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Let us know what you think

Of all the things in my job description, the most unpleasant is filling this column.

I never realized how boring my life is until I had to put it down in black and white. Some weeks I feel as if I'm just rattling about nothing. Writing the first column was fun, but since then, I feel my columns are a disservice to our readers because - well, a tomato plant offers more entertainment than my life. At least you can eat the tomato.

However, for reasons unknown to me, some readers are drawn to the space. When I wrote about my first year of divorce, the response I received from others in the pains of divorce was unbelievable. When I shared sentimental memories of my sons' childhoods, I got the "awe" factor from other mothers and grandmothers. When I shared frustrations about a rude employee at an out-of-town Subway, we received so many calls defending the local Subway, we were overwhelmed. And last week, someone told me they enjoyed my column because it was "like sitting down and having a cup of coffee with me."

Notice I said "some readers." One reader did complain that nobody cared about our personal life. This reader wanted us to do "investigative reporting." While I dread writing this column, I beg to differ with the complainant. Every week our paper is filled with stories that are a result of investigation - we attend practically every board meeting in the county, and when we hear news or find something amiss, we report it. We never print hearsay or details that have not been officially confirmed. We give our readers the facts and let them decide their own opinions. I know this because there are times when Jason Smith, our publisher, decides it's time to wear his editor hat and uses his delete key.

After considering all the opinions - including my own about the opinions page, I have concluded this: the staff's personal columns are so readers can get to know us better. In doing so, you learn we are on your side. The "Jones on Georgia" column is for readers to chew on political thoughts and choose to agree or disagree. The house editorial gives the Publisher's point of view about local issues.

And finally, and most importantly, there's the "Your Say" section of the page. If you have an opinion about something - here's your chance.

I encourage you to use the opportunity to speak your mind. I'll enjoy it. After all, a tomato sandwich only can satisfy for so long.

Web posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006

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