was a San Francisco resident but said he’d worked in the San Francisco area restaurant industry.

Police are looking for additional information in the case. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call inspectors Robert Velarde or Daniel Dedet at (415) 553-1145. Information can also be given anonymously through our tip line at (415) 575-4444 or text-a-tip to TIP411

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 12:40 pm PST
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Troup Coronado quits Equality California Institute board

Troup Coronado has resigned form the board of the Equality California Institute. The former AT&T executive has been at the center of a controversy that lead to Jarrett Barrios stepping down as president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation last Saturday, June 18.

In a statement today (Friday, June 24) , EQCAI board President Cathy Schwamberger said Coronado resigned form the board voluntarily.

“We thank him for his years of board service, his generosity and his commitment to the LGBT community,” Schwamberger stated.

Coronado didn’t immediately respond to an interview request sent through Facebook.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 11:52 am PST
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Drunk woman bites gay SF police officer, sheriff hopeful Mike Evans

One of the people hoping to be San Francisco’s next sheriff was recently bitten by a drunk woman.

The incident, which involved out gay San Francisco Police officer Mike Evans (seen at right), occurred at about 1 a.m. Sunday, June 12 outside a bar at Polk and Fern streets.

Evans said the woman was trying to get into a bar, but the bouncer wouldn’t let her in “because she was pretty intoxicated.” Evans wouldn’t disclose the name of the bar.

He said after he told the woman, “It would be best for you to go home at this point,” she got upset and slapped another woman who was standing nearby “pretty hard.”

Evans and his patrol partner decided the jilted barhopper was “too drunk to stay in public,” and attempted to arrest her.

That’s when she bit his left index finger, Evans said. He said she didn’t break the skin because “I was able to remove her mouth from my finger” quickly enough. He said throughout the incident, he was giving her a lawful order to stop resisting arrest.

“We ended up having to pepper spray her to gain control of her,” he said.

An ambulance took her to Kaiser Permanente Hospital, where she was cited for resisting arrest and battery of a police officer and released, Evans said. He wouldn’t give her name. (The incident summary in the Northern District Police Station newsletter said that the woman had been booked for two assaults and being drunk in public. The brief report didn’t mention the pepper spray or the ambulance trip.)

He said the woman hadn’t looked threatening – she appeared to be just “an everyday individual going out for a night on the town.”

Asked if he’d ever been bitten in the line of duty before, Evans said, “Umm, I think it has happened one other time, but this was a couple years ago.” He thought that person had broken the skin, but he was unsure. “After several hundred interactions” with people, “you tend to forget” those details, he said.

Pride Alliance post

In more pleasant news, Evans has been elected treasurer of the police department’s Pride Alliance for LGBT officers.

Lieutenant Lea Militello, an out lesbian, had served as the group’s president, but in May, Chief Greg Suhr promoted her to command the department’s Muni public transit operations.

The Pride Alliance board has voted Una Bailey in as the new president. Along with Bailey and Evans, the other board members are Amy Hurwitz, vice president; Stacy Youngblood, secretary; and Chandra Johnson and Andy Shakur, members at large. New board elections will be held in January 2012.

With approximately 200 LGBT officers and other members of the law enforcement community represented, the alliance is the city’s next-to-largest police organization, second only to the Police Officer’s Association, according to the alliance.

For more information visit www.sfpopride.com.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 9:22 am PST
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Pilot’s antigay rant leads SF assemblywoman to call for halt of state flights on Southwest

A pilot’s homophobic rant has prompted Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) to call for a halt of state flights on Southwest Airlines.

Ma, who is a Southwest A list preferred member, wants the state to stop purchasing tickets with the discount airline until it “more satisfactorily” resolves the issue. She is also refusing to fly with the carrier herself.

A taped conversation surfaced this week where a Southwest pilot mid-flight between Austin to San Diego can be heard using anti-gay epithets and complaining about the company’s hiring overweight, elderly women to be flight attendants. He also complains about flying routes where the majority of flight attendants are gay men.

The pilot was initially suspended without pay, but has since returned to work after receiving diversity training.

