DEAR SUN SPOTS: I received a letter saying Dish was raising its rates another $5. They raised the rates $5 last January as well, but no one I know received a raise-your-rate letter. Do you know or does anyone in your large following know if this went out to all users or just a select few? — Marilyn, Leeds.

ANSWER: Dish Network, Direct TV and Time Warner Cable all announced across- the-board subscription increases near the end of 2015 to begin in the new year. So you’re not alone. These types of incremental increases are common in the pay-TV industry, which often cites programming costs as a reason for the price hike. As for the letters, let’s hope a reader will let us know if he or she also received a written notification.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am looking for some plastic miniature men anyone would be willing to sell at a reasonable price. I make stop motion videos with Legos and miniature army men. Contact me at 207-743-5077. Thanks. — Garrett, Oxford.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: On Friday, Jan. 29, my husband and I and a couple of our friends went to the Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Auburn to celebrate my 81st birthday.

When it came time to pay for the meals, the waitress told us that it had already been taken care of. The four of us were surprised and stunned, and we wondered who could have been the generous person?

In discussing the matter, we began to suspect that it must have been that nice gentleman who wished me a happy birthday as he went by our table on his way out of the restaurant.

We all want to thank you, whoever you are, for the generous gift you gave me, my husband and our friends on my birthday. Your kind gesture showed us that the world is not full of “killers,” as we often sadly see in the media, and that there are still good and caring people in our world. Thank you for your generous gift and God bless. — Irene, Lewiston.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am a self-employed logger for 50 years. I want to tell people to splash water on ice, then throw soft snow right on the ice when the temperature is 32 degrees or colder. The snow freezes quick, so no more danger of falling.

This is an old safety trick. Years ago, my dad’s log trucks couldn’t make the long hills in bad ice. On slippery miles of logging roads, we splashed water, then threw soft snow.  

Within a few minutes, we drove the trucks up the hills with traction. The water and snow mix quickly. People can do all walkways and decks, church parking lots, police stations, fire trucks and businesses. — Maurice, Peru.

ANSWER: Thank you for the information. Tips like this sure can come in handy this time of year in Maine. Sun Spots is curious to know if any other readers have tried this method of making ice less slippery and, if so, how did it work for you?

Or, maybe you’re a reader with other ideas for how to manage slippery situations. Sun Spots hopes you will consider sharing your knowledge with us.

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. 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 be emailed to [email protected], tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots Facebook page at This column can also be read online at We’ve joined Pinterest at

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