Dear Sun Spots: I have noticed driving from Hartford toward Route 4 on Bear Pond Road (Rt. 219) in Turner, that people across the road from the pond have put up signs “Private Property.” These are not town signs. It’s also not a town beach. Can they do that? Do they have the right to keep people out? I know Hartford has a beach. Thank you. – Alan, Hartford.

We spoke with Mary Wallace, president of the Bear Pond Improvement Association, who explained that most of the property along Bear Pond is privately owned. There is a 200-foot stretch of beach that is owned by the town and is for Turner residents only. By law, these private property owners have the right to post “private property” signs and control public use of their land.

Dear Sun Spots: Is there anyone out there interested in a 188-piece soap collection (1940s to 1970s); 33 boxed novelty pieces, 25 unwrapped novelty pieces, 130 hotel soaps from 26 states and Canada (many with 1940s and 1950s on them). All in excellent condition. Call 207-650-7191 if interested in making an offer. – No Name, No Town.

Dear Sun Spots: Realizing the historical importance of maintaining the integrity of the Bates Mill Complex as it stands in 2008, including Lewiston’s working canal waterway, I am seeking several hundred volunteers who will obtain signatures for a petition to stop the demolition of Bates Mill building No. 5 and the working canal waterway. Out-of -staters are welcome, too, since many are former Androscoggin County residents.

Every signature from 1 to 100 plus will help. This is not a petition referendum to vote on during election time. It is a petition to let the Lewiston City Council know that we do not want mill No. 5 and the canal waterway destroyed.

Bates Mill building No. 5 is an architectural gem. Please visit it before it is doomed to a pile of historic rubble. Inside the building, the vaulted ceilings are awesome. Albert Kahn, Henry Ford’s architect of 100 years ago, produced a one-of-a-kind ceiling and it is worth seeing in person. Take a tour of No. 5 and the canal waterway.

Lewiston’s working canal waterway at this time in our history still produces electricity provided by the water from the Androscoggin River. Do you appreciate this fact? Today, you should appreciate it, before it is filled in with concrete for parking lots for a virtually empty Bates Mill building No. 1. This electricity (an alternative hydropower energy source) could be used, hopefully with the help of FPL, to operate an electric line trolley (like in Lowell, Mass.).

This trolley system operated 100 years ago. If it were to be reintroduced in Lewiston, it would bring many tourists to Androscoggin County. They could tour the entire Androscoggin River waterfront, making every inch of the river accessible through an electric line trolley on both sides of the river.

This is a win/win vision for everyone living in Androscoggin County, thus increasing our quality of life, including breathing new life into Bates Mill building No. 1, especially since the power of the river is already there for our use, as it has always been.

State and federal grants will be sought. Call 207-783-9728 and leave your name and phone number and I will get back to you. I am a native Lewiston resident and former employee in the Industrial Engineering Dept. as a Time Study in the Bates Division. My father, Simeon Bolduc, worked in the Bates Division Weave Room No. 5 for more than 20 years. Time is of the essence. Please call right away. Thank you. – Rita Jean, Lewiston.

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