THANKS, JOE: Three years of demanding, complicated work on Cedar Rapids flood-recovery projects by Joe O’Hern helped the city navigate many federal and state government regulations and programs. Now O’Hern is headed for a well-earned retirement.
SWEET NOTE ON SEWAGE: One of the more notable items Mayor Ron Corbett mentioned in his fifth State of the City address last week was about sewage. Back in the 1990s, Cedar Rapids averaged at least one sewer backup a day. City staff put more focus on the problem, reducing it by 80 percent by 2003. And with continued comprehensive maintenance work on the 660 miles of sewer lines, the rate was further reduced — since 2009, the average has been fewer than 24 backups per year. And that’s for a sewage treatment system that also handles huge amounts of waste from large manufacturers, which account for 40 percent of the volume and a much higher concentration of waste.
lllLEARNING CODE: Most kids these days are virtual experts when it comes to playing video games and using computer apps. But how many know how to use computer code to create those games and apps? CoderDojo, a non-profit organization, thinks more kids should learn code and brought its CodeDay marathon to Cedar Rapids last week. The organization’s hope is that computer coding will become part of schools’ science, technology and math curricula.