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Guidelines for Readers' Letters

We always welcome readers' letters here at the Messenger. Since the paper's inception in 1976, its pages have been an open forum for often conflicting opinions. They have helped to throw light, and sometimes heat, on local issues.

VOL.25 NO. 1
January 12 - 25, 2001

Guidelines for Reader's Letters


We think this is healthy in a democracy.

As our circulation increases, we are receiving more letters than ever. So this is an appropriate time to restate our guidelines for readers who write to us.

Letters that are short and to the point are better than long, wordy and circuitous ones. They also stand a better chance of getting printed.

The editor reserves the right to cut letters, but will do so as sparingly as possible and usually only for reasons of space or because they are unduly repetitive.
We do not publish any obvious libels or personal attacks that would get both the writer and the Messenger into trouble. We are also loath to print information we know to be untrue. Sometimes a letter will be held over until the next issue for space reasons. We never print letters that are unsigned. The printed versions of letters are also posted on our website,
Please, keep those letters rolling in. And remember the Messenger's motto: "God Save the First Amendment."

The letters below are published as they appeared in the print edition of the Messenger.

A Bite Too Many?

Dear Editor,

No, I'm not referring to Thanksgiving, although I am thankful that, of the many times my neighbors' dogs have attacked and bitten me while I walked down the public street, I've never been severely mauled! Hey, how many times does your neighbors' dog have to bite you, before its "OK" to call the Animal Control Authorities? Towo or three times? I bet many Dog Owners would say "five times" at least. What's the "Topanga Rule Of Thumb" in cases like this? Many Dog Bite Victims such as myself would say "Once is more than sufficient."

If a dog tries to bite you, but is unsuccessful, were you really attacked? I bet many Dog Owners would say "no."

How many Dog Owners know their dog has bitten someone in the past, but believe it will "never" happen again? Is it reasonable to believe that a dog that has attacked someone once, will never do it again? I don't think so.

Does a Dog Owner's "right" to allow their dog to illegally wander the street supercede your "right" to walk down that same street without being attacked? I think some Dog Owners are unclear on this concept!

If your neighbor's dog bites you and you call Animal ControlWho is the real jerk here? The Dog Owner, or the Dog Bite Victim? I think you know what I'd say!

Sooner or later a child will be severely mauled in Topanga by a dog who's owner thinks its "OK" for his beast to roam free.

Dog Owners, rise up, and call your local legislature and demand a change in the law, so you can legally allow your dogs to roam free! Their emotional/spiritual well being is at stake! Call your County Supervisor at: 818-880-9416.

Dog Bite Victims, Rise up, and call Animal Control anytime you are attacked or threatened! Your life, and that of your children, are at stake! Call Animal Control at: 818-991-0071.

I realize most people don't go for walks in TopangaThey are either too lazy, or they get their exercise at the gym in The Valley, or they are simply too afraid to walk alone down the street for fear of being mauled. What will it take to make our streets safe? A child's life?

Hey Topanga, What do you think about this?

- Richard Johnson


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