Rise and Shine: Jan. 7, 2020

It’s Tuesday, and for those who follow the Julian rather than Gregorian calendar, it’s Christmas. Generally speaking, that includes: Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Ukraine, Georgia, Jerusalem and Russia.

So, Merry Orthodox Christmas!

It’s also National Bobblehead Day – a day created by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in 2015. (For the uninitiated, like myself, this museum is located in Milwaukee, WI and really looks worth a visit, should you ever find yourself in the area).

On this day in 1610, Galileo Galilei discovered the first three moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa & Ganymede.

In 1896, Fannie Farmer published her first cookbook “The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book.”

In 1920, the state Assembly refused to seat five duly-elected members of the chamber because they were Socialists and it was the height of the Red Scare.

In 1922, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was ratified by Dail Eireann (the Assembly of Ireland) in a 64-57 vote.

In 1955, Marian Anderson became the first African American singer to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera.

Also in 1955, 20-year-old future world heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson scored a 5th-round TKO of Willie Troy in a non-title super middleweight bout at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

In 1959, the U.S. government recognized the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro.

In 1970, farmers sued Max Yasgur for $35,000 worth of damages caused by the infamous “Woodstock” music festival.

In 1991, Saddam Hussein prepared his troops for what he says will be a long violent war against the United States.

In 1997, Newt Gingrich was narrowly re-elected speaker of the House.

Blue Ivy Carter (AKA the first-born child of Beyonce and Jay-Z, who is already generating controversy), turns 8 today.

She shares her birthday with: Actor Nicholas Cage (56), actor Jeremy Renner (49), 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson (26) and singer-songwriter and guitarist Kenny Loggins, whom you may recall from his early days with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, (72).

We should see a mix of sun and clouds this morning, giving way to all clouds by afternoon, and temperatures in the high 30s, according to The Weather Channel.

In the news…

After the American killing of a top Iranian military commander, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made a rare appearance at a meeting of the government’s National Security Council to lay down the parameters for any retaliation. It must be a direct and proportional attack on U.S. interests, he said, openly carried out by Iranian forces themselves.

In Jerusalem and elsewhere across the Middle East, U.S. embassies warned Americans of potential attacks from Iran, as Iranian generals vowed to avenge the senior commander killed in an American drone strike.

Only hours before prosecutors in Los Angeles unveiled the new case against disgraced former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, he had hobbled with a walker into a courtroom in Manhattan for a hearing on the eve of his long-anticipated rape trial there. Jury selection begins today.

Authorities reportedly have 72 naked pictures of Weinstein that were shot by investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office during the probe of his alleged sex crimes.

There’s an overlooked epidemic of school shootings — the kind that happens after class lets out. Since mid-August, gunfire has erupted more than 20 times at or near school sporting events around the country, more shootings than took place during school hours.

President Donald Trump rape accuser E. Jean Carroll says her New York defamation lawsuit against him should stand — even though he claims he doesn’t live here anymore, according to new court papers.

The Swedish furniture retailer Ikea agreed to pay a $46 million settlement in a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the parents of a California toddler who was crushed to death by a popular dresser model that had been recalled after at least five other children were killed.

Facebook said that it would ban videos that are heavily manipulated by artificial intelligence, known as deepfakes, from its platform.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was filmed yesterday helping a man out of a van that crashed on a major New York City highway, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Cuomo, a well-known car enthusiast who drove a tow truck as a young man, has a well-documented penchant for aiding motorists in distress: He has pushed cars out of snowdrifts, comforted accident victims and even hooked a stranded vehicle onto a tow cable.

Pennsylvania Station, the busiest rail station in the Western Hemisphere, would add eight tracks to its 21-track layout under an ambitious plan outlined by Cuomo. This would accommodate an additional 175,000 riders to the 650,000 daily travelers who flow through the station now.

Assemblyman William A. Barclay, a Republican from Oswego County, is expected to be voted in as the Assembly’s minority leader today after Assemblyman Brian Kolb last week announced he would step down a few days after he crashed his state-issued SUV and was arrested for DWI.

Republican Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick has endorsed Cuomo’s proposed legislation to ban ghost guns, citing over two dozen confiscations by local and state police last year.

State GOP Chair Nick Langworthy called the recently enacted bail and discovery law reforms “an assault on civilized society,” and said Democrats in control of state government should craft new legislation forged with more input from law enforcement and not endanger society.

Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan, a former GOP assemblyman, has collected thousands of signatures on a Facebook group that calls for repealing the new bail reform law.

Cuomo yesterday called bail reform a “work in progress.”

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, a Democrat, and GOP state Sen. Jim Tedisco said thousands of people have messaged them airing the opposition to bail reform. The lawmakers are coming together with a bi-partisan effort to amend the law.

Republican North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik expressed her concerns over bail reform at a roundtable event she held in Ballston Spa.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted to intervening in the prosecution of an accused anti-Semitic attacker, but claimed it had nothing to do with negative publicity about bail reform.

The mayor declared that the city’s crackdown on delivery workers riding e-bikes is based on “common sense,” regardless of whether data shows them to be dangerous.

Cuomo’s 29th State of the State proposal is a $300 million plan to “re-imagine” the Erie Canal – including $65 million to combat ice jams that cause flooding in Schenectady’s historic Stockade neighborhood.

Chris Churchill wonders why New York elected officials aren’t talking about the state’s ongoing population drain.

South End community advocates and residents called on the Port of Albany to work with federal, state and local entities to devise a plan that would move Ezra Prentice Homes residents away from the industrial zone that surrounds the federally subsidized, low-income community.

The City of Albany is looking to borrow over $26 million in capital funds this year to pay for 13 “one-time” projects. The Common Council approved over $14 million in bonds last night. Seven of the 13 projects re eligible for reimbursement from the state.

Police are investigating a death that occurred over the weekend at the Lincoln Square Homes in Albany.

Plans to build 100 affordable apartments on South Broadway in Saratoga Springs (where the Saratoga Diner once stood) that supporters hoped would ease the city’s housing crisis are being scrapped because the developer did not win key federal and state aid needed to make the project financial viable.

The Saratoga Auto Museum is getting a grant to help continue a distracted driving initiative.

Amazon breached a letter-of-intent to lease a big chunk of space at the Durst Organization’s 1133 Sixth Ave. back in 2014, a Manhattan Supreme Court judge has ruled — and now, Amazon must cough up as much as $21.65 million to the landlord it left in the lurch.

A Connecticut man was arrested after he was accused of driving to Columbia County and raping an underage girl.

Reinforcements could soon be coming Mechanicville’s way to support its high school football program that has struggled in recent years with low player numbers. Superintendent of Schools Bruce Potter said he will back a merger proposal between Mechanicville and nearby Hoosic Valley beginning in the 2020-21 academic year.

Pope Francis offered a special welcome to Siena College students on a class pilgrimage to the Vatican yesterday morning, the college highlighted.

A Bolton Central school bus was rear-ended by a vehicle on Federal Hill Road just before 3 p.m. yesterday, sending a teenager to the hospital, according to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

Federal health officials said this year’s flu season is already as bad as last year’s, and it could get worse. So far, nearly 3,000 people have died from the flu, and that worries doctors because we’re still two months away from when flu cases typically peak.

The American Red Cross says there is a critical need for blood right now and is asking for people to donate.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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