Latest Blog Posts

Chief Casady is Always on Duty

November 30, 2006 at 6:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Never mess with a police chief’s wife. Even if he’s on vacation.

Hungry for a Food Blogger

November 29, 2006 at 6:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

After a year in the local blogosphere, Swoof has closed Eatin’ in Lincoln. Today I reluctantly removed it from the blogroll.

Note that Eatin’ in Lincoln didn’t close due to lack of interest. In fact, its closing leaves a bit of a void in Lincoln food blogging. The blogosphere abhors a vacuum, so I would like to do my part to help fill the gap. If anybody out there is interested in giving a new Lincoln food blog a try, I would be happy to have you here at Lincolnite. If you think, “Hey, I could do that!”, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Maybe include a couple quick examples of how you write or topics you would blog about. Nothing fancy or lengthy, just enough that I can get a sense of your style. I don’t really care if you are 14 or 84, a seasoned blogger or a web newbie, an individual or a tag team of a few friends who all like food. I just want to find somebody who meshes with the Lincolnite concept. And if somebody fills the hole with their own site before I find somebody for here at Lincolnite, fantastic. I just want to make sure the topic gets covered.

Coming Soon: A New Look for JournalStar.com

November 29, 2006 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Apparently JournalStar.com is getting a makeover on Monday. Thank goodness. The screen shots (you can see ads for the new website in the paper version) look like some effort was put into the redesign. I just hope the designers remember that usability is the current site’s biggest weakness, not aesthetics. Look for a review of the new site next week.

Lessons from the Qwest

November 29, 2006 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

One of the most interesting pieces in today’s Journal Star was buried in Deena Winter’s column. It is notable enough that I will quote the section in full:

Arena proponents ought to pay attention to what’s happening up in the Big O.

The Omaha World-Herald recently reported the city-owned Hilton Omaha isn’t generating the kind of revenue projected. Also, the city will likely have to tap reserves to make a bond payment on the hotel, and convention bookings are expected to be down next year.

Nevertheless, that city’s convention and visitors bureau is pressuring the city to expand the Hilton to attract bigger conventions. The World-Herald reported Omaha has struggled to attract large national and regional conventions—conventions Lincoln hopes to attract, too.

Difference is, Lincoln would prefer to get a private investor to build a new convention center and hotel, as a mayoral task force has recommended. That way, the city wouldn’t be on the hook for their performance. However, the city could be on the hook for incentives it offers a developer, like free land.

The Qwest Center is a nice addition to Omaha. But it has lots and lots of problems. If we are going to build our own arena and convention center here, we must make sure we learn from all of them. One example comes from Ken Hambleton:

[UNO]‘s Division I hockey team was stuck in a high-cost, long-term lease with Qwest Center Omaha. After years of selling out Civic Auditorium, interest seemed to wane when fans were able to find plenty of room in the new arena.

Lesson: Don’t overbuild. Crowds beget crowds; empty seats beget empty seats.

Cross Mayor Camp Off the List

November 29, 2006 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Jon Camp won’t run for Mayor in this spring’s election. Instead, he will run for re-election to the City Council, and he will continue to focus on his business interests. I’m certain it was a difficult decision for him.

What bugs me, though, is how arrogant he comes off as a result of the announcement. He said, for example, “Quite frankly, I know that I could’ve been elected.” I don’t like those sorts of pronouncements. Can you imagine if Colleen Seng were to say, “I have decided not to run for re-election, but quite frankly, I know I could’ve beaten any opponent”? It’s tacky. More appropriate would have been to just bow out quietly, talk about how he is keeping the door open for 2011, and maybe offer a little support for Ken Svoboda.

Update 11/30/2006: Neal shoots, he scores!

