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Fox 5 News: "Synthetic drug from China flooding into USA"

11/29/2016

Fox 5 News: "Synthetic drug from China flooding into USA"

. . . The DEA is urgently trying to make people aware of the drug's dangers.  It's joining with other law enforcement and health professionals for a public forum at Pace Law School in White Plains on Thursday Night.

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Associated Press: "NY’s Cuomo finds common ground with Trump on infrastructure"

11/28/2016

Associated Press: "NY’s Cuomo finds common ground with Trump on infrastructure"

. . . Any cooperation on infrastructure between Trump and Cuomo could be undermined, however, by their sharp disagreements on most other issues. Cuomo has taken a harder line since their postelection phone call, expressing concerns about what Trump’s election has meant for racial tolerance and immigration. His name was also added to the list of Democrats seen as possible contenders for the White House in 2020.

“That could impact the interaction between the president-elect and the governor,” said Larry Bridwell, international business professor at Pace University. But he added that supporting infrastructure in and around New York City would have one other added benefit for Trump: “It would obviously increase the real estate value of the Trump Organization.”

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Center for Public Integrity: "With Trump's election, critical climate efforts likely fall to the states"

11/21/2016

Center for Public Integrity: "With Trump's election, critical climate efforts likely fall to the states"

. . . “If we lose the Clean Power Plan, then we lose the floor” that keeps states and utilities from backsliding, said Karl Rabago, executive director of the Energy and Climate Center at Pace University in New York. “It will be possible for states to choose to become pollution havens.”

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National Institute of Social Sciences awards Richard L. Ottinger, retired U.S. Representative and Dean Emeritus at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, with the Institute's Gold Honor Medal for 2016

11/21/2016

National Institute of Social Sciences awards Richard L. Ottinger, retired U.S. Representative and Dean Emeritus at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, with the Institute's Gold Honor Medal for 2016

New York – November 21, 2016 -- The National Institute of Social Sciences awarded Richard L. Ottinger, retired U.S. Representative and Dean Emeritus at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law Pace University, with the Institute's Gold Honor Medal for 2016.

Ottinger was one of three recipients of Gold Honor Medals this year, along with Judge Pauline Newman for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and Harvard University professor Robert D. Putnam, who were honored at a private ceremony on November 15 in New York City.

“I am honored to be recognized by the National Institute of Social Sciences, especially at this time when their work is more vital than ever,” commented Dean Ottinger. “With much of the media delivering false information that misleads our population and imperils our democratic values, we need social scientists to advise us on how best to communicate facts about issues that affect us all, especially the urgency of climate change action.”

Ottinger joined Pace Law School in 1984 after serving eight terms in Congress. Initially a professor in the environmental law program (1984-94), he served as dean from 1994 to 1999. While dean he constructed a modern classroom building subsequently renamed as Richard Ottinger Hall. He brought to Pace the New York State Judicial Institute, and he founded the Pace Energy and Climate Center. As chairman of Congress's Energy Conservation and Power Subcommittee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, he was instrumental in adopting key energy and environmental legislation. Dean Ottinger continues to advise students in national and international environmental law as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy research.

The Gold Honor Medals are the Institute's highest recognition, presented annually since 1913 to distinguished Americans who have made the highest contribution to the improvement of society. Previous honorees include four former U.S. Presidents, Supreme Court justices and other members of the judiciary, six former U.S. Secretaries of State, as well numerous luminaries in academia, law, government, education, philanthropy, the arts, medicine, science, and industry.

About the National Institute of Social Sciences: Established in 1912, the National Institute of Social Sciences (www.socialsciencesinstitute.org) is an honorary society of Americans dedicated by service and philanthropy to the public weal and joined together to recognize and celebrate those who have achieved at the highest level. Since its founding, the National Institute has presented Gold Medals to distinguished honorees, established a vibrant chapter in Palm Beach, Florida, and more recently provided grants to graduate students in the social sciences.

About Pace University: Pace University is a comprehensive, independent university with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. Nearly 13,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Lubin School of Business, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, School of Education, and College of Health Professions. www.pace.edu

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

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Journal News: "Mobile app contest open to students"

11/17/2016

Journal News: "Mobile app contest open to students"

WHITE PLAINS - The third annual #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl is open for registration. High school or college teams with an idea for a mobile app can register to compete by visiting bit.ly/appbowl2017. The contest is a joint initiative of Westchester County's Office of Economic Development and Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. The purpose is to challenge students to put themselves on the “MAAP” by creating “Mobile Apps for Aging Populations.” Specifically, apps are being sought that improve an aspect of daily life for people ages 65 and older.  Last year, more than 250 students from the tri-state region participated in the contest.  There is no entry fee to compete. To learn more about the contest, sponsorship opportunities or how to be a judge, please email MobileAppContest@pace.edu.

