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Last Saturday's night sky was full of clouds, all set aglow by an iridescent full moon. Sitting outside by the fire in the fire pit, taking photos of the patchwork of clouds, I was thinking how I wish I knew more about the moon and the stars than I do. It would have been nice, I thought, to have someone versed in astronomy or physics to tell me why the light was bouncing around among the clouds like that.

One thing I've learned about the Swannanoa Valley is that it's full of knowledgeable people. Many grew up here and have a lifetime of learning in theology, math, literature and the sciences. Many retired after successful careers in industry, business, journalism, government and child-rearing. Lurking among us as we shop at the grocery store or nod to people walking along State Street are people with vast knowledge of mechatronics, global relations, Civil War history, early education and just about every other topic you can think of.

We'd love to have your thoughts on the Views & Opinions page. We're a local paper, for sure, concerned mainly with events and news that happens in the Swannanoa Valley. But the Valley is part of the larger world as well, so anything that happens anywhere happens to us indirectly in some form or fashion. We'd love your thoughts on what's going on in the larger world, as well as the world here close to home. We have space in the Views & Opinions page every week for insightful commentary that can help us better understand both the Valley and the world at large.

Feel free to send us your take on developments in the news, the sciences and the arts, on the local, regional, national and global scales. As recent letters to the editor about our recent choice in political cartoons have shown, what you see on the Views & Opinion page can get some dialogue started. How cool is that? We don't have to agree, but it's always good to hear various viewpoints. The freedom to express them is one of the things that made this country great.

You have a standing invitation. Keep your commentaries to 600 words. Be sure to include a phone number so that I can make sure no one is submitting a piece under your name (weird, but it happens). Consider this an opportunity to express your views. On just about anything.

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