main navigation
my pace

Westchester

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

CBS New York: "Debate Rages Over Proposal To Allow Weaponized Drones For Police In Connecticut"

04/03/2017

CBS New York: "Debate Rages Over Proposal To Allow Weaponized Drones For Police In Connecticut"

GREENWICH, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A debate is raging over police departments deploying weaponized drones as a crime-fighting tool.

As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, the Connecticut State Legislature is the weighing whether the state should become the first in the country to allow police to use drones outfitted with deadly weapons.

In 2015, Central Connecticut College student Austin Haughwout made national headlines when he set up a gun-firing drone and posted video of the device in action.

If police began using weaponized drones, they would be far more sophisticated than Haughwout’s gun drone rig. They would likely be more like a toned-down version of what has become common in 21st century warfare – flying weaponry that kills.

The sudden proposal has sent shockwaves through the halls of the State Capitol in Hartford.

“I didn’t even know this bill was in existence, and for this to go flying, so to speak, through the Judiciary Committee so quickly was a bit of a shock,” said state Sen. Scott Franz (R-Greenwich). “The worry about weaponized drones is that there could be abuse. There could be some operator error.”

The proposal starts by outlawing airborne weaponry in the hands of civilians, and then moves to establish guidelines, training and warrant requirements for deployment of the machines in the hands of law enforcement.

It is a step no other state has yet taken.

“It’s not necessarily unconstitutional, but as a matter of policy — if this were allowed — one would want, again, very strict regulation,” said Pace University Law School Professor Thomas McDonnell.

Watch the video.

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

Journal News: "Pace U. student: Don't limit college choice with tuition aid"

04/03/2017

Journal News: "Pace U. student: Don't limit college choice with tuition aid"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, is joined by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, center, and chairperson of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York William C. Thompson, on Jan. 3, 2017, as he speaks during an event at LaGuardia Community College in New York. Cuomo recently wrapped up a series of speeches around the state detailing a 2017 agenda that includes free college tuition, an expanded child care tax credit and a "buy American" plan giving domestic companies preference in state purchases. (Photo: Mary Altaffer, AP)

"Recently, politicians, journalists and college administrators have been discussing policies on college affordability without student input," writes Larissa Szilagyi, a senior at the Pforzheimer Honors College at Pace University. "However, as we see with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal for free tuition in New York state, it is impossible to legislate an issue effectively without the input of those who are affected.

"College affordability is a real issue for students. As a graduating college senior, I have felt the impact of college debt, but it is not just about me anymore. It is about the next generation of students, including each student born into an undocumented family, each student who has a systemically unfavorable chance to afford education, each student putting themselves through college by working full time, and each student who just needs an opportunity.

Read more here.

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

Westchester Magazine: "What Does it Mean to Be Middle Class in Westchester?"

03/31/2017

Westchester Magazine: "What Does it Mean to Be Middle Class in Westchester?"

High closing costs and a hefty property-tax bill nearly derailed Tipi Vyrasith and Michael Tuesca's family dream of purchasing a home in Greenburgh. Though they pulled it off, they stick to a tight budget in order to get by. Photograph by Stefan Radtke.

. . . The concept of the middle class is changing, says Farrokh Hormozi, a professor of economics at Pace University who has taught there for more than 30 years. While family incomes have gone up — largely because so many households now have two earners — so, too, has the cost of living. Despite the higher incomes, when the higher costs are coupled with a loss of skilled-labor jobs in manufacturing, factories, and technical trades (the closing of the General Motors plant in Tarrytown in 1995 is one example), Westchester, like many other places across the country, is seeing its middle class shrink. 

Some people are doing better, but many others who once worked as skilled labor in manufacturing or related jobs are slipping onto the lower rung, he says.  “We don’t have a middle class as we once did.”  

The middle class has lost ground in every state from 2000-2013, according to a Pew/Stateline analysis of US Census data. While New York’s middle class shrunk by just under 3 percent, the losses were more profound in places like Wisconsin (-5.6 percent), Ohio (-5.2 percent), Nevada (-4.9 percent), Georgia and New Mexico (each at -4.8 percent).

