Mike Lee wears blue and gold gear when he fights. As he steps into the boxing ring for a match, a Notre Dame banner hangs behind him. In his last year of college, Lee, a 2009 Notre Dame alumnus, was interviewing for jobs in the business world and training for his final Bengal Bouts tournament. Now, he is two weeks away from his third professional boxing match, which will take place on Nov. 13 at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. But he keeps his amateur roots at the forefront. “Notre Dame was such a huge part of my life,” Lee said. “I’ll always be a huge fan of Notre Dame, and always be involved. … We get a ton of support from the Notre Dame community, which is why we wanted to wear blue and gold.” Lee’s fight, a four-round light heavyweight bout against Keith Debow of St. Louis, will be part of a headlining event that will feature boxing star Manny Pacquiao fighting Antonio Margarito for a world championship. “This next fight is by far the biggest fight of my career,” Lee said. “… There should be 75-80,000 people there.” Lee turned professional in January and signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing, the promotional company that represents Pacquiao as well as many other top boxers. He trains in Houston and won both of his first two matches, which took place in Chicago and at the Palms in Las Vegas. “Things are going well,” he said. “I’ve been training in Houston, just getting better and better. I’ve gotten a lot of good comments from the boxing world, from fighters, from writers.” Top Rank decided to place Lee on the Nov. 13 fight card, albeit with a little help. “I met Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys,” Lee said. “When this fight came around, he apparently told Bob, ‘I want that kid, Mike Lee from Notre Dame, on the card.’ “It’s a big deal to be on this card, so I’m excited. They only have their top prospects.” He said many Notre Dame alumni who live in the area will be coming to show their support. “We have a lot of alumni clubs coming to this fight,” he said. “The fan base is especially great from Notre Dame.” Lee, of Wheaton, Ill., donated a travel package for the event to Champions for Children’s, a charity auction that benefits Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital. “The auction is an annual auction that they hold, they have a lot of Chicagoland athletes,” Lee said. “They approached me and we wanted to do something.” The travel package includes air travel, hotel and ringside tickets for the event. The auction will be on Nov. 12. “I wish I could be there,” Lee said. “But they told me it should auction for a lot of money, and it will go towards the hospital. And then I’ll be able to meet the people who came after my fight. I’m glad the hospital wanted me to be a part of it.” Boxing and charity have always gone together for Lee. A three-time Bengal Bouts champion, Lee was a captain of the club in his senior year, and was one a part of one of the first group of boxers who traveled to Bangladesh in the summer of 2008. “Staying involved in charity as well as doing what I love is important to me,” Lee said. “I think Bengal Bouts was the platform that started everything for me in terms of being involved in charity and really getting involved in many different levels. I just want to use my success and the publicity I’ve been getting to help out some people along the way.”
Saint Mary’s students and parents will get to learn about each other’s strengths at the third annual StrengthsQuest workshop tomorrow as part of Sophomore Parent’s Weekend. The workshop, hosted by Saint Mary’s Cross Currents program, is based on positive psychology techniques developed by the Gallup Organization. Stacie Jeffirs, director of the Career Crossings Office (CCO), said the workshop is an enjoyable way for parents and their daughters to discover more about one another. “We have different activities that they go through such as assessing their own strengths and then sharing their results with their family,” Jeffirs said. “We then have a scavenger hunt where participants look for others with the same strengths as theirs and then learn how others use those similar strengths.” Jeffirs said 34 possible strengths exist and range from “achiever” to “strategic.” The strengths are combinations of a participant’s talent, knowledge and skills. “You go through a series of questions and pick words or phrases that best describe you,” Jeffirs said. “At the end, you are then given your top five strengths with descriptions and activities to help validate and better understand your results.” Participants also learn how to apply their strengths after the event ends, Jeffirs said. “StrengthsQuest is great for sophomore students to help them in looking for internships, career planning and networking,” Jeffirs said. Though this weekend’s workshop is only offered to sophomores and their parents, Jeffirs encouraged other students to contact the CCO to take the StrengthsQuest assessment. “Ideally, we would love to get first years and sophomores to take the assessment because learning about yourself early on in your college career is really beneficial,” Jeffirs said. “However, I even see seniors who take the assessment more as a validation of the direction they are heading in or when they are beginning to have doubts.” The StrengthsQuest workshop will be held in conference rooms D, E and F in the lower level of the Student Center tomorrow from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sophomores interested in the StrengthsQuest workshop who did not register can e-mail Sandy Zielinski at email@example.com by 4 p.m. today.
