Saturday, October 25, 2008

NY TIMES INTERVIEWS XPOSURE STUDENTS

County Lines | Greenburgh
A Lesson in Finance Also Learned at Home
Susan Farley for The New York Times

By JOSEPH BERGER
Published: October 23, 2008
GREENBURGH


FOR the most part, they are shielded, their parents seldom letting on what is really going on. But trouble has an insidious way of making itself known, and 11- and 12-year-olds in the Town of Greenburgh seem to have slowly come to realize that the American economy is dreadfully sick.

Jasmine Bradwell, 11, whose exuberance is crowned by a ready laugh, knew something was wrong when she visited Costco two weeks before Halloween. “They had plenty of candy,” she said. “Last year they were out.”

Her assessment that people are not buying as much candy may be less than authoritative because she was in Costco before the season’s peak, but Jasmine has also seen how many stores are seductively trumpeting sales and she worries that people have become gun-shy about shopping. Christmas and her birthday are coming up, and perhaps she won’t get as generous presents as in the past.

Lordess Turner, 11, was recently selling chocolates to raise money for her school and, she recalled, “People said they couldn’t pay for it.”

“The stock market is going down, and they don’t get as much pay as they used to,” she said.

Jasmine and Lordess were among a dozen children, most of them sixth and seventh graders in Greenburgh’s schools, who sat around a table at the Theodore D. Young Community Center chatting about the economy. They are part of an after-school practical-business program that Greenburgh is running under a $335,000 contract with a nonprofit firm, the Xposure Foundation.

The students will learn the mechanics of applying for jobs and good etiquette and habits at work. They will also receive $12 a week to save or invest as they see fit. Some money may wind up in partial shares in the stock market, so the students could soon learn about the maddening capriciousness of that beast.

The students, for the most part, don’t watch news programs or read The Wall Street Journal regularly, but the bad news is out there in the ether — in remarks dropped at the dinner table, in stray comments from relatives, in sudden moves friends make because a house has been foreclosed on. Some end up worrying and wondering, even if their parents try to cheer them up.

Giovanni Sanchez, 12, learned that an uncle had been fired. Keyonah Bratton, 11, learned the same about a cousin of hers. Awa Nyambi, 11, a slight, bright-eyed young man, has a mother who works at a hard-hit travel company in White Plains. “Mom was talking about the stock dropping and how they may have to let go of some people, people who work on her team,” he said. “They don’t have all the money to afford to keep them on the team.”

Adriana Bailey’s father works for the New York Stock Exchange, though, like many other 12-year-olds, she doesn’t know precisely what her father does.

“Lots of people at his job are getting fired, and he’s afraid he’ll be in the next round,” she said.

Her eyes glimmered, and she looked palpably upset and a little confused. “He used to buy a lot of stuff, jewelry and laptops,” she said. “He has to stop buying it.”

For one thing, these children are clearly sensing the desperate maneuvers of high finance and the United States Treasury.

“Popular banks like Chase are taking over little banks,” Jasmine said. “People are losing their bank accounts. My mom changed to Chase. Before she had her money in HSBC.”

In many ways, they know their parents’ days of wine and roses are over — at least for a while.

Ciarra Williams, 12, has a friend who had to move back with her father after her mother lost her home.

“A lot of people are losing their houses because of the high mortgage, and it’s causing poverty,” she said.

“My mom’s friend, their house is about to go into foreclosure because she couldn’t pay,” Jasmine chimed in. “It was a nice house too.”

Teara Williams, 12, Ciarra’s twin sister, noticed how her school was trying fund-raising gimmicks like talent shows so it could afford to maintain the school and buy supplies.

And the students are mad at the way grown-ups have frittered away money, even as our new Gilded Age has been turning to dross. Jasmine wondered what was the need of a new Yankee Stadium when the old one did the job perfectly well.

“I could see if something was wrong with the building, but who needs a new stadium?” she said.

That sparked an echo of outrage from Ciarra. “They’re going through a depression and they think about a stadium?” she asked. “It makes no difference whether it’s old or new.”

Their sense of the nation’s financial meltdown is already influencing their plans for what they will do with the money they earn. They’re thinking of investing in stocks that rely on what people always do, good times and bad. People have to eat even if a depression hits. So McDonald’s was a stock the students touted.

