Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Broome and Erie counties.

At 8:30 a.m., Rep. Elise Stefanik holds a “coffee with your congresswoman” event, Keene Fire Dept., 10858 NYS Route 9N, Keene.

At 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul visits Camp Bais Rachel to discuss the governor’s legislative accomplishments with campers and community leaders, 224 Pleasant Valley Rd., South Fallsburg. (A media availability will be held outside the camp entrance following the LG’s visit).

At 10:30 a.m., JCOPE meets, 540 Broadway, Albany.

Also at 10:30 a.m., Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and Don Jeffries, President & CEO of VisitRochester will hold a joint press conference to make a tourism announcement, VisitRochester, 45 East Avenue, Suite #400, Rochester.

Also at 10:30 a.m., Sen. Jose Peralta unveils a bill that would require certain state applications to include an option to register in the Donate Life Registry, Hooters of Manhattan, Herald Square, 155 W. 33rd St., Manhattan.

Also at 10:30 a.m., Stefanik attends a Lake Placid Vets Forum, American Legion, 316 Main St., Lake Placid.

At 10:45 a.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, Kirkwood Industrial Park West, 265 Industrial Park Rd., Binghamton.

At 11 a.m., NYC Councilman Ruben Wills holds a press conference to call on Skyway Men’s Shelter to uphold a pledge to remove known sex offenders, 132-10 S. Conduit Ave., Ozone Park, Queens.

At 11:30 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio provides an update on Legionnaire’s Disease with city officials, Lincoln Hospital auditorium, 234 East 149th St., the Bronx.

Also at 11:30 a.m., NYC Councilmen Brad Lander and Stephen Levin hold a reusable bag giveaway with local grocers, Sahadi’s, 187 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn.

At noon, NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye, NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Manhattan BP Gale Brewer, Rep. Charlie Rangel and others hold a press conference at the groundbreaking ceremony for new lighting at the Polo Grounds Towners, 2937 8th Ave., Manhattan.

At 12:30 p.m., Hochul visits camp Rav, 350 Cherrytown Rd., Kerhonkhson.

Also at 12:30 p.m., human rights advocates hold a rally to denounce what they call the Obama administration’s “attempt to minimize ongoing, widespread human trafficking and forced labor conditions in Malaysia” to advance the TPP free trade agreement, outside Malaysia consulate general, 313 E. 43rd St., Manhattan.

At 1 p.m., Cuomo participates in a topping off ceremony at RiverBend, 1339 South Park Ave., Buffalo.

At 1:30 p.m., Rep. Paul Tonko tours Albany International Airport to view energy-saving projects, Administrative Building Parking Lot, Albany.

At 2 p.m., de Blasio discusses the city’s financial plan at the NYS Financial Control Board meeting, governor’s office, 633 Third Ave., 38th Floor, Manhattan.

At 3:30 p.m., Manhattan Da Cyrus Vance Jr., attends National Night Out events, starting at the 9th precinct, E 5th St. between 1st and 2nd avenues, Manhattan.

At 5:35 p.m., Hochul and NYC Councilwoman Inez Dickens speak at 2015 National Night Out events in Harlem, 163 W. 125th St. (between 7th and 8th avenues), Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., de Blasio attends a National Night Out event at the 73rd precinct, Betsy Head Park, Thomas S. Boyland Street and Blake Avenue, Brooklyn.


AG Eric Schneiderman’s office will investigate the death of a woman who was found dead in a holding cell in Mount Vernon after she was arrested on shoplifting charges and then fell ill. Why the woman, Raynette Turner, died has not been determined and toxicology tests are still being conducted.

Schneiderman also says he’ll join nine other states in defending President Obama’s plan to dramatically cut U.S power plant emissions if it’s challenged in court.

An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the South Bronx has claimed three more lives, bringing the death toll to seven, New York City officials said amid calls for tighter regulation of water-cooling towers, which are thought to be the origin of the illness.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council are expected to introduce legislation this week to help prevent future outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease. The mayor said the city would take steps to strengthen inspections of building cooling towers where bacteria that causes the disease can appeared.

A grade fixing scandal at a NYC high school has prompted some state lawmakers to suggest de Blasio’s control of the city school system shouldn’t be renewed next year.

The Buffalo School Board has interviewed five candidates so far for superintendent, but the man they will interview today is a heavy hitter who could be a game changer in the search process. Kriner Cash is a lively personality who navigated Tennessee’s largest school district through a difficult period of education reform.

Billionaire businessman Steve Case, who has been touring the country to promote – and invest in – up-and-coming business markets, is bringing his “Rise of the Rest” bus tour to Buffalo. His Sept. 30 visit will give Buffalo companies the chance to compete for $100,000 in startup funds.

Onondaga County government’s Board of Ethics is not functioning, keeps no meeting minutes and does not investigate potential conflicts of interest, Comptroller Bob Antonacci said in a report.

