In just a few more days, 2012 will officially be in the past. Today, Patch is taking a look back at the 10 biggest stories we covered in Bayside, Douglaston and Little Neck this year.
Here are 2012’s top news stories. If there’s one you believe we missed, please let us know in the comment section below.
1. Bayside residents and elected officials protest a plan by the United States Postal Service to close its Bell Boulevard post office and relocate it to an annex on 216th Street. The post office currently remains open, but its fate will likely be decided in early 2013.
2. The Udalls Cove Preservation Committee and the Douglas Manor Association debut Osprey Landing, a two-acre parcel that was transformed from a wasteland into a spot for bird watching and fishing.
3. Bayside and Douglatston residents complain that they are being driven crazy by airplane noise after LaGuardia Airport tests a new flight pattern over northeast Queens. In December, state Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, rallies with community residents after the new route is made permanent.
4. The city shelves a plan to create a citywide Gifted and Talented program at P.S. 188. Parents of students in the district said they were concerned that the proposal could lead to their child being shut out of the local program.
5. Several popular local businesses, including Douglaston’s Strawberry’s Sports Grill, were shuttered and a number of annual events were cancelled this year, such as the Douglaston Community Day, Alley Pond Environmental Center’s Green Gala, the Douglaston Village Arts Festival and the Dick Lynch Turkey Trot.
6. It was a big election year. U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-Bayside, announces his retirement and state Assemblywoman Grace Meng, D-Flushing, defeats Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, in the race to replace him. President Barack Obama bests challenger Mitt Romney. And, in local races, state Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, wins a second term, while Nily Rozic is elected to the state Assembly.
7. St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children unveils the first phase of its $114 million upgrade, which includes a new pavilion. On the day of its debut, the 1199-SEIU union holds a large protest in Bayside, calling on St. Mary’s to settle a contract with its workers.
8. Hurricane Sandy leaves a path of destruction through northeast Queens and the Rockaways. Bayside residents and leaders complain that the cleanup process and restoration of power to local households is too slow.
9. P.S. 203 is named a Blue Ribbon school. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott turns out for a jubilant celebration in the school’s auditorium.
10. Co-op and condo owners join local leaders to call on the state Legislature to pass an expired tax abatement, arguing that failure to do so could result in the units’ owners facing exorbitant maintenance fee increases.