Oct 23 2016


If you have not yet decided which candidates for School Board or City Council to vote for, the following links beside each candidate’s name will provide the latest information from the candidates.  

Voters are not required to vote for two or three candidates in each race. Depending on a voter’s choice, a voter can cast a vote for only one candidate in each category.


  You are allowed to vote for 2. 

Sunny Bostrom-Fleming – > information

Jen Cavenaugh > www.Jen4Piedmont.com

Jonathan Levine – > www.levineforpiedmont.com

Bob McBain – > www.mcbaincitycouncil.com



You are allowed to vote for 3. 

Julie Caskey – >  julie4piedmont.com

Sarah Pearson – >www.VoteforSarahPearson.com

Cory Smegal – > www.voteforcorysmegal.com

Andrea Swenson > swensonforschoolboard.org 

Hari Titan – > HariTitan.com


Watch the Piedmont League of Women Voters forum by clicking > here. 

Editors Note:  The Piedmont Civic Association does not support or oppose candidates for public office or ballot measures.  PCA remains neutral on ballot measures and is not a partisan either for or against ballot measures. Further, PCA has no affiliation with political parties or politically associated organizations. Information provided on this website is for the benefit and engagement of Piedmont residents. 

Oct 23 2016

Council learned of Piedmont robbery increase, approved plan to reduce cost of Piedmont waste disposal contract, supported methods of fundraising for Hampton Field, encouraged collaborative energy savings ….

Student Report of October 17th, City Council Meeting

    On Monday October 17, the Piedmont City Council met at City Hall to discuss an array of issues. The purpose of this meeting was to cover four topics: the possibility of renewable energy in Piedmont, the third quarter crime report, the renovation of Hampton Field and finally the possibility of a contract negotiation with the current waste collector for Piedmont.

    The most discussed issue was regarding joining Alameda County’s Community Choice Aggregation program. Bruce Jensen gave a presentation on the topic complete with graphs, hypotheticals and facts. This program would allow local governments to develop renewable power on public facilities, residences and businesses. The proposed plan would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs and provide cheaper energy than PG&E. This in turn would save the city and it’s residents money. If residents decided they were not interested, they could opt out of the plan and continue using PG&E as their power supplier.

    Following the clean energy presentation, Chief of Police Rikki Goede presented the third quarter crime report. She started by mentioning the increase of robberies in recent months; the numbers were up from 42 burglaries by the third quarter of 2015 compared to 52 burglaries by the third quarter of 2016. With this, she stressed the importance of locking windows and doors and looking out for and reporting any suspicious activity. On a brighter note, she commended the work of her officers in enforcing traffic laws on busy streets and writing 433 traffic citations. Following her presentation, Councilwoman Teddy King thanked the Police Department for their vigilant effort in protecting the community.

    The next topic covered was the renovation of Hampton Field. Members of the Piedmont Recreation Facilities Organization (PRFO) spoke about fundraising for the project. The proposed budget for the renovation is $1,978,760 with the PRFO helping tremendously to raise additional funds. They are offering donation gifts ranging from personalized bricks all the way to naming rights of the baseball field. I am excited to see this project come to fruition after so much hard work and generosity from our community.

    Lastly, discussion on what company should be used for waste collection was brought up. The contract with the current provider, Republic Services, is coming to an end. Council members and other city officials have been considering changing waste collection companies as a contract extension from Republic Services would cause rates to increase anywhere from thirty to forty percent. Furthermore, the company would have to cut the backyard service they provide as workers have been getting injured lifting heavy trash cans up and down stairs. All members of the council were open to looking into alternatives and plan to begin the search for a new waste collector.

The City Council members meet twice per month, on the first and third Mondays.

Nick Perkocha, Piedmont High School Senior

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Oct 23 2016

 What is it like to attend a Piedmont City Council meeting?

Student Report of City Council Meeting on September 19, 2016. 

    On the night of September 19th a couple of my classmates and myself met up to attend a City Council meeting for a civics assignment. We arrived a bit early, but there were already people there waiting to enter the building. After about 10 or 15 minutes, John Tullock who is the City Clerk opened the doors inviting the people in and everyone calmly walked in and took a seat. There was a lot of chatter among the people before the meeting started.

