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In your own words

The SUN welcomes letters from readers.

Letters to the Editor are the best place to voice philosophies, thoughts, opinions, possible solutions and more.  It’s a place where an individual can get the word out to residents, elected officials and the movers and shakers of our community. We believe that Letters to the Editor make a stronger and more interesting newspaper.

Recently, we have had some situations arise which prompt us to restate our guidelines for submitting letters.

These requirements help us create a Letters to the Editor section that is fair and equitable to all viewpoints.

First, your letter should be 500 words or less. The SUN reserves the right to edit letters. Letters printed will be at our discretion, and there is no guarantee letters will be published.

Letters should be received by The SUN by noon on Tuesday (the deadline may move up due to a holiday).

While we won’t print letters from candidates running for office, we will print letters in favor of or against candidates. Due to limited space, only two letters in support of or against a political candidate will be printed in each edition.

You can email your letters to editor@pagosasun.com. Please type your letter into the body of an email or send in a Word document file. Do not send PDF files.

When emailing a letter, please include your address and phone number. While we won’t print your address or phone number, we may contact you to verify your letter.

And, if you bring in a letter to the office or mail it to us, remember to sign it and include your address and phone number, again, not for publication. Mailed letters should be sent to P.O. Box 9, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

We won’t print form letters. Don’t sign your name to a letter someone has written and encouraged you to send to us. We don’t want those letters.

We do want to print your individual opinion in your own letter.

We will print letters signed by a couple or individual, but not by more than two people.

Letters complaining about local businesses should be routed straight to the business being complained about. Letters promoting businesses are considered advertisements and must be paid for. The advertising deadline is noon on Monday.

Just a couple of weeks ago, we received a letter that wasn’t signed and, upon further research, we discovered that the “author” had been deceased for about eight years. The writer of the letter was a coward and used a deceased person’s name to hide behind. The writer even went as far as using that person’s former address. The letter never made it to print.

As hard as we try, there are letters that still manage to slip through our system, though.

This week we received a letter talking about a business owner who paid their rent to the owner of a building and, according to the letter writer, for some reason the money never went to the bank and the bank foreclosed on the business. The letter contained names, locations, rumor and innuendo. The letter was libelous. Libelous letters, whether about a business or an individual, cannot legally be printed.

Another thing we take very seriously at The SUN is plagiarism. You plagiarize when you take someone else’s work or ideas and pass them off as your own. If you come across something you want to share in a letter, attribute it to the original source. Then expound on that viewpoint with your own words, thoughts and ideas.

Never copy something someone else has written and put your own name on it. That is stealing. Theft. Plagiarism.

Do you have an opinion? Share it. Write a Letter to the Editor … in your own words.

Terri Lynn Oldham House

This story was posted on July 10, 2014.