Good morning, CivMixers, and Happy Friday, though, like I said, it kinds seems like the third Friday in a row to me…
For those who are members of the Eastern Orthodox Church, it’s Saint Stephen’s Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Stephen, which is a Christian saint’s day to commemorate Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr. (Actually, some people marked this particular holiday yesterday, it appears, and some won’t celebrate it until later on in January).
This is how they celebrate in Finland:
“The best-known tradition linked to the day is ‘the ride of Stephen’s Day,’ which refers to a sleigh ride with horses. These merry rides along village streets were seen in contrast to the silent and pious mood of the preceding Christmas days.
“Another old tradition was parades with singers and people dressed in Christmas suits. At some areas these parades were related to checking forthcoming brides. Stephen’s Day used to be a popular day for weddings as well. These days a related tradition is dances of Stephen’s Day which are held in several restaurants and dance halls.”
On this day in 1932, Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City, and in 1967 on this day, Leonard Cohen released his debut album “Songs of Leonard Cohen” on Columbia Records.
TV host and reporter Savannah Guthrie is turning 47 today. She shares her birthday with: TV actress Olivia Cooke (25), singer Hayley Williams (30), and wrestler Bill Goldberg (52).
Also born on this day: Wrestler Chyna, (Joan Marie Laurer), who died of a drug overdose in 2016; and child actress Heather O’Rourke, who made her debut after being discovered by director Steven Spielberg while visiting MGM’s studios in the horror film Poltergeist (1982) as Carol Anne Freeling. She died in 1988 at the age of 12 after suffering a cardiac arrest.
On THAT uplifting note…
It’s going to be rainy today, with a high near 47 degrees, according to The Weather Channel. Showers will become more intermittent as the day progresses.
In the news…
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel easily brushed off a challenge for the leadership of the conservative Likud party early today – a crucial victory for Israel’s longest-serving leader, but one that may only harden the country’s yearlong political standoff.
….Netanyahu’s landslide victory in his party primary reaffirmed his political prowess and staying power despite his indictment last month on corruption charges, and it gives a jolt of fresh energy to his campaign for Israel’s next general election in March.
A Kazakhstan plane with 98 people aboard crashed shortly after takeoff early today, killing at least 12 people, while 49 were hospitalized with injuries, Kazakh officials said.
The FAA proposed wide-sweeping regulations that would require that all but the tiniest drones incorporate technology that would enable them to be tracked at all times while flying in United States airspace.
President Donald Trump spoke out against an incident at Binghamton University, calling students who protested last month when conservative economist Art Laffer spoke on campus “radicals” who “swing clubs, they swing bats, they swing everything.”
Trump joked about his cameo getting cut from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s version of “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” tweeting: “I guess Justin T doesn’t much like my making him pay up on NATO or Trade!,” referring to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Tracing your roots is about to be a lot more expensive if the Trump administration passes proposed rate increases for historical documents.
Electric-scooter rentals will not be coming to New York and the electric bicycles favored by New York City delivery workers will remain illegal after Gov. Andrew Cuomo, citing an “inexplicable” lack of safety measures that he had proposed, vetoed a bill that would have legalized both types of battery-powered transport.
Many ports — all along the coast of California, in parts of Europe, even in China — have found a solution to idling luxury liners and the plumes of air pollution they produce. But in New York, they’re still a problem.
A man stopped on the Northway in Saratoga County moving 217 pounds of marijuana between the Canadian border and New York City pleaded guilty to a federal drug conspiracy charge in U.S. District Court.
Colonie police want to hear from anyone who witnessed a deadly crash on Central Avenue early Christmas morning.
A 31-year-old Stillwater man was charged with felony driving while intoxicated and various infractions after his vehicle rolled over in town.
A 14-year-old boy suspected of fatally stabbing a Barnard College freshman was released from police custody yesterday, mere hours after New York City police said he had been located following a two-week manhunt.
Faculty at Barnard College have received “abhorrent and viciously racist” robocalls related to the death of student Tessa Majors, the school said.
Black and White Taxi in Troy abruptly notified all employees it would shutdown operations today, with the owner blaming the sudden closure in part to a drop in revenue because of ride sharing and increased regulations.
Alec Baldwin won a victory in his court battle with a man who claims the actor punched him during a fight over a parking spot when a judge tossed one of the charges against the actor.
Prosecutors in Westchester County said they are reviewing all cases involving a retiring Yonkers police detective accused of falsifying a search warrant application.
The owner of the Beef Jerky Outlet pop-up store in Crossgates Mall, which was the site of a Christmas Eve brawl, is pressing charges.
Seagram’s liquor heiress Sara Bronfman-Igtet may get a hefty payout from the sale of three upstate properties used by the NXIVM sex cult that were seized by the feds, according to new court documents.
As Garden Bistro 24 approaches its 10th anniversary next summer, chef-owner John Grizzaffi is creating a quick-serve concept that will replace GB24’s Latham location.
According to Oracle Retail – which surveyed over 15,000 people – 77 percent of those plan to return their holiday gifts this year. (This explains the madness out there on roads and parking lots near the local malls and big box stores).
If you’re a fan of live music, you’re in for a mega-summer of upstate concerts in 2020.
Shoutout to Bills lovers: “It’s tough,” said Jets quarterback Sam Darnold when asked about what it’s like to play inside New Era Field. “Buffalo fans are crazy in the best way. They get it rocking in there.”
After years of financial difficulties, the Newseum in Washington, D.C. will close its doors next Tuesday.
Photo credit: George Fazio.