Dear Sun Spots: I’m on a limited income receiving Social Security benefits and I would like to know what are the resources available for someone in this situation to get hearing aids at an affordable price? I appreciate and thank you for any help you can find for me. – No Name, No Town.

In addition to responses from readers, try contacting SeniorsPlus, 8 Falcon Road, Lewiston, 795-4010 or 800-427-1241, and request information on how to qualify for a hearing aid at reduced cost. Any of the elder specialists can assist you.

Also, if you are in the local area, visit VIP Eyes, 120 Center St., Auburn, and fill out an application for eyeglasses and hearing aid assistance through the local Lions Club. The applications are collected by a club member once a week.

Dear Sun Spots: For the lady at the Grange who is looking for coffee cans, my folks use Hunts spaghetti sauce cans and they say these work great! They are a little smaller around but a little longer.

Also for anyone interested, we are having an ATV Safety Course starting on April 21 and ending April 23. Classes are for anyone who would like to go through a course; children under 16 need to pass the course if they are going to drive ATVs off their property.

For more information contact Becky at 778-1089, e-mail me at [email protected] or write to me at P.O. Box 535, Temple, ME 04984. – Becky Tyler, Temple.

Dear Sun Spots: We are looking for the following items for my son’s day care and school in Lewiston: Campbell’s Labels for Education, Box Tops for Education, ink and toner cartridges (any types, any condition), metal soda can tabs, Pampers points “Gifts To Grow,” Hood milk lids (Sox Tops), Hannaford/Shaw’s receipts, Hannaford helps school coupons, old or used cell phones.

Please mail to: Mommy & Me Daycare, 54 Morse Ave., Lewiston, ME 04240. For more information or to schedule an item for drop off or pickup, please call 229-3831. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. – Trish, Lewiston.

Dear Sun Spots: I am looking for at least one skein of Red Heart Sport Weight Yarn, color #7588 lilac. I started a blanket for my granddaughter a year ago, but because of tennis elbow was not able to work on it much until a few months ago. I got it three-quarters complete and ran out of the lilac yarn.

The only place I could find it was online, so I ordered some from Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts. Even though the label says “No Dye Lot,” it is a noticeably different shade of lilac. I ordered more from Herschners with the same results. Calls and e-mails to Coats & Clark were unsuccessful.

So, I’m hoping someone out there might have a skein or two (or three!) that is at least a year or more old. I’m willing to swap for the newer shade of lilac, or buy it outright. While you’re looking, I would be interested in the same yarn, but color #7737 powder pink. Same deal, the newer shade of pink is darker. Both the older shades of lilac and powder pink are more pale than the newer shades. – No Name, No Town.

Dear Sun Spots: The homeless youth transitional living program through Volunteers of America in Lewiston/Auburn needs your help. It’s time for spring cleaning with a great opportunity to help your community!

We are looking for new or gently used furniture, household items and variety of games/art supplies to furnish one and two bedroom apartments for youth ages 16 to 21. We are also in need of anyone interested in helping pick up donations. To make a tax-deductible donation, please contact Janet Berch at 740-5686 or e-mail [email protected] – Janet, Lewiston.

Dear Sun Spots: Just as one walks into Auburn’s Bonney Park, right across Main Street from Florian’s market, there is a tree that still has all of last year’s leaves on it, although they have all turned brown. I’ve never seen any kind of deciduous tree keep all its leaves for the entire winter, so it raises these questions in my mind: What kind of tree is this? Why didn’t it lose all or most of its leaves in the fall winds and winter storms? After all, that’s what the word “deciduous” is supposed to mean.

I was so intrigued by this that I took pictures of the tree and of a leaf for identification. – Roland, Auburn.

A representative at the Auburn Public Works Department told Sun Spots that the tree you are referring to is called a pin oak tree and he noted that the leaves persist through February and sometimes March.

According to the American Forests Web site,, we also learned that while the pin oak foliage is deciduous, it seems reluctant to fall at the end of the season, though no reason is offered.

We also learned about the origin of the name “pin oak,” which may refer to the pyramidal growth habit of the tree. Others believe the name dates back to when the hard, straight-grained wood was cut into slender pins used to fasten the framework of buildings. Another idea is that it is a reference to the pin-like stubby branches left on the trunk as the lower branches droop and slowly die. Or, the name could be attributed to the small pin knots left in the lumber from the tree having numerous small branches.

Acorns will appear on the tree when it is 12 to 15 years old and they are a food source for ducks, especially wood ducks, other water birds, songbirds, and ground birds, as well as squirrels, chipmunks, and even deer.

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]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.