Rockaway's Wave Seeks to Rebuild a Neighborhood, and a Newspaper

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Six weeks after Hurricane Sandy tore through the Rockaways, pouring five feet of seawater into Kevin Boyle's home, the part-time adjunct professor and one-time bar owner found himself rebuilding not just his house of 20 years but the peninsula's 120-year-old weekly newspaper and the community that depends on it.

On Oct. 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy, with winds topping 95 miles per hour and waves reaching 40 feet, roared through The Wave's offices on the first floor of a modest brick building on Rockaway Beach Boulevard about 400 feet from the Atlantic Ocean. Rooms were left thick with mud and sand. Desks and computers were hurtled to the floor and a sink torn from a wall.

In the months that followed, Boyle and publisher Susan Locke sought to revive The Wave, rounding up new computers, rebuilding its circulation base and creating a makeshift newsroom on a flood-proof floor above the old one. Since becoming editor in December, Boyle has been equal parts cheerleader, gadfly and scold for the sometimes-stumbling efforts of government agencies and business leaders to rebuild the Rockaways after the worst storm to ever hit New York's shoreline.

"We're an advocate, and I don't apologize for being an advocate," Boyle said in an interview in early October at the newspaper's cramped temporary office. "I don't like kicking a dog when it's down and the Rockaways right now are a dog, so I'm not about to kick it."

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