SB : Syracuse hosts Seton Hall in 1st outdoor home series this season

first_imgSkytop Softball Stadium never looked so good to Leigh Ross. The outfield grass was unseasonably green, the sky was cloudless and the infield dirt was neatly raked.But to the chagrin of the Syracuse head coach and her team, despite perfect weather conditions, outdoor games would have to wait.‘Of course when it’s 70 (degrees) outside, we scheduled the Duel (at) the Dome,’ Ross said. ‘Of course that had to happen.’After spending nearly two months on the road and playing its home opener against Colgate in the Carrier Dome two weeks ago, Syracuse (21-9, 2-1 Big East) will finally play outside at Skytop Softball Stadium for the first time this year in a weekend series against Seton Hall (18-18, 0-5 Big East). The Orange and the Pirates will play a doubleheader Friday at 3 p.m. and then a third game Saturday at noon.Ross said playing in the Dome for the first time in program history in the Duel at the Dome was exciting and groundbreaking, but nothing beats the feeling of a game outside on SU’s home field.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt’s a feeling Ross and her players haven’t experienced for nearly a year. The Orange last played at its home stadium in its 2011 regular-season finale May 8 when it defeated Louisville 5-2.‘It feels like forever since we’ve played here,’ Ross said before Tuesday’s practice. ‘We practice here all the time, but games are another thing.’The Orange’s two home games couldn’t come at a better time for its offense. Although Syracuse won two out of three against St. John’s last weekend, the loss concerns Ross and hitting coach Wally King.In that game, SU followed an 11-run, five home-run performance with a one-run, four-hit loss. Third baseman Carey-Leigh Thomas said the road games finally took their toll on SU’s hitters.King said he tried to correct the flaws in his hitters’ mental approach at the plate this week during practice. With a full week to prepare at home, he thinks his players will respond.‘We talk a lot about getting in the batter’s box and having a routine,’ King said. ‘Being home helps because players don’t have to stray too much from their routine. They can get up in the morning, roll out of bed, go to class and come here. They know the drill already.’Freshmen haven’t played at Skytop Softball Stadium yet, but they already have a feel for the stadium from practices. Thomas anticipates that her Skytop debut will be ‘a lot less stressful’ than her Dome debut.‘You get the home sense here,’ Thomas said. ‘We practice here all the time, and it’s nice not having to worry about traveling.’The Syracuse players and coaches are hoping the comforts of home will be enough to ease the Orange’s up-and-down season at the plate. Last season, SU scored 46 more runs than their opponents at home.Jasmine Watson thinks SU can boast a similar run differential at their home field this season. Even though she has six home runs during this long road stretch, Watson expects the SU offense to be more consistent in its familiar surroundings.And the sophomore slugger thinks the comfort zone that comes with play at home will only help the Orange as it aims to take its second Big East series of the season.‘It’s an advantage for us with the fans and the field,’ Watson said. ‘We want to win every inning, and being here helps us keep our focus that much more.’[email protected] Comments Published on April 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Nick: [email protected] | @nicktoneytweetscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Researchers win some lose some in final US tax bill

first_imgShawn Clover/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0) Researchers win some, lose some in final U.S. tax bill Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The U.S. research community experienced both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat in lobbying congressional Republicans as they wrapped up a major overhaul of the nation’s tax code.Research advocates persuaded lawmakers to drop changes that would have eliminated a valuable tax break for companies that invest in research, forced graduate students to pay taxes on tuition assistance, and reduced incentives for investing in renewable energy technologies. But scientific, academic, and other groups failed to kill several other provisions, notably, a reduction in a tax break designed to encourage companies to develop drugs for rare diseases, the opening of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling, and a new tax on the largest university endowments.The release yesterday of the final version of the Republican-backed bill marks the end of a fierce but remarkably brief battle over the biggest rewrite of the U.S. tax code in decades. Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate passed versions of the tax bill in the past month that had been drafted largely out of public view. No Democrats or Independent lawmakers voted for either bill. The campaign by science advocates included plenty of backroom maneuvering and some very public drama, including the Capitol Hill arrests of science graduate students who demonstrated against a plan to tax tuition waivers. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By David MalakoffDec. 16, 2017 , 10:15 AM Email Tax bill opponents had to act quickly because House and Senate Republicans had promised President Donald Trump they would send him legislation to sign before the end of the year. Congress is expected to vote this coming week on the compromise unveiled yesterday.The final measure makes a deep cut to corporate rates and, over a decade, will deliver a majority of its benefits to the most affluent individuals. The bill also eliminates the penalty individuals must now pay if they don’t acquire health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, and sweetens a child tax credit for lower-income families. Many analysts estimate the bill will add at least $1 trillion to the national debt—now about $20 trillion—over the next decade (although some Republicans argue that the cuts will pay for themselves by boosting economic growth).Here is how the battle over some research-related provisions turned out:Orphan drugsThe 3-decade-old orphan drug tax credit will be cut in half. Current law allows companies to write off 50% of the research costs of developing drugs for diseases that strike fewer than 200,000 people. Now, the credit will drop to 25%. That is a partial win for drug companies and patient groups, because the House version of the tax bill had eliminated the tax break entirely. Still, patient groups fear that trimming the break will slow the development of new drugs. Critics of the credit, however, have argued that companies have abused it by claiming write-offs for drugs already in wide use.Tuition waiversA tsunami of graduate student activism helped convince lawmakers to drop a House provision that would have required graduate students to pay taxes on certain tuition allowances. Currently, graduate students are taxed on money they earn working in a laboratory or classroom, but not on tuition discounts they receive from a university, which can be worth tens of thousands of dollars. Analysts estimated that taxes paid by some students could double or triple under the provision. News that lawmakers had killed the provision prompted celebrations on social media. “We’ve been spared!” tweeted Alex Pawlowski, a doctoral student in energy science and engineering at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.Endowment taxWealthy universities failed to remove a new 1.4% tax on endowment earnings. The provision applies only to colleges with more than 500 students and endowments with at least $500,000 per student. The tax is initially expected to hit fewer than 30 colleges. The final bill also says the tax applies only to institutions with “more than 50% of the tuition paying students … located in the United States.” The schools have argued the tax will reduce the amount of money available for scholarships, internal research grants, and other initiatives.Arctic oil drillingConservationists and climate activists failed to persuade legislators to drop a provision allowing oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to one of North America’s largest caribou herds. Conservation groups fear development will harm the animals, and scar sensitive ecosystems.Renewable energyClean energy advocates won a fight to preserve tax breaks for wind and solar projects, and for some buyers of electric vehicles. But they failed to fully eliminate a provision that tweaks how the government taxes cash that firms transfer into the United States. Renewable energy groups are concerned that the change could reduce the flow of investment in green power projects.R&D tax credit fixLawmakers dropped provisions that unintentionally undermined one of the nation’s most valuable research-related tax breaks. But the final bill will require companies to write off research-related expenses over a longer time period.Under current law, companies are allowed to write off many of the costs associated with R&D, and they can take the deductions immediately, in a single year. But in a last-minute change, the Senate had inserted language in its bill that would have essentially gutted the credit, which has been worth some $7 billion annually to companies in recent years. Lawmakers removed that language, but changed the rules so that companies must write off their R&D investments over 5 or more years instead of in a single year.Other provisionsHouse and Senate negotiators killed a House provision that would have allowed nonprofit research institutions to avoid taxes on income generated by research activities only if the results of the research were “freely available to the general public.” Currently, such income is sheltered from taxes, and the final bill preserves that protection. 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