While You Were Out: Aug. 29, 2019

Good afternoon, CivMixers. I hope that you have not decided to call it quits early in anticipation of the impending Labor Day weekend, because right now we are SMACK in the middle of the one of the holiday weekend’s busiest travel times.

If you’re stuck in traffic, here are some headlines to keep you busy while you wait for things to free up. Please, do not read and drive. Very dangerous…we promote safe news consumption here at CivMix:

Hurricane Dorian is rapidly intensifying and the National Hurricane Center is now predicting the storm could strengthen to a Category 4 before making landfall along the east coast of Florida by Monday.

President Donald Trump announced he’s postponing a planned trip to Poland to stay in the US and deal with Dorian. Vice President Mike Pence will go instead.

Former FBI director James Comey violated policy by disclosing memos about his interactions with Trump to people outside the bureau, said a blistering Justice Department inspector general report, admonishing him for setting “a dangerous example” for officials with access to government secrets.

The Democratic presidential race is entering a new, field-culling phase. And the Sept. 12 debate stage is about to feel smaller, even if not everyone will go quietly.

After two rounds of back-to-back debate nights over the summer, the next Democratic presidential debate will be a one-night affair, with 10 candidates participating.

…Here’s the podium lineup for the debate.

The United States surgeon general today issued a public warning that smoking or vaping marijuana is dangerous for pregnant women and their developing babies.

Trump says he intends to nominate U.S. Attorney Grant Jaquith in Albany to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. (This requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate).

A Manhattan federal judge has officially dismissed the federal indictment against the late Jeffrey Epstein, following his Aug. 10 suicide while incarcerated in a Manhattan jail.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who proposed “Green New Deal” climate change legislation, warned that melting glaciers could release ancient diseases that the modern world is incapable of handling.

A state judge in Albany has struck down a cap on outside income for members of the Legislature promulgated by a committee last year as a trade-off for a raise of about $50,000 over three years for those officials.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo condemned the anti-Semitic criticism of the Hasidic community in Rockland County by the Rockland County Republican Committee in a since-deleted video, and called on New York Republicans to denounced it as well.

Cuomo continued to push back against the criticism of the plan to replace old license plates starting in April with new ones, requiring drivers to pay a $25 fee. He challenged lawmakers critical of his plan to return to Albany and address the issue.

…and then, the Cuomo administration signaled it is open to rolling back the fee, with state DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder vowing to work with the Legislature to come up with a new process for assessing aging plates amid continuing backlash from lawmakers of both parties.

The state Division of the Budget announced the approval of the state Board of Election’s plan to distribute $10 million to support early voting stations across New York.

Sackets Harbor Mayor Molly Reilly has resigned to take a job with the Cuomo administration, she’ll be the assistant secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs, starting Sept. 3.

Cuomo said during a WAMC interview that he is spending more time in Albany because his daughters are mostly all grown. He didn’t mention longtime girlfriend Sandra Lee, with whom he had been living in her Westchester home that is now up for sale, despite rumors that the two have split.

The governor signed Erin’s Law, which requires students in kindergarten through eighth grade to learn about the warning signs of exploitation and sex abuse. Lessons are practical and age appropriate.

Monroe County and County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo filed a lawsuit against the state over the Green Light Law that passed in the state Assembly and Senate’s in its past legislative session.

A day after Cuomo called for a stepped-up probe into potentially “improper” gas shut-offs by National Grid, five Long Island business and building-trade groups sent a letter urging the governor to approve a pipeline at the center of the gas company’s moratorium.

New York could do a better job planning how it spends billions of dollars each year on capital projects, according to a new report from the state comptroller’s office.

An Albany man was charged with three felonies after he fled from Troy police with over a kilogram of cocaine, police said.

A shooting in Schenectady’s Central State Street neighborhood sent a man to Albany Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the chest, police said.

The widow of a Bronx man who died in Schenectady police custody despite his pleas for help would be paid nearly $1.38 million under a deal the city reached to settle her wrongful-death case. Mayor Gary McCarthy must sign off on the payout.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s incarcerated former attorney, has convinced a judge to allow discovery in part of his lawsuit seeking more than $1 million in legal fees against the president’s real estate company.

Nearly a million people are expected this year at one of North America’s largest Caribbean Carnival celebrations taking place in New York City on Monday.

Scores of people are leaving the New York City area behind daily.

The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) and CDPHP announced this week that CDPHP Cycle! has already surpassed its season three ride goal, with more than 24,000 trips taken since April 1.

Vegan deli Berben & Wolff’s celebrated the opening of its second location in Troy today.

Another lemonade stand incident, though this one ended with a twist.

Crews were called to an early morning fire on Speigletown Road in the Troy-Schaghticoke area today after a car crashed on the front lawn of a house and caught fire.

It’s that time of year

Photo compliments of Silvia Lilly, who paid a visit to the Great State Fair today, and got to see the butter sculpture live and in person. (I’m jealous).

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