DEAR SUN SPOTS: I applaud the Lewiston-Auburn road crew for all the work they do to keep the roads and sidewalks clear. But could you help convey a message that Phil O Mor Avenue and Washington Street heading north by Rolandeau’s Restaurant needs banking? Coming out of Phil O Mor to go north on Washington Street we have to pull out almost into the incoming traffic to see if the road is clear to pull out. I feel this is an accident just waiting to happen. Every year it’s the same thing. I notice all the other crossroads are clear to see oncoming traffic. We shouldn’t have to call on this every year. Thank you. — No Name, Leeds

ANSWER: Sun Spots spoke with Bob Belz, Auburn’s director of Public Works, who said that the location you outlined is the interface between the city of Auburn and the Maine Department of Transportation. (Both the city’s and state’s plows turn around on Phil O Mor.) He said that snowbanks are a problem along most city streets, and they get similar requests from many residents, but typically they don’t go around knocking them down — there simply isn’t the manpower.

But they do work with the police and fire departments, who notify them if there is a safety issue or access for firetrucks. They also pay particular attention to the main arterials, especially those with higher speeds, of which Washington Street is one. But it is a difficult street from which to clear snowbanks because it’s one way. The plows coming out of Phil O Mor can’t turn right to clear that bank because they’d be going the wrong way on Washington Street. So they have to bring in a front-end loader to clear that corner.

Fortunately, since you wrote (Sun Spots gets lots of letters, so it takes a while for them to be published), the snow is mostly melted. 

DEAR SUN SPOTS: In reply to Joanne of Wilton on Feb. 2, regarding fish broth for chowder, I have been using cartons of fish broth for a few years now. It’s found in the aisle at the grocery store where chicken and beef broth and stock are found. It is extra good for making any seafood chowder. They also have vegetable broth in cartons, which I use in place of chicken when I make mushroom, onion or corn chowder or soup. This is especially good for mushroom soup. I hope this helps. Enjoy. — Joan Morgan, Greenwood

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’ve asked for your help in the past, and you did your job well. I’m here again asking if you can find out where I can purchase a grease separator. I saw it for the first time on the “Today” show before Thanksgiving. A chef was preparing the entire meal. The device was used to separate the grease from the drippings before the gravy was made. I appreciate any information. — Ginny Celani, Lisbon

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ANSWER:
There’s a gravy separator by Cuisipro for $15 available at amazon.com (866-216-1072) and cooking.com (800-663-8810). Perhaps a reader who is a better cook than Sun Spots will know more or has a local source for the device.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: We put out a call through Sun Spots in December to support the homeless youth in our community. We had an amazing response! We thank Sun Spots for printing the letter so quickly and are so grateful for all the community members, businesses, churches and other organizations that pitched in with gifts, clothes, gift cards and monetary donations.


There were many surprises, smiles and laughter during the holiday celebration under our pink tinsel Christmas tree. Throughout the holiday cheer, a strong and important connection to the community was felt by the students. We continue to see the connections daily when the students come to school wearing their warm clothes, jackets and many other gifts they received from their neighbors. Thank you. — Mary Seaman and Annie Doran, McKinney-Vento Homeless Education, Lewiston High School


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). Please include your phone number. 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 e-mailed to [email protected]


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