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Thanks to all who wrote letters in 2016

We have often said this is page is not our page, and if anything, this past year has certainly proven that.Sure, our editor writes a regular column and our assistant editor pens a piece from time time time. Sure, we run editorials written by our staff members from time to time.But in 2016, we received 52 letters to the editor, which provide those who care passionately about an issue, a cause or even a person a chance to share their thoughts with thousands of people each week.The election provided the inpetus for a number of letters, as did the upcoming school referendum that New Hampton Community Schools will put forth to voters early next year. But as we looked back through the past year’s papers, we realized how varied our letters are.Some were simple thank yous for support of community organizations, some called on us to remember farm safety, some remembered those who had passed away and some dealt with local issues, like the “bags-versus-bins” issue the New Hampton City Council dealt with in 2016.What we do know is we appreciate people willing to put their names and organizations “out there.”We believe that you helped spark good, healthy debate on a number of issues and topics, and we appreciate your work.As we head into 2017, we hope you’ll keep the letters coming, although we have made a few changes to our letters-to-the-editor policy.We’re asking you to please limit your letters to no more than 600 words apiece, and we’re also following the path of many other newspapers and limiting letter writers to one letter a month so that we can have a variety of opinions expressed on this page.At the same time, those who feel that they have more to say on a topic can submit a guest view, which doesn’t necessarily have a “length limit” but will be accompanied by a photo of the writer that can either be submitted or taken by the Tribune staff.Letters will be still be due by noon on Fridays, and they must be signed and include a phone number so that we can verity their authenticy.One of our mottos for this page has always been “Yours, Theirs and Ours,” and we take it seriously. We ask that you be civil. One of the things we learned on the playground a long time ago is that the fastest way to lose an argument was to resort to “name-calling.”Our hope is that letters to the editor will spark frank and honest discussion on issues and events that affect our area, and we hope to see more discussions in 2017.But before we bid farewell to 2016, we’d like to extend a personal thank you to the individuals and organizations who make this it is. Here is the list of those who shared their thoughts and talents this past  year:John Andersen, New HamptonLinda Anderson, Turkey Valley Education Foundation Board Mark B. Anderson, CrescoRick Boehmer, New HamptonAnnie Bohl, WaucomaArnie Boge (2), NashuaChickasaw County Farm Bureau (5)Chickasaw County Rescue SquadChickasaw Food Pantry Board of DirectorsChickasaw Hoop ClubPam Christopherson, Mason CityJim Cook, FredericksburgDare to Care for Officer Bob CommitteeTerry Denner (4), New HamptonCarson Eggland, Helping Services for Youth and Families executive directorDan Feuling, New HamptonAaron Flugum, Mercy Medical Center-NH CEO and presidentRachel Ginbey, RockfordAmanda Glaser, New HamptonDave Geerts, North WashingtonCassie Hackman, New HamptonBarb Havlik, New HamptonBarb Havlik, New Hampton Education FoundationJenn Heying, New HamptonHomes for Haiti Mission TeamSandra and Dave Jaschen, New HamptonBen, Jag and Tyce Jass, AldenJay Jurrens, New Hampton Schools superintendentPaul and Diane Martin, RockfordJay Matthews, New HamptonCloris Mehmen familyTodd W. Miller, New HamptonNew Hampton Music BoostersOld Bradford Pioneer VillageGeraldine Oltrogge, New HamptonState Sen. Herman Quirmbach, AmesChip Schwickerath and Harry Zipse, New HamptonLeonard Sinnwell, NashuaDennis Steinlage, New HamptonLaverne and Grace Swenson and Dawn Amundson, Fayette County Nature CenterTurkey Valley School Crisis TeamTed Wagner, New HamptonJamie Wegner, New HamptonSteven Zimmer, Floyd

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