While You Were Out: July 1, 2019

Monday, Monday. You came and went so quickly. And much news was made on your watch. Let us review, CivMixers, shall we?

In state and local news…

Nick Langworthy is officially the new state GOP chairman, and he has big plans for his party’s political comeback. In the meantime, he’s stepping aside from his post as Erie County GOP chair, and there’s talk his wife, Erin Baker, might replace him.

During his acceptance speech, Langworthy, 38, an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, ripped Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the state’s high taxes, the “corruption that clouds his administration” and out-migration of population.

Also at today’s meeting was NY-21 GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik, who often touts her pragmatism and bipartisanship, but not today. She called Cuomo a “bully,” and also slammed “Marxist-quoting” NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and “a true political chameleon of our time,” U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

The National Republican Congressional Campaign today rolled out a series of digital ads in key battleground districts in New York, knocking incumbent Democrats for a state law that will allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses.

It’s not clear yet who will replace the state’s top open government and records access official after Robert Freeman was fired from his post last week when an investigation determined he sexually assaulted a reporter.

Cuomo announced the state Department of Financial Services will investigate news that state-regulated advertisers using Facebook discriminated at protected classes.

Operators of the controversial S.A. Dunn landfill are paying at least $135,000 annually to the city school district, whose campus is next door to the dump. In return, an agreement states, the district “shall not oppose, object to or otherwise interfere” with the landfill or potential development plans.

The Rensselaer County Health Department is urging residents to take precautions amid a surge in tick-borne diseases being reported in the county.

The Albany County Board of Elections will begin opening absentee ballots that were cast in the Cohoes Democratic mayoral primary starting at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

The Albany Common Council is expected to vote at 7 p.m. tonight on an ordinance that, if passed, would allow residents to keep chickens in their backyard.

All five members of the City of Albany’s Public Safety Commission want the amount of weeks people can use fireworks cut. They’re moving to get approval from the county lawmakers.

More than a dozen public health and children’s advocacy groups have signed a memo urging the Albany County Legislature to pass a proposed ban on flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products. The Legislature is poised to vote on the controversial measure Monday, July 8.

The state Parole Board decided on June 19 that Kenyon Pruyn, 75, who was responsible for killing two people in a 1976 shooting in Mechanicville will remain in Great Meadow Correctional Facility.

A standoff at a Union Street, Schenectady home ended with a man in handcuffs this afternoon.

Local developer John Witt is suing to stop the town of Wilton from what he says is an illegal seizure of his land.

Montgomery County is raising its garbage transfer tipping fee, and Mayor Michael Villa of Amsterdam isn’t happy about it. Last Tuesday a split vote of the Montgomery County Legislature approved an $8.50 increase per ton of garbage to raise its tipping fee from $72.50 to $81 per ton.

HBO is shooting in Albany today and tomorrow for the show “Succession,” which is working on its second season. (They are looking for extras who can act like journalists…if you need help getting into character, let me know).

One of the area’s oldest drive-in theaters marked a major milestone today. The Malta Drive-In, located on Route 9 in Malta, turned 70. The iconic outdoor theater, which can be easily seen from the road by its large flashing sign, has been in continuous operation since July 1949.

In national and international news…

In several tweets, Trump accused Cuomo and state Attorney General Letitia James of “harassing all of my New York businesses in search of anything at all they can find to make me look as bad as possible.” He also said Cuomo “uses his Attorney General as a bludgeoning tool.”

Trump has signed a $4.6 billion aid package to help the federal government cope with the surge of Central American immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched in peaceful protest in Hong Kong as it commemorated its return to China in 1997, but the city was shaken by images of a smaller group of activists who broke into the legislature, smashed glass walls and spray-painted slogans in the inner chamber.

The president’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, put her diplomatic chops to the test during her father’s Korea trip.

California Sen. Kamala Harris is gaining on former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, rocketing into second place following her standout debate performance last week, according to a new CNN/SSRS poll.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made the explosive claim that women at a southern border facility are being forced to drink “out of toilets,” just hours after she toured one such location.

Edward Mosberg, a 93-year-old Holocaust survivor who offered to tour Auschwitz with Ocasio-Cortez, said she should be removed from Congress for spreading “anti-Semitism, hatred and stupidity.”

The Catholic Church sex abuse scandal continues to grow.

A mailing facility in Menlo Park, Calif. owned by Facebook was evacuated after the nerve agent sarin was detected, according to local media reports.

You’ve heard, no doubt, of secondhand smoking? Well, now there’s secondhand drinking, and apparently it’s equally toxic.

Cori Gauff, a 15-year-old American who grew up admiring the Williams sisters and has long been considered one of the world’s most promising tennis players, made her Wimbledon debut by defeating one of them: five-time singles champion Venus Williams.

Just…ugh.

Photo credit: Joe Bonilla.

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