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The year that was

From ‘The rent is too damn high’ to bodies found along Gilgo Beach, Long Island news was anything but ordinary.

A ‘serial killer’?
The discovery of four female bodies dumped unceremoniously along Gilgo Beach sparked a
“serial killer” media frenzy. While auth-orities probed the past of missing Jersey City and Maine prostitutes as well as an Oak Beach john, none were connected to the crime scene. Suffolk police and FBI investi-gators are still working to identify the victims and catch their killer.

Rent is too high
While he was destined to be a little known also-ran, Jimmy McMillan, the quirky, fast-talking face of the Rent is 2 Damn High party, transformed into a national punch line during the gubernatorial debate at Hofstra University.

But, officer!
A five-week span saw nine besotted wrong-way motorists causing mayhem, even death as they perilously, obliviously barreled down Long Island roads. Besides putting others at immediate risk, these drivers sparked calls for state Department of Transportation intervention and forced police to beef up holiday patrols.

Where to begin??The MTA Board approved fare hikes of 7.6 to 9.4 percent that go into effect Jan. 1. It also slashed early morning and overnight train service. An August fire crippled operations for days, leaving thousands stranded. Fall track work at Jamaica Station lasted two weekends.

Bus no better
Long Island Bus riders enter the coming year without MTA funding, unsure if Nassau County will pay for or privatize the system. Suffolk Transit riders may finally get limited Sunday bus service, but at a cost: a 50-cent fare hike resolution awaits the county executive’s signature.

Apple bitten
While Apple is generally a beneficiary of fawning media coverage, brand frontman Steve Jobs got a taste of sullied press courtesy of an e-mail exchange with a Long Island University student. Chelsea Kate Isaacs, a journalism major, reached Jobs via his e-mail address and shared his haughty response with the Internet. Rampant blogging ensued.

Nation at last
After a 30-year legal fight, the Shinnecock Indian Nation won federal recognition status in June. Wasting little time, they unveiled dramatic plans to site three casinos on Long Island, including one near their Southampton reservation. At a meeting with President Barack Obama in December, they lobbied for program funding.

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