Latest Blog Posts

Islands of Despair

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

One thing I really like about some of Lincoln’s newest arterials is the presence of landscaped medians dividing the lanes of traffic. At the same time, I really hate those medians. Some of them are attractive and well-maintained; others look as though they ought to be condemned. Some are festooned with nice grasses, flowers, and trees; others, with weeds and trash.

Having landscaped medians is both a big opportunity and a big responsibility. I’m not sure that the City is up to the challenge. That’s not a criticism of the City, per se. The City can only do what they have money to do, and given all of the other things demanding monetary attention, landscaped medians really oughtn’t be high on the list. But it is, I think, fair to criticize the City for biting off more than it can chew by taking on new maintenance responsibilities every time a road is newly landscaped.

So here are my questions: Do we, as a community, want to bother with landscaped medians? Are they worth the building and maintenance costs? If not, what do we replace them with? If so, how can we better take care of them?

One of my suggestions—and one of the most obvious, I think—is to enlist the assistance of nearby neighborhood associations. But most new(er) neighborhoods face inward, so many of them don’t consider their bordering arterials to be a part of the neighborhood. Without a sense of ownership over the streets, there is little incentive to keep them looking tidy. Your thoughts?

Glass Houses, and Bigger is Smaller

August 30, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Two quickies:

Those Who Live in Glass Houses…

The [proposed anti-grafiti] ordinance would establish mandatory minimum fines, starting at $200 for the first graffiti offense, and require property owners to remove graffiti within 15 days of receiving a notice from the city.

...An abandoned gas station owned by the city has had a big red graffiti tag on it for weeks, he said. ...

Where is it? 48th and O, one of the city’s busiest intersections.

Shrinking Government?

City Councilmember Robin Eschliman wants to disband the Railroad Transportation Safety Board, of which she is a member. A government body wants to eliminate itself? Well, sort of. She has proposed dumping the RTSB, but nobody else seems to share her enthusiasm. Her solution? She wants to ask the state legislature to expand the RTSB’s role. *sigh* So close, and yet so far.

From the Lincoln Journal Star.

Guess Who?

August 29, 2006 at 10:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Last Friday I was involved in three different situations that required me to be a good samaritan in one way or another. The first was on the bus on the way home from work. The college student in an adjacent seat left his wallet behind. I grabbed it and gave it to the bus driver. The second was as The Missus and I got out of our car at Southpointe later that evening. The folks in the car next to us left their lights on. Although the couple was gone, we had noted the woman’s pants—they were a very distinctive color—so when we went into the courtyard to listen to the free concert, we were able to find her and warn her about her headlights. The last situation was near the end of the concert. The woman sitting next to us left her shopping bag behind. The Missus noticed it, I picked out the woman and her husband in the crowd, and The Missus chased her down.

But that’s not my point. I hadn’t had any good samaritan moments for a while, so I was due. And besides, none of those situations was all that big of a deal. But I digress. Fast forward to lunch today…

The Missus and I were eating at Samurai Sam’s when a man walked in. He looked vaguely familiar, but I’m always saying “doesn’t that guy look like somebody we know/some famous person?” so I figured that’s what was going on. But then he walked over to our table. He leaned forward a bit and said, “Thanks for finding my wife’s package the other night.” What are the odds! And such courtesy taking the time to say thank you.

One of the things that bugs some people now and then about Lincoln is how hard it is to be anonymous. One of the things I love about Lincoln is how frequently these moments of social serendipity occur.

Name That Tune

August 29, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

  1. If Lincoln had a theme song, what would it be?
  2. If Mayor Colleen Seng had a theme song, what would it be?
  3. If ex-Fire Chief Mike Spadt had a theme song, what would it be?
  4. If the bison statue at Pioneers Park had a theme song, what would it be?
  5. If Sunken Gardens had a theme song, what would it be?

Riding the Short Bus

August 29, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I have long been interested in Star Tran’s refusal to invest in smaller buses for its fleet. Even the Star Shuttle, the Downtown circulator route, uses full-sized buses. Interestingly, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s shuttle fleet is being supplemented this year by conversion vans at off-peak hours. The reasons are obvious: cost savings and improved efficiency all around.

