Big landlords are funding small ones’ rent-law challenge

first_imgThe lawsuit alleges that the rent law violates aspects of the Fifth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. (Credit: iStock)Though small landlords are the face of a federal lawsuit challenging New York’s rent law, large ones are quietly bankrolling it.Small owners Dino, Dimos and Vasiliki Panagoulias as well as entities tied to Michael Vinocur and Jack Moy, filed a complaint this month challenging the constitutionality of the new rent law — the second suit of its kind.However, the plaintiffs’ law firm, Covington & Burling, acknowledged that “a coalition of owners” is backing the lawsuit. It would not identify them, but a source familiar with the case said Clipper Equity, which owns more than 3,000 residential units in Manhattan and Brooklyn, is in the coalition.A spokesperson for the law firm did not deny that Clipper was part of the coalition but said no single entity is providing the funding.“Dino Panagoulias, his family, and the other plaintiffs in this lawsuit are small property owners who have been harmed by this new legislation, and don’t have the means on their own to vindicate their rights,” the spokesperson said.The founder and principal of Clipper Equity, David Bistricer, would not comment.The lawsuit alleges that the rent law violates aspects of the Fifth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. That complaint mirrors one filed in July by the Rent Stabilization Association and the Community Housing Improvement Program, which challenges rent stabilization as a concept — alleging illegal taking of private property and violation of due process rights. That lawsuit is receiving financial aid from national trade groups.During an investor presentation in 2017, the same year it went public, Clipper detailed a plan to deregulate several of its buildings and boost rents — options that were killed by the new rent law. In its most recent public filing, the Brooklyn-based real estate investment trust listed “changes in rent stabilization regulations” and tenants’ claims of overcharges among future risks and uncertainties.Bistricer’s firm initially won an appeal against tenants who alleged the firm illegally deregulated units while receiving benefits from 421-g, a tax abatement designed to spur residential growth in Lower Manhattan. But that decision was reversed in June by the state’s Court of Appeals, which found that the apartments should have been rent-stabilized.Clipper is now trying to get New York rent regulation before the U.S. Supreme Court. The petition, filed by Covington, raises arguments similar to those in the CHIP/RSA and the Panagoulias lawsuits: that rent regulation violates the Fifth Amendment’s takings clause and the Fourteenth Amendment’s due-process clause.Read moreHere’s the math behind Clipper Equity’s deregulation strategySenate and Assembly reach deal on rent law. It doesn’t look good for the industryHow rent control battles are playing out across the US When reached Monday, Dino Panagoulias indicated he had never heard of Clipper and didn’t know who was financing the lawsuit. He said he “rather not discuss” if his family is paying for any portion of it.In the four months since the rent law’s passage, institutional players have taken up the mantle of fighting it as part of a broader effort to curb rent control across the country. Also, industry experts expect more legal challenges to New York’s rent law will emerge in the coming months. With that comes the question of whether apartment building owners should put on a united front or wage their battles separately.Panagoulias’ case was recently transferred to the same judge overseeing RSA and CHIP’s lawsuit. Prior to that a notice was filed alerting the parties involved in each case that the two complaints are similar. Robert Thomas, a land-use and appellate attorney for Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert, said that doesn’t necessarily mean the court will merge the cases.“Oftentimes, that’s enough,” he said of the notice. “There’s no need to formally consolidate them.”But attorneys for CHIP and RSA have made clear that they don’t want the cases combined. In a letter submitted to the court Tuesday, Brown Mayer’s Andrew Pincus indicated that if Panagoulias files a motion to merge the cases, his firm will fight it. He stated that the cases have “fundamental” differences, most crucially that the CHIP lawsuit challenges rent stabilization itself, not just the amendments made to the law in June. The letter said the cases should remain separate because “consolidation is more likely to result in delay, confusion, and prejudice than efficiency and cost saving.”The law firm told TRD that the CHIP/RSA suit seeks “to have the rent laws declared unconstitutional in their entirety because of their failures.”“In contrast, the new complaint raises ‘as applied’ claims based on the law’s effect on property owners and seeks monetary relief,” representatives for the law firm state. “While we fully expected others would file lawsuits, because of the broader and more fundamental claims raised in the CHIP/RSA lawsuit, we think they should be evaluated on their own.” This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Nowlast_img read more