Southwest has refused to name the pilot due to it being a personnel issue. Southwest Airlines’s Vice President Flight Operations Captain Chuck Magill released a video statement this week in which he said he was “deeply sadden[ed]” by the pilot’s “inexcusable language.”

After listening to the pilot’s derogatory conversation, Ma issued a statement today (Thursday, June 23) calling upon California to halt business with Southwest Airlines, which is the presenting sponsor of San Francisco’s annual Chinese New Year Parade.

“Discrimination does not belong in the workplace and I will pursue this issue until policies at the airline are changed,” stated Ma, who has long been an LGBT ally and is backing the only out candidate, Bevan Dufty, in San Francisco’s mayor’s race. “Today, I changed my next flight to a different airline and I am asking the Department of General Services and other state agencies to make arrangements with other airlines.”

Ma is also reviewing California laws to see if the company has violated any statutes that protect workers from a sexually hostile work environment.

“I will continue to pursue this issue until flight attendants can return to work without the fear of being degraded by such outrageous remarks by a pilot,” she stated.

Southwest flight attendants have also complained about the company’s handling of the matter. A statement released yesterday (Wednesday, June 22) from Thom McDaniel, president of TWU Local 556, which represents Southwest Flight Attendants, said the employees are “deeply disappointed and angered by the insensitive, and unprofessional comments demeaning flight attendants that were broadcast by a Southwest pilot over frequencies used by the FAA for air traffic control on March 25, 2011.”

McDaniel added that the company’s response to the matter adds “insult to injury” and has left employees “dismayed.”

“Calling this broadcast a ‘private conversation’ cannot dismiss this incident. There is no place in our workplace for any conversation that demeans, insults and discriminates against other employees,” he stated.

The union’s attorneys are investigating the possibility of filing a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

“We are calling on Southwest Airlines to address this problem throughout our company, not as an isolated incident, but as a mandate that our workplace will be free from discrimination of all forms as a condition of continued employment,” stated McDaniel. “Bigotry in the workplace is bad business and unacceptable behavior on the ground and at 30,000 feet.”


— Matthew S. Bajko, June 23, 2011 @ 3:19 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


SF rec and park adds rainbow flag to logo in honor of Pride weekend

San Francisco’s Recreation and Parks Department is showing its Pride this week in honor of the annual LGBT celebration. It has changed the background of its logo – which depicts a girl on a swing hung from a tree drawn in silhouette – so that the sky is now rainbow colored.

The altered logo, seen at right, was unveiled last Friday, June 17 during a Pride party the parks department’s Eureka Valley Recreation Center in the Castro hosted for LGBT youth.

The city agency also changed the logo on its website’s main page so visitors who click on http://sfrecpark.org/ will see it displayed in the upper left hand corner.

Mitcho Thompson, a former employee who launched the agency’s programming for LGBT youth and attended the Pride party last week, said of the agency’s LGBT logo, “for rec and park, that is huge.”

Rec and park staffers from EVRC will be staffing a booth at the Pride celebration in Civic Center Plaza this weekend to promote the agency and its programmatic offerings throughout the city.

“We will be at Pride representing the Recreation and Parks Department,” said Karla Rosales, a Latina lesbian who is the agency’s recreation supervisor for adult and alternative recreation.

It is the latest step the rec and park staff have taken to reach out to the LGBT community since its director, Phil Ginsburg, was heckled during a town hall in April with Mayor Ed Lee. LGBT youth and their allies voiced complaints during the meeting about the closure last summer of a dedicated space for LGBT youth at the Castro rec facility.

Since then the program was relaunched after Memorial Day and several fee-based classes aimed at LGBT youth are being offered this summer. The teen rec space is open most weekdays from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., with later hours Wednesdays and Thursdays (9 p.m.). It is also open for supervised recreation Saturdays from 12:30 to 2 p.m. It is closed Sundays.

The agency is partnering with Friends of the Pink Triangle to display the Pink Triangle during Pride weekend on Twin Peaks. And its Friends of the Harvey Milk Recreation Center group will be marching in the Pride Parade Sunday, June 26.

