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Guardian: "The problem with science journalism: we’ve forgotten that reality matters most"

01/06/2016

Guardian: "The problem with science journalism: we’ve forgotten that reality matters most"

There is a continued misunderstanding of what science journalism is, and how it differs from other forms of science communication. Photograph: Alamy

. . . "My opinion remains that reality matters no matter how complicated it may be," says Andrew Revkin, a writer whose blog, Dot Earth, shifted from news to the opinion section at the New York Times in 2010 and who teaches environmental communications at Pace University. "To me, it's all about transparency. If you have an agenda, state your agenda," he adds. "And if you're claiming to be objective, then demonstrate the objectivity."

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/dec/30/problem-with-science-journa...

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Alert Investor: "The Birth of a Hedge Fund"

01/05/2016

Alert Investor: "The Birth of a Hedge Fund"

. . . Fraud occurs more frequently at small hedge funds, but the world of larger funds is also not immune. Perhaps the most infamous examples of the latter were the hedge funds that invested with disgraced investment manager Bernie Madoff, who in 2009 was convicted of running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. (Learn the warning signs of hedge fund fraud at the FBI’s Hedge Fund Information for Investors page.)

Given the risk of fraud, it also takes a certain personality to win the trust of wary investors. Aron Gottesman, chair of the department of finance and economics at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business said hedge fund entrepreneurs can come from any background – as seen with Zweig’s foray into the field – but they share some common traits.

“They usually have some type of experience within the hedge fund industry already, they have to be well connected and extremely confident in their own ability to generate returns for their clients,” Gottesman said.

For a hedge fund getting off the ground, industry reputation is currency in attracting capital. Institutional investors such as pension funds will often base their decisions on the investment track record of the managers and their real-world experience in the industry.

They also look for a potentially innovative strategy, something that sets the newbie fund apart. But again, even that doesn’t guarantee success.

“There are risks involved,” Gottesman said. “Hedge funds can take risks in the amount of leverage they use. Setting aside any fraudsters that are able to fool the market into giving them money, even those that are experienced and well-meaning can lose a lot in this market.”

Read more: https://www.thealertinvestor.com/the-birth-of-a-hedge-fund/

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MarketWatch: "Beware of viral Facebook posts that vow to protect your privacy"

01/04/2016

MarketWatch: "Beware of viral Facebook posts that vow to protect your privacy"

. . . When Facebook members have become embroiled in a public news story their photos have appeared in newspapers and online, for instance, media outlets typically credit Facebook, not the Facebook account holder or the person who took the actual photograph. And while Facebook members own copyright on their photos, the company may have to pass on photographs to the authorities, if ordered to by a subpoena in a criminal investigation, a court order or a search warrant. “There’s a lot of value associated with these pictures,” says Darren Hayes, director of the cyber security division and assistant professor at Pace University in New York. “Facebook must have photos that are worth billions of dollars.”

You may not have complete control over how your Facebook photos are used, in certain circumstances at least. You can, however, control what photos and adverts you see. Did you search for a sofa online or a wedding venue, and are you now being inundated with ads for sofas and wedding venues? Although you cannot block ads entirely without using ad-blocking software like Social Fixer or AdBlock, you can opt out of these targeted ads: Go to “Settings,” click on ads and edit settings to opt out of ads. For social networkers who value their privacy, Hayes says, these are instructions worth re-posting.

Read more: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/beware-of-viral-facebook-posts-that-vow-to-protect-your-privacy-2015-09-30

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Washington Post: "Why a dash-cam video of a police shooting might not be a smoking gun"

01/04/2016

Washington Post: "Why a dash-cam video of a police shooting might not be a smoking gun"

Photo: Demonstrators led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson march down State Street in Chicago on Dec. 6, 2015, to protest the death of Laquan McDonald and the response of Chicago police. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

. . . Prosecutors are often reluctant to pursue these cases, for many reasons: They have long-standing relationships with the police and may hesitate when officers are involved in a fatal shooting, and they also worry they will make police reluctant to put themselves in harm’s way, out of fear of making an error, said Randolph McLaughlin, a professor at Pace Law School in White Plains, N.Y., and a civil rights lawyer who works with police shooting cases.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/why-a-dash-cam-video-of-a-police-shooting-might-not-be-a-smoking-gun/2015/12/28/9e0f8cda-ad7e-11e5-9ab0-884d1cc4b33e_story.html

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New York Times: "Another Year, Another Round of Abortion Debates"

01/04/2016

New York Times: "Another Year, Another Round of Abortion Debates"

Photo: Pro-life and pro-choice activists collide in Washington, D.C. Credit Alex Wong/Getty Images

Read a letter to the editor from CAROL ROYE, a professor of nursing at Pace University and the author of “A Woman’s Right to Know: How Women’s Health Became a Political Pawn — and the Surprising Alliances Working to Reclaim It.”

