Latest Blog Posts

No Buses on Monday

December 23, 2005 at 1:26pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Lincoln Journal Star has incorrectly reported that StarTran buses will run on Monday, December 26. That is incorrect. I was advised this morning by my driver that StarTran is closed on Monday. Adjust your travel plans accordingly.

That being said, there is some confusion on the matter. My driver said she had planned to go to work on Monday until she was told just this morning that the buses would not run, and that the drivers should tell that to their passengers. Apparently even the drivers didn’t know they won’t be working that day. My advice: assume the buses won’t run. I’ll update this post if the opposite turns out to be true.

[Update: Michael Weston, StarTran Operations Superintendent, has confirmed to me via e-mail that the buses will not run on Monday, December 26, or Monday, January 2.]

Good Job Senator Hagel!

December 21, 2005 at 1:28pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’m not a huge Chuck Hagel fan by any means, but I applaud those who deserve applause. Chuck Hagel deserves applause for standing firm against the Patriot Act renewal on the grounds that “more civil liberties safeguards need to be added to the proposed renewal of the Patriot Act.” Whether he’s staking this position out of genuine concern about the Act or in a shameless ploy to gain favor from voters is still unclear.

No Hamburgers for Links

December 21, 2005 at 2:43am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Unsurprisingly, Mayor Seng vetoed the proposed McDonald’s and convenience store/gas station on Capital Parkway across from Lincoln High, in what is now an Alltel parking lot. Her rationale? It’s not the right kind of economic development. In Mayor Seng’s world no economic development is better than economic development that falls short of her utopian vision. I could respect that if 1) Mayor Seng’s vision had a basis in reality; and 2) Mayor Seng had managed to demonstrate an ability to get Lincoln closer to her vision. It doesn’t, and she hasn’t. Mayor Seng would like to see an office building on the lot rather than a McDonald’s. So would I. There’s just one little problem: nobody has offered to build an office building on the lot. I’d like to see a lot of things happen in this city—new world-class arena and convention center anyone?—but that doesn’t mean we ought to turn away any offer that isn’t absolutely perfect. A McDonald’s and convenience store is a reasonable use for the lot in question, and the two businesses stand an excellent chance of doing very well at that location. What’s wrong with that?

Bond Issue Gets a Backer

December 21, 2005 at 2:27am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The school board today got good news from the Lincoln Education Association. The LEA put its support behind the upcoming $250 million school bond issue. It’s a small step, and an unsurprising one, but with less than two months to convince the voters, good news is great news for the school board.

Upgrade to EE 1.4

December 18, 2005 at 11:22pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I just finished upgrading some backend software. I see a few glitches already, most of which weren’t unexpected. I’ll be working to fix those over the next day or two. If you notice anything wonky that doesn’t get fixed, please let me know about it.

Sea Tacos

December 16, 2005 at 12:11am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I noticed today that Taco del Mar will be opening a place in downtown Lincoln. I am quite the fan of fish tacos, especially those that can be found at a particular location in Omaha. There are other fish taco places in town, notably De Leon’s and Oso, but Taco del Mar - a chain that is really big out in Washington state - really has pretty good ones. Why people still go to Amigos is beyond me.

LPS Wants Some Love on Valentine’s Day

December 14, 2005 at 1:29pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The school board went and did it: Lincolnites will vote on a $250 million bond issue on February 14, 2006.

I hope they know what they’re doing.

Lincoln: The Game

December 14, 2005 at 12:49am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I was pleased to see Lincoln On Board this evening while grocery shopping at Russ’s on Washington and 17th. Lincoln On Board is based on the “Monopoly” game, where you can buy property, accrue wealth, etc.. Predictably, the 3 food establishments you could buy were Runza, Valentino’s and Lazlo’s. The list of sponsors (who appear on the real estate) is available at Leadership Lincoln’s site. Example, “you ran out of gas, go to U-Stop” etc. I was surprised to see that, if memory serves me - the University of Nebraska was “for sale” as well. Perhaps a subconscious nod to the Dave Hergert debacle? In anycase, although I’m a bit old for these sorts of games, it may make for a nice gift for any City of Lincoln fanatics out there (Mr. Wilson, etc.). It is also noted that proceeds go to Leadership Lincoln, an organization I am somewhat familiar with that does good things, particularly in their youth programs. And no, I am not a member or alumni of Leadership Lincoln.

