Is my golf club membership a tax write off?

Is my golf club membership a tax write off?

Christopher J. Fitzsimmons CPA: That’s a good question. Unfortunately, golf club dues are never deductible. However, you may be able to deduct the cost of entertaining clients at your golf club. Only union dues or dues paid to professional organizations and Chambers of Commerce (if work related) are deductible. They fall into a group called ‘miscellaneous itemized deductions,’ which are limited so you won’t get a full deduction. Caution – these deductions have been eliminated effective 1/1/18.
Christopher J. Fitzsimmons CPA, P.C.
(914) 437-8600
3691 Old Yorktown Rd Suite 204,
Shrub Oak, New York 10588-1536
https://fitz-tax.com

PREDICTING CANCER RISK FROM MAMMOGRAMS COULD REVOLUTIONIZE SCREENING

PREDICTING CANCER RISK FROM MAMMOGRAMS COULD REVOLUTIONIZE SCREENING

Professor John Hopper

First established in 1991, Australia’s national breast screening program, BreastScreen, has saved many lives through early detection of breast cancers.

The joint Australian and state/territory government program funds free mammograms every two years for all women aged between 50 and 74 years. Women can also receive a free mammogram in their 40s.

As our population ages we need to increase the numbers of women presenting for screening and the accuracy of screening. Picture: Getty Images

CURRENT SCREENING

A recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report found that 55 per cent of women in the 50–74 target group were screened in 2017–2018.

This is commendable but especially as our population ages we need to increase the numbers of women presenting for screening and the accuracy of screening (detecting cancers) while decreasing unnecessary call-backs.

Published in the International Journal of Cancer, our latest research has found two new ways to predict breast cancer risk from mammograms.

When these measures are combined, they are much more effective in stratifying women in terms of their risk of breast cancer than all the known genetic risk factors. The new method could therefore greatly improve breast screening by allowing it to be tailored to each woman’s risk at minimal extra cost.

In terms of understanding how much women differ in their breast cancer risk, these developments could be the most significant since the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 were discovered 25 years ago.

Breast screening involves low dose X-ray images of each breast with the primary aim of detecting breast cancers early when they are smaller, easier to treat, and more likely to be cured.

NEW PATHS

Microscopy image, breast cancer tissue with ductal cell carcinoma. Picture: Shutterstock

Breast cancer mortality has decreased since the service began, from 74 deaths per 100,000 women aged 50 to 74 in 1991, to 40 in 2018, although many other factors have also played in a role in this almost halving of deaths from breast cancer.

THE NEED FOR CHANGE

The need to change the program has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic which interrupted service delivery in 2020. This created a backlog for an already stretched service and poses an additional challenge for population screening.

By having breast screening tailored to each woman’s risk, resources could be better allocated and more accurate. Busy radiologists could be alerted to women at higher risk of breast cancer, and of having breast cancers missed at screening. Future screening could be made more appropriate and personalised.

Since the late 1970s, scientists have known that women with denser breasts, which show up on a mammogram as having more white or bright regions, are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Women with greater breast density are also more likely to have existing breast cancers missed at screening. This problem of ‘dense breasts’ is attracting growing concern from community groups and breast screening services across the world.

Given mammography is now digital, women could automatically be assessed for their breast cancer risk at the time of screening. Picture: Getty Images

NEW MEASURES OF BREAST CANCER RISK BASED ON MAMMOGRAMS

Over the last five years we have developed two new measures of breast cancer risk that arise from examining mammograms in different ways.

Collaborating with Cancer Council Victoria, BreastScreen Victoria and other researchers across the world, we have been the first to use mammograms to find other ways of investigating breast cancer risk.

Our latest study involved participants in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study run by the Cancer Council Victoria, and the Australian Breast Cancer Family Study and Twins Research Australia run from the University of Melbourne.

Participating women filled out a questionnaire and allowed researchers to access their mammograms from BreastScreen, other providers or their own copies.

We used computer programs to analyse mammogram images of large numbers of women with and without breast cancer. We found and confirmed two new measures for extracting risk information to develop two new mammogram-based risk measures called Cirrocumulus (based on the image’s brightest areas) and Cirrus (based on the image’s texture).

We first used a semi-automated computer method to measure density at the usual, and successively higher levels of brightness to create Cirrocumulus. We then used artificial intelligence and high-speed computing to learn about new aspects of a mammogram that predict breast cancer risk and created Cirrus.

