Rise and Shine: July 22, 2019

Good morning, CivMixers! The bad news: It’s Monday, which means – for most of us, anyway – it’s time to get back to work.

The good news: We made it through the first heat wave of the season! Today’s forecast calls for periods of rain and temperatures in the low-to-mid-70s, (yes, you read that right). That’s a big switch from the high 90s the felt like 100-plus over the past several days.

It’s still going to be fairly humid. But what a relief to be done with that heat, which reportedly caused at least two deaths.

At least 50,000 ConEd customers – some 30,000 of whom live in Brooklyn – were without power in New York City and Westchester County last night as the third day of dangerously hot weather continued to grip the region, officials said.

The Brooklynites had their power TURNED OFF so ConEd could make repairs, necessary to “prevent a bigger outage,” according to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

This was the second weekend in a row that New Yorkers experienced blackouts. Needless to say, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who had already been hammering on ConEd for the last blackout, was not amused.

“We’ve been through this situation w ConEd time & again & they should have been better prepared—period,” the governor tweeted. He even called for state police to step in and assist those without lights or air conditioning in Brooklyn.

In other news…

It’s the end of an era. Robert Morgenthau, a courtly Knickerbocker patrician who waged war on crime for more than four decades as the chief federal prosecutor for Southern New York State and as Manhattan’s longest-serving DA, died yesterday in Manhattan at the age of 99 after suffering a short illness.

Morgenthau, who was just 10 days short of his 100th birthday when he died, was the model for the avuncular character of prosecutor Adam Schiff, played by actor Steven Hill on the long-running television series, “Law & Order.”

Morgenthau served as U.S. Attorney for New York’s Southern District during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. He returned to law enforcement as Manhattan’s top state prosecutor in 1974 and didn’t leave for 35 years, with his office handling around 100,000 criminal cases annually.

Morgenthau may be best known for his 35 years as Manhattan’s DA, who prosecuted some of New York City’s most high-profile cases against organized and white-collar crime. But he was also an East Fishkill farmer, a U.S. Navy veteran, a father and husband.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the late John F. Kennedy, Jr., and governors Cuomo and Eliot Spitzer are among the more notable of the thousands of prosecutors Morgenthau personally interviewed and hired during his tenure.

Almost a year in advance of the June 2020 primary, more than a dozen Democrats in New York have declared their plans to run primary challenges against veteran House members, forming one of the most contentious congressional fields in the country at this stage.

Of the 10 House races in New York featuring the longest-serving Democrats, eight already have primary contenders, including: Reps. Jerry Nadler, Eliot Engel, Carolyn Maloney, and Yvette Clarke, (all downstaters, though the Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez effect is making itself felt elsewhere in the state, too).

Justice Democrats, the progressive Democratic group allied with Ocasio-Cortez, has been trying – but thus far failing – to find a like-minded candidate to challenge Buffalo Rep. Brian Higgins of Buffalo in a primary next year.

…The group is not behind the primary challenge that local contractor Emin “Eddie” Egriu announced against Higgins last week.

Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, suggested ​former special ​counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony this week could kick off impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

Elizabeth Lemery Joy, 51, an author, minister and Realtor from Glenville, is seeking the Republican nomination against Democratic Capital Region Rep. Paul Tonko.

Four people crashed in a small plane Friday in a wooded area of the Town of Wappinger. One day after the crash, the victims were identified as “extended family” members of Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.

The victims, all Ohio residents, did not die in the crash, which was due to a low fuel emergency. But they suffered a range of injuries, some of which were critical.

Back from trips to the southern border, Democratic NY-19 Rep. Antonio Delgado and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued calls for immigration reform to deal with a surge of migrants crossing the border illegally and overcrowded detention facilities.

New York remains one of only five states where the primary state law enforcement agency – the State Police – is not equipped with dashboard cameras, according to a nationwide AP survey. Four of those states — Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York and Massachusetts — are in the Northeast.

There appear to have been thousands of violations found at swimming facilities in Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties over a 4.5-year period, according to data obtained by The Poughkeepsie Journal/Journal News from the state Department of Health.

The search resumes today for a person presumed to have drowned in Great Sacandaga Lake Saturday.

A missing Colonie man has been located.

The Latham Water District was fixing a water main break on Loudon Road overnight. The break is affecting water at homes between Crumite Road and Leslie Court.

A heads up if you’ll be traveling through Clifton Park. Today begins a new phase of work on a new roundabout at Route 146 and Vischer Ferry Road. Expect lane shifts and a change in the traffic pattern.

The owner of the Savoy Taproom on Lark Street has invited local homeless advocates and city officials to his business tomorrow for an open forum. Albany police will be on hand to discuss issues around homelessness, panhandling and mental health.

The 178th Saratoga County Fair is kicking off tomorrow, continuing a longstanding tradition of showcasing local agriculture, presenting thrilling entertainment and offering the opportunity for family fun.

The trip from Colonie to Cooperstown is 75 miles or so, but the journey for Mariano Rivera took a quarter century. His adventure culminated yesterday afternoon when he was enshrined, with five others, into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The first player ever to appear on every writer’s ballot for Hall inclusion, Rivera delivered his induction speech with the passion and effectiveness he showed in 17 seasons as the greatest closer in the history of baseball.

The Trump administration is giving Title X recipients more time to comply with new regulations that prohibit organizations that receive federal grants from referring patients for abortion.

Ricardo Rossello, the governor of Puerto Rico, announced that he will not seek reelection amid protests seeking his ouster.

The remains of a New York sailor killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 have been brought home for reburial. A flag-draped coffin containing the remains of Charles M. Stern Jr. arrived at Albany’s airport Friday afternoon.

The Canadian city of Toronto is booming. What does that mean for Western New York?

A perfectly-wrapped In-N-Out burger – a double double, no less – was found on the street in Queens. (The fast food giant has locations in in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and its home state of California — but none east of Kansas City).

“The Lion King” roared big for Walt Disney Co., opening with $185 million in weekend sales at North America theaters and delivering a long-awaited boost to the slumping domestic box office.

Happy 6th birthday to Prince George, the future king of England.

Photo credit: Fred Coffey from his series on the latest “Downtown Is Pawsome” Nipper statues installation in downtown Albany. You can get more information on the statues and their artist creators here.

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