Saturday, August 04, 2007

Obama's heading to Nevada tomorrow, but his rural advisory committee is all Iowa

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) will bring his rural "listening tour" to the Republican stronghold of Elko, Nev., tomorrow, but his rural emphasis remains on the first presidential-caucus state, Iowa (where this campaign photo was taken). He plans to have a "rural summit" in Iowa at mid-month, and all three members of his "rural advisory committee" are from Iowa, Bill Bishop noted this week in the Daily Yonder, calling it "policy-making on the fly."

"Farming is different, we presume, in Louisiana — and in Appalachia, the issues have nothing to do with farming at all. No matter. The election is in Iowa, so that’s where Obama will develop his rural platform," which is rapidly developing: "Obama is following Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin on the farm bill. . . . Obama says he agrees with Harkin that there should be more 'emphasis on nutrition.' Obama likes ethanol. Obama would put limits on farm subsidies. . . . supports expanding broadband Internet in rural areas . . . said community colleges don’t receive enough financial support."

Anjeanette Damon of the Reno Gazette-Journal advances Obama's visit to Elko, noting it has "about 4,500 active Democratic voters, 24 percent of the electorate in a county 56 percent Republican. (Read more) In an earlier story, she noted, "The caucus rules are written in a way to make ignoring any region of the state difficult. . . . Under state law, smaller counties are allotted more delegates per voter than larger counties. That means campaigns have to convince fewer people in rural counties for the same number of delegates they might win in more populous counties." (Read more)

Rural kids score between urban, suburban on tests; new report has lots more data on rural education

Rural students are doing better on national tests than their counterparts in cities, but not as well in reading and math as those in suburbs, according to a report from the National Center for Education Statistics, which has a wealth of other background information on education in rural America.

"A larger percentage of rural public school students in the fourth and eighth grades scored at or above the 'proficient' level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress [tests in] reading, mathematics, and science ... in 2005 than did public school students in cities at these grade levels," NCES said in a release. "However, smaller percentages of rural public school students than suburban public school students scored at or above the 'proficient' level in reading and mathematics."

The report says that in 2003-04, more than half of school districts and a third of all public schools in the U.S. were in rural areas, but those schools had only a fifth of the total public-school enrollment. Rural schools accounted for 28 and 25 percent of enrollment in the South and the Midwest, respectively, but only 16 percent in the Northeast and 13 percent in the West. The report uses a new classification system to address the chronic problem of defining "rural." It "distinguishes between rural areas that are on the fringe of an urban area, rural areas that are at some distance, and rural areas that are remote," the release said. (Read more)

American Bar Association may recommend closing criminal cases that don't produce convictions

The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates will vote Aug. 13 or 14 on whether to recommend that federal, state and local governments immediately limit access to records of closed criminal cases in which there has been no conviction. "The policy change would likely carry great weight with all levels of the court system and restrict access to valuable records that newspapers review every day at courthouses across the country," says the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

"The goal of these changes is to allow those who have gone through the criminal justice system without a conviction to be free of their past charges, especially when seeking future employment," ASNE reports. "It also suggests denying access to criminal records where a conviction has occurred, but the defendant has engaged in a 'specified period of law-abiding conduct.' One important result, however, is that critical information about the judicial system would be cut off from scrutiny by the public and the press. Information gleaned from cases resulting in acquittal is not only used to review possible misconduct within the court system, but also is aggregated to review trends in criminal justice over longer periods of time. The proposed recommendations, in fact, would not only apply to court records but also police records and records now accessible under FOIA and many similar state laws. This is despite considerable court precedent stating that access to all types of criminal records should be maintained to the greatest extent possible."

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press published an in-depth article in the Summer edition of its quarterly magazine The News Media and the Law. Other resources available from the committee include a press release urging defeat of the proposal and an earlier letter to the ABA protesting it. ASNE Legal Counsel Kevin M. Goldberg is available at 703-812-0462 to answer questions.

