Tag Archives: Fran Spielman

Connected to Chicago (08-18-2019) Special Guest- Rep. David McSweeney

Joining the show this week State Representative David McSweeney. David and John discuss pension reform, income taxes, The failure(s) of the Rauner administration, and the possibility of bringing back the death penalty.

In this week’s round table segment, John Dempsey is joined by Ray Long of The Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crain’s, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Heather Cherone, editor of The Daily Line. The discussion opens up with President Trump making comments that he is again considering pardoning ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich, A study from Las Vegas has concluded that a Chicago casino wouldn’t be feasible due to the tax structure, and Dorothy Brown has announced she won’t seek re-election.

This week’s Community Spotlight is with Nick Gale. Nick explains the creation of the Elder Abuse Task Force. This week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the 22 members that will serve on the panel.

Reporting its findings and recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly by January 1, 2021, the task force will analyze the effectiveness of elder protective services in Illinois and other states and develop a long-term plan to improve outcomes for older Illinoisans.

Connected to Chicago with Bill Cameron (08-11-2019) Special Guest- Amy Campanelli

Joining the show this week Amy Campanelli. Campanelli is the Public Defender of Cook County. John and Amy discuss the Chicago Police Gun Defender Dashboard, Bail Reform, and The benefits of police body cameras, which makes it clear as public defender to see what is happening between the officer and client.

In this week’s round table segment, John Dempsey is joined by Ray Long of The Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crain’s, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Heather Cherone, editor of The Daily Line. The discussion opens up with speculation that former Governor Rod Blagojevich prison sentence might be commuted by President Trump, The tragic mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton bring the spotlight on gun law reform and red flag laws, and how can Mayor Lightfoot fix the city’s financial problems.

This week’s Community Spotlight is with Lauren Cohn. Lauren talks to Dr. Paul Berkowitz, Chairman of The Department of Psychiatry for Sinai Health System. Holy Cross Hospital has recently opened a brand new mental health wing. Dr. Berkowitz describes the benefits that this will bring to the community and hospital.

Connected to Chicago with Bill Cameron (08-04-2019) Special Guest-Richard Boykin

Joining the show this week Richard Boykin. Boykin is a former Cook County Commissioner, and considering a run for State’s Attorney to replace Kim Foxx. John and Richard discuss crime in Chicago, The Jussie Smollett case, and defending the rights of crime victim families. Boykin criticizes Foxx, and explains how he might run for State’s Attorney.

In this week’s round table segment, John Dempsey is joined by Ray Long of The Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crain’s, Lynn Sweet and of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Heather Cherone, editor of The Daily Line. The discussion opens up with a recap of the Democratic Presidential Debate, Who looked like the strongest candidate? Did Biden’s blundering answers set him back at all? Can the Republicans take the House? The conversation shifts locally to the Obama Center, and where it will be built.

This week’s Community Spotlight is with Nick Gale. Gov. Pritzker has signed a law that prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their salary history.

The bill was sponsored by State Rep. Anna Moeller (D-Elgin) who says it is needed to stop the cycle of less pay for female employees that often begins with their first job.

The new law begins in 60 days.

Connected to Chicago with Bill Cameron (07-21-2019) Special Guest- Superintendent Eddie Johnson of The Chicago Police

Joining the show this week is Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Johnson goes in depth on the ways that CPD is taking care of gang violence, He responds to Mayor Lightfoot saying that we’re “losing the street”, and what to expect from legalized gambling and cannabis.

In this week’s round table segment, Bill Cameron is joined by Ray Long of The Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crain’s, Lynn Sweet and Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Heather Cherone, editor of The Daily Line. The discussion opens up with the FBI raiding Mike McClain’s home who is a lobbyist for Comed, and has ties to Michael Madigan. What’s to come from this? Mayor Lightfoot suggests that the democrats shouldn’t take the bait from President Trump’s recent comments saying that they were “xenophobic”, and implying we should find a balance. Toni Preckwinkle and the Mayor argue over police policy

This week’s Community Spotlight is with Nick Gale, and focuses on a lawsuit filed against the state by the Illinois State Rifle Association. ISRA filed the lawsuit Wednesday to block implementation of a law requiring state licensing of gun dealers. ISRA executive director Richard Pearson says the suit contends that the rules aren’t clear. Gun dealers are already licensed at the federal level.