    There was a variety of people there ranging from students, adults, and people invited to talk about certain matters on the agenda. The City Council meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of each month at 7:30 p.m. and are held to discuss the issues happening in the Piedmont community, which range from approving city building plans, what the money should be spent on, and how to improve things in the community. These City Council meetings welcome anyone from the community to come and openly express their opinions on the issues in the community.

      After a couple of minutes, the City Council members came in through a door in the back wall and took their seats. Everyone rose out of their seats for the pledge of allegiance and afterward took their seats again and the meeting was underway. The Council first began to discuss issues which were on the Consent Calendar which included the approval of a contract to resurface the Dracena Park Tot Lot and the approval of a new license plate reader.

      After the Consent Calendar came the Public Forum, which is a 10 minute period split between the speakers that allowed anyone to speak about any issues they felt necessary to discuss in the community. The first person to come up and speak was Jon Elvekrog who spoke on the topic of the 16 new stop signs that were placed at intersections across piedmont. He was strongly against the stop signs saying that there wasn’t much discussion of the stop signs being placed and when he returned from vacation they were all of a sudden everywhere. The speaker that came after him was Mary Prisco who opposed his argument and said that the stop signs were helpful and the City Council made a good decision to put them in. After her was Reid Settlemier who supported Mr.Elvekrog by also saying that he feels that there wasn’t enough data or research that went into this project. He also brought up that the vehicle emissions are much higher having to completely stop a car and then accelerate back to the speed limit at all of these new stop signs.

    Sitting in the meeting listening to these speakers I was leaning more towards the side of Mr.Elvekrog and Mr.Settlemier that the placement of all these stop signs was a little unnecessary. Having to stop at stop sign after stop sign is a bit of a hassle and takes a toll on your cars brakes. Although I do not disagree that it makes the community safer, especially from speeding cars at intersections that your vision can sometimes be obstructed by parked cars or other objects along the road. After they made their statements, they didn’t stay for very long and about 5 or 6 people made their way out of the meeting room.

    After the people concerned about the stop signs made their way out of the Council Chamber, next on the agenda was the presentation of proclamation to Matthew Anderson presented by Mayor Jeff Weiler. Matthew was being congratulated on his hard work and the Mayor gave a speech all about it. People then came up to the podium to speak and congratulated Mr. Anderson for all his hard work and his dedication to the City of Piedmont. The mayor then announced that September 19th was officially Matthew Anderson Day and everyone applauded. More people then began to exit the Chambers and the next matter of business on the agenda began.

    Next on the agenda, representatives from the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District (ACMAD) gave a presentation on the matter of mosquitos in the community. The presentation began with a general overview of what they do and then got into the problems such as diseases that mosquitoes carry like the zika virus and West Nile virus and solutions to get rid of them like mosquito fish which eat the larvae to mineral oil that kills the mosquitoes and the larvae. They made it clear that the mosquitoes in our community don’t pose a huge threat since none are reported to carry any harmful diseases. Council member Teddy King voiced her opinion on the matter asking questions and thanking them for their hard work.

    After this discussion was over the next thing discussed was a progress report on the construction going on throughout piedmont. They said that the guidelines and environmental impact of the construction would be discussed later on in the year.

     The second to last matter of business was the matter of zone-D. This zone includes the Grand Avenue and Wildwood Avenue area. What was most talked about were the changes that would occur to the Shell station. Jen Cavenaugh, who is a resident who lives in this area and is also running for City Council in the next election, said that she was very open minded about the matter but wanted to keep the residential feeling of the area there. She gave some suggestions on what should be in place of the Shell station which included a small restaurant or cafe.

     Last on the agenda was the discussion of the renovation of the Piedmont Recreation Department and Veterans Hall. These renovations included renovations to the roof and also better budget and planning. They then took a vote and these plans were approved.

