Dear Sun Spots: I have a small root cellar under my fairly old house. It’s dark and cool down there, with no light, a dirt floor and a few rocks. I think there might be some snakes down there. No one wants to go down there. I live alone. I’m wondering if I can put anything down there to get rid of them. I have a cat, but she doesn’t go down there. Thanks for any help. – An Old Lady, No Town.

Answer: Although many people have a fear of snakes, the snake species present in Maine are not poisonous (experts say the timber rattler was extirpated from Maine). They can still bite, however, as the mice and chipmunks they eat find out the hard way. If you wish to identify a species of snake, you can order a poster depicting the snake species in Maine from the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife at www.informe.org/ifw/merc/

Making your home unappealing to snakes may be preferable to killing them. According to www.ehow.com, you should consider the following to eliminate habitat. Snakes require heat to digest their food. Dry, rocky locations are havens to most kinds of snakes. Be aware when walking near woodpiles and large, flat areas of concrete. Remove hiding places. Snakes are shy creatures. When not hunting, snakes will hide in woodpiles, among flowerpots and under garden debris. Keep rodents under control. A hungry snake searching for food will follow its stomach. To control rodents, keep pet food indoors, garbage cans tightly sealed and vegetable gardens harvested. Erect snake-proof fencing around your garden. A low fence only 2- to 3-feet high and made of fine wire mesh will prevent snakes from entering. The Web site also notes that commercial snake repellents have been proven to be useless and advises you call in professional animal control firms or your local animal control office to remove unwanted snakes from your property.

Dear Sun Spots: The Rumford Book Club will observe its 100th anniversary this year. We are looking for former members to participate in a centennial celebration to be held this fall. If you are, or know, a former member, please contact any of the following: Clarice Hodges 562-7125, Patty Jones at 562-7172 or Gail Parent at 364-7482. – No Name, No Town.

Dear Sun Spots: Can you please tell me what happened to Alexis who was on “The Today Show” a while back. – Wants to Know, No Town.

Answer: Sun Spots has left messages on Glick’s home machine and has not received a response. However, it appears that Glick was replaced by Natalie Morales. Her future at NBC appeared uncertain as of June 2006. Sun Spots does not know much more than that but perhaps our readers who are familiar with this television program may be able to assist you.

Dear Sun Spots: I lost my mom last year to heart failure, and it’s been a hard year for my husband and I. She left me the house, and it needed a lot of repairs. So we work all day, come home and eat and work on the repairs. We have no time left for anything else. We used to do crafts and there are 2½ banana boxes full. We’d like to know if there is anyone out there that is willing to buy them. They would have to come and see what we have. Also, I have at least six stamped cross-stitch that were never done. If there’s anyone out there interested in any of these items, please call me after 4 p.m. at 782-6209.

In addition, I have several religious pictures and crosses that my mom had. My brothers and I have taken what we liked. I have called several churches to ask if I could donate them, but they say when their people pass away they leave most of it to the church so they’re all set. I’d like to know if there are any religious charities or organizations that would like to have these. I would be very happy to donate them. – L.C., No Town.

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