Rise and Shine: Aug. 21, 2019

Welcome to Wednesday, CivMixers. The middle of the week is here.

Among other things, it’s National Senior Citizens Day. Blurbage:

National Senior Citizens Day recognizes the achievements of the more mature representatives of our nation. The day provides an opportunity to show our appreciation for their dedication, accomplishments, and services they give throughout their lives.”

“According to the 2017 census, 47 million seniors live in the United States. By 2060, that number will nearly double. heir wealth of knowledge, skill, and experience offer so much to the next generation.”

“As technologies advance, these are the people who’ve experienced each step of change. Not only have they contributed to it, but they understand first hand the benefits and the drawbacks. They know life without the advancements that exist today.”

BTW, it’s not too soon to start preparing for National Waffle Day, which is coming up this weekend. There’s a local connection.

It’s going to be sightly less hot today, with temperatures only in the high 70s, but VERY humid. There will also be thunderstorms moving in late this morning, some of which could be severe, with hail and/or damaging winds. The chance of rain is 90 percent. Be careful out there.

There’s already flash floods occurring in Western New York.

The weather forecast is not terribly good news for the folks at the Great New York State Fair, which is opening today in Geddes.

Opening Day is also Governor’s Day at the fair, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a WAMC interview earlier this week that he plans to take the train from New York City to the fair, along with some of his commissioners and top staff members – a seven-hour ride, assuming there are no delays – in hopes that other people downstate will follow his lead and boost fair attendance.

Also, if you happen to be downstate and are a fan of tennis, it’s the United States Tennis Association’s US Open Fan Week – seven days of free activities at the tennis center leading up to one of the world’s most popular sporting events.

Admission on Opening Day is just $1.

In other news…

The astonishment in Denmark over President Trump’s apparent desire to buy Greenland turned to bewilderment and anger after the American leader abruptly scrapped a state visit because the Danes have no desire to sell. (No, this is not a joke).

Trump told reporters that “any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat” are either uninformed or show “great disloyalty.”

Trump did not go into specifics about what he considered to be Jews’ disloyalty, but his language was reminiscent of the anti-Semitic smear that Jews have a “dual loyalty” and are more devoted to Israel than they are to their own countries.

Trump spent at least 30 minutes on the phone yesterday with NRA President Wayne LaPierre, and later espoused the group’s talking points to reporters in the Oval Office and warned of the radical steps he said Democrats wanted to take in violation of the Second Amendment.

Americans continue to shop, vacation and buy cars at a brisk clip. But corporate America is starting to worry out loud that Trump’s tariffs will depress consumer spending and undermine the economy.

Vice President Mike Pence addressed the sixth meeting of the National Space Council, saying that another mission to the moon – and perhaps Mars – will only be possible if the U.S. establishes a United States Space Force. He’s calling on Congress to stop stalling and start acting, before China and Russia beat us to it.

Democratic 2020 candidates are pushing criminal justice reform ideas on everything from marijuana legalization to supervised injection sites that were considered radical just a few years ago. But the American public has changed its views, too.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross has resigned amid allegations that members of his department engaged in sexual harassment and racial and gender discrimination against two women serving in the ranks.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is considering an end to gun sales.

Jeffrey Epstein employed an army of “disciples” through a complex network of companies for many years to recruit girls and young women to have sex with him, according to allegations in three lawsuits filed yesterday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent a lot of time upstate this summer.

The debate over the new NY license plates rages on.

Common Council President Christopher Briggs took the oath of office as Cohoes’ new mayor at an emergency meeting of the council after Shawn Morse pleaded guilty to a felony wire fraud count, requiring his immediate removal from office.

Yesterday, city officials were considering changing the locks on the mayor’s office following Morse’s guilty plea. Briggs said the locks will be changed today.

Morse is refusing to relinquish his title of mayor. In Binghamton yesterday, his attorney said under federal law Morse doesn’t have to step down right now.

A visitor to The Crossings Monday said the outing turned into a hate-filled rant when he and the children accompanying him were threatened because they are Muslims. Police are investigating.

Rashad Mohamed Benantar said in a Facebook post that he was at the playground with his nephews Monday night when a man began yelling slurs and insulting them. Captured on a cell phone video, a man was can be heard stating “this is our country.”

The narrow passage of Green Light legislation in June was just the first obstacle in the effort to ensure undocumented immigrants have access to driver’s licenses in New York.

The state Association of County Clerks has dozens of questions and concerns for the state about implementing the law enabling undocumented immigrants to access driver’s licenses.

The Staten Island DA Michael McMahon announced he won’t reopen the investigation into the death of Eric Garner, saying the statute of limitations has passed and there has been no new evidence since a grand jury decided not to press criminal charges against NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in 2014.

The Garner case is a cloud on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tenure at City Hall.

The NYPD sergeant who was in charge of the scene when Garner died will be put on administrative trial by the end of the year, according to officials.

NYPD union officials visited precincts across the city to urge that cops use “extreme caution” when busting suspects to avoid the fate of their former colleague, Pantaleo.

Angry constituents — including an activist who challenged de Blasio at the Park Slope YMCA last year — demanded local action from the mayor during a 2020 presidential forum yesterday.

Cardi B went on a profanity-laced tirade against the NYPD in a video posted to her Instagram account last night because the department allegedly helped shut down a back-to-school event hosted by her friend.

Di Fara, an iconic pizzeria in Brooklyn, has been shut down by the state due to the fact that it owes $167,506.75 in unpaid taxes over the last two years.

Residents in the Rapp Road historic district are still urging Albany officials to address thru-traffic issues on the street behind Crossgates Mall ahead of a large residential complex rising on the Guilderland-owned portion of the windy, residential road.

There will be a large police presence today at the Fonda-Fultonville Central School as an active shooter drill takes place.

The city of Troy will unveil a new fire engine today at its Lansingburgh station – its first since 2009.

Forest rangers rescued two hikers in Fort Ann Sunday after they became stranded in the dark without flashlights, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said.

Across the country, officials are looking to recruit young professionals to be court stenographers. The effort comes as big changes are being made to justice system in New York.

Gloversville is one of 20 municipalities in New York state that have exceeded 80 percent of the New York state constitutional taxing limit for 2018, according to a report released by the state Comptroller’s Office.

Planned Parenthood’s decision to not take about $60 million in federal funding will have no effect on its New York affiliates, as state government has agreed to make up their loss.

Harvey Weinstein, the once-powerful movie mogul who put Manhattan’s skyline in the Miramax logo, wants his trial on sexual assault charges moved out of New York City, arguing that the intense media scrutiny makes it impossible for jurors to give him a fair trial.

It’s reportedly difficult to get a call into the offices of New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Team Americas defeated Team World 23-21 in tennis competition last night at the inaugural Aurora Games at Times Union Center.

Gymnastics will be the focus at the Aurora Games tonight.

Mexican Radio shuttered its restaurant in the city of Hudson, citing the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration nd the deportation of some kitchen staffers as part of the problem.

An even dozen entries are slated to enter the gate this Saturday at the 150th running of The Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race course and there is no clear favorite – other than the morning betting lines released yesterday evening at The Adelphi Hotel in downtown Saratoga.

RIP George H. Mulyca, founder of Maple Ski Ridge in suburban Schenectady.

Three words: Chicken. Sandwich. War.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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