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The New York Times: "With Cuomo Assist, Homeowners Rush to Soften Tax Bill’s Impact"


With Cuomo Assist, Homeowners Rush to Soften Tax Bill’s Impact (The New York Times)

...“This tax bill is a direct attack on the most precious aspects of the American system of governance. We have to resist,” said Vanessa H. Merton, the committee chairwoman and a professor at the Pace University law school.

Ms. Merton lives in the house her parents bought in 1950 and has seen Hastings-on-Hudson change from a town of factory workers to hipsters and hedge fund managers.

“The reason I live in one of the most expensive places in the world is because I was born there,” said Ms. Merton. “I don’t have it in me to walk away from this house, but it’s getting harder and harder.”

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The Journal News: "Former Putnam Valley star Kayte Kinsley named NCAA Division II field hockey coach of year"


Former Putnam Valley star Kayte Kinsley named NCAA Division II field hockey coach of year (The Journal News)

She was a state champion in field hockey.

That was before she decided to pursue soccer in college at Adelphi.

But former Putnam Valley standout Kayte Kinsley is once again a field hockey champion and on an even bigger stage.

The 29-year-old, second-year Pace University coach has been named NCAA Division II field hockey coach of the year after leading the Setters to a 15-4 record.

Pace, which went 9-9 a year ago and has only had a field hockey program for three seasons, finished this season ranked 10th in the country after an overtime playoff loss to Assumption College.

Kinsley, who graduated from Putnam Valley in 2006 after the Tigers won the State Class B Championship, was hired by Mercy College to begin its field hockey program immediately after she graduated from Adelphi.

She passed up an offer from Adelphi , which added field hockey while she was a student --- to play a year of field hockey for it as a grad student. Her younger sister, Britt, was playing for the team at the time.

Kinsley, who now lives in New Windsor, coached at Mercy for six seasons and, despite her youth, also became the school’s assistant athletic director for operations.

She began work at Mercy in the spring of 2010 and got a D-II college team together by that August in a rather unconventional way. She went around campus, asking even people who’d never played field hockey if they wanted to join the team.

Building a program while handling other stressful things like team bus transportation proved valuable.

“I learned a lot from that experience,” Kinsley said. “It kind of prepared me for anything that came my way. It definitely shaped me.”

While the first couple of years were “rough,” the team improved.

Kinsley said she was happy at Mercy but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to move to the rival school when that job opened.

“I liked what I saw,” she explained. “There were all brand new facilities. I came over and saw the growth and opportunity.”

Kinsley has focused on recruiting players who are committed to being “good students in the classroom, good players on the field and really being good people.”

Her Pace roster includes four athletes from local high schools.

Mahopac’s Jane Kasparian, a junior midfielder, tied for the Setter lead in points this season with 19. Also seeing playing time was fellow Mahopac grad Kim Schiera, a freshman midfielder.

Brewster’s Carly Corbett, a junior midfielder, made nine starts.

Lakeland grad Sarah Bard, a junior defender, was a starter until she was sidelined with a season-ending knee injury.

Kasparian, who noted Pace won only five games her freshman year, said, after being hired, Kinsley immediately set about turning things around.

“She was very eager for us to get off to a better start. She was always coming in early and staying late. She was very committed to do the best for our team,” she said.

Kasparian, who describes Kinsley as “easy to talk to” and “pretty easygoing” until she gets stricter if her squad isn’t doing what it’s capable of doing, wasn’t caught off guard by Kinsley winning the national coaching honor.

“I was definitely not surprised,” Kasparian said. “She has definitely worked hard and deserved it. We were ranked eighth in the country at one point.”

Kinsley, though, was surprised.

Terming the award “awesome,” she added, “The one thing I want to make sure of is the team knows this is their award, too.”

“I have a great team,” Kinsley said. “I really do. They truly take pride in what they’re doing. They care about the program. They’re respectful of each other. They work really hard. It’s really a team award. I wouldn’t have gotten it without them.”

Kinsley said securing a winning record so quickly has made her “set her mindset for a new goal.”

That’s getting farther in the playoffs. The loss to Assumption, coming after Pace had beaten it twice during the regular season – once in overtime and the second time by a goal – stung.

But she said her players are now focused on a longer playoff run next year, when many, including the four from the local area, are expected to return.

