While You Were Out: Aug. 28, 2019

As Wednesday draws to a close, it looks like we’re in for some rain, CivMixers, so be aware if you’re heading out and about this evening.

In the news…

President Trump’s signature campaign promise to build a wall along the southwestern border is far behind schedule. So he has told his aides to get the job done by whatever means necessary – including by seizing land on the Mexican frontier.

Those traveling this Labor Day weekend can expect clear sailing for the most part, as the summer vacation season winds down and students return to school.

…The only potential trouble spot will be the southeastern part of the country, where Dorian was expected to strengthen into a hurricane that could affect Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced it is deploying state resources to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in advance of Hurricane Dorian.

Facebook said it will strengthen how it verifies which groups and people place political advertising on its site, as the social network braces for the 2020 presidential election in the United States and works to reduce the spread of online disinformation.

The White House ambitions of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand were dealt a setback today, as she appears likely to be shut out from the third round of Democratic presidential debates on Sept. 12. It’s not clear where New York’s junior senator takes her campaign after this formal culling by the DNC.

UPDATE: Gillibrand tells the New York Times she’s ending her 2020 bid, but declined to endorse any of her erstwhile opponents – yet – saying: “I will support whoever the nominee is, and I will do whatever it takes to beat Trump.”

…also not going to be on the debate stage: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. But Andrew Yang, a Schenectady native, is in.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued policy guidance outlining the requirements to obtain citizenship in the United States for children of U.S. government employees and members of the United States armed forces employed or stationed outside the country.

New polls show former Vice President Joe Biden with a significant national lead in the Democratic race as the contest heads into the intense fall campaign season, with Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders rounding out a threesome that seems to have separated from the rest of the field.

Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel chain, said it will eliminate small plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel from its hotel rooms worldwide by December 2020.

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, has arrived in New York City after a two-week sail across the Atlantic.

An overwhelming majority of Democratic voters say Trump’s frequent use of Twitter should be a focus of White House hopefuls in the 2020 campaign season, according to a new Hill-HarrisX poll.

New York’s ongoing measles outbreak may cause the United States to lose its measles elimination status — an achievement that’s been in place since 2000 and signaled the eradication of the disease.

A key provision of the marijuana decriminalization law took effect today as records of low-level marijuana arrests and convictions are expunged.

The family of a newlywed Amsterdam couple who along with 18 others died in last fall’s horrific limousine crash in Schoharie, is suing Mavis Discount Tire over an allegedly illegal inspection and shoddy brake repairs made to the stretch Ford Excursion in the months before the tragedy.

The union that represents NYPD officers has voted “no confidence” in their commissioner, James O’Neill, and the city’s mayor, de Blasio.

State Senate Health Committee Chair Gustavo Rivera is leading a delegation to Toronto to study the Canadian single-payer healthcare system – including a tour of sites where supervised drug use is allowed.

The governor issued a letter to the Department of Public Service to broaden its investigation into National Grid’s refusal of service amid an ongoing battle over a proposed natural gas pipeline.

Another 14 cases of vaping-related illness have been reported in New York since state health officials earlier this month first warned that 11 people using vaping devices had to be hospitalized.

NYPD Chief Terence Monahan admitted cops are making fewer arrests for minor crimes in the wake of Officer Daniel Pantaleo’s firing — but the top cop said he had “no fear” that an NYPD cop would allow anyone to get hurt.

Google announced that it would be creating a separate YouTube site to host videos for children, following accusations that the video-streaming site had been violating children’s privacy laws.

Republican WNY Rep. Tom Reed said he will refer to the Department of Justice moving forward on a request he made for a federal investigation into Cuomo and his administration.

The city of Saratoga Springs’ Democratic Committee has withdrawn its endorsement of incumbent Commissioner of Finance and June primary loser Michele Madigan.

The former Price-Greenleaf nursery property in Delmar is going to be transformed into a fitness studio and cafe that will be easily accessible from both Delaware Avenue and the Albany County rail trail that runs right behind it.

The Applestone Meat Co., founded in Ulster County more than a decade ago, has opened a location in Hudson that offers fresh cuts of meat from its whole-animal butchery that are available via vending machines in a storefront open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Lady Liberty’s torch shines again. Quietly, and with no fanfare, the miniature replica of the Statue of Liberty materialized this morning at the corner of Erie Boulevard and Union Street in Schenectady, complete with a block base and newly planted planted grass.

Women who worked for Kingston developer Steven Aaron experienced workplace tantrums, lewd remarks and vulgarity that included him placing his hands in his pants, according to documents filed Aug. 23 in U.S. District Court in Albany.

NYRA today announced adjustments to weekday post times for the portion of the upcoming fall meet that will be run at Belmont Park.

A State of Emergency on certain bays in Wayne County has been lifted by the Wayne County Board of Supervisors.

With the approaching retirement of Saratoga Springs Democratic Commissioner of Public Safety Peter Martin, the City of Saratoga Springs will be electing his successor in the November General Election.

“Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary was reportedly involved in a weekend boat crash on a Canadian lake that killed two people.

Now you don’t have to go to McDonald’s to order a Quarter Pounder: McDelivery has begun in the Capital Region, through DoorDash.com.

KFC is working on its own agenda as the fast food chicken sandwich wars wage on around it: a plant-based “chicken” that proved so popular in a sales test that it sold out in a single day.

You still have time to get your fair fix heading into the three-day weekend.

Speaking of which…You need this, trust me.

The end of an era.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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