We welcome your letters.

In many ways, they are the lifeblood of the paper. We want to know what readers think, and readers want to know what fellow readers think.

After all, “Our Readers Write” is the official name of the letters column — one chosen years ago to give primacy to the authorship of this portion of the newspaper.

We remind all writers that “shorter is better” for readability, but if you need the full 350-word limit, go ahead and use it.

But 350 words is our limit, and we are sticklers for it. We ask that you save yourself and the staff the time it takes for us to respond when a letter runs over that. Our revised website has a built-in letter limit to assist writers.

Remember that your name and hometown, with daytime phone number (not for publication), must be attached so we can verify authorship.

We do our best to fact-check for accuracy, but we are short-staffed so readers are asked to make sure of veracity themselves. Letters that contain clear inaccuracies or are libelous, malicious or vindictive we will not publish.

Letters of thanks go, in most cases, in the separate Community page, and poems are very much on a case-by-case basis — usually we won’t publish them. Letters critical of individual businesses are almost never published. We reserve the right to limit the number of letters on a given topic, and to rule out letters when their degree of taste is questioned. All that said, there are few letters we ever decline to publish, and this is a good time to note that we do not “pick and choose” nor do we rule anything out because of political viewpoint. If you submit a letter and don’t see it right away, you may call our office and inquire.

Deadlines — and this is new — are Wednesday at noon. for the Saturday edition, and Friday at noon for the Wednesday edition (allowances made for timeliness, as space is available).

Letters are a community service provided by those who write them. You don’t have to agree with what they say, but we should be gratified that they exist. Letters are a critical part of the dialogue that is a critical part of community. Letters help any newspaper fulfill its obligation to provide this service. And we publish them out of more than an obligation; we understand their meaning, and happily provide, in most editions, as much room as is needed.

We encourage readers to send us their viewpoints. What you think truly does matter, and we invite you to share it.

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