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Houston Chronicle: "Coal, renewables and the election"

11/14/2016

Houston Chronicle: "Coal, renewables and the election"

It might be safe to assume that Donald Trump's core voter base - older white men - are not fans of renewable energy or the initiatives that local, state and federal governments have launched to support it.

But after Trump's stunning victory on Tuesday, energy policy analyst Karl Rabago unearthed data to back that up. In 2003, just after Texas implemented a deregulated energy market to create competition among electricity providers, a Colorado consulting firm surveyed Texas residents and their feelings about renewable energy. And there was one group that was staunchly against it: 55 to 65 year-old white men, the demographic that largely carried Trump to victory. While a future Trump administration can do a lot to dismantle clean energy initiatives, public support of renewables is likely to remain strong, added Rabago, executive director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center at Pace University in White Plains, N.Y.

Read more here.

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Daily News: "Trump supporters continue threatening opponents, after mogul presses for unity following divisive campaign"

11/10/2016

Daily News: "Trump supporters continue threatening opponents, after mogul presses for unity following divisive campaign"

President-elect Donald Trump may have used his victory speech early Wednesday to reassure a fragile, shocked and divided nation that he would unite it, but many of his key supporters appeared to have not received the memo.

... David Caputo, president emeritus and professor of Political Science at Pace University, added that historically, "individuals often behave differently after they assume the presidency," but that seems unlikely for Trump.

"His most partisan supporters will expect him to pursue his opponents. If he can resist that and not give in to his usual behavior, he could make some progress … but is he able to do that?"

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/trump-backers-threatening-foes-mogul-vows-unity-article-1.2866567

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Los Angeles Times: "Mergers create hotel giants, but few are complaining"

11/08/2016

Los Angeles Times: "Mergers create hotel giants, but few are complaining"

On Century Boulevard near Los Angeles International Airport, travelers can pick among 14 hotels, ranging from budget lodging to a stylish three-diamond inn.

In reality, the choices are more limited.

All the hotels clustered on the busy thoroughfare are owned, managed or licensed by just six companies, led by Marriott International Inc., the world’s largest hotel company after its recent $13-billion takeover of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.

Nationwide, nearly half of the 53,400 hotels are linked to the six hotel giants — Marriott, Hilton Worldwide, Intercontinental, Wyndham Worldwide, Choice Hotels and Best Western Hotels & Resorts.

Despite a few murmurs of concern in the corporate travel world, Marriott swallowed Starwood with no opposition from antitrust watchdogs around the world. And the dominance of a handful of hotel companies hasn’t sparked the kind of protest seen in the airline, telecom, bank and insurance industries.

“It hasn’t been a top concern until now,” said Diana Moss, president of the American Antitrust Institute, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit think tank that focuses on competition and consumer choice.

The institute, which has opposed several airline mergers on antitrust grounds, is looking more closely at the increasing merger activity in the hotel industry.

“Hotels tend to fly under the radar,” Moss said. “They don’t get a lot of attention.”

The merger of Marriott and Starwood — creating a hotel behemoth with 5,800 hotels in more than 100 countries — was just the latest hotel deal to concentrate the industry in the last few years.

In 2015 alone, France’s AccorHotels bought the Toronto-based parent company of the luxury Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel brands for $2.7 billion; Intercontinental Hotels Group acquired Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants for $430 million; Marriott acquired Delta Hotels & Resorts for $135 million; and a Wyndham Worldwide subsidiary acquired Dolce Hotels & Resorts for $57 million.

Before the Marriott and Starwood deal, the series of acquisitions did little to reduce competition in the hotel industry, but the latest transaction might be “a game changer,” according a report by CWT Solutions Group, a consultant to the travel industry.

“With daily room rates and occupancy levels at all-time highs in many major markets, basic economics dictate that less competition will only lead to even higher prices,” the report said.

In Los Angeles, Marriott and Starwood account for nearly half of corporate travel spending, among the highest percentages in major market where those companies operate, CWT said.

Marriott spokeswoman Felicia McLemore rejected suggestions that the company’s greater girth cuts into the choices available to travelers.

“The lodging industry continues to be very fragmented compared to other travel-related businesses, such as airlines, with robust competition from numerous lodging brand companies and independent operators,” she said.

Some hotel analysts predict little fallout from the increasing clout of the top six hotel companies. 

Among the reasons: A big share of those brand hotels are simply licensed to carry a franchise name but are owned or managed by local hoteliers, who can set the nightly rates based on local demands.

