We typically do not respond to letter writers who criticize the Mirror in general or staff members in particular.
We feel it's the public's right to express its opinion, and we don't want to come off like we're getting the last word.
But one recent letter, from a frequent contributor, questioned why our editorials don't have a byline.
Here's our explanation: Most newspapers have a nucleus of people involved with the process of editorial writing. Ideas are discussed and presented as the voice of the paper.
If a stance has been well established on a subject, then for sake of consistency (and, hopefully, credibility), we stick with that view and avoid writing an editorial that takes an opposite view.
Some papers have an editorial board. We haven't convened our board as much in the last few years in part because of other demands of the industry, but if the governor or a high-ranking political official passes through town, we would.
Editorials, of course, are opinionated commentary that are written far differently than a news story. Often, the public asks, "Who wrote that editorial?"
And the answer is simple: The Mirror did.
I'm not sure who started this or when, but the way we presented our weather on Page A2 was apparently confusing to more than just me.
Some readers would see "low 70s" and wonder what that meant - even though it was listed in blue. Consequently, after a recent complaint, we've decided to change it to list the highs in red and the lows in blue each day.
We've taken this initiative without even consulting Joe Murgo.
Speaking of calls from the public, avid reader Jim Caporuscio, tongue-in-cheek, interpreted our invitation to address any "burning issues," in your community that you'd like us to cover as those involving unsafe fire and smoke.
Please continue to send them to Steve Carpenter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'll caution him that they're hot. One click ...
The Mirror calendar has been a fixture in your house since we were in the old building on Green Avenue. (For the exact date of calendar origination, I'm checking with Carmen Slep).
We're changing the format this year and inviting scenic photos submitted by the public. Just click on the link at altoonamirror.com if you think you've got a classic.
Then our readers will determine the winners (13, one by month plus a cover photo) via an online vote.
The Mirror is in the midst of two special projects.
We're launching "Blair County Proud," which will feature a unique view and coverage of the county including several pages devoted to unsung heroes.
Nominations are being accepted until Sept. 6.
Divided into four parts featuring Altoona, Hollidaysburg, the Cove and Bellwood-Tyrone, "Blair County Proud" will run on Monday, Sept. 30.
And if this sounds like a house ad, so be it, but the Mirror's high school glossy magazine, "Blitz," features 26 schools and 116 pages is one of the most well-coordinated products we've ever done.
It costs $4.95 and is available at a number of local outlets, including Giant Eagle and Martin's.
The traditional football tabloid (with all the high school, college and NFL information) will be included with your Mirror on Tuesday, Aug. 27.
Mirror Managing Editor Neil Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or email@example.com.