Rise and Shine: Feb. 7, 2020

Fear not, CivMixers, for Friday has arrived!

Did you know that February is National Heart Month? And no, this has noting to do with the commercialized day of love that is Valentine’s Day.

The purpose of this designation is to raise awareness about heart disease, which can strike anyone at any age, though high blood pressure and obesity exacerbate the problem.

Half of all Americans have at least one of the top three risk factors for heart disease – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.

The first Friday of February, which happens to be today, is Go Red for Women Day, on which we are asked by the American Heart Association to wear red and give money to to support research into women’s heart health, in particular.

Why? Because cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year – approximately one woman every minute.

Also the sad truth about our healthcare system is that there’s a paucity of research that focuses on the unique aspects of women’s health. Newsflash: Women are not merely smaller men. We have different bodies and different health care needs.

While noodling around the internet, I also found out about RED Fridays, which, since 2005, calls for donning the color to show support for members of the military who are deployed.

There’s a wind advisory in effect from 1 p.m. this afternoon to 10 p.m. this evening, with gusts of up to 50 miles per hour possible. There will be rain in the morning, changing over to snow in the afternoon, with accumulation of one to three inches. Temperatures will be in the mid-30s, according to The Weather Channel.

Good news: Once we get through all this, the weather for the weekend looks pretty clear. Cold, but clear.

On this day in 1914, Charlie Chaplin debuted the silent film character The Tramp in the movie “Kid Auto Races at Venice.”

In 1940, Walt Disney’s second feature length movie, “Pinocchio,” premiered in New York City.

In 1949, Joe DiMaggio became the first $100,000-a-year baseball player for the New York Yankees.

In 1950, Sen. Joe McCarthy claimed to have found “communists” in the US Department of State.

In 1962, President JFK began a blockade of Cuba by banning all Cuban imports and exports.

In 1964, the Beatles landed at JFK airport for their first US tour.

In 1985, “New York, New York” became the official anthem of New York City.

Country singer Garth Brooks turns 58 years old today. Also celebrating birthdays: Actor Aston Kutcher (42), comedian Chris Rock (55), actor James Spader (60), puppeteer Robert Smigel (the voice behind Triumph the Comic Dog – 60), basketball player Isaiah Tomas (31), and “hot felon” turned model Jeremy Meeks (36).

Two writers of note were born on this day (in different years): Charles Dickens (1812) and Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867).

Dickens died after suffering a stroke in 1870. He was 58. Wilder, who is best known for her “Little House on the Prairie” series, died in 1956 at the age of 89 due to complications from undiagnosed diabetes and heart problems.

In the headlines today…

House Democrats voted down a Republican resolution to admonish House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for tearing up President Donald Trump’s speech after the State of the Union.

Trump has been acquitted, but some Democrats want to keep investigating the events that lead to his impeachment.

The Chinese authorities resorted to increasingly extreme measures in Wuhan to try to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus, ordering house-to-house searches, rounding up the sick and warehousing them in enormous quarantine centers.

China has announced an investigation after a whistle-blowing 34-year-old Wuhan doctor died from the virus.

A Royal Caribbean cruise ship scheduled to dock in Bayonne, New Jersey, early today has at least a dozen Chinese nationals on board in isolation who will be tested for coronavirus, a source familiar with the ship said.

Following days of chaos and uncertainty, Pete Buttigieg last night appeared to be the winner of the Iowa caucus. The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, narrowly defeated Bernie Sanders as the last of the precincts reported their tallies, the Iowa Democratic Party said.

The Associated Press said that it is unable to declare a winner of Iowa’s Democratic caucuses.

The remarkable level of discord among Democrats at the outset of the nominating process, with the New Hampshire primary only days away, was an early setback for a party already ideologically fractured between left and center and staring at a fight that may last into the summer.

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has sworn off taking money from other people for his presidential campaign. But in private, he is courting the support of rich Democrats – potentially posing a challenge for his moderate rivals.

The National Transportation Safety Board is moving closer to releasing preliminary findings in the Jan. 26 helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others.

More than two years after Hurricane Maria descended on Puerto Rico, an estimated $1.6 billion in insurance claims — particularly high-dollar claims filed by cities and condominium associations — remain unresolved.

New York Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Nydia Velázquez expressed “serious concerns” after a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer shot a man in Brooklyn yesterday during a botched deportation attempt.

The Trump administration finalized plans to allow mining and energy drilling on nearly a million acres of land in southern Utah that had once been protected by President Clinton as part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

A recently filed federal lawsuit in Brooklyn against Keith Raniere and 14 of his associates revealed that Raniere created a special group within his cult-like NXIVM organization to try to attract Asian women – and another group to lure young women in sororities.

An appellate court ruled that the Legislature erred in enacting a 2016 law to allow the operation of interactive fantasy sports in New York such as DraftKings and FanDuel.

Long Island officials were “blatantly lying” when they linked the criminal justice reforms to the death of a witness in an MS-13 gang-assault case, state Democratic officials charged.

NYC officials are pushing the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow the Big Apple lab to do its own coronavirus tests.

New York’s real estate industry was reeling after a surprise ruling from state regulators that renters cannot be charged broker’s fees.

A call to “Save Our City” might make more sense as a campaign slogan for a newcomer running for office in a city in steep decline, rather than a theme for a mayor in his seventh year in office, presiding over a booming New York. Yet Mayor Bill de Blasio embraced this message in his State of the City speech.

James Hansen, a former NASA scientist and one of the founders of the modern climate activist movement, all but endorsed nuclear power as one of several ways to tackle the climate crisis during a speech in Kingston.

A Level 3 sex offender who tried to abduct a 16-year-old girl on an Albany street in 2018 was found guilty of attempted kidnapping.

Workers were cleaning and repairing the Cohoes Community Center yesterday to prepare for its reopening after it was sold for $460,000 to a nonprofitthat intends to turn it into a regional aquatics and fitness center.

The long-closed American Theater on Troy’s River Street may be reopened as a movie theater and music venue, Mayor Patrick Madden said in his state-of-the-city speech.

The City of Cohoes is pledging to go green by launching a new initiative known as “Cleaner Greener Cohoes” aiming to take a comprehensive approach to creating a more environmentally sustainable city.

Rotterdam police have arrested a woman and man who they say robbed an 84-year-old female in the parking lot of a Price Chopper.

In the first edition of our Kentucky Derby Dozen, it’s all about Tiz the Law. Around here, that’s a popular choice, of course, because the 3-year-old colt is owned by Sackatoga Stable, whose managing partner is Jack Knowlton of Saratoga Springs.

The movie “Spy Intervention,” which was entirely filmed in Glens Falls and Lake George, drops in select theaters next week.

RIP Angelo “Joe” Amore, a tailor born in Italy who for decades thrived as the creator of bespoke suits for the city of Albany’s powerful politicians and business leaders, who has died at the age of 91.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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