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NYSNYS NEWS WEEK IN REVIEW for August 3-9, 2019: Cuomo responds to mass shootings. Top Assembly aide fired after arrest. Yang makes cut for next debate.

CUOMO AT SARATOGA: Gov. Andrew Cuomo displays his winning bet on Saturday, August 3, 2019 during his first visit as governor to Saratoga Race Course. Seen with Cuomo is Michael Del Guidice, a former aide to his father who is now a wealthy businessman and the chair of NYRA, and John Hendrickson, the husband of racing doyenne Marylou Whitney who died in July.

NYSNYS NEWS WEEK IN REVIEW for August 3-9, 2019: Cuomo responds to mass shootings. Top Assembly aide fired after arrest. Yang makes cut for next debate.

By Kyle Hughes

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 9, 2019) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo responds to the latest mass shootings. Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix Ortiz's top aide is arrested. New Yorker Andrew Yang makes the cut for the next Democratic debate, but not Bill de Blasio or Kirsten Gillibrand. Plus, a look ahead to next week.







Gov. Andrew Cuomo embarked on a media mini-blitz after the latest mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH. He also issued a challenge to every Democrat running for president to take a pledge to support his gun-control agenda.

Cuomo's scheduled appearances on NY1 and MSNBC just hours after the shootings on Saturday night and Sunday morning, followed by other appearances on radio stations and cable outlets. The message he delivered was condemnation of President Donald Trump and the need for more gun control.

Cuomo issued a press release on his new "Make America Safer Pledge," demanding that all candidates sign it. "It is incumbent upon all Democrats to give the American people a clear alternative to President Trump on the issue of hate and guns and end this mass carnage that has become the status quo," Cuomo said.

The pledge calls for banning "assault weapons and high-capacity magazines," and passing universal background checks and the so-called Red Flag bill to prevent "individuals who pose a risk to themselves or others from purchasing a firearm." Cuomo's pledge also calls for creating a "a mental health data base to prevent the dangerously mentally ill from purchasing a firearm."

Cuomo touted New York's mental health database as a model. The Times Union reported that Cuomo's SAFE Act databases to track pistol permits and ammunition purchases in real time have never gone online, six years after the law was passed. State Police will not say why.

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A new corruption scandal hit the NYS Legislature with the announcement that the chief of staff to Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) was arrested for stealing $80,000 in campaign funds. Beside being on the Assembly payroll since he was a teenager, Maruf Alam was Ortiz's campaign treasurer.

"As alleged, Alam was caught red-handed using a New York State Assemblyman’s campaign account as his personal piggy bank,” stated United States Attorney Richard Donoghue. “Alam betrayed the trust placed in him to act honestly as the treasurer for the account, and then attempted to cover up his crime by filing false disclosure reports for years. Today’s arrest makes clear that dishonest public employees will face the consequences of their crimes and be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The feds said Alam, 29, has worked for Ortiz for the past 11 years. The thefts are alleged to have taken place from 2012 to 2019, including withdrawing money from an ATM in China.

Ortiz said he knew nothing of the scheme until Alam's arrest. "Given the circumstances and the seriousness of the charges brought by the United States Attorney, this employee is being terminated effective immediately," Ortiz said. "These are very serious charges. I am personally appalled, hurt and disappointed that an employee would violate my trust. My constituents come first and they deserve to know that public employees are always working on their behalf. I want to thank the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office for their efforts and I look forward to working with them to ensure that justice is served."

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Internet entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who was born in Schenectady and lives in Manhattan, announced this week he has made the cut to be including in the next set of Democratic debates in September and October. The news drew national attention for Yang, who is running on a promise of a universal basic income of $1,000 a month for those whose jobs are displaced by technology.

He says the upcoming displacement of workers by automation will be the biggest challenge to face the U.S. economy.

"We did it - poll #4!" Yang announced on Twitter. "Thank you #YangGang - it is on to Houston and the Fall debates!! Special thank you to all who have been spreading the word. Let’s make history together!"

He qualified by reaching more than 2 percent support in four different polls being used by the Democratic National Committee to determine which candidates can participate. An Iowa poll where he came out ahead of Beto O'Rourke put him over the top.