    At the end of the meeting, a couple of classmates and I interviewed Jen Cavenaugh. She said she was there because she wanted to discuss some of the topics on the agenda because they related to her, such as the matter of the Shell station which she spoke on during the meeting. She is running for City Council in the next election and is going to continue coming to meetings and working with the neighbors in the community to make the community a safer and a better place. One thing she said that I thought was interesting was “not everyone is going to be happy with the decisions made but everyone would love to get involved and have their input and voice heard.” – Jen Cavenaugh

Chris Floyd, Piedmont High School Senior

Editors Note: Opinions are those of the author.
1 Comment »
Oct 20 2016

I am writing to urge you to re-elect Sarah Pearson to the Piedmont School Board. 

In her first term on the board, Sarah has been a strong advocate for high quality, differentiated education for all types of learners, and she has helped to advance important initiatives to promote the social and emotional well-being of all students.

One of Sarah’s greatest strengths is her ability to engage with the community and really listen to opinions of diverse stakeholders on any issue. At just about any community event, you’re likely to find Sarah enthusiastically engaged. If you don’t already know Sarah, I urge you to introduce yourself. She’ll welcome your questions and concerns about the many complex issues facing the district. I’m sure you’ll find her to be warm, approachable and well-informed, and you’ll be glad to have her continue to represent you on the Piedmont School Board.

Kathleen O’Brien, Piedmont Resident

Editors’ Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author. 
Oct 20 2016

Report of October 3rd City Council Meeting –

Piedmont City Council is the legislative body of Piedmont, and meets weekly to address issues and concerns in the community. On October third, several people spoke up on items not on the agenda, both on issues involving safety. Later, the Council discussed funding and budgets.

    Jen Cavenaugh raised the issue of increased traffic congestion on Grand Avenue. The congestion began after the Grand Avenue Road Diet, which gave more lanes to bikers in order to maximize safety. The congestion is so bad it spreads into residential areas not meant for traffic, which contradictingly reduces safety for children at play. One of the council members stated that traffic engineers found out that the congestion was actually caused by traffic light timing. Cavenaugh stated she will investigate further.

   Dimitri Magganas suggested that the City Council should enforce inspection of water supplies for fire sprinklers in commercial buildings. The Council agreed that the issue should be looked into.

    After discussing funding and income, the Council agreed that it is appropriate to have a surplus of budget money. This is to avoid mindlessly throwing extra money at unnecessary projects, and also to have a supply of backup money.

After the Council adjourned, I interviewed Jen Cavenaugh. The controversial subject of traffic congestion is what brought her to the City Council. She wanted the Council to look into her issue further, but since they declined, decided to pursue the congestion on her own. Even if the problem is just the light timing, I think it is still great that the public has a way to pitch in. Unlike federal and even state governments, local government seems to be very peaceful in their main interest: fixing problems in the community.

Zainab Sayeed, Piedmont High School Senior

Second Report of October 3rd City Council Meeting – 

On October 3rd 2016, I attended the City Council meeting at City Hall, The City Council is a group of elected Piedmont residents who join together on the first and third Monday of every month to make important decisions that affect the Piedmont community.

During this meeting many major issues were addressed, but it started with an open microphone to any Piedmont resident who wished to speak out about any problems they have witnessed.  Dimitri Magganas was the first person to come to the microphone and speak. He started by sharing the reason he had come. He had noticed that the valve that controlled the water for an entire neighborhood was accessible by the street and that the valve had been shut off therefore turning off the water for the entire neighborhood. He expressed his concerns about how this was a possibility in the future and suggested that there be someone who regularly checks the valve.

The second speaker who came to the microphone was Jen Cavenaugh. Jen Cavenaugh  is running for City Council and came to express her concern about the repercussions of the Grand Avenue restriping. This redo changed the two lane street into a one lane street thus increasing the safety of cyclists. Because of this change, traffic has been piling up into Piedmont residential areas and Jen Cavenaugh  has heard many complaints and concerns from local Piedmont residents. The Council responded saying that a traffic report was underway and that the lights were being tested to see if a change could decrease traffic.

After the initial open microphone, the City Council moved on to the official schedule for the meeting, This started with the Street Use Permit for the Annual Turkey Trot Race. This Permit was a request to close the City streets on Thanksgiving morning to allow for the fundraiser known as the Turkey Trot. After a very brief discussion about the permit it was approved by the Council.

