WBEZ | Southeast Side http://www.wbez.org/tags/southeast-side Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Push for solar power comes to Chicago's Southeast Side http://www.wbez.org/news/push-solar-power-comes-chicagos-southeast-side-110897 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Solar Chicago 2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Not long ago in a small storefront on Baltimore Avenue near the Indiana border a handful of folks got schooled on solar energy.</p><p>It was part education, part sales pitch put on by Seth Johnson, policy advocate with the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago.</p><p>&ldquo;Right now, we see a lot of fluctuation with energy prices. They seem every day to go up and down, up and down,&rdquo; Johnson said at the office of the Southeast Environmental Task Force in Chicago&rsquo;s Hegewisch neighborhood in late September. &ldquo;What you do with solar energy is you lock in that price. You make that upfront investment but then you levelize your cost in the long run.&rdquo;</p><p>Johnson&rsquo;s been making these types of sales pitches throughout the Chicago area since July.</p><p>He&rsquo;s trying to get people to take advantage of incentives offered by the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago before the October 10 deadline.&nbsp;</p><p>Peggy Salazar is with the Southeast Side Environmental Task Force, which hosted the informational meeting. Her group is on the front lines of banning companies from storing potentially harmful pet coke nearby.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re the ones that deal with the air emissions from the pet coke being stored. We have the BP refinery that is just across the border,&rdquo; Salazar said. &ldquo;But the emissions from the actual refinery don&rsquo;t stop at the Indiana border, they blow toward us.&rdquo;</p><p>Salazar says eventually they want to attract cleaner energy companies to the Southeast side.</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s what we would love to see in this area. So, it&rsquo;s very important that we work hard to at least help direct people to new, cleaner renewable energy,&rdquo; Salazar said.&nbsp;</p><p>Local resident Maria Gallegos said she was on the fence, but wants to do something to help curb fossil fuels -- especially in her own backyard.</p><p>&ldquo;This is an industrial area. Pollution has been a big problem,&rdquo; Gallegos said.</p><p>Gallegos said the main issue with a solar panel system is the cost factor.</p><p>&ldquo;Even though there&rsquo;s some incentives, right out of the bat it&rsquo;s pretty expensive,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Depending on the solar panel system, a customer can expect to shell out $8,000 to $18,000.</p><p>And that return of investment in lower ComEd bills may not be realized for at least seven years.</p><p>That may be one reason why only about 100 people have signed up to purchase a solar panel system in Greater Chicago since July, according to Johnson.</p><p>But Luis Rojas is giving solar energy a try. Rojas is a construction manager with Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago. The 59-year-old lives on Chicago&rsquo;s Southeast Side on Avenue H.</p><p>Rojas said his investment in solar makes sense in the long run.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m really excited about it,&rdquo; Rojas said. &ldquo;Lately, I&rsquo;ve been putting a lot of attention to the efficiency of my house and the footprint that we all leave just by living.&rdquo;</p><p>He&rsquo;s already installed barrels next to his two-flat to capture rainwater that he uses to water the grass.</p><p>Now, after years of considering solar energy, Rojas says it finally makes financial sense.</p><p>&ldquo;Solar PV panels, they were always really expensive to install and the second things was the efficiency rating of them,&rdquo; Rojas said. &ldquo;The efficiency looks like it has quadrupled in the last five or six years so I&rsquo;m in for it.&rdquo;</p><p>A dozen solar panels, each about the size of a flat-screen TV, will be installed on Rojas&rsquo; roof in the next few weeks.</p><p>The system would normally cost $12,000 but with the state and city incentives, Rojas expects to only pay half that much.</p><p>And eventually, it will cut his electricity bill by more than half.</p><p>&ldquo;If you can save money and then at the same time do some good to the environment, well, here&rsquo;s my two pennies,&rdquo; Rojas said.</p></p> Mon, 06 Oct 2014 13:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/push-solar-power-comes-chicagos-southeast-side-110897 Dad gets sober, learns how to be a father http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/dad-gets-sober-learns-how-be-father-110347 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 9.00.38 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>Jerome Biegel grew up in a big Catholic family on Chicago&rsquo;s Southeast Side, the middle of nine children. His father worked in an industry supporting the steel mills and, like a lot of kids on the Southeast Side, he thought he&rsquo;d follow in his father&rsquo;s footsteps.