Rise and Shine: July 3, 2019

Good morning, CivMixers. It’s a Wednesday that’s acting like a Friday due to the fact that tomorrow is July 4, and the start of a long holiday weekend.

Foreshortened weeks like this alway throw me off. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I just keep having to remind myself what day it is, and it’s kind of hard to accomplish anything when everyone is already mentally in vacation mode.

One thing that’s clear about the upcoming Independence Day holiday: It’s going to be hot. Temperatures are forecast to be in the high 80s to low 90s today through Friday, with the humidity building, partly cloudy skies and not much chance of rain to cool things off, according to The Weather Channel.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Also, be on the lookout for pockets of dense fog in certain areas this morning as you head out for your commute. If you’re going to be traveling for the holiday, try to get an early start, as traffic is expected to be heavy on roadways and at airports.

Another thing we know about the July 4 holiday: The nation’s capitol is in for quite a show, compliments of President Donald Trump.

A pair of tanks was spotted being ferried down a Washington, DC street last night ahead of Trump’s “Salute to America” celebration tomorrow.

Emergency rooms are preparing for an influx of fireworks-related injuries.

Small fireworks are available for sale in some – but not all – New York counties.

In other local news…

Can a community be a “sanctuary city” without actually calling itself one? The Democratic majority of the Troy City Council thinks so.

The new resolution, called the Families and Communities Together Fact Act, is an attempt to combine guidelines proposed in December with proposed amendments that will be voted on by the Troy City Council on July 11.

With temperatures predicted to hover in the high 80s to low 90s for the Independence Day holiday weekend, the city has no firm date for opening the rebuilt South Troy Pool.

Law enforcement officials are investigating a pair of (unrelated) stabbings that took place in Schenectady and Albany.

A Troy man has been arrested, accused of leading troopers on a brief chase with stolen vacuum in Halfmoon, state police said. (Yes, you read that right, a vacuum).

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan signed legislation into law allowing city residents to own backyard chickens. (Hens, not roosters).

Absentee ballots have left the Conservative Party primary race for Montgomery County District 1 county coroner deadlocked (no pun intended) at 32-32.

Here’s your chance to own a piece of Cohoes history.

By the end of the month, Stewart’s will roll out its first vegan “ice cream.” The initial dairy-free flavor will be chocolate peanut butter cup. (Be prepared to pay slightly more than you would for the traditional dairy treat).

If you’re looking for something to do this summer, the TU’s Steve Barnes gave “In the Heights,” which opened last night for a monthlong run at the Park Playhouse in Albany’s Washington Park, a very good review. It’s the first musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who would go on to create the sensation that is “Hamilton.”

Crowds flooded the Saratoga Performing Arts Center for the first of jam band Phish’s two-night stand at the amphitheater last night. It was the fourth major show in as many days at SPAC.

The Times Union Center is having one of its biggest years ever, with 200,000 tickets have been sold so far in 2019. The venue recently ranked number 52 internationally, beating major cities like Houston, Las Vegas and Boston.

Also, the Adirondack Amtrak train is celebrating 45 years with a fitting discount for riders this summer. Anyone who purchases a full priced adult ticket will receive a 45 percent discount on a companion ticket.

Albany County residents age 60 or older will soon be able to dine out for free up to four times a month for the next year and a half, choosing among 10 restaurants that will offer meals from limited menus under a program paid for by a federal grant won jointly by Albany and Erie counties.

In other national and state news…

Overcrowded, squalid conditions are more widespread at migrant centers along the southern border than initially revealed, the Department of Homeland Security’s independent watchdog said. Its report describes standing-room-only cells, children without showers and hot meals, and detainees clamoring desperately for release.

Freshman New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez repeated her claim that the U.S. is holding migrants in “concentration camps” along the southern border in a tweet that included images of crowded living conditions in Border Patrol facilities.

White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway blasted Ocasio-Cortez over her “outrageous claim” that Border Patrol agents told migrants to drink out of toilets, igniting a fiery war of words on Twitter.

The Trump administration, in a dramatic about-face, abandoned its quest to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, a week after being blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Brooklyn federal court judge who oversaw the trial of convicted NXIVM sex cult leader Keith Raniere says he won’t release jurors’ names because he’s afraid the group’s litigious acolytes might go after them in court or smear them in the media.

New York Reps. Eliot Engel and Peter King – a Democrat and Republican, respectively – have introduced The 21st Century Hospital Act, which seeks to modernize hospitals across the U.S.

New state GOP Chair Nick Langworthy vows to “rebuild, retool and revitalize” the beleaguered party while making it his “mission” to defeat Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has said he would run for a fourth term in 2022.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says hosting the Woodstock 50 anniversary festival on short notice “could pose a significant challenge.”

It was another banner win for the U.S. women’s soccer team, which defeated England in the World Cup semifinals, 2-1.

The U.S. team advanced to its third straight World Cup final, which will be played Sunday against the winner of the second semifinal today between Sweden and the Netherlands.

The women got their victory without Megan Rapinoe, who had all four U.S. goals in the previous two games, who was sidelined due to a hamstring issue, Christen Press started in her place. Rapinoe says she’ll be ready to play this weekend.

Meanwhile, Sue Bird, WNBA star and Rapinoe’s girlfriend, defended Rapinoe in an op-ed published in The Player’s Tribune amid recent criticism from Trump.

The title of the oped: “So the President F- Hates My Girlfriend.”

New video shows “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett and the Osundairo brothers, whom he claims attacked him, both walking down the same sidewalk — passing a loading dock within seconds of each other — at the time of the alleged incident.

In a war-crimes trial that roiled the elite Navy SEALs and drew the attention of Trump, a decorated eight-tour SEAL platoon leader was found not guilty of first-degree murder of a captive ISIS fighter and attempted murder of civilians in Iraq.

Lee Iacocca, the visionary who ran the Ford Motor Company and then the Chrysler Corporation and came to personify Detroit as the dream factory of America’s postwar love affair with cars, died after experiencing complications from Parkinson’s at the age of 94.

The newest Google Doodle lets you play baseball, that classic American pastime, with a bunch of “characters” based on our nation’s favorite foods. They include a hot dog (“H-Dog”), popcorn (“Power Pop”), and a corn on the cob (“Cobbra”).

Photo credit: Fred Coffey.

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