Independent needs more opinion: writer

Lack of staff-written opinion a loss to community

Dear Editor,

A while ago I got my bill for the next subscription year, but I delayed paying it. A few weeks after the paper stopped coming, my wife said, “How will we hear about a death or wedding anniversary in the neighbourhood if we don’t get the Independent?” Last week I paid for my subscription.

Now, having paid my dues, may I make a suggestion? When I read a newspaper, I usually read the front page first and then the opinion page, which in my opinion is the heart of a paper. So I open my Independent, but there’s no editorial, and therefore perhaps seldom a letter to the editor.

Why no editorial? It’s true such opinions may cause hard feelings, even, God forbid, a lawsuit. But surely there are topics, not about world affairs but relating to our home community that could be covered. How about an editorial about traffic hazards such as the bright lights on some cars or on the new county shop, which tend to blind older drivers like me? How about a story recognizing people who beautify the town? Every year my wife says, “Look at that fence full of lavitera across the highway from No-Frills. We should stop and compliment those people.” Why don’t you tell them?

The weekly columns by Ross Helgeton and non-resident Will Verboven are topnotch, but please, Mr. Editor, let’s have your input.

P.S. Another thought. Could you connect with the community by publishing life stories, not only of winners, but of ordinary local people? I’d love to read a story about our neighbour, the late Bill Michels. He was not a public man, but an interesting person nonetheless.

Lloyd Penner, Stettler

Editor’s note: Mr. Penner makes many excellent points in his letter. The Stettler Independent is currently being guided by temporary editor Stu Salkeld and the newspaper is in the process of hiring a new editor and new reporter.

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