Rise and Shine: Oct. 11, 2019

We did it, CivMixers! We made it to Friday in one piece. It might have been touch and go for a while there, but we made it. So reach around and pat yourself on the back, take a deep breath and smile…because the weekend is almost upon us.

It’s looking not too shabby from a weather standpoint. There will be sun and a few afternoon clouds, with temperatures reaching the mid-60s. The weekend is looking to be partly cloud (both Saturday and Sunday), again with temperatures in the mid-60s. So says The Weather Channel

It’s National Coming Out Day, and also the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. (Not a coincidence).

Rapper and fashionista Cardi B is turning 26 today. She shares her birthday with actor Luke Perry, who died at the age of 52 after suffering a massive stroke earlier this year, and singer Daryl Hall (of Hall and Oates fame), who’s still among us and turning 73.

If you haven’t already done so, get out there and register to vote! Today is the last day to do so if you want to be eligible to cast a ballot in the upcoming November elections.

You can sign up online, in person at local boards of elections and at most state agency offices or via a mail-in form. Online registration can be completed until midnight and any forms being mailed in need to be postmarked by midnight.

In the news…

Federal prosecutors unsealed charges against two men who have aided President Trump’s efforts to gather damaging information in Ukraine about his political opponents – a criminal case that signaled growing legal exposure for the president’s allies as Trump tries to blunt an impeachment inquiry in Congress.

The indictment of the two men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, associates of the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, sketched a complex scheme to violate campaign finance laws and did not accuse Trump of wrongdoing.

House investigators pounded the Trump administration and its allies with new subpoenas, demanding documents from Rick Perry, the energy secretary, and testimony from two more witnesses as they aggressively challenged a White House pledge to starve their impeachment inquiry of evidence.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren topped her Democratic 2020 rival former Vice President Joe Biden in five of seven national polls released this month — putting them neck-and-neck after months of Biden leading the pack for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Trump fans broke out into a chant of “Lock him Up” at a Minneapolis rally last night after Eric Trump mentioned Biden and his son Hunter.

The president renewed his attack on energy-efficient lightbulbs, disparaging the way they make him look – and holding them up as a prime example of his deregulatory agenda.

A damning report finds Boeing failed to adequately explain to regulators a new automated system that contributed to two crashes of the 737 Max, and the FAA lacked the capability to effectively analyze much of what Boeing did share about the new plane.

Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey, the first woman to lead the powerful House Appropriations Committee and a 31-year veteran of Congress, said she “just felt it was time” to retire at the age of 82 and not seek re-election next year.

Top officials in the Westchester County Democratic Party immediately started pitching Chelsea Clinton on launching a 2020 bid Lowey’s seat in light of the longtime congresswoman’s retirement announcement, according to a party source familiar with the matter.

Clinton herself does not live in Westchester, (her parents have a house in Chappaqua), but congressional candidates are not required to live in the district they represent.

Two candidates have already announced Democratic bids for Lowey’s district, which spans parts of Queens, the Bronx, Westchester and Rockland Counties: Mondaire Jones, a progressive lawyer and activist who served in the Justice Department during the Obama administration; and Luz Awilda Moreno Casanova, a nonprofit project coordinator from Yonkers.

The state attorney general’s office will not appeal two court rulings that struck down outside income restrictions for state lawmakers.

The NYT picks up the story of the fraudulent brake work done on the limo involved in last year’s deadly Schoharie crash.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was in Menands yesterday to unveil a new infrastructure plan.

The Republican mayoral candidate’s exit from active campaigning in Troy has left the Democratic incumbent sticking to his campaign platform and the minor party candidate eager to win Republican and Conservative voters’ support.

The city of Troy’s proposed $74.7 million 2020 budget unveiled by Mayor Patrick Madden will raise taxes by 3.4 percent and spending by 1.6 percent while delivering city services that residents have indicated they want during the extended this year’s campaign cycle that began in March.

A Troy man pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide after an investigation determined he sold fentanyl-laced drugs to someone who overdosed and died, police said.

Hundreds of bird species face long-term extinction if their habitats continue to grow warmer, according to the National Audubon Society, which released a report yesterday outlining projections of global warming in future decades if no action is taken to contain it.

The free newspaper amNY is officially going to be under new ownership.

State lawmakers warn that nursing homes are experiencing major budget cuts, but to a change by DOH in its reimbursement formula for nursing homes in July with the goal of improving accuracy and cutting down on abuse.

Could commuting on the State Thruway and Adirondack Northway become easier with staggered start times for the state employees in the Capital Region? Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, a Rotterdam Democrat, has proposed legislation to determine the answer.

A new public service announcement on concussions is comparing the dangers of youth football to smoking.

Eighty-seven people have died in fires in New York state this year alone – more than any other state in the country.

Firefighters in Schenectady responded to an early morning blaze on Eagle Street.

A Chicago-based insurance company has launched an opening salvo in what are expected to be bruising legal battles between the Buffalo Diocese and its insurers over payouts on clergy sex abuse claims under the Child Victims Act and the legal costs of defending the diocese against the claims.

Disabled people living and working in New York City make 20 percent less than those without disabilities, according to a new report.

They had to sit well apart from the men, and the stadium was practically empty, but thousands of Iranian women in merry jester hats and face paint blew horns and cheered yesterday at the first FIFA soccer match they were allowed to freely attend in decades.

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. learned he’s facing a new undisclosed charge in his sexual misconduct case, a development that came as jury selection was set to begin for his trial.

Actor Joaquin Phoenix hit a fire department vehicle with his Tesla and tracked down the paramedics to confess.

A man driving Kevin Hart’s vintage muscle car accelerated recklessly on a Southern California highway, causing the accident that left the comedian, driver and another passenger seriously injured, investigators said in a report released yesterday.

BMW is recalling more than 257,000 vehicles in the U.S. because drivers might not be able to see the backup camera display.

Photo credit: Silvia Lilly.

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