Study says film tax credits have no economic benefits

first_imgTax incentives given to the film industry don’t actually benefit states’ economies, according to a study released by a USC professor over the summer. Michael Thom, an assistant professor in the USC Price School of Public Policy, served as the lead author of the study. His findings showed that tax incentives have resulted in little to no economic growth for states, yet these states continue to invest in the film industry. Initially, states used tax breaks for film companies as a way to address the issue of the growing unemployment and to boost individual state’s economies. Despite the efforts, which include offering waivers on sales taxes, tax credits and rebates to film producers, states are losing millions of dollars every year. “We looked at job growth, wage growth, states’ share of the motion picture industry and the industry’s output in each state.” Thom said in a statement. “On average, the only benefits were short-term wage gains, mostly to people who already work in the industry. Job growth was almost nonexistent. Market share and industry output didn’t budge.” The failure of tax incentives to solve these problems has raised questions of how this will affect film students and filmmakers in the state of California. Thom believes that the film students in California have not been affected by film credits. “USC’s film school built its reputation without tax subsidies,” Thom said. “Students are attracted to our film school because of the school’s prestige and proximity to the industry. California’s tax subsidies specifically exclude student films, as well as other student-friendly projects.” Thom’s suggestions for California-based film students were less about the industry, and more about the cost of living in an expensive state.“Students that want to stay in California should worry more about taxes, the cost of housing, regulatory burdens, and labor costs,” Thom said. “All of [these] are much higher here than almost every other state.”The study indicated that a total of 36 states have continued to give the film industry tax incentives, with New York coming in as the biggest investor. New York University, which has one of the highest-ranked film schools in the nation, also continues to see high application numbers.The biggest investors other than New York and California include  Louisiana, Connecticut and Georgia, and despite the lack of economic impact tax breaks provide, film students and filmmakers continue to flock to these states. The prestige and proximity to the movie industry, according to Thom, act as more important factors in the decision-making process than the potentially undesirable economic consequences.“After a state has invested tens of millions of dollars, no politician wants to acknowledge that the program is a waste of taxpayer money,” Thom said.last_img read more

Real estate professional elected as trustee

first_imgStephanie Argyros, a 1992 USC alumna and real estate professional, was recently elected to the USC Board of Trustees. Argyros is a board member of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and the Orangewood Foundation in Orange County. (Photo from USC News)The Board of Trustees recently elected alumna and real estate professional Stephanie Argyros as its newest member. Argyros, who graduated from USC in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in communication, is also a member of the USC President’s Leadership Council and the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s Board of Overseers. “My favorite thing about USC is its strong sense of family,” Argyros told USC News. “I’m so proud to be a Trojan and incredibly honored to join the USC Board of Trustees.”Along with her position as principal at Arnel, a Costa Mesa-based real estate firm that oversees several properties, Argyros serves as a director of the Argyros Family Foundation. The foundation helped fund USC’s renovation of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum’s peristyle and surrounding plaza with a $7.5 million gift in January 2018, according to USC News.As a board member for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and the Orangewood Foundation, which helps current and former foster children in Orange County, Argyros also an advocate of children’s health, well-being and education initiatives. “I’m looking forward to getting involved and giving back to the Trojan Family, especially through its support and mentorship programs for youth,” Argyros said to USC News. Argyros has also volunteered with Operation Smile, a nonprofit that provides free dental and facial surgeries to children in developing countries, and is a co-chair for WE Day California, an education initiative that encourages young people to be involved in public service and volunteerism.Interim President Wanda Austin told USC News that she believes Argyros’ public service background will make her a good addition to the Board. “Not only is Stephanie Argyros a highly regarded leader in her profession and a great Trojan, she is a dedicated community volunteer,” Austin told USC News. “Her commitment to ensuring children are healthy, happy and empowered to realize their dreams shines through in all her work … We very much look forward to her insight and contributions.”last_img read more

