One good way to discover the popularity of a feature is to fail to run it for a few weeks. If no one calls, no one cares and it’s something you can replace with something that might be better.
If, on the other hand, you are peppered with calls and emails asking what happened, you know it needs to stay in the lineup.
That was the case over the past few weeks, albeit unintentionally, regarding The Car Talk guys, also known as Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers.
We hadn’t made a decision to stop running it, it just stopped appearing in our incoming content feed and we figured, since they had announced their retirement from their radio show that they’d decided to end the newspaper column as well.
Turns out, it was a technology issue, not a retirement issue and The Car Talk guys were back in their usual spot on Sunday, sharing sage and sarcastic advice on cars and life. Personally, I’m thrilled. It’s one of my Sunday must-reads as well.
Not a day goes by that I don’t hear from someone who wants to know when their letter to the editor will be printed, so I thought it would help if I explained how the process works and what I plan to do to shorten the wait time.
We get anywhere from five to 15 new letters a day, most by email but some the old fashioned way, depending on the issues fomenting in our community. In general we have room for two longish essays and three to four shorter letters each day. It doesn’t take long for a backlog to stack up, and between Whispering Pines, Memorial Day violence, beach tents, the Honor Flights and primary elections, the list has grown exponentially. I generally try to publish the oldest of the letters first, depending on space, but that often means that more timely opinions don’t appear while they are still timely.
So I am going to become much more selective in what I run. If you write offering a new perspective or solution to beach tents or Memorial Day or Whispering Pines, I will run it. I am not going to run more letters that mirror views that have already appeared multiple times. It’s not fair to readers to repeatedly publish similar views.
And speaking of the primary, run-off elections for some contested seats are scheduled for June 24. I will try to run as many as I can between now and June 22, but they must be received no later than Thursday of this week to be processed.
As always, thanks for reading. And to all those who have written or called to find out what’s what, thank you. Your outreach helps us stay in touch with what’s important to you.