Many Notre Dame students followed the football team south to West Lafayette on Saturday to watch the Irish defeat the Purdue Boilermakers 31-24. Despite the win, students said they were bothered by the “intrusive” Jumbotron in the Boilermaker’s stadium. Caitlin Crommett, a junior entrepreneurship and film, theatre, and television double major, said she headed to Purdue on Friday to visit friends at Purdue and then enjoy game day. “I felt [game day] was a pretty enjoyable experience in the stadium,” she said. “We didn’t have any negative reactions to us being in the stadium. We weren’t heckled. Before we went inside, we joined a Purdue tailgating party.” Crommett said she prefers the Notre Dame game day experience to the Purdue atmosphere. She said Purdue misused of the jumbotron, which she felt created a divide in the crowd. “It detracted people from what was going on the field,” Crommett said. “I like how at Notre Dame people at our games are focused on what’s on the field, and people aren’t turned around watching a screen while the other half watch what’s in front of them.” Senior Blake Weaver said he has traveled to away games throughout his four years at Notre Dame as a member of the Band of the Fighting Irish. He said watching the game at Purdue made him appreciate Notre Dame’s lack of a Jumbotron. “The consistent interviews and corny trivia [on the Jumbotron] throughout the game were distractions and missed opportunities for the band to get to play since we had to listen to the announcer talk about advertisements or random Purdue facts,” he said. Weaver, who traveled to Michigan last week with the band, said Purdue’s Jumbotron is not what makes the game day experience less enjoyable than Notre Dame home games, but rather that Purdue “utilized their Jumbotron incorrectly.” “During the downtime for the game, they should incorporate more of their cheerleaders and band instead of watching commercials and throwing footballs through a giant blowup donut on the field. I felt like I was at a baseball game with those fan participatory games,” he said. The Notre Dame versus Michigan game last weekend exhibited a more intense rivalry, Weaver said. The atmosphere is so much more intense [in Ann Arbor],” he said. “It’s more of a true football game where both teams are accomplished and revered programs.” Sophomore Daniel Strickland attended both the Michigan and Purdue games. He said he also thought Purdue’s game-day atmosphere was comparatively more calm than Michigan’s. “They don’t have the same intensity as Notre Dame or Michigan would have. We sat most of the time except for the big plays. It was more comfortable, but it was a testament to the lack of intensity,” Strickland said. Strickland also said the Jumbotron negatively impacted his game-day experience. “During the game, I liked being able to see the Jumbotron and the game, but when the game wasn’t going, the Jumbotron could’ve been used in better ways to pump up the crowd,” he said. Strickland said he preferred the way the Jumbotron was used at Michigan, which got fans way more into the game than at Purdue. “[Purdue] needs to show more highlights and clips to pump up the crowd,” he said. Strickland said Purdue’s mismanaged Jumbotron showed him the benefit of Notre Dame’s Jumbotron-less stadium. “If Notre Dame used a Jumbotron like Purdue did, then I’m fine with Notre Dame not having one,” he said. Sophomore Michael Brown visited Purdue to meet up with a friend attending college there. “She showed me their fanfare around campus, like the clapping circle. I also got a photo with the Neil Armstrong statue on campus,” Brown said. Brown said he noticed a mix of spirited and hopeless Purdue fans. “At 4 p.m. when we were walking around campus, we heard from five different Purdue fans that Notre Dame was going to kill them. Around 7:30 when we walked to the stadium, we only heard “Notre Dame, go home, we’re going to kill you! I thought it was funny being in an enemy’s territory,” he said. Brown said Purdue used the Jumbotron in a cheesy way. “The intro of the team to the field was cool. But mostly, they did cheesy things that kept interest,” he said. “Asking about Bruce Willis movies and comparing them to the team were useless. They did a lot of stuff with the Jumbotron that I expect bad teams to do. Trust me, I’m a Pirates fan.” Brown said in comparison with the Notre Dame game-day experience, students at Purdue were less enthralled with the game. “It seemed like there were a bunch of people who didn’t care,” he said. “Some students obviously cared, but a decent proportion just didn’t go and didn’t care. They have a good team and there should be more people on campus who back them. I don’t see that here at Notre Dame. We’re extremely unified.”
