Rise and Shine: Aug. 5, 2019

Well, it’s Monday again, CivMixers. And we have no choice but to make the best of it, as time waits for no woman. Or man.

It has been a difficult weekend, as the country is reeling from back-to-back gun violence in Ohio and Texas that took place in less than 24 hours.

Yesterday, a shooting rampage took place in an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, where a man wearing body armor shot and killed nine people, including his own sister.

Police killed the gunman, identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts, less than a minute after he opened fire with a .223-caliber high-capacity gun, killing nine and wounding 27, authorities said.

High school classmates of Betts say he was suspended for compiling a “hit list” of those he wanted to kill and a “rape list” of girls he wanted to sexually assault.

Hours earlier, a 21-year-old with a rifle entered a Walmart in El Paso and killed 20 people. The authorities identified the gunman as Patrick Crusius. He surrendered to the police, and may have posted an anti-Hispanic manifesto before the shooting.

State prosecutors in El Paso announced that they will pursue the death penalty against Crusius.

A growing number of Democrats are calling on U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (who fell and fractured his shoulder over the weekend), to cancel the chamber’s August recess so that they can take up gun control legislation.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, suggested that video games were to blame for mass shootings. New York Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez responded that the real problem is white supremacy ― something Republicans won’t address because it would mean taking on part of their base.

“Our country is under attack from within, and continuing to ignore what is happening around us will only lead to more bloodshed and more tragedy — all of it preventable,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “On behalf of all New Yorkers, I’m sorry you live in a country with a Federal Government that allows this to happen and does nothing.”

During a TV interview, Cuomo said New York’s controversial SAFE Act, which he called “the strongest gun control laws in the United States of America,” would have prevented these incidents had it been implemented at the national level, though some of the weapons – like the one used in last week’s Gilroy, CA shooting, had been purchased legally.

Cuomo also placed blame on President Trump, saying: “I believe there is no doubt that virus is being fueled and incited by a lot of the rhetoric that comes from Washington. No one can say President Trump created racism and discrimination, it existed before President Trump, but I believe he has incited it, exploited it, and used it.”

Trump himself =, who didn’t immediately make an appearance after the shootings, said at a press conference that “hate has no place in our country and we’re going to take care of it.” He said it was also a “mental illness problem” and promised more details today.

The NYPD beefed up security in NYC in the wake of the shootings. In the Capital Region, and beyond, law enforcement officials said they are always vigilant, and suggested everyone get active shooter training.

On a more positive note: There will be “abundant” sunshine for Day One of the work week, according to The Weather Channel. Temperatures will be in the low-to-mid 80s, though the morning is starting out on the cool side.

In other words: The world may be crazy, but another beautiful summer day is on tap. Try to get out there and enjoy as much of it as you can, because there’s some rain on the way as the week progresses.

Also in the news…

Iran says it has seized an Iraqi oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, including seven crew members, for allegedly smuggling fuel. It is the third such incident in just two weeks amid rising tensions in the strategic waterway.

Cuomo made his first visit as governor to the Saratoga Race Course Saturday — where he scored on a $20 bet. He sat in the reserved box of NYRA Chairman Michael Del Giudice, and played the horse “Our Country” with 2-1 odds — raking in $68.

Cuomo announced the construction of a special pavilion for backstretch workers dedicated the late Marylou Whitney, known locally as the “Queen of Saratoga,” who died July 19th and was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame Friday.

The governor also proclaimed Saturday “Marylou Whitney Day” in New York.

McKinzie earned Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert a new timepiece, and more importantly, his first career victory in the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney, outkicking Yoshida for a 1 ¾-length score in the 1 1/8-mile route on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.

Cuomo is in line to be the chairman of the National Governors Association in 2020, just in time for the 2020 presidential election. The post will give him a national perch from which to opine on – and perhaps influence – the race, even as he has opted not to run himself.

The Feds are looking into possible campaign finance misdeeds by Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff and lead rainmaker, who suddenly resigned last Friday, anonymous federal sources told The NY Post.

The Republican Party today is rolling out an attack ad targeting Ocasio-Cortez and other insurgent congressional freshman known as “The Squad” to paint them as clownish standard-bearers for the Democratic Party ahead of the 2020 elections.

State Republican Party Chair Nick Langworthy said he is re-establishing NYGOP’s headquarters in Albany and has begun installing his own team.

Upstate New York’s warm summer is expected to blend into a warm fall, according to a pair of recent long-range forecasts. That means the leaves will likely turn a little later.

More than 265 people filed notices to the City of Albany last year seeking reimbursement on an array of issues – from damaged trash cans, cars and homes, to civil rights violations alleged by police or other city entities, according to a TU review of the notice of claims obtained through a FOIL request.

Supporters of two Muslim men who were sentenced to 15 years in prison after a post-9/11 terrorism sting gathered to mark the 15th anniversary of their arrest and celebrate the release of one of the men who is now living in Kurdistan.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal vehicle-motorcycle crash in the Town of Epratah on State Route 29 in front of Granny’s Ice Cream.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is also seeking video of an arrest involving a man who was kicking and spitting and trying to grab the a State Police trooper’s firearm during an arrest yesterday.

The Washington Park Farmers Market got underway this past weekend.

New York State is rethinking its requirements for a high school diploma. That includes the Regents exams – which have been around since the 1800s.

A funeral will be held today for Saoirse Kennedy Hill, the 22-year-old granddaughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, who died last week of a possible drug overdose.

Despite two more injuries, the first-place Yankees are still on the verge of sweeping the Red Sox.

The towns of Rotterdam and Guilderland have reached an agreement under which Guilderland will buy water from Rotterdam, the two towns have announced.

Part of County Road 353 – also known as Delaware Turnpike Road in the town of Rensselaerville – will shut down at 7 a.m. this romping, and remain closed for months due to a bridge deck replacement project.

Photo credit: Fred Coffey. This picture initially appeared on the Facebook page “Looking Good, Albany!”

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