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Sleep suppresses brain rebalancing

first_imgThese findings raise the intriguing possibility that different forms of brain plasticity – for example those involved in memory consolidation and those involved in homeostatic rebalancing – must be temporally segregated from each other to prevent interference.The requirement that neurons carefully maintain an average firing rate, much like the thermostat in a house senses and maintains temperature, has long been suggested by computational work. Without homeostatic (“thermostat-like”) control of firing rates, models of neural networks cannot learn and drift into states of epilepsy-like saturation or complete quiescence.Much of the work in discovering and describing candidate mechanisms continues to be conducted at Brandeis. In 2013, the Turrigiano lab provided the first in vivo evidence for firing rate homeostasis in the mammalian brain. Lab members recorded the activity of individual neurons in the visual cortex of freely behaving rat pups for 8 hours per day across a nine-day period during which vision through one eye was occluded.The activity of neurons initially dropped, but over the next four days, firing rates came back to basal levels despite the visual occlusion. In essence, these experiments confirmed what had long been suspected – the activity of neurons in intact brains is indeed homeostatically governed.Due to the unique opportunity to study a fundamental mechanism of brain plasticity in an unrestrained animal, the lab has been probing the possibility of an intersection between an animal’s behavior and homeostatic plasticity. In order to truly evaluate possible circadian and behavioral influences on neuronal homeostasis, it was necessary to capture the entire 9-day experiment, rather than evaluate snapshots of each day.For this work, the Turrigiano Lab had to find creative computational solutions to recording many terabytes of data necessary to follow the activity of single neurons without interruption for more than 200 hours.Ultimately, these data revealed that the homeostatic regulation of neuronal activity in the cortex is gated by sleep and wake states. In a surprising and unpredicted twist, the homeostatic recovery of activity occurred almost exclusively during periods of activity and was inhibited during sleep. Prior predictions either assumed no role for behavioral state, or that sleeping would account for homeostasis.Finally, the lab established evidence for a causal role for active waking by artificially enhancing natural waking periods during the homeostatic rebound. When animals were kept awake, homeostatic plasticity was further enhanced.This finding opens doors onto a new field of understanding the behavioral, environmental, and circadian influences on homeostatic plasticity mechanisms in the brain. Some of the key questions that immediately beg to be answered include:What it is about sleep that precludes the expression of homeostatic plasticity?How is it possible that mechanisms requiring complex patterns of transcription, translation, trafficking, and modification can be modulated on the short timescales of behavioral state-transitions in rodents?And finally, how generalizable is this finding? As homeostasis is bidirectional, does a shift in the opposite direction similarly require wake or does the change in sign allow for new rules in expression? Share on Facebook Pinterest Share LinkedIncenter_img Share on Twitter Email Why humans and other animals sleep is one of the remaining deep mysteries of physiology. One prominent theory in neuroscience is that sleep is when the brain replays memories “offline” to better encode them (“memory consolidation”).A prominent and competing theory is that sleep is important for re-balancing activity in brain networks that have been perturbed during learning while awake. Such “rebalancing” of brain activity involves homeostatic plasticity mechanisms that were first discovered at Brandeis University, and have been thoroughly studied by a number of Brandeis labs including the lab of Brandeis professor of biology Gina Turrigiano.Now, a study from the lab just published in the journal Cell shows that these homeostatic mechanisms are indeed gated by sleep and wake, but in the opposite direction from that theorized previously: homeostatic brain rebalancing occurs exclusively when animals are awake, and is suppressed by sleep.last_img read more

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Wallace crashed out of chance of racing for $1 million prize