The funeral Mass celebrating the life of University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh on Wednesday afternoon commended him to heaven with the strength of more than 1,000 participants.Erin Rice | The Observer At the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, where he was first ordained in 1943, more than 100 of his brother priests from the Congregation of Holy Cross processed through the Basilica and gathered behind the altar. They were joined by six bishops as well as Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington D.C. and Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles.The top leaders of the Congregation of Holy Cross also led the celebration of his life. Fr. Richard V. Warner, superior general of the Congregation, came from Rome, and Fr. Thomas J. O’Hara, provincial superior of the U.S. province of the Congregation, was the principal celebrant. University President Fr. John Jenkins delivered the homily.A congregation made up of family, friends, University administrators, trustees, faculty, staff and students prayed over Hesburgh’s casket during the ceremony, which lasted an hour and 40 minutes. The Gospel reading focused on social justice, a theme central to Hesburgh’s 97-year-long legacy.“At Notre Dame, I’m often faced with daunting tasks. None are more difficult than the one before me: finding words to do justice to the life of Fr. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C.,” Jenkins said at the beginning of the homily. “We should begin with what was central to his life. … For all the momentous events in which he played a role, all the honors he received, Fr. Ted always said that the most important day of his life was when he was ordained a priest, here in this church on Notre Dame’s campus.”All Hesburgh wanted was a simple funeral in the Holy Cross tradition, Jenkins said, and after the ceremony he would be “laid to rest under a simple cross, undistinguishable from the graves of the Holy Cross brethren who lay with him.”Jenkins’ homily addressed the key milestones in Hesburgh’s life, from growing and expanding the University into what it is today to accepting the invitation to stand alongside Martin Luther King Jr. at a rally in Chicago to fighting for human rights in Cambodia.“How can we draw together the strands of a life that spans so many years, served in so many ways, touched so many lives? Fr. Ted gave us the answer,” Jenkins said. “He was first and foremost a priest. That vocation drove him to build a great Catholic university; it gave his work in the public life its moral focus; it shaped his generosity in all his personal interactions.”Hesburgh’s younger brother Jim spoke at the end of the ceremony, remarking that “good brothers and good friends are God’s special dividends in life. Ted was a wonderful brother, good friend, counselor and mentor.”“Today we celebrate his life, and all that we had for so long taken for granted with Ted suddenly comes into focus,” Jim Hesburgh said. “Today we think of the totality of Ted’s life here on earth.”He said his brother’s appointment as University president came during his own freshman year at Notre Dame, and “that gave me pause, I’ll tell you.”“He only wanted to serve, and serve he did, with all his energy and all his considerable talent, in every way he knew how,” Jim Hesburgh said. “Ted took his God-given gifts, his intelligence, good health, leadership ability and his pursuit of excellence and brought major change to Notre Dame, to this country and to the world.”But beyond the national and international impact Hesburgh had, Jenkins said the countless personal acts of kindness are an equally important part of his legacy. He reflected on the support Hesburgh offered him during the tumultuous time following the University’s invitation to President Obama to deliver the 2009 Commencement address.“When my invitation to President Obama to speak at our Commencement caused an uproar, a number of people approached my mother and criticized my decision,” Jenkins said.She was anxious, he said, but Fr. Ted “got wind of that” and took action.“Without mentioning anything to me, he called my mother to reassure her. … There were no more worries after that, and from that day forward she and Fr. Ted were fast friends. I can’t begin to tell you all the kindnesses he showed me personally.”At the end of his homily, Jenkins said Hesburgh’s last day on earth was the fulfillment of his lifelong prayer.“Fr. Ted prayed that on the last day of his life, he would be able to celebrate Mass. At 11 a.m. at Holy Cross House last Thursday, Fr. Ted joined the community and concelebrated Mass,” Jenkins said. “In the evening he was struggling to breathe. … He was surrounded by people who loved him. He passed away quietly, just before midnight.”“Today, we gather to celebrate the Mass Fr. Ted so loved and to commend him to God. … We cannot but believe that the Lord will respond with the words of today’s Gospel reading: ‘Come, you who were blessed by my Father.’ We love you Ted. …We will miss you.“We know you now rest in the arms of Notre Dame, our Lady. Throughout your life, you drew strength, sustenance and guidance [from her].”After Jim Hesburgh’s speech and the final prayers over the casket, the family processed out of the Basilica, where a crowd had gathered to line the path to Holy Cross cemetery.“For Ted, problems were challenges, and his forte was in finding solutions,” Jim Hesburgh said. “His friends were endless, of every religion, every nation, every class and every profession. His life was amazing.“His faith, his hope, his dedication and his achievements speak for themselves.”Tags: congregation of holy cross, Fr. Ted, Fr. Ted Hesburgh, Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, Funeral, Hesburgh, Mass, memorial