Annual Homelessness Awareness Week starts Monday

first_imgStudents attend a Homelessness Awareness Week event last year. The annual week features events aimed at educating students while finding solutions to homelessness. (Photo courtesy of Faizus Amin)Undergraduate Student Government, Student Service Assembly and Share a Meal, among other organizations, are co-hosting the University’s annual Homelessness Awareness Week, which runs Nov. 12-15, to educate students on the prevalence of homelessness both on and off campus.“We’re trying to balance awareness to action,” said Alec Vandenberg, director of external affairs for USG and president of Share a Meal. “Not only to get people educated, but also [to] give them concrete tools to make a difference now and in the future.”The event starts Monday with a screening of “Invisible,” a documentary which depicts the struggles of low-income students, followed by a discussion with the film’s director, Justice Butler. Homelessness Awareness Week is focusing its efforts on campus hunger and homelessness, according to Vandenberg.“When we take into account factors such as the rising cost of college and tuition coupled with consistently skyrocketing rent, we know that it becomes harder and harder to be a low-income student, especially on this campus at a private university,” Vandenberg said. On Tuesday, Swipe out Hunger, an organization that focuses on food insecurity and homelessness, will host a hunger banquet. Participants will be sorted into varying socioeconomic classes with the purpose of simulating the income disparity and consequences of homelessness in Los Angeles. The week continues on Wednesday with a volunteer and resource fair, which provides students with concrete ways they can help out the USC and South L.A. community. On Thursday, the Fast-A-Thon, during which students pledge to fast for the day, is intended to show students what it’s like to experience food insecurity. It also gives them an opportunity to sponsor a meal for the homeless through the Ansar Service Partnership.The week ends with a public policy discussion titled “Getting Everyone in the Door,” where the Los Angeles Police Department, A Community of Friends and Abundant Housing representatives will discuss policy challenges toward ending homelessness. “We’re going to be inviting different public policy stakeholders from around L.A. to come and speak about their work and also the perspectives that they have on homelessness in L.A.,” said Mae Gates, who will moderate the panel. “We hope to take that discussion and relate it back to certain issues and things that we see here on USC’s campus.” Faizus Amin, the director of Campus Affairs for Student Service Assembly and moderator on the Swipe out Hunger panel, said engaging in Homelessness Awareness Week is an integral aspect of social responsibility in the South L.A. community.“By having this week, we’re educating ourselves as students on what causes homelessness, what homeless life can be like for some people and how we can contribute to ending the cycle of homelessness, which is running rampant through Los Angeles,” Gates said. Vandenberg said participation during Homelessness Awareness Week is a vital way students can help their community on campus. “Sometimes we delude ourselves by thinking that because we’re at a private university and because we have such generous financial aid, that that somehow precludes us from having students [in] need who fall through a lot of those safety nets,” he said. According to Vandenberg, It’s important to spread education and awareness about the consequences of homelessness continually, not just throughout the course of Homelessness Awareness Week.“We’re really trying to make sure that homelessness and addressing it is very interdisciplinary,” Vandenberg said. “Regardless of your background, everyone can and should make a difference.” Amin encouraged students to attend Homelessness Awareness Week events to learn about the nature of homelessness and to venture out beyond the USC community. “Through Hunger and Homelessness Week, we want students to realize that USC is definitely a bubble,” Amin said. “This is not the reality of South L.A. and we should do our part as a member of the South L.A. community and serve those around us.”last_img read more