To the Editor:

ReA Bad Year for Reproductive Rights” (editorial, Dec. 20):

As a nurse practitioner, I can speak knowledgeably about the so-called risks of abortion — and the fabricated need to save women from harm by imposing TRAP (targeted regulation of abortion providers) laws.

Legal abortion is among the safest medical procedures in the United States. Abortions, by nature, are performed on young women, a population that is generally healthy. Colonoscopies, by contrast, are typically performed on older people who are more likely to have other health problems, which can cause complications during the procedure. Yet nobody is calling for TRAP-like laws for colonoscopies. I am not either; just making a point.

TRAP laws are not intended to protect women. Indeed, as your editorial points out, women who don’t have access to legal abortions may attempt to induce their own abortions, which is very risky.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/26/opinion/another-year-another-round-of-abortion-debates.html

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The Examiner: "Pace Economics Team Captures Second Fed Reserve College Title"

12/23/2015

The Examiner: "Pace Economics Team Captures Second Fed Reserve College Title"

. . . All seven members of this year’s Pace team are economics majors in Pace’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences. Team members are Katherine Craig, Daniella Gambino, Omar Habib, Jozef Lampa, Melissa Navas, Jonathan Okane and Yuliya Palianok. Mark Weinstock and fellow economics professor Greg Colman serve as advisers, training the team during the year and helping them prepare their presentation.

“We go through, literally, hundreds and hundreds of questions and responses to make sure they are prepared with all the different nuances of what they need to know,” Weinstock said.

Students are also expected to read The Wall Street Journal and The Economist as well as speeches and research papers by economists, bank presidents and governors.

Pace Economics Department Chairman Joseph Morreale said creativity and teamwork are crucial.

“Many of the teams that compete don’t operate in such a teamwork fashion,” he said. “I think that’s a benefit of having two faculty working with them for so long. They usually spend five or six months preparing them. It’s a long haul that starts in the summer.”

The Pace Economics Department has grown in popularity in recent years and now has about 200 economics majors, Morreale said. Students can specialize in business economics, public economic policy and Chinese Economic Studies, which includes travel courses to China. Students are required to prepare a senior thesis.

Economics majors often seek jobs in financial institutions, healthcare organizations or the nonprofit sector, while some have accepted positions in the Federal Reserve itself, Morreale said. Starting salaries for graduates range from $60,000 to $80,000 a year, he added.

Students looking to major in economics should take a math sequence, including pre-calculus and calculus, and the Advanced Placement macroeconomics and microeconomics half-year classes. Students who achieve at least a 3 of 5 on the AP test earn college-level credit, Morreale said.

“I’ve always argued that they should also take world history because they have to understand the new economy of the world. It’s not just being a national economy anymore,” he said.

Read more: http://www.theexaminernews.com/pace-economics-team-captures-second-fed-reserve-college-title/

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Journal News: "Taxpayers spend millions on outsourced lawyers"

12/23/2015

Journal News: "Taxpayers spend millions on outsourced lawyers"

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino's administration outsourced nearly $2 million in legal work to private law firms last year - and likely more. (Photo: File photo by Seth Harrison/The Journal News)

. . . In all, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties paid private attorneys $15.5 million between 2009 and 2014, outsourcing even basic civil lawsuits despite having assistant county attorneys already on the public payroll. Westchester County, for instance, has a stable of 66 in-house lawyers who made $7.3 million in salaries in 2014.

Instead, much of the legal work went to attorneys and firms with political ties to county leaders, who contribute generously to election campaigns, or who increase their chances to land county contracts by hiring influential retired judges and other former government officials — including some who have had brushes with controversy.

