Rise and Shine: Oct. 8, 2019

It’s a reality of the digital age: technology is amazing until it doesn’t work. And then you’re just SOL.

We had server outage yesterday. It was incredibly annoying. (You know how things go). It kept us from updating you with your afternoon headlines, and for that, we are very sorry, even though it was due to circumstances very far outside our control.

But we are BACK, CivMixers, and better than ever. Onward.

It’s Tuesday, and it looks like we’re going to get some sun for a change. But don’t get too used to it, because there’s more rain in the forecast for the future.

Today, according to our friends at The Weather Channel, there’s a 0 percent chance of precipitation, and it will be cloudy in the morning. Temperatures will be in the mid-to-high 60s.

Actress Bella Thorne turns a whopping 22 today. She shares her birthday with Bruno Mars (34), Matt Damon (49), Sigourney Weaver (70!) and Nick Cannon (39), among others.

In non-religious matters: It’s National Fluffernutter Day and National Pierogi Day.

On this day in history, (in 1998), the House of Representatives voted to begin impeachment hearings against then-President Bill Clinton on charges of lying about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. (Oh, the irony).

Also today, the Great Chicago Fire started and burned for three days before it finally burned itself out Tuesday, Oct. 10, 1871.

Yom Kippur, (the Day of Atonement), the holiest day of the Jewish year, begins at sundown today and lasts through sundown tomorrow. This day marks the culmination of the 10 Days of Awe, a period of introspection and repentance that follows Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Jews all over the world will be observing Yom Kippur with a food-and-water fast.

The Hindu holiday of Vijayadashami is also today. Read more about that here.

U.S. Supreme Court justices today will hear oral arguments in three lawsuits to determine if an employer can fire someone on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

In the headlines…

A federal judge issued a ruling that effectively ordered President Trump’s accountants to turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to the Manhattan DA, whose office is investigating whether the Trump Organization falsified business records related to hush payments.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero called Trump’s claims of immunity “repugnant” to the U.S. Constitution.

The president’s attorneys immediately appealed, and an appeals court temporarily blocked the ruling, so for now, the president can keep his financial information secret.

Trump threw Middle East policy into turmoil with a series of conflicting signals after his vow to withdraw American forces from the region touched off an uprising among congressional Republicans and protests by America’s allies.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged Trump to reverse the move to “prevent significant conflict between our NATO ally Turkey and our local Syrian counterterrorism partners.” He said a supermajority of senators opposed the removal of troops, which could mean a veto-proof action if lawmakers decide to act.

The House expanded its impeachment inquiry, issuing subpoenas to the Defense Department and the Office of Management and Budget for documents about whether Trump’s decision to withhold security aid for Ukraine was tied to his efforts to pressure the government there to investigate his political rivals.

The DC attorney representing the whistleblower whose complaint now threatens Trump’s future, Mark Zaid, is an Albany Law School grad, and a comic-book aficionado whose clients include the family of John Wilkes Booth and a retired Secret Service agent once accused of firing the shot that killed JFK.

China’s state broadcaster CCTV said that it would halt broadcasts of the National Basketball Association’s games as backlash intensified against the U.S. league over a tweet that expressed support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters.

The tweet by Daryl Morey, a Houston Rockets executive, was quickly deleted, and the NBA moved to smooth things over in a lucrative market that generates millions of dollars in revenue, saying it was “regrettable” that many Chinese fans had been offended.

Tourists and workers on Wall Street yesterday were met by a jarring spectacle: protesters, some lying in pools of fake blood outside the New York Stock Exchange, some dancing and others chanting, all to call attention to people killed by climate-related disease and disaster.

The state legislative calendar for the 2020 session shows state lawmakers will be in Albany for 57 days next year. The calendar is front-loaded with session days in January and February in order to accommodate the June congressional and state primaries.

Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, 73, was hospitalized yesterday after suffering a fainting spell in Manhattan.

Maloney in a statement said she had been feeling ill when she went to work, adding: “I am recovering from bronchitis, and probably should have stayed home. After some rest and chicken soup, I am looking forward to getting back to work for the people of New York.”

In a letter he recently sent to friends and family looking for character references for the judge to read prior to his sentencing in January 2020, former WNY Republican Rep. Chris Collins revealed he’s now a Florida resident.

A federal judge denied New York State’s request to combine Rensselaer County’s Green Light Law challenge with another challenge in Erie County.

An 83-year-old homeless man that some residents of Chinatown knew as “Uncle Kwok,” whose given name was Chuen Kwok, was bludgeoned to death on Saturday as he slept in the familiar alcove where he had sought a degree of security.

….Kwok was one of four homeless men killed by Randy Rodriguez Santos, a homeless 24-year-old man with a history of violence, who was arrested two blocks away and charged with their murders.

It took a federal judge to reign in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s fiercest strikes against his good government critics, ending a three-year court battle over a state law that would have required the watchdog groups to disclose their donors.