Friday, August 03, 2007

New West Virginia publisher takes on other papers, local officials over public-notice ads

Scott Finn of West Virginia Public Radio reports, "There’s a fight going on for the hearts and minds of newspaper readers in Lincoln County – and that struggle could affect small newspapers all across West Virginia. Dan Butcher, a Lincoln County native who moved to Florida and made a fortune ... is challenging an established newspaper, the Lincoln Journal, with a start-up called the Lincoln Standard. He’s alleging that the Lincoln Journal and local politicians are in cahoots with each other – and taxpayers are footing the bill."

Newspapers are paid to print public-notice advertising for many legal matters, including a list of locals who haven't paid their taxes. The law calls for the list to be printed once; the Journal printed it more than once, and after the Standard pointed that out, the county got a refund. The law also "says you only have to print people’s names and what they owe," Finn reports. But Journal Publisher Tom Robinson "says it makes sense to print extra information -- like addresses -- especially in a county where more than 500 people are listed in the phonebook under the name 'Adkins'." A story by the Journal's Richard Tipton points out that the listings also included "property descriptions, rows of dots and ticket numbers."

Here's the larger issue: In West Virginia, rates for public-notice ads are set by law, according to a paper's circulation, at specific rates per word. Butcher's newspapers (he bought two more and started another in the area) recently noted that no one audits newspaper's certifications of their single-copy sales, and suggested that some papers are falsifying them in order to get higher rates for ads, because their percentage of household penetration -- 89 percent in one case -- is too high for counties with low income and education. Butcher was once a community newspaper executive for a subsidiary of The Washington Post Co. (Read the story.)

Gloria Flowers, executive director of the West Virginia Press Association, told Finn, "I do not feel there are any publishers in the state that fudge a tremendous amount on their circulation numbers." (Read more of Finn's story.) Butcher says he was spurred to start his paper when the Journal wanted to charge a woman $59 to publish an article seeking sign-ups for the county's first youth soccer league. For his broader reflections on the how and why of his newspapers, which operate under the umbrella of West Virginia Standard, click here.

UPDATE: In its Aug. 9 edition, the Lincoln Standard reported on citizen protests at the county commission meeting and Butcher's federal-court lawsuit to remove the Lincoln Journal and the Lincoln News Sentinel as the county's newspapers of record. (Read more)

Reporter squeals on colleague to her police-chief husband; police seize newspaper computer

A reporter for the New Castle (Pa.) News is married to the police chief. She heard that another reporter had recorded a telephone conversation with her husband, which in Pennsylvania requires the consent of both parties. After she told him, "Police made an unannounced visit to the newspaper and took a computer and some recording devices," reports Jim Romenesko in his digest of journalism news for The Poynter Institute.

The News reports today: "The New Castle News announced today it will file a court protest against the unannounced seizure by authorities of a newsroom computer that police say was used to illegally record phone conversations with two local public officials about a proposed police training facility. The News’ petition will ask that the city police department return the computer immediately, saying it is important to the daily production of the paper and could be subject to indiscriminate search of sensitive news files."

The reporters are Pat Litowitz and Debbie Wachter Morris, whose husband is Northwest Lawrence Regional Police Chief Jim Morris. "Chief Morris declined to say why he pursued the case against Litowitz and whether he considered their conversation to be off the record," the News reports. "His wife said that he previously had asked her to inform him if she ever learned that he had been recorded without his knowledge."

The story quotes Wachter Morris as saying she had no conflict of interest: " I felt if my husband was the victim of an alleged crime, and I was seeing it happen, I felt obligated to bring it to the attention of my employer and my husband as the victim." The story also explains why Litowitz tapes conversations: for accuracy.

The un-bylined story also reports, "Even if the phone conversation was taped, any public official speaking with a reporter has no reasonable expectation of privacy. Beyond that, we are confident that case law holds this particular statute to be so overly broad that it is unenforceable. . . . The seizure of the computer represents a dangerous intrusion by police to some very profoundly held First Amendment issues." Sounds to us like some journalism ethics and management issues are in play, too. Romenesko's headline is "What can happen when a cop's spouse works at a newspaper."

Grantmakers need a better understanding of rural America, they are told in advance of meeting

Foundations and others that make charitable grants need a better understanding of rural America to help it overcome its disadvantage in the grant-seeking world, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy says in its latest report, Rural Philanthropy: Building Dialogue from Within.