“I’m going to invest in Apple,” Jasmine said. “They make a lot of money — iPods, iPhones, computers. People like that stuff.”

That brought a chuckle from Raymond L. Thomas Jr., Xposure’s executive director.

“It’s always the kids who know when the next big thing is,” he said.

But Jasmine quickly confessed to some second thoughts about her money.

“I’ll put it in savings,” she decided. “Because the way the stocks are going. I’m going to lose.”

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Her eyes glimmered, and she looked palpably upset and a little confused. “He used to buy a lot of stuff, jewelry and laptops,” she said. “He has to stop buying it.”

Must be very, very poor.

I is poor said...

I KNOW I CAN
i know I can

BE WHAT I WANNA BE
be what i wanna be

I'LL CONVINCE THAT I'M POOR
i'll convince you that i'm poor,

AND YOU'LL GET THOSE GRANTS FOR ME!

Anonymous said...

This is an after school program open to the entire town. Over half of the program was paid for by the Lanza Family Foundation.
Rich, poor, middle class kids are eligible to sign up.

be honest said...

People should stop the fiction that the program is open to the entire town. That may be technically true but it isn't really true. The program is targeted to one area and the children of one school district.

That may be OK. But misrepresenting it is not OK.

Anonymous said...

11:29 aka Paul, If that's true what demographics or sociographics where supplied when applying for this grant money? TOV entire? Fairview? GC? Surly the supplied information determines whether the application qualified for consideration and how the money is used and to benefit WHO.

shame on you paul said...

Lordess Turner, 11, was recently selling chocolates to raise money for her school and, she recalled, “People said they couldn’t pay for it.”

26K spending per student and they can't afford school supplies?

They're trying to sell chocolate to the seniors who are too poor to afford it because of the Xposure program and all of the other wasteful spent on those who NOT POOR in Fairview.

My daddy works on wall street, my mommy has her money in Chase, we like ipods and iphones........ when some can't afford a $1 bar of chocolate?!

hal samis said...

Dear 11:44,

I assume you are pointing out the cost per student at Central 7.
However, if so, because the numbers are similar, then consider the cost to get a dozen students together fot the New York Times to "drop in" announced.

$335,000 Xposure funding plus $3600($300 x 12 students) = $338,600 divided by 12 students = $28,216 per student.

But it's worth it to get a mention in the New York Times.

And nice of the reporter to put in print the names of these 11 and 12 year-olds.

As for poor kids in investing in Apple, at its current price in the mid-90's, wouldn't the Town be wiser in giving each of the dozen kids (a dozen being all Mr. Thomas could round up for the Xpress purpose of getting a puff piece in the newspaper? does that represent how many kids attend?) $1000 to purchase a 100 shares of Apple rather than assisting Mr. Thomas to walk away with $338,000?

Esquire magazine used to publish a photo of Nixon with the tagline, "why is this man laughing?"

Would Mr. Feiner and Messes (plural of Ms.?) Brown and Whitehead provide a small head shot of Mr. Thomas for this blog so as a similar regular feature I could add:
"Why is this man chuckling?"

That brought a chuckle from Raymond L. Thomas Jr., Xposure’s executive director.

Anonymous said...

The town has always had an after school program. It was more of a baby sitting service. The town is not spending a penny more on xposure than it had spent in years past on after school programs. In fact, the town is spending less. This is a good investment--town taxpayers are getting more value for our dollars and children receive a better education.

Anonymous said...

Boy Paul stop rubbing our faces with this blog as to who the users are.
You see that this program was put into action not only to help the organizer but to the users who will never get the confidence needed to become good students.
You think that this project will help the children maybe if they paid full price for the services and not to depend on grants that the rest of the taxpayers have got to match.
How can you show chilren the correct way of doing things when their parents don't give a dam because they have gotten everything for free. Now you are helping the next generation do what their parents and granparents have done.
It is very hard to break habits especially when everything is handed to you for free.

Disgruntled Greenburgher said...

