Rise and Shine: Sept. 17, 2019

Brrr. It’s a bit brisk this Tuesday morning, CivMixers – just a hair under 50 degrees as I write this.

But not to worry, we’re headed up to the low 70s with what looks like another lovely day. We’ll see clear skies, lots of sun, just a touch of humidity and zero percent chance of rain, according to The Weather Channel.

Now THAT is a forecast. Thanks very much, I’ll take it.

Some action down in D.C. today, where Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee will hold their first official hearing in what they are calling an impeachment investigation today.

Corey Lewandowski, President Donald Trump’s outspoken former campaign manager, is scheduled to appear to discuss former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. (You can watch that live on C-Span, if you’re so inclined).

The Trump administration is directing Lewandowski not to answer questions about events that occurred after Trump was elected.

The White House also has instructed two former Trump aides not to appear at today’s hearing, saying Rick Dearborn and Rob Porter are “absolutely immune” from testifying.

Trump, meanwhile, is headed to raise campaign cash in California – a state he has repeatedly bashed to appease his conservative base.

The memoir of Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whose leaks of classified documents sparked a debate about U.S. government surveillance, goes on sale today.

Across the globe: Israelis are going to the polls today for the second time in less than six months in an election that could see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 69, win a record fifth term.

Closer to home, Siena College will hold a memorial mass for its former president, Brother Edward Coughlin, at 4 p.m. in the Alumni Recreation Center today.

In the news…

Talks continued into the night but there was no end to the strike against General Motors.

GM workers say they are striking to get what they see as their fair share of the company’s hefty returns and block further erosion of their ranks.

Trump said that Iran appeared to have been responsible for the weekend attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. But he also said he would “like to avoid” a military conflict with Tehran, emphasized his interest in diplomacy and played down the attack’s jolt to the global oil market.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 Democratic candidate, spoke before thousands of people gathered in Washington Square Park, using a pivotal moment of her campaign to paint a vivid and at times gruesome picture of corruption, and the history of women, specifically, who have fought back.

The Working Families Party, whose electoral influence has grown since it backed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for president four years ago, is now supporting Warren for the Democratic nomination.

Maurice Mitchell, WFP national director, said Warren “strikes fear into the hearts of the robber barons who rigged the system, and offers hope to millions of working people who have been shut out of our democracy and economy.”

The New York Times had to issue a correction to its story about another decades-old accusation of sexual misconduct against US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh because it failed to tell readers that the alleged victim doesn’t remember the incident.

Former Catholic Bishop Howard J. Hubbard has been accused of sexual abuse in a second civil complaint — this one alleging he and two other Albany priests sexually assaulted a teenage girl repeatedly in the rectory of Immaculate Conception Church in Schenectady in the late 1970s. He has denied both charges.

Rep Anthony Brindisi says banning the sale of flavored milk in New York City schools could hurt kids and upstate dairy farmers. He penned a letter to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to keep offering school children flavored milk.

A Rensselaer County law that requires a 45-day notice before blasting an area has halted plans for bedrock blasting at the Amazon warehouse site on Route 9.

Retailers who sell vaping products in New York are scrambling in response to a proposal by the governor to ban flavored e-cigarettes.

The NY Post editorial board says elected officials – including both Cuomo and Trump – “are scapegoating e-cigs for harm they haven’t done.”

Experts say the governor’s executive order banning flavored e-cigarettes has shortcomings – including that it’s not necessarily legal flavored e-cigarettes linked to deaths, that menthol isn’t included among the banned flavors and that medicinal marijuana users rely on vaping under state law.

Niskayuna High School students are already greeted by signs to deter smoking and vaping, but now there’s something new: vape detectors.

It has been almost a year since the tragic limousine crash in Schoharie took 20 lives. A permanent memorial dedicated to the victims and first responders will be unveiled on the anniversary, October 6.

State police are investigating a deadly, multi-car crash that occurred yesterday afternoon on Route 9W in Athens, Greene County.

New York lawmakers said they will seek to enact legislation to stem the flow of untraceable “ghost guns” that are becoming more prevalent in criminal cases.

A city watchdog agency said the New York City Department of Education bungled running a system to track school buses for disabled children, leaving the city unable to recoup millions of dollars in federal reimbursements.

Due to concern expressed by some parents, not all New York public schools held a moment of silence in commemoration of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks in Manhattan this year to comply with a law approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier in the month.

A judge has dismissed a case brought by former SUNY Plattsburgh student Matthew Jacobson that argued Cuomo’s “Enough is Enough” law, which created parameters for campus policies on sexual violence, was unconstitutionally vague.

A new law in New York prohibits courts from denying child adoptions to petitioners who are already a legally-recognized parent.

The Cohoes driver accused of driving drunk twice the legal limit in May and causing a crash that killed a husband and wife pleaded guilty in the case.

Local adult and student activists are gearing up for Friday’s Global Climate Strike and March to underscore what they say are the threats posed by climate change and a government response that is coming too slowly for their liking.

In NYC, the Education Department has said some 1.1 million school kids won’t be penalized for skipping class to attend global youth climate strikes.

The International Center for Leadership in Education, a division of learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, announced that former state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has joined ICLE as a senior fellow.

As local governments across New York switch to new technologies to save money, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released his Smart Tech Report in Schenectady.

CDPHP is partnering with several local, independent physician practices to create a new medical facility in Clifton Park.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said that his state should join a handful of others – including New York – that require minors to receive vaccinations for preventable diseases, eliminating most exceptions.

A member of the commission that oversees art and architecture on NYC property suggested that instead of simply adding statues of historical female figures to Central Park, the panel yank out some of the male ones first.

Nearly 400 New York landlords met recently at Turning Stone Casino to discuss lobbying in Albany to add amendments to the rent laws passed by the state Legislature in June.

New York’s homeless population could be reduced by 23 percent if not for restrictive local housing regulations, according to a study by the Trump administration’s Council of Economic Advisors.

A bill proposed by Queens Democratic state Sen. Jessica Ramos would dramatically expand child care services for infants and toddlers under 3, and fund that with a new payroll tax.

New York City’s Weill Cornell Medicine plans to increase its scholarship offerings to eliminate education debt for students demonstrating financial need, an expansion that follows other similar debt-relief efforts at medical schools in the city.

Concert stars, comedians and other nontheatrical artists are finding their way to Broadway. And audiences are coming to their shows in respectable numbers.

Hall of Fame Yankees closer Mariano Rivera received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump at the White House yesterday.

Two blockbuster books about the upstate sex cult NXIVM are reportedly in the works: one by a woman who had a baby with cult leader Keith Raniere, and one by India Oxenberg, the Hollywood scion who was allegedly recruited by “Smallville” star Allison Mack.

Clinton County Legislator Simon Conroy was arrested earlier this month for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, and now faces another charge: seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (cocaine).

The iconic building that used to house The Saratogian newspaper in downtown Saratoga Springs will soon be a beer hall and coffee house.

With lots of special events scheduled this coming weekend, it’s going to be a taxing time for the Albany Police Department.

Would you like to own an upstate sandwich chain? Now’s your chance.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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