Ballots go out Friday, meaning decision time is near for the Oregon General Election. Vote by Nov. 4, and have the confidence you have fulfilled a true act of volunteerism.

Voters in the City of Hood River will be able to hear directly from mayor and council candidates in three public events, including the Oct. 22 event at Dog River Coffee, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and the Oct. 23 candidate forum organized by Gorge Ecumenical Ministries (GEM).

Then there is “Office Hours,” a new idea worth supporting: Oct. 13 through Oct. 29, city candidates are hosting meetings at the times and dates listed, and anyone from the public is welcome to visit, ask questions and get to know their candidates for City Council and Mayoral positions.

Office Hours are at Dog River, 9 to 11 a.m.; Celilo, 5 to 7 p.m.:

Oct. 20: Dog River – Susan Johnson; Celilo – Bob Palmer

Oct. 21: Dog River and Celilo – Becky Brun

Oct. 22: Dog River – Dave Bick

Oct. 27: Dog River – Peter Cornelison; Celilo – Tim Counihan

Oct. 28: Celilo – Greg Colt

Oct. 29: Celilo – Dave Bick

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Letter writers are still encouraged to submit to “Our Readers Write” (and we had room in this edition for all but two that we have on hand). Writers are reminded, however, that no letter containing new assertions will be allowed after our Oct. 22 edition.

This is because candidates or supporters would not have a fair chance to respond in a way that would reach the bulk of voters prior to casting of ballots. That is, in the current voting system, anyone may fill out their ballots well ahead of Nov. 4. In effect, the period of debate is constricted to well before the actual voting deadline. Letters will be carefully screened from here out to ensure fairness.

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