Young Scientists Program helps kids connect with the ISS

first_imgAundrea Marin, a fifth-grader at Vermont Avenue Elementary who was among the 10 selected to speak to Parmitano, asked him about his family. Marin said she was able to draw parallels between the astronaut’s answers and her own family. “It becomes a real thing for them — it turns it into something real,” Warren said. “And I think it sort of broadens their view of what they are able to do, you know, because you talked to space as a kid — that’s pretty cool.” “It is a pretty indescribable thing when the static fades away, and you actually get that clear reception, and the pass has really started,” Barakat said. “I think to see that age group and the way that they will be excited — that will be exciting for me.” In preparation for the call, each of the school’s approximately 270 third- through fifth-grade students wrote two questions for Italian astronaut and ISS commander Luca Parmitano, who has performed 45 similar educational contacts since 2013. A judging panel of YSP staff selected 20 of the student questions for the contact. Barakat said discussions with Vermont Elementary staff and preparation for the contact began in April. Barakat spent the summer preparing as well, amending YSP curriculum with a combination of “some quality space education, a little bit of ham radio and a little bit of ISS-specific information” and getting a ham radio license. The event’s execution is especially important given the timely nature of the contact — the ISS travels at an estimated 17,000 miles per hour and was only within range of the school for an estimated eight minutes, so the Q&A had to begin promptly.  Dieuwertje “DJ” Kast, STEM program manager at JEP, said the preparation leading up to the event was a significant undertaking. Before the contact, YSP staff coordinated the submission and selection of the questions and held a dress rehearsal of the event the Friday before to ensure that the timing of the questions was feasible.  “[Parmitano] ended up kind of relating to what I’m about in my family because he brought up his two daughters and his wife,” Marin said. “My dad, he has my little sister plus my mom, so knowing that if my dad was up there — and [Parmitano] said that he misses them so much, and if my dad was up there, I would miss him a lot too.” Barakat said she believed the contact would help the Vermont Elementary students put a human face to what they’ve been learning about space exploration. ARISS educational ambassador Darrell Warren said the value of the contact lies in its interactivity, a component of education that he said is often talked about but needs to be implemented more widely.center_img YSP’s first application for a contact, submitted in 2017, was turned down. However, with help from local radio experts who had the proper equipment for the contact and were familiar with the application process, the program’s second attempt was approved. Vermont Elementary is the first elementary school in L.A. to participate in a contact with the ISS via ARISS. The idea to apply for the contact came from the Young Scientists Program, an offshoot of the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences’ Joint Educational Project, a service-learning initiative that partners USC students with local community organizations. YSP comprises 24 teaching assistants, undergraduate USC students with STEM majors who assist with science lessons and activities at seven schools in the USC Family of Schools.  “We really talked a lot about the things that we already do at YSP, the fact that we’re targeting underrepresented groups in the Los Angeles Unified School District and trying to encourage them to pursue STEM education, realizing that science is not a scary thing,” Barakat said. “[Science is] not, you know, difficult; it’s not just for some people — it can be for everyone.” “For me, it still baffles me that we’re able to connect to someone that’s in outer space, moving on the International Space Station, which actually will go above us eight times a day,” Kast said. “We can contact them for literally less than 10 minutes … The logistics of all that, just — it’s mind-blowing.” While most elementary school students in Los Angeles were lining up single file in preparation for recess or lunch Monday afternoon, students at Vermont Avenue Elementary School were assembling for a different reason: They were about to converse with an astronaut at the International Space Station as part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Program. Facilitating the contact was no simple feat, said Rita Barakat, the assistant director of YSP. The application process takes nearly a year and resembles a grant application. It asks why the school is deserving of the collaboration and how the contact would benefit the community. Young Scientists Program, part of the Joint Educational Project, helped facilitate contact between students at Vermont Avenue Elementary School and International Space Station commander Luca Parmitano Monday. (Ben Butcher | Daily Trojan) ARISS, an international organization devoted to arranging these contacts between schools around the world and astronauts aboard the ISS, has set up hundreds of educational contacts to date with schools on six continents. Most of ARISS’s members, including those who helped with Vermont Elementary’s contact, are knowledgeable volunteers with an interest in space, radio and science education.last_img read more

