We're still waiting for the return of warmer weather, but Tax Day is almost behind us and we're more than half-way through April, which means the spring primary election is now only a month away, set for Tuesday, May 17.
On the ballots for Mifflin, Juniata and surrounding counties are a number of candidates seeking either the Democratic or Republican nomination for various municipal offices, including: county commissioner, treasurer, prothonotary, auditor, coroner and district attorney. Also appearing on what has become an increasingly crowded ballot are multiple candidates for school district board of directors, magisterial district judge and in Snyder County - judge of the Court of Common Pleas. Throughout the region, numerous candidates also are seeking election or re-election for borough council, township supervisor and a host of other local municipal offices
The Sentinel urges all Juniata Valley residents who are eligible to vote to exercise their civic responsibility by casting ballots in the upcoming election. I also encourage area residents to take advantage of the opportunity to submit election-based Letters to the Editor and Open Line comments to The Sentinel. With that said, I also would like to offer some guidelines to our readership regarding these letters and Open Line comments.
First, the deadlines regarding the May 17, 2011, primary election are as follows:
May 3 - deadline to submit election-based letters to the editor,
May 3 - deadline to phone in election-based Open Line comments,
May 7 - last date of publication for election-based letters to the editor,
May 7 - last date of publication for election-based Open Line comments,
May 10 - deadline to submit election-based rebuttal letters to the editor,
May 10 - deadline to phone in election-based rebuttal Open Line comments,
May 14 - last date of publication for election-based rebuttal letters to the editor and
May 14 - last date of publication for election-based rebuttal Open Line comments.
Second, I'd like to offer some clarification on what The Sentinel views as appropriate content for election-based letters and comments.
Letters and comments from the general public supporting a particular candidate or expressing an opinion on a significant election-related issue will be considered for publication. Letters pertaining to the election submitted by the candidates themselves typically are not eligible for publication.
Any letter or comment containing personal attacks or unfounded accusations against a candidate will not be published; The Sentinel reserves the right to determine what constitutes a personal attack or unfounded accusation.
Regarding rebuttal letters and comments: These should be limited to readers presenting a different or opposing point of view on an election-related issue previously addressed by an election letter or comment published in The Sentinel. Rebuttals are not intended to be a means by which an individual can simply criticize one candidate and then express their support for another - rebuttals are to focus on the issues, not the candidates.
Again, The Sentinel reserves the right to determine what constitutes an appropriate rebuttal letter or comment.
Letters- preferably typed - must include the author's name and address as well as a telephone number for clarification and confirmation purposes. Telephone numbers are not printed, unless requested by the letter's author.
The suggested length for letters is 250 words. This limit may be waived, space permitting. The letter writer must live within The Sentinel's coverage area, read the newspaper online or have a local connection that is identified as part of the letter.
Submit letters one of the following ways:
Mail - Letter to the editor, The Sentinel, P.O. Box 588, Lewistown, PA 17044;
Virtual Newsroom at www.lewistownsentinel.com;
Fax - 248-3481; and
Deliver - corner of Sixth Street and Summit Drive, Pleasant Acres, Lewistown.
Questions regarding these guidelines should be directed to me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 248-6741, ext. 119.
Frank Jost is managing editor of The Sentinel.