I was saddened to learn about the accidental death of 1967 Bowdoin classmate Mike Harmon, a longtime columnist and former editor for your newspaper.

I learned about Mike’s passing from another classmate, Tom Allen, who described him as a “thoughtful, talented, kind person who encouraged constructive debates.” Tom is a Democrat and a former congressman and mayor of Portland. He mentioned that his opinions often differed from Mike’s, but they could discuss those differences and have a dialogue.

I am a middle-of-the-road independent, and often disagree with what I read or watch from either the left or right. But columnists like Mike are invaluable in keeping our free-speech rights alive and learning tolerance for viewpoints that we don’t always agree with.

I hadn’t had the pleasure of talking to Mike Harmon since we graduated, but I enjoyed his columns for boldly expressing his opinions and daring to be politically incorrect. Our country needs open debate and compromise to move ahead, and I hope the Portland Press Herald will do its part in replacing his conservative views on your editorial page.

Bert Kendall

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.