Women with denser breasts, which show up on a mammogram as having more white or bright regions, are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Picture: Shutterstock

When the Cirrocumulus and Cirrus measures were combined, they substantially improved risk prediction beyond that of all other known risk factors. This applied both to predicting breast cancer diagnosed at future regular screens (screen-detected cancers) as well as to predicting breast cancer diagnosed between regular screens (interval cancers).

TOWARDS TAILORED BREAST CANCER SCREENING

Given mammography is now digital, and our measures are now computerised, this research could lead to women being assessed for their breast cancer risk at the time of screening – automatically. They could then be given recommendations for their future screening based on their risk, not just their age.

This tailored screening – not ‘one size fits all’ – could be more accurate and better identify women at high, as well as low, risk so that their future screening can be adjusted accordingly.

If successfully adopted, these measures could make screening more effective in reducing breast cancer mortality and help address the problem of dense breasts. The extra cost would be minimal as they simply use computer programs. Family history data collected by BreastScreen could also easily be used to even better predict risk for some women.

Adoption of these new measures could also be used to ease pressure on BreastScreen in handling the COVID backlog with limited resources.

Women found to be at high risk based on their mammogram would also benefit greatly from knowing their genetic risk, especially if they have a family history. Picture: publicdomainpictures.net

If it becomes well-recognised that screening can be used to more accurately assess risk, more women might be encouraged to be screened and the participation rate increased.

Women found to be at high risk based on their mammogram would also benefit greatly from knowing their genetic risk, especially if they have a family history.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting Australian women, with an estimated 20,000 diagnosed in 2020. If we can further improve early detection, and do so on more effective way, more of them may beat this insidious disease which is increasing across the world.

Dr Kevin Nguyen at the University of Melbourne, starting with his ground-breaking PhD, created the Cirrocumulus measure in an on-going collaboration with researchers from Seoul National University in South Korea, The application of artificial intelligence was led by Dr Daniel Schmidt, now at Monash University, and Dr Enes Makalic when working at the University of Melbourne.

Banner: Getty Images

Has anybody here seen our old friend Graham?

Has anybody here seen our old friend Graham?

By Freddy de Freitas

Lindsey Graham was known as “The Greatest Man In Washington” for one good reason. He used to be a decent man.

I have been reading with deep sadness the story about his relationship with Donald Trump. Deep sadness because I know him. He was polite, professional, and charming. Graham was genuinely concerned, courteous, and professional; I cannot say enough good about him. But I can say this, and I don’t know him anymore as he acts like a dumb kid or is trying to be hurtful. As Graham acts in a negative or harmful way. I am sure he did not learn to act that way from his parents. He has learned it from Trump. In my opinion, before Trump’s influence, Graham was a good and decent man who does not have a racist bone in his body.

Lindsey Graham was known as "The Greatest Man In Washington" for one good reason. He used to be a decent man. I  have been reading with deep sadness the story about his relationship with Donald Trump.

Before Trump’s influence, Graham was one of those mensches from a bygone era who is almost hard to imagine now. In the past, Graham earned the lasting affection of everyone, including Democrats, because of his lifelong progressive politics and early support for single-payer health care, immigration, human rights, etc.

Believe it or not, there used to be an American strain of decency, even sober virtue, running through Graham’s vein.

Once, Graham was described as ‘one of our country’s most respected politicians for more than half a century.’

Before Trump, We were living in Graham’s world, and we loved it. Such a kind, decent man- really the epitome of a mensch. Washington is a lesser place without the old Graham in it…'”

“Anybody here seen our old friend Graham? Can you tell me where he’s gone? I thought I saw him walkin’ up over the hill, With Abraham, Martin, and John.”

Who is Dana Lewis?

Who is Dana Lewis?

From Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Dana Lewis is a TV News Correspondent based out of London. Dana is the host of the podcast BACK STORY. He was formerly with Fox News, NBC News, CBS News, CBC News, and CTV National News. He was also a contributor to Al Jazeera America reporting on the Paris attacks, the Ukraine election, the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and current developments in Iraq. He is currently the Senior News Correspondent, freelance, for INSIGHT on TRT WORLD. Based in London, he is entirely independent. He has completed half-hour shows in-depth reports as a host and reporter on such complex issues as BREXIT, Nuclear issues, and American Foreign Policy.

