While You Were Out: July 15, 2019

You made it through another Monday in one piece, CivMixers. Nicely done.

Let’s hit those headlines, shall we?

Lots of news coming out of D.C. today, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged House Democrats to support a resolution to condemn President Trump for tweeting that four Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to their countries, even though all are U.S. citizens.

A defiant Trump denied that his two-day assault on the four freshman Democratic lawmakers was racist — and instead continued attacking them, suggesting that “they might be” communists who should love the US or leave it.

Sen. Lindsey Graham found himself squarely in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s cross hairs after the South Carolina lawmaker lashed out at the Queens congresswoman and her cohort of progressive female lawmakers known as “the Squad.”

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defied a congressional subpoena demanding her testimony on the president’s instructions, raising the likelihood the House Oversight Committee will soon vote to hold her in contempt.

Most migrants who travel by land to enter the United States from the Mexican border will be denied asylum protections under plans the Trump administration announced today. The new rule was expected to be immediately challenged in court.

The nonprofit foundation established by former Vice President Joe Biden to find a cure for cancer​ after the death of the 2020 Democratic candidate’s son from the disease is shutting down.

The presidential campaign of New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced raising $2.3 million in the second fundraising quarter of the year. Gillibrand’s campaign said the average donation was $15, with nearly all, or 95 percent coming in under $50.

Here in New York…

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia made a surprise announcement at today’s Board of Regents meeting that she will step down at the end of next month due to a “personal matter.”

Elia, a longtime educator and former school superintendent in Hillsborough County, Florida, was chosen as New York’s education chief in 2015.

Investigators discovered a safe in Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan mansion that held “piles of cash,” diamonds and an expired passport from a foreign country which had what appeared to be his photo, but was registered to a fake name and listed his residence as Saudi Arabia.

Democratic former Gov. David Paterson was named vice president of Las Vegas Sands Corp., the casino company headed by Sheldon Adelson, a known supporter of and donor to Trump.

The Citizens Budget Commission, a nonprofit nonpartisan group dedicated to keeping its eyes on local budgets, has tapped Denise Richardson, the former head of the General Contractors Association, to help lead its research team.

Following Saturday’s blackout that left up to 72,000 New Yorkers in Manhattan’s west side without power, Con Edison says NYC dwellers should be prepared for more power outages this summer.

A lawyer representing childhood victims of alleged sex abuse demanded the Archdioceses of New York release “secret files” on “predator priests” before a one-year statute of limitations rule expires.

Onondaga County officials say they are still investigating suspected malware that has hobbled the library computer network since late last week, but thus far have found no sign that the problem affects other county computer systems.

A bill that extends and expands the state’s minority and women-owned business enterprises program was approved by the governor.

Cardi B did not take kindly to a NY Post story about her courtroom fashion sense.

A three-year-old boy died after falling into a grease trap at a Tim Hortons in Rochester.

Eve Saint, a woman in the Hudson Valley town of Fishkill, posted a photo on Facebook showing a “door knob” in her nachos from a local Taco Bell. (It actually appeared to be the handle of a nacho cheese pump).

Around the Capital Region…

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s supportive of Saratoga, but isn’t going to the track because he’s “not a horse racing fan, per se.”

Next year’s battle for control of the state Senate isn’t shaping up to be a fair fight. Not surprisingly, the Democrats, after taking control of the majority last year, have raised significantly more and have more on hand than their Republican colleagues in the minority.

State Police say a 49-year-old Saratoga Springs man was killed in a two-car crash on Sunday afternoon. John E. Stevens was a passenger in a 2010 Mazda driven by Kelly A. Leonardi, of Niskayuna, when their vehicle was involved in a head-on collision.

Police say a suspect in the killing of Bianca Devins, a 17-year-old girl in Utica, posted pictures of her corpse online.

The Albany Common Council will introduce legislation tonight that could help crack down on illegal dirt bikes and ATVs.

The TU’s Steve Barnes reviews the venerable Siro’s in Saratoga, which has new owners and a new chef.

A store devoted exclusively to CBD products has opened in downtown Saratoga Springs.

Attendees got Saratoga picnic coolers today on the first giveaway day of the 2019 Saratoga Race Course meet in Saratoga Springs.

According to NYRA, all sources at the track handled from opening day to Sunday totaled more than $73 million, a 2.5 percent increase compared to last year which saw just over $71 million. However, actual attendance at the track was down.

The New York City Ballet’s annual load-in was underway at Saratoga Performing Arts Center today, ahead of the company’s 2019 residency in its summer home of Saratoga Springs.

A new sports betting lounge is scheduled to open tomorrow at Rivers Casino in Schenectady. If everything goes as planned, the casino in Schenectady will be the first in New York to offer sports betting.

Northern border crossings are just a fraction of migration compared to the U.S.-Mexico border, but they’ve been rising steadily in the past couple years.

This is infuriating.

Photo credit: Fred Coffey.

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