Good Monday morning, CivMixers.
Today is the International Day of Peace, which was established by the United Nations in 1981 and declared a permanent holiday by that body in 2002. The purpose of this day is to strengthen the ideals of peace among all of the world’s inhabitants, and the UN traditionally issues a call for all hostilities to stop – wherever they are occurring in the world.
I think this is a concept I can really get behind, especially given the soul-shattering news we have experienced over the past several days – from the death of the Notorious RGB (AKA Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) to the mass shooting in Rochester and another shooting at a party in Buffalo.
Here’s some encouraging news for those who are inclined toward the progressive end of the spectrum: ActBlue, the platform used by Democrats to raise funds online, saw a massive surge in donations following Ginsburg’s death on Friday night.
Between 9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday, more than $30 million was donated through the site.
A significant battle is already underway over replacing Ginsburg on the bench. To catch you up on where things stand…
A crowd of protesters swarmed outside U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky home after he said he would move to fill the vacancy prior to Election Day.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meanwhile, said she would not rule out impeachment as an option to stop Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court pick from being confirmed to the bench, saying Democrats will “use every arrow in our quiver” to block the eventual nominee.
U.S. Senate Minority Laeader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined forces in Brooklyn yesterday to issue a “fervent plea” that Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court remain vacant until after the November presidential election.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden pleaded with Senate Republicans not to go through with a vote, while President Donald Trump said he expects to announce his nominee sometime this coming week – and he intends for that nominee to be a “very talented, very brilliant woman.”
The president’s determination to confirm a replacement for Ginsburg before the Nov. 3 election set lawmakers on a collision course with one another at a time when Congress already has major issues on its agenda.
For months, abortion has been relegated to a back burner in the presidential campaign, eclipsed by a worldwide pandemic, an economic crisis and protests over racial justice, but Ginsburg’s death has changed that.
Judges Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa are said to be among the nominees the president is seriously considering. Others under consideration are Judges Amul Thapar and Allison Jones Rushing, though Trump’s commitment to choose a woman would seem to take Thapar out of the running. All four were nominated by Trump to their current positions on the federal appellate bench.
Arizona’s critical U.S. Senate race has suddenly taken on extra weight, because Democrat Mark Kelly could potentially be sworn in early enough to vote on a replacement for Ginsburg if he wins.
Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski — one of several closely watched GOP senators who could play a crucial role in a vote — said she does not support filling Ginsburg’s seat before the November election. Main Republican Sen. Susan Collins said whoever is elected in November should nominate Ginsburg’s replacement.
Ginsburg was a child of Brooklyn long before she was Notorious — daughter of Jewish immigrants, graduate of P.S. 238 and James Madison High School (class of 1950), cheerleader known as Kiki Bader, member of the East Midwood Jewish Center.
Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Mexican-American journalist, educator, nurse, and activist Jovita Idár, who was a pioneer in the fight for Mexican-American civil rights at the turn of the 20th century. During the First Mexican Congress, which met Sept. 14-21, 1911, Idár was elected president of the League of Mexican Women, a feminist organization ahead of its time in uniting women around the critical educational, social, and political issues facing the Mexican-American community.
Another beautiful fall day is on tap, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 60s.
In the headlines..(other than those that appear above, that is):
President Trump last night said his Democratic opponents have been criticizing the speedy timeframe of a potential U.S. coronavirus vaccine as a political move to harm him before the election.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign said that it entered September with $466 million in the bank together with the Democratic Party, providing the former VP a vast financial advantage of about $141 million over Trump heading into the intense final stretch of the campaign.
Biden holds a significant lead over Trump among registered Latino voters, garnering 62 percent of support, compared with the president’s 26 percent, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC/Telemundo poll.
The U.S. was on the verge yesterday of surpassing 200,000 coronavirus deaths as experts warned the total could double by year’s end.
Infectious-disease experts adamantly warn against the notion of trying to reach herd immunity to the coronavirus without a vaccine, as the costs on human life would be staggering and it likely wouldn’t happen soon, if at all.
