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MT prints all letters within guidelines

Since you asked

What's the MT's policy concerning letters to the editor? Are all letters published or only certain ones? ' Ione R., Jacksonville

Well, Ione, contrary to some beliefs, we publish all letters that meet our guidelines. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free ' they can all write letters (although the huddled masses would have to designate a specific person as the letter signer).

The most common reason for not publishing a letter is that it's too long. Letters can be up to 200 words; e-vents 75 words.

Other rejection reasons, in general order of frequency, are: only one letter and one e-vent per person every 30 days; letters containing factual errors or allegations for which we need proof; letters that are personal attacks rather than focusing on issues; letters written by people from out of the area; letters about consumer complaints or compliments; and letters about personal issues. And then there are the letters that just don't make sense, even when we hold them upside down.

We don't have the exact numbers ' our Since You Asked accountant is on vacation and took his abacus with him ' but we estimate that we run 90 percent of the letters we receive. That amounts to a couple of thousand letters each year.

Send questions to Since You Asked, Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to . We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.