Google hosts computer science event

Google joined Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman on Wednesday to visit PS 15 Jackie Robinson School in St. Albans to deliver CS First Roadshow, a computer science education presentation.

Two Google employees spoke to and taught students about problem solving and technical coding skills through interactive activities.

They encouraged the students to develop an interest in computer science education by giving them real-life examples of how coding and STEM education can lead to educational opportunities and careers.

“The tech industry is projected to grow significantly in the near future. Students in our community need to be ready for the careers and opportunities of the 21st century,” Hyndman said.

“Kids are exposed to technology at such an early age, but don’t necessarily get to learn about why computer science should be an important part of their lives, both now and in the future,” said Google spokesperson Carley Graham Garcia. “We want the next generation of students to be able to create technology, not just consume it.”


Councilman Ruben Wills found guilty on public corruption charges

New York City Councilman Ruben Wills, who represents the 28th district in Queens, was found guilty of public corruption charges yesterday in state court.

Following an 11-day trial, the jury found Wills guilty on five of six counts related to Will’s theft of approximately $30,000 in public campaign funds and state grant money, according to State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Those  charges were: one count of a scheme to defraud in the 1st degree, two counts of grand larceny in the 3rd degree, and two counts of filing a false instrument in the 1st degree.

“Ruben Wills’ crimes were a shameful violation of the public trust,”said Schneiderman. “Now, after a conviction by a jury of his peers, Ruben Wills will face the consequences,”

“Ruben Wills stole taxpayer dollars to buy fancy purses and clothes for himself and his friends,” he added. “New Yorkers deserved better. Today’s conviction is another important step in our efforts to clean up New York politics and give voters the representation they deserve.”

State prosecutors argued that Wills used public matching funds from his 2009 campaign to pay $11,500 to Micro Targeting, a shell company purportedly created to translate and distribute campaign literature.

They said that money was instead directed to a non-profit called NY 4 Life, which Wills controlled.

Wills then allegedly withdrew the money and made a series of purchases, including a $750 Louis Vuitton handbag.

Prosecutors also detailed how Wills used $21,000 in state grant funds for personal and political expenses.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 10. Wills faces up to seven years in prison and will be automatically expelled from the City Council at sentencing.


Resorts World Casino broke ground on $400 million expansion

Today, Resorts World Casino New York City gave a first glimpse into a $400 million expansion.
The expansion, expected to be completed by mid-2019, will include a 400-room luxury hotel, four new dining outlets including a restaurant headed by a celebrity chef, retail stores offering local products as well as space to accommodate new gaming and first to market products.
Elected officials joined Scott Molina, President of Resorts World Casino NYC, for a breaking ground ceremony.
“The expansion will serve as an economic engine for our local community and the State, create more good-paying jobs for local residents and generate significant revenue for New York State’s Lottery Education Fund.”

Read next week’s issue of the Leader Observer for the full story.


Movie screening on the beach this Friday

Looking to relax and spend some quality with your kids?
The Movie Nights in the Rockaways program will screen the Disney hit “Moana” on Friday, July 14.

The film centers around an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, who guides her in her quest to become a master way-finder. Together they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds.

Refreshments will be served. Don’t forget to bring a chair or blanket.

The screening will take place on the sand at Beach 59th Street in Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk from 8p.m. to 10 p.m.


Double Homicide in Jamaica

Hours after July 4th celebrations rang through the city, police from the 103rd Precinct found three people shot at 107-07 170th Street in Jamaica.
The shooting occurred at 3:38 a.m. on Wednesday, July 5th.
A 27-year-old woman sustained a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene. Two men, ages 28 and 32, were taken to Jamaica Hospital. The 28-year-old was pronounced dead after succumbing to multiple gunshot wounds to his back. The 32-year-old, who suffered a gunshot wound to his right arm, is currently listed in stable condition.
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing and police haven’t made any arrests.


Miller allocates funding for cultural institutions

Councilman I. Daneek Miller announced that his council district has secured more than $700,00 for cultural programming for youth, seniors and other residents.

“Southeast Queens has a rich cultural history and I am proud to be able to play a role in ensuing it continues to thrive,” he said. “The cultural institutions in our community play a vital part in the quality of life we all enjoy as they continue to teach, entertain and enrich residents of all ages.”

Through the Council’s Coalition of Theaters of Color initiative, local groups like the Black Spectrum Theatre Company, Afrikan Poetry Theatre and the Caribbean American Repertory Theatre all received additional funding.

Other institutions that received funding include:

  • A Better Jamaica
  • Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning
  • Arts at Henson Parks
  • CUNY Creative Arts
  • Cultural Collaborative Jamaica
  • Queensborough College Performing Arts Center
  • Marquis Studios
  • Museum of the Moving Image
  • New York Hall of Science
  • Creative Jazz Organization, Inc.
  • Braata Productions
  • JazzMobile, Inc.
  • King Manor Museum
  • Onipa Abusia Temple, Inc.

City Hall comes to Queens

Mayor de Blasio is bringing City Hall to Queens next month.

De Blasio and Borough President Melinda Katz announced that the administration will run the city from Borough Hall for a week, starting on July 17.

They will host a cabinet meeting, resource fairs, town halls and other events focused on Queens.

