Saturday, September 03, 2005

It's worth the struggle

It’s been a heck of a week in community journalism land. Holiday issues are always a great challenge for us, because they’re big papers. And then, in the “adding insult to injury” department, when the following Monday is a day off, that means we’re a day short in terms of the production cycle. On top of that, you can pretty much forget about being able to reach anybody on the Friday of a three-day weekend.

But now it’s Saturday morning, the sun’s coming up over the back of the house and I’m sitting on the patio out front, surrounded by lovely, fragrant flowers, watching a pair of black-capped chickadees dance in and out of the butterfly bush to peck at the feeder a few feet away.

Relaxation never came easily to me. And this is the kind of job that’s hard to leave at the office. Everything we do is about our community. Like the majority of people who work for Times/Review, I do what I do, and love what I do, because I care deeply about my community. I’ve lived here almost 20 years now. My husband and my children have never lived anywhere else. Riverhead still manages to retain an identity in the face of the onslaught of big box development and all the new subdivisions and condos. It’s still got a sense of place, the way small towns with a history do. Since I first came to work here in 1985, answering an ad in the N.Y. Law Journal that read, simply, “Country lawyer requires associate,” I’ve passionately believed that this place is worth fighting for.

Even with all its changes, even though our main commercial drag looks more like East Setauket than Riverhead, even though we’ve got a raft of difficult problems to deal with as a community — from poverty, to racial and ethnic tensions, to lack of meaningful jobs and a crisis in affordable housing, to spiraling property taxes (a list that hasn’t changed much in the two decades I’ve been here) — out town is a great place to live your life.

12 comments:

Celia L. Iannelli said...

Wow! I must have been a closet blogger all my life. This is a great forum to discuss issues surrounding Riverhead.

I moved to Jamesport in early 2004, I secretly wondered if I could make the transition from city to country life. Happy to report- I never looked back.

I follow local issues very closely. However being a relative neophyte to this area, I confess I am still confused over EPCAL, who are Jill and Mike and how do they fit into the scheme of things? I personally feel there are three sides to every story.

What I do know from experience,is each community has their share of differences. This seems to be the norm. However, name calling and personal slurs never solve a thing
trust me. Issues, get bogged down in the he said, they said mentality.

When policy makers truly put Riverhead first and put aside their personal agendas, then and only then will the community as a whole prosper.

Celia L. Iannelli

Nicole Fanelli-Burke said...

When I joined the Wading River Civic Association in 1999, the Riverhead Supervisor campaign was underway and everyone was blaming Vinny Vilella for "giving away" EPCAL's industrial core to Jan Burman. Koz was elected on just this platform. Now, 6 years and 3 elections later, it's hard to believe that we're still talking about the same stuff. Now it's Phil's "sweetheart deal" to Wilpon. It seems as if we can do nothing but TALK about EPCAL, but nothing really happens. This town can't even decide if it is for or against aviation. What in the world did we talk about before Riverhead acquired the land at EPCAL?

To tell the truth, politics around here (and the way the public reacts to it) seems to be getting a little repetitive, even after only my short 6 years of residence here.

People might do better to focus on Civic and Neighborhood Associations, attending school board meetings and becoming community activists. This is indeed a beautiful and unique place to live. I think being involved is the route to keeping it this way. Besides, following Riverhead politics can seem a little like a carousel ride.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Denise, but we have gangs in our schools and assault weapons in our streets. I'm sick and tired of hearing about grandmothers being assaulted in the library and prostitutes killed off Main street.
Cardinale and his inept cronies have dropped the ball and their foolishness threatens the very existence we all came here for.
Cardinale should RESIGN NOW.

Anonymous said...

Or we could re-elect Cardinale; pass the resolution to extend the Supervisor's term to four years; and move for an immediate recall!

Denise, it is a great place. Not as nice as it use to be, but it has character. Avoid Route 58, which looks like Smithtown and take the back roads, which were once a secret, and drink in the beauty of what we have left here.

You took a chance many years ago, like many of us did, and invested for everyday life or weekends. Do you remember when no one wanted to be here? Unfortunately, our secret is out.

We all need to hold on to what we had and work it retain it. Stop the 58 sprawl and the stupid development like what is proposed at Grumann.

And congrats Denise for stopping to smell the roses! Watching and identifying birds in the butterfly bush means that you can "break" away. Life is short, keep enjoying the little things like the sunrise we all expect!

Kristina Velys said...

Hi Denise,

I haven't had a chance to read your whole blog yet, but I did read the first two entries and I wanted to say thanks for the kind words. Congratulations for starting your own blog (something which I still have not done, but plan to try soon).

