From Hannah Provence Donigan, Commerce Township:
As a longtime resident of the lakes area, I appreciate the news coverage the Spinal Column provides. However, I am bothered by trends I have noticed lately in the Mail Bag section of the paper.
One is the inclusion of long, rambling, often incoherent and negative letters. Examples: “Blue laws are ‘crap’” and “Atlas shrugged” (Oct. 5-11). I wonder how many shorter, more succinct and concrete letters on important issues from concerned citizens were overlooked.
Why was “Atlas shrugged” printed in color in the style of an editorial?
Another trend is printing letters by a particular writer frequently. Some newspapers limit letter writers to one per month. Evidently the Spinal Column Newsweekly has a different policy.
I am a former high school English teacher who has taught essay and creative writing, as well as journalism. These comments are not made to criticize. I believe citizens prefer well-written, thoughtful, positive ideas about issues facing the community, state and country during these trying times.
Editor’s note: There were no (0) “shorter, more succinct and concrete letters on important issues from concerned citizens” that were overlooked. As a matter of policy, we print EVERY letter that is submitted, so long as the letter isn’t libelous. Yes, we sometimes misplace a letter now and then, but those cases are few and far between and are simply mistakes, nothing malicious. If you didn’t read it in the Mail Bag section, it’s almost certainly because it wasn’t submitted or was libelous.
White Lake Township resident Paul Kane’s “Atlas shrugged” letter was printed within a color box because one of the three letters on that page needed such treatment to anchor the page … it was merely a design element, nothing more (as is the case with this particular letter this week). Commerce Township resident Harold Rosengren’s “Blue laws are ‘crap’” letter was too long to be the boxed letter; White Lake resident Clark S. Robbins’ “‘Terrible’ workplace?’” wasn’t long enough.