Rise and Shine: Aug. 13, 2019

Good Tuesday morning, CivMixers. It looks like it might be a wet one, with clouds, high humidity, rain – maybe even a few scattered thunderstorms – and temperatures only in the high 70s.

Don’t worry, we’ll have less humidity, higher temperatures and more sun tomorrow, according to the Weather Channel.

If you have the day off – or maybe just a little time to kill before or after your work day starts – remember that the Altamont Fair opens today.

Bring an umbrella though, or at least consider wearing some rain gear.

And make sure to enjoy a nice glass of bubbly, since it’s National Prosecco Day, and perhaps pair that with a juicy steak to celebrate National Filet Mignon Day.

And if you eat that steak with your fork in your left hand, here’s to you! It’s International Left Handers Day – a day that celebrates only about 10 percent of the population.

Who thinks of this stuff, anyway?

In the news…

President Trump broadened his assault on the nation’s immigration system, issuing a new rule targeting legal immigrants who want to remain in the United States but whose lack of financial resources are judged likely to make them a burden on taxpayers.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said her office will sue the Trump administration over its new “public charge” rule, which expands the list of public benefits that could disqualify recipients from being granted citizenship.

Getting treated at NYC’s public hospitals won’t necessarily be held against green card seekers, health officials said amid news of the new Trump administration rule penalizing immigrants who legally receive government aid.

Alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein reportedly was found hanging in his lower Manhattan jail cell with a sheet wrapped around his neck and secured to the top of a bunk bed.

One of the two people guarding Epstein when he apparently hanged himself in a federal jail cell was not a full-fledged correctional officer, and neither guard had checked on Epstein for several hours before he was discovered, prison and law-enforcement officials said.

Epstein was taken off suicide watch in late July at the request of his attorneys.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said he has “a lot of faith” in the leadership of the FBI to investigate Epstein’s death.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said Epstein’s apparent suicide “boggles the imagination” and warrants a full investigation.

Manhattan Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler and Republican Western New York Rep. Chris Collins are launching a bipartisan joint investigation into Epstein’s death.

Epstein’s death is the latest black eye for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, the Manhattan jail’s parent agency that already was under fire for the October death of Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, who was fatally beaten at a federal prison in West Virginia shortly after his arrival.

NYT columnist James Stewart recalls meeting with Epstein in August 2018, and being told by the financier – among other things – that he had dirt on many rich, famous and powerful people.

Presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat, announced that she will leave the 2020 presidential campaign trail for two weeks of active-duty training in Indonesia to fulfill her National Guard obligation.

Even after his food- and game-filled Sunday at the fair — where he gave a 20-minute pitch to voters at the famed Political Soapbox — de Blasio, a 2020 Democratic contender, is registering at 0 percent in the fair’s corn kernel poll.

In recent weeks, former Vice President Joe Biden has expressed frustration to allies that his 2020 candidacy will suffer if he is judged too harshly on his many verbal slip-ups, which he thinks he can do little to correct so long as he is being true to himself.

Twenty-five years ago, Democratic support for an assault weapons ban was a major reason the party lost control of the House. Now top Democrats want to revive the fight.

Operations at Hong Kong International Airport were resuming today after a days-long pro-democracy protest forced hundreds of flights to be cancelled at one of the world’s busiest air hubs.

CNN defended late-night anchor Chris Cuomo, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s brother, after video surfaced showing him getting in a heated, profanity laced confrontation with an individual who referred to him as “Fredo,” a fictional character from “The Godfather.”

“Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup,” CNN spokesperson Matt Dornic said in a statement on Twitter. “We completely support him.”

Donald Trump Jr. accused Chris Cuomo and CNN of hypocrisy over the incident, posting a clip of a segment from Cuomo’s show aired in January in which his guest Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist, referred to Trump Jr. as “Fredo.”

Health insurance premiums will rise approximately 6.8 percent next year for individuals and 7.9 percent for employers who purchase coverage on New York’s state-run health exchange.

Tesla may have gotten a warm reception from New York when the company wanted to build a solar panel factory in Buffalo, but it is suing the state over what it contends is unfair treatment when it comes to subsidies for electric car chargers.

