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A letter from the editor

Though it is well documented that the letters-to-the-editor section of The Aspen Times is one of its best-read features, a complaint we’ve heard time and time again is that many letters are too long.

We’ve discussed this issue at length (pun intended) and have decided to take action. We want to provide a public forum for our readers, but we simply can’t sacrifice the large amounts of space that some letter writers require.

In the past week we’ve received letters as long as 50 inches about the Iraqi conflict. That’s enough copy to fill an entire page. And with the continuing debate over Iraq and a candidate-loaded city election a couple of months away, we know from past experience that lengthy commentaries will soon begin piling up on the editor’s desk.

Beginning Monday, we will no longer print letters longer than 500 words. If you send us a letter and don’t see it in the paper, chances are it exceeded our word limit. Five hundred words should allow for adequate comment on a subject and keep from boring our readers and taking up too much of our valuable space.

And remember, as a former editor claims someone once wrote, “I’m sending you a long letter because I don’t have time to write a short one.”

Mike Hagan, editor in chief

The Aspen Times


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