The pandemic, which sent cases spiking skyward in many countries and then trending downward after lockdowns, has reached a precarious point. Will countries like the U.S. see the virus continue to slow in the months ahead? Or is a new surge on the way?
The CDC reversed a controversial recommendation suggesting people who have had close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus do not need to get tested if they have no symptoms.
Plenty of CEOs remain stuck working from home and boards may still be meeting virtually, but companies are shifting their sights from surviving the coronavirus pandemic to charting new courses through it.
A woman suspected of sending a package containing the poison ricin to the White House has been arrested at he Peace Bridge border crossing near Buffalo and is expected to face federal charges, according to authorities.
Customs and Border Protection agents detained the woman, a Canadian national, who had a firearm, as she tried to cross the border into Buffalo, the officials said. Currently in the custody of border agents, she is set to be charged by the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington.
A federal judge has issued an injunction against Trump’s executive order effectively banning the Chinese social media app WeChat from operating in the U.S. after midnight yesterday, presenting at least a temporary setback in the president’s efforts to block an app that he has labeled a national security threat.
An emerging deal to make China’s popular TikTok app a U.S.-based company stands to reshape the social-media landscape, even as questions persisted yesterday over security concerns and ownership of the new company.
The National Transportation Safety Board has opened multiple investigations after four aircraft crashes this weekend killed 10 people in four states.
New York will erect a statue honoring the legacy of Ginsberg in her native Brooklyn, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
Cuomo announced a new record-high number of test results — 110,444 — were reported to New York State on Saturday.
The percentage of new COVID-19 cases in New York remained below 1 percent yesterday as Cuomo warned of a challenging fall with flu season looming.
Fed-up New Yorkers painted a massive stretch of Brooklyn blacktop with the yellow message “F–k Cuomo and de Blasio” over the weekend in the vein of the mayor’s “Black Lives Matter” street mural, only for the city to quickly scrub the statement.
Interviews with historians, public policy experts, political scientists, two former governors and others, especially his fellow lawmakers, indicate Cuomo has grown remarkably powerful, whether in comparison to past New York governors or the current governors of other states.
State Attorney General Letitia James yesterday visited Rochester — site of the grim death of Daniel Prude while in police custody — to announce a new policy for releasing law enforcement officers’ body camera footage.
Uncertainty has plagued renters throughout the coronavirus pandemic as they’ve had to contend with monthly updates from Cuomo and the courts extending eviction moratoriums. Tenant advocates describe the current situation as a paltry and piecemeal approach and warn of a looming housing catastrophe.
The relationship between tenants and landlords, often difficult in normal times, has become more complicated and a major challenge for New York’s recovery, with worries growing among industry figures, brokers, landlords and some business owners that a combination of high rents and mounting debt could yield rows of barren storefronts.
Sinking under the weight of overdue mortgage payments and property taxes, some NYC hotels have already shut down for good, and many others are struggling to survive.
As many of New York City’s large commercial districts continue to struggle without tourists and commuters, some smaller neighborhood corridors are faring better, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Foursquare foot-traffic data.
Capital Region attorneys predict a coming storm of both consumer and business bankruptcy filings as federal stimulus programs wind down and bans on foreclosures and evictions expire in the coming months.
With lingering questions about how the novel coronavirus killed thousands of New Yorkers who lived in nursing homes, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers is pushing to create an independent commission to get answers from the state Department of Health.
Cuomo announced that The Clubhouse, a bar on Central Avenue, is among 33 businesses in New York that have recently had liquor licenses suspended for alleged violations of state coronavirus orders.
The governor has directed the State Liquor Authority to beef up inspections at watering holes frequented by college kids.
Ten of the county’s 18 new COVID-19 cases reported yesterday are associated with the University at Albany. The school reported as of Saturday night that 101 students have tested positive for coronavirus in the last two weeks. Of those people, 54 live on campus.
Fordham, Long Island and Yeshiva universities get an “F” for keeping their communities in the dark on their coronavirus cases, a group of public-health experts says.
As more teachers test positive for COVID-19, NYC officials are refusing to disclose how many other school staffers have been quarantined because of exposure to those infected.