Dear Mr. Feiner -
Your stealing an article from the NY Times is repulsive.
Yes - the article is stolen. There is no indication that it is reproduced with the permission of the Times. The Times does not typically permit the reproduction of an entire copyrighted article without an explicit acknowledgement that reproduction of the article is with the permission of the NY Times.
But, you're Paul Feiner and like Superman, you overcome obstacles in a single bound. No matter that what you have just done is a CRIMINAL violation of the law.
Without your permission, I am forwarding the link to the Legal Department of the New York Times for appropriate action.
As your act was willful, the Town's insurance cannot be relied upon to cover the cost of the settlement.

LIES. theif said...

1:07, Can you add that he has stolen our money too! He's LYING about the costs of the after school program. Between Paul and GC they have stolen a great deal of money from us with DUPLICATION of services all going to Fairview. Who is paying to bus these kids to Xposure? Who is paying to bus the kids to other private day care after school to Ann & Andy & Creative Beginnings? Who is paying for the 70K given to the kids attending Xposure? Who is paying for the insurance required to bus them off of school district property to another non-SD property?

Anonymous said...

ALL FOR FAIRVIEW RIGHT PAUL.

living large at TYDCC said...

I KNOW I CAN,
i know i can

BE WHAT I WANNA BE
be what i wanna be

AND THE SENIORS STARVE TO DEATH
and the seniors starve to death

CAUSE THIER MONEY GOES TO ME!

YIPEE!!

Anonymous said...

What an angry mob you all are. What's the matter? Can't act alone? The only one with some courage to post their name is Hal Samis. I know you all hope and pray Xposure fails. No matter. You know who Raymond Thomas is and it is eating you up. What does it feel like to be so full of hate and resentment? Feel good? Well you just keep right on hating and if you close your eyes and wish hard enough he may just vanish from your town. Now open them. Oops, he's still there. Shucks. Face it fools, this is the year of change. It's the year of Obama! The year of Xposure! There is nothing you can do to stop it so blog on till you're blue in the face. Blog on till you are so totally consumed by your hatred that you decide to take a couple of drop dead pills.

Anonymous said...

Dear ANONYOUS@7:48,
You are toooooo funny.
xoxox
anonymous

Anonymous said...

Before the town purchased the community center, it was built for and used by Elmsford and Fairview. Now that the town owns it doesn't change its location or primary audience. If the program were really meant for the entire town, it would be held someplace more centrally located.

Anonymous said...

My friends son attends Xposure. He raves about the program. He loves to learn now and is having fun.

Anonymous said...

Question: Does Disgruntled Greenburgher (1:07) hate Greenburgh, want to break up the town? Is your initials RB?

Anonymous said...

1:07 is not breaking up the town .Feiner and the board saw to that themselves by giving everything in sight free of charge to Fairview and we the suckers have to pay.
Was this program necessary?
Could it be possible that school programs suck.

Anonymous said...

The school programs don't suck, the whole Greenburgh Central community sucks.
One community thinks the school district is their and theirs alone, the rest of the community sits idly by and lets then squander all of their tax dollars on nonsense.

Add to this the town board tossing more of more of everyone's money at the very same community that has seized the school district, on more nonsense.

Now this truly sucks.

Anonymous said...

10:20 -- the only way to win is to vote vote vote. In school board, and off year Town elections. Its not in the papers, but do it, and get you neighbors to. Use email chains you have for your children schools mates.

patricia leavy said...

Dear Mr or Ms. Anonymous at 7:48,

You call people cowards, haters and then you tell them to drop dead? Anonymously?

What does Barak Obama have to do with the issue at hand? What does "the year for Obama and the year for Xposure" mean? Are these two related?

I'm signing my name, not that it should matter, and I am very angry that the town has chosen to spend this large sum of money on the Xposure program.

I find many things wrong with the expenditure including the fact that a well received, town wide program,taught in every Greenburgh school to 6th & 7th graders, got the ax, because, to quote Paul, "we simply can't afford it". This being told me by Paul before the announcement of the Xposure contract but, here we come to find, there was much conversation going on with Xposure right before the DARE program got swiftly axed. In other words, DARE was canceled to make way for Xposure costing us hundreds of thousands more and clearly not intended for all children in Greenburgh. And, in case you still don't get it... A TOWN WIDE DRUG PREVENTION PROGRAM was eliminated to institute a EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM for a few, that belongs in SCHOOL.

The DARE program was costing the town anywhere between 50-150K depending on who you talk to.