The shrinking middle class is an outgrowth of the changing job market from manufacturing to information, says Villarreal, the policy fellow at NCPA, a nonpartisan group that advocates free-market solutions. Because there is less demand for lower skilled labor, a greater need for high-tech workers and federal programs are typically one-size-fits-all across all states (and designed to help those in need, not those starting businesses). Local governments can lead the way by encouraging entrepreneurship and small-business ownership while resisting the temptation of over-regulation, she says.

“The economy is evolving,” Villarreal says, citing ride-sharing giant Uber, restaurants, and other service industries as classic examples where local laws can make or break a new idea or squash a mom-and-pop altogether. “The key is to have public policies that allow people to adapt to the economy and change.” 

For sure, Westchester has more than its share of local governments and bureaucracies (6 cities, 19 towns, 23 villages, and 425 governments in all), but unlike many other regions, it is buoyed by newcomers who are escaping New York City and its higher cost of living. It’s also somewhat stabilized by older adults who raised families here, choose to stay and are living longer. Both population segments, however, can have a tough time here for varying reasons: Seniors are trying to keep up with rising costs, high taxes and living on far less, while younger people haven’t reached their peak earnings yet. 

For this reason and others, young professionals find it challenging to afford life here in the county. Take Samantha Diliberti, who, when she graduated college at age 21, had more than $100,000 in student loans — and a job that paid a pittance. “All of my money went to loan payments,” she says of a $700–$1,200 monthly bill that, when coupled with rent, left little else. 

In the years that followed, she landed better jobs with more pay and occasional bonuses, but even that couldn’t reverse the mounting cycle of bills. Though she liked living in Brooklyn, the rent was high (often $15,000 a year). She also had four roommates. 

Diliberti knew the math didn’t add up, so she moved back home with her mother in Yonkers, to save for a modest place. Although Mom and daughter get along well, it’s a sacrifice for both. “The main reason I’m doing this is that it’s the responsible financial choice,” Diliberti says.

In moving to the burbs, she bought a car, a used Mitsubishi Mirage, and tries to skimp on other nonessential purchases. She and her mother have had giftless Christmases for the past two years, as she feels no savings is too small. “Because I’m saving to buy, I’m definitely more frugal.”

At 26, Diliberti is now debt-free and saving for a co-op in southern Westchester. “It’s a happy medium between the city and suburbs,” she says. “I definitely can’t afford the five boroughs.”

Christina Barry, 27, followed a similar plan. Her parents, who are small-business owners, taught her the virtues of being debt-free. After graduating from Iona College, she moved home to Brewster, paid off roughly $50,000 in student loans and socked away the bucks. “I saved every penny I ever made,” Barry says.

It paid off. She’s mostly debt-free and bought a $124,000 co-op in Yonkers, which is close to work and close to New York City, where she and her friends like to socialize. Despite her sensible financial planning, frugality, and job stability, Barry is learning that life on her own is indeed expensive. So, too, is she hyper-aware that housing, property taxes, and the cost of living in Westchester could force her and her boyfriend, who also lives in Yonkers, to move elsewhere when they eventually tie the knot. “You have to think about these things,” Barry says. “I like the area; we have the best of both worlds, …but you have to pay a premium here.”

Many residents who don’t want to pay that premium are fleeing the state altogether for less expensive climes, like Florida, Texas, and just about anywhere the weather is warmer and the taxes lower.

A May 2016 report in the (Rochester) Democrat & Chronicle found that New York lost more than $22 billion in wealth between 2009 and 2014 from people fleeing the state. Of that, three counties in Florida — Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade — gained $1.2 billion of New York’s wealth in a single year. Much of this can be attributed to retirees decamping, but any Westchester resident knows a tale or two of people leaving for a lower cost of living.

