Questions of the Week – Readers ask about street construction, tax hearings, sunflowers

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The following questions were submitted this week by inquiring readers:


Q: Why is there so much street construction going on in York right now?

A: The various projects are all part of a large bonding project. The bonding was done when interest rates were at historic lows. These projects were prioritized, in order to maintain the city’s infrastructure. The projects are underway now as the construction season is still in full swing.

The intention of the bonding project was to fund a large number of projects at one time – thereby saving money in the long-run – instead of spreading them out over the course of years.


Q: Can anyone attend the county’s “pink postcard” hearing next week?

A: Yes. This is a public hearing.


Q: Can you freeze whole jalapenos? I have so many in my garden and didn’t know if I had to slice them first.

A: They certainly can be frozen in their whole state – and they will actually last longer in the freezer if they are left whole. The other benefit to leaving them whole is they will be available for making stuffed peppers or jalapeno poppers. Plus, they can always be sliced or chopped later, if you want.

But, yes, freezing whole jalapenos is a definite way to go to preserve them.


Q: Can sunflowers be deadheaded and the seeds be planted next year to grow even more sunflowers?

A: Absolutely. All those deadheads (dead flowers) are likely completely full of sunflower seeds. Dry them out completely, place in a paper bag and store in a dark, dry place. Just pull them out next spring and plant away. It’s been proven that this type of replanting, from your previous crop, works so well – hence, the amount of wild sunflowers you see in ditches and such.


Q: My neighbors have two broken down vehicles on the street in front of their house, which is then subsequently near my house. The vehicles never move, I don’t think they can move because they don’t work. I’m not sure what they are keeping these vehicles for. But anyway, my question is whether or not this is legal in York, to have broken down vehicles on the street.

A: Section 36-288 of York’s municipal code says it is unlawful for any person to leave unattended on any street in the city any disabled vehicle, which is not able to move on its own power. It’s the owner’s responsibility to have the vehicle towed. If not, the police department can order that it be moved and then the owner is required to pay for the towing and the subsequent impoundment.

If there is a problem with a broken-down vehicle sitting on a street, the reader can call the police department.


Q: What does the Nebraska Corn Growers Association do?

A: The Nebraska Corn Growers Association works to create and increase opportunities for Nebraska corn farmers through advocacy, education, partnerships and leadership development.

Founded in 1957, the National Corn Growers Association represents nearly 40,000 dues-paying corn growers and the interests of more than 300,000 farmers who contribute through corn check-off programs in their states.


Q: How many years has Husker Harvest Days been running each fall?

A: For more than 40 years, the Husker Harvest Days event has been in existence.


Q: How many people attended the Nebraska State Fair this year?

A: The official number for this year’s fair was 311,900 people. This was the first time the fair broke the 300,000 mark since 2018.


Q: What is the history of the beautiful Zion Lutheran Church by Hampton? It is such a beautiful place. I always saw it in the distance while driving down Highway 34 and the other day I had some extra time so I took the country road over to it, so I could finally see it close up. It’s just a really peaceful, beautiful place.

A: The German Evangelical Lutheran Zion Congregation of Unaltered Augsburg Confession was organized in 1873 by a group of Lutheran settlers in the Hampton area. The first church building was dedicated in 1877. The second church building as dedicated in 1883. Unfortunately, that church burned in 1896 and was replaced the next year by the present church. Construction of the present building cost the settlers/congregation members $6,850.

That church has been continuously open and used since 1897.


Q: What is the number one tourist attraction in Nebraska?

A: The number one tourist attraction in Nebraska is Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. It has more than two million visitors every year.


Q: My grandpa, who lived through the terrible drought years of the 1930s, always had a saying about grasshoppers. I thought of it the other day because I was seeing so many grasshoppers in my garden. But I can’t remember what the saying was. Can you figure out what it was? It was a popular saying, I think. Not sure if he just made it up.

A: There was a saying in the 1930s, made by farmers as they tried to joke about their situation: “There are so many grasshoppers around that the chickens won’t even eat them anymore.”


Q: I planted a whole bunch of pumpkin hills this year but we aren’t seeing many pumpkins. What went wrong?

A: The biggest thing that can affect a pumpkin crop is whether or not the conditions were too dry at a certain part of the growing season – which definitely could be the case.


Q: What is the tallest tree on earth?

A: The tallest are the Coast Redwoods which rise more than 350 feet into the air. They are located in the mist-shrouded coastline of Redwood National Park in northern California.

In their native California, the humid summer fogs combined with winter rainfall allow redwoods to grow to immense heights.

Some coastal redwoods have been known to be as old as 2,200 years old and giant redwoods can live to over 3,000 years.

One of the reasons redwoods live so long is due to a substance in their barks called tannin. This increases the tree’s resistance to pests and diseases and helps to deter insects like termites.

They have also adapted to be fire resistant. They have thick, spongy bark and water-based sap which protects them from fire.




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