Editor’s note: The Leader-Telegram today debuts What’s Your Question?, a column compiled by former editor Don Huebscher that will run occasionally to answer readers’ questions. If you have a question, we’ll try to get you an answer. Send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: The Eau Claire Express play baseball almost every day for more than two months. Who is responsible for keeping their uniforms clean? How about when they play on the road?
Answer by Andy Neborak, Express co-owner and chief financial officer:
The home team is responsible for cleaning both teams’ uniforms (if the road team is staying overnight). We assign an intern to clean our home uniforms. They at times have to clean the road uniforms if the team is staying overnight: If the road team is staying over and proceeding to another road city the next day, we clean the uniforms and get them to the team before they leave. The Express own two washers and two dryers at its downtown office.
Generally, if the road team is returning home after the game, they take their road uniforms with them, and they are either cleaned at their host families’ houses when they get home or by team staff.
We certainly go through a lot of detergent (and Shout to remove stains)!
Q: I recently attended an event at Altoona’s River Prairie. As I exited from the easternmost entrance, I realized I could not turn left to get back on the U.S. 53 bypass. So I turned right, went to the next stoplight and made a U-turn to go eastbound to the bypass. Is this a legal traffic maneuver?
Answer by Altoona Police Chief Kelly Bakken:
You were fine to make a U-turn at the location you described. That specific location and direction is not posted with a no U-turn sign.
You are allowed to make a U-turn at a controlled intersection if the intersection is not posted with a No U-turn sign.
Q: Last winter my central air conditioner was buried in snow and ice during the snowiest winter in Eau Claire’s recorded history. I don’t cover my air conditioner during the winter months, but I wonder if I should. What do the experts say?
Answer by Jay Thelen, service coordinator, Erv Smith Services:
Last winter season was pretty much unprecedented as far as damage to air conditioners from ice dams and snow. We recommend covering the top of your air conditioner during the winter months with plywood and weighing it down with bricks or rocks to keep it in place, or to have a cover fabricated to fit over the top of the unit. This will help prevent damage to the top of the unit, fan blades and coil from falling snow and ice. It also will help keep leaves and other debris from getting inside the unit.
We do not recommend wrapping the unit with plastic or any other non-breathable cover. Completely covering the unit will trap condensation inside the unit, promoting mold growth and rusting, and it will encourage rodents and insects to come out of the elements and take up residence inside the unit.
If you do cover the unit, leave at least one-third of the coil on the bottom exposed to let air flow freely through the units coil and fins. We also recommend powering the unit off at your breaker or fuse box when you are done using the system in the fall, and to post a note on the breaker as a reminder to remove your board or cover in the spring before powering it back up. It is possible to cause damage to the compressor if you run the system with the cover on.
Q: Soon the “bubble” over the sand volleyball courts will again go up next to Wagner’s Lanes. I’ve been told that the timing of when the “bubble” is put up and taken down is important for building inspection purposes and whether the structure is considered permanent or temporary. Is that true, and how does the ordinance work?
Answer by Scott Allen, community development director, city of Eau Claire:
The timing of when it is up is very important. State code considers 180 days to be a temporary use and therefore not all the codes will apply to the structure. If the building were to be left up and occupied beyond the 180 days, then all the provisions of the International Building Code would apply, even though it’s an exterior membrane structure.
Huebscher is a contributing columnist for Leader-Telegram.