Tag: 122116

Practical Money Matters – December 21, 2016

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 Simple Ways to Make Your Appliances Last Longer
‘Tis the season for overflowing refrigerators, never-ending loads of laundry and hopefully visiting family who will lend a hand. Many people ask their appliances to work a little harder than normal during the holidays, and proper maintenance throughout the year might be the key to avoiding an untimely breakdown.
Here are a few maintenance tips for refrigerators, dishwashers, laundry machines and dryers. Each of these major appliances has an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years and you might want to start budgeting for your next purchase around the nine-year mark.
There are many factors that contribute to a particular machine’s lifespan. However, regular maintainance could help ensure your appliance’s longevity, let you avoid expensive service calls and lead to lower utility bills.
Clean the coils to keep the fridge efficient and cool. We mostly expect refrigerators to keep working. But imagine having a house full of holiday guests and waking up to find that it stopped. Not only are you stuck paying for repairs ($220 to $270 on average), or a new fridge (anywhere from $350 to over $2,500), but you might be making an expensive trip to the store to replace all the spoiled food.
The most important part of refrigerator maintenance is keeping the condenser coils clean. A dirty coil won’t release heat as well, causing the compressor to work harder, which in turn shortens its life and can cost you money in higher utility bills. Luckily, the process takes about 15 minutes and only needs to be done once or twice a year.
Start by unplugging your refrigerator. Units that have coils underneath them will likely have a cover needs to be remove and a condenser fan that should be cleaned. Other units have uncovered coils on the back. Using a brush or vacuum carefully clean off the dirt and dust. If you use a vacuum, check for and empty or dry out the drip pan, which is common on units with a built-in defroster.
The inside of a dishwasher needs cleaning as well. Your dishwasher might not be a necessity, but it sure is nice to spend time with visiting family and friends rather than washing dishes by hand. In fact, during one recent family visit, we ran our dishwasher was multiple times per day.
It’s important to clean the inside of the dishwasher as mineral deposits and leftover food scraps can build up, leading to clogged or leaky components and nose-turning smells. Running an unloaded dishwasher on a cleaning cycle with white vinegar could do the trick. You may also need to scrub the walls by hand and clean out the filter, which is often found at the bottom of the machine.
Next, gently wipe down and inspect the plastic gasket around the door, a break or leak could lead to an expensive mess. While gaskets cost about $10, labor costs can be between $75 and $150 an hour and damage from the water could be significantly more.
Respect the load limits of your washer and dryer. I’m always shocked by the piles of laundry that build up when you have a full house. While the extra towels, sheets and clothes from visiting guests might make it tempting, don’t overload your machines.
Too much weight can cause parts to wear out and break prematurely. Plus, you could wind up with detergent residue on clothes and need to rerun the cycle (a waste of time, water and energy), or damp clothes that still need to be dried.
Also, gently close washer and dryer doors. Too much force could break the switch – the small part that signals to the machine the door is closed. The average cost to fix common washing machine problems is $50 to $150, while dryers’ more expensive parts push repairs costs to about $100 to $400.

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Black Hawk Waste to Assist City with Recycling Center Cleanup

  In recent months, La Porte City’s Recycling Center has become a dumping ground where items that are clearly not eligible are being dropped off by individuals who demonstrate little respect for the City’s recycling guidelines. Used motor oil, tires and furniture are just a few examples of what the City’s Public Works Department must contend with before the loads can be transported out of town. Unfortunately, when non-recycle materials are discovered mixed in with materials dropped off at the City’s Recycling Center, the load gets taken to the landfill. Instead of saving resources, the City is billed for what is deposited at the landfill, increasing the cost of sanitation services for local residents. On December 12, the issue came before the City Council at its regularly scheduled meeting.
One option the City could pursue would be to close the Recycling Center location altogether and maintain just its curbside recycling program. Should the City decide to close the Center, it stands to lose $4,570, roughly half the amount of a recycling grant it receives annually.
Rather than terminate the Recycling Center, Black Hawk Waste has offered alternative solutions that may help alleviate some of the issues. They include using special locks for the dumpsters at the Recycling Center and reducing the amount of sorting needed by allowing residents to put all recycling, with the exception of glass and cardboard, into one dumpster.
As these potential solutions are being explored, the City will continue to monitor activities at the Recycling Center site and revisit the issue if problems continue to persist.
In other business, the Council moved forward with bonding the positions of Mayor, City Clerk and City Treasurer. In recent years, the City has not provided bonds for these public officials and was reminded by the City’s auditor that such bonds are required.

Simply Put – December 21, 2016

By Mike Whittlesey
 
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is a classic Christmas tune that has been a part of holiday music fare since Frank Sinatra recorded it in 1957 and released it on his album entitled “A Jolly Christmas.” No other holiday invokes feelings of nostalgia quite like Christmas. That’s why we’ve chosen to reprint the lyrics of this song on the front page of this holiday edition of The Progress Review, where they are joined by a number of traditional images that often come to mind when we think of this special time of year.
 
