Rise and Shine: Sept. 9, 2019

A SUPER early good morning to you, CivMixers. I’ve got a train to catch, so I am up before the birds, it seems, and just wanted to check in with you all before I depart.

It looks like more of the same in the weather department, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 70s, according to The Weather Channel.

That’s going to continue through Tuesday, when we have something of a mini two-day heat wave, with the mercury headed up into the mid 80s (on Wednesday). The humidity will start to climb again, and we might even see some rain (showers and thunderstorms).

Mother Nature is so mercurial.

Congress is back in session today, and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is ready to pursue a revamped legislative agenda, with gun control at the top of his “to do” list.

There’s also a number of must-pass bills on the agenda for lawmakers on Capitol Hill – including spending legislation to prevent a government shutdown on Oct. 1. House Democrats are focused on passing a continuing resolution, while Senate Republicans are set to make a late start at moving fiscal 2020 bills.

House Democrats are also poised upon their return to D.C. to significantly broaden their nascent impeachment inquiry into Trump beyond the findings of the Russia investigation, but they will confront a fast-dwindling political clock.


The U.S. Air Force has ordered a world-wide review of how it chooses overnight accommodations on long flights following revelations that air crews had occasionally stayed at President Donald Trump’s Scotland resort while refueling at a small commercial airport nearby.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Taliban “overreached” with a car bomb attack in Kabul that killed an American soldier, leading President Donald Trump to call off closely-held Afghanistan peace talks planned for Camp David.

Trump’s weekend tweet canceling the secret meetings at Camp David with the Taliban and Afghan leaders just days before the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks is the latest example of a commander in chief willing to take a big risk in pursuit of a foreign policy victory only to see it dashed.

Former South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford says he’s running for president, making him the latest Republican to attempt a long-shot bid against Trump in the 2020 GOP primary.

Trump may be the only member of his family to win major elected office, but his campaign manager for the 2020 re-election effort is already envisioning a family political dynasty that will outlast his time in the White House.

Rescuers were searching yesterday for four crew members of a cargo ship that overturned and caught fire near a port on the Georgia coast, but the efforts ran into trouble amid the flames and instability of the ship, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The extent of the damage done by Hurricane Dorian in the Abaco Islands is so great, the work of assessing it so arduous and the Bahamian government so overwhelmed that a full accounting of the missing and dead may not be known for weeks or even months.

Joichi Ito, the director of the M.I.T. Media Lab, resigned on Saturday, one day after an article in The New Yorker reported the lab hid its financial relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Former top officials of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are assailing the agency for undermining its weather forecasters as it defends Trump’s statement from days ago that Hurricane Dorian threatened Alabama.

Billionaire Tom Steyer has qualified for the October Democratic primary debate, becoming the 11th candidate to do so.

State and local governments have sought billions from Purdue Pharma as a way to hold the company and the family that owns it accountable for the opioid epidemic – a potential payout that is now clouded in uncertainty after settlement talks broke down.

What started as a fun summer story could continue as a September headache for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: Plategate, a plan to change the design of the state’s license plates and mandate that all drivers pay for new ones.

Thousands of people across New York and the nation were caught in the financial riptide precipitated by the mysterious closure of a Clifton Park-based payroll company – many of them caretakers for the elderly and disabled earning little more than minimum wage.

Clients of MyPayrollHR have been living a nightmare the past several days, trying to understand why their past two paychecks have been withdrawn from their accounts.

The governor called for an investigation into MyPayrollHR’s “sudden and unexplained” shutdown.

Cuomo wants to make permanent the “New York Buy American Act,” which requires the state’s big infrastructure projects to use American-made steel and iron.

Cuomo announced the state Department of Health will issue guidelines urging New Yorkers to stop vaping.

An editorial in The New England Journal of Medicine stated bluntly that doctors should discourage their patients from vaping.

