Minnesota Rural Partners Round-Up
August-September 2013– Volume XI, Number 8
Compiled and edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
–Across the Field
Across the Field: How do you find out about or share with others what’s working to strengthen community? by Jane Leonard
This issue of the Minnesota Rural Partners Round-Up covers two months of goings-on and information. We’ll be back to the regular monthly timetable in October. We combined issues because we’ve been a bit busy this summer attending gatherings where community know-how gets exchanged between people, organizations, and communities. Face-to-face exchange, combined with online research and follow-up, is a powerful combination for knowledge sharing. Such knowledge exchange is essential for tapping resources timely, wisely and effectively to help your community thrive.
Here are two such exchange mechanisms that have caught my eye, thanks to recent face-to-face gatherings:
The site (and downloadable and request-by-snail-mail book) examines what we can learn from the history of community development and provides dozens of innovative ideas for working with new partners, creating new financing tools, and leveraging new technologies to bring opportunities to America’s struggling communities.
According to one reviewer, the resource “presents the thoughtful ideas and philosophies of an extremely diverse set of leading scholars…policy-oriented experts…practitioners who have been driving community-based innovation. In doing so, it leads…to interesting—and sometimes unexpected—places regarding the best approaches for driving effective transformational change.”
Community Change Resource Bank is an online searchable database that houses resources pertaining to community change and policy. It is being organized by a coalition of community, economic, and rural development practitioners and researchers nationwide.
The site includes information and people-to-people connections for funding resources, expertise, networks, media, links, technical assistance, models, best practice documents, templates, consultants, political connections, knowledge, experts in the field and more.
We’d like to know how you find out and/or share what’s working to strengthen community. Send me an email (to firstname.lastname@example.org) with your examples of ways to exchange community know-how and we’ll publish them in the October issue of the Rural Round-Up.
— AVON Breast Health Outreach Program links medically underserved women to breast health education and screening services. Grants are available to community-based nonprofit organizations in the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to support non-medical expenses incurred by funded programs that link underserved women with free or low-cost breast cancer screening services and follow-up care. Deadline: 8/23/2013. Visit the website here to download the request for applications.
—Initiative Foundation (Central Region) is accepting applications for The Financial Resiliency & Social Enterprise (FRSE) grant and training program until August 23, 2013. The program is designed to help nonprofits become more financially sustainable and identify alternative sources of revenue. Learn more
—The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation is offering $100,000 in Incentive Grants to invest in economic growth in its region. Grants of up to $20,000 are available to support collaborative projects or programs in early childhood and entrepreneur development areas. Applications due August 30. Learn more about this opportunity.
— The MPCA is now accepting proposals for projects that will reduce Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS) in Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and streams. Funding for selected projects will be provided by the Federal Clean Water Act Section 319 (Section 319) grant funds. Proposals for nonpoint source development, education or applied research (DER) projects, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or Watershed Protection and Restoration Strategy (WRAPS) implementation projects are being solicited. The MPCA anticipates about two and a half million dollars will be available this year, contingent upon Congressional appropriation. There is a maximum limit of $300,000 per project funding request. Projects must be funded with at least a 45 percent local cash or in-kind match. The Federal share of the total project cost can be no more than 55 percent. Grant funds are limited and MPCA urges proposers to request only those funds needed to complete a project by August 31, 2017. For more information go to: http://www.pca.state.mn.us/8d46c89
— The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is accepting applications for grants for transportation of veterans in highly rural areas. Eligible organizations should use innovative approaches to assist veterans with transportation to VA and non-VA facilities for medical care, serving veterans who would not otherwise be able to obtain medical care through conventional transportation options. Applications due September 9.
–HUD is offering grants through The Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant Program that supports the implementation of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans, including housing rehabilitation, programs for youth, and the creation of public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods. Deadline: 9/10/2013. Click here for more information.
