At some point in your life, you’ll probably encounter friends or family living with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 5.5 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s, including more than 92,000 people in South Carolina.

What you may not realize is that Alzheimer’s begins 15 to 20 years before the onset of dementia.

I am an Alzheimer’s researcher. I know the impact the disease has on people, and I am working every day to stop it. You can do your part to help prevent Alzheimer’s as well, while monitoring your own brain health.

The Alzheimer Prevention Trials (APT) Webstudy is a free, online memory test that you take in the convenience of your own home every three months.

Researchers will use these quarterly tests to track your memory and your ability to think. You will be notified if there are any noticeable changes over time.

In addition to tracking memory and thinking ability, the APT Webstudy also helps connect people with clinical trials that are testing new treatments that might slow the progression of, or even prevent, Alzheimer’s disease.

The webstudy is being conducted at sites across the country, including here in Charleston at Roper St. Francis.

Anyone who has seen this disease knows the toll it can take, not just on those who have it, but also on their loved ones. If you are over age 50 and interested in monitoring your memory and advancing Alzheimer’s disease research, learn more at APTWebstudy.org.

DR. PAUL AISEN

Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute

Keck School of Medicine of USC

Mesa Rim Road

San Diego, California

Please arrive early

As Charleston’s festivals commence along with the added celebrations of graduations, schools ending for summer vacations and upcoming holidays, our busy city and community will be bursting at the seams.

Charleston has changed a lot since I began volunteering in 1987 for many organizations, including Spoleto Festival USA. I am proud to act as an ambassador for Spoleto as well as an advocate for the city.

One thing I keep in mind is to arrive early for performances and other events in the upcoming window of May 24-June 9. Note: Some shows will not allow late seating at all, and this is one of the worst things to happen for both the patron and the house.

I strongly encourage all patrons to allow ample time to arrive early, park and find your seat with patience and grace.

Enjoy your weekend and enjoy the hospitality of this dear city.

SARA DWYER

Lazylake Court

Charleston

School zoning

At recent community meetings held by the Charleston County School District Constituents District 2 concerning rezoning for the new Lucy Beckham High School in Mount Pleasant, I found the lack of attendance figures and other specific information troubling.

As a parent whose children are going to be affected by the two main zoning options under consideration, I want to know how many students who are zoned for Whitesides Elementary and live north of the IOP connector will be separated from their friends and have to attend a different high school.

If nearly all the maps cut off the neighborhoods along Rifle Range Road between the IOP connector and Six Mile Road, shouldn’t we know the number of kids who live there, or at least an estimate?

What percentage of students who attend Moultrie Middle will be zoned to attend Wando instead of Lucy Beckham?

The new high school will be able to accommodate 1,500 students. If all five elementary schools in the zone attend, it would be 1,888. The projection for Proposal B1 for grades 9-12 is 1,587 students, and for C2 it’s 1,612, both of which put the school over capacity.

Proposal F, however, shows 1,442 students. The map doesn’t divide any elementary schools, but it doesn’t include Belle Hall zone, which is a large area.

At the meetings, the constituents didn’t seem to know how many kids would be affected. Since this whole issue is about numbers, why isn’t this basic information readily available?

PAMELA BROWNSTEIN

Downsberry Drive

Mount Pleasant

Palmetto roses

On Sept. 12, 2006, The Post and Courier published my letter to the editor addressing the presence of kids in the downtown area making and selling palmetto roses to earn money.

As a former business education teacher, I praised the folks who taught them this trade and hoped the city would find a way to educate these kids in the world of business.

The city did start a program to teach these kids some of the rules of business.

Upon completion of the program, the kids were issued a permit to wear to show they had completed the program and had been taught about the laws regulating businesses and vendors.

These kids now have an assigned space to sell from. This space is managed by the city free of charge. The problem is that some of the kids persist in going into other shops and locations and approaching customers in places of business rather than remaining in their assigned space.

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When approached by shop owners, some of the kids have been verbally and/or physically abusive — even to law enforcement officers. We have yet to see one of these kids fined or punished for their violations.

Somewhere along the way, we have dropped the ball. We must continue to train and encourage them, but we must teach them respect and proper procedure for running a business.

DAVID YOUNT

Cottingham Drive

Mount Pleasant

Thank you, Ralph

The Post and Courier has lost a fine person. Ralph Davis died May 9.

He and his wife, Lillian Davis, had been our newspaper delivery people for many years.

We appreciated their care in preparing the papers and delivering them early each morning.

When we were away, we always knew a stack of papers would be packaged and waiting at the front door.

There are times in our lives we just need to acknowledge the special things people do. So thank you.

LINDA SHOEMAKER

North Ainsdale Drive

Charleston

Another war?

We already initiated one 16-year war in the Middle East based on a “likelihood of weapons of mass destruction.”

We should not accept another. We are accountable for warfare dictates of the United States.

Should “likelihoods” justify more mass killing?

PAUL FLAHERTY

Atlantic Avenue

Sullivan’s Island