Upon signing the law, J.B. Pritzker said it would detour straw purchases and slow the illegal gun purchases in the state. Most evidence though shows that guns flowing into the hands of criminals in Illinois come from Indiana and Mississippi.

Connected to Chicago with Bill Cameron-(07-14-2019) Special Guest-Quentin Fulks

Joining the show this week is Quentin Fulks. Quentin is the President and Executive Director of Think Big Illinois. Think Big Illinois is a non-profit organization that is in support of progressive policies. Bill and Quentin discuss the 2020 State Budget, How the graduated income tax will be implemented, Bill asks the question of why not taxing retirement funds? Was the gas tax necessary? And how will legalized marijuana, and a casino in Chicago help the state get back on track?

Bill welcomes in the Round Table to discuss the week in news, and what’s to come from the major headlines of the week. Joining the show this week is Ray Long from the Chicago Tribune, Heather Cherone of The Daily Line, Greg Hinz of Crain’s, and Lynn Sweet of The Chicago Sun-Times. The conversation kicks off with expert analysis on the Chicago Teacher’s Union threat to strike, Heather recaps Mayor Lightfoot’s press conference, The 2020 census won’t include the “are you a citizen” question, and Ray with an update on Michael Madigan’s civil suit. The alligator is still loose in Humboldt park!

This week’s community spotlight is with Lauren Cohn. Maryville Academy has expanded it’s summer sports programs to help children in Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods. Nina Aliprandi, Director of Program Services joins in the conversation with Lauren.

Connected to Chicago with Bill Cameron (07-07-2019) Special Guest- Greg Baise

Greg Baise joins the show. Greg is the chairman of Ideas Illinois. Bill and Greg discuss the fair tax, Will the gas tax hike hurt local business? Has President Trump been good for local business? Is he re-electable? Speaker of the House Michael Madigan takes a pass at gerrymandering.

In this week’s round table segment, Bill is joined by Ray Long of the Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crains, Heather Cherone, Fran Spielman, and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times. Twenty-One new taxes introduced. Who will wear the jacket for that? Ray updates us on a civil suit involving Mike Madigan, and in the upcoming 2020 census the citizenship question will remain off the ballot. Did the Mayor overreact to the Bean getting hit with graffiti?

Connected to Chicago with Bill Cameron (06-30-2019) Special Guest- David Greising

David Greising of the Better Government Association joins Connected to Chicago. Bill and David discuss how Government has been operating since Mayor Lightfoot took office. What’s to come of all the new taxes that will come into effect? Governor Pritzker runs thru legislation very quickly after taking office, and can Alderman Ed Burke beat the rap?

In this week’s round table segment, Bill is joined by Ray Long of the Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crains,Heather Cherone, and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times. The round table opens up with the Supreme Court decision that they have declined to take up gerrymandering cases. This upcoming Monday the gas tax goes into affect from 19 cents to 38, and Greg with a great story this week on pension consolidation.

This week’s Community Spotlight segment is with Nick Gale, and highlights a new report out by the group Black Tech Mecca. The report, released Thursday evening, focuses on the racial disparity in Chicago’s tech scene.

CEO Fabian Elliott says the report highlights four areas where there are shortfalls. Those include K-12, Higher Education, corporate and entrepreneur.

For instance, Elliott says the majority of the 32 tech incubators and accelerators only 7 are near black neighborhoods.

He says the purpose of the report is to raise awareness in hopes that local and state lawmakers can address the shortfalls wither by passing laws or provide incentives.

