What a fabulous collection of letters this week!With the long-expected war in Iraq starting, and folks still riled up about Sen. Charles Starr and PERS plus discontent over the way the military treated slain recruit Michele Purcell, we have a broad selection of views.

That's wonderful.

What isn't wonderful is the tone of some of the recent letters we have received at The Daily Astorian. One this week disagreed with an earlier writer about the president's war policy and suggested she travel to Iraq to become a human shield. While we truly encourage free speech, that's making things rather too personal.

So this note is a plea to writers to make their points without making personal attacks on writers whose views don't coincide with their own. And do so briefly so your words don't crowd out other opinions. Keep your letter to the equivalent of 11/2 typed pages (double spaced) and everyone can have their chance. Also, writers are asked to submit letters only once a month to allow time to pass between submissions and allow the paper to reflect a diversity of writers.

- Patrick Webb

Managing Editor

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