Tag Archives: Ruben Wills

Councilman Ruben Wills arrested on corruption charges


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Updated 2:25 p.m. 

Councilman Ruben Wills was arrested Wednesday after a corruption investigation discovered he allegedly stole public campaign funds and state grant money.

The Queens politician, who represents the 28th District, which includes Jamaica, Richmond Hill, Rochdale and South Ozone Park, was indicted on charges of grand larceny, scheme to defraud, falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing, according to the indictment.

Jelani Mills, a relative who works for Wills, and allegedly helped him redirect some of the cash, was also indicted Wednesday on charges of grand larceny and falsifying business records.

Wills is accused of stealing from both the Campaign Finance Board (CFB) and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office.

He is charged with redirecting $11,500 in matching funds he received from the CFB during his 2009 City Council campaign–with the help of Mills–to New York 4 Life, a nonprofit Wills started, and using the money for personal purchases, according to court documents. Wills allegedly bought a $750 Louis Vuitton handbag at Macy’s, among other items. 

The councilman had been under investigation by the attorney general for $33,000 in state funds provided through a grant that was unaccounted for after it was given to New York 4 Life, according to published reports and the attorney general’s office.

Those funds were earmarked by former state Sen. Shirley Huntley while Wills was serving as her chief of staff.

New York 4 Life signed a contract with OCFS to receive that money, promising to conduct four public service projects, officials said, but the nonprofit allegedly only came through on one program that cost about $14,000. Wills is accused of pocketing the remaining $19,000 and using it for political and personal expenses, including purchases at Nordstrom’s and Century 21.

Huntley was arrested in a unrelated case in August 2012 and later pleaded guilty for covering up money funneled through a nonprofit she helped establish. It was revealed last May that Huntley had secretly recorded the conversations of seven elected officials, including Wills, while she was still in office at the request of federal prosecutors.

“The City Council takes these troubling allegations from the New York State Attorney General very seriously and will be reviewing them thoroughly, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said in a statement. “New Yorkers expect and deserve a government that is ethical and responsible and that is the standard we’re seeking to uphold.”

Wills, who was first elected to the Council in a 2010 special election, has been prohibited from doling out member items, or city funds, to his district, the Queens delegation chair and City Council speaker’s office will now designate them for him, reports and a source said.

He has also agreed to give up his chairmanship of the Council’s subcommittee on drug abuse, according to published reports.

Wills, who did not enter a plea and was released without bail, said Wednesday he had no plans to resign, reports said.

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Queens pol calls it quits on homeless experiment, but plans to try again


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the New York Daily News

Councilmember Ruben Wills took a dive into the lives of our city’s homeless to highlight hardships for those living in poverty, but called it quits after being diagnosed with pneumonia.

The councilmember began his journey to get a better look into the lives and struggles of the city’s population on the streets on Dec. 17.

“I knew for a fact going into it I would never understand the homeless situation, but I wanted to begin to develop an area of which I can begin to legislate,” Wills said.

His experiment contained various parts, he said, including sleeping on the streets, making enough money to eat and travel and gaining access to health care.

“The homeless situation goes beyond the primary factors that everyone understands. It goes beyond somebody losing their job,” he said.

The councilmember started at the Q6 bus shelter on Rockaway Boulevard and Baisley Boulevard, dressed in jeans, a sweater, a camouflage jacket, scarf and hat. He slept there before heading to a nearby Gulf gas station to “pump gas for change” for transportation costs.

Throughout his experiment, he continued to pump gas and also held open doors for spare change. He said he “didn’t beg” and discovered his fellow homeless “don’t want to sit there and beg for money, they would rather be equipped to work.”

However, his first night out, Wills went to the hospital and was diagnosed with pneumonia. After receiving antibiotics, he spent the night at the Staten Island Ferry terminal and continued his project the next day, but ultimately cut it short the night of Dec. 18.

“The experiment wasn’t for me to go out and die, it was for me to get a glimpse into the conditions they have,” he said.

After getting a doctors clearance, Wills plans to hit the streets once again and navigate the city’s homeless shelter system. He added other councilmembers want to join him, but did not say who.

In the new year, Wills hopes to call “immediate hearings” regarding policy for the homeless and hold open-panel discussions featuring those who “have gone through the homeless experience and survived.”

“To understand it after two days is impossible,” he said. “But at least I can have a glimpse of where we need to go for change.”

