This is my first letter to a newspaper. I don't write letters to the editor because I figured all you news folks do is make fun of them and throw them away, but that notion was put to rest lately.
My wife (or "The Wife," to use your parlance) wrote a letter to the newspaper in the small remote town in Northern California where we vacation. She wrote to express her disgust over an article about a man there who killed a very large bear just for the sport of it. The article showed the grinning idiot standing next to this magnificent creature's corpse. According to the article, the bear was drinking water at a river when the man spotted it and shot it with a bow and arrow. The bear apparently screamed and dragged itself into the woods where it slowly died.
When "The Wife" and I read that we were both mortified. She said she was going to write a letter to the paper, which I figured was a waste of her energy. Once we received our copy in the mail on Friday, we saw that not only did they print the letter, but they teased it on the front page. After her success, I thought I'd give it a try myself.
I'm not sure exactly what to say or if you'll cut my letter for being too long. I know sometimes small papers just need words to fill the inside pages. Extra words that can be cut if necessary or kept if needed to fill that last little bit of space. You seem like a bright person, so I'll trust you to pick the words that are worth keeping and which are worth cutting.
It has been about eight months since I moved here. I live in Reno but I feel like I know Sparks better since I do a lot of shopping there and because I prefer your homey little paper to the big corporate rag. All they do is shove ads down my throat and everybody says they usually mess up the facts.
When I was looking to buy a house here, Sparks seemed far away from Reno and "The Wife" and I wanted to be close to the university, where she is studying. Now I realize that it is very close and has many nice areas. If we had known better at the time we might have bought a house in Sparks.
From the stories I have read in your wonderful little paper, there seem to be many good things happening here. The city folks seem very nice, though City Council and the Planning Commission have some issues. Is it some kind of requirement that they all be graduates of Sparks High School? And they sure seem to do whatever that Whittemore fellow wants.
And I do wish something could be done with the older parts of town — pretty much everything west of Pyramid Highway. Many of the old houses would be so cute if they were kept up. Victorian Square is nice but otherwise that part of town seems ignored. Even Victorian Square is kind of a ghost town most of the time. I hear there are supposed to be some condos built there but it keeps getting delayed. It makes you wonder if the plans you hear about are all just pipe dreams.
I do hear and read a lot about how crowded it's supposedly getting here. I guess that's all relative, though. People like me who came from big towns think this is a small area, but people who have been here for a long time know how it has grown. When you have a good thing, everybody wants a piece.
But every town has some problems. The people here are all very nice and "The Wife" and I go to The Nugget for dinner and shows all the time. And I know many people aren't happy about all the development, but I like shopping at the big center in Spanish Springs with the Costco and Home Depot. It's very convenient.
Anyway, I hope you will continue your excellent local news coverage. Sometimes your opinion columnists ramble mindlessly about stuff I don't care about, but otherwise your paper is very good. By the way, I really like your new Web site at www.dailysparkstribune.com.
Nathan Orme is the editor of the Sparks Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com.