Dear Sun Spots: Many thanks for all the help you have given me in the past. My recent problem concerns the TV converter box, which I have installed in order to continue receiving HDTV reception after Feb. 19, 2009.

I would like to know what causes the picture to have a black area appear during a thundershower, etc. I have not been able to find any answer to this unexpected and disappointing problem.

The box was purchased with the $40 coupon as advertised. Any help would be greatly appreciated. – No Name, No Town.

Bart Forbes, public affairs specialist from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, suggested checking with the retailer where you purchased the converter box or contacting the manufacturer of the box.

He notes that there are 140 different converter boxes on the market, so it would be difficult for him to pinpoint an exact problem.

He also wonders if this only happens on a specific channel. You may be able to seek assistance from the channel’s local engineer.

Dear Sun Spots: I just read my suggestion regarding coffee grounds in the paper (Sun Spots, Monday, Sept. 1) and realized I neglected to add ‘used coffee’ grounds. Hope this helps, thanks. – M. Glass, Farmington.

Dear Sun Spots: Thanks for offering this great service, I never miss a day. I have two boxes of National Wildlife Magazines (not National Geographic) to give away. They are from 1970 and 1980, free, just come pick them up.

Most articles are pertinent to today’s lifestyle. Please call 786-0478. – Jeannie, Auburn.

Dear Sun Spots: I graduated from Leavitt Institute in the class of 1934. I would like to have a copy of the yearbook (Angelus) of that year or one from the early 1930s with any information on the band that was organized by my grandfather Harry Burdin. Thank you for any help I might receive. I may be reached at Edgewood Residential Ctr., 221 Fairbanks Rd., Farmington, ME 04938; phone (207) 779-1680. Thank you. – Dorothy (Burdin) Reynolds, Farmington.

Dear Sun Spots: I recently heard that Carrie Hopperstad and husband John (channel 13) were expecting a baby. When is it due? And is she planning to continue working? – B.L.P, No Town.

Answer: Sun Spots corresponded with Carrie Hopperstad who said that she and John are expecting their third son in early November. Carrie is planning to continue working, although she is looking forward to taking some time to be with her family.

Dear Sun Spots: We are a family with young children who is hoping there are music and art programs in the L-A area for toddlers/preschoolers and elementary students.

Do you know of any multimedia art programs similar to what Doodlebugs in Lewiston used to offer? We are not looking for drawing or painting classes, but rather a program that would expose kids to a range of art and techniques. Also, are there any music and instrument programs for younger (ages 1-4) kids similar to Music Together or Kindermusic programs? Thanks for any help anyone can offer! – Auburn parents, Auburn.

In addition to responses from readers, consider contacting Fiddlehead Center for the Arts, a nonprofit organization in Gray. They offer a wide selection of classes for children and adults of all ages, such as yoga, art sampler classes, story time art and Kinderdance.

They also offer private music lessons. You may view their schedule of classes at or call (207) 657-2244 for more information.

Dear Sun Spots: There is a critical need for volunteer tutors in all of the Literacy Volunteers programs. Patient, creative adults, age 21 or older with at least a 12th grade reading level are urgently needed to provide basic instruction in reading, writing and math.

A tutor training workshop will be held on two consecutive Saturdays, Sept. 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sept. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon. Preregistration is required by Sept. 5. Literacy changes lives. Please call Literacy Volunteers at 333-6601, ext. 1321 or email [email protected] Information can also be found on our Web site at Thank You! – Tahlia, Auburn.

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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