Want to write an editorial? Here's how

Starting this week, we're initiating a new feature on this page and on our Opinion page at www.mailtribune.com: Readers will have the opportunity to weigh in on the same topics we do, twice a week — and we'll print some of the submissions alongside our editorial.

Here's how it works: Go to www.mailtribune.com/yourviews and read a short synopsis of the position we're taking in the editorials for Friday's paper and Sunday's paper. If you have a different viewpoint — or if you agree but have specific points you'd like to see addressed — write your opinion of up to 500 words in the space provided on the Web site. Fill in the blanks giving us your name, e-mail address and a daytime phone number, and submit your opinion.

We'll publish selected opinions from those submitted alongside our editorial on the same day it appears in the paper. If we have too many suitable submissions, we'll run one or two in the paper and the rest online.

"Suitable" doesn't mean you have to agree with us — in fact, we hope to encourage a discussion about the issues we address by offering space to those who disagree with us. Suitable does, however, mean civil. We're not interested in hearing that we're a bunch of idiots because we don't see things the way you do.

We want you to make the best argument you can, preferably using facts and reasoning to back up your position.

Now for this week's topics:

In Friday's paper: First Presbyterian Church in downtown Medford is protesting the opening of the relocated Gypsy Blues Bar across the street from the church's day-care center. We think the church is picking the wrong fight and exaggerating the impact of the bar on its operations.

Agree? Disagree? Respond online by noon Wednesday.

In Sunday's paper: Organizers of a Medford food co-op say they may consider organizing a producer-owned co-op instead of a customer-owned co-op. We hope they don't lose sight of the group's goals in their zeal to make a deal. Respond on this topic by noon Thursday.

The Mail Tribune's Opinion pages are intended to provide a forum where members of the community can exchange views on matters of public interest. We have always done that through our editorials, letters to the editor, guest opinions from local residents with expertise on a specific local or regional issue, and through the syndicated columnists we carry.

Now we want to expand the conversation by inviting readers to tell us and the rest of the community what they think on the same day we do.

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