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Huffington Post: "A Post-Election Prescription: Environmentalism Without Borders"

12/01/2016

Huffington Post: "A Post-Election Prescription: Environmentalism Without Borders"

Photo: Camden, New Jersey, one of the poorest cities in the United States, has a 39% poverty, rate per capita income is less than $14,000, and 8% of the population has a college degree. 82% of its residents are from minority populations.

Environmental organizations should launch a national campaign that reaches out to all Americans, across all social, economic, political and geographic borders, environmentalists or not — and offer a $1 full membership to anyone willing to join, writes John Cronin, Senior Fellow for Environmental Affairs, Dyson College Institute for Sustainability and the Environment at Pace University. This is the inclusive, populist principle upon which American environmentalism was founded almost five decades ago, and a path forward during the difficult years ahead.

The 2016 presidential election drips with the sweat of political cynicism. Campaigns put aside the majority of the voting populace and narrowed their sights, and money, on ten states that would assure an Electoral College victory. Although Donald Trump won the electoral race, Hillary Clinton now leads the popular vote by more than 2.2 million and climbing. Of greater significance, 100 million eligible voters, 43%, did not even vote. Follow the math and some 70% of eligible voters were not willing to support one or the other of the two main candidates. Though many political observers expected a record turnout, a lower percentage of voters participated this year than in either of the two previous presidential races.

As is usual, boundaries were carefully drawn around selected populations identified by Big Data. Television ad buys, social media messaging, videos and endorsements were designed accordingly. National non-profit organizations use much the same demographic approach – drill down to that segment of likely public support and mine the vein. It is a proven method that produces members and donations. But, like the presidential race, it discounts the nation at-large — a strategy environmental groups can no longer afford, given what lies ahead.

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Journal News: "Giving Tuesday a big boost for nonprofits"

11/30/2016

Journal News: "Giving Tuesday a big boost for nonprofits"

The Food Bank of Westchester held a Food Truck fundraiser which featured Walters hotdogs, Bona Bona Ice Cream, The Souvlaki Truck and Melt Mobile at the Pace University Pleasantville campus on Nov. 29, 2016. (Photo: Ricky Flores/The Journal News)

Some gave their money. Some gave their time. Some gave by eating a hot dog.

However they chose to participate, people took part in Giving Tuesday, the fifth annual day of social-media-driven philanthropy and altruism.

Over the past month, Food Bank for Westchester organizers had seen to every Giving Tuesday detail.

They arranged for four food trucks to park alongside Choate Pond in the center of the Pace Pleasantville campus, a prime spot to catch hungry college students interested in a change from the meal-plan ordinary: MeltMobile grilled cheese, Bona Bona ice cream, Walter's Hot Dogs, and the Souvlaki Truck from Yonkers.

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Wall Street Journal: "Defense in Patz Case Puts Transcript in Play"

11/29/2016

Wall Street Journal: "Defense in Patz Case Puts Transcript in Play"

Harvey Fishbein, right, defense attorney for Pedro Hernandez, who is on trial for the killing of 6-year-old Etan Patz. Photo: Richard Drew/Associated Press

. . . Witnesses returning for the second time can be more confident on the stand, with more practice presenting their story as a coherent narrative, said Bennett Gershman, a former prosecutor and current professor at Pace Law School.

“They’ve already gone through the testimony once before, so in a way they’re almost prepared as an actor would be after rehearsal,” Mr. Gershman said.

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Fox 5 News: "Synthetic drug from China flooding into USA"

11/29/2016

Fox 5 News: "Synthetic drug from China flooding into USA"

. . . The DEA is urgently trying to make people aware of the drug's dangers.  It's joining with other law enforcement and health professionals for a public forum at Pace Law School in White Plains on Thursday Night.

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Associated Press: "NY’s Cuomo finds common ground with Trump on infrastructure"

11/28/2016

Associated Press: "NY’s Cuomo finds common ground with Trump on infrastructure"

. . . Any cooperation on infrastructure between Trump and Cuomo could be undermined, however, by their sharp disagreements on most other issues. Cuomo has taken a harder line since their postelection phone call, expressing concerns about what Trump’s election has meant for racial tolerance and immigration. His name was also added to the list of Democrats seen as possible contenders for the White House in 2020.