Triplets

November 28, 2006 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A triplet is a set of three words having the same consonant sounds, but different vowel sounds. For example, given the clue A large container for collecting insects is a…, the answer would be BIG BUG BAG. Note that sounds are important, not letters. Try your hand at these triplets:

  1. A piece performed by our Mayor is a…
  2. The burial places for the police chief’s caps are…
  3. A conceited truck parked on V Street is a…
  4. Peanut butter cup-eating competitions at a local grocery store might be called…
  5. A noisy boy in the audience at a performing arts center is a…

[Note: Mr. T jumped in with answers before most of you had had your morning coffee, so don’t look at the comments until you’re ready. Also, feel free to chip in with your own triplets!]

A Big Red Weekend

November 27, 2006 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

This weekend is a biggie for Husker sports. There’s the football team’s trip to Kansas City, of course. I know I’ll be watching that game. The only question is: from my couch, or from the stands?

But to be honest, I would really prefer to grab tickets to the Coliseum as UNL hosts the first and second rounds of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. The Huskers take on American University on Friday, and either Winthrop or Northern Iowa on Saturday (assuming that the Huskers win on Friday, of course). If you managed to get your hands on tickets, you’re a lucky sonuvagun.

Go Big Red!

Kopeli Coffee Coming to Downtown

November 27, 2006 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

There will soon be a new coffee shop in Downtown Lincoln. Kopeli Coffee—any relation to this guy?—plans to open in January in the new building being constructed in the Amigo’s parking lot. Does Downtown need another coffee shop? Well, no, probably not. But you’ve got to give Kopeli credit for an excellent location that should pick up a decent amount of University and drive-thru traffic.

Friday Five

November 25, 2006 at 1:30am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Five movies filmed in Lincoln:

  1. Airport (1970)—“Mel Bakersfeld is the hard-charging manager of Lincoln International Airport, trying to keep his airport open despite a raging Midwestern snowstorm and an angry wife. Meanwhile, his antagonistic brother-in-law, Vernon Demerest, may have his plans for a placid layover in Italy disturbed by unexpected news from Gwen Meighen, and by the plans of the D.O. Guerrero, the loose cannon on board.”
  2. Terms of Endearment (1983)—“Aurora and Emma are mother and daughter who march to different drummers. Beginning with Emma’s marriage, Aurora shows how difficult and loving she can be. The movie covers several years of their lives as each finds different reasons to go on living and find joy. Aurora’s interludes with Garrett Breedlove, retired astronaut and next door neighbor are quite striking. In the end, different people show their love in very different ways.”
  3. O Pioneers! (1992) (made for TV)—“Alternately tragic and triumphant story of Alexandra Bergson’s love of the sometimes unwelcoming farmland of the southern Nebraska plains. Captures well the quiet tone of Willa Cather’s best work.”
  4. 7-Teen Sips (2000) (independent)—“This laughably pretentious and tedious examination of teen angst comes from pro skateboarder-turned-filmmaker Stephen Berra, who claims to have mined the story for his feature debut from the experiences of actual young people he encountered while touring the heartland of America on the skating circuit.”
  5. About Schmidt (2002)—“Warren Schmidt is forced to deal with an ambiguous future as he enters retirement. Soon after, his wife passes away and he must come to terms with his daughter’s marriage to a man he does not care for and the failure that his life has become.”

But clearly Lincoln’s most famous screen time came by virtue of Tommy Lee. Wait, did I really just use “virtue” and “Tommy Lee” in the same sentence?

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2006 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! In honor of the holiday, Neal sent in a special cartoon:

What are Lincolnites thankful for?

(Click to see a larger version)

What are you thankful for today?

Chris Beutler’s Solution for Lincoln’s Roads

November 22, 2006 at 8:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I can’t say much for the timing of the announcement—who makes a big proposal right before a holiday weekend?—but Chris Beutler’s “New Roads to Good Jobs” plan is worth a look. NRGJ is a proposal to fund Lincoln’s impending street needs (some $135 million worth) through sales taxes specially set aside within development districts on the city’s edge. The districts would be like tax increment financing districts, but with sales tax revenue.

