New day dawns for weather page, sun sets on personal attack letters
Dear Readers,You may have noticed by now that we have a spiffed-up weather forecast package in the Post Independent.Our weather information provider, AccuWeather Inc., based in State College, Pa., put its design team to work on a redesign that we think will be far more useful to you.We traded the endless columns of temperature and precipitation readings from cities across the nation and around the world for AccuWeather’s trademark “Supermap.” It’s a colorful map of the continental United States that shows the forecast for today’s temperatures and tracks storms.With the Supermap, you’ll be able to watch storm fronts move onto the West Coast and track them as they hit the Rockies. If your achy joints don’t tell you a front is coming in, the Supermap will.The new forecast also includes a feature called “Almanac.” Readers have been begging for this information, and frankly, I really missed it too. The Glenwood Post carried this information years ago, and I followed it regularly.There’s only one hitch to the Almanac for Glenwood Springs folks. The weather data comes from the Garfield County Airport near Rifle. That’s because there is no official National Weather Service weather station in Glenwood Springs.The only other official reporting location in the area is the Shoshone Power Plant in Glenwood Canyon.Until someone hosts an official weather station again in Glenwood Springs, we’ll use the information from Rifle. So keep in mind that there may be days when Glenwood Springs gets a good rain or a big snow, but the banana belt in Rifle misses out. Our Almanac will reflect Rifle’s weather.-The hubbub over the Harley Davidson motorcycle rally seems to have quieted down for now. But the viciousness contained in some letters to the editor on the subject made me think hard about the forum we offer readers.I printed most of those letters in their entirety, even though I found them to be offensive. I didn’t want to be a censor.But I have been asking many readers what they thought about the exchange, and about mean letters that contain personal attacks. It all came clear in a brief conversation with Walter Gallacher, a longtime friend and thoughtful fellow.Personal attacks aren’t allowed in public meetings, and the chairperson’s gavel hits hard when such an attack slips out, he reminded me. The public forum this newspaper provides on its Letters to the Editor page should not be a place for venting personal attacks either.So, letter-writers, I am putting you on notice.Personal attacks contained in letters to the editor will be edited out. If such attacks are too much a part of the entire message, we simply won’t print the letter.I am raising the bar on public discourse. The Post Independent will not provide its ink or paper to writers who can’t stick to the issues.We are lucky in this community to have many thoughtful, articulate and passionate letter-writers. On most days, we have one of the best public forums of any newspaper in the state.From here on out, we will be consistent in that regard.And on another note about letters: We are happy to print your letters of thanks, but we will no longer print long lists of businesses that sponsor or donate to events. It’s okay to thank a half dozen, but any more than that becomes a tedious list that few people will read.We have counted the Locals’ Choice ballots (there were more than 500) and we know who the winners are. Now we are putting together an entertaining special section that will tell you about them. Watch for it in your Friday, May 24, edition of the Post Independent.Heather McGregor is managing editor of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.
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