“The Pride Celebration is a reflection of the great diversity that our City embraces everyday,” stated Ginsburg. “We are proud to be part of this tradition.”

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 1:58 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Trans woman ‘saddened’ judge doesn’t agree assault was felony hate crime

A transgender woman who says she was beaten in the Mission District in April told the Bay Area Reporter today (Thursday, June 23) that she’s “saddened” a San Francisco Superior Court judge disagreed yesterday that the case should be tried as a felony hate crime.

In an email, Mia Tu Mutch said, “I am saddened that [Judge Bruce Chan] admitted there was evidence of a hate crime, but then dropped the felony hate crime allegations. The elements of a misdemeanor and felony hate crime are the same, same criteria. I see this as just another smack in the face to the trans community right before Pride.”

District Attorney George Gascón appeared to agree. At a news conference this morning, Gascón said he would press for a jury to hear evidence that he said supports prosecuting the charges as a hate crime.

“We disagree with the judge’s decision in this case,” Gascón said. “… Singling out people because of who they are is not who we are as San Franciscans.”

Defendants Lionel Jackson, 32, and Maurice J. Perry, 37, are charged with assault with force likely to cause great bodily and second degree robbery.

The District Attorney’s Office has alleged the defendants committed the assault and robbery counts because of the victim’s perceived gender and sexual orientation.

Jackson is also charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Jackson and Perry have both been held to answer the assault and robbery charges, but Chan certified the hate crime charge only as a misdemeanor.

Transgender activist Alexandra Byerly has said she heard one of the men say after the incident, “I hate men dressed up like women.”

Michelle Tong, who’s representing Jackson, wasn’t available for comment this afternoon. But Tamara Aperton, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Public Defender’s office, said, “To convict someone, the evidence has to support their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” She said even though the threshold for guilt is “much, much” lower at a preliminary hearing, Chan “didn’t think there was enough evidence to support those charges.”

David Harrison, who’s representing Perry, also wasn’t available for comment this afternoon.

Tu Mutch has also reported that she was sexually assaulted by someone else after Jackson and Perry allegedly beat and robbed her. She has declined to offer the B.A.R details about what happened during the sexual assault.

But in her email today, Tu Mutch said, “I am extremely frustrated that even though I have called and emailed the person investigating the sexual assault countless times, I have not heard one word from her since the initial conversation in April.”

She said Elaine Economus was the investigator in question. Economus didn’t immediately respond to an interview request.

Assistant District Attorney Victor Hwang, who’s prosecuting the case against Jackson and Perry, said this morning that the sexual assault case is “pending” and declined to comment further.

Tu Mutch told the B.A.R., “I am still recovering from the hate crime and sexual assault, my body still hurts, but my heart hurts more.”

San Francisco Police spokesman Lieutenant Troy Dangerfield didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment this afternoon.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 1:18 pm PST
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GLAAD announces resignations; departures include ex-AT&T executive

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation announced this morning (Thursday, June 23) that the board of directors has accepted the resignation of its president and eight board members.

Among the board members resigning are Troup Coronado (seen at left), who worked for AT&T until recently and whose connection with GLAAD and other LGBT groups has brought controversy in recent weeks.

Most of the resignations had already been reported, but GLAAD itself had been relatively silent until this morning.

Coronado quit Wednesday, June 22, the statement said. The other board members had already resigned earlier this month.

The group said that Coronado’s resignation was voluntary, and that he’d said he wanted “to do what was in the best interest of GLAAD.” The board currently has 22 members.

Barrios announced his resignation in a Saturday, June 18 email to board members that said none of them had asked him to resign.

“I have been pained by the difficulties that have beset GLAAD over the last three weeks,” he said in his message, which was included in the national nonprofit’s statement. “As you know, they concern GLAAD’s endorsement of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger—and inaccurate but effective characterizations that suggest GLAAD has supported this merger because of our relationship with them as a corporate sponsor.  As many of you have observed to me, this entire situation is wrought with miscommunication and assumptions.  Be that as it may, I respect the function and responsibility of my position, and know this is the right course of action.”