I am not alone in my anger. There were many letters sent to the town board expressing unhappiness with the cancellation of this program. Not that it mattered. People will not forget how this has gone down.

Look here to find many people expressing complete displeasure at the implementation of Xpouse. Too costly! No town wide appeal! Questionable use of tax dollars!

While 250 children might be "having fun", the hundreds of others now lack any program to teach them drug awareness and prevention.


So, while your friends son is having fun, learning,while we pay him $624 this year to do so, you can bet your ass that I'm angry.

It would have been one thing for the town to cut the DARE program and not replace it with something else due to lack of funds in the town budget. It's a complete other story when they then turn around and go and spend this outrageous sum of money on a pie-in-the-sky program that is geared towards, and grant money solicited by means of, low income families and then try to convince us that it's for everyone and just SUPER!


There have been other questions raised regards to what the exact cost of this Xposure program is and these are valid questions. Busing? Where does the $70,000 paid out to these kids come from?
Many more questions but yet, no one seems to want to answer the public. Why?

Well, Dear Anonymous, I simply can not understand why you are anyone else would be foolish enough to believe that Xpousure is more important, more worthwhile, than any drug prevention program, anywhere, on any day. Unless of course, you believe that not all children's lives are of equal value.

So, how about signing your name next time you're taking pot shots and telling people to drop dead or are you too embarrassed to do so? You should be.

MORE FROM DARE IS INEFFECTIVE said...

D.A.R.E. Fact Sheet
Compiled by Ariel Kalishman, Drug Policy Alliance. April 2003.


.In the 20 years since DARE began, studies have consistently shown that DARE has no significant effect on students’ use of drugs.


The General Accounting Office of the US Government found “no significant differences in illicit drug use between students who received DARE . . . and students who did not.” (1)


Estimated costs of DARE annually: $1 to 1.3 billion. (2)


In 2001, the U.S. Surgeon General placed DARE under the category of “Ineffective Programs.” (3)


The National Academy of Sciences has called DARE ineffective. (4)


The Department of Education prohibited schools from spending its Safe and Drug-Free Schools money on DARE because they did not consider it effective in reducing drug use. DARE America, the parent organization of the DARE program, has continues to receive money because they are trying to update the curriculum. (5)


Problems with the “New” Dare, which was developed by DARE America in response to decades of criticism about the failures of DARE. The new version is being currently being researched for efficacy.



It is fundamentally the same as the original program, with only superficial changes. The same student handbook will be used, with the same messages that do not work. (6)


Preliminary evaluations have found rates of drug use among students participating in the “New” DARE are the same as the rates among students who are taught using the old, failed DARE. (7)


Even DARE America’s president and founding director has admitted the program’s shortcomings. ``There's quite a bit we can do to make it better and we realize that,'' said Glenn Levant. (8)


DARE America’s vice-president, Nancy J. Kaufman, has admitted that abstinence-only education is empty rhetoric. “Realistically, people understand that for a great number of adolescents, they might try something at least once.” (9)


The head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Dr. Zili Sloboda, noted that DARE is far from the only anti-drug program that does not work, but has drawn the most criticism because it is the largest. (10)

Anonymous said...

Why can't parents supervise their own children.
Do their kids need a program to tell them what's right and what's wrong.
I do think the parents need to join a program.
Mu children had no DARE program and they never dreamed of taking any drugs.
Today two of them are policemen and one a teacher.
We taught them every day the value of life and they have lived by that rule.
Why should the police at taxpayers expense take over what parents should be doing themselves.How many children who were in the Dare program went onto drugs.
Dare is not full proof.

Anonymous said...

Xposure is equall to DARE.
Trying to teach children what their parents should be doing.
We have after school programs in every school so who decided that this program was the way to go,

Paul is this another one of your personal friends that need a job.
You seem to have friends that cost the taxpayers mega bucks. Taxter park and now this program.

Why can't you be a friend to the residents and really try to lower the taxes instead of putting on a good show at work session.

p. leavy said...

Dear 2:40 & 2:42,

Thanks for flooding the board with useless information. Had you really done your homework, you would have found 2 important things 1) the research that you used here is outdated as DARE reformatted it's curriculum a few years ago and there is very little information an the effectiveness of the new curriculum
2) the DARE program has been closed down country wide so discussing whether we should have DARE or not is moot.

