Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012: Run for office, east-west highway and ovarian cancer

Posted Feb. 22, 2012, at 3:25 p.m.

Calling Waldo Dems

The Democratic Party in Maine needs some fresh people to step up and run for office at every level. As a former legislator, I understand the time commitment needed to run a campaign and then serve, but time is critical to the political process.

It’s time for people to sign up to run for the November election. Maine is in a crisis of confidence in its politicians. The 2010 election brought in a wave of far-right senators and representatives and especially the governor.

What the Democratic Party needs is to have people run for office who will fight for the people they serve and not for canned legislation seemingly sold to them by big, corporate money outside Maine. For years there has been a cadre of loyal Democrats who have kept the party vibrant and focused on Maine. Many in this group, myself included, have pressing issues that make high-level participation impossible for this election cycle.

I have been calling outstanding people in my former District 41 to run for office with no success. We need candidates in all but District 43. I know that anyone who steps forward now will get the help and support they need for a successful run. Please look into your hearts. If you are dissatisfied with state government, then run for office.

For information, contact Neil Harkness, Waldo County Democrats, email nwharkness@gmail.com.

Veronica Garvey Magnan

Sandy Point

Committee doesn’t listen

I attended the Transportation Committee’s public hearing last week on whether Maine taxpayers should fund for a feasibility study for an east-west highway. I was appalled at the disrespect shown to residents who spent their valuable time attending a hearing to protect the Maine they believe in.

After proponents (legislators, administration, lobbyists and others, including a 35-minute PowerPoint presentation) took up more than two hours, opponents finally were able to be heard. After they began testifying, it became obvious that most committee members had already made up their minds and were not interested in comments from the opposition.

Sen. Doug Thomas, the bill’s sponsor, was laughing with the representative to his right during some testimony; another representative was text messaging. A few committee members behaved as though their time was being wasted.

Committee hearings are the only opportunity the public has to speak on bills, and we should not be made to feel that our time is being wasted.

The Transportation Committee’s hearing procedure should be revamped. If proponents and opponents take turns testifying, committee members will not lose interest in the opponents’ testimonies.

Maine residents should be encouraged to come to Augusta and participate in our democracy. Meetings conducted like this one was will do just the opposite.

David Wood

Hallowell

Forewarned is forearmed

The recent death of a friend has prompted this letter with the intent to raise awareness about ovarian cancer.

My friend was a healthful, middle-aged woman who received regular preventative medical care. This friend was the fourth woman I have known to die from ovarian cancer in the past two years. All four shared common symptoms and sought medical care when their symptoms began, yet were diagnosed in advanced stages.

Statistics and research about ovarian cancer reveal that most women are diagnosed in late stages. Symptoms are vague and an accurate screening test has not been found. Risk for developing ovarian cancer is 1.4 percent, however, it is much greater for women with a strong family history of ovarian cancer alone or combined with either breast or colorectal cancer.

The five-year survival rate is significantly better when diagnosed in early stages of disease supporting the urgency to find effective screening and early detection for ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer symptoms are vague and can be attributed to other, nonmalignant disorders, but they should not be ignored. These symptoms include lower abdominal pain, abdominal distention, urinary frequency and vaginal and rectal bleeding. Women experiencing any or a combination of these symptoms should ask to be evaluated for ovarian cancer as part of the medical work-up. Those having a family history, with or without symptoms, deserve prompt attention.

My intent is to raise awareness, not create panic. Consult your health care provider if this letter causes any concerns about risk or symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Barbara Carter, RN, BSN

SAD 22 school nurse

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/02/22/opinion/letters/thursday-feb-23-2012-run-for-office-east-west-highway-and-ovarian-cancer/ printed on July 28, 2014