“That could impact the interaction between the president-elect and the governor,” said Larry Bridwell, international business professor at Pace University. But he added that supporting infrastructure in and around New York City would have one other added benefit for Trump: “It would obviously increase the real estate value of the Trump Organization.”

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Center for Public Integrity: "With Trump's election, critical climate efforts likely fall to the states"

11/21/2016

Center for Public Integrity: "With Trump's election, critical climate efforts likely fall to the states"

. . . “If we lose the Clean Power Plan, then we lose the floor” that keeps states and utilities from backsliding, said Karl Rabago, executive director of the Energy and Climate Center at Pace University in New York. “It will be possible for states to choose to become pollution havens.”

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National Institute of Social Sciences awards Richard L. Ottinger, retired U.S. Representative and Dean Emeritus at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, with the Institute's Gold Honor Medal for 2016

11/21/2016

National Institute of Social Sciences awards Richard L. Ottinger, retired U.S. Representative and Dean Emeritus at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, with the Institute's Gold Honor Medal for 2016

New York – November 21, 2016 -- The National Institute of Social Sciences awarded Richard L. Ottinger, retired U.S. Representative and Dean Emeritus at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law Pace University, with the Institute's Gold Honor Medal for 2016.

Ottinger was one of three recipients of Gold Honor Medals this year, along with Judge Pauline Newman for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and Harvard University professor Robert D. Putnam, who were honored at a private ceremony on November 15 in New York City.

“I am honored to be recognized by the National Institute of Social Sciences, especially at this time when their work is more vital than ever,” commented Dean Ottinger. “With much of the media delivering false information that misleads our population and imperils our democratic values, we need social scientists to advise us on how best to communicate facts about issues that affect us all, especially the urgency of climate change action.”

Ottinger joined Pace Law School in 1984 after serving eight terms in Congress. Initially a professor in the environmental law program (1984-94), he served as dean from 1994 to 1999. While dean he constructed a modern classroom building subsequently renamed as Richard Ottinger Hall. He brought to Pace the New York State Judicial Institute, and he founded the Pace Energy and Climate Center. As chairman of Congress's Energy Conservation and Power Subcommittee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, he was instrumental in adopting key energy and environmental legislation. Dean Ottinger continues to advise students in national and international environmental law as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy research.

The Gold Honor Medals are the Institute's highest recognition, presented annually since 1913 to distinguished Americans who have made the highest contribution to the improvement of society. Previous honorees include four former U.S. Presidents, Supreme Court justices and other members of the judiciary, six former U.S. Secretaries of State, as well numerous luminaries in academia, law, government, education, philanthropy, the arts, medicine, science, and industry.

About the National Institute of Social Sciences: Established in 1912, the National Institute of Social Sciences (www.socialsciencesinstitute.org) is an honorary society of Americans dedicated by service and philanthropy to the public weal and joined together to recognize and celebrate those who have achieved at the highest level. Since its founding, the National Institute has presented Gold Medals to distinguished honorees, established a vibrant chapter in Palm Beach, Florida, and more recently provided grants to graduate students in the social sciences.

About Pace University: Pace University is a comprehensive, independent university with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. Nearly 13,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Lubin School of Business, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, School of Education, and College of Health Professions. www.pace.edu

Media contact:  Bill Caldwell, Pace, 212-346-1597, wcaldwell@pace.edu

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Journal News: "Mobile app contest open to students"

11/17/2016

Journal News: "Mobile app contest open to students"

WHITE PLAINS - The third annual #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl is open for registration. High school or college teams with an idea for a mobile app can register to compete by visiting bit.ly/appbowl2017. The contest is a joint initiative of Westchester County's Office of Economic Development and Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. The purpose is to challenge students to put themselves on the “MAAP” by creating “Mobile Apps for Aging Populations.” Specifically, apps are being sought that improve an aspect of daily life for people ages 65 and older.  Last year, more than 250 students from the tri-state region participated in the contest.  There is no entry fee to compete. To learn more about the contest, sponsorship opportunities or how to be a judge, please email MobileAppContest@pace.edu.

