Rise and Shine: Aug. 9, 2019

How fabulous is it that we finally find ourselves here on a fantastic Friday morning in early August, CivMixers?

The sun will shine (mostly) today, though it will be partly cloudy at times. The temperature will be in the low-80s, according to The Weather Channel. It might be a bit breezy, with winds at 10 to 20 miles per house, and humidity is somewhere hovering around 60 percent.

It’s National Veep Day! Blurbage:

“National Veep Day on August 9th recognizes the succession plan of the President of the United States. The day also acknowledges the one president who was neither elected vice president nor president – Gerald Ford.”

So, if you happen to see Mike Pence or Jose Biden around…just sayin’.

It’s also National Rice Pudding Day, (I like mine with raisins, which is controversial, I know); and National Book Lovers Day.

On to the headlines…

As President Donald Trump prepares to leave today for his annual August holiday at his lush New Jersey golf club, he’s confronting a storm of crises, at home and abroad, that could set the course for his upcoming re-election bid.

A spokesperson for University Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, said none of the eight patients currently being treated for injuries from last weekend’s mass shooting agreed to meet with Trump during his visit Wednesday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer have spoken separately with Trump and urged him to support a universal background check bill. The president, they said, “gave us his assurances that he would review the bipartisan House-passed legislation.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will discuss measures aimed at addressing gun violence in September. He said he expects background checks, assault weapons and “red flag” laws to be part of the debate.

A day after ICE officers arrested nearly 700 people in sweeping raids at several food-processing plants in Mississippi, officials said that nearly half of those detained had already been released “on humanitarian grounds.”

Sue Gordon, a career CIA official who is serving as the principal deputy director of national intelligence, told the White House she would leave her job after she learned she would be passed over as director of national intelligence.

Trump announced that he will name Joseph Maguire, the current Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, as the nation’s acting top intelligence official.

The White House is reportedly exploring potential executive action Trump could take to address his and other Republicans’ allegations of anti-conservative bias among social media companies.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic 2020 contender, doubled down on characterizing Trump as a “white supremacist,” saying that she was just being “honest.”

David Dell’Aquila, a major donor to the National Rifle Association, has filed a federal lawsuit against the gun-rights group alleging fraud and financial misconduct at the highest levels of the organization.

Many survivors of mass shootings, victims’ families, law enforcement officials and legal experts are calling on lawmakers to create a domestic terrorism law that could aid investigators and punish perpetrators.

An anonymous Equinox employee is trying to organize a strike in protest against company head Stephen Ross’ Hamptons fundraiser for Trump’s re-election campaign.

Ross, the billionaire real estate developer getting flak for his Trump fundraiser, is facing yet another headache — thanks to the Long Island Railroad.

The MTA wants to change LIRR workers’ contracts so it can finally yank the pensions of those who commit overtime fraud and other abuses on the job.

Somewhere out there, the next Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lurks. So wary House Democrats are amassing campaign war chests to scare off progressive upstarts from challenging them in primaries — or trounce them if they try.

Parts of the Capital Region were without power after a line of thunderstorms, showers and winds took down trees and wires yesterday evening.

The Albany city police force is down nearly 50 police officers, a situation that leaves law enforcement in dire straits, a police union leader says.

The Guardian Angels were back patrolling the streets of Albany last night, due, they said, to recent violence in the city. They handed out fliers in Arbor Hill and interacted with community members.

Right off the bus from New York City, the Guardian Angels said they feel that they have a stronger partnership with the Albany Police Department this summer, after they were at odds with City Hall last summer.

An audit by the state Comptroller’s Office of New York’s lead poisoning prevention program calls into question whether some children with high levels of lead in their blood are getting the necessary services.

The Shenendehowa Athletic Director apologized after a now-deleted tweet showing an anonymous letter of concern going through the shredder resulted in criticism from followers.

A longstanding Adirondack tradition of volunteer trail maintenance is under moratorium this summer due to recent court ruling that helped redefine what it means to be a tree.

Schumer and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand recently announced $890,851 in federal funding to support a New York State health study on toxic PFAS chemicals.

Schumer demanded that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security immediately release its overdue report to Congress on Customs and Border Protection staffing at northern ports of entry, even as some officers return from duty in the southwest.

Police in Berkshire County say they believe a teenager was driving under the influence of marijuana earlier this week when he hit and seriously injured a 19-year-old girl.

Both state and county health officials have confirmed five cases of measles in a Mennonite community in Wyoming County.

While the Greater Johnstown School District has not met it’s donation goal to fund its Athletic programs, the board is very optimistic that the $300,000 goal will be met.

Private fundraising efforts for the Greater Johnstown School District’s athletic teams have raised $202,000 — enough money to fund its varsity and modified sports programs — district officials said.

The city of Troy is considering the Plastic Free Hudson Act, which would ban single-use styrofoam food containers, require customers to request straws, and opt in to the five-cent fee on paper bags once the state plastic bag ban takes effect.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie called the pension cuts for former St. Clare’s Hospital employees a “shame” and “heartbreaking,” adding: “We’re going to continue to try to look at it.”

Schenectady-based health insurer MVP Health Care is undertaking two major initiatives it hopes will improve the health of its subscribers and of high-need members of the community.

Multiple people were taken into custody in Schenectady in connection to an armed robbery investigation in Albany.

A portion of I-787 is closing this weekend.

Trainers, jockeys, and horses tend to get the most attention at the Saratoga Race Course, but there’s an entire community of backstretch workers who help operate the field.

New York’s new boating safety law, called Brianna’s Law, will require that all operators of motorized craft – regardless of age – have boating safety courses under their belts by 2025. An exception, though, is those who are renting boats.

Non-dairy ice cream is growing in popularity. If you’re among its fans, here’s where you can find it at Capital Region ice cream stands and shops.

Empire State Development officials approved a proposal for a controversial billion-dollar arena at Belmont Park that would become the New York Islanders next home — paving the way for construction to begin, a report said.

The venomous mangrove snake that escaped its enclosure at the Bronx Zoo was still on the loose yesterday, as officials said they believe it got out via a vent.

Photo credit: Silvia Lilly.



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