Dear Sun Spots: I am writing in hopes you can help me. My parents are both elderly but are still very self-sufficient. They feel overwhelmed with the amount of letters they receive weekly from organizations looking for money. They have tried mailing them back with a note requesting to be taken off their mailing list. So far, this hasn’t worked. Do you or your readers have a phone number or a mailing address of someone we could contact to put a stop to all this mail. I will be waiting to hear from you. Thank you. – No Name, Lewiston.

According to the American Institute of Philanthropy, a national charity watchdog service, you may contact the Direct Marketing Association to have your name removed from the mailing lists of some direct mail marketing companies and nonprofit organizations. You may do it online at for a $1 fee or write to: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, PO Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512. Include your name, address, signature and a telephone number in case they need to contact you. Also include a $1 check or money order for processing. Let them know that you wish to have your name removed from both commercial and nonprofit organizations’ lists. AIP suggests the following wording: “I do not wish to receive any unsolicited advertising, sales or other mail solicitations at this address.”

Please note that it may take three months or more before you see a drop in unsolicited mail coming to your home. Hopefully, this will help reduce your volume of unwanted charity mail. However, not all companies use the Mail Preference Service, so if you continue receiving solicitations, they suggest contacting the company directly (you may need to call) and ask to be placed on their do-not-mail list.

Dear Sun Spots: I want to thank all of the people of Lewiston who feed stray cats. My cat jumped from my arms on Lewiston on Aug. 29. She would not let anyone pick her up so that she could be returned to those who love her so much. The animal control officer told me he had no tools to catch her and was not going to try. About two weeks later, I sighted her myself and bought a trap. She never went into it.

When she finally let herself be caught, she had been missing for two days short of five weeks. She had ingested antifreeze, and was so weak that she died within an hour of our reunion. I know God has seen their kindness to lost and wild animals (that are of a type that are usually domesticated) and their acts of kindness have received His praises.

For anyone in and around the Lewiston, Auburn, Sabattus, Greene, Poland, Minot, Mechanic Falls, Oxford, Norway, South Paris, Naples areas, etc., I offer up my trap to help you reunite with your loving pet. Just call me at 998-7042 or call the Greater Androscoggin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 786-4713, and they will give you my number. Thank you to all who tried to help us unite with our “Princess”; I’m sure these are her sentiments, too. – Betty, Poland.

Dear Sun Spots: I am looking for pinking shears if someone has a pair they no longer use and are willing to give away. Also, I need fabric remnants or scraps of cloth. I use them to decorate baskets, which I donate to charitable groups. Thank you. – No Name, No Town.

Dear Sun Spots: Maybe you could answer this question? How come they changed the CD plastic container to cardboard? The cardboard is no good – it’s hard to get the CD out and also it scratches the CD. Or maybe you have a phone number or address I could call or write.

I have no computer so I can’t go online to find out. Are there any readers that have any good CD plastic containers they don’t want? I’ll be glad to take them. Thank you. – D.S., Livermore.

An employee at Bull Moose Music in Lewiston told Sun Spots that not all CDs are sold in cardboard cases. Some are still sold in the plastic cases you prefer. They noted that is up to the artist whether they use cardboard or plastic. We recommend contacting the artist’s recording label for information on their preference.

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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