first_img SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE Associated Press Television News Bubba Wallace was wrecked out of the qualifying race for NASCAR’s annual All-Star event, ruining his shot of racing for the $1 million prize.One driver advanced into the All-Star race through a fan vote and Wallace had been leading when results were last updated by NASCAR a week ago. After he crashed 17 laps into Wednesday night’s qualifying race — which awarded three additional slots into the 20-driver All-Star field — he was no longer eligible to win the fan vote.Aric Almirola advanced by winning the first stage, William Byron for winning the second stage and Matt DiBenedetto for winning the third stage. Clint Bowyer was named winner of the fan vote.Wallace had race-ending contact with the wall when his No. 43 Chevrolet appeared to be turned from behind by Michael McDowell 17 laps into the first stage. He said he didn’t need to see a replay because he knew McDowell’s contact was egregious.“Just disrespect. When you get hooked into the wall, I don’t even need to see a replay,” Wallace said. “People say he’s one of the nicest guys in the garage. I can’t wait for the God-fearing text that he is going to send me about preaching and praise and respect. What a joke he is.”Wallace climbed from his car and gave a thumbs-up to a contingent of fans cheering for him. Roughly two dozen organizers from Justice 4 the Next Generation traveled from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia in an effort to diversify NASCAR.Wallace is the only Black driver competing regularly in NASCAR’s top series, and drivers rallied around him after a noose was found at his assigned stall at Talladega Superspeedway in Atlanta. Federal authorities ruled last month the noose had been hanging since October and was not a hate crime.NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports were allowed to sell 30,000 tickets to the All-Star race, which was moved from Charlotte Motor Speedway for just the second time in the event’s history. North Carolina, where the race was held at Charlotte its first year in 1985 and every year since 1987, would not authorize spectators for the race.Bristol, dubbed “The Last Great Colosseum,” can hold about 140,000 spectators. Speedway Motorsports had those in attendance socially distanced through the grandstands and masks were only required upon entrance. Fans were told they could remove them once in their seats.Because the speedway is privately owned, attendance numbers will not be released. Tickets were on sale through Tuesday evening and still available on Bristol’s website until the deadline.IndyCar raced last weekend at Road America in Wisconsin and there was no limit on tickets sold to the event held on a 4-mile road course. Crowd estimates for that event have been around 10,000 spectators, but the NASCAR race would likely be the largest sporting event in the United States since March.Concession stands were open, but typical shopping opportunities were limited and independent street-side souvenir stands along Speedway Boulevard hawked driver items and even a few Confederate flags.As fans entered the speedway, a plane circled the Tennessee track pulling a banner of the Confederate flag.NASCAR in June banned the flag at its events, but protesters at Talladega paraded past the main entrance waving them from their vehicles. A plane also flew over the speedway that day with a flag that read “Defund NASCAR,” a play on the “defund the police” slogan of some protesting racial injustice.President Donald Trump has criticized NASCAR for banning the Confederate flag, blaming the decision for the sport’s “low ratings,” although TV ratings for NASCAR have been up since racing resumed. Trump also wrongly accused Wallace of perpetrating a “hoax” about the noose.The Sons of Confederate Veterans of Columbia, Tennessee, claimed it had paid for the banner over Talladega. The one flying over Bristol Motor Speedway listed only the group’s website address.Meanwhile, Martin Truex Jr. failed inspection twice and forfeited the top starting spot in the All-Star race. Truex was set to start from the pole based on a random draw. His Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota instead dropped to the back of the field at the start.Image credits: AP Written By Last Updated: 16th July, 2020 06:32 IST Wallace Crashed Out Of Chance Of Racing For $1 Million Prize Bubba Wallace was wrecked out of the qualifying race for NASCAR’s annual All-Star event, ruining his shot of racing for the $1 million prizecenter_img COMMENT LIVE TV First Published: 16th July, 2020 06:32 IST FOLLOW USlast_img read more

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Former President Gerald Ford, who helped nation recover from Watergate scandal, dies at 93

