This week, our longtime columnist Arlene Violet is announcing a retirement from writing her weekly pieces, but we were happy to hear that she would be willing to stay on to write a monthly column, starting in November.
We’re so grateful for the work this Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame member and first female attorney general elected in the U.S. has put into these weekly opinion pieces since near the beginning of this publication in 1996. She has faithfully delivered, holding people accountable and bringing attention to important issues.
As Arlene scales back, with her columns after this week set to return in November, it offers an opportunity for us to add more voices to these pages. Our goal here is to have thoughtful commentary that focuses more on Rhode Island than elsewhere and gives readers a range of perspectives to learn from.
A good editorial page doesn’t sing one tune, but reflects the wider views of the community, which, as we’re all well aware, are often as different as night and day, but can have all sorts of levels of nuanced gray areas. You might be totally on board with what someone says one week, then think they’ve gone off the deep end the next. Maybe your gut reaction is that they’re out to lunch this week, but then your own opinions change and you find that maybe they had a point or two.
In Arlene’s weekly space within this paper, you’ll soon find a rotation of four monthly writers. Dan Yorke and Erika Sanzi will continue to write in that separate column space as they’ve done. We’ll announce in the coming weeks who the other three columnists joining Arlene will be.
There will also still be eight one-time spots per year, four in the first column space and four in the second on the months when there is a fifth Wednesday and Thursday, for fill-in columnists. I’m happy to hear your suggestions on who those might be. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the differences between news and opinion pages continue to cause confusion, let me be very clear again: None of the pieces you find on these opinion pages impact what happens on the news side of The Valley Breeze in any way, nor are they intended to reflect the views of the paper’s owners or its news staff. We on the news side do not tell opinion writers what to write, and they have no participation on the news side. This is how it’s supposed to be.
As always, you our readers are allowed to respond to the opinions of columnists with your own letters to the editor. These should be limited to 500 words at most and are not allowed to run more than once every eight weeks, as space allows.
Thank you as always for reading The Valley Breeze. We hope you’ll be part of a great community discussion on these opinion pages into the future.