CNBC: "Amazon gives in to Massachusetts tax officials and agrees to turn over third-party seller data"
Amazon gives in to Massachusetts tax officials and agrees to turn over third-party seller data (CNBC)
...Dog and pony show
The move is an about-face for Amazon. After the company refused to cooperate in September, the state of Massachusetts filed a court order forcing Amazon to turn over the data by mid-October. It wasn't clear if Amazon would relent or fight the court until now. (Amazon declined to comment, and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue didn't return a request for comment.)
Peterson noted that when someone uses language like "valid and binding legal demand" and agrees to comply, it typically means its lawyers have believe they're likely to lose in court.
But Paul Rafelson, a law professor at Pace University and a former tax counsel at GE, had a more nuanced view of the incident.
He says, given how common these requests are, it was strange to see Amazon react so aggressively against turning over the data. Instead, he thinks Amazon's resistance was likely a "pretend fight" put on to mitigate its liability against any seller that might decide to sue them over failing to help them be more tax compliant. Because Amazon currently takes a hands-off approach to third party sales tax collection, the company would be able to use this as one evidence of "sticking up for the sellers," he said.
And the situation only gets trickier as Boston is in the running for a bid to win Amazon's second headquarters. Cities are offering all kinds of tax incentives to get Amazon's HQ2, which would create 50,000 new jobs and attract over $5 billion in investments.
"This is a bit of a dog and pony show," Rafelson said. "This is such a basic request that there's no reason why Amazon wouldn't turn it over. It's just making kind of a big public show."
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Times Union: "Queens Medical Associates Launches Cancer Palliative And Supportive Care Program"
Queens Medical Associates Launches Cancer Palliative And Supportive Care Program (Times Union)
...After graduating with highest honors and as valedictorian from Lenox Hill Hospital – Pace University Physician Assistant’s Program, Dr. Groysman served as hospitalist Physician Assistant at Kingston Hospital in upstate New York. He subsequently graduated at the top of his class at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.
After completion of his palliative training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, he returned to NYU Winthrop Hospital, where Dr. Groysman completed his Internal Medicine Residency and Geriatrics Fellowship training, to became a faculty-attending physician in the Division of Palliative Medicine and Bioethics. During his time at Winthrop, Dr. Groysman served as a founding faculty in creating a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. His passion for taking care of patients with cancer also lead him to develop and grow an outpatient Supportive Oncology program. He is fluent in English, Russian and Ukrainian.
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Journal News: "Ignorance of the law defense prevails in Yonkers: Tax Watch"
Ignorance of the law defense prevails in Yonkers: Tax Watch (Journal News)
Ben Gershman, a professor at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, called last week’s decision by DiNapoli “preposterous.”
“I’m incredulous that the state comptroller, who was elected to protect the state treasury, would allow the fraudulent conduct and accept the claim,” Gershman said. “Anybody remotely aware of the law knows you can’t justify a violation by saying you didn’t know about the law. If that was the case, then everybody would make that claim, and everybody would be justified in violating the law.”
DiNapoli's decision not to refer the Yonkers matter to Schneiderman was announced late Friday afternoon, as New Yorkers prepared to get out of town for the long Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.
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Westchester County Business Journal: " Pace students try out the world stage"
Pace students try out the world stage (Westchester County Business Journal)
Twenty-six students from Pace University campuses in Pleasantville, White Plains and New York City, were among the more than 900 college students from around the world who went to Washington, D.C. toward the end of the year to participate in the 2017 National Model United Nations Conference.
The conference featured various meetings and discussions, plus simulation of a crisis in the Security Council and briefings by speakers from the Washington diplomatic community.
The Pace students took on the roles of diplomats from Kenya, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They received a Distinguished Delegation and Honorable Mention Delegation Awards, as well as six Outstanding Position Paper Awards as a result of their participation.
“At Model United Nations, you broaden your horizons,” wrote U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a letter to the conference. “By learning and networking, you can be part of the efforts of the United Nations to establish peace, secure human rights and enable all people to live in dignity.”
“I didn’t really realize the significance of the U.N. until I was at the conference. It helped me see that this is one of the few bodies that has the forum and ability to enact change across hundreds of countries,” said student Noelle Howard, who played the role of Kenya’s representative in the International Atomic Energy Agency.
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Houston Chronicle: "US Patent Awarded for Compounds that Kill H1N1 and MRSA"
US Patent Awarded for Compounds that Kill H1N1 and MRSA (Houston Chronicle)
With the flu season fully upon us, imagine making common items, such as cotton cloth, plastic bottles, and wound dressings, killers of the H1N1 flu virus or MRSA. This is now a reality with far reaching implications. Researchers at Pace University, Queens College, and Long Island University have been awarded U.S. patent number 9,832,998 B2 for a portfolio of compounds that, when applied to polymer surfaces, renders them antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial/antimicrobial.
