Afternoon Bulletin: K2 Criminalized, High School Hackers and More

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 05: In this photo illustration, packets of K2 or "spice", a synthetic marijuana drug, are seen in East Harlem on August 5, 2015 in New York City. New York, along with other cities, is experiencing a deadly epidemic of synthetic marijuana usage including varieties known as K2 or "Spice" which can cause extreme reactions in some users. According to New York's health department, more than 120 people visited an emergency room in the city in just one week in April. While the state banned the ingredients used to make K2 in 2012, distributors have switched to other ingredients and names in an attempt to circumvent the law. (Photo Illustration by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Mayor de Blasio signed bills to criminalize sale and production of K2, as pictured in the packets above. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed three bills yesterday that will criminalize both the sale and the production of K2—also known as synthetic marijuana—in New York City. Until now, K2 has been classified as a health code violation, punishable by a $250 fine. However, as a consequence of the new laws, which will take effect in 60 days, the offense will be punishable by as much as $5,000 in fines and one year in prison. “Let’s be clear: K2 is a poison,” Mayor de Blasio said before signing the bills. (Gothamist)

Instead of making good grades the old fashioned way, three teenagers in Long Island opted to take matters into their own hands and hacked their high school’s computer system in an attempt to better the record of their school performances. Daniel Soares, Erick Vaysman and Alex Mosquera, all 17, were arrested and charged as a result of the hack. Suffolk County Police cited Mr. Soares, who managed to raise his grades in physics, history and economics classes, as the “mastermind” behind the stunt.  Commack High School did not clarify whether or not suspension was part of the students’ punishment, but they did say that they corrected the grades. (Daily Intelligencer)

Over 100 New York City Housing Authority tenants marched on Gracie Mansion Tuesday protesting NYCHA’s desire to raise money via the development of apartments on the property at the spot of a playground. The rally took place while guests of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fundraising dinner arrived at the site—a table at the event cost attendees a $1,000 donation at the least. Protestors marched eight blocks, going south from Holmes Towers. Holmes tenant Darnell Brown said, “There’s no way we’re going to let NYCHA take away our children’s park when they’re mismanaging funds.” According to the mayor’s office, de Blasio’s event raised $475,000. (Daily News)

It’s been revealed that an argument between a bus driver and a passenger ended up with the agitated rider throwing a vial of urine in the driver’s face earlier this month. The passenger, who boarded the Bx12 bus at White Plains Road and Pelham Parkway with a five-year-old boy around 5:15pm, apparently got into a spat with the 58-year-old bus driver. After the incident, the suspect fled with the boy, and the driver was taken to Jacobi Hospital by EMS. The suspect, thought to be around 20 years old, has yet to be identified. (NBC New York)

The principal of SHoP Architects, Vishaan Chakrabarti, will be leaving the company to start his own: Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism. His new project will be far from a struggling small business, however, as his first client is Sidewalk Labs, a company funded in part by Google that searches for ways to solve urban problems with technology. “I turn 50 next month,” Mr. Chakrabarti said regarding his timing starting the new business. “It’s a very different position than starting a firm when you’re 25. I’m not going to be doing kitchens and bathrooms. I can handle large-scale work and complex work.” (Daily Intelligencer)

Afternoon Bulletin: K2 Criminalized, High School Hackers and More