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Yahoo Entertainment: "New York's Donald J. Trump State Park: A story of abandonment and decay"

01/11/2018

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.”

Read the full article.

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Newsday: "On eve of corruption trials, Albany quiet on ethics reforms"

01/11/2018

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.

 

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Westchester Magazine: "Therapy Dogs Are Helping Incarcerated Mothers in Westchester"

01/10/2018

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.

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FIOS1 News: "Oprah speech has Democrats buzzing about possible 2020 run"

01/10/2018

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.

 

 

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The Journal News: "Should I stay or should I go?"

01/08/2018

Should I stay or should I go? (The Journal News)

Factors that drive the commute vs. dorm decision

Gabrielle Iannucelli, a Commuter Assistant at Pace University in Pleasantville, and Dr. Lisa Bardill Moscaritolo, Assoc. VP & Dean for Students, work together to help residents and commuters have the optimum experience.

The morning after a 1971 winter storm, Volkswagen was entombed in ice. a comical image of my father and neighbor pulling on opposite doors remains frozen in my mind. My 30-minute college commute was delayed. Meanwhile, campus residents contended with freezing temperatures as they rushed across campus for breakfast. That was then, this is now.

What drives a student's decision to live on campus or commute? Some reasons were familiar and others were unexpected. Noteworthy is how colleges now enhance the commuting and campus living experiences.

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Westchester Magazine: "Pace University - Evening Reception, Bedford Hills"

01/05/2018

Pace University - Evening Reception, Bedford Hills (Westchester Magazine)

On Oct 28, Pace University held an evening reception at the Glen Arbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills to welcome Marvin Krislov as the university’s new president. Krislov was inaugurated the next day, during a ceremony at Pace.

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Westchester Magazine: "Going to the Dogs"

01/05/2018

Going to the Dogs (Westchester Magazine)

Pace University leads the way with a new animal based therapy program for incarcerated mothers.

Following the remarkable success of animal-assisted therapy (AAT), therapy dogs are now helping incarcerated mothers in Westchester hone their parenting skill 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 kinds 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; Westchester County Department of Correction (WCEOC).  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," say 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 magazine article.

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MNN: "Like your pet cat, pumas are peculiar about where they sleep"

01/02/2018

Like your pet cat, pumas are peculiar about where they sleep (MNN)

It's well-known that house cats sleep wherever they want, however they want — and often. They have a penchant for pouring themselves into cozy alcoves, perching atop important papers or disappearing into wormholes under furniture.

Pet cats share many of these idiosyncrasies with their wild relatives, which also tend to be catnap connoisseurs. And beyond the amusement of watching domestic cats snooze around the house, understanding the various criteria of a good catnap may also help researchers protect vulnerable felines that are rapidly losing habitat in the wild.

That's the idea behind a recent study, published in the journal PeerJ, that examined the bed-site preferences of wild mountain lions, also known as pumas or cougars. The study was part of Panthera's Teton Cougar Project (TCP), which has already shed valuable light on other puma puzzles, from their ecological effects to their secret social lives.

"Despite the fact that scientists know a lot about the relationships between predators and their prey, we know surprisingly little about the sleeping habits of large predators, especially cryptic carnivores like pumas," writes TCP member Anna Kusler, a graduate researcher at Pace University, in a blog post about the findings. Pumas gravitate to hidden bed sites where it would be hard for a competitor to see them, Kusler says, noting that pumas face more danger in their natural habitats than many people realize.

"Even though most of us probably think of pumas as top predators with little to fear, that's not always the case," Kusler adds. "In North America, much larger grizzly and black bears steal their hard-earned kills. Wolves, as pack animals, steal their kills AND kill them and their kittens." Pumas need to find safe sleeping spots, she explains, where it's unlikely other predators can harm them.

From 2012 to 2016, TCP researchers used GPS collars to identify about 600 puma bed sites, then carefully studied each one.

Pumas may not have many opportunities to curl up inside a mixing bowl or behind a sofa, but they do have comparable quirks about where they sleep. "We often found puma beds tucked underneath the low-lying boughs of a tree, or against the rugged face of an inaccessible cliff," Kusler writes. "They seem to prefer steep, rugged terrain, like cliff bands and boulder fields."

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Independent: "Similarities in Texting Habits Could Be the Key to Relationship Satisfaction, Suggest Study"

01/02/2018

Similarities in Texting Habits Could Be the Key to Relationship Satisfaction, Suggest Study (Independent)

Texting is ubiquitous in modern day dating culture.

While relationships were once born out of thoughtful love letters and red, red roses, today romance blossoms via witty observations and phallic emojis.

However, the art of written communication is not to be dismissed, as a new study suggests that couples with similar texting habits might be more satisfied in their relationship as a result.

Psychologists at Pace University, New York, surveyed 205 Americans between the ages of 18 and 29, all of whom were in relationships.

Each participant was asked about different aspects of their texting behaviour, from frequency of initiation to the nature of their conversations i.e. whether they text just to say hello, to show affection or to raise an issue.

Respondents also took standard surveys which measured their attachment styles and levels of contentment in their relationships.

The researchers concluded that perceived similarities in texting habits correlated strongly with overall relationship satisfaction.

“Findings highlight the importance of perceived similarity between romantic partners regarding texting behaviours for their level of satisfaction, even when taking into account the robust predictors of attachment anxiety and avoidance,” the study, which was published in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour, states.

However, due to the majority of participants being female (74 per cent), the researchers added that their findings may not apply to men and could instead suggest that women place particular importance on texting compatibility.

They also suggested that the results could benefit couples in counselling.

“Clinicians might be able to work with individuals in relationships or romantic couples about their expectations for and actual text messaging behaviours in order to promote relationship satisfaction and functioning,” the study states.

However, the psychologists added that further research is necessary in order to fully examine the role of texting compatibility in both romantic and non-romantic relationships.

Read the article.

Read Daily Mail: "Happiness is... texting as much as your partner: Couples whose message habits are similar are more content with their relationships"

Read The Times: "Lovers’ texting presses all the right buttons for a happy relationship"

 



 

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Financial Express: "University of Peace seeks India’s involvement to boost Sustainable Development Goals"

01/02/2018

University of Peace seeks India’s involvement to boost Sustainable Development Goals (Financial Express)

Recognising India as a key player in global efforts for the maintenance of international peace and security, University for Peace (UPEACE), a UN mandated university based in Costa Rica, is planning to set up a Yoga chair. Also, being a leader in South-South Cooperation, UPeace is keen on India playing a larger role in Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) ahead of a major conference in 2019. Talking to FE, Francisco Rojas Aravena, rector of the university, said, “As part of South-South Cooperation, the UPEACE is seeking India’s involvement in working on developing Objective 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in preparation for 2019 conference at UN Headquarters in New York.” “SDG 16 highlights that Rule of law at national and international levels, inter alia, has to be ensured by providing equal access to justice for all. Developing effective, accountable and transparent institutions is therefore necessary in order to provide good governance. In the absence of peace, achieving sustainable development itself will become difficult,” explained Narinder Kakar, permanent observer of the University for Peace to the UN. On plans of setting up of a yoga chair at UPeace, Kakar, distinguished senior fellow, Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, said, “Yoga can help in attaining inner peace, and through education for peace, help in sustaining peace. Education for peace can play a useful role in supporting the process for peace building on the one hand and achieving peace that is sustained through understanding developed between people of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds.”

Read the full article.

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