And the final chapter: what I learned at USC

first_imgRight about now, hundreds of thousands of high school seniors are making their life-changing decision about which college to attend. Only 3,000 will make the right choice and come to our side of warm, sunny Los Angeles for the next four years.I remember when I made my decision, and then changed it and then changed it back in the span of five minutes. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.But now, four years later, my time here is coming to an end. After a terrific, some will say legendary, others will say unreplicable, dynastic run for the last two years at Spittin’ Sports, the moment has come to say goodbye. Take a moment to grab a Kleenex and cry — it’s okay. It’s only natural.Before I go, I want to leave the high school seniors from around the world who are attending USC in the fall (because I know Spittin’ Sports has a huge global presence; I found a hooker in the Red Light District in Amsterdam reading it one time), as well as current students with some tips on how to get the most, from an athletic standpoint, out of your time at USC.You incoming freshmen might think you’re ready to be Trojans, but not so fast. Here’s what you need to know how to become a great Trojan like me.First and foremost, no song is requested more at USC sporting events than Fleetwood Mac’s hit, “Tusk.”You might be thinking, “Why is a song about Mic Fleetwood’s junk (seriously, look it up, big rumor out on the Internet) one of the school’s most celebrated songs?” Well, us clever USC students had a little fun and changed the words around a bit. You’ll have to go to a sporting event to truly appreciate it, but it goes along the lines of really not liking a certain school from across town.And that’s a rule. In fact, you are encouraged to remind yourself and everyone around you that you do not like that institution by singing about it at any sporting event, even when we are playing Fairfield University in women’s lacrosse.Next, to be a good Trojan, you must line up outside the Coliseum at least two hours before the gates open (so about four hours before the game starts) to get good seats for football games during your first two years. This is almost a rite of passage. I’m not going to tell you why you should only do this for the first two years, but once you become a junior, you’ll understand.Also, if USC legally qualifies for the Rose Bowl at any point during your time at USC, you need to go. I failed to go when we qualified my freshman and sophomore years with the expectation I would wait until we inevitably played in the national championship to go to the big game. But thanks to the NCAA, that never happened.Which brings me to another important point. USC is not well-liked by a lot of people in the country, much like Notre Dame, because it is so good at everything, unlike Notre Dame. It is totally okay to be arrogant and be comfortable about it. Mind you, there’s a fine line between arrogance and ignorance or repugnance, but you’ll learn the difference.We’ve won three straight national championships in men’s water polo, two straight national titles in men’s tennis, we’re the reigning national champion in women’s water polo and the women’s soccer and golf teams have won national championships in the last four seasons.That’s not to mention men’s volleyball, which has a better record than president Barack Obama did in the first round of his March Madness bracket. So, by the transitive property, yes, the team is better than the President.With all these teams enjoying such great success, don’t go all four years without going to a variety of games. Football and Kevin O’Neill bobblehead night might rule the headlines, but there are so many hidden athletic gems at USC.USC is an institution with one of the richest (literally and figuratively) sporting backgrounds in the country. Football and basketball will climb back up there in a few years. In the meantime, think about how awesome it would be to channel your inner-hipster and tell your grandkids that you saw Amy Rodriguez playing soccer before the country knew Amy Rodriguez playing soccer was cool.Which brings me to my final point. I know USC will never be the same without Spittin’ Sports to get you through class, but do your best to enjoy the four (or five?) years of your life here and take in as much as possible. I couldn’t have asked for anything more in my four years, but it’s time to move on to different pastures, so I leave you with two words:Fight on. “Spittin’ Sports” ran Fridays. To comment on this article email Kenny at or visit read more

