DEAR SUN SPOTS: When the forecasters mention the weather in the foothills, which towns does that include? Do they mean the foothills of the White Mountains?

Also, I guess we’re all used to it by now and I know times are changing, but when forecasters announce how the weather will change by “dinnertime” (are most of them “from away”? ),  it makes me smile because us “country bumpkins” here in Maine know the noon meal as “dinnertime” and that’s when we have our main meal while the evening meal is considered to be “supper time.”

— Elvera, no town

ANSWER: According to the Western Maine Foothills webpage (, the foothill region includes Buckfield, Byron, Dixfield, Mexico, Peru and Rumford. On the Maine Tourism website (, I saw that Kingfield, Carrabassett Valley, Stratton, Coplin Plantation and Eustis are called the foothill communities of Bigelow and Sugarloaf mountains.

Upon further reading, I saw that the foothill region also includes any towns that are in the shadow of the scattered Longfellow Mountains, the state’s major range, considered to be an extension of New Hampshire’s White Mountains and part of the Appalachian Mountain Range. This would also include Wilton, Harrison, Norway, South Paris, Bethel, Oxford, Turner, Lewiston, Auburn and Farmington, Hallowell and Manchester.

Readers, please forgive me for leaving out any town (I’m sure I have) and please chime in if you have more to say about what is considered to be part of Maine’s foothill region.

As far as dinnertime vs. suppertime, it seems to be a generational thing, so along with forgiving me for leaving out any towns in the foothills, you’ll have to forgive these youngsters who are reporting the weather these days. Just assume they are referring to the evening repast unless they say differently.

As for myself, I don’t care what they call it, as long as I’m included. I wouldn’t want to miss a meal!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Why do they play the audio in movies so loud, especially for children’s movies? The poor kids will be deaf by the time they’re in their teens. In fact, my grown son once went back and requested management lower the volume as most of the audience was complaining, and they did adjust it. I don’t know if they would do it whenever someone complains or if he was just lucky.

Thanks so much for all that you do. Your column is so interesting and helpful.

— Elvera, no town

ANSWER: Since Elvera’s  letter had a couple topics, I chose to divide it into two entries. I have often wondered about the volume in movie theaters myself. I, too, have gotten up from my seat in a theater and requested that personnel adjust the sound. They have always done it and thanked me for speaking up.

Unlike old analog sound, digital sound doesn’t distort at loud volumes and can be increased to extreme levels without loss of sound quality. And although digital sound quality is great, the extreme volume levels can be harmful to your hearing. Movie producers, studios and directors specify that movie soundtracks be played at louder volumes, especially for trailers and ads. Some think that action movies should be loud to match the video and enhance the “wow” factor.

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