The original intent of Darts & Flowers was to provide a vehicle for people to thank other people for good deeds. For example, if someone loses a wallet, and it is found and returned to the owner, then the wallet’s owner would put a flower in the Tribune thanking the finder.
We try to publish the rules for Darts & Flowers on a regular basis. We ask that they be kept to one or two paragraphs, that names and hometowns be included, and that they be turned in no later than noon Thursday prior to that Friday’s publication. We also encourage that you type Darts & Flowers.
Most readers have been pretty good about following the rules. However, we have let slide at least one rule that needs to be better enforced.
Flowers thanking businesses and other organizations for services that are expected of them are no longer acceptable. Just as we don’t allow readers to fling darts at businesses for poor service, we are no longer going to accept flowers to businesses for services that they should be providing. We would encourage you to write those businesses or individuals personally if you are pleased with their service.
We’re going to continue to print Darts & Flowers, and we hope you understand our need to be more diligent about what we put in the column. Keep those Darts & Flowers coming, but keep in mind the purpose of the column. Please keep your submissions concise.
Another area of concern is Letters to the Editor. Our rules clearly state that all letters must include a name, address and telephone number. This is important for verification purposes.
We also have asked letter writers to keep their letters to 500 words or fewer, and to limit their submissions to one per month. We’re going to stick with those requirements.
But there is one adjustment that we would like to make. Sometimes readers write a letter and another reader writes a response. We are now going to allow writers an opportunity to rebut. This means you will be allowed two letters in one month, as long the second letter is in response to what someone else wrote.
Keep in mind, too, that letters from political candidates running for office are not accepted unless they are writing to correct some misinformation from another letter writer.
We also would like to remind readers that letters should be opinions on issues. Letters are not substitutes for news stories or to promote events. If you want to promote your event, please contact News Editor Becky Vargo at 842-6400, ext. 231; or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We want your local news.
I would very much appreciate hearing your opinions or suggestions. You can call me at 842-6400, ext. 232; or e-mail email@example.com.