Rise and Shine: June 19, 2019

Happy Hump Day, CivMixers.

I wish it were called something else, since that moniker is a little crass, though it does mean “over the hump” of the workweek, and not anything remotely sexual or inappropriate.

Apparently, this phrase has been around for decades, dating back to at least 1965, and perhaps even later than that. So it’s a little late to start trying to change habits now. I don’t have a good alternative anyway, but am open to suggestions.

Anyway, I digress.

It’s going to be cloudy this morning, with a chance of scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon, according to The Weather Channel. And it will be muggy, with highs reaching into the low 80s throughout the region. The likelihood of rain ranges from 30 percent to 80 percent, depending where you are in the area. Just be safe, and bring your umbrella, rain gear etc. as you head out the door.

It’s ostensibly the last day of the 2019 state legislative session, though some are predicting things could continue on to the end of the week, particularly if lawmakers manage to reach deals on outstanding issues, like the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, which is on its last legs at the state Capitol.

The Legislature did work late into the night/early this morning to pass the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which calls for New York to all but eliminate its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. If the state manages to hit the targets laid out in this bill, which critics say it far too ambitious and not possible, (but I guess we’ll see), then it will be on track to create a so-called net zero economy.

The act sets one of the most ambitious climate targets established by a state Legislature anywhere in THE WORLD. That’s a pretty big deal.

It’s an even bigger deal when you consider the fact that just a short while ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was saying he didn’t believe a climate change deal was possible for this session, and also did not include that among his top end-of-session priorities.

Time is running out as Assembly lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are trying to push through limo safety reform.

In national news, President Donald Trump officially kicked off his 2020 re-election bid with a raucous campaign rally in Florida. He touched on many of the dark themes of his 2016 bid, painted himself as an outsider and a victim, and continued to bash his opponent from four years ago – Hillary Clinton, who isn’t running again – as well as the news media and various other familiar perceived enemies.

Trump called the crowd of Democrats vying to take him on in the next election leaders of an “angry, left-wing mob,” and told his supporters that the 2020 contest will be a “verdict on the un-American conduct of those who tried to undermine our great democracy, undermine you.”

The president’s new campaign slogan is “Keep America Great.”

Some local/non-political headlines…

The organization called Multiplying Good, formerly known as the Jefferson Awards Foundation, honored Selkirk resident Renee Fahey with the national Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefiting the Local Community during its annual gala in Washington, D.C.

The case against the Watervliet man accused of killing a Cohoes teen on the Mohawk-Hudson bike path last year was declared a mistrial after the defendant was allegedly injured in jail and unable to contribute to his own defense.

The jury in NXIVM leader Keith Raniere’s trial begins deliberations this morning.

Residents in the Lansingburgh Central School District voted 551-227 to approve of a new budget the district crafted after the initial spending plan fell short of approval last month.

Voters also approved the $37.8 million revised budget for the Greater Johnstown School District, 1,393 to 803. Residents will see a 14.6-percent tax levy increase next year as a result.

The Hoosick Falls Board of Trustees is considering a new interim settlement agreement with Saint Gobain and Honeywell related to PFOA contamination in the village. The $225,000 agreement covers past and anticipated costs as well as funding for the operation and maintenance of the GAC filtration system.

The popular Indian Ladder Trail at John Boyd Thacher State Park remains closed for “maintenance and cleanup work,” the state’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said.

The centerpiece of Yaddo in Saratoga Springs — its heralded stone, wood and stucco mansion — has been restored as part of a $10 million project, and will be unveiled to the public tomorrow during the annual Summer Benefit, a fund-raising gala supporting the retreat for artists located on a 400-acre estate.

About 10 months after being announced as coming to Crossgates Mall in Guilderland, the first New York state location of the Connecticut-based chain Maggie McFly’s Local Craft Eatery & Bar is due to open next Wednesday, June 26.

After a three-week battle to keep the Samaritan Rensselaer Children’s Center open, parents are celebrating what they call a sweet solution that will keep it operating until September 2020 or when St. Peter’s, the current partner, finds a replacement.

A handful of Capital Region schools were included in the state’s list of “Recognition Schools” – buildings that registered the best academic performance and student growth in the state.

In less than one week, the New York State Parole Board will hear the case of a Capital Region man convicted of murder in the late 1980s. Now, many who were involved in the case are looking back at what they remember.

A Latham women is among those who say they got sick during vacations to the Dominican Republic.

U.S. authorities seized 33,000 pounds, or 15,000 kilograms, of cocaine from a ship at Philadelphia’s port in what they described as one of the largest drug busts in American history.

Facebook already rules daily communication for more than 2 billion people around the world. Now it wants its own currency, too.

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