Matthew Koso is Guilty

December 13, 2005 at 6:36pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Matthew Koso today pled guilty to the crime of first-degree sexual assault of a child. The crime is punishable by one to 50 years in prison.

Methinks we won’t be seeing Mr. Koso for a while.

Seng to Wal-Mart: We Don’t Want Your Money

December 13, 2005 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Mayor

Queen Seng finally went public with her decision to veto any City Council decision in favor of building a Wal-Mart at 84th and Adams. Seng’s decision is ostensibly based on the notion that Wal-Mart is inappropriate for a “neighborhood center” commercial area. The reality is that Seng, like many community leaders around the country, thinks that Wal-Mart—rather, another Wal-Mart—isn’t “good enough” for Lincoln. She is wrong.

Lincoln is not in a position to be picky about who chooses to conduct business here. Yet time after time Lincoln’s civic leaders choose to take business-unfriendly positions, robbing the community of countless tax and investment dollars. Gallup fled to Omaha. Tractor Supply Company chose Waverly. And on and on.

Seng’s arguments against Wal-Mart ring hollow. She complains that a Wal-Mart is not consistent with the typical “neighborhood center” in Lincoln. Commercial area designations in the Comprehensive Plan—“neighborhood center”, “community center”, and “regional center”—are suggestions, not hard and fast rules. Seng knows that, as does anybody who has paid attention to land use in Lincoln over the years. The Comprehensive Plan is amended and outright violated all the time. That’s how it should be; market forces are much better indicators of appropriate land use than are planners looking into their crystal balls several years or decades down the line.

Seng complains that a Wal-Mart could increase traffic to the point that new roads will be required. Note that word “could”. It’s a classic lazy argument. It means “I don’t actually know, but I’ll plant the idea in your head to try to sway your opinion.” Even if improved transportation infrastructure is required, it would not be inconsistent with expectations for that area. It’s a growing area (hence Wal-Mart’s desire to build there). Improved roads are a certainty with or without Wal-Mart. Blaming the need for new roads on Wal-Mart alone is a red herring.

Seng also frets that a neighborhood center should have, as the article puts it, “a variety of stores and services, similar to the neighborhood center at 27th Street and Nebraska [Highway] 2, with a Russ’s, Shopko and other assorted stores.” Nowhere is it written that a) those services are required in a neighborhood center, or b) that those services must be provided by separate stores. A Wal-Mart Supercenter offers the exact same services as the Russ’s, Shopko, bank, and restaurants at 27th & Highway 2. Wal-Mart’s crime? Putting all of those services into one store.

I am also angry with Seng for playing political games with this process by refusing to state her position until yesterday, forcing the City Council to delay their vote for a week, and confusing the developers. Once again Seng’s actions demonstrate her anti-economic development worldview.

I’m not saying that Wal-Mart is the best option for 84th & Adams. I don’t know what the best option is. But Mayor Seng is playing political games and offering lame excuses for wanting to deny millions of dollars of economic input into the local economy. There are intellectually honest reasons to oppose the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter at 84th & O that don’t rely on anti-Wal-Mart hysteria and elitist conceptions of what’s “good” for the community. Colleen Seng has not offered up a single one.

Pumas in Lincoln!

December 12, 2005 at 3:52pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A rumor is floating around the office that two puma sightings have been reported in Lincoln, one in Wilderness Park and one near 14th & Superior. I can’t say that I’m surprised. There’s certainly plenty of food (deer, for example) to go around, and the regional puma population has been increasing over the years.

