While You Were Out: Jan. 22, 2020

We’re almost over the hump in this incredibly news-heavy week, CivMixers. So much going on. So little time to get to all of it. Let’s have at it, shall we?

House managers, led by Rep. Adam B. Schiff, a California Democrat, began presenting three days of opening arguments today in the historic Senate impeachment trial of President Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

In a series of sober, methodical speeches, the Democratic managers, or prosecutors, presented extracts of testimony from the House inquiry and other evidence to argue that Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to incriminate Democrats amounted to an assault on America’s constitutional democracy.

Still in Davos, Trump said that he would prefer a long impeachment trial with witness testimony before the Senate, but that national security concerns made that impossible, and added that he would like to attend the trial.

Trump set a presidential record for activity on his favorite social media platform today, tweeting and retweeting at length about the Senate impeachment trial, the Democrats who want to replace him and much, much more.

Chinese authorities will close off Wuhan — a city of more than 11 million people and the epicenter of a pneumonia-like virus that has already spread halfway around the world — by canceling planes and trains leaving the city, and suspending buses, subways and ferries within it.

State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and members of the Democratic conference this week met with key law enforcement officials amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the state’s new cash bail law. More here.

A permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, is included in Cuomo’s proposed budget. If approved, this would lead to the restriction of permits for high-volume hydrofracking to being a matter set in law.

In his budget, Cuomo also includes expenses in the Foundation Aid formula that are currently calculated outside the formula – like BOCES aid, high tax aid, and library aid. This is making some advocates nervous because schools think they are owed more under the formula the way it currently exists in the law.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams acknowledged his recent comments telling newcomers to New York to go back where they came from were a “gaffe,” as a likely 2021 mayoral rival condemned his words as divisive.

Price Chopper and Market 32 will start charging 5 cents per paper bag that customers use to pack their groceries at checkout across New York as a statewide ban on plastic grocery bags takes effect on March 1.

The Olympic Regional Development Authority, which runs three ski mountains as well as the athletic training facilities in Lake Placid, has been slated to receive $147 million in Cuomo’s executive budget for capital improvements — a 78 percent increase over last year.

The Drug Policy Alliance is happy Cuomo’s budget once again includes a call to legalize marijuana. But the group is concerned that there is no provision guaranteeing revenue from marijuana sales would be directed to communities negatively impacted by harsh drug laws.

Cuomo announced plans to eliminate VLT aid to the cities outside of Yonkers in his budget. Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan said that would cost the Spa City $2,325,592 in expected VLT revenue.

Opening statements in Harvey Weinstein’s rape and sexual assault trial took place today.

…A prosecutor alleged Weinstein injected himself with an erection drug before raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013.

A high-ranking official in Cuomo’s administration — who won the Miss Latin America beauty pageant in 2006 before her career in public service — is facing charges of assaulting her partner and endangering her infant child.

The new bail reform laws could mean more work for police agencies across the state, including the New York State Police.

A controversial bill is on the table at the state Capitol that would create an abortion access fund. Under the bill, taxpayers could check off a box when they fill out their personal income tax returns to voluntarily donate to the fund.

The Saratoga Springs City School District is among 14 percent of school districts nationwide that provided varied vegan lunch options for kids in at least one school in 2017, a figure up from 11.5 percent in 2016, according to the School Nutrition Association.

For the Capital Region, it appears to be the best of both worlds: We’ve seen wage growth that has pushed us ahead of other upstate cities and we’re “among the least unequal places in the country,” according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Bus service will get a boost Sunday as the Capital District Transportation Authority rolls out its latest schedules.

Relief is on the way for irate homeowners on a quiet Schenectady street who complained the city stuck them with bills nearly double what they were promised for sidewalks under a pilot program.

Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo is joining the fight for clean drinking water upstate, teaming up with Hoosick Falls Mayor Rob Allen and Rep. Antonio Delgado to discuss new lab testing for PFAS chemicals.

For the 10th straight time, child killer Eric M. Smith was denied parole.

Average airfare prices out of Albany International Airport were higher than the national average during the first three quarters of 2019, according to data released by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Celadon Thai, open since January 2016 at 461 Troy-Schenectady Road in Latham, is moving a mile away, to 860 New Loudon Road/Route 9, a commercial plaza that runs along the east side of Latham Farms.

Here’s the backstory of why Reel Seafood closed abruptly this past weekend.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy were in the nation’s capital to find solutions to problems facing Capital Region cities and towns.

The days of passengers bringing their pets on airplanes as emotional-support animals could be ending. The U.S. Department of Transportation proposed that only specially trained dogs qualify as service animals, which must be allowed in the cabin at no charge.

The National Comedy Center in Jamestown has been nominated for USA Today’s 2020 Readers’ Choice Best New Museum Travel Award.

The National Endowment for the Arts will award a $25,000 grant to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to create art projects at the school’s Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center.

Karl Lagerfeld’s cat, and rumored heir, Choupette, has become a business unto herself. She lives with her nanny in Paris and is very busy.

New Jersey became the ninth state to ban a homophobic legal defense that allows killers to claim that “panic” brought on by a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is grounds for acquittal.

Eli Manning will announce his retirement from football Friday.

RIP Lee Gelber, a Bronx-born urban sherpa known for his drollery and definitude and celebrated by his peers as the dean of New York City tour guides, who died on Sunday in Schenectady at the age of 81.

Photo credit: George Fazio.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *