Rise and Shine: Feb. 13, 2020

Good morning, CivMixers. It’s Thursday. And if you go in for this sort of thing, it’s also Galentine’s Day.

For the uninitiated, this is a day for “ladies celebrating ladies.” This is supposed to mean female friendship, but I guess could be anything you wanted, technically speaking, since it’s not real in the first place.

It was intended as a sort of feministish answer to Valentine’s Day, which, by the way – not to scare you or anything – but is tomorrow.

Anyway, businesses such as Sprinkles Cupcakes, Lyft, Shari’s Berries, and Target promoted the “Galentine’s Day” holiday on Twitter in 2017, with Target even selling themed products to mark the occasion.

But Galentine’s Day was actually invented by Leslie Knope, the main character on the very popular TV show “Parks and Recreation.”

So, a case of life imitating TV.

On this day in 1866, Jesse James held up his first bank, stealing $15,000 from the Clay County Savings Association in Liberty, Missouri.

In 1917, Dutch exotic dancer Mata Hari was arrested in Paris on suspicion that she was a German spy.

In 1957, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference organized in New Orleans with Martin Luther King Jr. as its president.

In 1971, Vice President Spiro Agnew hit two tee shots into a crowd while golfing, injuring two people.

In 1990, Celtics player Larry Bird ended his NBA free throw streak of 71 games.

In 2000, the last original “Peanuts” comic strip appeared in newspapers one day after cartoonist Charles M. Schulz died.

We have some weather today. Actually, we have a winter weather advisory in place through 1 p.m., with the accumulation of up to five inches of snow possible. There could be some sleet and freezing rain in the mix as well, so this morning’s commute should be extra messy.

Things will shit over to rain until it all stops by the afternoon. Temperatures will be in the high 30s, according to The Weather Channel.

Tabloid TV host Jerry Springer is celebrating his 76th birthday today. He shares the big day with actress Stockyard Channing, who is also 76; actress Mena Suvari (41), and singer Peter Gabriel (70).

In the headlines…

As President Trump congratulated the US AG for overruling career prosecutors in favor of the lighter prison sentence he sought for a longtime friend, Roger Stone, Senate Republicans agreed that reining in a president emboldened by the impeachment acquittal they orchestrated is not on their to-do list.

Attorney General William Barr has agreed to testify before the Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee at the end of March after rebuffing requests to appear before the panel for the past year.

Troy Price, the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, resigned after a disastrous caucus process beset by technical glitches led to a dayslong delay in reporting the results, inconsistencies in the numbers and no clear winner.

The number of new coronavirus cases in China is not slowing after all.

China’s ruling Communist Party fired the leaders of the province and the city at the center of the new coronavirus outbreak amid widespread public anger over the handling of the epidemic.

Rensselaer County officials confirmed that a 28-year-old Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student who was found dead inside his apartment earlier this week died from influenza. (NOT coronavirus).

Unless a moderate favorite soon emerges, Democratic Party leaders may increasingly look to former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg as a potential savior.

Bloomberg has contracted some of the biggest meme-makers on the internet to post sponsored content on Instagram promoting his presidential campaign.

Facing pressure from Republicans and law enforcement officials, state Senate Democrats rolled out a plan to alter the hotly contested bail reform law that has dominated conversation in Albany for months.

…Cuomo likes the idea. “Let’s take money out of the cash bail system,” he said. “Just eliminate cash bail totally, but have a check in the system where the judge can use discretion where they make sure public safety…is protected. That’s my original plan I put forth last year.”

BUT: Members of the state Assembly vowed to oppose the state Senate plan to revise New York’s controversial bail reform law, calling the effort “racist” and “bulls–t.”

Cuomo, who is meeting with Trump today, said that he would seek to give federal officials access to state driving records for applicants to Global Entry and other federal programs that allow travelers to quickly pass through airports and borders.

Whether New York will legalize recreational marijuana this year will come down to a handful of moderate lawmakers in the state Senate, Cuomo said.

Pastor Charles Muller’s Victory Christian Church, based in Albany and Colonie, has received the biggest donation in its 27-year history – $750,000 – from Scott Earl, owner of Twin Bridges Waste & Recycling and Prestige Vending.

The city of Albany’s Zoning Board of Appeals will consider a request to label a West Hill grocery store as a nuisance property at its Feb. 26 meeting, possibly shuttering a store that’s served the neighborhood for decades.

New York lawmakers joined with medical groups to urge passage of a bill that would extend Medicaid coverage for women up to one year after they give birth.

The National Park Service approved the creation of a new historic district in Albany: The Washington Avenue Corridor, which includes 267 buildings and Townsend Park on Washington, Western, North Lake and Central avenues, as well as Lark, Spring, Dove, Bradford and West Lawrence streets.

Chris Churchill approves of the primary challenge that Matt Toporowski, a 33-year-old former prosecutor, is mounting to Albany District Attorney David Soares.

A group of Albany High School seniors made their rounds at the state Capitol to press lawmakers to expand funding for access to rigorous coursework in high school.

Investigator Brian Curran, who was attacked responding to a disturbance on a bus stopped along Central Avenue, was released from Albany Medical Center Hospital late Tuesday evening and will be out of work for at least a week as he recovers, police said in a statement.

Snowmobilers who hit trees in two separate instances and a hiker who became violently ill in the High Peaks were among the most recent rescues reported by the state Department of Environmental Conservation this month.

Trump has nominated two women to serve as federal judges in New York City — including one who previously worked for now US Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the White House announced.

Controversial criminal justice reforms are so onerous that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office might have to punt on cases.

The president of the NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association visited the White House just days after saying members of the NYPD are declaring “war” on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams warned other front-runners in the 2021 mayoral race that it’s “going to be a dirty campaign.”

The president of Sarah Lawrence College said that the elite school had no idea accused cult leader Lawrence Ray was living in his daughter’s on-campus pad and preying on students.

They’re separated by about 25 miles, but as of this week, SUNY Adirondack in Queensbury and SUNY Empire State College in Saratoga Springs are partners.

A federal crackdown on universities that fail to disclose donations and contracts from foreign governments has ensnared Harvard and Yale, the Education Department said.

Prince Harry‘s talks with financial giant Goldman Sachs — and his recent appearance at a JPMorgan summit — are the first steps by the ex-royal to land lucrative gigs on the paid speaking circuit, according to sources close to both banks.

The state Assembly passed a resolution to honor the life of Amsterdam native Kirk Douglas, who died on February 5 at the age of 103.

Puerto Rico’s government has lost more than $2.6 million after falling for an email phishing scam, according to a senior official.

Justice for Daniel! Who’s with me?!

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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