Rise and Shine

Good morning, CivMixers!

Well, the big day is finally here. We are up and running. The process was not necessarily smooth. Giving birth to a brand new “baby” website has its challenges.

But it was a labor – (baby, labor, get it? OK, never mind) – of love, and we made it.

We are thrilled to be here, and also thrilled to have you join us for this new venture. We hope it will truly be a community effort, something that both informs and provokes – thoughts, discussion, civil debate. We look forward to being a forum where you can exchange tips and ideas, share projects, learn about what your neighbors are up to, and maybe even have some fun while doing it.

Let’s kick things off with a little round-up of helpful stuff, headlines and hints, with a little “gee whiz” thrown in for good measure.

According to The Weather Channel, Albany, Schenectady and Troy can expect cloudy skies, a high of close to 80 degrees and a low in the mid 50s to 60s, with 62 to 64 percent humidity and a 40 to 60 percent chance of rain in the form of scattered thunderstorms developing later in the day.

Things look much the same for Saratoga, with the exception of a projected high of 77 degrees and 71 percent humidity. (It is a little further north, after all).

State lawmakers are still plugging away at the state Capitol, trying to get some policy agreements for a so-called “Big Ugly” mega deal before they call it quits for the summer.

Speaking of the Capitol, things got a little out of control there yesterday, as tenants rights advocates protested in favor of a package of rent-related bills, blocking access to the Assembly and Senate chambers.

Numerous arrests were made, including of NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

Wayne Jackson, the 72-year-old Assembly sergeant-at-arms, a Vietnam vet who has worked for the chamber for 44 years, was reportedly roughed up as he sought to push through the crowd. He’s doing OK, according to Twitter.

It was also a big day for animal lovers at the state Capitol, as lawmakers passed what will be the first-in-the-nation statewide ban on cat declawing – if the governor, who’s you may recall, is a dog owner, signs the bill into law. (He will review the measure before deciding what action to take, according to his staff).

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be in the Capital Region today. She’s addressing the Women@Work Summit at the Hearst Media Center, 645 Albany Shaker Rd., Loudonville, at 3:30 p.m.

If you were planning on picking up some new makeup at Sephora, be forewarned that the company is closing all its retail stores today to hold a one-hour “inclusivity workshop” – the result of an incident at a California store where the R&B star SZA, who is black, said an employee had “called security to make sure I wasn’t stealing.”

If you’re heading to Lake George, remember that Americade is underway.

Down in Manhattan today, the disciplinary trial resumes for NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, accused of using a department-prohibited chokehold to restrain Eric Garner on July 17, 2014, resulting in Garner’s death.

The mayor’s race in Cohoes just keeps getting stranger and stranger. The latest, according to the TU:

“Mayor Shawn Morse, who is facing federal indictment and is in the middle of a competitive primary for re-election, took to Facebook Friday to try to discredit former Cohoes mayor and current state Assemblyman John McDonald.

Morse followed the Facebook post, which has since been removed from his personal page, with a voice message left for one of McDonald’s brothers, in which Morse called the assemblyman a ‘scumbag,’ ‘liar’ and ‘piece of —-,’ according to a recording of the message obtained by the Times Union.”

McDonald and Morse have been at odds for some time, and this is just the latest development in what seems to be a beef years in the making.

In Schenectady, the police department is being criticized by the NYCLU for a lack of transparency regarding the use of force by officers.

Clifton Park’s town board has created a Marijuana Policy Review Committee in advance of potential legalization of the drug for adult recreactional use by the state. A number of municipalities across New York have already said they will be opting out if this legislation is approved at the Capitol.

Some good news for the historic preservation buffs among you: Saratoga Springs Department of Public Works (DPW) Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco announced that the historic Morrisey Fountain was reinstalled in Congress Park.

At the federal level, there’s lot of drama as President Donald Trump continues his visit to the UK. Today, on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy, he’s scheduled to attend an event at the British naval base in Portsmouth, England, commemorating the battle.

After a number of head-spinning legal woes, “Empire” star Jussie Smollett is not returning to the Fox drama for its sixth and final season, according to series creator Lee Daniels.

And, though they may have better weather down in Florida, at least we don’t have to worry about picnic-crashing gators here in the Capital Region.

Enjoy your gator-free day! Go forth and picnic without fear.

Check back here for new content, which will be posting throughout the coming days.

Photo credit: Fred Coffey

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