On Mayor Murray's district council executive order

Mr. Mayor,

Thanks to a text message that directed me to a West Seattle resident who hijacked the information from the West Seattle Blog, I just found out that you are dissolving the District Neighborhood Council system.

Yes, I am one of those white, well-off, retired people who populate the local district councils. For three years, I have been actively engaged in the Magnolia/Queen Anne District Council. This has undoubtedly been one of the most formative times of my entire adult life and I am so sorry that I did not get involved sooner.

Just last night, at our District Council meeting, we discussed the use of social media to attract new members to our respective groups. The groups I belong to are expanding membership greatly thanks to social media.

The people I represent are diverse! They work and do not have time to attend meetings!

You are doing a great dis-service to the local neighborhood grass roots political process. I am very, very sad today. Even more so for the great, neighborhood district coordinators who are now out of work?

This is a mistake; this action will set back community building by light years. Hard to believe from a mayor who proclaimed transparency during your campaign.

Carla Kotila

Increasing funding for Alzheimer’s research is a must

Dear Editor:

Fellow Washingtonians who attended the recent Alzheimer's Advocacy Forum in Washington, D.C., tell us it's encouraging to know we are making progress in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Having been an advocate and family caregiver for five years, I feel very strongly about the importance of Alzheimer's research, care planning for people following an Alzheimer's diagnosis, and palliative and hospice care for patients in the end stage of dementia.

I care about this issue because my mother was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 57. As a practicing physician for nearly 30 years, she was forced into early retirement due to the devastating effects of the disease. My father has also retired early to serve as an unpaid family caregiver.

Alzheimer's disease is the most expensive disease in America, costing more than $236 billion in 2016. Since none of the care provided slows the disease's progression, precious lives and scarce resources are simply vanishing. To increase annual funding for National Institutes of Health research on Alzheimer's — currently just below $1 billion — is a crucial investment. The Senate Appropriations Committee has just approved a bill adding $400 million to that figure. The House should do the same.

For those who have been diagnosed early, well-informed financial, legal and medical planning drastically improves a dementia patient's quality of life. For those in end stages, focusing on symptom management and reduction of pain and stress reduces unnecessary hospitalizations, sparing families trauma while saving public funds.

Congressman Jim McDermott, Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell have been very supportive of Alzheimer's legislation, which is outlined at www.alz.org/advocate. I thank them all and urge them to add $400 million for Alzheimer's research and also to cosponsor H.R. 3119/S. 2748, which will increase the availability of palliative care and hospice providers.


Mikaela Louie

Board Member, Alzheimer’s Association – Washington State Chapter