</p><p>Earlier this year, Jerome Biegel, 66, joined his daughters Karen Benita Reyes, Kendall Veronica Biegel and granddaughter Una Reyes in the StoryCorps booth at the Chicago Cultural Center. They talked about his childhood on the Southeast Side and how he became a father.</p><p>Jerome says at that time the Southeast Side was full of open space. Despite having eight siblings, he was able to play in the prairies around his house. He went away to high school at a seminary, where he soon learned about the war in Vietnam. After school he entered the military and went overseas.</p><p>When he got back to Chicago at age 24, he worked at the Solo cup factory, where he met a woman. They had a child, Karen. Jerome was drinking heavily at the time.</p><p>It wasn&rsquo;t until years later &ndash; and the birth of another child &ndash; that he was able to quit drinking and learn to become a father.</p><p>&ldquo;How was it different to be a father the first time and the second time around?&rdquo; Jerome&rsquo;s daughter Karen asks him in this week&rsquo;s StoryCorps. &ldquo;Did you perfect it all the second time?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think I perfected anything,&rdquo; Jerome says. &ldquo;The big difference was definitely me, and the condition I was in. Being an alcoholic the first ten years of your life I was still drinking and abusing alcohol. I know I was around and I know I was there physically. But I feel like I missed more than I wanted to with you growing up.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I learned in recovery the whole thing about &lsquo;stopping drinking wasn&rsquo;t enough,&rsquo;&rdquo; Jerome says. &ldquo;You had to find something else in your life to replace that feeling that we got from alcohol, from drinking.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Life has a tendency to take things away as well as present us with opportunities. That charge that I used to get from drinking was real and I felt it. And you can&rsquo;t shy away from that and say I never wanna feel that way, or I shouldn&rsquo;t feel that way.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;You gotta find something else in your life. Life has a tendency to take some things away but I think it&rsquo;s important for us to help both ourselves and the people around us to find new ways to not only replace those feelings but to find a bigger high.&rdquo;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/6250422&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Sun, 15 Jun 2014 08:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/dad-gets-sober-learns-how-be-father-110347 Pet coke dusting leads to lawsuit http://www.wbez.org/news/pet-coke-dusting-leads-lawsuit-109052 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/ash_0.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Four families living on Chicago&rsquo;s far Southeast Side filed a lawsuit Thursday against several companies for failing to contain mountains of black ash dust.</p><p>The families say the dust has coated their homes&mdash;inside and out&mdash;and is making life unbearable in a area of the city already saturated by heavy industry.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s horrible,&rdquo; said Jane Gould, 54, of who lives near the huge piles of dust with her elderly mother. &ldquo;I have to take care of my mom. I can&rsquo;t be cleaning the windows every other day. The window tracks, they are full of black dirt.&rdquo;</p><p>Chicago attorney Tom Zimmerman is representing the families.</p><p>He filed his lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Thursday.</p><p>The defendants are:</p><ul><li>KCBX Terminals Co.</li><li>George J. Beemsterboer, Inc.</li><li>KM Railways, LLC</li><li>Transload Realty, LLC</li><li>DTE Chicago Fuels Terminal, LLC</li><li>Calumet Transload Railroad, LLC</li><li>Koch Carbon, LLC</li></ul><p>Zimmerman hopes a judge not only awards monetary damages, but wants an injunction against the company.</p><p>&ldquo;To force the companies to stop polluting the neighborhood with black dust that is blowing off their piles. They can either cover it or enclose it,&rdquo; Zimmerman said.<br /><br />Local steel companies and BP&rsquo;s Refinery in Whiting, Indiana transport either coal dust or petcoke to the Southeast Side for storage.</p><p>Steel companies use coal in the steelmaking process, while pet coke is a sort of fuel byproduct from the refining of crude oil.</p><p>BP spokesman Scott Dean says coal dust and pet coke ash are very difficult to tell apart.</p><p>Dean acknowledges BP contracts with KCBX, but not with Beemsterboer, a Hammond, Indiana based company, to transport tons of petcoke by truck from Whiting to the Southeast Side.</p><p>Unlike in the Southeast Side, federal and Indiana laws require BP to cover the petcoke so it does not blow away. Dean says the refinery can store up to a week&rsquo;s worth of petcoke at the Whiting refinery.</p><p>He says petcoke is actually a fuel and is used as a coal substitute. It&rsquo;s usually transported by barge to markets overseas such as China or Mexico.</p><p>BP is not named in the lawsuit -- but many have pointed fingers at BP for causing the problem because it intends to process heavier Canadian crude oil once its $4 billion modernization at its Whiting refinery is completed in a few months.