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Q: What is the criteria to ask the gaming commission for grants? Can cities, such as Cedar Falls, do this?

A: The Black Hawk County Gaming Association accepts applications from local governments, including the city of Cedar Falls, and nonprofit agencies. The full criteria and guidelines for grants wouldn’t fit in this column but you can read them yourselves at the commission’s website, bhcga.org.

Q: How can the city of Waterloo have the right to put up hundreds of surveillance cameras around town without citizen input on the issue? Will they even have to publicize the locations of where the cameras are located?

A: There may be public hearings required if the city makes large purchases of cameras or fiber installation to service the cameras. You also are free to speak at the public comments portion of the council meeting, gather a petition of opposition or contact your council representatives with concerns individually. The city likely would not be required to publicize the location of the cameras, but it is possible the sites would be a matter of public record under Iowa law.

Q: When The Courier reprints an editorial from another newspaper can you include when the original editorial was published? Does The Courier supply their own headline to the editorial or is The Courier’s headline what was published with the original editorial?

A: The Courier most of the time supplies the headline.

Q: When is Famous Dave’s in Cedar Falls closing? Are they closing because of construction in Cedar Falls?

A: “Absolutely not true,” said Tom Ketelsen of the Quad Cities, managing partner of Hoosier BBQ Group which owns the Famous Dave’s in Cedar Falls and several others in the Midwest. The Cedar Falls restaurant is not closing. He said business dropped off during construction but the restaurant has actually seen an uptick in business since the phase of University in front of the store was completed.

Q: On Sept. 20 in the special section called “Best of Remind” on page 19 was an article called “Ol’ Blue Eyes on the Radio” that had a picture of Frank Sinatra standing by someone that looked like Jimmy Durante. Was that really Jimmy Durante?

A: We’re pretty sure it is Durante. The two worked together a number of times, including on the radio.

Q: I live in New Hartford and we noticed we had no birds this past week. Do you know why?

A: Joel Haack of the Prairie Rapids Audubon Society said, “A decline in the number of birds seen this time of year may be the result of plants going to seed in the fall, reducing the need for birds to come into town and visit feeders — the birds take advantage of the food from natural sources. Another possibility would be having a predator in the neighborhood, such as Cooper’s hawks and sharp-shinned hawks. Some birds would have migrated already. And the recent hot and dry weather would encourage the birds to be more active in the early morning and less active during the day, hence less noticeable.”

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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