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I’ve been pleased to see the letters to the editor flowing to my inbox the way they have been the last month.

Once in a while, I hear that the Chieftain isn’t representing the views of the county’s citizens. Yet letters to the editor are one of the best ways for people to be heard. At times, they rush in much like the Wallowa River does at the beginning of spring. Too often, though, they trickle at the rate the river did in late summer this year.

Letters to the editor carry an importance, one many readers miss out on. This is the easiest for a resident to get their opinion out there, to offer their take on any topic.

We run letters to the editor on any topic you can imagine, from any viewpoint imaginable — conservative, liberal, independent or any other ideology you may or may not subscribe to.

Opinion, as best as we can, is kept out of the news portion of our publication. The Opinion Page is set apart for exactly what it’s name says — the opinion of the person submitting a piece, whether it be a from syndicated columnist, from our newsroom or from the readership.

It’s important for this to be in the paper given we make the attempt to run strictly news articles that are based on facts and that keep opinions out of them in the rest of the pages. We don’t do this perfectly, but we do so, in part, with the hope that we can present the middle line — not too far to one side or the other — as the middle is where the truth often is found.

Frankly, I want your letters to the editor. I want to be able to see what your views on topics are, and get them out there for the public. I originally wrote this column about three weeks ago to encourage letters to the editor as we were in a massive dry spell of them. Space limited running it at the time, and with my inbox inundated in recent weeks, I actually had to alter this piece.

But what follows, the second reason I wrote this column, I still want to pitch, and see if there is interest in the community

In addition to your letters, I also want your feedback on the paper in general, which is why I am putting out the call for a “Coffee with the editor” meeting which, if successful, I would hold periodically.

The purpose of this will be twofold. One, it will give those who attend an opportunity to voice their takes to me directly. And two, it will allow them the opportunity to ask me questions — questions that I will do my best to answer.

This is not something I have done before, but, if well-attended and successful, it is something I would like to do maybe once a month to hear from the public.

Readers, if you are interested in meeting with me with a group of other subscribers to ask questions and give feedback, email editor@wallowa.com with the subject “Coffee with the editor.” You also can call me at 541-398-5502. If we get 10 individuals on board, I will follow up with each of you to set up a meeting time.

For those who haven’t submitted a letter to the editor but want your opinion heard, email them to editor@wallowa.com, and include “Letter to the editor” in the subject line. They can also be mailed to 209 NW 1st Street, Enterprise, OR 97828. Please limit submissions to once every two weeks.

I look forward to hearing from you and, perhaps, meeting with you.

———

Ronald Bond is the editor of the Wallowa County Chieftain.

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