Reader wants old newspaper plates

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DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am looking for sheet metal with newsprint inked on it. I believe they are called offset printing plates, which have been discarded after the offset printing process.

I don’t know if there are any newspapers that still use this process or if they still use metal plates. Any help in locating these used printing sheets would be appreciated. — James, jgammoniv@gmail.com

ANSWER: The Sun Journal does indeed still use metal plates, as do other newspapers. Technology has eliminated the intermediate step of going to film — instead, a huge, very expensive machine transfers the computer layout directly to the metal plates — but the plates are still very necessary.

You can buy the used aluminum press plates, which are about 24 by 34 inches, for 25 cents each. They can be picked up from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at the customer service desk, 104 Park St. in Lewiston. You should call 784-3555 first to make sure the plates are available.

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DEAR SUN SPOTS: Traveling Main Street in Lewiston, at the intersection where you can cross over to Sabattus Street, you have two lanes going straight in the right lane and the left lane. If you are in the left lane going straight, the lanes merge along the Dunkin’ Donuts side of the road.

What is very dangerous is when people cut off those that have the right of way.

I would like to suggest that if there were a lane just to turn into Dunkin’ Donuts it would avoid many accidents because of rude people cutting you off. I have thought of this idea for a very long time, and I would like to see something change before someone causes a severe accident in this area.

The road is narrow, but they’ve widened other parts of Main Street. There needs to be three lanes, with a turn lane into Dunkin’ Donuts. — No Name via email

ANSWER: Sun Spots checked out this situation leaving work at the Sun Journal one night after midnight, when there is very little traffic and it’s easy to see the road. She thinks she sees what you mean.

If you’re in the right lane and you don’t turn off to head toward Sabattus, you either need to turn into Dunkin’ Donuts or merge to the left with the traffic going straight. There are arrows painted on the road to indicate this, but they are very faint.

It is an extremely short merge, so when traffic is heavy Sun Spots can see how people could get into the wrong lane and want to make a quick change, which could cause problems. (Not to mention encouraging people to turn into Dunkin’ Donuts!)

A road-widening project of that magnitude would be very expensive, even if it could be done without unduly impacting businesses. As it is now, Dunkin’ Donuts only has room for a few parking spaces. Cutting a lane out of its parking lot might not make the store’s owners happy.

But city officials may see your letter and consider the options for improving the safety of this interesection.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: About 10 years ago a stove shop on Lisbon Street was selling a small wood cook stove that I think was called a Waterford Princess. The store is gone and the company doesn’t make the stove, but there must be somebody in the area who has a used one they would like to sell. — David Haines, dhaines@bates.edu, 784-4821

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am an avid beader. I was wondering if anybody has any beads they no longer use or want they’d sell for a reasonable price.

These beads are craft beads, such as tri beads, facet beads and any others. I will gladly pick them up in the Lewiston-Auburn area, as well as the Oxford-South Paris region.

I am also in need of plastic canvas. Thank you for your help. — K.J., Oxford, 689-4727

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 sunspots@sunjournal.com.

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