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: John Jackson greets a Christmas that he wasn’t sure he’d see160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LOS ANGELES — Gerald R. Ford, who picked up the pieces of Richard Nixon’s scandal-shattered White House as the 38th president and the only one never elected to nationwide office, has died. He was 93. ”My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather has passed away at 93 years of age,” former first lady Betty Ford said in a brief statement issued from her husband’s office in Rancho Mirage. ”His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country.” He died at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday at his home in Rancho Mirage, about 130 miles east of Los Angeles, his office said in a statement. No cause of death was released. Funeral arrangements were to be announced Wednesday. Ford had battled pneumonia in January 2006 and underwent two heart treatments _ including an angioplasty and a pacemaker implant _ in August at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. ”The American people will always admire Gerald Ford’s devotion to duty, his personal character and the honorable conduct of his administration,” President Bush said in a statement Tuesday night. ”We mourn the loss of such a leader, and our 38th president will always have a special place in our nation’s memory.” Ford was the longest living president, followed by Ronald Reagan, who also died at 93. Ford had been living at his desert home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., about 130 miles east of Los Angeles. ”I was deeply saddened this evening when I heard of Jerry Ford’s death,” former first lady Nancy Reagan said in a statement. ”Ronnie and I always considered him a dear friend and close political ally. ”His accomplishments and devotion to our country are vast, and even long after he left the presidency he made it a point to speak out on issues important to us all,” she said. Ford was an accidental president, Nixon’s hand-picked successor, a man of much political experience who had never run on a national ticket. He was as open and straightforward as Nixon was tightly controlled and conspiratorial. Minutes after Nixon resigned in disgrace over the Watergate scandal and flew into exile, Ford took office and famously declared: ”Our long national nightmare is over.” But he revived the debate over Watergate a month later by granting Nixon a pardon for all crimes he committed as president. That single act, it was widely believed, cost Ford election to a term of his own in 1976, but it won praise in later years as a courageous act that allowed the nation to move on. The Vietnam War ended in defeat for the U.S. during his presidency with the fall of Saigon in April 1975. In a speech as the end neared, Ford said: ”Today, America can regain the sense of pride that existed before Vietnam. But it cannot be achieved by refighting a war that is finished as far as America is concerned.” Evoking Abraham Lincoln, he said it was time to ”look forward to an agenda for the future, to unify, to bind up the nation’s wounds.” Ford also earned a place in the history books as the first unelected vice president, chosen by Nixon to replace Spiro Agnew, who also was forced from office by scandal. He was in the White House only 895 days, but changed it more than it changed him. Even after two women tried separately to kill him, the presidency of Jerry Ford remained open and plain. Not imperial. Not reclusive. And, of greatest satisfaction to a nation numbed by Watergate, not dishonest. Even to millions of Americans who had voted two years earlier for Richard Nixon, the transition to Ford’s leadership was one of the most welcomed in the history of the democratic process _ despite the fact that it occurred without an election. After the Watergate ordeal, Americans liked their new president _ and first lady Betty, whose candor charmed the country. They liked her for speaking openly about problems of young people, including her own daughter; they admired her for not hiding that she had a mastectomy _ in fact, her example caused thousands of women to seek breast examinations. And she remained one of the country’s most admired women even after the Fords left the White House when she was hospitalized in 1978 and said she had become addicted to drugs and alcohol she took for painful arthritis and a pinched nerve in her neck. Four years later she founded the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, a substance abuse facility next to Eisenhower Medical Center. Ford slowed down in recent years. He had been hospitalized in August 2000 when he suffered one or more small strokes while attending the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. The following year, he joined former presidents Carter, Bush and Clinton at a memorial service in Washington three days after the Sept. 11 attacks. In June 2004, the four men and