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Q: On Jan. 2 your 20 under 40 article featured Raz Smith standing in front of large wall with a trail map painted on it. Where is this located?

A: That’s at the SingleSpeed Brewery in downtown Waterloo.

Q: In June 2017 a Waterloo woman was killed in a construction accident in Lucas County. Have any charges been filed yet against the driver that hit her?

A: Barbarella Moore was struck and killed by Brady R. Rasmus, 32, of Chariton, on June 13. As far as we can tell, no charges have yet been filed.

Q: Has Joe Winters of KCRG retired?

A: No, he is chief meteorologist for the station. He may have had a few days off over the holidays.

Q: At the Cedar Falls High School skilled trades career fair, were there any girls in attendance?

A: Yes, according to our reporter. But the vast majority of attendees were boys.

Q: What’s going on with Branstad in China?

A: He’s apparently settled in well to his new role as ambassador since taking over in July. According to a December profile in Time, Branstad has been joined by his wife, their daughter and her husband — both work at an international school — and two young grandchildren. The family returned to Iowa for Christmas, and the former governor attended the funeral of his brother Monte in Leland. One other detail from the Time interview: On a shelf behind Branstad’s desk in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing is a model of a yellow-green John Deere tractor.

Q: Did trickle-down economics work under Reagan? Why does anyone think it will work now?

A: Reagan cut taxes significantly. The economy recovered, but tax cuts weren’t the only reason. Reagan also increased government spending by 2.5 percent a year. He almost tripled the federal debt. Most economist say it’s just as likely massive government spending ended the recession. Also, Reagan went on to raise taxes 11 times, although he did reduce taxes overall.

Many studies have tied trickle-down economics to reduced growth. A 2015 International Monetary Fund report found as the income share of the top 20 percent increases, GDP growth declines over the medium term; the benefits do not trickle down. But increasing in the income share of the bottom 20 percent boosted GDP growth.

Q: How does someone tweet? Is it on a phone or computer?

A: It can be both — and yes, even phones that aren’t smartphones can technically tweet using text messaging. Twitter is best described as concise blogging. Users have just 280 characters (it used to be 140) to craft their message. For those with public accounts, their message can be found by anyone around the world, especially when retweeted (shared) by others, or when using hashtags (like #breakingnews). Those with private accounts can’t be retweeted and their messages can only be seen by people who follow them. Like Facebook, Twitter is a free service supported by advertising.

Q: Who can we call when a landlord won’t fix a furnace here?

A: In Waterloo, you can contact the city’s residential property safety inspector through the Building Inspections Department at 291-4319.

Questions are taken on a special Courier phone line at 234-3566. Questions are answered by Courier staff and staff at the Waterloo Public Library.


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