 

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Councilmember Ruben Wills going homeless for three days


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photo

Councilmember Ruben Wills is stepping into the shoes of our city’s homeless, quite literally.

Tuesday morning, Wills began a three-day journey in which he intends to live the life of a homeless person and experience any hardships firsthand.

“He’s really going all out,” said a spokesperson for Wills. “He wants to get a perception of how people would react to him.”

The councilmmember started his experiment at the Q6 bus shelter on Rockaway Boulevard and Baisley Boulevard, dressed in jeans, a sweater, a camouflage jacket, scarf and hat. He slept there before heading to a nearby gas station to “pump gas for change” for transportation costs.

In between hours of pumping gas, Wills went to eat at a local soup kitchen. Tuesday evening he was on his way to the South Ferry Terminal, where he plans on spending the night.

Tomorrow, Wills is going to try and get into a local homeless shelter and the next day hopes to visit a hospital “to see how quickly they [admit] him and how they react to him,” said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson added that he does have a cell phone on him, but “we really had to force that on him.”

 

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City Council passes Ozone Park rezoning


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the office of Councilmember Eric Ulrich

The City Council passed a change in Ozone Park’s zoning map Tuesday to reflect the neighborhood’s building patterns.

Now, the zoning mandates will reinforce the area’s one- and-two-family residential homes and direct new residential and mixed-use developments to more commercial locations.

“The new zoning enacted into law today will protect Ozone Park from overdevelopment and help create a more livable neighborhood,” said Councilmember Eric Ulrich, who was born and raised in Ozone Park.

“It will also spur new modest development, especially in the commercial districts, thereby creating jobs and increasing property values,” he continued.

The rezoning is bounded by Rockaway Boulevard, Atlantic Avenue and 101st Avenue to the north; the Van Wyck Expressway and Lefferts Boulevard to the east; the Belt Parkway to the south; and the Brooklyn borough line to the west.

This marks the second largest rezoning in Queens, changing the map for roughly 530 blocks in Ozone Park. The vote was prompted by concerns from Community Boards 9 and 10 as well as local civic organizations and elected officials.

“Out of character structures and overdevelopment has become far too common in our communities,” said Councilmember Ruben Wills. “That is why it was important that we undertook these aggressive measures to protect the integrity of our neighborhoods.”

 

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Councilmember Ruben Wills re-elected to City Council


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Incumbent Councilmember Ruben Wills will continue on through another term in the 28th City Council District.

Wills beat out attorney Hettie Powell, Reverend David Kayode and Eugene Walter Evans for the seat with almost 50 percent of all votes.

After being elected to the City Council in a 2010 special election, Wills has been hard at work throughout Jamaica, South Ozone Park, Richmond Hill and Rochdale.

He wrote and introduced the Communtiy Violence Prevention Act, which established the city’s responsibility to stem the rise of violence in vulnerable communities. He also co-sponsored the Community Safety Act, aimed at ending discriminatory NYPD stop and frisk policies.

Wills as well has provided nearly $2 million in support of local community groups, after-school and youth programs and senior services.

His political experience goes back to 2003, when he was a special assistant to Councilmember Leroy Comrie and later became chief of staff to former State Senator Shirley Huntley.

Primary guide: City Council District 28


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

28

As the clock ticks closer to city primaries on Tuesday, September 10, The Courier would like to provide you, the reader and the voter, with a fair, detailed guide of who is running. Here is a list of the City Council District 28 primary candidates (Jamaica, South Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Rochdale), who they are, what they stand for and what they want to continue to do if they go on to the general election in November.

Name: David Kayode

Party: Democrat

Current Occupation: Minister at Maranatha Baptist Church and Counselor-Addiction Treatment, DHS NYC

Personal Info: Kayode has lived in Queens for over 20 years and has dedicated his life to being an advocate for public service and human welfare. He is contesting for the seat in his firm belief that he can serve the people of Queens as a councilmember better than his current position as a Counselor in the NYC Department of Social Services, in that he will be provided more opportunity to access to reach out to an even broader spectrum of individuals. He has been an activist all of his adult life serving people of New York City in all aspects of life including and not limited to the welfare of people. He also had a great and humbling opportunity to serve as a Legislative Aide to the Late Councilman White who held the same seat he is contesting for until his sudden death in 2010.

Platform/Issues: His platform includes getting sustainable jobs and economic developments; access to quality education and healthcare; tax breaks, incentives and opportunities for small businesses; foreclosures prevention and mortgage remediation; access to enhanced services for senior citizens and also implementing better programs and centers for youth development.

