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Last updated: March 22. 2014 10:06PM - 1289 Views

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The Times Leader’s main office lost electricity for a chunk of the workweek last week, no doubt giving the newspaper’s critics fodder for biting comments about just how long we’ve been operating in the dark.


Craft your punchline now. We can take a joke.


Despite the interruption in power and phone service, reporters managed to go about business (mostly) as usual, connecting with sources and filing their articles. News continued to stream to consumers like you around the clock via our website, timesleader.com, and Facebook page. The presses (in our unaffected building) rolled. Carriers delivered Thursday’s edition to stores and diligently dropped them on doorsteps. All in all, just another day at the (darkened) office.


The takeaway: Local news never stops, and a few technical difficulties won’t prevent us from doing our best to provide you with information and insight about what’s happening in your community. Our most important connection isn’t a single power cable, it’s our connection to you and your neighbors.


We depend on you and others in Northeastern Pennsylvania for news tips and story suggestions. (Please keep them coming at 570-829-7242. Or send them by email to City Editor Dan Burnett at dburnett@civitasmedia.com.)


We rely on your faxes alerting us to significant community announcements and upcoming events. (Reach us at 570-829-5537.)


We value your feedback, delivered in all sorts of formats, to the job we do. We even appreciate the jokes and (most of) the sarcasm. That’s especially true on our Opinion pages, appearing daily with letters to the editor and commentaries submitted by area residents like you.


Rather than act as a gatekeeper, blocking a particular viewpoint from reaching our audience, we offer a fairly wide open forum to those people who attach their real names to the material and follow a few simple rules. No vulgarity. Criticism of public figures is OK, libelous statements are definitely not. Keep the exclamation points and capital letters to a minimum. (Better yet, don’t use them.) Be concise; if you send a book-length manuscript, we can’t defy the laws of physics to fit your prose on a single page. A good target for letters: 250 words or so.


Email your letters to this address: mailbag@timesleader.com. Or use the letters submission form on our website or choose another method to reach us. (Options are printed under the label “Send us your opinion,” appearing regularly on the Opinion Page.) Always include your daytime phone number. If you don’t get a call from us in a few workdays, follow up. Chances are, we didn’t receive your submission.


Contrary to what you might think, frequently appearing columnists such as former Misericordia University President Michael MacDowell and United Way of Wyoming Valley CEO Bill Jones don’t have exclusive contracts to write for the Opinion Page. They simply recognize a good value when they see it: It costs nothing to have a column printed. All an author requires is expertise in a subject pertinent to our readers and a desire to share it. (If you want to discuss a column idea, contact Opinion Page Editor Mark Jones at 570-970-7305.)


In short, we want to hear from you so that The Times Leader’s Opinion Page continues to be a community sounding board, a dynamic spot for exchanging ideas. If you sense the conversation is lopsided, join in. Raise topics that you feel merit more attention or have been ignored. Post online comments on our editorials to appear as “instant feedback.” Do you know something about a subject in the news that seems widely misunderstood? Clarify it here.


We care deeply about this community and want to help strengthen it. But we can’t be all places and know all things. That’s why we need you.


Illuminate us.


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