Rise and Shine: Aug. 26, 2019

Good Monday morning, CivMixers. What a glorious, amazingly beautiful weekend we just had. It’s sad to see it go. But it was tinged with bittersweet – for me, anyway – because there is no denying it anymore…

Fall is around the corner. Summer is on its last leg. We are building up now to the final hurrah – Labor Day Weekend – and then it’s fall all the way, and after that….winter.

But we have today. And we should all live in the now, right?

Today looks like another stunner: Plentiful sunshine and temperatures in the high 70s, according to the Weather Channel. Perfect weather for going back to work, or, as so many of you are, I have noted, for squeezing in one last summer vacation before it’s all over for another year.

Good for you. I resent you not at all. Enjoy yourselves. Really. I mean it.

OK, onto the headlines…

President Trump said other world leaders are asking why the American media is “rooting” for the country “to fail,” following reports that he was blindsided by the French​ inviting a top Iranian official​ to the G-7 summit.

A loose network of conservative operatives allied with the White House is pursuing what they say will be an aggressive operation to discredit news organizations deemed hostile to President Trump by publicizing damaging information about journalists.

Leaders who attended the G-7 summit are close to an agreement to provide technical and financial help to combat massive fires that have swept through the Amazon rainforest, according to French President Emmanuel Macron.

Trump, under pressure to scale back a U.S.-China trade war partly blamed for a global economic slowdown, said today that the two sides will begin serious negotiations soon.

Trump offered deeply contradictory signals about his trade war with China yesterday, ending the day by escalating his threats of higher tariffs even as he remained isolated from fellow world leaders on a strategy that has rattled the global economy.

The latest whipsawing escalations in the United States’ trade war with China prompted a wide array of business organizations to warn over the weekend that American consumers and workers would soon be caught in the crossfire.

Joe Walsh, a conservative talk-radio host and former Tea Party congressman, is launching a long-shot primary challenge to Trump – the second Republican to do so. (The first was former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld).

Joe Arpaio, a former Arizona sheriff who built a national reputation as an immigration hard-liner, said he would run for his old office – the latest turn in a long and polarizing career that included a conviction for criminal contempt, a pardon from Trump and an unsuccessful Senate bid.

As part of a broader renovation of Manhattan’s Trump International Hotel and Tower next to Central Park, the president’s family business is considering a proposal that would change the signage so that the Trump name is no longer directly associated with the private residences.

Astronaut Anne McClain is facing the first allegation of a crime committed in space. McClain’s estranged wife, Summer Worden, accused the astronaut of accessing her bank account while on a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.

Critics of a new Missouri ban on abortions at or after eight weeks of pregnancy are asking a judge to block the law from taking effect this week.

Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but Capital Region native Andrew Yang is…surging? He is one of 10 Democratic presidential candidates who have qualified through sufficiently robust polling and fundraising for this fall’s third and fourth debates.

Yang, 44, who hails from Schenectady, spoke to The Daily Gazette after spending the day in New Hampshire, where he opened two campaign offices and has been barnstorming the state in an attempt to get a toehold in the first-in-the-nation primary.

NYC Mayor de Blasio was heckled during a CNN town-hall event yesterday when a protester demanded action on the “other (NYPD) officers” involved in the arrest of Eric Garner.

NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill scoffed at the possibility of a police slowdown in response Officer Daniel Pantaleo’s firing — despite a cop-union’s calls for members to take “extreme caution” when doing routine police work in the wake of the ruling.

De Blasio should stop running for president and focus on Big Apple cyclists getting run over, cycling enthusiasts said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo must sign an elevator-safety bill on the heels of a Manhattan man’s freak-accident crushing death on Thursday, lawmakers.

A lawyer for former Queens Rep. Gary Ackerman denied accusations leveled in a lawsuit that the Democrat is a sexual “predator” who violated a teenager at a Boy Scout camp five decades ago.

Green-blue blooms of toxic algae have been found in lakes and ponds in three New York City parks, leading environmental officials to warn residents to keep pets and young children away from the affected water until the blooms clear.

Parents who were suing New York in federal court over the state’s new school vaccination rule have dropped their lawsuit. Another legal challenge to the law, which ended religious exemptions to school immunization requirements, remains underway in state court.

With bipartisan support in many cases, 17 states and Washington D.C. have passed “red flag laws” that allow the court-ordered removal of guns from people who are considered to be dangerous. And more are likely to follow given the recent back-to-back shootings in Texas and Ohio.

The Acacia Network Housing, a NYC-funded nonprofit tasked with helping the homeless, instead packed people into dangerous hotel rooms fraught with “wiring hazards,” busted plumbing and broken cribs.

Despite paltry attendance figures throughout the six days, the inaugural all-women sports festival the Aurora Games will return to Albany, not only in 2021, but in 2023, as well.

