DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am one of the field captains for the Great Falls Balloon Festival Zebras. As some of you know, the festival is Aug. 19-21. We help provide security for the festival as well as helping balloon crews on and off the fields. Also, we try to help other special events throughout the year.
Right now, we are in real need of more Zebra volunteers, Anyone who can help us on either of the daily launches or throughout the day please come join us. Last year we had a lot of fun, and this year we look forward to even more fun.
If you are interested, please call me at my home, 786-2197, or my cellphone at 754-4111. You can even reach me online if you have any questions. There will also be a training and briefing session on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Railroad Park field. Thank you for your assistance in providing this great column. — Richard L. White, RichardLWhite@live.com
DEAR SUN SPOT: I understand that everyone on Social Security has to go on direct deposit in the future. Can you tell me when the date will be effective? — B.L.P., No Town
ANSWER: Sun Spots found the following on the Social Security website (www.ssa,gov) in the frequently asked questions section:
"Effective May 1, 2011, applicants filing for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefit payments must choose either direct deposit or the Direct Express debit card. Currently entitled beneficiaries and recipients receiving payment by check will have until March 1, 2013, to switch to direct deposit or the Direct Express debit card. As of March 2011, 85 percent of all Social Security and SSI beneficiaries received their benefits by direct deposit. For more information, please visit the Department of the Treasury’s Go Direct website www.godirect.org."
While some readers may not be pleased about this change, with all the problems the U.S. Postal Service is having, at least with direct deposit seniors won't have to worry about getting their check in the mail.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am interested in the term trophy turkey here in Maine. We have the biggest bird of Maine, over 200 pounds, but nowhere have I seen how you can determine what a trophy turkey is in Maine. — Brian, Dixfield
ANSWER: Sun Spots thinks Brian must have made a mistake writing his letter. A turkey that weighed more than 200 pounds wouldn't be able to even stand! So Sun Spots is going to work on the basis that he meant 20 pounds and just got carried away with his zeros.
A call to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife redirected her to Harry Vanderweide of the Maine Sportsman, who keeps the turkey trophy records for Maine Fish and Game. Harry said the record turkey weighed in at 27 pounds 12 ounces and was shot by Sarah Levangie of Belfast on April 28, 2003, in Waldo County. The archery record turkey weighed in at 25 pounds.
If someone shoots a turkey that they want recorded as a possible trophy, Harry said successful hunters should send a photograph of themselves with the turkey, along with the signed weight slip from a state-certified scale. All of this information should be sent to Harry at firstname.lastname@example.org. The mailing address is the Maine Sportsman, 183 State St., Augusta, ME 04330, 622-4242.
If you want to see photos of trophy game, visit www.mainesportsman.com.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: Veterans interested in having their names engraved on the 22nd memorial stone in Veterans Park should submit their applications as soon as possible. The stone is already half full and we need time to process the applications before the stone is unveiled at Veterans Memorial Park on Nov. 11.
Veterans living or deceased who were honorably discharged are eligible. Residents from the communities around Lewiston-Auburn are also welcome. Applications need to be accompanied by DD214 papers. There is a $35 fee for the engraving.
Applications (or the request for an application) can be sent to L&A Veterans Council, P.O. Box 2316, Lewiston, ME 04241. For assistance, call me at 784-1206 or Joe Paradis at 786-0488. — Moe Dutil, vice chairman, L&A Veterans Council
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 also be e-mailed to email@example.com.