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There are two things that happen at midnight:
Cinderella’s stagecoach turns back into a pumpkin, and the last Q53 limited bus leaves Woodside for the Rockaways.
Medal Day is the name given by the FDNY to the annual event honoring those in its ranks who are at their very best when things are at their very worst.
And the 2013 ceremony, which took place in Manhattan last month, prominently featured the members and units who saved dozens of residents from the sea and a firestorm last October when Hurricane Sandy unleashed her full fury on the Rockaway Peninsula.
After a long winter indoors, it’s fairly common that a bad case of cabin fever will set in.
But never fear, no matter where you are in Queens, you’re not too far from the shore. And the communities on the oceanfront want everyone to know that they are back in business — or at least close to it — after the devastating blow they took from Hurricane Sandy.
Evidence of Hurricane Sandy’s wrath are still prevalent all over southern Queens, even nearly four months later.
In few places are the scars of Sandy more visible than along Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel. There, debris and garbage lay strewn in the brush and along the sidewalks and curb.
The MTA says it is planning on reopening the A train connection between Rockaway and Howard Beach by the end of the summer.
Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge washed away part of the tracks over Jamaica Bay and in Broad Channel on Oct. 29, forcing service to be suspended between Howard Beach-JFK Airport and the Rockaways. That segment of the A line is one of only two parts of the subway system — along with the South Ferry station in Lower Manhattan — still unrestored after the storm, which flooded nearly every subway tunnel under the East River and for a few days caused the complete shutdown of the entire system.
This year in Southeast Queens, there were plenty of highs and lows, accomplishments and disappointments, most involving crime and politics.
In an effort to curb violence, two gun buybacks were held, resulting in 564 weapons being taken off the street. But there were still several shootings, including a triple homicide involving an AK-47 and another in which a Nassau County cop was killed.
The MTA is adding more Q53 buses to Rockaway during the morning rush hour.
Morning bus runs on the Q53 route between Rockaway Park and Woodside now start 30 minutes earlier on weekdays due to overcrowded conditions caused by the long-term loss of the A train’s Rockaway line south of Howard Beach, which was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy.
Queens lost more than 7,000 trees during Hurricane Sandy, and numerous more in the snowstorm the week after.
At the November meeting of the Queens Borough Board on Monday, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said 7,062 calls for fallen trees were recorded during and after the hurricane, far more than any other borough. But this is not surprising, she said, because Queens has the highest number of street trees.
If we can take one good piece of news from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, it’s that people come together to help each other in times of crisis. All around the borough, elected officials, community leaders and area businesses are collecting supplies to help those battered by the storm.
• Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) is collecting clothing, shoes, diapers, toiletries, and children’s toys, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at his office, on the second floor of 56-21 Marathon Parkway in Little Neck. It can be reached at (718) 428-7900.
Rockaway Boulevard seems to be the dividing line between normalcy and struggle.
If we can take one good piece of news from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, it’s that people come together to help each other in times of crisis. All around the borough, elected officials, community leaders and area business are collecting supplies to help those battered by the storm.
Driving down the ramp toward Shore Front Parkway off the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge, it is common to catch the red light at the end of the ramp before the Rockaway Freeway.
But the view from the stop light has changed. Now, the view is uninterrupted straight to the ocean.
Days after Hurricane Sandy beat the hell out of Queens, the rest of the city and the entire region, borough residents are left coping with the aftermath in a number of ways.
Many families in southern Queens lost everything to floodwaters that destroyed their homes and vehicles. At least 111 houses in Breezy Point, the remote enclave at the western tip of the Rockaway Peninsula, burned to the ground, leaving the community looking like a war zone. An entire block of stores in Rockaway Park also was consumed by fire.
This year the residents of eastern and Southeast Queens banded together on a number of key issues and secured some victories due to their united efforts, though they lost a few battles and the jury is still out on others.
They successfully blocked the privatization of land at the St. Albans VA, took on the city in a continuing battle to force it to address persistent flooding and prevented the opening of a “hot sheet” motel. They proved that there is strength in numbers and that they are prepared to defend and protect their neighborhoods.
Let me let you in on a secret: Every weekend for the past month, I have gone to Jacob Riis beach.
Richmond Hill residents, civic leaders and elected officials gathered in front of Molbegott Hardware Store Tuesday morning to thank state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) for providing state funding for the Doe Fund’s clean-up of Liberty Avenue.