Lewis has covered the World, including the current war in the Middle East, the hotel suicide bombings in Amman, Jordan, and updates following the London terrorist attacks. In 2003 Lewis was an embedded reporter with the 101st Airborne in Iraq; he was also embedded with U.S. forces along the Pakistan border. In Helmand, Province, Lewis is considered an expert on Russia, having lived there for 12 years, although he no longer lives there. He has covered China, the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe. He speaks English and Russian.

History
Lewis was born in Toronto, Ontario. He attended York University and the Fanshawe College Broadcast Journalism program. He is a graduate of The Fanshawe College Journalism program.

Before joining Al Jazeera and Fox News, Lewis worked for several different news programs and networks, including NBC Nightly News, CTV News, and CBC News, and was a crime reporter for CFTR/CHFI Radio in Toronto.

Dana anchored the CTV National News and was Prime Time anchor of the 24 hour News Channel. He was also the main six o clock anchor for CBC News Edmonton. Later he became a National News Report in Canada for CTV, first based in Edmonton, then Toronto, and overseas.

During the 1990s, Lewis was the Jerusalem-based Middle East Bureau Chief/Correspondent for CTV. He was based in Jerusalem for six full years. Later while working for NBC, he came under fire while in a car in Ramallah during the Israeli siege of Yasser Arafat’s compound and narrowly escaped injury. He also covered the invasion of Somalia by U.S. forces and the first Gulf War.

He was embedded with the 101st Airborne Division during the Iraq invasion in 2003, reporting for NBC News and DateLine NBC and MSNBC.

Lewis was one of the first reporters to enter Afghanistan after September 11 and has been embedded with the 82nd Airborne and 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan, the 101st Airborne, and U.S. Marines there.

Dana Lewis has an Emmy nomination for a story on Russian orphans and the prestigious Overseas Press Club award for War in Kosovo. He also holds various RTNDA awards. And he was honored for his coverage of the Kursk Submarine disaster in Russia.

He is featured in Robin Moore’s (French Connection) new book Hunting Down Saddam”.

He also was a guest lecturer at the Prestigious U.S. Naval War College on media affairs. Lewis was one of the first reporters to interview General David Petraeus (Later Director of the CIA) and followed him through the Iraq War’s early days.

Lewis has interviewed President Putin and is one of the longest-serving western reporters to be based in Russia. (12 years)

He also interviewed, among others King Hussein of Jordan, Israeli leader Netanyahu, and Shimon Peres.

Dana Lewis has a wife (Victoria) and two sons (Aleksander and Daniel).

Awards
Lewis has earned recognition for several different stories he has covered in his career, including Overseas Press Club awards for his coverage of the war in Kosovo and the Kursk submarine disaster in Russia. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for Russian Orphans content and has also received various RTNDA awards for spot news coverage. The Dana Lewis Front Line Award is annually presented to graduating journalism students.

Lewis also personally sponsors an award for Broadcast Journalism students from Fanshawe College. It is called the “Front Line’ award and is presented annually to the student who delivers the best breaking news story.

wwww.danalewisreporter.com

The damage of divorce in our kids

The damage of divorce in our kids

The resolution to end a bond can be traumatic, confused, turbulent, disordered, chaotic, and packed with conflicting sentiments. 

There are also distinct emotions, feelings, attitudes, stances, and dynamics connected with whether one is in the initiator’s character or the recipient of the determination to break up. For example, it is not uncommon for the initiator to experience anxiety, nervousness, fear, relief, distance, impatience, resentment, doubt, and guilt. Besides, when a party has not started the split, they may feel upset, shocked, appalled, betrayed, lose control, victimization, decreased self-esteem, insecurity, anger, a desire to “get even,” and wishes to reconcile.

Divorce generates fiery turbulence for the entire family and closed friends, but for children, the circumstance can be wholly scary, challenging, complexed, difficulted, disturbed, confusing, and frustrating:

Young children often strive to learn why they must go between two homes, two cities, two countries. They may suffer that if their parents can quit cherishing one another, their parents may cease admiring them someday.

Elementary school children may suffer that divorce is their responsibility. They may dread they failed or may think they did something sinful.

Adolescents may grow quite bitter about the divorce and the shifts it produces. They may condemn one parent for the end of the union or begrudge one or both parents for the family’s explosion.

Of course, each case is unique. A child may appear comforted by the parting in severe episodes — if a divorce implies fewer conflicts, struggles, disputes, and less stress.