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Morning Spew

We’re Not Ready for Fall, So Let’s Start This Week on a Tuesday

Pictures from the return of J’Ouvert, arsenic in the water at NYCHA’s Jacob Riis Houses, and more news we’re reading.

6:19 AM EDT on September 6, 2022

(Scott Heins / Hell Gate)

After a two-year pandemic break, which surely some NYPD officials would love to see stretch into infinity, J’Ouvert returned to the streets of Brooklyn on Monday morning. Continuing a forty-year tradition, the all-night celebration of emancipation leads into the West Indian Day Parade.

Photographer Scott Heins was there for Hell Gate. 

(Scott Heins / Hell Gate)
(Scott Heins / Hell Gate)
(Scott Heins / Hell Gate)
(Scott Heins / Hell Gate)
(Scott Heins / Hell Gate)

And now, we dive into fall. School begins on Thursday. It’s rainy outside. And here are some links to get you back into the news-reading spirit:

  • Last Friday, the CITY broke the story that there is arsenic in the tap water at the Jacob Riis Houses in the East Village—something NYCHA didn’t tell residents until two weeks after the agency became aware of the contamination. Now, the federal monitor overseeing NYCHA has announced they’re launching an investigation into why there was a delay in informing residents,  and has told NYCHA to preserve all of its documents related to the testing. The City’s Department of Health & Mental Hygiene has told the 2,600 residents of Riis to not use the water until it is retested.
  • Max Rose is trying to win his uphill battle against Staten Island Rep. Nicole Malliotakis the same way he lost his seat against Malliotakis, by being very annoying. Behold, as a guy with a very fancy degree in public policy from the London School of Economics pretends not to understand how congestion pricing would work:
  • In 2019, the city council passed a law allowing cyclists to cross a street with the pedestrian light, allowing them a few precious seconds to get ahead of any turning cars before they barreled into them at full speed. But don’t tell that to the NYPD—because they’d still like to penalize cyclists for following the law. Streestsblog’s Dave Colon has the story about why New York’s finest, and New York judges, are just openly flaunting the law.
  • The NYPD says a Bronx man fired first before they fatally shot him in May. But edited body-cam footage released by the NYPD doesn’t show any shots being fired by twenty-five-year-old Rameek Smith, nor does it show his gun being recovered. The “shootout” between Smith and police became a flashpoint in Mayor Eric Adams’s push to roll back bail reform laws—laws which had no impact on Smith’s release on a prior violation before his death. 
  • The city council is set to hold a vote on a resolution on Wednesday calling for the restoration of millions in school funding cut by the Adams administration…and, uh, the city council. But with the school budget already passed (by the city council), this resolution would have no impact on school funding heading into this year (restored funding would have to involve some action taken by the Adams-controlled Department of Education). For a quick rundown on what went down with school funding this summer, we suggest you start here.
  • Brooklyn Bishop Lamor Whitehead has filed a pair of lawsuits against two men he claims are defaming him by sowing doubts over his July 24th robbery, where a group of men took over $1 million in jewelry from the Bishop during a church service. Whitehead is currently being sued by two parishioners, including a former election-worker who told Hell Gate that Whitehead still owes him thousands
  • Watch out for heavy rain over the next few hours—especially if you live in a basement apartment (and especially if you’re landlord is likely to keep the door to the higher floors locked). 
  • And finally, the most lit J’ouvert celebration of them all, straight from the guys who turned a festival of liberation into a barricaded, checkpoint-ringed celebration corral:

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