Expectations elevated for No. 23 USC

first_imgAfter two years of narrowly missing the NCAA tournament, the Women of Troy have one goal in their third year under USC coach Michael Cooper.Experience · Senior guard Ashley Corral, an All-Pac-10 First team selection last year, is one of five core returners for the Women of Troy. – DailyTrojan file photo“We need to get to the tournament,” senior guard Ashley Corral said. “We need to show who we are, that we’re as good as those [other] top 25 teams.”The Women of Troy’s quest for an NCAA tournament bid begins tonight against Fresno State at 5 p.m.The high expectations, however, aren’t just coming from the team. USC was voted No. 23 in the preseason Associated Press poll, the first time it has been ranked since 2006.“If you can stay inside the [top] 25, it’s almost an automatic berth into the tournament,” Cooper said. “That’s where we want to eventually end up, so a ranking is definitely good, but now we have to live up to that and win consistently.”Despite missing out on the NCAA tournament last year, the Women of Troy received an invitation to the 64-team Women’s National Invitational Tournament, where they won five games in a row to reach the championship game before falling to Toledo.“I had never played in the postseason, and I know none of my teammates had either,” Corral said. “It helped our bodies get used to playing that long of a season.”USC is ranked second in the preseason Pac-12 media poll, behind Stanford, who reached the Final Four last season and is ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press poll.The Women of Troy haven’t beat the Cardinal since the 2007-2008 season, but they have high hopes to dethrone the defending conference champions.“I think we’re going to give a challenge to everyone we play,” Cooper said. “The Pac-12 is not a cakewalk this year. Stanford is the team to knock off the top, and we’re going to give them all that they can handle.”By the time USC squares off against Stanford, they will have plenty of experience against top-notch competition.Before they even start conference play, the Women of Troy will have faced six teams that made the NCAA tournament last year.Those games include a road trip to defending national champion Texas A&M on Dec. 18, and a trip to the Bahamas for a tournament where they will play national runner-up Notre Dame, and either Duke or Gardner-Webb, both of which participated in the tournament last year.“We have to go win those big games on the road for us to get credit,” Corral said. “It’s a good showing for the committee, and we know what we have to do.”Though USC faces some tough competition in the early going, it does bring back its core group of players from a year ago. Corral is one of four returning All-Pac-10 honorees for USC. Senior guard Briana Gilbreath earned an Associated Press All-American honorable mention while leading USC in scoring, rebounds, steals and blocks last season.Fifth-year senior Jacki Gemelos returns at the point, where she earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention and was USC’s third-leading scorer in her first full season after recovering from numerous knee surgeries that plagued her first three years in Los Angeles.Sophomore forward Cassie Harberts was the only player to start every game last season and was selected to the Pac-10 freshman team after being one of four USC players to average double-digit scoring.“Look for Cassie to be a little bit more solid in [the post],” Cooper said. “She did a good job last year, but she really worked on the weights [in the offseason] so she should have a little more strength.”Freshman forward Alexyz Vaioletama is the only new face in the starting lineup, taking the spot of graduate Kari LaPlante. The freshman, listed at 6-foot-1, isn’t as tall as LaPlante, but has been praised by her coaches for her tenacity and athleticism.“[Vaioletama] is an athletic big that we haven’t seen around here in a long time,” Cooper said. “Fans are going to be very impressed and surprised with the way she’ll play, especially as a freshman.”Freshmen forward Deanna Calhoun and guards Ariya Crook and Kiki Alofaituli make up the rest of USC’s No. 8 ranked recruiting class.Junior forward Christina Marinacci could move into the starting lineup at some point, after finishing second on the team in rebounding and fifth in scoring last year.“This group here is special,” Cooper said. “All of our players definitely took a step forward this year. They finally get what we want to do, what we want to accomplish.”That attitude is even rubbing off on the newcomers.“We just need to suck it up, and work hard on and off the court to get to the [tournament],” Vaioletama said. “That’s what our main goal is. My expectations are very high for this team.”last_img read more

Best athlete Halloween costumes

first_imgNFL Network analyst LaVar Arrington Former Trojan linebacker Devon Kennard (Luigi) and his NYG teammates Former Trojan guard/forward Nick Young Cavs forward LeBron James Thunder guard Russell Westbrook Thunder forward Nick Collison and center Steven Adams Wizards forward Paul Pierce and center Marcin GortatLadies and gentleman Paul Pierce !!!:)) #legend #this #guyyyyyycenter_img Thunder guard Serge Ibaka and his girlfriend, Keri Hilson (I think OKC wins Halloween) Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright Former Trojan wide receiver Robert Woods Colts punter Pat McAfee Boston Bruins playerslast_img

