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Community newspapers serve a variety of purposes, and one of the most important is to provide a voice for the opinions of its readers.

Because, this is not the publication of Eagle Newspapers, or of its editorial board, really. We hold it in trust for the communities and the overall county we serve to provide you not only a place where you can find out what is going on and what your neighbors are up to, but also a platform to state your opinions.

This is important, as that opinion attempted in a larger publication may get lost in all the other voices, or not run at all.

This opinion page is critical for county residents to help sort out and clarify confusing issues or conflicting statements. We were especially pleased these past months to see the thoughtful dialogue raised on the Syringa Hospital helipad issue, and readers use it regularly during election times to support candidates or raise issue with their platforms.

Or maybe you just want to thank the community for supporting your fund-raiser or community event?

Perhaps you have an ongoing beef with the Forest Service? (Ya, we’re looking at you, Leonard Wallace of New Meadows.).

Or you just like flying in the face of the conventional right-wing, GOP-dominated politics of the region, and praise President Obama while vilifying all those Republican cronies (thank you, Robert Schultze of Riggins).

It’s an enjoyable page that can have you run the gamut of emotions: frustrated with writers’ opinions, laughing with a light-hearted column, and uplifted when you see the support this community provides for each other.

And we’re encouraging you to write a letter. It’s easy (by mail or e-mail), and with a few guidelines just to keep it fair as well as civil. Summary: no more than 350 words; don’t be crude or libelous; do your own work (no form letters or stealing off the Internet); don’t think we’re going to run weeks of you and some turkey saying, “ya you did! No I didn’t!” back and forth; and sign it because we won’t run it otherwise.

Now, look to the right, start reading. And get inspired.

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