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Pfizer’s Kathrin Jansen To Deliver Commencement Address At Dominican College; Zebrowski Sponsors ‘Dark Store’ Bill, Briefs

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Pfizer’s Kathrin Jansen To Deliver Commencement Address At Dominican College

Kathrin U. Jansen, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research and Development, Pfizer Inc., will deliver the commencement address virtually at the 67th Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony at Dominican College on Sunday, June 27. The ceremony will take place at the Palisades Credit Union Park in Pomona, NY, at noon.

During the ceremony, Dr. Jansen will be awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

jansenDr. Jansen was the driving force behind the development of the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive emergency use authorization for use in individuals 16 years of age and older from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Pfizer vaccine, which uses mRNA technology, was developed in record-breaking time and is currently the only vaccine also approved for emergency use in adolescents 12 to 15 years of age.

The mission to develop a vaccine was deeply personal to Dr. Jansen who lives in New York City and saw refrigerated truck morgues being used in hospital parking lots during the first terrifying wave of the pandemic. Beginning in March of 2020, when Pfizer partnered with the German company BioNTech to develop a vaccine, Dr. Jansen was relentless in her pursuit of a vaccine to help end the most devastating pandemic in more than 100 years. She worked tirelessly, leading her 700-person team with the support of thousands of other Pfizer colleagues focused on developing a high-quality, safe vaccine as quickly as possible.

Jansen has also developed vaccines to fight the HPV virus and pneumonia, and has earned a reputation as a calm, fearless, knowledgeable professional who has dedicated her life’s work to the research and development of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases.

Dominican College will confer upon Dr. Jansen the honorary degree of Doctor of Science in recognition of her remarkable contributions to the development of life-saving vaccines, her unwavering determination to help end a pandemic that has claimed more than 600,000 U.S. lives, and her steadfast devotion to science and data.

Zebrowski Co-Sponsors Dark Store Bill To Prevent Sharp Reduction In Tax Assessments

Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-Rockland) and Senator James Gaughran (D-Long Island) have introduced a “dark store” bill that establishes clear and unambiguous guidelines for assessors to utilize when formulating assessments. (A894C/S5715A). The bill has passed the full legislature.

zebrowskiThe Zebrowski/Gaughran bill is in response to the proliferation of the use of the “dark store” strategy by businesses, particularly big box retailers in New York State. Commercial property owners challenge their tax assessment by using vacant stores or properties as comparable values; arguing their value should be aligned with properties that are not in use. This approach has succeeded in several court challenges throughout the state, resulting in a sharp reduction in tax assessments for big box retailers; shifting the tax burden to homeowners and small businesses.

The legislation would require that properties selected as comparable properties for an assessment must be similar in use, size, location and other characteristics. These standards are currently used by assessors in formulating assessments and by placing them in law, will provide guidance for courts evaluating competing assessments.

“When big corporations skirt their taxes through high paid attorneys, homeowners and small businesses foot the bill. The dark store theory threatens our tax base by allowing big businesses to exploit the assessment challenge process by comparing the current use of a business to vacant properties. The argument that vibrant businesses should be valued as if they are closed is incomprehensible. Our legislation puts into law guidelines and standards by which assessments should be based; providing courts with common sense direction in valuing properties,” said Assemblyman Zebrowski.

If signed into law, the bill would take effect immediately and apply to assessment rolls prepared on and after January 1, 2022.

Volkswagen of Nanuet Opens Dealership On Route 59

volkswagenVolkswagen of Nanuet has opened a car dealership on Route 59, adding to a corridor that is filled with several car dealerships. The new showroom and service department, located at Route 59 and Hutton Avenue, was the former site of Bob’s Discount Furniture. “Route 59 is known as the ‘car dealership’ corridor,” said Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann, at the ribbon cutting. “This is a most welcome addition for the many people who travel here from around the region to purchase a vehicle.”

VW dealership’s owner, Bob Erickson, said the $3 million project took longer than expected due to the pandemic. The dealership opened with food, music, face painting and an opportunity to see some vintage Beetles, along with 2021 models on the new dealership’s showroom floor.