“I see a lot of success in the future,” she said.

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TPM: "Why Trump Takes Legal Advice From Fox’s Conspiracy-Stoking ‘Judge Jeanine"


Why Trump Takes Legal Advice From Fox’s Conspiracy-Stoking ‘Judge Jeanine’ (TPM)

...Bennett Gershman, a Pace University law professor who has tracked Pirro’s career for years, called her “probably the most political prosecutor I’ve ever encountered.”

“She wanted to create a star moment for herself as a stepping stone for higher office,” said Gershman, who once filed a misconduct complaint against Pirro for discussing the H.I.V. status of an indicted sex offender during a press conference.

Her attempted star moment came in 2005-06 when she dropped out of the New York Senate race against Hillary Clinton (after receiving donations from the likes of Trump) and became the GOP nominee for state attorney general, losing by nearly 20 points to Andrew Cuomo. Her bids for statewide office were dogged by her husband’s legal troubles (Al Pirro was convicted in 2000 of hiding over $1 million in personal income on falsified returns, some of which his wife also signed) and her own. In 2006, Pirro came under federal investigation for asking former NYC police commissioner Bernie Kerik how best to secretly record her husband, whom she believed was cheating on her. No charges were ultimately filed, and the Pirros split up the following year.

Like Trump, Pirro ultimately found a home on TV, where their brash, say-anything personalities were assets. Trump spun “The Apprentice” into a hit franchise, while Pirro won a daytime Emmy for a reality court show, “Judge Jeanine Pirro,” before landing at Fox News in 2011. Trump was a frequent guest on the network.

When Trump announced his 2016 presidential run, Pirro became an early, ardent supporter. She advised #NeverTrump Republicans to “get in line” with the GOP frontrunner’s unorthodox campaign. According to Caputo, she would stop by Trump Tower for occasional meetings with Trump, “talking strategy and bucking him up.” The Access Hollywood recording in which Trump boasted of sexually assaulting women was “disgusting, devastating and embarrassing,” she told viewers, but she “still, without a doubt” would vote for him.

This unyielding loyalty paid off. Trump in March urged the public to watch an episode of “Judge Jeanine” in which Pirro said House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) should step down for embarrassing the President by failing to pass Obamacare repeal. He filmed an episode of her show in the Oval Office in May, and the New York Times reported he rarely misses an episode of the 9 p.m. ET Saturday program.

Trump supporters are Pirro viewers, and vice versa. The longtime political operative friendly with the Fox host told TPM this symbiotic relationship sometimes means promoting narratives that might not be fully grounded in reality, but appeal to the converted.

“I think she realized that the Trump message works for her viewership and she’s feeding her viewership and it’s good for her ’cause it keeps her numbers up,” the source said. “And she’s a personal supporter of Trump ’cause she’s known him for so long.”

“That’s something the President never forgets,” Caputo said of Pirro’s allegiance. “She may have been stern with him about something she disagreed with, but she never left his column of support. Those are the people the President relies on most because they’ve never given up on him.”

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The Chronicle of Higher Education: "What Is This ‘Even’?"


What Is This ‘Even’? (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

When I last addressed the word even, in 2013, it had already migrated from its accustomed function as an adverb in such sentences as “I can’t even move this suitcase, much less pick it up” or “Even vegetarians sometimes have a hankering for bacon.” The Oxford English Dictionary elegantly gives this traditional meaning as:

Intimating that the sentence expresses an extreme case of a more general proposition implied (=French même). Prefixed … to the particular word, phrase, or clause, on which the extreme character of the statement or supposition depends.

By the time of my post, the word had for some time established itself — in expressions like “What does that even mean?” “I don’t even know you,” and “Is that even a thing?” — as, in Mark Liberman’s formulation, a “purely emphatic” intensifier. I noted that it had migrated “to an unexpected part of the sentence, so that is ostentatiously not ‘prefixed … to the particular word, phrase, or clause’ it has to do with.”

