Tag Archives: rockaway beach

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers. High of 84. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Thursday night: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers. Low of 75. Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.4 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Waterfront Concert Series 2013

The cover band Bon Journey will play Bon Jovi and Journey songs on the Astoria Park Lawn at 7:30 p.m. as part of a weekly series sponsored by Central Astoria LDC. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Teen arrested in sex assault of four-year-old girl at Jamaica McDonald’s

Police have arrested a 14-year-old for the sexual assault of a young girl at a Jamaica McDonald’s. Read more: The Queens Courier

Parks Department seeking designs for a new Rockaway boardwalk

Rockaway residents are stepping closer to seeing their boardwalk rebuilt. Read more: New York Daily News

Under agreement, NYPD to stop storing names of those stopped and frisked

City officials will no longer store the names and addresses of people whose cases are dismissed after a police stop under an agreement that settles a lawsuit over the stop-and-frisk issue. Read more: CBS New York/AP 

Body of dolphin washes ashore at Rockaway Beach

A badly decomposed dolphin washed ashore on Rockaway Beach Wednesday morning. Read more: New York Daily News

Powerball luck strikes 3 times in 2 states

At least three people in two states have beaten astronomical odds to become the nation’s latest Powerball millionaires. Read more: AP

Disney movie stars help clean up Rockaway Beach


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

A pair of Disney teen movie stars stepped out the spotlight and into the sunlight to join a Far Rockaway Beach clean-up on July 14.

Ross Lynch and Maia Mitchell, who play surfing lovers Brady and McKenzie in the upcoming Disney Channel flick “Teen Beach Movie,” mixed and mingled with about 45 volunteers and helped tidy up the beach and repair damage done by Sandy.

“It’s really, really cool to give back to the community,” Lynch said. “And also it’s nice to meet everyone who is cleaning up the beach.”

The clean-up was a part of a global Disney volunteering initiative in conjunction with Verizon employees. Teams from both companies and their children picked up garbage, painted rusted railings and, together with the teen stars, applied mulch to prevent weed growth and stabilize the soil for new plants.

“For us to be able to come out with our families and volunteer as a unit, it’s really important,” said Adrienne White, a manager of the volunteer group at Disney. “We know that by doing that it inspires our young kids to become lifelong volunteers and contributors.”

In their surf-rock musical movie, Mitchell and Lynch battle bikers for control of a beach hangout. They spontaneously break out in song and dance throughout the film. The stars said while learning their roles, they were taught about the importance of the beach ecosystem. They were blown away by the beauty of Rockaway Beach.

“It was great to see [Rockaway Beach] and see a new part of New York,” Mitchell said. “I’ve never been here and it looks beautiful.”

“Teen Beach Movie” will premiere on Friday, July 19 at 8 p.m. on the Disney Channel.

 

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Free solar phone charging stations coming to Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of AT&T

BY ROSA KIM 

The dreaded low-battery warning—we’ve all seen it. Thanks to AT&T, Queens residents will be able to re-charge their phones, tablets and other mobile devices at solar mobile charging stations, free of charge.

Located at Rockaway Beach, Clearview Golf Course and Socrates Sculpture Park, the charging units work day and night, even when the sun isn’t out. Three monocrystaline solar panels store the sun’s energy to charge up powerful internal batteries to keep the stations working in the shade.

In light of the power outages after  Sandy that left New Yorkers disconnected, AT&T teamed up with solar technology company Goal Zero and Brooklyn-based design firm Pensa to create a more reliable power source.

“We created Street Charge with community and public spaces in mind,” said Mark Prommel, Creative Director of Pensa. “It provides an elegant, durable and powerful off the grid charging solution. Our design pays homage to the beauty of clean, renewable solar power with its solar petals extended towards the sun.”

Between now and the end of summer, a total of 25 mobile charging stations will go live in all five of the city’s boroughs.