Yang's new status was a major embarrassment to two more prominent New Yorkers also running for president, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of Brunswick. Both of them are polling poorly.

The New York Post reported this week that leaders of the Satmar Hasidic Jewish community are asking members to make small donations to de Blasio to help reach the threshold needed to get into the upcoming debate rounds. "This is really like an attempt to be nice to the mayor who’s going to attempt to do them favors whether it’s building permits, or up-zoning, or whatever they want with schools," political consultant Menashe Shapiro told the Post.

Yang becomes the 9th candidate to qualify for the upcoming debates, a group that includes Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

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CUOMO BILL SIGNINGS: Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed more bills this week. They includes measures to require boater training, install cameras on school buses to catch drivers who don't obey stop signals, prevent employers from discriminating against workers based on religious clothing and facial hair, and ban possession by anyone other than police or military of knives that can evade metal detectors.


KATZ WINS QUEENS PRIMARY: Tiffany Caban threw in the towel and conceded the Democratic primary contest for Queens district attorney to Melinda Katz. Caban was supported by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other insurgents who have vowed to mount primary challenges to establishment Democrats.

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GILLIBRAND IN IOWA: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is kicking off her "Kitchen Table Tour" with her family as they RV across Iowa to mark her 10th visit to the state.

Gillibrand Participates in the Presidential Gun Sense Forum in Des Moines
Event: Senator Gillibrand will participate in the Presidential Gun Sense Forum sponsored by Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action.
Location: Iowa Events Center, 730 3rd Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Time: 9:00 am Saturday
Gillibrand and Family Explore the Iowa State Fair
Event: Senator Gillibrand and her family will explore the Iowa State Fair. She will be joined by Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen.
Gillibrand’s Tentative Schedule:
1:00 p.m. WHO-TV Cast Your Kernel
1:15 p.m. Iowa Democratic Party Booth - Varied Industries Building
2:15 p.m. Des Moines Register Political Soapbox
3:00 p.m. Gillibrand and family explore the state fair.
5:00 p.m. Iowa Pork Producers Tent
Location: Iowa State Fairgrounds, 3000 East Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50317
Members of the press should RSVP with to set up interviews.

Sunday, August 11, 2019
A Community Conversation with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Tom Harkin on Disability Rights
Event: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Tom Harkin will host a community conversation on disability rights with Iowa community members, advocates, and moderator State Senator Pam Jochum. Community panelists include Bill and Kyle Stumpf of Dubuque, Shelley Jaspering of Ames, and Carrie Chapman of Altoona.
Location: Ballroom at the Holiday Inn and Suites West Des Moines-Jordan Creek, 6075 Mills Civic Pkwy, West Des Moines, IA 50266
Time: 10:30 a.m. CT / Doors open to the public at 10:00 am.
This event is ADA accessible. Public RSVP. Press RSVP Here.


SARATOGA RACING SATURDAY: Fourstardave and Saratoga Special: The headlining Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave for 3-year-olds and up on the turf will be accompanied by the Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special, presented by Miller Lite, for 2-year-olds. The Fourstardave will be broadcast live on NBCSN beginning at 5 p.m. Saratoga Live will air from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on FS2. The second half of the broadcast will feature the Grade 1, $500,000 Secretariat and the Grade 1, $1 million Arlington Million from Arlington Park. 


ENCON HUDSON FISH COUNT: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that the eighth annual Great Hudson River Estuary Fish Count will take place at multiple sites along the banks and piers of the Hudson River on Saturday, August 10. This is a family friendly, free event open to the public. Sites and participating organizations (south to north) include:

Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 4: 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; seining. Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

Hudson River Park Pier 84: 12 - 4 p.m.; minnow pots and crab traps, rod and reel. Hudson River Park Trust & The River Project
Randall's Island Park: 1 - 3 p.m.; seining on Randall's Island Shoreline (just north of 103rd Bridge). Randall's Island Parks Alliance

Francis Lewis Park: 5 - 7 p.m.; seining. Peter Park/Nyack College.
Gantry Plaza State Park, Pier 4: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.; rod and reel. New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Habirshaw Park: 1 - 3 p.m.; seining at 35 Alexander St, 1 block from Yonkers Metro North Station (Hudson Line). Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak
Piermont Pier: 2 - 4 p.m.; seining at blockhouse at pier's end. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University