Four and half years on, there are some new things to say. Well, one is an old thing — in the original post, I somehow neglected the expression, “I can’t even,” which had gotten its first Urban Dictionary definition in 2010 (sic throughout):

Yes thoes three words are a sentence a full sentence, well only on tumblr. is often used when something is either too funny, scary, cute, to have a good reaction too.

girl: “it was so awkward”

Its popularity peaked in late 2013, some months after my post (which is my unconvincing excuse for whiffing on it). In October of that year, according to the Know Your Meme website,

the Tumblr blog TheBunionPaper published a satirical news article titled “Rich Girl in Dining Hall Can’t Even,” accumulating upwards of 1,900 notes in seven months. On November 20th, the feminist culture blog The Toast published an article about Internet linguistics, which described the meaning of the expression “I have lost all ability to can.” On January 26th, 2014, country music singer Kacey Musgraves repeated the phrase “I can’t even” during her acceptance speech for Best Country Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards.

Not surprisingly, Liberman and his Language Log colleagues have been all over “I can’t even.”

Know Your Meme credibly traces the expression to the earlier-emerging, “I don’t even,” which it cites first in a 2007 message board. However, three years before that, Regina used it in the movie Mean Girls: “She’s so pathetic. Let me tell you something about Janis Ian. We were best friends in middle school. I know, right? It’s so embarrassing. I don’t even … Whatever.”

Tina Fey’s Mean Girls is linguistically astonishingly fruitful; my sense is that it reflected and created, in equal measure, loads of new ways of talking. The screenplay is a veritable symphony merely in its uses of the modern-day even, including “What does that even mean?” and these exchanges:

  • Crying Girl: “I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school … I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy …” [about to cry]  Damian: [shouting from back] “She doesn’t even go here!” Ms. Norbury: “Do you even go to this school?” Crying Girl: “No … I just have a lot of feelings …”
  • Regina: “Cady, do you even know who sings this?” Cady: “Um … the Spice Girls?”
  • Gretchen: [to Cady] “Two years ago she told me hoops earrings were her thing and I wasn’t allowed to wear them anymore. And then for Hanukkah my parents got this pair of really expensive white gold hoops and I had to pretend like I didn’t even like them and … it was so sad.”
  • Cady: “What do we even talk about?” Janis: [shrugs shoulders] “Hair products!”

The latest even development takes it a step beyond I can’t even. In that construction, a following verb is implied and elided: “I can’t even [begin to express how funny/scary/cute/whatever the thing I'm reacting to is].” But now that’s thrown aside and even is a pure signifier of emphasis, improbability, and disbelief. I first encountered from Jon Danziger (@jondanziger)  who tweeted on November 17, apropos of a confounding news item, “What is this even?” I asked him about it and he reported it is a favorite of his students at Pace University.

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CGTN: "Number of international students coming to U.S. drops for first time in a decade"


Number of international students coming to U.S. drops for first time in a decade (CGTN)

President Krislov was interviewed by Karina Huber of CGTN America on the value of international students to American colleges and universities and to employers. 

From CGTN America:

"Pace University in New York City has students from 117 countries. It hasn’t seen its applications drop, but its president, Marvin Krislov, is concerned about the data. He said international students are a huge asset.

“I think international students really contribute to the education of our students and faculty,” he said. “Because so much of our education is focused globally, and to have those perspectives really contributes to the discussions in the classroom.”

... The three percent drop in new international students cannot be attributed to U.S. President Donald Trump – the data predates his election – but the worry in U.S. higher education is that his views on immigration hurt applications.

“We all are watching,” Krislov said, “and we all want to make sure that the message – the communication is we’re very clear – we are still welcoming for international students.”

Read the full article and watch the video here.

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News12: "Pace University Students Honored for Protecting Elephants in New York"


Pace University Students Honored for Protecting Elephants in New York (News12)

A group of college students has been honored for their hard work to protect elephants in New York.

Students at Pace University's environmental policy clinic in Pleasantville were presented with a signed bill called the “Elephant Protection Act."

The legislation bans elephants from performing in entertainment venues across the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the act into law after the senate and assembly approved it. 

The students spent the last few years drafting the legislation. "It was an amazing process. It taught both me, Pavon, the other clinic students so much about how government works, how to get things done and how interactive you can be with your local politicians to make a big difference in New York," says Pace student Nicole Virgona.

Officials say the Elephant Protection Act is the first ban of its kind in the nation.