He said the well-being of GLAAD must be “of utmost concern and foremost in all of our minds. … The staff continues to work hard and does not deserve to work under a cloud, nor do they merit the distraction that it has become from our organization’s fine brand.”

The board will assemble an executive search committee to find a new president, the group’s statement said. Mike Thompson, chief operating officer, will serve as acting president.

Politico reported earlier this month that GLAAD received $50,000 from AT&T, although the organization said the contribution had nothing to do with its support of the merger.

GLAAD’s support of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger has become a flash point in the LGBT community following disclosures over the past several weeks about the group’s letters it sent to the FCC regarding the merger. Barrios quit after it was revealed he authorized his personal assistant to send a letter to the FCC opposing possible net neutrality rules, apparently lifted from language provided by AT&T, but later rescinded the letter.

The statement this morning said, “It has been inaccurately reported that GLAAD endorses AT&T’s position on net neutrality. The organization does not endorse AT&T’s position. GLAAD believes that equal, fair and universal access to the internet is vital to our community and to our national dialogue.  While GLAAD does not take a position on particular legislation or regulations at this time, we continue to believe in the importance of adhering to these values.”

The group’s statement today said that board Co-Chairs Roxanne Jones and Scott E. Miller confirmed that Barrios had decided to resign on his own and that the board hadn’t asked him to quit.

The organization also credited Barrios with expanding training around the country, helping people “speak out and build support for equality,” and broadening GLAAD’s Spanish language media program, among other achievements.

Thompson stated, “GLAAD’s strong track record and ability to move our culture is a result of Jarrett’s and the staff’s commitment and leadership, and that staff commitment will continue as we move forward.”

As of last August, GLAAD was paying Barrios $225,000.

Along with Coronado, board members Gary Bitner, Jocelyn Bramble, Kelly Dermody, Humberto Mata, Michael Nutt, James Walker, and Randi Weingarten have also resigned.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 8:47 am PST
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SF Mayor Ed Lee issues Pride statement

In a statement marking LGBT Pride month, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (seen at left) said today (Wednesday, June 22), “[W]e celebrate the rich history, colorful diversity and significant contributions of our LGBT community and recognize the importance of our continuing work towards advancing the civil rights movement.” A gay rainbow flag was raised today at City Hall.

Lee said he was “proud to recognize” the 41st anniversary of the San Francisco Pride Parade and celebration, “the largest gathering of LGBT people and allies in the nation.” The city’s Pride celebration is this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26.

The mayor said the LGBT community “has been an integral part of the history of this great City and has remained dedicated and committed to freedom and equality. ”

He added, “Serving San Francisco as civic, business, non-profit and community leaders, our LGBT community contributes to our City’s history, economic vitality and culture, building a brighter future for all in San Francisco.”

Lee also noted that this month marks the 30th anniversary of the first reported cases of AIDS. The epidemic “has had a profound impact on our LGBT community and our City,” he said. “We have made much progress in combating this devastating disease in the last 30 years, and will continue to expand prevention efforts and access to care for those living with HIV/AIDS until a cure is found.”

In addition, the mayor stated there’s “an important opportunity to recognize the need for marriage equality.

“What started over seven years ago in San Francisco with then Mayor Gavin Newsom has grown to become one of the most important civil rights issues of our generation,” he said.

In 2004, the former mayor (currently the state’s lieutenant governor) ordered same-sex marriages to be allowed in the city. But the California Supreme Court eventually ended the weddings, and in 2008, the state’s voters passed the Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban. That law is currently at the heart of a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn it.

“San Francisco remains committed to the marriage equality fight and the pursuit of equality for all,” Lee said.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, June 22, 2011 @ 6:44 pm PST
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Lyon-Martin to stay open as finances, leadership remain in flux

Lyon-Martin Health Services, the San Francisco-based clinic that focuses on women and transgender patients, will remain open “indefinitely,” board of directors Chair Marj Plumb (seen at left) said.

In a straw poll this week, the struggling agency’s board members voted 4 to 2 at a closed meeting to keep agency the going, according to board member Stacy Pike Long. She didn’t respond to an email asking who’d voted for ending operations.

Plumb said she was one of those in favor of leaving the clinic open.