State Labor Department representatives next month will begin prescreening applicants for SolarCity’s new solar panel manufacturing plant in South Buffalo, as the first step in the company’s eventual hiring of more than 1,500 workers and the creation of some 3,000 jobs in all.

State leaders are planning to borrow $5 million to help CBS pay for renovations at the Ed Sullivan Theatre, the home for the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” That means state taxpayers are on the hook for $5 million, plus interest.

US Sen. Charles Schumer teamed up with his cousin, actress and comedian Amy Schumer, to launch a new effort for stricter gun-control laws.

It was at a screening of Amy Schumer’s film, “Trainwreck,” last month in Lafayette, La., that a gunman fatally shot two young women and wounded nine other people. Since then, she has pledged to become involved in efforts to curb gun violence.

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Stand-up comedian and actress Amy Schumer is teaming up with her cousin, US Sen. Charles Schumer, to call for tighter gun control.

Gawker published what it says is Donald Trump’s cellphone number, starting with the 917 area code common to many New York City area cell phones.

The Rev. Al Sharpton accepted an apology from a former Trump advisor who was fired by The Donald over Facebook posts with racially inflammatory words – including one in which he used a slur to describe Sharpton’s daughter.

State leaders are planning to borrow $5 million to help CBS pay for renovations at the Ed Sullivan Theatre, the home for the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

The Empire Center: “The Cuomo administration and the state Legislature have begun dishing out grants from a secretive $1.1 billion capital slush fund – all of which will be borrowed money.”

The state Commission on Judicial Nomination has extended the deadline for submitting applications for the forthcoming vacancy from Aug. 10 to Aug. 24 — the first day the court will have an empty chair due to Judge Susan Read’s retirement.

The son of former state Senate Deputy Leader Tom Libous reported to federal prison late last week, beginning a six-month sentence on a tax fraud conviction.

Despite the ejections of ex-Sens. Libous and Democrat John Sampson from the chamber following their felony convictions last month, their district offices will remain open.

While this year’s budget purportedly banned the personal use of campaign funds, legislators are continuing to spend their money exactly as they had before it passed.

Despite a wild burst of gunfire that wounded nine people at a party in Brooklyn this weekend, the number of shootings across New York City was sharply lower last week compared with the same week in 2014.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says he has no interest in primarying Cuomo in 2018, and plans to seek re-election to his current post.

HBO Real Sports will air a feature on Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan later this month, in which he is shown breaking down and taking a break from his interview with Andrea Kremer as he’s being asked about his final season with the New York Jets.

Streetsblog: “While Cuomo’s Tappan Zee replacement is a sprawl machine for the suburbs, his LaGuardia Airport revamp is poised to generate more car traffic in an already-congested urban area.”

State lawmakers this fall will host a series of hearings and roundtables to discuss the legal and political obstacles e-hail companies like Uber and Lyft face as they move their on-demand ride services into markets in upstate New York.

Traffic lanes on Buffalo’s Scajaquada Expressway/Route 198 are being narrowed to 11 feet and stop signs will be installed at on-ramps, as part of “traffic calming” measures planned for an area where a toddler lost his life in May.

The Cuomo administration is seriously considering John “Sean” Coffey, a former candidate for attorney general, as the next commissioner of the state’s Department of Financial Services.

According to
Cuomo’s office, policies spurred by the administration’s wine, beer, spirits and cider summits saved distillers over $424,000 in fees over the past three years.

Animals have delayed almost 700 trains in the subway in the past year and a half.

Walmart, Sears and Amazon are among a handful of retailers that have agreed to keep realistic-looking toy guns off their shelves as part of settlements with AG Eric Schneiderman’s office.

Dave & Buster’s has filed a motion to dismiss the class-action lawsuit that accuses the Texas-based restaurant chain of reducing workers’ hours in order to avoid providing health insurance to its employees.

Jim Mahar, whose Mahar’s Public Bar in Albany was a bastion of beer for nearly a quarter of a century, has died.

Cuomo’s Office Offers Congrats To New PEF Prez

pefsignGov. Andrew Cuomo and the Public Employees Federation have not seen eye-to-eye in recent years.

But after Wayne Spence was sworn in as the labor group’s new president earlier today, Cuomo’s office released a conciliatory note of congratulations.

At the same time, the statement from Cuomo spokeswoman Melissa DeRosa signaled a hope for a more staid relationship with the union, which endorsed the governor’s primary opponent, Zephyr Teachout, last year.

“On behalf of the Governor, I want to congratulate President Wayne Spence as he assumes the responsibilities of leading the Public Employees Federation,” DeRosa said. “The Governor looks forward to a courteous and constructive dialogue with PEF under President Spence’s leadership, and is optimistic that it will be a welcome change from the rancor and destructive rhetoric of the past. The Governor will continue to strive for agreements that are fair to both employees and New York’s taxpayers. We look forward to working together in the future.”

