Today, @NYCCouncil is holding an emergency hearing to investigate NYCHA’s response to concerns over water safety at Jacob Riis Houses.— Carlina Rivera 利華娜 (@CarlinaRivera) September 23, 2022
For weeks we have demanded accountability and full transparency from NYCHA. We expect that today.
My opening remarks ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/103nB89ZsK
Saturday, September 24, 2022
Saturday, September 17, 2022
Sunday, September 11, 2022
This comes after the news Friday in which Environmental Monitoring and Technologies Inc. admitted that its earlier findings of arsenic in the water were incorrect.
This morning, @nycHealthy reviewed the final test results for contaminants and we can confidently say the water at @NYCHA Jacob Riis Houses meets EPA standards. I wouldn’t ask residents to do anything I wouldn’t do, which is why I stopped by Riis Houses to drink the water myself. pic.twitter.com/0eTnIBDyaZ— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) September 10, 2022
Other reactions...I know the last eight days have been unbearable for the residents of Jacob Riis Houses, but, this morning, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reviewed the final test results for contaminants and found the water to be well within EPA drinking water quality standards. We can confidently say the water at Riis Houses is and has been free of any discernible amount of arsenic since the initial tests were initiated in August and meets EPA standards. I would not ask the residents of Riis Houses to do anything I wouldn’t do, which is why I have already stopped by Riis Houses and drank the water myself.As we stated yesterday, NYCHA nor any other city agency will test water through Environmental Monitoring and Technologies any longer, and the city intends to pursue all available legal options on behalf of the residents of Riis Houses and will look for how we can reimburse residents for costs incurred over the last week. In regard to the Legionella bacteria reported earlier this week, we suspect these results are inaccurate.As public health experts have noted, Legionnaires Disease cannot be contracted by drinking water. Additionally, we are actively reviewing our Legionella surveillance data, and have found no reported or confirmed cases of Legionnaires Disease at Riis Houses over the last 12 months.
After being on the ground hearing directly from residents this week and laying out questions + demands below, we heard little from the City at tonight’s mtg with Riis families.— Carlina Rivera 利華娜 (@CarlinaRivera) September 10, 2022
Blaming an outside vendor for NYCHA’s mistakes is not accountability. These families deserve better. https://t.co/rcSWQMA1Wg
Saturday, September 10, 2022
Officials now say water tested at the Riis Houses never had arsenic in it; lab says results were 'incorrect'
Today, Environmental Monitoring and Technologies — the original lab that provided the initial test results claiming there was arsenic in the water at Riis Houses issued a full retraction and released revised results, calling their initial results 'incorrect.' Worse yet, the company has now admitted to being the ones that introduced arsenic into the samples, leading to the false results.
The audience erupted, with tenants shouting that they don't know what to believe after being whipsawed back and forth over eight days, beginning on the Friday night of Labor Day weekend, that left them furious and exhausted."This one week has felt like an eternity," said Riis tenant Dianna Fernandez. "Water is essential. NYCHA needs to do better. Mayor Adams: Where are you?"Adams was in Washington, D.C. trying to woo the Democratic Committee to hold its convention in New York, but NYCHA Chairman Gregory Russ was present, facing the angry crowd and quickly becoming the target of much of the room’s explosive anger.
NEW: I, along with many of my colleagues, want answers from @NYCMayor and @NYCHA Chair Russ. Residents at Riis Houses have been through a lot. They deserve answers, transparency, accountability and compensation. We look forward to the response. pic.twitter.com/sJ7Rb0CKPH— Harvey Epstein (@HarveyforNY) September 9, 2022
Friday, September 9, 2022
... and here's a flashback to a piece via PIX 11 about the water at Riis Houses from Aug. 12 titled, "Cloudy tap water has East Village NYCHA residents worried."