The next issue that was discussed during the meeting was the Conditional Use Permit for Belardi/Ostroy for a marketing office at 1345 Grand Avenue #101 & #102.  When asked about the general response to the permit it was said that their were no obvious red flags. It was also noted that a worker requested to do some renovations inside the building. In the end, the motion to pass the permit was approved.

The next topic discussed in the meeting was the consideration of a fund balance policy pursuant to Governmental Accounting Standards board statement. The policy was briefly outlined detailing what changes would be made and the motion to pass the policy was approved.

The last subject that was talked about during the meeting was the consideration of the FY 2015-16 year End Transfers of Net income in the General Fund. Funds were transferred to the Facilities Maintenance Fund, Equipment Replacement Fund, and other post employment benefits. Allocations were proposed and justified, the Equipment Replacement Fund was mentioned, and it was said that having three funds could help progress. This discussion was based around how much of the budget should be allocated to each subject and after particular amounts were suggested the motion to pass this was approved.

The issue that I most connected with was the one involving the Grand Avenue redo. I completely understand the thought process behind the redo as it happened to increase the safety of cyclists, but in my opinion this major change has had major negative effects on the community as a whole. Residential areas are being clogged with traffic, streets are not as safe for playing children and the commute time for Piedmont residents going through that area has increased.

At the end of the meeting I choose to interview Jen Cavenaugh because I was genuinely interested in what she had to offer in the meeting and wanted to learn more. Jen Cavenaugh is currently running for City Council. She came to the meeting because many people were expressing concern about the traffic caused by the Grand Avenue redo. Due to the change from two lanes to one, traffic is backing up into Piedmont residential areas. She came because she wanted to share these concerns for public safety. She has seen regular traffic and this has had large effects on Piedmont communities. She has witnessed increased numbers of illegal U-turns, as well as traffic blocked all they way up to residential areas thus making them less safe for playing children. She said she was not 100% sure about what the Council had decided on, she was uncertain that the traffic lights are the problem. She claimed that she is going to “wait and see how it works out, and follow up is concerns still arise”

Ashley Erkelens, Piedmont High School Senior

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors. 
Oct 20 2016

Measure H1 Campaign Co-Chairs Claire Arno and Chad Olcott invite you to

H1 Q&A and School Campus Tour with Superintendent Randall Booker

Thursday, October 27

4:00 p.m. – Information and Q&A
5:00 p.m. – Campus Tour
Meet at the Piedmont High School Student Center
800 Magnolia Avenue
No RSVP necessary
Editors Note: PCA does not support or oppose ballot measures.
Oct 20 2016

Piedmont is fortunate to have citizens willing – even eager – to serve on our City Council and School Board. It’s a partnership, really, because we support them with taxes, involvement, and our vote. Together, we’ve accomplished a lot, producing schools that excel and kids who thrive.

The recent CAASPP state-wide test results provide one measure of the success of our schools – #1 in the state in Mathematics and #3 in the state in English Language Arts. Beyond test scores, however, our schools excel in providing every student with the 21st century learning skills needed for colleges and careers.

We rely on our school board members to set goals and make decisions that will best serve our kids. Over the past four years, Andrea Swenson has proven that she is the right person for the job. She has a deep understanding of our schools gained from her past experience on the Board and her many years of involvement with various school support groups, as well as the leadership skills necessary to tackle the tough issues that come before the Board.

Most importantly, Andrea has an unwavering commitment to our students and our community. Please join me in voting to re-elect Andrea Swenson.

Cathie Geddeis, Piedmont Resident

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.  PCA does not support or oppose candidates for public office.
Oct 19 2016


I am writing in support of Measure H1, the local bond measure to repair, renovate, and upgrade Piedmont’s schools.

My husband Mark and I are longtime Piedmont residents and empty-nesters. Our three sons graduated from Piedmont High School in 2010, 2011, and 2012 and their Piedmont educations have served them well. Our District’s reputation for academic excellence is well-known; we were not surprised to learn that Piedmont once again ranked among the top in the State, based on last year’s standardized test scores.

However, our town’s reputation for good schools will be at risk if we do not modernize our aging school buildings. Mark and I have seen firsthand how the physical structure of the middle and high schools has deteriorated over time. Not only are the roofs, windows, plumbing and other infrastructure failing, the classrooms simply are not on par with neighboring public and private schools, nor were they built to accommodate the cross-disciplinary approach to learning that is the norm today.

