While You Were Out: Jan. 9, 2020

As we wrap up this Thursday afternoon, an important note:

A very astute reader of “Rise and Shine” pointed out an error in this morning’s post that definitely needs correcting. Kate Middleton, AKA Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, turned 38 today (not 30). Sorry for the confusion.

It wasn’t a terribly happy birthday, as it turns out, as the royal family is in a tailspin following the announcement by Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, that they’re going to be giving up on royal life.

Kate is reportedly a top priority for the Queen when it comes to preserving the future of the monarchy.

The Queen asked Prince Harry not to issue the statement yesterday announcing that he and his wife would be pulling back from royal duties, but he went ahead with it anyway.

London’s Madame Tussauds museum has announced that it has removed the waxworks of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (AKA Harry and Meghan) from its Royal Family set, and will move them to another location. The New York Tussauds is going to do the same.

Also, Harry and Meghan have a new website, on which they announced their plans to work toward financial independence while still relying on publicly-funded security and making use of their official residence, the recently renovated Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.

On an unrelated note, I’m going to be in trouble when I get home for failing to point out earlier that it’s National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, a day set aside to thank the men and women who protect and serve our communities.

Go out and thank a cop. There’s still time.

In other news…

An Iranian missile accidentally brought down a Ukrainian jetliner over Iran this week, killing everyone aboard, American and allied officials said, adding a tragic coda to the escalated military conflict between Washington and Tehran.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi today once again rebuffed growing calls to send the House’s articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate for trial and refused to provide a timetable for doing so, saying only that after weeks of delay, she would probably move “soon.”

The White House issued sweeping changes to one of the nation’s bedrock environmental laws, allowing greater industry involvement in environmental reviews of projects and diminishing the role climate change plays in those assessments.

Amazon’s Ring, the smart doorbell maker that has been under heightened scrutiny of late, said it fired four employees for watching customer video feeds beyond what they were allowed to.

The two leading progressive candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination – U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren – pushed back publicly against efforts to alter New York’s new bail law.

The Sunrise Movement, the collection of young climate activists who have roiled Capitol Hill and the Democratic presidential primary, announced it is endorsing Sanders of Vermont, in another sign that left-wing advocacy groups have increasingly coalesced around his candidacy.

Grafton Thomas, the man accused of hacking five Orthodox Jews with an 18-inch machete while they celebrated Hanukkah, has been indicted on federal hate crimes charges.

State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins reiterated that her conference wants to avoid spending cuts to key areas – like education – to fill the $6.1 billion budget gap.

Stewart-Cousins said that her conference is aware “tweaks” may be needed for the newly enacted criminal justice reforms but they will not rush to do anything as a result of “a lot of fear-mongering.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to legalize the throttle-controlled bikes favored by delivery workers — which would have been accomplished if he hadn’t vetoed a nearly unanimously passed bill last year — wasn’t in his State of the State speech, but it was included in the “Making Progress Happen” briefing book.

As he drafted his State of the State speech over the last three months, Cuomo was simultaneously designing a poster — a visual representation of where he views New York state at this point in time.

Cuomo has vowed to put his muscle behind a pair of languishing projects on Manhattan’s West Side waterfront, pushing for development on both Pier 40 and Pier 76. But what will become of the massive parcels — key to generating revenue for the state-and-city-sponsored Hudson River Park — remains as murky as it has for decades.

State Senate Democrats are again pushing to automatically register citizens to vote. The latest version of the proposal would automatically register citizens – unless they opt out – when they fill out forms at certain state agencies, including the departments of state, health and motor vehicles.

Disgraced Republican state Assemblyman Brian Kolb claimed he was joking when he blamed his wife for his alleged New Year’s Eve drunk-driving crash — then claimed he didn’t even remember blaming her — after pleading not guilty to charges of driving while intoxicated.

A Utica woman was arrested twice earlier this week for allegedly stealing merchandise from Macy’s two separate times that day, according to New Hartford police.

NYC mayoral hopeful Scott Stringer, the current city comptroller, has jumped on the anti-big real estate bandwagon and is shunning campaign contributions from the industry — now that he’s amassed a nearly $1 million war chest from the Big Apple’s biggest landlords.

A Chicago-based operator of coworking spaces nationwide said it has acquired 69 State St. and will convert the 17-story bank building into co-working spaces. Novel Coworking said pre-leasing is under way.

After 25 years as chairman of the city of Schenectady Democrats, Dick Naylor, 77, has stepped down from the leadership post.

With the sting of an election loss fresh, the Milton town councilman who supported the defeated supervisor challenged the moves made last night by the new council majority – including plans to appoint lawyer John Cromie as judge.

Brian Angelo, a former hip-hop disc jockey in the Capital Region known as “DJ iRoc,” will not be inspecting his former workplace where he allegedly preyed sexually upon a child. But his attorney — former Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove — will be allowed to look over the scene between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. tomorrow.

Republican NY-21 Rep. Elise Stefanik tweeted a petition and fundraising appeal that included what appeared to be an altered photo of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, drawing a retweet this morning from Trump. That’s the second time this week that a House Republican has tweeted a photo that appears to have been manipulated.

Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin says he’s contemplating construction of a county office building in South Troy, explaining it’s the reason he has not yet signed off on an agreement with Troy that would clear the way for construction of a new road to get tractor-trailer trucks off residential streets.

In addition to putting pressure on families, the dearth of high-quality affordable child care options in the area can have a meaningful impact on the health and economic vitality of communities, according to new analysis from Brightside Up, a child care resource provider formerly known as the Capital District Child Care Council.

Tioga County is seeing more than twice as many cases of influenza this flu season compared to the past two flu seasons.

Ulster County finally knows who will serve as its next district attorney. Chief Assistant District Attorney Mike Kavanagh conceded the race and offered his congratulations to Democratic rival Dave Clegg, saying he’s confident now that all the votes have been counted, and he won’t pursue any legal action.

For the ninth consecutive year, the Zac Brown Band will make a tour stop at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Its show, with special guest Gregory Alan Isakov, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, June 13.

Congrats to Dan Clark on his new gig as the host of NY Now!

Say WHAT now?

Photo credit: George Fazio.



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