The columns containing letters to the editor for today’s issue crept steadily down the page, compressing everything below and eventually spilling onto an adjacent space.

Some letters arrived in my email box, but a goodly number showed up in the old-fashioned way, tucked inside an envelope. A few were even handwritten.

I was happy to see each of them.

The biggest word on this page is “Opinion,” after all, and it pleases me greatly when the page bursts at the seams with opinions expressed by local residents.

We have much to opine about as the Nov. 6 election looms, to be sure, with candidates to choose and decisions to make about measures.

I believe the Opinion page — not just the Herald’s, but the place that almost every newspaper reserves for the same purpose — fulfills a vital role not only for the publications but for the communities they serve.

There is no shortage of opinions available for public consumption these days, and many are accessible, like so much else, via our phones.

But newspapers are portable, too — and even lighter, I daresay, than the slimmest smartphone.

Better still, this page remains a forum where people express themselves under their own names rather than indulging in the online cloak of anonymity which, so far as I can tell, has done nothing to enlighten public discourse and much to degrade it.

J ayson Jacoby is editor
of the Baker City Herald.