Friend found, Sun Spots reminders


DEAR SUN SPOTS: I asked you for help with finding my long-lost friend recently. My sister called this morning to let me know you wrote about it in Sun Spots (Feb. 23) and within an hour I was in touch with my friend. Thank you so much!

—Tanya, no town

ANSWER: Well! This certainly made my day, Tanya. I wish both you and your friend the very best and hope you are having a fabulous reunion!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: A photograph accompanying a recent article regarding burning permits shows Maine Forest Service personnel burning in (presumably) a forest. I understand that permits require having a hose nearby, but how can I burn when in a location well away from a hose? Are water buckets sufficient protection? If not, how do you do it in compliance with Maine Forestry rules or advice?


Any help you can offer would be appreciated. I add my thanks for the service you provide.

—No name, Greene

ANSWER: I’m not sure what photo you are referring to, but if there is snow on the ground, it does make a difference. However, on the site, it is stated that when brush is being burned, two adults must be present at all times as well as a garden hose, buckets of water, and a few hand tools such as shovels and rakes.

If you have further questions, call the Maine Forest Service in Augusta at 207-287-4990 so they can give you expert, specific advice.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I help an elderly retired couple with their income tax returns. They want to know, because of the new tax laws, how much their taxes will be next year.

—No name, Lewiston

ANSWER: Mrs. Sun Spots has her limits and I have to leave making tax estimates to the experts. There are several experienced tax advisers and accountants in the Lewiston-Auburn area. AARP also provides excellent help to seniors during tax season and it’s free!

Besides H&R Block, which has several locations throughout our readership area, there is Liberty Tax Service at 272 Main Street (241-7991) and at 906 Lisbon Street, Suite 2 (513-1300) and Hopkins Tax Service at 101 Middle Street (782-2100), to name just a couple.

I’ll also take this opportunity to remind readers about Sun Spots guidelines as I have been meaning to do it for a while.

Sun Spots can’t publish opinion letters or anything political. Those get passed on to other departments here at the Sun Journal. For Sun Spots, there must be a request involved or helpful information offered in response to a request. Only nonprofits (charities) can ask for freebies. Individuals must offer to pay for items they are looking for. I love getting letters recounting letters that tell of acts of kindness.

If you have a complaint about a hotel you stayed at on the other side of the country or you’re unhappy with your doctor bill or a neighbor’s barking dog, Mrs. Sun Spots cannot do much to help you sort out your dissatisfaction or hurt feelings. Attempting to talk things out with those involved is always the best way to go. I’m not trying to pick on anyone; I’m just giving some solid examples of what doesn’t work in Sun Spots Land.

Thank you to all you lovely readers!

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 emailed to