Rise and Shine, Oct. 16, 2019

I’ve got to confess, CivMixers, that between Yom Kippur last week and Columbus Day this past Monday, I’m having trouble keeping my days straight. I keep thinking we’re a day ahead. Just in case you’re with me on this one: It’s Wednesday, for the record.

Good morning.

We’re in for rain today and tomorrow – quite a lot of rain, actually. It will be cloudy in the morning, and then the precipitation will start in the afternoon. Rain will be locally heavy at times, and the chance of it falling is 100 percent, according to The Weather Channel. Tonight, between two and three inches of rain is expected, and it’s going to be very windy, with gusts of up to 30 mph.

“The storm’s intense pressure change may qualify the storm as a meteorological ‘bomb,’ which often causes concentrated areas of high-speed wind and heavy rain. The rain and wind are expected to stretch from Maine down to Northern Virginia and also reach inland into Western New York and Pennsylvania.”

And also…”This is a classic case of a winter-type nor’easter (certainly not rare in October) that, if it were a month now, would bring at least some of us some snow.”

There may be flooding, power outages and/or travel delays.

Be careful out there.

Today is World Food Day – a day of observance to draw attention to the plight of the hungry – and also National Feral Cat Day AND Global Cat Day. Of course, the cats get two days for the price of one, because…cats.

TV actress Angela Lansbury turns 94 today!!! She shares her birthday with Flea, the bassist from the Red Hot Chili Peppers (57), musician Bob Weir (72) and singer John Mayer (42), among others.

In the headlines…

Last night’s Democratic debate (the fourth thus far) revealed new dynamics in the Democratic presidential race: Sen. Elizabeth Warren took sustained fire from multiple rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden struggled to make an impact and Mayor Pete Buttigieg and other candidates were newly aggressive in making their points.

Also, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders faced questions about his health after suffering a heart attack that kept him off the campaign trail for several weeks. “I’m healthy and feeling great,” Sanders insisted. (The age issue was broached for other candidates, too).

Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar have endorsed Sanders for president.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard went after the hosts of the debate — CNN and The New York Times — calling their coverage of her “completely despicable.”

The candidates presented a mostly united front on the question of impeaching President Donald Trump, and again mixed things up on healthcare.

The debate’s final question was inspired by what many saw as an unlikely friendship between TV host Ellen DeGeneres and former GOP President George W. Bush, who sat next to each other at a football game together recently. (This question sparked a frenzy of criticism on the internet).

A majority of New Yorkers believe congressional Democrats are justified in conducting an impeachment investigation into Trump for his interactions with the leader of Ukraine, according to a new poll.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders have decided to hold off on a full House vote authorizing an impeachment inquiry into Trump, according to multiple lawmakers and aides.

…The decision came after Democratic leaders, returning to Washington following a two-week recess, had reached out to members of their diverse caucus to gauge the party’s support for such a vote.

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani announced he will not comply with a congressional subpoena in the impeachment inquiry against Trump, calling the proceedings “illegitimate, unconstitutional, and baseless.”

Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, repeatedly urged Trump to arrange for the deportation of a Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, calling him a violent extremist who needed to face justice in Turkey, former White House officials said.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s probe into Trump’s finances is relying on “confidential informants,” his lawyers revealed in a new filing.

Trump issued his second veto against legislation seeking to end his national emergency at the southwestern border, rejecting bipartisan objections to his efforts to obtain funds for a border wall.

A new study finds that a full-scale single-payer health insurance program, also called “Medicare for All,” would cost about $32 trillion over 10 years.

After Gov. Andrew Cuomo dropped the n-word during a live radio interview yesterday morning while talking about racism against Italian Americans, his press office declined to discuss the incident.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who is black, said he “didn’t take any offense” to Cuomo’s comments on WAMC radio, which came as the gov discussed racism against Italian Americans. “The Governor was quoting a New York Times story and was using it for context,” said Heastie.

The governor’s job approval rating is inching up among New York voters, the latest Siena poll finds.

The Sexual Harassment Working Group — made up of former legislative staffers sexually harassed by their bosses — wants Cuomo to remove NBC News chief Andrew Lack from his position as vice chairman of state’s Olympic Regional Development Board, which deals with promoting upstate tourism in the Lake Placid area.

More than 75,000 elderly and disabled New Yorkers who rely on a popular home care service – the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program – are cheering a court ruling that declared the state’s recent cuts to the program unconstitutional.

Two dozen public health and community organizations have filed an amicus brief in an effort to convince a state court that New York’s ban on flavored e-cigarettes should not be halted by a preliminary injunction.

The vast majority of the 125 pulmonary illnesses in New York are because of black market THC cartridges, not nicotine E-cigs, according to Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.

A national solid waste and recycling expert visited the Capital Region this week and assessed programs in various local municipalities. (Bethlehem got high marks; Albany did not).

Now that Saratoga County has agreed to once again fund the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation, the decade-old debate on the nonprofit’s compliance with state Authorities Budget Office has resurfaced.

The Capital District Gondola, which has been talked about for the past three years, took a step forward when the Rensselaer Planning Commission unanimously approved a motion to make itself lead agency in the State Environmental Quality Review Process for the project.

The state Health Department is holding public meetings in four New York regions with higher rates of cancer – Erie, Warren and Suffolk counties and on Staten Island.

Mayors in three Capital Region cities – Albany, Schenectady, and Troy – are installing new solar-powered security monitoring devices in some of their vacant buildings to reduce the chances of someone getting injured in or around the properties.

Albany Police have identified the man killed in a homicide on Monday night as 20-year-old Kenneth Love of Albany.

Love’s killing is the latest incident for a block troubled with shootings and homicides.

A longstanding tuxedo shop in Troy, Rodino’s, is closing after 71 years in business.

Rep. Paul Tonko will enter the fourth quarter of this fundraising year with nearly $1 million to fund his 2020 re-election effort. The Amsterdam Democrat raised about $158,000 from July to the end of September, his campaign said.

Dante de Blasio, the mayor’s son who graduated from Yale University in May, earned $650 a week from Aug. 1 through Sept. 16 as a policy analyst for his father’s presidential campaign, according to FEC disclosures filed late yesterday.

The State University of New York announced the formation of a mental health and wellness task force designed to address the needs of students.

Amazon has become a lucrative place to do business for many Hasidic Jews, offering anonymity to a largely insular community and allowing women to work from home.

A man who was released from prison last week was in critical condition late yesterday after being shot multiple times by police officers who were on patrol in Brooklyn when they encountered him firing at a second man, the police said.

An off-duty NYPD sergeant shot and killed himself inside his Queens home on Tuesday, the 10th NYPD officer to take his own life this year, law enforcement sources said.

A new proposal would prevent plastic straws from being provided at restaurants in Massachusetts unless you specifically ask for one.

Chipotle is rolling out a new program to pay for its employees’ college degrees.

Ancestry, a company widely known for connecting people with information about their family roots, is expanding its services to include health history, using DNA screenings to test pre-dispositions for certain diseases and disorders.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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