Feb. 10, 2020

Feb. 10, 2020

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Q. West of Cedar Falls on Highway 20, there is a sign for Dry Run Creek. I thought there was also a Dry Run Creek in Waterloo. Can you explain?

A. There is a Dry Run Creek running through both cities. The one running through Cedar Falls includes multiple branches covering 15,177 acres of Cedar Falls and farmland to the west and south. Dry Run Creek in Waterloo collects water from south of U.S. Highway 20 and carries it north through Bontrager and Liberty Parks, where it goes underground for a trip to the Cedar River.

Q. A few years ago Black Hawk Disposal owed the county a bunch of back taxes. Were those ever paid?

A. The J.L. Watts Co., which owns the Black Hawk Waste Disposal site at 811 Dearborn Ave., settled a claim for more than $1 million in back taxes in 2015 for just $127,000.

Q. Why does the city of Waterloo permit panhandlers to stand at intersections?

A. Waterloo does not have an ordinance banning panhandling. Many larger cities have been repealing such ordinances after court rulings declared them unconstitutional measures that violate free speech rights and criminalize poverty.

Q. When did the Chain of Lakes Marine by the airport close?

A. We were unable to determine when the business may have closed. The property was sold on Jan. 21, 2020, to a new owner.

Q. Where is Stephanie Ruhle of MSNBC? Has she left the channel?

A. No, she hasn’t left. In fact, NBC announced in January that she had been promoted to senior business correspondent for NBC News and would appear across their flagship shows, including “Today” and “NBC Nightly News.”

Q. Is it safe to eat head lettuce when it has those brown streaks in it?

A. An answer from Black Hawk County Extension: "The streaks or spots on lettuce look ‘rusty’ and are caused by exposure to ethylene gas. It may look unappetizing, but russet spots on lettuce are safe to eat."

Q. Today I was at the Cedar Falls transfer station, and a city truck pulled up with a recycling bin full of plastic to be recycled. It just dumped that bin into the garbage for the landfill. How is that recycling?

A. “The City of Cedar Falls has not, and will not, dispose of clean plastic recyclable material into the waste stream,” spokeswoman Amanda Huisman said. “All recycling roll off bins are weighed at the transfer station prior to unloading in the recyclable material processing area, at which time non-recyclable contaminates are removed and disposed of prior to baling.” Contact the Public Works Department at (319) 273-8629 for further information.

Q. Is West Lantz Avenue in Cedar Falls zoned for commercial use?

A. A majority of Lantz Avenue is residentially zoned, with the east side at the intersection of Center Street being zoned commercially, said Amanda Huisman, a spokeswoman for the city.

Q. Are Jack Klugman and Tony Randall still alive?

A. No. Randall died in 2004, and Klugman died in 2012.

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.

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Q. If the city of Waterloo and City Council members are found guilty of violating Iowa law by implementing the ban the box ordinance, what could the possible fines be?

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