For a full list of dates and locations of each AT&T Street Charge station, visit www.att.com/attstreetcharge.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 75. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 59. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Taste of LIC

Come experience the diverse flavors of Long Island City at the 8th annual Taste of LIC food festival. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Gantry Plaza State Park,, the event, hosted by The Chocolate Factory Theater, will feature food and beverage samples from some of the borough’s culinary forerunners such as The Astor Room, Sweetleaf, and the Rockaway Brewing Company. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

NYPD deploys additional officers, resources in wake of weekend shootings

Following multiple shootings across the city this weekend, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has ordered additional police resources to prevent more violence, Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne said in a statement. Read more: The Queens Courier

Cuomo to propose bill allowing for later-term abortions in New York State

An abortion battle could be brewing in Albany, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to propose a major change to abortion laws in New York State. Read more: CBSNewYork/AP

Statue of Liberty visitors to be screened in Battery Park

The federal government has changed plans and will screen Statue of Liberty visitors in lower Manhattan instead of letting them board boats to be checked later on Ellis Island, officials announced Monday. Read more NBC New York

New NYC ad campaign targets sweetened teas, fruit drinks

New York City’s campaign to cut consumption of sugary drinks now features ads warning people about sweet teas, sports and energy drinks and fruit-flavored beverages. Read more: CBSNewYork/AP

Radio ad campaign to use Ramones hit ‘Rockaway Beach’ to lure visitors back to the shorefront devastated by Hurricane Sandy

The Ramones are back (sort of). And with their help, visitors to Rockaway Beach should be back this summer, too. Read more: New York Daily News

Christie faces major decision in NJ Senate choice

In filling a vacant Senate seat, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie faces a significant choice fraught with political implications for his re-election campaign and, perhaps, a future presidential run. Read more: AP

Rockaway Beach reopens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by LOGAN MILLER

BY LOGAN MILLER

The sun is out and the shore is open, but not everything is back to normal at Rockaway Beach.

There is still work to be done to restore the beach to the way things were before Sandy devastated the Rockaway community in November. An uprooted boardwalk, damaged homes and buildings as well as a destroyed sea wall are some of the problems the community has faced the past seven months.

Rockaway Beach officially reopened on Friday, May 24.

Christine Charles, a local who tries to make her way to the beach every day, said homeowners have tried their best with whatever resources are available.

“The city has done well overall helping us rebuild,” she said. “But with no full seawall yet, sand continues to get pushed onto the streets closest to the water during heavy winds.”

Other residents were not as happy with efforts to restore the beach.

“It’s been terrible,” said resident Cassie Mulholand. “We’ve been forgotten compared to the Jersey Shore, Coney Island and other beach areas, They need to be more active in getting the beach walls up again, as well as the boardwalk.”

Those working on the beach this summer are anxious to see how residents and visitors respond to the changes.

“This should be an exciting, but interesting summer,” said Morgan White, who has worked the last six summers as a lifeguard on Rockaway Beach. “The fact that we don’t have a boardwalk right now will definitely change things. It should be interesting to see if more beachgoers come to Rockaway Beach with some of the other beaches closed.”

According to the Parks Department’s website, “boardwalk islands” will provide a way for people to walk from the streets to the beach at multiple points along the seven-mile beachfront. The Department of Environmental Protection is working with the Department of Transportation to build four-foot-high concrete walls that extend above the sand between Beach 126th and Beach 149th Street. The planned walls will be a foot taller than those in place now.

Sandy’s aftereffects could extend beyond the beach itself.

John Biscaino, a five-year lifeguard at Rockaway Beach, said there are concerns about the storm’s effects on the water.

“Overall, the beach has definitely changed,” he said. “There’s less sand than before, and it’s causing new rip tides we need to look out for.”

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Tuesday: Overcast with a chance of rain, then thunderstorms and rain in the afternoon. High of 66. Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Tuesday night: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain. Low of 59. Winds from the SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70% with rainfall amounts near 0.4 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Design Zone Exhibit

Create a video game, practice your DJ skills, or build a roller coaster while exploring how each uses math and science. Find out how videogame developers, music producers, roller coaster designers and other creative problem solvers use math and science to meet their design challenges. Free with admission to the New York Hall of Science. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Woman’s body found in bag in car trunk in Queens

Police are investigating the death of an unidentified female in Queens. Read more: ABC New York 

Girl, 9, struck by van in Queens: FDNY

A girl was struck by a van in a Queens street Monday evening, fire officials said. Read more: NBC New York

Brooklyn Bridge reopens after it was shut down due to suspicious SUV

Police shut down the entire span of the Brooklyn Bridge for several hours Monday evening because of a suspicious abandoned SUV. Read more: Fox New York 

Rockaway Beach is back . . . but for now, you’d better bring your own food

The beach is open for business, but for now you’d better bring your own food. Read more: New York Daily News 

Officials say new Statue Of Liberty security plan is risky

New York officials say new security plans for the Statue of Liberty could leave visitors vulnerable to terrorism when the island reopens on July Fourth. Read more: AP/CBS New York

Obama, NJ’s Christie together again in mutual aid 

President Barack Obama and Gov. Chris Christie, the odd couple of politics, are finding common cause again. Read more: AP

Mets stars announce Sandy relief efforts, offer sneak peek of Queens Taste 2013


| events@queensny.org

Photo courtesy of Queens Economic Development Corp.

