Rise and Shine: Aug. 29, 2019

Good Thursday morning, CivMixers. It’s looking like a lovely day, with sun and temperatures nearing 80 degrees, according to The Weather Channel. It is going to be a bit on the breezy side, though, and there might be some areas of fog out there this morning as you head into work.

Also, there could be some rain over the holiday weekend, so keep an eye on the forecast.

It’s National Chop Suey Day.

President Donald Trump today will participate in the establishment of the U.S. Space Command, viewed as a step toward the Space Force military branch – though that would need congressional approval.

The Schenectady City School District summer bookmobile team will be holding a block party this afternoon, celebrating a summer full of reading.

Fan Appreciation Week continues at the track in Saratoga with the Taste NY: Wine & Spirits & Giveaway Sale.

In the news…

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, New York’s junior senator, who ran a presidential campaign centered on advocacy for women, ended her bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination after failing to gain traction in opinion polls or qualify for next month’s debate.

“I know this isn’t the result we wanted,” Gillibrand said in a video statement on Twitter. “We wanted to win this race. But it’s important to know when it’s not your time, and to know how you can best serve your community and country.”

Gillibrand told the New York Times that she would endorse another candidate in the primary but had not yet picked a favorite. She stopped short of saying she would endorse a woman, but did say the next president had to be capable of uniting the country and a woman might be best suited for the job.

The Trump administration is set to announce today that it intends to sharply curtail the regulation of methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change.

California Sen. Kamala Harris has run approximately 29,000 Facebook advertisements mentioning Trump since May 2018 – more than almost all the other 2020 candidates combined, according to Newsweek’s analysis of Facebook’s political ad archive.

Hurricane Dorian was barreling toward the US coastline last night and could strengthen into a Category 3 storm by the time it hits the mainland as early as this weekend, forecasters said. Storm-battered Puerto Rico was largely spared Dorian’s worst.

Former President Barack Obama’s younger daughter, Sasha, is poised to begin her college career at the University of Michigan next week. She was seen by students attending summer freshman orientation and again this week accompanied by men believed to be Secret Service agents.

Children of certain U.S. government employees and service members born abroad will no longer be automatically considered U.S. citizens, according to a new guidance by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, although the agency had a long list of categories that would be exempt from this policy.

Apple apologized to its users for employing third-party contractors to listen to audio recordings picked up by its Siri voice assistant, including when the voice assistant program was accidentally triggered by muffled background noise.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is conducting a sweeping audit of New York’s high-tech programs that will include a hard look at the taxpayer costs of the Tesla’s controversial SolarCity plant in Buffalo, which is the cornerstone of the governor’s “Buffalo Billion” project.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a welcome to mark the arrival of Greta Thunberg to the U.S. after the teen climate activist sailed to New York City across the Atlantic Ocean.

Amid a flurry of questions, Greta was asked to comment on Trump in his hometown. “My message to him is just to listen to the science, and he obviously doesn’t do that,” she said.

Amazon brass kept a “burn book” to memorialize unkind comments made by those who opposed the online retail giant’s headquarters move to Queens before pulling the plug on the project. The Microsoft Word document called “NY Negative Statements” was filled with criticism from officials and neighbors.

A Palestinian student trying to start classes at Harvard University was denied entry to the U.S. in a case that critics of the Trump administration call emblematic of overly invasive screening at border checkpoints.

Cuomo called for a State Police investigation into a possible hate crime in which an unhinged man beat a rabbi with a rock in a Brooklyn park a day earlier.

The union representing nearly 25,000 active NYPD officers wants Police Commissioner James O’Neill to resign and Cuomo to remove Mayor Bill de Blasio from office, following the firing of Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was involved in the 2014 death of Eric Garner.

The governor sat down for an interview with Gannett News, and discussed – among other things – how he’s spending more time in Albany these days.

State officials must sift through thousands upon thousands of comments in emails and letters over proposed educational standards for private schools. The public comment period closes Sept. 2.

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb introduced legislation that would protect drivers from the Cuomo administration’s mandated fee on new license plates.

A new law that eliminates the criminal penalties for possessing up to two ounces of marijuana has taken effect. Instead, public possession, or use of that much pot, would result in a violation punishable by fines of $50 for an ounce or less or $200 for between one ounce and two ounces.

Under the new law, 10,872 people in New York City will automatically have their records wiped clean of marijuana convictions, according to a spokeswoman for the State Division of Criminal Justice Services. In the rest of the state, an additional 13,357 people will see marijuana convictions cleared from their records.

With school already started or starting in the next few weeks, many districts are looking at their cellphone policies. According to the Pew Research Center, 95 percent of teenagers have access to a smartphone and 45 percent of them say they are online on a near constant basis.

Despite a push for a full environmental study of a proposed five-story complex on New Scotland Avenue, the city Planning Board determined there was no need and green-lighted the project across from St. Peter’s Hospital.

The turmoil that gripped promotions in the city’s fire and police department amid claims that former Mayor Shawn Morse was pushing his friends and relatives ended under the new administration of Acting Mayor Chris Briggs.

There is wide disagreement among state officials and legal experts on whether a guilty plea in federal court requires the immediate removal of an elected official in New York. The political showdown in Cohoes exposed the murkiness of the law.

A 23-year-old Albany man was cited after a crash involving an unregistered dirt bike that sent him to the hospital, according to police.

Newly acquired video shows the close call between a man on a dirt bike and two mothers and their two children.

Dirt bikes and ATVs have been a problem all summer in the City of Albany and now the concern is growing after two recent incidents.

A double stabbing Monday night started over a dispute over a girl, Colonie police said.

Lawmakers in Rensselaer County are urging the state to completely eliminate the use of styrofoam statewide.

A new civil lawsuit filed by the estates of two victims of last October’s Schoharie limousine crash cites brake failure as the prime cause of the crash and names Mavis Discount Tire as a defendant, in addition to the limo’s owner and operator. The crash left 17 passengers, the driver and two pedestrians dead.

The Citizens Budget Commission, an independent watchdog, says New York City’s leasing costs for office space, at more than $1 billion a year, need to be reined in more quickly.

The New York City Council is considering proposed legislation that would effectively ban foie gras from being sold in New York, one of the country’s largest markets for the product.

The number of people killed by drivers running red lights has hit a 10-year high, and AAA is urging drivers and pedestrians to use caution at traffic signals.

In the past two years scores of scientific studies have suggested that trillions of murmuring, droning, susurrating honeybees, butterflies, caddisflies, damselflies and beetles are dying off. This is not good news.

Speaking of bugs…if you’re headed across the border to Massachusetts, bring spray.

This fall, award winning actor Matthew McConaughey will take on a new role: professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Competitive eating events are big in New York City.

Today’s good news story: Mr. B, a 26-pound shelter cat in Philadelphia, found a home after a post from the Morris Animal Refuge made him an internet sensation.

The Mohawk Hudson Humane Society unveiled their new low-cost spay and neuter clinic.

For the last five years, jam band fans from across the greater Capital Region have headed up to Lake George during Labor Day weekend for the Adirondack Independence Music Festival.

The Scottish Games kick off this weekend.

This is coming out soon to a theater near you.

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