Excuse me while I squeeze in a few words about some changes under way at the Blue Mountain Eagle.

You may have noticed the new flag on A1, with the photo of the bald eagle soaring at the top of the page.

The bird was caught in flight by Timm Collins, who came over from the Daily Astorian, a sister paper, to write for the Eagle before I was hired.

Another change on the front is the use of the left rail as an expanded index of what's in the paper - a table of contents, of sorts - to give readers a chance to turn directly to what interests them.We don't want to waste anyone's time.

Also debuting this week is "Buzz," a feature that highlights what scientists and tech-heads are doing and discovering around the world. The page will also report on new electronic games and advances in computers and handheld devices.

We're also planning to connect better with our Web site, www.bluemountaineagle.info, by using it to publish breaking news that happens between editions of the newspaper and to feature video interviews of local personalities.

Hey, I took a 240-question personality test before I was offered this job; so now I have a verified and stamped personality.

No local travel this week, because I had to attended a company conference at the Skamania Lodge near the Columbia River - oh, how horrible it was to be in the lap of wilderness luxury.

The occasion was a meeting of the editors and other manager types of the East Oregonian Publishing Co., which owns five other papers besides the Eagle.

I met people I had only known through e-mail and phone calls, and I was heartened by their welcome.

I even learned a thing or two, which I felt I had to, since the company was paying for everything.

The crowd at the Jimmy Allen Memorial Pig Feed on Aug. 21 at Holliday State Park also made me feel at home. Thank you.

Here's a reminder that my office door is always open, and my phone on the desk works.

Scott Mallory is editor of the Blue Mountain Eagle. He may be reached at editor@bluemountaineagle.com or at 575-0710.

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