As the year 2019 winds down, we find ourselves in the thick of a winter weather advisory, CivMixers. Happy Monday.
We’re looking at rain, snow, sleet and ice, with minor accumulations that could still cause major problems on the roads, depending on your location. This situation will remain in effect until 7 a.m. tomorrow – New Year’s Eve Day.
We had beautiful weather for Christmas, although I know the lack of snow bummed some of you out. It did make for easy travel, though. The same may not be able to be said for tomorrow night’s revelries. We’ll have to wait and see.
The chance of rain today is 100 percent, according to The Weather Channel, with temperatures in the upper 30s. There will be rain and snow showers through the evening.
It’s National Baking Soda Day, which is…interesting.
On this day in 1953, the first color TV sets went on sale form RCA for about $1,175. And on this day in 1968, Frank Sinatra first recorded “My Way” with lyrics that had been written by Paul Anka and based on the French song “Comme d’habitude,” which I believe translates into “like usual.”
Basketball great LeBron James turns 34 today, and he shares his birthday with: singer Ellie Goulding (30), golfer Tiger Woods (44), boxer Laila Ali (42), disgraced former TV host Matt Lauer (62), and skateborder Ryan Schekler (30). Singer Davy Jones of the “Monkees” fame, was born on this day and died after suffering a heart attack in February 2012.
In the news…
As a civil rights activist at 25, John Lewis was beaten so badly his skull was fractured and the TV images from an Alabama bridge in the 1960s forced a nation’s awakening to racial discrimination. As a congressman today at 79, Lewis, a Georgia Democrat, is facing a foe like none before: advanced pancreatic cancer.
Lewis said he plans to return to Washington to continue work and begin treatment, though survival rates for pancreatic cancer are grim, and his cancer is Stage 4 – the most advanced.
A rampage at a Chanukah party held in a Hasidic rabbi’s home in Monsey wounded five people and traumatized the Jewish community in the region.
Rockland County, where Monsey is located, has one of the largest concentrations of ultra-Orthodox Jews outside of Israel.
The alleged attacker, Grafton Thomas, was arrested in Harlem and later pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and one count of first-degree burglary.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, visiting the rabbi’s home yesterday morning, called the attack an “act of domestic terrorism,” and said he will propose changes in his State of the State address to how people are prosecuted in New York over acts of domestic terrorism.
With Cuomo by his side, Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco urged the governor and state lawmakers, to reconsider a new law that limits cash bail in certain cases involving hate crimes.
Thomas, 37, was ordered held on $5 million bail. But most of the anti-Semitic incidents in New York City in recent days — eight over the past week — did not include bail as the cases are set to be adjudicated and were not deemed violent.
Thomas is a schizophrenic who is reportedly now being investigated in the earlier stabbing of a Jewish man near a synagogue in Monsey.
A statement from Citizen Action of New York accused Falco of “weaponizing this tragedy to call for revision of the new bail law before it has even gone into effect” and called that “shameful political posturing.”
New York City is in the middle of a race-hate “crisis” and will beef up NYPD patrols of Jewish neighborhoods while introducing anti-bias-crime programs in their public schools, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Yesterday there was mourning, singing and dancing at a procession of more than 100 Hasidic Jews that ended at the crime scene. The march, led by five law enforcement vehicles, was a previously scheduled celebration to introduce a new Torah at another nearby synagogue.
This incident occurred weeks after an anti-Semitic mass shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, N.J., left three people dead, including two Hasidic Jews, and after an ultra-Orthodox man was stabbed in Monsey on his way to a local synagogue.
A woman who was accused of assaulting three Orthodox Jewish women and released without bail was arrested again on assault charges.
Some Democratic hopefuls for the 2020 nomination, including Sens. Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Yang and Julián Castro, condemned the attack on social media, as did U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, whose official title is “advisor to the president,” also made a statement on Twitter. She converted to Judaism in 2009.
New York City’s annual homicide total has surpassed 300 for the first time since 2016, fueled by pockets of gang violence, a pair of quadruple killings and an unusual number of bookkeeping adjustments.
Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign wants to flood voters with attacks on Trump before it is too late, a lesson Republican candidates learned in 2016 when they initially ignored him.
In his latest move to curb vaping across New York, Cuomo said that he will introduce legislation to ban all flavored vaping products and stamp out ads for the products that target young people.
In a significant ruling that could make it easier to file sexual assault lawsuits in New York City, an appeals court ruled last week that a city law prohibiting “animus based on the victim’s gender” can apply to any accusation of forced sex.
Beroro Efekoro will bring a unique resume with him when he’s sworn as an Albany County legislator on Jan. 1, becoming the first Nigerian-born person to hold office in the county.
County Executive Dan McCoy, Sheriff Craig Apple, and newly elected Comptroller Susan Rizzo were joined by family as they were sworn in. Rizzo is the first woman to hold the comptroller post.
In the aftermath of a fatal Christmas Day crash that also seriously injured two Schenectady High School students, the school district is taking steps to try to ease the pain of the tragedy.
While none of them were “IL3GAL,” New Yorkers had some pretty creative strategies for getting their preferred personal license plates — but the state DMV decided more than 1,100 of them were “ASIN9” and gave them the bureaucratic equivalent of the “MIDLFNGR.”
The New York City Council’s recent move to ban foie gras has only served to goose sales for the fatty delicacy, the industry claims.
NYC de Blasio pleaded with Trump in an interview on Fox News for help with the burgeoning homeless situation wreaking havoc throughout the city.
Four Jewish lawmakers demanded the governor call a state of emergency and take current hate-crimes cases out of the hands of local district attorneys and turn them over to a special prosecutor.
The New York Army and Air National Guard said it expects to provide military honors at the burials of 11,045 veterans during 2019, according to records from their Honor Guard teams across the state.
Nearly a third of New Yorkers have turned their famously thick skins into living canvases, with 31.4 percent of adults now sporting tattoos, according to a city Department of Health survey.
If you got a fundraising email from Special Olympics New York – delete it, as one of the organization’s email accounts was recently hacked.
North Greenbush native Jared Fox, whose work in the classroom at the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS) in Upper Manhattan is earning acclaim for its youth-led environmental activism, will help push the crystal button on the main stage in the center of Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
Wegmans is growing again. Trade publication Deli Market News reports that the Rochester-based grocery chain is “ramping up its operations across the East Coast.” (Sadly, it is not coming to the Capital Region).
Breakthrough singer-rapper Lizzo has been named Entertainer of the Year by The Associated Press.
A small plane en route to a college football playoff game crashed into a post office parking lot in Louisiana shortly after takeoff Saturday, killing five people, including a well-known sports reporter who was the daughter-in-law of one of the team’s coaches.
Christina Koch, a 40-year-old electrical engineer from Livingston, Montana, set a record Saturday for the longest single spaceflight by a woman, breaking the old mark of 288 days with about two months left in her mission.
The long-standing former Spa City Diner building at 153 S. Broadway in Saratoga Springs was demolished last week to make way for a mixed-use and business incubator development, though it isn’t yet clear when construction will start on what developers are call the Link@SoBro.
Scotia firefighters rescued a deer from the icy Mohawk River yesterday morning after witnesses saw the deer and three others break through the ice, fire officials said.
Vermont State Police say a New York man – Jason Vitale, 48, of Baldwin – died Saturday at Killington Ski Resort.