Saint Mary’s students are working together to create a new interfaith group on campus after recent interfaith discussions. Sophomore Alayna Haff said the idea for the club was ignited after Interfaith Youth Core came to campus for a conference earlier this year. Haff discussed Better Together Day, a day that honors interfaith dialogue. “Better Together Day is a national day of action headed by Interfaith Youth Core, a national nonprofit working towards an America where people of different faiths, world views and traditions can bridge divides and find common values to build a shared life together,” Haff said. Julianna McKenna | The Observer Professor Catherine Cornille spoke about the role gender plays in interfaith dialogue Tuesday in Carroll Auditorium.The goal of Better Together Day is to raise awareness about religious diversity and dialogue across college campuses, professor Anita Houck of the Saint Mary’s Religious Studies Department said.“It is an annual day where they invite people to sign up online and bring awareness to the fact that it’s better to have conversations with people who are different from you,” she said. “We want to learn from each other and grow from interaction with other people. Better Together day brings attention to this, especially by getting college age students to talk about these topics.” Religious dialogue is an important aspect of community development, Houck said. “Obviously the most immediate benefit is for us to engage with other interesting people and to get insights about ourselves for those of us that are religious or spiritual or just wanting to develop our own world views,” she said. “We learn so much by talking to people who see the world differently.” She also said engaging in these types of conversations not only advances our religious understanding, but our cultural understanding as well.“We do this by acknowledging commonalities and differences, which allows us to see others as human beings,” Houck said. “It affects our politics, it affects our decisions about who we are going to vote for, what policies we support, the kinds of jokes we are going to make and so forth. It teaches us a lot about ourselves. By learning from other people about how they see the world it clarifies to us about what is really important for us.”Saint Mary’s honored Better Together Day with a lecture by Boston College professor Catherine Cornille on “Women and Interreligious Dialogue.” Cornille argued that women play an integral role in religious dialogue. “Women often are the ones taking initiative to reach out to other religious traditions and because of this are able to break down barriers and are much more open and generous to recognizing truth in other religious traditions,” Cornille said.This is formative in the mission of Saint Mary’s Better Together club, as they plan to appeal to the entire campus community, Haff said.“Our goal for this club is to incorporate our community in working together to make everyone feel included,appreciated and understood,” she said. “We need to be inclusive and understanding of those who are different than us.”Haff said she believes religious dialogue is an important aspect of communication in general. “Research has shown that when someone gets to know a person different from them, their attitudes towards that entire group also grows more positive,” she said. “By learning about other faiths and building relationships with people of different world views, we can break barriers, overcome biases and build bridges.”Tags: Better Together Day, interfaith, interfaith conference, Interfaith Youth Core
Zixu Wang | The Observer On Tuesday, student organizations hosted “My Culture is Not Your Costume” to discuss cultural appropriation in Halloween costumes.“We host this event to provide information of minority group’s culture, such as costume’s meanings and relations to the culture, and whether it would be offensive if you put it on,” senior Morgan Lumpkin, vice president of Notre Dame’s Black Student Association, said.While generally recognizing respecting other cultures, the essential question is how to draw the line between “cultural appreciation” and “cultural appropriation,” Lumpkin said.”It’s hard to draw a universal line while it should be different in multiple cases of diverse cultures,” she said. “It usually depends on the people who belong to that culture, so why don’t you ask them, saying ‘Hey can I wear it as a costume on Halloween?’”Law school student Lauren LeVan, who was born in the United States to a mother from the Philippines and a father from Laos, said while some people wear costumes derived from a particular culture as a fantasy, those who are of that culture can find it unfair and disrespectful.“Some costumes have a special link to culture and identity, and it’s offensive when someone who has no relation to or no knowledge of a culture just interjects,” she said.For LeVan, “fantasizing” is the line when it comes to offending.“The rice paddy hat has it’s own function and cultural relation to ancient agricultural civilization,” she said. ”If someone wears it out of context, like on Halloween, I will be uncomfortable. If you even do the fake Asian accent … you are mocking and putting damaging portraits or stigmas on Asians, and I will totally get upset and offended.”LeVan said stances like this can be seen as too sensitive, but her feelings remain unchanged.“Maybe it is sensitive but it’s not your place to tell me how to feel. If you’re offending me, you are offending me,” she said. “Halloween is an occasion of creativity. Why would you do something which could be offensive when you could do something more interesting and entertaining?”Cultural appropriation has implications of racial tensions and power, LeVan said.