Gazette Editorial Board
FROST FACTOR: This long, frigid winter has pushed frost well below the standard depth for water pipes in many area communities. The predictable result has been more water pipes freezing and, in some cases, breaking. Older lines that were not installed as deep as newer ones are even more susceptible. Thatís bad enough for an affected homeowner who must cover the expense, but when a city water main breaks, the impact is more widespread.
FOOD ALLERGIES ON THE RISE: The number of U.S. youngsters with a reported food allergy increased more than 50 percent from the late 1990s through 2011, and Eastern Iowa schools are reporting similar numbers. This trend has forced schools to take more precautions that also bring extra costs for things such as special diets and food management processes. The statistics for the entire American population are similar. For children alone, the latest estimate is that up to 6 percent have such an allergy.
FLOOD RECOVERY LEFTOVERS: Several dozen vacant or abandoned homes in the 2008 flood path in Cedar Rapidsí core neighborhoods are causing concern among some neighbors, including those with repaired homes or with new homes that city programs have helped construct. The concern is how much longer until thereís a resolution for these eyesores, how long until they will be demolished or repaired.
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