Connected to Chicago with Bill Cameron (06-23-2019) Special Guest- Senator Tammy Duckworth

Joining the show this week is Senator Tammy Duckworth. Duckworth comments on how President Trump has been so far in office, Iran shooting down a U.S drone, and local politics back here in Illinois.

In this week’s round table segment, Bill Cameron is joined by Ray Long of The Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crain’s, Lynn Sweet and Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Heather Cherone, editor of The Daily Line. The discussion opens up with the news of the FBI raid on alderman Carrie Austin’s office, and what details may come from this. Property taxes are going up, A judge has appointed a special prosecutor in the Jussie Smollett case.

This week’s Community Spotlight is with Lauren Cohen. Lauren discusses Rush University Medical Center’s “Road Home Program”. This unique program provides free mental healthcare to Veterans and families.

Connected to Chicago with Bill Cameron (06-16-2019) Special Guest-John Tillman

Joining the show this week is John Tillman of The Illinois Policy Institute. John breaks down the 40 billion dollar state budget, The graduated income tax, Governor Pritzker, Speaker Madigan,and taxes, taxes, and more taxes. Bill and John have the answers this week. Bill asks why Governor Rauner came up short on many issues while in office.

In this week’s round table segment, Bill Cameron is joined by Ray Long of The Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crain’s, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Heather Cherone, editor of The Daily Line. The discussion opens up with the news that Mayor Lightfoot will travel to New York where she’ll meet with the mayor of NYC, and Tape an interview with Stephen Colbert. What will the impact of her trip be back here in Chicago? What’s to come from all the new taxes?

This week’s Community Spotlight is with John Dempsey.

John discusses Chicago alderman Sophia King, who is introducing a measure to increase the Chicago Minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour by the year 2025.

Connected to Chicago with Bill Cameron (06-09-2019) Special Guest-Jim Durkin

Joining the show this week is Jim Durkin. Durkin is a Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives, and represents the 82nd District. Bill and Jim discuss the 40 billion dollar budget, What’s in it for Business?, Governor Pritzker’s willingness to make a deal, and compares Rauner and Pritzker. What will be the affect of another tax increase?

In this week’s round table segment, Bill Cameron is joined by Ray Long of The Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crain’s, Lynn Sweet and Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times. The discussion opens up with a review of the 40 billion dollar budget. Has the dam burst? Where will the casino go? What actions will Mayor Lightfoot take if this summer is very violent, especially with recent shootings on Lake Shore Drive at Fullerton.

This week’s Community Spotlight is with Nick Gale, and focus’s on the upcoming 2020 census and the importance of an accurate count.

Anita Banerji is director of the Democracy Initiative, an arm of the Forefront Organization which is trying to raise awareness. She says there are a few important reasons the census count is so important. One of those is the loss of representation on Capitol Hill. She says as it stands now, it’s likely Illinois will lose a congressional seat. If there is an under-count, that could possibly bring the number of seats lost to two.

In the budget signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker last weekend, the state allocated $29 million towards the census effort. In a speech this week, Pritzker took a swipe at former-Gov. Bruce Rauner for not doing enough to raise awareness. He says an under-count would mean Illinois would lose federal dollars. He also believes the federal government will provide no help and contends the Trump administration is doing all it can to push for an under-count.

Because of budget constraints, the Census Bureau is planning to collect the majority of census information online, meaning door to door canvassing will be scaled back.

Connected to Chicago (06-02-2019) Mayor Lightfoot Press Conference

This week starts off with a bang as Mayor Lightfoot gives an important press conference, and asks for Alderman Ed Burke’s resignation. Will Mayor Lightfoot be able to make the positive change she has talked about? Bill gets the inside scoop from State Rep. Will Guzzardi, and Jim Durkin.

In this week’s round table segment, Bill Cameron is joined by Ray Long of The Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crain’s, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Heather Cherone, editor of The Daily Line. The discussion opens up with big news out of City Hall with more charges bringing brought up against Alderman Ed Burke, Mayor Lightfoot demands Alderman Burke resign, and will Governor Pritzker get his main goals accomplished in Springfield by working with both parties?

