Good Monday morning, CivMixers.
If you’re someone who really enjoys the heat, you’ve been living your best life for the past several days. I, sadly, am not among you. Give me a nice 75-degree day over a blistering 90-plus situation any time. Getting up at 4 a.m. to run is getting kind of old.
Anyway, we’re looking at the 90s today for the third day in a row. Also there’s a heat advisory in place, with heat index values of between 95 and 100 expected. (The heat index, for the uninitiated, is also known as “apparent temperature,” and is what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature).
You know the drill here: Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should NEVER be left unattended in vehicles. NEVER. Take extra precautions if you work or plan to spend time recreating outside.
Also, today is National Moon Day, commemorating the day man first walked on the moon in 1969. NASA reported the moon landing as being “…the single greatest technological achievement of all time.”
On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 carried the first humans to the moon. Six hours after landing, American astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface, spending two-and-a-half hours outside the spacecraft.
Buzz Aldrin soon followed, and the two men collected 47.5 pounds of lunar material to take back to Earth to be analyzed.
Oh, and by the way…that famous “small step for man” saying, which is attributed to Armstrong? Yeah, there’s some question about exactly WHAT it was that he said, even though that’s probably one of the most well known one-liners in history.
The Google Doodle today is celebrating Turkish astrophysicist Dihan Eryurt.
Her name is a heck of a lot less recognizable than that of Armstrong and Aldrin, but her contributions as the only female astronomer working at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland helped model the solar impact on the lunar environment for Apollo 11’s Moon landing mission.
In today’s headlines…
Confirmed novel coronavirus infections registered their highest single-day increase in a 24-hour period for the second day in a row, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Saturday.
Some cities hit hard by Covid-19 are warning more drastic measures could lie ahead as officials try to contain a virus spreading more rampant than ever. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said yesterday he was on the “brink” of another stay-at-home order, saying things “reopened too quickly.”
The Bahamas is closing its borders to visitors from the United States over the coronavirus pandemic.
The repeated assurances of near-miraculous speed in creating a coronavirus vaccine are exacerbating a problem that has largely been overlooked and one that public health experts say must be addressed now: persuading people to actually get the shot.
Albany County marked 17 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday morning, continuing a week-long uptick in positive test results.
The director of the National Institutes of Health praised New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for taking effective measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, but said the virus is surging in much of the country because other states viewed coronavirus as a “New York problem.”
The U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved testing pooled samples to help speed up the coronavirus detection process and conserve supplies.
Congress returns to work today with just weeks to craft new agreements on aid to households and protections for businesses, urged on by signs of a faltering economic recovery, a resurgent coronavirus pandemic and a looming deadline for enhanced unemployment payments.
The U.S. Postal Service will go out of business without an immediate infusion of funds, according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who vowed to include $25 billion for the agency in the COVID-4 recovery bill that will be negotiated when Congress returns to Washington today.
The Trump administration is trying to block billions of dollars for states to conduct testing and contact tracing in the upcoming coronavirus relief bill, people involved in the talks said.
President Donald Trump declined to say whether he will accept the results of the 2020 election, adding that he will “have to see.”
Trump said he won’t consider a federal face mask mandate, citing outdated statements made several months ago.
Trump’s failure to contain the coronavirus outbreak and his refusal to promote clear public-health guidelines have left many senior Republicans despairing that he will ever play a constructive role in addressing the crisis, with some concluding they must work around him and ignore or even contradict his pronouncements.
Trump also said he is confident that he will win re-election to a second term — claiming voters won’t put his political rival Joe Biden in the White House because “he’s mentally shot.”
Citing unfounded concerns about voting by mail, Trump asserted that he shouldn’t be under any obligation to say in advance that he will concede defeat if he loses.
Trump is again threatening to veto legislation that would rename U.S. military installations named after prominent Confederate figures, despite its support from Congress and the military.
New York City enters Phase 4 of the reopening process today, but it looks a lot like Phase 3, as a number of enterprises – including indoor dining – are still not allowed.
…Along with zoos, botanical gardens will be permitted to swing open their gates and pro sports teams will play ball, minus in-person spectators.
With schools’ September start date hurtling closer, some teachers worry NYC’s preliminary reopening plan will put their health in jeopardy — and wonder whether the version of school they’ll be able to provide will be worth the risk.
When, and if, Long Island schools open in the fall, teachers must not only answer students’ questions about the coronavirus but also make sure kids follow a new set of virus-related rules, educators and health experts agree.
A slew of Long Island beaches and a popular stretch in The Bronx had to be closed off to incoming visitors within hours of opening yesterday because they had already reached their social-distancing capacity.
The story of Matthew Bagley, the owner of Harvey’s Restaurant and Bar in Saratoga Springs, and his “Cuomo chips” made national news. (The chips were so popular that the bar ran out of them in two days).
Jake Hafner’s Restaurant & Tavern in North Syracuse is selling a variety of $1 “compliance” items, including a “handful o’ croutons,” a bag of chips, and a four-ounce cup of whipped cream.
Golf legend Jack Nicklaus revealed that he and his wife tested positive for Covid-19 in March.
Former Gov. George Pataki said crime, COVID-19 and poor leadership across city and state government have brought the Big Apple to the brink and for the first time in his life, he’s worried about the future of the five boroughs.
Cities aren’t likely to come out of the tumult the same. The road to recovery stands to be difficult and long. Still, many researchers say don’t count cities out, and that the economic forces that spurred the urban revivals will eventually reassert themselves.
