All impeachment hearings, all the time…

To recap: Democrats are striving to prove that President Donald Trump betrayed his oath of office by withholding military aid to Ukraine unless Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy initiated investigations to benefit Trump’s “personal political interests in the United States” – primarily through a corruption investigation into the Biden family.

Toward the end of his opening statement at the hearing, diplomat Bill Taylor dropped a bombshell.

Taylor, the highest-ranking U.S. official in Ukraine, said for the first time that Trump was overheard asking another ambassador about “the investigations” he’d urged Ukraine’s leader to conduct one day earlier. Taylor said he learned of Trump’s phone call with the ambassador only in recent days.

Spotted towering over the gray and blue suits packed into the first day of the hearing was an enormous blond wig — that of Pissi Myles, a drag performer from Asbury Park, New Jersey.

In non-impeachment news…

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell expects the U.S. economy to continue growing at a solid pace, though it still faces risks from slower growth overseas and trade tensions.

Former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts told senior Democrats that he will enter the presidential race, according to two party officials, reversing his decision last year to forgo a run and adding yet more volatility to an unusually fluid Democratic primary.

Six weeks after his heart attack, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is adopting a more wholesome regimen – taking walks and eating fish and salads – conscious that he must persuade Democratic primary voters he is fit enough to be president.

California regulators opened a formal investigation into pre-emptive power outages that blacked out large parts of the state in October, drawing strong rebukes from public officials and residents who said the shut-offs were too broad and poorly executed.

New York today became the first state to release the names of the medical facilities that have treated patients with Candida auris, a deadly drug-resistant fungus, that has been spreading under a cloak of secrecy.

A second Democrat – veteran education advocate Melodie Baker – appears to be emerging as a candidate seeking the NY-27 seat vacated in September with the resignation of former Republican Rep. Chris Collins.

A new report from the state comptroller’s office indicates the highest one-year increase in state property taxes in five years. So far this year, local governments have imposed $36.6 billion in property taxes – excluding New York City – amounting to a 2.4 percent bump from 2018. That’s the largest one-year change since 2014.

Technically speaking, there is currently no law that specifically addresses snow on a vehicle. However, Section 1213 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law says “Obstruction to driver’s view or driving mechanism,” is on the books and enforceable.

Also good to know: Section 1210 of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law makes it illegal for a driver to leave a vehicle without stopping the engine, locking the ignition and removing the key from the car. (So pre-warming your car in the winter…technically illegal, though remote starters are a loophole).

The legal battle between the Erie County Clerk’s office and New York state over granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants will continue. Clerk Mickey Kearns has filed a notice of appeal after losing his initial legal challenge of the law.

Democratic Mohawk Valley Rep. Anthony Brindisi has been named to the powerful House Armed Services Committee, a prominent position for a freshman Democrat, his office announced.

United Group of Companies Inc. plans to begin construction on its 175,000-square-foot City Station North project in Troy, on the west side of Sixth Avenue between Congress and State streets, early next year, the company said as it released interior and exterior renderings of the $38.74 million project.

Albany County legislators unanimously approved a $225,000 settlement to an Albany woman who said she was seriously and permanently injured after she tripped on an exposed cord at her polling site.

The insurance company representing the owners of an Orange Street home demolished last year is seeking nearly $400,000 from the city for the costs it incurred when the family was forced to find alternative housing.

A system bug has been allowing Facebook to access iPhone cameras as users scroll through their feed, the company confirmed.

Central New York’s emerging drone industry is taking some major steps forward, as construction of the infrastructure is complete for the unmanned traffic management drone corridor which runs from Syracuse to the Mohawk Valley.

John Mannion announced his campaign for State Senate to represent NY’s 50th Senate District this morning in Schiller Park.

James T. Love, 45, of Wilton, is facing charges after authorities said he set his own house on fire earlier this month.

The Salvation Army or Albany kicked off its annual Red Kettle Campaign today, debuting a brand new high-tech way to donate.

A new television show created by a Montgomery County native and hosted by a former “Mythbusters” cast member will be screened locally this winter. “Crash Test World” was created and produced by Fonda-Fultonville Central School graduate Jenny Buccos.

Click here to learn about the Cornell Craft Beverage Institute, New York’s one-stop reference desk for fermented beverages. Scientists conduct analyses for commercial producers, and answer questions by phone or email.

Colin Kaepernick plans to audition for NFL teams on Saturday in a private workout arranged by the league to be held in Atlanta.

The theme for the 51st Schenectady Holiday Parade is “sugar rush.”

Birds – specifically turkeys – behaving badly (just in time for Thanksgiving!)

Photo credit: George Fazio.