Much lies ahead in 2013


Every year brings the expected and the unexpected. In 2012, we knew there was going to be an extra day, a presidential election and at least some debate over whether or not the world was going to end (it didn’t).

We didn’t expect a hurricane to tear through Long Island, leaving behind devastation unfamiliar to the region. We didn’t expect to see so many innocent lives taken in a series of horrifying shootings. We didn’t expect our resiliency to be tested to much in 2012.

What 2013 will bring is anyone’s guess, but hopefully “tragedy” won’t be a word that defines the year.

Locally, there is a lot to look forward to. We will continue to be here, covering the Valley Stream community and the people who make it great. There are a lot of events already circled on the calendar, and many more that will be added as the weeks and months progress.

There are some milestone anniversaries to celebrate. Peninsula Counseling Center, the Valley Stream-based mental health and substance abuse treatment facility, will be 100 years old. Franklin Hospital, located in North Valley Stream, turns 50. Stay tuned to the Herald this year to learn more about the history of these two institutions and the anniversary celebrations that will take place.

Last year marked a lot of changes for local school districts, tested for the first time with the new tax cap law and required to implement national curriculum standards. We know school officials will be busy for the next few months, preparing budget plans fair to both students and taxpayers. We’ll be watching to see how they meet these challenges.

In 2012, we elected a president. This year, we will be electing a county executive. 2013 may not have the hype of the quadrennial presidential election, but we will still be electing people who can have a major impact on our lives. You know the old saying, “All politics is local?” Well, this year all politics will be local with only town and county races on the ballot in November.

All 19 seats in the Legislature are up this year. And those 19 districts will likely be changing, as the county has just released proposed new maps because of the redistricting process that must take place. Some Hempstead town board seats will be up for grabs this year, but there will be no village election for the first time in four years, with the Board of Trustees set until 2015.

This could be the year residents of Valley Stream’s high-risk flood zone have been waiting for. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will likely remove several thousand homes from the zone, which would end a fight that has lasted nearly three years.

There’s a lot more to come: parades and graduations, opening days and awards ceremonies, community fairs and business openings. There is certainly a lot to look forward to in 2013. But we’re in the news business, so we also know to expect the unexpected. Stay tuned, Valley Stream, for 2013.