5 takeaways from Syracuse football’s Week 1 depth chart

first_img Published on August 29, 2015 at 1:01 pm Contact Paul: | @pschweds Sophomore Austin Wilson and freshman Eric Dungey are both listed as second-string quarterbacks. Sophomore AJ Long was limited throughout practice with a right-hand injury and last week Shafer said he can’t be in the quarterback competition if he’s not healthy. Comments Freshman Kielan Whitner is listed as a backup strong safety behind sophomore Antwan Cordy while redshirt freshman Rodney Williams and sophomore Chauncey Scissum are listed as the free safeties. It’s the same as the preseason depth chart, but defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough has said that a freshman safety will likely be in a rotation of four with the other three returning players. Junior wide receiver Brisly Estime is projected to start opposite sophomore Steve Ishmael. He missed seven games last year due to injury but has impressed in the portions of practice open to the media. Estime jumped over junior Alvin Cornelius to take one of the top receiver spots.center_img Sophomore cornerback Corey Winfield is listed ahead of junior Wayne Morgan at one of the corner spots. Morgan was ahead of Winfield on the preseason depth chart, but Morgan is coming off an injury in which he missed the final nine games of the year. With its season opener against Rhode Island six days away, Syracuse released its Week 1 depth chart on Saturday.The two-deep list includes 24 players with starting experience and senior center Rob Trudo leads the Orange with 33 previous starts.Here are some quick observations from the depth chart:Walk-on senior right guard Seamus Shanley is listed as the starting right guard ahead of redshirt freshman Aaron Roberts. Shanley was listed as Roberts’ backup and is the shortest offensive lineman on the two-deep depth chart. Throughout training camp, SU head coach Scott Shafer hasn’t mentioned Shanley as someone who is standing out. Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Scott Shafer hopes to have Eric Dungey back this week

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 26, 2015 at 5:19 pm Contact Matt: | @matt_schneidman Scott Shafer hopes to get freshman quarterback Eric Dungey back in the beginning or middle of the upcoming week, the head coach said following Syracuse’s 34-24 loss to No. 8 LSU (3-0, 2-0 Southeastern) on Saturday.In Dungey’s place, sophomore walk-on Zack Mahoney went 16-of-38 for 154 yards passing and three touchdowns. He did throw an interception and fumbled on the first drive after being sacked, but his second-half performance allowed SU (3-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) to stay within striking distance until late in the fourth.The freshman, who suffered an upper-body injury after a helmet-to-helmet hit from Central Michigan defensive lineman Mitch Stanitzek, will be evaluated again tomorrow.“I can tell you he’s doing well,” Shafer said. “Hopefully we get Eric back here pretty quick, we’ll follow the whole protocol and make sure he’s in good shape.”Shafer added it’s going to take a few days to be sure Dungey is ready to return, but Syracuse’s bye week certainly doesn’t hurt. The Orange returns to action against South Florida on Oct. 10 in Tampa, Florida.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Commentslast_img read more

Fast reaction: Syracuse wins Scott Shafer’s last game as head coach against Boston College, 20-17

first_img Published on November 28, 2015 at 3:41 pm Contact Matt: | @matt_schneidman Syracuse (4-8, 2-6 Atlantic Coast) outlasted Boston College (3-9, 0-8), 20-17, in the Carrier Dome to cap off its season on Saturday. With Scott Shafer coaching his last game as head coach after being fired on Monday and 17 seniors being honored before the game, the result seemed secondary to the events beyond the sidelines.Here are three moments from Saturday not involved in the on-field product that stood out in the season finale.Round of applauseSyracuse honored 17 players and six managers in Senior Day festivities around noon. Shafer started off with the managers, shaking each of their hands and posing for pictures with family members in attendance.He made his way down the line stretching from midfield to the end zone, sliding in each family photo. Punter Riley Dixon received arguably the loudest applause and he was greeted by seven of his family members.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textQuarterback Terrel Hunt, who was denied a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA yesterday, was the last one called. He too was greeted with a sizable applause, slowly walking out on his healing right Achilles while flipping a football up in the air to himself.He goneStarting safety Antwan Cordy tweeted before the game that he would transfer from SU after Saturday’s game. The sophomore tweeted the same message Friday, but shortly deleted the tweet. This time, the message was still up after the game.Cordy had an interception on Saturday and ranked first on the team in tackles for loss (12) and second in total tackles (68). He was arguably Syracsue’s best defensive back in a secondary that struggled mightily throughout the season.Further updates will be provided after the game regarding the reason behind Cordy’s transfer.The decisionDirector of Athletics Mark Coyle spoke about his decision to fire Shafer on his weekly pregame radio show with Matt Park, calling the decision to let Shafer and his assistants go “efficient.”He highlighted the importance of reaching out to current commits and making the best long-term decision for the program. Coyle cancelled his trip to the Bahamas for the men’s basketball team’s appearance in the Battle 4 Atlantis to put time toward the coaching search.According to Sports Illustrated, Coyle and Chancellor Kent Syverud have already flown across the country to interview candidates. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more