Dear Sun Spots: When someone is in his or her late ’50s and applies for a job and is qualified but not hired because of age, isn’t that discrimination? Who would you contact about this? – No Name, No Town.

Answer: Without knowing much about your individual situation, Sun Spots is not in a position to guess here. However, if you feel you have been forced to retire or otherwise discriminated against because of age, or would like more information regarding your rights as a job applicant, employer or employee, call or write to the Maine Human Rights Commission, 51 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333, 624-6050. Sun Spots wishes you the very best of luck.

Dear Sun Spots: I enjoy your column every day and have gotten help from you several times, which I appreciate very much. I am again looking for Oprah Book Club selections. I got a list of all of the books she has featured since she started the book club and have managed to get most of them at used-book stores.

I have not been able to find a copy of “A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey, which I would very much like to get. Would any of your readers have one they are willing to part with? I would pay a reasonable price for it, such as what I would pay at a used-book store. Also, there are four other ones that I have not been able to find. They are: “Stones From the River” by Ursula Hegi, “The Meanest Thing to Say” by Bill Cosby, “The Treasure Hunt” by Bill Cosby and “The Best Way to Play” by Bill Cosby. Would anyone have any of these?

I appreciate any help your readers can give. Thank you for any assistance you can give. – B.T., New Gloucester.

Answer: In addition to responses from readers, Sun Spots would encourage you to search www.amazon.com

In the meantime, you might also contact the following used-book stores, which should be able to special order these if they don’t have them in stock: General Eclectic Books, 65 Lewiston Road, New Gloucester, 926-4060; Mr. Paperback, 855 Lisbon St., Lewiston, 783-2273; Pepperell Books, 550 Lisbon St., Lewiston, 344-6900.

Dear Sun Spots: My class reunion committee is looking for white bud vases, the kind about 6 to 8 inches tall. If you have any you’d like to donate, please call Jackie at 743-7152. Thank you. – J.S., South Paris.

Dear Sun Spots: I am looking for vintage photographs in any condition to be used in my collages – cabinet-type or just regular photos. I will pick up or pay postage for them. They can be ripped or even mildewed. I love to use them in collages and have run out. – Ruthann Leblanc, No Town.

Dear Sun Spots: After many years of buying it, I have recently begun making my own bread.

I have an aluminum bread pail I use for this purpose. When I do, the aluminum invariably leaves gray marks on the surface of my counter or kitchen table. I’m guessing this is caused by aluminum “dust” sloughing off the bottom of the pail. Is this a correct assessment? If so, is there a process to treat the metal to prevent it? Thank you. – Martha, Tyrone, Pa.

Answer: According to www.doityourself.com, aluminum reacts with air to grow its own thin oxide coating very fast. This hard, dark-gray coating protects the metal. It’s found on all bare aluminum surfaces, including utensils, which, if rubbed on a counter or range top or other material, make a dark-gray mark. If washed off the outside of the pan, it quickly forms again.

The Web site recommends removing stains from the outside of aluminum pans with silver polish or mild nonabrasive cleaner. Soap-filled steel wool pads scratch the outside surface, so use only when removing burned-on food or grease is more important to you than the scratched pan.

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). 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 posted at www.sunjournal.com in the Advice section under Opinion on the left-hand corner of your computer screen. In addition, you can e-mail your inquiries to [email protected]


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