Sleepy Hollow
Kingsland Point Park: 2 - 3:30 p.m.; seining at Kathryn W. Davis RiverWalk Center. Teatown Lake Reservation

Croton Point Park: 12:45 - 2 p.m.; seining at Mother's Lap waterfront just west of swimming beach. Westchester County Parks

Cold Spring
Little Stony Point: 2 - 3:30 p.m.; seining at north end of Sandy Beach. DEC Hudson River Estuary Program/Hudson River Almanac and Hudson Highlands State Park

New Windsor
Kowawese Unique Area/Plum Point: 2:30 - 4 p.m.; seining on county park beach. Steve Stanne and Hudson River Estuary Program

Esopus Meadows Preserve: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.; seining. Hudson River Sloop Clearwater

Norrie Point: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.; seining next to Environmental Center. Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve

Kingston Point Beach: 2 - 3 p.m.; seining. Kingston Parks and Recreation

Schodack Island State Park: 7 - 8:30 p.m.; seining at boat launch. River Haggie Outdoors

Lasher Memorial Park: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.; seining. Columbia Land Conservancy

Corning Preserve boat ramp: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.; seining on boat ramp, fish on display from DEC. DEC

Green Island Lower Hudson Ave Park: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.; seining. Children's Museum of Science and Technology

Peebles Island State Park: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.; seining just east of bridge to Waterford; and fish on display from DEC. DEC


NEWCOMB -- ADK WOMENS WEEKEND: Women's Adirondack Weekend
August 9-11, 2019
Adirondack Ecological Center, SUNY ESF Newcomb Campus
Build confidence, have fun, and connect with the wilderness on this all-women, Adirondack adventure!

Workshop Times:
Arrive Friday Aug. 9th - First program begins at 2 p.m.
Friday, August 9th: 2 p.m. - 9 p.m. (dorms available at 11 a.m. Friday, but no lunch service)
Saturday, August 10th: 8:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday, August 11th: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Cost: $190
Learn the history, ecology and wildlife of the Adirondacks.
Learn wilderness safety, ethics and how to row a historic guide boat.
Hike to a fire tower (suitable for beginners).
Enjoy educational programs and much more!
Registration includes lodging and meals for the weekend. Lodging is dormitory style.
Limited space available, please register early. Minimum age 18. No experience needed.
Please e-mail Ro Woodard of NY Outdoors-Women for registration and information.


NNY WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT EVENT: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that the agency is opening several otherwise restricted Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) to the public in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties from Saturday, Aug. 10, through Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019.
Portions of these WMAs are marked as "refuge" or "wetlands restricted areas" to allow waterfowl and other listed species to breed and raise young without interference from people.
During the 16-day period, Upper and Lower Lakes and Wilson Hill WMAs in St. Lawrence County, including the posted Wetland Restricted and Refuge areas, will be open to visitors each day from sunrise to sunset. Perch River WMA in Jefferson County will also be open to visitors with two exceptions-the Mossentine parking lot and dike will be closed due to construction, and
a section of the Stone Mills dike will also be closed. Visitors will be asked to keep a safe distance from the construction areas and obey posted signs. Also, the Perch Lake proper will be open but hours are noon to dusk each day.


TONKO EVENT: Congressman Paul Tonko will hear from affected constituents, family members, medical providers and healthcare experts as he hosts Faces of Healthcare & Preexisting Conditions at his Albany office at 10:00 AM on Monday, August 12th, the latest installment in Tonko’s popular Faces of the Capital Region conversation series. The stories of these local individuals put a powerful and emotional face on an issue of grave and growing national importance. This event is open press, participants will be encouraged to stay for media interviews as available.
Congressman Paul D. Tonko
Scott Desnoyers, father of Danny Desnoyers, Saratoga Springs
Brenda Beach, family member of an individual living with a mental health condition
Dr. Bob Paeglow, Physician, Koinonia Primary Care
Robin Cole, President, NAMI Capital Region NY
Piper Light, Director of Outreach, New York State of Health
Congressman Tonko’s Albany District Office
19 Dove Street, Suite 302, Albany, NY 12210