The prognosis, however, isn’t all bad, says Pace’s Hormozi. Changing trends in healthcare, growing economic sectors, and the revitalization of many towns and cities with walkable communities could prove to make Westchester a vibrant place for young and old alike — as long as there are pockets of affordability and an education system that not only prepares some students for higher education but others for careers in skilled labor and the trades.  

“This type of transformation is necessary,” Hormozi says.  “Westchester County is part of the social transformation that has always taken place.” 

What’s more, the economics professor adds, one should never discount the middle class, if for no other reason than one key attribute: “Hard work is the defining characteristic of the middle class,” he says.  

Read more here.

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

WAMC/Northeast Public Radio: "Newburgh Residents Seek Court Permission To Sue The City Over PFOS Contamination"

03/31/2017

WAMC/Northeast Public Radio: "Newburgh Residents Seek Court Permission To Sue The City Over PFOS Contamination"

. . .  PFOS was first detected and reported to the Environmental Protection Agency in 2014 when samples ranged between 140 and 170 parts per trillion. These samples were below the EPA’s then-provisional short-term health advisory of 200 parts per trillion. When sampling in March 2016 confirmed the presence of PFOS, it was about 140 parts per trillion. That was before the EPA issued a new, long-term health advisory in May of 70 parts per trillion. David Cassuto is a professor in the Elizabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.

“So we have here is we have a great deal of uncertainty about the nature of the threat,  and because of the uncertainty about the nature of the threat, that makes it very difficult to litigate because you don’t know exactly what the harm is,” Cassuto says.

Plus, he says:

“We have a lot of different possible defendants, from the federal government on down,  and that means, that, of course, as a plaintiff’s lawyer make you happy because you have a lot of targets but it also means that it’s hard to show just who it is who is responsible,” says Cassuto.

Listen to the story.

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

Westchester County Business Journal: "Federal agencies extend Pace University’s cybersecurity education designation"

03/29/2017

Westchester County Business Journal: "Federal agencies extend Pace University’s cybersecurity education designation"

Two federal agencies have extended Pace University’s designation as a center for cybersecurity education.

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security named Pace as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education for another five years.

“It’s significant,” said Jonathan Hill, dean of Pace’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, “because there is no greater threat to business and democracy than cyber vulnerability.”

The Seidenberg School faculty includes about a dozen specialists in cybersecurity. The program is based on Pace’s Pleasantville campus, where it runs a cybersecurity education and research lab.

The lab, directed by Li-Chiou Chen and Andreea Cotoranu, studies vulnerabilities in software, hardware, operating systems and even the human element.

Read more here.

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designate Pace University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) through academic year 2022

03/28/2017

Pace’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems recognized for its role in cybersecurity education and research

New York, NY – March 28, 2017 – Pace University, through the efforts of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, has been designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) through academic year 2022. An evening reception during the National Cyber Security Summit in June will recognize Pace and the other schools that have received this distinction.

"This recognition by the NSA and the DHS is a tribute to the faculty and students of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University and the excellence that they have brought to the study and practice of cybersecurity for more than a decade," said Dr. Jonathan Hill, Dean of the Seidenberg School. "The Seidenberg School faculty have developed a stream of well educated, highly trained students who are now on the front lines of the cybersecurity fight on behalf of our government. We could not be more proud of our designation as a Center of Academic Excellence, but we understand that our work in preparing the next generation of cybersecurity specialists is just beginning."

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) program. The goal of the program is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense expertise for the Nation.

“Your ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure,” noted Karen Leuschner, National CAE Program Manager, NSA, in a letter to Pace about the designation. “The Presidents’ National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, 14 February 2003 and the International Strategy for Cyberspace, May 2011, addresses the critical shortage of professionals with these skills and highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America’s cyberspace.”

Pace’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems actively promotes education, research and outreach in information security, with faculty members working to explore the challenges of securing information in areas ranging from software to networks to ethics.

