Rise and Shine, Dec. 17, 2019

Well, it’s a snowy Tuesday, as promised, CivMixers.

The winter weather advisory is now in effect through 10 p.m. this evening. We’re projected to receive somewhere between three and six inches. Exercise caution out there as you head to wherever you’re going today. Temperatures will be in the low 30s, according to The Weather Channel.

Get your school closings and delay news here and here.

On this day in 1903 Wilbur and Orville Wright took turns piloting and monitoring their flying machine in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. The brothers became the first people to demonstrate sustained flight of a heavier-than-air machine under the complete control of the pilot.

From that to this in just over a century…what a world.

By presidential proclamation, today is National Wright Brothers Day/Pan American Aviation Day (take your pick, I’ve seen it both ways). It’s also National Maple Syrup Day, which doesn’t seem remotely related, but sounds delicious nonetheless.

In D.C. news: The House Rules Committee today will debate the rules governing the floor debate about whether to impeach President Donald Trump, ahead of a likely vote by the full House on impeachment later in the week. Things are scheduled to kick off at 11 a.m., and could go on for hours.

Democratic lawmakers representing conservative-leaning districts announced one by one yesterday that they would cast votes this week to impeach Trump, signaling that a critical bloc of the most politically vulnerable Democrats is pulling together behind the party’s effort to seek his removal from office.

Also, former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, one of the key government witnesses in the Russia investigation, will be sentenced today. He is all but assured to escape imprisonment after prosecutors agreed with defense attorneys that he deserves a more lenient punishment of probation.

The funeral for slain Jersey City Police Detective Joseph Seals — killed in connection to last Tuesday’s hours-long shooting standoff in Jersey City — will be held at 11 a.m. today at St. Aedan’s in Jersey City.

A man whose phone number and business address were found in the pocket of one of the perpetrators of last week’s fatal attack on a Jewish market in New Jersey was denied bail on an unrelated weapons charge.

Happy 30th anniversary to “The Simpsons,” which premiered on this day in 1989.

And happy 80th birthday to Pope Francis, who shares his big day with actress Sarah Paulson (44), boxer Manny Pacquiao (40), chef Duff Goldman (40), magician Steve Frayne (36) and actress Milla Jovovich (43).

In other news…

Congress finalized negotiations yesterday on a broad $1.3 trillion federal budget bill to cover fiscal year 2020, and the legislation is now expected to be passed and sent to President Trump for approval ahead of Friday’s potential government shutdown.

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said he had provided the president with detailed information this year about how the United States ambassador to Ukraine was, in Giuliani’s view, impeding investigations that could benefit Trump, setting in motion the ambassador’s recall from her post.

As scrutiny of Purdue Pharma’s role in the opioid epidemic intensified during the past dozen years, its owners, members of the Sackler family, withdrew more than $10 billion from the company, distributing it among trusts and overseas holding companies, according to a new audit commissioned by Purdue.

Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein once again tried to blame his bad back when his lawyers asked a judge to pause a $45 million civil lawsuit he’s facing because his spinal injuries and an upcoming criminal trial were “too much to bear,” according to new Manhattan Supreme court papers.

The Burlington Vermont Police Department was rocked by a social media scandal that brought down the chief — and also the person named as his replacement — within hours of each other yesterday.

A report from the state Senate’s Investigations and Government Operations Committee found New York’s sprawling system of quasi-governmental public authorities has approximately $282.1 billion in outstanding debt — an 8 percent increase since 2014.

State residents who want to attend Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2020 State of the State address at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center should register between noon Friday and 5 p.m. Dec. 30 for a ticket lottery.

Joyce Mitchell, the 55-year-old prison seamstress who helped two violent jailbirds escape from the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility in the summer of 2015 could likely be out of jail herself in a matter of weeks.

A corner store labeled a nuisance by Albany’s Mayor and Police Chief was the center of discussion at last night’s Common Council meeting.

The Council also unanimously voted to look into expanding tenant protections, approving a resolution that calls on Mayor Kathy Sheehan to conduct a housing vacancy study.

…The resolution first came about after the statewide Emergency Tenant Protection Act was passed, allowing Albany to opt-in and impose rent stabilization laws.

A lawsuit filed against Albany City Schools details two violent incidents and claims the school district didn’t do enough to prevent them.

Albany’s Dove and Hudson bookstore has a new owner.

Saying “we have to do better,” city of Schenectady leaders grilled the general services commissioner yesterday in the aftermath of a record-setting snowstorm that took several days to clean up and assistance from outside contractors, the National Guard and the Department of Transportation.

An air pollution bill that could hinder or halt plans by a Coeymans cement plant to burn thousands of tires a year for energy was tabled for further discussion by Albany County legislators.

Legislators did approve Local Law D, which prevents vendors from giving out plastic cutlery unless a customer specifically asks for it and imposes a county-wide ban on businesses distributing plastic straws.

More than 1,000 customers have signed up for a new community solar project in Mechanicville that state officials and energy developers say is one of the largest of its kind in upstate New York.

We still don’t know exactly how much it’s going to cost to implement bail and discovery reforms in New York.

A Manhattan federal court judge re-sentenced a former journalist to five years behind bars for trying to frame his ex-girlfriend in a phony plot to bomb Jewish community centers — but not before the woman trashed him in court.

Hundreds of undocumented immigrants from across the five boroughs braved wintry weather and stood in hours-long lines to take advantage of a new state law giving them the “green light” to obtain driver’s licenses.

Ripping a page out of the playbook of his predecessor, Tish James, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams dubbed NYC’s public Housing Authority the Big Apple’s “worst landlord of the year.”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill prohibiting the sale of flavored vaping products across the five boroughs.

A probe is examining the cost to taxpayers of de Blasio’s use of an NYPD security detail during his failed presidential campaign.

An NYPD union chief denied he had engaged in victim blaming Tessa Majors when he said in an interview that the Barnard College freshman was looking to buy weed before being brutally murdered in Morningside Park last week.

New York state has released its list of the top 250 delinquent taxpayers of 2019, and it’s littered with boldface names. Damon Dash — the former music mogul who was arrested in November for allegedly owing more than $400,000 in child support — comes in at No. 40, according to the Department of Taxation and Finance.

A defense bill expected to be passed by the U.S. Senate seeks to prevent local government agencies from mistakenly warning residents of a ballistic missile attack the way Hawaii did nearly two years ago.

The New Jersey Legislature, seemingly on the verge of passing one of the strictest vaccine laws in the nation yesterday, postponed a final vote on a bill that would have ended religious exemptions to vaccine requirements for students enrolled in any school or college, public or private.

On Thursday, Albany’s venerable Madison Theater reopens after a two-year process of renovation and reinvention, offering full-scale food and bar service in its four-theater complex that goes well beyond the usual snack bar fare.

Bluefish in New York coastal waters saw a dramatic decline this year. The state Department of Environmental Conservation is planning significant cuts to the commercial limit on the fish next year.

Here’s some advice about how to keep your packages safe from “porch pirates.”

The Salvation Army is putting out a call for help. They say many of their famous “red kettles” are coming up empty so far this holiday season.

Flu season came early this year.

Amen, Barack Obama. Amen.

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