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De Blasio: I did’t lie about NYCHA data on kids exposed to lead

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Mayor de Blasio insisted on Thursday that he didn’t cherry pick data when he claimed only 4 kids in public housing tested positive for elevated lead levels — when the number was really more than 200.

Although the mayor had briefing papers showing 202 kids were at risk between 2010 and 2015, Hizzoner claimed he used the lower figure in a November 2016 press conference because of confusion over which kids should be counted.

“The problem in this whole discussion is there’s never been a single standard,” the mayor said at an unrelated press conference in the East Village Thursday when asked about his purposeful choice of numbers, which was reported last week by The Post.

“The federal standard’s changed over time, different laws require different things,” he added. “We’ve all been trying to speak to this without having a common language.”

At the time, the public had just learned through a Department of Investigation report that the New York City Housing Authority stopped conducting annual inspections for lead paint from late 2012 through May 2016, despite being required to do so by law.

The probe also revealed that then-NYCHA chair Shola Olatoye had falsely asserted to the feds that those inspections were being conducted.

The administration and the Health Department didn’t come clean on the whole universe of impacted kids until this August — when they finally acknowledged that 1,160 children at NYCHA had registered high lead levels since 2012.

The figure ballooned in part because the city in January adopted a lower threshold of 5 micrograms per deciliter for inspecting apartments associated with high lead levels, which had been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 2012.

The feds required the city to employ the lower figure — down from the 10 microgram level previously used by the Health Department.

The mayor’s defensive explanation came on the same day that he appointed his sanitation commissioner as the city’s first-ever “lead czar,” with the intention of stamping out lead poisoning once and for all.

Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia will stay in her current role, but hand off some duties to a deputy while she works to create a roadmap over the next 90 days for reducing lead poisoning cases to zero.

The bulk of those cases, which have dropped significantly since 2005, occur in private units.

Garcia isn’t the first commissioner under de Blasio to play two roles at once.

In July, School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo was named commissioner of the much-maligned Department of Design and Construction.

Source: https://nypost.com/2018/10/18/de-blasio-i-didnt-lie-about-nycha-data-on-kids-exposed-to-lead/

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9-year-old genius to graduate university

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Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

Source nydailynews.com/

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