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Westchester County Business Journal: "Business leaders try to gauge what Trump presidency means for Westchester economy"

11/17/2016

Westchester County Business Journal: "Business leaders try to gauge what Trump presidency means for Westchester economy"

Energy

While New York has moved ahead with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard, which mandates the state receive 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, Trump has pushed for a different type of energy revolution. Trump said he wants to make the U.S. completely energy-independent by removing regulations and increasing the production of natural gas and coal. 

Cuomo has pushed his renewable energy policy as the state’s part in a global fight against climate change, while Trump has called climate change a “hoax” and vowed to pull the U.S. out of the United Nation’s climate change programs.

How those two conflicting mindsets will coexist remains to be seen, said Karl Rabago, executive director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center. But Rabago said he views it as unlikely that decisions made by Trump and a Republican Congress could impact New York’s state-level energy programs.

“The climate don’t care what you believe,” he said. “That’s kind of the terror and the beauty of science. The data is rock solid. And New York is committed to dealing with this on a data basis and that’s why the governor has stood up so prominently with the Clean Energy Standard. I think our state policy is on firm footing for being right, and if you honor the right of states to address the issues that are important to its voters, then you see no reason for the federal government to interfere in any material way with what our state wants to do.”

But renewable energies do rely in part on federal subsidies for financing, which Rabago said could impact the development of solar and other renewable systems. 

If there is resistance to efforts to combat climate change on the federal level, Rabago said, it’s important for states such as New York to show leadership in developing renewable energy and other efforts to counter global warming.

“This is a moment for that good old-fashioned word ‘leadership,’” he said. “Convening people around a common agenda. And polls consistently show that the American people do expect climate-responsible regulation and leadership.”

Politics

Cuomo’s relationship with a Trump administration might prove interesting, according to Larry Bridwell, a professor of international business at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. 

He said Trump overall could be a positive for the state’s economy, since it has a hometown advantage, and New York could have help from the White House in pushing along needed rail tunnel and airport projects. But how Cuomo and Trump get along will be worth watching, Bridwell said.

“It is good for New York if they work well together, but Gov. Cuomo may be interested in running against President Trump in 2020,” Bridwell said. “Will this affect New York? It remains to be seen.”

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Law360: "$683M Pipeline KO'd With 'Rope-A-Dope' Move, 2nd Circ. Told"

11/17/2016

Law360: "$683M Pipeline KO'd With 'Rope-A-Dope' Move, 2nd Circ. Told"

Constitution Pipeline Co. told the Second Circuit during arguments Wednesday that the New York Department of Environmental Conservation blocked its 124-mile, $683 million natural gas pipeline project with a "rope-a-dope" denial of its permit application.

John F. Stoviak of Saul Ewing LLP, arguing for Constitution, said that the DEC had twice acknowledged the company had submitted a complete application, but after nine months without a word, denied it as being incomplete. He said the DEC obviously felt the application was adequate because the agency circulated the paperwork to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and put the plan up for public comment.

"It’s a rope-a-dope denial — ‘We don’t have enough information’ — which we think is untrue," Stoviak said.

The company is appealing to the Second Circuit directly from the agency's denial.

New York Assistant Attorney General Brian Lusignan, representing the DEC, said the agency had the authority to establish conditions for construction of the pipeline or deny the permit under its power to protect water quality under the Clean Water Act. He said the DEC wanted a feasibility assessment for trenchless crossings of all 250 streams the pipeline was to intersect, but Constitution "categorically eliminated 90 percent" of crossings from any consideration and supplied no information on how to bore under those streams to avoid impacting them.

"In this case, the DEC was attempting to create conditions," Lusignan told the three-judge panel. "What the DEC determined is that it did not have enough information to make that determination."

He said the "vast majority of the denial" was based on the effects the pipeline and its construction would have on the water.

Pace University Law School student Kara E. Paulsen, arguing on behalf of the group Stop the Pipeline, told the panel Constitution never met its burden of proof to supply information that it will comply with water quality standards.

