Rise and Shine: Feb. 28, 2020

It’s FriYAY, CivMixers. Amen.

Today’s Google Doodle is worth noting. It celebrates the birthday of Sir John Tenniel, an English illustrator, graphic humorist, and political cartoonist who was prominent in the second half of the 19th century and knighted for his artistic achievements in 1893 by Queen Victoria. (This was the first such honor ever bestowed on an illustrator or cartoonist).

Tenniel was the man behind the iconic illustrations in Lewis Carroll’s classics “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass, and What Alive Found There.”

After 1872, when the Carroll projects were finished, Tenniel largely abandoned literary illustration, even when he was later approached by Carroll to undertake another project for him. Tenniel basically replied that after he finished the “Alice” books, “the faculty of making drawings for book illustrations departed from me.”

Tenniel was born on this day in 1820 and died in Febroary 1914 three days before his 94th birthday.

Also, today is National Tartar Sauce Day, which has been observed the first Friday after Lent since 2017. A very established holiday, in other words.

Country singer Jason Aldean is turning 43 today. Also celebrating birthdays today: Novelist Daniel Handler (AKA Lemony Snicket – 50), English chef, TV presenter, and entertainer Ainsley Harriott (63), fashion influencer Olivia Palermo (34), actress Ali Larter (44), and model Karolina Kurkova (36).

Winter is making it known that it’s definitely still here, with temperatures hovering in the mid-30s today. It’s also quite windy at the moment…and winds will be between 10 and 20 mph throughout the day. A few flurries and/or snow showers are possible, according to The Weather Channel.

In the headlines…

As coronavirus outbreaks grew sharply in Europe and the Middle East, air routes were halted and border control toughened. But for an illness transmitted so easily, leaders seemed willing to try anything to keep their people — and economies — safe.

More than a dozen countries recorded their first cases of coronavirus in the past 48 hours, as the W.H.O.’s director general said the outbreak had “pandemic potential.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling Americans that they should be prepared for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in their community.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that 33 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and the state is currently monitoring at least 8,400 others – a day after U.S. health officials confirmed the first possible community transmission of the coronavirus in a Solano County resident.

A resident of New York City who recently came back from a trip to Italy is being tested for COVID-19, more commonly known as the novel coronavirus, according to officials. (Symptoms are likely to appear as soon as two days after exposure, or up to two weeks later, according to the CDC).

Although no one in New York has tested positive for the virus, doctors and public health officials in the city and state, amid growing anxiety, have been bracing for the possibility of an epidemic that could strain the health care system.

Federal health employees interacted with Americans quarantined for possible exposure to the coronavirus without proper medical training or protective gear, then scattered into the general population, according to a government whistle-blower who lawmakers say faced retaliation for reporting concerns.

The global stock market slid for the sixth straight day yesterday, as the S&P 500 index plunged to its worst loss in almost nine years and investors worldwide grew increasingly fearful that the coronavirus outbreak could cause a recession as it squeezes corporate profits.

Schools across the United States are canceling trips abroad, preparing online lessons and even rethinking “perfect attendance” awards as they brace for the possibility that the new coronavirus could begin spreading in their communities.

The pet dog of a coronavirus patient in Hong Kong was found to have a “low level” of the deadly virus, the autonomous region’s government said.

A cruise ship has been refused entry into the Dominican Republic due to fears that a person onboard could be infected with the coronavirus, officials said.

Facebook says it is canceling F8, its annual conference for developers, as spread of the new coronavirus around the world is hitting companies hard, spurring them to suspend production, meetings, events and business travel.

Pope Francis, 82, has come down with a “slight indisposition,” forcing him to cancel a planned Mass in Rome, just a day after he expressed his solidarity with coronavirus sufferers around the world — and as the disease continues to spread across Italy.

EJ McMahon: This week’s stock-market plunge amid mounting fears of a global economic slowdown triggered by the coronavirus couldn’t come at a more crucial time in New York state’s budget-making process.

