Q: Have there been any Iowa polls regarding the national emergency and the wall and how people feel about those two items?
A: A Des Moines Register survey in February found 37 percent of Iowans polled said the wall should be funded regardless of what happens otherwise with immigration policy. About 20 percent said the wall should be funded as part of a broader immigration compromise and 36 percent were against any funding of the wall. The poll was conducted between Feb. 10 and 13, before President Trump declared a national emergency to divert $8 billion for border wall funding from other projects. More than 60 percent of respondents in an NPR poll disapproved of the declaration.
Q: With all the 737 Max 8 planes grounded, what are the airlines flying right now? Where did those planes come from?
A: Since 737 MAX 8s make up a relatively small part of the airlines’ overall fleets (Just 24 of American Airlines’ 962 planes are Max 8s, for example) a combination of repositioning other aircraft types and rebooking customers is being used to minimize disruptions. Still, American Airlines canceled 1,200 flights during the quarter that ended March 31 after regulators grounded its Max planes. The world’s largest airline will cancel approximately 90 flights per day through June 5.
Q: Is it legal for candidates to use campaign funds for their personal legal problems?
A: According to the Federal Elections Commission: “Campaign funds may be used to pay for up to 100 percent of legal expenses related to campaign or officeholder activity, where such expenses would not have occurred had the individual not been a candidate or officeholder.” Using campaign funds for personal matters is prohibited.
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Q: The city of Waterloo put up a pole building at the yard waste site to store equipment. What was the original bid of the building and what was the final cost on the building after all the change orders?
A: The original contract was $134,610. There were construction change orders totaling $45,214, so the total project was $179,824, according to city officials.
Q: Was there an Independence City Council member picked up for an OWI recently?
A: Independence City Councilman Carl Scharff was arrested on April 2 for first-offense operating while intoxicated and traveling on the wrong side of the roadway during a traffic stop in the 1200 block of First Avenue N.E. in Independence, according to the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office.
Q: Why has the city let the Langlas Baking Co. building rot at the corner of Elm and Lafayette? I see a wall has just fallen down.
A: Waterloo Community Planning and Development Director Noel Anderson said the former Alstadt Langlas bakery building was being used for property storage. If recent activities have created a nuisance property, the city will look at alternatives to create a safe situation and eliminate blight, he said.
Calls are taken on a special Courier phone line at 234-3566. Questions are answered by Courier staff and staff at the Waterloo Public Library.