“We have developed a compound that when bonded to a variety of surfaces, kills the H1N1 virus, MRSA, and other pathogens, fungi, and bacteria that come into contact with those surfaces, helping to stop the spread of diseases and infections,” said Chemistry Professor JaimeLee Rizzo, PhD, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Pace University. She and her fellow researchers, Professor Robert Engel, PhD, Queens College, and Professor Karin Melkonian-Fincher, PhD, of Long Island University, have worked on developing this as part of a portfolio of compounds since 2010.
The patent covers a group of groundbreaking antimicrobial technologies. These compounds have many practical applications across a variety of industries and sectors, such as healthcare, food, agriculture, construction, and the military. The range of surfaces that the compound can be bonded to includes many polymer materials, and could be used on wound dressings, facemasks, gowns, linens and countertops found in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and physician’s offices; household items, such as sponges, cutting boards, and counters; water and air filtration systems; military uniforms; and plastic bottles used not only in the beverage industry, but the health and beauty sectors as well.
For the greater good. “With this patent, we will continue to develop compounds that will kill new flu virus strains as they emerge, which will offer enormous benefits to the health and well-being of society,” added Rizzo.
The triumvirate of researchers is working on bringing the compounds to the market in 2018.
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Bustle: "How To Build Your Personal Brand To Boost Your Career, According To Experts"
How To Build Your Personal Brand To Boost Your Career, According To Experts (Bustle)
Most people don’t feel the need to do any marketing unless it’s their job to promote a brand. But the truth is, that’s everyone’s job — because we all have a personal brand to promote. Especially in the digital age, the way you present yourself and the messages you send alongside yourself can have a huge impact on your career.
This was a hard pill for me to swallow. I resisted building a personal brand for a long time because I hate inauthenticity. I just want to be myself, and I think it’s unfair that people — especially women — have to think about their image to get the credit they deserve for their work. But then I realized: If you’re not going to be self-promotional, someone else will. And even if they’re no better than you, they’ll get more opportunities because more people will know about them. And building a personal brand in accordance with your true identity can actually make you feel more like yourself.
“Having an online presence is becoming increasingly essential in a society that relies so heavily on the internet,” Jennifer Lee Magas, MA, JD, VP of Magas Media Consultants and Clinical Associate Professor of Public Relations at Pace University, tells Bustle. “In today's digital age, you are your brand. Therefore, it's important to maintain your internet brand management and do so in the most effective way for your career. A key element of your personal and professional brand is your digital footprint, which can help you obtain employment, allow you to contribute significantly to your employer's operation, and advance your career.”
Here are some ways to improve your personal brand and give yourself a competitive advantage.
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Yahoo Entertainment: "New York's Donald J. Trump State Park: A story of abandonment and decay"
New York's Donald J. Trump State Park: A story of abandonment and decay (Yahoo Entertainment)
...How much Trump benefited from donating the land is difficult to determine. Bridget J. Crawford, a professor at Pace University School of Law in nearby White Plains, N.Y., and a member at the American Law Institute, said it’s quite common for wealthy people to donate real property to a state or a local government for a park. The Rockefeller family, for instance, donated the Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., little by little starting in 1983.“
“There’s nothing unusual about the donation,” Crawford told Yahoo News. “The problem of course here is that the donation of land was made but there was no additional cash gift made in order to maintain or create the park. It seems the state and municipalities don’t have the money to do that. If these sort of deals ‘fail,’ it’s always because of lack of funding.”
Crawford’s scholarship focuses on wealth transfer taxation and property law. She said people who are serious about establishing open space parks that the public can use in meaningful ways often make substantial cash contributions as well to fund the park’s maintenance.
As for how much money Trump saved, it would depend on what valuation the IRS accepted for the land; the figure of $100 million was Trump’s unofficial estimate, for public consumption. Another variable is whether he personally owned the property or purchased it via a pass-through entity like an LLC. Crawford explained that if it were owned through an LLC that was ignored for income tax purposes, which is not unusual, a $100 million donation would have saved Trump about $35 million in taxes.
Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that the IRS would accept a $100 million appraisal of land that was sold for a few million dollars at fair market value in the 1990s.
David Reiss, a professor of law at Brooklyn Law School who focuses on real estate finance and community development, said he doesn’t doubt that Trump got an appraisal that “pushed the limits” to price it as high as possible, a move that is not uncommon. He said it’s possible that Trump got an appraisal that determined he would make more money by donating the land than he would by selling it. And it wouldn’t have to be as high as $100 million.
“If he claimed it was worth $10 million and he bought it for two or three million dollars, it’s conceivable that he came out ahead with this donation,” he said. “He actually could be better off financially. And this is not just for Donald Trump, but any donor in a comparable situation.”
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Newsday: "On eve of corruption trials, Albany quiet on ethics reforms"
On eve of corruption trials, Albany quiet on ethics reforms (Newsday)
...Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) has argued that New Yorkers aren’t focused on ethics reform, but instead demand action on jobs, lower taxes and creating a more affordable state.
