The power of the pen; Readers had 1,695 letters during 2009.

Position:EDITORIAL - Editorial


Each year, many of our readers participate in The People's Forum in the very spirit with which it is maintained - as a forum in which the agenda is set by ordinary citizens.

Particularly in this age of instantaneous communications, when the Internet, cable television and talk radio programs offer citizens opportunities to sound off more easily than ever, we continue to be gratified that so many of our readers value the permanence and value that can often be found in the traditional newspaper format.

During 2009, the Telegram & Gazette published 1,695 letters to the editor on a wide variety of subjects of general interest. It is our intent and in our interest to maintain this forum as one for diverse and divergent opinion. We do not block letters from publication for ideological reasons, nor do we solicit letters favorable to the newspaper's stated editorial positions. In almost every case, when a letter sent to us does not appear in the paper, it is because we have been unable to verify the author's identity.

Our letters run the gamut from wit and wisdom to policy suggestions, pontifications and the opportunity to simply vent on most any topic - be it sports, politics, history, the weather or current events.

We believe that no other feature of this newspaper more truly reflects the feelings and perspectives of those who call Central Massachusetts home. The same can surely be said for any newspaper in the nation.

On today's editorial and facing page we list the names of all those who took the time to share their thoughts with us and their fellow readers in the year just past.

The names of those whose letters were published as a Letter of the Week in the Sunday Telegram are listed in boldface type. A separate list of those who authored "As I See It" opinion pieces during 2009 also appears today.

All letters meeting our guidelines appear in print. Those guidelines are:

We publish letters expressing all shades of opinion. We feel a special obligation to print comments made in response to our editorials and news coverage. We invite constructive criticism and observations.

Letters must be no longer than 250 words; election/endorsement letters no longer than 100 words. Letters that exceed those limits will be returned to be shortened.

We limit an individual to one published letter every two months. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and in accordance with principles of good taste.

Letters must be the writers' original work, and brief quotations should be attributed whenever possible. We do not publish reprints, extended quotations, "open letters" or letters written for other publications. We rarely publish letters from outside our circulation area.

Letters should be of general public interest. We do not publish letters that are strictly personal, including letters about damaged or missing property or pets, consumer complaints, letters dealing solely with personal religious beliefs, thank-you letters to individuals or organizations, or letters from candidates thanking voters or campaign workers.

Political endorsements and letters concerning municipal election contests must be received at least 10 working days before the election and must be no longer than 100 words.

At times, when we believe a given topic has been exhausted, we call a halt to further comments.

We do not publish letters written in verse or essay form.

We do not publish letters that we believe come under the libel laws. Material may be libelous if it holds a private person or organization up to hatred, contempt, suspicion of wrongdoing, scorn or ridicule. We review letters about active court cases carefully.

We do not publish hate mail or letters that are obviously offensive to good taste.

We do not publish letters that are unsigned, unverifiable or unintelligible.

Class project letters must be submitted as a group with a cover letter listing the school, teachers and grade. Because of limited space, we can only publish one representative letter, which will be selected by our editorial board.

Letters must be sent with the writer's full name. Initials and nicknames are not acceptable. Writers must include a complete home address and a handwritten signature - and in the case of e-mailed letters a telephone number(s) for verification purposes.

The foregoing guidelines have been crafted so as to provide as many writers as possible the opportunity to be represented in our letters to the editor column, The People's Forum.

Keep them coming during 2010.

The T&G printed 1,695 letters in 2009

Daniel Abraham

Alberto Acevedo

Luis Acevedo

Bonnalee Adams

Joann Adams

Joanne Adams

Robert S. Adler

Kathryn Aghjayan

Lisa Albano

Michael Alberts

Patricia M. Albrecht

Katrina Alford

Joanne Alinovi

Helen R. Alisch

William Allan

Matthew Allen

Alexis Amechi

Megan Amundson

Raymond C. Anderson

Ralph W. Anderson Jr.

Roger Anderson

Scott Anderson

Herbert J. Andrews

Jane Andrews

Mark W. Andrews

Michael P. Angelini

Beth O'Leary Anish

Richard Annuziata

Frances M. Anthes

Tamara Anthony

Michael J. Antos

James Arcure

Christopher Isaac Ariel

Michael Armstrong

Ronald Armstrong

James Army

Herbert Arnold Sr.

Aaron Arsenault

Jega A. Arulpragasam

Vincent Asbridge

Tracy Ashworth

Daniel M. Asquino

Karin Assad

John Auerbach

Victoria M. Augustine

Desiree A. Awiszio

Harry Awiszio

Bruce M. Babbitt

Jeffrey Bailey

Maureen V. Baker

Sharon L. Bakker

Frances Bakstran

Navin Balaji

Elizabeth J. Baldarelli

Carlo M. Baldino

Jacek Ball

Justyna Ball

William Balunis

Deborah E. Banda

Roger F. Banks

Shirley Barlar

Sue C. Barnard

Margot Barnet

Katherine Barnett

Janice Barney

Taiya Barss

Robert Bartholomew

Carlo Basile

Reginald Bates

Anthony J. Battista

Stephen Baublis

Alice Bauman

Sally Bauman

Donald Bean

Matthew Beaton

Nicole Beaudin

Raymond Beaudry

John Beauregard

Robert P. Becker

Angela Bedigian

Sharon Belanger

Sandra J. Belba

George Bell

Wayne E. Belles

James R. Belpedio

Susan Belsito

Carl Benander

Kara Keating Bench

Dawn C. Bennett

Maryanne Bennett

Kenneth Benoit

Peter A. Benoit

Joseph S. Beresik

Kevin Bergin

Ruth Steeves-Bergstrom

Robert Berlyn

Justin M. Bernard

Michael C. Berry

Jane Betar

Richard D. Bickford

William Bigelow

John J. Binienda

Francis X. Birch

Stephen A. Bissell

Sandra Bisson

Sari Bitticks

Anne Bivins

Jeffrey Black

Joseph R. Blackmore Jr.

