Rise and Shine: Dec. 4, 2019

It’s Wednesday morning, and whaddaya know? There’s snow in the forecast!

Not too much, CivMixers, but enough to remind you that it’s winter’s world, and we’re just living in it. The snow will yield to cloudy skies in the afternoon, with temperatures in the mid-30s, according to The Weather Channel.

Happy Hump Day, indeed.

Speaking of snow, if you are a City of Albany resident, be aware that a snow emergency is formally in effect. All cars had to be moved to the even numbered side of the street last night. Tonight, at 8 p.m. you have to move your car to the other side of the street to avoid getting it towed.

Snow emergencies are also still in effect in Schenectady, Green Island, Troy, Saratoga Springs, Watervliet, and Cohoes.

(The Town of Waterford hasn’t updated its website, so be aware that its snow emergency may yet still be in effect as well).

Some rather interesting things happened on this day in history. For instance, the first edition of The Los Angels Times was published (1881). Also, in 1875, New York City politician Boss Tweed escaped from prison, only to be recaptured later in Spain. In 1954 on this day, the first Burger King was opened in Miami, Florida.

In 1978, following the murder of Mayor George Moscone, Dianne Feinstein became San Francisco’s first female mayor. And in 1991, Terry Anderson – the last and longest-held American hostage in Lebanon – was released after seven years in captivity as a hostage in Beirut.

Some famous birthdays of note today: Jay-Z is turning 50, and to celebrate, his catalogue is returning to Spotify, marking the end of a years-long stalemate.

Also celebrating: Model-turned-TV-host Tyra Banks (46), actress Marissa Tomei (55), boxer Shannon Briggs (48), actor Jeff Bridges (70), and comedian Fred Armisen (50).

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler had a blunt message as he privately addressed Democrats the day before his panel assumes a starring role in the impeachment inquiry. “I’m not going to take any shit,” the New York Democrat said in a closed-door prep session yesterday morning.

Now THAT is a true New Yorker.

The committee will be focused on the constitutional grounds for drafting articles of impeachment. The process of drawing up any articles, now becoming increasingly likely, could begin shortly after members question legal and constitutional experts about what the Constitution requires.

In the headlines…

The Justice Department charged eight people — including a prominent political donor to both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and a Lebanese-American businessman who was a witness in Robert Mueller’s investigation — with conspiring to conceal the source of more than $3.5 million in donations to Clinton.

Phone records cited in the impeachment report released by the House Intelligence Committee illustrate the sprawling reach of former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s campaign first to remove the American ambassador to Urkaine, Marie Yovanovitch, then to force the country’s new government to announce criminal investigations for Trump’s political gain.

A federal appeals court said that Deutsche Bank must turn over detailed documents about Trump’s finances to two congressional committees – a ruling that will most likely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A video has emerged that appears to show world leaders including Boris Johnson, Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron joking about Trump at the opening of this week’s Nato summit in London.

It’s the end of an era. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the Stanford graduate students who founded Google over two decades ago, are stepping down from executive roles at Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, will become the chief of both Google and Alphabet.

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg proposed a criminal justice plan to dramatically slash the number of inmates behind bars if elected president — including by eliminating cash bail for many “non-violent” criminal defendants, an issue that is raging now in New York.

Newly uncovered documents show the consulting giant McKinsey & Company helped ICE find “detention savings opportunities” — including measures the agency’s staff sometimes viewed as too harsh on immigrants.

From New York City to Nebraska farm country to California, authorities have seized at least 510,000 marijuana vape cartridges and arrested more than 120 people in the past two years, according to an AP tally derived from interviews, court records, news accounts and official releases.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand served up a grim prognosis this week for federally funded community health centers across New York if Congress fails to fund the government past its next deadline on Dec. 20.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has quietly commissioned a study of the ins and outs of expanding New York’s bottle bill to include wine and liquor bottles.

NYRA announced that the wildly popular summer thoroughbred race meet will, for the second year in a row, have a five-day week. The meet will start on Thursday, July 16, and run through Labor Day, Sept. 7.

At least four New York City correction officers failed to act for seven minutes as an 18-year-old detainee tried to hang himself at the Rikers Island jail complex, with some of them watching the suicide attempt before intervening. The officers have been suspended while an inquiry is conducted.

Corrections officers at Rikers Island have taken to arresting visitors coming in with books — claiming the novels are being used to sneak in synthetic marijuana, according to a new lawsuit.

Overturning the recommendations of the public campaign financing commission would result in nothing getting accomplished, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a stop in Western New York yesterday.

State lawmakers are considering barring doctors from performing so-called virginity testing, after widespread backlash followed the rapper T.I.’s recent disclosure that he takes his daughter to see a gynecologist every year to ensure that her hymen is still intact.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie told reporters that Cuomo did not discuss private votes by commissioners at the state’s chief ethics commission, but did acknowledge the governor made a “vague reference” to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics during a conversation the two had earlier this year.

Heastie has ordered an internal probe into why one of his top staff attorneys called a whistleblower to complain about her vote during a confidential Joint Commission on Public Ethics meeting.

The speaker said the only way to combat the mammoth $6.1 billion budget deficit is to raise taxes, explaining: “This is gonna be a tough budget year…unless money’s gonna fall from the sky.”

Starting Jan. 1, New Yorkers looking to build families will have greater access to in vitro fertilization and fertility preservation services thanks to a hard-fought law that significantly expands insurance coverage for the services.

A federal judge granted a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in favor of Cachet Financial Services for their case against MyPayrollHR and its former CEO Michael Mann.

A $56 million building improvement referendum won the support of Troy City School District voters yesterday who approved the modernization program in a 379 to 115 vote.

A pedestrian was struck and killed in the Village of Middleburgh yesterday afternoon by a municipal dump truck that was involved in snow removal, New York State Police said.

A man is dead after being shot by Syracuse police officers and a six-year-old boy is in critical condition after being shot inside a home along 100 block of Fenton Street last night evening.

Following advocacy from lawmakers, new guidance is being released to banks about lending to businesses within the hemp industry.

New York lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill that would go beyond making Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. drivers employees by also allowing them to unionize, a move that could clash with federal labor and antitrust laws.

Nine more women have come forward to claim they were sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein, with the incidents spanning from 1985 to 2007 — and involving children as young as 13, according to a new lawsuit.

The last available data from New York State shows a 77 percent increase in reported flu cases for the week ending with November 23. More than 2,000 cases have been confirmed in New York so far this season.

The most popular destination for New Yorkers using the ride-sharing transportation service Uber is the Queens Center Mall.

CBS Sports announced several changes to its golf coverage team, including two involving announcers with Capital Region ties.

A new law being considered in New York could give tax credits to people who rescue pets.

Zoe, the dog who was rescued after chewing her own leg off because of bone cancer, has now been declared cancer free. Her former owner, Carl Pritchard, is set to appear in Exeter town court today to face animal abuse charges.

Cuomo signed legislation to identify and develop new training standards for therapy dogs.

Gloversville’s Elk Street Park, also known as “the Cage,” is set for a major “resurfacing” project, which will include a multi-color mural designed by a locla high school student — provided enough funds can be raised to pay for it.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the White House, and all those beautiful decorations came to life, in part, due to the hard work of a Western New York couple.

He knows when to fold ’em. America’s proudest pothead has decided to hang up his joint. Willie Nelson, the country music luminary whose name is practically synonymous with lighting up, said in a recent interview that he has stopped smoking marijuana due to breathing issues.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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