Ask the Editor: Letter choice based on volume received

Q. And the reason you haven’t published my letter (on the new health-care legislation) is because Let me guess. I’m a conservative!-- Donald Hirt, Paso Robles

A. In selecting Letters to the Editor, an individual’s political persuasion has nothing to do with our decision. Rather, it’s the volume of letters received. So far we’ve been sent more than 60 letters on this particular subject, which was far more than we could publish on a timely basis. We posted overflow commentary on our Web site, sanluisobispo.com. Yours was posted online March 31. We have taken this tack before when inundated with local letters and viewpoints on specific topics. Q. What happened to the Major League box scores on Monday and Tuesday? We are very disappointed.-- Two readers

A. When we condensed the Monday and Tuesday newspapers to reduce costs during this tough economy, we had to trim some news and features coverage and run shorter stories in all sections. Box scores were among the items cut back so that we could retain news that interests all sports fans, according to Sports Editor Ashley Conklin. We’ll continue to run as much MLB news as possible on these days – and we’ll still publish all the box scores all the other days of the week, along with expanded sports coverage. We regret having to make this difficult decision as we know it impacts you directly. Q. Please don’t publish photos of people feeding birds or wildlife because that promotes this activity, which is hazardous for both animals, which can get ill, and humans, who can get bitten and possibly be infected with disease. -- Joan Carter, Morro Bay

A. We understand your point of view and appreciate your taking the time to contact us. It’s a good reminder to all of us. Our photographers typically avoid shooting such scenes but on occasion the actions portrayed are noteworthy. In such instances, like the one you cited last Monday of two girls feeding seagulls, we should have included information in the cutline underneath the photo educating readers about the dangers of feeding wildlife -- and the ordinances that ban the feeding of birds and other feral animals, said senior photographer Joe Johnston. We did just that when we published a photo Thursday of a seagull eating bird seed at Laguna Lake. It accompanied our story on the new ban in San Luis Obispo.

Do you have a question about the newspaper, our Web site or our coverage? If so, please write me c/o The Tribune, P.O. Box 112, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93406-0112, or e-mail me at sduerr@thetribunenews.com.