“It is a necessary evil," said Jay Carlisle, a professor at the Pace University School of Law who specializes in civil procedure and legal ethics. "Unfortunately, municipalities don’t have, on occasion, the expertise, or lawyers with the experience, or just plain lawyers, to handle a matter. They’re forced to turn to outside counsel. The real question is, when they do, who do they turn to? Do they turn to someone with political affiliations? To a friend of the county attorney?

“The potential for abuse is ever present," Carlisle said. "Constant scrutiny is necessary.”

Read more: http://www.lohud.com/story/news/investigations/2015/12/23/outsourced-law...

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Westchester County Business Journal: "Riverkeeper threatens two environmental lawsuits against Tappan Zee builders"

12/22/2015

Westchester County Business Journal: "Riverkeeper threatens two environmental lawsuits against Tappan Zee builders"

The Riverkeeper says this aerial photo taken shows how Tappan Zee Bridge project activities have caused the resuspension of bottom sediments, causing plumes of turbid water, in clearly visible contrast to the natural conditions of the Hudson River estuary.  Lee Ross/Riverkeeper

Riverkeeper Inc. has informed the state Thruway Authority and the group of contractors designing and building the new Tappan Zee Bridge of its intent to sue them for violating federal laws, according to two letters penned by the environmental organization Dec. 16.

The separate citizen lawsuit threats – both directed at the Thruway Authority and the consortium building the bridge, Tappan Zee Constructors LLC – are related to Riverkeeper’s allegations that the construction of the new bridge has contributed to the increase of sturgeon mortality and sediment pollutant that has surfaced from the bottom of the Hudson River, violations of the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act, respectively.

In a prepared statement, the Thruway Authority responded that it has taken “unprecedented measures” to protect all aquatic life and reduce resuspension of sediments in the Hudson River where the construction for the bridge connecting Westchester and Rockland counties is taking place.

With the letter, the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, an attorney group with Pace University School of Law that represents Ossining-based Riverkeeper, gives the bridge builders a 60-day notice to either come to the table and discuss potential remedies as part of a settlement, or be sued.

Read more: http://westfaironline.com/76508/riverkeeper-threatens-two-environmental-...

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Journal News: "Riverkeeper to sue Thruway Authority over fish deaths"

12/22/2015

Journal News: "Riverkeeper to sue Thruway Authority over fish deaths"

. . . The feds got involved in July when The Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, which is representing Riverkeeper, filed a petition with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The notice of intent to sue gives the New York State Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors LLC 60 days to comply with the law before the Riverkeeper moves forward with a lawsuit.

The bridge is set to be completed in 2018.

Read more: http://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/tappan-zee-bridge/2015/12/19/riverkeeper-sue-thruway-authority-over-fish-deaths/77624856/

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New York Times: "Reviving Downtown White Plains With New Places to Live and Linger"

12/22/2015

New York Times: "Reviving Downtown White Plains With New Places to Live and Linger"

A skateboarder on Mamaroneck Avenue, the main shopping area in White Plains. Photo Credit: Gregg Vigliotti for The New York Times

WHITE PLAINS — As rents in Brooklyn and Manhattan continue a relentless ascent, New Yorkers are searching farther afield for reasonably priced housing. A flurry of construction in White Plains suggests that the city is hoping to draw new residents into its suburban confines.

In three to five years, an anticipated $2 billion in new construction, the most in White Plains since the housing market collapsed in 2008, could reshape the city’s downtown, adding about 2,000 units of housing.

The activity is intended to draw New York City commuters, particularly the much-sought-after millennials, to White Plains, which is a 35-minute train ride to Grand Central Terminal. Construction began in November at 55 Bank Street, two 16-story residential towers totaling 561 apartments. The first building, with 288 units and ground-floor retail space, will open in 2017.

White Plains, the Westchester County seat, has tried sprucing up its downtown before, adding shopping malls, hotels, housing and restaurants in the early 2000s. Many of those projects catered to daily shoppers and office workers who leave in the evening. According to the office of Mayor Thomas M. Roach, the city’s population of 58,000 swells to 200,000 during the day with county workers and employees of businesses like Pace Law School and Bank of New York Mellon.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/23/realestate/reviving-downtown-white-plains-with-new-places-to-live-and-linger.html

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