DEAR SUN SPOTS: This is in response to the directions on how to use a spring form pan for a cheesecake (Nov. 4 Sun Spots).  In addition to your response, there are many recipes that require inserting the cheesecake in a water bath for baking. In this case, prepare the base of the spring form pan by wrapping aluminum foil on the pan’s outside bottom and sides to be sure water doesn’t leak in.

—Anita, Sabattus

ANSWER: Thanks for that informative addition. When making a cheesecake, follow the recipe very carefully. Some require baking in a water bath and some do not. Others don’t require baking at all. Enjoy experimenting with this delicious dessert and have fun tasting the results!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: We have someone in our neighborhood who, almost daily, conducts an ear-splitting “symphony” that includes lawn mowing (with a tractor not intended for residential use), weed whacking, power washing and worst of all, an extended and deafening round of leaf blowing. All of this frequently starts before 8 a.m.

I work at home and enduring this racket for hours on end is simply excruciating. Attempts to drown out the noise by playing my radio or wearing earplugs haven’t been successful. A relative has made a valiant attempt to diplomatically discuss the situation with this person but our concerns fell on deaf ears.

Earlier in the summer, I met with a group of neighbors who have been similarly affected by the constant commotion. As there is strength in numbers, we planned to address this with our neighbor, but finally decided this might seem like we were ganging up on him.

We’re curious about how similar situations have been handled in other communities. We did some research and found that a number of cities have passed noise ordinances, laws that limit allowable noise levels at different times of day for both residential and commercial zones.

We are wondering if any noise level ordinances or leaf blower bans are in effect in Maine. Commiserating with one another about the situation helps, but doesn’t resolve the problem.

As responsible, tax-paying citizens, do we have any rights in this situation?

— No name, Lewiston

ANSWER: I have taken the liberty of summarizing the original letter so it will fit in the Sun Spots column. I feel your pain. However, I would ask that you treat this neighbor how you would want to be treated yourself. I’m sure he’s not trying to make your life miserable. Go talk to him face to face with a positive attitude and a solution that will work for both of you. As we segue into winter, you’ll have a break and can put some thought into how to handle the upcoming yard-care season. You obviously want things to go differently. It seems totally reasonable to me to ask your energetic neighbor to not start his engines until 8 a.m.

As far as I know, gas-powered leaf blowers are not illegal to use in any Maine municipalities.

If you want to get clear information about the Lewiston’s noise ordinance, you can call the planning and code enforcement office at 513-3125. And readers, if you have helpful advice, please write in.

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].

 

 


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