I’m actually a little excited by the prospect of puma in the area. I love wildlife—even the scary slash-your-throat-and-eat-you kind. Public safety comes first, though, so although I certainly don’t want this (these?) puma(s) to be killed, I understand there’s a good chance that’s what will happen.

Nebraskans are Wired. Sort of.

December 12, 2005 at 1:24pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Journal Star reports that Nebraska is in the top half of states in terms of households with internet access. We sit at 23rd among the states.

What really caught my eye was the statistic that only 55 percent of Nebraska households have internet access. 55 percent. I can’t believe nearly one-half of Nebraska’s households don’t have internet access. Clearly I have been a spoiled, spoiled man.

Welcome to Our New Home!

December 11, 2005 at 5:02am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

If you are reading this post, you’ve arrived at Lincolnite’s new server. Welcome! I’ll be working on technical matters for the rest of the weekend to make sure nothing was lost during the server transition. If you think something got goofed up during the move, I’d really appreciate if you would drop me a note in the comments. Thanks!

Quickie Post

December 7, 2005 at 3:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

G’day, all! Sorry I’ve not been posting very often lately. I’ve been programming some backend code for the soon-to-be-opened Events section, and whatever spare time I’ve been left with has been consumed by shopping for a new host for this website. I’ve been dying to comment on a few happenings around Lincoln, though, so here are some quick thoughts, in no particular order:

  • I’m still disappointed that the School Board wants to try to rush a bond issue for a February special election. I’m very concerned about the very real possibility of its failure.
  • Why are certain figures in city government against a new McDonald’s and gas station/convenience store on Capital Parkway, across from Lincoln High? Two words: elitist snobbery.
  • Isn’t it funny how Lincolnites claim to want economic development Downtown, and yet so many Lincolnites are against the sale and renovation of the K Street power plant and/or the McDonald’s and gas station I mentioned above? Curious. Very curious.
  • Mayor Seng attends ribbon cuttings and banquets and light turnings-on (like the Friday lighting of Sunken Gardens). Does she actually do any, y’know, mayor-y things? She is more of a figurehead than a leader. Methinks we should change her title to Queen Seng.
  • Lincoln ranks 9th out of 10 regional cities in terms of restaurants per capita. That seems so hard to believe, considering how many restaurants have opened in the past ten years. Then again, ten years ago we were in pretty sorry shape, restaurant-wise. Remember how giddy Lincolnites were when Applebee’s came to town? I may curse Applebee’s a lot, but I’ll give them credit where credit is due: their Old Cheney location opened the gates to the restaurant variety Lincoln has today.

Kersplat

December 4, 2005 at 9:14pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Ugh.

Lincolnite is back, after an unplanned—and very, very unwelcome—16 hour outage. The site was suspended by my host ostensibly because some sort of “formmail” script or other CGI mail script had been compromised. That’s complete crap, for two reasons: 1) I don’t run those kinds of scripts; and 2) a check of the server logs proves that no such scripts were ever accessed, least of all at the time the site went down. The site was being spammed at the time it went down, but the “attack” was in the form of repeated access by a single rogue spambot. I’ve blocked that bot for now, but we’ll see how long that lasts. Spammers may be jackasses, but they aren’t stupid.

I’ve been reasonably happy with my host for over a year now, so this is very disconcerting. Not only did they shut down my site, they gave me a baloney excuse for it being shut down, and the support staff’s responses to my requests for information had a distinct “cut and paste” feel to them. Even when I got them to put the site back online all I had to say was “I deleted the scripts you requested”—a lie, since no such scripts existed in the first place—and their response was, in short “We’re glad we could help!” Uhh, whatever.

I can’t be too angry, since I’m not exactly paying big bucks to have this site hosted. If I really want Lincolnite to be a robust site, I really need to move to a better host. I already have one in mind, but boy, I sure don’t want to go through all the hassle of moving. Talk about a pain!

Anyway, my apologies for the unplanned outage. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.

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