—The Economic Development Administration is offering grants for the Funding Cycle 1 of 2014. Grants made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets to support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to increase economic prosperity in distressed communities. Eligible: nonprofits, governments, Native American governments, public institutions of higher learning and others. Deadline to apply: 9/13/2013. For more information, click here.
–The AETNA Foundation is offering grants to nonprofit organizations for healthy food and activity initiatives that serve people who are most at risk for poor health – low-income, underserved or minority populations. The 2013 focus is on the following two categories: Healthy Food Choices grants supporting programs that provide nutrition education and help increase the availability of affordable fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved communities; and Healthy Activity grants supporting programs that provide opportunities for physical activity in underserved communities. Deadline: 9/15/2013. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.
–The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies, including libraries, to develop faculty and library leaders, to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians, to conduct research, to attract high school and college students to consider careers as librarians, to build institutional capacity in graduate schools of library and information science, and to assist in the professional development of librarians and library staff. Deadline: 9/16/2013. Click here for an application and to learn more.
–The Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care’s application materials for the Indian Health Grant Program, which helps applicants establish, operate or subsidize clinic facilities and services to offer health services to American Indians who live off reservations, are now available. Nonprofit organizations, governmental and tribal entities are eligible to apply. Applications due September 18.
–The Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot program seeks applications for grants to organizations that will assist veterans and their families in transitioning from military service to civilian life in rural or underserved communities. Applications due September 19.
—The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) has numerous arts grants with October 1st deadlines. For more information go to: http://www.ecrac.org/grants
–Does your organization have a research project or need funds to support tourism education? Consider applying for the Carlson Chair for Travel, Tourism & Hospitality at the University of Minnesota’s Tourism Center. Applications are due Tuesday, October 1st. For more information, visit: http://z.umn.edu/faa. Questions can be addressed to email@example.com.
–The Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care’s application materials for the Community Clinic Grant Program are now available. These grants support clinical capacity to serve people with low incomes, reduce current or future uncompensated care burdens, or improve care delivery infrastructure. Pre-applications are due October 4. If invited, full applications will be due January 8.
—Explore Minnesota Tourism (EMT) grant guidelines for 2014 grants are now available. The grant program is offered to assist communities and scenic byway organizations in attracting travelers to Minnesota. Information on the program and guidelines for grants are posted on the industry website here. Application deadline is Tuesday, October 15, 2013.
Following a task force review of guidelines, the following will remain in effect: the 1:1 or 2:1 match requirement has been continued. Organizations with total income of $100,000 or less qualify for a 1:1 match; those with total income over $100,000 are required to match at 2:1. Please review the guidelines for more detail, but some of the significant changes for 2014 are:
- The maximum grant amount has increased to $8,000.
- Up to 50% of the grant amount awarded may be used for marketing to Minnesota residents (up from 30% in 2013).
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) programs are now eligible (using outside vendors only).
- Grantees are now required to post the Explore Minnesota logo with a link to the exploreminnesota.com website on the home page of their website.
- The EMT logo must be included on all projects and the minimum size of the logo is 1” wide by .0358.”
- Religious Conference Managers Association (RCMA) 2015 is eligible for funding in the 2014 grant program.
If you are a Minnesota nonprofit tourism or scenic byway organization and want further information, contact your regional manager:
Central – Carol Altepeter, 888-629-6466 or David Bergman, 888-563-7777 Metro – Gayle Junnila, 800-657-3637; 651-757-1852 Northwest – Carol Altepeter, 888-629-6466 or David Bergman, 888-563-7777 Northeast – Tim Campbell, 888-876-6784 Southern – Dave Vogel, 888-975-6766 OR call Explore Minnesota Tourism at 800-657-3637; 651-757-1848.
–WILD ONES, a nonprofit environmental education and advocacy organization, is accepting applications from projects that use native plants to develop and enhance an appreciation for nature among children and youth. Grants ranging from $100 to $500 will be awarded for projects that emphasize the involvement of students and volunteers in all phases of development. Deadline to apply: 10/15/2013. For an application, click here.