He especially would like to tap the city’s economic power to end poverty. The city can use its economic leverage to insist that recipients of tax breaks and economic development subsidies create family-sustaining jobs. This can be achieved by requiring businesses receiving financial incentives to provide living wage jobs that include benefits and training. He would also require businesses that receive assistance from the city to implement labor/management training programs to ensure career ladders for workers.

Name: Hettie Powell

Party: Democrat

Current Occupation: Attorney with the Queens Law Associates

Personal Info: Powell has lived in the community for 31 years, is president of the Rochdale Village Cooperators and started the Rochdale Village Youth Council.

Platform/Issues: In office, Powell will fight to keep schools open and provide resources, including programs for children with special needs. Powell will fight to create good, living wage jobs and ensuring that small businesses get help to expand and hire within the community. Powell will fight for more affordable housing in the district and help homeowners facing foreclosure stay in their homes. Powell will additionally work to open the senior centers and make sure the funding is available to keep open the existing centers.

Name: Ruben Wills

Party: Democrat

Current Occupation: Incumbent 28th District Councilmember

Personal Info: Councilmember Ruben Wills was born in southeast Queens and raised in the South Jamaica Houses. He is a product of the New York City public school system, graduating from P.S. 40 and Thomas Edison High School. He and his wife, Marcia, are active members of St. Alban’s Congregational Church.

Platforms/Issues: Wills is the co-sponsor of The Community Safety Act, a police reform legislative package aimed at ending the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies. He also authored and introduced The Community Violence Prevention Act, which establishes the city’s responsibility to stem the rise of violence and improve outcomes in the most affected communities.

In office, Wills introduced and passed legislation to limit the number of homeless shelters clustered in one community board, has provided over $1.7 million to support local community groups, after-school and youth programs and senior services. He has also fought for and won the restoration of more than 1,000 daycare slots and negotiated the increase of even more Out of School Time slots for elementary and middle school children.

 

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Bill would disperse homeless shelters evenly throughout each borough


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Queens shelters may soon be finding new homes.

Councilmembers Ruben Wills and Leroy Comrie started work in 2011 on a bill that would disperse homeless shelters evenly throughout each borough. Wills said research revealed that Community Board (CB) 12 contains 10 of the 18 shelters in all of Queens. CB 12 includes Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans, Springfield Gardens, Baisley Park, Rochdale Village and South Jamaica.

“The DHS [Department of Homeless Services] is clustering all of these shelters,” Wills said. “All of these undesirable land uses are in certain community boards. We perceived that to be a huge problem.”

Under the bill, Wills and Comrie proposed limiting the number of shelters in any community board to one-third of the borough’s total.

Wills said placing shelters in one specific type of community, such as CB 12, is not in response to any increase in the homeless population.

“It is not fair that southeast Queens has the majority of homeless shelters in the borough,” Comrie said.

For the existing shelters, Wills suggested they make relocation plans so they and their residents are prepared to move when any site’s lease expires. He said it was important to put shelters in areas with convenient transportation.

The council pair proposed an additional bill under which the DHS would determine whether any shelter resident is a sex offender. If so, the department would notify the local community board, councilmember and police precinct. The department would also conduct mental health and criminal background assessments on all adults entering shelters. If passed, the bill will go into effect on January 1, 2014.

 

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Field widening in City Council District 28 race


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Hettie Powell campaign website

The race for City Council District 28 is widening with a diverse range of candidates including Hettie Powell, a longtime lawyer hoping to get her chance in politics.

“Our community matters,” she said. “In these tough times, who you choose to represent you in the City Council matters.”

Powell, running on the Democratic ticket, is up against incumbent Ruben Wills, Beresford Simmons, civic leader Breina Payne, accountant Joseph Marthone, minister David Kayode and community advocate Christina Winslow.

For District 28, which encompasses the Richmond Hill and Jamaica sections of the borough, Powell is focusing on economic development, stability for seniors, youth services, education and community libraries.

“I share [the constituents’] vision for a meaningful educational experience for our youth and for fully funded services for our seniors, for a vibrant economy that provides jobs for those [who] need them and for a place where all can enjoy peace and prosperity,” she said.

Among her plans, Powell would like to establish homeowners’ assistance as well as foreclosure assistance programs, improve senior centers’ programs, create safe street programs, stop police brutality and create anti-gang initiatives. Additionally, she hopes to reduce school class sizes, fund art and sports programs, create industry and educational partnerships for students, restore school libraries and more.