</p><p>Dean says BP has been trucking pet coke to the South Side for years and hasn&rsquo;t even started processing tar sands crude oil from Canada yet.</p><p>Dean says the company has a business relationship with KCBX Terminals to store the petcoke, but no other company.</p><p>&ldquo;You expect your third party contractors to obey all local rules and regulations. As far as I can tell, they (KCBX) are. It&rsquo;s their facility. They are responsible for the operations of it,&rdquo; Dean said last week.</p><p>At Thursday&rsquo;s press conference, Southeast Side resident and plaintiff Alfredo Mendoza says he&rsquo;s worried about the health of safety for his three children, a son, 13, and two daughters, 12 and 11.</p><p>&ldquo;I have asthma myself. My son also has asthma,&rdquo; Mendoza said. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s a little better but we still live in the same area. We can&rsquo;t even enjoy the yard outside because of all the dust.&rdquo;</p><p>Another plaintiff,&nbsp; Lily Martin, says her 21-year-old daughter also suffers from asthma and worries what the effect the dust will have.</p><p>&ldquo;You can see the black dust everywhere. You have to power wash every week,&rdquo; Martin said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s getting worse because the wind is blowing the dust everywhere.&rdquo;</p><p>No date has been set to hear the lawsuit.</p><p>The filing of the lawsuit comes one day after the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency filed a complaint against Beemsterboer for failing to cover the ash and for not filing necessary reports to the state.</p><p>Beemsterboer is based in Hammond, Indiana and has been in business for 70 years, mostly handling steel slag, another byproduct in the steelmaking process that is often used in concrete.</p><p>The companies could not be reached for comment.</p><p><em>Follow WBEZ reporter Michael Puente <a href="http://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews" target="_blank">@MikePuenteNews</a> and on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/WBEZ-Northwest-Indiana-Bureau/701257506570573?ref=br_tf" target="_blank">Facebook</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 31 Oct 2013 17:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/pet-coke-dusting-leads-lawsuit-109052 Southeast Side: Will new community rise on old South Works steel site? http://www.wbez.org/sections/art/southeast-side-will-new-community-rise-old-south-works-steel-site-107443 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/8893544482_980f6847e2_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago velodrome is a place where super-light bikes race at lightning speeds around a steep slanted wooden track. It&rsquo;s on a corner of a sprawling overgrown swath of land along the lake on Chicago&rsquo;s Southeast Side.</p><p>One of the largest steel mills in the country, U.S. Steel&rsquo;s South Works plant, once stood here. The steel mill was the lifeblood of the community. In its heyday it employed 20,000 people and its blast furnaces lit up the sky. But like mills all over the Midwest, South Works struggled through the 1980s to compete with overseas producers. In 1992, South Works was shut down and then demolished.</p><p>This is lakefront property. It&rsquo;s huge, bigger than the Loop. No surprise then that developer Dan McCaffery plans to create practically a new city here: more than 13,000 homes, upscale shopping, a marina, a scientific research park, wind turbines, a charter school.</p><p>&ldquo;When you think about the scale, and the fact that it&rsquo;s been 25 years since that community was basically abandoned, with respect to a job-maker this thing has got enormous potential consequences,&rdquo; McCaffery said.</p><p>The site starts just south of Rainbow Beach at 79<sup>th</sup> Street. It is surrounded by a ribbon of tall chain link fence adorned with colorful banners showing the manicured gardens, chic apartments and happy people that the developers promise will materialize soon.</p><p>But they&rsquo;ve been talking about it for more than a decade, and so far the most concrete improvement is a new extension of Lake Shore Drive stretching for 10 blocks through the middle of the site. The velodrome, which isn&#39;t part of the McCaffery development, is at the southern end.</p><p>Emanuele Bianchi is an Italian immigrant, bike fanatic and the driving force behind the velodrome. He&rsquo;s assembled a team of dedicated riders, and on a Saturday in May he rides a converted German motorbike to pace them.</p><p>Local residents are a little perplexed by the velodrome. Since the steel mill closed, this area has fallen on hard times. Everywhere you look are overgrown empty lots and vacant boarded-up buildings, many of them scarred by fire.</p><p>Locals do not typically ride expensive bikes or wear pricey, tight-fitting cycling outfits. Some enjoy watching the velodrome races. Others see the velodrome as an intrusion, an effort to bring a new class of people to the Southeast Side. It&rsquo;s the way many people here feel about Lakeside Development as a whole.</p><p>Will it bring new jobs and opportunities for local residents, or will it be for other people, a separate and more upscale city where current residents won&rsquo;t feel welcome?