—Whole Kids Foundation is accepting applications for its School Garden Grant Program. Grants of $2,000 are available for garden projects at public and private K-12 schools in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. Deadline to apply: 10/31/2013. Click here to visit the website.
–The Office Depot Foundation is offering grant support to nonprofit organizations, government agencies, libraries, and schools that bring systemic change to the communities they serve. The Foundation provides grants averaging $1,000 in three distinct categories. The focus of the “Giving Children Tools for Success” category is on activities that give young people tools to succeed in school and in life through education and inspiration. The “Building Capacity to Serve Communities” category targets programs that help nonprofit organizations to serve the needs of their communities efficiently. The purpose of the “Disaster Preparedness, Relief, Recovery, and Rebuilding” category is to support efforts that help people and communities prepare for disasters and rebuild and recover when disasters occur. Applications will be accepted from May 1 through October 31, 2013. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review the guidelines.
–The Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF) is a national, community-based organization that supports American Indian nations and people working to recover and control heir homelands. ILTF is accepting Letters of Inquiry to support various aspects of Native land recovery, with a focus on reacquiring alienated federal lands. Grants of up to $100,000 will be awarded to support Native land recovery efforts, with a focus on reacquiring alienated federal lands. Deadline is 12/2/13 to submit a Letter of Inquiry. For more information on these grants, click here.
—USDA Rural Development’s Direct Home Repair Loan and Grant programs are designed to help eligible, low-income seniors who own inadequate but repairable housing. Qualified projects can include repairing or replacing a roof, winterizing, purchasing or repairing a heating system, structural repair, water and sewage connect fees, and similar uses. Applicants must own and occupy the home, and their income may not exceed guidelines established by county and household size. Applicants must also have an acceptable credit history, show repayment ability, be unable to afford a conventional loan and live in a community with a population of 20,000 or fewer. The maximum loan is $20,000, repayable over 20 years with a one percent interest rate. Grants of up to $7,500 are also available to homeowners over the age of 62 and must be used to remove health or safety hazards. Contact your local Rural Development office or visit Rural Development’s website at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/MNHome.html to learn more about our Direct Home Repair Loan & Grant programs.
— DOE offers funding for clean energy projects on tribal lands. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is offering up to $7 million to deploy clean energy systems in tribal communities. Through the “Community-Scale Clean Energy Projects in Indian Country” funding opportunity, up to $4.5 million is available for projects installing clean energy systems that reduce fossil fuel use by at least 15 percent in either new or existing tribal buildings. The “Tribal Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Deployment Assistance” funding opportunity offers up to $2.5 million for projects installing renewable energy and energy efficiency that reduce fossil fuel use in existing tribal buildings by at least 30 percent. The full funding opportunities are described on the Tribal Energy Program website.
—USDA is inviting applications under the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program for FY 2013. Funding to support $33 million in loans and $10 million in grants is available. Deadline: applications received by 4:30 PM on the last day of the month will be considered for funding for the following month. Apply to the USDA Rural Development State Office in the state where your project is located. For a list, click here.
— The CHS Foundation invests in the future of rural America, agriculture and cooperative business through education and leadership development and supports national projects related to its mission as well as programs within the CHS trade territory for regional multi-state, or statewide projects. The Foundation’s funding focuses on the following program areas: Cooperative Education, Rural Youth Leadership Development, Farm and Agricultural Safety, Returning Value to Rural Communities, and University Partnerships. All applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, with the exception of Cooperative Education applications, which are due in the fall of each year. Visit the Foundation’s website here for a description of each grant category and online application instructions.