The state of our schools shapes the quality of life in our community, and is a major factor in determining our property values. Our District has a history of completing large construction projects on time and on budget; we have confidence that a “yes” vote on H1 is a smart investment.

Cathy Michelotti Glazier, Piedmont Resident

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.  PCA does not take positions on ballot measures.
Oct 19 2016


News Release:

October 14, 2016

BERKELEY—The 2016 citizen scientist-based sudden oak death surveys (SOD Blitzes) in California forests and parks documented a substantial increase in SOD from 2015 levels associated with high rainfall levels experienced in 2016. The 2016 Blitzes detected Phytophthora ramorum (invasive, water-loving plant pathogen known to cause SOD) on multiple trees in San Luis Obispo County. Because these are the first detections of the pathogen south of Monterey County, and because SOD Blitzes findings have no regulatory implications, the UC Berkeley Garbelotto lab will be working closely with the California Department of Food and Agriculture and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to validate the data for regulatory use.

P. ramorum was also found for the first time on Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County. Both the San Luis Obispo and Mt Diablo infestations were identified on California bay laurel. Mortality of susceptible true oaks is not yet evident in either region, suggesting these outbreaks are recent.

The Blitzes also identified new outbreaks near Ukiah and southern coastal Mendocino County as well as in the city of Piedmont (Alameda County) and several areas east of Highway 280 on the San Francisco Peninsula.

Infected trees were also detected in areas where SOD infection had subsided as a result of the drought, including northern and central Sonoma County and the Napa Valley region. A significant outbreak on bay laurels was identified in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park near the AIDS Memorial Grove (first found positive in 2004) and, for the first time, P. ramorum was found in the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum, which houses an international plant collection. Infected trees at the Arboretum include two possible new host species; as newly identified putative hosts, their susceptibility to P. ramorum needs to be further studied in order to be confirmed.

“We were very surprised by this year’s SOD Blitz findings. This is the most significant increase in SOD in California since the Blitz program began in 2006. Whether or not this surge of new infection continues will depend on rainfall levels this coming winter and spring. Significant rain could mean a lot of new infection; whereas, a dry year could slow disease spread coast live oak, CA black oak, Shreve’s oak, and canyon live oak substantially,” said Matteo Garbelotto, UC Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology, and SOD Blitz founder.

In areas where outbreaks had decreased, the pathogen reemerged, such as in Big Sur, Monterey County, where P. ramorum-infection rates increased by 27 percent. In Marin County, infection rates increased by 2.3 percent, and in some areas of California that used to be marginally affected by SOD, there have been sharp increases in infection, such as in western San Mateo and western Santa Cruz Counties. Overall, in the counties known to have natural landscape infestations, P. ramorum outbreaks more than doubled in severity.

“These results are powerful and show how citizen science can make a difference. We really have to thank our volunteer citizen scientists for making the SOD Blitzes so successful and for helping us gain all of this information. We simply don’t have the resources to do this level of work without their help,” continued Garbelotto.

The 2016 SOD Blitzes included 23 spring training sessions, resulting in approximately 500 trained volunteers who surveyed over 14,000 trees and submitted symptomatic samples to the Garbelotto lab for genetic testing for SOD. Data collected from the Blitzes (both positive and negative samples) will be uploaded to the SOD Blitz map (www.sodblitz.org ) on October 16th as well as to SODmap (www.SODmap.org) and the free SODmap mobile app and can serve as an informative management tool for those in impacted communities.

The SOD Blitz surveys were made possible thanks to funding from the USDA Forest Service, the National Science Foundation, and the PG&E Foundation. The Blitzes are organized by the UC Berkeley Garbelotto lab in collaboration with numerous organizations, including the city and county of San Francisco, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Santa Lucia Conservancy, Save Mount Diablo, National Park Service, and California Native Plant Society. Each training session was held in collaboration with local environmental leaders or UC Master Gardeners.

For more information on the SOD Blitzes, go to www.sodblitz.org or contact Katie Harrell at (510) 847-5482 or kpalmieri@berkeley.edu. For more information on Sudden Oak Death and P. ramorum, go to the California Oak Mortality Task Force website at www.suddenoakdeath.org or contact Katie Harrell.