New York is experiencing a record-breaking flu season, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, facing deep alarm among moderate Democrats who worry that Sen. Bernie Sanders will win their party’s presidential nomination only to cost them control of the chamber, has begun distancing her caucus from the race for the White House in an effort to insulate her rank and file and preserve the party’s majority.

Ad spending on the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries has surpassed $1 billion — a record-shattering number with four months to go before the Democratic Party convention, a new analysis released yesterday reveals.

A member of the Central Park Five slammed former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg for blocking a multi-million dollar settlement over the group’s wrongful prosecution.

Bloomberg’s campaign reportedly reached out to Democrat Andrew Yang seeking his endorsement and supposedly dangled an offer to run as his vice president as the bait.

Hillary Clinton is planning to launch her own podcast in the late spring after being inspired by her appearances on programs from Conan O’Brien and Howard Stern.

The U.S. has a medical examiner crisis, with a lack of accredited professionals, an overload of cases and stacks of bodies awaiting attention – in part due to the opioid epidemic.

Convicted double-murderer Edward “Ted” Mero testified that his former defense attorney, Cheryl Coleman, never told him she was clandestinely employing the prosecutor handling his case for legal work on the side.

The Siena men’s basketball team enters tonight’s game at Marist alone in first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

With the Trump administration showing no signs of endorsing a plan for a second set of rail tunnels under the Hudson River, Amtrak has decided to start repairing the two existing tunnels before one of them fails completely.

“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is joining Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a public service announcement unveiled this week aimed at getting New Yorkers of all backgrounds, including immigrants, to participate in the once-a-decade head count.

There may soon be a settlement in a dispute over New York’s Green Light Law and giving Department of Motor Vehicle records to immigration agents.

A roof collapse at an Albany County-owned building on Elk Street has threatened dreams of a $10 million redevelopment and proposed historic district in the Sheridan Hollow neighborhood. The cave-in caused enough damage that the city will have to raze several adjacent privately owned vacant buildings.

A Rensselaer County State Supreme Court jury found that a level three sex offender has mental health issues and should be treated under a civil commitment order requested by the state Attorney General’s Office.

A public meeting was held last night to discuss ongoing concerns about the Dunn Landfill, located right near the Rensselaer City School District.

The Bethlehem Central School District is one step closer to a later start time for the high school students.

Billy Idol’s famous sneer is now being directed at those who idle inside their vehicles on the streets of New York City. The rocker and environmentalist is the face of the city’s new anti-idling campaign: “Billy Never Idles and Neither Should You.”

A small army of New York City bodega and deli owners are gearing up to challenge the state’s plastic bag ban on the eve of its March 1 implementation.

Researchers at Albany Medical College have landed a $2.8 million grant that will allow them to study the biology of breast cancer.

After a series of bomb threats at Jewish centers across New York, Cuomo has launched the “No Hate in Our State” campaign.

Norman Birenbaum, the new cannabis policy guru for Cuomo, described legalizing recreational marijuana in New York as a moral imperative.

Steven Seagal, the actor best known for playing hard-bitten cops and commandos in action movies, has agreed to settle charges brought by the SEC for failing to disclose that he was being paid to promote a cryptocurrency investment on his social media accounts.

A judge dismissed a federal government lawsuit against New York City seeking information about two illegal immigrants accused of committing crimes — after the city said it handed over the requested info.

Some of thoroughbred racing’s top trainers, as well as landscaping firms and restaurant operators, could be forced to scramble to find staff after losing a federal lottery to bring in seasonal help on H-2B visas.

A mirco-apartment building and a new cafe are opening in Cohoes.

Troy’s mansions, office buildings and other icons will stand in for old-time New York when 150 to 300 people arrive to work on HBO’s project, “The Gilded Age.”

This is worth a read.

RIP former Times Union publisher Joseph T. Lyons, who guided the paper through a period that saw the shuttering of its afternoon sibling the Knickerbocker News but also dramatic growth in subscriptions and staff. He died Wednesday in Florida at age 93.

…Lyons’ son, Brendan J. Lyons, is a TU senior editor, overseeing the Capitol Bureau and the investigations team. Condolences to Brendan, who is an all-around good guy as well as a great reporter, and to my former newspaper family.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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