Cuomo signed legislation requiring medical officials to obtain a patient’s consent before subjecting them to a pelvic exam while unconscious or under anesthesia.

MTA officials plan to add elevators at 70 subway stations in the next five years — a stunning pledge of $5.5 billion, making it a top priority in the agency’s ambitious new spending plan.

The governor has called for a forensic audit of the MTA capital plan.

A majority of New Yorkers believe vaping is a serious public health problem and support Cuomo’s effort to ban flavored e-cigarettes, a new Siena College poll shows.

New York’s CBD-related industries are experiencing some growing pains with their rapid expansion.

If you wish to vote in the general election next month, there’s just a few days left to act before it will be too late to register. You must be registered by this Friday, Oct. 11th.

Discussing their top priorities at the Troy 100 Forum last night, the city’s three mayoral candidates in the Nov. 5 election stuck to their respective campaign platforms.

Nearly a year after Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove was swept from office in a failed re-election bid, his attorney argued before an appellate court that the former prosecutor should not face criminal charges related to his handling of a 2016 fatal police shooting in Troy.

The city of Troy has declined to disclose records that may confirm how it hired and paid a law enforcement consultant who issued a once-secret report they say rebutted findings of an internal investigation into that same fatal police shooting.

Some parents who lost religious exemptions to New York state’s vaccine requirements for their school-age children, have sought waivers on medical grounds. But they said that hasn’t worked very well, as schools in many cases are turning down such exemptions.

Federal transportation investigators have traced the origins of the stretch Ford Excursion involved in last year’s Schoharie limo crash to a dusty stretch of road in the Ozarks.

The mother of Matthew Coons, one of the 20 people killed in the Schoharie limo crash, is suing the limo company operator and Mavis Discount Tire.

An attorney anticipates also filing a claim against New York state over the condition of the Route 30-Route 30A intersection where the crash occurred, in a rural spot north of the village of Schoharie.

Two other civil lawsuits were filed in State Supreme Court by the families of two other limo passengers who died, Patrick Cushing and Rachel Cavosie.

Eric Wohlleber, a Postenkill town councilman running for re-election, was ticketed for aggravated DWI in a two-vehicle accident when his blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit, the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office said.

Republican North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik has already amassed a mighty re-election war chest with Democrat Tedra Cobb trailing significantly in third-quarter fundraising.

Former Republican Rep. Chris Gibson will join the Siena College faculty in September 2020 as a visiting professor in the political science and history departments. He’s a 1986 Siena grad himself.

WBAI-FM 99.5, a listener-supported radio station in New York City that has been on the air since 1955, abruptly announced yesterday it is shutting down.

The station’s California-based nonprofit parent, Pacifica Foundation, in a statement blamed “ongoing and continued projections of further financial losses” for the abrupt shuttering of WBAI.

Former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano has been formally barred from practicing law in New York because of his conviction on federal corruption charges, court papers show.

The parking problem in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks continues.

The state Education Department is seeking input from the public for its review and potential overhaul of New York’s high school graduation requirements. In addition to a series of public meetings, people may send ideas and comments to gradmeasures@nysed.gov.

General Electric is freezing the pension plans of about 20,000 of its workers and offering pension buyouts to 100,000 former employees as it attempts to reduce its mountain of debt.

First responders walked up the Corning Tower in Albany last night – twice – in the inaugural Capital Memorial Stair Climb to honor firefighters, police officers and EMTs who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

Cuomo has signed a law that prohibits ambulance and first responder service providers from disclosing or selling patient information.

Work is underway on a series of long-planned infrastructure projects in Schenectady’s historic Stockade neighborhood. City-run projects include a new water pump station and pressurized main pipeline for wastewater.

Police are investigating a series of break-ins that occurred in Clifton Park over the weekend.

Massachusetts health officials are reporting the state’s first death from a vaping-related lung injury.

The Yankees continued their postseason dominance of Minnesota, clinching their series with a 5-1 win in Minneapolis and advancing to the American League Championship Series.

Ellen DeGeneres defended her friendship with former President George W. Bush, with whom she was recently spotted laughing at a football game.

Actor and “30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin said he was hustled by a fake Statue of Liberty tour operator while out sightseeing with his wife, Hilaria, and their kids.

The Fix Cafe & Bakery has opened at 850 Madison Ave. in Albany, a storefront that previously was home to a pizza shop and, very briefly in 2014, an Italian place called Ernesto’s on Madison.

Masala House, which opened a little less than a year ago in Peter Harris Plaza in East Greenbush, later this month will open a second location, at the Lark Street-Madison Avenue-Delaware Avenue intersection in Albany.

The average commute time for Americans is at an all-time high, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. People spent an average of 225 hours a year commuting – up 20 minutes from the year before. Overall, that’s about 9 days of your life spent getting to and from work.

Photo credit: George Fazio.



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