Q: How can I keep from generating static electricity walking across the carpet so I don’t shock myself turning on a light?
A: A few tips we found: Humidify your home, and use lots of lotion on your hands. Don’t wear rubber-soled shoes inside walking on the carpet. Use fabric softener or dryer sheets on your clothes. Keep touching metal objects often, so you don’t have a chance to build up a big charge.
Q: Jack Kelly who was on “Maverick” — what did he do before the show, and what happened to him afterwards? And is James Garner still alive?
A: A child actor, Kelly served in the U.S. Army and attended UCLA before restarting his acting career. He did a lot of radio and theater work before signing with Warner Bros., and he had a long list of credits after “Maverick” ended, as well. Kelly died in 1992 in California, age 65. Garner died in 2014 at age 86.
Q: Ron Steele has started calling Mark Schnackenberg “Markie.” What’s up with that?
A: The news director at the station told us, “As you may know, Ron and Mark are old friends on the anchor desk, and Ron may let it slip as an endearment. Ron says he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it! Mark by the way on Jan. 16 will celebrate 25 years with KWWL!”
Q: There’s a stoplight at the corner of Osage and Dubuque that has been flashing yellow and red for almost two years. When will that be fixed?
A: It is taking the city longer than they hoped to get permission from the Canadian National Railway to bore a small conduit under the tracks so the railroad preemption and track clearance system can be tied into the traffic signal controller. The city requested permission from the railroad in November 2018 and were asked to submit an application form, which was provided in January. The railroad responded in April that there were 24 items they needed on the application and a plan and profile sheet for the project, which required the city to survey the area and collect data. The information was submitted in May and the city is waiting on the railroad to respond and provide permission.
Q: Who is the director of the sanitation department for Waterloo?
A: Waterloo has not had a sanitation department director for many years. The department is part of the public works division under Public Works Manager Randy Bennett. Sanitation operations supervisor Sam Barrett resigned to take another job in December and had not been replaced at the time this question was received.
Q: Who are the maintenance stewards of the Hudson Cemetery? Is there a number to contact them?
A: The Black Hawk Township board of trustees oversees the cemetery. You can call Hudson City Hall to get contact information for the township clerk.
Q: Do you have rules for the first newborn of the year? Must the parents be married?
A: The only rule is that the baby is born at either UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital or MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center.
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.