Rise and Shine: July 10, 2020

It’s Fri-YAY. I’ve waited all week for this one, CivMixers.

A few things worth noting. Today is the birthday of Nikola Tesla, who some consider one of the least recognized Scientific minds in history.

This Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist, who was born in 1856 and died in 1943, is best known – to those who DO know him – for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.

Sadly for Tesla, he was never able to translate his copious inventions into long-term financial success—unlike his early employer and chief rival, Thomas Edison.

Science enthusiasts around the world mark this day, though it is not an official holiday.

On this day in 1900, “His Master’s Voice,” was registered with the U.S. Patent Office. The logo of the Victor Recording Company, and later, RCA Victor, shows the dog, Nipper, looking into the horn of a gramophone machine. This is a very important moment – as those of us who live in Albany and love a certain rooftop dog all know.

And, it’s National Pina Colda Day, which celebrates the cold and refreshing drink made with rum, cream of coconut and pineapple juice that is usually served blended or shaken with ice – a perfect antidote to the sultry weather we’ve been experiencing of late.

Speaking of which, we’re looking at rain, rain and more rain over the next several days, which is a serious bummer, but also has caused a flash flood watch through tomorrow morning. Temperatures will be in the high 80s today, and the rain is forecast to start in the mid-afternoon.

Apparently, this is all the fault of Tropical Storm Fay.

In other news…

Officials across the U.S. reported more than 59,880 coronavirus cases yesterday, setting a single-day record for the sixth time in 10 days.

The rising tide of coronavirus cases in the U.S. South and West, coming four months into the outbreak, emerged amid a patchwork of often confusing or conflicting rules across government that have proved inconsistent and often difficult to enforce, making the pandemic harder to halt.

The surge in U.S. coronavirus cases and growing demand for Covid-19 tests are straining the ability of pharmacies and labs to deliver timely results to consumers, causing delays that hamper efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

What individuals do while they wait has serious implications for the continued spread of the virus, doctors and public-health officials said. Their message: Self-isolate as much as possible until you get your result, even if it is frustrating.

Hospitals are being flooded with coronavirus patients, forcing them to cancel elective surgeries and discharge patients early, and doctors worry that the escalating hospital crunch may last much longer than in earlier-hit areas like New York.

This virus has wreaked havoc on global food supply chains as shutdowns, travel restrictions, and economic struggles make it more difficult for people worldwide to obtain and afford the food they need.

More evidence is emerging that coronavirus can be passed from pregnant women to their fetuses and newborns, according to a new study that detected virus and antibodies in infected women.

The first batch of results for patients tested for the coronavirus reveals how swiftly the pandemic spread through New York earlier this spring — particularly in black and Asian communities and the outer boroughs, according to a new study.

New York City’s health officials are pushing coronavirus testing across the city and prioritizing neighborhoods with lower testing rates, as they work to stem the spread of the virus that has killed more than 20,000 residents since the spring.

The U.S. economy is stumbling as the viral outbreak intensifies, threatening to slow hiring and deepening the uncertainty for employees, consumers and companies across the country.

President Donald Trump, trailing in the polls, is eager to signal that normal life can resume despite a rampaging virus that has killed more than 130,000 Americans. He’ll hold his first in-person fundraiser in a month today in Florida and then a rally tomorrow night in New Hampshire.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Manhattan district attorney’s demand for Trump’s tax returns, but kept a hold on Trump’s financial records that Congress has been seeking for more than a year.

…The outcome in the two cases is at least a short-term victory for Trump, who has strenuously sought to keep his financial records private.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the court’s two decisions, declaring, “In our system, the public has a right to every man’s evidence,” and “since the founding of the Republic, every man has included the President of the United States.”

Roberts was joined in the two cases by the court’s four liberals, plus the two justices appointed by Trump, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

In one of the most consequential legal victories for Native Americans in decades, the Court decided that much of eastern Oklahoma falls within an Indian reservation – a decision that could reshape the criminal justice system by preventing state authorities from prosecuting offenses there that involve Native Americans.

As the White House, the nation’s pediatricians and many worn-down, economically strapped parents push for school doors to swing open this fall, local education officials say they are being crushed by the costs of getting students and teachers back in classrooms safely.

The head of the country’s largest teachers’ union “double-dog dared” Trump to sit in a classroom with 39 kids, without protective gear or social distancing.

Federal health officials won’t revise their coronavirus guidelines for reopening schools despite criticism from Trump, the head of the CDC said. What they will do, he said, is provide additional information to help states, communities and parents decide what to do and when.

New York City parent leaders grilled Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza yesterday about his plans to reopen schools in the fall, with some expressing deep frustration that they didn’t have more say.

NYC hasn’t yet figured out what to do if a student or staffer tests positive for coronavirus once schools reopen.

NYC’s half-in, half-out model to reopen schools this fall could damage kids in the long run, a teachers union group warned.

The Big Ten Conference’s fall sports teams will play only within the league, a decision that will affect football, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball — assuming public health officials advise playing at all amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Students, women’s rights and education groups are suing to block Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s campus sexual assault rules from taking effect next month, with plaintiffs as young as 10 joining arguments that the rules will harm students and burden institutions.

Three fraternities at Stony Brook University have been suspended pending an investigation into sexual assault and hazing allegations against some of their members.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that a second round of stimulus checks should be included in a new coronavirus relief package — that will hopefully be enacted by the end of the month.

A New Jersey task force charged with examining the state’s corporate-incentive programs recommended suspending or terminating $578 million-worth of tax breaks awarded to a dozen companies.

