Rise and Shine: Oct. 24, 2019

Good morning and welcome to this late-fall Thursday, CivMixers!

It’s going to be a nice day, weather-wise – actually on the warm side, with temperatures reaching up to touch 67 degrees of so, and a “good deal” of sunshine, according to The Weather Channel.

Officially speaking, there are 59 days left until winter starts. Just saying.

It’s United Nations Day, marking the the anniversary of the ratification of the United Nations Charter, which occurred on this day in 1945.

It’s also National Bologna Day, for you processed lunch meat fans out there. Lunch meat has fallen out of favor with the nutrition/health community, but Im fairly certain it remains a guilty pleasure for a lot of people.

Personally, I think a really good bologna sandwich with some mayo AND mustard – yeah, I live life on the edge – is a delicacy, though not one I indulge in often…OK, ever.

Hip-hop superstar Aubrey Drake Graham, known around the world as Drake, turns 33 today. (He was actually born in Canada, did you know that?) He shares his birthday with TV personality Tila Tequila (38), Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit star B.D. Wong (50), and former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman (83), among others.

In the news today…

President Donald Trump said he will lift sanctions on Turkey after the NATO ally agreed to permanently stop fighting Kurdish forces in Syria and he defended his decision to withdraw American troops.

House Democrats might make their impeachment inquiry public as early as mid-November.

Congressional priorities seem to have stalled on big issues like gun control and the United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal as impeachment takes up more and more time and energy.

….However, the House did manage to unanimously pass a bill that makes animal cruelty a federal felony.

The House also approved legislation to better protect the country’s elections from foreign interference – the third major bill the Democratic-controlled chamber has passed this year addressing problems that arose in the 2016 presidential election.

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee asked the top congressional law enforcement official to “take action” in response to GOP lawmakers bringing electronic devices to a secure facility while disrupting the deposition of a witness in the impeachment inquiry.

Within a span of a few hours, former vice president and current 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden both condemned Trump’s use of the word “lynching” to describe the impeachment inquiry — and apologized for doing virtually the same thing more than 20 years ago.

One of the two indicted associates of Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, yesterday tied the case to the president himself, saying that some of the evidence gathered in the campaign-finance investigation could be subject to executive privilege.

The actress Rose McGowan sued Harvey Weinstein and the lawyers David Boies and Lisa Bloom, accusing them of directing a campaign of covert and illegal measures meant to discredit her and prevent her from going public with her rape accusation against him.

Trump caught flak after he boasted – incorrectly – that he is “building a beautiful wall” in Colorado, a state that does not border Mexico.

California’s began another widespread blackout yesterday that could affect hundreds of thousands of people as dangerous fire weather returns to California.

At long last, New York on Saturday will join the 38 other states that already allow some form of early voting. But with the anticipation comes an almost equal dose of concern over an array of possible problems.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sparred with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a Capitol Hill hearing over the social networking giant’s policy allowing politicians to run untrue political ads.

Shawn M. Morse, the embattled former ex-Cohoes mayor, is on track to receive more than $170,000 from the city for injury claims, including an incident last year when he slipped on the stairs inside City Hall following a Common Council meeting.

Levels of PFOA in the blood of village residents who participated in recent surveys has fallen by an average of 42 percent since state Health Department researchers first started tracking the substance in February 2016, officials said.

The search for clean drinking water continues in the village of Hoosick Falls.

Uncertainty continues to grow at Good Samaritan Village in Delmar, where employees and residents of the nursing home and assisted living facility just learned their parent company may sell the facilities to a for-profit company out of New York City.

A high-ranking NYPD lawman brokered a German porn star’s intimate tour of department headquarters behind the back of Commissioner James O’Neill and could be facing a disciplinary probe.

A former chief of staff and campaign treasurer for Brooklyn state Assemblyman Felix Ortiz admitted to using his boss’s campaign account as his own piggy bank, siphoning off $80,000 from the account over a seven-year period.

Transit union members threatened to “tar and feather” MTA Chairman Pat Foye while beefing with the agency amid tense contract negotiations.

NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson called on scandal-rocked Bronx lawmaker Andy King to resign just hours after the release of a blistering ethics report that found he engaged in self-dealing, abused his staff and retaliated against witnesses to his bad behavior.

Former NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was fired over the choking death of Eric Garner, is suing the police commissioner and the NYPD to try and get his job back.

The railroad company that owns use rights to a former freight line running through wilderness lands south of the High Peaks won’t oppose the state’s efforts to acquire the line for possible recreational use, according to federal filings.

The city of Schenectady is planning a series of improvements at Vale Park this winter, including resurfacing stone trails, installing new fencing, light posts, guardrails and signage, and improving the entrance at the trail connection to Eastern Avenue.

Dorothy Hart, former Mayfield town clerk, was sentenced in Fulton County Court to 250 hours of community service, plus she had to pay back $35,000 in property tax payments and dog license fees she stole over a four-year period.

Albany Airport Firefighter Josh Woodward, who recovered from sepsis earlier this year, had another surgery yesterday to amputate the area below his right knee.

This story is really nuts.

Saratoga Springs restaurant Esperanto is expanding operations to produce larger quantities of their bestselling item, the Oboy.

The Sculpins, the Capital Region’s only synchronized swim team, has been around for nearly 50 years, and while many people don’t realize it exists, it’s actually growing in popularity.

Vaping devices and cartridges will now be accepted during National Prescription Drug Take Back day this weekend, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Massachusetts lawmakers are tackling a tough proposal that would put an age restriction on tackle football.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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