Powell emphasized she believes in the southeast community.

“Elections matter. Our community matters,” she said. “Together, I believe we can create a better tomorrow.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

TODAY’s FORECAST

Friday: Overcast with thunderstorms and a chance of rain, then a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 84. Winds from the SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Friday night: Overcast with thunderstorms and a chance of rain. Low of 70. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Free Outdoor Movie: “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted”

Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent – Madagascar style. Bring a chair or blanket. Starts at 7:30 p.m. in Brookville Park. Rated PG. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

FDNY overpaid $1 million to company that maintains dispatch systems: John Liu

The FDNY dished out millions more in tax dollars than necessary because it mismanaged contracts with a tech company hired to repair and maintain dispatch systems, city Controller John Liu said Thursday. Read more: New York Daily News

Queens worker injured at house demo site

Fire crews on Thursday responded to a construction site in Queens after a worker fell into the basement of a home that’s being demolished. Read more: NY1

Queens Councilman Ruben Wills launches a push to promote cricket

Queens’ cricket craze could culminate in a standalone stadium, if one lawmaker has his way. Read more: New York Daily News 

Spike in tickets for bike riders

With the start of the Citi Bike Share program has come a spike in the number of tickets being issued for cycling violations. Read more: Fox New York

After DOMA ruling, surge in marriage applications in NYC

The city clerk couldn’t tell me exactly how many same-sex couples have been coming in since the Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA but he said it has been quite an increase. Read more: Fox New York

Senate passes sweeping immigration legislation

The U.S. Senate approved a landmark immigration bill on Thursday that would provide millions of undocumented immigrants a chance to become citizens, but the leader of the House of Representatives said the measure was dead on arrival in the House. Read more: Reuters

Bible signed by Einstein sells for $68,500 in NYC

A Bible with an inscription from Albert Einstein has sold for $68,500 at an auction in New York City. Read more: AP

Richmond Hill program will alleviate litter


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

IMAG0042w

City officials, local merchants and the community are coming together in Richmond Hill to kick-start a program set to beautify the streets.

“We can only do so much, [residents] can only do so much, but together we can do a lot more,” said Iggy Terranova of the New York City Department of Sanitation (DOS).

Councilmember Ruben Wills has teamed up with the DOS, the Wildcat Service Corporation and local business owners to create a commercial corridor cleanup program in response to the illegal dumping and chronic littering around the area.

“Our merchants are stepping up and our community is coming together for advocacy,” said Wills at a press conference on Friday, November 30.

Through the 2011-2012 fiscal year, Wills’ office was able to secure the funds necessary to create such a program, which allowed the DOS to increase its pickups to three days a week, and the Wildcat Service Corporation to pick up along the commercial corridor on another two.

The Wildcat Corporation is a nonprofit organization that provides resources for New Yorkers to become economically independent, according to their website. They have joined the cleanup effort, organizing representatives to assist in litter clearing.

“Problem areas,” such as those along Liberty Avenue and Hutch Boulevard, have been made priorities.

“It’s a citywide problem,” said Terranova. “Litter is everywhere, and it’s not going anywhere unless people take responsibility for it.”

The DOS recommends simple fixes to the litter problem: keep your own area clean, regularly sweep the sidewalk, have your own sanitation receptacle and turn in an illegal dumper.

If the litter is not eliminated around a storefront, owners risk a $100 fine for the mess. This is also applicable to those caught improperly disposing of their trash.

The program also includes the DOS’s “Adopt-a-Basket Program,” in which any person, group, store operator or building manager actually claims a sanitation receptacle and is responsible for monitoring its usage. When the basket is three-quarters full, the adopter will be expected to remove the trash in a bag and leave it next to the basket for the DOS to service. A new liner will be placed in the basket as needed.

Councilmember Letitia James, Sanitation Committee chair, believes that the relationships being made between city and local organizations with local merchants should be valued going forward.

“At a time when everyone is focusing on Sandy recovery and there’s a deficit in the city budget, we need to look towards public-private partnerships,” she said.

Wills calls on John Thomas to turn himself in


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Ruben Wills

Three weeks after police officer Craig Bier was shot, a local politician is calling for the alleged gunman to turn himself in to authorities.

Police identified John Thomas, 24, of Queens, as a suspect in the shooting of Bier on August 8, offering a $32,000 reward.