Grantmakers' perceptions of rural life, geographical isolation and capacity-building needs greatly reduce the ability for rural nonprofits to secure funding," NCRP said in a press release. "Many perceive rural America as a place where tight-knit communities work together to overcome adversity; others see the region as resistant to change," said Aaron Dorfman, executive director of NCRP. "But generalities have the effect of masking contemporary issues affecting rural America, making it harder for rural nonprofits to attract grant-money."

The isolation that defines "rural" greatly limits opportunities for rural groups to make contact with major grantmakers, "which are usually located in urban areas," the release said. "The report also finds that grant makers often require capacity-related benchmarks that are difficult to achieve without having sufficient funding for staff and technical assistance." The study was based on focus groups with nonprofit leaders who serve rural parts of California, Florida, Kentucky, Montana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas.

NCRP will present its findings, with recommendations on how to strengthen foundation giving in rural areas, at the Council of Foundations conference on rural philanthropy in Missoula, Mont., next week. Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) inspired the council to hold the conference with a speech at its annual meeting last year.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

North Carolina legislators back off proposed limits on local-government broadband

Local governments have persuaded state legislators in North Carolina "to back off a proposal to limit the ability of municipalities to build and operate their own high-speed Internet networks," reports Michael Martinez of National Journal's Insider Update. About 15 states have such limits, passed at the behest of telecommunications firms, but few have passed lately because of growing concern about -- and news coverage of -- the lack of broadband in rural areas and small towns.

In the House Finance Committee, a bill to restrict local-government broadband became one that merely ordered a two-year study of municipal broadband networks' performance. Rob Thompson, a policy advocate for the North Carolina Public Interest Research Group, said the original bill would have been tough for localities to swallow, because the legislature last year "stripped localities of the authority to grant and receive revenue from video franchises," Martinez writes. "In North Carolina and more than a dozen other states, video service providers seeking to enter new markets can bypass local governments by applying for statewide franchises."

Thompson said he thought legislators were reluctant to limit municipal broadband "because they knew that companies had failed to provide the new competition they promised to get the statewide franchising law" for video. He remains wary of what may happen in 2009, because the main sponsor of the original broadband bill is slated to be one of the study panel's co-chairs. (Read more)

Murdoch will probably sell Ottaway Newspapers, industry analysts say

Rupert Murdoch will probably sell the Ottaway Newspapers subsidiary of Dow Jones & Co. because community newspapers are not his line of business, say industry analysts, most recently the editor-at-large of Editor and Publisher. "My guess is, prepare for a sale. It's really not the kind of paper he operates in the United States, or even the kind he operates in Australia or the U.K," Mark Fitzgerald told Sarah Shemkus of the Cape Cod Times, Ottaway's third-largest daily paper, with a circulation of 44,000.

Ottaway publishes eight dailies and 15 weeklies. The dailies are the 80,000-circ. Times Herald-Record of Middletown, N.Y., and The Record of Stockton, Calif., 59,000, both with substantial rural readerships; The Standard-Times of New Bedford, Mass, 32,000; the Mail Tribune of Medford, Ore, 31,000; the Pocono Record of Stroudsburg, Pa., 19,500; the Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald, 12,300; The Ashland (Ore.) Daily Tidings, 5,010; and The Danville (Pa.) News, 2,623. Click here for a list of all Ottaway papers.

Ottaway was once a separate company. Its former chairman, James Ottaway Jr., controls about 7 percent of Dow Jones' stock and was an outspoken opponent of the sale to Murdoch's News Corp. Just as Dow Jones' Wall Street Journal reported forthrightly and comprehensively on the controversial sale, the Times added useful context to its coverage today, running a list of the 17 papers on and near Cape Cod and their owners.

Many industry observers have concluded "that News Corp. is likely to sell off the Ottaway newspapers quickly," Shemkus reports. "Possible suitors could include GateHouse Media, Colorado-based MediaNews Group Inc., and Alabama-based Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., according to Ken Doctor, who leads analysis of the news publishing industry for the California market research firm Outsell Inc." GateHouse, a fast-growing company, has four papers on Cape Cod, where Ottaway has three. CNHI's chief news executive, Bill Ketter, is based in Massachusetts, near most of the Ottaway papers.