Like it or not, the one-million-square-foot warehouse that Amazon is building on Route 9 in Schodack is likely going to be completed sometime in early 2020 when it will become Amazon’s first large-scale distribution center in upstate New York.

About 200 people blocked off the intersection in front of the Rensselaer County Jail yesterday to protest the sheriff’s policy to hand over inmates who have an immigration hold to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The city of Albany urged residents to be cautious about doing laundry while a chemical that has turned drinking water pink washes through the system, but insisted it’s safe to drink and cook with.

More than an hour before kickoff yesterday, lines of sports gamblers stretched more than 50 deep in two directions at Rivers Casino and Resort. The crowds for the opening weekend of NFL football illustrated the popularity of sports gambling at New York’s casinos.

A 6-year-old boy suffered a head injury after being hit by a car in Albany over the weekend.

Katherine Sweeney, a 75-year-old retired teacher, learned last year that the state overpaid her $49,000 due to a pension miscalculation on its part — and now is has apparently happened again. This time the state says she’s been overpaid by another $14,000.

A free shuttle bus service designed to relieve traffic congestion in the Adirondack High Peaks region and paid for by Essex County will start running this fall.

A Dallas, TX man battered the bronze, 7,000-pound Charging Bull statue on Wall Street in Manhattan with a makeshift metal banjo while cursing the president. He was arrested, charged with criminal mischief and disorderly conduct and then released.

Thousands of small property owners in New York City have been hit with a pileup of fines – an unintended result of a decade-long crackdown set off by fatal construction accidents.

Lawmakers are raising new concerns over open-door helicopter tours around Manhattan, which now allow dogs on board.

More than a dozen hospitals in and around New York City lost phone service on Friday night, hampering their ability to answer the incoming calls of relatives who were seeking to speak with patients or check on their status.

A police cruiser crashed into the front of a Brooklyn health food store on Saturday night — injuring five people, including two cops — after it was nailed by another vehicle, officials said.

State Supreme Court Justice Armando Montano says he was punished by the Bronx Democratic chairman, Assemblyman Marcus Crespo, for bucking the patronage system and refusing to hire the chair’s former aide as a confidential assistant.

Cuomo announced that the New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 14 locations to the State and National Registers of Historic Places — including the Amsterdam Free Library.

The City of Saratoga Springs invites the community to a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at High Rock Park on Sept. 11, 2019.

Saratoga Springs Police Lt. Shane Crooks will be sworn in as the 21st City of Saratoga Springs’s chief of police tomorrow. The public is invited to attend the event, which will be held at the City Recreation Center located at 15 Vanderbilt Ave.

New York Army National Guard Lt. Col. Joseph Chodnicki of Delanson, an Afghan War veteran, received a New York State Conspicuous Service Medal and an Air Force Achievement Medal during a recent ceremony at New York National Guard Headquarters in Latham.

About 60,000 people stayed at Airbnb locations in Saratoga County this summer, making Saratoga Springs and environs the busiest place in the Capital Region for the room-sharing service. This is a concern for both local hotels and local governments, which worry about losing room tax revenue.

Thousands of people descended onto the grounds of Congregation Agudat Achim yesterday for its 41st annual Carrot Festival, proving that what started out as a small event more than four decades ago has grown into a much-loved community event.

Early bear hunting season is open in some southeastern parts of upstate.

A portion of the Erie Canal in Oneida County that was closed to boat traffic after a bridge over the canal appeared ready to collapse has reopened.

Lots of boats and people gathered in Waterford over the weekend for the 20th annual Waterford Tugboat Roundup.

Famed chef Rachael Ray will stop in the Capital Region next month as part of her latest book tour. The one-time local chef is appearing at Northshire Books in Saratoga Springs Oct. 17 for an event where pre-signed copies of her new cookbook will be handed out.

Tennis great Rafael Nadal won the U.S. Open to claim his 19th Grand Slam title.

Mystery tomato plants are growing on pilings in the East River.

Photo credit: George Fazio.



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