Q: In World War II when they invaded Normandy, how did they decide the names to call the beaches, such as Omaha Beach and Utah Beach? What is the background behind that?
A: Officially, the reasons behind the U.S. names are lost to history. But a Nov. 9, 2008, story in the Omaha World-Herald may shed some light. Papers of a former Omaha city building inspector named Gayle Eyler found by his family after his death gave the following account. Eyler wrote he served as a carpenter on the headquarters staff of U.S. Gen. Omar Bradley and helped convert an apartment building in London into a secret U.S. Army headquarters for the D-Day invasion. Bradley code-named one of the two U.S. landing areas in Normandy as Omaha Beach in his honor, Eyler wrote, in appreciation for his work. Similarly, Utah Beach was named for another carpenter on Bradley’s staff who hailed from Provo. According to the website War History Online, the British-Canadian beaches were originally named for fishes ― Goldfish, Swordfish and Jellyfish, which were shortened to Gold, Sword and Jelly. But Winston Churchill found the name Jelly inappropriate and changed it to Juno, the Roman goddess.
Q: Why was the Hawkeye Community College urban campus built on the corner of Jefferson and Highway 63 when HCC already has a campus on the west side of Waterloo rather than on the north or east side of Waterloo where most of the students reside? Who did the college acquire this property from and how much did they pay?
A: When the board of trustees voted to buy the site in April 2016, President Linda Allen said the location was chosen after much research into users of services at the Metro and Martin Luther King Jr. centers it will replace. She said it accounted for where the population they serve lives now, where people are moving to and where projections show they will live in the future. The purchase price was $550,000. It was purchased from P & L Enterprises Inc., which listed Randall Lutz as president and Kim Pleggenkuhle as secretary. The same group owned the Waterloo Bowl-In, which had been located on the property and closed in 1995.
Q: Why doesn’t the city follow its own guidelines as far as mowing, such as the parks?
A: It costs tax money to pay employees and contractors to mow city property. Departments overseeing those duties in Waterloo note during the budget process each year that cuts in the budget can make it difficult to keep up with those mowing responsibilities, especially with additional property added to the mowing roster. This spring has been especially difficult due to weather conditions causing rapid growth.
Q: What happened to the grass in the older section of Mount Olivet Cemetery on West Fourth Street that it is completely brown?
A: Cemetery officials said they’re not entirely sure what happened because they used the same product for dandelion control that was used in the past. But this time it caused the grass to go dormant in the area sprayed. If the grass doesn’t come back, the cemetery will reseed the area.
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.