Councilmember Ruben Wills held a press conference on Wednesday, August 29 calling for Thomas to turn himself in.

Wills pointed to a “chorus of voices” in the community — including leaders, residents and the family of the alleged shooter — that believes the suspect should surrender to aid in the ongoing investigation and secure his safety.

Bier became the 10th NYPD officer shot this year earlier this month as he and his partner approached Thomas in Jamaica. As the suspect fled, Bier cut off his escape route and the two exchanged fire. Bier was hit in each leg.

“The recent gun violence is sending shock waves throughout the community and I believe this is the first step for this community to become an active and responsible partner in bringing our community to a peaceful state,” Wills said.

 

Russell Simmons joins march to reclaim Queens streets for peace


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Billy Rennison

Residents and leaders in southeast Queens — joined by a famous native son — marched recently to return peace to their increasingly violence-filled streets.

The Sunday, August 19 rally, organized by The Peacekeepers Global Initiative, drew hundreds of locals bothered by the outbreak of shootings the area has witnessed — as well as parents who have buried children due to the violence.

“We need to make sure that we make our community a safe and decent place to live,” said Dennis Muhammed, founder of The Peacekeepers.

Murders are up 29 percent in Queens South this year, according to CompStat.

Joining the march was Queens native Russell Simmons, who said he was inspired by the neighborhood’s turnout.

“We have to give some sort of hope to the people in the community,” the Def Jam co-founder said. “Young kids in the hood don’t understand that there’s a lot of potential in them and when they see that we care, it matters.”

Parents of children lost to guns marched hand-in-hand with Simmons before speaking to the crowd in the Baisley Park Houses.

“My son was a good kid, he played ball, didn’t bother anybody, he was a momma’s boy. He turned 19 February 2; they murdered him March 2,” Shanta Merritt, mother of Darryl Adams, who was killed in Jamaica, said between tears. “I’m going to do anything and everything that I can to be a voice for my son. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

As the march moved from Sutphin Boulevard and 111th Avenue to the Baisley Houses, residents came out, with some joining the march and the chants to reclaim the streets for peace.

“It’s us that’s going to protect our community, it’s us that’s going to change what’s happening in our communities, it’s only us working together that can make a difference in what going on in our communities,” said Erica Ford, founder of LIFE Camp, a violence prevention advocacy group.

The community has been calling for something to be done that will help end the violence, but leaders agreed the rally needed to be only the beginning of the change.

“We do have a responsibility and that responsibility is to make sure this is not just an event, a one-time affair,” said Congressmember Gregory Meeks. “We need to be back out here when there’s no cameras, when there’s no attention.”

New Neighborhood Opportunity Network opens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy DOP

On Tuesday, July 17, the NYC Department of Probation (DOP) celebrated the launch of the Jamaica Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON), which is located at 162-24 Jamaica Avenue.

DOP Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi was joined at the lectern by Councilmember Ruben Wills, Community Board 12 District Manager Yvonne Reddick, probation clients and Jamaica NeON staff.  The audience included representatives from the many different organizations that are partnering with DOP on the NeON.

The Jamaica NeON is a community-based probation office that works with a network of local organizations, government agencies, businesses and community residents to link probation clients to nearby resources.

In December 2011, Mayor Michael Bloomberg opened the first NeON in Brownsville, Brooklyn.  DOP anticipates opening additional NeONs in Staten Island, the South Bronx, East New York and Bedford Stuyvesant.

NeON is an important part of Bloomberg’s Young Men’s Initiative, which is designed to help black and Latino youth achieve their professional, educational, and personal goals.

Families devastated by cuts to Jamaica senior center


| mchan@queenscourier.com

FRIENDSHIP CENTERw

Some seniors in southeast Queens may soon lose their “friends.”

The Friendship Center — a program under the Jamaica Service Program for Older Adults (JSPOA) — relies heavily on funding from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to support its rehabilitative programs. However, due to fiscal constraints, the agency said it could no longer support the program after July 1.

“It’s devastating. I just can’t even believe that they did this,” said Beverly Collier, executive director of JSPOA.

The Jamaica-based senior center offers free services to mentally and physically frail elders, who commonly suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and depression. In addition to providing meals and socialization activities, the center hosts psychiatric clinics once a week.

Friendship’s mental health programs originally received $443,000 annually from the DOHMH, Collier said, but funds were cut in half last year. While the other half was restored through community support and discretionary funds, Collier said rallying to raise 100 percent of funding this year would be near impossible.