It seems the advantages to Star Tran of smaller buses would be numerous and substantial. Greater fuel economy, lower training requirements, and improved public perception—fuller, smaller buses appear more effective than emptier, larger buses—are just a few. So why the “bigger is better” mentality to date?

On Patrol

August 29, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

UNL is never going to catch up to Texas in the party school rankings if LPD’s party patrol keeps cracking down every weekend. *sigh* I guess that’s another championship UT can hold over our heads.

(I don’t have to point out that my tongue is planted firmly in cheek, do I? Good.)

A Mighty Fine Month

August 28, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I know August isn’t over yet, and I know by saying this I’m probably just begging Mother Nature to strike back later, but I’ll say it anyway: this has been probably the nicest August I can remember. After July ended with a heat wave it was easy to assume that August would show us more of the same. Instead, we have seen some very nice rain showers, mornings have been cool, and the humidity, more often than not, hasn’t been half bad. All things considered, August felt a lot like September or October. Which makes me wonder: what will September and October feel like? Not August, I hope!

80,000 Free Admissions

August 28, 2006 at 1:00am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Fair Board made a huge, daring, and, in my opinion, very intelligent, decision: all 80,000 ticket-holders to Nebraska’s season operner against Louisiana Tech will receive free admission to the State Fair after next Saturday’s game.
If only they had made the decision sooner, they could have made other smart moves like letting game ticket holders in free all day, and offering free transportation to and from Memorial Stadium. But it’s a start, and it’s the sort of thinking that the Fair needs if it’s going to survive.

Lincoln’s First Staples—Sort Of

August 25, 2006 at 10:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It seems Nebraska Bookstore is now affiliated with Staples. Nebraska Bookstore also recently partnered with Blick Art Materials. Here’s hoping the new partnerships serve one of Lincoln’s landmarks well.

Friday Five

August 25, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Five things I plan to do at the Nebraska State Fair this year:

  1. View the photography exhibits. The 4-H photography exhibits are especially fun.
  2. Compare my garden veggies to the blue ribbon veggies and continuously nudge The Missus while saying “Ours are way better than that!” (Even though they aren’t, of course.)
  3. Meander through the local foods exhibit and stuff myself with free samples.
  4. People watch, people watch, people watch.
  5. Eat at least three foods on a stick.

Website and E-Mail Problems?

August 24, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Is anybody seeing either of the following two problems?

  1. After submitting a comment or a post on the forum, you see a page listing a bunch of PHP errors
  2. Even though you have subscribed to receive e-mail notifications whenever a comment or forum response is submitted, you are not receiving those e-mails.

Fetching Fido is a Weekday Job

August 24, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Animal Control no longer offers services on weekends except for bats and bites. The department’s budget and staff were finally cut to the point that weekend hours are no longer possible. Department personnel are making a big deal about the change, as is expected. But it will be interesting to see how much the lack of weekend services really affects us. Hopefully somebody plans to collect data about the quantity and nature of unanswered calls so we can decide if this is a change we want to stick with.

Running on Empty?

August 23, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Should Mayor Seng run for reelection? So far she hasn’t committed one way or the other. Who would you like to see run for election? Or, if you’ve decided, who would you like to see win?

News About the Bear

August 23, 2006 at 1:45am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

You Oso Burrito fans out there may want to take a peek in the forums...

(Note: forums are currently active for logged-in members only. That will change eventually, but not until the site redesign is completed.)

Where Am I?

August 22, 2006 at 5:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

  1. It’s Friday at Noon. There’s a colorfully-adorned man serving people outside. I look over my options and choose the one with M&M’s—my favorite. Where am I?
  2. I smell onion rings. Boys are playing basketball on the fenced-in court behind me. There’s a neat old church catty corner from me. I see some signs written en español. Where am I?
  3. There’s a game tomorrow. The people standing on chairs are wearing red shoes. Hey look, it’s Chris Fowler! It sure is crowded in here. Where am I?
  4. I’m standing in a long hallway. All sorts of people from all walks of life head to their rooms. He wants to be a mechanic. She, a chef. And that older lady there? She’s a quilter. Where am I?
  5. The flowers here are very pretty. I want to play in the water, but something tells me that’s not allowed. I’m at a fork in the path; I take my equipment and turn toward the high road. Where am I?

[Note: It appears this post is having some comment-related issues. The comments are showing up OK, but they aren’t being counted (i.e. it says “No comments”).]

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