DEAR SUN SPOTS: Are there any resources for mold infestation in our 200-plus-year-old home? My 76-year-old mother, who is on dialysis three days a week, lives with us and has allergies, and breathing is a struggle because of the mold.

We have exhausted all avenues that we are aware of in finding financial assistance in taking care of the problem. We would appreciate any information as to what other sources that we may not have thought of. — Michelle via email

ANSWER: Depending on where you live and your income, you may be eligible for grants or low-income loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program.

The local office for those in Androscoggin, Kennebec, Oxford and Franklin counties is at 254 Goddard Road, Lewiston, ME 04240, 753-9400.

You — and other interested readers with computers — might want to check out income and property eligibility requirements: http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/

Note, this program is for rural development, so there are parts of cities (primarily Lewiston, Auburn and Augusta) that are not eligible. Also, the income requirements for both programs are HUD-adjusted, which means very low income to qualify.

You can also try the local housing authorities. In Androscoggin County, you can call the Lewiston Housing Authority at 783-1423 or the Maine Housing Authority at 800-452-4668.

You might also call United Way’s 211 line. The person who answers the phone will know of any applicable programs from nonprofits that may be able to help you.

If your home is historic and this problem might lead you to consider demolition, perhaps your local historical society might help.

If worse comes to worse, you might consider getting your mother into a senior housing apartment through the Housing Authority. The rent for these units usually is about one-third of monthly income. 

Sun Spots hopes readers have other suggestions.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have a small desktop copy machine (Canon C-300) that needs repair. I can’t seem to find anyone who repairs copy machines locally. I’m hoping that you or someone reading your column might have the answer. Thanking you in advance. — C.A.L. in Auburn

ANSWER: Sun Spots turned up one possibility: Budget Document Technology, 251 Goddard Road, Lewiston, 800-924-4229.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I know this irritation rates low in the grand scheme of things, but it’s one that has bothered me for some time now.

It seems that for the last several months, when the Sun Journal has a single page of news or content inserted into a section of the paper, that single page has an extra width that is folded over instead of trimmed to the actual page width.

That ‘fold-over’ is usually about a half to three-quarters of an inch wide and usually interferes with the ability to read the far left column of that particular page without the reader manually folding it back.

Why is this happening and why cannot that extra width be trimmed down to the normal page width? — K.M. via email

ANSWER: Sun Spots put your question to the Sun Journal’s Jim Costello Jr., who is in charge of printing. He said:

“We are very sorry for this inconvenience. The good news is we have used up all the inventory of that size paper and it should not happen in the future.

“The reason it happened is we had stock in our half-roll sizes that we needed to use up, because it is a size we no longer use. The rolls weigh around 700 pounds, and we buy them by the tractor-trailer load. It was the only way we had to use them. For that we apologize and thank you for your patience with us.”

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 emailed to [email protected]