Also, I have a few thoughts on blogs. One is that it's not such a new concept, I feel like they've been around in one form or another for centuries. To me, a preacher's Sunday sermon is a blog of sorts. In a sermon or homily, the preacher takes something big and gives people a more local lens in which to apply that bigger idea through his/her own experiences. I feel like blogging is sort of that concept. But then there are different types of blogs. There are people who blog about their own lives, there are blogs about communties and blogs about news in general.

One final thought from me on blogs is that I find that the ones I read the most are the ones that come out on a weekly basis. It's easiest for the reader to know that on a certain day, they can go to the website and there will be one new entry to read. So, for what it's worth, that's my take on things and I look forward to reading your blog in the future so I can stay up-to-date one the local news back home!

Thanks,

Kristina Velys

Anonymous said...

With his wife's recent illness and a new scandal every week about his administration, our bet is that Cardinale will bow out (hopefully gracefully) within the next weeks--particularly if the Wilpon housing fiasco falters as it is doomed to do.

Even Barbara and Rose know that our infrastucture can't take 900 new housing units

Anonymous said...

Barbara and Rose are far too sharp to be impressed by Slick Philly's STATEN ISLAND Mathematics!!!!

Anonymous said...

Cardinale's latest Land Give-Away is no surprise: Just a few years ago, he voted to sell-off land at a ECPCAL for only $17,000 an acre. That same property today is worth in excess of $100 Million.

Let's hope he is stopped before he squanders our Town's most valuable asset again

Anonymous said...

wilpond will ruin the town..phil's law firm will get business ...bobby will get building supplies...ann thinks she will sell more turkeys...and most of all jackie o will make a $6,000,000 dollars commission???wonder how much he is giving phil....what a mess...help us ED D

Nicole Fanelli-Burke said...

Denise, where are you? This is turning into a Phil-bashing Edfest.
I think people should be required to use their first names, at least.
Maybe then they'd think about whether they actually have something to say before they start typing.

Anonymous said...

A Former Cardinale Supporter says:
As a Republican who voted for Phil last time, I can't tell you how outraged we are by his broken promises about ethics and reversion to the FIRE SALE mentality of Vinny Villella.

I can only hope the rumors about his resignation are true before he sells us out AGAIN

Thank you, Denise, for letting the SILENT MAJORITY be HEARD

Anonymous said...

DENISE:

RIVERHEAD DOES NOT NEED ANOTHER HOTEL AND GOLF COURSE. $8 DOLLAR AN HOUR JOBS WILL NOT KEEP OUR KIDS HERE TO RAISE A FAMILY.

THE CARDINALE ADMINISTRATION IS TRYING TO PUSH A LAND DEAL THROUGH.
THE DEAL HAS TO MANY QUESTIONS CONNECTED TO IT,AND THERE IS TALK THAT IT IS BEING DONE RECKLESSLY AND ILLEGALLY FOR POLITICAL GAIN.

WITH THE 4 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11 FAST APPROACHING, IS IT POSSIBIBLE NY COULD HAVE A BIOLOGICAL ATTACK AND TRAP 2,000,000 PEOPLE ON THE EAST END OF LONG ISLAND, WITH NO WAY TO GET OFF??.I AM NOT SAYING THIS TO SCARE PEOPLE. BUT I ASK YOU HOW COULD THE PEOPLE OF RIVERHEAD STAND BY AND LET THE TOWN BOARD SIMPLY DESTROY EPCAL. CAN ANYONE IN TOWN BESIDES PHIL CARDINALE AND HIS FRIENDS.. AFFORD A 1/2 MILLION DOLLAR CONDO AND PLAY GOLF...THERE??!! HOW MANY GOLF COURSES DOES RIVERHEAD NEED ANYWAY??

OH WELL... A FAMOUS POLITICAN ONCE SAID "IF YOU LIKE IT THE WAY IT IS, DON'T VOTE FOR ME."WELL...RIVERHEAD HAS RECORD LAW SUITS,UNEMPLOYMENT,ETHIC ISSUES, NO DECENT PAYING JOBS, HIGH TAXES. I DON'T LIKE IT THE WAY IT IS!!!

WAKE UP AND ELECT PEOPLE IN OFFICE THAT CARE AND HAVE EXPERIENCE. NO MORE $700,000 DOLLAR FAILED SENIOR CENTERS, NO LAND DEALS FOR THE RICH,NO TWO JOB COUNCILWOMAN,AND A SUPERVISOR THAT DOES NOT CONTROL ZONING LAWS FOR HIS OWN GAIN...WHAT A SHAME.

DICK A.
BROOKHAVEN