Personal-computer sales rebounded in the June quarter, driven by higher demand from workers and students forced to study and work from home amid the coronavirus, according to preliminary data from two industry-research firms.

American credit card debt has dropped sharply during the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Reserve revealed.

Malls around the state are reopening today.

Newly released state guidance from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office says malls must limit occupancy to 50 percent of the maximum capacity. That includes customers and employees.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all large events requiring a city events permit will be canceled through September 30 – including the West Indian Day Parade and Feast of San Gennaro – as the city works to prioritize open spaces for public use….but Black Lives Matter marches can continue.

New York City painted “Black Lives Matter” in large yellow letters on the street outside Trump Tower yesterday, the latest flare-up in a yearslong feud between the president, who rose to fame as a Manhattan real estate developer, and de Blasio, who once sought to replace him.

De Blasio, ignoring insults hurled from the Fifth Ave. sidewalk, used a roller to help paint the bright yellow letter “L” on a sweltering afternoon where a stretch of the Midtown thoroughfare outside Trump’s Manhattan skyscraper was closed.

The Roman Catholic Church in the New York City area announced it is closing 26 schools and merging three others due to lower enrollment and declining parish collections, both caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local governments are facing a “profound” fiscal reckoning from the economic crisis created by the pandemic, with the typcial county government losing millions of dollars in revenue, a report released by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found.

A new report proposes 425 miles of interconnected bike lanes across the five boroughs. Another sees new car-free bridges into Manhattan from Queens, Brooklyn and New Jersey.

The Big Apple’s beaches finally opened for swimming earlier this month — but long stretches of surf still remain off-limits due to a lack of lifeguards, making it tough to socially distance in the waters where taking a dip is allowed.

Car owners across New York City are being hit with tickets for expired vehicle inspection stickers — despite an executive order issued by Cuomo that gives drivers an extension to renew them.

The independence of New York’s nursing home report faces scrutiny, and calls for third-party review of pandemic’s impact on the facilities continues.

Republican Sen. Jim Tedisco wants an independent commission to investigate nursing home deaths during the coronavirus pandemic, but his proposed measure to create the panel is yet to receive a bill number despite being introduced two weeks ago. He accuses the Democratic majority of blocking the measure from seeing the light of day.

Two statewide advocacy organizations representing primary care and behavioral health care providers issued a White Paper, “Ensuring Sustained Access to Telehealth in the Post Pandemic Period” calling on state leaders to make permanent many of the telehealth changes that have been implemented during the COVID-19 crisis.

Recently appointed Assistant Chief Judith Harrison is the first woman ever to run the NYPD’s Brooklyn North command, something she is keenly reminded of every time she walks into her Bushwick headquarters.

Occupy City Hall in Lower Manhattan has turned into a homeless encampment, which is causing a variety of problems.

In a stunning new report, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office examined 25 wrongful convictions and determined that prosecutorial and police misconduct contributed to a majority of them.

The Northport-East Northport school board has reached an agreement in principle to settle a decadelong tax case with LIPA over taxes for the Northport Power Station in a deal that would give the district $14.5 million in direct annual payments to offset the impact of LIPA’s tax contributions, officials said.

Proponents of a transmission line that would bring Canadian hydropower to New York City by burrowing under Lake Champlain and the Hudson River have beat back an administrative challenge that, had it been approved, would have called for additional hearings and review.

Public authorities based out of localities in New York increased total payments for staff over the past five years, yet the number of staffers being paid actually went down, according to a report issued by the state Authorities Budget Office.

A personal dispute has prompted Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor, to discourage donors from contributing to the relocated GOP national convention, people familiar with the discussions said. His top fund-raiser denies any attempt to undercut the event.

Geoffrey S. Berman, whom Trump abruptly dismissed last month as the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, told lawmakers that Attorney General William P. Barr tried unsuccessfully to pressure him to resign voluntarily, warning that being fired could ruin his career.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, balked at signing an agreement not to publish a book while serving his sentence at home on a medical furlough, his legal adviser said, and was returned to prison as a result.

Roger Stone said he was “praying” that Trump would offer him clemency just days before the commander-in-chief’s longtime adviser was due to report to the slammer.

NASA is being urged to rename its rocket testing center in southern Mississippi, which for 32 years has carried the name of John C. Stennis, a former U.S. senator who was a champion of racial segregation for most of his time in Congress.

Storm King, the pastoral sculpture park in New York’s Hudson Valley, has reopened its gates, with new works by Mark di Suvero, Kiki Smith and Martha Tuttle — and new precautions.

Internal documents from the Shelters of Saratoga that were inadvertently posted on the city’s website, shed light on the tenure of the organization’s now-ousted executive director, Karen Gregory.

The South Troy Pool is filled with water, welcoming swimmers for the first time since the summer of 2016. But a date still hasn’t been set for opening the gates.

The City of Rensselaer Board of Education eliminated funding the district’s interscholastic sports program when it unanimously adopted a proposed $27.18 million budget for the 2020-21 year.

Local officials in Saranac Lake, who helped found the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, said they were embarrassed and disappointed with racist graffiti that was spray-painted on a bridge in the village in late June.

B.A.S.S. officials announced they are cancelling the July 14-17 Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Cayuga Lake, and plan to hold the competition somewhere else later this season.

The Oneida Indian Nation announced that its newest gaming, dining and entertainment venue will open on July 27. The Lake House at Sylvan Beach was originally scheduled to open in May.

The coronavirus dealt a massive financial blow to the finances of actor Robert DeNiro, he revealed in court, as his estranged wife asked for an emergency order to raise her monthly American Express card credit limit from $50,000 to $100,000.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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