Rise and Shine: Oct. 9, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, CivMixers. The middle of the week has arrived.

It will be partly cloudy today, and also humid, according to The Weather Channel. But there’s no rain in the forecast. Temperatures will reach the mid-60s.

As mentioned yesterday, it’s Yom Kippur – the holiest day of the Jewish year, which is observed with a 25-hour water and food fast.

It’s also Leif Erikson Day, which honors the Viking explorer believed to be the first recorded Nordic person to have visited North America, and World Post Day, which celebrates, well…snail mail, basically.

And here’s a new one: National Pet Obesity Day. We have a habit of over-loving our furry (or scaly?) companions in the US, and demonstrating that love through food. Pets, like their humans, need exercise and also to eat in moderation.

This also seems like a good time to inform you that not one, but TWO new studies by the American Heart Association, owning a dog is associated with an increased likelihood of living longer – especially among people who’ve previously had a heart attack or stroke.

It’s actor Guillermo del Toro’s birthday. He’s 54 and sharing this day with Japanese organizing expert Marie Kondo (34), model Bella Hadid (22), TV host Sharon Osborne (66), and musician Jackson Browne (70).

Speaking of musicians, singer John Lennon would have turned 79 today, had he not been assassinated at the age of 40. He shares his birthday with his son, Sean, who turns 43 today.

In the headlines…

The White House wrote to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and three Democratic committee leaders to say it won’t cooperate with the House’s ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump, framing the investigation as an effort to “overturn the results of the 2016 election.”

Pelosi, in turn, accused Trump of trying to “cover up” his dealings with Ukraine, adding: “The White House letter is only the latest attempt to cover up his betrayal of our democracy, and to insist that the President is above the law.”

Trump reportedly directed Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and two top State Department officials to deal with his private attorney Rudy Giuliani when the Ukrainian President sought to meet Trump, in a clear circumvention of official channels.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said that he supports a decision to invite Giuliani to testify before a key Senate panel, but said he must do so under oath.

Twitter “inadvertently” used phone numbers and email addresses its users provided for account security purposes to target ads, the company said.

Former Democratic presidential candidate and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fired back at Trump on Twitter after he teased that she should enter the crowded 2020 presidential race, saying: “Don’t tempt me. Do your job.”

The daughter-in-law of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has died, shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. Rainè Riggs was 46, and passed away the day after the senator returned home after suffering a heart attack.

Sanders, 78, said he planned to slow down his pace on the campaign trail after suffering a heart attack a week ago, and acknowledged that voters would likely consider his health when deciding whether to support him.

In a pair of exceptionally hard-fought arguments yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court struggled to decide whether a landmark 1964 civil rights law bars employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and transgender status.

A 17-year-old Bronx boy whose death was disclosed by New York State officials yesterday is the first teenager in the United States to die of a vaping-related illness, according to federal and state data.

Former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman may be gone from office, but the lawsuit be began against oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. for allegedly misleading its investors is set to go to trial in state Supreme Court in Manhattan on Oct. 23.

Months of hearings by a panel tasked with shaping the state’s Census preparations produced a 126-page report that is light on specific recommendations and defers much of its authority to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, according to some activists and experts.

Randy Rodriguez Santos, the 24-year-old man accused of going on a violent rampage and killing four fellow homeless men in NYC’s Chinatown over the weekend exhibited erratic and violent behavior for a number of years, the police said.

Santos is now suspected in another attack on a homeless man about a week earlier.

Actor Alec Baldwin’s gripes about getting scammed by Statue of Liberty ticket sellers at Battery Park garnered immediate attention — and, coincidentally or not, action from the de Blasio administration.

The Glens Falls Common Council is considering a local law that would put regulations on protests in the city – a move that comes after many incidents where people have come to them saying they felt unsafe at rallies.

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy, the city’s Development Director Kristin Diotte, Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, and Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly are part of a certified trade mission delegation of about 15 business, political, and educational leaders currently in the United Arab Emirates.

Nine more derelict buildings are slated to come down in the city of Schenectady.

The town board has moved to terminate a land preservation incentive agreement with one of Clifton Park’s remaining farms that will be the site of a solar farm array on the property.

The Rensselaer County Legislature unanimously voted in favor of asking the state to install monitors to provide information on air quality and any possible contaminants that may be emitting from the Dunn C&D Landfill.

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins says violent crime has declined between 2018 and 2019, after an overly violent summer in 2018.

Twenty-three names were added to the fallen firefighter memorial at the Empire State Plaza in Albany at the 22nd annual ceremony honoring those who died in the line of duty.

The number of combined cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia in the United States rose to a record high last year, including an alarming jump in the rate of newborn deaths caused by congenital syphilis, according to new numbers from the CDC.

Alabama’s capital, a city once known as the cradle of the Confederacy and later the birthplace of the civil rights movement, elected its first African American mayor: Probate Judge Steven Reed, 45.

The Empire State Building is opening its new 102nd-floor observatory, complete with floor-to-ceiling glass walls, on Saturday.

Former NBC News employee Brooke Nevils claims in a new book by Ronan Farrow that Matt Lauer raped her in a hotel room in 2014.

A Southwest flight from Chicago to Providence was diverted to Buffalo overnight, due to reports of smoke in the cockpit.

Hannaford-brand white American cheese — which can be purchased freshly sliced or pre-sliced at the supermarket’s deli counter — was recalled yesterday. Cheese purchased between Sept. 8 and Oct. 8 may contain metal fragments.

A surprising new study challenged decades of nutrition advice and gave consumers the green light to eat more red and processed meat. But what the study didn’t say is that its lead author has past research ties to the meat and food industry.

Bottled water and batteries were flying off the shelves at California stores as millions of customers prepared to live without electricity for days in the face of what Pacific Gas & Electric called an unprecedented wildfire danger.

Upstate resorts took seven out of 10 spots in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, which ranks the best resorts in New York State and Mid-Atlantic region.

The Sagamore Resort on Lake George was recently named one of the country’s “Best Haunted Hotels” by USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards.

Photo credit: George Fazio.



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