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Editorial: What's that, you say?

Each week in the Journal's print edition, the section most highly read -- after the front page -- are the opinion pages and, more specifically, our "Reader Letters."

The Journal's opinion pages are consistently ranked very high and receive awards in the annual state newspaper association contest. In no small part, such recognition is due to the weekly outpouring and variety of published letters from you, our readers .

We encourage these local views and want to make sure anyone who's interested feels uninhibited about writing and sending a letter.

Because of limited space and readability, we ask that writers keep their letters to 300 words or less. Include your first and last name, and the town or city where you live (we don't publish street addresses).

Because ours is a community paper, we like to see letter writers address topics of local concern -- about our schools, neighborhoods, business climate, traffic safety, etc. But, in the end, it's your decision. Feel free to write about whatever topic moves you.

Aside from editing for length, we also check for libelous statements in letters. Anyone writing should include a phone number or email address. These won't be published but it allows us to contact the writer if a statement needs clarifying.

The Journal typically doesn't publish criticisms of a specific business. Those are settled more fairly by communicating directly with the identified business owners.

While many writers express gratitude, we ask that you limit the thank yous in letters so there's plenty of room for opinions. That's why people read letters to the editors -- for the opinions. Thank yous can be expressed privately or paid for as advertisements.

We still receive letters by postal mail. Send to River Falls Journal/Attn: Editor/2815 Prairie Drive/River Falls WI 54022.

Today most letters are emailed. The most direct way is by using editor Phil Pfuehler's email address: RFJ Editor. Email or call him at 715-426-1050 if you have questions.

The new year, 2013, has begun. Much news lies ahead. Much, as always, is unfolding. What do you think? Please don't keep it a secret. Let us know in a letter.

Online Poll: Going for a ride

The Journal's online poll question this week asked: What do you think of the new River Falls Police Ford SUV Interceptor? Results so far:

--Pretty cool, more visible, should be a boost to officers and community policing, 40%

--Wish I had me a fancy SUV to tool around in, 30%

--If officers want more visibility, they should be patrolling our streets on horseback, 20%

--Didn't know they had one, what happened to the old Crown Vics, 10%

--This is the beginning of something wonderful, 0%

To vote in this poll, go to