One other "rural angle": A top industry analyst "said the dismantling of newspaper dynasties was reminiscent of the disappearance of small farms," report Joseph Menn and Thomas Mulligan of the Los Angeles Times, quoting John Morton: "It's like the farmer who leaves the farm to the family and divides it evenly. A couple of generations go by and all of a sudden you're sitting on an acre."

Recent food-price hikes not related to expansion of biofuel industry, experts tell Wichita Eagle

Recent increases in food prices are not related to earlier increases in prices of grains used to make biofuels, such as rapidly expanding corn-based ethanol and soy-based biodiesel, reported Phyllis J. Griekspoor of the Wichita Eagle.

"Yes, corn and grain prices have increased, in part because of the demand for corn to produce ethanol. But growing demand in Asia also has affected prices, as have adverse weather conditions in major corn growing areas," Griekspoor wrote. "Food prices, in reality, are edging up only 1.5 percent more than they did last year and the year before, an annual rate of increase between 3 and 4 percent, according to the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture." ERS economist Ephraim Leibtag told the Eagle reporter that grain prices have an impact on animal-feed costs, which that causes small increases in retail prices, "but feed is such a small part of the overall price that it really isn't a driver."

Only about 20 percent of the U.S. consumer's food dollar goes to pay for the raw materials received from the farmer," Griekspoor reported. "Labor used by manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and eating establishments accounts for nearly 40 cents of every food dollar." Ed Maxiner, an editor with the Kiplinger Agricultural Letter, told the Eagle that the single greatest contributor to higher food prices is energy, because ""Fuel contributes costs to food at every step." Other factors include drought and a dramatic increase in worldwide demand for human food and livestock feed, driven by a rapidly expanding middle class in Asia.

Griekspoor's July 1 article is available for a fee from the archives of the Eagle.

Administration official told OxyContin prosecutor to slow down, put him on hit list when he didn't

A senior U.S. Department of Justice official tried to delay or derail a pending plea agreement with Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of the painkiller that became a scourge in Central Appalachia, according to the U.S. attorney handling the case -- and eight days later, the prosecutor's name showed up on a list of nine U.S. attorneys that the now-resigned aide recommended for dismissal.

John L. Brownlee, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. Brownlee said Michael Elston, then chief of staff to the deputy attorney general, called him on his cell phone at home Oct. 24. The Roanoke Times reports: "Elston said he had been talking to attorneys for Purdue about concerns that prosecutors were moving too quickly, Brownlee testified." Brownlee said he asked if Elston was calling on behalf of the deputy attorney general, and when Elston told him no, he told Elston that "he needed to back out of the case." The next day, Brownlee obtained a plea agreement from the company and three executives to pay $634.5 million in fines for over-promoting OxyContin.

Amy Goldstein and Carrie Johnson of The Washington Post report, "Justice Department officials said it was not unusual for senior members to weigh in on major criminal cases. . . . Brownlee and other former prosecutors said nighttime calls such as Elston's, coming just hours before the end of a long, complex case, are unorthodox, particularly when the department's criminal division already has signed off on a case. Brownlee said the head of the division had authorized him that afternoon to execute the plea agreement. . . . Brownlee ultimately kept his job. But as Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales confronts withering criticism over the dismissals, the episode in the OxyContin case provides fresh evidence of efforts by senior officials in the department's headquarters to sway the work of U.S. attorneys' offices." (Read more)

The committee's main focus yesterday was Brownlee's handling of the case. He has been criticized for not pushing for jail time for the three executives, and by "others who say the prosecution is a setback in the effort to provide relief to millions of Americans who suffer from chronic pain," Laurance Hammack of the Times reports, with help from The Associated Press. "Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., didn't buy Brownlee's explanation that the government had no evidence that top Purdue officials knew of a marketing campaign in which its sales representatives downplayed OxyContin's potential for abuse and addiction." (Read more)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

All-terrain vehicles, now integrated into the rural landscape, pose serious risks for children

DeKain Abnee, 10, talks to his brother, 12-year-old Jaiden Willoughby, who sits on the all-terrain vehicle Jaiden was driving when it wrecked, sending him to a hospital for brain surgery. His parents "recently requested an interview with the media," reports Jim Warren of the Lexington Herald-Leader. "They said they wanted to speak out about the potential dangers of ATVs, which have killed at least 17 people and injured 129 so far this year in Kentucky, and warn parents to take precautions. ... "ATVs have become an integral part of the landscape and culture all across much of rural Kentucky," and many other states, we hasten to add.

