DEAR SUN SPOTS: Could you please advise me of the government name, address and phone number to contact to renew my permanent resident card? It used to be in Portland the last time I renewed, but I can’t find it in the phone book. — Sheila, no town.

ANSWER: A Permanent Resident Card is proof of your permanent resident status in the United States. It also serves as a valid identification document and proof that you are eligible to live and work in the United States. Although some Permanent Resident Cards, commonly known as green cards, contain no expiration date, most are valid for 10 years.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The office serving the State of Maine is at 176 Gannett Drive in South Portland. Filing instructions and forms are available on its website at If you don’t have internet access at home or work, USCIS recommends trying your local library. The phone number listed for the South Portland office is 207-253-3000, but the recorded message says to call 1-800-375-5283 for customer service or to make an “infopass” appointment. To get help in the South Portland office, go to

DEAR SUN SPOTS: The South Paris American Legion Post No. 72 will hold a yard sale March 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. You are welcome to call Betty at 207-743-7965 if you are interested in reserving a table. The yard sale is to benefit Girls State. Come join the fun! — Jean, South Paris.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: We need someone to repair the electronics in old lamps. Any ideas? — Marianne, no town.

ANSWER: Rewiring old lamps is a common project for the do-it-yourself crowd. A simple internet search brings up step-by-step instructions from HGTV, DIY Network, Martha Stewart and several YouTube tutorials, among many other resources. It requires just a few tools and all of the replacement pieces that you would need come in a socket kit, which is available from home improvement stores and some hardware stores. If you do not think that you are up for that challenge, you could try asking family members or friends if they have experience with this kind of repair.

If anyone can help Marianne or offers this service, please let her (and other interested readers) know by writing to Sun Spots.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Each year the Franco-American Education Foundation awards numerous scholarships to deserving senior students of Franco-American heritage. Students must reside in one of the following Maine towns: Lewiston, Auburn, Lisbon, Sabattus, Greene, Turner, Minot or Poland. Students must be about to graduate, have graduated or obtained a GED, and be enrolled at an accredited institution of higher learning. Applications can be found at the guidance office of each high school or on our website,

The completed application and all required attachments must be received no later than April 30 for consideration. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years for students who earn a GPA of 2.5 or better. We ask parents and grandparents to encourage their senior students to apply. 

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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