She said STP pointed out the lack of information and there is nothing in the record to fill in the gaps.

"Instead the company tries to resolve these issues with private conversations and assurances with DEC," Paulsen said. "However these conversations and assurances are not within the record and this court cannot rely on that information to overturn DEC’s denial."

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Westchester County Business Journal: "Pace Law launches clinic to help food and beverage entrepreneurs past legal hurdles"

11/17/2016

Westchester County Business Journal: "Pace Law launches clinic to help food and beverage entrepreneurs past legal hurdles"

A new program from Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law, scheduled to launch in the spring, will address legal problems for a growing class of entrepreneurs in the Hudson Valley food and beverage industry.

The law clinic can serve a dual purpose, according to Jonathan Brown, a former Yale Law School lecturer who was hired by Pace last month to direct the program. The clinic helps students gain valuable experience working in a growing area of law, while helping to nurture sustainable food efforts regionally.

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CFO: "The Deficit Matters, but Don’t Lose Sight of Other Priorities"

11/15/2016

CFO: "The Deficit Matters, but Don’t Lose Sight of Other Priorities"

. . . What should the Trump administration and Congress be doing? writes Philip G. Cohen, a retired vice president for tax and general tax Counsel for Unilever United States who is currently an associate professor of taxation at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. There are, among other priorities, a need to focus on rebuilding our military and infrastructure, as well as creating good employment opportunities for the American people. Medicare and Social Security fiscal issues both need to be dealt with. These all require funding, and the deficit problem can’t simply be ignored long-term — even if it is politically expedient to do so. Politicians never want to tell us to drink the awful tasting medicine even if it will make the country better.

The Trump administration and Congress should be giving serious consideration to things like eliminating the wage cap on old age, survivors, and disability insurance. It should take a close look at notions that Social Security be fully taxed to wealthy recipients; that earnings of American companies outside the United States be taxed immediately, but at a somewhat lower rate than domestic source income; that all business income, not just C corporations, be subject to tax at the entity and owner level, but with some integration offset; that the loopholes in the anti-inversion rules be closed.

They also need to consider a value-added tax.  This does not mean that I’m espousing not cutting the corporate tax rate. I believe the corporate tax rate should be reduced — but responsibly, with offsetting revenue.

The foregoing ideas will be unpopular with many influential constituents, as will other revenue generators.  Are we, however, better off as a country if our political leaders use tricks like sequestration to ignore vital national priorities, play ostrich with respect to the national deficit, or promise voodoo economics that will allow everyone to enjoy tax cuts and at the same time all our problems will be magically solved? I don’t think so. The Trump administration and Congress must give serious attention to the issues we face, including the deficit. Taking the bad- tasting medicine will be good for the country in the long run.

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Pace University Scholars: the “Environmental Voice of Youth” will Save NY Harbor

11/14/2016

Pace University Scholars: the “Environmental Voice of Youth” will Save NY Harbor

From Digital Platforms to Mock Hearings, University-Level Education Comes to New York City Schools

NEW YORK CITY — Environmental abuse long ago obscured New York Harbor’s bragging rights as the world’s oyster capital, but middle and high school students are the force that can return that ecological luster back to New York City, according to scholars at Pace University in Manhattan.

With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Pace University has launched the next phase of its Smart and Connected Communities program where “university faculty will bring to underserved city schools the research tools and field training to design a new future for New York Harbor,” according to Dr. Lauren Birney, a professor in the Pace School of Education, and principal investigator under the NSF grant.

“Our goal for city students is an educational experience usually confined to universities,” Birney said. “If the future of the harbor and the national urban environment are in the hands of the experts and decision makers of tomorrow, that means the environmental voice of youth today is essential. The time to begin their training is now.”

The new Pace initiative uses STEM-C – a cutting-edge curriculum of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math combined with Computing – as the organizing principle for a program of citizen science, ecological restoration and civic engagement. “New York Harbor is an excellent living classroom, but not accessible to every student,” said Birney. “With our online tools and our CCERS Digital Platform, students will conduct field monitoring expeditions, gather data using analog and digital instruments, develop independent research proposals, and broadcast and share their results in real-time – not only with other city students, but with students anywhere in the world.”