Warren developed the story after attending a seminar on agriculture and child safety sponsored by the National Farm Medicine Center and the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation in Wisconsin, and the College of Public Health and the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky.

In a companion story, Warren reports, "Although ATV injuries and fatalities in rural Kentucky have received wide press coverage in recent years, agricultural experts say they represent only part of the picture when it comes to health threats for youngsters on the state's farms. . . . Farm youngsters traditionally perform tasks and handle responsibilities that, in other settings, would be considered strictly off limits, says Robert McKnight, director of the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention" at UK.

"We wouldn't consider it an acceptable risk for children to be running around on an assembly line floor, or working around a diesel locomotive switching yard," McKnight told Warren. "But traditionally we've found it acceptable that children on the farm can do tasks around heavy machinery, large animals and potentially toxic chemicals." (Read more) (Herald-Leader photo by Charles Bertram)

Virginia's first environmental court is making a dent in a mountain county's litter problem

"Virginia’s first court dedicated to environmental cases has flourished in Wise County since its October 2006 beginning," reports the Coalfield Progress. "The people of the county are finally starting to see that trash-related offenses are being taken seriously, county litter control and recycling coordinator Greg Cross said."

Cross told reporter Bonnie Bates that more people are testifying against those charged with littering because they are tired of trash littering the county. "So far, eight people have been convicted for illegal dumping, six have been convicted for trash accumulation, one was convicted for littering and one was convicted for having an illegal junkyard," she writes. "Judgments in these cases ranged from $5,000 to $200."

Cross said he tries to settle many of the trash accumulation offenses outside court, and if offenders don't comply, they are charged in environmental court, which the district judge holds once a month and has a 100 percent conviction rate. "Punishment for the offenses includes a judgement, being ordered to clean the mess and ordered to not commit the same crime again," Bates writes. (Read more)

More prisoners being sent across state lines to private, rural prisons as space grows more scarce

"Chronic prison overcrowding has corrections officials in Hawaii and at least seven other states looking increasingly across state lines for scarce prison beds, usually in prisons run by private companies," reports Solomon Moore in The New York Times. Facing a court mandate, California last week transferred 40 inmates to Mississippi and has plans for at least 8,000 to be sent out of state. The long-distance arrangements account for a small fraction of the country’s total prison population — about 10,000 inmates, federal officials estimate — but corrections officials in states with the most crowded prisons say the numbers are growing."

Most of the prisons are in rural areas, such as Beattyville and Wheelwright in Eastern Kentucky. The phenomenon has "raised concerns among some corrections officials about excessive prisoner churn, consistency among the private vendors and safety in some prisons," Moore reports. "Moving inmates from prison to prison disrupts training and rehabilitation programs and puts stress on tenuous family bonds, corrections officials say, making it more difficult to break the cycle of inmates committing new crimes after their release. Several recidivism studies have found that convicts who keep in touch with family members through visits and phone privileges are less likely to violate their parole or commit new offenses." (Read more)

Program trains Appalachian math and science teachers to help their colleagues help students

When students in some Appalachian school districts return to classes in a few days, they will find teachers armed with new tools to help them better learn science and mathematics. Last month, 35 teachers from Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia attended a week-long program on "new classroom techniques and content, then having them return to their rural districts to provide support to their colleagues" teaching science and math, and thus help pupils too, writes Sean Cavanagh of Education Week.

"That teacher-to-teacher connection, supporters of such programs say, provides educators working in rural, often impoverished districts with steady, on-site help in the subjects that vex many of them the most," Cavanagh writes, quoting Ron Atwood, an administrator of the program: "There are simply too many math and science teachers who need assistance of one kind or another, and too few people in higher education to help them meet their needs," so "We're trying to grow our own."

