While You Were Out: July 26, 2019

TGIF, CivMixers. Welcome to the weekend. Let’s get right to it.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended slow-walking impeachment despite pressure from liberal members of her caucus, arguing that Dems should wait until they had the “best, strongest possible case” against President Trump.

Pelosi is downplaying any differences with high-profile progressive New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, saying she had a “nice meeting” today with the social media dynamo who’s made some tart observations about the Democratic leadership team.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler filed a petition in federal court to obtain secret grand jury material underlying former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

A prominent public interest research group is challenging the FTC’s $5 billion privacy settlement with Facebook in court, calling it an unjustified victory for the tech giant and a bad deal for hundreds of millions of consumers who depend on its services.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was elected vice chairman of the National Governors Association today taking on a more prominent national profile with the bipartisan organization.

New York health officials are advising residents not to eat fresh basil imported from Siga Logistics in Mexico because of a possible link to food-borne illness in the Albany area and in other states.

More than a dozen attorneys general, including Letitia James of New York, filed a letter today criticizing a guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency they called an attempt to roll back part of the Clean Water Act.

The state’s 53rd governor, George Pataki, and veterans of his 12-years in office got together for a reunion at the Saratoga Race Course. The day began with a champagne brunch and discussion at the nearby Brook Tavern between Pataki and me (!) – Liz Benjamin.

A Union College student is asking the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to investigate the college for allegedly discriminating against him based on his disabilities.

Siena College President Brother F. Edward Coughlin has suffered a massive stroke. The college says Coughlin was having surgery in Rochester to repair a congenital heart defect he’s had since birth – and an unrelated complication led to the stroke. He has so far not regained consciousness.

The wife of embattled outgoing Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse is facing charges. Brenda Morse and her 17-year-old daughter are charged with shoplifting. Police say they stole from a store in Colonie Center.

Saying the defendant had shown no remorse and would show no mercy, Rensselaer County state Supreme Court Justice Andrew Ceresia handed down the maximum prison term for the man convicted of killing a fellow Mexican national in 2016.

The Rensselaer County Legislature’s Democratic minority is introducing legislation in August to have the county Board of Elections open an early voting site in Troy in addition to the ones planned for Brunswick and Schodack.

Last night’s community meeting on the Dunn landfill in the city of Rensselaer took an unexpected turn.

…School Superintendent Joseph Kardash apologized to residents last night and vowed to strike language that many saw as a gag order preventing the district from saying anything negative about the Dunn Landfill in exchange for $1.25 million in annual donations to the school system.

A July 32 picket by unionized nurses at Albany Medical Center is off for now.

Captain Will Charbonneau is retiring from the Cohoes Fire Department after 30 years on the force. He started in December 1989 at the age of 22.

Bronx Democratic Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez is taking a new approach to ensuring law enforcement officers focus on the wellness of people in their custody.

Patrick Dolan’s Newsday reportedly took staffers by “surprise” when executives of the largest newspaper on Long Island said it is offering voluntary buyouts.

Jay-Z’s got 99 problems but Woodstock isn’t one: The rap king has pulled out of the 50th anniversary Woodstock festival just weeks before the troubled event is supposed to take place.

An ice cream and cotton candy burrito will be on offer at the NYS Fair.

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