“There is a systematic unbalance [of] power between majority and minority groups,” LeVan said. “Minorities always think of what is suitable and how to act in social situations [as it] corresponds to surroundings. But I don’t think the majority [ethnicity] have this concern. … It’s kinda painful. That’s why in Halloween it’s important to make everyone equally show concerns to others.”However, since last year, there have been disputes about the event.“Some people accused us of killing Halloween, but we really don’t want to downplay it,” Lumpkin said. “People have [the] freedom to dress how they want, but we also don’t want people to walk into a party and get upset by others’ costumes.”Lumpkin said the goal of the event was not to judge people, but rather discuss ways people can make more respectful and thoughtful costume choices.“You don’t need to be offensive to be funny,” she said.Some faculty members also sent reminders about Halloween costumes and respect for other cultures. On Monday, Diversity and Inclusion of Notre Dame Law School sent an email to all law school students stating, “[We] would like to take a moment to remind everyone to be respectful of the faith, culture and identity of others. Problems can be avoided by simply caring about the way your actions make other people feel.”Justin North, a law student who works in Diversity and Inclusion, said he believes it is possible to celebrate and respect a culture by wearing costumes.”Our nation has long been a melting pot of cultures and is significantly better for it, and there is a significant amount of nuance necessary to balance the good of diversity with the power imbalance between cultures,” he said. “As for me, the costume wearer’s intention and knowledge of the culture they are representing decides whether it is cultural appropriation, but it may not be possible to display appropriate levels of respect and understanding for a culture. Meanwhile, I have no idea where others might draw the line and take offense, so I advise making sure you are informed about the costume choices you make and are able to explain your actions.”Tags: African Students Association, Asian American Association, Black Student Association, Diversity and Inclusion, Jewish Club of Notre Dame, Latino Student Alliance, Native American Student Association of Notre Dame Student groups gathered Tuesday to host “My Culture is Not Your Costume,” a panel about cultural appropriation on Halloween. The organizations sponsoring the event included the Black Student Association, Latino Student Alliance, Asian American Association, Native American Student Association, African Students Association, Jewish Club and Dome-ish. Four students shared their experiences and opinions, mentioning costumes such as blackface and kimonos.
In the 2020-2021 school year, the Katharine Terry Dooley Fellowship will be offered to undergraduate students at Saint Mary’s. The fellowship is designed to help strengthen students’ relationships to the core ideas of social justice not only in their community, but in the world beyond. Applications for the upcoming year are now open and will close on Feb. 24 at 5 p.m.The Katharine Terry Dooley Social Justice Fellowship program will bring together a small group of students chosen to be fellows to receive training in social justice leadership and community organizing. The fellows will then design a social justice project related to an issue or issues they find particularly pressing. Fellows will receive a $500 stipend as well as two academic credits across the two semesters of the fellowship year. It provides resources to fellows seeking to pursue the values set forth by the fund.Saint Mary’s philosophy professor Andrew Pierce talked about the program’s goals and purpose in an email.“The goal of the program is to train a small group of students in justice leadership and organizing, who will then use their newly developed skills to address social justice issues here on campus or in the local community,” Pierce said.The program does not aim to benefit only the students who participate, but also the community at large.“The program strives to deepen the College’s commitment to justice, and to honor the intended purpose of the Katharine T. Dooley fund, which aims to provide a moral and intellectual context for the critical examination of the root causes of societal problems, and to develop creative and thoughtful responses to those concerns,” Pierce said. Applicants can apply through a Google form which will be emailed to all of Saint Mary’s. The application requests an unofficial transcript, a personal statement and a statement of ideas. A letter of recommendation is required later in the application process, but only the name and contact information of the intended recommender is required for the initial application.In addition to financial and educational incentives to pursue the grant, Pierce said the program also offers nonmaterial ones, such as knowledge, experience and validation. “In addition to the stipend and credits, participation in a social justice leadership program like this will be a highly desirable and valuable experience for students from a variety of fields who wish to apply their education, skills and talents to making a difference in the world,” Pierce said. “In a world rife with injustice, leadership of this sort is desperately needed.”Tags: Katharine Terry Dooley Endowment Fund, Katharine Terry Dooley Fellowship, Social justice
