Opinions are like…
Being the largest town in Nevada County, Truckee has its share of issues: Airport expansion, growth and development, education and air quality are just a few of the topics that get people huffing and puffing.In the month or so that I’ve been the editor here at the Sierra Sun, I’ve seen letters and opinion columns trickle in, touching on those and a few other issues. With our 15,000 residents – experts and laypeople among them – and the things that are going on here, I would have guessed that that trickle of opinions would have been more like a torrent.Yes, there are the familiar names that go back and forth on our opinion page about the airport. And just recently, a discussion about teens partying in the woods around town has been broached. Immediacy is the beauty of a community newspaper.But considering what is facing our town in the not-so-distant future – essentially how Truckee is going to look and feel – and just the day-to-day issues that face any vibrant community, the discourse in the opinion pages of the paper has been rather muted.After sitting in on a Truckee Town Council meeting, viewing a couple more on TV and hearing the input from the public, I am convinced that Truckee has its share of passionate, eloquent and informed folks (and probably a few less so, but who are, shall we say, nonetheless colorful). We here at the Sierra Sun want those voices in the community’s newspaper. We want to hear from you, and it doesn’t just have to be about Truckee or the surrounding area (although that would be great). We want readers, experts and advocates to stand up on that figurative soap box and tell the community what they think in a letter or, better yet, a new feature in the Sierra Sun: A “My Turn” column.A “My Turn” piece is something more than a letter to the editor. It can shed light on an issue or ponder the pedestrian. Whatever the topic, however, the column should fall between 500 and 750 words. And like letters to the editor, which have a 300-word limit, “My Turn” columns should not be platforms to launch personal attacks, not address other letter or column-writers by name, and not include anything potentially libelous. Again, as with letters to the editor, we reserve the right to edit all “My Turn” submissions. Columns that don’t follow these guidelines will be rejected.OK, now that we’ve gotten all the harsh ground rules taken care of, I ask all potential “My Turn” writers to include a short paragraph about themselves. And while not required, we strongly encourage writers to stop by our office so we can take a picture to run with the column (or attach a photo with the submission).Truckee is a lively town with a bunch of intelligent, lively people. Help breath some of that life into the Sierra Sun’s opinion pages. After all, opinions are like, um … er, noses, everybody’s got one; let’s hear ’em huff and puff.Jamie Bate is the editor of the Sierra Sun. send letters or “My Turn” columns to firstname.lastname@example.org
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