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Cuomo Issues Executive Order For Turner Case

cuomonaacpGov. Andrew Cuomo’s office on Monday issued an updated executive order to empower Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office to review, investigate and potentially prosecute law enforcement officials in connection to the death of Raynette Turner.

Turner, a 52-year-old Mount Vernon woman, died in a holding cell on July 27 while she was awaiting arraignment.

Schneiderman earlier in the day on Monday announced he would investigate the death of Turner under the powers of an executive order Cuomo issued earlier this year that supersedes the local district attorneys when it comes to the deaths of civilians related to police and law enforcement. More >

Newly Elected PEF President Vows ‘Courteous Dialogue’ With Cuomo

spenceWayne Spence took the helm of the Public Employees Federation on Monday — leading an often fractious labor group of mostly white-collar state workers that has feuded with Gov. Andrew Cuomo during much of his first term.

Spence becomes president at a key time for the labor group: PEF’s contract is up for renewal, a year after its membership voted to endorse Cuomo’s primary opponent, Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout.

At the same time, Spence raised concerns — as have other labor leaders — over the ramifications of a pending decision in the Supreme Court case Fredericks v. California, which could determine whether employees are compelled to pay union dues.

Spence was elected PEF president this year ousting Susan Kent, who only two years ago defeated longtime PEF leader Ken Brynien following a particular arduous contract negotiation with the Cuomo administration. More >

Rice Opposes Iran Deal

riceIn an op/ed posted on the website of the 5 Towns Jewish Times on Monday, Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice wrote that she opposes the multinational nuclear agreement with Iran.

Rice called the agreement “a risk I cannot support” even as she predicted it will ultimately be approved.

“This deal represents a pause, not an end, to Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapon,” Rice wrote in the op/ed. “While no deal or action – whether economic, diplomatic, or military – can ensure a disarmed Iran in perpetuity, this deal’s search for peace seems too willing to gamble on social progress in Iran, especially when Iranian leaders show little interest in helping to foster it – and even less in becoming anything near a responsible ally in the region.”

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Republicans Back Akshar For Senate

aksharRepublicans are backing Broome County Undersheriff Fred Akshar to replace former Sen. Tom Libous in the 52nd district special election, GOP officials on Monday announced.

“I’ve committed my life to making our community the best it could be,” said Akshar in a statement released by his campaign. “The families in our community deserve a strong, energetic voice. I plan to bring the same passion and dedication from my service in law enforcement to the State Senate.”

Akshar is entering a race that has drawn statewide notice after Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s early endorsement of former Broome County Executive Barbara Fiala, who was a member of his cabinet during his first term.

In what seemed like a nod to Fiala’s early criticism of Akshar’s lack of government experience, the campaign released the candidate’s resume, showing his eight years as a law enforcement official and graduation from the FBI National Academy in Virginia. More >

Schneiderman’s Office To Investigate Death Of Mount Vernon Woman (Updated)

schneidermanAttorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office on Monday announced it would investigate the death of Raynette Turner, a 42-year-old black woman who died on July 27 in a Mount Vernon holding cell.

The investigation is the first Schneiderman’s office is launching since Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order granting the attorney general special prosecutor status in police-related killings.

The executive order, which has been staunchly opposed by local district attorneys, gives Schneiderman’s office the authority to investigate and prosecute law enforcement-related deaths of civilians.

“My office’s Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit will investigate the death of Raynette Turner, consistent with Executive Order No. 147 and a conforming order to be issued by the Governor at my request,” Schneiderman said in a statement

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Morelle, Upstate Lawmakers Oppose Lifting Of Perimeter Rule At LaGuardia

morelleMore than a dozen upstate Democratic lawmakers in the Assembly released a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday expressing “strong opposition” to lifting the so-called “perimeter rule” at LaGuardia Airport — a move they say could hurt the availability of regional at upstate airports.

The letter, sent by Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle and signed on to by 17 fellow Democratic conference members, was also sent to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which has oversight of the airports that serve the New York City region.

“More than ever, access to reliable and affordable air service is an essential component to the continued growth of Upstate New York’s economy,” Morelle said in a statement. “However, lifting the perimeter rule is a step in the wrong direction that would come as a major setback to regions across Upstate as travelers will be forced to contend with fewer available flight options at a significantly higher cost. I call on the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners to act in the best interests of all who call New York home and oppose the lifting of the perimeter rule.”

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DeFrancisco Knocks Wage Board ‘Lunacy’

defranFrom the Morning Memo:

Don’t expect newly minted Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco to be a shrinking violet in his new role.

In an interview on Capital Tonight on Friday, the Syracuse Republican came out swinging at the wage board convened by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, decrying the move to increase the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 “lunacy” and a way to apply political pressure to opponents.

“To me, that is not democracy,” DeFrancisco said. “That position ought to be expressed and discussed in a reasonable way.”

The wage board’s recommendation must still be approved by Acting Labor Commissioner Mario Musolino, but there is little doubt that he would turn the proposal down after it was embraced by Cuomo at a rally following the announcement earlier this month. More >