Jan. 22, 2020

Jan. 22, 2020

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Q. I was watching the Cedar Falls City Council meeting. They were using lots of code letters -- like TIF, CIP, SRF, SRB, GO. What do those mean?

A. There are multiple funding sources used on the city’s capital improvements program, or CIP. In regard to the other acronyms listed, TIF is tax increment financing, SRF is sewer rental fund, SRB is sewer revenue bond, and GO is general obligation bonds. For more of the revenue acronyms used on the capital improvements program, go to the last page of the CIP summary, which includes a key describing all revenue sources. The CIP can be found on the city’s website under the Finance Department tab. Call City Hall at 273-8600 with questions.

Q. How much did the new county shed 86 in Gilbertville cost?

A. Black Hawk County budgeted $450,000 in the current budget to construct the maintenance shop. County Engineer Cathy Nicholas said the current project estimate is $399,000 once it is completed and all the bills are received.

Q: What has happened with the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo since it was closed?

A: In April, Rep. Dean Fisher, R-Montour, said the city of Toledo and a private developer are interested in repurposing the 27-acre Iowa Juvenile Home campus, but no concrete plans have been announced.

Q: Where do Ivanka Trump and her family live? What does her husband do for a living?

A: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have lived in a $5.5 million home in the Kalorama section of Washington, D.C., since early 2017. They're reportedly looking for a new home. Kushner is a New York real estate developer and unpaid adviser to the president.

Q: For the people who ignore subpoenas for the Trump impeachment hearings -- why aren’t they being punished for contempt?

A: Trump has filed lawsuits to block subpoenas issued by the House Oversight Committee and House Intelligence Committee, and those cases are still winding through the courts, with rulings so far in Congress’ favor. Theoretically, administration officials who fail to comply with a subpoena risk criminal and civil penalties, including jail time. However, the Justice Department headed by Trump loyalist William Barr is unlikely to pursue a criminal case on behalf of Democratic investigators of the president, and civil cases could take months or years to pursue. Members of Congress also can call the sergeant-at-arms to detain the disobeying party. For now, the punishment has been to impeach the president: One of the articles of impeachment is obstruction of Congress.

Q. How many deaths a year are attributed to cigarette smoking in the United States?

A. “Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day,” according to the Centers for Disease Control.

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. The Jan. 13 paper asked what coleslaw was, and you said it was a squash. But it’s a cabbage salad. Will you correct that?

Q. Who is responsible for repairing the deep holes in the parking lot and entrance to Capri College and other stores near Crossroads?

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