While You Were Out: Sept. 17, 2019

The work day is coming to a close, CivMixers, and I don’t know any other way to say this: GET. OUTSIDE. NOW.

We have so few really amazing days to enjoy in upstate New York. Either it’s hot and humid like a tropical jungle or freezing cold and snowy like some arctic tundra.

This day is neither of those extremes. This day is about as perfect as they come. You need to get out there and commit this day to memory, because a day like this just doesn’t come around nearly as often as we might like.

Breathe in the air. Soak up the sun. Take a stroll with a friend, with the dog, by yourself. Have a drink. Grill a burger. Live.

And, when you come back, these headlines will be waiting for you…

The House Judiciary Committee’s first hearing as part of its Trump impeachment investigation descended into chaos as Democrats clashed with a combative Corey Lewandowski, trading insults and accusations with the former Trump campaign manager, who refused to answer many of their questions.

Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, said the White House’s effort to stop or limit former staff from speaking fully before Congress amounted to a “shocking and dangerous assertion of executive privilege and absolute immunity.”

Contract talks between the United Auto Workers and General Motors showed some signs of progress as a strike by more than 49,000 employees extended into a second day.

In an apparent setback for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, exit polls showed the longtime Israeli leader falling short of securing a parliamentary majority with his hard-line allies in today’s election.

The Trump administration is expected to formally revoke California’s legal authority to set tailpipe pollution rules that are stricter than federal rules.

The Justice Department sued the former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, seeking to seize his proceeds from his new memoir because he did not submit the manuscript for review before it was published so officials could make sure it contained no classified information.

It appears the Cuomo administration’s license plate replacement plan is officially dead. More here.

…this comes on the heels of a new Siena poll that showed the majority of New Yorkers opposed the controversial license plate replacement program.

The poll also found Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a positive 48-46 favorability rating – an increase from a negative 43-50 favorability rating in August. The governor last had a positive favorability rating in the poll back in June.

Also in the poll: One-third of Democrats didn’t identify a preferred candidate to take on Trump in 2020, but the leading contender is former Vice President Joe Biden who garnered 22 percent of the support, with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 17 percent and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders collecting 15 percent.

Proponents of flavored e-cigarettes brought their protest directly to the governor this morning.

New York’s technology services agency has provided adequate oversight of outside consulting contracts, but a notable exception is its monitoring of a controversial IBM call center that was part of Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion,” according to a state comptroller’s audit.

The recently signed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act has heralded a new era of complexity for the energy sector, with still-evolving regulations and potential pitfalls when it comes to building new power plants or the conduits for transmitting electricity or natural gas.

A coalition of local elected leaders and candidates from across New York are calling on the state Public Campaign Financing Commission to enact the “strongest possible small donor matching system for state campaign.”

The FBI has raided the Sacandaga Lake home of MyPayrollHR executive Michael Mann, whose company shut down suddenly earlier this month, leaving thousands of workers across the country outraged and without a paycheck, some of them penniless.

RIP renowned ABC News journalist and political commentator Cokie Roberts, who has died at the age of 75 due to complications from breast cancer.

“We will miss Cokie beyond measure, both for her contributions and for her love and kindness,” her family said in a statement.

Shocked officials on Long Island said a group of teenagers recorded a fight and the deadly knife wound sustained by a 16-year-old student on their phones.

Attorney Winston Berkman-Breen will serve as the first student advocate and director of consumer advocacy for the state Department of Financial Services.

Troy Police are investigating what they have now deemed a homicide in the area of 4th Avenue and 111th Street after a female was found dead from a gunshot wound.

Albany County expects to spend nearly $350,000 to renovate the former state Department of Motor Vehicles building on South Pearl Street to prepare the space for the county’s Board of Elections.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple has never had an opponent since he first won his office in 2011 — and it shows in his campaign account. He has the most healthy campaign coffer of any sheriff in New York state — holding $483,599 in cash on hand as of July.

If ever you wanted a tangible symbol of the execrable relationship between Cuomo and New York’s largest Native American tribe – the Seneca Nation – it is the three miles of cracked, rutted and completely rotten highway running through this lakeside reservation.

If you’re looking to purchase a firearm in New York, you may have to wait. A new law went into effect last week extending the waiting period to 30-days on firearm sales requiring a background check.

All eyes are on Paris’s fire-ravaged Notre-Dame and its renovation. But a great cathedral in New York, the Church of St. John the Divine, is also recovering from a conflagration that occurred on Palm Sunday — one day before the medieval French Notre Dame was overcome by flames.

Comedian Demetri Martin has canceled his Friday night show at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie because of illness.

“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek says he’s had a setback in his battle with pancreatic cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy again.

The New York Giants have benched Eli Manning.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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