Some quick thoughts:

  • Awesome! The first big news of the election season is (1) an actual, honest-to-goodness plan, and (2) not an attack on another candidate’s character. That makes me very, very happy.
  • If the new sales taxes are all going to roads, what happens to the funding for all of the things that would have been funded by the sales taxes had they not been directed exclusively to roads? Beutler’s comments so far seem to imply that he’s using “free money”. For example: “Tying those bonds to the sales tax created by new businesses allows the city to reap benefits without further burdening our taxpayers.” Well, right. But the plan isn’t costless. If the money is going into a pot for roads, it has to come out of a pot for something else. Whose pot is getting robbed?
  • “New Roads to Good Jobs”? I don’t like it. For one thing it has the distinct ring of politspeak. For another, it implies that the roads to good jobs will be primarily on the outskirts of town (or, heaven forbid, out of town). And the letters (NRGJ?!) don’t even spell anything neat. But picking on the proposal’s name is a minor quibble.

Prize Patrol

November 22, 2006 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I enjoy creating games and puzzles here on Lincolnite and, as demonstrated by how many of you participated in Where’s Wilson, many of you enjoy playing. But I know you would enjoy them even more if a prize of some sort awaited the winner. I have plans to supply a few prizes on my own dime for some games I would like to do, but since Lincolnite earns me exactly $0.00 every month (technically even less than that), the prizes won’t be too exciting. If any of you own a local business or have the ability to offer a prize or two, I would be happy to give you a little free chatter here on the blog in exchange.

And just as a teaser, I am working on a game that I think a lot of you will really enjoy. It’s a Lincoln-themed version of a TV show you may have heard of. I even heard a rumor that Sean Connery might play along…

Where’s Wilson? He’s Still Missing!

November 21, 2006 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

C’mon, folks, don’t give up on finding me just yet! With four questions remaining, you know the following:

  1. I’m not in a park or a building
  2. I am in the Haymarket, and I am:
    • On or north of P Street
    • On or west of 7th Street
    • At the Train Station or its surrounding grounds
  3. I’m not at the Farmer’s Market
  4. I can smell food or beverage

You have used 16 questions, so you have four remaining. (And remember, making a guess counts as a question!) Four questions is plenty to figure it out given what you know. So come on, Find Mr. Wilson!

Let’s Get Digital

November 21, 2006 at 1:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

As the title suggests, I’m all in favor of allowing Lincoln’s billboards to go digital. I have seen digital billboards in other communities, so I have a few reactions to some of the concerns:

  • They are too bright. Of the ones I have seen after dark, I wouldn’t describe any as being obnoxiously bright. They aren’t so bright that they are a hazard or annoyance while driving, and they certainly are not so bright that I wouldn’t want one within a mile of my house. (Not that I would want one directly next to my house.)
  • They are a distraction. Not much more than a regular billboard, and certainly no more than any of the thousands of other distractions on the road. I’m far more distracted by waiting for slow time and temperature signs to switch from celsius to farenheit while I drive by.
  • They are obnoxious. I don’t find them to be obnoxious. They could be, I suppose, but with the regulations Lincoln is currently considering, it would be tough.

LES Rates Stable, for Now

November 21, 2006 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The good news is, LES hasn’t asked for a rate increase for next year. Last year’s 4.5% rate increase, along with a group of new fees, has improved LES’ bottom line. The bad news is, they will probably ask for one next year.

One item worth discussion is LES’ advertising budget. The Lincoln Employers Coalition wants it cut. The current advertising budget is $400,000, and it is mostly directed toward informational and educational advertising. (i.e. “Here’s how you can save money on your electric bill…”) Trying to pare down $400,000 in an almost $200 million budget seems a little silly, but I suppose the group figures it has to start somewhere. Fair enough. Still, spending less than $2 per Lincolnite for informational and educational advertising doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. Perhaps what the Lincoln Employers Coalition needs to do to convince me is to speak in terms of what they would cut (and what they would leave), rather than in dollar figures. Then I could be a better judge.

What’s your take on it?

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