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WAMC Northeast Public Radio: "Pace Professor Discusses NY's Elephant Protection Act"


Pace Professor Discusses NY's Elephant Protection Act (WAMC Northeast Public Radio)

College students from Pace University who drove legislation to ban elephants from performing in entertainment venues in New York will be presented with the signed bill on campus Wednesday. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Michelle Land, who co-teaches the class that worked on the bill in its early stages.

Land says the Elephant Protection Act, signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in October, is the first ban of its kind in the nation.

“Other places have banned some of the training implements, like the bullhook has been banned. And we know that if you can’t bring in a bullhook, you can’t train the elephant. It’s an essential training tool,” says Land. “Or, there have been attempts at travelling bans. But this is the first one that has said under no circumstances can you bring an elephant into the state for entertainment purposes.”

And the ban was student driven. Land, a wildlife biologist, co-teaches the undergraduate Environmental Policy Clinic at Pace University in Westchester County, where the idea took hold.

“I feel like this is a bit of a watershed moment of students and professors working side by side on an issue that was student driven and, frankly, successfully implementing policy in such a short period of time because we’d really only been working on the elephant bill for a couple of years.”

Republican Senator Terrence Murphy and Assembly Democrat Amy Paulin sponsored the bill. Land says students ran with the idea of banning animals in entertainment, an idea that was honed.

“We ended up looking at just the elephant alone because of the fact that elephants are just in such crisis globally in their populations, but also because of the fact that it’s the iconic circus animal,” Land says. “And we figured if we could make a statement with the elephant, than it’s probably a signal of what’s to come. The other animals are also going to be undesirable to people to see them in an entertainment act.”

Though the most storied name attached with the circus performed its final show in May, Land says the ban is still very much needed.

“Despite the fact that Ringling has closed its tents for good, we still have nine or so circuses that come through New York state with elephants and, as recent as last year,” says Land. “And these are smaller circuses; they probably have less resources, if you will, to take care of their animals. And they’re all the same elephants. They all kind of get passed around. They’re, usually you’ve got a few elephant owners, and then they get contracted out to the circuses.”

The ban comes with exemptions.

“There’s only two exemptions in the bill. And one of them is that if you’re a sanctuary, and there’s a definition for sanctuary in the environmental conservation law,” Land says. “And so sanctuaries are exempt and zoos that are accredited, AZA zoos are exempted. That’s it.”

Land describes the opposition that arose during the process.

“There was a little bit of opposition as the bill was making its way through the legislature. There were two groups, the Elephant Managers Association. Not terribly surprising that they were not pleased,” says Land. “And the other group was, it was a National Animal Interest Alliance, which is essentially a group that protects the rights of animal owners.”

The ban, which takes effect in 2019, includes a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per act that violates the law.

“We’re more aware of the fact that the animals are… they’re intelligent, they’re social creatures, they are sentient beings and, therefore, they’re not at our disposal to entertain us,” says Land. “And I think that’s sort of a general cultural change that is among us at the moment in our society. And so we know that people are paying more attention to this, and we fully expect that other states will look to New York as the leader and want to follow suit.”

Murphy and Paulin are scheduled to present Pace students with the signed Elephant Protection Act at Pace University Dyson College of Arts and Sciences. Land and Professor John Cronin, who teach the Environmental Policy Clinic, also are slated to be on hand in Pleasantville.

Listen to the interview.


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Journal News: "Fired high school coaches have little chance of fighting their termination"


Fired high school coaches have little chance of fighting their termination (Journal News)

Unlike teaching jobs, coaching positions are not tenured. Whether the coaches worked for the school district or not in their regular jobs, the coaching positions are considered "at-will" and can be let go without cause.

Some are fired after athletic directors cave into parental pressure, others because a school administrator directed the action, according to one longtime athletic director. In other states, protections exist to blunt that random termination.

For instance, Connecticut requires that schools provide annual evaluations to coaches. Coaches who have served in the same position for three years or for consecutive years must be notified their contracts are not being renewed within 90 days of the conclusion of their team’s season. Coaches also may appeal decisions to the board of education.

Meanwhile, Minnesota requires reasons for a non-rehire be provided to coaches in writing. The state grants coaches hearings before the district’s board of education, and has also enacted legislation saying, "The existence of parent complaints must not be the sole reason for a board to not renew a coaching contract."

