DEAR SUN SPOTS: Help celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up your community and win a free meal at a local restaurant. The Lewiston-Auburn Optimist Club wants you to join them on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, to spend at least one hour walking your neighborhood with family or friends and a trash bag to clear roadside trash while enjoying some fresh air and exercise.

If you are willing to commit to volunteer for this cleanup effort, and want to win a meal at one of 10 contributing eateries, register your efforts by calling 783-5269 or emailing [email protected]. Contributing restaurants include: Longhorn Steak House, Buffalo Wild Wings, Heidi’s, IHOP, Roy’s and the Holy Donut. 

If Earth Day is not a convenient day for your volunteer trash pickup day, Saturday, April 24, is your backup date. Either way, please call or email to register to win one of the 26 gift certificates to be given away to community volunteers. — George, no town

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have a number of gift certificates for C.J. Buddha Restaurant in Lewiston. They are closed permanently. Does anyone know how I could get in touch with them and possibly get a refund? — Sue, no town

ANSWER: I double-checked on the restaurant’s Facebook page to see if there was any information, but didn’t find any. Perhaps someone who managed or worked at the restaurant can shed some light on the subject.

It’s unfortunate when this happens, but sometimes, especially during these times, it does and there isn’t much we can do about it. I always recommend that you use your gift certificates ASAP so you don’t get stuck like this!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Before COVID-19 started, there was a program called Silver Sneakers. Do you know if any have locations that reopened as of yet? We both are covered for this program under our insurance and would like to find one to join. — No name, no town

ANSWER: Call the YMCA in Lewiston at 795-4095 to see what they are scheduling. Did you know you can also log in to Silver Sneakers online and do both live and recorded sessions at home? I know it’s not the same as experiencing the energy of a cohesive group cheering each other on but it’s better than doing nothing, right? You can create an account at and get started right away.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Does anyone have something like the CUBII that isn’t as pricey? — No name, no town

ANSWER: A CUBII JR1 Seated Under-desk Elliptical Machine costs $350 through QVC and $250 if you buy it from Walmart or Amazon. A highly-rated Desk Cycle Ellipse costs $250 as well. An Ancheer Pedaler is $159 on Amazon. Another lower-priced similar device is the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Under Desk Elliptical Pedaler Exerciser for $130-$140 at Walmart, Amazon or at the The Stamina Inmotion Compact Fitness Strider is on offer for $99 at Kohl’s, as is the Sunny Health & Fitness Versa Stepper with Fitness Bands for $130.

Whatever model or make of under-desk elliptical machine you choose, be sure you have enough room under your work station for it. Do your research and remember that no exercise equipment is a “quick fix” to toning muscles or for weight loss.

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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