I met Paul and Chief Kapica myself along with another lady and our discussions were about what we can do to replace the DARE program.
Bottom line: NO MONEY FOR ANY NEW DRUG AWARENESS PROGRAM. WE DON'T HAVE IT. GEE IT WOULD BE NICE IF WE DID. WE UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT IT IS. and then Paul:" I'll make some calls and see if we can get some money".

*crickets* 1 month later, Xposure!

Now, go back & reread what I wrote as I said "It would have been one thing for the town to cut the DARE program and not replace it with something else due to lack of funds in the town budget. It's a complete other story when they then turn around and go and spend this outrageous sum of money on a pie-in-the-sky program that is geared towards, and grant money solicited by means of, low income families and then try to convince us that it's for everyone and just SUPER!

So, why not flood the board with stats letting us all know just how effective the Xposure program is? Huh?
You can't. That's because there are no stats. We have the word of a principle in Brooklyn, Mr. Thomas, Paul Feiner & parents who said the kids are having "fun"

Again, I'm going to say, in different words: YOU HAVE ROCKS IN YOUR HEAD IF YOU THINK XPOSURE WAS A BETTER ALTERNATIVE, BETTER MONEY SPENT, THAN A TOWN WIDE DRUG AWARENESS PROGRAM!
And, you have rocks in your head if you think for one minute that ANOTHER after school program was so badly needed that it precludes saving those hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax payers money.

Lastly, the town is not in the education business and I suspect the town will soon be answering to higher authorities as to why they think they are.

Flame away!

Anonymous said...

Why can't parents supervise their own children.
Why can't they? Why can't they mind them at home so that there is no need for after school programs? Why don't they teach them fiscal responsibilities and about the stock market in their own homes?
Why would we ever need any program ever? Shouldn't the parents take full responsibility for their children? Why can't they teach them to read, help them with homework eliminating the need for these programs?

SPENDING LESS, GETTING MORE said...

The town had spent, in past years, upwards of $190,000 on after school programs. This year the cost is $150,000 of taxpayer dollars + the xposure grant funds that are coming from a private individual. The town is actually spending less on after school and getting more in return. Good job!

Anonymous said...

The town shouldn't be spending anything on after school programs. the school district does and that is plenty.

Anonymous said...

After school is important. Some families have to work. School ends mid afternoon. Parents who have no after school options can't work. If we can't work we can't pay our taxes.
Xposure is a good service the town offers the parents of young children. My family thanks you.

Anonymous said...

Are you daft or just a Central 7 graduate who lacks reading comprehension?

The school district already spends plenty of money on after school programs. It is unnecessary for the town to spend more duplicating efforts. Capish?

Anonymous said...

The Xposure and Silver Streaks have a lot in common -- run by private 501(c)(3) orgas (although Silver Streaks hasnt filed reports lately and Xpousre just filed first year, before it got grants). We have no control over expenditures.

Anonymous said...

Xposure rocks! Xposure making big difference in our childrens lives.

Anonymous said...

Eposure does not rock it is an avalanche of money being misdirected to a lost cause.
Feiner will think of other ways to steal our money to benefit a chosen few..

Anonymous said...

I would love to see the stats of how many participants in xposure (i've seen the number 70 thrown around) have ponied up the $300.

P. Leavy said...

70? Is that all that signed up or is that the amount that have paid?

Anonymous said...

When you're at a meeting at town hall and someone asks a question of either Feiner or the town board no one answers .You can wait till the moon turns blue no one will answer.You know and I know that the ones attending are getting the service for free.

Anonymous said...

Todays Wall Street Journal -- front page -- had a great article aabout a similiar stock market based program for teens. Cost -- $16 per team. Heah Feiner, why didnt we look at that one.

Anonymous said...

Pual

Why not charge a fee to be in the program. Schools that have after school programs charge a fee so the children can attend. Wouldn't that make sense

Anonymous said...

It has already been proposed that a fee be charged.

1. It doesnt come close to covering the outrageous costs of the program (which go towhom? we dont know)

2. No one knows if anyone will pay the fee.

Anonymous said...

Fee is supposed to be $300 per child. Don't hold your breath waiting to see if they collect any of it.

Anonymous said...

I heard that the program now has over 100 participants. they are paying.

shame, shame shame said...