</p><p>Mike Medrano grew up and still lives practically across the street from the site. &ldquo;If it&rsquo;s nice, shiny and new, I don&rsquo;t see why they&rsquo;d include us,&rdquo; Medrano said. &ldquo;They&rsquo;ve never included us in any particular way before, so, you don&rsquo;t have enough people with the education to have the jobs to afford to buy the houses out here.&rdquo;</p><p>Medrano&rsquo;s neighbor Maura Barajas feels the same way. Her son translated. &ldquo;The people that are richer are going to advance more than the ones that are in the middle.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Anyone that feels they haven&rsquo;t been involved or haven&rsquo;t been consulted just hasn&rsquo;t shown up,&rdquo; McCaffery said. &ldquo;Every community you go into you could hold 150 meetings, at the 151&nbsp;meeting someone will say, &lsquo;I wasn&rsquo;t consulted.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>McCaffery&rsquo;s staff leads frequent tours of the site. And on a cold spring day, project manager Nasutsa Mabwa led a large group on one such tour, telling them: &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of passion here, it means a lot to many people, so we&rsquo;re not just the big bad developer coming in to push things around, we really are here to stay and we&rsquo;re working really hard to make sure we listen and involve a lot of different groups and really understand how we can be a good partner and move things forward.&rdquo;</p><p>The bus stopped at the north end of the site and people climbed out to admire the view of downtown. Area resident Evelyn Johnson pulled her coat tight against the wind. &ldquo;My son was eight when I started working at U.S. Steel,&quot;she said. &quot;He&rsquo;s 48 now. If they start a new development, I want to be a part of it. I want to be a part of this&hellip;.It would improve the neighborhood quite a bit, for housing primarily, and then they are going to put in Crate and Barrels, some of the stores they have in the Loop or suburban areas. I think it would be quite a nice development.&rdquo;</p><p>Karen Roothan skipped the tour because she&rsquo;s already been on the site plenty. Since moving here 13 years ago and being labeled the dirty hippie by some neighbors, Roothan has worked hard to build community gardens and cultivate relationships. &ldquo;Meow, oh you&rsquo;re not speaking to me today Mr. Cat, huh? He likes to live in my garage in the winter,&rdquo; Roothan laughed. &ldquo;Now he pretends he doesn&rsquo;t know me. So these are native perennials here, plus a little blown in trash.&rdquo;</p><p>Roothan thinks Lakeside will uproot people like her.</p><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;Are we going to cater to rich people who don&rsquo;t even live here,&quot; she asked, &quot;or are we going to cater to poor people and moderate income people who already live here and are trying to cope? Does it make sense to build a lot of new houses when you have vacant buildings everywhere?&rdquo;</p><p>Bianchi, the Italian bicyclist, thinks new development could have big ripple effects. He&rsquo;d love to see a world-class indoor velodrome on the site. But he&rsquo;s starting to get discouraged: &ldquo;Unfortunately it won&rsquo;t be easily financed because it looks like it&rsquo;s extremely hard to find the companies or institutions that are willing to invest in sports, especially cycling. Everybody says, &lsquo;Oh yeah we can help you but you&rsquo;ve got to find the money.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>The biggest question facing Lakeside may not be what effect it will have on residents, but whether it will be built at all.&nbsp;Financing still has not been obtained for even phase one of construction. The city is building a new park along the lakefront, sidewalks and sewers. But a promised $98 million tax subsidy won&rsquo;t kick in until retail space is leased. McCaffery thinks things will really pick up once the Lake Shore Drive extension opens. That&rsquo;s scheduled for September.</p><div id="PictoBrowser130530135135">Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer</div><script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.db798.com/pictobrowser/swfobject.js"></script><script type="text/javascript"> var so = new SWFObject("http://www.db798.com/pictobrowser.swf", "PictoBrowser", "500", "500", "8", "#EEEEEE"); so.addVariable("source", "sets"); so.addVariable("names", "The Southeast Side of Chicago"); so.addVariable("userName", "chicagopublicmedia"); so.addVariable("userId", "33876038@N00"); so.addVariable("ids", "72157633815674310"); so.addVariable("titles", "on"); so.addVariable("displayNotes", "on"); so.addVariable("thumbAutoHide", "off"); so.addVariable("imageSize", "medium"); so.addVariable("vAlign", "mid"); so.addVariable("vertOffset", "0"); so.addVariable("colorHexVar", "EEEEEE"); so.addVariable("initialScale", "off"); so.addVariable("bgAlpha", "90"); so.write("PictoBrowser130530135135"); </script></p> Fri, 31 May 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/art/southeast-side-will-new-community-rise-old-south-works-steel-site-107443 The Dave Matthews Band Caravan rolls up on the Southeast Side http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-08/dave-matthews-band-caravan-rolls-southeast-side-88873 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-08/US Steel.