DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have a couple of questions about the area where Park Avenue ends at Mount Auburn Avenue in Auburn. A traffic light was installed earlier this year and was operational for a short while. I’m wondering why it is no longer in service. I found it very useful when making a left turn from Park Avenue, especially at commuter time.

Also, while waiting at that intersection to make that turn, I noticed a stand of trees across the road has been cut down. It’s adjacent to a large sand pit. I’m wondering why that was done. – No name, Minot

ANSWER: I spoke with a very helpful gentleman in Auburn’s Public Works Department. He explained that the traffic light you liked so much was only temporary to help with the flow of traffic and detour while the Maine Department of Transportation’s bridge replacement project on Hotel Road was under construction.

As far as the trees that have gone missing, they stood on private property, land that is part of the sand pit you mention.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Could you help me find a watch repairman for mechanical and automatic wristwatches? — No name, no town

ANSWER: I always send Sun Spotters to Jewelry by Alfred (http://www.alfredky.com/catalog.html) at 1761 Lisbon St. in Lewiston. You can reach the store at 782-7206.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I live in an apartment with an electric stove and the other night while cooking I scratched its surface with one of my pots. How can I repair the damage? — No name, no town

ANSWER: Because you don’t specify what type of cooktop your electric stove has, I’ll address a glass cooktop range and one with traditional electric burners and an enamel top.

For a glass-top range, you will need two teaspoons baking soda and one teaspoon water. Make a wet paste in a small bowl then dampen a soft sponge or clean soft cloth and use it to gently apply the paste to the scratched areas of the glass. Lightly buff the scratches with the paste until you are satisfied. Remember that you will never be able to remove or repair the scratch fully. Finally, wipe off any excess paste with a clean, dry cloth.

Other do-it-yourself methods are to use toothpaste with a little water added and proceed as above. Car polish (wax) has also been suggested in the past. Whatever you try, just use a tiny bit on a small spot to test it and hopefully, one of these will work!

If not, there are also several cleaning products on the market that you can purchase for the job, including Rejuvenate, Scotch-Brite, McKee’s and Weiman’s. These can be found at most big-box stores, the local hardware store, and some may even be found at the grocery store.

For an enamel stove top, you can use the baking soda or toothpaste method above. If it’s a deeper scratch, try to gently buff it out with 400-grit sand paper.

If this result isn’t up to your standards, check with your local home improvement or hardware store regarding a matching glaze, ensuring that it’s meant to be used on a stove-top. You’ll need a thin paint brush as well then follow the directions on the glaze packaging.

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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