The City of Albany and organizers of a dance event in an Arbor Hill park Saturday have contrary accounts of an event that has prompted the city to urge attendees to get tested for COVID-19.
According to officials, initial reports indicate an estimated 1,500 individuals, including some who traveled from New York City, gathered for an unpermitted dance/step competition. This activity is prohibited by the state.
Two people with ties to Altamont Elementary School have tested positive for COVID-19. The Guilderland school district did not identify if the people are students or work in the school, but said both live in separate households.
A Shenendehowa High School East student tested positive for COVID-19, the school district announced yesterday afternoon.
Students are learning a bunch of rules to keep the new coronavirus out of their small charter school, one of the few New York City public schools that has already been holding in-person instruction every day for weeks.
The size of remote classes at some schools has swelled to eye-popping proportions — up to 124 in an Upper West Side middle school.
Numerous city-dwellers have migrated from their cooped-up metropolitan landscape to the East End of Long Island, bumping up enrollment at schools.
According to a Douglas Elliman August report, new signed contracts for single-family homes in the Hamptons more than doubled from a year ago, along with a significant increase in new signed contracts for condominiums.
Workers involved in the last-minute push to tally people in the five boroughs described a chaotic effort managed from dirty offices with lax coronavirus protocols.
Police reportedly arrested 86 protesters at tense Abolish ICE demonstrations in Times Square and near NYPD headquarters in Manhattan Saturday.
Three people sustained minor injuries yesterday morning after a northbound A train struck an object thrown on the tracks and derailed, the authorities said.
A 30-year-old man was arrested by police after being questioned yesterday afternoon regarding the derailment.
Nearly twice as many people have died to gun violence in Gotham this year than last, striking new figures from the NYPD show.
The desperate search for a 5-year-old child who disappeared in the Harlem River continued yesterday.
Metronome’s digital clock in Manhattan, has been reprogrammed to illustrate a critical window for action to prevent the effects of global warming from becoming irreversible.
Two of Long Island MacArthur Airport’s three carriers – American Airlines and Southwest – said they plan to add or restore flights as state travel restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic are slowly lifted.
The police chief in the Columbia County village of Chatham was placed on paid leave late last week as the State Police, State Comptroller and Columbia County District Attorney’s office investigate information kept on police department computers.
The former director of facilities at SUNY Empire State College was arrested on felony charges last week for allegedly spending more than $31,000 in taxpayer funds on 171 unauthorized purchases.
After 15 months without an executive director, New York’s ethics and lobbying oversight agency, JCOPE, has re-posted the job listing for the position, a sign that the marathon search for a new top staffer is not yet close to a finish.
A settlement was reached last week between the state and a voting rights group that includes policy changes that will lead to less absentee ballots being rejected this November.
Saratoga County health officials are alerting the public to a possible COVID-19 exposure at the McDonald’s near exit 8 of the Northway. It is the second alert about a McDonald’s in Halfmoon in the last week.
After five recent high-profile child deaths, including three in the Capital Region, the state has sidestepped public release of the reviews of county CPS actions. In several cases, reviews were suppressed at the urging of county governments that were the subjects of the reports’ scrutiny and possible criticism.
Lawyers for Keith Raniere are proclaiming his innocence, lashing out at victims and describing the Capital Region’s most notorious convicted sex trafficker as a crime stopper who helped bring peace to Mexico.
The Emmys got off to a fiery start last night – literally – when “The Morning Show” star Jennifer Aniston extinguished a small blaze in a trash can.
“Schitt’s Creek,” the late bloomer that was largely ignored by most viewers and the Emmys until last year, finally bloomed yesterday, sweeping all seven awards in the comedy category.
Late-night talk show icon David Letterman briefly turned his prerecorded appearance at Sunday’s Emmy Awards into a tutorial on the proper way to pronounce “Albany.”
The 24-year-old actress Zendaya, who plays Rue Bennett, a recovering teenage drug addict in HBO’s “Euphoria,” won the Emmy for lead actress in a drama, making her the youngest winner in that category in Emmy history.
…here’s a list of all the winners.
Photo credit: George Fazio.