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.