The fierce resurgence of Covid-19 cases and related business shutdowns are dashing hopes of a quick recovery, prompting businesses from airlines to restaurant chains to again shift their strategies and staffing or ramp up previous plans to do so.
More than six million people enrolled in food stamps in the first three months of the coronavirus pandemic, an unprecedented expansion that is likely to continue as more jobless people deplete their savings and billions in unemployment aid expires this month.
Small businesses across the U.S. have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. And minority and female owners have struggled more than their white competitors to receive federal aid.
Some government contractors took out loans from the Paycheck Protection Program even as they were paid for government work during the pandemic.
Some of New York’s largest lobbying firms took loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program, even as they signed up new clients during the coronavirus pandemic, records show.
The pandemic has only further highlighted the longstanding disparities in housing practices and pushed New York policymakers to reckon with the systemic issues ingrained in the process.
NYC’s Black leaders and several elected officials yesterday hailed civil rights giant Rep. John Lewis as an inspirational and tireless hero for the voiceless at a poignant Harlem vigil in his honor.
Lewis, the son of sharecroppers who survived a brutal beating by police during a landmark 1965 march in Selma, Alabama, to become a towering figure of the civil rights movement and a longtime US congressman, died after a six-month battle with cancer. He was 80.
National leaders remembered Lewis as both a fierce fighter against racism and gentle man who inspired children, and called for a moment of action to properly honor his legacy. Most pressing, they said, is for Republicans to help Democrats reauthorize the 1965 Voting Rights Act and name it for Lewis.
A select group of Georgia Democrats will sift through more than 100 applications today to decide who will replace Lewis on the November ballot, after the longtime congressman’s death last week.
Republican U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Dan Sullivan took to social media to mourn the death of Lewis, a venerated figure of the civil rights movement, but posted photos of another congressman: Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who died in October.
Roger Stone could be heard calling a Black radio show host “negro” on air over the weekend — but the recently pardoned Trump pal claims he was the victim of a “smear” while also contending the slur isn’t offensive.
Kanye West — who claims to be running for president — gave an emotional speech about abortion, bashed famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman and boasted about his IQ during a bizarre campaign rally in South Carolina.
A gunman disguised as a Fedex delivery driver entered the New Jersey home of U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas, fatally shooting her 20-year-old son and wounding her husband.
A pro-Donald Trump flotilla yesterday sailed past the Statue of Liberty, bound for the George Washington Bridge — the latest boat parade held in various states to back the incumbent’s presidency and reelection.
Rock band Linkin Park became the latest musical artist to send a cease-and-desist to President Trump after their song was used without permission.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance still has not said if he’s running for re-election — and by the looks of his latest campaign finance filing, he could be a big longshot if he does.
A former executive assistant accused of fatally stabbing and dismembering a New York City tech entrepreneur was seen on video buying an electric saw at a hardware store after the killing, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
Tyrese Haspil, 21 — who was charged with the grisly slaying of Gokada chief Fahim Saleh — entered a “not guilty” plea at an arraignment early yesterday, according to a spokesman for Legal Aid Society, which is representing Haspil.
In private phone calls last week, legislative leaders – State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie – made clear to rank-and-file lawmakers that the rare summer session kicking off in Albany today is not about the state budget.
Disgraced former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will appear before a Manhattan judge today to be re-sentenced in a $4 million bribery scheme.
The state Health Department has a backlog of nearly 5,000 unresolved complaints filed against nursing homes during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Municipal police reform panels mandated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be allowed to meet in private, according to the state Committee on Open Government.
Nina Kapur, a television journalist for CBS2 in New York, has died following a moped accident, the station said last night. She was 26 years old.
New York City has stopped a popular graffiti-removal program, frustrating business owners trying to combat vandalism.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, one of the most famous churches in the U.S., has long depended on tourists and office workers to fill its pews and its collection plates. But the coronavirus has left Midtown Manhattan largely deserted, and it is facing a $4 million budget shortfall that may threaten its ability to pay its bills.
Bus riders violently refusing to wear masks or maintain safe distance are driving a surge in attacks on MTA workers.
Two women charged with splashing paint over the Black Lives Matter mural in front of Manhattan’s Trump Tower were identified as attention-seeking anti-abortion protesters who have pulled similar stunts before.
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand backs a demand by local activists that the state investigate at least seven Freeport cops whom the Nassau County district attorney declined to prosecute over December’s bystander-recorded arrest of Akbar Rogers, according to the senator’s spokeswoman.
The number of New Yorkers who report being affected by opioid abuse has grown in the last two years, with 59 percent reporting that they or someone they know has abused opioids and 29 percent reporting they know someone who’s died of an opioid overdose, a new Siena poll shows.
Coronavirus may have stopped fans from heading to the Saratoga Race Course for its 2020 opening weekend – but it didn’t stop them from placing bets. The all-sources handle over the four-day period totaled $80,325,660 – which is up 9 perecent from $73,441,101 in 2019.
Crowded bars and restaurants in the city of Saratoga Springs, which continued during the opening week of the Saratoga Race Course, are prompting concerns over potential spikes in coronavirus cases.
Trader Joe’s is being urged in an online petition to follow the example of other national food companies and rebrand products that critics say perpetuate racial stereotypes.
Princess Beatrice wore a vintage dress loaned to her by her grandmother Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Buckingham Palace said Saturday as it released official photographs from the private family event.
Photo credit: George Fazio.