Letters and the new guy

Thanks to readers who’ve written in; and the CN&R has finally hired a staff writer

When we put together our special 40th anniversary issue a few weeks ago, I’d intended to thank the folks who’ve written letters to the editor over the years. That section is one of my favorite regular reads. I never know what we’re going to get, so I enjoy the surprises each week in that inbox.

A lot of the submissions in recent months have been too long to print, so here’s a reminder of our policy: Each letter must be no longer than 200 words and contain the writer’s full name and city of residence. I also need contact info (for verification, not publication). If a letter comes in well ahead of deadline, and it’s too long, I try to ask the author to cut it herself. Otherwise, I’ll pull out the scalpel. Cutting for space is part of the CN&R’s policy, as is editing for clarity and libel. Letters are fact-checked, but we’re not perfect, so we appreciate folks vetting their own submissions with reliable sources.

And while I’m not averse to snail mail, there’s no guarantee those will make it to print. As has long been the case, our preferred method of getting letters to the editor is via email (cnrletters@newsreview.com).

Speaking of letters, there are several in this issue that triggered an internal Amen. One of them is about Trump’s plans for DACA. Another is from a longtime Chicoan who laments the state of disrepair of one of our fair city’s favorite streets: Vallombrosa Avenue. I don’t know Michael Van Ert, but I, like many locals, share his sentiments. A glimmer of hope—albeit miniscule in relation to Chico’s needs—surfaced when the City Council earmarked revenues from its waste-hauling franchise agreement to capital projects. That happened on Tuesday (Sept. 5), during its regular meeting (see “Money on roads,” Downstroke, page 8).

Let’s hope that allows Chico’s badly degraded streets to see more than only patchwork repairs (i.e., pothole-filling). Mr. Van Ert also notes that Bidwell Park’s Petersen Memorial Way needs repaving. He’s correct on that one, too. But don’t expect to see much aid for that part of the park or other city-owned greenways in the coming years. Yet another council decision on Tuesday is bound to lead to the further deterioration of that space (see “Guns get go-ahead,” by Howard Hardee, page 8).

In other news, after an excruciatingly long search for just the right candidate, the CN&R welcomed a new colleague into the editorial department this week. Staff writer Kevin Fuller comes to the CN&R by way of New York, where he worked for about a year at the Rochester City Paper, that region’s alternative newsweekly. His journalism experience goes back about a decade.

On Tuesday (Sept. 5), his first day in the office, Fuller spied in my office a concert poster I picked up at a Ryan Adams show 13 years ago in San Francisco. Turns out he’s a pretty big fan, too. I’ve proselytized about my favorite singer-songwriter now and again in this space—and in vain to my friends and journalism comrades for, oh, the past 15 or so years—so it’s nice to chat with someone who gets it. Bonus: Fuller is a dog person. We’re looking forward to getting to know him better. You can reach out and welcome him at kevinf@newsreview.com.