— Immigration Debate: What You Need to Know. Minnesota Compass project manager Craig Helmstetter points out 5 things Minnesotans should know about our unique and growing immigrant population. Read more
–Rural Health Community Forum in St. Peter. Join ORHPC in gathering information and making recommendations about rural health care in Minnesota. Interested citizens, hospital administrators and staff, emergency medical services personnel, health care providers, and community organizers and leaders are encouraged to attend a regional forum in St. Peter on August 22 from 10:00 to 2:00 at River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic. Your input will help shape state and national health care policies and activities. To attend, please register here. For more information, contact Judy Bergh at 651-201-3843 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Promise Zones Informational Webinar will be held Thursday, August 22, 2013 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. ET (9:00 – 10:30 a.m. PT) REGISTER HERE . The Promise Zones initiative is an exciting new strategy being implemented by the Obama Administration to address the challenges of concentrated poverty. Building upon the proven tools implemented by the President during his first term to combat poverty, this initiative will designate a number of high-poverty communities as Promise Zones, with which the federal government will partner and invest in to create jobs, leverage private investment, increase economic activity, expand educational opportunities, and improve public safety. This webinar will introduce this interagency effort, explore its potential for tackling complex issues, and discuss eligibility for application.
—Upcoming Webinar: An All-In Primer: Demographic Change and the Economic Imperative of Equity, Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Eastern. To register go to: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=5gs3n4hhcnt3
—Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) is offering online Wastewater Workshops August 28 and September 14, 2013. The workshops offer use of a blackboard online platform that allows for two-way audio and video interaction with the instructors and real-time simultaneous mark-up of whiteboards and participant exercises. The events are free of charge and qualify for contact hours. Learn more and register here.
–The 2013 SBA Minnesota Lenders’ Conference is just around the corner. Small business loans financed through the SBA provide needed access to capital for start-up and existing small business owners across Minnesota. Take this opportunity to learn how to maximize your organization’s participation in SBA’s lending programs and build your network of SBA program and industry experts. Commercial and Business Banking Lenders, Credit Union Leaders, Credit Analysts, Underwriters, Credit Administration, SBA Servicing Providers/Loan Packagers, Microloan Lenders, Community Advantage Lenders and all other interested parties should attend. An exhibit hall will be on display from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will include a number of industry leaders, nonprofits and government agencies. The event is set for Thursday, September 5, 2013, at the Marriott Minneapolis Northwest in Brooklyn Park, Minn. Conference welcome remarks begin at 9:00 a.m. and workshops run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e7oxt7096d2ddbfe
—The Rural Palliative Care Networking Group will feature a special presentation, “Symptom management at end-of-life,” on September 19 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at United Family Home Care and Hospice in Little Falls. To register for in-person attendance or conference call, contact Matt Ellis by September 12 at email@example.com or 952-853-8539.
—Northwest Minnesota Foundation Leadership Growth and Development Scholarships are now available to nonprofits and small businesses located in the Northwest 12-county region. What You Need to Know About the Business of Lending Event, September 25, provides small business owners and future small business owners the opportunity to meet area lenders and learn about their loan programs.
—Wealth Creation and Rural Livelihoods is offering a webinar titled “Crowdfunding: Can your organization leverage the online power of social media to access new sources of funding?” on Thursday, September 26, 2013, 1-2:00 PM ET. To register, click here.
—The 2013 PedalMN Bicycle Summit on Monday, September 30 – Tuesday, October 1, in the Cuyuna/Brainerd Lakes Area. New to the Summit schedule are experiential sessions on Mountain Biking at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area on Monday afternoon. Connectivity will be a central theme for the Summit.
o Connecting trails and road routes
o Connecting partners within and across communities
o Connecting locally and nationally as we promote bicycling in Minnesota ….and more!
