Thanks, helgatheviking. I've appreciated your posts I've read on this forum. Yes, the last two developers I've hired have monkeyed heavily with the layout, probably not understanding Thematic as well as I thought they did.
Currently the developer has upgraded from 0.9.6 to 0.9.7.7 and this has caused the problems. This morning I replaced the current style.css with the old one under 0.9.6 and it really screwed up the home page, so I'd say its definitely a CSS problem, but I'm totally lost in CSS positioning.
Your reply did answer one question I've been pondering over, that is, how to display or not display the secondary aside. It seems from what you said in the last paragraph that it always display and it has to be overwriten with a larger box or frame. Am I on the right path?
I'm trying to get the site settled so I can hand over to a webmaster and I've only got two issues left. Do you freelance or can you recommend a knowledgeable Thematic developer?