Rise and Shine, Dec. 5, 2019

Hello, Thursday, and hello, CivMixers.

A “special weather statement” from The Weather Channel this morning: Watch out for patchy black ice on the roads – especially on untreated or ill-cleared (my addition, there) secondary roads and side streets. Black ice is a silent menace. Please do be careful.

Otherwise, there will be clouds in the morning and sun in the afternoon, with temperatures in the mid-to-high 30s. Not too shabby, considering.

I’m making do with hotel room coffee this morning. Instant. Not fantastic by a long shot. But it’s getting the job done.

Today is World Soil Day, celebrated annually by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in an effort to communicate the importance of soil quality for food security, healthy ecosystems and human well-being.

It’s also International Ninja Day, which “recognizes the fascination associated with the history and pop culture of the ninja.”

Walt Disney was born on this day in 1901. He died in 1966. If you happen to be in San Francisco, CA, you can get free admission to the Walt Disney Family Museum. You can read all about how he built his infamous theme park empire here.

Still with us and celebrating birthdays today are: Actor Frankie Muniz (34), rocker Little Richard (87), actress Paula Patton (44), and comedian Margaret Cho (51).

In the headlines…

Aiming to play the role of global statesman as the impeachment drama was unfolding in Washington, President Donald Trump instead shattered NATO’s professed message of unity at its 70th anniversary celebration in England and put his personal and policy differences with alliance members on stark display.

Three leading legal scholars testified that Trump’s attempts to have Ukraine investigate Democratic rivals are grounds for impeachment, bolstering the Democrats’ case as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made sure they’re prepared for that momentous next step.

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer acquitted of homicide charges in the 2012 fatal shooting of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, is suing Martin’s family, prosecutors and others involved in the case he claims rested on false evidence, according to a copy of the suit sent to the media yesterday.

The military says a U.S. sailor shot and killed two civilian Department of Defense employees at the Pearl Harbor shipyard before taking his own life.

Lawmakers are racing against the clock to pass a federal online privacy bill that would prevent a patchwork of state laws, like one recently passed in California.

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg is vastly outspending the rest of the Democratic 2020 field when it comes to TV ads.

Comic Amy Schumer performed at Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s birthday party last night in front of 300-plus guests and supporters, sources told Page Six. (His actual birthday is tomorrow; he’ll be 62).

Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand plans to introduce legislation intended to help more military members get mental health care, she told the Albany Times Union, following a Senate Armed Service subcommittee hearing on veteran and military suicides.

A bipartisan quartet of Democrats and Republicans – including New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik – introduced a new plan that would allow parents of newborns to borrow money to pay for child care or replace some income during leave from work.

Members of the state Senate’s Democratic majority heard a range of views this week at a public hearing in Manhattan on the state’s education funding formula, known as Foundation Aid, which has been in place since 2007.

A Cuomo administration report to be released today gives the green light to minimum wage increases slated to go into effect next year — including the expansion of $15 an hour pay in the five boroughs.

Medicaid spending is threatening New York’s ability to close future state budget gaps in the coming years, making for an “Achilles heal” for its finances, Moody’s said.

Marisa Franchini, currently a deputy corporation counsel, will soon be the first woman to hold the capital city’s corporation counsel post will take the helm next year as current top attorney Bill Kelly exits to become an Albany City Court judge.

The current and future mayors of Rensselaer traded jabs in the form of press releases yesterday, with mayor-elect Michael Stammel accusing Mayor Richard Mooney of refusing to meet with him in the transition period.

One in four times an NYPD cop fires a Taser, it’s an accident, a new report found — as a police oversight agency issued its own study showing cops need more training with stun guns.

Cuomo has vetoed legislation that would have forgiven the remaining portion of a state Education Department fine levied against the Panama Central School District.

Tedra Cobb, Stefanik’s 2020 Democratic opponent in NY-21, released a new video ad criticizing the congresswoman for accepting donations from corporate political action committees.

A Rockland County beauty queen — crowned Miss Pakistan World in 2012 — was killed over the weekend when her car hit a curb and overturned into oncoming traffic, police said.

Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone said he wasn’t forced to retire. In fact, though, Vatican officials had begun preparing to replace Malone at least three weeks ago.

From the moment he described survivors of clergy sexual abuse as “part of our family,” Albany Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger sounded a different note than what many victims of abuse heard from Malone.

The NYPD named the first black chief of detectives in department history yesterday — one month after Mayor Bill de Blasio came under fire for skipping over another high-ranking black cop for the commissioner gig.

New York will allow Amazon, DHL and UPS to park cargo bikes in commercial loading zones as a way to get some trucks off the city’s gridlocked streets.

NYPD K9s helped fetch toys, treats and equipment to donate to military dog units deployed overseas this Christmas, the NYPD announced on Twitter.

he Schenectady County sheriff, county clerk and members of the County Legislature could all be in line for significant raises under proposals being considered by county legislators.

Work on the new Costco warehouse club at Crossgates Mall could begin as early as next spring.

Mosu, a restaurant serving Asian barbecue and hot-pot fare, is being developed for a winter opening at 111 Wolf Road in Colonie. It will occupy the other half of a building shared with the forthcoming Toro Cantina, also projected to open in early to mid-winter.

A man has died after being hit by a vehicle on Ridge Road in East Greenbush last night.

The search continues in Colonie for 77-year old Beverly Trombley. Her car was found abandoned, its battery dead, at West Albany Pocket Park.

Two Capital Region-area houses are among those winning statewide honors for historic preservation.

Stephen Colbert is apparently a big fan of New Zealand.

“Bella” is the most popular dog name of the past decade.

World, meet “Coffee Rat.”

For the 21st consecutive year, Pantone has named a color of the year, a trend-forecasting stunt as closely watched by the news media as it is by the industries — marketing, fashion, design — that actually traffic in visual trends. It’s “Classic Blue.”

Photo credit: George Fazio.



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