Afternoon Bulletin: NYC Schools Go Untested for Lead, Fire Rages Through Bushwick

Sign pointing to clean water pick up in Flint, Michigan
Sign pointing to clean water pick up in Flint, Michigan (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

1,000 New York City public schools have gone at least ten years without having the running water tested for lead contamination. WNYC analysis of city data found that water in two thirds of the city’s public school buildings was last tested for lead in 2005, while others have not been tested at all. Only last month did the school system begin a comprehensive examination of lead levels of the water running through these school buildings. According to city data, certain schools were never tested because they were established after the nationwide ban on lead piping was passed—the city’s irregular testing of the other schools also does not break federal law. However, Marc Edwards, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Virginia, told WNYC that water contamination from lead pipes is likely to worsen over time, challenging the conventional wisdom that it gets better. He recommended that schools be tested annually. (WNYC)

Israel’s Record Shop, a beloved dive for Bedford Stuyvesant’s music heads, is closing after 20 years of business. The store, located on Fulton Street, is known for its mammoth collections of reggae, soul, rock, jazz, disco records that go way back into music history. “The store is sort of a vault and archive that you just want to soak up,” said Kate Cortesi, a Bed Stuy resident and filmmaker who recently spotlighted the store in an independent documentary. Israel’s is known in the neighborhood for its blaring of soul and disco music as well as the knight that stands guard over the entrance. (DNA Info)

An online petition has been launched to rename St. Albans Park in Queens to Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor Park, after the late rapper Phife Dawg who died of diabetes, aged 45, last week. Phife Dawg, who became famous as part of the rap group Tribe Called Quest, was born on St. Albans. He met his rap partners and fellow Tribe members Jarobi, Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad at high school and they would freestyle together in the park. The petition’s e-signature goal is set at 2,000. It currently has 1,200. (Daily News)

A fire gutted and destroyed a row of wooden houses in Bushwick on Tuesday night, leaving dozens of people homeless. Fortunately, no one was critically injured in the blaze, however the fire did enough damage to turn 3 homes into “smoldering shells” and cause massive damage to three others. Aside from the loss of property, the concern currently revolves around 500 trained pigeons that lived on the roof of one of the homes. (New York Times)

An East Village landlord reportedly racked up a debt of $1 million in 2015 due to unpaid building and construction-code violations on the building he owns. Steve Croman and his real estate firm 9300 Realty collected $1.6 billion “quality-of-life fines.” 9300 Realty have disputed the claims. However Mr. Croman is no stranger to controversy: in the past he reportedly used illegal tactics to force rent stabilized tenants out of their homes. His son, Jake Croman, a freshman at the University of Michigan, was also just caught in a viral video violently abusing an Uber driver. (E V Grieve) Afternoon Bulletin: NYC Schools Go Untested for Lead, Fire Rages Through Bushwick