Rise and Shine: Oct. 7, 2019

Hello, CivMixers, and welcome to the rather dreary start of another work week. We’re going to see periods of rain this Monday, according to The Weather Channel, some of which may be heavy at times.

The chance of rain is 100 percent, which is sort of a bummer. But, then again, it IS October. Temperatures will be in the mid 60s, and it’s going to be very humid.

This is a pretty notable day in history. On Oct., 7, 2001, following the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon a U.S.-led coalition launched an intense bombing campaign on Taliban-controlled Afghanistan hoping to locate and destroy the terrorist Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda organization.

Also on this day in 1982, the musical “Cats” opened at Winter Garden Theater on Broadway NYC, and then proceeded to run for nearly 18 years before closing on Sept. 10, 2000.

If you celebrate a birthday today, you’re in very interesting company, sharing it with English TV personality Simon Cowell (59), Russian President Vladimir Putin (66), rocker John Mellencamp (68), cellist Yo-Yo Ma (64), and South African Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Desmond Tutu (88).

It’s also National Child Health Day and National Frappe Day. In case you’re wondering, the definition of a frappe is “a drink served with ice or frozen to a slushy consistency.”

(Yesterday, I neglected to tell you that it was ​National Transfer Money to Your Daughter Day and also National Plus Size Appreciation Day AND National Noodle Day, among others).

It was a somber weekend for many in the Capital Region as we marked the one-year anniversary of the Schoharie County limo crash, which claimed 20 lives and became the nation’s deadliest road-transportation disaster in more than a decade.

Family, friends and first responders yesterday attended the private unveiling of a permanent memorial for the crash victims.

The memorial was built near the place were the stretch limo, carrying 17 passengers on its way to a birthday party in Cooperstown, crashed through the intersection of routes 30 and 30A at high speed into the parking lot of the Apple Barrel Country Store, killing two pedestrians, before crashing into a ravine and killing everyone inside.

The memorial features an Iroquois Skydome – a symbol for the origin of life on Earth and where we go after death. In the center there is a large sculpture that is the Reflections Foundation logo. A unique shoe print on each stone represents the lasting impressions of the victims. There also will be stones honoring the emergency responders.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced new legislation to beef up safety standards for modified limousines, saying he will introduce a bill to require seat belts, stricter requirements for seats and other safety features like side air bags that are not currently required for limos.

In the news…

A second whistleblower has come forward with information about President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, adding to the impeachment peril engulfing the White House and potentially providing new leads to Democrats in their unfurling investigation of Trump’s conduct.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the State Department intends to follow the law in the House impeachment investigation and vigorously defended Trump, dismissing questions about the president’s attempts to push Ukraine and China to investigate a Democratic political rival.

Trump told GOP lawmakers that he didn’t want to make the phone call to the Ukrainian president that sparked an impeachment inquiry in the House but did so after being urged by Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vows to stop any Democratic push for impeachment in a social media campaign ad that he’s using as a platform to raise campaign funds off the inquiry of Trump.

Hudson Valley Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney defended fellow Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff in the face of blistering attacks from Trump over the House’s impeachment effort.

In a major shift in United States military policy in Syria, the White House said Trump had given his endorsement for a Turkish military operation that would sweep away American-backed Kurdish forces near the border in Syria.

A jittery Hong Kong was again engulfed by clashes between protesters and the police yesterday, hours after tens of thousands of people marched in a largely peaceful show of force against a contentious ban on face masks.

Contract talks aimed at ending a 21-day strike by the United Auto Workers against General Motors have taken a turn for the worse, hitting a big snag over product commitments for U.S. factories, a union official wrote in an email to members.

Two men opened fire inside a bar in Kansas City, Kansas, early yesterday, killing four people and wounding five others in a shooting believed to have stemmed from an earlier dispute, police said.

The brutal killing of four homeless men occurred over the weekend in Chinatown – a Manhattan neighborhood where the street homeless problem has long persisted. A 24-year-old homeless man, Randy Santos, was charged yesterday with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

The deaths of the four men brought the dangers of living on the street into full public view, renewing attention on the unsheltered homeless, who make up only about 5 percent of the estimated 79,000 homeless people in New York City.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2020 Democratic contender, returned to his home in Burlington, Vermont, on Saturday as he recovers from a heart attack.