In the wake of his conviction on all charges in a Brooklyn federal courtroom in June, some of NXIVM leader Keith Raniere’s former top loyalists have meager ambitions: A high-school degree. A new identification. The right to leave home without electrical monitoring.

The wife of a top Schenectady administrator has not yet paid the $339,525 in restitution that was part of her sentencing agreement for stealing from business owner John D. Marcella five years ago, despite the fact that her husband is doing well in his taxpayer-financed job.

A potential fight is brewing between the city and residents as the Zoning Board of Appeals considers granting a variance Tuesday to allow the Scolite site in South Troy to be used to load gravel and other materials on barges to be shipped down the Hudson River.

A media tour of Curaleaf in Coeymans, one of 10 state-approved med-mar grow facilities statewide, and Albany County’s first, followed the cannabis plant from seed to sale, exposing the manufacturing realities that keep medical marijuana prices so high for New York patients.

The owner of a two-story building at the corner of Second Avenue and Morris Street in Albany insists it is not vacant and wants the city to get rid of the white-and-red “X” placard – a sort of scarlet letter synonymous with urban blight – affixed to the building.

Several dozen protestors concerned about racehorse deaths showed up outside the Travers at Saratoga this weekend.

For the second consecutive year, NYRA generated a Travers Day record all-sources handle as fans wagered $52.1 million on an afternoon that featured the 150th running of the Travers. On-track handle was $11.6 million – also a new Travers Day record.

A paid crowd of 48,213 witnessed Code of Honor secure the fourth Travers victory for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey and second for Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.

“If New York is going to make drivers turn in their perfectly good license plates, give us the new plates at cost.”

The battle over New York’s fusion-voting system is playing out at a state commission overseeing campaign-finance-reform efforts, with the latest shots fired at a meeting last week.

A man who was released from state prison a month ago killed himself in a Stewart’s parking lot Saturday evening after taking a vehicle from a home in Fulton County, police said.

South Glens Falls Police are investigating the reported drowning of an 80-year-old fisherman in the Hudson River.

An Amsterdam man is accused of taking video in a bathroom at the Wilton Mall.

New York State Police are investigating a two-car crash in which a tractor-trailer rolled down an embankment on Route 7 in the Town of Hoosick Saturday morning.

The Schaghticoke Fair will celebrate its bicentennial anniversary on the northern edge of what is now downtown Troy when it opens it gates Wednesday for a six-day run through Labor Day.

Colonel Seth Morgulas has assumed command of the famous 369th Sustainment Brigade, the descendant of the Harlem Hellfighters of World War I fame, during a ceremony at Camp Smith Training Site, Cortland.

Dave Falso won’t be turning the lights on at the Kristy Pollak Memorial Light Display in Amsterdam this holiday season, or next. He has placed the property at Forest Avenue and Lyon Street up for sale, lights and fixtures included. But interest has been minimal, and if no one buys it soon, it will go up for auction in September.

In response to recent deaths, a local mother from Colonie, Cynde London Mccoy, has started a company called Kids In Cars New York, which designed a removable alert band to help remind caregivers they have a child in their car.

When a Cohoes grandmother recently went into cardiac arrest, her 8-year-old grandson sprang into action, calling 9-1-1 and making a big difference.

Three local organizations are now accepting donations for the victims of the Myrtle Avenue fire that occurred last Friday.

It looks like sports in Johnstown are a go this academic year.

The scene at Proctors and the surrounding area of downtown Schenectady was one of controlled chaos yesterday, as hundreds of people eagerly waited for their chance to the see the area’s final performance of “Hamilton: An American Musical.”

Another injured Yankee.

In a shocking development Saturday night, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck announced his retirement from the NFL, saying constant injuries have taken away his love for the game.

A happy Hudson Valley cat story.

The Whistling Kettle now has a Schenectady location.

The band Kiss said farewell to local fans on Saturday during a stop at Saratoga Performing Arts Center – part of its ongoing “End of the Road World” Tour.

The U.S. Open today will unveil a new statue of Althea Gibson, who achieved many firsts for African-Americans in tennis.

As admission to the fair dropped this weekend, attendance continued to soar.

Parking in the Willis Lot, one of the new parking lots at the New York State Fair this year, will be free for the remainder of the 2019 fair.

Welcome to the hipsterfied diner. This is a trend that is slowly creeping our way through the Hudson Valley, and I’m not sure how I feel.

I think I prefer throwbacks that refuse to offer avocado toast, bulletproof coffee and other overpriced, underwhelming and over-hyped millennial staples – places like this, where I ate a great lunch with my dad this weekend. Never change, Deisings, your shrimp salad is delicious, though I wish you served breakfast later in the day on Saturdays.

Also, the Kingston Farmers Market is FABULOUS. Look for the Ostrich eggs(!)

On a personal note: This is very humbling for me. I thank everyone who was involved in making it happen.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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