100? So that makes it over $3,500+++ cost per head for this? Do we get a rebate if only 100 signed up? Doubt it.


And yes 8:37. My daughters school participates in the program mentioned in the WSJ. It's very nice and it cost the school $16 per CLASS!

I suppose that program just isn't good enough for the very special kids at TDYCC.

Shameful waste of our hard earned money.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a flier should be send to those 100 families who have allegedly given Mr. Thomas $300 each to inform them that a similar, widely-used program operated through the schools costs just $16 per class. Wonder how they will react?

Anonymous said...

Dear 10:41,

Lemme see. "IF" any family paid the $300, that would mean it still would coast them a NEGATIVE -324.00 per year.
$300 per year fee (hahaha!)
$625 per year paid to a child who attends
-$324.00

Anonymous said...

ACTING TDY COMMISSIONER WHITEHEAD LAUGHS AT AQUATICS DIRECTOR FIRING

I have been using the TDY pool for four years. But today was the last day I will ever enter through the doors of that Community Center. When I asked about what happened to Patricia Roper, in a vivid illustration of almost demonic proportions, Whitehead gleefully implied that she was no longer working at the Center. I was disgusted as to how giddy and cruel her mannerisms were at the point of my question. It was very clear that she took some type of perverted sick pleasure over someone’s loss of employment.

In the last two years Ms. Roper has been the Aquatics Director, I’ve seen a tremendous improvement in programs, staff courtesy, and equipment upgrades including a brand new electronic scoreboard, not to mention her determined advocacy of the FAST swim team. I don’t know what happened to cause Ms. Roper’s apparent termination but there was no reason for me as a Greenburgh resident to be subject to Whitehead’s attempt to denigrate and take joy from someone else’s pain. It seems hard to believe that with Whitehead’s attitude she’s employed at a community center. Her vindictive display is a poor example to our children.

Does Whitehead’s unprofessional behavior reflect the integrity, ethics, and motus operandi of you and our council members? Please answer this Paul.
OUTRAGED GREENBURGH TAXPAYER.

Anonymous said...

ACTING TDY COMMISSIONER WHITEHEAD LAUGHS AT AQUATICS DIRECTOR FIRING

I have been using the TDY pool for four years. But today was the last day I will ever enter through the doors of that Community Center. When I asked about what happened to Patricia Roper, in a vivid illustration of almost demonic proportions, Whitehead gleefully implied that she was no longer working at the Center. I was disgusted as to how giddy and cruel her mannerisms were at the point of my question. It was very clear that she took some type of perverted sick pleasure over someone’s loss of employment.

In the last two years Ms. Roper has been the Aquatics Director, I’ve seen a tremendous improvement in programs, staff courtesy, and equipment upgrades including a brand new electronic scoreboard, not to mention her determined advocacy of the FAST swim team. I don’t know what happened to cause Ms. Roper’s apparent termination but there was no reason for me as a Greenburgh resident to be subject to Whitehead’s attempt to denigrate and take joy from someone else’s pain. It seems hard to believe that with Whitehead’s attitude she’s employed at a community center. Her vindictive display is a poor example to our children.

Does Whitehead’s unprofessional behavior reflect the integrity, ethics, and motus operandi of you and our council members? Please answer this Paul.
OUTRAGED GREENBURGH TAXPAYER.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of everyone and close the dam place up.
The center was never managed in the proper manner so it could bring in revenue.
It was a good hangout and a place to get free services.
Sell it asap and save taxpayers a few dollars.

Anonymous said...

Isn’t it funny that when someone brings up a concern about the TDY Center, a blogger here responds by saying, “Close that place!” Mr. Feiner, is that you???

Anonymous said...

The center is Paul's baby.
He needs the votes folks so this area will be his salvation to represent the town for another two years.
What ever the center wants the center gets so long as Feiner is in office.
Do we know what the next step is going to be??????
Try our darnest to get a new supervisor that treats us all equally.

Anonymous said...

there is no reason for anyone to take a town car home its cheaper to pay the mileage charge and you would save ware and tear on the cars they would last longer and you would purchase less cars and gas also. whens the last time you had to call the police chief in or the parks dept. please the parks whats he need for someone put a hole in the grass come on..you will save alot of money right there alone do the math per car + gas + service on the car etc..