Tomorrow, New York’s pay equity law will go into effect, barring employers from paying workers differently because of a slew of new factors — including sex, domestic violence victim status, marital status and military service history.

The Complete Count Commission, which was tasked last year with preparing New York for the 2020 census, has scheduled a meeting for tomorrow morning that lists a discussion and vote on recommendations that were due in January and will shape the state’s Census preparations.

The election for executive of Erie County is being fought over road paving and economic-development policy but is also shaping up to be a bellwether of voter sentiment for next year’s presidential election.

A question on the ballot on Election Day asks whether NYC should have ranked-choice voting in future primaries and some citywide races. If voters approve it, candidates in some races would be selected by order of preference.

New exit and entrance ramps are nearing completion on Exits 3 and 4 of the Adirondack Northway, a project intended to improve connections between the interstate and Albany International Airport. DOT officials are expecting the project to be substantially finished by Dec. 18 – about a month early.

Driving schools in jeopardy of losing business are raising safety concerns about the potential of new driver’s license applicants being able to take their preparatory classes online.

Cheryl Coleman, one of the Capital Region’s most outspoken and successful defense lawyers, is retiring at the age of 64.

Democratic Reps. Antonio Delgado and Paul Tonko both held local events this past Friday with members of the Federal Communications Commission to discuss broadband access in upstate New York.

Speaking of Delgado, get ready to see a lot of him if you live in and around NY-19. He released his first TV campaign advertisement for the 2020 election Friday. He is also the target of a Republican National Committee TV commercial attacking his support for impeachment.

A Brooklyn man driving without a license has been charged after police say he struck and killed a ten-year-old riding his bike in the crosswalk.

Nine years after it was first conceived, Plus Pool – a self-filtering swimming pool on the East River – remains an intriguing idea with no firm date to be constructed or opened.

Author William Kennedy and his longtime friend and colleague, director Francis Ford Coppola, reunited at The Egg last night to rehash the creative process behind their 1984 film “The Cotton Club.”

Medicaid members in Rensselaer County now have emergency medical treatment in the palms of their hands. It’s called “ER Anywhere” because all you need is a phone or tablet to be immediately connected with an emergency physician.

Former Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard has been accused of sexual abuse in a third civil complaint.

New York City wants to establish a climate change “laboratory” – “a major center for climate adaptation research, commercialization, conversation and policymaking” – on Governors Island.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s quixotic bid for the Democratic presidential nomination ended in flames last month, which may have also damaged his future political prospects, experts say.

A deer crashed through a salon window Saturday on Long Island, jumping over a woman who was sitting on a couch. It was all caught on camera.

The startling video underscored the dangers of surging deer populations that are encroaching on populated areas of the Northeast.

On the heels of two recent anti-Semitic crimes, Jewish leaders across the five boroughs are demanding that more cops patrol their communities as Yom Kippur approaches.

Albany’s planning department was out on Lark Street on Friday, getting input on their curb extension project that’s in the works. They want comprehensive feedback before drawing out the final designs.

A very bad flu season could be on the horizon.

I’m not sure what happened since I was a kid…Two-thirds of parents give their child an allowance, and the average weekly amount is $30, according to a survey published this week by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. That’s up from $17 in 2016, the group said.

Thousands of people showed up to an outdoor shopping center in Utah this past weekend to see rapper Kanye West perform what he calls a worship service.

Former President Jimmy Carter had a black eye and 14 stitches after a fall at his Georgia home, but made it to a concert and ceremony to rally volunteers in Tennessee ahead of his 36th home building project for Habitat for Humanity.

RIP Ginger Baker, the volatile and propulsive drummer for Cream and other bands who wielded blues power and jazz finesse and helped shatter boundaries of time, tempo and style in popular music, who died yesterday at age 80.

Also RIP Rip Taylor, a flamboyant mainstay of the comedy circuit who was known for his gags involving confetti, his brand of self-deprecating humor in which he would remove his toupee and his extensive voice work, who died yesterday in Los Angeles at the age of 84.

Tomorrow night, hundreds are expected to assemble in Troy for an annual meeting and toast of the League of Extraordinary Red Heads which is presenting “Night of the Walking Red VII” at Ryan’s Wake Public House.

After yet another standout performance, star gymnast Simone Biles can now add two more signature moves that bear her name to her already lengthy list of accomplishments.

Prince Harry is suing two British tabloids for allegedly hacking his phone and stealing his voicemails.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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