Out here at Riis Houses, w/ @CarlinaRivera & @HarveyforNY, helping w/ hot meal distribution for tenants who are enduring yet another day without useable water.— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) September 8, 2022
We need this crisis resolved once and for all. And we need accountability for what residents here have endured. pic.twitter.com/FsgxLs0Tzx
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Saturday, September 3, 2022
[Updated]: Unsafe levels of arsenic found in the drinking water at Riis Houses; when did city officials know?
The report that NYCHA found arsenic in the drinking water at the Riis houses before notifying residents is deeply concerning.— Comptroller Brad Lander (@NYCComptroller) September 3, 2022
NYCHA residents deserve clear communication and immediate access to clean water.⁰⁰My office is following the situation closely.https://t.co/OQ72N0HCb3
⚠️ RIIS WATER UPDATE: We’re alarmed by yesterday’s news at Riis Houses. We’ve been on site ensuring families have updates + drinkable water. As we await more test results, DO NOT consume water from the building.— NYC Council Member Carlina Rivera (@CMCarlinaRivera) September 3, 2022
NYCHA + DOHMH must give answers on previous findings + remediation.
Levels of arsenic above 10 parts per billion can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, paralysis, and blindness, and prolonged exposure can lead to several types of cancer, according to the EPA. The mayor's office declined to say how high arsenic levels detected were.
I don’t know what to say. Other than my mom lives in this development and it’s a really scary situation. https://t.co/kidQg65YPs— John M. Blasco (@JBlascoNYC) September 3, 2022
Here's more from a new story at The City:
According to an internal NYCHA email obtained by THE CITY, DOHMH [Department of Health & Mental Hygiene] doesn’t believe the contaminant emanates from the water supply but is somehow coming from the plumbing system at Riis itself.
A key concern for DOHMH is whether construction from ongoing work related to damage inflicted 10 years ago by Superstorm Sandy, as well as current work on the development’s heating system, have stirred up the soil and contributed to the contamination of the water.
From CBS New York:
NYCHA's federally imposed watchdog monitor, Bart Schwartz, notified NYCHA officials to "ensure the integrity of any inquiry," and for the safety of residents "preserve all documents related to this issue"... including electronic and paper communications, test results and timelines.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
From the EVG inbox, a reader shares these photos from outside the Jacob Riis Houses along Avenue D... in case you saw this and wondered what was happening.
When asked, the workers said that this pavilion was for a backup power generator...
This is only but one of the upgrades planned for the Riis Houses in the years ahead. Back in December, WDF Inc. was granted a contract in excess of $71 million by the New York City Housing Authority for the Sandy Recovery Program Restoration.
According to a release announcing the contract:
The project scope of work includes both restoration and infrastructure improvements to the Jacob Riis Housing complex, which consists of 12 buildings spread over a three city block footprint. Upgrades include new emergency generators, electrical distribution equipment and gas services to the buildings. New flood elimination upgrades include deployable dry flood-proofing elements, waterproofing of structures, waterproof architectural finishes and upgrades to sewer/storm management systems.
Exterior upgrades include new roadways, sidewalks, green spaces and pedestrian lighting. Architectural improvements include the rehabilitation of building entrances, lobbies and storm damaged portions of all twelve buildings. Work on the project is expected to commence in the summer of 2019 with substantial completion anticipated by mid-2022.
In total, 210 NYCHA buildings are expected to be powered by permanent, full-load generators in case of outages.
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
[Photo of Carlina Rivera yesterday at City Hall via Twitter]
City Council members are taking action following published reports that a resident of the Jacob Riis Houses on Avenue D received an eviction notice after complaining about the NYCHA during a PIX-11 story earlier this month.
During a press conference at City Hall yesterday, New York City Council members Carlina Rivera (District 2) and Ritchie Torres (District 15), chair of the Council Committee on Oversight and Investigations, joined NYCHA residents and advocates to rally against negligent property managers at the Riis Houses. The elected officials say that the property managers are allegedly retaliating against residents who have gone public over the lack of repairs and possible lead exposure in their apartments.