Legislators in each house also bristle at the annual calls for ethics reform, prompted, they say, by the bad acts of a relatively few members. They also note some victories. One is a constitutional amendment approved by voters in November that allows judges to strip some or all of the public pension of officials convicted of corruption, although judges may consider some additional circumstances such as the financial pain inflicted on the official’s family. They also have adopted measures annually that require more disclosure of finances and bolster state enforcement efforts.
Good-government advocates warn Cuomo may have signaled in his State of the State message that it will be another year when he will be unable or unwilling to push for major ethics reform.
“The governor is the political King Kong of Albany,” said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group. “It’s up to the governor to force the issue, to force the legislature to deal with it . . . but we need the governor to take the lead.”
Said Ben Gershman of Pace University Law School, “It is regrettable, although not surprising, that the governor did not speak more forcefully about it.”
“Virtually all of the claimed improvements to New York ethics laws over the years, including the pension law, are a hodgepodge of marginal, technical and insignificant rules that would have only a meager impact on regulating conduct of public and political officials,” Gershman said. “Lawmakers know that the public’s demand for action is transitory, and the public loses interest quickly.”
Gershman said incumbents may feel more secure in avoiding tough ethics reform this year after the November referendum in which voters, following a multimillion-dollar ad campaign by public worker unions allied with legislators, soundly rejected a constitutional convention that advocates had argued could mandate ethics reforms long blocked in Albany.
More than 30 officials have been driven out of office over the past decade after investigations in what Assembly Republican leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) called “the golden age of corruption in Albany.” Kolb, who has sought and failed to get many ethics measures to the Democratic-controlled floor of the Assembly, is running for governor.
It may be hard, however, for Cuomo and legislators in this election year to ignore the daily headlines of corruption trials of their former colleagues that will paint a bleak picture of Albany. That’s the flickering hope for 2018 by many good-government advocates.
“A string of trials that keeps the issue before the public could greatly increase the pressure on the legislature to act,” said Albert W. Alschuler of Northwestern University Law School.
Read the full article.
Westchester Magazine: "Therapy Dogs Are Helping Incarcerated Mothers in Westchester"
Therapy Dogs Are Helping Incarcerated Mothers in Westchester (Westchester Magazine)
Following the remarkable success of animal-assisted therapy (AAT), therapy dogs are now helping incarcerated mothers in Westchester hone their parenting skills while learning to deal with feelings such as fear, guilt, depression, and trauma.
Parenting, Prison & Pups (PPP) is a two-year research partnership — the first of its kind anywhere — between Pace University’s Dyson College, Department of Criminal Justice; The Good Dog Foundation, a nonprofit that trains and certifies therapy-dog teams and provides AAT; the Metropolitan Correctional Center, under the Federal Bureau of Prisons; and the Westchester County Department of Correction (WCDOC). While animal-based programs have been used by correctional institutions before, PPP is the first to employ a structured curriculum.
“The [PPP] program is a way for us to reach women and help them become better parents for their children,” says PPP director Kimberly Collica-Cox, PhD. “What we are really looking to do is to stop the cycle of intergenerational incarceration, and we believe that this program can help achieve that.”
Animal-assisted WCDOC classes are scheduled to begin in September 2018.
Read the article.
FIOS1 News: "Oprah speech has Democrats buzzing about possible 2020 run"
Oprah speech has Democrats buzzing about possible 2020 run (FIOS1 News)
Oprah Winfrey's impassioned call for "a brighter morning even in our darkest nights" at the Golden Globes has Democratic Party activists buzzing about the media superstar and the 2020 presidential race — even if it's only a fantasy.
Even so, for Democrats in early voting states, and perhaps for a public that largely disapproves of President Donald Trump's job performance, the notion of a popular media figure as a presidential candidate is not as strange as it once seemed, given the New York real estate mogul and reality TV star now in the White House.
"Look, it's ridiculous — and I get that," said Brad Anderson, Barack Obama's 2012 Iowa campaign director. While he supports the idea of Winfrey running, it would also punctuate how Trump's candidacy has altered political norms. "At the same time, politics is ridiculous right now."
Winfrey's speech as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award on Sunday touched on her humble upbringing and childhood wonder in civil rights heroes.
But it was her exhortation of the legions of women who have called out sexual harassers — and her dream of a day "when nobody has to say 'me too' again" — that got some political operatives, in early voting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, thinking Winfrey might be just what the Democrats need.
"I think we need more role models like her that are speaking to young women and trying to restore some hope. The election of Donald Trump was a devastating setback for little girls," said Liz Purdy, who led Democrat Hillary Clinton's 2008 New Hampshire presidential primary campaign.
Watch Criminal Justice Fellow at Pace Law School, Mimi Rocah's appearance on FIOS and read the full article.