For some time now, we have been concerned that our guidelines for letters to the editor may be too restrictive and this is limiting your contributions to this important segment of the Pilot.

Therefore, effective with this publication, we are posting new and simpler guidelines. We hope your immediate response is to take a few minutes and either tell us what

you think or write a letter and let other readers know what is on your mind.

No subject is off limits. We will not ignore writers who may disagree with our editorials or challenge how we conduct news coverage. We will welcome them and will give them priority status for publishing as soon as possible, even if that means stretching a deadline now and then.

Our goal is to present a balance of informed and diverse opinions. Achieving that goal — spirited, lively and engaging conversations about local issues — is especially needed in these most divisive of times. So, if you do not see your viewpoint being represented in a debate, jump right in and send us a note.

We may have come up short in the past. We are all human and make mistakes. These changes are our pledge to always ensure that the Opinion page is open to all.

A couple of notes to avoid confusion, if you are claiming something to be a fact, let us know your source. Provide us with a link or just a quick note at the end of your submission. It is not that we don’t trust you, sometimes what we assume to be facts need to be verified. We won’t consider your citations to be part of your word limit.

Finally, be civil. No name calling or personal attacks against private individuals or other letter writers. If you disagree with a person’s published letter, say so and say why you disagree by sticking to the subject. We all have varying opinions on some issues and are entitled to them, whether others agree or not. Who knows, when you argue your point of view in a civil manner, you might actually persuade others to agree or reach some kind of compromise.

So bring it. Take a few moments and jot down what you think, a sentence or two or a full 300-word letter. If you think you need more than 300 words to make your point, let us know. We are open to exceptions and there is always our Public Forum Op-Ed as an option to voice your viewpoint.

Robin Fornoff

Editor

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