Good morning, CivMixers, and welcome to Friday!

We’re looking at a veritable heat wave, with a high temperature of 46 degrees in the forecast, according to The Weather Channel, along with a mix of sun and clouds. We’re back down into the 30s over the weekend, and then…well, let’s not talk too much about that.

It’s National Philanthropy Day, which is a good warm-up for the holiday season, when our thoughts tend to turn more to giving and helping out those who have less than we do. It’s also National Recycling Day.

Actress Shailene Woodley is turning 28 today. Other birthdays of note including model Lily Aldridge (34) and actor Ed Asner (90).

Get ready for Day 2 of the impeachment hearings on Capitol Hill.

House Democrats hope the public testimony of Marie Yovanovitch breathes life into their narrative that President Trump and his associates carried out a shadow campaign to oust the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine.

After fielding questions from impeachment investigators behind closed doors last month, Yovanovitch is expected to detail her account of efforts to publicly discredit her and remove her from her post by some of the president’s political allies.

A total of 13,098,000 Americans tuned in for Day One of the hearings, which topped the 12.9 million who saw the former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s circumspect stint in the hot seat on July 25. (This number does NOT include C-Span and PBS, nor streaming on the likes of Facebook).

Trump said the impeachment probe has been “very hard” on his family, even as he tried to flex his political muscle to flip the governor’s mansion in deep-red Louisiana.

In other news…

A boy described as bright, quiet and “normal” pulled a gun from his backpack on his 16th birthday and opened fire at his high school before saving the last bullet for himself, authorities said. The shooting that killed two teenagers and wounded three others.

The students who died were a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, the authorities said. The injured victims – all in stable condition as of last night – were a 14-year-old girl, a 15-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. The condition of the gunman was characterized as grave by law enforcement officials.

Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court to bar his accounting firm from turning over eight years of his tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, is being investigated by federal prosecutors for possible campaign finance violations and a failure to register as a foreign agent as part of an active investigation into his financial dealings.

A week ago, YouTube and Facebook said they would block people from identifying the government official thought to be the whistle-blower who set in motion an impeachment inquiry into Trump. It hasn’t worked out so well.

In his first major public appearance since his stormy confirmation hearings last year, Justice Brett Kavanaugh last night addressed some 2,000 members of the Federalist Society, the influential conservative legal group, at its glittering annual gala dinner. He was greeted by a thunderous standing ovation.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a “very, very important role” waiting for her in the White House should Sanders win his party’s nomination and then defeat Trump in 2020, the Vermont senator said.

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg hasn’t entered the race for president yet, but he’s already apologizing for past boorish and sexist comments about women.

Climate scientists and energy economists say Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ $16 trillion vision for arresting global warming is technically impractical, politically unfeasible, and possibly ineffective. But the criticism doesn’t seem to bother many of the young voters who will have an important role in selecting a Democratic presidential candidate.

Former state Committee on Open Government executive director Robert Freeman subjected at least 14 women to sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct dating back to at least 2003 in an egregious pattern of lechery that only ceased after a victim told investigators he “sexually assaulted” her in May, the state IG’s office said.

In 2015, a former news director sent a letter to the Department of State, explaining one of his reporters had an “inappropriate” phone call with Freeman. The former human resources director at the Department of State did nothing about the letter, according to the IG’s report.

State leaders will not say whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo or Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie were interviewed by the state inspector general’s office as part of a recent investigation into allegations the governor had improperly received details on a closed-door vote of the state JCOPE.

Despite recent calls to revisit sweeping criminal justice reforms set to go into effect in January, advocates are preparing to fight for social services programs and other public resources to further shift New York’s criminal justice strategy toward rehabilitation instead of punishment.

A substantial majority of New York voters oppose making it more difficult for minor political parties to qualify for the ballot, according to a poll recently conducted by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm based in North Carolina.

The New York City Council has voted to make Hart Island — the nation’s largest public burial ground — more accessible to families of the dead.

New York City will direct more than 18,000 of its municipal workers to use 311 to give social service workers real-time information to help them steer the almost 4,000 people who live on the streets into shelters.

An alleged drug pusher facing nearly 100 years behind bars gave Cuomo a glowing endorsement when he walked free as courts tried to get a jump on a state bail-reform law set to take effect on Jan. 1.

Lawyers who filed charges of anti-Semitism and a hostile environment for Jewish students at New York University were notified that the Department of Education had opened a full-scale investigation into their allegations.

The city of Troy’s $10 million South Troy Industrial Road project designed to get tractor-trailers off local streets, cut pollution in the neighborhoods and spur economic growth has hit a roadblock as Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin has not signed off on the final documents, city and county officials say.

A police chase in Schenectady turned deadly last night.

At East Greenbush School District’s Columbia High School, the bell rings for first period at 7:10 a.m., the earliest in the Capital Region. Officials are considering a move to 8:15 a.m.

A husky and an Alaskan Malamute were seized by animal control officers after they got loose along Route 29 in Saratoga and attacked an Alpaca and later attacked a group of horses at a barn just down the road.

The question of whether two Milton campaign canvassers will face charges for dropping off literature at an apartment complex in advance of Election Day will be answered by a special prosecutor to avoid an appearance of impropriety.

Activist Gary Greenberg, the founder of Protect New York Kids, is taking a step back from his relationship with Albany’s Roman Catholic Diocese.

New Jersey has demanded that Uber pay $649 million for years of unpaid employment taxes for its drivers, arguing that the ride-hailing company has misclassified the workers as independent contractors and not as employees.

Here’s a list of the winners in key categories at the 2019 Latin Grammy Awards, held yesterday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The number of vaping illnesses in the U.S. is still rising, but at a slower pace.

A newly released study paints the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area as home to a high number of e-cigarette users.

The shareholders of USA Today publisher Gannett and New Media Investment Group both voted yes on their planned merger Thursday — clearing the way for the nation’s two largest newspaper publishers to unite in a cash and stock deal worth about $1.1 billion.

Waters are rising in Venice where the tide is reaching exceptional levels just three days after the Italian lagoon city experienced its worst flooding in more than 50 years.

Photo credit: George Fazio.