Q. I heard on TV that Carnival Cruises is being charged with polluting the ocean? What are they doing?
A. According to a recent CNN report, "Carnival Cruise Lines has once again found itself in troubled waters. In 2017, the Miami-based cruise giant was ordered to pay $40 million for illegally dumping oil contaminated waste and falsifying logs to hide its actions. Now Carnival has been handed another $20 million penalty for violating its environmental probation, the US Department of Justice said. After Carnival was convicted for illegal dumping and attempting to cover it up, it was placed on a five-year probation and required to follow a court-approved and supervised compliance plan. In April this year a federal judge threatened to bar Carnival's cruise ships from entering American ports as punishment for potential violations of its probation. ... However, the cruise line failed to comply with its probation, the Justice Department said. The company admitted to six violations, including falsifying environmental training records for two ships and deliberately releasing plastic into Bahamian waters without accurately recording the illegal discharge."
Q. Did Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones do their own sword fights in the movie “The Mask of Zorro” or did their doubles do it?
A. They did at least some of the work themselves -- in interviews at the time the movie was released, both actors described intense training sessions learning to handle the swords.
Q. What is the phone number for the Iowa DNR and Army Corps of Engineers?
A. The number for the DNR headquarters in Ames is (515) 725-8200. The Army Corps of Engineers in Rock Island, Ill., is (309) 794-4200.
Q. How can I get a VCR tape transferred to a DVD?
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A. There are companies online you can pay to transfer the movies to DVD; Walmart has a service -- check walmart.com. The Waterloo Public Library also has a do-it-yourself VHS to DVD transfer station in its makerspace area, The Hive. Check www.waterloopubliclibrary.org/thehive for details.
Q. Are Katie Couric, Ann Curry and Gretta Van Susteren still on TV?
A. Couric heads her own company, Katie Couric Media, and currently has a docu-series, "Timelines," produced with SK-II that you can watch at youtube.com. Curry also has her own production company and has been producing the "We'll Meet Again" series with PBS. Van Susteren is an analyst and reporter with Gray Television, a media group that owns and operates stations in 93 television markets.
Q. Are there any wood whittling clubs in the Cedar Falls area?
A. The Cedar Valley Woodworkers club meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. Guests and woodworkers at any skill level are welcome. For more information, call President Steve Crouse, 230-3447.
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.