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Westchester County Business Journal: "Business leaders try to gauge what Trump presidency means for Westchester economy"

11/17/2016

Westchester County Business Journal: "Business leaders try to gauge what Trump presidency means for Westchester economy"

Energy

While New York has moved ahead with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard, which mandates the state receive 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, Trump has pushed for a different type of energy revolution. Trump said he wants to make the U.S. completely energy-independent by removing regulations and increasing the production of natural gas and coal. 

Cuomo has pushed his renewable energy policy as the state’s part in a global fight against climate change, while Trump has called climate change a “hoax” and vowed to pull the U.S. out of the United Nation’s climate change programs.

How those two conflicting mindsets will coexist remains to be seen, said Karl Rabago, executive director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center. But Rabago said he views it as unlikely that decisions made by Trump and a Republican Congress could impact New York’s state-level energy programs.

“The climate don’t care what you believe,” he said. “That’s kind of the terror and the beauty of science. The data is rock solid. And New York is committed to dealing with this on a data basis and that’s why the governor has stood up so prominently with the Clean Energy Standard. I think our state policy is on firm footing for being right, and if you honor the right of states to address the issues that are important to its voters, then you see no reason for the federal government to interfere in any material way with what our state wants to do.”

But renewable energies do rely in part on federal subsidies for financing, which Rabago said could impact the development of solar and other renewable systems. 

If there is resistance to efforts to combat climate change on the federal level, Rabago said, it’s important for states such as New York to show leadership in developing renewable energy and other efforts to counter global warming.

“This is a moment for that good old-fashioned word ‘leadership,’” he said. “Convening people around a common agenda. And polls consistently show that the American people do expect climate-responsible regulation and leadership.”

Politics

Cuomo’s relationship with a Trump administration might prove interesting, according to Larry Bridwell, a professor of international business at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. 

He said Trump overall could be a positive for the state’s economy, since it has a hometown advantage, and New York could have help from the White House in pushing along needed rail tunnel and airport projects. But how Cuomo and Trump get along will be worth watching, Bridwell said.

“It is good for New York if they work well together, but Gov. Cuomo may be interested in running against President Trump in 2020,” Bridwell said. “Will this affect New York? It remains to be seen.”

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Law360: "$683M Pipeline KO'd With 'Rope-A-Dope' Move, 2nd Circ. Told"

11/17/2016

Law360: "$683M Pipeline KO'd With 'Rope-A-Dope' Move, 2nd Circ. Told"

Constitution Pipeline Co. told the Second Circuit during arguments Wednesday that the New York Department of Environmental Conservation blocked its 124-mile, $683 million natural gas pipeline project with a "rope-a-dope" denial of its permit application.

John F. Stoviak of Saul Ewing LLP, arguing for Constitution, said that the DEC had twice acknowledged the company had submitted a complete application, but after nine months without a word, denied it as being incomplete. He said the DEC obviously felt the application was adequate because the agency circulated the paperwork to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and put the plan up for public comment.

"It’s a rope-a-dope denial — ‘We don’t have enough information’ — which we think is untrue," Stoviak said.

The company is appealing to the Second Circuit directly from the agency's denial.

New York Assistant Attorney General Brian Lusignan, representing the DEC, said the agency had the authority to establish conditions for construction of the pipeline or deny the permit under its power to protect water quality under the Clean Water Act. He said the DEC wanted a feasibility assessment for trenchless crossings of all 250 streams the pipeline was to intersect, but Constitution "categorically eliminated 90 percent" of crossings from any consideration and supplied no information on how to bore under those streams to avoid impacting them.

"In this case, the DEC was attempting to create conditions," Lusignan told the three-judge panel. "What the DEC determined is that it did not have enough information to make that determination."

He said the "vast majority of the denial" was based on the effects the pipeline and its construction would have on the water.

Pace University Law School student Kara E. Paulsen, arguing on behalf of the group Stop the Pipeline, told the panel Constitution never met its burden of proof to supply information that it will comply with water quality standards.

She said STP pointed out the lack of information and there is nothing in the record to fill in the gaps.

"Instead the company tries to resolve these issues with private conversations and assurances with DEC," Paulsen said. "However these conversations and assurances are not within the record and this court cannot rely on that information to overturn DEC’s denial."

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