DEAR SUN SPOTS: The AARP Free Tax Preparation Program at Sacred Heart Church has appointments available in early May. We want to remind people who filed early and had unemployment income that although the IRS will automatically amend your return and refund the extra taxes you paid, to get your Maine refund of taxes paid on your unemployment, you need to file a Maine Amended return. We will be able to do those returns. Please call 513-3170 for an appointment. — No name, no town

ANSWER:  You don’t need to be an AARP member to receive assistance with filing your tax return through AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. The service is free to everyone. The deadline for filing your tax returns is May 17.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Sumner Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary will hold a fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 5, at the Sumner Fire Department on Route 219.

There will be baked goods, plants and yard sale items, as well as raffle baskets that will be available by purchasing tickets that will be drawn at 1:30 p.m.

We’re looking for donations of gently used items. No electronics, large furniture or large appliances will be accepted. If you have items to donate, call Gail (674-5522), Charlotte (577-4271) or Pauline at 388-2020.

In accordance with the Maine Center for Disease Control, masks and social distancing will be required. — Charlotte, Auburn

DEAR SUN SPOTS: We hear about lowering the flag to half-mast or half-staff for different reasons, but are never certain about when to put it back up again  We respect our flag and want to do the right thing. — Karen, no town

ANSWER: There are a few websites you can check with. One is halfstaff.org where you can sign up to receive an email to advise you when you’re in doubt about when to lower and raise your American flag.

You can also go to whitehouse.gov for the presidential proclamations regarding the positioning of the flag. This is an example of a recent one: “As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on March 22, 2021, in Boulder, Colorado, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, March 27, 2021. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.”

As you can see, the proclamation does state when the flag can be brought back up.

As an added bonus to your question, it’s really interesting to read about flag etiquette for home use, as well as our flag’s history at vfw.org. Thank you for being so respectful and mindful of the care of our country’s flag.

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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