But New York has no such protections. In New York, as at-will employees, coaches may be fired at any time with or without cause.

Exceptions are few, most notably when discrimination is involved.

“The vast majority of employees (overall) are at-will employees and can get fired for no good reason or misconception. They can’t sue,” said Emily Gold, a Pace University School of Law professor.

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Westchester County Business Journal: "Pace team wins fed challenge"


Pace team wins fed challenge (Westchester County Business Journal)

A team of students from Pace University has won the 14th annual national College Federal Reserve Challenge. The Federal Reserve runs the competition that tests whether students understand the U.S. economy, monetary policymaking and the role of the Federal Reserve System.

This is the third time in four years that Pace has won the competition.

The finals were held in Washington, D.C. following five district competitions held around the country. The Pace team faced competition from Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Virginia-Old Dominion and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Teams competing in the finals gave presentations and answered questions posed by a panel of senior Federal Reserve officials.

Pace University President Marvin Krislov said, “This team’s dedication and success as well as that of their professors is a great example of the experiential learning and meaningful mentorship that is the hallmark of the Pace Path.”

The students attend Pace’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences and are Klejdja Qosjdja, Marina Testani, Salil Ahuja, Carly Aznavorian, Scarlett Bekus, Aleksandra Bruno, and Argenys Morban. Professors Greg Colman and Mark Weinstock served as the team’s advisers. 

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The Jewish Voice: "International Students: A Boon to New York and the Nation"


International Students: A Boon to New York and the Nation (The Jewish Voice)

President Krislov published an op-ed on the benefits of international students to institutions and the country in "The Jewish Voice." 

"International Students: A Boon to New York and the Nation"

While the United States continues to talk about building walls and deporting Dreamers, Canada is opening its doors to young people from around the world, actively recruiting greater numbers of international students as part of its strategy to stimulate economic growth. Recent reports indicate some 353,000 international students currently attend Canadian colleges and universities and the country’s goal is to welcome another 100,000 by 2022.

The United States would be wise to emulate such an approach. Our system of higher education is recognized as the best in the world and has been a magnet for many talented, hardworking people. But while most elite colleges and universities are holding steady with international student recruitment, other institutions have reported drops of as much as 50 percent. Students cite compelling concerns, including the ever-changing travel ban and cuts to the H-1B visa program that make it more difficult to secure employment after graduation.

Our neighbors to the north are capitalizing on something America’s colleges and universities have long understood: international students are a major boon to the economy. The latest analysis from the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors found that the 1,043,839 international students studying in the U.S. during the 2015-2016 academic year contributed $32.8 billion to the economy and either created or supported more than 400,000 jobs. And this prosperity was shared across the country.

In New York, where I am the president of Pace University, international students contributed nearly $4 billion to the state economy and supported more than 46,000 jobs. In Texas, those numbers are nearly $2 billion and 24,000 jobs; Indiana, $956 million and more than 12,000 jobs; and in California, our largest state, they contributed more than $5 billion and supported nearly 60,000 jobs. The loss of that kind of revenue would have a serious impact on local, state, and federal coffers. The U.S. is not alone in facing such economic fallout. The Higher Education Policy Institute projects that a Brexit-related cap on foreign student visas may cost the U.K. as much as two billion pounds per year.

Further, while international students contribute significant revenue to our economy, they receive far less in financial aid than American peers and approximately 75 percent receive most of their funding from sources outside of the United States. Many international students pay full tuition here and if they attend state institutions, they often pay double what in-state students pay.

Valuable for far more than financial assets, international students also transform the educational experience. For all students and faculty, whether in the classroom or in everyday interactions, they share diverse skills, perspectives, and customs, which helps all students prepare for careers in this global world. They also infuse our campuses with the spirit of innovation and willingness to take measured risks. After all, it takes courage to travel thousands of miles from family and all that is familiar to seek higher learning in another country. The benefits of their presence continue to unfold after graduation, when relationships formed between international and American students can lead to longer-term associations in the worlds of business, medicine, government, and more.

In more ways than one, the loss of so many bright, hardworking young people is something the United States simply cannot afford. Indeed, this country has and should continue to thrive as the world’s leader in higher education.

By Marvin Krislov

Marvin Krislov is the President of Pace University in New York.

Read the article on "The Jewish Voice" here.