Weekend LIRR service on the Long Beach branch, which was knocked out by Sandy, resumed today. According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, 80 percent of trains will be operating for Monday morning’s rush.

Also resuming tomorrow: PATH service from New Jersey to Lower Manhattan along the World Trade Center line.

Mayor Bloomberg announced a new grant program that will provided $5.5 million to small businesses impacted by the storm.

Reconstruction and related purchases and hiring in the aftermath of Sandy may range from $140 billion to $240 billion and increase US economic growth by 0.5 percentage point next year – assuming $50 billion in losses.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is seeking $29.4 million billion in federal disaster aid.

Cuomo and Christie have dueling visions for rebuilding after Sandy.

Gas rationing is over in NYC.

The storm’s impact on the state budget should be tallied soon and released as part of the mid-year financial report.

Investors are giving Cuomo the benefit of the doubt when it comes to navigating the financially treacherous post-Sandy landscape.

NYC medics are demanding the resignation of EMS boss Abdo Nahmod, claiming he mismanaged the response to Sandy.

Scores of food-service workers gathered in lower Manhattan to protest employers who took sick and vacation days from employees who were absent during Sandy.

A behind-the-scenes look at how the Bloomberg administration handled the initial hours of Sandy.

With the departure of Manhattan BP Scott Stringer from the 2013 mayoral field, there is no Jewish candidate in the Democratic field for the first time since 1993. (And that answers my question from last week).

The DN says Bloomberg should “get religion” and stop fighting to bar religious organizations from using public school buildings for weekend services.

The NYT says Cuomo might have to get involved to settle the power struggle in the state Senate because ” state cannot afford another legislative burlesque” like the one that occurred in 2009.

Cuomo’s senior staffers volunteered over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Mary Richardson Kennedy’s family hired a high-powered Washington investigation firm and an ex-Manhattan homicide prosecutor to look into her death, and the probe focused on her estranged husband, RFK Jr.

Rep. Pete King is stepping down as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and anti-terrorism funding for NYC could be impacted.

NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn reportedly wants to undo the map proposed by the Districting Commission that moved Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s home into the district represented by Councilwoman Diana Reyna.

An unusually high number of NYC school rezonings – 14 are under consideration this year – have passions running high.

How filibuster reform could unfreeze the deeply divided US Senate.

Even with an early start, New York still has a lot of work to do in setting up the health care exchange required by Obamacare.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy is threatening to veto lawmakers’ proposed 2013 budget if they do not restore $2 million that is part of a proposed deal to lease the county nursing home to a private firm.

More than half of the Democratic presidential electors traveling to Albany Dec. 17 to cast their Electoral College votes for Barack Obama are from New York City. Overall, two-thirds of the 29 electors are from the city or its suburbs.

Some judges in New York aren’t satisfied with their 27 percent raise over the next three years. Several top jurists, mainly in New York City, said the salary increase to $174,000 by 2014 is not enough.

New York saw a 30 percent increase in horse deaths on its tracks between 2009 and 2011. The number of deaths grew from 127 in 2009 to 165 in 2011; it spiked in 2010 at 209 deaths.

Former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson has decided to clear the decks for his 2013 mayoral run by paying a record-breaking fine of nearly $600,000 for plastering the city with illegal campaign posters during his previous race for City Hall.

Rep. Michael Grimm on the looming fiscal cliff: “Everything should be on the table. The president says he wants revenue on the table. Let’s see what we can get for that.”

Rep. Tom Reed is now ready to compromise on raising taxes on the rich as long as the revenue generated in doing so goes toward paying down the national debt.

As a natural gas drilling boom sweeps Pennsylvania and other states, conservation groups are debating whether it makes sense to work with the industry to minimize impacts on the environment and whether to accept industry donations.

The Democrat & Chronicle says: “State leaders get only one chance to review the controversial gas-drilling method; they need to get it right, no matter how long the process takes.”

About 16,700 Medicaid recipients statewide who are smokers, pre-diabetic, diabetic or have high blood pressure will receive debit-card payments of up to $250 each to work toward getting healthier as part of a federally-funded study.

US Sen. Chuck Schumer supports the Board of Regents’ plan to create two alternative high school diplomas.

Something to keep political junkies satisfied in an otherwise off year: Christie vs. Booker?

RIP Larry Hagman. (AKA J.R. Ewing).