Also, most major hotel giants oversee a range of brands, from cut-rate to high-end, giving consumers more options.

“The industry is very segmented,” said Andrew Coggins, a management professor at New York’s Pace University. “If you look at any big hotel company, they manage different brands. The brands appeal to different segments of the market.”

For example, the New Yorker, a Wyndham hotel in Manhattan, offers rooms for more than $400 a night. Meanwhile, the Travelodge in Jersey City, N.J. — another Wyndham hotel — rents rooms for as little as $70 a night.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hotel-giants-20161105-story.html

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The Wall Street Journal: "Donald Trump’s Loyal Numbers Man"

11/08/2016

The Wall Street Journal: "Donald Trump’s Loyal Numbers Man"

Shortly after he appeared on an episode of the his boss’s reality television show, “The Apprentice,” Trump Organization finance chief Allen Weisselberg took a call from an old college buddy.

“That was your 15 minutes of fame,” said his friend, Marty Weinbaum, an accountant in Florida. The two of them chuckled.

Mr. Weisselberg’s quarter hour of stardom seems destined to stretch on, regardless of the Nov. 8 presidential election.

As CFO, Mr. Weisselberg maintains a coveted spot as one of Donald Trump’s longtime confidants. That has tied him to some of his boss’s most sensitive dealings.

When the New York attorney general’s office draws up a witness list as it investigates payments and a political donation made by The Donald J. Trump Foundation, Mr. Weisselberg will likely be on it, said a person familiar with the situation. The 69-year-old Brooklyn native is also treasurer of the troubled nonprofit.

In 2000, Mr. Weisselberg was named a vice president at Mr. Trump’s Atlantic City, N.J. casino company following an accounting scandal that resulted in it eventually agreeing to a Securities and Exchange Commission cease-and-desist order.

And he served on the board of at the Miss Universe Organization, the pageant on which Mr. Trump lavished attention, after buying it in 1996. Although the Trump Organization sold it last year, the candidate’s spat with a former winner was front-page news.

Insiders call Mr. Weisselberg key to the enterprise. “He plays an integral part in the Trump Organization’s growth and continued financial success,” wrote Ivanka Trump in an emailed statement. “He is deeply passionate, fiercely loyal and has stood alongside my father and our family for over [three] decades.”

Mr. Weisselberg declined to be interviewed for this article.

Despite Mr. Weisselberg’s position, he keeps an under-the-radar profile, partly a function of what experts call the Trump Organization’s “command-and-control” leadership culture, with Mr. Trump on top.

“Even though he hires very good people, they are comfortable taking their lead from him,” said William Klepper, a management professor at Columbia Business School. Command-and-control leaders like Mr. Trump promote themselves and eschew consensus-building, he said.

Former Trump employees say Mr. Weisselberg fades into the background. “He fits in with the wallpaper,” said one of them. “That’s how he’s survived.”

Mr. Weisselberg’s reticence is nevertheless unusual, with Mr. Trump campaigning largely on his business bonafides. The CFO remains unknown to even close Trump associates, despite his decadeslong service.

“I don’t even recall the name Allen Weisselberg, and don’t believe we ever spoke or met,” wrote Andrew Beal, head of Beal Financial Corp., in an email. Mr. Beal’s Dallas bank once held $486 million in liens on casinos owned by Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., a publicly traded company that in 2009 filed for bankruptcy. He was named to Mr. Trump’s economic advisory team in August.

Mr. Weisselberg is a contrast to his boss. He is quiet and, say former colleagues, eats salads and tuna sandwiches in the lunchroom or at his desk in a 26th floor office overlooking Madison Avenue. Mr. Weisselberg has been married to the same woman, Hilary, for 46 years.

He is also an outlier among modern CFOs, who are strategic partners with their bosses, communicating with bankers, suppliers and employees. “No big transaction is going to happen without the other party being comfortable with the CFO,” said Jack McCullough, founder of the CFO Leadership Council, a network of financial professionals.

Instead, Mr. Weisselberg is a throwback to when they acted as functionaries. At a business meeting last year, Mr. Trump reflexively solicited his CFO for his opinion.

“Isn’t that right, Allen?” Mr. Trump asked.

“One thousand percent,” Mr. Weisselberg responded.

One former employee used to joke about the symbiotic relationship, “If Donald had a cold, he [Allen] would sneeze.”

