Thursday, March 26, 2009

The city of Washington is going to start cracking down on people who leave trash in their yards. Ordinance committee chairman Mike Roth says the city

More than 200 area high-school students, and a few parents came to Washington High School yesterday for college prep day. Among them was W-H-S junior Joey Villalpando. He says despite the current economic environment, he's confident he'll find work after college. Villalpando says he's interested in finding a career in computers. William Mcconnell is another student interested in electronics. He also says he's not worried about finding a job. Washington High guidance counselor Kathy Stender described the event as an excellent showing. She says she's very pleased to hear about the students optimistic attitudes. She also says they know if they can find the means to go to college, there will be a job for them when they graduate.

Washington to crack down on trash ordinance

The city of Washington is going to start cracking down on people who leave trash in their yards. Ordinance committee chairman Mike Roth says the city has been, quote too soft on nuisance abatement in the past, and it shows in several areas of Washington. Roth says the city will aggressively address complaints. He says property owners will first be contacted about addressing the problem. He says if they choose to ignore the notice, they could be subject to a $250 dollar fine. Roth says residents can file a complaint, and keep their identity confidential by calling 653-6584. There will be a chance to get rid of unwanted items during the city wide clean up the week of April 20th. Roth says they will also be notifying residents who own dangerous buildings, and informing them that arrangements need to be made to have the structure fixed, or demolished.

Kalona is prepared for severe weather

The City of Kalona is one of the few cities in the area that have manually operated alarms instead of an automated system. Fire Chief Steve Yotty says they test the alarm every day to make sure they stay in working order. Yotty says it is very important to know what to listen for. He says the tornado warning signal is a steady 3 minute siren and the all clear is a minute and a half signal that gives everyone the all clear.

Bandstand project expected to get started by summer

A plan to renovate the city of Washington's Central Park Bandstand is expected to get underway by the end of this summer. That news comes after former Washington resident John Jackson made a 175-thousand dollar donation to the project. Washington Parks Superintendent Tim Widmer says one of their goals is to keep the bandstand's historic look. Widmer says even though Mr. Jackson's generous donation gives them enough money to start on the bandstand, they'll continue to raise money for other Central Park needs. He says that includes maintenance funds for the fountain and money to remodel the bathrooms. The volunteer committee spearheading the project will meet this evening at 7:00 at the Washington Public Library.

Science education

The Obama administration sees science education as key to economic recovery and American prosperity. That's an assessment Washington High School biology teacher Diane Gray agrees with. She feels students at W-H-S are given ample opportunity. Gray says science education is also valuable for a few other reasons. She says the emphasis on math and critical thinking helps them in other coursework. She also says being well informed on emerging science issues, helps them to become better citizens as many of those issues have begun to enter the political arena.

Post Office cutbacks

Faced with new technology, and private package delivery services, the U.S. Postal Service isn't doing as well as it once did. Many have been forced to cut services and reduce routes. John Marshall is the Post Master in Washington. He says two people at his Post Office have chosen to take early retirement. Marshall says there are no immediate plans to cutback on services, but he admits having fewer people does put them behind schedule from time to time. He says some Post Offices have begun to utilize automation systems, which has spurred a reduction in employees elsewhere. He says right now, there are no plans for such an operation in Washington.

IA City Walmart donates $1,000 to local playground

Iowa City Wal-Mart has given $1,000 dollars to the Kalona Elementary Playgournd Improvement Project Committee. Store Manager, Kurt Penfold presented a check to Committee Chairperson, Jan Knebel. Knebel says the money will be used to purchase new equipment for the large playground which will be installed on June 12 and 13th.