This week’s Community Spotlight is with John Dempsey.

Chicago broke its record Thursday for the most rainfall during the month of May with a full day to spare.

This also mark’s the city’s second-wettest spring since the weather service started keeping track in 1871, with 16.36 inches of rainfall recorded for the season. The wettest spring recorded for Chicago saw 17.51 inches of rain in 1983.

The total rainfall for the month will likely increase later in the day, the weather service said. Showers are expected Thursday night, but Friday will close out the month with sunny skies and warmer temperatures, with a forecast high near 83 degrees.

Governor J.B. Pritzker also activated the 200 members of the Illinois National Guard to areas along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, to help sandbagging operations and levee monitoring and reinforcement, with another 200 on standby.

Connected to Chicago (05-26-2019) Special Guest-Kirk Dillard

Joining the show this week is Kirk Dillard. Dillard is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the RTA. Bill and Kirk discuss transit issues such as fixing Union Station, the stand off between Metra and Amtrak, The Invest in Transit Plan, The importance of Metra and how the RTA will function with a new Governor, and a new mayor of Chicago.

In this week’s round table segment, Bill Cameron is joined by Ray Long of The Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crain’s, Lynn Sweet and Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Heather Cherone, editor of The Daily Line. The discussion opens up with a recap of Bill’s interview with Kirk Dillard on Mass transit, Greg gives input on the graduated income tax, How will Mayor Lightfoot work with Michael Madigan and Governor Pritzker?

This week’s Community Spotlight is with Nick Gale, and covers the launch of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association ride-along program with state lawmakers.

It’s a pilot program intended to promote “mutual respect and trust between communities and law enforcement,” that is set to launch in July.

Jim Kaitschuk, executive director of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association says both groups need to have a stronger relationship and more frequent dialogue in order to have safe communities. He calls it “the beginning of an ongoing dialogue about how we can work together.”

Legislators from across the state will be invited to join county sheriffs and their officers on patrol, to gain an understanding of the local issues, and sheriffs will be invited to visit lawmakers in their districts in what amounts to an exchange program.

Those planning to participate include State Rep. Justin Slaughter of Chicago’s South Side and State Sen. John Mulroe of Chicago’s northwest side.

Kaitschuk says the program is similar to a program run by the Illinois Farm Bureau to get legislators from across the state to understand the needs and challenges of farmers.

Connected to Chicago (05-19-2019) Special Guest-Ald. Scott Waguespack

Bill talks with Alderman Scott Waguespack. Alderman Waguespack explains what he expects to happen when Lori Lightfoot takes office. Waguespack will become chairman of finance. Will there be an increase in property or sales tax?

In this week’s round table segment, Bill Cameron is joined by Greg Hinz of Crain’s, Ray Long of the Chicago Tribune, Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Heather Cherone, editor of The Daily Line. The discussion opens up with Governor Pritzker announces a forty billion dollar plan for the state, which include highter taxes. Lori Lightfoot will be sworn in as Mayor of Chicago on Monday. What changes can we expect to see? Mayor Pete Buttigieg is in town. Can he make a run in 2020?

This week’s Community Spotlight is with John Dempsey. John explains how the Simon Wiesenthal Center has released it’s 2019 Digital Terrorism and Hate Report Card. Since the 1990’s, African Americans have been the #1 target of race-based hate crimes and Jews have been the #1 target of religious-based hate crimes. Hate crimes and bigotry against Latinos, recent immigrants, Muslims and the LGBT community are plaguing our communities as well. Social media has supercharged hate, leading to an increase of lone wolf attacks in houses of worship.

Connected to Chicago (05-12-2019) Special Guest- Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Joining the show this week is Mayor Rahm Emanuel. It’s the Mayor’s final interview with Bill. The Mayor discusses with Bill his accomplishments. What will be Rahm’s legacy as he leaves office.