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.davematthewsband.com/" target="_blank">The Dave Matthews Band Caravan</a> rolled into Chicago Friday, adding yet another festival to Chicago’s hectic summer schedule. But many people have been surprised by where they pulled up - the former site of U.S. Steel on the city's far Southeast Side.</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-07-07/steel-mill-site%E2%80%99s-second-act-88844">Related: A steel mill site's second act</a></p><p>Although there are <a href="http://www.mccafferyinterests.com/content.cfm/lakeside_1" target="_blank">plans to develop</a> an area that boasts nearly 600 acres of lakefront land with panoramic views of downtown, before the caravan arrived it was little more than gravel and mud. To discuss why the caravan opted for a site that has never held a concert before and what this could mean for the Southeast Side and the future of festivals in Chicago, <em>Eight Forty-Eight's</em> Richard Steele was joined by <a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/bio_jim.html" target="_blank">Jim DeRogatis</a>, WBEZ’s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis" target="_blank">music critic</a> and host of <em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/" target="_blank">Sound Opinions</a>.</em></p><p><em>Music Button: Kid Cudi, "Erase Me" (Feat. Kanye West) from the release Man on the Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager (Universal Motown)</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 08 Jul 2011 13:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-08/dave-matthews-band-caravan-rolls-southeast-side-88873 10th ward in the hizzouse: Southeast Side architecture goes hip-hop http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/10th-ward-hizzouse-southeast-side-architecture-goes-hip-hop <p><p style="text-align: center;"><object width="485" height="297"><param value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Fmzczc5Ff-I?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" name="movie" /><param value="true" name="allowFullScreen" /><param value="always" name="allowscriptaccess" /><embed width="485" height="297" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Fmzczc5Ff-I?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></embed></object></p><p>My neighbor, architect <a href="http://www.windhorst-gorski.com/">Jim Gorski</a>, turned me on to this video via his Facebook page. The rap video features some sharp black-and-white cinematography of far Southeast Side of Chicago; and the rapper himself only appears briefly--I think--as a hooded figure at what I am guessing is the pier at 63rd Street Beach. The rest of the clip is composed entirely of images of places and spaces on the Southeast Side, most of shot from a passing vehicle.</p><p>The underside of the Skyway. St. Francis DeSales. Ewing. Avenue M. Power lines. &quot;Southeast as you can before you reach the state line,&quot;&nbsp;as the rap goes.</p><p>Nicely done. As is this one from the same artist, Cojack:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><object width="600" height="345"><param value="http://www.youtube.com/v/277EIG_OvDo?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" name="movie" /><param value="true" name="allowFullScreen" /><param value="always" name="allowscriptaccess" /><embed width="600" height="345" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/277EIG_OvDo?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></embed></object></p> Fri, 14 Jan 2011 12:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/10th-ward-hizzouse-southeast-side-architecture-goes-hip-hop Tribune: Police questioning 'person of interest' in shooting deaths http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-police-department/reward-offered-shooting-death-chicago-police-officer <p><p>The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Chicago police are questioning a 'person of interest' in connection to the shooting death of a police officer and a former CHA&nbsp;officer Friday. The 19 year-old man reportedly lives across the street from the alley where the bodies were found.&nbsp;</p><p>Authorities say a Chicago police officer was fatally shot while processing a burglary scene at a garage on the city's Southeast Side.</p><p>The dead officer was identified Friday evening as 46-year-old Michael Flisk, an evidence technician. Weis says Flisk has a wife and four children, plus three siblings who also work for the Chicago police department.&nbsp; The Chicago Police News Affairs office said Friday evening that Flisk joined the department in 1991 and was promoted to evidence technician in 2007.</p><p>A second person killed in the same incident was 44-year old Stephen Peters. Peters was a former police officer with the Chicago Housing Authority.</p><p>The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the fatal shooting of the second Chicago police officer this week.</p><p><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Sat, 27 Nov 2010 16:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-police-department/reward-offered-shooting-death-chicago-police-officer