Dear Sun Spots: I’ve got a sour smell in my refrigerator that I can’t get rid of. I’ve had that smell since I lost power two or three weeks ago. You are so good at solving so many things, that’s why I’m turning to you and your readers. Love your column! – T.C.B., Lewiston.

In addition to responses from readers, Sun Spots located a few possible solutions to your odor problem. The tips were gathered from “Mary Ellen’s Best of Helpful Hints” and

A previous Sun Spots column suggested filling a small bowl with charcoal (the kind used for potted plants or charcoal briquettes) and place it on a shelf in your fridge. In a few days, the charcoal should absorb the odors. Dry coffee grounds may also work in place of charcoal.

Another trick we found is to pour vanilla on a piece of cotton and place it in the refrigerator or mix about one half cup of baking soda with a tablespoon or two of vanilla extract and place the bowl on the bottom shelf of the fridge. This should also absorb odors.

Thoroughly cleaning the interior of the refrigerator with a mixture of baking soda and water will help deodorize the appliance as well. Don’t forget to remove the shelves and bins, and wash and dry them before replacing.

Also check the tray beneath the refrigerator by removing the grill beneath the doors, and pulling out the drip pan. Use caution as it may contain dirty water. Empty the tray and clean with baking soda and water.

Dear Sun Spots: Our names are Olivia Fournier, Sam Howaniec, Kristy Williams and Zac Racine. We are from Lewiston Regional Technical Center and are the Maine State DECA Officers for 2008-2009. Distributive Education Clubs of America is an association of marketing students who compete at state and national levels in business related events. Participants in DECA learn skills that are vital for the business world including the importance of leadership and how to handle real world situations.

In March, all of Maine DECA competed in Portland in business events in order to qualify for nationals. Nationals will be held this year in Anaheim, Calif., in April. The trip to nationals will be especially pricey due to the high cost of travel. We are looking for sponsors and donations that would help offset the cost of this trip. Anything that can be donated would be greatly appreciated!

You may e-mail us at [email protected] or call us at 795-4144, ext. 2308. – Maine State DECA Officers, Lewiston.

Dear Sun Spots: Summer vacation is coming for the kids. Are there any summer camps around that they can go to daily in this area? Thank you. – No Name, Greene.

The Sun Journal recently published a page that contained many camps in the area. You will need to contact each organization for more information on the camps.

Sports camps are being held at Central Maine Community College, 755-5251 or [email protected]; the University of Southern Maine, 780-5514 or [email protected]; and Bates College,

Other day camps are being held at the Acadia Institute of Oceanography, 800-375-0058; City of Lewiston’s Camp Smiles, 513-3005; Lever’s Summer Camp, 783-1552; Auburn Rec Day Camp, 333-6601, ext. 2108; Auburn-Lewiston YMCA Camp Connor, 795-4095; University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond, 665-2068; and St. Dominic Regional High School offers over 50 camps, 782-6911, ext. 2156.

The Bates College Dance Festival Youth Arts Program will also be offered, 786-6381. SAD 52 Adult Education will offer the Central Maine Children’s Theater Project Summer Camp Musical Production and two weeklong soccer camps, registration will begin in June, 225-3478.

Dear Sun Spots: I have been working on a letter to you (on a subject that someone just recently beat me to). But I am asking for attention specifically to veterans, some old, some ill, but all in need of hearing aids also.

I was going to ask you if you know of any veteran organizations that help them. At one point I believe it was possible to obtain a rebuilt hearing aid for a reasonable price.

Some of these veterans are hospitalized. They do not understand what the doctor is saying to them about their health problem, and think they heard “surgery” or think they are being released from the hospital, when they are not. It is frightening enough to be ill, but worse when you can’t hear well. – No Name, Lewiston.

Many thanks to Willie Danforth from the Franco-American War Veterans Post 31, also a director for the L and A Veterans Council, who assisted Sun Spots with researching this request. While our local veteran organizations don’t have any programs in place, he directed us to Togus VA Medical Center to see if they could help.

Togus spokesperson Jim Doherty noted that veterans must be enrolled in VA health care to be eligible for hearing aid assistance. After a veteran is enrolled, they should talk to their primary health care provider and ask for an audiology referral.

If a veteran is not enrolled and wants to know if they are eligible for the health care or if an enrolled veteran has questions about coverage, they can call 1-877-421-8263, ext. 5688, or 623-8411, ext. 5688 for further information.

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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