As a lead-paint crisis engulfed New York City’s public housing system last year, Mayor Bill de Blasio defended his administration by repeatedly pointing to data showing that the number of children citywide with high levels of lead in their blood was actually at historic lows. On Thursday, however, the city’s comptroller issued a scathing report detailing how the city did not check for lead paint at 9,099 private residential buildings where 11,168 children tested positive for high levels of lead between 2013 and late 2018. While the city’s Department of Health had compiled the children’s addresses, it never shared them with the housing department tasked with inspecting for lead, the report said. “Any lead poisoning of our children must be treated as a five-alarm fire, but the city isn’t utilizing basic tools at its disposal to extinguish the fires, even in the most problematic buildings it knows about,” Scott M. Stringer, the comptroller, … [Read more...] about 11,168 Children Tested Positive for Lead. The City Didn’t Inspect the Homes.
BEIJING Don't doubt this American men's basketball team and sure don't challenge them, either. Especially if it's going to make Kobe Bryant flash his NBA MVP form. Bryant scored 25 points in his best game in Beijing, and the men's American Olympic team advanced to the semifinals by beating Australia 116-85 today. America will play defending champion Argentina or Greece on Friday night for a spot in Sunday's gold medal game. Locked in what looked like another tough game in Australia, the Americans sent the Aussies' upset hopes down under with a 14-0 burst to open the second half, featuring nine points from Bryant. LeBron James added 16 points for the Americans, who are guaranteed a chance to play for a medal. They need two more wins for their first gold medal in a major international competition since the 2000 Sydney Games. As America expected, with the gold medal getting closer, the games are getting tougher. Australia stayed with America for the first 15 minutes of the … [Read more...] about Kobe Leads American Team to Semis
China is about to accomplish its goal of winning the most gold medals of any nation at the Beijing Olympics. But China's athletes haven't done it the way their state-run athletic program thought they would. At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, 119 gold medals were awarded in track and field, swimming, and outdoor water sports. China won only one of those, in perhaps the most obscure track and field event, the women's 20-kilometer race walk. So the Chinese sports program went on a mission to get better in those sports. Launching an initiative known as Project 119, China vowed to win a substantial share of those 119 golds as part of its overall goal of leading the gold medal count in the Beijing Games. America won 20 of the 119 track, swimming, and outdoor water gold medals in Sydney, and the Chinese thought it was possible to close that 19-gold-medal gap and equal the U.S. in those sports. China already regularly pulled talented young athletes out of their homes and brought them to national … [Read more...] about Project 119 Didn’t Work Despite China’s Gold Lead
Year after year, teams go through dramatic changes. This year's veteran champions become next year's aging also-rans. Last year's callow group of rookies becomes this year's energetic contenders. It's tough enough figuring out which teams are most likely to change from one year to the next. It's next to impossible to figure out how those changes might take place. Three of this season's top playoff contenders have seen a big change in a key aspect of their respective ball clubs. A year ago, these were Achilles's heels; now, they're bona fide strengths. Phillies Bullpen Baseball analysts love to deride teams for spending big bucks on relief pitching. When future stars like Joakim Soria spring up for the cost of a Rule V claim, it's tough to get behind a multiyear, megabucks deal for a garden-variety setup man. Fortunately, Phillies General Manager Pat Gillick probably hasn't listened to a single analyst in his entire life. This offseason, Gillick signed J.C. Romero to a three-year, $12 … [Read more...] about Teams’ New and Improved Looks Lead to Contention
WASHINGTON There was no late-game meltdown by the Mets this time, no real reason to point fingers at the relievers. This was a start-to-finish loss, New York's third loss in four games, and there will be no escaping the references to September 2007 now. Washington's John Lannan limited New York to one hit over seven innings, Anderson Hernandez delivered a two-run single off a tiring Pedro Martinez, and the Nationals beat the fading-again Mets 7-2 last night. The Mets' lead over idle Philadelphia in the NL East fell to a half-game; New York held a 3.5-game cushion as recently as Wednesday. The Mets have 13 games left, Philadelphia has 12. Last season, the Mets led the Phillies by seven games with only 17 to play before a historic collapse ceded the division title and kept New York out of the playoffs altogether. "It's, unfortunately, just a part of who we are, as long as we're in a race and competing," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said before the game. "Until we win it or get into … [Read more...] about Mets Lead Slimmed to Just a Half Game