Q: Does rain hurt bird feed?
A: According to the Prairie Rapids Audubon Society, “The short answer is ‘yes,’ as it can cause the seed to mold or sprout or get sticky so that it can’t dispense properly. But it’s largely unavoidable, so what we try to do is minimize the problem. Good practice includes cleaning the feeder regularly (every two weeks is suggested), having a feeder with a ‘roof’ that helps deflect the rain, having drainage in the feeding station, not putting out too much seed at one time, and using seed that is less subject to mold (such as switching to seed with hulls still on).”
Q: What items do you have to take along to get the REAL ID when getting your driver’s license?
A: According to Andrea Henry with the Iowa Department of Transportation, “... You are going to need to bring a few documents into a driver’s service center to validate your identity before you can be issued a REAL ID. These are the same type of documents that you needed to bring when you got your license or ID for the first time. You need one document that proves your identity and date of birth (typically a certified birth certificate or passport), a document that proves your Social Security number (typically a Social Security card or W-2 form) or immigration number for persons authorized to be present in the United States but not issued a Social Security number, and two documents that reflect the Iowa address where you live (like utility bills, insurance cards, etc).”
Q: With regards to the public works building: Why haven’t the narrow streets leading in and out of there been designated as mandatory snow routes since they cause congestion during a snowfall?
A: The city of Waterloo generally designates primary streets as snow routes. The narrow streets entering and exiting the Public Works Building are residential streets. The caller could ask City Council members to change the snow emergency routes. It would take a vote.
Q: The Traer Can Redemption Center has closed. Retailers in Traer don’t accept can redemption. Where are the residents of Traer supposed to go to redeem their cans?
A: Under Iowa law, stores must redeem containers for products they sell or use a certified redemption center in its place. The store is required to designate an operating redemption center if it does not take the cans back. Otherwise, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources lists two redemption centers in Tama County: Wilkerson Redemption Center in Toledo and Lincoln Redemption Center.
Q: Are there more missing kids in the country over the past five to 10 years or just more awareness of it?
A: The numbers indicate there’s more awareness. About 100 children (a fraction of 1 percent) are kidnapped each year in the stereotypical stranger abductions. And the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children says the likelihood of finding an abducted child has increased sharply in recent years due to technological advances in the way searches are conducted and a greater awareness that fast action saves lives.
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.