Richard M. Ingersoll, a professor of education and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, told Cavanagh that schools are unable to recruit enough math and science teachers to keep up with departures from the field. "High school officials report that math teaching vacancies are the hardest to fill among all academic-content areas, and that physical- and life-science jobs are not far behind," Cavanagh reports.

The program is part of the Appalachian Math Science Partnership, a University of Kentucky project that received a $22 million National Science Foundation grant to improve math and science education in the three states and eliminate the achievement gap in science and math between students in the region and the rest of the nation. NSF made smaller grants to some other rural areas and continues to support them, Cavanagh reports. "Officials working on those projects issued a report last month showing improved test scores in districts that sent teachers through the training, gains supporters believe are partly attributable to math and science instruction that rural teachers are passing on to their colleagues."

Sandra L. Godbey, a curriculum coach in Casey County, Kentucky, who attended the program in Clinton, Tenn., told Cavanagh that many elementary school teachers "don’t understand the appropriate vocabulary, or the ‘why’ of the math. They just know the algorithm." (Read more)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Community newspapers and the shift to digital: Plenty of life, but new challenges loom

“Do we have a future?” That was the question seven media executives tried to answer for 100 editors and publishers at the North Carolina Press Association meeting Friday in Charlotte. The companies represented own newspapers and broadcast stations large and small, and some remarks had rural relevance. This report is exceprted from a much longer one filed by Jock Lauterer, director of the Carolina Community Media Project at the University of North Caroilina at Chapel Hill, on his Carrboro Commons Web site.

“I’d like to make a case for weeklies and community dailies. ... There’s a lot of life there,” said Max Heath, vice-president of Landmark Community Newspapers, based in Shelbyville, Ky. “We think we’re still number one source for news. [Because of online] we’re becoming the daily market of the weekly world. There’s some really good papers out there … including the Brunswick Beacon [of Shallotte, N.C.] ... So we’re bullish. … We’re looking to grow our online presence too.”

Moderator Tom Curley, president and CEO of The Associated Press and former chairman of Gannett Co. Inc., asked Heath, “We’re hearing a lot about about local, local, local. We hear a lot about that. Or is it the same old thing just wearing a new dress?” Heath replied, “Those of us who have been doing [community journalism] for a long time [know that’s] our bread and butter … and we sorta resent the term ‘hyperlocal’...”

Lauterer reports: “Heath said Landmark is also investing in online and interactive media. However, Landmark has seen some loss in the community market in circulation areas, which is unusual for them. Heath blames higher gas prices. . . . Heath says average readers say they just can’t afford the newspaper subscription.”

Asked how they keep employees motivated when resources are declining, Heath said, “Most community newspapers have a lot of cross-training. ... Everybody does everything anyway. I do think in the community market there is room for niche publications,” such as newspapers targeted to the lake communities in Tennessee. “We’re trying to niche our Web sites too. ... Innovating is what we’re trying to get people to do. ... Recruiting and retention is one of our biggest challenges. We often have to be growing our own.”

Curley told the group, “Whether you’re at a small paper or the largest in the country, it’s decision time. ... The end of the world is not upon us. ... The market for content is growing … whether it’s for general news, sports, entertainment or finance … more people are seeking that content … but we’re doing a terrible job telling our story, because we’re not sure of what our story is.” He added, “Fear of change remains one of our biggest obstacles. . . . The biggest challenge is how we define community, whether they be print or online.”

Other panelists were Reid Ashe, exec vice-president and CEO, Media General Inc.; Scott Flanders, president/CEO, Freedom Communications; Jay Smith, president, Cox Newspapers Inc.; Howard Weaver, vice-president/news, McClatchy Co.; and Mary Jacobus, president/COO, New York Times Regional Media Group. She said, “Our Hendersonville, N.C., paper [the Times-News] is doing extremely well thanks to strong leadership there. We have never had a larger audience for our content, including weeklies and niche products. ... What we quite haven’t figured out how to monetize [online] yet. And I think it’s just going to take some time for our advertisers to come around and see how much it’s worth.”