Dan Ehl, a Kalona News editor who suggested the Kalona City Council sell naming rights to the drainage ditch, said the winner, who identified himself as Phil from West Virginia, said he placed the winning $681 bid for a friend who wanted to name the creek for her Japanese great-grandfather, Baniku Kinshi, who he claimed was fond of Kalona, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported Monday.
However, Ehl said he was suspicious and conducted research that indicated Baniki Kinshi was not a name, but rather Japanese for "horse meat prohibited." He said he believes the winning bidder was connected to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
"He's not admitting that's him, but you can tell," Ehl said. "They backed out so easily, and if it wasn't them, they would have explained themselves."
Ehl said the second auction will begin Thursday on eBay.