25. Jimmy Young Remembered. We marked the 20th anniversary of the fire that took the lives of three firemen, including Woodhaven’s very own Jimmy Young. His sacrifice will never be forgotten.
24. Miss Judy Graves. This year, Woodhaven bid farewell to a good friend, Miss Judy Graves. Her good humor and kind spirit will be missed.
23. Forest Park Carousel. 2014 saw the Forest Park Carousel complete its first season as a New York City Landmark. It was a banner year for our historic treasure, which was capped off by a visit from over 200 members of the National Carousel Association, but 2015 promises to be even better.
22. Mary Ann Carey Retires. The longtime district manager of Community Board 9 had her job status sadly played out in public for months, but nothing could diminish the many years of service she put in for the betterment of our community and we wish her well in retirement.
21. Woodhaven’s Generosity. Once again, the residents of Woodhaven came through as we were able to bring a carload of toys along on the East Coast Car Association’s annual Toy Run to St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital in Bayside. Many thanks to all who made donations.
20. Universal Pre-K at the Woodhaven Library. Classes opened in the basement but with other space available, including the newly opened school on 91st Street, some people wonder if using valuable library space to benefit such a small number of children is worth it.
19. Recycling. Twice this year, Assemblyman Michael Miller and State Senator Joseph Addabbo held much anticipated and well-attended recycling events in Forest Park, and with the Department of Sanitation unveiling new regulations on what you can and cannot put out at your curb for collection, we predict that attendance at these events in 2015 will skyrocket.
18. New Leadership at the WRBA. Martin Colberg, Giedra Kregzdys, and Stephen Forte were elected president, vice president and treasurer of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association and did outstanding work on behalf of our community. And – good news – they were all re-elected for 2015.
17. Basement Apartments. The proposed legalization of basement apartments was debated and voted down at the most recent Community Board 9 meeting, but will our mayor listen?
16. Ongoing Good Work at SSNDEC. Over 50 students, many of them local, received certificates of achievement in ESL and High School Equivalency programs at the School Sisters of Notre Dame Educational Center for Women this year. Their ongoing good work makes a difference to people’s lives in our community.
15. Roadwork in Woodhaven. Nearly 18 miles worth of roads in Woodhaven were milled and paved this year. It was a bumpy ride for a few weeks, but well worth the inconvenience.
14. WRHVAC Fundraiser. Over $3,000 was raised for the Woodhaven Volunteer Ambulance Corps in a fundraiser organized by the WRBA and Assemblyman Miller and State Seantor Addabbo. Many thanks to all who contributed and bought tickets.
13. Participatory Budgeting. Councilman Eric Ulrich brought participatory budgeting to Woodhaven, which allows residents to plan and vote on how the city will spend $1 million – and we’ll be doing it again in 2015.
12. Memorial Wreath Attacked. Two drunken louts were caught on camera destroying our memorial wreath at Forest Parkway. Wouldn’t you have loved to see their faces when they sobered up and saw themselves on Eyewitness News? These two have since been caught.
11. Flag Day. Woodhaven’s real feelings towards our vets were on display as the WRBA hosted a Thank You Barbecue for Vets at American Legion Post 118 this summer. And the great news is that we’ll be doing it again this June.
And so, that’s the first part of our Top 25. Next week, we’ll reveal the Top 10 Woodhaven stories of the year, working our way up to number one. What will it be?