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Eschliman’s Cuts

May 31, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Robin Eschliman has, at the (semi) request of Mayor Seng, listed budget items she would cut:

  • Merit pay increases for city employees
    Why is it that people always talk about axing merit pay increases? Shouldn’t we support rewarding people for a job well done, as opposed to just giving people more money for showing up for another year of work?
  • Swimming pools, unless attendance goes up
    I wouldn’t mind seeing Lincoln explore closing some pools or shifting them to private ownership.
  • Bus routes
    There isn’t much fat to trim as far as bus routes go. It would be disappointing to tear up Star Tran just as it is starting to gain some ridership interest.
  • Expenditures involving water runoff, flood plain issues, etc.
    No comment, since I’m not clear what she is referring to.
  • Libraries, unless usage is increasing
    I’m not inherently opposed to the idea, but I would have to see specifics.
  • Capital improvements to parks
    This is probably doable. Lincoln’s parks—or at least the ones I’m most familiar with—seem to be doing OK right now. City partnerships with neighborhood associations and other community groups could probably help defray some maintenance costs, too.
  • Funding for the Women’s Commission; she suggests moving it under the umbrella of another department.
    I’m not familiar enough with the Women’s Commission or its funding to comment.

Oh, and just so you know, the list above wasn’t really supposed to be made public. So don’t tell anybody about it, okey dokey?

Paging Bill Engvall

May 31, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

“The city of Lincoln needs to be run by a leader, not by a politician.”—Jon Camp

...he notes that he’s a “lifelong Republican,” unlike [Councilman Ken] Svoboda, who was a Democrat up until about nine years ago.

Jon Camp, heeeere’s your sign.

(Source)

13 Good Options

May 30, 2006 at 5:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Option 13—formerly known as The Option—is finally on the verge of reality. The project that was born as a six-story multi-use building will now take the form of two, three-story buildings holding a total of 13 lofts. The project demonstrates two truths about Downtown Lincoln: 1) projects Downtown tend to be announced with a bang but end up being built as a shadow of their former selves; and 2) there is continued demand for upscale housing in Downtown Lincoln. The importance of the latter truth should not be overlooked. A solid housing market is critical to the long-term sustainability of Downtown Lincoln. Permanent residents increase the number and diversity of shopping options Downtown, and they improve safety and cleanliness Downtown by establishing the area as a neighborhood, rather than just an entertainment or business district.

Three Days

May 30, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Three days. The Lincoln Board of Education thinks it is a good idea to send kids back to school for three days after the Memorial Day weekend. Three of the least educational days of the entire school year. I didn’t understand it when I was in school, and I don’t understand it now.

Prepare Your Protests

May 30, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

New property tax valuations are supposed to be mailed today. If you are eager, you can get your valuation information on the Assessor’s website. I should warn you, though, that the website appears to be running extremely slow right now.

I won’t be filing a protest of my valuation. The value they have listed for the Wilson house is more than we paid for the house two years ago, and it is much higher than the previous valuation, but I think it is a fair number. In fact, based on my limited research into current sales of similar homes I could make the argument that the valuation is a hair on the low side. But I won’t do that.

How does your valuation look? Anybody planning a protest?

It’s Humid Outside

May 27, 2006 at 2:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It’s just a tiiiiny bit humid outside. I know of at least one baseball and one soccer tournament in town this weekend. If their fields have seen as much rain as my yard has seen, their chances of getting in many games this weekend look poor. That’s going to really tick off all the people who put in a ton of effort getting the tournaments ready.

It’s also a little wet inside at the Wilson residence. My gutters backed up directly at the worst possible spot, sending water into my basement. Clearing up the gutters was simple (but nerve-wracking, what with the three consecutive lightning strikes within a quarter mile of my house just a few minutes prior), but the damage was done. Oh well, it’s my own fault for not being prepared. I should have learned my lesson two years ago, the last time this happened.

Oh, and for the record the best way to scare the beans out of a dog is to order up a huge lightning strike mere blocks away at the exact moment the dog has decided she wants to see what’s going on in the backyard. I now have one very pathetic dog who is afraid to leave the office.

Fresh Fish

May 27, 2006 at 12:20am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I walk near these two businesses almost every day. I can’t help but snicker.

A sushi joint and a bait shop, side-by-side

Cheerleaders Going Down

May 26, 2006 at 5:35pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Cheerleader’s Bar and Grill is closing because of the smoking ban, according to owner Dean Borgmann. Last call is Monday.

Planet Sub Launching Next Week?

May 26, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I don’t have the official word just yet, but I’ve heard that Planet Sub will open next week in the old Kep’s on P Street Downtown. This will be Planet Sub’s first Nebraska location. The menu (warning: PDF) looks promising. Prices range from $3.79 for a small sandwich (6”? 8”?) to about 8 bucks for a large (12”?).