—Access and Opportunities: All Things Not Being Equal is the 29th Annual Conference on Policy Analysis. It will be held on October 16 at the University of Minnesota in Saint Paul. Despite the rhetoric often heard about the American Dream and the United States as the Land of Opportunity, we cannot seem to eliminate disparities and many inequalities continue to grow. What is the cost of these disparities to our society? Whose responsibility is it to reduce or eliminate them? Why does it matter? This year’s conference is designed to look at these questions and consider the policy, political, and implementation aspects of proposed solutions. Compass researcher Allison Churilla will serve as a panelist for a session at the conference, Planning Effectively for an Aging Minnesota: Lessons from the Field. Learn more
—The Alliance for Children & Families will host its 2013 Alliance National Conference on October 16-18 in Minneapolis, featuring insightful keynote speakers, exceptional networking opportunities and more than 40 workshops on the latest nonprofit trends. This conference enlists thought leaders from the nonprofit, public and private sectors to present on topics of critical importance to human-serving organizations. If you need knowledge on innovative programs and practices, insight from peers in your field and inspiration to take your organization to the next level, this is the event for you. This year’s conference will focus on several themes, including creative marketing and storytelling, cultures of innovation and exploration, comprehensive community-building efforts, and leadership development for times of unprecedented change. This event is ideal for executive and director level staff, as well as board members. Register now!
—Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) on October 24-25 for North Star Nonprofits: Charting Our True Direction. Minnesota’s largest gathering of nonprofit professionals in 2013, this two-day gathering will bring together nonprofit leaders and our allies to focus on ways we can embrace inclusion as a powerful strategy for building a stronger Minnesota together. For more information visit the new conference website.
—Save the Date for “Minnesota Tourism: A Bright Future”. Mark your calendar now to attend the 2014 Explore Minnesota Tourism conference February 4-5, 2014 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center on Canal Park in Duluth.
—Qualified volunteer candidates are being sought for the Human Services Performance Council authorized by the legislature in 2013; which is to advise the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services on the implementation and operation of the human services performance management system, including county performance management and departmental procedures, and to provide annual reviews and reports to the legislature related to human services performance management.
The Council will consist of 15 members, with three each representing:
- the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC);
- the Minnesota Association of County Social Service Administrators (MACSSA);
- the Department of Human Services (DHS);
- Tribes and communities of color; and
- service providers and advocates for persons receiving human services.
The Human Services Performance Council was authorized by the Legislature as a result of recommendations by the Steering Committee on Performance and Outcome Reforms formed as a part of the 2009 State-County Results, Accountability and Service Delivery Reform Act. More information on the County Performance Management System can be found at www.dhs.state.mn.us/main/dhs16_177556. Council applications may be submitted through August 18th, 2013.
— CLIO Usability Focus Groups. Be one of the first to see our new Civic Leadership Institute Online. In anticipation of the launch of the website next month, we are seeking individuals who are willing to look at the site and then talk with us about the design, content, and ease of use. Your comments and suggestions will be used to improve and if necessary redesign the website. To participate in a focus group on August 22 or 23, please register by clicking on a link below. Light refreshments will be provided.
—Does your community know what it takes to be more successful? Or even how to start? Set the wheels in motion by entering our Successful Communities Contest. You could win one of four $500 awards from the Orton Family Foundation to benefit your community.
Get started with three easy steps:
1. Sign up to host a CommunityMatters Listening Party on Thursday, August 22nd and register for Ed McMahon’s Secrets of Successful Communities conference call.
2. Lead a discussion after the call to talk about how your community can use Ed’s advice to make your town the best it can be.
3. Create and share a drawing or other depiction of your group’s best idea.
For more information go to: http://www.communitymatters.org/contest
August Call: Secrets of Successful Communities with Ed McMahon will be Thursday, August 22, 2013 from 3-4 PM EDT. Note the change from our usual time slot!
—Showcase your collaborative efforts to improve health in your community at the 2013 Minnesota Healthy Communities Conference, November 1. The conference will feature successful joint projects by community development, health, and other practitioners to improve the health of Minnesota residents and communities. Submissions will be accepted through August 23. Learn more
—The National Rural Health Association (NHRA) invites applications for the 2014 Rural Health Fellows program. The goal of the program is to educate, develop and inspire a networked community of rural health leaders who will step forward to serve in key positions in NRHA, affiliated rural health advocacy groups and local and state legislative bodies. Applications due by August 31.