Keshia Benjamin, a Riis Houses resident and organizer of the rally, had her apartment featured on PIX-11 earlier this month over numerous unrepaired health hazards, including leaking pipes that flooded her apartment, damaged doors and bathrooms, and pest, mold, and lead exposure.
Management at Riis Houses reportedly then sent Benjamin a notice that they were examining her record to possibly begin eviction processes for unpaid rent, even though Benjamin said that she had fully paid.
NYCHA officials denied any retaliation, the Daily News reported yesterday.
Following a query by the News, NYCHA officials said that Benjamin's termination notice has been canceled. Per the paper: "It was automatically generated because she had been delinquent on rent within a 12-month period, but has been rescinded because she is now up to date, a spokesperson said."
The spokesperson also said, "NYCHA does not retaliate against residents for any reason."
City Council members claim that Benjamin's story is not the only one at the Riis Houses, and "it appears that Riis property managers are held unaccountable by central staff at NYCHA and use that power to promote a culture of silence amongst residents looking for help."
The Council’s Committee on Oversight and Investigations is now investigating reported instances of retaliatory actions at Riis Houses, as well as the grievance process for tenants and the overall accountability structure within NYCHA.
In addition to the Council investigation, Rivera is planning to introduce legislation to create a formal grievance system so that NYCHA tenants can submit their complaints anonymously and have them investigated fairly. This piece of legislation comes after the recently introduced legislation from Council member Rafael Salamanca that would mandate performance reviews for NYCHA employees.
"NYCHA seems to be focused on moving bad actors around the system whenever they are in the spotlight and not on providing accountability," Rivera said at City Hall yesterday. "This simply cannot continue — the NYCHA must explain themselves in person for these actions."
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Photos and email from an EVG reader...
Any word on the reason for the heavy police presence along Avenue D & FDR Drive as well as the assemblage of generator lighting throughout Jacob Riis Houses?
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Workers are currently pruning or cutting down trees this morning at the Jacob Riis Houses and Lillian Wald Houses along Avenue D…
A worker told Dave that they are removing all the ones marked with an X. And they all seem to be marked with an X… especially here on East 10th Street between Avenue D and the FDR…
Said the worker: "Sandy messed 'em up."
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
From that release:
According to the indictment, since approximately January 2012, the defendants obtained, transported, processed, packaged, and sold large quantities of crack cocaine to customers in and around the Jacob Riis Houses, a New York City Public Housing Authority development between East 8th and East 13th Streets, from Avenue D to the F.D.R. Drive, as well as at other locations.
The leader of this organization – DWAYNE MITCHELL, a/k/a “Dubbs,” 35 – obtained wholesale quantities of crack cocaine from supplier SABED RAHMAN, 29. MITCHELL and RAHMAN are accused of meeting regularly over a long period to exchange wholesale quantities of drugs and cash, including at a Starbucks location in Midtown Manhattan.
Prosecutors told the Daily News that Mitchell acted like the "Mayor of Avenue D" while "charming the neighborhood by hosting barbecues and field trips to Six Flags for kids."
And more from the DA's release:
According to the indictment, the defendants used cell phones to communicate and conduct their business. They also attempted to conceal the conspiracy and alleged illegal transactions by conducting them in a covert manner and using coded language, including the terms “chicken,” “donuts,” and “food,” to refer to cocaine and sums of money.
Mitchell reportedly faces up to 20 years on the most serious charge.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
"He was always happy and even if he was sad, you would never tell," said Moore's sister Janet Mejia, 22, who lives in Harlem.
"He was a great uncle and he loved his nephew," Mejia said. "He was love wherever he walked."
Mejia joked that Moore had been a "pain in the ass, like any little brother" who always had a practical joke up his sleeve to lighten the mood.
Moore was standing with friends on Avenue D near East Eighth Street Friday night around 10:45. The NYPD have said that gunmen on bicycles fired into the group, with one bullet striking Moore in the head.
[Photo by Serena Solomon via DNAinfo]