“In Queens, we will continue focusing city resources on the borough’s most pressing needs,” de Blasio said.


South Queens leader appointed to NYRA

George Russo

Local community leader George Russo was appointed to the New York Racing Association Board of Directors today.

Russo’s appointment was recommended by Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato and confirmed by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

The appointment gives South Queens residents a voice on the Board that oversees thoroughbred racing at New York’s three major racetracks, Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.

Russo graduated from St. John’s University in Queens in 1979 and  obtained his law degree from New York Law School in 1982.  He served as Assistant District Attorney for Queens County from 1983 to 1985. Since 1985, Russo has been in private practice, specializing in real estate law, foreclosure, immigration law, and more.  From 1983 through 1989, he served on the Community School Board for District 27, including a stint as President from 1985 – 1986.  He has served on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens since 2001, serving as President from 2007 to 2014.  He helped found and has served as co-President of the Intra-Community Civic Association since 2010.

“This is a true honor,” Russo said.  “The Aqueduct is a vital piece of Queens’s economy, just as Belmont is for Long Island and Saratoga Springs is for the Capital District.  It’s not a simple operation, but it’s a community institution and it’s one for which we need real caring and oversight.  There are many things to gain from a strong partnership between NYRA and our communities, and I’m proud to be one of 17 directors tasked with making that happen.  I’d like to thank Stacey, Speaker Heastie and the Assembly for their confidence, and I’m excited to get started.”


Police warn residents of rim thefts

The NYPD 106th Precinct is warning residents to be on the lookout for thieves stealing the rims off of cars.

In a message on the NYPD 106th Precinct Community Council Facebook Page, they are warning owners of Honda’s, Nissan’s, Mercedes, and Toyota’s that their vehicles are being targeted.

Steps to protect include: wheel locks, motion sensor devices, alarms and surveillance cameras. Residents are also encouraged to park in well-lit, non-isolated areas if possible.


Resorts World Casino NYC Announces June Promotions & Entertainment!

Come kick off your summer at Resorts World Casino New York City (RWCNYC) for a chance to win! This June, RWCNYC will be offering a variety of exciting promotions and entertainment.

June entertainment will include a series of exciting events throughout the month at RWCNYC’s very own Bar 360. Bar 360 will feature live performances by The Trammps on Friday, June 23 at 10:30 p.m., and Double Exposure on Friday, June 30 at 10:30 p.m. This month’s Jazz Sunday series will feature a performance by Veronica Nunn presented by the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning on June 25 from 4-7 p.m. at Bar 360.

Over the month of June, RWCNYC will feature several promotions including an Early Bird Bonus, Monday Madness, GR 50+ Club, Earn & Get Scratch Off, Flag Day Getaway, IGT Fast Hit Progressive Promotion, Starry Saturday, Thank You Thursday, Father’s Day Earn & Get, Spielo Sphinx 3D Earn & Get and Bimini Bound:

·         Early Bird Bonus – Guests who earn 50 points while playing any game will be able to redeem a voucher for $15 in free play every Friday – Thursday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. If points are earned consecutively, guests will receive a $5 increment on their free play up to $45.

·         Monday Madness – Guests who earn 80 points will receive $20 free play from 6 p.m. – midnight every Monday in June.

·         GR 50+ Club – Every Tuesday in June, guests 50+ years or older who earn 50 points will receive $15 in free play from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. If they earn 50 points between 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. they will receive a voucher for a $10 food voucher.

·         Earn & Get Scratch Off Promotion – First 800 guests who earn 50 points & print out a voucher will receive a free scratch off between 12 p.m. –  3 p.m. every Wednesday in June.

·         Flag Day Gift Giveaway – The first 1,000 guests who earn 50 points and print out a voucher will receive a free gift between 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. on June 8 and 22.

·         IGT Fast Hit Progressive Promotion – The first 1,000 guests who earn 50 points can print out a voucher starting at 4 p.m. for a Peel & Win ticket. Starting at 6 p.m., guests who earned 50 points can print out an entry for the 8 p.m. drawing. Five lucky winners will have the chance to win between $500 – $3000 in cash on June 9.

·         Starry Saturday – Guests who earn 100 points will receive $25 free play from 10 p.m. – 3 a.m. every Saturday in June.

·         Thank You Thursday – Guests who earn 2,000 points between June 1-14 can print out a voucher valid at RWNY gift shop or Lai Hing Jewelry from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m. on June 15 and 29.

·         Father’s Day Earn & Get Promotion – First 1,000 guests to earn 50 points and print out a voucher will receive a free gift between 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. on June 18. Guests earning 100 points will receive $20 free play from 4-8 p.m.

·         Spielo Sphinx 3D Earn & Get – The first 1,000 guests to earn 50 points will earn $15 free play valid on Spielo machines only.

·         Bimini Bound – Guests who earn 700 tier points on any day between June 1 – 30 may redeem a voucher for a chance to win a free trip to Resorts World Bimini. The Bimini Bound Package includes: a $1,500 value trip per person either 3 weekend nights (Thursday – Saturday) or 4 weekday nights (Sunday – Wednesday). Flights are direct from Newark to Bimini. Hotel and Breakfast is included as well as $100 Free Play per trip per person.

Resorts World Casino New York City is located at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd, Jamaica.