Rise and Shine: Sept. 27, 2019

Hello, Friday, you beautiful thing. You’ve gotta love a forecast that calls for “abundant sunshine,” CivMixers. We’ve got that today, according to The Weather Channel, plus temperatures in the low 70s and a zero percent chance of rain.

Enjoy it while you can, because there are thunderstorms on the horizon for tomorrow.

Because we’re all about living for today here at CivMix, I’m happy to inform you that it’s National German Sandwich Day, and also Sport Purple for Platelets Day AND World Tourism Day.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Lil Wayne and Google all share a birthday today, though apparently there’s some confusion about that last one.

In the news…

A whistle-blower — a CIA officer who once worked at the White House — said in a complaint that White House officials moved a transcript of President Trump’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, onto a secure, classified system to conceal actions by the president that they found “deeply disturbing.”

The story of the past two months is one of a White House scrambling to keep secrets to protect a president willing to cross lines others would not, only to find the very government he frequently disparages expose him.

A crucial cache of evidence in hand, House Democrats moved quickly with an impeachment inquiry they said would be focused tightly on Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, with some lawmakers saying they could move within a month or six weeks, possibly drafting articles of impeachment by the end of October.

Vulnerable House Democrats – including New York Rep. Anthony Brindisi – privately met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday to air out their views about the impeachment process, including some still resistant to the notion.

“While I find many of the statements in the whistleblower’s report disturbing, there’s a lot more information that’s out there,” Brindisi said. “We have to talk to some of these officials that they have listed in the report here and see where it goes.”

Joseph Maguire, acting director of National Intelligence, told members of the House Intelligence Committee that the whistleblower “did the right thing” in reporting concerns over Trump’s phone call with the President of Ukraine.

Trump has decided to slash the American refugee program by almost half, greatly dimming the United States’ role in accepting persecuted refugees from most parts of the world, the State Department announced.

The Trump administration, pressing the president’s complaints about homelessness in California, demanded the state improve the way it deals with human waste, arsenic and lead in water as it escalated the administration’s war with the country’s most populous state.

Jacques Chirac, a two-term French president who was the first leader to acknowledge France’s role in the Holocaust and who defiantly opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, died yesterday at the age of 86.

The “OK” hand gesture has been added to an expanding list of hate symbols used by white supremacists as the Anti-Defamation League announced dozens of new additions to its database.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 805 confirmed and probable cases of vaping-related breathing illness have been reported, up 52 percent from 530 a week ago. Illnesses have now occurred in almost every state, and 13 deaths have occurred.

The NYC comptroller issued a scathing report detailing how the city did not check for lead paint at 9,099 private residential buildings where 11,168 children tested positive for high levels of lead between 2013 and late 2018.

The NYC Department of Health had data pinpointing where children with elevated blood lead levels lived, but didn’t use it, the report found, unless the test results triggered a probe under the city’s standards, which were previously lower than the federal guidelines.

More than 80 illegal immigrants were arrested by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in New York over the past five days, officials said.

Crossing the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York is set to become costlier after the bistate agency that controls bridges, tunnels and the PATH rail system raised tolls and fares.

Dunkin’ Donuts failed to notify almost 20,000 customers across the U.S. about cyberattacks on their accounts in 2015 and inadequately warned more than 300,000 customers about another hacking attack in 2018, New York’s attorney general said in a lawsuit announced yesterday.

An aide to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the freshman congresswoman blocks people on Twitter if their input isn’t “constructive,” but a federal judge demanded that she come and explain that herself.

Albany County Public Defender Stephen Herrick — a retired county judge — has accused Colonie Court Clerk Mary Falace-Mayr of stonewalling more than a dozen public information requests from his office over more than two years.

A 25-mile police chase on the Northway yesterday morning ended with a crash on the Exit 25 off-ramp that ended up killing the driver of another vehicle, State Police said.

The state recently renewed an expired $1.5 million grant for work at 1 Monument Square in Troy and the city anticipates the proposed redevelopment going into the planning review process in spring, the city’s planning commissioner said.

Advocates for the homeless in NYC are set to hold their first “sleep out” demonstration since 2013, as their faith in Mayor Bill de Blasio and his affordable-housing efforts wane.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is adding menthol to the list of banned vaping products after reviewing recommendations from state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker.

Cuomo signed legislation that gives New Yorkers until February to register for the state’s presidential primaries — a fourth-month extension on the previous deadline.

Construction is up in NYC – and so are noise complaints. As a result, the City Council is considering limiting construction work to no earlier than 6 a.m. and no later than 10 p.m. on weekdays; weekend work would be restricted to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

It’s now against the law in New York City to threaten someone with a call to immigration authorities or refer to them as an “illegal alien” when motivated by hate.

NYC lawmakers want to shout “Cut!” at the Big Apple’s lucrative but disruptive film industry, which critics say could push studios to shoot elsewhere and endanger thousands of jobs.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a private university in Troy, is drawing flak for its latest student conduct policy, which critics say is worded to quell dissent and impede free speech.

A driver whose car was crushed when a tractor- trailer rolled onto it on I-787 walked away with just a cut on his finger, authorities said. He was pushed into the car’s passenger seat from the impact.

A staff sergeant is facing charges in a rollover accident that killed a U.S. Military Academy cadet during training exercises this summer, Army officials confirmed.

Schoharie County Court Judge George R. Bartlett III ordered a three week adjournment in the criminal case against limo owner Nauman Hussain to give DA Susan Mallery more time to answer a defense motion asking to inspect the grand jury minutes that lead to Hussain’s indictment.

The proposed $4.7 million 2020 budget for the Clifton Park Halfmoon Public Library was approved by a large margin last night, with a final vote of 669 to 142.

The Schenectady Gazette is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a special edition of the newspaper.

One of the most decorated amateur golfers in Capital Region history – Dan Russo, a Hagaman resident who plays out of Schuyler Meadows – finally has a New York State Golf Association championship title to his name.

Glenmont Elementary School is one of 13 schools in the state, and the only one in the Capital Region, to be named a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School by U.S. Department of Education.

The Westchester County executive has signed a bill to strengthen the county Health Department’s ability to prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases. The legislation was prompted by a measles outbreak in Rockland County and New York City.

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will be performing during the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020.

Shoppers will likely spend a whopping $2.6 billion on Halloween candy this year, according to the National Retail Federation. New York’s favorite candy: Hot Tamales.

Fast food giant McDonald’s is venturing into the meatless burger war with limited testing of Beyond Meat burgers.

The Impossible Burger officially made its East Coast grocery store debut yesterday at all of Wegmans’ 100 locations in seven states.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the World’s Largest Garage Sale in Warrensburg, which kicks off Oct. 5th and 6th. The annual event draws between 75,000 to 100,0000 shoppers to this small town in the Adirondacks.

The fourth annual Saratoga Giant Pumpkinfest is scheduled for this Sunday, offering attendees the opportunity to see some of the area’s largest pumpkins.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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