DEAR SUN SPOTS: United Way of the Tri-Valley Area is launching a Community Energy Challenge for this heating season and needs volunteers to build interior storm windows to help our neighbors stay warm and save money.
The Community Energy Challenge is a Greater Franklin County volunteer-based winterization initiative launched in 2009 by United Way of the Tri-Valley Area. A simple, low-cost strategy of interior window panels keeps heat inside homes during the harsh winter months and encourages homeowners to make positive changes in their energy consumption. A hallmark of the CEC is engaging the homeowners or renters to participate in workshops when possible, and become more proactive in their homes and lives. A potluck lunch served at every workshop unites people and offers a great social opportunity.
Volunteers are encouraged to attend a Community Energy Challenge window panel workshop at Henderson Memorial Baptist Church, Academy Street, Farmington on Saturdays, Sept. 24 through Nov. 19 (except Nov. 5) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. No previous experience is required.
Also needed are qualifying homeowners or renters who want free window panels. If you receive fuel assistance, you may qualify for up to six free interior window panels that are customized and made especially for your windows. Interior window panels are available to householders living in Franklin County, Livermore, Livermore Falls, North New Portland, New Portland, Starks and Vienna.
Since the program’s inception in 2009, more than 400 volunteers have served approximately 9,000 hours building and installing 2,000 interior window panels for 300 households and 17 public buildings for an estimated energy savings of over $50,000 annually. Because these panels are reusable, the number will grow exponentially as panels we are currently building are installed and another season is realized on panels already built and installed. To participate, call the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area at (207) 778-5048. — Nichole Ernest, Farmington.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: You provide a fantastic service to the public on many varied topics, thank you. Now here’s a new challenge for you: can you find out why McDonald’s restaurants have discontinued their delicious Cinnamon Melts? They were quite popular and many customers have inquiring minds and want to know. Thank you and keep up the good work! — Ginny M., Lewiston.
ANSWER: A lot of customers have this exact same question and unfortunately there is no clear answer. Several menu items have been phased out over the past few years with press releases citing the need for “a cleaner menu board that is easier for customers to absorb.” (Remember the Hula Burger? McSalad Shakers?)
With the addition of all-day breakfast last fall it is Sun Spot’s best guess that the restaurants have slimmed down the menu to accommodate an all-day breakfast menu and still maintain a zippy drive-thru experience.
For all of you Cinnamelt diehards, there is a popular recipe that claims to be the next best thing. It can be found at http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca/2012/06/cinnamelts.html.
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