—Eide Bailly has announced its Non-Profit Resourcefullness Awards, which will provide three $10,000 prizes – one each in Minnesota, Arizona, and Colorado – to recognize outstanding nonprofit revenue generation efforts. The Resourcefullness Awards are a means to reward invention, creativity and sustainability; while collecting data about both the traditional and novel revenue generation practices that nonprofits are using successfully. Submissions are due by September 3, 2013 and winners will be announced October 7, 2013. Additional details about the awards and submission form can be found at: www.eidebailly.com/resourcefullness.
—The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) recently had term expirations. If you are either a Pine County artist, arts organization member, or arts advocate and are interested in board membership please contact ECRAC for a self-nomination form by telephone (320) 396-2337; or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. . The deadline for nomination forms/resumes is October 1, 2013.
—Does your nonprofit have an upcoming event? Twin Cities Live, a lifestyle show airing weekdays at 3:00 p.m. on 5 Eyewitness News, is launching a program to highlight local nonprofits and fundraisers for charity. The Twin Cities Live Rockstar Row will be featured Fridays beginning August 2, 2013. Each week, a nonprofit or other organization holding a fundraiser or looking for volunteers will be presented. Up to seven representatives and supporters from that organization are invited to sit in the audience when Twin Cities Live hosts Chris Egert and Elizabeth Ries highlight their call-to-action.
To be featured, nonprofits and other organizations must have an upcoming event or volunteer opportunity open to the public. To be considered for Rockstar Row, groups are encouraged to sign up online. Submitting an event does not guarantee inclusion on Twin Cities Live. Producers will reach out in advance to organizations that are chosen.
–In a recently released report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development division discusses the multiple ways the word rural is defined across its 40-plus program areas. The rural designation is crucial for determining whether the location of a proposed activity is eligible for USDA Rural Development grants and loans, but there is no common definition of rural in use by the agency. For example, a default definition listed in the 2008 Farm Bill defines an area as rural if it is not a city or town with a population greater than 50,000, and if it is not urbanized land adjacent to such a city or town; however, for practical reasons, some USDA Rural Development programs need to apply exceptions that reduce the population cap in the definition to 20,000, or even 10,000. According to the report, inconsistencies in the definition create arbitrary barriers between geographic areas that can reduce communities’ ability to pursue regional development strategies. The report includes a matrix of the assorted rural definitions used by the agency and lists recommendations for addressing the inconsistencies. To read more, visit the Reports section of the USDA Rural Development web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov.
–Wind power development in the United States has increased substantially since the mid-2000s. The latest issue of the Main Street Economist explores the fundamentals of wind power development, as well as the effects of federal and state renewable energy policies on the industry. For more information, please visit: http://www.kansascityfed.org/publications/research/mse/index.cfm?ealert=mse0713
—U.S. Bioenergy Statistics are a source of information on biofuels intended to present a picture of the renewable energy industry and its relationship to agriculture. Where appropriate, data are presented in both a calendar year and the relevant marketing year timeframe to increase utility to feedstock-oriented users. The statistics highlight the factors that influence the demand for agricultural feedstocks for biofuels production; for instance, numerous tables emphasize the relationship between energy and commodity markets.
—The Changing Face (and Place) of Poverty. Over the last 20 years, poverty has increased dramatically across the country. But who is falling into poverty, and where? A new interactive map from the Urban Institute helps show where poverty is growing the quickest, by racial and ethnic group.
—The Kaiser Family Foundation has issued a report titled “State-by-State Snapshot of Poverty Among Seniors: Findings From Analysis of the Supplemental Poverty Measure”. The report presents poverty data among seniors, by state, and includes seniors living in poverty and those living with modest incomes. Get a free copy here.
—A recent issue of ShelterForce, the magazine of the National Housing Institute, poses the question, “What Is Community Development?” The issue explores many aspects of the community development field, and especially the role of community development corporations in it. Read the issue here.
–Every month, Glenn Muske, Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist from NDSU Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality, sends out a Community Vitality Small Business Newsletter. He offers practical advice gleaned from many sources and you can sign up to get the newsletter here.