As this is being written, there are 49 reader letters in the computer-storage files of Herald-Mail's editorial page editor. This number doesn't include letters that have arrived here, but have not been edited or typeset. By the end of the week, the backlog could easily could be up to 60 or 65.
For letter writers, it means waiting, on average, at least two weeks to see their letters in print. By that time, they say, the immediacy of their letters are often lost and the topic they were commenting on has faded from the public's memory. Local columnist Ruth Brown, who's been writing for The Herald-Mail for five years, recently ended her column, citing lack of space for her submissions.
Barring emergencies, which we try to accommodate - a short plea for attendance at a hastily scheduled community meeting, for example - we're doing the best we can do, under the present circumstances.