Mr. Weisselberg performs due diligence on properties, reviews leases on asset acquisitions, and deals with real-estate firms that might be interested in marketing a property using the Trump name.

However, Mr. Weisselberg seldom signs checks on behalf of the Trump Organization above a certain amount, saving those for Mr. Trump, a former colleague said. The CEO is wont to withhold final payment to contractors whose work he is dissatisfied with, according to former employees.

Many of Mr. Trump’s personal transactions are handled by Mr. Weisselberg, including payment of household expenses, as well as the purchases of boats or planes, said an ex-Trump executive. He also dealt with Mr. Trump’s stockbroker, the late Bear Stearns Cos. Chairman Alan “Ace” Greenberg.

Allen Howard Weisselberg attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn where he served on the student patrol, according to the 1965 yearbook. His future occupation: accountant.

He graduated from Pace College, now Pace University, in 1970 with an accounting degree.

Mr. Weisselberg started off working for Mr. Trump’s father, Fred, and by the late 1980s was controller of the Trump Organization. In this role Mr. Weisselberg worked under CFO Stephen Bollenbach, who was hired in 1990.

Read more: http://blogs.wsj.com/cfo/2016/11/05/donald-trumps-loyal-numbers-man/

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Daily News: "LOVETT: Donald Trump interested in keeping Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara on the job if he wins election"

11/08/2016

Daily News: "LOVETT: Donald Trump interested in keeping Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara on the job if he wins election"

ALBANY — Donald Trump, if he wins the election on Tuesday, is seriously considering asking crusading Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to stay on, a senior campaign official told the Daily News.

"He has a very high regard for him," the official said. "Obviously it's caught his attention what (Bharara's) done in New York. It's the same approach Mr. Trump would like to bring to Washington."

Bharara, since being appointed by President Obama in 2009, has made public corruption a key focus, bringing down elected officials from both parties, including former state Assembly Democratic Speaker Sheldon Silver and ex-state Senate GOP Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

He currently has ongoing investigations into the administrations of Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio.

The next president will have to decide whether to keep or replace the current crop of U.S. attorneys across the country.

"Mr. Trump is seriously considering it and has thought about it ... but you don't make those decisions until you know you have the authority to do it," the Trump official said of asking Bharara to stay.

Trump's Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, demurred when asked directly in April by the News what she thought about Bharara's performance and whether she would keep him on.

While Bharara has said publicly that he loves his job, he has not indicated whether he wants to stay on under the next president.

But some political insiders question whether Bharara will stick around — or even have the chance. With probes into the Clinton Foundation and her emails at the State Department, Clinton, if elected, would likely clean house in the Justice Department like her husband, Bill, did when he became president.

Others agree he's likely gone, but say it's more because it's time.

"He's been there eight years; that's a long tenure for a U.S. attorney," said former federal prosecutor Bradley Simon. "Whoever comes in is going to appoint their own person. I don't think he'll be replaced because people are not happy with him. Incoming presidents typically appoint their own people."

Pace Law School professor Bennett Gershman agrees.

"It's customary to pick your own people," he said.

Meanwhile, the controversy over the last-minute announcement that the FBI probe into Clinton's emails is being reopened coupled with the release with days to go before the elections of the files regarding Bill Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich has some political and legal insiders saying it could fairly or unfairly taint federal probes, including Bharara's into the Cuomo and de Blasio administrations.

"You have to view everything now through a political lens," said one political operative.

Gershman said that in announcing the reopening the investigation of Clinton's emails less than than two weeks before Election Day, FBI Director James Comey violated a policy of many prosecutors of not interfering, or giving the appearance of interference, with an election.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/lovett-trump-bharara-job-wins-election-article-1.2861009

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San Francisco Chronicle: "Clinton or Trump? What to watch for as election results roll in"

11/08/2016

San Francisco Chronicle: "Clinton or Trump? What to watch for as election results roll in"

One of the longest and nastiest presidential election campaigns in memory ends Tuesday night, with Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump each looking to win a four-year, all-expenses-paid stay at the White House.

But even before the first polls close at 4 p.m. Pacific time, it’s clear what the candidates need to do and what indications to watch for through the night to see whether Trump or Clinton is on track for victory.

For Clinton, the key is her blue firewall of six swing states: Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. Those states, which have a recent history of voting Democratic, would combine with solidly Democratic states like California and New York to give the former secretary of state just more than the 270 electoral votes she needs to become president.

But if Trump can crack that firewall by stealing one or more of those swing states, election night becomes much messier for Clinton, who then will have to win a toss-up state like Nevada, North Carolina or Florida.

