Hope for Alzheimer’s

I am writing to commend Sen. Jeff Merkley for co-sponsoring the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act. This critical piece of legislation would increase access to information on care and support for newly diagnosed individuals and their families and would also ensure that an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis is documented in the individual’s medical record.

My mother recently died after 10 years battling Alzheimer’s. While Medicare covered hospitalizations and doctor visits, it didn’t cover doctors’ help with comprehensive care planning — we were on our own. And I literally carried her medical records from physician to physician so I could explain her issues. The HOPE Act would have helped Mom.

I thank Sen. Merkley for his ongoing commitment to addressing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and I urge him to continue supporting an increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health so researchers can someday find a cure or effective treatment for the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death.

I am committed to showing my support for the estimated 60,000 Oregonians over age 65 living with Alzheimer’s at the Bend Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sept. 19. To start, join or support a team, visit alz.org/walk.

Mike White


Too many right-wing columns

Sunday’s ​Bulletin​ (Aug. 9) rolled out the usual cadre of right-wingers for our editorial consumption.

Your readers were force fed op-eds from​ card-carrying​ conservatives David Brooks, Victor Davis Hanson, Charles Krauthammer and George Will — all feverish with their skewed beliefs. Nary a voice from the left​ today​ to ponder.

The Bulletin’s editorial broth, prepared by “fair and balanced” Fox “News”-like cooks, is inedible.

Rick Burns


Coexist with fire

I know, fires are burning, people are scared. It is a natural reaction, but it should not be the basis for more failed congressional policy.

Wildfires are natural — yes even in Oregon. When conditions are hotter and dryer, more fires burn. This is how it has and always will be. In wetter years, when fire weather is low and moisture is high, we are able to suppress almost any fire that starts. This circumstance has come to be accepted as the norm, but it is not natural and we should not strive for this objective.

Fires need to burn to keep our forests healthy, to continue the ecological cycle known as natural succession, and to support and increase populations of native biodiversity — the best hedge we are going to have against climate change. Areas of old, mature forest that burn at high intensity create the best wildlife habitat in a forest.

Yes, habitat which is even better than old growth habitat. Even spotted owls benefit from the increase in prey abundance that follows a fire.

What Congress needs to do is pass legislation that eliminates wasting taxpayer money on wildland firefighting and instead focuses on reducing the flammability of homes in the wildland/urban interface and fighting only those fires that are adjacent to communities.

We need to coexist with fire and not pretend, through misguided legislation, that we can or should prevent it from happening.

Rachel Fazio

Grass Valley, California

Hope for fighting fires

Central Oregon has already seen its fair share of wildfires this summer, and with the drought we’ve had this year, fire season is really just beginning.

If you’re like me, you’re tired of seeing our forests go up in smoke year after year. It’s time for a change.

It was refreshing to hear about the bill that Rep. Greg Walden helped pass in the House that will fix our broken forest management system. Now we need to pressure Senate to act.

The Resilient Federal Forests Act offers Oregonians hope during fire season. It would give the Forest Service tools to better manage our forest to deal with insects and disease and clean up and replant after a fire, all while helping strengthen rural economies.

Stand up for our forests and urge our Senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, to take up this bill and get it passed in the Senate.

It’s time for a change.

Donna McDonnell