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June 18, 2020

June 18, 2020

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Q: What is the significance of Ember days during the year?

A: From the Encyclopedia Britannica: “Ember Days and Ember Weeks, in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, are four ‘times’ set apart for special prayer and fasting and for ordination of the clergy. The Ember Weeks are the complete weeks following (1) Holy Cross Day (Sept. 14); (2) the Feast of St. Lucy (Dec. 13); (3) the first Sunday in Lent; and (4) Pentecost (Whitsunday). The current practice is to compute the Ember Days directly as the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following the third Sunday of Advent, the first Sunday of Lent, Pentecost Sunday, and the third Sunday of September. The exact origin of the Ember seasons is uncertain. In the early church, they were limited to three and may have been the Christian transformation of pagan festivals. From Rome the observance of the Ember Weeks and Days gradually spread throughout the Western church. On Feb. 17, 1966, Pope Paul VI excluded the Ember Days from the church year as formal days of fasting and abstinence for Roman Catholics.”

Q: What were the initial reasons Cedar Falls changed to a PSO model?

A: City officials have said the public safety model provided significant cost savings while maintaining the needed level of police and fire employees.

Q: How much money has the city of Waterloo given the developer who said he was going to build a grocery store on the east side? Will the city get their money back?

A: Central Property Holdings received $400,000 from the city to help purchase the property for the store. The City Council authorized another $500,000 for the project, and approximately $300,000 has been drawn on that amount to date. Any answer to the second part of this question would be speculative and assumes the store won’t be built as planned. The city does have a lien on the property by virtue of its investment.

Q: Can I plant a pin oak in between the sidewalk and the street in Waterloo?

A: No. The city of Waterloo requires a permit from the forestry department before any tree can be planted in the public street right-of-way. Pin oaks are among a number of tree varieties expressly not allowed in the right-of-way. A full list of trees not allowed in city right-of-way can be found on the forestry link at

Q: Can you print the name of different organizations besides Goodwill that are taking donations?

A: The Trinkets and Togs thrift store on University Avenue in Cedar Falls will begin taking donations June 25, 26 and 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the Trinkets and Togs locations in Waverly and Grundy Center also are accepting donations.

Q: Why do all TV stations go to commercials at the same time?

A: Marketers and ad agencies have done plenty of research about when ads are most effective, according to advertising sites, and they tend to place ads at those times, no matter what channel or show is concerned.

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. Why are some streets odd numbered on one side of the river, than when you cross, switches to even numbers?

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