Saint Mary’s is a place of community and learning. Despite the popular phrase repeated by parents and professors alike, “You are here to learn and not play,” the Student Activities Board (SAB) and the Belles who work on it combine the two, organizing events which allow students to take a break from studying while still participating in their college community. For the members of SAB, the work is often rooted in a personal connection. Outgoing vice president and incoming president junior Sarah Catherine Caldwell expressed this sentiment in an email. “Coming to Saint Mary’s knowing one other person, I felt intimidated when trying to make friends, and SAB events provided a natural space for me to connect with people,” she said. “I met most of my friends at SAB events — such as Belles Bash and Oktoberfest — and have watched countless other Belles connect over food, crafts and fellowship. I knew I wanted to be a part of the organization. Our involvement in organizing timeless Saint Mary’s traditions, such as Midnight Breakfast, has only enhanced my love for Saint Mary’s.” A love for Saint Mary’s and its students motivated junior treasurer Maria Bruno to join the board.“One of the biggest motivations I have is the students,” Bruno said. “I want to make sure our events are inclusive and offer things for everyone. Making sure our campus is fun and we have events that students want to go to is really important to me.” Student programming is the focus of SAB, differentiating it from other Big Boards. SAB is an independent Big Board, separate from Student Government Association (SGA). Although they work in conjunction with SGA and other Big Boards, such as Student Diversity Board and Residence Hall Association. Ultimately, the Board is in place to serve the student body and its needs, Caldwell said. “SAB provides lots of different activities for students throughout the year,” Bruno said. “Our events provide a fun environment for students to come and take a break from school and hang out with their friends. We provide lots of different activities to appeal to different students as well.”This inclusion for different types of students extends to the Board itself which allows and encourages participation from all grade levels and students. “Our events provide a natural way to connect with each other, but also our board is made up of all classes,” Caldwell said. “It is really beautiful to watch first-year and sophomore Belles connect with junior and senior Belles who they may have not had the opportunity to meet if it wasn’t for SAB.”Diversity reaches beyond class years into geographic and cultural diversity. Caldwell’s background influenced the planning of events, specifically Mardi Gras, she said.“This year, I was able to celebrate Fat Tuesday in South Bend with authentic king cakes at our Mardi Gras event,” Caldwell said. “Mardi Gras is my favorite holiday because it always falls around my birthday, and I am from the birthplace of Mardi Gras in the U.S., [Mobile, Alabama]. My position on SAB allowed me to share a piece of my home with my campus community. I loved watching fellow Belles enjoy their first bite of real king cake and connecting with other Belles from the Gulf Coast.”In light of Saint Mary’s moving to distance learning for the remainder of the semester due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Board had to cancel all events for the remainder of the academic year.Bruno said these cancellations just make her even more excited for the next school year.“We had some fun new events planned that we were excited to debut and are working to make them even better for next year,” she said. “We also once again have a really great executive board for this next school year, and I am excited to work with all of them and continue to grow SAB.”Students interested in joining SAB can apply in the fall at the involvement and resource fair.Tags: big boards, SAB, student programming
Stock image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.ALBANY – New legislation was introduced in New York to thank first responders for their work on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.The proposed bill, which comes one day before the traditional deadline for filing taxes, would create a tax deduction of up to $5,000 for medical professionals, certified first responders, and EMTs for personal protective equipment and travel expenses related to the pandemic.Once passed, the bill would apply to the 2020 taxable year. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
Pixabay Stock ImageALBANY – The Senate and Assembly voted this week to partially repeal legislation that previously shielded health care facilities from lawsuits during the COVID-19 health crisis.In April, when the virus was raging in New York State, a law was added to the state budget that gave nursing homes, hospitals, and health care facilities liability protections while treating coronavirus patients.A statement from the legislature says the amended provisions aren’t meant to disregard the sacrifices of health care workers, but rather balance their protections with the rights of patients.“We could never possibly repay our heroic health care workers for all of their selfless service during this health crisis.,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “this legislation ensures that New Yorkers have access to legal recourse against bad actors, while acknowledging the unimaginable sacrifices of our health care workers.” Local Senator Jim Tedisco offered an amendment to this bill on the floor Thursday night, to create A state panel with subpoena power to investigate the thousands of nursing home deaths in New York State during the pandemic, saying that families need answers about what happened to their loved ones.“If you’re loosening [protections] up, providing liability at some level, you should be finding out exactly what took place with the loss of all those lives,” Senator Tedisco said on the floor. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)