Editorial for the week of 2/1/17

Letters to the editor

We are tired of the level of vitriol and we know some of our readers are also.

We are done.

Done with printing hate-filled, vitriolic letters to the editor from people on both sides of the ideological and political spectrums. We know that many of you are tired of reading them; you have told us — in phone calls, in line at the supermarket and in your own letters. But we have always tried to weigh the sentiment of our readers who object against the right of others to express their opinions.

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We had hoped that after the election, the tone of some of our letter writers would change. We were wrong. If anything, the missives that we receive here each week have only become more acerbic and mean-spirited. Our readers might object to what they see in print, but they don’t see those that never hit the printed page. We can only assume that some have taken the election outcome as a form of vindication for their sentiments, while it has catalyzed those on the other side to leap into the fray.

Whichever way a letter writer might lean, we don’t care. What we do care about is providing a forum for respectful, thoughtful dialogue. We value the input for our readers and welcome all to submit their opinion, but let it be free of vitriol. Of course, there will be subjective decisions to be made as to what crosses the line of what’s acceptable, but it’s called “letters to the editor” for a reason. The editorial board of this newspaper will determine which letters to print.

We want to receive letters — whether they be about the national political scene or any other topic — just make sure that they express your opinion in a thoughtful, respectful manner.

Enough said.

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Valuable information that could save your life

The statistics are shocking. In 2015, only 10.6 percent of the 326,200 people who suffered sudden cardiac arrest in the U.S. survived. What’s also shocking is how survival rates vary vastly from city to city. On the facing page, paramedic Sam Blesse, who is also a supervisor for Care Flight Ground operations, writes about what is being done locally to improve residents’ odds of surviving a heart attack.

The initial effort is to establish Quincy as a HEARTSafe community, following the leads of other cities across the U.S. and around the world. It’s an effort that could spread across the county. Take the time to read Blesse’s Where I Stand opinion piece and then take action. Learn what the signs of a heart attack are, when to call for help and what to do if you witness someone else suffering cardiac arrest. You could save a life — maybe even your own.