Gyms busy this time of year

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DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have a membership to Planet Fitness and used the facilities in Lewiston weekly until they closed. I have gone to the one in Auburn since the closure in Lewiston but am just not happy there. The equipment is just so crowded and there are many times that you have to wait.

It’s just not convenient. Who wants to wait at each station before using the equipment or the treadmill? You want to get in, do your workout and leave.

Do you know why they closed in Lewiston and if they might reopen another in this area? Thanks. — Louise Dufour, louiseyvette@yahoo.com

ANSWER: Sun Spots spoke to Laura, the general manager at Auburn, who said that the Lewiston and Auburn locations have merged, and the Auburn location was expanded. She knows of no plans for further expansion or the opening of another location in L-A.

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Laura noted that January through March is their busiest time, what with dark, short days and cold weather. (Plus all those New Year’s resolutions!)

“If you come in at 5 after work on a Monday, it will be crowded,” Laura said.

But she offered ways for you to help avoid the crowds and get the best workout. She said that Planet Fitness offers free unlimited fitness training to all members. The trainer will work with you to figure out what machines are best for your program, and you can get a walk through the facility with tips on avoiding the crowded times and equipment.

Laura said that all the gyms in town are going to be busy this time of year and there is only so much they can do to balance the busy times with the super-slow times. Come spring, it will be wide open.

Laura said that if you have any other questions to please call Planet Fitness and leave a message, and she will call you back right away. She returned Sun Spots’ call in just a few minutes.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have sent letters to Sun Spots in the past with very good results, so here I am again trying to promote our L/A Veterans Memorial Park memorial monuments. We are in the process of finishing getting the names on the face of our next monument, No. 26 Side A.

We will shortly be processing applications for B Side of this monument and need another 108 names (two columns of 54 each) to fill it. If there is anyone out there who wants to have a name — their own, a relative or friends — inscribed on the latest monument and put it off, now would be a good time to have it done. We are hoping to have all the names fairly soon, so that the new monument could be unveiled on Memorial Day, May 26.

As you know “The Greatest Generation” is a rapidly dwindling generation. Of the 16.1 million World War II veterans, fewer than 1.7 million are still alive. They are dying at a rate of more than 600 a day. So now would be an excellent time to have their names inscribed on one of these monuments, which will be there forever for everyone to see and remember the sacrifices and hardships they endured for all of us.

Any veteran who has been honorably discharged is eligible to have his or her name on these monuments. It can be any branch of the service, any conflict, peacetime or wartime, National Guard or Reserves. You can contact me or you can also get applications at the City Clerk’s Office in Lewiston City Hall or at the Veterans Affairs office on Westminster Street in Lewiston.

Vietnam and Korean War veterans also need recognition for their service, especially Vietnam veterans (47,424 killed in action, plus the wounded or the ones taken prisoner), who were not properly honored when they came back.

As for Korea, they called that war “The Forgotten War,” but for the men and women who served and died (33,746 killed in action) or were wounded, it was a war they would never forget. I can speak for them; I was there. — Normand Cote, vice chairman, L/A Veterans Council, 11 Pineland St., Lewiston, ME 04240, 207-782-1725, nmcote@roadrunner.com

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 sunspots@sunjournal.com.

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