Rise and Shine: Oct. 21, 2019

Good Monday morning, CivMixers.

We are creeping steadily toward the holiday season. I’m starting to see Thanksgiving-themed items hit store shelves, and even a few Christmas mentions here and there for the ambitious early shoppers among us. (I know, some of you are probably done already, and took advantage of the post-holiday sales last year).

This accelerated calendar thing bugs me. Heck, we haven’t even gotten to Halloween yet! It is, of course, right around the corner, so I hope you’ve got that costume all mapped out…

We’re looking at some fairly mild temperatures today, hovering right around 60 degrees, according to The Weather Channel. There will be areas of morning fog giving way to periods of sun in the afternoon.

There’s a “dense fog advisory” in effect until around 9 a.m. for some parts of the region. Be careful on your morning commute, if you’re impacted by this.

The Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, which commemorates the joy of the Jews having the Torah, starts today. It’s also International Day of the Nacho, National Apple Day, National Reptile Awareness Day and more. In addition, National Health Education Week kicks off today.

Reality TV star and influencer Kim Kardashian is turning 38 today. She shares her birthday with model Amber Rose (36), and Judge Judy (77). Actress Carrie Fisher (AKA Princess Leia) would have been celebrating a birthday today, too, had she not passed away in 2016 after suffering a heart attack. RIP.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and NY-19 Rep. Antonio Delgado, both Democrats, are expected to visit the city of Hudson this morning to make an announcement regarding new legislation to invest in rural communities.

In the headlines…

Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney took a series of shots at President Trump, saying that some of the president’s rhetoric appealed to racism and claiming that under his leadership, the US was abandoning allied Kurdish fighters in Syria.

Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, yesterday again tried to control the damage from his earlier acknowledgment that the White House used nearly $400 million in aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate the 2016 presidential election.

Trump says he is reversing his plan to hold the next Group of Seven world leaders’ meeting at his Doral, Florida, golf resort. More here.

Thomas D’Alesandro III, a former Baltimore mayor who led the city during the 1968 riots and brother of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has died.

As United States troops continued their withdrawal from Syria yesterday, a line of cars carried their routed former allies, terrified civilians and dead bodies out of a pulverized border town that had been besieged by Turkish forces for more than a week.

Even for a president who often lards his online missives with typos, caps-lock abuses and errant exclamation points, Trump’s Twitter missive on Syria yesterday contained an outsize number of errors.

At least 12 white supremacists have been arrested on allegations of plotting, threatening or carrying out anti-Semitic attacks in the US since the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue nearly one year ago, a Jewish civil rights group reported.

Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke to UFT members over the weekend in Manhattan and promised teachers a “generous” raise if he’s elected to the White House.

At his first rally since suffering a heart attack just two and a half weeks ago, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders reveled in one of the most coveted endorsements in the Democratic Party, from New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“To put it bluntly, I am back,” Sanders declared at a rally his campaign estimated was attended by 26,000 people – the largest number any Democratic presidential candidate has drawn this year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo defiantly addressed his n-word scandal for the first time yesterday, blaming the press for his decision to say the racist slur in full on the radio.

Several state lawmakers are trying to ban the release of helium-filled balloons at everything from weddings to kindergarten graduations — arguing the celebrations are bad for the environment.

Cuomo passed the buck on the Long Island Williams Pipeline proposal to the state Legislature, leaving lawmakers scratching their heads, because they lack the authority to approve or kill the project.

TU columnist Casey Seiler imagines how a conversation between himself and the governor, who is angry with Seiler, might go – using some of Cuomo’s own words against him.

Another part of the Northway’s Exit 3 opened yesterday as the $32.2 million project that links the interstate to Albany International Airport enters its final weeks.

Jeffrey Griffin, a former staffer to Queens Democratic state Sen. Joe Addabbo who has been working to unseat his old boss was fired by the pol several months ago after porn links were found on his office computer.