“It would be very difficult to maintain Friendship for this population without the department’s money. And sending this population to your average run-of-the-mill center is not an alternative because they are not able to participate and socialize with mainstream seniors,” Collier said.

The center — which has been in existence since 1979 — is home to the 65 to 75 seniors who use the center daily, according to the executive director.

The decision to strip the center’s funding has devastated caregivers like Brenda Lacey, whose 93-year-old mother has been going to the center for close to 14 years.

“This has been our lifeline. This is [my mother’s] livelihood,” Lacey said. “I feel terrible because this might be my mother’s demise. For her not to have those people in her life, it would be like losing a family member for her.”

Lacey said she plans to look into other mainstream regular senior centers, but fears her mother will not adjust well to the changes.

“She might not be able to cope. The people wouldn’t understand her like they do at Friendship,” she said. “I’m just praying. It really needs to stay open.”

Eleanor Williams said she’s nervous her 73-year-old husband, Harold, may revert back to depression if the center closes.

“Before Friendship, he was at the point where he was suicidal. He was at the hospital several times at months on end,” Williams said. “Once he got to Friendship, it really brought him totally out of his shell. If you had seen this man a year ago, you would say it wasn’t the same person. Right now, I don’t know where to go from here.”

Meanwhile, Councilmembers Leroy Comrie and Ruben Wills said they are “aggressively working” to make sure Friendship keeps its doors open.

“This program is something we should be duplicating throughout the city — not cutting,” said Wills, whose grandmother used the center before her passing. “I don’t know what it is with these budget cuts, but the city seems to always target the most vulnerable population. It’s going too far at this point.”

Wills said he will be posting an online petition on his web site — www.rubenwills.com — later this week in addition to targeting different ways to secure funding.

“This is really unjust. This is really crazy,” he said.

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/11/2011: Jury Acquits Assemblyman of Conspiring to Take Bribes


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Jury Acquits Assemblyman of Conspiring to Take Bribes

William F. Boyland Jr., a Democratic assemblyman from one of Brooklyn’s most prominent political families, was acquitted on Thursday of conspiring to take $175,000 in bribes in return for using his influence on behalf of a health care organization that runs hospitals in Queens and Brooklyn. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Barbara Sheehan sentenced to five years in prison

After dodging a murder conviction for the death of her husband, Barbara Sheehan has been reportedly sentenced to five years behind bars on a second degree weapons charge related to the case. Sheehan, who faced up to 15 years in prison prior to her sentencing, was acquitted of murder after a jury determined she acted in self-defense when she shot her husband, Raymond, a retired NYPD sergeant, 11 times on the morning of February 18, 2008. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Queens Councilman Pleads Guilty To Charges Stemming From 1996 Larceny Case

Just two days after winning re-election, a City Councilman pleaded guilty Thursday to charges stemming from a 15-year-old larceny case. Queens Councilman Ruben Wills admitted to stealing items and damaging a Manhattan office building in 1996. The case will be closed without jail time or probation if he does three days of community service and pays $2,500 in restitution. Wills said the incident arose from a business dispute. An outstanding warrant was issued for his arrest after he missed court dates. Read More: NY1

 

10th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony for American Airlines Flight 587 on Saturday

Saturday, November 12 American Airlines Flight 587 10th anniversary memorial ceremony

Beach 116th Street, Belle Harbor – 9 a.m.

There will be a moment of silence at 9:16 a.m. at the time of the crash, followed by a reading of the victims’ names. The ceremony will be held at the memorial site, which was unveiled for the fifth anniversary. More Event Details: Queens Courier

 

Stalled Road Construction Keeps Forest Hills Residents From Getting Sleep

Forest Hills residents are complaining they cannot get any sleep because of the noise stemming from cars driving over a work site on 71st Avenue. Read More: NY1

 

City surrenders in long battle to turn historic St. Saviour’s site into Maspeth park

The city has given up its long fight to acquire the land where a historic Maspeth church once stood and turn it into park space. But the city and now looking into purchasing a City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) are smaller parcel of land from the nearby Martin Luther School as an alternative to the St. Saviour’s site. Read More: Daily News

 

Woodside monument honoring World War I heroes gets face-lift for Veterans Day

The majestic statue that stands at the foot of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Woodside was created to honor local soldiers who paid the ultimate price in World War I. The female figure, sword in one hand and shield in the other, stands sentry over the tiny plaza in the neighborhood formerly known as Winfield. Read More: Daily News