Oct 19 2016

 October 5th Park Commission Meeting – 

During the meeting the main issues or projects which were discussed were the update on the Hampton Park Master Plan, the Linda Kingston Triangle, and the oak tree at Magee Overlook. 

    On October 5th, I attended the City of Piedmont Park Commission meeting. The Park Commission makes recommendations to the City Council about improvements to the parks. The Commission meets monthly on the first Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, City Hall.

   The Hampton Park Master Plan was the first topic which was brought up by Nancy Kent, who is the staff Liaison to the Park Commission. She explained how the tennis courts have been refinished, and they are not sure when the field will get finished but progress is being made. The Linda Kingston island was another area of interest for the Commission. This project puts a traffic island at the crossroads of Linda and Kingston avenues. On the island will be plants to allow the island to have aesthetic appeal. There was large concern over how long the lights were taking and if the city had consulted with its light consultant. The lights being put in on the island will be custom made and will not glare into the surrounding houses, a large area of concern.

   The issue which affected me the most was the Park Commission consideration of taking out an oak tree near the Magee Overlook due to safety concerns. The head maintenance member Dave Frankel spoke on this issue. He explained how the tree was decaying and how if it was not removed soon it could fall and cause damages.

   The final topic of discussion was about possible Coaches Field renovations. In this case the Park Commission seemed to be against my personal opinion. Among the commission there wasn’t much concern about renovating the field when in reality, it is a necessity. All they talked about was the lighting on the field and if there should be artificial grass or not. I would have liked them to discuss future plans to renovate the field.

    After the meeting I interviewed John Lenahan who is a member of the Park Commission. After asking him questions, I learned that he was a part of the Commission because he thinks Piedmont parks are the best part of the community and wants to keep it that way. I learned that he thought money has always been a problem in the Park Commission and getting things approved. Lenahan explained how the Commission recommends how to improve the city parks to the City Council, where the idea either gets accepted or rejected. If the plan is accepted then money is the issue, the city must figure out how to pay for the project, funding usually comes from ¨a combination of both private and public funding¨. An example of this would be if the city was to rebuild Coaches Field, then the Piedmont Baseball Foundation, a private organization, would help fund the project along with taxpayers money. Interviewing John Lenahan helped me understand what the Park Commission does and why he is so engaged in the community.

 Adam Low, Piedmont High School Senior


I attended the Park Commission meeting of October 5, 2016.  The Commission is involved with all of the parks in Piedmont’s domain. They make sure the parks are well maintained and well funded. For example, there was a tree in Piedmont Park that was dangerously overhanging so the staff cut it down for public safety. Another big part of the Park Commission roll is oversight of all current and future park remodels such as Hampton Field and Linda Kingston Triangle. They stay updated on schedules for the park remodel finishes as well as being properly funded. The Parks Commission meets once every month to talk about these issues and keep the remodeling process on track.

A major issue that they addressed included a $25,000 feasibility plan for a Coaches Field remodel. Other aspects of this issue include lights, and how they will impact the people living around the field, and the different types of material they use for the grass. Other major issues included the remodels that have been previously stated and the Magee Oak Tree that was taken out.

In the meeting everyone was in favor for every measure they proposed. There was one woman, Nancy Kent, the staff liaison, who talked about every single project mentioned. She gave overviews of the Hampton and Linda Park projects, as well as an overview of the Magee Oak tree. Another issue at the meeting was the Coaches Field remodel, and in my opinion it is extremely necessary. The grass is always muddy, there is not a lot of space and it needs lights. I think the city of Piedmont would benefit greatly from a Coach’s Field remodel.

After the meeting, I interviewed a member of the Parks Commission whose name was John Lenahan. He said he wanted to be a part of the commission because the parks of Piedmont are one of our cities best qualities and they need to be preserved and beautified as much as possible. There is also a struggle getting enough funding to maintain the parks as well as having restrictions on water it makes it hard for the trees. In the future, he hopes to get more funding from the city council to keep the parks maintained as well as having city donors who will fund Piedmont’s beautification.

Joey Lalli, Piedmont High School Senior

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors.