Bringing history to life
On the evening of May 6, the West Linn Historical Society premiered a new event called Voices From the Past — West Linn's Walk of Fame. Guided groups visited 10 sites with actors portraying characters from West Linn's past. Participants heard interesting stories from the characters, like the fact that West Linn's first mayor, John Lewthwaite, participated in the Civil War and was injured in the Battle of Gettysburg. And that Robert Moore, the founder of Linn City, was a major in the War of 1812, had 10 children before moving out West, then married another woman with 10 children of her own. Participants also heard from actors portraying Hugh Burns, Ed and Anne McLean, Virgil and Dorothy Maddax and others (Virgil was portrayed by Mayor Russ Axelrod). As writer and producer of the event, I was overwhelmed by the level of acting and commitment our actors put into their characters. I would like to thank the actors, guides and everyone involved in helping to make this event a success. I would also like to thank Historic Willamette Main Street Program, Friends of Maddax Woods and Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation for loaning us canopies and other materials. Also, much appreciation to the Friends of the McLean House and Park for the cast party, the City of West Linn for use of Mary S. Young Park and the West Linn Tidings for publicity. The West Linn Historical Society believes just because we do not have a museum in West Linn, it doesn't mean we don't have a lot of interesting history here. Voices from the Past is another example of the Historical Society bringing history to the community to be experienced by all. Check us out at westlinnhistory.org.
Commit to the fight to end Alzheimers
This year, the annual cost of caring for individuals living with Alzheimer's or other dementias will reach $259 billion, $175 billion of which comes in direct costs to Medicare and Medicaid. Yet in 2016, for every $100 the U.S. government spent on Alzheimer's research, $16,000 was spent by Medicare and Medicaid to care for those living with the disease.
Thankfully, Congress is taking action. Just recently, a $400 million increase in Alzheimer's research funding was approved. I am proud that Senators Wyden and Merkley, Representative Schrader and the entire Oregon congressional delegation voted for this historic increase. Today, there are more than 5 million Americans living with this disease — the only leading cause of death without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.
Barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent or cure Alzheimer's, the number of Americans with the disease is set to triple over the next 35 years, and the cost of care will increase to $1.1 trillion in 2050.
It is only through adequate funding and a strong implementation of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease that we will meet its goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's by 2025.
Please join me in thanking our senators and representatives for their
commitment in the fight to end Alzheimer's.