There is an acute shortage of information assurance professionals in an industry challenged with an evolving threat to digital security. Pace’s Cybersecurity Education and Research Lab is committed to address that shortage and contribute to building a strong workforce in a field that is crucial to keeping cyberspace secure.

The Lab focuses on education, research, and partnerships with academia, industry, and government. Pace’s academic programs empower students with the knowledge they need to make a difference. Pace faculty members work in innovative research projects that help discover new ways to combat cyberattacks. Through partnerships, Pace strives to maintain a shared knowledge base that benefits the industry as a whole.

The Cybersecurity Education and Research Lab at Pace is directed by Dr. Li-Chiou Chen and Andreea Cotoranu. Dr. Chen is the Chair of the Information Technology department and has secured a wealth of grants for the Seidenberg School’s continued research and activities in cybersecurity. Andreea Cotoranu is the Assistant Dean for Academic Innovation and has similarly obtained many grants that have enabled Pace to offer excellent academic opportunities, as well as workshops and events, to students and the community.

About Pace University: Since 1906, Pace has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in Lower Manhattan and Westchester County, NY, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

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

 

# # #

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

Connecticut Law Tribune: "Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Talks Environmental Law, Skakel Murder"

03/28/2017

Connecticut Law Tribune: "Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Talks Environmental Law, Skakel Murder"

Photo: Michael Skakel, left, Father Abbott Joseph Boyle, center, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at the Benedictine Trappist monastery.

As Robert F. Kennedy Jr. prepares to step down later this week after 34 years as an environmental litigation professor at Pace University Law School, he offered a glimpse into his views on the environment under the Trump administration.

The 63-year-old attorney, son of the late New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, spoke to the Connecticut Law Tribune on two topics close to his heart: the environment and the murder case against his cousin, Michael Skakel.

Kennedy has insisted his cousin did not murder 15-year-old neighbor Martha Moxley in Greenwich in 1975. In fact, Kennedy has penned many articles and a book titled "Framed: Why Michael Skakel Spent Over A Decade In Prison For A Murder He Didn't Commit," on the topic. Skakel was convicted of murder in 2002 and served 11 years of a 20-years-to-life sentence.

Kennedy, who lives in Westchester County, New York, is founder and president of the environmental group Waterkeeper Alliance. He is also a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan.

Read more here.

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

Journal News: "Find some American humor"

03/27/2017

Journal News: "Find some American humor"

Pace University, Pleasantville

Want to know the origins of humor? Take your funny bone to school with Pace University's American Humor class. The Pleasantville campus offers weekend options in their English Language Institute.

The course delves deep into the history of humor in the United States. With introductions to slapstick, romantic comedy and adult humor. Instructors discuss different media and genres including sitcoms, feature films and cartoons.

On a more serious note, adults can enroll in courses such as the Paralegal Certificate in the college's continuing education program to update skills or try new opportunities. Designed by paralegals with input from judges and lawyers this hands-on program gives students an authentic taste of what working in this field is like. The program is aimed at working students and includes these topics: correspondence, research skills, court structure, interviewing and investigation.

GO: Pace University. 861 Bedford Road, Pleasantville;  914-773-3200; pace.edu

Read more here.

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

Astorino, Local College Presidents And Business Council Advocate For A Tuition Solution That Works For Public And Private Colleges

03/24/2017

Astorino, Local College Presidents And Business Council Advocate For A Tuition Solution That Works For Public And Private Colleges

Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino, along with Fordham University president Fr. Joseph McShane, Iona College president Dr. Joseph Nyre, Pace University chairman emeritus Aniello Bianco and John Ravitz from the Business Council of Westchester, called upon the governor to withdraw his “free college” plan in favor of a solution that lowers college costs and increases access for students at all New York colleges. 

“If you think college is expensive now, just wait until its free,” Astorino said. “We absolutely should be working together on solutions to lower college cost and increase access. But any solution to the problem of high college tuition and fees must actually address the problem, include private colleges and bend the cost curve down for everyone.”