As state Sen. David Carlucci prepares a campaign for Congress, some activists in his Hudson Valley district say his previous membership in a faction of breakaway Democrats will dog him in a primary.

The four NYC Council members whose districts are set to host controversial new jails each live more than a mile away from where the new lockups will be built.

The head of the corrections officers’ union and a former NYPD commissioner criticized the closing of Rikers Island, calling the plan to build jails throughout the boroughs “insane.”

A widespread search was underway last night for a West Point cadet who disappeared late Friday afternoon with a rifle and “may be a danger to himself,” officials said.

The local elections this fall will serve as a test run for the state’s adoption of early voting, which was authorized earlier this year by the state Legislature and Cuomo. It will be required for all future municipal, state and federal elections.

A huge pile of legislation passed this year by newly empowered New York Democrats is still awaiting the governor’s signature, and advocacy groups and lawmakers are clamoring to get their bills turned into law.

Jason Ohnsman, 29, the Ballston High School football team head coach, has been placed on leave after he was charged with a DWI Saturday night, officials said.

Republican Congressional Medal of Honor recipient David Bellavia will not run for office in NY-27, instead opting to serve the country in a leadership position, most likely in Iraq.

Read about the last desperate days of the quixotic 2020 Democratic bid of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio here.

The city of Schenectady will soon be joining Rochester and Syracuse in using gunshot-detection technology.

Attorneys for New York have signaled they are not challenging court rulings that invalidated a ban on outside income for state lawmakers and linked pay raises.

Albany police charged three people in connection with the Saturday night shooting of a 16-year-old, including a Brooklyn man who is on parole for manslaughter.

The Albany Police Department is asking the public for help after a series of three shootings, which includes two homicides, over the last week.

When inmates in a New York maximum-security prison beat Harvard in a debate four years ago, their victory made international headlines and highlighted the intellectual talent behind bars. Now, the three debaters who outsmarted the Ivy Leaguers have a new round of accomplishments.

Crowd control has been an issue for several years as a combination of state advertising campaigns, social media and a surging interest in adventure sports has drawn unprecedented numbers of hikers to High Peaks trails. And the people just keep coming.

Here are five less crowded High Peaks area trails to try.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded a federal probe into “very troubling” reports that baby food products are contaminated with lead and other toxic heavy metals.

Schumer is also calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lend assistance after a forest fire devastated land at a popular hiking destination in the Hudson Highlands.

Troy school officials say they are aware of social media rumors of a possible threat, and are not concerned.

The James T. Foley U.S. Courthouse in Albany will play host next month to a reenactment of one of the most high-profile cases in American history, the 1951 trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the couple convicted of supplying atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet Union.

A New York farmer said thieves are apparently mistaking his hemp plants for marijuana.

An Amsterdam woman was killed by a drunk driver overnight on Saturday while she was delivering newspapers for The Daily Gazette and Amsterdam Recorded.

The Fulton County Democratic Committee has chosen not to endorse any candidates for Gloversville city office, the only place Democrats have a governing majority in the Republican-dominated county.

Davon Washington is one of our young men who won a $980,000 settlement after a lawsuit described brutal beatings at an Albany jail following their transfer off Rikers Island.

Vaping-related illnesses and deaths have spurred more young people to seek help to quit, physicians and psychologists treating teenage users of e-cigarettes say, but few treatment options exist and there is rising concern that the public-health response for cessation programs is inadequate.

The Rockettes have become more diverse.

The bestselling country duo of all time, Brooks & Dunn, joined the Country Music Hall of Fame alongside comedian and singer Ray Stevens and record executive Jerry Bradley last night, in a star-filled ceremony full of tributes to their lasting legacies.

Next year, one toy company will, for the first time, release toy soldiers depicting women in combat roles in the American military after a six-year-old girl named Vivian’s complaints spurred widespread media coverage this summer and fall.

In a new documentary, Prince Harry publicly hinted at a long-suspected rift between himself and his brother, Prince William.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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