Rise and Shine: June 25, 2019

Welcome to this rainy primary Tuesday, CivMixers.

Please don’t let the weather get in the way of small-d democracy…if you are eligible to vote, and there are intraparty contests taking place in your neck of the woods, take a moment and exercise your right to cast a ballot.

Find poll site information here. Not sure who’s on the ballot? Try here, and also here.

If you run into trouble while trying to vote, call 1-800-771-7755 or email civil.rights@ag.ny.gov.

I’ll get down off my soapbox now.

If you’d like the best chance of avoiding getting wet at the polls, try heading out in the afternoon. NOTE: Polls in the Capital Region open at noon, and will close at 9 p.m. Polls in NYC, on Long Island, and in Erie, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, and Dutchess counties open at 6 a.m.

A steady rain is in the forecast for this morning, according to The Weather Channel. But it’s supposed to taper off, with a rumble of thunder or two developing. Temperatures will be in the low-to-mid-80s, and it’s going to be humid with all that water in the air.

You know who this weather is perfect for? Mosquitos. The alert on them is high, so if you’re going to be outside for any length of time, be prepared.

It’s a big week for political news, as the first Democratic presidential debate of the 2020 cycle will be held in Miami tomorrow and Thursday of this week. Candidates are expected to be grilled on all things policy, party and news of the day.

Here’s how the wide field of Democratic hopefuls is preparing for their big moments on the debate stage.

The two New Yorkers who will be in the mix – U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio – used markedly different approaches to show off their debate prep sessions this week.

Down in D.C., Congress is trying to rush $4.5 billion in emergency aid to the U.S.-Mexico border while placing new restrictions on President Trump’s immigration crackdown, spurred on by disturbing images of suffering migrant families and of children living in squalor in overcrowded detention facilities. But the issue is dividing Democrats in the House, where a vote is planned for today.

The president’s latest response to the allegation from E. Jean Carroll, a former columnist for Elle magazine, who said he assaulted her in the dressing room of a high-end clothing store more than 20 years ago: “No. 1, she’s not my type. No. 2, it never happened. It never happened, O.K.?” (But he said it “with great respect”).

Trump is inserting himself into sports again, criticizing Megan Rapinoe, one of the co-captains of the US Women’s World Cup soccer team, for protesting during the national anthem at the team’s games during the tournament in France. (The team beat Spain, by the way, but barely).

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is meeting this week with Sept. 11 first responders following withering criticism from comedian Jon Stewart that Congress had failed to ensure that a victims compensation fund never runs out of money.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s clean energy goals, which last week were enshrined in an ambitious new law requiring 70 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030, face a lot of hurdles – including nesting eagles.

The 23-year-old driver of a pickup truck in a fiery collision on a rural New Hampshire highway that killed seven motorcyclists was charged with seven counts of negligent homicide, and records show he was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving last month and in 2013.

RIP Steve Dunleavy, the hard-hitting, hard-drinking journalist who helped define The New York Post as a crime reporter, editor and premier columnist, who died of unknown causes at his home on Long Island at the age of 81.

Rapper Cardi B — who was indicted by a Queens grand jury last Friday on charges stemming from a wild brawl last year at a Queens strip club, where she allegedly roughed up two bartenders — assured fans at an LA concert that “I ain’t going to jail! I got a daughter!”

It’s the 10th anniversary of the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson’s death.

As July 4 approaches, New York has been named the second-least patriotic state in a recent survey by WalletHub — with neighboring New Jersey the only one to come out worse…thoughts on this?

In other/local news…

Albany County employees, including the brother of county Executive Daniel McCoy, were on taxpayer time when they allegedly did regular work on McCoy’s 2015 re-election campaign from a rural parks and recreation building in Voorheesville, according to interviews with county employees familiar with the matter.

The campaign work is being examined as part of a broader probe by outgoing county Comptroller Michael Conners into the time and attendance of multiple employees. Albany County DA Davis Soares’ office reportedly is reviewing the information and has met with Conners’ staff.

Troopers are still investigating how a man ended up unconscious and critically injured in Saratoga Spa State Park last Thursday evening, the State Police said. The middle-aged man, who has not yet been publicly identified, was taken to Albany Med, where he remains in critical condition.

General Electric Co. and its labor unions reached a “handshake” agreement last night in Cincinnati on a new, four-year contract that gives hourly workers pay hikes over four years and “controls” health care costs.

Elijah Cancer was fatally shot last summer while trying to diffuse a neighborhood fight. The city of Albany posthumously honored the anti-violence advocate by recognizing yesterday as Elijah Cancer Day.

A small crowd of about eight residents gathered outside a vacant business up for sale at 70 Lake Ave. where a Saratoga Springs Board of Ethic Meeting was held in response to a complaint filed with the Board of Ethics by Ann Bullock and William McTygue.

The city of Schenectady has a new clerk, Samanta R. Mykoo, who was sworn in yesterday.

A motorcyclist was killed in a crash involving another vehicle, Fulton County Sheriff’s officials said. The incident is under investigation.

A portion of Route 9 in Latham is open again this morning after someone was hit by a car.

Beware the invasive plant Giant Hogweed, which can cause severe skin and eye irritation, including temporary or permanent blindness. The DEC has been battling this plant for more than a decade.

There’s a newcomer to the local ice cream scene. The more the merrier, in this case.

Photo credit: Fred Coffey.

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