While You Were Out: Oct. 28, 2019

Another Monday has come and (almost) gone, CivMixers. I think it’s safe to say that we are past peak foliage in much of the region, which makes me sad. Fall is already a little melancholy, things are slowing down…getting ready for the deep and cold hibernation period that is winter.

On the plus side – or maybe the minus, depending on your stress level surrounding these sorts of things – the holidays are almost upon us! But not to worry, you do have a few shopping days left until Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanza etc.

In the news today…

The House plans to take its first formal vote Thursday on the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, Democratic leaders said, ushering in a new phase as they prepare to go public with their investigation into his dealings with Ukraine.

The Justice Department today appealed a judge’s order directing the department to provide the House with secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Trump personally called the parents of journalist James Foley with news of the “whimpering and crying” death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, they have revealed.

Even as he claimed a significant national security victory with the death of al-Baghdadi, the outcome of the raid did little to quell doubts about the wisdom of Trump’s push to reduce the United States military presence in Syria at a time when terrorist threats continue to develop in the region.

A brush fire that broke out early this morning on the western side of Los Angeles quickly consumed 500 acres, created gridlock on the 405, the nation’s busiest highway, and resulted in mandatory evacuations.

Trump slammed Chicago’s police superintendent for skipping his speech in protest at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in the Chicago.

Model Chrissy Teigen and her husband, musician John Legend, are fans of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Embattled Bronx City Councilman Andy King filed suit in Manhattan this morning to block a City Council vote seeking to censure him over allegations of retaliation, staff abuse and self-dealing, claiming his right to due process was violated.

The Council voted 44-1 to temporarily boot King from his job for myriad misdeeds ranging from the petty to the sinister. The sanctions included a 30-day suspension without pay, a $15,000 fine, and the unprecedented installation of a monitor who will have broad authority over his office’s operations.

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy will get less money for himself but taxpayers will get to keep more of theirs when the City Council votes tonight on next year’s city budget.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli in a letter to the commission determining the rules of the road for New York’s public campaign financing system urged the panel to keep fusion voting intact.

A group of upstate New York district attorneys is expressing concerns over how to implement rule changes that aim to give defendants more information about their case.

Parents at New York City schools that were roped into serving as early voting centers ripped officials this morning as they braced for a week without gyms and cafeterias.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council have agreed on a $1.7 billion plan that would sharply expand the number of protected bike lanes as part of a sweeping effort to transform the city’s streetscape and make it less perilous for bikers.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has a vision for the year 2040 – one that involves 100 percent of vehicles on the road being zero-emission, “clean” vehicles like electric cars.

Former and current staffers for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration last night descended on an Upper East Side bar for an alumni get-together.

A new bill would allow New Yorkers to bring reusable containers to restaurants or other food establishments to pack up their leftovers or take beverages to go.

Working Families Party State Director Bill Lipton is moving on to a national role with the organization, with Maurice Mitchell tapped to take over the New York position.

Republican Tom Reale, who bowed out of the contest three weeks ago under pressure from County Executive Steve McLaughlin and GOP operative Rich Crist, will re-enter Troy’s race for mayor.

DACA recipients and supporters rallied in New York City over the weekend ahead of a march in Washington, DC in advance of a U.S. Supreme Court hearing on whether Dreamers can remain in the country.

City of Troy school district voters will decide next month whether to approve the purchase of the Sage Colleges athletic complex in South Troy for $1.1 million.

A Philmont man has been charged with attempted murder after State Police said he shot a man multiple times at a large house party in Copake yesterday.

Eleven-year-old Sean Harden, from Cohoes, has lost his battle with Sepsis, according to the “Woodward Strong” Facebook page.

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center has begun work on a new plaza on the grounds above its lawn that will see two new buildings replace the existing restroom facilities and concessions tents.

A man who previously served state and federal prisons sentences on a variety of charges was charged with four felonies last week after a state Department of Motor Vehicles investigation.

Long Island Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin has emerged as a vocal supporter of Trump during the impeachment drive in Washington.

Students at UAlbany can now use the CDPHP Cycle program for free. The university reached an agreement with CDPHP allowing anyone with a UAlbany ID card to use the program’s bikes at no charge.

The area’s first location of the LongHorn Steakhouse chain will open at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 144 Wolf Road in Colonie, where a Hyatt House extended-stay hotel is also being built.

I’m bummed we missed this event this year.

Are you frightened of the rain in the Halloween forecast? Crossgates has an indoor alternative for your eager trick-or-treaters.

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