Long Island state state Sen. Todd Kaminsky will unveil legislation today that would require all New York state school children to be “educated regarding the meaning of swastikas and nooses as symbols of hatred and intolerance.”

Major institutions across New York, from the Catholic Church to the Boy Scouts of America to elite private schools, are bracing for a deluge of lawsuits now that adults who said they were sexually abused as children will be entitled to pursue formal legal action.

Hundreds of low-level Manhattan pot offenders will have their arrest records sealed under a judge’s ruling, officials announced.

Schumer and other lawmakers want to see federal institutions provide guidance to banks to let them know that growing hemp is legal.

After an achingly narrow defeat in the Democratic primary for Queens district attorney, Tiffany Cabán, a 32-year-old public defender, is not ruling out another run for office.

Albany Police say a 44 year old parolee turned himself in and is now in police custody in connection to a robbery investigation.

Thousands of fertility doctors throughout the country are grappling with what to do with the embryos cast aside by former patients, many of whom worked for months, even years, to conceive.

The Federal Communication Commission has announced the authorization of $16.2 million in matching funds to expand broadband access in rural New York — the second wave of $55.4 million in funding aimed at beefing up the utility in under-served areas.

Election cybersecurity has the potential to be a growth industry as federal lawmakers push a $1 billion investment in safeguarding next year’s elections.

Schumer says he has co-sponsored the Election Security Act, which would create a $1 Billion federal grant program to protect local election systems.

During a speech in which he condemned those who disrespect cops, U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr denounced the “prancing punks” who doused NYPD cops with water.

Proctors Theatre has announced they are enforcing a clear bag policy at all showings of “Hamilton,” which opens today and runs through Aug. 25.

Water Safari Resort in Old Forge will receive $500,000 from the state expand and enhance its globally ranked Enchanted Forest Water Safari water park by adding three new water slides and replacing two older slides — Killermanjaro and Serengeti Surf Hill — among other improvements.

Dick’s Sporting Goods at the Crossgates Mall and their “Sports Matter” Foundation donated $11,000 to the Johnstown School District’s athletic program.

Stillwater town officials say they have a pretty good idea of what’s suddenly raising the bacteria levels in the shallow waters of Brown’s Beach: A large flock of geese.

The state Commission on Judicial Conduct has closed a conflict of interest investigation that led New Paltz Town Justice Jonathan Katz to resign.

Sharks making their annual northward migration from Florida have a new summer vacation destination: Long Island.

Troopers found 167 pounds of marijuana stuffed inside garbage and hockey bags during a Friday traffic stop on the Northway, the State Police said.

Outgoing Mayor Shawn Morse would like to lower the years of experience in certain fire department posts to expand the pool of those who could be promoted, but firefighter union officials fear public and firefighter safety could be at risk if the changes move forward.

A petition to rename a stretch of Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Street to “President Barack H. Obama” has now garnered over 50,000 signatures online. The suggested stretch also happens to be right outside the Trump Tower and the irony is not lost on anyone.

A trio of teens is suspected of stealing a car, firing off a gun, and carrying out 13 thefts and three burglaries within the span of five days this past week, village of Scotia police said.

Madison Braman of Latham and her cousin, Nick Braman of Menands, repeated as champions in the New York State Golf Association’s seventh annual Mixed Team Championships at the Teugega Country Club in Rome.

After the jubilation of a 45-27 ArenaBowl XXXII victory over the Philadelphia Soul had subsided, the Albany Empire turned their attention to 2020, which will be their third season in the league.

New York is appealing a court decision that has halted trail work in the Adirondacks.

Around the world, a plant known as the waterwheel is going extinct. But from summer through late fall, the carnivorous, rootless, wetland-loving plant is an invasive specials that is plentiful in this swampy body of water near the Catskill Mountains.

The Whistling Kettle now has a third Capital Region location with the opening of a new restaurant and tea shop in the Electric City.

Maze tov to former Gov. David Paterson, who tied the knot this past weekend with Mary Sliwa, the ex-wife of Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, at the luxe Water Club on the East River in Manhattan. She will take his middle and last names and be known as “Mary Alexander Paterson.”

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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