Citing research by Georgetown University and a study provided by The Commission on Independent Colleges & Universities in New York (the commission), the group of private college presidents say they expect significant drops in enrollment if the governor’s plan becomes law, causing unintended economic consequences while limiting student choice in higher education.

"I applaud the governor's concerns about college access and affordability, though I believe his specific proposals are a starting place in the conversation, not its conclusion," said Rev. McShane, Fordham’s president. "There are many paths to afford New York students access to higher education at an affordable tuition, but I firmly believe that the current, and longstanding, policy of equal state financial aid for all students of similar means does the most good for the most people. Fordham, like many of its peers in non-profit higher education, is a private university for the public good. Maintaining an evenhanded policy of state financial aid ensures that students are offered both a broader choice of institutions and affordable tuition."

Dr. Nyre, Iona’s president, echoed Fr. McShane’s determination that any conversation which puts a focus on education is a good thing, but that the governor’s plan needs to be reconsidered.

“We applaud New York State’s increasing focus on college affordability and support the expansion of the Tuition Assistance Program,” said Nyre. “This is a meaningful step forward for all New Yorkers. At the same time, we are concerned about the unintended negative consequences of the well-intended Excelsior Scholarship proposal that unfortunately will reduce college choice for students, negatively impact New York’s economy, and adversely affect the very students and families the legislation is trying to support.”

The press conference was hosted by Pace University on its Pleasantville campus. Pace President Stephen J. Friedman expressed particular concern about the disproportionate effect the governor’s scheme might have on lower-income students.

“Private colleges and universities award more bachelor’s degrees annually than SUNY and CUNY combined,” said Friedman in a statement. "It is inexcusable to hurt lower and lower-middle income students who choose to attend a private university by excluding them from the proposed aid. Students deserve to attend a university or college that is the best fit for their needs and lower and middle income students are choosing to enroll at independent colleges and universities because of our track record of elevating their earning power after graduation."

The county’s business leadership was represented by John Ravitz, executive vice president of the Business Counsel of Westchester, who pointed out how valuable Westchester’s colleges and universities are as a delivery system of talent for all the businesses who thrive upon the county’s well-educated workforce.

“We’re here today to say that this plan the governor has proposed is shortsighted in so many ways.” Ravitz, a former N.Y. Assemblyman, continued: “You want to support students and give them every ooportunity, but we must acknowledge the fact that we in Westchester are so blessed to have private and independent colleges that serve as incubators for future employers. When we talk about free tuition, we can not lose sight of the fact that so many of these institutions could be put at risk.”

Another respected group of business leaders, The Westchester County Association, has also expressed concern over the governor’s proposal, and support for the County Executive’s position that it should be reviewed.

Astorino concluded that the commission’s study and the concerns of private colleges indicate a devastating economic impact to Westchester as well as the state.

“Statewide, that economic effect is devastating. In Westchester, this proposal could mean the loss of 5,000 jobs supported by our private colleges. The governor’s solution, which came about without input from stakeholders, would likely have very real, unintended consequences and we are asking that the proposal be withdrawn,” Astorino said. “The governor’s plan threatens to become a double whammy: taxpayers will be asked to pay more to cover the rising public school budgets as more students flock to them. And students in private schools will be looking at higher tutition bills as their schools have to react to declining enrollment.”

Under the governor’s plan, college students who have been accepted to a public university or community college in New York would be eligible for free tuition, provided they or their family earns $125,000 or less a year. However, low-income students attending private universities risk losing all state aid if their college increases tuition past a set index that is determined by the state.

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

News12 Westchester: "Gov.’s plan for tuition-free degree program faces criticism"

03/24/2017

News12 Westchester: "Gov.’s plan for tuition-free degree program faces criticism"

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to offer free tuition at state-run universities is receiving some tough criticism.

At a press conference this morning, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and several of the area's leading educators at Pace University condemned the governor’s proposed Excelsior Scholarship Program.

http://westchester.news12.com/news/gov-s-plan-for-tuition-free-degree-program-faces-criticism-1.13312547

Pages