Dear contributors to the "Your Opinion" (aka Letters to the Editor) forum published in our newspaper,
Thank you for the ongoing exchange of viewpoints on timely topics. Recent letters have focused on a wide range of local, state and national issues.
On the local scene, writers have weighed in concerning the trash service contract, proposals to build a conference center and to develop Adrian's Island, and the public school district's options to enhance secondary education.
Statewide, government efforts to revise Proposition B, the voterapproved restrictions on dog breeders, have attracted numerous letters. Other popular legislative topics have been proposals regarding a second nuclear plant and adoption of a Fair Tax, an issue at both state and national levels.
Also on the national level, much mail has focused on Obama's health care proposal as well as Democratic and Republican approaches to economic and budget issues.
"Your Opinion," as its name implies, is your forum.
On a number of issues, contributors exchange contrasting - indeed, diametrically opposing - viewpoints.
A reader once inquired about why they continue the exchange, since it seems apparent neither would convince the other.
The answer, perhaps, is they are not trying to convince each other, but the thousands of newspapers readers who either have not formed an opinion or remain open to changing their opinion when new evidence or logic is presented.
The most persuasive letters are those that advance a reasonable opinion based on facts.
The "Your Opinion" forum attracts an ongoing stream of letters, written both by regular contributors and newcomers.
We thank our contributors for their continued efforts and invite new opinions on timely topics.
Who knows? Your letter may be the one that advances the most sensible, persuasive insights on a complex topic.
Issue-oriented letters to the editor about topics of local interest are welcome. All "Your Opinion" letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to firstname.lastname@example.org