But the song we hear on the radio today, be it an instrumental version or one performed by the dozens of artists who have since covered it, is much different than the song originally written by Hugh Martin in 1944 for the motion picture “Meet Me in St. Louis.” Fans of the movie, or the musical based on the movie, recall the story is about a family living in St. Louis on the eve of the 1904 World’s Fair. Martin’s original lyrics had Judy Garland, who played Esther in the motion picture, singing the following verse:
 
Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas
It may be your last.
Next year we may all be living in New York.
Pop that champagne cork.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Next year we may all be living in the past.
 
Martin wrote these words to express the melancholy Judy Garland’s character felt about leaving St. Louis. He initially resisted the efforts of the film’s executives to change the lyrics, who felt the words were too depressing.
 
In his memoir, The Boy Next Door, Martin wrote that it was one of Garland’s co-stars, Tom Drake, that finally convinced him to alter the song.
 
“Hugh, this is potentially a very great and important song. I feel that in my guts. Now listen to me. Don’t be a stubborn idiot. Write a lyric for that beautiful melody that Judy will sing. You’ll thank me,” he wrote.
 
Garland’s version of the song, released as a single by Decca Records, was extremely popular with the troops serving in World War II.
 
Thirteen years later, Frank Sinatra asked Martin to “jolly up” the line “Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow,” which he changed to “Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.”
 
While some might argue that Sinatra’s version of the song is far from jolly, the change in wording did enhance the sentimental tone that has helped make the song a beloved holiday classic, one worthy of front page billing.
 
As you explore the pages of this special holiday edition, we hope you’ll enjoy the messages of peace and hope shared by area pastors and the thoughts of fifth grade students at La Porte City Elementary School, who write about “What Christmas Means to Me.” We very much appreciate the time members of the clergy, students and their teachers have invested on behalf of our readers.
 
We also thank the number of area businesses who express their holiday greetings on the following pages. It is their commitment to the community that helps make this special edition possible.
 
As we count down the days to Christmas, we invite you to logon to The Progress Review’s Facebook page or website (www.theprogressreview.co) to view a holiday music slideshow featuring images of area homes and businesses decorated for the season.
 
Lest we forget, please accept our best wishes for a happy holiday and have yourself a merry little Christmas!

Rolland – Reiter

  Keri Rolland and Mack Reiter would like to announce their engagement and upcoming marriage.
Parents of the couple are Becky and the late Steve Rolland of La Porte City and Janet and the late Doug Reiter of Gilbertville.
The bride-to-be graduated from Union High School and the University of Iowa. She is a Tax Manager at Deloitte Tax, LLP in Minneapolis. The groom-to-be graduated from Don Bosco Catholic High School and the University of Minnesota. He is a Commodities Trader at ChemSol in Minneapolis.
The wedding ceremony is set for 4 PM on July 7, 2017 at Immaculate Conception Church in Gilbertville. 

Classifieds – December 21, 2016

HOLIDAY GREETING
Merry Christmas and a very happy, happy New Year to all!  Love, Gloria Dunkelberger  51-1-c
FOR RENT
Kitchenettes available at The Rockwood Motel, La Porte City. Weekly or monthly rates. 319-342-2556.  51-2-c
FOR SALE
Lift Chair, blue petite size – $350. Call 319-342-2691 or 319-342-2713.  50-2-pd
Large round net wrapped hay bales. Duane Craft, La Porte City. 319-342-2184.  51-9 pd
3 pretty porcelain dolls (2 small, 1 is Xmas ($30 each), 1 large ($45)) all in excellent condition, Smart phone, brand new as of Nov. 1 $50. 1 pr. girls black snowpants, size 10-12 $30 – good shape. Cash only, Call or text (319) 465-1192.  51-1-pd
HELP WANTED
OTR-DRIVERS – $1000 sign-on bonus. Dependable, Motivated, 23 yrs old+, 2 yrs Class A CDL experience. Good driving record, paid vacation, home weekly. 877-424-3136 (INCN)
Class A CDL Drivers/Tankers. Great Pay, Home Weekends, and Benefits! Potential of $60,000 plus per year! Contact Tony 608-935-0915 Ext 16 www.qlf.com (INCN)
CDL A DRIVERS – $7,500 Sign-On-Bonus MEDICAL BENEFITS on DAY 1 & Earn $65k+ your FIRST YEAR! GUARANTEED PAY! 401(k) WITH COMPANY MATCH & MORE! Call Kalen at 262-504-1617 or email resume: mnhr@mclaneco.com (INCN)
STEEL BUILDINGS
ASTRO BUILDINGS – LIMITED TIME WINTER SPECIALS on Commercial, Suburban and Farm Structures. Custom design since 1969. SIGN THIS MONTH AND SAVE! www.AstroBuildings.com/iaclass. Call 800/822-7876 today! (INCN)
WANTED TO BUY
FREON 12 WANTED: R12 collecting dust in your garage? We pay CA$H for R12. Cylinders or case of cans. EPA certified (312) 291-9169 sell@refrigerantfinders.com (INCN)
 

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