Roland C. Blais

Deborah Blanchard

William Blankenship

Donna M. Blaum

Kenneth D. Bleau

Nancy L. Blomquist

Margaret Blood

Robert G. Boatright

Erica Bodden

Wayne Bogar

Andrea V. Boisseau

Maurice Boisvert

Robert J. Bolduc

Christine M. Bolivar

Caitlin Bonney

Emilio C. Botticelli

Brett Boucher

Katelyn Bouckaert

Susan Bourdelais

Jean Bouthiller

Janet K. Boutilier

Richard Boutilier

Katie Boutot

John Bouvier

James Bovaird

Lawrence Bovaird

Sally Bowditch

Sandra J. Bowers

Donald E. Bowles

Jamie Bowlin

Gerard Bowman

Celia Bowse

Daniel Boyle

Joseph Boynton

Francis Joseph Brady

Gene Brady

David Bramhill

Heather Bren

Matthew T. Brennan

Stephanie Brennan

Terrance J. Brennan

Lance Dannan Bresee

Alysia C. Brewster

Judith R. Brideau

Fred T. Brierly

John P. Brissette

Mark T. Brophy

Rachel Brown

Gary Broz

Dianne E.B. Bruce

Jane Brunelle

Roger J. Brunelle

Laurie A. Budnick

Claire M. Budzinski

Linda J. Buono

James & Paula Buonomo

Brian P. Burke

Charlotte Burns

Liam Burns

Brian K. Burris

Edward Burt

Larry Bush

Lorenzo R. Cabantog

Thomas Cabral

Frank R. Callahan

Ronald Camarra

Hugh J. Cameron

Robert Campbell

Nancy-Jo Caplan

Pamela J. Capp

Christine A. Caputi

Francis E. Carbonneau Sr.

Gayle Carlo

Conrad H. Carlson

Donna M. Carlson

Edward Carlson

Eric W. Carlson

John H. Carlson

Joseph P. Carlson

Rudolph Carlson

Edward Carpenter

Francis R. Carroll

Robert S. Carter

Gregory Casale

Jack Cascio

Joseph Casello

Paul Casello Jr.

John Casey

Patricia Casey

Roderick F. Cashes

Scott C. Cashman

Frank P. Cassidy

Joan W. Cassidy

William Cassidy

Michael B. Catlin

Angelo Cavaliere

Richard Cayer

America Cepeda

Helen Cerrone

Nancy Chaban

James P. Chabot

Diane M. Chamberland

Steve Changaris

Richard J. Chapel

Roger Chapman

Deborah Charron

Robert Chartrand

Bobbie Chase

June A. Chasse

Sandra D. Chaurette

Richard L. Chernisky

Joseph W. Chiapulis

Simon J. Chiasson

Robert D. Childs

John S. Chinian

Margaret Chisholm

Robert C. Chisholm

Carrie Ann Christian

Joanne K. Ciesluk

Matthew Cimini

Roberta J. Cioci

Robert Cirba

Cathy Clark

Dawn E. Clark

Grace Clark

Robert Clark

Brian J. Cloutier

Pauline J. Cloutier

Martha Coakley

David Cochran

Charlotte R. Cohen

Oryx Cohen

Marjorie M. Cohen

Ruth Cohen

Arthur Cole

Craig Cole

Timothy Collar

Peter Collins

Dennis Conlon

Sharon Conlon

Steven Consilvio

John J. Conte

Tracy B. Cooney

Dimity Cooper

Theresa Copeland

Thomas J. Corrigan

James F. Cosgrove

Theodore Cossin

Susanne M. Cote

John Coughlin

Cecilia Courtney

Robin Courtney

Madeleine Courville

Christian C. Coury

Melinda Coyle

David Coyne

Stella Crawford

Eileen Creedon

Frank Croghan

Donald Croke

Joseph J.Z. Cronan

Joan M. Cronin

John Cronin

Patricia Cronin

Roland H. Crossley

Melbourne C. & Alice Crouse

Joan L. Crowell

Jose A. Cruz

James T. Cuddy

Claire Cunningham

Robert Curtin

Christopher L. Curtis

Brenna Cussen

Douglas A. Cutler

Beverly A. Cutting

Ann M. Dagle

William M. Daly

Laurie D'Amico

Jonathan Dandridge

Lucy A. D'Angelo

Margaret D'Arcy

Leonard C. & Margaret Darling

Gordon T. Davis

Joseph R. Davis

Linda A. Davis

Marylou Davis

Christine DeCarolis

Albert J. DeFederico

Ellen DeFelippi

Michele DeForest

Louis J. Delalla Jr.

Elizabeth Delaney

John R. D'Elia

Cheryl A. DelSignore

Edward J. Deluca Jr.

Rita Deluca

Betsy DeMallie

William G. DeMaria

Leonard Demers

Rita M. DeNitti

Alfred DePasquale

Mauro DePasquale

Brenda L. Depauw

Hans G. Despain

Gary Desreuisseau

Chris R. DesRosiers

Louis Desy

Erika Devereaux

Lisa Devine

David P. DeVries

Daniel E. Dick

Phyllis R. Dick

Sandro P. DiDonato

Craig DiGiovanni

Phyllis R. Dick

Philip J. diIorio Jr.

Michael DiLiddo

Pauline Dillon

Albert DiMarzio

Lia DiRico

Paul R. Dobner

Allen P. Doe

James E. Doherty

Michael F. Dolan

Jehan Dolbashian

John A...

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