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To a Better 2013

TimesLedger Newspapers

The year 2012 is one we will not forget.

It was the year when part of Queens was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. There are areas of the borough that are beginning to rebuild. We remain in awe of the courage we witnessed in Breezy Point, where volunteer firefighters stood in water chest-deep in an effort to save a community that would burn to the ground.

Likewise, we are moved by the generosity of volunteers who stepped up and did everything they could to bring food, clothing and shelter to those hit by the storm. Although many are frustrated, we are impressed by the government response.

This will also be remembered as the year when a gunman in Newtown, Conn., tore the hearts of an entire nation. We hope some good will come from this tragedy, that steps will be taken toward meaningful gun control.

In a sign of how this tragedy has touched Queens last week, more than 200 residents gathered in Sunnyside holding candles and singing songs for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

But we are also hopeful for the year to come.

In Bayside last week, we saw a Santa Claus that looked like town curmudgeon Frank Skala. Anything can happen!

TimesLedger Newspapers thanks our readers and we wish Queens a happier 2013.

Noise about Noise

Led by Bayside crusader-in-chief state Sen. Tony Avella, several elected officials have vowed not to give up the battle over air and noise pollution coming from LaGuardia Airport. Avella warned that the “FAA is in for the fight of its life.”

About 50 residents joined politicians at a recent protest. Avella contended that the Federal Aviation Administration has finalized its changes in departure procedures and landing patterns at LaGuardia without keeping a promise to share the results of a six-month study with the community.

Avella was joined by U.S. Rep.-elect Grace Meng, who said, “We need to let the FAA and Department of Transportation know that the FAA’s mission is to be environmentally responsible and accountable to the general public.”

The FAA owes northeast Queens an explanation for the change in flights and should be more responsive to the community as well as its leaders.

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