Dear: I read Sun Spots every day. It is very interesting to look at.

Now I have a question for you:

Could you please tell me the dates, names, for the year 2007?

Also regarding the state quarters, which ones are being released in 2007? – Bea B., Lewiston.

According to, 2007 is the Year of the Pig. The first day of the Chinese new year is Feb. 18, 2007.

The site notes that there are three ways to name a Chinese year:

• By an animal (like a mascot). In this case 2007 is known as the Year of the Pig. There are 12 animal names; so by this system, year names are re-cycled every 12 years.

• By its Formal Name (Stem-Branch). The new year is the year of DingHai. In the ‘Stem-Branch’ system, the years are named in 60-year cycles, and the name of the year is repeated every 60 years. 2007 is the eighth year in the current 60-year cycle.

• The current year is Year 4704 by the Chinese calendar.

The Chinese calendar has been in continuous use for centuries, which predates the International Calendar (based on the Gregorian Calendar) we use at the present day, which goes back only some 425 years. The calendar measures time, from short duration’s of minutes and hours, to intervals of time measured in months, years and centuries, entirely based on the astronomical observations of the movement of the sun, moon and stars.

Regarding your second question, you might have noted in the Jan. 19 column that there is no actual date set for those quarters being released this year and next. Those to be released this year are: Montana, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. In 2008, the states being released are Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii. If you are interested in ensuring you’ll get these coins upon release, you can subscribe online at the U.S. Mint Web site at

Dear Sun Spots: Is there anyone out there who is interested in National Geographic magazines going back several years or some painters interested in Thomas Kincaid calendars for the pictures? If so, I can be reached at 353-4945. – C.F., Lewiston.

Dear Sun Spots: We here at the nonprofit nursing home, Community Partners, 24 Old Lisbon Road, Lewiston, are so very grateful to column readers. We had requested a gently used dining room table and readers really came through for us. Thank you so much for your generosity. We really wanted to thank all the helpful people who offered their assistance. We hope to continue asking for support from our community, especially since we cannot financially afford to make large purchases but would like to assist our residents in being more comfortable. We have another request and hope our fellow community members can also assist here. We are in need of a massage table which is foldable and light weight. This is used as an adult changing table when we go to the YMCA for therapeutic swimming. Anyone wishing to help us can please contact Jennifer Staggs at 786-0482 Monday to Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Jen Staggs, Lewiston.

Dear Sun Spots: I enjoy the help you give to people and read the column every day. Could you please get me the address for Walter Drake catalogues. I often order cards from them but I’ve lost the address and their catalogue. Thank you. – No Name, Lewiston.

Contact them for orders via phone at 1-800-525-9291, from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. CST. To contact customer service call 1-800-858-4979, during the same hours and also for seven days a week. You can also write to them at Walter Drake P.O. Box 3680, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3680. They are also located on the Web at

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 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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