Trump, though, has a narrower path to victory. He has to not only hold all the GOP-leaning states, but also virtually sweep the close races.

“Trump has to win all the battleground states,” said Jack Citrin, who runs UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies. “It would help if he could grab a state not thought to be close.”

But if Clinton can win traditionally Republican states like Arizona, Utah and possibly even Texas, “we’re looking at a landslide,” he said.

Viewers should watch for any early signs that either Clinton or Trump is doing worse than expected in their targeted states because, in elections, bad news tends to be contagious.

Here’s what to look for as the polls close across the United States. All times are Pacific Standard Time.

Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
4 p.m.: Virginia is the first battleground state to close. It was trending Democratic even before Clinton picked Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate. Democratic strength is in the cities and the Washington, D.C., suburbs, which tend to report their votes late.

While Indiana and Kentucky are Trump territory, they can give an early look at the evening’s trend, said David A. Caputo, a political science professor at Pace University in New York.

“People should look to see if there’s a surge in support for Trump,” he said. “In Indiana, if (Democratic Senate candidate) Evan Bayh is close or winning, that’s good news for Clinton.”

Read more: http://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Clinton-or-Trump-What-to-watch-for-as-election-10599642.php

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Wall Street Journal: "Raising a Trilingual Child"

11/02/2016

Wall Street Journal: "Raising a Trilingual Child"

The Striuli family is trilingual. Pilar Guzman, foreground, usually speaks Spanish with her daughters, including 7-year-old Maite, foreground right. Stefano Striuli, center, usually speaks Italian with the girls, including 10-year-old Letizia, background, right. Photo: Maura Friedman for The Wall Street Journal

... Before elementary school age, children usually can learn a second, third or even fourth language without much formal instruction, says Xiao-lei Wang, acting dean at the School of Education, at Pace University, in New York City, and author of a book, “Growing Up With Three Languages.” In many trilingual households, the unwritten rule is each parent speaks only one language to the children and encourages the children to reply only in that language, she says.

Read more here.

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New York Times: "Police Killing of Mentally Ill Black Man Is, 5 Years Later, Headed to Trial"

11/01/2016

New York Times: "Police Killing of Mentally Ill Black Man Is, 5 Years Later, Headed to Trial"

Photo: Mr. Chamberlain’s former home. His son argues that the police never should have forced their way into the apartment in the first place. Credit Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

. . . Randolph M. McLaughlin, one of Mr. Chamberlain’s lawyers and a professor at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, appeared confident the evidence would lead a jury to conclude that “this wasn’t a fair fight — that Mr. Chamberlain was not a threat when he was shot.”

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ESPN: "Intro to Pace Law's 2017 Mets salary projection series"

11/01/2016

ESPN: "Intro to Pace Law's 2017 Mets salary projection series"

Photo: Pitcher Jacob deGrom is one of the New York Mets' arbitration-eligible players. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Pace Law School in White Plains won the sixth annual Tulane National Baseball Arbitration Competition in New Orleans in 2013. This week, coach Dan Masi's team offers salary projections for the New York Mets' arbitration-eligible players, including detailed analyses for Travis d'Arnaud, Jacob deGrom, Lucas Duda, Jeurys Familia, Wilmer Flores, Matt Harvey and Addison Reed.

Read more here.

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infosecurity: "Most Americans Believe a Tech-Enabled Terrorist Attack is Imminent"

10/31/2016

infosecurity: "Most Americans Believe a Tech-Enabled Terrorist Attack is Imminent"

A full 69% of Americans believe a major, technology-based terrorist threat is likely within the next three to five years.

Pace University announced poll findings that show that fear of these kinds of cyber-threats increases with age, reflecting a potential generational divide in how technology is understood and experienced. 

Only 58% of participants under 30 believed that a technology-based terrorist threat was imminent, while 85% of participants over 60 felt the same way. Men are also more likely to fear these kinds of cyber-attacks, with 76% responding yes, compared with only 61% of women.

“We live in extraordinary times. Just last weekend a cyberattack cut millions of Americans off from the internet,” said Pace University president Stephen Friedman. “And throughout the presidential election cycle, hacked emails have been released in an attempt to influence America’s most fundamental and democratic process. We are ever-more reliant on technology, and our vulnerability to cybercriminals and cyber-attacks increases in tandem.”

Read more: http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/most-americans-believe-terrorist/

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