Legendary former New York Mets pitcher Ron Darling and current outfielder Mike Baxter, a Whitestone native, headlined a small business luncheon at the Irish Circle Tavern in Rockaway Beach on May 7. In addition to signing autographs and posing for photos, the athletes discussed Citi’s local efforts to help rebuild after Hurricane Sandy and plugged Queens Taste 2013. The Irish Circle is one of about 45 restaurants and other food or beverage purveyors that will offer samples for roughly 800 attendees at Queens Taste 2013.

Tickets for Queens Taste 2013 are available at www.queensny.org or 718-263-0546.

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy in the morning, then overcast with a chance of rain. High of 70. Winds from the East at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20%. Tuesday night: Overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 54. Winds from the ESE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Beer Burger Conquest Dinner

NY Burger Week culminates at Alewife in Long Island City with a beer and burger pairing dinner. There will be a menu featuring five gourmet burgers made from five different animals—each expertly paired with a top-rated craft beer by the Alewife’s beer sommelier, Patrick Donagher. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Hospital expansion passes important hurdle 

The state Health Department has approved a major facelift of a western Queens hospital. Read more: New York Daily News

3 women, missing for a decade, found alive in Ohio

The voice of the long-missing woman was frantic and breathless, choking back tears. “Help me. I’m Amanda Berry,” she told a 911 dispatcher. “I’ve been kidnapped and I’ve been missing for 10 years and I’m, I’m here, I’m free now.” Read more: AP/ABC New York

Quinn offers plan to add slots for gifted in city schools

Seeking to address pervasive racial disparities at the top echelons of New York City schools, Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, plans on Tuesday to propose a significant overhaul of gifted and talented programs that would provide space for more children and loosen admissions requirements. Read more: New York Times

State Senator John Sampson surrenders to face corruptions charges

A New York state senator from Brooklyn, once among Albany’s most powerful politicians, is surrendered to authorities Monday to face corruption charges. Read more: ABC New York

Shoring up Rockaway beaches before another hurricane season hits

The city is turning to war zones for ideas on how to hold back the raging Atlantic Ocean on storm-battered Rockaway. Read more: New York Daily News

Internet sales tax bill faces tough sell in House

Traditional retailers and cash-strapped states face a tough sell in the House as they lobby Congress to limit tax-free shopping on the Internet. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High of 68. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 20 mph shifting to the South in the afternoon. Wednesday night: Overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 45. Breezy. Winds from the SW at 10 to 20 mph shifting to the WNW after midnight. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Neighborhood Street-Ups – Queens Edition

Do you care about safe streets? Of course you do! Come join us for the launch of our meet and mingle bar events: Neighborhood Street-Ups! Hosted by Transportation Alternatives. Don’t miss out on an exciting opportunity to connect one-on-one with like-minded New Yorkers and become more involved with the issues that matter most to you. There will be food and drink specials available throughout the evening. The Queens event will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Gleason’s Bar in Astoria. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Driver crashes into Queens auto body shop, killing 1, injuring 2

A car slammed into an auto body shop near Citi Field Tuesday, leaving one dead and two injured. Read more: The Queens Courier 

Bombing suspect’s uncle: Friend in Cambridge ‘brainwashed him completely

The evolution of Tamerlan Tsarnaev from aspiring Olympic boxer to apparent self-radicalized jihadist may have been influenced by a friend in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Read more: CNN

Sand coming to Rockaway beaches in June 

The first extra dose of sand is coming this June to storm-worn sections of Rockaway’s beaches. Read more: New York Daily News

NYC gets green light for smartphone cab app

The city can experiment with letting taxi seekers hail rides electronically, a judge said Tuesday in a ruling that could clear the way for riders to summon the city’s signature yellow taxis with smartphone apps instead of raised arms. Read more: Fox New York 

