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New York State Creates Nation’s First Air Corridor For Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

New York State has officially created the Nation’s first “air corridor” where unmanned aerial vehicles can safely fly beyond line of sight for testing and development. Typically, FAA regulations restrict drone operations to line-of-sight only, which requires the drone to be visible by the pilot at all times. However, drones flying in the air corridor may now operate beyond the pilot’s visual line of sight drastically improving their utility and range of operational use.

The air corridor presently consists of a 5-mile circle around Griffiss International Airport located in Rome, New York, but will be expanded during 2018 with $30,000,000 in state funding. Eventually, the air corridor will include 50-miles of air space and will stretch from Rome to Syracuse.

The air corridor is made possible through the use of small ground-based sensors and radars developed expressly for the purpose of detecting and tracking small drones operating at low altitudes. This sensor technology permits air traffic managers to monitor the aircraft within the corridor in order to keep the craft at safe distances from each other. This technology provides air traffic control with capabilities that traditional radar systems at airports simply do not possess.

With the creation of the air corridor, New York State is working with its commercial partners in the industry to make Central New York and the Mohawk Valley a magnet for the growing use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, for commercial applications. The corridor is expected to help make Central New York a base for manufacturing, research, development and testing for the UAV industry.

“If you are interested in this industry, this is the place to be,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose administration has pledged up to $250 million in state funding under his Upstate Revitalization Initiative to build the corridor and promote the growth of the UAV industry in the region.

Construction of the full network of sensors and radars is expected to start by the third quarter of 2018.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Craig H. Handler, Esq. is an experienced attorney focusing his practice primarily on complex commercial, construction, real estate and insurance issues. Mr. Handler is also an experienced drone pilot, and enjoys using his DJI Phantom 4 Pro and DJI Mavic to capture photos and video on the east end of Long Island.

What You Need To Know About The New Tax Law

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”), signed into law on December 22, 2017, provides substantial (but mostly temporary) changes to the tax code. This article is a summarized review and discussion of the key provisions of the new law. This article is designed to provide an introduction to the law and to supply some information to you (the taxpayer) before meeting with your attorney, tax advisor, investment manager and insurance agent for recommendations and before changing or implementing any financial, tax, or estate planning changes.

The Act provides changes to the tax code beginning January 1, 2018 (with a few provisions beginning in 2019). Although the Act does not directly affect your 2017 filings, some taxpayers were able to pay a portion of their 2018 residential real estate taxes in 2017 (enabling an additional deduction for those taxes paid for that tax year as long as the taxes had been assessed before the end of 2017).

The law is mostly temporary with the exception of a few provisions – the corporate tax rate reduction to 21% was made permanent. The individual tax provision (including the wealth transfers tax provisions) is set to automatically expire after 2025 and revert back to 2017 law.

 

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Suffolk County Legislature Amends Suffolk County Sanitary Code And Imposes New Requirements On Wastewater Management

On December 5, 2017, the Suffolk County Legislature passed legislation amending the Suffolk County Sanitary Code, which imposes new requirements on wastewater management intended to improve water quality throughout Suffolk County. Executive Steve Bellone signed the legislation into law on December 21, 2017.  The ban goes into effect on a county wide level July 2019.

There has been significant debate in regard to the various ways Long Island’s fragile water systems can best be protected.  Towns such as East Hampton and Southampton have already implemented financial incentives for property owners to upgrade outdated systems, and have passed legislation, which imposes mandatory requirements for new construction and equipment upgrades when systems are replaced.  (New Nitrogen Control Requirements Imposed on Construction in Suffolk County, East Hampton and Southampton, October 17, 2017).  Now, Suffolk County joins the fray by closing a significant loophole in the Suffolk County Sanitary Code.

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Plastic Bag Fee Takes Effect in Suffolk County

Effective January 1, 2018, shoppers in Suffolk County are required to pay a $0.05 fee for each non-reusable carryout bag used in a retail establishment. The new law, codified in Article XI, Chapter 704, applies to all plastic and paper bags that are provided by a covered store to any customer at the point of sale for use in carrying goods from the store. The Code defines a covered store as:

“An establishment engaged in the retail sale of personal, consumer or household items, including but not limited to drug stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, food marts, apparel stores, home center and hardware stores, stationery and office supply stores, and food service establishments located within grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores or food marts, that provide carryout bags to customers in which to place purchased items. This term does not include food service establishments located outside of grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores or foodmarts.”

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The New “Amazon Brand Registry” – IMPORTANT BRAND PROTECTION FOR ONLINE SELLERS

For any online seller or vendor that has a brand it wants to protect, the new Amazon Brand Registry offers tremendous value.  In order to join the registry, however, you must have a “standard character” trademark registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).  “Standard character” mark means text only, no design or logo.

Registered trademarks are extremely valuable for brand owners. They offer protection from others trying to register the same or similar mark and from infringers of the mark, while also providing the necessary means to stop infringers.  Registered marks can also help to protect and register domain names.

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New Commercial Division Rules Promote The Continued Use of ADR

In 1995, then Chief Judge Judith Kaye established the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court as a forum to improve the efficiency with which commercial disputes were addressed by the courts and, at the same time, to enhance the quality of judicial treatment of those cases.

Over the past few years, the Commercial Division has continually revamped its rules in an effort to remain an efficient forum for the resolution of commercial disputes.

For that reason, we often recommend to clients that they seek to have commercial disputes resolved in the Commercial Division, and that they also specify New York as the choice of forum and New York law as the choice of law in their business agreements.

While the Commercial Division judges do an outstanding job at sorting through both the complex legal and factual issues they face, their case loads have grown over the years, and cases often lag because of the parties’ failure to consider grounds for resolution at the outset of a case and throughout the litigation process.

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The Business Class Concealed Carry Weapon Permit – Rules For Business Owners in Suffolk County

New York State has a well-deserved reputation for having some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, and with respect to the issuance of concealed carry weapon licenses (“CCW”), New York is considered a “may issue” state. That is, the jurisdiction is one that requires a license to carry a concealed handgun, and where the granting of such licenses is largely at the discretion of local authorities.

In Suffolk County, responsibility for issuing CCW licenses is divided between the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, who is responsible for the investigation, issuance and maintenance of all pistol licenses for residents and businesses located within the five (5) eastern townships in the County (East Hampton, Riverhead, Shelter Island, Southampton and Southold), and the Suffolk County Police Department, which is responsible for everyone else.

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