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Answer Line: Monument typo is set in stone — until funds raised to fix it

Jan. 6, 2017 at 11:28 p.m.


QUESTION: On the Korean War monument in Teague Park, General Douglas MacArthur's name is spelled "McCarthur." I can find no other similar spelling of the general's name so I assume the name is misspelled on the monument. Is there any plan to correct the error?

ANSWER: It's a matter of money — rather a lot of money (at least for most of us).

Richard Jurkowski, executive director of the Veterans Recognition Foundation that is building Veterans Plaza in Teague park, explained to me this was the result of a typographical error made on the order form that wasn't caught until after the monument was made. Correcting the error will require $14,000 to replace the black granite monument.

The foundation is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations, and it does not have the means to replace the granite because of a typo at this time, he said.

That means the error won't be corrected until someone makes a $14,000 donation to the foundation to cover the work.

Q: I discovered at 9 a.m. Wednesday that I have no water at my home. I called the city and they confirmed the water service in my neighborhood had been cut off so work could be performed. When I asked how long the water would be off, I was told it would be several hours. My question is this: Why does the city not notify affected residents by "robo-call" when the water is being turned off for several hours?

A: City of Longview spokesman Shawn Hara said the city does not have the capability to conduct robo-calls to a mass group of water utilities customers.

"We do a limited amount of robo-calls to specific customers regarding account status and bill payment, but not to groups," he said.

In the situation you mentioned, Rick Evans, the city's collection and distribution manager in the public works department, told me the city received an early morning call about a water leak on Young Street.

"We investigated the call and determined the leak was coming from a 6-inch water main under the pavement and found it to be a hazard to the traveling public," he said. "We dispatched a crew that morning."

He also told me generally how the city handles notifications about work that might affect service.

"Many times, the outages occur because a water line breaks and needs an emergency repair. As part of our emergency repair process, we normally notify property owners adjacent to the emergency repair whose service will be interrupted," he said.

For non-emergency repairs, city staff members: research the existing water system maps to determine whose service will be affected during repairs; place hangars on doors or make direct contact to inform each property owner about the scheduled water outage; and then proceed with the repair.

Q: What does it mean when someone says something's in "the cloud?"

A: I've always thought of it as a giant computer in the sky, but that's probably, well, wrong. People my age — 40-somethings — grew up just as computers were becoming commonplace in homes, schools and at work. We remember that everything we used on a computer was stored on that computer's hard drive or on a disk — something we could touch or hold in our hot little hands.

When we talk about the cloud, it just means the information we're accessing or the program we're using is being stored or run off our computer. We access it using the internet, but the data or program still lives on an actual computer server somewhere — probably far, far away, and you're probably paying some service to store and access that information when you need it. Think Apple iCloud or Google Drive.

That's probably a simplistic explanation but that's about as good as it gets from this particular 40-something — whose computer science project in high school relied heavily on my then-boyfriend's ability to write a program that showed a cartoon pixelated cow getting its head cut off by a guillotine. Don't ask why, because I don't know anymore.

— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email questions to answerline@news-journal.com, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.

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