MTA ticketed nearly 57G fare-beaters since enforcement program launched

The MTA has ticketed nearly 57,000 fare-beaters since it launched its own enforcement program five years ago. Read more: New York Daily News 

2nd Miss. man investigated in ricin case 

Law enforcement officials searched the home of a second Mississippi man in connection to ricin-laced letters sent to the president and a U.S. senator after charges were dropped without explanation against a man arrested in the case last week. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 77. Winds from the West at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Wednesday night: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers, then a chance of rain after midnight. Fog overnight. Low of 52. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: The Big Thing

At the Laughing Devil Comedy Club , get the New York area’s  freshest jokes by comedians vying to be the next big thing and become a club regular. The show also features some special guest headliners. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Council Speaker Christine Quinn blasts Councilman Dan Halloran’s ‘arrogance’

City Councilman Dan Halloran was a no-show Tuesday for the first council meeting since he was pinched by the feds last week, as Speaker Christine Quinn eviscerated him for sending out a “stupid” press release. Read more: New York Daily News

New York City councilman proposes crackdown on costumed characters

New York City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. introduced legislation Tuesday that would either ban or introduce tight regulations on costumed characters in New York City. Read more: CBS New York

Temptress who swindled elderly Queens man arrested after 6 years on lam

A temptress on the lam for six years after she was convicted of milking an elderly Queens man out of his life savings has been busted halfway across the country, authorities said Tuesday. Read more: New York Daily News

Quinn suffers small drop poll shows, but still outpaces opponents

A couple of weeks of constant battering cost City Council Speaker Christine Quinn a few points in the latest mayoral poll. Read more: New York Post

FEMA: Building a sea wall would change home elevation requirements

The community board in the Rockaways announced Tuesday that the city will spend $4 million on each of the five new lifeguard stands planned for this summer and $2 million on each of two public bathrooms to be built on Rockaway Beach. Read more: NY1

Obama budget targets millionaires, replaces sequester cuts

The White House on Wednesday proposed a budget that sharply trims the U.S. deficit over three years by forcing millionaires to pay more in taxes and enacting spending cuts that replace the “sequester” reductions that went into place last month. Read more: Reuters

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Fog early. High of 75. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 15 to 20 mph. Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy with rain showers. Low of 55. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the South after midnight. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: A Celebration of Queens Composers

At the Center for Mediation Services in Jamaica, the Quintet of the Americas will present a program featuring Wind Quintet by Beata Moon (Forest Hills), Quintet No. 2 for Winds by James Cohn (Douglaston), The Stuff of Comets by Dylan Glatthorn (Astoria) and Sincerita by Christopher Caliendo (Jackson Heights). Starts at 1 p.m. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens middle school teacher arrested for alleged sexual relationship with student

A Queens public school teacher has been arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a student that started when the girl was 13 years old , according to police and published reports. Read more: The Queens Courier

Queens Councilman Dan Halloran can’t dole out council funds, but makes it look like he can

Busted by the feds last week, City Councilman Dan Halloran is moving ahead with an effort to dole out $1 million in discretionary funds after soliciting recommendations from constituents. Read more: New York Daily News

Sources: NYS Legislature to change ethics rules following back-to-back scandals

The embarrassing corruption scandals that took down a state senator and two assemblymen may finally lead to ethics changes. Read more: CBS New York

New test of patience for Rockaway: late-night work on storm-ravaged boardwalk

Rockaway residents, already battered by a storm that left their peninsula hobbled for months, are facing another test of patience. Read more: New York Daily News

Ad nausea for Quinn: Demands enemies’ TV spot be pulled

Democratic mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn declared war yesterday on the left-wing backers of a TV ad attacking her, demanding that Time Warner Cable stop airing the spot because, she claims, it is factually wrong. Read more: New York Post

Senators to add high-tech visas, dispute details 

Senators finalizing a massive immigration bill are arguing over plans to boost visas for high-tech workers, Senate aides and industry officials say, with disputes flaring over how best to punish companies that train workers here only to ship them overseas. Read more: AP

Kevin Ware, Louisville beat Michigan to win NCAA title

Rick Pitino held court in a tunnel beneath the Georgia Dome, going on and on about the grittiest bunch of guys he’s ever coached. Read more: AP/ABC New York

 

 

 

Flood-resistant buildings to be installed on Rockaway Beach


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of NYC Parks & Recreation

This summer it will be safe to go back in the water.

