Editorial: A few things to be thankful for in Riverhead

In the spirit of the national holiday of Thanksgiving, we felt it would be fitting to give thanks for some things happening right here in Riverhead. Is everything perfect around here? Not by any means. But there are always a lot of positive things going on.

Here are just a few.

Law enforcement cooperation. Police departments working together isn’t necessarily new. But tangible efforts such as the East End Drug Task Force crackdown on suspected drug house areas and a meeting among East End supervisors and police chiefs at the DA’s offices in Riverside remind us that the whole can often be better than the sum of its parts. We thank top officials from the town and throughout the county for taking drug and gang issues so seriously. Stories of drug busts are hardly ever considered good news, but the police responses will make our streets and neighborhoods safer in the long run.

Preparing for the worst. A recent emergency drill organized by the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps simulated a mass shooting at Riley Avenue School. Of course, it’s unfortunate school shootings are so common that these drills are even necessary, but it’s an effort that one day might save the lives of children. The planning involved, the time given by the emergency responders who participated and the post-drill evaluation to see how things could be improved all deserve special recognition. Failure to plan, as they say, is a plan to fail.

Riverhead restaurants reopening. For a stretch starting in May, we reported the closures of Cody’s BBQ, The Birchwood and the Riverhead Project. Things looked a bit bleak in this important sector, but the tide has turned. In Wading River, Mesquite joined North Fork Bacon & Smokehouse in the historic corridor by the Duck Ponds — and Avo opened just up the street on Route 25A. PeraBell Food Bar will be replacing Cody’s, The Birchwood has reopened as The Birchwood of Polish Town and a pair of restaurateurs has signed a lease for the former Riverhead Project space. Amid all that news, we got word that Phil’s Restaurant in Wading River will open a new location next year at Meeting House Creek in Aquebogue. We’ll eat in this Thursday, but give thanks that the number of options we have for eating out keeps growing.