WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     Have you always wanted to write a letter to the editor but didnít feel comfortable doing it?

    Well we are trying to make it easier for you to comment on things involving the community.

    The new column will  be called Sound Off! Praise or Ponder.

    This column is for people to comment in general either positively or negatively about issues in the community involving city government, school, community organizations or anything you think should be brought to the attention of the people.

    Letters must be no more than  150 words, and personal attacks on individuals will not be allowed. Content may be edited for clarity. Letters must be signed, along with a phone number for verification purposes only. Names will be withheld from publication and will be held in  strict confidence.

    Remember this is not a place to launch attacks on people or groups of people. We hope it will spur purposeful commentary that would  otherwise only be spread at the local coffee shops.  

    We feel the newspaper is your newspaper, and thus it should reflect the opinions of any or all people in  the community.

    We realize it is not  practical for many people to go to various public meetings to express their opinions, and in some cases may feel uncomfortable expressing their opinions in an open forum.

    We hope the promise of anonymity will encourage people to write a letter and express their opinions.

    Also if you feel there is a person, a group of people who should have recognition, for significant accomplishments, please feel free to write about that too.

    Please do not make personal thank yous to  individuals or groups. Also please do not talk about state or national politics or religion.

The following was sent in from a reader


    On the sixth day God turned to the Archangel Gabriel and  said: 'Today, I am going to create a land called  Minnesota.

    It will be a land of outstanding natural beauty; a land of  10,000 beautiful lakes, each one full of  fish.

    It shall have tall majestic pines, peacefully flowing rivers, landscapes  full of buffalo, tall grass, and eagles, beautiful blue skies, forests full  of bear, elk and moose, and rich farmland.' God  continued,

    I shall make the land rich in resources so as to make the  inhabitants prosper and they shall be known as a most friendly people, people who practice being Minnesota Nice  every day.'

     But Lord,' asked Gabriel, 'don't you think you are being  too generous to these Minnesotans?'  

    'Not really,' replied God. 'Just wait and see the winters I  am going to give them.'


Have a great week and do good!