Improved beachfront structures that adhere to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new flood elevation standards will be installed at Rockaway Beach by Memorial Day weekend, according to the New York City Parks Department.

These modern-looking lifeguard stands, comfort stations and offices will also be placed at Brooklyn’s Coney Island and Staten Island’s Midland, Cedar Grove and Wolfe’s Pond Beaches.

“We simply don’t know how high sea levels will rise in future years. Building higher will help these new public amenities stand the test of time,” said the Parks Department in a January newsletter.

Sitting on top of concrete piles, the structures will be seven to 14 feet above ground level and four feet above boardwalk height at seven of the Rockaway sites and eight feet at another Rockaway location. They can withstand another storm surge similar to Sandy.

The structures, designed by Brooklyn-based Garrison Architects, will be installed at 15 different beach locations. Each of the 17 buildings will consist of two modular units that will be connected by a bridge.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then overcast. High of 46. Winds from the North at 5 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain after midnight. Low of 36. Winds from the ENE at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: 3rd Annual Queens World Film Festival

The 3rd Annual Queens World Film Festival, which brings together international and local filmmakers, will take place from March 5 – March 10 and feature 104 films, with 19 works from Queens. The films include shorts and feature lengths, documentaries, animation, fantasies, LGBT, “regular ol’ boy meets girl” and many more. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Midweek storm threatens tri-state with snow, wind, coastal flooding

A storm is threatening the tri-state Thursday, with two weather models showing two different outcomes for our area. Read more: NBC New York

A Drone? A really big bird? A UFO? What did Alitalia pilot see near JFK?

A mystery in the sky over New York City on Monday got one commercial airline pilot’s attention. Read more: CBS New York

Rev. Floyd Flake endorses Melinda Katz for Queens Borough President

Influential Queens pastor Floyd Flake has thrown his support behind Democratic borough president hopeful Melinda Katz, the Daily News has learned. Read more: New York Daily News

Tot’s killer is caged

An angry judge threw the book at a brutal Queens father yesterday, sentencing him to 5 to 15 years in jail for the violent shaking death of his infant daughter. Read more: New York Post

Arverne by the Sea residents say beach bathrooms are a bad call

Years before surfers and foodies rediscovered Rockaway and made it a hip place to visit, a group of homeowners took a chance. Read more: New York Daily News 

Napolitano: Airports feel impact from spending cuts

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on Monday cautioned airline passengers to get to the airport extra early because U.S. spending cuts have already led to long lines at some security checkpoints, and said the coming furloughs will only make the situation worse. Read more: Reuters 

 

PHOTOS: 38th Annual Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

rockaway-st-patty-006

On Saturday, March 2,  the 38th Annual Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held in Rockaway Beach.

Here are some photos from the parade.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Overcast with rain, then a chance of rain in the afternoon. Fog early. High of 50. Winds from the SE at 5 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Chance of rain 80% with rainfall amounts near 0.2 in. possible. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain in the evening, then overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 41. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Port Jeff Brewing Company Tap Takeover

As part of NYC Craft Beer Week, on February 27, Alewife in Long Island City will showcase 11 beers from Port Jeff Brewing Company along with a special dinner menu to pair with the beers. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Police arrest man suspected of robbing school during Sandy clean up 
A construction worker was charged with stealing computers from a Rockaway Beach school during Hurricane Sandy cleanup. Read more: NY1

NYC taxi fleet owners jump into ‘e-hail’ fray

A group of New York City yellow cab fleet owners has jumped into the fray over “e-hails.” Read more: Fox New York

Cops gather at Queens corner to mourn Eddie Byrne, slain by drug dealers 25 years ago in historic crime

Hundreds of cops gathered to mourn Tuesday at the corner of Inwood St. and 107th Ave. in Queens, where 25 years ago, a rookie cop was murdered in an execution that become synonymous with the ravages of the 1980s drug wars. Read more: New York Daily News

New FEMA flood maps for NYC include WTC site

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has released new advisory maps for Manhattan that include the World Trade Center site in the zone seen as most at risk for flooding during a powerful coastal storm. Read more: Fox New York

Tens of thousands bid farewell to Pope Benedict XVI in emotional sendoff 

Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter’s Square, recalling moments of “joy and light” during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. Read more: CBS New York

Corporations urge Supreme Court to embrace gay marriage

More than 200 businesses will urge the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to strike down a federal law that restricts the definition of marriage to heterosexual unions. Read more: Reuters