Transforming this technical information into a policy model for restoring the Harbor is another hallmark of the Pace program. “Students will also receive training at the hands of our best legal and policy experts,” said John Cronin, Pace’s senior fellow for environmental affairs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences. “And through innovative techniques such as virtual town halls and mock public hearings they will develop and present a student-generated vision and plan for restoring the Harbor.”

“All the marine waters of the city are held in a public trust belonging to the people, and that includes students,” said Jason Czarnezki, Associate Dean of Environmental Law Programs at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. “This well-founded, ancient principle of law is the centerpiece of a legal education that will empower students to claim the ecological inheritance that is the birthright of their community. This principle, combined with scientific, technical and computing skills, will make our students a potent force for the future of the urban environment.”

BACKGROUND

“A networked city is not just a grid of communications and sensors. It is a vision of city governments “engaging with citizens in acts of co-creation.” –Peter Hirshberg (Bollier, 2016 from the Aspen Institute, 2016).

This thought and overall vision continues to serve as our motto in creating opportunities for underserved students that may have never existed. We look to engage our youth in environmentally meaningful activities that are pertinent to their education. New York City middle school students are in desperate need of exposure to STEM industry fields, research and data collection at the Harbor’s edge and training on the use various technological innovations. This grant will create these opportunities for students, citizen scientists, STEM Industry professionals, research faculty and community members to work in unison on achieving a “smarter and more connected community”!

“Expanding Access and Deepening Engagement: Building an Open Source Digital Platform for Restoration-Based STEM Education in the Largest Public School System in the United States” NSF DRL 1643016/PI Lauren Birney, Director of the STEM Collaboratory NYC, Pace University

Principals

The CCERS leadership team consists of Samuel Janis, Program Manager Billion Oyster Project Schools and Citizen Science, Jonathan Hill, Dean of Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Robert Newton, Research Scientist at Columbia Lamont Doherty Observatory, Meghan Groome, Senior Vice President of Education at the New York Academy of Sciences, Nancy Woods, Director of Technology and Engineering at the NYCDOE, Peter Malinowski, President Billion Oyster Project and Murray Fisher, President of the New York Harbor Foundation and is led by Principal Investigator Dr. Lauren Birney, Assistant Professor and Director of the STEM Collaboratory NYC Pace University.

Project Goal

The foundational goal of the Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration Science (CCERS) model is to build a “Smart and Connected Community” of students, educators, scientists, and engaged community members all working to restore New York Harbor and improve the quality of STEM-C education and long-term outcomes in low-income urban public schools. To do this, we are building an open source educational-scientific web platform which can be replicated anywhere. The connectivity provided by this technology allows communication, education, business, STEM industry professional to work seamlessly together while expanding their research on a global scale.

The CCERS Digital Platform

The CCERS Digital Platform, co-developed with Fearless Solutions, is more than just a website for student-led citizen science, citizen policymaking, and teacher-to-teacher curriculum sharing. The CCERS supported Billion Oyster Project schools web platform is a digital space for students to conduct field monitoring expeditions, gather data using both analog and digital instruments, analyze results using multivariate statistics and GIS, develop independent research proposals, broadcast, and share results in real-time with the broader NY Harbor/CCERS community of scientists, STEM professionals, and volunteers. The digital platform is also a replicable model of restoration based science education for other settings and other species, with its underlying technology and source code freely available through standard open source licensing agreements.https://platform.bop.nyc/

CCERS – Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration Science

This proposal focuses upon the expansion of the existing “Curriculum and Community Enterprise for the Restoration of New York Harbor in New York City Public Schools” NSF DRL 1440869. This project is recognized locally as “Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration Science,” or CCERS. CCERS is a comprehensive model of ecological restoration based STEM education for urban public school students. Following an accelerated rollout, CCERS is now being implemented in 23 Title 1 funded NYC Department of Education middle schools, led by two cohorts of 33 teachers, serving more than 3000 students in total. Initial results and baseline data suggest that the CCERS model, with the Billion Oyster Project (BOP) as its local restoration ecology-based STEM curriculum, is having profound impacts on students, teachers, school leaders, and the broader community of CCERS participants and stakeholders. Students and teachers report being receptive to the CCERS model and deeply engaged in the initial phase of curriculum development, citizen science data collection, and student-centered STEM learning.

References:

http://csreports.aspeninstitute.org/documents/CityAsPlatform.pdf

Funding for these Projects has been provided by the National Science Foundation Education and Human Resources (EHR) DRL 1440869 and DRL 1643016.

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