Editor's note: The following is a copy of a letter sent to Doug Bennett, CEO of Ballantine Communications, Inc.
I have noted the change in editorial policy since the Pine River Times management was assumed by Ballantine Communications.
In my opinion this change has not served the value of the paper.
Melanie Mazur and Carole McWilliams both informed me that Ballantine directed the Times to publish only editorials and columns on local issues. I fail to see the merit or rationale for this policy change. I can only speculate what those reasons might be. The reasons seem to include an attitude of condescension toward the readers of the PRT. If I am correct let me assure you the residents of eastern La Plata county are interested in national and international news. We appreciated the opportunity to read about and comment on those issues in our local paper in the past. I'm sure many miss that forum now.
I have interest in local stories and value the paper for this news but the editorials had been an important element of the paper for me. For me this change in policy at the Times creates a less stimulating paper. I presume this is true for others in the community. In the past many letters were written in response to editorials.
Yes, the primary columnists were from different sides of the U.S. political spectrum. I, like most, agreed with one and thought little of the other. Still I usually read both. I would prefer both columnists to be of equal critical intellectual standards. Our community is capable of disagreeing and coexisting. There may have been letters from those disagreeing with an opinion expressed in the PRT who discontinued their subscription. If there were I doubt those individuals had a substantial economic impact on the paper.
I urge you to reconsider the change to the Pine River Times editorial policy. I hope others who agree with me will make their feelings known as well.