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Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and ALS


Taxing candidates

In recent weeks, presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been under much political pressure to release several additional years of his tax returns. His refusal to do so has sparked speculation by some — namely Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — that Romney hasn’t paid any taxes in the past 10 years. For this reason, many Republicans have urged Romney to release his tax returns just to dispel these irresponsible accusations.

However, I believe that Romney should stand firm and not release another page of his tax returns. What purpose would it serve? We already have two years of returns, and it is no secret that he has amassed a great fortune. The only reason Democrats want the tax returns so desperately is so they have more political fodder to attack Romney as an out-of-touch rich guy. We have no evidence of Reid’s outlandish claims, and Romney has no obligation to answer to such irresponsible and outrageous accusations.

Some claim that this is about transparency, but this argument can only be viewed as absurd coming from those who support a president as secretive as Barack Obama. We elected a president with an unknown past and a laundry list of questionable associations without a question asked by those who blindly followed his empty message of hope and change. Until Obama becomes more open about the truth of his past, Romney should hold back his tax returns to avoid any cheap political points that may be scored by his opponents as a result.

Ryan Ward


Bangor walk

There are many talented minds working to defeat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Doctors, researchers and scientists spend countless hours conducting clinical trials and time-intensive studies to find an answer that will solve this puzzle, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

However, because ALS is still considered a rare disease — the ALS Association estimates that 30,000 Americans may have the disease, with 5,600 being diagnosed annually — we are fighting to raise awareness and research dollars.

ALS affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord resulting in the body slowly failing. Daily routines like showering and dressing become challenges and eventually physically impossible. All the while the brain remains sharp, trapped inside a failing body. There is no cure for ALS and there are no survivors, only fighters.

The Bangor Walk to Defeat ALS is working to fund vital research and make a difference in the lives of those with ALS. Drs. Greg Cox and Cathy Lutz of the Jackson Laboratory have been working to understand the causes and find a cure for ALS, which is made possible in part by

the money that comes in from organized efforts like the Bangor Walk. Over four years, about $160,000 has been raised to fuel research and community-based patient service programs in Maine.

On Aug. 25, at the Fifth Annual Walk to Defeat ALS in Hayford Park, supporters will help increase awareness of the disease and The ALS Association. To find out how to get involved, visit walktodefeatals.org and click on Bangor, Maine.

Janice Von Brook


High school placement

So let me get this straight: Gov. Paul LePage gets front-and-center placement with the “story” about his unfounded comments concerning Maine students being looked down upon, while the “item” about John Bapst Memorial High School being named the No. 1 high school in northern New England by no less than the Washington Post was buried on the very back page of the state section and the bottom story in the online edition of the BDN.

LePage’s drivel about the general public’s perception of Maine students and education notwithstanding, what a morale buster for the students, faculty and administration of this wonderful asset to the Bangor community and the state of Maine to be so marginalized in the local paper. And right before the 2012-13 school year is set to get under way.

Why not run a front page story celebrating the fascinating history of the school and highlight the various reasons that make it No. 1? Highlight some of the school’s alumni and their achievements and the campus’ beautiful architecture.

If this is the best that you can do for a school in your own community, well then it’s no wonder that Maine students might be overlooked in the scheme of things. If indeed that assertion holds any truth in the first place — I, for one, think not.

Kathleen Rogers


Support Joel

As a faithful reader of the BDN each day and, based on the stories I read, I am often left feeling discouraged by Maine’s political landscape. I know many of my neighbors feel the same way.

However, after learning of Joel Pitcher’s bid for a seat in the House of Representatives, I’m feeling much more optimistic.

If elected, Pitcher, a Democrat, will work hard to represent House District 50, which includes Waldoboro, part of Jefferson, Bremen and Nobleboro. He is a longtime resident of Jefferson and has worked as a shipbuilder at Bath Iron Works for the last 14 years. He can relate to working Maine families and especially to those in Lincoln County. He has lived here all his life except for his time in the military where he served with distinction.

Pitcher serves as the chairman of the Human Rights Committee at BIW where he supports the health and wellbeing of workers and their families by ensuring fair working conditions and equality and by assisting employees through difficult times. Through his work as chairman, he

has a breadth of experience finding compromise amidst differing opinions and beliefs and knows how to support and listen. Pitcher is the kind of person we need in Augusta. He has my support, and I hope that on Election Day he has yours, too.

Betsy Wooster


Wasted vote

I’m not writing to express my support for any particular political candidate. Who I intend to vote for isn’t something I will make public. I will, however, tell everyone that I will not waste my vote by voting for Ron Paul. It doesn’t matter if you think he should replace President Barack Obama or if you think he should be the candidate running instead of Republican Mitt Romney.

Paul stands the proverbial chance in that hot place of being the candidate for the office of the president of the United States.

Kevin Grant


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