DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’m wondering if any of your readers have a transport chair they are willing to give away or loan out. I know a 90-year-old woman who could certainly use one as walking any distance is difficult for her, but she still likes to get outside to enjoy the fresh air.

A transport chair is not a wheelchair; it is much lighter and easily foldable. Please call me at 576-5185 if you have one she could use. — David, Auburn

ANSWER: It’s so kind of you to help this woman by sending in this request. If no one comes forward, perhaps your friend’s health care professional could help her get one or would know of the avenues to explore. Depending on her health condition, this chair could be covered by Medicare.

Another idea is to check in with SeniorsPlus in Lewiston at, 1-800-427-1241. They are so helpful and can guide you to solutions. While you’re chatting with them, they may offer other services that would be beneficial for your friend. Let us know how it goes.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: A few years ago, there was a foot patrol officer in downtown Lewiston. Whatever happened to him? — Normand, no town

ANSWER: According to David St. Pierre, chief of police, there is still a foot patrol officer downtown. There was a short period over the fall of last year to the springtime of this year when that program/assignment was temporarily suspended due to staffing issues.


Officer Ryan Gagnon is, in fact, patrolling on foot and or/bicycle during the weekdays. You can find him on Lisbon Street, Park Street, Canal Street, Ash Street, Chestnut Street, Oak Street, and other surrounding areas. He also spends considerable amounts of his time in the city’s parking garages.

In addition, there are beat officers on all shifts conducting regular proactive patrols and community contacts out of their patrol cars in various areas to include the aforementioned locations and other inner-city areas.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I bought a gift card for a restaurant at Shaw’s to give to my daughter for her birthday. When she tried using it, the restaurant manager told her it wasn’t any good. I was so upset and went back to Shaw’s and I was told that it had been compromised and I got another one. I just want to warn people that this can happen so be careful and never hesitate to report it. — Laurel, no town

ANSWER: Something similar has happened to others and it’s not fun to untangle. It takes time and persistence but always report it to the store where you purchased the card, and to the police.

I’ll include advice from AARP: Check the card to make sure the strip over the activation code is intact. Don’t buy the first card on the rack as they are the top target for scammers. Lastly, register your gift card with the retailer if it’s an option. This will make it easier to report misuse if it occurs. Your safest bet is to buy gift cards that are stored behind the counter or purchase them online directly from the retailer.

Report scams to local law enforcement. Also call 1-877-908-3360 or go to the AARP Fraud Watch Network at

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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