If it does, indeed, open next week, I’ll try to check it out.

An Advocate for “The Monster”

May 26, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Kathy Riley had good intentions with her letter to the Journal Star editor:

I’m so very sorry for the untimely death of Misty Smith-Luebbert. She must have been a very loving, compassionate person. I’m sure that the recent Journal Star articles written about her life and her death are a source of comfort to her family and friends. I’m also sure that the readers are wondering, “Who is this ‘monster’ that allegedly caused this accident which took her life?”

Well, this “monster” is a full-time student with a full-time job, who is also in the Army National Guard. She spent her entire 18th year in Tikrit, Iraq, with her National Guard unit.

After returning home and trying to put her war experiences behind her, something like this happens. Something that could have happened to any of us — not expecting a car to be stopping completely on South Ninth Street.

This “monster” is also kind and compassionate and also has a family who is grieving. Her name is Haley R. Hilligas, and no one is suffering any more than she over this unfortunate incident.

Misty sounds like she believed in second chances. I hope that the Journal Star will follow her example. There are always two sides to a story.

Emphasis mine. Ms. Riley is correct, there are always two sides to a story. I don’t doubt that Haley Hiligas is a very nice person. But did you see what Ms. Riley did? First she transferred blame to the victim, and then she made the claim that Ms. Hiligas is the real victim because she is suffering the most. Those are two very unwise things to do in this sort of a situation. I expect the backlash letters to start showing up in the LJS within a couple days.

For Sale By Realtor

May 26, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Last week I noted that there seem to be a lot of For Sale signs in Lincoln yards. I’ve noticed another trend lately: For Sale By Owner signs turning into realtor signs. The FSBO approach must not be working out too well.

I also noticed for the first time a sign for “Nebraska Home Sales” (I think). I’ve never heard of them before. The realtor was listed as Rich Rodenberg. Is the owner of Bike Peddlers getting into real estate?

Friday Five

May 26, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Five chain restaurants Lincolnites clamor for:

  1. P.F. Chang’s
  2. T.G.I. Friday’s
  3. Carrabba’s
  4. White Castle
  5. The Cheesecake Factory

These are just five I’ve heard chatter about lately. From all the talk P.F. Chang’s must be the bestest thing ever when it comes to Chinese food. That’s probably not true, but that doesn’t really matter, now does it? I’ve heard a surprising amount of mourning for the loss of T.G.I. Friday’s after its one Lincoln location closed recently. Carrabba’s is a nice Italian restaurant with a location in Omaha. White Castle ... well, in reality Mr. T is the only person I know who wants WC to come to town, but he’s so passionate about it I figured I’d throw it on the list. And finally, The Cheesecake Factory is just pretty darn tasty. They make a mean Long Island Iced Tea, too.

Hot Beef

May 26, 2006 at 1:30am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Thanks to Jack Jackson and his commenters I developed a hankering for a hot beef sandwich today. When my dad called to see if I wanted to eat dinner with him and my mom, I knew just where to suggest: Stauffer’s. I had never been to Stauffer’s for dinner before, but I’ve heard enough positive remarks about it that I had to try it out.

Stauffer's exterior

The hot beef sandwich was tasty. I like skins in my mashed potatoes, and I like my beef gravy a little thicker, but overall I was pleased. It was a nice meal served in a nice, small town-style atmosphere, complete with those yellowed water glasses every small town cafe has to have.

Stauffer's hot beef sandwich

My mom and dad finished off their meals with a couple slices of gooseberry pie a la mode. I passed on dessert, but I did sneak a few bites of my mom’s slice.

Stauffer's Gooseberry Pie

It’s All Greek to Me

May 25, 2006 at 6:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Mr. T, Swoof, and I grabbed lunch at Ali Baba’s today. We each opted for the tandoori chicken special:

Tandoori chicken at Ali Baba's

It was nice to meet Swoof in person, since until today Mr. T and I had only known his online persona. It would be nice to meet up with some of the other regulars of the Lincoln blogosphere one day.

Anti-Smoking Education Causes Heart Attacks

May 25, 2006 at 5:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It is often claimed that smoking bans lead to immediate and substantial declines in a variety of health problems in the local area. The logic usually goes something like this:

  1. A smoking ban is passed
  2. Wait one year
  3. Note that hospital admissions for heart attacks declined during that year
  4. Associate the decline in heart attacks with the smoking ban
  5. Yeehaw! The ban saved lives!

That (il)logic is annoyingly common. Fortunately, it’s easy to counter with this specious reasoning: heart attacks in Nebraska declined a whopping 28.5% in the year following a substantial cut in state funds for the state’s anti-tobacco programs. Therefore, it is clear that anti-tobacco programs cause heart attacks. It must be true, the statistics say so. Or better yet, read the problems with this sort of logic for yourself.

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