Rise and Shine: Aug. 8, 2019

Let’s get up and at ’em and ready to take on Thursday, CivMixers! An early start to the day for me, (couldn’t sleep; it happens).

High humidity and more scattered thunderstorms developing in the afternoon are in the forecast today, according to The Weather Channel, with temperatures in the mid-80s. There will be mixed sun and clouds in the morning.

Severe weather blew through the Capital Region yesterday, causing damage and knocking out power.

We all know that Mother Nature isn’t someone to mess with, though the storms that are potentially on tap for today won’t be anywhere near as strong as what we saw yesterday.

And some cooler air is moving into the region for the weekend.

In the headlines…

President Trump visited Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso on a day intended as a show of compassion to cities scarred by a weekend of violence, but which quickly devolved into an occasion for anger-fueled broadsides against Democrats and the news media.

Democratic 2020 presidential candidates lashed Trump with their sternest denunciations yet of his exploitation of racism for political purposes and resistance to gun control.

Trump comforted victims of the mass shooting in Dayton and posed for thumbs-up photos with law enforcement officials, first responders and staff during a hospital visit.

Trump said he’s “very strongly” considering commuting the prison sentence of former Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is serving 14 years on federal corruption charges.

New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, the head of the House Judiciary Committee, appears to be preparing to call members of his panel back to Washington, D.C., from their August recess to oversee a markup of gun violence legislation following two deadly mass shootings.

The Judiciary Committee sued to force the former White House counsel Donald McGahn to testify before Congress, asking a federal judge to strike down the Trump administration’s claim that top presidential aides are “absolutely immune” from its subpoenas.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he’s not aware of any “red flags” in the suspected El Paso gunman’s past and made no mention of taking major gun-control measures in the Lone Star State, where three mass shootings since 2017 have killed more than 50 people.

Amnesty International, in the wake of two deadly mass shootings, issued a travel advisory for people going to the United States due to “ongoing high levels of gun violence in the country.”

Twitter locked accounts belonging to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign and several prominent conservatives after they posted videos of left-wing protesters gathered outside McConnell’s Kentucky home.

Three advocacy groups funded by former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg have organized an “Urgent Gun Safety Presidential Forum,” set for Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa. The event has already attracted a half dozen Democratic hopefuls, including Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.

Democratic presidential candidate and mayor of NYC Bill de Blasio defended his stance on gun control (among other things) during an exclusive interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News.

Five years after Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old, was fatally shot by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson on a steamy August day, racial tension remains palpable and may be even more intense.

A new United Nations scientific report examines how global warming and land interact in a vicious cycle. Human-caused climate change is dramatically degrading the land, while the way people use the land is making global warming worse.

The world’s land and water resources are being exploited at “unprecedented rates,” the report warns, which combined with climate change is putting dire pressure on the ability of humanity to feed itself.

Celebrities and other members are fleeing the Equinox and SoulCycle fitness chains because the parent company’s owner, wealthy developer Stephen Ross, is hosting a big-ticket Trump fund-raiser this week.

Billionaire Leslie Wexner, the man behind Victoria’s Secret, accused his former money manager Jeffrey Epstein of misappropriating millions of his fortune.

Federal immigration officials raided several food-processing plants in Mississippi yesterday and arrested approximately 680 people believed to be working without authorization.

New York City is officially moving forward with some of the world’s toughest regulations on Uber and Lyft.

As Uber seeks new growth, it has teamed up with cities and transit agencies in the U.S., Canada, Britain and Australia to provide tickets, to transport people with disabilities or sometimes to substitute for a town’s public transportation system entirely.

A mother whose toddler was yanked from her arms by NYPD officers in a widely seen online video has sued the city. Jazmine Headley is seeking unspecified damages in her federal suit.

The widow of Andrew Kearse, the Bronx man who died of cardiac arrhythmia in 2017 while detained by Schenectady police, scoffed at the city’s proposed $850,000 settlement offer to her $25 million lawsuit, saying it’s “not enough” for nine kids who must live without their dad.

The progressive Brooklyn district attorney’s efforts to give offenders a second chance has upset the police, who are struggling to contain gun violence.

Police Chief Eric Hawkins said city police properly handled the recent arrest of an Albany Law School employee who is coordinator of the Albany Community Police Review Board.

Both the chief and the mayor of Albany, Kathy Sheehan, are calling for the removal of the coordinator the the Community Police Review Board, Clay Gustave.

As the Albany Police Department deals with ongoing violence in the city, it is also working short-staffed. The department is hiring. However, the deadline to apply is approaching.

Today marks the Guardian Angels’ return to the streets of Albany. As the city grapples with a shortage of officers, Angels founder and leader Curtis Sliwa says the red berets will patrol Clinton to Livingston Avenues and Ontario Street to Lexington Avenue; a key area of concern will be the 500 block of 2nd street.

More than a year after bid-rigging charges were dismissed against prominent Capital Region developer Joseph R. Nicolla, the Columbia Development founder is back publicly involved in projects — this time in partnership with local technology entrepreneur Dan Pickett.

Richard W. Crist, a longtime GOP political operative in Rensselaer County, returned to his position this week as the county’s operations director, five months after he was placed on leave when it was revealed his backroom campaign work was the subject of an investigation by the FBI and state AG.

FedEx is cutting ties with Amazon as the online retail giant builds its own delivery fleet, the company announced.

As the Capital Region community continues to mourn the passing of Sister Monica Murphy, who was killed in a two-car crash in the North Country Monday night, details on funeral arrangements have been released. The interment will take place Friday at 3 p.m. at the Saint Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham.

The Enlarged Schoharie Aqueduct, which once carried the Erie Canal across the Schoharie Creek, is a marvel of 19th-century civic architecture. However, of its original 11 archways, only six remain – for now. Funding is being sought to restore the structure.

Lawyers for Harvey Weinstein asked the court let the disgraced Hollywood producer travel to Italy and Spain to work on a stage production of “Cinema Paradiso” — a request a judge swiftly slapped down.

The MTA’s massive upcoming deficit could be far worse than officials are predicting — because they’re assuming hundreds of millions of dollars in savings that won’t happen under current worker contracts or if the economy goes south, a new report warned.

After 30 months of mounting expectations, the cultural phenomenon that is “Hamilton” arrives at Proctors next week.

Subway is the latest national chain to join the craze for plant-based meat alternatives. The fast-casual sandwich restaurant announced that it is partnering with Beyond Meat to test meatless meatball subs.

Similar to last year’s Oscars telecast, Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier confirmed that this year’s Emmy Awards telecast will be host-free.

Hollywood actor Danny Trejo, known for his tough-guy roles in such films as “Machete,” helped rescue a young boy who was trapped in a car that overturned in a Los Angeles traffic collision.

Local actress Gabriella Pizzolo, who played Suzie-Poo in the third season of the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things,” was in Clifton Park yesterday receiving a state Senate proclamation from Sen. Jim Tedisco.

The 28th annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival – a four0day event – is well underway in Jamestown.

Syracuse University was ranked the nation’s No. 1 “party school” by the Princeton Review – a fact that surprises some prospective students and parents.

The butter that will eventually be transformed into this year’s State Fair butter sculpture by two Pennsylvania artists has arrived at the fairgrounds.

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



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