Bill welcomes in the Round Table to discuss the week in news, and what’s to come. Joining the show this week is Ray Long from the Chicago Tribune, Heather Cherone of The Daily Line, and Greg Hinz of Crain’s. The conversation kicks off with expert analysis of Mayor-elect Lightfoot’s trip to Washington D.C., and what results should we expect to see from it. Can the graduated income tax make it onto the 2020 ballot? Ray with an update on Springfield politics. Heather makes Robert Feder’s “Most powerful women in Chicago Journalism” list.

This week’s community spotlight is with John Dempsey. John discusses new legislation Senator Dick Durbin is sponsoring to crack down on Robocalls.

Connected to Chicago (05-05-2019) Special Guest-Assessor Fritz Kaegi

Joining the show this week is Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi. Kaegi describes how is improving the Cook County Assessor’s office, Gives details on what a property tax assessment is, and ways to modernize.

Bill welcomes in the Round Table to discuss the week in news, and what’s to come. Joining the show this week is Ray Long from the Chicago Tribune,Greg Hinz of Crains, Fran Spielman and Lynn Sweet of The Chicago Sun-Times. The conversation kicks off with a look back at Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s time in office, Governor Pritzker is looking to get the graduated income tax passed in Springfield, and Mayor-elect Lightfoot will be in Washington D.C. next week. What’s to come?

This week’s Connected to Chicago segment is with Nick Gale, and focuses on May being designated Mental Health Month.

We talk with Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America, which started Mental Health Month 70 years ago to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone.

A new report finds that Illinois ranks 11th in prevalence of mental Illness and access to care rankings. Gionfriddo says that’s a good standing.

This year’s theme, “4Mind4Body,” explores the topics of animal companionship, spirituality and religion, humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections as ways to boost mental health and general wellness.

Folks can also visit a tool kit that Mental Health America has put together at mentalhealthamerica.net/may

Connected to Chicago (04-28-2019) with Bill Cameron

Joining the show this week is Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot, and Illinois House GOP Leader Jim Durkin. Lightfoot describes how things are taking shape in assembling the new Mayoral administration, Rocky Wirtz sending a memo in hopes of revamping relations with the business community, and Jim Durkin joins the show to discuss how Governor Pritzker is being investigated. Durkin also answers the question of if there will be an elected school board in Chicago.

Bill welcomes in the Round Table to discuss the week in news, and what’s to come. Joining the show this week is Ray Long from the Chicago Tribune, Heather Cherone of The Daily Line, Fran Spielman and Lynn Sweet of The Chicago Sun-Times. The conversation kicks off with
expert analysis of “Toilet Gate”, Terrible news out of Crystal Lake, and will Lori Lightfoot’s Mayoral adminstration improve relations with the business community?

This week’s community spotlight is with Nick Gale, and focuses on Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s effort to pass legislation that will protect consumers from high-priced alternative retail electric and gas suppliers. Raoul says the companies claim to offer cheaper energy rates than traditional utility companies but are almost always more expensive.

Senate Bill 651, or the Home Energy Affordability and Transparency Act, would create transparency by equipping consumers with information so that they can understand what signing up with an alternative supplier will mean for their utility bills. The bill also protects energy assistance funds by ensuring public dollars cannot be expended on overpriced energy supplier contracts. SB 651 is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford.

Steve Bernas, president of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois tells consumers how to protect themselves when presented with such offers.

Connected to Chicago (04-21-2019) Mayor Richard M. Daley Retrospective

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley turns 77 next Wednesday April 24th. Bill plays the most memorable moments from the Mayor’s 22 years in office.

Bill welcomes in the Round Table to discuss the week in news, and what’s to come. Joining the show this week is Ray Long from the Chicago Tribune, Heather Cherone of The Daily Line, Fran Spielman and Lynn Sweet of The Chicago Sun-Times. The conversation kicks off with expert analysis on the Mueller Report. Mayor-elect Lightfoot looks to get rid of Aldermanic prerogative when she takes office in May, and is a graduated income tax taking shape in Springfield?

