wonderline

The following questions were asked recently on the Wonderline:

Q: There is the old legend about the old tunnels running from the theater through town, even as far as to the old middle school. I am curious if work crews ran across any such tunnels during all the digging they have had to do for the water main project. I’m just curious if they really ever existed and if work crews found them when they dug down in that area.

A: “There is a system of steam tunnels connecting many buildings in the downtown area,” says Mitch Doht, public works director for the City of York. “The Lincoln Avenue water main project has encountered them, as has the public works department when breaking out street or working on underground utilities. Our common practice is to cap or fill the tunnel with concrete in the immediate vicinity of where we are working. You may not be able to travel very far in the old tunnels anymore before you come to a dead end, as this has been the city practice for years.”

Q: If some of the old brick streets are converted to just asphalt, what will happen to the old bricks that are taken up? Will they be made available to the public? Could the public purchase them?

A: York Public Works Director Mitch Doht explained that “the brick streets could be covered with asphalt someday, but if the bricks are ever actually taken up it will most likely be for a new concrete street. The city does have piles of old brick pavers from the Nebraska Avenue reconstruction project. We occasionally get calls from private companies who buy bricks for resale, but we have held on to them for now and have allowed folks from York to buy the bricks for their own use within the city. I think the historic bricks are pretty cool and it’s neat to see people using them around town. Maybe someday we can use the bricks for downtown planters or sidewalks or some other community project.”

Q: Does everyone that has a firework stand in York have to have a permit? I recently saw one or two in the paper and wondered if that was the case.

A: Yes, everyone who has a fireworks stand in York has to obtain a permit.

If you want more information about obtaining a permit for a fireworks stand, contact the city offices at 402-363-2600.

Q: How did we end up with that extra ½ percent sales tax in the City of York? Did the council decide to create it or did someone else?

A: For many years, there had been discussions about developing a quiet zone and building a ball field complex . . . along with other recreational and infrastructure projects. The barrier between citizens wanting these projects and the actualization of the projects being done was simple: money.

In 2014, a community survey was conducted and according to the city, “responses indicated that nearly 80 percent of the citizens in the York community were in favor of an increase in sales tax for infrastructure and recreation improvements.”

The passage of LB 357, by the state legislature, allowed for the additional ½ percent sales tax.

So in the fall of 2014, the city of York and the York School District formed an interlocal agreement to work together toward these projects and others (as is called for by LB 357).

The entities involved agreed that the matter should be placed on the General Election ballot on Nov. 4, 2014.

The majority of voters approved the additional ½ percent sales tax with the revenue to be earmarked for the quiet zone, ball field complex and other such projects into the future.

Q: When will “When Calls The Heart” come back on the air? It is a Hallmark show.

A: In the last few weeks, media outlets are reporting that the Hallmark Channel has said the series is not being canceled despite the parent company’s firing of key player, Lori Loughlin, for her alleged role in a college bribery scandal.

Apparently, the channel told fans in an Instagram post that “Hope Valley has many more stories left to share and we will let you know the details soon.”

The primetime episode that was supposed to recently air was taken off the schedule by Hallmark “as producers try to come up with creative solutions for Loughlin’s Abigail Station character. And all options are being explored on how to take the already-filmed episodes forward without Loughlin,” according to “Deadline Hollywood.”

So for right now, it is a wait-and-see situation – but the channel maintains that the show is not going away. We just don’t know when it will be coming back.

Q: It seems like Meghan Markle has been pregnant forever. When are she and Prince Harry supposed to have the new royal baby?

A: The exact due date for the next royal baby has not been announced, except that it will be “in the spring.” We would assume it will happen very soon.

Q: In preparation for planting this year’s garden, I have a question about dill and carrots. Someone told me last year that the reason my carrots didn’t do well is because I planted them right next to my dill patch. Is there anything to that?

A: Mother Earth News says dill and carrots should not be in the same vicinity. The publication didn’t say why they shouldn’t be planted next to each other, just that the quality of the carrots would be better if they weren’t planted by the dill.

Q: If someone inappropriately burns an American flag, what level of crime would that be classified as?

A: Nebraska law says that mutilating an American flag is a misdemeanor if someone “intentionally casts contempt or ridicule upon a flag by mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning or trampling upon such flag.”

Q: Who invented spaghetti?

A: It is said that spaghetti was invented in China and that Marco Polo brought the knowledge of the food to Venice. The spaghetti Polo encountered (and presumably tasted) in the Far East was made from either rice flour or hard wheat flour.

The spaghetti that most people eat today, however, is quite different from the noodles of yesteryear, according to historyextra.com.

“Earlier noodles were made by mixing flour with eggs, the resulting mixture being cut to shape and laid out in the sun to dry. Modern pasta has no eggs and is dried in special chambers where cool, dry air is circulated around the pasta to ensure it dries evenly to avoid cracking or warping. This type of spaghetti was very definitely invented by the Italians. In fact, it was the creation of one Italian in particular: Nicola de Cecco.

“De Cecco ran a flour mill at Fara San Martino in Abruzzo – he was dissatisfied with the sundrying of pasta as it gave unreliable results and the pasta was often warped, which made it difficult to package for transport. In 1886, he developed his method of drying pasta in cool, dry conditions and founded the De Cecco company. He later adopted a logo of a young country woman carrying a sheaf of wheat and went into mass production.”

As far as what we consider the “traditional” spaghetti sauce (tomato-based), the first recipe for pasta with tomato sauce actually appeared in a French cookbook in 1797 which was accredited to a Roman chef.

It wasn’t until the 1920s that spaghetti with tomato sauce became commonplace in the United States.

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