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A new view? Nov. 25, 2005

If you put aside the turkey long enough Thursday to look at your newspaper (Advertisers; I’m just kidding. I’m sure everyone read every single word, as usual.) you might have noticed a new feature on our editorial page.

Called &uot;The New View,&uot; the op-ed column will appear weekly for at least the next several weeks.

The initial column was written by David Arnold of the Pender and Coward law firm, opening soon in the former Gurley Press building by AJ Gators.

Arnold and I have been corresponding for several months now about the content of our opinion page. He had been of the opinion that it was overly negative and critical of city officials – a not unfair criticism, I think, but kind of the nature of the beast.

Arnold recently moved to downtown Suffolk (he had lived in Eclipse previously) and is among the &uot;new crowd&uot; that is helping to spruce up downtown by renovating old buildings and homes.

He said that among the folks with whom he associates, they are thrilled with what is happening in our city, particularly downtown, and hate to see it criticized in the media.

That may or may not be, but I like Arnold and tend to take his word for it. He came to see me and managing editor and Douglas Grant recently to propose the &uot;The New View,&uot; piece that ran Thursday. The plan he proposed was to have a column written by a different person each week and that he would take the lead on organizing it, getting them produced and submitted.

Other than appearing at city council meeting, the News-Herald’s editorial page is about the only forum folks have for getting their opinions heard in Suffolk, without them getting lost among the dozens of opinions about Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, etc. I’ve long encouraged anyone who had complaints about the views stressed there (not necessarily those of the News-Herald or its employees), to put their keyboard where their mouth is and join the fray.

I’m glad Arnold did it and look forward to future submissions. Based upon the initial effort, I hope they decide to extend it beyond the initial 8-week commitment. Please let us know, and let Arnold know, how you feel about it. Perhaps he can be convinced to do it on an ongoing basis.