Rise and Shine: Oct. 4, 2019

Hello, Friday. I’m glad you’re here, and I’m betting there’s at least one or two CivMixers who likely feel the same.

We’ll have clouds in the morning, giving way to some sun (but still some clouds, too) in the afternoon, according to The Weather Channel. The temperature won’t likely break 60 degrees.

It’s National Taco Day, National Vodka Day, World Animal Day (also the feast day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals) and World Smile Day (which first began with Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Massachusetts, who designed the smiley face in 1963).

All that makes plenty of sense to me: Taco + strong drink + puppies (or kitties, or llamas, or bunnies etc.) = smile. Sounds about right.

New York state’s ban on flavored e-cigarette and vaping products was scheduled to take effect today, but was delayed by a temporary restraining order issued yesterday.

Meanwhile, federal consumer watchdogs have ordered Juul and five other vaping companies to hand over information about how they market e-cigarettes, the government’s latest move targeting the industry.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention intensified its warnings about the risks of vaping, as the number of patients with vaping-related illness continues to climb. The case count has reached 1,080, with 18 deaths in 15 states.

Connecticut health officials have announced the first death associated with vaping in the state.

In the headlines…

Two of President Trump’s top envoys to Ukraine worked on a statement for the country’s new president in August that would have committed Ukraine to pursuing investigations sought by Trump into his political rivals.

Trump told reporters yesterday: “China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.” His request came just moments after he discussed upcoming trade talks with China and said “if they don’t do what we want, we have tremendous power.”

Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who has aggressively promoted Trump’s fossil fuel agenda, is reportedly planning to step down by December, ending his run as one of the longest-serving cabinet members in a tumultuous administration.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office accused Trump of trying to run out the clock on its investigation of him and his family business, saying the president was seeking “as much delay as possible” to avoid turning over his tax returns as part of the inquiry.

A new scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York are among the most energy efficient states in the country.

After Saturday, Pope Francis will have named more than half of the voters within the College of Cardinals, where a two-thirds majority of those under the age of 80 are required to elect his successor.

The Vatican has ordered the Buffalo Catholic Diocese to be reviewed through an Apostolic Visitation. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn will visit to investigate the Diocese of Buffalo on behalf of the pope, according to Bishop Richard Malone.

Trump, his son Donald Jr. and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez engaged in some Twitter crossfire last night, with the president calling the congresswoman a “Wack Job” and her responding that he’s “a criminal.”

The New Jersey-based home goods retailer, which also operates buybuy Baby, Harmon Face Values and World Market, says it will close 60 Bed, Bad & Beyond stores in the fiscal year across the company – up 20 from the April estimate of 40 stores.

Like father, like son. Just as former Rep. Chris Collins showed no emotion when pleading guilty to felony insider trading charges, neither did his son Cameron. Cameron Collins’ future father-in-law, however, broke down crying before confessing to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

The governor said a special election to fill former Rep. Collins’ empty House seat makes sense.

Federal lawmakers who represent the Capital Region announced a legislative package aimed at closing gaps in safety regulations that contributed to last year’s limousine crash in Schoharie that killed 20 people, many of whom hailed from this Montgomery County community.

New York’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against a loan servicer that handles a student loan forgiveness program for public service workers over how the program has been managed.

A coalition of good government groups are celebrating a legal victory over Gov. Andrew Cuomo that would have required them to reveal the identity of their donors.

Ninety reverends, rabbis, imams and other religious leaders sent a letter to the NYC Council calling on pols to approve the controversial plan to close the notorious Rikers Island jail and open four replacement jails in its place.

When Riker’s closes, a garden sanctuary in the nation’s largest penal colony that has a remarkable track record for keeping inmates who have worked the soil there out of prison will be lost.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio disputed NYPD widow Leanne Simon­sen’s stance that “trigger-happy” cops led to friendly fire tragedies like the one that killer her husband, Officer Brian Mulkeen, but admitted the department needs new training.

Officers from throughout the tri-state area waited for up to three hours to get into the small confines of the Smith, Seaman & Quackenbush Funeral Home in the tiny Orange County village of Monroe, which was essentially shut down by the flood of mourners who came to honor Mulkeen.

Get ready to pay more for French wines, Scotch whisky, Italian cheese and hundreds of other imported favorites. New tariffs are coming, imposed by the Trump administration, after the World Trade Organization sided with the U.S. in a dispute with the European Union.

Ancient primodrial shark skull.” If that doesn’t spark some interest, I don’t know what will.

Dozens of nonunion city employees are poised to receive more than the 1 percent raise that Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan announced when she unveiled her 2020 budget plan.

Convicted ax murderer Christopher Porco has lost a round in his more than six-year legal battle against the Lifetime cable network, which in 2013 aired a movie about his notorious 2004 attack on his parents in their Delmar home. His mother, Joan, whom he was convicted of maiming, has joined the suit.

Albany won’t be getting the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault trial after the disgraced Hollywood mogul lost his long-shot bid to move it out of New York City.

An algae bloom is now plaguing bodies of water on Long Island, and Cuomo is taking emergency action to try to stop it.

A $13 million greenhouse for industrial hemp, a $35 million aquatic center and a $21 million life sciences training center are three of the Albany-area projects that could get funding in this year’s state money competition.

The city of Troy will pay $1.3 million to a woman who was seriously injured after trespassing at the city-owned derelict Leonard Hospital to watch fireworks in 2016 and then falling 20 feet off a ledge.

Saratoga Springs is among 14 percent of school districts nationwide that provided varied vegan lunch options for kids in at least one school in 2017, a figure up from 11.5 percent in 2016, according to the School Nutrition Association.

Albany’s Capital Repertory Theatre announced the public phase of its $13.5 million campaign to complete renovation of new space at 251 North Pearl Street, a building that once housed a National Biscuit Company bakery.

Albany’s Palace Theatre is hosting the premiere of a locally-shot James Franco movie on Saturday.

…The timing is unfortunate, given that Franco has been named in a lawsuit that alleges he and two other men ran an acting school that sexually exploited female students. The complaint was filed yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

A Staten Island man who was busted in a mob-linked scheme to rig a college basketball game was recently hired as an aide to Republican Staten Island state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis.

Rensselaer County is calling on the state to monitor the air near a landfill that’s causing headaches for residents.

The New York Health Department says it is remaining vigilant despite no active cases of the measles in the state.

The Adirondack Mountain Club appointed Michael Barrett as its new executive director, effective in November.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy has selected a new design for the bridge along the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail at New Scotland Road.

Spawn will soon become the longest-running creator-owned comic book series. The creator, Todd McFarlane, is already thinking about Issue No. 600.

The woman who jumped into a lion’s den at the Bronx Zoo has been identified, and police want your help in tracking her down.

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