Rise and Shine: Aug. 30, 2019

FriYAY is here, CivMixers. And not a moment too soon.

If you’re hitting the road this afternoon/evening, be aware that there might be some showers about. The chance of rain is about 30 percent. Otherwise, it’s going to be cloudy, with the temperatures hovering in the low 80s, according to The Weather Channel.

Also, get a very early start en route to whatever fabulous place you’re headed for the long weekend if at all possible, because, as mentioned yesterday, holiday traffic is real. The projected peak congestion period today: between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

If you’re staying local, there’s plenty to do. And remember that lots of stuff is closed Monday to mark Labor Day. Here’s a list.

In the news this morning…

Florida residents picked the shelves clean of bottled water and lined up at gas stations as an increasingly menacing-looking Hurricane Dorian threatened to broadside the state over Labor Day weekend.

Declaring space crucial to the nation’s defense, President Donald Trump said the Pentagon has established U.S. Space Command to preserve American dominance on “the ultimate high ground.”

The move to rescind environmental rules governing emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, brings to 84 the total number of environmental rules that the Trump administration has worked to repeal.

Trump’s personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, who has served as the president’s gatekeeper since Day 1 of his administration, resigned after he learned she had indiscreetly shared details about his family and the Oval Office operations she was part of at a recent off-the-record dinner with reporters.

Trump said former FBI Director James Comey has been “disgraced and excoriated” after the Department of Justice inspector general concluded he violated bureau standards with his handling of memos of his talks with the president.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s 2020 campaign may have been doomed from the start, women’s rights advocates say, due to backlash for being the first Senate Democrat to demand the resignation not quite two years ago of then-Sen. Al Franken when he was accused of sexual misconduct.

How Gillibrand, 52, so swiftly went from a rising star of the Democratic resistance and “the #MeToo senator,” as “60 Minutes” had memorably tagged her in 2018, to a 2020 afterthought and early primary casualty is a tale of mistakes, misfortune and a message that did not meaningfully hold sway in a historically crowded field.

An ambitious new study — the largest ever to analyze the genetics of same-sex sexual behavior — found that genetics does play a role, responsible for perhaps a third of the influence on whether someone has same-sex sex. The influence comes not from one gene but many, each with a tiny effect.

Cohoes City Court Judge Thomas Marcelle quietly withdrew his name from consideration to be the area’s next federal judge after his nomination was blocked by Gillibrand over his opposition to abortion.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is “campaigning” in the Nevada desert (at Red Rock National Park) after failing to make the Sept. 12 debate cut.

Freshman New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pushed back on a free-speech group who criticized her for blocking people on Twitter, saying she did so to avoid harassment, not because she disagrees with their political views.

Amid an intense public backlash, the Cuomo administration softened its stance on requiring motorists to cough up $25 to replace old license plates.

State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Mark Schroeder said in a statement that he’d like to see the state Legislature lower the planned $25 fee.

Federal regulators have cleared the way for a 124-mile natural gas pipeline to move forward despite New York’s denial of a water quality permit that had blocked the project.

New York state officials have proposed a three-year timeline to phase in new rules to curtail the amount of time prisoners can stay in solitary confinement.

Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, New York public schools will be required to incorporate at least an hour of instruction a year on the difference between “good touch” and “bad touch,” according to a law signed by the governor.

A now-deleted anti-Semitic video produced by the Rockland County GOP was widely denounced by Democrats – including Gov. Andrew Cuomo. State GOP Chair Nick Langworthy, said it was “an ill-conceived, bad mistake” that was “the antithesis of what the Republican Party stands for,” but other party leaders defended it.

Official results posted by the Albany County Board of Elections show Adam Biggs the winner of Tuesday’s redo of the Democratic primary for a Cohoes seat.

A Troy man was found guilty of sex crimes against one child victim and not guilty of the same crimes against another at the conclusion of a jury trial.

The Troy City Council will get to examine a 19-page memorandum the city commissioned and kept secret that disputes key findings in an internal affairs report that found a patrol sergeant lied about his actions in the fatal shooting of a DWI suspect during an April 2016 traffic stop, Mayor Patrick Madden said.

A stone memorial that was erected in Geneva in honor of first responders from 9/11 was reportedly vandalized with spray paint this week. The local police are investigating.

Two NYPD detectives who faced more than 40 sexual-abuse charges and 25 years in prison after they were accused of handcuffing an 18-year-old woman and raping her in the back of a police van pleaded guilty to bribery and official misconduct charges in a deal that called for five years probation — and no jail time.

A New York City proposal to ban the sale of foie gras, the fattened liver of a duck or goose, has the backing of animal welfare advocates, but could mean trouble for farms outside the city that are the premier U.S. producers of the French delicacy.

Two more racehorses have died in Saratoga. So far, 12 horses have died this year at the Saratoga track and the 61 statewide.

The 2019 Saratoga racing season is coming to an end this weekend. The last day for the races will conclude on Labor Day, but until then, fans are soaking up every second they have left at the race course.

The swimming pool in South Troy remains closed as we head into Labor Day weekend.

People gathered in Saratoga Springs last night to fight back against addiction. A candlelight vigil was held in Congress Park to honor loved ones lost to an overdose.

Voorheesville Schools will not have a school resource officer on staff when classes begin in a few days. District officials said they take safety very seriously, but the district just didn’t have the money.

Federal prosecutors responded to former SUNY Poly President Alain Kaloyeros’ appeal of his fraud conviction, filing a point-by-point rebuttal of his complaint.

The city of Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee formally endorsed June primary winner Patty Morrison for city finance commissioner, and also approve a resolution endorsing the “MeToo” movement.

A fire at a Niskayuna home claimed the life of a dog, the Niskayuna Fire District 1 chief said. No residents were home at the time and no firefighters were injured.

The apparent high bid in an online auction for the dilapidated former Saratoga County infirmary was $55,100, from a Texas attorney who is considering renovating the existing building.

Road closures and parking restrictions will be in effect today in downtown Troy due to a film production.

New York is one of the top dairy producing states in the country and some of that dairy, in powdered form, is sold to China. But the ongoing trade war between the United States and China has led to losses for New York producers.

The University at Albany football team suffered a season-opening 38-21 loss to Central Michigan. The start of the game was delayed nearly two hours because of lightning around Kelly Shorts Stadium.

Good news from Alex Trebek: his chemotherapy treatment for Stage 4 pancreatic cancer has ended and he’s now “on the mend” and back to work at “Jeopardy!” for the show’s 36th season.

Meghan McCain shared a birthday wish to her late father, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, on what would have been his 83rd birthday.

The Tokyo Olympics organizing committee has not decided what it plans to do about the appearance of Placido Domingo at a 2020 Games event and is looking into allegations the opera star had sexually harassed several women.

The surgeon general’s advisory warning adolescents and pregnant women against using marijuana sparked a backlash from supporters of decriminalizing the drug who accused him of using “scare tactics,” although they agree children should not be exposed to it.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are working to develop a marijuana breathalyzer that can be used by law enforcement in the field.

As the marijuana industry continues to take hold in Massachusetts, Berkshire Community College is developing a unique cannabis certificate course with a local dispensary.

The “chicken sandwich wars” between Popeyes, Chick-fil-A and other fast-food chains started with a single tweet that captivated the internet and drove record sales. Then they became a logistical headache.

Menu changes are coming at Taco Bell.

Apple sent out invitations for a media event next month where the company is widely expected to unveil its latest iPhone models. (Mine must have been lost in the mail).

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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2 Comments

  1. Howard

    Your photographer is great. You’re lucky to have him!

    Reply
    • CM

      Agree 100 percent. !

      Reply

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