“We have a very good financial plan, we have an excellent medical clinic, and we have patients who are in need of our services,” Plumb said.

In late January, Lyon-Martin’s board made the surprise announcement that the clinic was more than $500,000 in debt and would need to close in days. Their lack of planning would have meant the abandonment of almost 2,500 patients. Supporters stepped in and have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep Lyon-Martin open.

Asked how much longer the clinic could survive, Plumb, who joined the board after the January fiasco, said,  “If I had a crystal ball and could predict that,” she’d make “a lot more money” than she does in her consulting work.

“I think we have a viable business model, and I think with a strong fundraising plan and continued excellent clinical care. I think we can stay open indefinitely,” Plumb said. “That’s what we’re aiming toward, anyway.”

Dr. Dawn Harbatkin, the clinic’s medical director, will again be serving as interim executive director. Hartbatkin’s salary is $159,000 and will not change as a result of her appointment, Plumb said. Plumb has twice been the clinic’s director herself.

Harbatkin previously served in the post after former Executive Director Teri McGinnis resigned last November.

Eric Fimbres had assumed the director’s  position around late February this year, allowing Harbatkin to focus on her other work. But Fimbres is resigning from the clinic because, according to Plumb, he wasn’t making enough money there.

Fimbres, who’s refused to speak with the Bay Area Reporter about his departure, will officially leave the post July 1. He previously indicated that he was being paid less than half of what Harbatkin earns.

The clinic’s current budget is $2.1 million. Plumb said the budget for fiscal year 2011-12 would be finalized at a meeting tonight (Wednesday, June 22).

She said the clinic needs to raise another $85,000 by the end of December. On top of that, she said, they need to raise separate funds for implementing a closure plan “in the event the clinic does need to close.” She said that amount is “probably in the range of $50,000.”

That money would be “for the patients to have the security that there are funds in the event that two years from now” the clinic needs to shut down, Plumb said. She said such a process usually takes 30 days and the money would help pay staff and other expenses while clients were transitioned to other care providers.

“We’re not planning on closing. We’re not thinking we’re going to close. That’s just another safeguard,” Plumb said.

She said the transition plan for patients hadn’t been completed, but she hoped the board would finalize the document at their meeting tonight.

The clinic’s total debt, which includes money owed to the IRS, remains an estimated $1.1 million.

“We should have, I hope, a final agreement with who we owe money to by the end of August,” Plumb said. She said a more precise debt figure, along with how much they plan to pay each month, would also be available.

Clinic officials have been trying to determine how to make more money from clinets, many of whom are uninsured.

In a message posted to the Save Lyon-Martin Facebook page today, Plumb wrote that in the past two months, “We have improved the information given to our patients about the cost of clinic visits … .In response, our patients have increased their payments and changed the average per visit income from $5 to $25!”

In an interview, Plumb said Harbatkin has been appointed acting interim executive director, she still needs to be approved by the San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium.

“I anticipate that will happen quickly and without a problem,” she said.

New board member sought

Federal rules require the clinic to have nine board members. They currently have six.

Treasurer Peter Balon is the only board member who was on the oversight body in late January.

In an email, Long, who chairs the board’s nominations committee and is also a Lyon-Martin patient, said the clinic is seeking applicants with experience in finance, accounting, law, public health, health administration, and professional fundraising.

Board members are expected to attend one meeting per month, as well as commit enough time to fulfill committee duties such as business oversight and planning, board member recruitment, and fundraising activities.

“I can’t stress enough how much we want folks with experience in medical oversight, clinic administration, and accounting – accounting being perhaps the most pressing,” said Long. She said the community clinic consortium, which helps channel funding to Lyon-Martin, “is also very clear that they want people who have experience on or with boards.”

Those with questions about applying for the clinic’s board may contact Long at ms.pike.long@gmail.com

Asked in an email about the time and location of tonight’s meeting, Plumb responded, “We are actually having the meeting in the clinic [1748 Market Street] tonight in a space that is very small and not conducive to public participation. So I have to say ‘no’ the meeting is not public tonight. I hope we have a better system moving forward. Sorry!”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 6:01 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


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