Aloe vera plants to be given away for free

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DEAR SUN SPOTS: While we are feeling the heat of summer I have been thinking of some of the large snowstorms we had this past winter. What was the snowfall amount of the big storm we had in January? — Four Seasons in Maine.

ANSWER: Sun Spots wonders if you are referring to the blizzard known as Juno. Talking about the snowstorm during a hot spell in August is OK. From Sun Journal staff reports comes this information: Mainers were blasted by high winds and heavy snow as blizzard Juno barreled into the state Tuesday [Jan. 27, 2015], creating whiteout conditions and making travel dangerous.

There were no reports of deaths or serious injuries because of the storm, and temperatures registered around the 10-degree mark, officials said.

As of 9 p.m. that day Central Maine Power reported 1,526 customers were without power, 1,375 of them in Waldo County and 134 in York County.

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Snowfall totals ranged from 27 inches in Lewiston to 2 inches in Eustis in northern Franklin County, according to the National Weather Service report at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Turner and Gray had 22 inches, Portland Jetport 21.6, Bridgton 16.8, Hebron 14.5, New Sharon 14 and Farmington 9, the NWS report said.

Amounts varied depending on the distance from the low-pressure center that raced up the East Coast into the Gulf of Maine.

The director of the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport, Rick Lanman, reported wind speeds averaged 42 mph with higher gusts. He said the airport was technically open for business, but no flights were expected Tuesday and only maintenance staff were called in to work.

Schools, colleges, businesses and government offices closed for the day or closed early to allow people to get to their homes before the storm intensified in the afternoon. Schools were closed the following day.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: If I have a surplus of vegetables from my garden, as I usually do, where can I donate the surplus so that it is put to good use and doesn’t go to waste? — Good Gardener, Auburn.

ANSWER: Homeless shelters and food pantries are the most obvious places to donate your surplus garden vegetables. Good Shepherd Food Bank “gladly accepts produce from your farm or garden. You can drop off food at any of the Food Bank’s locations in Auburn, Brewer or Portland. Contact 207-782-3554 ext. 1109 or nperry@gsfb.org for more information. The Food Bank in Auburn is at 3121 Hotel Road. Hope Haven Gospel Mission is a homeless shelter at 209 Lincoln St. in Lewiston. Inquire about making donations at 207-783-6086 or by email, johnberry@hhgm.info.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Some of your readers have asked where to donate knitted, crocheted or sewn items for newborns. Here’s another way they can help babies. The United Way of Androscoggin County will host the 2015 Day of Caring and campaign kick-off starting with a breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11, followed by projects at 9:30 a.m.. All will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn Riverwatch, 14 Great Falls Plaza in Auburn. The United Way will collect contributions and donations of diapers. For more information, contact 207-795-4000 or info@unitedwayandro.org.

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to).

Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400.

Inquiries can be emailed to sunspots@sunjournal.com, tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots facebook page at facebook.com/SunJournalSunSpots. This column can also be read online at sunjournal.com/sunspots. We’ve joined Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/sj_sunspots.

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