Happy New Year! It’s a brand new year, which means it’s a good time to revisit letters from readers.

In recent weeks, we’ve received some letters that violated our letters policy, therefore they were not published. 

That decision did not make those letter writers happy and they let us know. Our response was to send them a copy of the policy and remind them of the rules. Here’s the condensed policy:

We will not tolerate name calling. We will not tolerate other letter writers being attacked and insulted. We also do not want letters that are over 300 words, nor will we accept more than one letter submission per week. In addition, if you are not a current or former resident of the Antelope Valley, work here, or have some other tie, then please do not send us your mass-marketed letters. 

We prefer letters be sent via email. If you type them and mail them in, they have to be retyped. If you must submit a handwritten letter, make sure it’s legible, within the 300-word limit and is signed. It must also have a complete mailing address (not just a city) and a phone number at which you may be contacted. This applies to letters that are emailed, too.

In 2020, we brought back “Have your say.” The rules for that are simple: Call the number, leave your name and phone number and answer yes or no.

Most folks follow those rules, but some don’t bother to leave a number or a name, some call in and hang up and worse yet, others call in and go on political rants or start complaining about what they don’t like about the newspaper, the “Have your say” message or the call-in process. 

That voicemail space is not for any of that. It’s for people who want to contribute their thoughts on the question of the week.

One woman calls in each week and repeatedly complains about the greeting. That’s also not what the line is for. 

We also don’t want you to explain why you are voting yes or no. A one-word answer is all we need, along with your name and number.

We hope this has cleared up any confusion about writing letters and using the “Have your say” line. 

We know some folks don’t like to follow rules, but if everyone did, surely the world would be a better place — we might even rid ourselves of this pandemic.

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