Opinion

Leibowitz: New York poised to lead on renewables

By HEATHER LEIBOWITZ, ESQ. // Ten years of progress has positioned New York to take renewable energy to the next level. Since 2007, New York has seen a 6,548 percent increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun and a 473 percent increase in wind-power production, according to a new report released by Environment New York Research & Policy Center. Co-authored by The Frontier Group, the report also highlights advances in the…


Leadership lessons from the Seven Kingdoms

By KEN CERINI, CPA, and ETHAN DeABREU // Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen Season 6 of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” you may want to stop here. Eventually, Eddard Stark was bound to be correct. Winter is here. Everything is on the line. You have stared into the abyss, and you see that war and annihilation await. Who will lead you to an untimely demise? Who can lead you to salvation? You can ask the…


Watchdog: Pruitt all wet on critical Clean Water Rule

By HEATHER LEIBOWITZ, ESQ. // Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt proposed repealing the 2015 Clean Water Rule, which restored federal protections to half our nation’s streams and thousands of wetlands across the country. Repealing the Clean Water Rule turns the mission of the EPA on its head: Instead of safeguarding our drinking water, the Trump administration is proposing to stop protecting drinking water sources for more than 11 million New Yorkers. It defies common…


Innovating internally? Better prioritize your people

By STEVEN BLUE // The reason innovations fail is not because of technology. It’s never about the technology. Innovations fail because of people. The people who might employ a new technology may not be sold on it. Or they might be afraid of it. Or they might feel threatened by it. Welcome to the dark side of innovation. The biggest threat to a new innovation your company is trying to develop will be your own…


Watchdog: 100 days in, an environmental ‘disaster’

By HEATHER LEIBOWITZ, ESQ. // In his first 100 days, President Trump has taken dozens of actions that threaten clean air, clean water and treasured places. There is no question, President Trump is a disaster for our environment and public health. His actions will make our air and water dirtier, as well as ensure we experience the worst effects of climate change even more swiftly. The bottom line is: These rollbacks put the health of…


Productivity, in the age of telecommuting

By SHONA ST. ANGELO // Many companies across the country, such as Aetna and Dell, are allowing employees to work remotely. Employees save money normally spent on gas and transit costs, and save valuable hours normally spent commuting to an office. Telecommuting can also benefit employers, who can take advantage of savings from decreased occupancy costs and travel-expense reimbursements. Money saved can then be spent on customer acquisition and marketing, which will ultimately yield higher…


Fundraising innovation: Less risk in games of chance

By SEAN WILKINSON, CPA // Governor Andrew Cuomo proposes to remove the red tape restricting nonprofit organizations’ fundraising efforts through raffles and other games of chance. The FY2018 Executive Budget will update outdated bureaucratic laws that will increase the potential of charitable organizations searching for support. Organizations that depend on these revenue-generating streams will benefit tremendously in the years to come. For example, the American Legion, a veteran’s organization, currently raises money by selling pull-tabs,…


Local zoning? Could be an executive order for that

By MICHAEL SAHN and NICHOLAS CAPPADORA // President Trump has made it clear that his administration is dedicated to reducing and in some cases eliminating many areas of government regulation. These areas include health care, financial services, environmental regulation, education and energy. Will these anti-regulation efforts reach down to local land use and zoning regulations and policy? Most certainly. Local governments – counties, cities, towns and villages – have always had the primary jurisdiction to…


Tax controversy? You need a franchise QB

By TIM McHALE // With Super Bowl LI upon us, we have a great matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. One thing these two teams share in common is their superb quarterback play, featuring presumptive 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan and Tom Brady, who is already a four-time Super Bowl champion. Each of these players is currently playing to the level of a “franchise quarterback.” While the exact definition of a franchise…


You can chews how you save the planet

By JOHN KOMINICKI // Two tiny Silicon Valley companies have vowed to tame the Earth’s surging levels of atmospheric methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases out there and 28 times more likely to cause global warming than carbon dioxide. Their goal: An all-vegetable burger that looks, cooks and tastes like ground meat. Sort of. Now, vegetarian takeout may not sound like much of a contribution to the clean air effort, what with the…


Trump and environment: States must pick up slack

By MIRIAM E. VILLANI // We can expect many changes as the country transitions from the Obama administration to a Trump administration. One of several issues that will receive a lot of attention is the environment. It is still early and not possible to know what the Trump administration will do with regard to environmental protection and energy regulation. However, Trump made certain promises during his campaign and has started to outline his plans. He’s also…


President Donald Trump and your taxes

By EDWARD McWILLIAMS// Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States on Nov. 8 after an election season that focused heavily on taxes – both the president-elect’s refusal to release his personal returns and his plan to change the U.S. tax code. In addition to winning the presidency, the Republican Party also retained its majority in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. With the president and Congress politically and ideologically…


Downtown development: Jobs are Job No. 1

By ROSALIE DRAGO // The Governor’s Conference on Sustainable Development & Collaborative Governance, held Wednesday in Melville, facilitated an important dialogue around the hot topic of downtown redevelopment. Long Island currently has over a dozen town centers in various stages of redevelopment or revitalization, so discussion on this topic is both relevant and timely. But for downtown development and revitalization to achieve its potency as an economic engine, consideration for jobs – What will they…


Infrastructure bonding: Pay now, or pay more later

By MICHAEL SAHN// A recent front page article in The Wall Street Journal entitled “Localities Opt for Less Debt over New Infrastructure” reports that local governments are not borrowing to pay for desperately needed infrastructure improvements – despite the fact that interest rates for government bond issues for infrastructure have dropped to their lowest levels in 20 years, Why? Government officials are hesitant to take on long-term debt in a fiscal environment in which they…


Big projects deserve better environmental oversight

By MICHAEL SAHN // This year’s state budget includes hundreds of millions of dollars for big projects on Long Island, including a proposed bridge or tunnel to Westchester and a deep-water port in Shoreham, a new customs station at MacArthur Airport and money to beef up the Ronkonkoma and Nassau Hub projects. There’s funding for new R&D facilities, an engineering school, even money for a third track on the LIRR. If we are going to…