Editor’s note: As Sun Spots celebrates its 36th year of publication, Sun Spots writers thought readers would enjoy reading an assortment of questions and answers from the first few columns:

Dear Sun Spots: When shopping at the Lewiston Mall I noticed that two stores carried the same style dress, one was priced at $12.95 and the other had a price tag of $20.95. The dresses appeared to be of the same quality and material and I would like to know if this is fair to the consumer and how can this type of thing be prevented? Does the Chamber of Commerce have any control over this type of retailing? – D.M.W., Turner.

Answer: Check the dress over carefully and if you still feel that both are of the same quality, grab the less expensive one. However, there is no control over merchandise and when the store owner buys; it is his to sell at any price he wants, but competition being what it is, he governs it himself. William P. Tewhey, executive vice president of the Chamber of Commerce, said that there is nothing the Chamber can do about these things but sometimes what appears to be the same quality merchandise is not and an average person cannot tell the difference. At times the varied price difference comes in the tailoring and detail work.

Dear Sun Spots: Why don’t the stores in the Lewiston-Portland area that carry larger sizes in clothes for women from 24½ or 42 to 50 advertise the fact? Sears has a few which they keep hidden on a back rack. It would save us larger women four trips a year to Massachusetts to buy clothes that fit us. This goes for bras to blouses to slacks. Your stores could use a slogan, shop in Maine, Ex-New Yorker. – V.M.B., Gray.

Answer: The manager of B. Peck Co., Lewiston, reported that according to a survey there seems to be a definite need in the sportswear department for large sizes so to satisfy this trend the company went deeper into purchasing larger sizes in this area. However, they do not go up to 50-58. It was brought out that manufacturers also have a higher cost per garment on these sizes. He added that in the past six months there have been complaints of the same nature from people who wear the opposite size, such as the 3-to-7 groups. Space is limited in stores so generally it is occupied with sizes that the majority of the people call for.

Dear Sun Spots: Would you kindly publish the number of “degree days” that occurred in December of 1972 as compared with the degree days for December 1971? Would you also kindly publish the inches of precipitation for the fall and winter months as compared with last year? Snowfall is of great interest in this respect when computing highway budgets for town meetings. Thank you for your consideration. May I suggest that the above information be published each month? – J.H.B., Fayette.

Degree days for December 1972 were 1,102 as compared with 1,093 for December of 1971. Through Jan. 4, 1973 the snowfall has been recorded at 49.17 inches. During the winter months, The Sun generally publishes degree day reports on a monthly basis. For 1972 fall and winter, September, October, November and December degree day totals amounted to 2,501 as compared to 2,167 for the same period of 1971. The same pattern is being followed this month. For the first 11 days of January the degree day total this year is 436 as compared to 402 for the corresponding 1971 period.

Dear Sun Spots: The January 1973 National Geographic Magazine carries an article about the oldest people in the world living in isolated pockets of Ecuador, Kashmir and the Caucasus. How many local people, if any, are over 100 years old? How many in the state? Some of these were over 130 years old. – No Name, please.

Answer: No Lewiston residents can compare with this age. However, Mrs. Gloria Roy of 99 Knox St. observed her 109th birthday Oct. 15, 1972. According to the Federal Census taken in 1970 and broken down to persons over 75 years of age, in the city of Lewiston there are 663 males and 1,262 females in this category. Statewide figures for those over 75 are 16,140 males and 24,902 females.

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