Despite visits and telephone calls from an assortment of people, all expressing surprise that I'm tied in to the FriendsofSunnyside.com website, which endorses Mike Farmer for the Sunnyside City Council, I profess no allegiance to any one group or candidate.
The calls started coming in shortly after a personal column I wrote for the Daily Sun News' opinion page appeared on the Friends of Sunnyside website. Because my name was attached to that opinion piece, and because it appeared on the local website, people incorrectly assumed I was tied in with that group.
The manager of the website in question, Wayne Overland, called me to ask permission to post my column. As has long been the Daily Sun News policy, we freely lend our stories and photos to other groups and individuals, asking only that they give due credit to the authors responsible for those pieces of work. Mr. Overland did that, clearly stating the opinion piece that appeared on his website was written by yours truly.
I may or may not like everything that appears on the Friends of Sunnyside website. Either way, it doesn't matter, because the Daily Sun News does not pick and choose who can have free access to our stories and photos. We gladly provide that service to all those who take the time to submit a formal request.
There are some in the community who use the work of the Daily Sun News and freely post the newspaper's photos to their blog, without obtaining permission. The Daily Sun News could pursue this copyright breach through the civil court system, but because of the expense and time involved we prefer to think of our pilfered work as helping to promote the concept of freedom of speech.
That's not to say, however, that the type of person who infringes on copyright laws, who takes what is not theirs and uses that information for their own personal gain, can be trusted. Quite the opposite, actually, especially if such a person were running for public office.