Rie and Shine: Oct. 10, 2019

And just like that, it’s Thursday. Sometimes time moves really fast, CivMixers, and sometimes – like, say, when eating and drinking are off the menu for a while – it just seems to crawl….by….so..slowly. Thankfully, that’s over.

It’s going to be another gray day, with maybe, possibly, some breaks of sun early on, according to The Weather Channel. There’s a chance of rain, which will increase as we move into the evening. Temperatures will be in the mid-60s.

It’s World Mental Health Day, which was established to promote education, awareness, and advocacy against the social stigma of people who suffer – many of them in silence – with a wide variety of illnesses, from depression to OCD.

“Treatment and support are available for those who need it, but the door to conversation must be open.”

Did you know: In the United States, almost half of adults (46.4 percent) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. 5 percent of adults (18 or older) experience a mental illness in any one year, equivalent to 43.8 million people.

Mental health is serious. It deserves attention. And resources.

TV show host Mario Lopez turns 46 today. He shares his birthday with, among others, ex-football player Brett Favre (50) and rocker David Lee Roth, who’s 65 (!).

Some interesting people died on this day, including actor Orson Wells (1985), actor and spinal cord injury activist Christopher Reeve (AKA Superman), who passed in 20024, actor Yul Brynner (2011) and singer Edith Piaf (1963).

Two Nobel Prizes in literature will be announced today after the 2018 literature award was postponed following sex abuse allegations that rocked the Swedish Academy.

In other news…

House Democrats prepared to force the Trump administration anew to answer questions in their impeachment investigation, one day after President Trump and the White House declared that they would defy Congress in one of the most extraordinary assertions of executive authority in modern times.

More than half of voters want Trump impeached and removed from office, according to a new Fox News poll.

Former Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, who led the committee that investigated the terrorist attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, will join Trump’s legal team as an outside adviser.

Trump traded Twitter insults with the Minneapolis mayor over who should pay more than $500,000 in security costs for the president’s scheduled rally today at a downtown arena – the first Trump rally since the impeachment scandal began.

Planned Parenthood’s super PAC announced a $45 million electoral campaign to defeat Trump and Republicans in key U.S. Senate races.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders acknowledged that he knew he had suffered a heart attack three days before his presidential campaign released that information, but he defended the decision to keep those details private.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang made an appearance at a rap concert in New York this week, in the latest attempt to dispel criticism that he has been perpetuating Asian stereotypes and feeding into the “model minority” myth.

A heavily armed gunman with a live-streaming head camera tried to storm a German synagogue as congregants observed Yom Kippur. Foiled by a locked door, he killed two people outside and wounded two others in an anti-Semitic spree that smacked of far-right terrorism.

A Holocaust memorial in White Plains was desecrated with hateful profanities on the eve of Yom Kippur, according to police officials.

Someone set fire to a backpack and left it on the steps of a Brooklyn Jewish center early on Yom Kippur, police said. The FDNY extinguished the fire without incident.

A new plan being pushed by Alaska’s governor against unionized state workers is drawing even more attention as states across the country consider how to respond to a Supreme Court decision last year that limited the power of unions to collect fees from nonmembers.

After four days, the police were still struggling to identify one of the four homeless men who were brutally killed in Chinatown last Saturday, and questions abounded about how the others ended up sleeping on the streets where they lost their lives.

About two million gallons of wastewater spilled into the Hudson River late last month after a pipe break at the Finch Paper mill in Glens Falls, state environmental officials confirmed.

Reports from two separate fiscal watchdog groups, the Empire Center of New York and the Citizens Budget Commission, detail the state’s declining efforts to curb Medicaid spending that has left the health care program at a deficit.

Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin and Richard Crist, the county’s operations director and a longtime GOP operative, pressured Republican candidate Thomas Reale to drop out of the Troy mayoral race this week during a heated meeting in which the pair screamed and allegedly leveled threats at the 37-year-old political newcomer.

The city of Albany is using $1.8 million from its debt reserve fund to help with its debt payment next year as its gears up to borrow over $15 million for improvement projects.

Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy unveiled his $773 million proposed 2020 budget to legislators and department heads, highlighting the adjustments being made to accommodate indigent legal services and bail reform.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins and Albany Police Officers Union President Gregory McGee met with community members last night to discuss a shortage of officers on the street.

A federal grand jury in Albany indicted seven Miami-area residents for an alleged scheme in which they used skimming devices to steal and use credit and debit card numbers from “pay at the pump” gas station customers in Albany, Montgomery and Broome counties.

Bronx Democratic state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, a member of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, proposed a bill to help preserve honey bee colonies by requiring require individuals to call the state’s Division of Plant Industry about bothersome hives or swarms at least a day before exterminating them.

Legislation approved last week will mandate Saratoga and nine other social service districts, including New York City, offer low-income parents the funding, which is already available in the rest of the Capital Region.

New York businesses that hadn’t completed new sexual harassment prevention trainings for their employees by yesterday are now officially out of compliance with state law.

…ironically, in the state Senate, which approved the sexual harassment training requirement, such training hasn’t been conducted for legislators and staff in the Capitol since March of last year. (A spokesman said the conference is in compliance with the new law if it holds training before the year ends).

Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week signed legislation amending the criminal procedure law to clarify that individuals convicted of petty offenses will have their records sealed by default.

Cuomo announced the success of the 10th annual “I LOVE NY Adirondack Oktoberfest,” promoting the world-class tourism destinations, attractions and recreational opportunities in upstate.

New eateries are coming to the Albany International Airport as boardings continue to climb, up 3.9 percent in August from a year earlier.

The Manhattan DA’s mortgage fraud case against Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, doesn’t violate double-jeopardy laws and shouldn’t be tossed, prosecutors argued in court papers.

New York City is suing more than 20 online e-cigarette vendors, alleging they sold and aggressively marketed their products to minors in the Big Apple.

Billy Easton, the longtime leader of the Alliance for Quality Education, is stepping down and will be replaced by the group’s legislative director, Jasmine Gripper, in January.

For decades, the Surrender at Saratoga, considered the turning point in the American Revolution, was only commemorated with blue and gold historic marker reading “Here Gen. Burgoyne surrendered his sword to Gen. Gates. Oct. 17, 1777.” That’s about to change.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is back to focusing full-time on her current post after endanger 2020 Democratic presidential bid, and insists her short-lived national effort never sidetracked her from issues important to her New York constituency.

A controversial far-right activist in the Glens Falls area claims North Country Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik’s staff reached out to him as part of an effort to pack the audience of an upcoming public meeting with her conservative supporters.

A federal court has ordered the suspension of MyPayrollHR CEO’s accounts, effectively freezing millions of dollars in cash and assets for Michael Mann.

The Department of Transportation says the $11 million Cohoes Boulevard construction project, which includes first-in-the-region elevated red crosswalks to make pedestrians more visible, is 80 percent complete.

Saratoga Springs will open a Code Blue Shelter at 4 Adelphi St. at the end of this month, but it’s only a two-year lease.

Sheldon Roberts, a UAlbany graduate, is looking to put millions of dollars into renovating the former Beech-Nut factory in Canajoharie to turn it into a hemp processing plant.

Two companies will be bringing 400 new jobs to downtown Syracuse, the governor announced.

Actor Vince Vaughn is shooting a movie in Central New York, and the set is getting even more public as it takes over downtown Syracuse.

The Diocese of Brooklyn is adding a float featuring Mother Cabrini to the Columbus Day Parade — a jab at Mayor Bill de Blasio and first lady Chirlane McCray for snubbing the Italian American icon and saint in a recent statue competition.

RIP John Carey, a former mayor of Rye and longtime judge who presided over the famous “Fatal Attraction” murder case, who died this week at the age of 95.

Never a show to shy from tough subjects, “Sesame Street” is tackling America’s opioid epidemic head on, revealing that Karli, the little green Muppet with yellow hair, was in foster care because her mother suffered from addiction.

A SUNY Binghamton professor was one of three scientists awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on lithium-ion batteries.

Brooke Nevils, the former NBC employee who accused Matt Lauer of rape, called his open letter defense a “case study in victim shaming.”

Photo credit: Silvia Lilly.

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