John Dempsey speaks with Colton Grace, a spokesman for a group called S.A.M., which stands for Smart Approaches to Marijuana. They talk about his group’s opposition to the idea of legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois.

Connected to Chicago (04-14-2019) Mayor Emanuel Retrospective

Mayor Rahm Emanuel reflects on his time in office. Bill includes comments from Alderman Ed Burke and Alderman Walter Burnett. What will be Rahm’s legacy as mayor?

In this week’s round table segment, Bill is joined by Ray Long and John Byrne of the Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crains, Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times. Will City Hall get a makeover when Lori Lightfoot takes office in May? Jussie Smollett is getting sued by the City of Chicago for the cost of overtime brought about from the investigation, and is a property tax increase inevitable?

This weeks Connected to Chicago segment is with Steve Bernas of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois. We talk about how last minute tax filers need to be aware of a new email phishing scam as well as the usual robo calls this time of year.

With the tax filing deadline Monday, consumers can expect a surge in scam calls. It’s prime time for robo calls especially imposters claiming to be from the IRS, Social Security or the Treasury Department. Last minute filers under pressure can be especially susceptible.

The Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois is also warning of a new email phishing scam. BBB CEO Steve Bernas says the new sophisticated tax phishing scam has been spotted by IBM’s X-Force. What’s scary is, it’s deploying a banking Trojan to steal banking credentials and misdirect victims into visiting malicious websites.

Connected to Chicago (04-07-2019) Special Guest-Lori Lightfoot

Joining the show this week is Lori Lightfoot. Lightfoot describes the feelings of winning the Mayoral election, What executive orders she has in mind when she starts on day one, and has the time finally come for political reform?

In this week’s round table segment, Bill is joined by Ray Long of the Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crains, Lynn Sweet and Fran of the Chicago Sun-Times. The round table opens up with a recap of this week’s Mayoral election as Lori Lightfoot defeats Toni Preckwinkle in a landslide victory. Will changes be made at City Hall?

This week’s community spotlight segment is with Nick Gale, and
highlights Child Abuse Prevention Month and the state’s efforts to raise awareness and also bring changes to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Denise Mc Caffrey , executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, says it is society’s role to ensure children aren’t falling victim to child abuse.

Gov. JB Pritzker underscores his commitment to improve the Department of Children and Family Services. Last week Pritzker nominated Marc Smith to lead DCFS and launched a review of the agency which will produce initial actionable recommendations.

Other advocates say the public can help as well by reporting suspected abuse. The state’s child abuse hotline is 800-25-ABUSE.

Connected to Chicago (03-31-2019) Special Guest-Laurence Msall

Joining the show this week is Laurence Msall. Msall is the President of the Civic Federation. Bill and Laurence discuss the issues that will be facing the new Mayor of Chicago, and Governor Pritzker. Msall explains how government and City Hall can be modernized.

In this week’s round table segment, Bill is joined by Ray Long of the Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crains, Lynn Sweet and Fran of the Chicago Sun-Times. The round table opens up with a great clip from this past Mayoral debate. The election is this upcoming Tuesday. Who will become the next mayor? Will Kim Foxx get re-elected as the Cook County State’s Attorney?

This week’s community spotlight segment is with John Dempsey.

John explains how there is a growing problem of Illinois State Troopers being struck while conducting traffic stops and assisting drivers.

Trooper Brooke Jones-Story, 34, was outside inspecting a semitrailer on Route 20 just west of Route 75 at 11:25 a.m. in Stephenson County, Illinois State Police said.

About an hour later, a combination semitrailer veered off the roadway and struck Jones-Story’s squad car, the semitrailer she was inspecting and Jones-Story herself, police said. Jones-Story, a 12-year veteran of District 16 in Pecatonica, died from the crash.