BUFFALO -- Meeting of the Directors of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC), an ESD subsidiary.
When:           Monday, August 12, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.
Where:         Empire State Development
95 Perry Street – Suite 500
Main Conference Room
Buffalo, NY 14203

DUNKIRK -- Ribbon cutting for improvements at Dunkirk Pier and harbor front in the City of Dunkirk.  The project—supported by funding from the Smart Growth Community Fund, a Buffalo Billion II initiative—provides improved pedestrian access to Lake Erie, better connections to Dunkirk’s waterfront trails, increased seating and green space, improved fishing and water recreation opportunities, new lighting, and new wayfinding and signage.
When:      Monday, August 12, 2019
10 a.m.  
Who:        City of Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas
Where:     Dunkirk Pier
22 Central Avenue
Dunkirk, NY 14048

LOCKPORT -- A tour of Lockport and public meeting of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC).  The tour of downtown Lockport will highlight REDC investments in projects planned and underway, as well as projects to be supported by the city’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) award.  Discussions at the REDC meeting will include an update on Lockport’s DRI Round 3 projects, the CFA Round 9 process, Workforce Development Initiative, and talent attraction and retention efforts in WNY.
 Who: Members of the WNYREDC.  All individuals, businesses, organizations, labor representatives and university representatives from the Western New York Region are welcome to attend the public meeting. 
Where: Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises
210 Market Street
Lockport, NY 14094
When:    Monday, August 12, 2019
10 a.m. to noon: Tour of Downtown Lockport (open to press and REDC only)
1 to 2 p.m.: REDC meeting

MANHATTAN -- Meeting of the Directors of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation, an ESD subsidiary.
When: Monday, August 12, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.
Where: Empire State Development
633 Third Avenue - 37th Floor Conference Room
New York, NY 10017 

MANHATTAN -- Meeting of the Directors of the Empire State New Market Corporation, an ESD subsidiary.
When: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.
Where: Empire State Development
633 Third Avenue – 37th Floor Conference Room
New York, NY 10017

MANHATTAN -- Meeting of the Directors of the New York State Urban Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development.
When:   Thursday, August 15, 2019, at 9:30 a.m.
Where:  Empire State Development – NYC Office  
633 Third Avenue – 37th Floor Conference Room
New York, NY 10017


WFP CANDIDATES Q&A: From the Working Families Party: Last week we announced our first three Live Q&As with 2020 presidential candidates vying for the Working Families Party endorsement — and already more than 1,000 people have RSVPed and more than 3,500 questions have been submitted.
With the first three #WFP2020 Live Q&As scheduled for next week, don't miss this chance to hear from the candidates as they answer questions pulled directly from movement leaders and activists like YOU.
Each Q&A will be streamed online. And supporters will be hosting watch parties around the country. RSVP now for one or all six of the #WFP2020 Live Q&As and submit a question that you'd like to see the candidates asked during the interviews!
WFP2020 Live Q&A with Elizabeth Warren
Tuesday, August 13, 6pm ET/3pm PT
WFP2020 Live Q&A with Julián Castro
Thursday, August 15, 8pm ET/5pm PT


 YOUTH GUN PREVENTION: New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Education Fund today announced the expansion of its ReACTION Youth Program, an innovative school-based gun violence prevention program. With a $160,000 two-year grant from The New York Community Trust and funding from the NYC City Council and NYS Senate, NYAGV will more than triple ReACTION’s reach in New York City’s middle and high schools by 2021.
In collaboration with the New York City Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence (OPGV), NYAGV Ed Fund will launch an intensive training program on Wednesday, August 14th. The program will train a cohort of new instructors who work for community-based organizations funded through the OPGV’s Crisis Management System (CMS) which operates in communities disproportionately affected by gun violence. These instructors are also trained to provide direct intervention and crisis mediation services to youth and other residents in these areas as well. The goal of the training is to increase youth engagement in policy conversation around gun violence and provide students with additional tools to advocate for themselves and their communities.