their wives joined again at a funeral service in Washington for former President Reagan. But in November 2004, Ford was unable to join the other former presidents at the dedication of the Clinton presidential library in Little Rock, Ark. In January, Ford was hospitalized with pneumonia for 12 days. He wasn’t seen in public until April 23, when President Bush was in town and paid a visit to the Ford home. Bush, Ford and Betty posed for photographers outside the residence before going inside for a private get-together. The intensely private couple declined reporter interview requests and were rarely seen outside their home in Rancho Mirage’s gated Thunderbird Estates, other than to attend worship services at the nearby St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert. In a long congressional career in which he rose to be House Republican leader, Ford lit few fires. In the words of Congressional Quarterly, he ”built a reputation for being solid, dependable and loyal _ a man more comfortable carrying out the programs of others than in initiating things on his own.” When Agnew resigned in a bribery scandal in October 1973, Ford was one of four finalists to succeed him: Texan John Connally, New York’s Nelson Rockefeller and California’s Ronald Reagan. ”Personal factors enter into such a decision,” Nixon recalled for a Ford biographer in 1991. ”I knew all of the final four personally and had great respect for each one of them, but I had known Jerry Ford longer and better than any of the rest. ”We had served in Congress together. I had often campaigned for him in his district,” Nixon continued. But Ford had something the others didn’t: he would be easily confirmed by Congress, something that could not be said of Rockefeller, Reagan and Connally. So Ford it was. He became the first vice president appointed under the 25th amendment to the Constitution. On Aug. 9, 1974, after seeing Nixon off, Ford assumed the office. The next morning, he still made his own breakfast and padded to the front door in his pajamas to get the newspaper. Said a ranking Democratic congressman: ”Maybe he is a plodder, but right now the advantages of having a plodder in the presidency are enormous.” It was rare that Ford was ever as eloquent as he was for those dramatic moments of his swearing-in at the White House. ”My fellow Americans,” he said, ”our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works. Our great republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule.” And, true to his reputation as unassuming Jerry, he added: ”I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your president by your ballots. So I ask you to confirm me with your prayers.” For Ford, a full term was not to be. He survived an intraparty challenge from Ronald Reagan only to lose to Democrat Jimmy Carter in November. In the campaign, he ignored Carter’s record as governor of Georgia and concentrated on his own achievements as president. Carter won 297 electoral votes to his 240. After Reagan came back to defeat Carter in 1980, the two former presidents became collaborators, working together on joint projects. Even as president, Ford often talked with reporters several times a day. He averaged 200 outside speeches a year as House Republican leader, a pace he kept up as vice president and diminished, seemingly, only slightly as chief executive. He kept speaking after leaving the White House, generally for fees of $15,000 to $20,000. Ford was never asked to the White House for a social event during Reagan’s eight years as president. In office, Ford’s living tastes were modest. When he became vice president, he chose to remain in the same Alexandria, Va., home _ unpretentious except for a swimming pool _ that he shared with his family as a congressman. After leaving the White House, however, he took up residence in the desert resort area of Rancho Mirage, picked up $1 million for his memoir and another $1 million in a five-year NBC television contract, and served on a number of corporate boards. By 1987, he was on eight such boards, at fees up to $30,000 a year, and was consulting for others, at fees up to $100,000. After criticism, he cut back on such activity. At a joint session after becoming president, Ford addressed members of Congress as ”my former colleagues” and promised ”communication, conciliation, compromise and cooperation.” But his relations with Congress did not always run smoothly. He vetoed 66 bills in his barely two years as president. Congress overturned 12 Ford vetoes, more than for any president since Andrew Johnson. In his memoir, ”A Time to Heal,” Ford wrote, ”When I was in the Congress myself, I thought it fulfilled its constitutional obligations in a very responsible way, but after I became president, my perspective changed.” Some suggested the pardon was prearranged before Nixon resigned, but Ford, in an unusual appearance before a congressional