While You Were Out: Jan. 17, 2020

Everything old is new again, CivMixers. Guess who’s back in the impeachment mix? None other than Ken Starr.

Now, maybe you’re too young to remember, but it was Starr’s investigation into President Bill Clinton that led to his impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice in 1998.

Now Starr is joining President Trump’s legal team as he faces his own impeachment trial, along with celebrity attorney Alan Dershowitz and Robert W. Ray, who negotiated a final settlement with Clinton that included a fine and law license suspension.

Also, happy birthday Michelle Obama: The Trump administration moved today to roll back school nutrition standards championed by the former first lady – an effort long sought by food manufacturers and some school districts that have chafed at the cost of her prescriptions for fresh fruit and vegetables.

AND to top it all off, to quote Creedence Clearwater Revival: Looks like we’re in for nasty weather. More here.

The Trump administration took renewed aim at New York City’s so-called sanctuary policies today after the recent arrest of an undocumented Guyanese man on charges that he raped and murdered a 92-year-old woman in Queens.

A new study shows that increasing the minimum wage by $1 would prevent thousands of suicides every year, and that a $2 minimum wage increase would save over 50,000 people from taking their own lives within a 15-year period.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office released a package of audits of aspects of the Medicaid program, finding $790 million in potential savings. The four audits come as New York faces a $6.1 billion budget gap in the coming fiscal year, which begins April 1.

While huge crowds are expected to flock tomorrow to the nation’s capital for the national Women’s March, people in Schenectady will take to the streets in solidarity with them to highlight the same issues.

In a significant correction, the state court system said that Albany County Judge William Carter would still be allowed to preside over criminal cases — just not matters involving Albany County District Attorney David Soares’ office.

Despite being able to take legal action, Milton Town Supervisor Benny Zlotnick said he won’t file any complaint against the town’s previous administration for wiping computers in the supervisor’s office of files and applications.

A planned strike by the workers of an ailing Delmar nursing home and assisted living facility has been postponed, their union announced.

The city council president is asking the state to assist Troy police in investigating recent graffiti found in Frear Park that displayed “hate and bigotry.”

The Town of Colonie’s computer system was down today due to a cyber attack, forcing many departments’ to run their operations offline. City officials said things should slowly start to come back online later today.

Former WNY Republican Rep. Chris Collins was sentenced to 26 months in prison for his role in an insider-trading scheme, which he admitted to last year after denying any wrongdoing during his successful 2018 re-election campaign.

…Collins is just the latest in a series of close allies and associates of Trump to face the stain of a criminal record. In all, 14 Trump aides, donors and advisers have been indicted or imprisoned since the days when the first-time candidate promised that he would only hire “the best people.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley will not seek the GOP nod for the 27th Congressional District seat vacated by the resignation of Collins, but did not offer his support for any other potential candidates

Cuomo said that vaping proved deadly for two more New Yorkers who suffered from vaping-related ailments, adding that so far a total of four people in the state have died from these illnesses

A group of state lawmakers introduced legislation that would outlaw cigarette filters, known colloquially as “butts,” along with single-use electronic cigarettes, citing the ubiquity with which they litter streets and sidewalks.

Cuomo is expected to unveil a proposal to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters in New York state at his budget address next Tuesday that will require helmets for riders of e-bikes that go 25 miles per hour or faster

A new law in New York City lets parents remove their obstetricians’ names if their medical licenses were revoked for misconduct.

More than 3,600 people outside of New York City have filed to receive their pre-adoption birth certificates, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said.

The final jurors were picked for Harvey Weinstein’s sex-assault trial. The breakdown of the jury is six white men, three black women, two white women and one black man. A black woman, white man and Hispanic women were selected as alternates.

A former Metro-North manager was indicted for accepting $70,000 in kickbacks to funnel more than $10 million in contracts to a waste removal company hired to clean up Grand Central Terminal.

20th Century Fox, a name and klieg-lit logo that stretches back 85 years in Hollywood, is dropping the word “Fox” – a move that may prevent consumers from mistakenly thinking the movie studio has anything to do with Rupert Murdoch’s polarizing Fox News media empire.

Almost all of the foie gras produced in the United States comes from two duck farms in Sullivan County, where about 400 workers, mostly immigrants from Mexico and Central America, rely on it for their livelihood. NYC’s ban on the delicacy, scheduled to take effect in 2022, hurts this farm and other related businesses greatly.

Suffolk County police helped round up a trio of pigs that had escaped from a trailer and leapt into eastbound traffic on Sunrise Highway between Sayville and Bohemia, officials said.

This is really fun. Nicely done, Nick.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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