Q: Regarding the Festival of Trees in Cedar Falls — we would like to see the trees, but is it correct admission is $20 per person to look at the trees? Do they offer any discounted price times?
A: Admission to the gallery is absolutely free. There are some events that do charge a fee, but anyone can go and look at the trees and exhibits at Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. The gallery closes after Sunday.
Q: The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. How come the total eclipse started in the west and went east?
A: An explanation from space.com: “The answer is simple, but it’s not something we’re accustomed to thinking about: The moon itself orbits Earth from west to east. In other words, if you could rocket up high above the North Pole, the moon would trace out a counterclockwise circle. But Earth rotates about 30 times for a single lunar orbit, so it’s not something we normally notice. During a solar eclipse, the path of the moon’s shadow must follow the motion of the moon itself — to the east.”
Q: There was a volleyball article which said it was written by Courier staff, but at the end of the article it listed a specific writer. Does this mean that writer witnessed the game? Also, why weren’t there any Courier photographers taking any pictures at the games?
A: The Courier had three staff writers covering state volleyball, and yes, they were there for every match involving the 13 Northeast Iowa teams that made the field. As for photos, our Lee papers around the state try to make more efficient and cost-effective use of our personnel and resources by sharing coverage. Each Lee paper is responsible for photo coverage for certain state tournaments.
Q: Can a creditor garnish a person’s Social Security check?
A: According to the Social Security Administration, “Section 207 of the Social Security Act protects Social Security benefits from garnishment, levy or other withholdings by the federal government, except:
To enforce child support and alimony obligations.
For certain civil penalties under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act.
With a Notice of Levy to collect overdue federal taxes.
Through the Federal Payment Levy Program to collect overdue federal taxes.
To withhold and pay another federal agency for a non-tax debt you owe to that agency.
Q: A number of Germanic or Nordic countries, such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, are listed as among the best countries to live in. Why is that?
A: They generally have strong protection for workers, free or cheap health care, good, free education and job training, support for working parents, a strong social services safety net and citizens who have a high degree of trust in each other and in their governments, according to a recent Time report. Tax rates are high, but most people are confident they are getting a lot in return for their money.