committee in October 1974, said, ”There was no deal, period, under no circumstances.” The committee dropped its investigation. Ford’s standing in the polls dropped dramatically when he pardoned Nixon unconditionally. But an ABC News poll taken in 2002 in connection with the 30th anniversary of the Watergate break-in found that six in 10 said the pardon was the right thing to do. The late Democrat Clark Clifford spoke for many when he wrote in his memoirs, ”The nation would not have benefited from having a former chief executive in the dock for years after his departure from office. His disgrace was enough.” The decision to pardon Nixon won Ford a John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2001, and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, acknowledging he had criticized Ford at the time, called the pardon ”an extraordinary act of courage that historians recognize was truly in the national interest.” While Ford had not sought the job, he came to relish it. He had once told Congress that even if he succeeded Nixon he would not run for president in 1976. Within weeks of taking the oath, he changed his mind. He was undaunted even after the two attempts on his life in September 1975. Lynette ”Squeaky” Fromme, a 26-year-old follower of Charles Manson, was arrested after she aimed a semiautomatic pistol at Ford on Sept. 5 in Sacramento, Calif. A Secret Service agent grabbed her and Ford was unhurt. Seventeen days later, Sara Jane Moore, a 45-year-old political activist, was arrested in San Francisco after she fired a gun at the president. Again, Ford was unhurt. Both women are serving life terms in federal prison. Asked at a news conference to recite his accomplishments, Ford replied: ”We have restored public confidence in the White House and in the executive branch of government.” As to his failings, he responded, ”I will leave that to my opponents. I don’t think there have been many.” Ford spent most of his boyhood in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was born Leslie King on July 14, 1913, in Omaha, Neb. His parents were divorced when he was less than a year old, and his mother returned to her parents in Grand Rapids, where she later married Gerald R. Ford Sr. He adopted the boy and renamed him. Ford was a high school senior when he met his biological father. He was working in a Greek restaurant, he recalled, when a man came in and stood watching. ”Finally, he walked over and said, ‘I’m your father,”’ Ford said. ”Well, that was quite a shock.” But he wrote in his memoir that he broke down and cried that night and he was left with the image of ”a carefree, well-to-do man who didn’t really give a damn about the hopes and dreams of his firstborn son.” Ford played center on the University of Michigan’s 1932 and 1933 national champion football teams. He got professional offers from the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers, but chose to study law at Yale, working his way through as an assistant varsity football coach and freshman boxing coach. Ford got his first exposure to national politics at Yale, working as a volunteer in Wendell L. Willkie’s 1940 Republican campaign for president. After World War II service with the Navy in the Pacific, he went back to practicing law in Grand Rapids and became active in Republican reform politics. His stepfather was the local Republican chairman, and Michigan Sen. Arthur H. Vandenberg was looking for a fresh young internationalist to replace the area’s isolationist congressman. Ford beat Rep. Bartel Jonkman by a 2-to-1 margin in the Republican primary and then went on to win the election with 60.5 percent of the vote, the lowest margin he ever got. He had proposed to Elizabeth Bloomer, a dancer and fashion coordinator, earlier that year, 1948. She became one of his hardest-working campaigners and they were married shortly before the election. They had three sons, Michael, John and Steven, and a daughter, Susan. Ford was the last surviving member of the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 and concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin. Clifford, an adviser to presidents since Harry Truman, summed up his legacy: ”About his brief presidency there is little that can be said. In almost every way, it was a caretaker government trying to bind up the wounds of Watergate and get through the most traumatic act of the Indochina drama. ”Ford … was a likable person who deserves credit for accomplishing the one goal that was most important, to reunite the nation after the trauma of Watergate and give us a breathing spell before we picked a new president.” ___ Associated Press writer Harry F. Rosenthal, who retired from the AP Washington bureau, contributed to this report. ___ On the Net: Gerald Ford presidential library site: http://www.ford.utexas.edu/last_img read more

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