Rise and Shine: July 31, 2019

Good morning, CivMixers! Somehow, it’s already Wednesday. Is it me, or is this week going by at warp speed?

Expect another hot and humid one for this final day of July, with more clouds than sun, according to The Weather Channel, with temperatures in the mid-80s and – yet again – the chance of a stray shower or thunderstorm.

It’s also going to be quite humid, but it looks like that might break by tomorrow, as some drier, more comfortable air moves in.

Spooked by a global economic slowdown, the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected today to launch its fifth interest rate-cutting campaign since 1995. It will come despite many signs of strength in the U.S. economy.

Wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein is set to return to court today to face sex trafficking charges just days after he was found injured in his cell.

A black moon, or “super new moon,” is coming today.

Apparently, it’s National Avocado Day (and there are deals to be had), as well as National Mutt Day, (one of two observed annually), and National Raspberry Cake Day.

In the news today…

The line of the night from Part I of the second round of Democratic 2020 debates might have been: “I wrote the damn bill!” (That’s compliments of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, talking about Medicare for All).

Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the leading liberals in the Democratic field, strenuously fought back against accusations of making fanciful promises and imperiling the party’s prospects against President Trump, as a group of moderate underdogs sought to slow their momentum.

Instead of turning on one another, as some expected – hoped? – they would, Sanders and Warren teamed up to defend their agenda, especially when it came to health care.

From the opening question to the closing remarks of the debate, divisions in the party over health care, immigration and how to tackle climate change were on full display.

Day II of the debates will feature former Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris, whose clash was the biggest moment of the last debate in Miami, FL.

Trump predicted that Biden will “limp” out of the crowded Democratic field to square off against him in 2020.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s one-time City Hall ally, former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, is now a surrogate for the mayor’s Democratic debate opponent Julian Castro, and will spin for him tonight.

Nearly two dozen NYPD cops plan to demonstrate against de Blasio outside the Detroit debate site.

Marianne Williamson, the author and self-help guru who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, has drawn outsize attention during the first two debates for her unconventional responses.

A federal judge has tossed out the DNC’s suit against Russia, Trump campaign officials and Wikileaks regarding a massive email hack in the runup to the 2016 presidential election that the Dems said was part of a joint operation to put Donald Trump in power.

New York officials will agree to delay acting on a congressional request for Trump’s tax returns until there’s a ruling about whether a federal judge in Washington has jurisdiction in the matter, according to a court filing in federal court in D.C.

National Grid reported 9,000 customers were without power in Saratoga County and another 3,000 in Albany County in the aftermath of another wave of storms blanketing the Capital Region.

Gun owners in New York with children in their homes have 60 days to comply with stricter new storage requirements or face the potential of a misdemeanor charge.

New York has become the 12th state that allows child care to qualify as a campaign expense.

The state Attorney General’s Office is seeking a 90-day discovery period for depositions and document acquisition before the St. Clare’s Corporation dissolves.

The State Police are putting out a warning of a phone scam in the Capital Region. Someone is contacting people, pretending to be with the law enforcement agency, and then requesting personal information.

Siena College is mourning the loss of its president, Brother F. Edward Coughlin, who died at 71 early yesterday morning in Rochester following complications from non-emergency heart surgery.

A 19-year-old Albany man is behind bars in the Albany County Jail, and facing charges of rape, kidnapping, robbery and burglary.

The man was out on bail on charges of raping a woman at a Schenectady student-housing complex in April when he forced his way into the residence of a Frost Street woman, raped her at knifepoint, and then ordered her at gunpoint to drive to a SEFCU branch and withdraw money from an ATM.

Nearly a dozen members of disgraced NXIVM leader Keith Raniere’s “inner circle” shared the purported self-help guru’s penchant for trying to dodge taxes, records show.

New York’s Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) has approved plans to modernize Lake Placid’s Olympic Center. Preliminary work is expected to get under way in November and be completed in 2022, in time for the 2023 Winter World University Games.

The NYT picked up the story of Kat Sullivan, who rented a billboard last year to call for stronger protections against child sex abusers and is now locked in a battle with the state’s ethics commission, which says she could be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined more than $40,000 if she continues to refuse to register as a lobbyist.

Since leaving his 1-year-old twins in his broiling car while he was at work on Friday, killing them, Juan Rodriguez has been in a state of disbelief, struggling to understand how he could have forgotten to drop them off at their day care.

Brian Grupp, the owner of West Creek Buffalo Co., says he has found about 60 of his 75 missing bison, which escaped his ranch over the weekend. Now he said it’s just a matter of getting them to come home.

Um….what?

Photo credit: Xander Welbourn. This picture first appeared on the “Looking Good, Albany!” Facebook page.

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