 CHILD VICTIMS ACT: From SDK Knickerbocker lobbying firm: The recently passed Child Victims Act will officially open a one-year “lookback” window for previously time-barred victims of childhood sexual abuse to file civil suits in New York State court.  In the days leading up to August 14th abuse survivors and their attorneys from Marsh Law Firm and Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC (PCVA) – who will be filing lawsuits on day one of the window – are available for media interviews in Albany regarding the implications of this historic moment.
The passage of the Child Victims Act is providing a historic one-year window for survivors to seek justice, regardless of when their abuse occurred. For many survivors that were previously barred from filing suit, this will be their only chance to seek justice.
The survivors available for comment were abused by Catholic priests, Boy Scout leaders, Dr. Reginald Archibald of Rockefeller University Hospital, and others associated with youth-serving organizations that failed to protect children.
The attorneys collectively represent more than 500 child sex abuse survivors in NY state, including several in Albany, and have helped write federal and state child sex abuse and child pornography laws. They are intimately familiar with cases against the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, the Mormon Church, Big Brothers Big Sisters, private and public schools, and others, and how statute of limitations reform was implemented in other states. 
In-person, TV, and phone interviews with attorneys representing more than 500 child sex abuse survivors in NY as well as the survivors themselves to discuss the implications of the opening of the Child Victims Act one-year “lookback window.” 
James R. Marsh, Partner at Marsh Law Firm
Jennifer Freeman, Partner at Marsh Law Firm
Michael Pfau, Partner at PCVA
Jason Amala, Partner from PCVA
Sexual Abuse Survivors from Albany
Today, August 7, 2019 – August 16th, 2019
In-person, TV, and phone interviews in Albany
Attorneys from the Marsh Law Firm PLLC and Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala (PCVA) PLLC, as well as survivors they represent, are available for interviews.
Contact: Julien Martinez


PSC FORUM ON RATE HIKES: The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) today announced it would hold informational forums and public statement hearings in Rochester, Keene Valley, Ithaca and Binghamton to receive comments on changes proposed by the New York State Electric & Gas Corporation (NYSEG) and the Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation (RG&E) (the companies) to their electric and gas delivery rates and practices. On May 20, 2019, the companies filed new electric and gas tariff schedules, intended to take effect in April 2020.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Keene Valley Public Library
1796 NYS Route 73
Keene Valley, New York 12943
Information Session: 1:00 P.M.
Public Statement Hearing: 2:00 P.M.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Tompkins County Public Library
Borg Warner Room, 101 E. Green Street
Ithaca, New York 14850
Information Session: 1:00 P.M.
Public Statement Hearing: 2:00 P.M.

Thursday, August 15, 2019
Binghamton City Hall Council Chambers
38 Hawley Street
Binghamton, New York 13901
Information Session: 5:00 P.M.
Public Statement Hearing: 6:00 P.M.


 BRIDGE AUTHORITY MEETING: Members of the Board of Commissioners of the New York State Bridge Authority will hold meetings for purposes of conducting business beginning at 3:00 PM on Thursday, August 15, 2019 in the Authority Headquarters Building, Mid-Hudson Bridge Plaza, Highland, New York. 

 PATERSON WEDDING DAY: The Daily News reported that former Gov. David Paterson will be married on Saturday to Mary Sliwa, the ex-wife of Curtis Sliwa. Former mayor David Dinkins will perform the ceremony Saturday before 200 guests at the Water Club, which overlooks the East River, the paper reported.





Saturday, Aug. 10
State Comptroller DiNapoli is on Long Island.

Sunday, Aug. 11
State Comptroller DiNapoli is on Long Island.

Monday, Aug. 12
State Comptroller DiNapoli is on Long Island.

Tuesday, Aug. 13
State Comptroller DiNapoli is in Albany.
12:00 p.m. – Attends the University of Albany School of Education Inaugural Summit, Albany Convention Center, 55 Eagle Street, Albany, NY.

Wednesday, Aug. 14
State Comptroller DiNapoli is in Saratoga.

Thursday, Aug. 15
State Comptroller DiNapoli is in Albany.

Friday, Aug. 16
State Comptroller DiNapoli is on Long Island.

Saturday, Aug. 17
State Comptroller DiNapoli is in Fulton County.

Sunday, Aug. 18
State Comptroller DiNapoli is in Yates County.





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